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Card Battle Game - Need Inquiry on how to work a mechanic

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bottercot
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Okay, so I am currently working on a battle card game in a similar style to games like hearthstone, mtg, versus, pokemon, whatever. That is the kind of game I'm making.
I don't have any real plans to actually publish this game, since I am theming it based on Overwatch.
In the game, opposite sides face off with rosters of up to 6 "Heroes", who are placed on their play area.
Each turn, players alternate "activating" one of their Heroes and performing Attacks against enemy Heroes.
Every Hero has a list of Abilities they can use. Some have -> arrows denoting that they use an Action to perform. Some of the abilities also have cost to pay in the form of Energy. At the beginning of each round, every Hero in the play area gains 1 Energy that they can either spend to activate weaker abilities, or save up until later rounds to activate more powerful abilities.
The attacks that Heroes can perform usually deal Damage and/or Stun to certain numbers of targets. For instance, many of the Heroes have a basic attack that does 2 Damage spread across any number of Targets.
When Damage is dealt to a target, a six-sided die is rolled for each Damage dealt. For each roll of 1-3, a hit is scored and the target takes 1 Damage.
Now, to my primary question. Among the Hero roster, there are essentially four types of weapons: rapid-fire weapons, single-shot weapons, shotguns, and explosives.
My problem is that I don't know exactly how to differentiate between these types of Attacks within the mechanics of my game.
Currently, the types of Attacks I do are:
-Deal X Damage spread across 1-X targets. (the Damage can be distributed throughout 1-X targets)
-Deal X Damage to X different targets. (the Damage value is dealt to each of the different targets in turn)
-Deal X Damage to 1 target. (the Damage is dealt to a single target)
So which of these would work for which types of weapons? The third one is obviously fine for single-shot weapons, and the first one, I think, can be used for automatic weapons, but how do you think I could work explosives with splash damage, or shotguns?

wob
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hi. the spread x damage

hi.
the spread x damage should be your shotgun (few targets= closer range= more damage)
deal x damage to x enemies should be your uzi (many targets, set damage per bullet)
deal x to 1 target should be your hand gun (pick your target)
your explosive should be the shot gun but with damage to your own heroes as well (collateral damage)

also i see you arn't planning on publishing because of the ip. i would reconsider this if you think you made a good game. you can either try to send it to the overwatch makers (slim chance but you never know) or tweaking heroes so they are not overwatch characters. you can keep the art for now (i presume you have some screen shots). the copyright only kicks in if you are trying to sell it. if its just for you (like it is now) or the art is just a placeholder for design and pitching purposes (you will need to change it if you do publish)

Oceans4Ransom
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bottercot wrote: The attacks

bottercot wrote:
The attacks that Heroes can perform usually deal Damage and/or Stun to certain numbers of targets. For instance, many of the Heroes have a basic attack that does 2 Damage spread across any number of Targets.
When Damage is dealt to a target, a six-sided die is rolled for each Damage dealt. For each roll of 1-3, a hit is scored and the target takes 1 Damage.

So quick question, is any attack that causes damage decided by a roll? Even if you saved up that whole chunk of change to spend on it? Also, if it is based on a roll, you could do something like make the numbers determine the type of attack instead of just a hit or not for certain abilities?

bottercot wrote:
Now, to my primary question. Among the Hero roster, there are essentially four types of weapons: rapid-fire weapons, single-shot weapons, shotguns, and explosives.
My problem is that I don't know exactly how to differentiate between these types of Attacks within the mechanics of my game.
Currently, the types of Attacks I do are:
-Deal X Damage spread across 1-X targets. (the Damage can be distributed throughout 1-X targets)
-Deal X Damage to X different targets. (the Damage value is dealt to each of the different targets in turn)
-Deal X Damage to 1 target. (the Damage is dealt to a single target)
So which of these would work for which types of weapons? The third one is obviously fine for single-shot weapons, and the first one, I think, can be used for automatic weapons, but how do you think I could work explosives with splash damage, or shotguns?

I think @wob had a great suggestion. I would suggest to make explosives/splash damage target only the target and adjacent heroes OR maybe an area is affected that or next turn with an explosive. I would even suggest that certain heroes may only have certain attacks that way not every single one is the same. Thus, creating diversity and asymmetrical powers/abilities. Maybe the weapon equipped changes the attack just by the higher or lower numbers rolled like I suggested above.

bottercot
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The problem with this, and I

The problem with this, and I should actually mention this, is that there's a Dodge ability some heroes have that they can use to evade an attack against themselves. For a shotgun, the problem with using the "Spread X damage across X heroes" is that they could choose to roll 1 die against an enemy, see if it hits, and then roll again. If the enemy chooses to dodge, however, the Hero can then just use the rest of his dice against other targets. With shotguns, however, all the damage comes at once, so if the target dodges, all the damage should be wasted. So, I'm thinking I might actually use the "deal X damage to 1 target" as the shotgun, but make the average shotgun damage very high.
Consider an automatic weapon, though. With 1 clip's worth of ammo, you can assign your shots anywhere you want. Fire at an enemy. Oh, they dodged? No problem, you can just turn and fire at another target.
Possibly what I could do is have an attack where you assign all dice to targets prior to rolling (for shotgun), but then also have an attack where you can roll dice one at a time against any targets.
Collateral damage is not an option, by the way. In Overwatch there is no way to damage your own teammates, and besides, it doesn't really make sense.
Thank you for the suggestions, though.

bottercot
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In answer to your question,

In answer to your question, yes. ALL damage dealt requires a roll. However, certain Heroes may have special attacks that do not require rolls, such as Moira whose attack automatically homes in on the target, or Soldier: 76, whose Ultimate is basically Aimbot.
The problem and reason why many Heroes have similar "normal" attacks is that it's really difficult to differentiate their weapons, since so many are similar.
For reference, here is a list of Soldier: 76's abilities. Abilities with an -> Arrow are Actions. Helix Rockets can be done in addition to another action, but requires 2 Energy to activate.

-> Attack - Heavy Pulse Rifle — Deal 3 Negative Zone spread across any number of targets.

-> Reaction - Sprint — Dodge 1 Attack.

2 Attack - Helix Rockets — Deal 2 Damage to 1 target. Deal 1 Damage to 1 other target.

3 -> Assist - Biotic Field — Regain 2 Health. Restore 2 Health to 2 different targets.

Ultimate - Tactical Visor — Gain 2 Energy and deal +1 Damage this turn. You do not need to roll for Damage this turn.

let-off studios
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Streamline Targeting

bottercot wrote:
Possibly what I could do is have an attack where you assign all dice to targets prior to rolling (for shotgun), but then also have an attack where you can roll dice one at a time against any targets.
It seems like your attack rounds will drag out the game length, and will take up more time than you want in such a theme. To streamline your process, I suggest you require that a player choose all targets immediately upon announcing their attack. A few qualifiers, based on how I read the comments above:

  • If it's an area attack, the attacker immediately indicates all targets affected.
  • If it sprays and hits multiple targets, the attacker indicates how many attacks are aimed at individual targets prior to throwing their attack dice.
  • If a target has the Dodge ability, they must dodge separately for each successful attack aimed at them. At the moment of the successful attack, the target player must choose whether or not they will use their Dodge ability. A successful Dodge only prevents damage from a single successful attack (so if a target is hit multiple times, multiple successful Dodges are required to avoid all damage).
  • Dodge is not required to be used if the attack is initially unsuccessful (the attacker misses based on their roll). You may also want to indicate that Dodge can only be used once per attack, or there may be some kind of cost for using Dodge multiple times.
  • I don't recommend that a player needs to declare a Dodge prior to the attacker's dice throw, but only after the attack is successful. Otherwise this is pretty much a blind choice, or at best a conservative one, and the target player will feel cheated if the attack is unsuccessful regardless. You may also require that if a target has the Dodge ability, they must attempt to dodge the first successful attack made against them in a given round.

Finally, you may want to provide an active ability that allows a player to forfeit any other actions in a round in order to "Bunker Down" or "Evade" all attacks until their next round. Overwatch has a shield ability, right? Have you implemented this in some way?

bottercot
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Just to clarify a bit more, a

Just to clarify a bit more, a single Dodge usually takes up a Hero's entire turn, which, if they are a Support or Tank (protective) class, can be detrimental to the success of the team. A single Hero dodging twice in a turn is usually unseen.
As for your suggestions for Dodge, I would rather keep Dodge as something announced prior to Damage dice being rolled, so that there's an uncertainty about whether they should Dodge or not. The dice throw represents firing and seeing if you hit the target or not. By Dodging after seeing the dice results, it's like being hit and then saying, "Yeah, I think I should duck now. That hurt."
But I do like the idea of targets and dice being assigned before any Dodging takes place, to avoid sticky situations.

I have considered adding an ability that allows Heroes to quote unquote "hide" or "retreat" for a turn to go find health packs, or something. But I am not sure on that yet.

Shield ability? I mean, certain Heroes have shields they can use to protect teammates, if that's what you're talking about. Yes, I do have those. They take the form of "Barrier" cards that you place in front of Heroes. Different types of Barriers have different max amounts of protected Heroes, but all of them function the same. Any "protected" heroes cannot be targeted by attacks. Only the Barrier can be attacked.
Some Heroes like Reinhardt or Brigitte can remove their own Barriers from play to "recharge" them.

let-off studios
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Dodging: The Issue

bottercot wrote:
As for your suggestions for Dodge, I would rather keep Dodge as something announced prior to Damage dice being rolled, so that there's an uncertainty about whether they should Dodge or not. The dice throw represents firing and seeing if you hit the target or not. By Dodging after seeing the dice results, it's like being hit and then saying, "Yeah, I think I should duck now. That hurt."
Throwing Defense dice after seeing that an attack would hit is a standard procedure in many games. I don't understand why you have an issue with this. Based on your description, it doesn't sound like the target player does anything to compete with the attacker's throw, so it's like they're just huddling behind cover hoping to not be hit. Do players have armour that automatically soaks up damage? Do they have extra hits-to-kill if they're Tank or Support characters?

When it comes to your description of Dodging, this sounds to me like a targeted player abandons a turn (to Dodge), then becomes frustrated when they realize the attack would have missed in the first place. Meanwhile, personally I think losing a turn seems to steep a cost for a chance to avoid being hit, unless the Dodge is automatically successful when the targeted player chooses to Dodge.

But then, what's the reason to attack any player who has the Dodge ability? They're just going to Dodge your attack anyway. As a designer, you'll need to come up with attack exceptions that state in their description, "This attack cannot be Dodged," or things like that. Unless the attacker has an attack that can't be Dodged, or their opponent doesn't have the Dodge ability, they might as well not attack at all.

This means that eventually, every player will seek out attacks that cannot be Dodged, and they will seek out characters that have the Dodge ability. Anything else is a sub-optimal choice that functionally hampers their ability to either hit their opponent (because all their attacks can be Dodged), or last long enough to return fire (because their character doesn't have the Dodge ability).

Having an ability that nullifies an attack at the cost of losing actions for an entire round seems to me as only a way to stretch out game length. Again, from what I know of watching Overwatch (since I've never played it), the game is fast paced, with players being dropped all the time, and rounds being quickly reset. Slowing down the game with a turn-consuming Dodge ability seems to me as counterproductive.

Regarding Shields/Barriers: I don't know enough about the original game to comment on this effectively. My apologies.

In general, it seems to me like I'm going in the weeds rather deeply when it comes to this specific mechanic, without knowing much about the general flow of the game. I apologize if some of my comments are based around my ignorance instead of my understanding of the game flow. I'm just personally very curious on how you're choosing to approach this aspect of the game.

bottercot
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Thank you for your

Thank you for your imput!
First of all, Tank heroes usually have significantly more health than other heroes.

Next, here are a couple more things about Dodging:
1. When a player chooses to Dodge an attack, the attacker does not roll any dice against them, since they dodged it anyway and there would be no point.
2. All Dodges are automatically successful, but all Dodges require either an Action or Energy to be able to perform.
3. There are some heroes with abilities that allow them to cancel Dodges.
There is strategy to forcing the other players' heroes to Dodge. In most cases, it will cause them to lose their action for the turn (which is especially helpful if they are a Healer), or use up Energy that they may have been saving for more powerful attacks.

Also, roughly 50% of heroes have abilities that allow them to Dodge, and the ones that don't typically have other abilities to make up for it.

You are correct in saying that Overwatch is quite fast-paced. This is a bit of an issue with my game. I am considering removing the need to roll for damage, to bring it on par with the way healing heroes and stunning heroes works. If I do that, though, I will have to add the ability to "retreat" heroes out of play to a safe place where they can heal.

You are making sense, by the way. I understand what you're saying. I am trying to create a fast game flow to mimick the actual game. Also, I forgot to mention this, but Armor is a mechanic. Although no heroes start with Armor, many heroes have abilities that allow them to gain Armor or gift it to other heroes.
Again, thank you for the help!

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