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Q3 - Would you want to see a build queue system in a C&C or a Red Alert Remaster?


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CnCNet Question:


Would you ever want to see a build queue system? Similar to how Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2 work? If so, how would you like to see it implemented? If you wouldn't, why?


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Well, I answered that already in Question 2 extensively. But I find it important to discuss this in exact way with other players.

In short: Yes, and please dont make it too stupid/shortsighted. (ADVANCED to RA2, TibSun we need extended improvement here)

While keeping the style, the side menu, and on larger resolutions you have all units and buildings visible at once,

1. I want to queue my units, 1step,5step,10step,
2. I want to somewhat queue my buildings, so I can play more right after the other, without having to wait for click-build-click-place-click etc.
3. I want to play this C&C more comfortably on large scale and the rest I refer to my Answer in Q2 for now. You can also ask or dig deeper, ... maybe I should give even more details on implementation:

for 1: per key-mouse combo I get a pack of units, and per shortcut I can hold the mouse within the vehicle menu, and press 'm' for mammoth, and 'h' for humvee for example, and if I use a modifier, maybe shift, strg, alt, (lets take shift for 5, then I get hold shift) + 'm' I get 5 mammoths, and refering to the first sentence, I can click while still holding shift onto the mammoth and get another 5 and press 'h' for another 5 humvees.

This is an example for a quick command I need in hot situations.

2. I would like to see a queueing up for buildings, too, which works that I can 'stack' finished buildings so they build one after the other, and keep ready, until I place them. You might set a limit to 5 buildings to stack per construction yard due to logistic capacities within the construction yard, which extends with more MCVs.

Now I can place 1 refinery per click, but I want more:

I can click on the destination place, HOLD my mouse button, and drag the mouse to draw a rectangle, to line up multiple refineries in one go, in a staight alignment to my mouse curser, or a 2-column 2x2 or 2x3-matix, if I have for example 3 or 4 refineries queued up.
GOOD would also be, If I can place them before the build is ready, to use that time frame before-ready to save time afterwards.
[Optional. Its just an example... but things like this would be a very good approach!]

3. https://forums.cncnet.org/topic/9242-q2-if-you-could-change-one-way-the-original-games-behave-what-would-it-be-and-why/?do=findComment&comment=71318

4. Build queues have a special subchapter with the nasty walls: developers say: remove them, they are complicated and useless.
But the players are not asking for wall-less games, but for games, that can implement them 'remastered'.
So I briefly give a subchapter on how to implement walls, an example. You can take, discuss, change, and better not ignore100%:

- I want to secure my whole base in 1 build process with a rectangle of barriers that has gaps where un-usable terrain is...
With being able to build towers into the walls like in TibSun, maybe even with cost bonus when placed on a wall to not punish that player;
Desireable is also to determine gaps (no need for gates; optional) that I define with a second click, after fixing the rectangle selecting the gap areas. A double-click then releases the build process, and a right click cancels the last step, so I get out of the snap with 2 right clicks very fast.

The point is: either you do something like this, or you remove the Walls alltogether. Everybody laughs on me as they are useless until now.
But the point is, thats ONLY due to developers incapabilities( 20 years ago, you couldnt foresee) to implement them wisely!

So if you remove them, this decision will cost you authenticity, so better implement them 'to the end'. So GDI can protect itself against nodmots with gapless walls easily, that you can penetrate, but its an obstacle for movement; a wall segment must be very cheap (maybe 5-10-20 for sandwall, fence and wall) (and so on).

-> Players love to play with it, WHEN ITS USEFUL! This is vital!


Edited by Kampfkekskrieger
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I find that having to click all the time is part of the skills of players, for these retro games.

However, I would not be troubled if a que for units is possible. But this should be an option. It has been discussed many times before.
As option, it would be the best to keep all parties happy.
The limit? Just have it like C&C3 I guess. I find 5 to low if you are using que's anyway.
Shift click should always be applied if there is a que regarding units.
The same for shift right click to be cancelling asap.

Then the following special cases. I don't think they suit C&C TD and RA. But if they have to be present. Make it optional for players. And I posted the way how I think would be most fair.

A que for buildings?
No. Having an entire base ready for placement is even worse.
On the other hand as option:
Placing the basics for the structures like in KKnD or AoW3 can be optional. Because here the enemy can destroy starting buildings.
To prevent abuse however, the spend money should still be a constant stream. So what I mean is, no instant missing of resources when an engineer stands close to one of the refineries.

A que for walls?
That might be a good idea (as option). It would stimulate players to build more walls. But it should be done like how EbfD builds walls. You select the places where you want the walls to be build. Then it starts building them asap. Also, allow players to strike through anything that is in the way. The walls should be build there where possible. This allows for faster repairing of damaged walls, the gaps that is.
We could even throw in an automatic sell/rebuild mechanic on this one.

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I like the queue system in RA2 & YR.
It's simple, it's effective (especially in YR with shift cancel on a large queue, maybe add shift click to add 5 units to the build queue. ) also the quick structure placement hotkeys for the sidebar are a marvel of convenience.
(Q,W for building placement)

I really don't like the overly complicated solution from Kampfkekskrieger for unit and structure hotkeys in the sidebar I'd go with the SC2 approach of just assigning letters, depending on which tab is open reuse letters allowing them to be on the left side of the keyboard making hotkeys convenient and fast to use.

No one is going to want to hold the mouse down while holding shift and looking for a letter in the middle of an intense game. One mistake and the player would want to trash the keyboard.

Edited by RaVaGe
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I'm sure, all things, that make CnC more and more comfortable - are right! One of them - build queue system. No one likes to do routine moves from time to time, off course. I think, and sure people will agree with my opinion, everything, that will optimise game expirence from hard to use to best, is good. Hardcore should be in solving ingame tssks, not dealing with tools.

Also I heard, that changing UX things will damage original games' balance and feelings. I'll say - today is not 1995, and, off course, remastering old stuff means making them for nowadays with modern UI and UX solutions, which doesn't neccessary possible to change origins. Best way to make remasters best in actual time is make them as comfortable as possible, like, for example, OpenRA does. And off course with best visual)

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I am a little late to the party on this, I just found out about the QnA thing. Thank you by the way for spending the time to ask about some features. As for my answer. I do agree with having a build queue and a ctrl click build queue for buildings (Possibly with a limit)

I played the originals growing up, with CnC Tib Dawn when I was just about 7 or 8 years old. Having just the 5 unit build queue in CnC Tib Sun was a massive improvement.

Now I am not sure if this was mentioned anywhere, but although this would be great for the remaster. I do hope we have the original game and the remastered we can have together so newer people can see the original and the newer variant. (Kind of like what they did with Homeworld remastered)

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It'd definitely be safe to use something similar, close, or even exact to the Red Alert 2 build queue system. Queuing up buildings is definitely great too. OpenRA did this, which is one thing I liked from their UI.

Also, increasing queues in great increments, depending on whether I'm holding <Shift> or <Ctrl>. For example, <Shift> gives increments of 5, while <Ctrl> gives increments of 25.

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(write your 1 word answer 1st so ppl don't have to read a page before they know what you vote for?)

Yes the best ques I ever saw was on KKND which when from 1-9 then infinite instead of 10 until you unclick it,  and even better on supreme commander that went from 1 to 99 but remembered the order of different unit types being clicked, so multiple ques in 1 que.  Clicking over and over is a reflex action for me now so it doesn't matter much, but as a beginner I would have loved a que and it would also allow you to focus on strategy more rather than production with 1 less thing you have to do . 

Edited by chem
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Definitely not for buildings, in the sense that you shouldn't be able to pre-build f.ex. 3 turrets and then place them all at the same time. Same with walls. This would be game-breaking.

For units, I can deal with it, but is it really necessary? C&C and RA are great in the interface department in that they give you all options with a single scroll of the sidebar. The most I figure that system can be improved (short of single hotkeys for every unit type) is if you let players customize the order in which their construction options appear. A Nod player might want to always have the bikes and buggies on top when he has an airstrip. Many RA players will sell their barracks after building a factory so that the tanks are at the top of the options list. As GDI I'd like to have tanks and grenadiers next to each other, etc.

Come to think of it, this really isn't a particularly crucial question. Actual game physics and behaviour are much more important than UI details.

Edited by cn2mc
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I would say for infantry, vehicles, ships and aircraft, yes,  but for buildings, no.

I would even go on to add that it would be useful to add multiple build queues and tabs, like with C&C3 and RA3. Each WF/Barracks/Helipad should add a new build queue instead of simply speeding up construction.

Either way, units = yes, buildings = nah.

Edited by Alex06
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  • 2 weeks later...

Do as in D2TGP: Buildings are selected from the sidebar and placed first, then they build up in that order, starting from 0 hit points and non-functional until done. This removes instant-finished turrets popping up and makes the UI smoother. Purists might not like it, but I think D2TGP is a great example of how to update the original while retaining the feel of it.

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  • 3 months later...

I like the idea of having a similar side bar as the newer C&C games. For example, Have 4 tabs, Structures, Defenses, Vehicles(Planes), Infantry. I think that was a great system, which made C&C even more friendly to new players. Obviously want to be careful with that system since the old gameplay didnt allow that, it could cause an imbalance. The Maps would have to be larger to support that style of play. Quick tip on that, Only one building at a time in the structures and defense tabs. The Vehicles and infantry could cap at 5 or 10 for this one. No need to jump to 30 like C&C 3 did hahaha, That was kind of overkill.

Edited by Xero
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  • 2 months later...

I think this is a common misconception, that the "handling", basically the system that mediates between the player inputs and the in-game outputs, is somehow separate from the "gameplay" and its workings can thus be changed freely with no expected impact on the aforementioned system of play.

I'm being pretentious here in the hopes to demonstrate my main grief, that amateurs like us should not delude ourselves that we're in the known when giving our feedback on game design philosophy.

I would personally just ask to not make a remake out of a remaster, but since both you and Jim Vessella & Co (why people trust the guy that tried to sell them on the "mobile base" of CNC4 being a breakthrough in RTS is beyond me) insist on doing so, my answer would be: only to the extent that it doesn't take away from the game experience.

For example, I argue that the Dune 2 modification 'Dune Dynasty' that (along many "new" rip-offed features) allows the player to select and control the entire army at once, is not only an inferior gaming experience to "games with modern controls", as unlike Dune 2 's successors, it doesn't add more depth to keep the player engaged though a high level of interaction that the game still requires of them, but also an inferior gaming experience to the base game, as there's little for the player to do except A-move in Dune Dynasty in contrast to the "primitive", yet true to Dune 2 's legacy, challenge of selecting and controlling units individually.

Take this from a non-veteran, maybe you lack this perspective, but to me these old RTS games shine because they're a product of their time not in spite of that, their functionality is encoded into their very soul, they only need to be restored not upgraded, just like with historical pieces of a bygone era that can still serve a function in contemporary society. I would even dare to claim it is you who aged, while the game code stayed completely unchanged.

I say, a remaster ought to limit itself to make the game playable (no glitches), compatible (no crashes) and supported (no 3rd party applications required). Balance and customization are concerns beyond remastering that may be addressed only once the project has been finalized and the product reviewed by its intended audience.


If someone's not satisfied that I didn't give a proper answer to the issue at hand, I would like the queue this way: infantry queue up to 5, that's all, everything else still one at a time. It's completely arbitrary, I know, show me an answer that's not so.

Edited by CriticalFailure
peak pedantry
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