The Game Design of the Creatures

Hi everyone! When we were looking at what I could talk about this month, we immediately thought that it would be a great time to tell your more about the Creatures, as our Alpha Founders will soon be able to play them in the Alpha.

Ready? Let’s go!

Creatures Gameplay 1

Here’s a list of intentions that will be common to all Creatures, and that therefore apply to both Zotra and Onosani :

  • Their characteristics are above those of Companions
  • They have less skills than standards Companions, but they have an aura, that is to say a game-changing passive ability that changes the rhythm of the whole fight.
  • This Aura applies to all characters present on the battlefield, friends and foes alike. It must create an advantage for the Creature’s team though.
  • A syphon mechanic temper the might of the Creatures by making them available only a limited amount of time.
  • All in all, Creatures are based on mechanics that are easy to grasp and powerful to play, but complex to implement successfully.

Creatures Gameplay 2

We wanted Zotra to be a malefic, sadistic Creature, with strong self-destructive impulses. Playing her must give a darker, more desperate and painful turn to the fight.

  • Zotra has no consideration for her life, nor for the lives of her allies.
  • Zotra will use poison, something that guarantees a slow death by decay.
  • Zotra’s transformation is a life sentence. She does not have much armor but she can endure a lot of pain and therefore has a large amount of lifepoints.

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So here’s how these intentions are materialized in our Alpha version of Prodigy:

  • Aura of Pain (Passive ability)
    • Each turn she plays, before she launches her action, Zotra emits a harmful energy that poisons all Squares of both sides of the battlefield, except the Mana Squares.
    • This Aura conveys the deeply morbid nature of Zotra.
  • Macabre Resolve (Passive ability)
    • Each turn, Zotra poisons herself, loosing regularly a small amount of life.
  • Feast (Special skill launched with the Bond Arcana)
    • Zotra gives of a piercing scream, then devours the teammate that stands in front of her.
    • The teammate in question dies, whatever the amount of lifepoints they had when they were attacked by Zotra.
    • A dark energy rolls out of her wings, providing a generous healing to all other members of the team. Zotra is not healed though.
    • The amount of heal is fixed. It is possible to optimise this mechanic by sacrificing the weakest member of the team to heal the others.
    • This skill works really well with Aura of Pain, as it helps each character to sustain the Poison.

Zotra is linked to the Bond Arcana (just like Toboro and Siren). The Aura of Pain can be seen as way to symbolize the bonds betweens all living beings and the world that surrounds them.

Creatures Gameplay 3

Despite looking like a big wolfish monster, Onosani is first and foremost a divine creature made of wind and pure energy. Having him on your team needed to

  • Onosani’s mother was a wolf. His mannerism should reflect his heritage.
  • Onosani’s father was a god. His powers must defy the rules of magic as they are understood by mortals.
  • The fleeting nature of his essence makes him powerful but also fragile, therefore he cannot have a lot of lifepoints.

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Now let’s take a look at how this in his gameplay:

  • Aura of Wind (Passive ability)
    • Each turn he plays, before he launches his action, Onosani roars so as to change all Dissonance Squares into Harmony Squares on both sides of the battlefield.
    • This aura has a huge impact on the rhythm of the game, as it removes the chance of a Dissonance Explosion. It incites players to play in Dissonance, as most of the risk linked to this mechanic has disappeared, which in turn accelerates the game.
  • Volatile Form
    • If an Explosion of Dissonance happens on any side of the battlefield, Onosani disappears in a gust of wind.
    • It’s a pretty constraining syphon mechanic, encouraging the opponent to play in Dissonance even at his own expense.
  • Howl (Special skill launched with the Shift Arcana)
    • Onosani howls to the moon, changing his Arcana to pure Harmony or Dissonance, depending on the Card the player used to confirm the action.
    • Used well, this skill is very powerful. During the Attacker phase, it allows Onosani to launch tons of Affinity Attacks. During the Defender phase, if he is Harmony he will always be protected, if he is in Dissonance he will always counter-attack.

Onosani is linked to the Shift Arcana. It mirrors the fact that both his Aura and his Syphon mechanic relie on his power to transform magic.

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So what do you think of the Creatures? Are they as powerful as you imagined? Do you feel like you’ll be able to take advantage of their peculiar gameplay? Tell us all about it on the Official Forums!