15 February 2017

some new tech

While pointless and without function, it is fun to explore what would happen if you mix a tape with a floppy. They both serve the same purpose, one does it clearly better than the other and probably there is no reason to merge the two into a single device. Sometimes some things are just done for the sake of doing. This is one of those things. The point here is to come up with a retro technology. It doesnt necessary have to work or be logical, all it needs is to look and feel believable (isn't that what Hollywood feeds us in every movie?)
size comparison (roughly to give an idea of  the dimensions):
cassette - height:6 width:10 cm
this amazing new tech -  height:7 width:7 cm
3,5 floppy - height:9 width:9 cm

Technology: Magnetic Tape
Dimensions:700mm x 700mm x 15mm
Date Introduced: Unknown (probably early 80s or sometime after the datasette)
Storage Capacity: something like 1 MB Max would be enough to fill the world. why would you need anything bigger :)

The more you try to go into detail  the more your logic tries to stops you from making a mess so I'll leave it here and let people fantasize it on their own.

C64 games had a variety of covers, ranging from awesome to real goofy so I slapped a quick, goofy game art of a space pirate, marine sort of thing and picked a silly name (apparently silly names or horrendous translations were a must back then). Star Marine... be a marine of the stars and the star of the marine corps in this amazing space adventure. (yea right... you wait 30 minutes for the tape to load and it gives you 10 minutes of unresponsive gameplay where you rewind to load again after you die.)

C64 games had a variety of covers, ranging from awesome to real goofy so I slapped a quick, goofy game art of a space pirate, marine sort of thing and picked a silly name (apparently silly names or horrendous translations were a must back then).

"Star Marine"... be a marine of the stars and the star of the marine corps in this amazing space adventure. (yea right... you wait 30 minutes for the tape to load and it gives you 10 minutes of unresponsive gameplay where you rewind to load again after you die.)

I cleaned up the sketch, now it looks slightly believable. However I don't like the reel holes eating up most of the artwork yet I want them to be clearly visible as they are the ones that give the cassette feel. Without them what's the difference between a regular floppy? Obviously it would also need the holes for the cassette player's heads to pass through.

Maybe a cheap plastic cover would do the trick. It would also stop dust and your neighbours spoiled brat from putting his dirty fingers inside the holes and spinning the reels, spoiling your tape. 

As the reels are blocked you would obviously need to take off the cover before you place it inside the tape . Something like a clip which you squeeze the side part to release the game disk or maybe something even more simple, all you would do is to pull it to the side to release. The artwork could be glued to the plastic or it could have a transparent sleeve (as in sega master system game boxes) so you could change the inlay image by simply removing it out of the sleeve.

Eventually you would need a device to read these things so maybe I should come up with something similar to a C64 datasette or something.

So coming up next if I can lift my lazy ass;

- screenshots of the Star Marine, a true 8-bit spectacle :)
- magazine adverts of this amazing disk / tape hybrid technology
- a device to run this piece of junk

27 December 2016


Last Update: Feb 2017
What's all this about? A war game where players focus on building a simple economy, spend resources on research, training armies, looting ruins, capturing native villages and enemy towns.

- Feb 2017 - added new section on how to make things even more simple and fast paced

Playable Civilizations
Game Screen / UI
Research vs Upgrade
Army commands
Empire commands
Winning and losing the game
How to make it even more simple and fast paced

This started out as designing a watered down civilization sort of thing but later decided it was too complicated to be a fun mobile port. Detailed empire management games take days to play and  if I was to play an empire management game I would surely pick to play on the Pc rather than a mobile device so why even bother with battery issues? How can i think of a long term strategy when i will be playing during the bus ride?

It's not really feasible to play such games in a pick up and play fashion. You would have to reeeaaaaly water it down to the level that you have few research branches, few resources and very basic combat so it would be an insult to name it a 4x. What i want is simplified mechanics where you don't have to babysit hundreds of units around the map one by one or shoudnt think of what to research among a tangled research tree. But it should also involve a bit of thinking and strategy, so it shouldn't be about mass production and rush.

Players should focus on building a simple economy, spend resources on research, training armies, looting ruins, capturing native villages and destroying enemy towns. They should be able to complete a game in 1 hour max.

Can be turn based or “real time with pause”. I’m leaning towards the realtime with pause option as people shouldn't keep pressing end turn on such a mobile game where you wait to gather resource.

So roughly speaking if it was a turn based game, every turn would have equaled to 3 or 4 seconds in real time.


An average game session goes as follows (details of each step will be given later on)

You start the game with a Town Center
Reveal the map using the scout button (automatically reveals fog tiles every few turns) so you don’t have to march people all around the map one by one
Build farms, mines or fishing boats inside your borders to increase food and material production
Build houses to expand your borders, reach more resources
Build armies from your town center to defend borders, capture native villages or enemy towns and turn them into colonies (more town centers)
Research / upgrade tech to improve civics, logistics, engineering or military
At the end of x turns (or x minutes since its real time) the game is over and the player with the highest score wins.
Alternatively, the one who wipes all other players wins.

Playable Civilizations

Not sure… didn't really think too much on this. Not that I really care either as by default i just thought of using counters with simple shapes on them so there would be no nations or civs, making every faction the same as other.

Some may enjoy different factions with various pros and cons but it's not a priority.
Just a couple of themes i could think of as i write;
Colonial era nations (spanish, british, portuguese, dutch etc)?
Strange aliens (insectoids, plantoids, hawkmen etc) who dress up like colonial era humans?
Stone age tribes? (wearing fur with crude weapons, simple town centers etc)

Regardless, it's not a priority.

Game Screen / UI

Selected army or structure on the top corner, resources horizontal top, commands menu vertical left, pause resume game on bottom right

Game starts with a set number of resources (ie 500 food 500 mat 500 pop) and a Town Center which gives a small amount of each resource. the first priority should be to build enough structures to create a stable economy.

Food and Raw Materials can be collected from tiles that have resource icons. Building a farm on a tile with a food icon will start earning the player resources every 4 seconds. Population is collected from houses built on empty grass tiles.

Food - used for buying military units and research
Food can be gathered from farms and fishing,

Raw Materials - used for construction of structures and training units.
Materials can be gathered by mining

Population - used for buying military units also more pop you have faster you build, train and research. Population can be gathered from towns and houses.

Production speed - (research, construction and training speed) this is effected by the amount of population the player has per turn. (not pop income. Its effected by the pop amount the player has at the time of production / research / training etc.)

So the player has to balance population and armies. One could also try to rush military units at the start of the game but as military units consume population, such move would leave the player’s economy crippled for a while.

Research vs Upgrade System

Should keep this as simple as possible. I go back and forth between a “Research” and an “Upgrade” system. Both have their pros and cons. 

Research systems allow the players to to pick  a “path” and there is always the fun of unlocking something unknown or new. But these paths can end up being complicated (research x and y to open the path to z) or illogical.

Upgrade system makes the tech tree visible from the start so there is no fun of discovering or no paths to pick from but since everything is given clearly it's easier to understand. Upgrade swords 1,2,3 lasers 1,2,3 etc. it's very simple to use so i’ll probably stick to upgrades instead of research.

Upgrade tree is divided into 4 categories as military, civics, empire and exploration. Each of these categories have a number of topics. Upgrading costs food. Once The player picks an upgrade the cost of research is deducted from the player's food stock and research takes some time to complete. Once complete, the player earns the bonus provided by that topic.

Borders - increases the border tiles around houses by 1
Conscription - increases the training speed of armies
Construction - increases construction speed of buildings

Infantry - increases infantry attack, health and bonus vs cavalry
Cavalry - increases cavalry attack, health and bonus vs archers
Archer - increases archer attack, health and bonus vs infantry

Farming - increases food gathered from farms
Mining - increases materials gathered from mines
Fishing - increases food gathered from fish

Scouting - increases the speed the player reveals fog tiles
Sailing - increases the speed ships can move
Logistics - increases the speed armies can move

Each topic can be upgraded to a maximum of 3 times. (borders 1,2,3 scouting 1,2,3 etc) each level of research requires more food.


There are a total of 3 types of controllable armies. Producing military units requires food, materials and pop per army from the player. All units have the same stats.

Infantry - 100 food 100 mat 100 Pop gains %25 attack bonus when fighting vs cavalry. 

Cavalry - 150 food 50 mat 100 Pop gains %25 attack bonus when fighting vs archer

Archer - 50 food 150 mat 100 Pop gains %25 attack bonus when fighting vs infantry

Ship - Armies transform into ships when they move on a dock controlled by the player. This is just a cosmetic change as the army properties remain same - infantry ship, cavalry ship, archer ship etc. The ship will disappear once the army embarks on a shore. The army will have to find a new dock to embark into a new ship.

Maybe a hidden stealth unit like a spy or diplomat? Not sure if there is any need to make things complicated but here is the idea regardless;

Spy - 125 food 125 mat 50 Pop  - spies are slow moving invisible units and cannot fight. They can only be detected when they are in a neighbour tile occupied by other spies, armies, houses or town centers. Once a spy is detected an army can attack and kill the spy before the spy can move away from the detector and become invisible again.

Spies can sabotage resource production speed of other players if they can reach their town centers. This action removes the spy from the game even if it succeeds or fails to sabotage.

Spies can poison native villages if they can enter the village tile. The spy will have a 60% chance to poison the village and reduce its defences by 50% This action removes the spy from the game even if it succeeds or fails to poison.

Unit stats are as follows:

All stats and their values are the same for infantry, cav and arch.

Attack - Damage the army can deal to its enemy in combat (per turn) Ideally a unit should start with 20 attack per second and gain attack bonus per research level.

Health - This is the number of soldiers in the army Ideally a unit should start with 100 health as you pay 100 pop to build them. Armies will regain lost health slowly when inside player’s borders

Speed - move speed. Every army moves at the same speed but the terrain types and research effect speed. So a player with mountains around him will have a slower time moving armies. Roughly an ideal move speed can be 1 tile every 10 - 15 seconds)

Sight - all armies reveal the 1 tile radius around them.

Combat happens once two armies enter the same tile. When combat starts armies cannot move unit one of them has been destroyed. Combat procedure is as follows:

1) attacker goes first (since this is a real time game, if both armies enter a tile at the same time, both armies have a 50% chance to be the attacker)

2) defender gains terrain bonus (if available)

3) attacker gains attack bonus (stone, paper, scissors sort of cav, archer, footman thing)

-  ATTACKER strikes -
4) deduct attacker's total "attack" value from defenders "health" value

- DEFENDER retaliates -
5) deduct defender "attack" value from attackers "health" value

6) if both parties are still alive repeat 4 to 5 until an army is destroyed. (health value reaches 0)

Strikes and retaliations are calculated once per second so destroying an army takes some time (not instant)

Note - if 3 or more armies enter combat, should find a system to automatically line them up for combat one after another army is destroyed.

Army commands

Armies can be used to perform couple of actions;

Move - tap army, tap destination, an arrow shows where it will move, and the army will start moving.

Combat - you can fight enemy armies by moving on the same tile.

Explore ruin - you can explore ruin tiles by moving on them. Ruins can give;
a) random resource
b) random research
c) reveal the reveal the map around the ruin
d) damage the army (trap)
e) be empty (do nothing)

Empire commands

Commands that can be given via the UI buttons

Scout - click scout, click on a fog tile to start revealing couple of tiles around the scout area. Removing fog should take something like 5 seconds. (speed depends on scouting upgrade level)

Research - click the research button, scroll among projects with left and right arrows or tap on the desired project to start research (speed depends on pop available) maybe should add cancel or pause buttons, not sure.

Train - click train, click inf, cav or archer. Click on an empty town center on map. When the training is complete, the selected unit will be placed on the town center. Only one unit can be trained at a time per town center. In order to train more units it’s advised to capture enemy Towns or native Villages.

Build - click build, pick the desired structure. Click a tile, structure will be placed on the tile and construction will begin. (speed depends on pop available and construction research level)

Stuff can only be built inside the player’s empire borders. In order to expand borders players would have to build more houses. Tap the build icon, tap the house icon, place the house on a tile inside your borders. Wait a couple of turns for the house to be built.

Structures can only be built in player’s borders. Houses can be built to expand borders. The cost values should be balanced after a prototype testing.

Town Center
Cost - 300 food 300 mat
Captured native villages are turned into town centers
Provides 10 food 10 mat 5 pop  per every 10 seconds

Cost - 100 mat
Provides 5 pop every 10 seconds and Increases borders by 1 tile radius around the house.

Cost - 100 mat
Can be built on grass tiles if the tile has a resource sign
provides 10 food every 10 seconds

Cost - 100 mat
Can be built on shore or river tiles if the tile has a resource sign
provides 20 food every 10 seconds

Cost - 100 mat
Can be built on mountain tiles if the tile has a resource sign
Provides 10 mat every 10 seconds

Cost - 250 mat
Can be built on shore tiles only
Allows armies to transform into ships and travel on water tiles.


The general idea is if a tile has rugged terrain like a mountain, swamp etc, its harder to pass over it so units move slower. Logistics and sailing upgrades allow units to lower the movement speed penalty on tiles.

Some tiles will have resource signs on them (food, materials, fish) these signs show there is a natural resource deposit on that tile and the players can build farms, mines or fishing boats to exploit the resources of the tiles.

Defence bonus - none
Speed penalty - none

Defence bonus - high
Speed penalty - units move with ¼ speed when entering  / exiting mountains

Defence bonus - medium
Speed penalty - none

Defence bonus - negative. Defending armies in swamps take more damage
Speed penalty - units move with ¼ speed when entering / moving on swamps

Defence bonus - negative. Defending armies in rivers take more damage
Speed penalty - units move with ½ speed when entering / moving rivers

Defence bonus - negative. Defending armies in deserts take more damage
Speed penalty - units move with ½ speed when entering / moving on deserts

Defence bonus - none
Speed penalty - none

Defence bonus - none
Speed penalty - units move with ¼ speed when entering  / exiting mountains

Ancient Ruins
Defence bonus - none
Speed penalty - none
a) it can give random resource
b) it can give random research
c) it can reveal the reveal the map around the ruin
d) it can damage the army (trap)
e) it can  be empty

Tribal Village
Defence bonus - none
Speed penalty - none
Spawns hostile barbarian armies that roam around the tribal village. Can turn the village into a colony if the player moves an army that has more soldiers than the population of villagers) on the tribal village tile. (the army has to defeat the village's population before the player can colonize)

Winning and losing the game

Game always ends after x number of turns. The player with the most score wins. (every action the player takes should be calculated as a score). If all the town centers controlled by the player is captured the player is defeated and removed from the game.

How to make things even more simple and fast paced

One can argue the design written above is still slightly complicated. Couple of tweaks to speed up the pace and make it even more simple;

Resources - Maybe only 2 resources should be used. Food and coins. Coin is used to train armies, build structures and research while food is used to grow your city.

Coin - train armies, build structures, do research.

Towns will produce a small amount of coins per turn depending on the town’s level. A level 1 town will produce 1 coins every 10 seconds, a level 2 town will produce 2 coins every 10 seconds etc.

Another way to earn coins would be to build houses inside borders, each house will provide a small amount of coin per turn. Mines can be built on the raw material resource nodes (as before) to increase income per turn. Mines should only give coin once (not per turn) to resemble the resource being depleted.

Food - Food is used to grow your towns.

For example 3 food is needed to grow a level 1 town to level 2. A level 2 town will allow its ruler to build 2 armies. (so town level acts as a cap limit for armies each town can support) Larger towns increase borders around them and also give coins every few seconds.
A level 1 town will produce 1 coins every 10 seconds
A level 2 town will produce 2 coins every 10 seconds etc.

Harvesting food requires the player to build a structure on the food node (as before) so when a food icon is discovered inside your borders you can open the build menu and build a farm or fisher by paying coin. Farms and fishers should only give food once (not per turn) to resemble the resource being depleted.

What will happen if a town is stuck at level 3 and cant find enough food nodes around it?
Send armies to capture new towns?
Search ruins for food?

Construction - Should cost coins only. Max 30 seconds to build anything for a faster game?

Research - Should cost coins only. Max 30 seconds to research anything for a faster game?

Training armies - should cost coin only

Borders - can only be increased by growing town centers or by capturing native villages and turning them into town centers.

17 December 2016

A Trading Card Game

Last Update: Dec 2016
What's all this about? A pitch for a multiplayer strategy-ish trading card game-ish game.
The TCG bit comes from earning new "packs" of units, and the units being called as cards. apart from that its your typical turn based strategy game or a board game if you like to call.


General pitch

Launching the Game

Battle Screen and Game UI

Game phases

Winning and Losing

Battle Map

Placing units
Rules of Engagement
Destroying / Removing units
Change in Stats
Battle Map / Tile / Terrain Types
Unit types
Single player AI / CPU controlled opponents
Specials (unit stats)
Game Setup

General pitch

This is a wargame simulation or an actual battle viewed in a console that allows controlling battle assets via a commander's UI. This UI is similar to a very low res CRT screen that resembles a C64, scan lines and crappy pixel visuals similar to the ones from the era.

Each player has limited cards, places one on an any empty tile per turn. once placed, the units do not move. They can only attack where the arrows around their borders point. some units have armour (yellow lines) some have special powers (yellow icons below them)

each game should take around 10 minutes. (perhaps slightly longer if more than 2 players)

Game has to be easy to play, easy to learn and easy to understand what happens on screen.

Development stage should be as fast as possible. Minimal pixel art style should allow fast production of assets.

See below for an image of the game screen. It should give some general idea on how the game works.

Launching the Game

Due to modern processors and low requirements of this game a load screen wont be needed. However if done correctly, an initial loading screen can be a nice way of reinforcing the 80s cold war era feel of the game.

Since the game is played via a CRT screen interface, having some Russian or other foreign looking text as if the computer is booting up would work nicely.

Loading written on top and random stuff written on each line as the game loads. (or acting as if the game is loading and occupying the player for a few seconds) These random lines can be a mixture of both serious (analyzing combat zone topography) or funny stuff (waking up sarge, doing 100 pushups etc)

Battle Screen and Game UI

General feel of the UI, should use a very simple layout. player names on top corner, 20 or 25 second counter on the other corner, total number of cards remaining in the player’s deck and current 6 cards in the player’s hand at the bottom of the screen.

Decorative UI layer on top (crt screen) deck, available cards and on numbers on middle, board and played cards at the bottom layer

Game phases

0 start game phase (only once per game)
1 deal card phase
2 play card phase
3 action result phase
4 end turn
5 end game phase (only once per game)

Start game
When the game starts each player is given 6 cards from its deck (randomly)

Deal card
A new card is randomly drawn from the player's deck and added to the list of cards available to play.

Play card
Each turn players have 25 seconds to play a card. Drag and drop a card to an empty tile on map to play.  (shows 20 on screenshot but 20 is too short for a tactical decision) If the time is over before a card is played, a random card is chosen and placed on a random location behalf of the player. Once a card is played the action is resolved (ie did the played card attack another card or did it receive a terrain bonus etc.)

Action / result
Once the action phase is done the player's turn ends (no need for end turn button its auto end turn)

End turn
This is done automatically after the result phase. The next player starts its turn

End game
Once all cards are played the game proceeds to the end war phase, where the HP of surviving units are calculated for each player.

Winning and Losing

Once all cards are played the game proceeds to the end war phase, where the HP of surviving units are calculated for each player.

Battle Map

game map consists of tiles. all tiles are the same and have no special properties unless its a forest or mountain. (more info on these and the stuff shown with arrows later on) players drag and drop units on empty tiles to play.


units have 3 properties.
HP - life left
DMG - damage it can deal to enemy unit’s HP
Special - tiny icon below unit image that shows it has special properties. see special for details

Couple of examples to give an idea of how the units will look.

wargame units

Placing units

A single unit can be placed on any of  the empty tiles. Units cannot move once placed and remain there until destroyed


Units can reveal the fog around them. if an enemy is placed on a tile out of sight from your units visible range, the enemy location is revealed but the unit type and stats are hidden until a friendly unit spots it.

rules of engagement

Let’s say we have 2 units. A blue soldier and a red tank.

blue soldiers have 3 hp and 2 dmg. They can attack east and west (black arrows point e w) and are able to see the enemies around them.

Red tank has 4 hp and 3 dmg, can only attack the corners (black arrows on unit borders) and has armour n,e,w directions (yellow lines).

Assume its blue player's turn, he places the soldier on the tile as shown in the image. Even if it was blues move, the red tank will attack the blue soldier (because blue can only attack east and west while the tank can attack corners.)

In this example blue cannot attack but red can hit blue for 3 DMG. blue will die after the attack due to 3-3=0HP

Attacker can hit if arrows point toward an enemy.

Defender can retaliate if arrows point toward attacker (after the attackers attack is complete)

if defender has no armour
Attacker DMG is deducted from defender HP

if defender has armour
Attacker DMG -1 is deducted from defender HP. Armour is always applied for each attack.
Another example to grip the basics of combat

In this example blue is placed between two red units. Blue will start attacking clock ward (N NE E SE S SW W NW) so it will attack red tank for 2 DMG. Tank has no armour below so it will lose 2HP, next the blue soldier will attack the read soldier below for 2 DMG, killing it.

Note that all attacks are done in the following order (N NE E SE S SW W NW) as long as the attacker has arrows pointing any of those directions, and executed in the same turn the unit was placed.

Red units could have retaliated if they had arrows pointing towards the blue unit. If the tank had retaliated with 3 DMG the blue infantry would have been destroyed right after the attack, leaving the red infantry unharmed.

if attacker has flame attack (a special ability) it can hit through armour without penalty

Destroying / Removing units

unit is killed if HP reaches 0

if a vehicle's or structures HP reaches 0 it turns into debris (The big X in the screenshot) and continues to block the tile until the end of the game.

If an infantry is killed it does not leave debris but is removed from the tile so a new unit can be placed on the tile. Same applies for air units. While may sound strange, this allows various opportunities with tactical unit placement to block tiles or keep them open to attack next turn

Change in Stats

Should be clearly shown to the player and easy to understand. I suggest using floating bars that fade in and out above units to show changes.

Examples such as damage dealt on enemy, damage taken, attack bonus etc.

When a unit is placed on an empty tile - no floating bar

When a unit attacks another for X damage, attacker should have DMG-X floating

When a unit takes damage it should have floating HP -X

When a unit attacks or takes damage with / due to special attacks, it should have a tiny icon next to the floating numbers to show the reason.

Battle Map / Tile / Terrain Types

Battle map consists of the total number of cards + 2 extra tiles.

A deck is 12 cards each. For two players that makes it 24 cards, so the map would have a total of 26 tiles.

More than 1 deck can be used depending on game mode (2 decks vs 2 decks etc, whatever)

Map size will always be total number of cards +2

Map shape can be pre made (arena, official map etc)  or randomly generated and seeded (random feels better to remove first turn advantage)

Terrain tile amount can be set before game starts? See below for types of terrain

Clear (Empty) - Maps are mostly full of clear (empty) tiles where units can be placed without any penalty or buff.

Forest - Forests provide cover for units

Mountain - Rough terrain, usually negative for vehicle health

Debris - any vehicle or structure destroyed will leave a debris and block the tile till the end of the game

See unit types section below to find out how terrain relates to unit types.

Unit types

Infantry - foot soldiers ideal for taking advantage of terrain, these are removed from the board when killed.
+1 HP when placed on forest
+1 DMG when placed on forest
+1 HP when placed on mountain
+1 DMG when placed on mountain

Vehicle - most common unit type, these leave a debris when killed and the tile is blocked forever
-1 HP when placed on forest
+1 DMG when placed on forest
-1 HP when placed on mountain
+1 DMG when placed on mountain

Air - cannot be hit by flame units, these are removed from the board when killed.
No effect on forest
No effect on mountain

Structure - ideal for taking advantage of terrain, these leave a debris when killed and the tile is blocked forever
+1 HP when placed on forest
+1 HP when placed on mountain

Single player AI / CPU controlled opponents

This game is meant to be multiplayer only so single player is just used as a tutorial / practice / deck test before facing actual humans so the AI can be very basic and doesnt have to provide much of a challenge.

There can be 2 types of AI;


unit placement is random regardless of type, direction and tile. Easiest to code


Ideally the AI should consider the placement of player units in play and try to avoid being hit as much as possible.

Ideally the AI should consider the special abilities of units and try to attack players using stone paper scissors mechanics to force win.

AI should see inside the fog (regardless of unit sight) and consider placement (not fair but considering how weak the AI is, such action should provide a better challenge.)

every turn check if AI has infantry in hand;
- play infantry on all mountains asap before player does
- play infantry on all forests asap before player does

if AI has no infantry in hand;
- play anything on forest tiles as much as possible to block player from gaining cover
- must try to avoid playing vehicle on mountain as long as possible.

so we can try to reinforce the AI's lack of intelligence by making it block the cover tiles usable by the player.

if AI has vehicle in hand
then do not play on mountain unless no free tile available

if AI has repair, star or any other buff in hand
then try to play next to other friendly units

AI should also check and make sure not play a unit on a tile that had a unit that was destroyed previous turn to avoid death traps and choke points that can be set by the player.

Single player mode

Campaign mode with simple story?

Ready made decks per stage to provide challenge? first few missions should involve simple soldiers and gradually increase to tanks, artillery planes etc, but cpu units would always be of better tier to give a challenge.

Or collect cards throughout the campaign? Decide which to use in your decks? Will using them make them earn more xp an get stronger?

Campaign missions can have various objectives and AI can have pre deployed units (special units?) to give advantage

campaign decks cannot be used in multiplayer. players should earn multiplayer cards by playing multiplayer games or purchasing decks?

Specials (unit stats)

Binoculars: +1 extra sight radius around unit. Ideal for placing on random tiles to reveal as much of the map as possible. When attacking enemy stealth units, scouts never miss.

Wrench: +1 heal to all (damaged) adjacent units the same turn the wrench unit was placed. (no effect if adjacent units are undamaged or take damage any turn in the future)  

Star: +1 HP and DMG to all adjacent units (buff is removed once star unit dies) unlike the repair effect, units placed after the star unit will also earn buff as long as the star unit isint destroyed.

Flame: this unit’s attacks are not affected by armour, but flame units cannot attack air units

Rocket: + 1 attack vs air units

Shell: + 1 attack vs vehicles

Bomb (not shown below) + 1 attack vs structures

Stealth (not shown below) has a 50% chance to dodge incoming attack


Each decks consist of 12 cards belonging to a single faction. Depending on game mode you can use more than 1 deck per battle. So for example if you want to use 2 decks in battle (total 24 cards), and you want to use 2 factions to build your 2 decks.

Red deck should consist of 12 red cards
Blue deck should consist of 12 blue cards etc…

every faction requires a minimum of 12 cards to play

See deck building screen below

first pick a faction to create a deck. Once you pick a faction, only the cards belonging that faction will be listed. Every faction requires a minimum of 12 cards to play, if a faction has less cards it should be darkened out or have a warning icon on it

Maybe 2 or 3 factions can be unlocked by default and additional factions can be paid to unlock or something. (depending on content and payment models etc.)

Next drag and drop the units desired into the purple slots and save

Where do you find the cards? start with them? earn as you play single player? buy packs?

Game Setup

Just some brief ideas on game parameters when creating a “new battle”

Number of players (2 - 4)

Number of decks (1 - 2 - 3 - 4) the number of decks each player can bring into battle. 1 or 2 should be ideal
A deck is 12 cards
2 makes it 24 cards per player (ideal for most)
3 makes it 36 cards per player
4 makes it 48 cards per player. Would be a pretty long game if 4 players have 4 decks each)

Factions per deck (single - multi) will a player's deck consist of a single faction or multiple factions (this depends on the number of decks, if its a single deck game the faction must be single)

each deck (12 cards) cannot contain mixed factions but if a game has 2 or more decks, each deck can be a different faction per deck (not mixed)

So every faction requires a minimum of 12 cards

Time limit (25 - 60) seconds before auto end turn. (25 by default to make sure each game takes only 5 - 10 minutes to play)  

Fog (on - off) if the map has fog (on by default)

Shroud (on - off) if the map is covered in blackness or starts explored. Only the tiles around units are visible. (off by default)

Shroud regrows (on - off) if the blackness regrows in time (ie after a unit dies and 3 turns pass, the tiles around it will be covered in blackness again (off by default)

Map size (small - normal - large) each map is total card amount +2 empty tiles. Changing map size should affect the number of extra tiles. Note that the amount of extra tiles is a delicate decision. If too many extra tiles are available, players can just start defending.

Small - card amount +0
Normal - card amount +2
Large - card amount +4

Special tiles (off - few - normal - many - random) the amount of forest and mountain tiles. (random by default)