As we bang out our first level, myself and Josh have been really focused on nailing the art style for the game with Josh trying to hammer out a complete set of sprites for one of the player units while I focused very intensely on getting a environment concept put together that could be turned into textures/tiles.
As I create environments I keep getting ideas for gameplay and throwing them at the rest of the team. The results have been a deeper understanding of how a BPRE game level will flow. There are distinct phases, that can have some overlap, but as I've thought more and more about the flow, there's also a deeper sense of gameplay beyond the combat which had mostly been my focus up until now.
When players locate the enemy forces in the level. This can be done in a number of ways depending on the player specialties/skills, with each method having a strength and a weakness.
It's here that players engage the enemy or are engaged by them. There is also now the possibility of diversion or the potential to create traps/ambushes that have emerged based on ideas we have hashed out in the Acquire phase.
Looting is a mechanic that is both natural, given the nature of intelligence collection/site exploitation, and fun. Playing Deus Ex Human Revolution Director's Cut really reminded me of how much fun it was to capture information via searching the enemies I had killed. We've also added the idea that enemies destroyed by drone strikes or fire, have their items destroyed, incentivizing very controlled and channelized violence when combat(s) occur.
The escape with the loot can be almost as tense, if not more so, then the attack. Nothing is going to keep me on edge more than waiting for that last suicide bomber or if their is a QRF team I missed.