The scrimmage game-mode includes basic deathmatch, firefight, CTF, King of the Hill and other stock gametypes. This is your basic shooter gameplay, except the player characters are all custom-built RPG characters, and if they survive the match they will be advancing as normal for the system used. (See here.) If they die, they do not gain any experience and the player sits out until a "replacement" card comes up and allows them to bring in one of their other characters. This heavily encourages a player to work with caution, because if they die they make no progress and the effort is wasted. Expect the game to be free of traditional mindless rushing as a result. Also except a LOT of campers. Characters can also be captured, or otherwise removed from the game. (Disconnected from the server, fled from the map, whatever.) Capturing isn't always practical, but it is encouraged as a successful capture yields more experience, more skill/ability points and more prestige, not to mention a substantial faction-dependent bonus in your pay. The person captured is counted as surviving, this retains any progress they had made that round, although they lose prestige. (Prestige is NOT that valuable, surrendering is better than dying.)
Deathmatch is a simple hardcore shooter match with eight-person teams and no respawn. If you die, your slot is locked and you may either remain as a spectator (through your team's eyes) or leave the game. The game ends when all the players on one team are dead, captured, deserted or otherwise removed from the game. Despite the name, the fewer people you kill the better the rewards, with capturing being especially valuable. It's still a victory to kill everybody, but it is a much lesser victory than capturing them all. Wounding an enemy increases the credit you get if they flee, but decreases the credit you get if they are captured. (A wounded soldier is expensive. If they flee, their faction is paying that expense. If they are captured, your faction is paying it.) If they a character leaves unharmed, this rewards much less credit than killing them, but a significantly wounded character rewards more credit. A really horribly maimed character leaving rewards an immense amount of credit. However, an unharmed capture is worth an incredible amount of credit, a significantly wounded one much less but still more than a dead one, and a horribly maimed character can easily reward less on capture than on death. That said, shooting somebody up and treating them isn't a bad idea, because you still get the capture-exclusive pay bonus and the only risk is that they might die and deprive you of that.
Firefight is competitive combat with four-person teams, with a unique twist absent from deathmatch. One player is designated the "leader", and they have the ability to call in reinforcements and other special benefits from a support deck. This player draws five cards from their deck into a hand, and can play any card from this hand at any time. Once played, this initiates a cooldown timer during which no new cards can be played, length determined by card strength. The numeric strength rating, ranging from 1-10, not only lengthens the cooldown timer (stronger cards have longer cooldowns) but factors into deck capacity. A deck may have a total of 25 cards, but the total strength of these cards may not exceed 125. This means the cards can average no more than 5, and taking several strong cards means having to take weaker cards to have a full deck, or having a smaller deck overall, not to mention having to go longer between plays and having less play flexibility. Cards are drawn automatically as long as you have an open spot in your hand, and are drawn on intervals dependent on map size, faction and game mode. Generally, faster draws are better, but be careful that draw speed does not become shorter than cooldown time, because if you have a full hand cards are discarded instead of drawn. The leaders are critical to success and once one is lost their team is cut off from support. Each player will have their own strategy as a leader, and will have to communicate their strategy to their team members quickly. Voice is a good way to do this, (note that your voice is audible around your character) but the command console also has the ability to place waypoints and type in text, and there are built-in commands in the game, issued with the control key and number bar. This mode is meant for organized clans, so any random team will likely find themselves on the wrong end of a pubstomp.
CTF is a scrimmage mode with a goal in mind. Symmetrical or asymmetrical, clear goal, get to a point, perform an action and extract. These each have variants with and without support. There's no respawn, unless there is support and replacement cards are called, even then it only lets a player bring a new character instead of bringing back an old one. Team size is depending on support. With support, the teams are 4-person. Without, 8-person. Your job is to retrieve an object from your opponent's side of the field, never an actual flag, and bring it back intact. The other team will try to prevent you from taking it, but both sides lose if one of them is destroyed. Any damage to the object in question reduces your reward upon victory.
King of the hill is another scrimmage mode with a goal. There's a particular object or area on the map that both teams want. Take it and hold it for a set period of time to call in overwhelming reinforcements, and defeat entire opposing team without losing it. (You can defeat them before the cavalry arrives as well, but you MUST secure the objective to win.) This object or area is defended by bots, which must also be defeated to secure the objective. These bots are not military, but they are also not pushovers and they have a strong position. Team size is dependent on map size, and is 2-6. This is a very complicated gametype for a lot of reasons, and this match will often end with everybody losing. (Both teams defeated, objective is not captured.) That said, this game type presents an interesting clan challenge and is very rewarding when you succeed. (The most prestige and experience, and usually the most skill and attribute progress, of any scrimage type. Best possible pay bonuses as well.)
Scrimmage is generally better on smaller maps.
The skirmish game mode is part-RTS. This game mode has a small number of players to accommodate a large number of bots. In this mode, one player on each team plays a "commander", a special custom-made character. This character spends most of the game in a war room, where they issue orders from a command console. From this console they have access to their team's cameras throughout the game (where these cameras are varies, they usually come on buildings and units, some units don't even serve another purpose, and there is the orbital option if you choose to get it) and they issue orders to bots through this system. You probably already understand how selecting units and issuing orders works, if you have every played an RTS before. The only difference is that this game is 3D and uses different camera angles. Not to mention that these units are actual bots in a shooter game, and will behave as such while following your orders.
You also have a map screen with a rough representation of your units, and can issue orders through it. It is NOT as good as having eyes-on, neither is it precise nor is it detailed, but it allows you to issue orders in locations you cannot see through any of your cameras. The other two players are considered leaders, and can call reinforcement cards and issue orders to bots assigned to them. These players are vital assets to a commander, and their loss will be rued.
The commander can also order typical RTS feats, such as construction of structures and units, collection of resources and so on. However, these features are a slower and less exaggerated than in other games. You can't create people out of thin air, all personnel have to be shipped in, and you will be shipping in more units than you will be constructing. Construction happens very quickly, but this is explained away as buildings of all factions being pre-fabricated and only needing to be assembled on-site. Some buildings are even deployable and require very little time and effort to erect once ready. These can even be collapsed and moved, allowing entire bases to be mobile. However, your pre-fabricated structures are much smaller than permanent structures. Deployable structures are even smaller.
This game mode ends when one team is completely defeated, (all units and structures killed, captured or deserted) or when a team surrenders. There is an alternate gametype with objectives, in which these objectives (involving a third party) must be completed in addition to defeating the opposing force. It's safer to complete objectives after defeating your enemy, but completing objectives provides bonuses that will make defeating your enemy easier if you go after them first. Your call, just don't let your enemy complete their objectives or they'll get a solid advantage.
Skirmish is generally better on larger maps.
There are two (at present) special game types, each drastically different from the others.
Survival is a slow, cooperative wave-survival game mode for a number of people dependent on the map size. (4-12) The players are spawned on a map with enemies already on it, and must survive for a period of time set before the match. (Default is one hour, but as little as ten minutes or as long as one day are possible.) During this time, enemies will be searching for them and trying to kill them. Reinforcements will periodically arrive. Each wave is much stronger than the team of players, and going toe to toe with them is suicide. The players must find a way to combat this superior force, or at least survive it, for the duration. Stealth is your best friend here. Avoid direct confrontations unless you can find a massive enough advantage to turn the fight to your favour. Hit and run, traps and ambushes will usually work better. Reinforcements can only arrive so often, and reducing the enemy's numbers far enough can give you the run of the map long enough to resupply and prepare for the next wave. Further, only a certain number of waves can appear in a single game. Defeating all waves is an instant win condition. However, doing enough damage to a wave to trigger the next one but not finishing them off in time will leave you fighting those enemies and the next wave at the same time. This can snowball pretty easy. Each wave will be stronger than the last, eventually bringing in vehicles and even aircraft.
Infiltration is a slow, cooperative, stealth-based game mode for a small team (2-6, depending on map) with a single objective. This is map-dependent, and can be completed clandestinely. There are enemies on the map, and if alerted the enemy WILL call in reinforcements. Should you fail to remain undetected, you will have to complete your objective with a superior force actively hunting you. Worse yet, should you end up in open combat, all the enemies on the map will converge upon you and reinforcements will keep arriving just like survival. What makes open combat less doable than on survival (it has all the same reinforcement rules) is that your team is only half the size, you have an objective and running out the clock results in failure, not success. If this goes open you are boned. Time limit is map-dependent, ranging from (default) 30-90 minutes. (It goes as short as 10-30 minutes, or as long as 60-180 minutes.) The enemies present are decided by the map by default, but custom settings allow the player to select any faction as their enemies for this match. (Yes, even your own.)
There are five maps, four of which take place on the worlds of Kakara and the last takes place around the equator of Sentrus. Each of these is unique, although they share common features. (Wildlife, for instance, is consistent amongst the four kakaran worlds.) All of these names are temporary.
The only map taking place on Sentrus and the smallest map in the game. Bayou Base is a small abandoned 1970s simini military base, roughly 600x600m across, in the middle of a swamp. While it has its own unique creatures, it does share some with the kakara maps under the justification that they are invasive species shipped in by the simini back when this place was secure, which have since escaped. The abandoned buildings are flooded and damaged but still functional, so in skirmish moving to grab the leftover simini structures will be important. Primarily a scrimmage map. This map's CTF objective is to retrieve the records from the barracks on the enemy's side of the field. These records are electronic, so losing copy you take won't result in failure, but the destruction of the computers will. This map's king of the hill object is the control centre. Upon success, a military command and construction unit arrives. This map's infiltration objective is to recover the records from both barracks. The objective in objective skirmish is to either capture the command centre and four other of the map's nine buildings, or if the command centre is destroyed to capture all eight of the other buildings. Each building is functional and has resources, and reinforcements related to them will arrive. (Infantry for the barracks, vehicles for the motor pool, aircraft for the landing pads, etcetera.) This map's default non-player enemies are the ferroningen or the bahaar, depending on your faction.
Port in a Storm:
The map on Kakara II and the second smallest map. Port in a Storm is a small harbour on the coast of Kakara II's supercontinent. The map is roughly 800x800m across, and is one of only two maps with enough (notably green) water to make aquatic combat a concern. The harbour itself is 600 metres wide, and reaches 600m inland at its farthest. As a result boats will be used a considerable amount, especially in scrimmage. Primarily a scrimmage map. This map's CTF object is the shipping manifest in the office by the cranes on each side. There are three copies of this manifest on each side, failure comes when all are lost. This map's king of the hill objective is to capture and hold the larger warehouse at the back of the map. Upon success, an cargo team is sent with a full military escort. The infiltration objective is to assassinate the administrators in each office. The objective in objective skirmish is to capture both the warehouse and one office, if either the warehouse or both of the offices are destroyed both teams lose. Capturing these delivers armed cargo vessels with plenty of longshoremen and a few soldiers. This map's default non-player enemies are the andhieli or the kokome, depending on your faction.
The map on Kakara I and the intermediate sized map. A 1x1km valley on Kakara I, where an old simini starport is located. This map has a lot of buildings on it, many of which are civilian, and is a well balanced map for both scrimmage and skirmish. This map's buildings and roads come with an abundance of civilian vehicles, cover and other interesting resources for scrimmage, but also has enough open space on each side for the factions to construct good-sized bases. This map's CTF object is a civilian of the other faction's species, specifically a newborn from a VIP family in the mansion on the side that faction is settled on. There's only one infant per team, so if they die both factions automatically lose. Losing by death of your faction's infant causes more loss of prestige than losing by death of the other faction's infant or the abduction of your faction's infant. This map's king of the hill objective is the starport's landing pad. Upon success, dropships land and drop off workers and troops to occupy the starport. This map's infiltration objective is to assassinate a civilian VIP while he/she is at home, and abduct his/her newborn child. (Once again, the infant must be taken alive.) The objective in objective skirmish is to capture the starport yet again. Capture doubles the magnitude of all "reinforcement" support cards for the rest of the skirmish. This map's default non-player enemies are the ferroningen or simini, depending on your faction.
The map on Kakara IV and the second largest map. A 1200x1200m quarry on some of what little actual land is present on Kakara IV. This map has a lot of open space, thus a lot of room to build, and the quarry is rife with resources. Primarily a skirmish map. This map's CTF object is the scanning data held in the digging stations on either side of the quarry. Losing by destroying the computer your scanning data is held in results in a much smaller loss in prestige than the other team making off with it, which in turn results in a smaller loss than the destruction of the other team's scanning data. This map's king of the hill location is the mining HQ in the centre of the map. Upon success, infantry are dropped off and a barracks assembled, providing you the advantages of a skirmish barracks in a scrimmage match. This map's infiltration objective is to bomb the diggers and the HQ. The objective in objective skirmish is to secure the HQ and one dig site. Securing the HQ gives you more infantry and two free barracks, capturing the dig site yields an extra construction yard and more workers. This map's default non-player enemies are the andhieli or bahaar, depending on your faction.
The map on Kakara III and the largest map. A 1400x1400m trio of small islands, with docks and boats on each. The main island is the main body of the map, with a smaller island off each side of it and plenty of shallow green water all around. The resources are bountiful and there's a lot of natural barriers. Primarily a skirmish map. This map's CTF object is the shipping manifest on the dock of the other team's island. This manifest is electronic, so unless the computer is destroyed you won't fail. Destroying your team's shipping manifest results in failure but does not lose you any prestige, the only ways to lose any prestige in CTF here are to have your force defeated or to destroy the other team's shipping data. This map's king of the hill location is the town in the centre of the main island. Upon success, a small armed cargo ship will arrive, bringing with it longshoremen and a few soldiers. This map's infiltration objective is bomb the cranes on each of the main island's docks. The objective in objective skirmish is to secure the centre town and one dock on the main island. Success at the town rewards you with an aerial delivery of soldiers, success at the dock rewards you with an armed cargo ship full of longshoremen. This map's default non-player enemies are the kokome or simini, depending on your faction.
There are five factions, each distinct in character, appearance and gameplay from one another.
The simini are a small species with unusual natural abilities and a good tech base. They have parituclarly good medical and materials tech, making their units very hard to kill. As characters, simini are fairly frail but have a wide range of special abilities ranging from poison to energy projection, and with their great senses and dexterity they are the best marksmen in the game. Simini tech provides them very protective (if highly specialised) apparel, and get their special apparel immediately. Simini special apparel is medical, doing damage control on wounds received (reducing bleeding, pain, fatigue and other effects) while regenerating the simini's health and stamina. Simini weapons are, as a result of their size, often severely underpowered when taking on other races, making them somewhat of a stone wall. In scrimmage, simini support decks are primarily defensive, featuring not only the universal reinforcement cards but also medic cards, mechanic cards, resupply cards and deployable fortification cards. In skirmish, simini are strong at all points in the game, with the most mobile bases (all simini buildings are crawlers) and the most easily deployed fortification. Simini buildings and units are hard to destroy and easy to repair, at least by the standards of that unit type, and although their cameras and sensors are not the best they do have plenty of them, making it hard for a simini commander to find themselves blind at any point. The simini also get the orbital camera the earliest and easiest, but it doesn't have as good of detail as some of the others. Simini are prone to turtling, but are also great at taking and holding objectives, and not only can they outlast opponents if played right, they can pelt enemies with air strikes while keeping their position impenetrable.
Bahaar are a large, strong species with great physical traits. Bahaar have great offence and mobility with their improvised arsenal. As characters, bahaar are large, strong, fast, tough and have good defensive special abilities, making them initially the strongest species overall, but they progress slowly and lack in finesse. Their armour is improvised and crude, but effective. They have no special armour, instead having normal purpose-built armour in its place of special armour, still a step up from improvised armour, and even that they get later than other factions get their special armour. Their weapons are improvised, but functional. They have a few dedicated and reliable weapons, but those are primitive. In scrimmage, their support deck is limited to infantry and aircraft reinforcements, as well as air strikes. In skirmish, they have very mobile bases and collect resources the fastest, producing units very quickly with the most initial power, but taking a lot of resources to maintain their units once they are up and the units themselves are not stellar. As a result, they are very, very strong right off the bat and can deploy a solid strike force very quickly, but they progress slowly and fall behind every other faction as the game goes on. They are mediocre mid-game and are the weakest faction late-game. A nice advanced faction, as a solid zerg rush can cripple an opposing faction, take an objective or even end the match very quickly, but if these things fail they fall behind quickly.
A versatile species with good all-around power. Kokome are strong in everything, especially information warfare. As characters, kokome are overall decent and fairly tough, with no major weaknesses. Their armour is the best next to the simini and they get special apparel early on. Their special apparel is information/sensory apparel, which displays the user's vitals, provides several sensors to the user, has alternate visual displays (infrared, light amplification) has a good camera and keeps the user in communication with the rest of their squad. In scrimmage, kokome have a supportive support deck. In addition to reinforcements, they have sensor scans and drones to help them locate their enemies, as well as information warfare cards that can cut enemies off from eachother and even prevent them from playing reinforcement cards. In skirmish, they are a solid faction all-around, they have the most and best viewpoints and sensor data, get the orbital camera almost as early and easy and with a lot better detail than the simini, and they can jam or shut down enemy sensors, impairing the enemy commander. Kokome are the stealthiest faction, and thrive on guerilla tactics in skirmish, avoiding detection the easiest and impairing their enemies the most, while detecting their enemies the easiest and being impaired the least.
The ferroningen are a strong species with great natural weapons and a powerful industrial base. They can produce goods quickly, cheaply, efficiently and in immense quantity and the gear is still very reliable. As characters, ferroningen are fast, armoured, covered in natural weapons and the deadliest race in a melee, but they are slow to progress, wear out quickly, lack in upper body strength and have poor senses and mental traits. They do not wear apparel, and they prefer explosives and scatterguns to make up for their poor senses. In scrimmage, ferroningen support decks only have reinforcement, mechanic and resupply cards. In skirmish, ferroningen are poor early on before they can get their industrial base rolling as their infantry have short range and their vehicles are slow. Once they hit mid-game, they make up for these things by producing the most of everything from that point on out, for the least money with the least maintainance cost. Ferroningen are best at mid-game rushes, and are a good beginner faction.
Andhieli are a small species with great mobility and advanced technology. They have the offensively strongest vehicles, the best overall aircraft, and the most mobile infantry. As characters, andhieli are very fast and mobile, capable of moving in ways other species simply can't and moving fast in ways others have a hard time with. They get special apparel later than simini or kokome, and their special apparel is power-assist apparel, which boosts the upper and lower body strength of its user by a considerable degree at the expense of dexterity. Their weapons tend to be more stylish than effective, but vary wildly and although all are situational there's one for every situation. In scrimmage, andhieli support decks are mostly offensive, including artillery and air strikes in addition to its reinforcement cards. In skirmish, andhieli are weak early-game as their industrial base is mediocre and slow to start. They do better mid-game, as their industrial base gets rolling and lets them produce a good number of their powerful units. If the andhieli can last long enough to get their late-game units and structures, their offensive power is unmatched and they don't slouch on defence, making them the strongest faction in the game. A very difficult faction to use, but if an andhieli commander can survive long enough to get to mid-game they can hold their own, and if they make it to late game they are nearly unbeatable.
Civilians and Wildlife:
There are civilians on most maps in most game modes, and animals on all maps in all game modes. Civilians are neutral unless provoked, but some civilians can be particularly easy to provoke and are surprisingly dangerous. Animals normally leave troops alone and aren't very dangerous to a military force, but can also be easily provoked and can be dangerous on some gametypes, particularly infiltration and to a lesser extent survival. Killing civilians is strongly discouraged and often outright punished, although how strongly and why, as well as what other interactions are available with them, depends on your faction. Animals are of little value to any faction and can be slaughtered wholesale without so much as a stern look from command, but capturing them can sometimes prove of some use.
Mechana are a recurring neutral faction randomly appearing on all maps, the frequency of their appearance depending on game mode. They're a large network of drones controlled by a central control station. What's in this control station is unknown. The mechana act independently as a third, bot-controlled faction and are equally hostile to all military parties. (Although not aggressive towards civilians or wildlife.) Mechana are also a very strong faction, with a strong industrial base and good production in skirmish, and good support in scrimmage. Although, that said, mechana AI is simplistic and they are very poor combatants. They don't do anything fancy or special, just straight-forward attacks with regular units and little variety, and those units aren't anything special either, they just have a lot of them.
- The game is intended to use an anime visual style, and is bright and colourful as an offset to its brutally realistic gameplay.
- The game may be played on the internet or LAN, although getting that many people on LAN is a pain.
- I haven't figured out a lot of the UI yet. I could use some help there.
- I intend to add to the initial five maps in map packs as time goes on. Each pack will have five extra maps. At the same time each is released, an update with new personal items and equipment will be added.
- The game will be played in first or third person. First person has shooter controls, third person has action controls with target lock.
- You can shoot through objects in this game, it has a penetration system.
- You can climb objects in this game, and it has a cover system similar to that of Far-Cry 3. (I didn't play the first two, I don't know about them.)
- This game uses this armour system and this damage system.
- This game has a graphed shot-placement system with a lot of detail. You will benefit a great deal from precision.
- Vehicles in this game are controlled from first person, like in a vehicle sim, and all come with a heads-up display. Only mechs, which are andhieli exclusive, can use the cover system.
- This game's mechs are very small by the standards of mecha, seldom weighing more than a few tonnes, and control *exactly* the same as infantry in 1st-person.
- You still keep your progress and gain match XP if you lose a match, as long as you survive.
- There is a sizable in-game database. A lot of the information there would be difficult to obtain otherwise, such as anatomy charts of the various creatures.
- I'm still working out how to convey the character of each faction best outside of the database. I already have a thread on that here.
- Some factions pose very strict restrictions on build choices, some very loose, and they all have their own rules regarding conduct. I'm not going into detail unless asked, this post is too long already.
- Some of the factions have natural interface differences (in first person, and in third person if you choose) that might be hard to deal with at first. Simini have panoramic vision and see inverted colour values, and the direction effects of stereo and surround sound are intensified. Bahaar see inverted colour values and have intensified directional sound (to a lesser degree than simini) but they don't have panoramic vision. Ferroningen are nearsighted, using depth of field to blur distant objects and almost requiring corrective lenses, and have poor hearing, with reduced directional sound. Kokome have panoramic vision and very slightly increased directional sound, but don't have inverted colours. Andhieli are full-on hippy vision, with panoramic vision, heat vision (translated with a white-hot effect, hotter areas are made brighter and colder areas are made darker) inverted colour values and much stronger than normal depth of field. Andhieli also have mono sound. Strangely, once you get used to it, many of these interface effects actually make it easier to pick out details, and the game increases the strength of your perception attribute somewhat while they're on.