Thoughts about v0.1 -> v0.2: Attributes

Thoughts about v0.1 -> v0.2: Attributes

August 15, 2021
APOCALYPSE FRAME
Game Design

Hi there! I’m going to be releasing dev logs for my process periodically. Especially as the game progresses and gets more content, it’ll probably make some decisions (in the past and future) make more sense. Hopefully it’s of some use to someone!

Attributes in v0.1 #

In v0.1, the LUMEN Force/Flow/Focus attributes, Drive/Speed/Control, must simply total to 6 - minimum 1, maximum 4. This means you’d get the various permutations of three arrays: 4/1/1, 3/2/1, and 2/2/2. Now, for reference, given that the values we’re looking at are 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6:

  • 1 die is 33% across the board for each outcome.
  • 2 dice is 11% fail with consequence, 33% succeed with consequence, 55% succeed without consequence.
  • 3 dice is 4% fail with consequence, 26% succeed with consequence, 70% succeed without consequence.
  • 4 dice is 1% fail with consequence, 19% succeed with consequence, 80% succeed without consequence.

So part of my goal from the beginning has been to make sure every available statline makes sense. I had started with 7 attributes, but in my initial round of local testing, my conclusion was that players who chose a 4 were simply more advantaged than those who didn’t and didn’t have to give much up for it. So in an effort to curb this I added two changes: I reduced the number of attributes to 6 and added Attribute designations to each Armament (with two potential attributes each). This would mean that 4-havers would be forced into 1’s in their other two attributes, greatly hampering them out of combat and in combat (because they’d only be able to use 8/12 Armament types effectively). It also has the side effect of making the different attributes feel different mechanically.

My conclusion, however, was that this simply isn’t enough. Out of combat they could be covered by other specialists. In combat, being Armament-limited in this fashion wasn’t that big a deal.

Attributes in v0.2 #

And so we come to my final conclusion: Maximum is now 3. Easy, each character now has a good/ok/mediocre line. But what about the 2/2/2 generalist? Well, they don’t get a whole lot out of this either over a 3/2/1. So my conclusion is that characters at the start of the game have to have 3/2/1 stat lines and can swap 3/2 or 2/1 between missions during downtime. This means nobody at the start of the game is accidentally setting themselves up for failure.

But I’m not letting that be the final word on it. I love the idea of artificial limits being broken. One of the things I’m going to be emphasizing for future content is the use of expanded sidegrade options and context shifts as rewards. So maybe a 4/1/1 with a caveat or a 2/2/2 with a bonus will ride again!

I’m also going to be looking into how Frame Damage works. If anything but your main attribute is hit, it doesn’t mean nearly as much as it should. I’ll be aiming to address that in the future.

Until next time!

(Originally posted here)