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Stormgate - sci-fi/fantasy RTS from ex-Blizzard devs

RaggleFraggle

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Mar 23, 2022
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Yeah, even that IGP game I mentioned is releasing MP as F2P. Campaigns will still cost money, so for 80 percenters like me it's not gonna be different from the Golden Age of RTS.

But microtransactions aren't really gonna fly with the RTS crowd due to a lot of players being long timer players of the genre and being resistant to microtransactions. Tempest Rising devs said this in an interview, so I know they're not gonna focus on microtransactions.

RTS devs are stuck between a rock and a hard place. MP just isn't a good revenue stream compared to PvE (it's been known for years that 80% of customers don't move past PvE), but developing RTS with decent PvE content is prohibitively expensive due to its low RoI from being a niche genre. Blizz could just throw money at the problem, but others devs cannot. It's left many RTS gamers with too high expectations since most RTS devs simply cannot afford to add what are considered basic QoL features.

Strangely, "survival RTS" like They Are Billions and Age of Darkness do cater exclusively to the PvE crowd but that subgenre doesn't seem to have caught on. I'm not sure why, but I suspect it may have something to do with their lack of diversity in terms of playable sides? You have one playable side, and an NPC-only side with only one type of unit that sends wave after wave until your base dies. They did eventually add campaign modes with more variety in missions, but still hasn't caught on or fixed the lack of playable sides' diversity.

Then we have games like Silica trying to create a hybrid of FPS and RTS, mooching off the FPS market to get that RoI. That subgenre hasn't worked out in the past, but even in Early Access Silica has received a surprisingly positive reception.

RTS is just really hard to develop (you need pathfinding, AI, networking code, etc that isn't found in other genres and you have to reinvent the wheel with every game rather than piggybacking off Unity or Unreal) and the current market is not kind. RTS is one of the few situations where I think advances in AI generation of content would help indie devs more than it would make the cyberpunk dystopia worse.
I think the reason survival RTS haven't caught on is simply that the PvE crowd in RTS (already a niche genre) is just too small. I don't have any stats to back this up, so I'm going by a mixture of gut instinct and anecdotal experience here (see below), but my impression from playing RTS in the past is that the majority of the community does tend to gravitate towards PvP. Not necessarily "competitive PvP", meaning - it's not all 1v1 small map rush games, in fact I think the bulk of an RTS community will gravitate towards more casual PvP - big maps, team games, where a lot of the time there's not as much early game skirmishing and if a player is having trouble their team will often help them out. But PvP nonetheless. If not PvP, then a comp stomp game, but I don't think solo skirmish was ever something really popular.

As to why that is, I think it's a mixture of factors - AI not being very engaging to play against (because it's fucking hard to do well), and perhaps an out of context skirmish just not having much appeal. Anyways, I think people who are going to play some strategy game solo will tend to gravitate more towards games that provide a richer solo experience - Total War type games, 4X, grand strat. RTS is fundamentally a multiplayer-oriented genre, and it's always kind of sucked at working outside that domain.

Agree 100% on development difficulty, by the way. I think it's probably up there with MMOs as one of the most difficult genres to make. In particular, because, despite people not really playing RTS in general, you're usually sort of expected to have a solo campaign just to introduce your setting and get players somewhat invested in the world, at least long enough to build up a community that they can get invested in instead. So on top of all the technical requirements you're forced to dump a lot of time and energy into making a campaign that most players will play once or twice and then never touch again as they spend hundreds of hours online.

View attachment 37153
Actually, 80% of RTS players never go into multiplayer. But creating good SP content is expensive and most devs cannot afford to
 

Jaedar

Arcane
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Project: Eternity Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
in fact I think the bulk of an RTS community will gravitate towards more casual PvP - big maps, team games, where a lot of the time there's not as much early game skirmishing and if a player is having trouble their team will often help them out. But PvP nonetheless. If not PvP, then a comp stomp game, but I don't think solo skirmish was ever something really popular.
The sc2 coop (2p vs AI) was and afaik still is immensely popular.
You're probably right that ai skirmish was never really popular.

Are the survival rts games any good?
 

ArchAngel

Arcane
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
19,685
It's literally a down-scaled Starcraft 2 with less polish and even more cartoony graphics.
It is also F2P with 3v1 fun mode. You are underselling it. Sc2 is/was already very popular, similar game with features that will be even more fun for more casual fans will be liked.
 

Trithne

Erudite
Joined
Dec 3, 2008
Messages
1,182
If you turn down the brightness on your screen you can trick yourself into thinking you're just watching Starcraft 2, it's the same fucking shit.

Love watching shit teleport in and out of transports to dodge bullets at the speed of gookclick.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
7,226
None of what I've seen so far screams "SC2 replacement" for me exactly and art style is too goofy. Unit designs of their Terran suck. I will give it a good shot anyway when it's available but it seems likely I will be sticking with SC2 ladder for years to come.
 

-M-

Educated
Joined
Jul 2, 2022
Messages
95
This looks about as much a threat to Starcraft 2 as Back 4 Blood was to Left 4 Dead.
 

catfood

AGAIN
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Still wanting to compete with Starcraft after 25 years I see. Back in the day we had so many innovative RTS games coming out, many with unique graphics, themes, and mechanics that made them stand out from the crowd. And now all we get are these boring, generic Starcraft/Warcraft/C&C clones that want to be the next Starcraft killer. News flash: there will never be a Starcraft killer because that game killed the genre and there will never, ever be a resurgence of it.
 

catfood

AGAIN
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Nirvana for mice
Day9 is reaching levels of cringe which shouldn't be possible.
0001-0021.gif
 

RaggleFraggle

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Mar 23, 2022
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981
Still wanting to compete with Starcraft after 25 years I see. Back in the day we had so many innovative RTS games coming out, many with unique graphics, themes, and mechanics that made them stand out from the crowd. And now all we get are these boring, generic Starcraft/Warcraft/C&C clones that want to be the next Starcraft killer. News flash: there will never be a Starcraft killer because that game killed the genre and there will never, ever be a resurgence of it.
The problem is that RTS is inordinately difficult to create compared to other genres. You need genre-specific AI, networking, pathfinding, etc that isn’t supported by Unity or Unreal. The RoI is low. Big publishers with the funds to make RTS are not interested in new IPs.
 

motherfucker

Educated
Joined
Aug 23, 2020
Messages
168
They seem to market to people who were bad at SC2 - nuff said. How are they hoping to make a competitive game out of this is beyond me. Wanna bet it's gonna be f2p?
 

ArchAngel

Arcane
Joined
Mar 16, 2015
Messages
19,685
They seem to market to people who were bad at SC2 - nuff said. How are they hoping to make a competitive game out of this is beyond me. Wanna bet it's gonna be f2p?
99.9% of the gaming population is bad at sc2 :D
I do not think they care about making this some super popular esports and they said long time ago this will be f2p.
 

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