Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Current Gameplay

So I want to go over the state of the game, which is what most people probably care about. Currently, the game is 100% playable, and currently putting in some mock cards to establish power curves and the tempo I'm shooting for in-game. We're fully playable online, so once I have two “test decks” in I can release the alpha client and get some feedback from people gameplay-wise.

Just a recap of the game itself:
-In each game there is an attacker and a defender. The defender has a ‘buildings’ row (buildings will be changed once the story is more concrete, since they’re not going to be buildings), each player has a units row
-Players at the beginning of each turn draw to a full hand of 4 cards. The attacker also receives 5 resources a turn to spend, and the defender receives 6.
-The defender wins by ‘scoring’ a building. He does this by allocating enough resources (indicated on the building card) to upgrading it – the catch is the defender can only allocate ONE resource per building per turn. This means a building that requires 3 to upgrade will need to be defended for 3 turns, and if the defender wants to upgrade more than one building a turn they will have less resources than the attacker to spend that turn. Upon ‘scoring’ a building the defender will usually get a bonus (as indicated on the building).
-The attacker must ‘raze’ a building by bringing it’s HP to 0. If they ‘raze’ a building, they will get a different bonus (as indicated on the building).
-The defender builds a deck of say 10 building cards and 3 will randomly be chosen to start the game, as well as one being brought in each time one is scored/razed. The defender not only has to chose their favorite/most synergistic/best buildings but also weigh the bonuses the opponent will receive if they score that building.
-Turns are taken simultaneously with the opponent. There is the upkeep, deployment, resolution, and attack phase. All user choices are concentrated in the ‘deployment’ stage (in order to eventually add asynchronous play!). Here you make three choices:
1. Choose all the cards you want to play, and what their targets are. More on cardtypes in a sec
2. Choose your ‘advantage’ card if you want to participate in advantage this turn
3. Choose your buildings you want to upgrade at the start of next turn if you’re the defender
-Once both players ‘lock in’ their plays in the deployment phase, the resolution phase begins and plays are alternated starting with the player that has advantage until both players have made all their plays. Then attacking begins (automated across lanes) etc.
Each turn during the deployment phase, players may discard a card to the advantage battle. In resolution, the player with the HIGHER card cost wins advantage, if they are tied the player who currently has advantage retains it (although they don’t get the morale bonus). The defender always starts with advantage.
Advantage has four benefits:
1. The player with advantage has their faction’s passive until the next advantage conflict. Passives give you a slight general edge, such as the opponent cannot see units you played until they deploy, or you can see your opponent’s hand this turn.
1. The player with advantage gets the first resolution of cards in the deployment phase. This means if you have a critical play, you are essentially guaranteed to have your first card resolve uncontested
2. If you win advantage, you gain 1 Morale
3. It allows you to “trash” a card, essentially a one card mulligan available each turn to help you churn through your deck and keep the pace up
Morale is a shared meter between both players. It will start at 0, and whenever a player gains morale their opponent loses the same amount (and vice versa). There’s three ‘states’ of morale: high, medium, low (actual ranges haven’t been fleshed out yet). Morale is used as a state-base requirement for some effects (If you have high morale, this unit gets 2 ATK), and if you have FULL morale you’ll get some undecided benefit.
Three ways to gain morale:
1. If you have the most presence at the beginning of the turn, you gain 1 Morale
2. If you win the advantage conflict, you gain 1 Morale
3. Cards effects will sometimes award Morale
Presence is simply the total cost of all your units on the board. It’s here to encourage a fuller board state of higher costed units (an offset to ‘rush’) as well as a change in morale. Cards can obviously play off this too
Card Types
Unit – your bread and butter ‘creature’, they have ATK/HLT with persistent damage (that is damage doesn’t disappear at the end of the turn like in MTG). If DMG = HLT the unit is killed. This makes it VERY apparent if healing will have an effect and state base things that add health are more clear. They also have deployment timers before they’re deployed. Each unit loses 1 deployment counter per upkeep. When you play a unit, it’ll be “inactive” (can’t attack or be attacked) until the deployment timer reaches zero.
Tactics – They cost resources and their effects are seen immediately. Often used for quick, favorable board state changes.
Confines – The attacker row and defender row each have a confine. Either player may cards in both of the confines. Attackers will want to put favorable confines in the attacker row, and detrimental confines in the defender row (and vice versa). Confines affect ALL units in that row. It’s important to juggle control of the confines when it’s important to prevent your opponent from dominating.

There may also be a “wildcard” slot that you can play more permanent tactics or use as a batter’s box for units. How this will work hasn’t been completely decided yet.

Any questions/comments would be great! I know it’s probably a ton to absorb without seeing the game in action, I hope to have a demo of things soon !

Next post will be on the state of the story, and from there I’ll start talking about the changes I make and the different progress milestones I accomplish.

Until next time!

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