Huzzah, another level breakdown for mobile strategy game, The Roughnecks. Since I already have an explanation of the units currently in the game and how they work, I’m going to jump right into how this level is set up. I’m thinking that this level will actually be the one used to introduce the helicopter unit. Because of that, the level starts with your helicopter units flying over water, while your other units are restricted to travelling on land. I’m thinking that this should help the player decipher their new units properties. Since this is supposed to be a casual game, I certainly cannot rely on any previous concepts about how helicopters might function in other convey information to the player.
I’m thinking that this level will actually be the one used to introduce the helicopter unit. Because of that, the level starts with your helicopter units flying over water, while your other units are restricted to travelling on land. I’m thinking that this should help the player decipher their new units properties. Since this is supposed to be a casual game, I certainly cannot rely on any previous concepts about how helicopters might function in other convey information to the player. I mostly want this level to be about teaching the player about the helicopter’s speed and ability to reach areas that land restricted units cannot.
Once the land strip widens up, it hits an impasse created by mountainous terrain. The player has three possible routes to choose to send units. Since the infantry travel on routes and tanks will come to the aid of nearby units struggling, the player needs to carefully choose how they go about travelling down these paths. Since the player cannot just select all of their units at once and send them barreling down a single path together, they will have to plan how they want to attack the different paths.
On the left, two infantry units are scouting the area, with an artillery unit hanging towards the back of the field. The infantry have predetermined routes that take them away from the artillery’s firing range at times, as well as each other’s. With timing, the player can catch each unit separately, making for a less difficult march up this path.
In the center path sits two infantry on patrol, with a tank waiting alongside. The goal of the infantry’s routes here is to try to lure the player farther down the middle path, where the tank will attack whatever units come charging in. The player can choose to try and attack the infantry outside of the tank’s range, lure the tank into range of their artillery, or strike at the tank by going around the left or right paths.
The right path contains a tank and an artillery. This is probably the most dangerous path, as the narrow passage makes it difficult for multiple units to attack the tank at once. Additionally, the artillery unit is protected by the terrain and the path being blocked by a tough unit, restricting access to it. This area is designed to give the player a good chance to make use of their helicopters. By flying around the mountains, the player can assault both the artillery and the tank at the same time, making the battle much simpler than fighting the two together.
In the back right corner, there are three infantry units that patrol the area, with an artillery unit behind them to provide support. This section provides another good chance to make use of the helicopter. By flying over the mountains, the artillery can be directly assaulted, rather than trying to go after the infantry first and being drawn into its firing range.
Finally, a tank and an artillery unit sit on the left, separated by a small river. The artillery is set so that it is in position to attack units that come after the tank, but is safe from counter attack. The player has a number of ways to deal with this situation. The helicopters have speed to quickly approach artillery units and can cross over terrain, making them an obvious choice. However, they can also send units along the hillside to attack both the tank and artillery at the same time.
Overall, I’m fairly pleased with how this level turned out. It feels like it does a good job of exposing the player to a new unit without making them the crux of the mission. Working on it has also given me some ideas on how I can tweak a few elements of the game. I’m thinking of doing a level designed to introduce each unit as they are added to the game (I am currently thinking there will be 6-10 unit types in The Roughnecks), and then additional missions to challenge the player to get the best out all of these types.