Welcome to our twenty-eighth blog post!
Creativity is a critical component for pushing balanced gameplay- players should be free to express their imagination with regards to how the game is played, and, in doing so, this relieves the strictness of the game and allows for ‘looser tolerances’.
With these in place, one can more fluidly tackle foes and succeed via wit over adherence to rules. A style that allows one to win not based on how well they follow the game’s laws but instead how much of the rules they can bend in order to achieve the desired result of victory.
In the world of games, rules are not arbitrary pieces; they are hard facts that must always be adhered to. One cannot simply set a foe’s health to 0 should they wish to. They must actually play the game by the rules and defeat the foe in the way the game has been coded- glitches and all.
This brings us to the topic of this blog- Alternative Strategies. Us, as developers, design core strategies that a particular boss, or foe in general, ‘should’ be fought. Enemies are designed with a particular strategy in mind, executed by the various data necessary in order to bring that idea to life. But, as the foe is coded into the world, the rest of the world now gains the opportunity to take hold. As this is not the only being in the game’s world that has been coded. There are many, many others.
Introducing the alternative strategy- our current lineup of just what the player can do themselves is based around our 9 different classes of Units, each with a different core idea behind them. And we plan on expanding that as these classes evolve further.
That is coupled with the design behind a particular foe- each foe has a different distinction behind them. This could be higher resistance to Air, but less to Water. This could be high damaging spells, or large AOE spells, or greatly debuffing spells, and so forth. Depending on which warrior goes up against this enemy, the strategies change.
In order to achieve ‘completeness’, and allow for this game to actually be complete-able, we have a central developer strategy. This in no way is the most optimal, nor the most difficult. And that is how the game’s central balance takes place.
Then comes the alternative strategies- these are developed over the time of understanding the game’s mechanics, Player-Unit mechanics, and Enemy mechanics. There is almost an infinite array of alternative strategies for any given enemy. One method could be to advance all your warriors to a higher level and defeat the foe easily. Another could be to brute-force your way through a fight, repeating over and over until its finally done. Another could be to study the foe’s spells and resistances, and build an army around that (which is one of the ways our developer strategies are created). And another could be to utilize the environment around in some way to aid.
The most interesting part of these strategies is that, even though they can be considered similar, execution from a player, even utilizing identical core strategies, can be wildly different. One particular boss can be slain utilizing good movement and dodging to avoid all damage, but another method could be to take that same army and replace the healers with damage dealers and charge straight in. In the same stroke, one could instead clump one’s army, focus on healing weakened warriors, and repeatedly cast powerful spells over and over again.
In the example of this blog, one of our bosses, the Immense Stone Kauw, can be fought in at minimum two ways, as demonstrated in the video above.
The first is the developer strategy: utilize good movement to kite it while casting Fear upon it to get it away from your army while you wail upon it with Mystic Energy.
The second is the alternative: surround it with Foliage so that it cannot move, and burst it down with any powerful spell until its slain. Both strategies outlined slay the boss. Therefore, they are both excellent strategies. And perhaps there are many, many more out there that are just waiting to be discovered.
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