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suliman

Minigame for boarding combat (pirate game)

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Hi

I have a 2D topdown adventure game similar to Sid Meiers Pirates! When you board an enemy ship the crews battle automatically; there is no interaction. You see the numbers go down until one side yields. Any idea how to make a minigame on top of this that involves the player somehow? "Pirates!" had you fencing which sort of made your crews kind of redundant. My game also have different crew types. And i cannot do much animation and the other ships in the fleet continue to fight while boarding combat goes on.

A simple idea is to have a skull or cutlass icon that lights up and then you must time it with clicking. This would build your "Yaargh!" - meter :) which would in turn boost your crew strength. Miss the timing and it will decrease. Not so sophicsticated but keep you alert at least.

Thoughts? Other ideas? Examples I can look at?

 

Edited by suliman

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Turn-based tactical combat between the crews, with a map (ship-dependent and possibly very interesting) and straightforward attack, move etc. orders. You can let the player give only a limited number of orders per turn, with all the other pirates controlled by a decent but not perfect AI, to offer the player an opportunity to make a difference with skill without allowing burdensome micromanagement. (It is also very appropriate for pirates to do as they please without passively expecting orders.)

The ship combat that takes place at the same time can become turn-based too.

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That wouldnt work, the game is based around the realtime ship combat already in the game. It's also fast and you fight lots of ships so it needs to stay fast. A boarding is over in 10-20 seconds.

Any minigame idea (or examples of games that use those) that would work with that?

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You could still have some kind of tactics where crew starts with plan A and then during the battle you order the switch to plan B after seeing that the enemy is using tactics C. Maybe these are related to what weapons you're using or have available or what kind of crew you're up against. Use whatever UI you have available that might allow the player to select from maybe 4 possible options in real time. In general, anything that you could do that feels more like the player as captain is involved with the battle.

Personally, I'd just as soon embrace the tension of watching the crew counts decrease and be pondering over whether it was a wise decision to engage at all than to feel like I might be loosing because I'm not timing my button clicks quite right.

 

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I suppose realtime pirate combat with RTS-like controls could be an option, particularly with most orders about

  • indicating places to reach and persons to attack, which should be possible only after the boarding begins for fog of war reasons
  • switching between weapons and attack ranges
  • retreating, because sometimes it's necessary
  • smashing doors and other important non-combat tasks

A typical pirate would have N single-shot pistols or rifles and a few melee weapons (rapier, machete, sabre, axe, knife, assorted polearms...). To reduce micromanagement, firearm use should normally happen automatically (e.g. in the initial phases when the enemy is beyond melee reach).

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@LorenzoGatti You are suggesting entire game mechanics, but the OP is about a simple minigame, to keep the player occupied for the several seconds it takes for HP bars to go down.

@suliman How about throwing grappling hooks? Since an important aspect of boarding is grappling the other ship and keeping it close, you can use "keeping the hooks up" as a way to keep the boarding going. For example, you could have a top-down view of the ship and several grappling hooks alongside it, and have them fall off (get taken down) so you have to re-throw them. Basically a re-skinned whac-a-mole game. It also makes in-universe sense, since if you lose the minigame the ship gets free and the boarding fails.

You can have your different crew types affect how many hooks there are in the minigame, or how fast they decay or something like that.

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@1024

Thats a neat idea!

You mean have anchor points for the grappling hooks light up and require clicking on to keep the enemy ship in melee?

And larger ships may have more anchor points.

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I was thinking more like that hooks drop or disappear, so you would have to click to add them again. But anything could work.

You can have bigger ships have more anchor points, or you could connect the type of crews that you have with the number of anchor points, or how often the hooks drop. Depends how you want to do difficulty.

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