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Game Mechanics Decision-based combat design


My new project is a resource management/travel game inspired by games like Oregon Trail, FTL, The Banner Saga, etc. It's larger in scope than my previous games, and by nature requires more design and planning. The basic idea is you have a party of characters who must travel from point A to point B in a certain amount of time, without running out of essential supplies.

As the party travels, they have encounters, some of which result in combat. This is where I'd like some feedback, as I'm a little stuck with the combat design. I'd like to (for now) have a system that is simple and resolved by the decisions the player makes, rather than a combat mini-game.

So far, my idea is that combat is resolved by comparing the party's combat score with the encounter's combat score, with the higher score winning the fight. The difference in scores will determine how many resources are gained (if won) or resources lost/damage taken (if lost).

The combat score is a sum or average (not sure which yet) of the characters' individual combat scores (determined by class). Weapons can modify a characters combat score, affecting the party's score. I'm not sure what to do about armor. Should body armor modifiers be applied to the combat score, the damage taken, or some other way? Weapons require a proficiency level to be effective (a rocket launcher is better in the hands of a soldier than a civilian), and I think body armor should be the same.

Any thoughts on a system like this?


šŸ§ *penguin noises*
GMC Elder
One idea would be to have multiple stats influence combat, and have multiple different options in each combat situation that are more or less suitable for each party depending on their unique stats... for instance, a clumsy character is very likely to cause problems in a sneak attack, and a character with poor stamina is very likely to fail direct combat. To mitigate issues where everyone have flaws that could interfere with combat in some way no matter what approach you cause, or to prevent an injured character to get into trouble, I'd say a system where you can put checkboxes at every character's name to indicate whether they're going to join the encounter or not would work the best. Having everyone join will give you an advantage in numbers, but also increase the chance that someone messes up, which could all be influenced by lots of things.