By Juegostudio | Gaming Industry, Strategy Games | June 6th, 2018

The Rising popularity of Strategy Games

The last few years have seen a renewed interest in strategy games, with the release of popular titles like Total War: Warhammer 2, XCom2 and Dungeons 3

A genre that focuses on skillful thinking to overcome logistical and tactical challenges, the primary attraction of the best strategy games lies in their immersive environments, dynamic content, unpredictable outcomes and replay value. Digital distribution platforms like Steam provide players with a wealth of content for PC, which is a key platform for strategy games. With early access to development and streaming services, there has been an increase in overall audience interest for strategy games, which has acted as a major push for developers and publishers.

Types of strategy games

The strategy genre can be subdivided into two main categories:

  • Real-time Strategy games(RTS):

    RTS games involve continuous gameplay, where players manage multiple units and resources to achieve objectives which can include securing areas of the map and defeating enemies. Multiplayer RTS games involve several players making moves simultaneously, making them action-oriented and challenging. Popular examples of this genre include WarCraft, Age of Empires, Dota and others. Juego Studios designed ZCC, a military-themed mobile RTS game for iPhone.

  • Turn-based strategy games:

    In this type, players take turns to make their moves. This genre includes board games such as Chess and Checkers as well as tactical role-playing games with battle scenarios. As the pace of these games is related slower when compared to RTS games, AI systems are designed to be more complex to challenge players to the maximum.

Strategy games can be single player or multi-player. Some games use the combination of both, with AI opponents. MMO strategy games like Shattered Galaxy, while popular, pose challenges for developers since they involve a large number of player units.

Designing good strategy games:

With several titles flooding the market every day, it’s important to make your game as engaging as possible for player retention. Here are some key factors to keep in mind while designing strategy games:

  • Keep game mechanics simple: The simpler the rules of the game, the better it is for playability. This is especially true when it comes to casual games. Design the game so that players can learn the system fast and then experiment with choices.
  • Introduce variety: Once the rules of the system have been defined, provide a broad range of scenarios for players to apply their knowledge. This introduces an element of novelty to keep players invested in the game. Variety can be introduced through types of scenarios, types of units, rewards etc.
  • Avoid too much information: While strategy games are designed to stimulate thinking, overwhelming players with information can make the game too complex and less interesting to play. It might be better to offer players a limited number of choices, each with distinct consequences to keep the gameplay engaging,

Strategy games on mobile:

With an increase in memory, performance and display quality, the gaming experience offered by today’s smartphones is slowly catching up to the standards set by PCs and consoles. Mobile developers are now creating MMO and RTS titles for smartphones.