Falling stones and going with the flow

Battlecraft is a strategy game where you can not only avoid your opponent’s attacks, but you can also predict where they are going to move and greet them with a surprise when they get there. This double-edged sword gameplay creates some interesting situations where you have to not only understand the game systems, but also the way your opponent thinks.

However, there is a side-effect to this fresh gameplay mechanic: When the number of units on the field dwindles, it becomes possible to avoid your opponent’s attacks indefinitely. As such, we must consider ways to funnel the player’s choices so that running away is not always the optimal strategy. This can be done by adding a cooldown period to movement abilities, or otherwise reducing their range. However, I thought it might be more fun to take a slightly more visual approach to dealing with stalemate situations.

Taking a cue from Bomberman (or Fortnite for you kids these days), the board itself begins to shrink once the match has gone on for some time. At this point in the game we usually have 4 or less total units on the board, so the new smaller space encourages high impact decisions for the remainder of the match.

Stones.png
Watch Your Step!

Another tricky thing to address about information-hidden play is how to inform players what their opponent’s potential moves might be. I’ve decided to forego additional UI elements or cluttering the board with a smart targeting system. Most of the time if we tap on an enemy unit, we care about where they might inflict harm on us. As such, an enemies attack and it’s range will be the first thing displayed when we tap on it so we don’t have to cycle through a bunch of abilities.

attack.png
A No-Go Zone

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