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Pixel Space Horror Rebalancing

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One of the criticisms of my pre-alpha demo of Pixel Space Horror was the balance - not so much the unit-to-unit balance (which was and still is broken), but the overall game balance. The action point (AP) system encouraged sending in a single unit, doing as much damage with him as possible, and then either pulling him out or watching him die.

I've made a number of changes to the balance to address this and other issues:

The largest change was to completely change the action point system. Instead of 5 global points that can be used however the player wishes, we now have 2 points per unit. A unit can move twice, attack twice, or move and attack.

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When a unit can't be moved again that turn, I darken it to make this clear to the player. I'm not thrilled with the UI - it takes up too much room and isn't especially pretty - but I haven't found another alternative. (I don't show the UI for the enemies).

This had the side effect of making enemy turns take too long. A map with 10 enemies would take 4x longer per turn (20 AP versus 5). To counter this, the enemies can only ever use up to 10 AP max. It means some enemies won't move every turn, but it keeps battles faster. It also gives me a dial to turn if I want to add harder difficulties.

The next (and simplest) thing I did was rescale all the numbers. Instead of hit points in the range 2-10, they're now in the range 20-100. Attack has been scaled appropriately. This gives me more room to play with numbers, which is especially important for my splash damage units.

The final task was to allow units to move & shoot through allies. This was a constant complaint, and there was no real design thought that went into it prior - I just let the pathfinder do its work naturally. But most strategy games allow moving through allies for a number of reasons: it allows for more strategies, and it awkwardly confines units less. You still can't move through enemies, and only a few attacks allow shooting past them.

I think these addressed most of the concerns, and the game does feel better as a result. The balance is still horribly broken, but that'll be fixed as I playtest more. smile.png
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