Josh Bycer writes:
Honestly, most RTS single player modes… suck. The reason is that designers try to use it to teach the player about multiplayer which doesn’t work, as an AI is not a good substitute for a player …
Over the years, the structure of mission design has changed and can be broken down into several categories:
One of the amazing parts of the Myth series by Bungie was the focus on the single-player story. While there was a “puzzle” element to it – having limited resources and time – it was heavily narrated and each battle, though skirmish-sized, contributed to the progress of the story. So while it was a war, there wasn’t control over the outcome of the war in terms of high level strategy. You fought where you were told to fight.
Compared to the single-player game, Myth multiplayer was a poor cousin with mismatched units and allegiances. While the array of game devices (the various match conditions) was impressive and a lot of fun, I couldn’t help but want more control during match setup, with the ability to select either light or dark units and allow my opponent to do the same. The ability to vary the number of points used – to deliberately create unequal games – would have added another dimension to allow use of terrain, tactics and skill to get a victory against a far superior force. This was the essential gem in the single-player game – the tactical use of your units to defeat wave after wave of superior forces.
So, in the creation of a game to “replace” Myth in my heart, it should offer this “relatively” simple concept.