2012-12-16 | Vaclav
Turn-based mechanics are becoming more and more popular: look at Frozen Synapse, Hero Academy and the glorious return of the X-COM. A part of the reason is the growth of mobile gaming. Another part is smartphones and tablets are ideal media for all the board games we love. Turn-based games are about tactical thinking. They're about planning your next move. And they're sometimes about sitting around, waiting for your sloth of an opponent to take their turn…
Waiting for Your Opponent Sucks
It’s not a problem in single player scenarios – but a real big deal for multiplayer. Mobile matches have to be quick. One way to solve the problem is asynchronous multiplayer. It is a clever game mechanic that lets you leave the game when you've taken your turn. Your opponent can make their move in their own time, and a notification pops up on your device when it’s your turn again. A great solution – but the gameplay loses something. It can drag out into chess-like matches with a complete loss of the adrenalin rush of the battle. In the end you find yourself playing numerous week-long matches at the same time. It turns the game into a series of e-mails back and forth between players.
A Hybrid of Asynchronous and Real Time
We’ve taken a different approach: a “Live Turn-Based” system. We give both players time to make their move separately, then their moves are resolve at the same moment. It’s an almost perfect merger of real-time and turn-based advantages – you still have time to evaluate your move and be more tactical than in real time, but on the other hand, matches are quick and feel like a real battle, not a chess game.