"Start your life anew.
Understand your problems.
Redefine your priorities.
Verify your self-worth through commitment.
Ignore your detractors.
Value your loved ones.
Embrace every day as if it were your last." Saw V
Instead of the foreword
We are preparing a series of publications about the gameplay of the game, its role-playing system and history of the universe – and we hope to receive your comments and suggestions. At the moment, we are focused on the Alpha version of the game, which will give the idea of the basic gameplay benefits, and help us to fine-tune the balance of the combat system with your help.
Those, who are most sympathetic to our project, will have access to the Alpha in a few months. Therefore, all the answers, primarily, come from the content of the Alpha version. Alpha version contains all the game elements we need to balance and debug with features constricted to the required minimum.
What is the point of the role system of DESCENDANTS?
Game mechanics is the result of multiple rethinking of standard role-playing elements essentially borrowed from board games. Hit points, saves, classes, roles, characteristics, damage system, levels and progression of the character - all these factors and a host of other things work in RPG system of DESCENDANTS (DNA) in a completely new way.
However, we have left the familiar notions, so that any player can navigate the DNA system, and master all the tooling of advantages and opportunities revealing under the infinitely varied battles after a short training.
In fact, the role realism, due to hidden calculations, has repeatedly increased, while the player will only have to make important decisions in intuitive game situations. The controls are very simple and are easily implemented even on touch screen devices and gamepads.
Whereas the depth of the DNA is gradually revealed, even people, who are slightly familiar with the RPG, can easily understand the principles of gameplay, while experienced players will discover extensive customization of the character, a lot of tactics and huge potential for improving their skills.
In reality, the system of DNA is all we want to see in the role-playing games, but we don’t. And if it were not for our strong desire to play something quick and simple, but very interesting together, we would hardly start the development.
How would you describe the combat system in DESCENDANTS?
Descendants is a tactical action-RPG. Firstly, this is action, because the fights happen very instantly, in real time, and very much depends on the character’s actions, but the priority is still given to the role-playing component.
Secondly, the victory in the combat depends on your assessment of the battlefield, enemies and tactical decisions very much. The battlefield is constantly changing, that fundamentally affects the behavior of all NPCs, including a small group of contractors, which you control cursorily, either using them to increase your combat power, or as a shield.
DNA is an easy to learn, but a very deep role and combat system. This is how we see the next generation of cyber sports games combining all the advantages of today's top games and the suggesting solutions of obvious problems of team games.
The main priority for us is to create such a mechanics that would not provoke irritation and mutual insults of players while maintaining the need for coordinated team actions and improving the skills of players.
However, we do not want the game to steal all of your free time and encourage the habit of blunt linear accumulation of game values, while not rewarding you with valuable experience. Every battle can become a topic for discussion with friends, thereby encouraging real-life communication.
The victory does not depend on reaction and speed of mouse-clicking, but on the ability to feel the physics of the game. What is more, the overall personal and playing experience promotes sober assessment of the battle situation and therefore the right tactical decisions.
We want to change a model allowing only young players (teenagers, actually) to win at the professional level in cyber sports. Our goal is to make the team play attractive for experienced players too. Provided that age and experience will increase chances of winning.
We do not want to transform the gameplay into drug speculating on the most basic neuropsychiatric triggers. We do not set a goal to catch those 5% of people who are ready to bring all the profits to developers in exchange for the satisfaction of heir passion.
Targeted approach to the role-playing system and universe gives us the opportunity to make the game attractive not by means of a Skinner box, but by means of a genuine joy of curiosity satisfaction, research, invention, improvement and teamwork.
What provides cinematic and unique battles?
The vast majority of battles in multiplayer role-playing games are reduced to confrontation of opponents simultaneously comparing their figures in order to determine the winner.
Opponents spatter each other's blood with allowance for probability, until one of them runs out of hit points, and the battle will be over. It is quite understandable and convenient scheme for alternate throws of dice in board games.
However, for a long time computing power has been enabling us not to compare two numbers to determine by the reaction if the save is passed or not. Physical model can be based on realistic battle variables and determine if the player will wriggle out the danger or not, on the basis of its potential for use of environment, for example.
In other words, we could have created the algorithm for certain elements of role-playing games, in order to make the battle more realistic and intuitive, when the picture is consistent with the logic. This is the essence of DNA system.
Every time we watch the film with an interesting battle scene, we think, how to implement it in the mechanics of the game, and make appropriate adjustments. I don’t mean animated and scripted scenes with alternate pressing the gamepad buttons (Q or E, for example), but the real role algorithm that lets player to enjoy the spectacular realism, and at the same time offers to calculate his tactics to the full in view of the influence of specific characteristics.
For example, a scene from the movie Oldboy, when the protagonist returns to the former prison and fights with a mass of less motivated opponents. Opponents rearrange constantly, look for a convenient position for attack, suffer wounds and cope with the pain shock – it is real. And in Descendants you will see the same conscious fights.
Or in the movie Edge of Tomorrow we see scenes of fight against alien imbalance invaders being superior in speed and attack over the enemies we've seen before. Tentacles of the enemy work completely autonomously on all itineraries, not to mention the swiftness of its movement. PVE battles should be the same, but not the linear forming of players against some MMO boss.
In the DNA-system, each AI opponent (again, depending on the characteristics of wisdom and intelligence) takes into account a lot of natural options for any battle: how can he win and stay alive; whom should he attack, taking into account the distribution of forces, distance, terrain circumstances; should he use ranged weapons or try to come from behind; should he retreat for help, regroup, or crush the enemy with onslaught.
Analysis of the situation and the constant change of the own state is only one part, when we talk about the realism of the battles. Moreover, the interface and the data we get on the enemy and its condition are very important.
Whether we can determine how much damage he had received and how much more he can endure. Whether we see and can use his vulnerability. All that and a host of other things are taken into account in the DNA-system, and the supply of combat information is concise and minimal, and controls are literally reduced to one finger. Since realism implemented by other means, for example, through a bunch of tables and controllers, would have not make sense for anyone (at least, for us).
As a result, restart of the battle with the same initial parameters always leads to various endings. It is impossible to predict what wounds opponents will inflict to each other, how will their combat potential change, what will happen to the area, and how AI will react to this. Every battle is really unique, and sometimes you can become a participant or the main character of very rare situations worthy of discussion with friends.
What is the essence of your approach to the system of classes and roles of the character?
In most RPG games, classes are a form of concretizing the specialization of the character. For example, MOBA games have a specific goal and the way to achieve it. On the way to the goal, players make a number of specific actions, the success of which determines the victory.
Accordingly, we can focus on performing the desired action, or prevent the enemy from performing a similar action. Effectiveness of actions depends on the coordinated work of the team members.
In other words, players determine the tactic containing a set of actions necessary for the victory. So, they select roles to perform this tactic. Therefore, if one of the players will not be effective in his role, thus he will break the coherent chain of joint actions, letting down his party members.
Such a player will inevitably get the criticism in his address, which clearly does not promote good and friendly role-playing game. This is because the role, chosen by the player, was not played properly, and expectations of the other players were cheated. To prevent the mechanics provoking insults in Descendants, we have done quite differently.
There are classes and roles in DNA. Classes are the element of character development, essentially, giving you the chance to decide on the preferred style of fighting. Multi-class allows you creating character build maximum of 3 classes.
Regardless of the class chosen, with the proper training you will become a deadly fighter. Your experience and skill determine the chances of winning, even over formally much more pumped opponent. There is no dependence like: a wizard defeats a warrior, a warrior defeats an archer, and an archer defeats a wizard in DESCENDANTS – it all depends on you (and your space armor suit).
Classes are a part of the role system, which gives you a variety of approaches to the development of your character, and offers a very interesting variation and ground for reflection to experienced role players. While by the role we mean the possibility of players to adjust to the specific situation right into the battle in order to address the current problems effectively. When changing your gear, you change your role too.
So, if you spend money on the desired object, and your usefulness to the group will grow in a particular situation – they will thank you. And if you decide not to do so, for example, you do not have extra resources to buy other weapons, improvement or suit - no one will blame you. In other words, the game provokes you to take role feats on the way to the goal not as a proper behavior, but as s merit and cause to encourage party member with the positive reputation.
Do you have levels and what is the system of character development?
In general, the progress of the character is performed in 2 directions: qualitative and quantitative.
1st direction - the number of battles leads to an increase in skills related to the specific characteristics and abilities. Growth of characteristics gives access to higher grades of classes, or deeper specialization in the selected class. Advanced classes provide more abilities and possibilities of their synergy. In other words, any combat experience translates into an increase in the power of the character.
2nd direction - the quality of the battles depends on the complexity of the opponents. The victory over a stronger enemy gives you the chance to make slots for abilities available faster. A large number of open and filled slots for abilities make you more versatile and balanced fighter ready for any situation on the battlefield. In other words, victories over strong opponents translate into increasing of your opportunities.
Alpha will make available 18 slots for abilities - it can be compared with the levels of the character (in fact, the risk in battle allows you rising quickly). The more active abilities, the more likely one or another sequence will work, that will allow you killing a lot of enemies instantly.
However, the death of the character results in a reduction of one of skills. Strength and success of abilities application depends on the relevant skills. In other words, death will make you less effective in battle - payment for failure in the battle with the superior enemy.
If you want to develop qualitatively, you will have to take risks, and the risk is real. However, lowered skill can be quickly restored in battle with elementary opponents, and therefore the penalty for the death of the character is not a critical punishment.
At the same time, if you dye and return to the same battle over and over again, such intemperance can lead to a serious throwback for your character. Although, of course, the game will allow you reducing the penalty for death in different ways significantly.