During a 6 month development cycle, Sneakybox created a playable alpha version of the game with the following structure:
The gaming environment
- Rather than fighting each other directly, players battle to take over specific regions of the map.
- Each region features varied conditions which influence different aspects of the game.
- Constantly changing circumstances across the game map affect the game globally.
There are two decks of cards. Players choose two cards from each deck.
- Character Cards – characters can be human, cyborg or robot. Each character has unique qualities which determine how strong it is and the abilities and skills which can be used in various situations. All character cards belong to one of four game factions which differ in mechanics, strategy and backstory.
- Support Cards – these cards represent an action a character can make or any piece of equipment, drugs or implant it can use or carry. A set price must be paid to play most support cards, or they can be sold during the cardholder’s playing turn for half of that price.
Minimising random factors, optimising strategy
- Game resources: two types of cards and flexible card selling address the problem of flooding or blocking those resources.
- SneakyBox built in game factors to avoid any one card combination dominating the game.
- Limited character numbers on the battlefield (no more than 4 per player), ensure that the game must be won by outmanoeuvring opponents and not by simply overwhelming them numerically.
- Skill elements make each of the four factions differ from each other, enabling character cards to be used in many different ways.
- A complex combat system – dependent on passive abilities of the characters, landscape and circumstances – allows for many different winning strategies.
- A points system for taking over and controlling specific game map regions forces players to plan ahead and prevents them from building powerhouses to dominate the battlefield by numerical strength alone.