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Subject: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Contest Ready rss

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Nate K
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Welcome to the Wings of Lightning WIP thread!

This game was developed for the 2012 Solitaire Print and Play Contest.



Synopsis

Wings of Lightning is the first in a trilogy of games simply called The Storm Trilogy. It is a gamebook set in a fantastic land that draws some of its inspiration from the Middle East during the Dark Ages, as well as from ancient Greek culture. It is the tale of a determined young warrior trying to save his beloved city from the wrath of a demi-god, with the help of one powerful ally: the demi-goddess of lightning.


History

Wings of Lightning began its life as an idea for a videogame that I had in 2006. It quickly developed into a very fleshed-out concept, with multiple characters, settings, plot twists, and so forth. I had even designed a few levels and some puzzles for the game, although those notes have since been lost.

As I delved more deeply into the board game hobby in general and the board game design hobby in particular, I realized that the Storm Trilogy could work very well as a solitaire gamebook a la Destiny Quest, Fighting Fantasy, and Lone Wolf. The idea brewed for quite a long time. I considered trying to finish it and enter it into the 2011 Solitaire PnP Contest, but the mechanics and general flow did not come together in time.

With this year's contest, I decided to return to the game with an open mind and a fresh perspective.

Combat was the biggest problem. The game takes its inspiration from such games as the The Legend of Zelda (Core Series) and God of War series and the games Shadow of the Colossus (2005) and Dante's Inferno. Combat in these games often involves careful timing and quick combos. I initially attempted to make combat dice-based, but every iteration was slow and unexciting. It didn't capture the fury God of War or the thrill of Ocarina of Time.


Status

I have finally found a mechanic for combat that seems to do what I want it to do. Combat resolves quickly, yet allows for tactical and strategic decisions. It is tense, yet balanced. Instead of dice, the game uses a 52-card deck of standard poker cards. (No Jokers required.)

I will describe the combat mechanic in another post, but suffice to say that it is a push-your-luck mechanic that I think captures the flow of a God of War fight--get in for a few hits to kill the weak minions, dodge away from a big counterattack, get in for some more hits, dodge away, then go in for a big combo to finish everyone off.

The rules are complete! Well, the contest version is complete. A fuller version is in the works. It will include sections that had to be cut for the sake of time.


Design Goals

As the game may not be as replayable as other entries to this contest, one of the design goals is to keep the necessary printing to a minimum. The player should not need to print out the gamebook unless he or she so wishes. The player will need a character sheet and some spare paper to track enemy hit points. A small booklet that includes all the game's puzzles may also be required, but that has yet to be determined, as none of the puzzles have been concretely written. Combat uses a standard deck of cards which everyone should own.

Another important goal is to capture the feeling of the game as it was originally envisioned: an action-adventure video game in the style of God of War or Legend of Zelda. Combat needs to be fast and exciting. The player should not get bogged down in tracking various numbers or rolling dice over and over.

Finally, the game needs to be fun. I have a story that I want to tell, a three-part story that has been in development for years. But fun has to come first, story second. If the player is not having fun, he or she will not keep playing.


Images






Components
Wings of Lightning gamebook (full contest version)

Character Sheet


Final Note
Thanks for taking a look! I welcome all comments and critiques. Artists, including game designers, thrive on feedback. Please subscribe, and participate in the conversation as I develop the game.

Thanks so much!
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Chris Blackford
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Sounds intriguing! I will be keeping an eye on this!
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Combat in Wings of Lightning

As mentioned in the OP, combat in Wings of Lightning will use a standard deck of cards.

When combat begins, you will need to separate the face cards from the numbered cards. You use the face cards during your turn, and the numbered cards during the enemy turn.

Combat takes place in a series of rounds and ends when all the enemies have been defeated, or you have been killed.

You always take your turn first, then the enemies get to act.

Your Turn

Shuffle the 16 face cards, then "kill" the top card of the deck by putting it aside face-down. The killed card will have no effect on combat this round, but it may help you decide what color or suit to name.

After you have killed the top card, you must make a choice dependent on the type of Weapon you have equipped. If you have a Fast Weapon, choose a color: red (jab) or black (swing). If you have a Slow Weapon, choose a suit: hearts (left), diamonds (right), clubs (low), or spades (high).

Once you have made your choice, reveal the top card of the deck. If it matches your choice, it counts as a hit. Add it to your hit pile. If it does not match, it is a miss. Add it to your miss pile.

You may continue to choose a card type and reveal the top card of the deck this way, adding up hits and misses, until you decide to stop, or until the number of cards in your miss pile is equal to your speed.

If you choose to stop, deal damage equal to your Damage stat to an enemy of your choice for each successful hit. Your abilities may allow you to deal additional damage or generate other effects based on the number of hits in your combo. Then proceed to the enemy turn.

If you must stop because your miss pile filled up, you still deal damage equal to your Damage stat to an enemy of your choice for each hit. However, if any enemies survive after you deal your damage, you take a hit from a counter attack. The enemy with the highest Initiative stat hits you for damage equal to their Damage stat modified by the last card in the miss pile, thusly:

Jack: 1x Damage
Queen: 2x Damage
King: 3x Damage
Ace: 4x Damage

Thus, as your miss pile fills up, you must choose whether to end your combo and back away, or continue your combo and risk taking a lot of damage.

Enemy Turn

Shuffle the numbered cards. Then, for each enemy (starting with the enemy with the highest Initiative stat) reveal the top card. Compare the number drawn to the enemy's Aim stat. If the number is equal to or lower than the enemy's Aim, that enemy hit you. Lose HP equal to that enemy's Damage stat. Some enemies deal additional damage or activate certain abilities based on the number or suit revealed. You also have certain abilities that may allow you to mitigate or avoid this damage.

If you are still alive at the end of the enemy turn, proceed to the next round and start your turn.




Summary (TL;DR)

Combat in WoL is a push-your-luck game where you have to guess the suit or color of the card on top of the deck. If you are right, it counts as a hit. If you are wrong, it's a miss. You can only miss so many times before taking a brutal counterattack, so be careful! However, the more hits you get, the better your combo. You will often trigger a special ability at 3x, 6x, 9x, 12x, and 15x hits.
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Michele Esmanech
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
You hooked me when you said
Quote:
Combat was the biggest problem. The game takes its inspiration from such games as the The Legend of Zelda and God of War series and the games Shadow of the Colossus and Dante's Inferno. Combat in these games often involves careful timing and quick combos. I initially attempted to make combat dice-based, but every iteration was slow and unexciting. It didn't capture the fury God of War or the thrill of Ocarina of Time.


It looks interesting.

My only suggestion is to avoid using a standard deck of cards: why don't you create a specific, themed deck with your own images, suits and everything to give the feel of the theme.

While everybody has a standard deck of cards, which will ensure more people will try it, using it in an adventure game set in a fantasy-middle ages setting, might throw away some other people who don't like distractions in the theme (like me whistle ).

Cheers

And keep up the good work
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Thanks for the comment, Michele!

I would definitely like to create a themed deck at some point, but it's not a priority at this stage in development. I'm hoping to get eight to ten chapters written, which is a lot of enemy design, puzzle design, and ability design. So the deck may have to wait until after the contest. But it is definitely something I want to get done!
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Thought I'd let you see where I am at with the design and the direction I'm going.

Here are the current rules, and the completed part of Chapter 1. The chapter is somewhere between a third of the way and halfway done.

Now, the rules are not as clear as I would like, and the formatting needs more work, but I think all the necessary information is there. Please let me know if you spot any mistakes or have any questions about how to play.

I would also love it if someone could try working their way through the first three fights in the chapter. The combat rules work for me, but I would like to get some outside opinions on the feel, the speed, and flow of fighting.

I'm also very open to suggestions for additional combo abilities. Bear in mind that Skoros will only ever use Blade Weapons (knives, scimitars, etc.), Staff Weapons (staves, javelins, spears), and the occasional Shield (buckler, round shield, tower shield).

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to finish Chapter One, which will include a boss battle that should be fun and different.
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Tony Miller
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
I just looked through the document, and this looks truly inspired. I can't believe that you took a deck of cards and turned them into a robust combat system for both the player and the enemies. I am really looking forward to trying this one once you get it together.

I may take some time to play the first few combats to see how it runs, but just reading it really captures my imagination. I can almost see the cinematic cut-scenes in a video game when I read the paragraphs and the way that hits and misses work really allows for a lot of expansion and options. (I could see this card engine working for multiple games of this type, in multiple genres)
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
awmiller wrote:
I just looked through the document, and this looks truly inspired. I can't believe that you took a deck of cards and turned them into a robust combat system for both the player and the enemies. I am really looking forward to trying this one once you get it together.

I may take some time to play the first few combats to see how it runs, but just reading it really captures my imagination. I can almost see the cinematic cut-scenes in a video game when I read the paragraphs and the way that hits and misses work really allows for a lot of expansion and options. (I could see this card engine working for multiple games of this type, in multiple genres)


Thanks! This system, unlike previous attempts, seems to do several things well:


--It emulates the style of combat in God of War and Dante's Inferno

In those games, combat typically involves getting in for a few hits, dodging away, hitting a few more times, dodging away, and repeating, trying to get a good combo before being interrupted by a hit or having to dodge so much that your combo counter resets. Granted, the rewards for a high combo are different. In GoW, big combos get you more experience and allow you to level faster. In Wings of Lightning, you get to trigger really awesome abilities. But the feeling is the same.

--It makes fighting hoards of enemies really scary

My previous attempts at a combat system for this game involved a lot of dice-rolling and very little tension, and fighting one or two enemies felt roughly the same as fighting 20, except everything resolved faster.

With this system, the more enemies you fight, the greater your chances of drawing a low number on the enemy turn and taking a hit. Which makes sense; if you're surrounded by a huge group of enemies, chances are someone will manage to stab you, despite all your jumping and dodge rolling. Yet everything resolves quickly, and the tension stays high.

This also incentivizes the player to kill off all the little guys before going after the heavy-hitters, which is usually the best tactic in God of War or Dante's Inferno.

--It combines luck with skill

Sure, sometimes you're going to get 6 misses in a row, but sometimes it will feel like you just can't miss. Sometimes your big combo will pay off without consequences, but sometimes you'll get stomped into the ground for pushing your luck too hard. Yet the decision is in your hands, not based on the whims of the dice gods.

--It provides tactical and strategic decisions

"Should I stay with my Fast weapon and mitigate the effects of misses? Or do I use a Slow weapon to deal more damage but risk racking up a bunch of misses?"

OR

"I'm almost at my limit for misses. But if I can get in two more hits, I'll trigger a wicked combo ability. Do I go for it?"

OR

"If I get one more miss, how much will it hurt? I've already drawn 3 Kings and 2 Aces, and no Jacks."

OR

"The enemy with the highest Initiative deals a lot of damage. Should I risk taking a 4x hit from him? Or should I just end the combo now?"

--It is expandable and flexible

As you mentioned, there is a lot you can do with this system. I'm using to emulate a fast-paced action/adventure video game, but there's no reason it can't be transferred to, say, ship-to-ship combat in a science fiction setting, or modern-day boxing, or any number of other conflict situations.

Plus, it allows for lots of different types of weapons and abilities, thanks to keywords like Fast, Blade, Shield, and so forth. In Wings of Lightning, Skoros will only use a fairly limited variety of weapons, because that is what his culture and fighting style are built for. But in the second game, Horns of Thunder, the protagonist will use a very different set of weapons, again because of culture and training. And the system works just fine with both situations!
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Tony Miller
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Quote:
--It emulates the style of combat in God of War and Dante's Inferno


I'm familiar with both of those games, but I have never played either. That being said, it really evoked the Prince of Persia, Onimusha, and Devil May Cry series for me. Choosing the right weapon for the job, creating combos, and fighting groups of enemies in set-piece style fights inter-cut with story. I can't wait to see what Boss Fights look like...

Quote:
--It makes fighting hoards of enemies really scary


I LOVE dice (and tactical combat minis and RPGs) but it can get very wash, rinse, repeat when you have a group of enemies. This system gives you some ways to mix it up AND allows the enemies to be threatening en masse without them being total weaklings by themselves. There is always the chance that that 1 lone guard will tag you and mess up your combo.

Quote:
--It combines luck with skill


The press your luck aspect makes it accessible to a brand new player, but over time as you familiarize yourself with your particular weapons, and the enemies, you can begin to tailor your strategy to lower the effect that luck has. It is still present, but not in the same way that it would be with die rolls.

I think the best thing that I saw was that you allow the player to start with a Speed of 2. Allowing for an unmodified character to miss twice before they suffer for it encourages them to "go for it" more often than if a single miss ruins their day. I also like that the Fast weapons directly upgrade the ability to hit while the Slow weapons are rewarded with more damage to compensate for their lower hit rate.

Quote:
--It provides tactical and strategic decisions


This totally makes the game in my opinion. The usage of the Hits to Trigger Combo abilities really allows you to differentiate the styles. You can give the player a whole new way of approaching the combat just by varying their combo abilities and weapons. That adds some replay-ability to the game and at the same times, mixes up the tactical options for each fight. Very Cool!

Quote:
--It is expandable and flexible


This really ties into the point above. I can see using different Keywords to generate whole different styles of play. Want to introduce spells? Add New keywords. Want to allow for a character like Dante from Devil May Cry that alternates between firearms and melee weapons? No problem, create some keywords.

I can also see places where you could "bolt on" additional mechanical elements, like allowing for an XP style leveling system, or a sticking in a rudimentary stat based puzzle system.

The first one that came to mind was a Prince of Persia style "time rewind" system that would allow the player to save up "sand" from killing monsters to then use to get rid of misses in later combats.
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Whew! Lots of writing today, but Chapter One is complete. Well, it needs testing to make sure the balance is right, but everything is in place, both mechanically and story-wise. Hopefully the boss fight is as satisfying to play as it was to write!

The rules have also been tweaked. The biggest change: the stat formerly known as Damage is now called Strength. This should make the vernacular a bit easier. It's kind of silly to explain that Damage determines damage, after all. Additionally, I want to use Strength in various puzzles, and it just makes more thematic sense to say that your ability to, I don't know, cling to a cliff face is tied in with your Strength, rather than your Damage.
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Oh, looks like I never got around to changing a rule that I planned on fixing. The rules as currently written say that you can only carry one set of weapons at the time. I was going to change that so the player can carry up to three different Weapons, and can change them at the end of a round of combat.

(This means you may occasionally enter combat equipped with a different Weapon than you would prefer, but that just gives you an interesting tactical decision. Do you make the best of your currently equipped weapon, or end your combo quickly so that you can swap weapons?)
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Woohoo! I'm testing Chapter One right now, and I just got an eleven-hit combo! It felt SO good!

The Dual Long Knives don't deal a lot of damage--they may actually be too weak--but starting the game with Speed 5 is amazing.
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
So, tasks for this week are:

--Test and balance Chapter One. It's a bit too difficult right now, but I think the real problem is healing post-combat. I think there needs to be a rule about healing after a fight, but I'll need to test a few methods to find one that feels balanced and ties in with the number and type of enemies face.

--Write Chapter Two and, if possible, Chapter Three. I know how Chapter Two is going to play out, but there are some details of Chapter Three that still need to be worked out, so that might not get finished until next week.

--Brainstorm ways to emulate reaction commands. Reaction puzzles are used in nearly all my favorite games, including most of the games that inspired Wings of Lightning. I'd like to find a mechanic that mimics them in a board game.

Any help and feedback on these points would be most appreciated!
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Now that I have the entirety of chapter 1, I am going to make the time to play-test this ASAP. Also, here are some typos that I found on my first read-through. I noted the place of the typo in bold.

On page 3:

Quote:
Health Points (HP)
Health Points abstract how close Skoros is to death. You must track both
your maximum HP and (as you take damage) your current HP. Losing HP may
represent getting injured, being knocked down, having armor dented in,
becoming dizzy or exhausted, or any number of things that could lead to Skoros’ death. Your max HP will not change except when you create your character, level up, or otherwise are allowed to add to your stats. Your current HP will go up and down as you take damage and heal.
If Skoros’ HP is reduced to zero, he dies, and you must backtrack to the nearest checkpoint, or to the start of the chapter if you have not yet hit a checkpoint in that chapter. If Skoros dies three times in the same chapter, you lose the game. Skoros starts the game with HP 10.


Quote:
Strength
Strength indicates how many enemy Health Points are subtracted each
time Skoros hits an enemy. The higher the number, the more damage dealt. Skoros starts the game with Strength 1.



On page 4:

Quote:
Initiative
Initiative indicates the order in which enemies counterattack. If you are
battling multiple types of enemies, the enemy with the highest Initiative will hit you when (This sentence trails off)



Not a typo but on page 5-6:

I think it might be best to have the full description of each turn before the summarized chart. Also, adding something to the summary that mentions what "Killing the top card" is might be a good idea

Page 6:

Quote:
Death and Checkpoints
As you proceed through each chapter, you will run into checkpoints.
Your stats will not typically change in the middle of the chapter, but in the chapters where they can, the checkpoints will give you a chance change to record all your stats. Otherwise, you will be able to record your current HP.
If you die (either in combat or due to a failed puzzle) in that chapter, you restart at the most recent checkpoint with the HP and abilities you had when you reached the checkpoint.


That's all I've got for now. I'm really looking forward to this one.
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Just wanted to pop in and say "AWESOME" -- in fact, the format is so awesome I *almost* (only almost) tossed out Bionic to rebuild it more like this.

I am looking forward to giving this a test run once I find my deck of cards (just moved into a new place so things are in boxes and boxes are everywhere... I wasn't wise enough to label the boxes which makes things harder :S).
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Candi wrote:
Just wanted to pop in and say "AWESOME" -- in fact, the format is so awesome I *almost* (only almost) tossed out Bionic to rebuild it more like this.

I am looking forward to giving this a test run once I find my deck of cards (just moved into a new place so things are in boxes and boxes are everywhere... I wasn't wise enough to label the boxes which makes things harder :S).


There's no need to rebuild Bionic, silly! You're system is great!

But I greatly look forward to your feedback.
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
awmiller wrote:
Now that I have the entirety of chapter 1, I am going to make the time to play-test this ASAP. Also, here are some typos that I found on my first read-through. I noted the place of the typo in bold.


THanks for spotting those, I'll be sure to correct them!

Quote:
On page 3:
Not a typo but on page 5-6:

I think it might be best to have the full description of each turn before the summarized chart. Also, adding something to the summary that mentions what "Killing the top card" is might be a good idea


Good call, thanks.

Quote:

That's all I've got for now. I'm really looking forward to this one.


Thanks! I look forward to your comments and critiques.
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Nate,
I have started checking the rules and playing the game and have some questions. I like the theme and the game seems straight forward but I am having trouble understanding the combat (maybe I am over analysing the rules). I'm sure it's simple but I'm just not getting it.

1. On page 5 of Skoros' turn you don't actually mention what you do with the hits that you've made. I'm assuming the enemy loses HP as it mentions it previously.

2. Rather than HP for the enemies, EHP (Enemy Hit Points) may be better.

3. In the first fight against the 6 Ahdeenite warriors, do I only attack
1 warrior per round or do I attack all of them at the same time? Say I do 2 hits in a round, does this damage only 1 warrior or all of them for 2?

4. Equally, when they attack me, do they attack me 6 times in one round or does the first warrior only attack? I guess I am wondering what the precise definition of 'enemy' means. It is a type of enemy or does it refer to a specific individual e.g. Ahdeenite warrior number 3?

5. Once I have a number of misses in my pile that equals Speed - 1, why would I choose to continue and risk being hit? It seems very risk to risk up to x4 damage for 1 extra attack.

6. Typo on page 4. The last sentence in the Initiative sectios has no end.
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
mjrobertson wrote:
Nate,
I have started checking the rules and playing the game and have some questions. I like the theme and the game seems straight forward but I am having trouble understanding the combat (maybe I am over analysing the rules). I'm sure it's simple but I'm just not getting it.

1. On page 5 of Skoros' turn you don't actually mention what you do with the hits that you've made. I'm assuming the enemy loses HP as it mentions it previously.


Interesting. I appear to have not finished that section of the rules. I could have sworn I did. Thanks for pointing that out!

Once your combo ends, either by choice or by missing too often, you get to deal damage. For each hit, you deal damage equal to your Strength to a single enemy of your choice.

So you can distribute the damage as you like, but it must be doled out in increments equal to your Strength. If, for example, you have Strength 4 but only 1 hit, you cannot deal 2 damage to one enemy to finish him off and then deal 2 more damage to another enemy; each hit can only go to one target.

Quote:
2. Rather than HP for the enemies, EHP (Enemy Hit Points) may be better.


I was worried about the overlap of vernacular. Thanks for the feedback with that, I'll look into calling it something else.

Quote:
3. In the first fight against the 6 Ahdeenite warriors, do I only attack 1 warrior per round or do I attack all of them at the same time? Say I do 2 hits in a round, does this damage only 1 warrior or all of them for 2?

Each hit damages 1 warrior of your choice. You choose which warrior to hit.

Quote:
4. Equally, when they attack me, do they attack me 6 times in one round or does the first warrior only attack? I guess I am wondering what the precise definition of 'enemy' means. It is a type of enemy or does it refer to a specific individual e.g. Ahdeenite warrior number 3?


Each individual enemy tries to hit you; reveal a card for all surviving warriors. If you already killed numbers 1 and 6, for example, then reveal four cards.

I didn't think that anyone would trip up over the precise definition of "enemy," so this is good to know. I try to distinguish between "enemy" and "type of enemy," but apparently I need to give a definition or explanation within the rules.

Quote:
5. Once I have a number of misses in my pile that equals Speed - 1, why would I choose to continue and risk being hit? It seems very risk to risk up to x4 damage for 1 extra attack.


If you REALLY need to finish off an opponent, for example, or if you are very close to triggering a combo ability, you may want to push your luck. I made it to 11 hits last night doing this. You may also be willing to take the risk if most of the Kings and Aces have already been drawn.

You're right, though, in that it's usually not worth it, at least not in the first chapter. You're starting HP is so low and the potential damage so high that you would rarely want to risk it. To that end, I am considering a rules tweak. If you get too many misses, the damage will be modified like this:

Jack: 1x Damage
Queen: 1.5x Damage, rounded down
King: 2x Damage
Ace: 3x Damage

I haven't tested this, yet, but it's been something I've been considering since testing combat last night.

Additionally, I think Skoros should start with 12 HP, rather than 10.

Finally, I'm working on some ideas for healing after combat. I haven't decided the best way to do this, but one idea I'm considering is that, post-combat, Skoros will regain HP equal to 1+the number of enemy types. If he only fights Warriors, for example, he would regain 2 HP after the battle.

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6. Typo on page 4. The last sentence in the Initiative sectios has no end.


Oh. That's embarrassing. Thanks!
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Thanks for your answers, I understand now. Just to be pedantic, I've always thought a combo is a string of unbroken attacks with no misses in between. So strictly speaking if you miss it's not a combo. On the other hand combo sounds cool so you should keep using it.
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Nate K
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
mjrobertson wrote:
Thanks for your answers, I understand now. Just to be pedantic, I've always thought a combo is a string of unbroken attacks with no misses in between. So strictly speaking if you miss it's not a combo. On the other hand combo sounds cool so you should keep using it.


I think the real problem is with the word "miss." In the games I'm trying to emulate, you don't have to constantly mash the attack button to keep up your combo. You can occasionally dodge away, jump, or otherwise reposition yourself in the middle of a combo. That's what the "misses" actually represent. Maybe if I called them something else it would be more clear?
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
I think you should keep combo but maybe explain it thematically, as in you can have multiple combos attacks within a single round of combat, and they may or may not be broken up by misses.

Thinking of that, you could perhaps look at the sequencing of hits versus misses. Having a long string of unbroken attacks would thematically do more damage or stun opponents etc e.g hit-hit-hit could perhaps be stronger than hit-miss-hit-miss-hit. I don't know how you could work that into the rules, as it may take away from the fast and furious aspect.

There may be mileage in looking at letting the player arrange/influence the colour or sequencing of hits e.g. a sequence of unbroken reds of blacks or suits. I guess that would involve correctly predicting the card and then splitting into a red/black hit pile (or something). Players could choose special moves perhaps e.g. a correct prediction of red red, black black could trigger a 'Super Spear Combo'. I'm just seeing that there are some possibilities about colour/sequence that could be interesting.

Also, rather than having 2 piles for hits and misses, I was thinking that you could turn misses on their side/flip over and just have 1 pile of cards.

For some reason the game reminds me of the new Kid Icarus game on the Nintendo 3DS.
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Comments:

Page2: "Your max HP will not change accept when you create your character, level up, or otherwise are allowed to add to your stats."

Should be "Except"

Page3: Section on Enemy Initiative is unfinished.

Page3: Section on Enemy Strength talks about 'rolling' (and dice aren't used anymore!)

The rules don't seem to be explicit about when you actually deal damage to enemies. Do I still deal damage if I over commit and overload on misses? Nor does it seem to explain *how* to distribute your damage.. If I have 2 strength and score 2 hits I have 4 damage, do I allocate the hits or damage (say the enemies have 3 HP-- am I able to kill 1 enemy and deal 1 damage to another or do I only kill 1 enemy with the overflow being wasted?)

Feedback:


I played until three deaths and never got past the second fight. The first two games I lost to massive damage from overdoing the luck pushing thing. I changed gears for run three but to no avail.

The third game I stopped pushing my luck and quit whenever I had Miss = Speed -1.. I cleaned the first fight up fine, then on the second fight got hit for 8 damage in one turn with a bunch of low number draws on the enemies. I felt like the game is subject to huge and wild swings of luck (especially with the unforgiving lack of healing mechanic) and my ultimate defeat was nothing short of frustrating.

My weapon was the Sword and Shield, I can't imagine using a slow weapon.

I tried one more game with the long knives, hoping that higher speed would help me... First fight went thusly:

Round 1 I managed 3 damage, killing one and then got hit by 4 of the remaining 5 (life down to 6).

Round 2 I kill a Black Q, call red into Black K... call red into Black A... call red into Black J... call red into Black K... call red into Black A... Take 4 damage. Enemies turn topdecks a 2 and 3, dead.

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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
I agree with Jessey's comments - you need a way to defend yourself. Maybe by reserving some of the 16 face cards (if there are any unused after your attack) and playing them defensively in some way?
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Re: WIP - Wings of Lightning [PnP Solitaire 2012] Idea Phase
Candi wrote:
Comments:

Page2: "Your max HP will not change accept when you create your character, level up, or otherwise are allowed to add to your stats."

Should be "Except"

Page3: Section on Enemy Initiative is unfinished.


Doh! Thanks, Jessey.

Quote:
Page3: Section on Enemy Strength talks about 'rolling' (and dice aren't used anymore!)


Really? That's embarrassing! I'll be sure to fix that.

Quote:
The rules don't seem to be explicit about when you actually deal damage to enemies. Do I still deal damage if I over commit and overload on misses? Nor does it seem to explain *how* to distribute your damage.. If I have 2 strength and score 2 hits I have 4 damage, do I allocate the hits or damage (say the enemies have 3 HP-- am I able to kill 1 enemy and deal 1 damage to another or do I only kill 1 enemy with the overflow being wasted?)


Hm, definitely need to work on the combat section of the rules, then. You're the second person with these questions. I'll update the rules when I get home. For now, just know that each hit allows you to deal damage equal to your Strength to a single enemy. So in that situation, yes, 1 damage would get wasted.

Quote:

Feedback:


I played until three deaths and never got past the second fight. The first two games I lost to massive damage from overdoing the luck pushing thing. I changed gears for run three but to no avail.

The third game I stopped pushing my luck and quit whenever I had Miss = Speed -1.. I cleaned the first fight up fine, then on the second fight got hit for 8 damage in one turn with a bunch of low number draws on the enemies. I felt like the game is subject to huge and wild swings of luck (especially with the unforgiving lack of healing mechanic) and my ultimate defeat was nothing short of frustrating.


That's not good! I definitely think that combat is too difficult at this point. The first change I plan to implement is to increase your starting HP from 10 to 12, which should help a little bit. I also want to incorporate a method of healing post-combat, but haven't decided how best to do this. Suggestions are very welcome.

Quote:
My weapon was the Sword and Shield, I can't imagine using a slow weapon.


There are too many disincentives for Slow weapons right now, but I'm looking to fix that.

Right now, Fast weapons give a boost to Speed AND have a 50% chance of hitting. The Dual Long Knives, for example, give you Speed 5. At a 50% success rate, you can expect 4 to 5 hits with the Dual Long Knives.

But the Spear only gives a boost to Strength, and has a mere 25% chance of hitting. With Speed 2, you can expect an average of 0 to 1 hits with the Spear. Which means that the Long Knives actually have a better average damage output. That's no good.

I'm considering two possible fixes:

1) Eliminating Fast and Slow weapons and having all hits based on color, never suit. It's a clean and easy fix.
2) Creating a custom deck of 18 cards with 3 suits divided between 2 colors. Then Slow weapons would still be assigned to suits, but have a 33% chance to hit, which is significantly better. It's more work on my part, though, and makes the game less accessible. Everyone has poker cards. Not everyone wants to print and cut out cards. BUT, themed cards would help with integrating the player into the world, which is not an insignificant benefit.

Quote:
I tried one more game with the long knives, hoping that higher speed would help me... First fight went thusly:

Round 1 I managed 3 damage, killing one and then got hit by 4 of the remaining 5 (life down to 6).

Round 2 I kill a Black Q, call red into Black K... call red into Black A... call red into Black J... call red into Black K... call red into Black A... Take 4 damage. Enemies turn topdecks a 2 and 3, dead.



Bummer! A glut of one color can really screw you. I'm not sure there's anything I can do about that. Also, the long knives don't deal quite as much damage, on average, as I would like. I haven't decided how best to improve their output. Should the long knives have a built-in combo trigger at 3x, maybe?
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