Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The Use of Maps in Strategy Games

Strategy games are probably the best link between games and maps, as without them the game wouldn't be able to function.

Real-time strategy (RTS) games are a type of wargame where the player controls units across a vast area in real time. These games use maps to display what is going on in the game, usually they also involve a minimap for a more tactical view, the maps can be zoomed in or out of to get a scale of the situation.
These maps change the very way the game is played, many RTS games use resources that are spent on units and buildings in the game, these resources are strategically placed so no side gets any sort of advantage. The map is usually also designed in a strategic fashion, creating choke points and open areas to create strategic situations for the player to overcome or use to their advantage.
However these maps are not only used in a strategic sense, many are beautfiully rendered containing masses of detail for example Relics' Dawn of War 2

Maps also play an integral part in games such as Sied Miers Civilization

This is a game where the player aims to ultimately take over the world by becoming one of historys great leaders, and changing how the world ultimately ends up. The player begins with one city, the civilization then spreads out creating new citys and towns, roads, mines, farms, everything you would expect to find on a real traditional map. In a way the maps evolve, as technology increases your map will change from that of a stone age prehistoric style hut through the times of the renaissance and finally to modern day sprawling technological hubs.

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