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Combat engine, game design and the role of RNG
A note from our lead Creative Director and Game Designer, Jean Curci:
Designing an idle battler based on a single character isn’t straightforward. Most idle games have teams of complementary characters that form pieces of a puzzle.
Our challenge was to develop a game that was interesting but simple to play, strategic without requiring a massive time investment, and one that had interesting choices for players despite only controlling one character.
Balance is the key to successful games, and we’ve focused on three areas:
  • Statistical balance: no single BattleFly can become invincible meaning every BattleFly has the chance to win;
  • Skill balance; the probability of winning is more correlated to a player’s skill and experience rather than RNG; and
  • Attention balance; players are rewarded for understanding and observing the evolving game meta and are more likely to win as a result.
This is balance created through tension, rather than peace.
Many of us first learn of this tension through the ancient game of rock/paper/scissors. In many respects it is the definitive zero-sum game, and it has served as a framework for how we’ve built our BattleFly characters.
For example, there are three main ways that a BattleFly can defend an attack:
  • Evasion is a % chance to completely avoid an attack. It’s highly effective but totally random.
  • Armor protects against every single incoming attack.
  • Shields recharge every second and need to be depleted to effect the precious Hitpoints.
Interesting choices abound. Simply stacking Hit points and the rare Hull regen stat is a basic approach, efficient against most attacks, but of course less specialized. Being ok versus everything means being good against nothing!
Quick repeat attacks are great against shields, but bad versus armor.
Big slow attacks have limited impact against a BattleFly equipped for evasion, perform well against armor and average against Shields.
We’ve created a broad range of weapons to allow for various and unexpected effects, ranging from a dreaded virus disabling your Battlefly to Ion discharges paralyzing it.
Finding cool mods in the ruins of the Silo 18 and building a well thought-out Battlefly will be essential to shine in the Hyperdome!
We can’t wait to see what you build.
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