Help me win this competition! (and thoughts on my first RTS)

Started by Wizered67, January 18, 2014, 02:09:05 am

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For the past couple of months, I've been working during my spare time on a project for the Stemfuse Got Game Competition. This competition is specifically for middle and high school Game Maker games. The RTS genre has always intrigued me, so I figured a low stakes competition was a good opportunity to try to make my own. With some help from my friends for graphics and music, I finally finished the game, 1800. 1800 is a historically based minimalist RTS that takes place during the Napoleonic Wars and War of 1812.
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Anyway, now for some thoughts on the project. First of all, RTSs are hard. Very hard. I was constantly attempting to optimize the game, while throwing on new features to add to the "strategy" aspect. I had a fairly decent vision of the project from the start, but it definitely evolved as I worked on it. The main pitfalls I fell into were not knowing what I was doing, resulting in some highly questionable design choices at the beginning, creating an AI that wasn't terrible, and reducing lag. Unfortunately I waited until the end to add the AI, and that caused some problems. First of all, it was much harder than I had expected. I really had no clue how to do it and began piecing it together as I went along. Additionally, the AI made the game start to lag immensely as large amounts of units were on the map at a time. This is an issue I never really fixed, but instead tried to minimize in the level design. The original plan was to have 5 countries actively moving units as well as multiple others that were neutral. I maintained this original vision for the most part in the free play mode, along with the warning that it will lag on most computers. For the campaign mode, the American campaign being the only one I actually made, I removed all of the unnecessary countries. This reduced the lag significantly at the beginning of the game, but after playing for a couple of minutes the lag still gets pretty overwhelming.

Overall, I think the game ended up being fairly mediocre in terms of actual gameplay. However, I think that this was a great experience for me. I have learned a lot about what to do and what not to do when making an RTS, and would be able to approach things completely differently in the future. That being said, I'm really sick of RTSs right now and can't imagine making another in the near future :P. I think had I chosen to to a turn based game instead, it would have saved me a lot of trouble with worrying about the lag, so I'll keep that in mind for the future.

Now for the part where you can help me. Here's a link to my entry in the competition. If you could spare me about 2 clicks to upvote the entry, that would be greatly appreciated. Even if you don't think the game is very good, I hope you could just take a moment to appreciate the effort that went into making this and support me. Currently the entry leading in the popular vote has over 500 votes, and is a simple and nearly broken maze game with one level. The effort that went into making that is so minimal that its number of votes is mind boggling. My goal is to get at least 100 votes in the competition, and with your help I can do it.

Thanks so much everyone!  


The value you get out of making the game is the experience, not winning some competition.  The recognition would be nice, especially in cases like this where it is deserved, but the world doesn't work that way most of the time.  There is almost always somebody smarter, faster, richer, or more popular.  Just my opinion.

Congrats on finishing the game though :)


Thanks! I totally agree that experience is better than any potential reward from the competition.


Nice job on the game! I can't believe that Panda game had the most votes, that game sucked. Good luck with your game-making, so far you're doing an excellent job.
"Let's get down to brass tacks. How much for the ape?"


Thanks :) We've been making some progress in the votes and are currently tied in 5th in the senior division for votes. It is pretty disappointing that the top games are basically complete garbage while all of the good games are buried underneath, but luckily there's a popular vote and judges choice, so we still have a chance.


Is there some kind of, like, highly detailed instructions on how to play? I had no idea what to do or buy and gave up in like 5 minutes.

Very nice work nonetheless! Good luck in winning ;o

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Ha ha, yeah there was a basic tutorial that covered the basic mechanics, but I never really explained what units do in depth. Probably for the better you didn't play more than 5 minutes :P


I hope it's not too late for my vote to count, Wizered. I just put in a good word for you. (Or a good thumb, I suppose.)


Thanks :) Unfortunately the competition ended and we didn't win. I honestly think we were really close, but there wasn't really anything more we could have done. Thanks for the support everyone!


I guess I'll just tag this onto this thread. The Spring Got Game competition just ended and we submitted another game. This time we created A Family Affair, a mix between turn based strategy and a sidescrolling shooter based on mobsters. We also used Spine for the first time for skeletal animation, which was hard to implement without being used to it, but seems like an incredibly powerful and versatile tool for graphics. I definitely don't expect to win on votes since there are games with a ton, but I'd still appreciate it if you could take a second (seriously, all you have to do is click a button) to drop us a vote at Also, if you're interested in trying out the game I'd love some feedback, as we are currently considering continuing development over the summer. Once again the AI proved to be quite tricky, especially for the sidescrolling parts, so you may notice that the AI will suddenly jump from one location to another under certain circumstances. Hopefully that isn't too distracting, and if we do continue development an AI rewrite is on the top of the list. Thanks guys!
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