242 Asynchronous Co-Op Strategy

A deeply strategic and tactical turn-based co-op experience.

It’s been more life-long quest to merge turn-based and real-time game systems into one dynamic experience. A few games have tried; Transistor, my Game of the Year of 2014, straddles the line, as does the recently-released Nova-111.

One direction I always wished this dream-genre could emerge through is an X-COM style game. It would feature asynchronous co-op turn-based strategy. The real-time aspect comes from the freedom for both players to act at the same time. The game wouldn’t throttle this interaction, requiring players to communicate and strategize to succeed. If both players coordinate to engage the the same enemy, it can be taken down much quicker. However, if both players shoot the same almost-defeated enemy without communicating first, one player will defeat the enemy, while the others’ shot will miss or go wasted.

The game could also use a unique fog-of-war style of obscuration. Each character controlled by a player has their own specific vision circumference. When switching to another character, it’s not as though that character also magically has both their own vision as well as their teammates’. However, any good team would be in communication, so maybe they could see obscured versions of what their fellow teammates are seeing. Essentially the equivalent of me yelling to somebody “there are 3 aliens, a L-shaped wall, 2 cars, and a giant robot over here!”

If this is too micro-managey, then maybe it only applies across co-op players. A single player can see anywhere any of his characters are, but can’t see any of the new areas his co-op companion might be in. Maybe the player has the option to spend a turn, or move, or action detailing that information to the other player, therefore revealing some areas. Maybe the revealed areas aren’t perfectly clear, but just vague outlines of walls, major objects, or general (but not specific) enemy locations.

This and other concepts would support the ability to play independently while playing together toward a common goal.

[ Today I Was Playing: Card Hunter ]

August 30, 2015

#co-op-game, #strategy-game