Life Jar : a turn-based tactical game
Life Jar : a turn-based tactical game
Outwit entire armies of monsters in In Life Jar, an isometric turn-based tactical game!
Outwit entire armies of monsters in In Life Jar, an isometric turn-based tactical game! Read more
This video shows a previous iteration of the game, rules have changed since (no more statues/obstacles generated on death, for instance). The code works well, except that the death animation triggers too fast! Should be easily patched.
Life Jar — What is it about?
- tactical game;
- isometric with depth;
- environment creation and destruction;
- single player;
- simple actions for units yet rich combat system;
- html5 tech, so will be on Android, iOS (iPad only), Mac & Windows.
In Life Jar, you will control an small army of fighters with complementary powers which can modify the battle field and destroy enemy defences. But be careful, because the other side have similar powers, so it's up to you to outsmart your enemy!
The game resolve around turn-based combats where every class of character has relevance. Since all fighters have their own strengths and weaknesses, you must wisely use them to their advantages.
Every class will have a short list of unique skills has to make the game simple yet rich.
Why a turn-base isometric game?
I have been a long time fan of X-Com (Terror from the deep... God I feel old now...) and always wanted my take on the genre without being a copycat. Life Jar take on some key aspects of the genre (turn-based, environment modification) and forget others (no micro-management nor random hits), while adding some of his own. I'm very proud of the work done up to now.
My priority is to get a working, bare-bone and fun game. The first version will have only simple animations since my focus will be on polishing the game play. Since I'm alone in this project, one of my goals was to cut unnecessary stuff so as to save time to finish it all.
What have been done already
Lots of sprites and graphics are already conceived and only need a last polishing touche.
I also made a first code base for the game to attest performance and feasibility (which you can watch the result in the video). I got a map rotating feature allowing to see the game from different views.
The game design as reached the stage where the core game is fun, but is not yet finished.
I have still multiples ideas to test and implement, many classes of character to add, test and equilibrate, both enemies et allies. This is where you can come into play: I want you to participate in the conception of the game. To give ideas and your opinions on game design decisions.
I got a functioning AI for the enemies, but I still got to find a balance between too dumb and easy vs too smart and hard to get.
Knight: protection against simple damage. Can attack downwards when falling on an opponent. Can shield itself against attack from one side for a turn. May change attack type once per combat.
Big guy: can destroy weakened blocs and url both blocs and people. May use earthquake hit once a turn to defeat standing opponents around him.
Ice magician: wielder of ice magic which can be summoned as a projectile. Ice magic may incapacitate an enemy or create an ice bloc usable by the big guy. Protection against magic.
Fire sorcerer: wielder of fire magic which can be summoned as a projectile. Fire propagate every turn if on flammable ground and constructions. The fire projectile explode on impact and touch adjacent tiles.
Architect: can destroy weakened blocs and create wooden stairs, walls, bridges and projectile for the big guy. Can lauch wooden blocs down to squash underlying enemies
Bomber man: may create traps or lay bombs.
Dryad: can cast different magics corresponding to appropriate tiles:
- Desert: cactus (which may damage surroundings enemies);
- grass land: tree (may be use as an obstacle or wood resource);
- flower: windy flower which may be used to push nearby soldiers in traps.
And some of your opponents:
Skeleton: protection against simple damage and fire. When dies, leaves a skull behind which can be reanimated. The skull can be destroyed if hit by an heavy projectile.
Blob: may leave a gooey trail. Attack by flattening the player (so may not attack if lacking space to jump).
Spider man: may spew web to incapacitate players puppet. Web is inflammable. Can walk on walls.
Coco turtle: may only be attacked from under shell.
Skeleton dragon: same has the skeleton, but re-spawn by itself after death unless destroyed by an heavy projectile.
... and many more which I still need to decide if and how to implement them:
Other aspect of the game
Fire propagate every turn by surrounding flammable ground and structures. Soldiers ending their turn ablaze are eliminated.
Every character dies after one hit (unless granted protection against the damage source) as to synthesize gameplay and make every move count.
Projectiles do not instantly hit far away targets: they do advance faster then player though and freeze progress between turns till they hit a target.
The 3D aspect of this tactical game will be a important feature.
I could make this game alone in my basement, but nobody would ever know about it. I want people to see it and to create a community with gamers loving the concept.
This is somehow has been my personal pet project for a long time. Now, I want to assess interest in my game and gain insight as to how to make it more interesting to all of you. Developing a game is a long process, and despite my wish to make this one fast to produce, it still require a fair amount of time. So far, the game progress has been made mainly in my spare time. If the game is funded, I will take a full month off to work on it and thus, accelerating its progress.
Open source code
What's the money for?
To spend intense time developing the game. A full month, to be exact. Since it is somehow a personal project too, I'm only asking for a month of work from crowd-funding, the rest will come from my own pockets. If I raise more then expected, the music and sound design will be contracted to offer a more professional look. But my first goal is to finish the core game which is why I keep the budget low. It should be done before Christmas this year.
Some faraway goals
I deeply feels that this game has potential for a lot of expansion without corrupting the core fun. This project could be growing for a long time if it finds it players. Here is a small list of ideas that I may add after the alpha:
- consumable allowing meta game changes;
tiles giving bonuses, weaknesses or affecting skills;
add simple story line;
add variety to game objectives:
capture the flag;
capture enemy base;
protect the innocents;
survive multiples waves of enemies;
a map sharing feature so you can plays with other people maps and share your own;
- and even more fighter classes!
Project I love
If you get the chance, you should watch this project, Final Element. It's a competitive real-time strategy game where you cast magic by tracing symbols on screen:
The concept comes from a 14 year's old boy and all his family joined on the project. A must see!
Risks and challenges
It's my first game I expect to complete, so there is a risk involved.
I did dwells a lot in personal games projects before, but they always lacked something compelling. I practiced my game design a lot since, and through testing and iterations, I can now attest that THIS game as potential. Maybe this Kickstart won't cut it, so if the project did catch your attention, please subscribe to the mailing list so you can still follow it's progress: http://eepurl.com/2fgQb. And by all means, do not hesitate to write to me, I will answers every email. With your support, I've got no doubt that we can make a powerfully fun, beautiful game.
- (30 days)