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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

PITCH

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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

The Action Freeze feature captures the current heat of the battle and carries the feeling of an all-out firefight through the turns of a mission.

 

When you play squad based TBS games and you think about your next move, you usually see a bunch of guys just staring at each other and occasionally smoking a cigarette. This does not convey the atmosphere of an all-out firefight to the death. We want to improve on that, so we built the Action Freeze feature. It does not change a single thing in the actual gameplay mechanics. All it does is after the actual damaging bullets of an attack, several bullets are fired for visual purposes only and frozen in mid-air. Together with these cosmetical projectiles, the shooter and the attacked soldier are frozen in a local bullet time until one of the soldiers starts his next move. What you get is a battlefield with bullets soaring through the air and soldiers captured in the heat of the firefight.

We had the experience that this feature can be rather confusing for the player, because the action completely freezes in a local bullet time. Players might also find it distracting and value the clarity of their battlefield over visuals.

 

We would love to know what you think about the Action Freeze feature!

We are not sure if this feature should go into the finished game and getting in touch with the players is the best way to make sure the game will be done right. So please vote on it :)

COMMENTS (14)

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  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    The video is just below the two big pics. It's just a debug battlefield with some characters thrown in for showing off the current Action Freeze system.

  • lo__wang
    lo__wang / 3 years ago

    I just saw that basically all that was already asked by Razmoudah before me :) Pays off to read everything first, i guess... He mentions a video, where can i see that? I don't see it on this site and seeing the action freeze in (frozen) action would help a lot to understand how it really works.

  • lo__wang
    lo__wang / 3 years ago

    This looks like a really interesting feature! I can't really see how it works, tho. Is my Sniper-Dude firing a shot at his target every 10 seconds (as an idle animation) and his target is constantly shooting at my heavy-weapons-dude until one of the three moves? And what if the shot connects? Does that shot resolve when the victim's turn comes around or instantly?

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    ......not asking for that to be the only option. I even suggested later for a three stage selection on it. Off, Local (the current system), and Global (the variant that I want and find most appealing), just so that everyone can have the degree of it they want. I'm not so much of an ass as to ask them to force the version I want on everyone.

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    _Leonard_ already confirmed that it will be possible to turn the Action Freeze on or off at the players discretion. I mentioned that in my very first comment (the one down at the bottom) and he confirmed that they are planning on doing that as they understand not everyone would want it. It's more of something extra for those players who want it. I've been presenting them with some thoughts on how to expand the Action Freeze system into something I'd want, if they can do it, but I'm......

  • fucffvii
    fucffvii / 3 years ago

    Action Freeze looks OK, as long as you don't overdo it. The last thing we need in a TB game is a bunch of effects that make the decision process more confusing. To clarify this point, I'll take an example from Warmachine:Tactics. The game is TB, it is quite nice, if unfinished, but they added a lot of visual effects that make the battle field a total mess. So, maybe add an option to turn Action Freeze off if it turns out to be too much for somebody.

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    I'm glad I'm being able to help any. I really liked the one still shot of the Action Freeze you had in this update, but then I watched the video and it was like the battlefield was littered with temporal anomaly bubbles, some of which were moving and/or disrupting each other. I'm just trying to come up with a way that still helps to convey the high-action feel of that still shot while keeping it an SRPG at heart (rather than an A(ction)SRPG).

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    ......out well. The firing of the 'extra' bursts would be something like ducking back down briefly and then popping up to fire another burst, while a suppression would just be continuous fire without the occasional quick duck back down. Or maybe a brief pause while re-adjusting aim to help give the impression of a focused attack. Either way, it would help with the 'feel' of the Action Freeze system in my opinion. And after thinking it over a tad I remember four other games with a variants.

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    One way to get around the problem of the bullets running out before a unit finishes moving would be to have units that use 'burst-fire' type weapons to keep firing 'extra' bursts while that unit moves and/or fires until someone shoots at them. Obviously these 'extra' bursts would be purely cosmetic, and wouldn't do any damage, but if you include an extra bit in the code where a unit that is 'actively' firing at another unit has decreased 'cover' because of the action it would balance......

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    There's another 'start from the bottom' round from me, but I guess I do have rather strong feelings regarding a system like this. Especially after playing games like X-Com: Enemy Unknown/Within, Grandia (I, II, Xtreme, and III) and Wild Arms (specifically Advanced 3rd, The 4th Detonator, and The 5th Vanguard).

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    ......me it'd look a lot better. Or you could make it a three stage setting between Off, Local, and Global to include how you like it with how I like it. I think the biggest advantage here is that you couldn't leave the game idling for 30 minutes, or even 2 hours, and have a unit that normally burns through ammo like crazy firing 'suppression' rounds the entire time without stopping.

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    ......bullets would be 'over-taking' all of the players bullets. Instead I think it'd look better if the 'freeze' from the Action Freeze was applied to everyone except the current active unit, but when that unit moved or fired it would 'let-up' for the duration of the primary action being taken by that unit. This way you would have units running through 'frozen' bullets or other attacks bullets 'over-taking' the first attacks bullets. I'm not sure how feasible it'd be to code, but to......

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    Second, I like the basic idea of the Action Freeze system, but I'm not to keen on how you're implementing it here. My first complaint is that the units who are not being 'frozen' by the Action Freeze are still undergoing normal 'idle' animations. My second complaint is that you showed the bullets from the second attack 'over-taking' the bullets from the first attack, and I'm just guessing here but I have the feeling that if one of the enemies that wasn't attacked moved first his......

  • Razmoudah
    Razmoudah / 3 years ago

    First, there should probably be an Action Freeze selection in the options for the game (if you do a tutorial maybe show with and without and let the player select which they prefer there as well for those players who don't like going in and tweaking the options of a game) so that players can choose whether or not to use it.

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.