The State of RTS on Console

Ever since the console market became more than the pc gaming market the popular pc genre RTS is trying to make it’s way on the consoles. if we only look at this generation then we see that there is a market for rts genres on consoles. an original console game like Halo Wars sold really well, but on the other side End War did poorly. so how do we make RTS on console fun.

There are a few kinds of RTS games on consoles. we have the PC ports like Red Alert 3 and Supreme Commander 2. and we have that games that take the PC mind set and take only the basics of it like Halo Wars. these games are playable but most of them arn’t really fun. the biggest problem of RTS on Console is the unit selection. because most rts games use rock-paper-scissor, or another kind of counter system you need to select certain kinds of units. the way most games do that is by creating a cursor to mimic a mouse but that doesn’t work. other games use an “All Units” Button but that does not allow you to select certain kinds of units. Other games like Stormrise and Endwar try a different thing. instead of taking the PC mind set they just start fresh. they both use an interesting control mechanic. Endwar Uses basic units and locations and translates it into Voice Control, this actually works quite well and it makes playing an rts on console actually fun. And we have Stormrise that uses an analoge stick and bubbles of units around the edge of the screen to select units(Whip Select), that did not work as well. but it will be the things that we have learned from Stormrise that will help us create a perfect console rts hybrid.

The weird standout’s in all of this are Tower Defense games and “Dota” like games.
Were Tower Defense games on the console are Fun good and Playable, the Dota like games haven’t made it to consoles yet in there form. the reason is that it will have to give you direct control of the character and map ability to your face buttons, and that will  basically be Deadspank multiplayer. if anybody would make that that would be great, maybe it sounds kinda bad but it can actually work quite well and be a lot of fun.

RTS on Console has his ways to go. because of the lack of a mouse the unit selection is missing, that’s why they should make an RTS whit out units on consoles. if you look at games like Majesty they would be great for consoles. and while in 2008 there was an announcement for Majesty 2 on Xbox 360 after there has not been any infomation about that project. I fear that they cancelled it because of the bad PC sales for Majesty 2. So the Conclusion is that if you wanna make an rts on consoles really think about your controller, don’t mimic a mouse and make it fun.    

12 Comments
12 Comments
Posted by Max_Antrax

Ever since the console market became more than the pc gaming market the popular pc genre RTS is trying to make it’s way on the consoles. if we only look at this generation then we see that there is a market for rts genres on consoles. an original console game like Halo Wars sold really well, but on the other side End War did poorly. so how do we make RTS on console fun.

There are a few kinds of RTS games on consoles. we have the PC ports like Red Alert 3 and Supreme Commander 2. and we have that games that take the PC mind set and take only the basics of it like Halo Wars. these games are playable but most of them arn’t really fun. the biggest problem of RTS on Console is the unit selection. because most rts games use rock-paper-scissor, or another kind of counter system you need to select certain kinds of units. the way most games do that is by creating a cursor to mimic a mouse but that doesn’t work. other games use an “All Units” Button but that does not allow you to select certain kinds of units. Other games like Stormrise and Endwar try a different thing. instead of taking the PC mind set they just start fresh. they both use an interesting control mechanic. Endwar Uses basic units and locations and translates it into Voice Control, this actually works quite well and it makes playing an rts on console actually fun. And we have Stormrise that uses an analoge stick and bubbles of units around the edge of the screen to select units(Whip Select), that did not work as well. but it will be the things that we have learned from Stormrise that will help us create a perfect console rts hybrid.

The weird standout’s in all of this are Tower Defense games and “Dota” like games.
Were Tower Defense games on the console are Fun good and Playable, the Dota like games haven’t made it to consoles yet in there form. the reason is that it will have to give you direct control of the character and map ability to your face buttons, and that will  basically be Deadspank multiplayer. if anybody would make that that would be great, maybe it sounds kinda bad but it can actually work quite well and be a lot of fun.

RTS on Console has his ways to go. because of the lack of a mouse the unit selection is missing, that’s why they should make an RTS whit out units on consoles. if you look at games like Majesty they would be great for consoles. and while in 2008 there was an announcement for Majesty 2 on Xbox 360 after there has not been any infomation about that project. I fear that they cancelled it because of the bad PC sales for Majesty 2. So the Conclusion is that if you wanna make an rts on consoles really think about your controller, don’t mimic a mouse and make it fun.    

Posted by Meowayne

Dawn of Discovery, yo.

Posted by TekZero

The last great RTS on consoles I've played was Endwar.  My buddies and I rocked the game on an almost nightly basis.  I'm still playing Warhammer: Battle March just because I like the setting.  The controls really make the game hard to play.  Not impossible, just hard. 
 
And talk about a multiplayer wasteland, they should just go ahead and zero out the mulitplayer achievements like Brothers in Arms did. 

Posted by Ineedaname

Are tower defense games the same case, due to them mostly being grid based, or having some form of direct character control such as in DotA.
 
When you say RTS I directly associate that with the games you mention earlier on, now the way I feel they will succeed, is to not do them. I would make a guess a lot of the sales of Halo Wars were due to part of the name in that game title. "Wars", it's a game shifter. Unless the controller changes or someone drastically changes what we know as an RTS I don't think they'll ever succeed on the current controller. One way would be to allow mouse support, maybe even ship the game with a mouse to put everyone on the same playing field and at least providing the option, but I don't feel that will ever happen. 
 
All Units.

Posted by nukesniper

I liked Endwar a lot better than Halo Wars. And I am very sure that Halo Wars sold well because it said Halo on the cover. I'm sure a lot of 10 year old kids got home hoping to directly shoot people, only to be disappointed.  
 
Endwar made an RTS that made playing one on console make sense. It played to the strengths of what you had to work with. I think Tower Defense has worked on the consoles, but only as tower defense, not as an RTS. South Park and PixelJunk Monsters are great games, giving you the ability to walk around with your towers instead of the click placement the PC has. 
 
I will forever live by the idea that RTS games are only for the PC. Starcraft, Sins of a Solar Empire, Company of Heroes, and other games like that only work on the PC, and I'm glad they haven't tried anything more crazy. 
 
Dota stuff might be cool on consoles though. If it works well. That was the most interesting thing about Monday Night Combat to me at least.

Posted by Max_Antrax
@Ineedaname: the problem is that its way easier for developer to not think and just create an rts. but if you look at games like Tropico 3, you don't control units in that game just like in Majesty and that makes it work on the Xbox.
Posted by TekZero
@nukesniper said:
" I liked Endwar a lot better than Halo Wars. And I am very sure that Halo Wars sold well because it said Halo on the cover. I'm sure a lot of 10 year old kids got home hoping to directly shoot people, only to be disappointed.   Endwar made an RTS that made playing one on console make sense. It played to the strengths of what you had to work with. I think Tower Defense has worked on the consoles, but only as tower defense, not as an RTS. South Park and PixelJunk Monsters are great games, giving you the ability to walk around with your towers instead of the click placement the PC has.  I will forever live by the idea that RTS games are only for the PC. Starcraft, Sins of a Solar Empire, Company of Heroes, and other games like that only work on the PC, and I'm glad they haven't tried anything more crazy.  Dota stuff might be cool on consoles though. If it works well. That was the most interesting thing about Monday Night Combat to me at least. "
Endwar worked because you were controlling a lower number of units.  It was even better when you got 4 v4 matches going.  Toward the end, i barely even used the voice control because it was faster to use the controller. 
Posted by Ineedaname
@Max_Antrax said:
" @Ineedaname: the problem is that its way easier for developer to not think and just create an rts. but if you look at games like Tropico 3, you don't control units in that game just like in Majesty and that makes it work on the Xbox. "
See again, as much as that is an RTS, the soloution there is the game itself.
The pacing and structure is one that allows for simpler controls, you're never going to be commanding hordes of units and as a result you have a slower game.
Take something more hectic and it's an instant fail. The games you mention could utilise the system that have already been seen in games such as Red Alert on the console and probably be successful at what it's attempting to do, but I'd vouch a guess a lot of that successful gameplay would come from the game itself as oppose to the soloution the game would implement to account for the controls. 
Posted by Max_Antrax
@Ineedaname said: 
 
See again, as much as that is an RTS, the soloution there is the game itself. The pacing and structure is one that allows for simpler controls, you're never going to be commanding hordes of units and as a result you have a slower game. Take something more hectic and it's an instant fail. The games you mention could utilise the system that have already been seen in games such as Red Alert on the console and probably be successful at what it's attempting to do, but I'd vouch a guess a lot of that successful gameplay would come from the game itself as oppose to the soloution the game would implement to account for the controls.  "
 
 
In Console rts game you should not control hordes of units. the problem is that they do. if they would strip away unit control and just you place units and markers like in Majesty. The Controls could be really simple Left Bumper + Analog Choose and Place buildings, and Facebuttons to set bounties.
Edited by Ineedaname

What you're asking for is a simpler game, and a more specific type of RTS, arguably the more niche ones, which have slower gameplay, and yeah they'd work, but is that a solution for RTSs on consoles, what about the likes of Starcraft 2, which is the PC RTS of the moment, where the main aim is to control units, do you just cut them out in favour of games that would work?
Part of the reason I don't feel they should is because it's not the way the games were designed to be experienced, I also feel that no matter the game specifically designed to fit the control scheme, it's always going to be better experienced on another platform.

Posted by Max_Antrax
@Ineedaname:  an RTS like Starcraft 2 just does not belong on consoles. and the only way that we will ever get an good RTS on Consoles is if the people that make it will not take anything from any PC rts and create and think on there own. the controller has some good thing too it. what about an top down squad game with direct control thats kinda a RTS and that could work great on a console.
Edited by Ineedaname
@Max_Antrax: But then when you're adding in direct control you're moving more and more away from the RTS, and getting closer to 3rd person territory. 
And again, even if there were multiple squads in this theoretical game, I'm going to guess it'd be a much better experience on a PC, just due to the mouse and keyboard.