Interplanetary is a turn-based strategy game for PC, Mac and Linux, featuring both single- and multiplayer modes.
Explaining what a turn in Interplanetary actually contains.
Posted by Jeoo on Jun 7th, 2013
Welcome to another game design blog post. I'm Sasu and I'll be your host today and I promise that the topic today is much more interesting than it sounds. It's time to finally tell all you folks out there about Interplanetary's turn structure.
Interplanetary is a turn based strategy, so unsurprisingly, it consists of turns. The flow of these turns dictates the very basics of how the game is played and they can be neatly divided into three major phases: Build Phase, Targeting Phase and Action Phase.
During the Build Phase, your job is to manage your planet and devise your strategy. You can directly build your infrastructure, develop technologies and spy on your enemy. This phase is strongly reminiscent of the base building in most strategy games.
The placement of different buildings can have strong repercussions. How to keep up your Power Grid? How to protect your buildings? Should you spread them out over the whole planet or keep them together? The attack might come from anywhere.
Depending on the power of your Intelligence structures, you can also take a peek at the enemy's planet and plan your upcoming attack accordingly. Be careful, though: if you're not equipped with adequate counterintelligence methods, your enemy may do the same to you. If you're careless with your building strategy, you can soon expect to see some missiles, aimed directly at your weakest spots.
Then there's your Technology level. You must choose what technologies to concentrate on and what route to take on your technology tree. Unlocked technologies grant you bonuses and new projects that you can develop in your cities. All in all, there's a lot of room for strategy here.
While you can enter and exit Targeting Phase at any time, you'll probably be mostly going there after you're finished with your planet's maintenance.Once there, you may target all the weapons you have built at the enemy planet. That is, if you still have some Power left over from other things to actually fire each of them.
The amount of Intelligence points you've collected determines your ability to aim at the enemy. You can always try to shoot your cannons at the general direction of the enemy, but some weapons allow you to target specific structures on the surface of the planet. Of course, you have to be able to see them first, and that's one of the main points of Intelligence.
This is the payoff at the very end of the turn. When you click on the "End Turn"-button, the Action Phase commences. You see the overview of the planetary system and both yours and the enemy's aimed weapons launch at their targets. All you can do now is wait and enjoy the carnage.
After this, the next turn starts and you may start inspecting the damage and reacting accordingly. That's all, in a nutshell. Of course, there's a lot more to discuss about each phase and the little details, especially the exact workings of the targeting system. We've barely scratched the surface here, but hopefully everyone now has a proper idea about the very basic gameplay. See you next time!