Turn based tactical dungeon crawling

Battle your way through challenging dungeons, caves, mines, castles, settlements and more. Make use of the the environment and whatever you find to ensure success against the active inhabitants. No two runs of the same dungeon will ever play out the same.

Tacticrawl is based in a high fantasy setting, heavily influenced by classic EverQuest. 

Features

Gameplay Modes

Initial focus is on building a flexible world and combat system. First alpha release planned for 2017 will include a couple of hand crafted challenge maps. Longer term plans include:

  • Full progression based mode playing through 100 maps unlocking classes and abilities
  • Roguelike mode with accelerated progress, starting with a single character
  • Puzzle mode - handcrafted maps designed with a specific puzzle to solve
  • Full editor for user created map

Systems Based Design

Tacticrawl is built using a 'systems based' design approach. Every character and item has a base substance type and weight which together defines their properties. These properties will determine the available interactions.  

For example, consider a humble bundle of straw that you find from a creatures nest. You could wield it as a useless weapon, or  layout a trail that you can then set alight. A small rock could be used as a crude weapon, or thrown to distract an enemy with the sound of the rock hitting the floor. Position a fallen enemies corpse to block a closed door, giving you time to recover.

This approach extends to magic. Use the Levitate ability to allow an ally to move without making a sound, or lift a heavy boulder that otherwise couldn't be moved. The 'Root' spell is designed to hold an enemy in place, but you may wish to prevent an otherwise movable object from being pushed.

Exploration, Field Of View & Memories

The map is hidden when venturing into a new area, and slowly uncovered as you explore. Each characters field of view reveals the world around you. Any areas outside your current view are shown as a memory of what was last seen - including enemies and items.

That orc you spotted earlier - is it still there or moved on? Left a weapon behind? You won't know if it's still there until you return.

Enemies also operate with current vision and a 'memory' of the area - no cheating!

Characters have a generous field of view, but tiles not currently visible are shown as a 'memory'.  Yellow sparkles depict your edge of vision.

Characters have a generous field of view, but tiles not currently visible are shown as a 'memory'.  Yellow sparkles depict your edge of vision.

Flexible Turn Based Gameplay

Characters can perform a number of actions each turn, allowing a combination of attacking an enemy, moving or interacting with objects. You can even begin with 1 character spend a action point, then switch to another character before completing your turn.

4 Action points per turn, use in any order.

4 Action points per turn, use in any order.

 

Individual Character Control 

Issue orders to each member of your team, or take manual control.

Issue orders to each member of your team, or take manual control.

Want to keep your team together?  Should you split up to explore more ground quickly? Send a stealthy unit to scout ahead? Arrange a trap and then lure enemies back for a battering?

The choice is yours!

When you want to, control each character every turn. Alternatively, issues an order and your character will auto act each turn. Available orders include:

  • Go to location
  • Fetch (or drop) item at location
  • Guard here
  • Follow <character>
  • Destroy <target>

Positional & Directional Combat

Your characters position and facing direction doesn't just impact on what you can see. The direction of an attack, and which side of a character faces that attack, are considered when calculating the result. Attacks to the front of a character maybe dodged, while those to the rear are much more likely to strike home.

Equipped items also take account their equipped position. A shield in one hand can block attacks to the 3 closest directions. Or equip a shield in place of a backpack for a chance to block attacks from behind.

For the really paranoid, equip 3 shields and run!

Living Maps [PLANNED FEATURE]

The inhabitants of each map have there own needs and tasks, and won't just sleep until you stumble upon them (although you may come across sleeping characters..  great for ambushing). Guards will patrol, animals will seek out food, evil creatures will hunt for prey. 

While resting it's important to to choose the best location - or leave someone on guard!

Sound / Hearing [PLANNED FEATURE]

Actions will create sounds based on the entities involved - walking in plate armour on a wooden floor with create footsteps - and characters will react to sound as it propagates around the map. The main challenge here is how to convey this to player., but its a problem worth tackling as would allow interesting stealth mechanics.

Like all systems in Tacticrawl, the player should be able to use them to her advantage. Throw a stone to distract a guard, or 'hear' an approaching enemy the other-side of a door.

Fire [PLANNED FEATURE]

Fire that functions as the player would expect is a high priority feature as this opens up many interesting game play options. Fire should be effectively displayed, and spread between entities.

Current Status

You can follow development progress with my development blog or follow me on Twitter.