Real-Time Synergy

One of the biggest appeals to real-time strategy (RTS) is controlling your own army, evaluating your chances of victory and reacting to your enemy's movements whilst managing your own. It is having this kind of vantage over the movements in the game that many RTS players thoroughly enjoy. Though the game wouldn't nearly be the same if the player could only control one unit at a time. The idea of battalions or squadrons in an armed force is heavily ingrained in contemporary minds, if a player weren't allowed to control such a large number of troops as they are, the games probably wouldn't be as popular.

This week, I looked over one of the fundamentals of the RTS, the mass unit selection system. This system is arguably essential to all RTS games. Age of Empires II, Starcraft and Warcraft, all arguable grandfathers of the contemporary RTS included the feature of mass selecting a chunk of units present on the player's screen.

Although the action of mass selecting units simply consists of clicking on an area on the map, dragging to encapsulate all units you would like to select in the selection area and letting go, there's much more going on behind the scenes. A manipulation of various elements of the object used to select the objects, such as it's onTriggerEnter and Exit events alongside the scale of the object dependent on the mouse's position on the screen is significantly more complicated than I had first imagined. Not to mention that this was only selecting units. The aforementioned RTS games included a feature wherein you could select specific units based on their class within the mass that you has selected. This was no doubt because any special abilities that the units had could be essential to changing the flow of the game, therefore the feature was essential. 

I would like to attempt to extend the script further. The selection box is already able to select buildings, and so I would like to change the UI depending on the unit selected. This would require a feature wherein the player would be able to cycle through each type of unit that they have selected, much like the referred to RTS games. The user interface would show to the player what they would be able to create with the unit that they currently have selected and allow them to build the unit or building as if the unit were selected on it's own. This is a very common feature in RTS games though as I've seen I have no doubt that it would be more difficult than it seems

Tylah Kapa