Last time we wrote about combat, everybody got very excited about entrenching and trenches and gabions and spikes and shooting. Hooray for that. The brief, as I understood it from David “Accurate Simulation of Grain Silo” Baumgart, is the following:
- Combat should be tactical and positional. Your entrenchments matter, your set up matters, and it is a tactical, positional sort of warfare.
- Combat should be character-driven. How your soldiers approach a task depends on the relative efficiency of whoever is running the show, and of the soldiers themselves.
- Combat should be pretty slow, really. Let’s have battles that feel like battles! (Many games have a problem where you send 30 dwarves to attack a Forgotten Beast and it’s all over in a blur of particles or ASCII.) No, let’s give the people what they ask for.
- Pip pip, what ho, etc.
As the technical director, when some sort of a system comes up, I usually take a first swing at it before it gets passed on to somebody else, or I keep working at it. This sort of tends to be how I contribute to the design – by brute force implementing whatever I think things should be, but knowing that I won’t get any art for it if David doesn’t like it. It is this heady triptych of unresolved creative tension that makes Gaslamp Games into the swirling beehive of … bees… that it is today.