Earlier in development of Restless Ground, I thought I might include a robust resource collection system. When players match special resource tiles — wood, iron, or stone — they’d receive those resources. These could be used for some sort of character development, either crafting, base building or item upgrading. In fact, I have the item upgrading interface already built…
…however, this wasn’t very fun. It ran counter to my new, fast-paced vision of the game. I wanted to avoid grind. However, I couldn’t take out those tiles altogether. A match-3 game like Restless Ground needs to have a certain amount of tile variety, or else it will become too easy. Also, I really like my stone, wood and iron icons…
The Solution: Replace Resource Collection with Trap Items
Instead of just removing the resource tiles, I thought of a way to better integrate them into the battle! Now, when you match resource items, it will provide you with a trap tile. Trap tiles can be pushed up at will to spawn an appropriate item: wooden stakes, an occult monolith or a handful of painful caltrops.
(Please excuse the janky unit and background sprites; I’ve recently converted to a higher resolution and haven’t reanimated them yet).
Stake trap tiles are created from 3 wood tiles. When pushed up, they cause a small amount of damage and a short-term bleed effect on effected enemies. They’re also impassable, but can be destroyed. They decay after a short period of time.
The monolith is created when you match 3 stone tiles. When pushed up, it stuns and knocks units around. It’s also impassable and a bit tougher than the stakes. It can be useful to buy time against the advancing horde, but it disappears after a short time.
Match 3 iron tiles and you’ll receive a caltrops tile. This can be pushed up to spawn three or more small iron pins that sit on the battlefield, waiting for a soft foot. When stepped on, they cause a small amount of damage and significantly slow the enemy for a few seconds.
I like these things. They look cool and serve to better integrate the puzzle game with the overworld battlefield. Also, trap tiles offer some new gameplay and character development options that I hadn’t considered before. I may include skills or items that have a passive that modifies traps somehow. I would love to see the monolith gain an energy-ray attack, or the caltrops turn into Chomp-esque clockwork biters.
Also, since I’m removing the boring resource collection part of the game, I’ll soon start modifying it to use only gold.
What do you think? Comment below, or follow me on Twitter at @anapestdigital.