I've reached that stage in my new RTS game where all the main programming is done (apart from all the boring bits like a start and end, and changing the UI so someone other than myself knows what to do) and it's now down to tweaking the mechanics.
I used to look forward to this bit, but with something like my (albeit very simple) RTS, there are so many variables that I feel like a need some read some kind of book on RTS theory. There are (only!) 4 different kinds of unit. Each one has a cost, movement speed, a view range (how far they can spot enemy units), a shot range, a shot power, a "health" rating (how much damage they can widthstand), and finally a threat rating (for the AI). And I'm sure this is very simple compared to most RTS's. Then there are other factors, like how much to increment the players cash based on how many mines they have.
Most people hold up Starcraft as a prefectly balanced games, and I want to know how they did it. With all these hundreds of variables, did they just play the game several trillion times, each time tweaking it like "that unit is a but powerful, let's reduce its firepower". Or do you increase the other unit's firepower to compensate?
Questions questions questions. The main problem at the moment is that Island Commander is an "arms race" game, except instead of arms, it's mines. If you don't build as many mines as possible as quickly as possible, the enemy will soon overrun you. How does Starcraft (or any other RTS) avoid this problem?