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Shock Tactics

Shock Tactics is a turn-based sci-fi strategy game with tactical combat, exploration, squad management and base building.

Shock Tactics
VOTING RESULTS
Yes 85% No 15%

Genre: RPG, Strategy

Developer: Point Blank Games

PC

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Platforms: PC

UPDATE #3: New Blog, UI Progress and DevGAMM Conference

UPDATE #2: Action Freeze Feature

UPDATE #1: Skill System

Shock Tactics is a single player turn-based sci-fi strategy game with tactical combat, exploration, squad management and base building. It is inspired by the space western style of Firefly, the massive weapons of Warhammer 40k and games like Jagged Alliance and X-COM.

You are a trailblazer for the first wave of the free Space Pioneers that are exploring an ancient alien homeworld. In their century old struggle with the dictatorship of the Imperial Consortium, this planet is the first real hope of finding a new home for their people.

Features:

  • Challenging squad tactics combat: Lead your strike team against smart enemies that employ a large array of tactics. Know your enemy, build a strategy, rule the battlefield.

  • Exploration is key: The world map is full of mysterious landmarks containing alien technologies and ancient secrets that you can unravel to become strong enough to tip the balance of fate.

  • Procedurally generated world map: You never know what you will find when exploring the world. This makes strategic decisions unique for each game session and leads to a high replayability.

  • Strike team progression: You control six unique characters that you will build into a fierce squad as you explore the planet.

  • Base building: Expand your base with structures to build advanced weapons, develop sophisticated healing capabilities and research alien technologies.

  • An immersive story woven into the open world: You are dragged into the struggle for the Rim World’s future while trying to stay alive in the middle of an escalating war between the Space Pioneers and the Imperial Consortium.


Platforms: Windows/Mac/Linux

 

Core Gameplay

Tactical Combat

One turn: Move and Attack.

You need to understand and utilize the tactical situation to your advantage in every mission, as the terrain and layout of each mission is especially important in Shock Tactics. Choosing the right alleys of approach, cover positions and sniper spots makes all the difference when facing overwhelming odds.

 

Tactical assault on a warehouse.

 

Team Equipment And Abilities

Employ tactical abilities.

You will acquire up to sixteam members while venturing the Rim World. They all have their different strengths and weaknesses. Your job as the leader is to build them into a strike team that works well together and is able to deal with the most ferocious enemies that could spawn from the depth of the universe.

As your strike team members gain experience you can specialise them for certain tasks by strengthening different abilities depending on your playstyle and the team strategy you are going for.

 

Equip your strike team.

Weapons and armor can be enhanced with alien technology to have effects like advanced armor penetration, extra damage against biological targets or cracking through kinetic barriers. Especially the composition of weapons you carry makes all the difference when facing different kinds of enemies.

 Exploration

The world map of the uncharted planet.

You are part of the first wave of Space Pioneers to reach the Rim World. There is plenty of work for a strike team leader like you. You protect the first outposts' construction and secure the convoys that establish a foothold on the completely unknown world. It is up to you to explore the vast island continents and unravel the secrets of this ancient alien homeworld. Discover alien artifacts and use them to build an unstoppable strike team of specialists. But make no mistake, the Imperial Consortium is on the same hunt and if you fall behind, you will be the one that falls to the power of their alien war tech.

 

Base Construction

Base building.

Your base is the safe haven where your strike team recovers after a combat mission. It is also where you research alien technology, upgrade your soldiers and have the occasional well earned beer.

In the playable demo the base building will be implemented as shown in the trailer. Since we finished our teaser trailer we have significantly advanced the base building concept. You can see the first prototyped building construction above. It will most likely be the first stretch goal in our crowdfunding campaign. In the new concept of base building you can freely place the structures and your base is a playable map. You will need to defend your base against attacks using your strike team along with hired NPC guards. You can build defensive structures or invest in more research. When placing your buildings you have to take efficiency factors, like adjacency bonuses, into account as well as position them in a way you can defend your base.

 

Story

The Rim World

The homeworld of a long perished alien civilization.

The game takes place on a newly discovered planet, which was once the homeworld of a now long perished alien civilization. The riches this planet may hold attract everyone commanding a spaceship. From the big Imperial Consortium to the independent Space Pioneers and ruthless pirates, everybody sets their course to the Rim World.

The free folk of the Space Pioneers is a collective of countless individual groups. Their swift cooperation is based on a network of long earned trust and is both effective and fragile. Until now they were driven off every valuable planet they found because the Imperial Consortium claimed it for profit. With the discovery of the Rim World, every Space Pioneer knows that the unexplored potential of this planet could change the future of their people forever. This unifies the independent endeavors of all Space Pioneers like never before. They are coming from all corners of the known universe to forge the century old dream of a homeworld into reality. For the first time in history the Space Pioneers have a fair chance standing against the Imperial Consortium. The race for the Rim World’s secrets has begun!

 

You are Aidan Carter

Aidan Carter

You were caught and sentenced to death by the Imperial Consortium for smuggling weapons to the outer ring worlds, then freed by your customers, an entrepreneur's dream. Well, actually they freed your merchandise and let you hitchhike on their extraction plan instead of paying you... but that is as good as customer relations get in this business.

You can't travel in Imperial Space anymore and your ship with a full weapons inventory is gone for nothing. Great. But through your trading, you acquired some good relations with the Space Pioneers venturing the outer systems, and one of them hires you as muscle for a seemingly massive venture, considering how quiet he keeps it. A few days later you are off to a planet everyone just calls "The Rim World". Uncharted territory with unpredictably valuable alien technology and artifacts, where any man can make his fortune any day, any time, he just has to have the guts to take it...

Aidan Carter:"Sounds right down my alley, I'm in."

 

Vision

What sets Shock Tactics apart is its focus on aggressive tactical maneuvers. It is about managing risk and reward, not just minimizing the risk. You have to get the damage done, because in most missions there are enemy reinforcements inbound or your target is trying to escape. Shock Tactics is about fighting, not about safely moving twenty turns without contact. We love many different turn based games that all have their own take on the genre. Our take on it is that you always jump neck deep into battle and never hold back.

The Landmarks you discover on the world map can have all of the difficulty levels right from the start. You will encounter missions that are too hard for you at the beginning of the game. We believe that the exploration and careful decision which mission to take on immerses you in every battle you fight and the consequences it has.

We have a strong root in artificial intelligence and believe a smart and challenging AI is what makes a good turn based game awesome. We believe game difficulty should be realised by actually making the AI smarter, more aggressive and punishing, instead of simply giving the enemy units more hitpoints and damage than your strike team will ever have.

 

Progress

Our teaser trailer shows the features we have already implemented. Sara and I are currently working towards a playable demo as the next big milestone. We want you to know what the gameplay will feel like and that we can actually deliver our vision of the game once we are ready to ask for crowdfunding.

We are also working on an experimental feature we call “Action Freeze”, which we really want to show you. When it is ready we will update our campaign to see if you like it.

 

Collective

Because they have built an awesome platform for independent developers to get in touch with the players and have an open and honest dialogue with them. We hope you are as happy you found us as we are! And it’s all because of the Collective :)

 

Help

  • Please tell Sara and me what YOU think! We know how important it is to stay in touch with the people that will actually play our game and listen to what they have to say.

  • Sign up for our newsletter to follow the development and get a heads up when the crowdfunding campaign is launched.


Thanks in advance for your support and let’s talk Shock Tactics! :)

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FEEDBACK (19)

More Updates

UPDATES

Thank you all for the support, feedback and comments.

We decided to release a rather detailed update because if we talk about our skill tree we want to do it right.

You will get six characters over the course of the game. We develop each of them to have unique game mechanics and still have the flair of a classic combat role. You have to understand the mechanic of a character to fully unlock his potential. When leveling one of the characters you choose how you want to develop his specific role on the battlefield. But the true challenge is selecting abilities for each soldier in order to get a well build strike team that is effective on the battlefield and aligns with your play style.

To show you how we build the strike team characters, we release the skill tree of ‘Bunker’ and explain the skill system along the way.

 

Mavuto ‘Bunker’ Burwin is the front line tank of your strike team and he has a guardian buddy following him everywhere.

We do not want to spoil the guardian character and his role in the story but we want to give you the idea behind the design concept for this duo and why we think it’s awesome.

The guardian is bound to Bunker in every aspect of the tactical gameplay. He is not under your direct control and follows Bunker wherever he goes. When you give move orders to Bunker, you get a preview where his guardian will move. He will automatically try to find a good defensive cover position in close proximity to Bunker. Since the guardian is rather squishy, forcing him to follow Bunker far out into open spaces is dangerous. Bunker himself can step right into the heat of the battle, as long as his guardian can find cover somewhere nearby. In spite of being an easy kill himself, the guardian supports Bunker when things get rough, making Bunker a fearless warmachine. The only thing that can bring down this calm, massive tank is his guardian friend getting downed. Then Bunker goes completely mad, forgets about mission objectives and only defends his guardian both as a meatshield and an angry artillery until his guardian is back on his feet. The guardian makes Bunker extremely hard to kill, but also gives him a distinct weakness.

The interactions between these two on the battlefield make for interesting decisions and unique tactics. The constraint the guardian puts on your movement decisions for Bunker gives the duo a very unique feel in this basic mechanic. The interaction of their special abilities and the support/tank relationship really binds these characters together as a tag team.

 

 Of course no balancing, and sometimes even ability design, survives the first round of beta tests without changes. But to show you how we put these design goals into form, here is the current skill tree for Bunker:

  • Each soldier has four active ability slots, one slot for each of the four ability tiers. Each slot can have one active ability assigned to it from the two active abilities available in each tier.
  • Each active skill has three levels.
  • The passive abilities are always active once leveled.
  • The blue abilities give you an alternate version of the tier 4 ability.

You gain one skill point per level.

  • Tier 1 is unlocked from the start.
  • Tier 2 requires 3 spent skill points to unlock.
  • Tier 3 requires 6 spent skill points to unlock.
  • Tier 4 requires 9 spent skill points to unlock.

Every strike team member has two attributes: Hit Points and Aim. These automatically increase with each level. The amount increased depends on the role of the character.

Ultimately every soldier can have all abilities and passive traits at maximum when he reaches level 30. The skill tree we designed has two very different decision phases for the player. At first you really want to get every active ability slot equipped with an ability. So your choices of abilities do matter, because if you want to level the second ability in the same tier you will sacrifice points that could be spent on higher tier abilities. The first definite choice of an alternate ability is level 18, which is quite far into the game. Until then you will have to fight with the choices you made. After that the second decision phase begins. You have gathered some combat experience and know your enemies better. Now you level alternate abilities and customize your strike team ability composition specifically for the mission ahead.

 

Deploy Shield: Bunker rams a massive shield into the ground for cover. He only carries one shield, but he is able to pick it up again to redeploy it somewhere else.

 

Hail of Bullets: Bunker fires a hail of bullets in a cone dealing damage to everybody caught in the area.

 

Suppression Fire: Every area of effect attack of Bunker reduces the aim skill of all targets for one turn.

 

Sustained Fire: Bunker can attack two times but cannot move.

 


Welder Nanites: Bunker activates nanites that weld themselves into the armor closing the holes caused by enemy fire.

 

Guardian Shield: When Bunker falls under 50% life and gets into grave danger, his companion will blink in front of him and raise a massive barrier that deflects all incoming attacks for the duration of the enemy turn.

 Guardian Retaliation: The guardian blinks to an enemy that attacked Bunker in his previous turn and deals massive damage with a kinetic blast.

 

Taunt Tracers: Bunker fires extremely bright red glowing tracers in a cone in front of him. They deal little damage but all enemies will focus their fire on Bunker.

 

Guardian Shockwave: When at least three enemies are almost in melee range of Bunker, the guardian releases a powerful shockwave to drive them back.

Cut Through: Bunker walks for half his APs and while moving does two 'Hail of Bullets' attacks.

 

Stabilized Strafing: Bunker can now steadily aim while walking, enabling him to make two targeted attacks instead of the two are of effect attacks.

 

Rocket Barrage: Bunker fires several artillery rockets mounted on his back dealing explosive damage in a vast area.

 

Focused Strike: Bunker fires a complete barrage of homing missiles on one enemy.

 

 

 Guardian Second Wind: When Bunker gets downed the first time during a mission, he will be teleported to the guardian’s position where he will be revived in the following turn.

 

 

Thanks for reading and please tell us what you think!

 

COMMENTS (4)

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  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    I can think of quite a few other examples (Fire Emblem is a big one) that didn't have generic characters, but I do agree that only having the generics doesn't let you connect with them well.

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    ......to see get developed and will definitely buy. The strict 'only 6 characters' aspect will mean that we don't necessarily suffer from perma-death of characters, unless Mavuto Burwin is supposed to be the archetype for the Bunker class, but I do have the feeling that there will still be penalties to watch out for if characters get 'eliminated' in a fight so you won't have any desire to just throw them away.

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    What you had described of the story itself so far was very interesting, and although I have played games that had designs that were out-right broken before just for their story (Lunar: Dragon Song is a great example) I wasn't really interested in playing an X-Com: Enemy Unknown inspired spin-off that didn't improve on the core flaw of the game. Now you've shown that you've improved on that core flaw, which bumps it from something I might buy if it gets developed to something I'd like.....

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    Hmmm.....you missed Guardian Shockwave in the skill descriptions, but going from the name and what you have here I'm guessing it's either a support attack from his Guardian or else an alternative counter. This, however, shows that you have a game that has some true differences from everything else out there in the genre, enough to make it something to look forward to.

STUDIO

  • Point Blank Games
    Point Blank is a start-up game development studio in Berlin. Our young team is dedicated to turn-based squad tactic games. We have a strong root in artificial intelligence and focus on delivering deep game mechanics built around challenging and versatile enemy opponents. We love turn-based games and our first game Shock Tactics will bring a true challenge to the seasoned tactician as well as an immersive battlefield that every commander can enjoy.
  • Sara Budde
    She is the programming genius at Point Blank Games. Sara has specialised in AI development for the last 6 years and makes sure that Shock Tactics gets the challenging enemies that a good turn based game needs to be awesome.
  • Leonard Kausch
    Game Director for Shock Tactics and in charge of the art style. He is a turn based tactic games fanatic since forever and is currently freaking out making the game design for one.