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Hartacon Tactics is a turn-based tactical RPG, featuring higly deterministc mechanics, beautiful hand-painted 2D art and deep gameplay. Hire characters of unique classes, and wisely use their strengths, skills and weapons to defeat tough enemies as you travel through the continent of Kaus in the single-player campaign, or challenge other players in local co-op battles. The game has been released on XBOX 360 Indie Games section. A PC version aiming to bring plenty of improvements has been greenlit for release on Steam. Online multiplayer is being worked for this PC release.

RSS Character-based vs squad-based turns

I am thinking about switching to a squad-based turn system instead of a character-based one. What do you think?

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Hello dudes and dudettes, thanks for stopping by. You know that recently I released the alpha with multiplayer battles. Did you try it? You can download it here: www.hartacon-tactics.eu/public/setup/hartacontactics.zip

Thanks to your feedback I was able to fix an annoying bug and now the game doesn't freeze when the game's window loses the focus. It's an issue that many XNA developers had to deal with.

I cannot help but notice that very few registered an account and are playing online, so I wanted to ask you how do you feel about playing TBS games online against other players. What makes it good for you and what turns you down.

Finally, I am thinking about switching to a squad-based turn system instead of a character-based one.

FFT had individual turns, but it's one of the very few successful titles which took this road, the large majority of TBS went the other way.
Maybe the most engaging aspect of tactics games is the fact that you control a team of characters and not just a hero, and being able to move all your team members together gives you a lot of freedom, more decisions to make, more room to plan and carry out your strategy. However, when played online, with large teams, and possibly more than two players, this could mean you have to wait a lot until your turn comes, and some sort of advantage necessarily goes to who plays first, hence my decision to go for individual turns.
But now I feel that I am sacrificing too much in terms of gameplay.

So, how do you feel about it? Squad-based or character-based turns?


Adding keyboard entry support to the registration process would be nice, having to use the onscreen alphabetical keyboard was a pain.

I think squad-based is definitely more popular (and probably the one I would prefer), but I'm sure you could make character-based turns work as well. I'm just not sure it would have as wide an appeal. Squad based will mean you need to do some balancing, for sure, but it might be a stronger option for you.

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Now that I think about it, ordering movement on a character basis (usually by a stat like 'speed' or something to determine who goes first), is actually pretty common these days. In fact squad-based turns actually seem to be a little outdated. So like I said before, it's really up to you. Ordering turns by character speed could add an extra dimension to team customization and setup though.

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CharlieFleed Author

Thanks for sharing your ideas! :)

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Personally, I like character based turns more because it helps giving each unit you control the unique feel it needs to not just be considered "Random Warrior #3". I also feel it gives more tactical depth to games.

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