Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A love of strategy

I love strategy games. If there is one genre of games that my enjoyment of has not diminished at all despite the fact that I play much less games than I used to, that genre is strategy. (The other is Legend of Zelda. That counts as a genre, right?)

My favorite type of strategy games are Tactical games. This is partially born from the fact that I loved RPG's when younger and Tactical RPGs were perfect, combining my love of strategy with my favorite genre. I remember spending hours playing Shining Force and Shining Force 2 - to this day, their formula, despite being very simple, is still my ideal format for how a tactical RPG should be done.

Each tactical game I play inspires me to make one. There are always changes I would make - for example, as "realistic" as it is, I hate character death in Fire Emblem, it's the one factor that ruins the game for me. While I appreciate how carefully it requires you to plan and play, one mistake can cause a healer or mage to be vulnerable in a way you missed - and they often die in one hit, resulting in me resetting game even if I didn't lose.

So when I received the opportunity to make a tactical game for the iPhone, in collaboration with Big Stack Studios with Bella Machina being brought on for the art side of things, I jumped. And, bringing with me the lessons brought forward from Castle Conflict, I designed what I think will be an ideal battle experience for the iPhone.

Due to the way the project is structured, the first release will not feature any campaign - just a bunch of Skirmish Maps (think Red Alert) so that we can test the viability of the game in the market. But it has been designed for the iPhone - to be picked up and played while waiting for the bus, etc. So the gameplay has been streamlined, the interactions made simpler, so that you can have a fast and furious battle in a short period of time. For example, like in Castle Conflict, there are no health bars - in Castle Defense games, I found that they caused the game to result in big messes in the middle with very little tension because they were so slow, and given the short time frame we expect Furious to be played in, we want it to emphasize fast combat.

We're going to be keeping fans updated through forums, youtube, blog posts and facebook as the game develops, so stay tuned for all the details as we work on this bad boy.

In the meantime, Apple has had our update in hand since September 3rd and so I'm hoping will be approving it any day - so keep your eyes peeled for that :)

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