Navigation screen (RTS) gets more love

Navigation screen (RTS) gets more love

The Navigation screen (the RTS screen) is the heart of the RTS side of Rank: Warmaster.  With the terrain updates and other screens being updated, it was time for this side of the game to get worked on.  One of the larger problems with the RTS screen was the lack of coherent controls, so the player doesn’t fight the game to do simple things.  Part of the reason why it can be complicated is in a typical RTS, the units either don’t move very quickly, or in general they stop and then attack.  With the units being slow or stopped allows the player to easily select their units or to click to attack the enemy units or structures they wish to.  Rank: Warmaster, because it’s a true 3D real-time environment, a typical battle will devolve into a constantly moving furball of ships all dancing with each other and intermingling.  While lovely to watch, it makes it impractical to click on your own ships, let alone the enemy ships to target them.  Clicking on these ships is still possible, and to help keep a relative frame, the game automatically scrolls (and zooms out) to track what you have selected and keep what you have selected on screen.  While this helps, this isn’t enough to quickly find what you are looking for.  To that end, I’ve added a series of on-screen buttons (with keyboard equivalents), which will likely get refined as they are play tested, that allow a quick selection (and centering with a double tap) of yourself, your ships, idle ships, builderbots, cities and of course, the enemy.  The idea being that one could simply hit “all my ships”, then the attack button, then select “enemies” and then execute, and you just gave an order of all your ships to attack the enemy.  Generally, at least with the enemies, it selects what enemy ships are on screen, while the other “friendly” selections are more geared to finding your ships, on and off screen.  This will likely be tweaked, of course.
               Another addition is far more usable keyboard shortcuts on WASD (QE) for scrolling the display (Q and E are up and down), with holding the SHIFT key to have the WASD change the pitch and heading of the display, with Q and E changing the scaling.  This makes navigating the battle area FAR easier than before with only mouse controls or on screen buttons.  Good controls are what makes or breaks a game, and so improving the controls for the Navigation screen is my current goal.

We will be testing these new controls on this week’s livestream!  We will be livestreaming to twitch this time, and a later video upload to youtube.  Please join us!

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