RTS Game Development - ZCC Case Study
Experience the apocalyptic world! Zombie Company Crusade (ZCC) is a mobile real-time strategy (RTS) battle game with a modern military themed background where you create, command and defend your base and conquer other bases. ZCC incorporates rich military theme based graphics, real time battles, zombie attacks and tons of strategy. The most interesting part of the game is the unique troop controls where the actual fun begins. You can direct your troops to any side strategically to win this traditional battle. Take full control of your crusade and build your base, train your army, and save the world from the zombie scourge. You can also fight with your friends and foes to see whose army and strategy is the best in the Arena.
While the game sounds fun, but our team at Juego Studios did face some challenges with a few features of the game and in optimizing the game considering the scale of the game elements. There are some key unique elements in the ZCC game which our team executed overcoming initial challenges. One of them was rendering & controlling couple of hundred troops in battle. Since ZCC was using mixture of both 3D and 2D contents which made the game already heavy in lower-end mobile devices, we used batched rendering technique to accelerate the rendering process which made a balanced usage of CPU and GPU, and controlling hundreds of soldiers had been optimized by applying multi-threaded path finding algorithm.
Building the base is again unique since the base is highly customizable to create your unique strategy. For this we used 2D grid based layout to fit all our buildings within any part of the base. Also this layout helped us in building our in-house path-finding algorithm.
Another unique feature of ZCC, which was rare and the toughest feature at that time for mobile devices was Arena battles. Arena battles feature was added in the middle of development phase, which had a 1vs1 real-time battle across internet. Players can train and bring up to 100-150 soldiers to battle each other and fight in the arena for gold. Syncing 200-300 soldiers on both mobile devices was a tough job over a slow network condition. We used Photon (PUN) for real time data synchronization and synced only the troops targets on real-time rather than each soldier's position.
Replay of the battle and sharing across with other players was again a complex task when it came to replaying hundreds of soldiers and their each activity on real-time. To achieve this we created custom recording system, which stores only the important data and later simulates them using a few custom interpolation algorithms.
Security was another major concern in ZCC. To ensure the highest level of security in this MMO-RTS game, we used HTTPS protocols on top of REST APIs for secured data communication with our server. We also used RSA encryption for keeping a few data safely inside a device and MD5 algorithm to check the data integrity.
Overcoming such challenges and optimizing the ZCC game enabled our team to create this game of highest quality.