Home > Flash Games, Game Concept > Medieval Tactics: Zombie Wars Concept

Medieval Tactics: Zombie Wars Concept

I realized recently that I haven’t actually explained the concept for my game yet, so here goes.

Game Mechanics
Medieval Tactics is going to be a turn-based strategy (TBS) game, similar to Advance Wars. Each turn you can move and attack with each of your units.

Every unit will have statistics based on its unit type and every unit of that type will be identical. This is in contrast to most fantasy TBS games in which each unit is unique. I thought this would allow for better tactical decisions, because once you learn how to use a unit type you know how to use all units of that type. This also simplifies the balancing because I know exactly what each unit will be able to do.

Each map will probably have a specific set of units available to it. I’ve considered adding the ability to purchase units at the beginning of each map to add more strategy to it, but if I don’t have time then it won’t be added. At the end of each level, player’s will receive a grade or score based on the number and health of units remaining. This will be used to generate a cumulative score that will either unlock future levels or provide a bonus in the final level.

So far I’ve decided on 14-15 units to include in the game. This should be large enough to provide a learning curve and diversity of map types, but small enough to allow easy balancing.

Good Units
-High defense
-Average attack and armor
-Average movement

-High attack
-Average defense and armor
-Average movement

-Average, medium-ranged attack
-Low defense and armor
-Average movement with ability to move and fire

-Very high attack
-Low defense and armor
-Average or high movement depending on balancing

-High attack
-Low defense
-Average armor
-Very high movement

-Very high attack
-High defense and armor
-High movement

-Very high attack with large range
-Average armor
-No defense
-Low movement and can’t move and fire same turn

-Low attack, defense and armor
-Ability to heal allied units
-Average movement

Enemy Units
Note: Most zombie units will have an ability that fully heals them whenever they destroy a unit. Zombies would be able to turn units into zombies to replenish their numbers.

-Average attack
-Average defense and armor
-Average movement

Zombie Archer
-Average, medium-ranged attack
-Low defense and armor
-Average movement with ability to move and fire

Explosive Zombie
-Very high attack no matter what unit’s health is
-Low defense and armor
-Average movement

Hulking Zombie
-Very high attack
-Average defense
-High armor
-Low movement

-Average attack
-Average defense and armor
-Very high movement with ability to cross all terrain

-Very high attack (Or maybe ability to ignore armor)
-High defense
-Average armor
-High movement
-Ability to turn any unit it defeats into a new zombie unit

Level plans
I’m aiming to create around 20 levels for the game, depending on how long it takes to complete each level. Overall I hope the game takes a couple hours to complete and hopefully the ability to get a bonus on the last mission will encourage people to replay levels to get a high score.

Control scheme
I was originally planning on making the game completely playable with either keyboard or mouse, but I’m thinking that optimizing it for mouse will make for a better playing experience. While I prefer using keyboard controls for games, I don’t think I can easily optimize a strategy game for keyboard controls.

I also think that mouse controls are just more intuitive, i.e. click this unit, click there to move it, click the enemy to attack. Keyboard controls would be more like, let’s see, press ‘n’ to go to the next unit, press ‘m’ to move, scroll over to the target square with arrow keys, press ‘m’ to move to that square, press ‘a’ to attack, scroll over to target unit with arrow keys, press ‘a’ again to attack that unit.

Final Thoughts
There are a couple additional mechanics I’d like to include, such as wizards with spells, water-based units and an alternate campaign. I don’t think any of these are going to make it into the first version of the game. I’ll reserve them for sequels.

Any thing you’d like to see in the game that I’m not including? Let me know in the comments.

  1. mayasaietz
    February 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Hrmm… I’m going to be blunt here – remember, this is my personal opinion, and others might not agree.

    I like the idea of a medieval zombie-smashing game. It’s kinda cool, cause normally we think of zombies in terms of something that happens to our society – a scientific experiment gone wrong. So the setting is cool.

    Aside from that, your idea sounds solid, but not great. I think you need to step back a bit and stop thinking about units and scores. Your game will be mouse controlled and turn based, you say. Turn based gameplay is generally harder to make fun than realtime, because you can’t rely on the feeling of stress to make the game challenging. You need to think about what the appeal of your game is – hardcore number crushers who enjoy spending a lot of time thinking of the perfect strategy, or casual players who prefer a 5 or 10 minute game as a break from work or school? In the latter case, you’ll want to think of a way of upping the pace a bit, and create a challenge not solely based on strategy.

    Those were my two cents, I hope it will be of use to you 🙂

    • February 2, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks for the input. I did make the decision to go with mouse controlled to try and up the pace, but maybe that’s not enough. I’ll have to see what it looks like once I have a good prototype up and running.

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