Hello and welcome to our first developer diary for Broken Lines!
As we are nearing the end of our game’s development, we thought that it would be good to put together a series of developer diaries, giving you a look at the game, the mechanics and what things are like behind the scenes!
So without further ado, let’s begin our first article - an overview look at gameplay in Broken Lines
One of the most basic yet essential features of our game is movement as the core gameplay is about tactically giving orders to your troops while the game is paused.
Once you are satisfied with the order, you hit play and enter the action phase to see 8 seconds of your orders being played out at the same time as the enemy’s actions are.
This is called simultaneous turn-based gameplay, or WeGo for short.
Initially, we were inspired by the indie hit game Frozen Synapse which uses similar WeGo mechanics. However, we wanted our gameplay to be faster and more intuitive. This was because, in Frozen Synapse, the player has to control everything that the soldier does, from turning to shooting, to turning again, and moving.
Where we differ is that we wanted Broken Lines to have streamlined gameplay, so your soldiers are aware of their surroundings and automatically react to nearby threats by engaging them in combat.
This means that as a player you only need to give the essential and interesting commands - essentially just the high-level decisions; then when the action phase plays out, the squad members will handle the menial tasks themselves.
As you can see from the video, the player sets a move command for a soldier by clicking on the ground. At that point, they are given three choices, a slow walk (crouch mode), regular walk, or a run. Each movement option will have different effects on the squad member.
Crouching: This is the slowest movement option, but also the safest as it makes the squad member harder to hit, however in this movement mode, the squad member will not shoot when moving.
Walking: This is the normal speed, accuracy is lower (when compared to standing still) however the squad member will shoot while moving.
Running: This is the fastest way to get from A to B, however, the squad member will not shoot while moving and will draw fire to themself.
You can either make a single move command far away, and let the pathfinding choose the exact route for you, or you can go into more detail and give numerous smaller commands which the soldier will then follow.
Other than providing the correct movement orders, success in combat is also very dependant on placing your soldiers in the best possible positions for each conflict situation.
As the player, your goal is to give each squad member the biggest advantage over the enemy troops.
Advantage can be gained in numerous ways such as:
- Holding the high ground
- Using Cover
- Stressing/Suppressing the enemies
Divide and conquer is a tactic that we highly recommend as taking out a few enemies at a time will always be easier than attacking an entire group at once!
That’s it for our first dev blog and this quick overview into our game. Be sure to check back regularly as we will use our next few articles to explore many other aspects of our deep and tactical gameplay. Thank you for your time, and remember that you can join our Discord channel where we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have about the game!