"Strategy games, contrary to popular belief, often are the first to hit the technology wall."
- Stardock's Brad Wardell
The RTS genre is seen as a niche today, despite dominating the PC market in prior decades. In a lengthy new article posted at IGN, Stardock CEO and Ashes of the Singularity developer Brad Wardell outlines the reasons he thinks the genre has fallen out of favor, and what needs to be done to bring it back -- all presented as a technical history of both the RTS and the PC gaming rig.
"I remember talking with the Civilization V team and the challenges of keeping an entire world in memory at the same time while having both lots of units, good graphics all while keeping the performance decent," Wardell writes, contrasting the genre against the more popular FPS -- less technically demanding, he argues.
"It’s not that people stopped wanting real-time strategy games. It’s just that without a technology jump, the best we (our industry) could do is produce more polished versions of games that have already been made," he says -- laying out one of the major reasons he thinks the genre fell out of favor: "what video game designers can do is totally dependent on what the technology allows them to do," he says.
The article is an interesting perspective from a developer and fan of the genre who hopes to breathe new life into it -- with his latest game.
If you're interested in finding out more about what Wardell is aiming for with Ashes of the Singularity, he's already posted what he calls a "pre-mortem" of the game in Gamasutra's blog section, in which he breaks down some thorny problems with RTS game design.