What's The Plan?
Despite being a Super Genius he never seemed to think his plans quite through. Here's hoping our bomb hits the target even if we sail on over the cliff edge!
1. The Game
We're going to make a turn-based tactics game, focused on multiplayer and with persistant units to allow more long-term growth and strategy.
- Turn-based tactics: battles will take place on a tiled map (top down or isometric) between a smallish amount of units on each side (under 10 in general). No building of new units during the battle – it's a straight up fight between the two sides until one runs away or is wiped out.
- Multiplayer: the best opponents are other people, no question. We'll help make things balanced by matching up games against similar level squads, and to keep things interesting during a battle even when one team gains an advantage a canny, sneaky opponent (or, importantly, a lucky one) should be able to turn things around.
- Persistance: this is the most important one – what makes it more than a casual game you might poke around with once and then forget. You build a new squad by spending a set amount of money on basic units and equipment from a roster, and you earn experience for those units and more money by battling it out versus other squads. This way units can gain skills or better stats, and you can buy them better equipment or hire more units as you see fit. To prevent an infinite feedback loop where squads just get better and better and better, units can also die on the battlefield or pick up permanent injuries that may eventually convince you to give them the boot.
Now if you think this might be a bit much for a team of 2 part-time developers with no previous game development under their belts and a distinct lack of (oh so important) art talent, well we happen to agree! Luckily here's Mr. Plan to the rescue!
2. The Mini-Project
We're going to build a smaller, simpler game over the next 3 months which will lead on nicely to our final goal while letting us learn the ropes. Thanks, Mr. Plan!
It's going to be a flash game that lets you play out the single player version of the above. You build a squad of units from a small roster, equip them with some wooden sticks and whatnot and then lead them to success and riches by playing missions vs the computer! It will be packaged as a casual flash game which we will place on game portals and our own site. It will be entirely free to play but we will be able to make money on it through in-game ads, sponsorship and licensing it to game portals.
In the future we can use this as the starting point for our flash-based battle client for the main game, and with only a little tweaking as a tutorial / single player campaign.
Fortunately we won't be resorting to stealing undies – there are plenty of options for making each step of the plan profitable. I'll step through all of these in my next post!