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We continue showing the way we reached some mechanics and aspects in Dynasty Feud. Today we are talking about the comeback mechanic and how we decided to face it.

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Happy new year everyone! Back to work after holidays, it was good to see family and friends, to eat as much as we could, and get some sleep to recharge our batteries. 2017 is going to be an amazing year and we have to be ready. It will be the year Dynasty Feud will come to life, our first commercial game, but let’s talk about the development.

We want to talk to you about one of our biggest headaches during the development: the comeback mechanic. The mechanic that would give to players the ability to break the rhythm of the game, and we have struggled to find it. We initially discarded the classic idea of having a super. So we tried several things.


Our first approach was allowing to switch characters in the match even when you were not death. This way if your opponent is selecting a good match up against your pick, you can counterattack. The time when you can select which character is going to appear next is when one of your character has died and the Warden Spirit appears, having up to 5 seconds to change the order of spawn and position where it will happen. So our first comeback mechanic gave the player the chance to store the current character you were playing and summon the Warden Spirit, so you can select which character will appear. This also provided with an invulnerability of 5 seconds, because the Warden Spirit cannot be harmed and you could escape from dangerous situations.


Sounds good, doesn’t it? The reality showed us it was too confusing. No one understood what was happening, they thought their character died instead of storing it for later. We could have fixed this with more feedback or making more obvious what was happening, but what was a good idea in paper, taking advantage strategically changing characters, was mainly useful only for its invulnerability time, and wasn’t spectacular at all. So we threw it to the bin.


Next approach tried to improve the player stats for a while, allowing the character to move and attack faster and jump longer, what we called internally a “saiyan state”. It was a moment in which the rest of the players had to forget about attacking each other and focus on the character with the saiyan state. It worked as a rhythm changer, and as a powerful comeback mechanic, but it felt cheap, and the same boost was not improving all the characters equally. It was not the same for an agile melee warrior than for an slow stationary ranged. So if we wanted to make this ability useful, powerful, and spectacular enough for all the character, we need to revisit most of the attacks, that meant probably redoing many of their animations and balancing everything, and we have up to 40 characters, the artist would have killed us, so we quickly remove this idea from our heads.


This last try was actually pretty close to the super we discarded at first, so things were looking at that as the best feasible idea. So we finally surrendered, we have 40 characters divided into 8 different dynasties, it was a lot more manageable to do something cool, powerful and spectacular per dynasty than per character. We took advantage of the common element inside the Dynasties, the Warden Spirit, that appears casting a devastating spell upon their enemies. And it worked marvelously. Yes they are almost a no skill button attack, something that we wanted to avoid, but there is still an strategic use, when and mostly where to use them, that we are happy with. They provide some rhythm to the match, a moment in which everything stops and the action is focused on one point. It is paradoxically a moment of relief, an impasse in the fight before the maelstrom is released.


This iteration was a valuable lesson for us. Do not discard anything until you try it, even when you want to avoid it. Understand what the general solution is, why most of the people use it in their games, analyzing them or implementing it in yours. Finding exactly what brings to the table and what not, so it is easier to improve upon that, once you did it yourself.

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