Project Skirmish


  • Patron

    I’m a board & strategy game nerd, yet I still found myself rooting for @richtaur 's prototype. This surprised me so I went on an introspective, navel gazing journey to find out why.

    Eventually I realised the answer. It has been discussed in a previous lostcast episode; the inspiring power of limitations! Give me a huge sack of LEGO, and I’ll just sit there trying to think of something to build. Give me the bricks from a single set and challenge me to build something different, and I’ll come out of the blocks sprinting.

    @geoffb 's tactics prototype is the overwhelming sack, while project skirmish is the alternate model challenge. Skirmish sets up a very simple contract with the player, which gives the designer a limited number of bricks to work with. Which is plain FUN.

    It also mitigates the risk of using content non-optimally, which I agree is the case with AWL.

    There is an advantage to the limitation for the players too. The boundaries of the cognitive contract with the designer is immediately obvious, which makes the game very approachable. Combine that with the bite sized skirmishes, and you have a very potent brew! I’m really excited for this project, and itching to contribute!

    On that note, here’s a first thought; how about making it more skirmishy by including friendly/neutral NPC:s? Soldiers helping out, peasants running around in a panic being slaughtered, etc. Reuse some human AWL sprites, and all that’s needed (…) is some minor tweaks (…) to the adversary code! In the vein of creation within limitation, this would be a nice way to get paid again for building the system so that all entities can affect all others.


  • LDG

    @David Spot on. As a fellow strategy game nerd I’ve been surprised myself. After putting some groundwork in on the tactics prototype I never really found the fun. It has potential for sure, but there are too many ways to go and I really needed to have a more concise vision.

    The limitations are really important for us, since we suffer from decision paralysis on a regular basis.

    The idea of friendly NPCs is really intriguing. It reuses existing aspects of the game and adds another dimension to gameplay. For example, if you started out with a squishy healer NPC, you’d need to protect them in order to preserve that benefit.


  • LDG

    Hey thanks for the words! Validation really helps, and yeah basically our thinking was this game is a more known quantity. Vastly simpler, more like our previous moderate successes (O!A, AWL), and the CORE reason we chose this one: we can ship it faster.

    NPCs that help you fight are a cool idea, there’s good harmony there, reusing code and all that. One idea in “The Pile” is to have villagers who, if you (optionally) save, provide extra rewards. Easy way to make a battle harder for more advanced players, while still being accessible for less skilled or casual players. These are probably “later” ideas, but could be fun!



  • Quick question, after swapping in the AWL sprites they look a little bigger, am I right? I can’t tell it just looked a little more claustrophobic. When you start creating original art for the game will you lean more towards the AWL sized sprites from the 5th video or the Zelda ones from the previous videos? (in terms of size)


  • Tiger Hat

    Checked out the project. So… arena fighter but melee range, with various types of units.

    Makes me wonder if there’ll be multiple types of characters (or what are the limitations, period, for the game concept).

    And looking at your comments… ironic how opposite we are in terms of coding. I’m barely satisfied with enemies I code unless they have different reactions for every individual side you can approach them from, with different random possible actions.

    And limitations tend to frustrate me more than they give me creativity. But on another hand, they can indeed create spurs of creativity (once, I attempted to make a board game using a bunch of legos, the tile motif of the floor of a room, and a bunch of toys. I ended up pretty satisfied with the result).

    One thing I’m wondering… will there be skins/different player characters? From the looks of things, this project seem potentially flexible in terms of levels and potential campaigns. Could be quite fun to have this be some sort of arena fighter sandbox, where you have a bunch of built-in campaigns but also options for setting up what types of foes/allies spawn, at what rates, and what not.


  • LDG

    @Affordable_Desk said:

    Quick question, after swapping in the AWL sprites they look a little bigger, am I right? I can’t tell it just looked a little more claustrophobic. When you start creating original art for the game will you lean more towards the AWL sized sprites from the 5th video or the Zelda ones from the previous videos? (in terms of size)

    Hm, not sure about relative size. I’ll likely be using the AWL style, but looking for more bouncy movement like the sprites in LTTP.

    @Mew said:

    One thing I’m wondering… will there be skins/different player characters? From the looks of things, this project seem potentially flexible in terms of levels and potential campaigns. Could be quite fun to have this be some sort of arena fighter sandbox, where you have a bunch of built-in campaigns but also options for setting up what types of foes/allies spawn, at what rates, and what not.

    It’s possible, but we’re trying to be lean on this project. What might be easier is different types of weapons that change your attack ability in somewhat subtle ways.


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