Status Effects

Status effects are great. They can add variety on top of existing base mechanics and lend the mathematics of combat in some games a great deal of depth and emergent complexity without making the game harder to learn or play. 

Poisons, stuns, confusions, fears, sleep and death. An RPG is never complete without Status Effects. From the simplest damage-over-time effect to the impactful 5 turns until instant death to something wacky like turning your folks into sheep, Status Effects can be tackled in many ways by the developer and it sure does impact the gameplay for their respective players.

Status effects are a tricky beast. Some games make them so trivial they can be ignored, others make them so debilitating that getting one means you may as well quit and reload your last save. There is a sweet spot in the middle, but getting there takes work. If we can integrate the status effect such that they feel like they join up seamlessly with base mechanics, I think that will help reduce the feeling that you need to track yet another thing.

Take poison for example, some games make poison so weak that it ends up being the equivalent of 1-2 hits from weak enemies over several turns. Conversely, some games make poison ridiculously strong. Not quite to the point of 25% HP per turn, but occasionally not far off it. It’s often either too much or too little, and rarely does anyone hit that sweet spot in the middle…so let’s fix this by having ramped-up damage, like the Agony skill in World of Warcraft. Poison starts out small, but each turn gets a little bit stronger. That means you can afford to ignore it for, a couple of turns, but after that it starts getting deadly to the point where you need to deal with it. Having this mechanic means the player will soon learn they have a bit of grace where they can get things done without worry, but the longer they leave it there, the greater a risk they’re taking.

We cant talk Status Effects without talking about Immune System. That one’s easy: make the target immune to the last status they cured from for few turns. That way you can spend few turns without having to worry about more poison.

And as of right now, there are 22 Status Effects in SUPERPUNK Tactics.

  • Rested – Character Recuperation gain +10
  • Distracted – Character can’t use REACTIVE SKILLS (Parade, Counter-Attack, Evade…)
  • Disarmed – Character can’t use ACTIVE SKILL (Attack, Charge, Lightning…)
  • Shattered – « Weapon Triangle » set to disadvantaging (+20 Damage received) even if same color
  • Stunned – Character can’t play this turn. This status can’t be broken by damage.
  • Blinded – Character can’t see.
  • Rooted – Character can’t move (movement based skills break the root). This status is broken by any damage.
  • Crippled – Character can’t move and cant use movement skill (charge, dodge…)
  • Frightened – Character run away in fear. This status is broken by any damage.
  • Decaying – Character is hurt by Recuperation.
  • Sleeping – Character cannot move or use skills. This status is broken by any damage.
  • Mad – Maddened characters will attack those nearest them, regardless of alignment.
  • Ruptured – Double cost of movement.
  • Wet – 20% more vulnerable to Electric and Ice attacks. If Shocked while Wet, become Stunned. If Chilled while Wet, become Frozen.
  • Shocked – 20% more vulnerable to Electric attacks. Getting Wet or Shocked again while already Shocked will make the character Stunned.
  • Frozen – Character is Frozen and Immun to everything but cant play.
  • Chilled – 20% more vulnerable to Cold attacks. Character can be Frozen as a result of being Chilled while already Chilled.
  • Infected – Contagious, spread to nearby players/enemies – Character deals -30% damage
  • Hot – 20% more vulnerable to Heat attacks. Getting Hot again while already Hot will make the character Burning.
  • Oily – Character can be Burning as a result of being Hot while already Oily.
  • Burning – Damage Over Turns, but Character is immun to Frozen, Wet and Chill.
  • Immun – Character is immun to every status effects

Each one of them was carefully selected, because as with everything in game design, we think it’s important to tie all the little bits and pieces together in the battle system. A thing should be added only if it adds something to the gameplay. If a status effect doesn’t add a new way to play or a change in player behavior, then it’s just fluff and should be left out. Don’t add things for the sake of adding things. And I think we got it.

Faction vs Faction

Games with two Factions feels bland. I grew up playing T4C which has only one, but played a lot of Dark Age of Camelot (DAOC) during its prime, a superb mmorpg with three. And in DAOC, there often was a dominant faction wich changed from time to time, however, it wasn’t rare at all for the two underdogs to end up striking the biggest faction. And it wasn’t usually coordinated beyond taking advantage of the situation the other realm created to get your stuff back.

We want that.

SUPERPUNK Tactics allows players to engage in a fully integrated PvP experience build around, you guessed it, three factions.

But that’s not all, in there are a couple of mechanics that are expected to help maintain some kind of realm balance, both “natural” and “implemented”. If your particular Faction is outmatched, it is expected that your leader will increase your rewards in response— materially or through XP —allowing your Faction to gain power quickly and stand up to the overpopulated Realm. That’s why we have Clans and an Alliance between them, combined with a Hierarchy System (using a leaderboard) where the top clans take the lead of the Alliance and plan the next moves. Players can literally create quests and control the campaign of the game.

To be clear SUPERPUNK Tactics allows players to engage in a fully integrated PvP experience with:

  • 3 Factions
  • Clans for players and Alliances (with a public chat) between all clans of each faction.
  • A hierarchy system (using a leaderboard) where the top clans take the lead of the Alliance and plan the next moves on the Alliance Chat.
  • A fragmented world map to conquer and gain ressource from.
  • Objectives (quests, skirmishes, relics) represented by icons.
  • PvP battles where each player controls 4 units
  • Every victory allows you to develop the capacities of your teams.

In addition to these PvP conquest mechanics, each of the three factions has fortified territories housing unique items called Relics. Factions compete for possession of these Relics, as they each hold properties that grant battle rewards and buffs to the faction that owns them.

I’ll talk more about it later.


Field of View

Fog of War was introduced by that insane genius Shouzou Kaga way back in Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, but not in the form most of us are used to. No, it introduced a fog of war where you can’t even see terrain if it’s outside your field of view, it gives you the feeling of venturing into the unknown against horrible odds and, yes, feeling helpless.


So what do we want to make you achieve and feel with our Field of View system ?

The thrill of marching undetected across the map and sneaking behind the enemy, the satisfaction of laying a trap or planning an ambush, the joy of blinding or altering the line of sigh of the opponent units, that’s what we aim for.

When it comes to Field of View or Fog of War, the main point is obscuring your opponents movements and/or tactic. And in order to see where their troops are moving, you need to keep a unit/spell/whatever in place to hold the fog at bay. 

Not seeing the opponent opens up tons of tactics whereas removing the field of view would eliminate a lot from the game: no more surprise attacks, fake backped or and you can’t lure your opponent to a trap, etc.

What we adopted in SUPERPUNK Tactics is a pooled system, where the player can also based on opponent visible units. Combined with some cool status effect like blind and we should have interesting encounters.


All games must offer a studied probability margin, in which the resolution of a given situation is not based solely on the mastery of the player, but on a chance which materializes all the secondary factors of failure or success. Chance is not the only way to achieve this, however.

Thus, in SUPERPUNK Tactics’s fights this margin is not based on chance, but on an emerging complexity introduced by the combination of Reactive Abilities and Dynamic Characteristics, two mechanics which, when combined, allow the player to have a clear idea of the present and future state of the fight.

Reactive Skills

Units acquire their abilities through the equipment they wear. The player can improve his equipment and therefore improve his abilities.

There are three types of abilities in SUPERPUNK Tactics:

  • Active Abilities, which encompass all the actions that units can perform during combat. (attack, charge, etc.).
  • Passive Abilities, which do not require any action from the player, but which play a key role in his strategy.
  • Reactive Abilities are special skills that the player decides to activate or not. Giving him the ability to cancel or completely reverse the situation by trying to predict and react to the opponent’s actions.

Note that the Reactive Abilities are triggered only when the opponent performs an action, such an attack, giving the player the ability to respond outside its turn. Their effects are diverse and their goal is to return the situation (counterattack, dodge, parry, etc.).

Dynamic Features

For the sake of simplification and in order to target a wider (mobile) audience, the unit characteristics are reduced to the strict minimum, no such thing as strength, dodge rate or resistance percentage, only one characteristics paired with a recovery mechanism.

EP, Recovery Points and Recovery Thresholds

Endurance Points (EP), act both as Health Points and Action Points. The unit loses EPs when taking physical damage and expense when taking action.
To compensate for this, a recovery equal to the Recovery Points (RP) is applied at the start of each player turns. By default, a unit has 10 PR. This recovery is subject to limits called Recovery Thresholds which block the recovery by the tenth (i.e. at 10, 20, 30, 40, etc.). These thresholds, however, remain inactive until the unit uses combat abilities.

We speak of combative abilities when they include the action of targeting or directly attacking the opponent. Other actions such as moving, using objects, etc, are considered non-combative.


Low life, high tech

The story takes place in a cyberpunk universe where the human kind as we know it no longer exists, its evolution has divided into different branches to give rise to several races, including Cyborgs, Shapers and Firstborns .

In this urban and cosmopolitan environment, the higher power use mercenaries more commonly called Wardogs, organized into factions, to keep under control the chaos-dominated territories.

Three factions, the Red Vanguards, the Blue Squadrons and the Gold Covenants were able to prevail taking advantage of a proliferating war economy, and covet the total monopoly territories.

The great War was inevitable.