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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsQin - Asymmetric Tactical game
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Qin
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« on: May 19, 2019, 05:51:29 AM »

DEVBLOG #1 - PRESENTATION

Hello everyone ! We are the team behind Qin, an in-development Tactical game !


We have been working on this game for months and even years for some of us. The beginning of the project was tough, it has been restarted and then left behind several times. But with enough time and stubbornness we finally managed to work on it regularly. We are still very early in the development of the game though, but now we won’t stop until the game we want to make is complete !

Qin is a tactical like Advance Wars and Fire Emblem (or more recently Wargroove) meaning it’s a turn-based game in 2D in which you move units on square tiles, attack enemy units and progress towards the completion of your objectives.

Qin is an asymmetrical game in versus (1vs1) and set in Ancient China during the Warring States era. One side will play as the terrible emperor Qin with his never-ending army of clay soldiers and impenetrable Great Wall.

The other side will consist of 6 martial legends, Heroes trying to break through enemy lines to assassinate Qin before he establishes his control over the entirety of the known world.


The game is very inspired by the Wuxia genre. It is found in movies like Hero or Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, in which you have martial artists able to fly and defeat entire armies all by themselves. We also added a touch of mysticism with Qin having demonic powers. The gameplay of Qin is close to what you can get in Advance Wars: Managing your army, resources and buildings. The Heroes are much closer to a Fire Emblem feel: Only having few units at your command, and micromanaging them as precisely as possible to maximize their synergies and fight your way toward Qin’s Palace.

On each side you have 2 victory conditions :

The Heroes can either win by :

Killing Qin.
Destroying the 6 Castles on the map, liberating the Kingdoms.


Qin can either win by :

Killing the Heroes.
Becoming immortal (by gathering enough vital energy, your main resource)


We want each game to revolve around mind-games, deception, spectacular comebacks and the players overcoming their limits.

For the moment we are focusing on making the multiplayer part of the game, but we intend to make a solo campaign too.

And that’s it for our very first devblog ! There’s still a lot of details and features we haven’t talked about. But you can be sure we will be covering them in time. For more informations, please do not hesitate to join our Discord server here : https://discord.gg/Z99MhDf and even playtest our prototype if you want to ! Thank you very much and see you soon !

« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 03:06:28 AM by Qin » Logged

fearless_donut
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2019, 05:22:23 AM »


I think the concept is pretty nice and original. The graphics is also good looking. It would be good if you make single player mode too - i think some people like playing strategy games in their own pace(Personally, i like strategy genre very much but i haven't played any online strategy in my life).

Subjectively, i see a small limitation of the concept in having only 2 warring sides on a level. How do you plan to implement levels' diversity in your case?

And the appearing action menu looks a bit out of place - it's too large comparing to units - maybe decorate it in some other way?

And that dude in blue armor is looking strong - i know by whom i'd be playing this game Cheesy.
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 07:10:57 AM »

Hey !

Yes we want to make a solo mode (campaign and versus against AIs). We just haven't started to work on the AI side at the moment.

For the level's diversity, we have various mechanics we haven't talked about yet that will play an important role in the diversity of levels. It will be covered in future devblogs !

Yeah all the UI is placeholder, we are currently working on it actually !

Thanks for the feedback !
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019, 01:02:09 PM »

DEVBLOG #2 - THE PAST, PART 1

Hello again ! 2 months have passed since the first Devblog (2 months already...) and we are still working hard on Qin ! We explored new ideas as solutions for the problems we found thanks to the first playtest wave. Nothing new to show this time, but don't worry, lots of things are coming !

In the meantime, we wanted to take a bit of time to talk about the past of the project. A quick look back from the beginning of the game to its actual state, to share with you all the things we've been through.

At the very beginning, before Qin and all of that, my 16 years old self  wanted to make a tactical in the vein of the Intelligent Systems games (Advance Wars and Fire Emblem). My first idea was pretty different from the ancient China setting. The game was about space mercenaries, travelling from planet to planet, to help different species against an evil force.

The specificities of the game were based on density, where denser materials would sink into lighter materials. Each map would be separated into 1 or 2 layers. One on the ground and one underground. With that we would have different planets and species, each with their own densities, leading certain species in certain planets to have different behaviors. Maybe the rock-man specie is light enough on their planet to stay on the ground, but once they go on a water planet they will sink quite rapidly and so only play on the underground layer. The final touch was that humans (and maybe other species ?) would be able to wear suits allowing them to move from one layer to another, making them quite adaptable. So the player has to manage the war on those 2 fronts to ensure victory.

A lot of things feel wrong to me as I write those words, like the proximity to Advance Wars Dual Strike with its 2-map feature, or the fact that density doesn't truly work like that. But anyway, it was where it all started so I guess it can't be wrong to remember that.

Oh and here's a sneak peek at the reworked UI !

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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2019, 03:05:56 AM »

DEVBLOG #3 - THE PAST, PART 2

Hello! It’s time for our almost monthly devblog and second part about the creation of the project ! This time we focus on the base gameplay that will become Qin. So let's resume.

Flash forward 4 years later, I'm in a game design school and I know we have to propose game concepts next year. Among those, few lucky projects will have the right to be developed by small teams of students during the final year. So I started to think back to that tactical game idea I had 4 years ago, and began to rework it.

I wanted to make it closer to things I learned to like during my school years : Asymmetry and Mind Games. I totally dropped the idea of density which wasn't a great loss anyway and tried to orient the game toward 2-player versus rather than solo.

So, I wanted to make a tactical game in versus with asymmetric elements. And not just elements, I wanted the 2 players to have fundamental differences, not just a different set of skills or characters. This leads to the idea of opposing one person playing like in a Fire Emblem game versus another one playing like in an Advance Wars game.
The “Fire Emblem player” should only control few powerful units, and work on synergies between them to overcome their opponent who should rely on building a strong economy to create an army of units and try to swarm the first player.

The base idea of the game was there but I wanted to accentuate its competitive side. To do so, I added comebacks mechanics. At first it was something really close to a "super power gauge" you can find in Advance Wars or versus fighting games. But with time it evolved into what we call traps. Traps are powerful but very situational effects that can only happen when specific actions are made. Each player can equip traps but their opponent doesn't know which have been used for this battle. And that's how the first layer of mind game comes into play.

Take a look at our different forest tiles !


That's all for today We hope you liked it, see you next month !


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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2019, 09:57:54 AM »

DEVBLOG #4 - THE PAST, PART 3

This time let's talk about Ancient China and how it became the definitive setting for Qin.

First of all, I had no clue what kind of universe our game should take place in. I needed something that could fit the idea of a few very powerful heroes against an army of units, with an emphasis on taking risks and making comebacks.
While discussing that matter with a friend, he made a link between my pitch and Dynasty Warriors. Those powerful heroes the player controls to defeat hordes of enemies all by themselves. It was kind of close to what the "heroes" player would be doing.
So, I took a moment to consider Ancient China and how well it could fit our game. During my search I watched once again the beautiful movie : Hero (from 2002 made by Zhang Yimou, not the Hindi film).

The movie takes place in Ancient China, during the warring states era. A nameless assassin wants to kill Qin, the King of the most powerful state. But to do so, he has to earn his trust to get close enough to him. Nameless has to pretend to be a prefect from the state who has killed 3 other renowned assassins.
It was perfect. The movie is of the  Wu Xia Pian genre, which is about martial artists and heroes. It is quite common to witness supernatural abilities like being able to fly or to defeat armies with a flick of their hand. Being set in Ancient China also allows us to add more mystical elements. It is common to see references about Dragons, Demons, giant snakes or birds, so we could use that too.

To go back to the History part, Qin was the King of the state of the same name and also the first to unify China. He was known for his clay army and for being a major element in the construction of the Great Wall. Being obsessed with immortality, we imagined a more Manichean vision of him, ready to seal a deal with dark spirits to conquer all of China. Those powers will allow him to raise his clay army and his Great Wall.
Qin had assassins from other states trying to kill him on multiple occasions. In Hero, these assassins are martial artists far beyond what simple humans could do. There is even a scene in which 2 assassins storm their way into the palace, with one fighting off all the soldiers by herself while the other tries to confront Qin. We used it as our primary reference for the Heroes of our game.


The Wu Xia Pian genre was also a great inspiration for our Relation System but we will talk about it more in future posts.
See you next month !


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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2019, 10:05:54 AM »

Hey,

I really like the idea of having two predetermined teams that each can have their own subtleties in gameplay. I can already players developing specialties by always choosing the same camp.

I would agree with the inclusion of a solo campaign. This is also how I personally like my strategy games.

Will be following this one.

Cheers,
Claude
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2019, 10:11:42 AM »

Hello !

We can't wait to show you more about all of this. A solo campaign is planned yes. It will just take more time than the multiplayer with all the narrative elements we want to include plus the AI. But there will be one !

Thank you and have a good day
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2019, 02:47:19 PM »

DEVBLOG #5 - THE PAST, PART 4

Hello everyone! We're a bit late on schedule but here's the new devblog!

With the genre, the mechanics and the setting, we had enough elements to start prototyping. At this point we were 3: Benjamin the programmer, Vincent the 3D artist and myself the game designer. The system of Qin can work in 2D but the game being part of a student selection (of a school promoting 3D) we had to adapt a bit. Being an asymmetric strategy game was already  a disadvantage in itself, so we tried to avoid taking one more with 2D. (Knowing how it turned out, we shouldn't have tried to go 3D). With 3D, I tried to see how it could benefit the gameplay. "Professors" truly wanted to make us add unnecessary mechanics like elevation. With elevation, each tile could be higher or lower to adjacent ones, so we could create slopes, tunnels, and such things. But it didn’t work that much with squared tiles (or should I say cubes), can mess with visibility and the camera, and add an unnecessary layer of complexity in an already complex game. Design-wise, that period was a bit of a waste of time because we weren't fond of it since the beginning. Wanting to make the game 3D also meant 3D models, 3D animations, more work on the post-process part too.


Everything wasn't a waste of time though. We had cool ideas about units taking multiple tiles, clarifying and simplifying objectives, and creating our first prototype. It was created to showcase an example of what we wanted to make players do and feel during a game, and was quite a success ! We had the 2 opposing teams, the heroes and Qin with soldiers. Movements and attacks, the creation of walls. The energy system of Qin and even mechanics that we haven't showed in our last build like traps and curses (stay tuned, the next build will be available soon). But of course that prototype wasn’t actually playable by two players as nothing was networked at that point and rudimentary in a lot of ways. But I'm pretty sure we were all pretty proud about it.

Sadly the project wasn't selected but in a way I'm happy we weren't forced to sustain the bad advice from our "Professors" that would have distorted what Qin was about. So immediately after that, Vincent the 3D artist left the team and we went back to 2D with the help of our current awesome Pixel Artist Nico ! From this time we have been working during our spare time to continue Qin. It was 2 years ago now.

Anyway that's all for today, as always we hope you liked to read our adventures next month will actually be the end of our "The Past" series. See you next month !


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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2019, 10:05:09 AM »

Wow, at first i thought you remake the game into 3D and it scared me a little. Feel relieved it was just a branch, your 2D graphics has its charm. Hope there will be a single player demo available one day Smiley.
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2019, 12:08:26 PM »

Yeah it was only a test at some point, but we are full 2D pixel art for now.

We planned to make singleplayer modes (campaign, VS against AI) so a demo will someday be available yes!
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