RTS Game Programming
Question submitted by (17 November 1999)

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  I am a Software Engineer with a Point of Sale company and I recently decided to start teaching myself game programming. I am looking at eventually developing yet another RTS game next year some time, but in the meantime I am trying to learn all I can about Game Design and creating Graphics. The problem is I can't find many tutorials which walk through the whole development of a RTS. Most of the tutorials I have seen so far discuss the basics of game design and what you first need (ie knowledge of a language etc) or they are too detailed for what I want. Do you have any ideas where I can find a tutorial to guide me through from start to finish of developing a RTS? And how to implement graphics in a RTS?  

  Most RTS games use a standard square sprite tile-map of drawing backgrounds and animating sprites over the bitmap. This can be learned on any articles for doing 2d graphics, or any 2d game books available on the market today. You should probably start here as making the graphics display will take you some time your first time around, so before you can continue with RTSes (if you are set on doing graphical ones) you'll need this.

You'll also want to understand the AI of RTSes, which Ive explained a bit in the below articles.

AI Articles:


Heres a link to Amazon.com on a book on RTS games by Mickey Kawick which I havert read, but is on RTS games. Ive heard mixed reviews about it but most of them ended up saying to get it if you are trying to learn RTSes.


It will probably take you a long time to create your first RTS, as there is a number of elements beyond simple 2D games, which also take a long time to make. Good luck!

Response provided by Geoff Howland

This article was originally an entry in flipCode's Fountain of Knowledge, an open Question and Answer column that no longer exists.


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