Welcome everyone to the second post on our recently released Development Blog.
I’m Javi (Grimngor), Game Designer for The Swarm, and this time I’m going to talk about all the main features of the game so you can get a decent overview of the whole game. So let’s get to it:
As said previously, The Swarm is a RTS where you play as «the hive mind» commanding a huge army of hundreds of alien creatures, ranging from creeps to behemoth monsters, in a war against humanity being your main objective to annihilate all life on earth. So yes, this is first of all an RTS game, but stopping there wouldn’t make justice to what we’re trying to accomplish with this game. And that is an action focused game that plays fast, agile and doesn’t overwhelm you with an over complicated meta-game.
Well, it’s a strategy game for sure and that means, to some extent, depth and complex gameplay, but we want to keep it simple while providing enough depth for you to make choices and take different paths to victory, different approaches of how you want to play the game or lead your army, all of them equally viable. How are we going to do it?
Managing the army
First of all, and the biggest change from «classic» RTS is that there isn’t the typical unit layout in which you get to control several individual units, instead we are going for a squad based control system, similar to what you can see in Relic games like Company of Heroes or Dawn of War. This way you units will always be grouped into squads of different sizes ranging from as few as 3-5 up to huge creep squads of almost 100 little creeps. We decided for this system because we wanted to encourage an agile system avoiding tons of macro-management while still having hundreds of units on the screen to really get the feeling of a real «swarm». Another reason was to simplify the gameplay, as in an average match you will likely get to control 5-10 squads at the same time instead of a couple hundred individual units, making it easier for you to develop great, controlled strategies.
Another reason that makes the squad system a good candidate is to encourage unit preservation. As a tactical RTS we wanted to really encourage players to take care of their squads and keep them for the duration of a game, so ideally you will try to not lose a whole squad. You will always lose some individual units from the squad but as long as you don’t lose all of them you will be able to reinforce the squad and keep the acquired upgrades and experience. So this sets the focus further into smart play, carefully thinking your moves to maximize your units advantages against the enemies weak points instead of just launching your whole (blob) army to the enemy.
The Beasts of destruction
So, creeps, monsters, aliens, creatures (we still haven’t decided on the official nomenclature for them), but there will be a wide array of them! We don’t want to spoil all the fun in a single post but no worries, we will give you all the details about each unit in successive posts. For now we can tell you they are going to be organized in 3 different Tiers each one more powerful than the precedent. But not in a way you evolve your creeps from tier 1 to 3 so you end up with only tier 3 creeps in the late game, we are balancing the game so you always need the T1 units as they are the backbone of your army, with T3 being the most specialized and strong ones but also costing more resources. The idea is that you balance you own swarm composition adapting to different situations on the heat of battle and specializing to achieve a specific objective. And you will be able to do so because every single creep will be designed to have a main differentiated role while still giving you enough freedom to evolve it in different ways,
to fit other sub-roles.
And that’s all for today! I hope you liked it and, as always, please guys don’t hesitate on firing your questions or suggestions to us, we love to hear your thoughts and we want to take all of you in count to make this game better with your help! We need your opinions!! 🙂
See you in the next one!
Javi (Grimngor) – Game Designer