Roles

 
© Hot Sauce Bread Studios

© Hot Sauce Bread Studios

 

In one of our first posts, we touched on the decision for a team of three instead of 1 vs 1 matches.  Though I didn’t mention it, another reason for our decision included on adding different roles into the game. This fit for a variety of reasons and was pretty much a no brainer when we began fleshing things out.  The basics of these roles are pretty straightforward, but I feel like there is still some merit in discussing how they work in our game.

It will be no surprise that we focused on the three pillars that define a RPG party: Tank, DPS, and Support.  The beauty of these roles is that gamers have been trained on the basics of these roles over the years, cutting down on things we have to explain.  Though I could’ve drawn this framework from pretty much any RPG, I naturally looked at World of Warcraft as a polished example.

Playing WoW for as long as I did showed me how different classes can approach the balance between versatility and min/maxing. Classes in WoW such as the Druid, show how you can have a jack-of-all-trades character that can still be useful in their versatility even in the end-game. By doing this,  WoW also displayed how different classes interact and can fill a role while still distinguishing themselves in play style. These takeaway lessons can be seen in how we approached different characters within the same role.  More ‘Pure’ class characters in our game include Otto, Diam and Amyth that are meant to focus on the basics in their role. Otto tanks, Diam heals, and Amyth burns faces. Alternatively, looking at the mixed class characters such as Khurn, Skrill, and Garric show how versatility can switch up gameplay while still fulfilling a role.  Skrill, for example, can’t heal the rest of the team, but has a move set made to handicap the other team and prevent damage intake.

© Hot Sauce Bread Studios. Pure role classes. From top to bottom: Amyth (DPS), Diam (Support), Otto (Tank)

© Hot Sauce Bread Studios. Pure role classes. From top to bottom: Amyth (DPS), Diam (Support), Otto (Tank)

 
© Hot Sauce Bread Studios. Mixed role classes. From top to bottom: Skrill (Support), Garric (DPS), Khurn (Tank)

© Hot Sauce Bread Studios. Mixed role classes. From top to bottom: Skrill (Support), Garric (DPS), Khurn (Tank)

For some of you this was all obvious enough, but how does it play out in our game?

Whatever game you see these three party roles, there is always a trade-off for keeping a tank character in the forefront. Naturally, there is a trade off in health and damage output, but it needed to go further.  In our case, the speed in which cards are drawn was a natural fit giving a ‘durability vs card draw’ dynamic. Durable characters would draw cards slower but be able to take a hit while flimsy characters would draw cards faster.  The result of this is twofold. First, the overall speed of the game changes depending on the characters put out front creating a satisfying ebb and flow. Secondly, players now had a risk/reward tension when deciding on who to keep out in front and when to pull a character back. Though we anticipated this would be important, it wasn’t until after the first few play tests that we realized how defining this tension would be to our game.

Again, I hope that gave some insight on how we made some of our decisions for Sigils. Please follow us @hotsaucebread on twitter to get more updates on our game!

~ Cedrick