No Man's Land.
Command, Bombard, Reinforce...That is your role as the field commander in 'No Man's Land'.
I developed this game using Unity to consolidate all the knowledge I had acquired during my time at university and to challenge myself within all the facets and principles of game design. I chose a turn-based strategy (TBS) framework to model this game by as it was a game genre that I wanted to understand more and test my programming skills with.
The game needed to deliver three main playing principles:
- as the narrative progresses, the complexity and stakes of the game should increase
- once the player has completed their turn, the computer AI should respond accordingly to give every action and decision an immediate consequence
- clear winning conditions that when met, the game will end.
The best theatre to explore this genre felt to be the theatre of war, one of which was renowned for stalemates that came at the highest of costs. The First World War:
From this project, I have developed a keen interest in the architecture and make-up of reactive systems and reactive programming, crucial ideas behind TBS games. Instead of relying on pre-made assets, I wanted the game to feel bespoke and have a visceral impact on the player, personalised assets were crafted using Blender and Adobe Substance Painter:
All of the models above have been used to populate the playing environment and act as vectors for the various structures and mechanics built into the playing system. Through this, the player has the capacity to use and choose from the following three mechanics:
- Command - ordering and organising the various units at the players' disposal, whether they move around the battlefield or hold their position.
- Bombard - a method of attacking at a distance, using the tiles as indexes with the capacity to destroy enemy units before they can pose too much of a threat. This was developed based on the 'creeping barrage' tactic used in the First World War.
- Re-inforce - how to replenish forces and turn the tide of war in the player's favour, at the cost of supplies. The supplies can be retrieved at points of interest on the battlefield.
The final playing layout of the game looks as follows:
Here is a video playthrough of the project, and to demonstrate my contextual thinking, I have included an explorable level block-out made in the image of the sketches at the top of this page.
I have learned many valuable lessons in game design and I sincerely feel that this game, my proudest work to date, is worthy of all those lessons learned. Using complex data structures such as linked lists, developing polymorphic class templates, and using multi-threaded timekeeping have improved my skills as both a games developer and programmer.