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The units of Submerge are the very core of the game. All interactions will include units, be it your own or your enemies’. They are always visible, they are always on your mind. Lose your units and you’re going to have a bad time!

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The units of Submerge are the very core of the game. All interactions will include units, be it your own or your enemies’. They are always visible, they are always on your mind. Lose your units and you’re going to have a bad time!

So that’s what today’s post will be all about. Units. How we design them, and how you will love them – or hate them. Depending on who they fight for. Obviously, our top goal is to create interesting units. So let’s check how we achieve that.

Units must be unique

You don’t want units to feel the same. That’s why, no unit will be like another. Every unit will look differently and play differently.

Gameplay-wise, we use a set of roles, attributes and values to create a base. On top, the unit’s special ability will give you the feeling of interacting with an individual, not a mass product. Finally, upgrades will allow you to customize your unit.

With this set of rules, we can provide a wide variety of units to make every single play session of Submerge unique.

Units must be simple

Don’t get us wrong on that, Submerge won’t be a no-brainer. Submerge will challenge you, other players will challenge you and the survival won’t be easy! So why do we aim for simple units? The reason is that simple pieces provide the most interesting combinations. If you think about chess, you have very simple pieces. Each chess piece is pretty easy to understand. The complexity of chess is about the combinations of its pieces. And that is exactly what we are aiming for – simple atoms that make a complex molecule.

Units must be strong

Every unit will have a clear strength, a field of superior power. Obviously that’s necessary to make your enemies whine when you take them apart.

But be aware that we won’t make it as easy for you as “Yeah, let’s design that one unit that can kill all other units with just one hit and that other unit with an immortal armor”. We want you to deal with your units! We want you to know them and experiment with them. You will learn to master them!

Units must be weak

Yeah, life’s not easy. You’ll have to take care that it’s not you who starts whining when your opponent eats your units as a snack. With power comes responsibility, with strengths come weaknesses. That’s the Yin and Yang of our units and that’s what makes things interesting. You know your units’ strengths, you know their weaknesses – and so does your opponent! It’s all up to you to win that fight. Use your strengths, avoid your weaknesses and stop your enemies to do the same!

Situations have to be interesting

The formula for interesting situations consists of several ingredients. Units are just one of them and depend highly on their special abilities. And that’s the key point for us: We strive to design units and their abilities to be useful in multiple situations and for multiple tasks. Let’s take a simple movement blocking shield as example. Well designed, this one ability will serve multiple purposes:

  • Block an opponent from attacking your units: Until the attacker reaches you, you’ll have dealt a lot of damage.
  • Hinder your opponent from fleeing: Surprise his units with some extra strikes.
  • Keep enemy units away from resources: He fought hard for these resources. Too bad he can’t reach them now.
  • Prevent units from following you: Seen enough from battle? Move on without annoying appendages following.

Units must be loveable

Finally, we want every one of you to have a favorite. Be it the badass appearance, an awesome playstyle or a touching background story: Everything adds up to a unit’s charm. We want you to recognize these unique personalities and choose your favorites to play with.


Units build the core of Submerge. To maintain a high standard, our design philosophy for the units are:

  • Uniqueness in appearance and playstyle
  • Simplicity of single units, complexity of unit combinations
  • Specific strengths and weaknesses
  • Serve multiple purposes in different situations
  • Strong charm. Everyone will have favorites.


Fascinating article. The design philosophy seems intact. But let's see how that translates to game play.

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Lemonsponge Author

Thanks! we are aiming for first gameplay tests with you guys in summer this year.

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