Game design: The battle system

While journeying, several situations won’t be resolved without bloodshed. In those situations, your crew members as well as your carriage will come in handy. Therefore, let us tackle the different end conditions of the battle.

The win condition is that you defeat all enemies, nothing out of the ordinary. As for the lose condition, if your carriage is destroyed you lose the battle. Even if your crew members are still healthy you still lose. So I guess it’s pretty clear, the carriage is the king of your army (Oh what a coincidence, a king also happens to be sitting in that carriage!). Just like chess, you could go with a strategy where the king is an active individual in battle or adopt an “An all for one” formation. How all of this really works you say? Fret no more.

Gameplay

You can have up to a maximum of 5 crew members and a carriage in your team, which will be in the left of the screen. The enemy team can go beyond 5 members. They will be on the right of the screen. As you can see in the picture below, each team has its units set up in a queue. Every battle round is split between two phases.

  • The setup phase: You can select the order of your crew members in the queue as well as the actions that they will be doing that turn.
  • The battle phase: You see your actions in motion against the actions of the enemy team.
Battle turn while none of the units is linked.
Note: the following picture is a draft. It does not reflect the final product

Since the combat system is turn-based, there is a specific order in which the actions will unfold. The first unit of your team will fight the enemy team’s first unit, the second with the second, and so on.

At first glance the battle system may seem linear. But hey, I’m not finished yet! In order to present the second part where all the fun resides, I’ll have to explain how your units work.

The unit

Each unit has several stats, but we will be focusing on the following for the time being:

Example of a unit

Health: The life pool of the unit.

Stamina: It is mainly used for casting the unit’s special skill. As for the mechanics of how it is consumed and regenerated, it will be for another time.

Basic skill: The default skill for any unit. In no way meaning that it is the most inferior skill. Many units have their kit revolving around their Basic skill.

Special skill: Special skills are of 3 types:

  • Linked: A unit with a Linked special skill can perform it in another unit’s turn (See the picture below). Thus you can create a number advantage in a duel in the account of number advantage in the whole queue.
  • Charged: A unit performing a charged special skill will get out of the queue. Each passing turn increases the charge level by 1. If you interrupt the charging process, the unit will be using the skill with the charge level it was interrupted with.
  • Chained: This type of skill cannot be used directly. It has to be triggered from another source like the basic skill. This skill is triggered in the same turn as its source.

Board management

Let’s use the archer and the bomber as an example.

Archer skills.

The archer has a single target basic skill that can chain to her special skill in case it deals a critical strike.

Bomber skills.

The bomber has a single target basic skill that deals magical damage. Her special skill is the linked type.

Battle turn while none of the units is linked.

In the first scenario all of the enemy units are using their basic skills. As you can see in the picture below, both teams have the same number of units. In this case each unit from your team will fight the unit of the enemy’s team with the corresponding order.

Battle turn while the enemy Bomber is linked to the enemy Archer.
Note: the following picture is a draft. It does not reflect the final product

Now let’s suppose that the enemy bomber decided to use her linked special skill on the archer. As you can see (you guessed it right!), in the picture below, the archer and the bomber will be fighting your first unit together. The archer will be using her basic skill Corner Shot and the bomber will be using her special skill Kaboom!!!. The enemy team has now a queue with the length of 5 opposing your team’s queue which has a length of 6. “So what?”, you would tell me. Well, now your carriage has no opponent to fight, which means that it won’t be taking damage this turn (Unless there is an enemy who deals area damage that can reach the carriage’s position). So what did the enemy do in this scenario? Well, he decided to apply pressure on your first unit by sacrificing direct pressure on your carriage. Units that do not fight will have a buff during the next turn.