Saturday, April 9, 2016

UI Combat: Deployment

By Capt_Eatbones

Arrr! Your Captain summons you!

Today I want to talk a little more about the combat’s UI: the Deployment. During this phase, the player is asked to spend a little time, before the actual combat, to decide who will participate in the fight. This is a crucial moment since part of the strategy and the outcome will depend on the choices made here.

This part of the combat has always been in the design so it’s something that’s always been there, even in previous combat iterations:

CombatDeploymentCombat 1.0 – Deployment

The main idea is let the player choose from the list of all the crew members on your ship. Every crew member has his own skills, traits and states. Several skills are related to the combat so, for example, according to whom will be assigned to the fight the player will have different options during the next phase: the actual combat.
This list has the goal to show all the crew member information related to his possible use in battle. As you can see, in the picture above, a description of the skills useful in combat is show on the right of the crew label in the list. This layout has not changed too much during the next iterations. Actually, let’s move on the next iteration and see what changes have been made (if you haven’t red the previous article about, you can do it here):

CombatViewDeployment_v2Combat 2.0 – Deployment

Now, as you can see we have a card deck. More specifically, the Attack cards deck. In the previous iteration we placed the crew list in the middle of the combat board. This time we thought to place it right on top of the selected whaleboat to make crystal clear to which boat the crew member would be assigned. The layout is not that different, except the crew member details on the left of the list. This time the player is able to have a better look to the selected crew information: Traits, Skills, Objects and, of course, the combat dice. The interesting thing of this solution is that while you’re assigning crew members to the whaleboat, you see changing the available cards on the deck. This underlines even more the importance of this moment of decision making.
We are ready to move to the last iteration to see where our final stop will be (sure it will be the last? :D)

CombatViewDeployment_v3Combat 3.0 – Deployment

 While in the previous iterations the crew assignment was handled only through drag&drop, this time we introduced buttons. In our opinion not everyone finds the drag&drop the easiest solution nor the most precise one. Moreover it’s not always clear where to drag.
Here the crew list has been flipped horizontally. On the left is the list while on the right there is the preview of the crew card. This card contains several elements:

  • Name of the Crew member
  • Health points
  • Class and Level
  • Current Combat dice
  • Combat dices switcher

I won’t explain all the functionalities of the combat since there will be specific videos about this in our Devs Play series (watch the episodes here). However, I want to point out that in this version the combat dice is in full sight. Previously there was a dice icon that would open a tool-tip with the dice faces information. Now the player can review the combat dice at any moment.
Well, it’s all good but, are we going to fight only at sea? Of course not! As we told you in other occasions, there is also the combat between crews, on the ship deck. Here is a glimpse of what the deployment in Crew vs Crew would look like:

CombatCrewDeployment_v3Combat 3.0 – Deployment: Crew VS Crew

The crew list stays the same. It will just take less time to deploy our men since there will be less of them.

That’s it for today, we’ll be back with the last article about the UI of the actual combat phase.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed and godspeed!

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