I’m increasingly enthusiastic about the release of Infinity: Battlescape. I have limited time for gaming so it could be what I’d play even if the full Infinity: The Quest For Earth MMO were available. These days, round based, arena shooters are my game of choice. I don’t have the time to play a game that takes 50+ hours to finish.
I look at Elite Dangerous on my Steam account and it feels like its going to be a lot of work so I just click on an arena shooter knowing I can have some quick fun.
The main games I play are Team Fortress 2 and ARMA 3. TF2 is a finely crafted game with class based balance that has stood the test of time. In Arma I’ve played a lot of coop, KOTH, RPG and of course DayZ. Most recently I’ve got hooked again on Arma with the Sa-Matra king of the hill mod. This gameplay style could easily translate over to a game like Battlescape.
One thing that both TF2 and that Arma2 mod have in common is a level of persistence between sessions in terms of equipment. In Arma I’m always working on unlocking the next gun or vehicle and it gives long term replayability and encourages player retention. I’d strongly recommend that I-Novae consider using a cloud server to offer character progression in some way. At the very least it should be a stretch goal.
One of the things that makes Sa-Matra KOTH so much fun is that it’s a battle between three competing factions. Allowing the weaker factions to gang up on the strongest faction is a good self-balancing mechanic and alliance and betrayals can happen that aren’t possible in the regular two faction set up. We have three factions in Infinity so hopefully that will carry over nicely in to Battlescape.
In terms of the specific gameplay for Battlescape there are a number of obvious game scenarios that could be implemented. All of these are inspired by the most popular game modes from other arena based shooters.
King of the hill
Each team starts an equal distance from the conflict zone. This could be a disputed space station or a planet based command facility. The team with the most ships within the conflict zone is in control and gains points. When a team reaches a target points value the game is over and that team wins.
Players would get credits (UC) for being within the conflict zone and for destroying enemy ships. These credits can be spent on upgrades to their ship.
Capture the flag
CTF is the classic arena based game mode. It would work well within Battlescape although probably best on the surface of a planet where the terrain would give more tactical options. Flag capturing could work like it did in Tribes with the flag being on the roof of the opponent’s base and must be flown through to collect it. The mode could work with two or three factions with teams competing to capture the most flags until a set number of captures have been made and one team wins.
Players could earn UC by picking up the flag, capturing or destroying enemy ships.
Control point capture
A control point game would work best with just two factions, one attacking and one defending. The teams would spawn an equal distance from the first control point and then battle over each on in turn. Each control point would be captured in “king of the hill” style with the attacking faction needing to outnumber the defenders for a certain amount of time to win the point. This mode would work well as a combined orbital and planetside scenario.
As with the standard KOTH mode players would get UC for being within the control point zone and for destroying enemy ships.
Armed or unarmed racing
The control point mode could be easily altered so that the control points became waypoints in a race.
Each team spawns an equal distance from the first waypoint and must race through a series of waypoints to a finish line. The waypoints would best be represented by features that could be flown though such as space station structures or under bridges on a planet’s surface. Between waypoints could be obstacles such as asteroid fields or canyons. These would be particularly useful in armed races as protection from the missiles of ships behind you.
The prize for winning could be 100UC per ship that entered the race with a smaller team prize for all ships on the winning team. If a ship is destroyed or chooses to self-destruct during the race it would respawn at the last waypoint it passed.