Long title, my bad.
For one of the RTS games I am making with a custom C++ engine I wanted to have localized resources. I am trying to work out how to implement this for buildings.
My current plan is this:
The current engine has a default construction model for each building size. It's just a placeholder until the structure is made. Its not a unit in and of itself, just a one of many models in a unit's model folder.
I was thinking of taking these models and making them real, but placeholder, units. So when you build a structure it displays the properly sized construction site model for that building, but it initializes with the name of the actual building, storage equal to the resource cost of the actual unit and health equivalent to the actual unit. You then use transport units to load it with resources.
When you tell a builder unit to build the structure it has a build speed and amount. As it builds it raises the buildings hit points and applies a percentage deduction to resources so that health goes up inversely to resources going down. When the health is maxed the resources disappear and the construction building is instantly replaced by the real structure.
How do you feel about this method?
One incidental bonus is that you can construct a building for free and then build it up as the resources come in. So even if you haven't got all the resources now you can go ahead and start the structure. This means you don't have to wait for the full value to start the build time. I am using some relatively long build times and high resource costs so this value is magnified but even in faster games it could be useful.
Even more with local resources transport times can add to the wait so even if you have the resources you still have to move them around.
Can anyone think of a preferable method? I could have a special placeholder for each unit but I would need an art team to do all those extra models. Some people make a building render partially under ground and rise as its completed but that's not really how buildings are built. And having incremental increases in completion is really model intensive.