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NikitaSadkov

How to Improve The Design of Heroes of Might & Magic Style Games

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I wanted to make my own version of HoMM myself one day, because I was really annoyed with the design flaws of the original and I doubt Van Caneghem will ever return to his games. But it is unlikely, that I will ever have a chance to make more than one game, so here is a proposition to improve the  core rules of HoMM type games:
1. Limit army size by hero's leadership ability, like in the original King's Bounty. Each unit would have leadership cost. That will favor using several heroes, instead of a single strong one. Therefore larger tactical depth on the strategic map.
2. Limit max city's unit population by player's controlled land, like i.e. monster layers. That will force players to fight over map structure.
3. Allow splitting unit stacks during battle (in particular during the beginning of a battle), while maintaining fixed 7 unit type slots. That would simplify strategic map interaction by moving it to tactical phase, and greatly improve the tactical element itself.
4. Allow building map structures, like fortifications in bottlenecks, like mountain passes. That ability should be limited by facilities provided by nearby city or other structures, to have a way to disable it in some maps and encourage more strategic uses of such feature, instead of just cluttering whole map with fortifications.
5. Use Final Fantasy Tactics style turn scheduling system, where fast creatures get more turns, than slower ones, with hint for user what creatures will move in the next few turns.
6. Make unit upgrades auto apply to all hired units to avoid forcing player to wait until upgrade structure is ready. Upgrade system should be a nice gimmick, instead of a way to annoy player or force him to wait.
7. Damage to units (and heroes, in case HoMM4 style heroes participating in battle) carry over to the next battle, unless healed. To emphasize use of healing structures, abilities, items and magic. It also make armies with high tier creatures less unstopable. A mandatory requirement for 1. There are several obvious way to implement stack splitting with damaged creatures.
8. Unit stack specific items, like say banners, giving that stack some bonuses.

One can probably easily implement these changes into say fheroes2 engine.

Edited by NikitaSadkov
more readable title

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Sound like good improvements.

Altough I always hate games where the turn rotation is based on "speed" or similar. Its very hard to survay what will happen and how useful this stat is. Games normally generates a long line of "character turn order" that fills the screen. Really annoying! :)

Id rather have a simple, predictable turn order (best if all of a teams units move and then all of the enemy units move, to avoid hopping around of the game control) and let "fast" units (if you need that mechanic) get extra attacks/actions during their turn instead.

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On 12/11/2018 at 4:49 PM, suliman said:

I always hate games where the turn rotation is based on "speed" or similar. Its very hard to survay what will happen and how useful this stat is.

That is why user interface must expose the queue of the units, which will act next. Original Heroes games used even less intuitive scheduling. But if game time is divided into discrete turns between players, where player moves all his units, during his turn, there will be much less tactical depth. Because fast creatures would stop offering first turn advantage and there will be no way to counter these pesky archers with your super fast phoenixes, while slow zombies at close ranger would attack just as fast as any other unit. I.e. it will stop being HoMM game, become more casual knock-off, with different target audience.

Edited by NikitaSadkov

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There is other ways to add tactics to a game. Im just saying i always dislike that feature when added to games. Many games dont use it and are better for it :P

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