The procedural level/round generation system will be cut – but after having playing around with the units and really starting to get a feel for how things work, I’m certain it wont be missed. The game has a real puzzle vibe just below the surface, and I think with hand crafted scenarios it could really shine.
This apparent puzzle feel brings some new challenges, but we’ll discuss that another time. Some features are sure to undergo changes, and I’ll actively be looking for simpler and less time consuming alternatives.Anyway, enough doom and gloom. I’m going to keep this incredibly brief, but I can offer some simple explanation of a few of the gameplay concepts, as well as a screenshot or two of the game in action.
The play area is completely bare, with the exception of zones and player units and their range indicators.
This decision was made based on the reactive nature of the unit interaction, and so much of that weighs on the order or units spotting each other. Due to the nature of the ‘commitment’ mechanic associated with attacking and being attacked, being able to see enemy range limits represents territorial borders in a way. By encroaching into this territory, the unit will be engaged, and depending on attachment type and the rules dictating it, may become committed to the skirmish unable to retreat.
If range indicators overlap at any point, the player’s indicators take precedence.
Units utilising the Stealth Attachment are granted a unique range indicator colour in order to more clearly identify their cloaking range (as visible in the image below).
Zones come in two varieties, deployment zones and capture zones.
Deployment zones are small zones that determine the position the player can spawn their units at the start of the round. Each zone allows one unit to be deployed, effectively allowing the level designer to place limitations on the size of the player’s force to ensure balance within the round. By limiting the player’s force to different sizes (and different positions), the designer can create varied and challenging scenarios, rather than having to achieve progression through simply throwing more and more powerful enemies at the player.
Placing a unit on a capture zone raises a red flag for the enemy – if the closest capture zone to an enemy unit is being captured, the unit will attempt to path directly there and defeat the unit attempting the capture.
The screenshot below shows a player unit on a capture zone (the green circle), and three enemy units en-route to destroy it.