I want to showcase a new project I have been working on the last few weeks. It’s another(!) Game of Thrones project - but with some twists. It’s current and working name is Game Of Thrones: Pawns And Players. The name is a reference to S01E05 of the Game of Thrones series. The name should reveal one of the central features of the map: who are the pawns and players in the race for the Iron Throne?
In this map, Heroes are central for your faction. Well, it’s Warcraft, heroes have always been the central units of your army. What I mean is, when you choose to play Robb Stark - and Robb Stark dies - you are defeated.
Game over that quickly? No, you get to roll a new character. Maybe this time you will play as Beric Dondarrion? Instead of commanding a large army, you play a faction with 2 heroes and a few demi-heroes, to engage in guerrilla warfare.
At this point in time a player has 3 lives and gets to play 3 different characters. You accumulate points by completing a character’s objectives, at the end of the game the player with the highest score wins.
We already have Game of Thrones… What’s the difference?
You probably know the beloved maps Robert’s Rebellion and Song of Ice and Fire, great in their own respect. The gameplay in those games is fun but simple: a grand strategy battle between set alliances where individual players with the best micro can excel in performance.
A faction can comprise of 4 or more heroes, with timed spawns that sometimes lead to controlling five or more unit groups. While these heroes level up, they become the deciding factor in determining battle outcome. A group of fully-leveled heroes will surely defeat 3 unit groups of footmen.
In GOTPAP, you will never control more than 3 heroes. Sometimes it’s only 1 hero - for instance Brienne of Tarth - will you be able to find Catelyn’s daughters with her?
I believe one of the biggest flaws in Warcraft is the ability to select units en masse. What a drag it is to attack-move your 8 control groups to your enemy. Warcraft is supposed to be played with 2 or 3 control groups, so let’s aim for that.
Oh, and no Essos. Nobody wants to play on Essos.
So the big differences are:
- You play a HERO, not a FACTION. Some heroes come with armies, some don’t.
- You will play up to 3 different heroes, instead of 1. Do you know the board game “Small World”? Yea, I got the idea from there.
- The winner is determined by a score that is tracked in scoreboard
- Due to the nature of picking heroes, sometimes some heroes will not be chosen. This will lead to entirely new and dynamic games and what-if situations. What could Renly have done if Stannis never assassinated him, because Stannis never left Dragonstone?
- Leavers do not ruin the game
- There are 10 player slots, but a game can be viable with e.g. only 4 people
Goal of the game
As I explained in the introduction, you will aim to achieve the highest score. Some heroes naturally have higher potential scoring than others. Robb Stark can capture King’s Landing and Casterly Rock to gain a total of 250 points. He can make decisions that will lead to more points.
Beric Dondarrion has only 1 objective: Protect the smallfolk. It will give him 100 points. Maybe you are cunning enough to stop other players from getting points, gaining victory through this method? Or better, maybe you don’t care about the score and just want to hit and run the big armies.
So I briefly talked about Robb. The current start date is just before Robb is assembling his bannermen. Ned Stark is still alive, though be it in complete mercy of Joffrey.
Robb’s initial objectives are:
- Capture King’s Landing
- Capture Casterly Rock
Robb’s initial decisions are:
- Call the banners
- Send Theon to parlay with Ironborn (potentially backfires)
- Send Catelyn to parlay with Renly
If Robb is picked, some other heroes become available as well.
Edmure Tully, who will instantly be Robb’s ally. Walder Frey, who will be Robb’s ally unless he.. changes his mind. Roose Bolton, who will be Robb’s ally unless the Tywin-player offers him a certain something.
Walder and Roose are designed as counters to Robb Stark, who has a massive scoring potential. If you are playing Robb, and Walder is picked… start scoring your points as fast as you can.
What will be added in the future - after the beta-stage
- AI (if a major faction is not picked after X minutes, they start spawning computer-controlled units that attack-move to player-owned holdings)
- Brief cinematics for major events
- Game of Thrones theme & sound effects
- Variable lives?
- Variable start dates?
What am I hoping to find here
Testers, and ideas.
A lot of the triggers in the map are dependent on player interaction, that means I won’t be able to unit-test a lot of functionality right now.
Also, while I do enjoy creating maps, making triggers and custom units… I find abilities tiresome. If you have any ideas for custom abilities, please fire them at me. A thing to keep in mind is that I try to differentiate Fighters from Rulers from Commanders.
- Jaime Lannister, a fighter, would have abilities like Critical Strike
- Robb Stark, a commander, would have summons and auras
- Mace Tyrell, a ruler, would have abilities that boost his food, score, or spawns?