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  Mechanic #139 - Branching Deathmatch
Posted: 12/14/11

Two players race around the board, attempting to pick up power ups to overpower each other.

  Branching Deathmatch

The branching linear path in [#137 - Stylish Loot Game] seemed kind of nifty to me, and I wanted to use it in something else. Though maybe with a slightly more complex board and a few more loops. I started thinking of an idea for an "indirect deathmatch" game and decided to put the two things together and see what happened.




Fig 139.1 - The gameboard.


This is a two-player deathmatch game. Both players begin the game at opposite ends of a branching, node-based game board. They then proceed to wander around the map trying to find power up icons (speed, damage, defense, health, etc) that randomly spawn. When one player thinks he has the advantage over the other, he will attempt to chase him down and collide with his character, initiating combat.

Combat is completely passive. It is deterministic, based entirely on the stats (which are visible and known to both players) and perhaps a minor random nudge one way or the other. It is broken into short rounds where each character takes a stab at the other, damaging it. Players can hit a button to attempt to flee when it seems like they are about to lose. The victor of the combat gets a point and the players are reset back to their starting positions.

Characters do not need to be exactly equal, since they must first travel across the board to meet each other (thus encountering power ups), but their relative strength should be roughly the same. The skeleton might be a little faster, but with slightly less health. Perhaps they have unique combat abilities that can be called upon once. Similar to fleeing, hit a button/key and in the next round, that ability will be activated.



Fig 139.2 - Leaving a trail.


The one additional wrinkle I thought I might add would be that players can hit a key to leave behind Tron light cycle-like trails behind them. Rather than causing instant death, these create a modifier for that path that will affect anyone on it. These affects are unique to each character and could be something like reducing movement speed, decreasing defense, or slowly healing whatever units walks upon it.

These trails are in limited supply, which grows back slowly over time. They also fade from the board fairly quickly, so they generally will only affect a portion of the board at any one time.



Copyright 2007-2014 Sean Howard. All rights reserved.