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Medieval Tactics: Zombie Wars Concept

February 2, 2012 2 comments

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.

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

Swordsman
-High attack
-Average defense and armor
-Average movement

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

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

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

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

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

Cleric
-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.

Zombie
-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

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

Necromancer
-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.