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LEGO RTS Game, Anybody Interested?


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#1
jamesster

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I've talked about this a couple times in the RRU Skype group over the past few months, but after a game of Balanced Annihilation: Chicken Defense with LZ and Tauka tonight, I thought I'd condense some of these ideas into a topic here as I'm feeling especially fired up about it. Just a heads up, it's currently 1:00 AM as of when I type this and it will certainly be later than this when I post this topic, so if it feels jumbled or something that's probably related. Also, this is going to be very image-heavy.

Anyway, on to the main topic. I'm presenting the idea of a massive LEGO RTS game built on the Spring engine, which already seems to have some users here at RRU.

(Truth be told, while I've been looking over Spring for the past several months to learn how the engine works and what's required to make content for it, I'd never actually played a finished game running on it until a day or two ago - kind of like studying how a kind of car motor works without having tried driving the car!)

LRR was a fun LEGO RTS, and it obviously had a lot of impact on some people or we wouldn't be here on this forum today. But, while it is LEGO, and it is an RTS, it's not quite what I'm thinking of here. LEGO Battles... Again, I found it fun, but there's only so much the DS can do, y'know? The same goes for its sequel, LEGO Battles: Ninjago. Both are fun games, but are nowhere near what I'm thinking of.

So here's what I've been bouncing around in my head for months now: A flat-out LEGO theme mash-up RTS game, running on the Spring engine of course, allowing for easier development (as Spring already has the framework set up for pretty much everything I would like to see out of this), easier modding, easier custom maps, etc. The game itself...

... Well, look at this art by Mike Rayhawk for his tabletop strategy game BrikWars:

Epic_1280.jpg

Basically, the idea is similar to how kids might play war games with LEGO in real life: Dump out the giant bin of pieces, and send spacemen into battle with knights and robots and mechs and UFOs and catapults and cowboys and ninja and pirates and pirate ships and whatever else you want. LEGO Battles was cute with its campaign stories and factions that were all nicely themed and organized, but what I'm envisioning here is more akin to LEGO Battles permanently lodged into free-play-utter-chaos mode... Like the BrikWars image above. Plus, it wouldn't be on a DS, there would preferably be a lot more explosions, and Spring would allow for much better online multiplayer stuff.

Some other inspirational images...

These images by Pixel Fox are pretty squarely focused on the Space theme, not capturing the sort of utter timestream screw I'd love to see so much... But my goodness, they're just plain awesome, and are still quite similar to what I'm thinking of in terms of action.

7182679891_1e64ea8e7c_h.jpg

7406814466_66b5d92866_h.jpg

8431165241_5d04e6978b_h.jpg

And hey, let's toss in an official image for good measure:

f-robinhood.jpg

Now, the units themselves. As I slightly sorta-mentioned earlier, LEGO Battles split stuff up into different factions, which is understandable given it was more story-driven. But should the same thing be done here? As I've said, I'd prefer something more chaotic and less rooted in the LEGO canon (heck with the canon storyline, this is a mashup RTS we're talking about!), plus, as far as I know, Spring doesn't allow for choosing units to make your own personal faction. So, multiple factions of sorts could just wind up putting limits on which units players could use... I'd say that all units should be under one mega-faction of sorts, with different teams/players distinguished via team colors (as is the case with many RTS games). This lends itself especially well to LEGO, just look at these colorful guys!

Lego-spacemen.jpg
 
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The same could apply to larger brick-built units like mechs and castles, while things like that didn't come in multiple colors from LEGO, they do have visible color highlights that could be where the team color is shown in-game.

(By the way, if those ideas are utter crud and you'd prefer separate factions divided up in some way, tell me so - I'm just too tired right now to really explore the benefits of the other options much...)

I have loads more ideas for the specifics of how such a game could work, but that's for another night, plus I'd rather not waste time expanding on the finer details of something that may or may not ever exist.

Here's the thing. I lack the time and resources to create this on my own (I've had my own personal LEGO action-adventure RPG project in the works for several years, plus other things in real life, hello schoolwork). But I really love this idea. A lot. If enough people here are interested in taking this idea and forming a group towards gradually working on it whenever life allows (I know there's several Spring users here already), then great, let's get to work. Another reason I wouldn't want to work alone on something like this is that I don't have much experience with the "strategy" part in real-time strategy games, so I'd most certainly need some other people to help decide on what units should be included, what their abilities should be, etc. Not to mention that this is a pretty big idea, and even with plenty of people contributing, it would still take a while - but if we pool our efforts, and build on the existing framework that is Spring, I think this could have a shot at happening some day. So, is anybody interested in such a game? And hey, if not, it's at least a really fun idea to think about. I'll do some more experimenting with the Spring engine, and post the results here, but I think I'm gonna get some sleep first...

Fun fact: When I first started forming ideas for a combat-oriented LEGO game featuring pretty much no story and a mashup of minifigures/themes from across LEGO history, I was thinking about a more TF2-style game, with more up-close combat and team based stuff - y'know, like TF2. The LEGO twist would be more character customization within classes, and more importantly, a level editor. Then I saw some examples of Spring games, and realized that the RTS genre is much more suited to LEGO, as it contains a mix of construction and combat in the actual game itself... But hey, maybe a TF2-style LEGO game with custom level creation could be a lot of fun too? Oh well, that's another subject now, I just thought I'd mention it.

#2
JimbobJeffers

I am completely up for this, you have my full support!

 

I have tried playing BrikWars in the past, but the fact that you can take any figures in lead to it being a little confusing distinguishing armies at times. As such I think a coloured scheme would be good, as you suggested, and this could be better than a multiple faction-styled game because you would still be able to use any LEGO model from any theme.

 

If other people with knowledge of Spring (I don't have the time to work it out for myself, not at the moment anyway) get together and this project is set underway, I'd be happy to lend a hand at other aspects of the game design. For example, texturing, building 'fluff' (you know, background details, although there doesn't have to be an actual story), uh... And anything else I can do.

 

Nice suggestion and let's hope the community can pull together for this :)



#3
BobaFett2

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I love RTS games.

Another LEGO RTS is the Mars Mission One.

 

I would be willing to help. At the moment, I'm pretty decent at making textures for 3D models and I could take a shot at making logos, or learning to use the Spring Engine (provided its free).

I can also build mechs and stuff.

 

I fully support this.


Alpha Team for saboteurs... (little units that have low health but take down buildings or vehicles more easily)



#4
RobExplorien

I'm starting to like this idea. So, this game is something like Super Smash Brothers?

Though I'm not sure if I can be of any help (for I don't know how to work with the engine), I would like to wherever I can/could.



#5
Fushigisaur

INSECTOIDS YES PLEASE

*ahem* Sorry. Insectoids is one of my favorite themes and I want an insectoids game soooo baaaadd.

Anyway I have no idea what Spring is or how it works but this sounds like a great idea.
So, no plot please.
Pay no attention to what themes you're using, just pick whatever set is best for each type of unit and throw them all together.

Just make sure the older themes get some love c:

#6
BobaFett2

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I'm starting to like this idea. So, this game is something like Super Smash Brothers?

Though I'm not sure if I can be of any help (for I don't know how to work with the engine), I would like to wherever I can/could.

 


As far as I know, Super Smash Brothers has no RTS features.

 

RTS is where you create buildings and troops and have them fight (or interact with the environment).

Like CrystalAlien Conflict and LEGO Rock Raiders.



#7
jamesster

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I am completely up for this, you have my full support!
 
I have tried playing BrikWars in the past, but the fact that you can take any figures in lead to it being a little confusing distinguishing armies at times. As such I think a coloured scheme would be good, as you suggested, and this could be better than a multiple faction-styled game because you would still be able to use any LEGO model from any theme.
 
If other people with knowledge of Spring (I don't have the time to work it out for myself, not at the moment anyway) get together and this project is set underway, I'd be happy to lend a hand at other aspects of the game design. For example, texturing, building 'fluff' (you know, background details, although there doesn't have to be an actual story), uh... And anything else I can do.
 
Nice suggestion and let's hope the community can pull together for this :)

Yeah, confusion between what units belong to what player is another reason I would prefer the single-faction with team colors sort of setup.
 

I love RTS games.
Another LEGO RTS is the Mars Mission One.
 
I would be willing to help. At the moment, I'm pretty decent at making textures for 3D models and I could take a shot at making logos, or learning to use the Spring Engine (provided its free).

I can also build mechs and stuff.
 
I fully support this.

Spring is free and open source, and of course, this game would be too:

http://springrts.com/wiki/Download
http://springrts.com...ine_Development
 

I'm starting to like this idea. So, this game is something like Super Smash Brothers?
Though I'm not sure if I can be of any help (for I don't know how to work with the engine), I would like to wherever I can/could.

Nothing like SSB in terms of gameplay, but if you mean in terms of crossover stuff, then yeah, I guess you could compare it to that. Though, from what I've seen, SSB games tend to sort of have stories, while this would just be a straight-up RTS game to play with friends.
 

INSECTOIDS YES PLEASE

*ahem* Sorry. Insectoids is one of my favorite themes and I want an insectoids game soooo baaaadd.

Anyway I have no idea what Spring is or how it works but this sounds like a great idea.
So, no plot please.
Pay no attention to what themes you're using, just pick whatever set is best for each type of unit and throw them all together.

Just make sure the older themes get some love c:

Most certainly. One set I really want in this game is the Red Planet Protector, it was one of my favorite sets when I was just getting into LEGO, it has distinct areas for team colors, and those cannons look like they could pack quite a punch.

#8
TheDoctor

Factions aren't a problem if you can easily rotate the color palate around for each unit. For BA its easy because its gray/silver/black and then the team color. If that's a problem then you can do alien sets versus earth sets. Granted, there are a lot more earth based sets than alien ones, but you could always shove power miners in there with the aliens. :P If it's STILL a problem then I guess you will actually have to do the chickens version of the game, but I guess we'll have to see.
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#9
Fushigisaur

\

INSECTOIDS YES PLEASE

*ahem* Sorry. Insectoids is one of my favorite themes and I want an insectoids game soooo baaaadd.

Anyway I have no idea what Spring is or how it works but this sounds like a great idea.
So, no plot please.
Pay no attention to what themes you're using, just pick whatever set is best for each type of unit and throw them all together.

Just make sure the older themes get some love c:

Most certainly. One set I really want in this game is the Red Planet Protector, it was one of my favorite sets when I was just getting into LEGO, it has distinct areas for team colors, and those cannons look like they could pack quite a punch.


Speaking of which, there are three sets in the Life on Mars theme that are color-coded, and connect to the Aero Tube Hanger through color-coded docks.

So if I'm understanding correctly, each unit is to have a prominent main color that changes to represent which character controls it... in this case we should make sure that all non-color-coded bricks in each model are shades of grey or another neutral color to avoid confusion. This may require severely altering certain models, but I'm okay with that, because they are LEGO sets and if this was IRL who wouldn't customize their ships a bit?

Speaking of customization, there should be an element of that included, how will that work out...

#10
jamesster

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Factions aren't a problem if you can easily rotate the color palate around for each unit. For BA its easy because its gray/silver/black and then the team color. If that's a problem then you can do alien sets versus earth sets. Granted, there are a lot more earth based sets than alien ones, but you could always shove power miners in there with the aliens. :P If it's STILL a problem then I guess you will actually have to do the chickens version of the game, but I guess we'll have to see.

I think the issue is getting confused a bit, so let me clarify what I mean by having only one faction: Each player gets the same selection of units to build, the only difference being color coding to show what player a unit belongs to. There would be teams of course, with different players allying with or fighting each other, but they all have the same units to choose from.

With multiple factions, you would choose a set of units before the match starts in the lobby, where, if different factions are chosen, one player might be building samurai and pirate units, while another player might be building equivalent knight and cowboy units or something like that. Personally, I don't care for that option as much - what if I want to build both cowboys AND pirates? It's rather limiting, and you'd probably have to color code things to make them recognizable at a glance anyway.

Or maybe that's what we're both saying, except I'm confused because I'm using the wrong terminology?
 

Speaking of which, there are three sets in the Life on Mars theme that are color-coded, and connect to the Aero Tube Hanger through color-coded docks.

So if I'm understanding correctly, each unit is to have a prominent main color that changes to represent which character controls it... in this case we should make sure that all non-color-coded bricks in each model are shades of grey or another neutral color to avoid confusion. This may require severely altering certain models, but I'm okay with that, because they are LEGO sets and if this was IRL who wouldn't customize their ships a bit?

Speaking of customization, there should be an element of that included, how will that work out...

Sets will have to be somewhat altered anyway, as the models will be fairly low-poly to keep performance up when you have tons of units built, plus, chances are you won't be looking at any given unit too closely in the heat of a battle.

As for customization, Spring doesn't really allow for that in-game, each unit is very specifically defined in various configuration files within the game itself. However, it is very easy to mod, and it's also easy to make custom maps that can be played in many Spring-based games.

#11
TheDoctor

Factions are Zerg, Protoss and Terran. Different sets of units with their own balance. Colors are just team colors, to differentiate which unit belongs to which player. In Starcraft, each faction has a default color palate, but when two of the same team are against each other, they take on a red/blue, yellow/green, etc tint. In BA, the factions are ARM and CORE, ARM being a bit Zergy and CORE being a bit beefier. There are no default colors so the player just picks one.
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#12
JimbobJeffers

I haven't had a chance to look through Spring, but would it be possible to create the sets in LDD and import them as object files? Of course the limbs would be separated for movement.

If so I'd certainly like to recreate sets/modify them slightly and help with the team colours.



#13
jamesster

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I haven't had a chance to look through Spring, but would it be possible to create the sets in LDD and import them as object files? Of course the limbs would be separated for movement.
If so I'd certainly like to recreate sets/modify them slightly and help with the team colours.

Sorry, LDD is of no use here.

#14
BobaFett2

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Oh, and I'd love to help design the combat and statistics.

I love that sort of thing.



#15
LimeKiller

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    I guess you should go with Alyx.

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Sounds awesome! I could help with whatever if you need me.