Hi! My title is Chrstian Scandariato. I’m the lead sport designer on Floppy Knights, a tactical card battler developed by Rose City Games. The authentic ideas for Floppy Knights had been rooted in video games we grew up on, however we needed to make one thing new and totally different that may assist the sport stand by itself by combining tactical gameplay with card technique parts. Let’s check out how that turned out!
“What If We Made Advance Wars, but with Cards?”
Our place to begin was riffing on our favourite retro video games, like Advance Wars and Final Fantasy Tactics, with a little bit of newer design from Into the Breach. A key function in Advance Wars is having the entire info at your fingertips, simply viewing the whole battlefield, and reinforcing your military to win battles. Drawing a hand of playing cards is random, so the problem behind the style mix is what me probably the most.
The aim for Floppy Knights grew to become permitting a participant to plan an ideal flip with a random set of actions. This prevents gamers from planning greater than two turns forward, which in flip, finally ends up making the sport extra approachable and thrilling! We additionally knew we needed the visuals to be an enormous draw for the sport, taking the robust character designs from artistic director Marlowe Dobbe to ship the personalities of the armies.
Drawing from our inspirations, I settled on our first mixture: having a celebration of distinctive, particular person characters with their very own ability units, plus the power to bolster your military. Keeping on approachability, we took the concept of a easy military that makes use of highly effective buffs and improve playing cards to introduce the participant to the sport. This was the main target for our very first military: the Plants Deck.
The Paper Prototype
This is the place the playing cards are available! If every thing from actions to commanders encompass playing cards, then we are able to connect distinctive skills to every unit card, which is able to generate additional motion playing cards. My greatest aim when making video games is to at all times design for issues solely video video games can do. Generating playing cards from playing cards can be actually troublesome in a bodily card sport, however simply dealt with in digital type.
The smartest thing about making a card sport is you possibly can take a look at virtually all of its core elements with out having to code something. So, I took the core idea (play items, get playing cards, play extra playing cards) and introduced it as a paper model to the group. After a number of months of paper prototyping the floppiest that Floppy Knights has ever been, we solidified the core mechanics and took to code.
Revising the Mix
Mixing genres got here with many strengths, in addition to ideas that didn’t make the ultimate lower. Our focus wasn’t to evenly combine the genres collectively, however to ship on the ideas that confirmed off the strengths of the sport. We needed to ensure Floppy Knights had sufficient flexibility to make enjoyable decks that encourage particular person playstyles, however not so difficult as to confuse gamers with too many choices.
Being in a position to constantly transfer items was the first concern all through over two years of improvement. Playtesters had been constantly reporting that they felt their motion choices had been restricted, or that they had been drawing whole arms of playing cards with no motion. The straightforward reply was at all times to only permit every unit to maneuver as soon as throughout their flip, however we felt this is able to make taking part in actions from playing cards really feel much less necessary every flip, and needed to keep away from it.
After months of playtests, we landed on making a system for our chief items, Commanders, to generate a card into the participant’s hand every flip that allowed for a singular motion. This provides the participant the choice of a really highly effective card per flip and once more brings again the deal with private, distinctive items. After testing, we lastly bought a playtest spherical with no suggestions on motion. Success!
By specializing in our core mechanics and at all times coming again to our authentic inspirations, we strived to create one thing distinctive that can hopefully function the primary tactical sport for youthful gamers, and a refreshing search for skilled veterans.
Floppy Knights is out now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S (through backwards compatibility), Xbox and PC Game Pass! I hope you get pleasure from taking part in it as a lot as I loved engaged on it.