An effective strategy game should provide players with an engaging, challenging, and immersive experience, keeping them engaged by forcing them to utilize units and resources optimally while encouraging bold play with generous rewards. This formula has kept popular strategy titles such as Civilization and Command and Conquer in the limelight for so long.
An exceptional strategy game should provide its players with a range of gameplay options that allow them to fully explore its systems. These should cater both to advanced gamers who seek to push the limits, as well as casual gamers looking for just casual fun.
These options typically fall under two categories, the game’s mechanics and thematic elements. The former can often be simpler to identify and include everything from resource management to combat; while its latter half typically encompasses world building, narrative, character interactions, lore etc. These options don’t aim to defeat other players but instead enrich players’ experiences and give them a deeper understanding of the world they’re playing in.
Some strategy games use randomness to add risk/reward and variability into gameplay, without falling into luck-based play that relies on luck rather than skill. Chess, draughts and checkers have survived without random elements in them for centuries!
An engaging strategy game relies heavily on captivating storytelling to keep players engaged with the experience, but remembering that strategy games are ultimately competitions between decision-making abilities and planning ability; hence it’s crucial that most of your design effort be spent creating compelling decision making contests.
BattleTech is an excellent example of this concept; this 4X game blends an intricate strategic layer with an engaging campaign system to let players control mechs in intense battles. They must carefully balance their fleet, considering armor thickness, speed and angle to win every round.
Strategy games have long been one of the mainstays of PC gaming, drawing us in with their maps and army lists from day one. There remain plenty of opportunities for creating great strategy titles – but doing so requires hard work and an acute eye for what will set it apart from its competition.
With enough effort and care, developers can craft a strategy game that keeps players coming back time after time. To accomplish this feat, the next great strategy game must be both competitive, intense and rewarding – while remaining accessible enough for casual gamers looking for entertainment – making its impact felt across different audiences. If the next great strategy game can do all this successfully, it could become one of the most beloved titles ever. This task may well prove to be dauntingly ambitious!