[Prototype] One-turn War

edited in Projects
OK, so this is just a little game I created after spending much of the night pondering the discussion regarding interaction in games at the meetup.

One conclusion I came to was that actually interaction with a game's interface is only a small part of the playing experience. A simple example of this would be a card game like Rummy, where your turn is basically just used to execute your planned moves. The turns of the other players are used to evaluate the situation and come up with an action plan and because it is super important to see which cards are played by other players, these turns become almost more important than your own.

With that in mind I decided to create a game where the goal can be achieved with only action - one click, one turn. At first glance it comes across as being quite simple, as it seems quite random, but if you play enough times you should start noticing that certain units are better at certain things than others, and that environmental conditions have an effect on your chances of winning in certain situations.

So yeah, it's more an experiment than anything else, but maybe it will serve as inspiration for something greater. :)


  • Alright I gave this a play over multiple rounds and:

    I really like it overall. It's simple, but only becomes simplistic after you've played it multiple times. It operates on very much a rock-paper-scissors system, I believe?

    It's an effective system and the discovering of unit strengths was more about considering how those units might be used in real life, rather than merely figuring it out after multiple turns. Assisting this was your randomness, a unit could still lose in an encounter where they specialised and the environmental conditions were in their favour. This put me off balance for a while because I was trying to identify each unit's strengths, but this prolonged my play rather than frustrating it. :)

    The design is simple and effective so no qualms there, but I have a couple nitpicks. Perhaps, make it "An Enemy" rather than just "Enemy", this would clarify to players early on that the enemy type is hidden and unknowable (although perhaps I'm just insane :P ). In addition, perhaps place the environment cues -the son and moon- in the centre of the screen rather than above the Enemy. I found the placement confusing for the first few round because I thought those ques were the enemies. :)

    You did actually give me an idea for another game. :) I would aim to maintain the shortness of the rounds your game has, but increase the depth players have before they execute the round. Players would choose troop movements, economy specialities and so forth and this would all interact with the opponents options. The resulting clash would have to be executed very quickly because watching automatic play is obviously very boring. It would be a game about predicting your opponent and cutting out responding to their actions all together. Watching the permutations of your decisions could be very interesting, I theorise.

    I doubt I've expressed my idea accurately so I'll be back with a prototype when I can :P.
  • Hey, it wasn't clear to me what the rules were exactly.

    I didn't know what "enemy" meant. It was on the left of the screen where I'd expect the player's troops to be, with the enemy troops on the right.

    I found it to be essentially random, in two circumstances with the same conditions there might be two different outcomes, though certain outcomes seemed more likely.

    But it's a nice little idea. I tried it repeatedly in order to figure out combinations of things, though was a bit frustrated by the unknowableness of all the conditions (which after reading Bensonance's post makes more sense to me).

    I really like the format though.

    I thought, if you were to expand the game, maybe it could take a direction like this: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/540083

    i.e. the player spends his/her time trying to figure out winning combinations, and when win a battle, they are rewarded with more advanced types of armies and/or weather that make finding winning conditions even more complex.
  • Hey - thanks for taking them time to check this out and the awesome feedback guys.

    I wasn't really sure whether I'd take this any further on it's own, as I figured it'd only really work as part of a more complete game - but your thoughts have made me sorta think that with refinement this could maybe turn into a neat little mobile or social game.

    Social might actually be the best way to go, as bringing in another human player could make it really interesting - especially if I make the combat system just a little bit more complex. @Bensonance - I'd be very keen to see a prototype of your idea and compare notes. @BlackShipsFilltheSky - Doodle God's mechanics are quite cool - check it out a while ago on iOS - and I like your idea of increasing complexity.

    Ultimately, the goal would be to add some more depth and make the game more enjoyable (as opposed to just an experiment in interaction) without making it convoluted and needing all kinds of instructions.

    Thanks again!

  • Well it's got a nice style, good for that market that bought Doodle God, those that love exploration puzzle games, and Doodle God was crazy successful.

    And a nice theme. Winning medieval battles through a single choice is badass! (although I'd suggest if you want to open up the complexity you could have armies that evolve from cavenugs to Void Rays. Just a suggestion.

    Also, I know I'm pushing the Doodle God angle. But that isn't to say the angles Bensonance suggested don't also sound interesting.
  • To be fair, it could probably be developed into several quite different final games, depending on which area of the current gameplay you want to push as the central mechanic. For example, apart from the ideas you guys highlighted, I could also totally see this growing into something like Mutant Chicken Races, where the random factor plays a bigger role. (If you've never played that, Google it and give it a go.)

    Like I said, it was just something I came up with in response to the interaction debate and cause I liked the idea of completing a game with one click. (Especially cause I am probably the worst person EVER at completing/finishing games, haha!) I mean, keeping that as the central concept could probably make for a very interesting/productive weekend jam.
  • Do it! It's a cool concept!

    Also, it has the advantage of being quick and easy for people to test and for you to get feedback.
  • I really want to contribute some insightful comment, but I can't think of anything. Just letting you know I played this too for now and will think of something better to say.
  • Hahaha! Thanks man.
  • Cool little concept... Yes it was confusing that the game was telling me that the Enemy was on the left... Or that it's saying that it was the Enemy vs Cavalry... What was the Enemy?

    If I'm correct it seems to be the enemy = cavalry, enemy = scout, etc, right?

    Then it's a combination of the weather + who the enemy was, then you made a choice that matched those two variables?

    Maybe if you saw how the outcome were arrived at it would make more sense.

    Otherwise I think the mechanic could be expanded - like if you beat cavalries during the day, you'd be able to loot their horses, and add cavalry to your army. Then the next battle you'd have a cavalry of your own, then if fighting ambushers you'd have to choose to get off your horses to win because ambushers during the day beats cavalry... Or something.

    The building up of parameters from the decisions you made sounds like it could add flesh to the bones you have there, maybe? :)

    Cool stuff! :)
  • Thanks for checking it out @Tuism. As it is currently, the Enemy is unknown as it makes no difference in the combat mechanic. So it should essentially read "Enemy vs Cavalry/Scouts/War Machinery with Night/Day/Windy conditions".

    I threw this together in under 30 minutes, so I was a bit slack on making sure it "read" easily. My bad. ;)
  • Polish!
    Thanked by 1hellojaco
  • Updated version available today. New graphics, improved mechanics.

    Pro-tip: Issuing the right command to your unit is good. Issuing the right command to counter the enemy is better. Be warned though - the enemy is smarter than you might think. ;)
    one click war 1.2.swf
  • I love the cheap graphics and by showing the stats now I already feel like I'm making a lot more informed decisions.
  • Ah good! Yeah, I added those in last after I played it a couple of times. I felt that without it, it comes across too much like rock-paper-scissors. It's a lot less random than the first version, so I figured it would make sense to make the mechanic a little more transparent.
  • Sorry - found a bug with assigning the enemy's bonus. Fixed now.

    one click war 1.2.swf
  • BTW I found the name immediately evocative of the One Year War, a Gundam thing :P

  • Is that a good thing? :P

    I liked this line in the wiki entry though:
    The One Year War is very similar to World War II, the major difference being that The One Year War is in a science fiction setting and some major battles occurred in space.
  • Of course a good thing :P


    (but largely irrelevant :P)
  • Jeez - I'm gonna have to work on the graphics if that's what I'm up against. :P
  • edited
    I'm liking the new look. You have a knack for simplicity and style sir! (as well as stylish simplicity)
  • Thank you kindly. :)
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