We’ve already looked at a handful of Buildables for warriors in Breakaway, including Spartacus, Anne Bonny and Thorgrim. Today, Combat Designer Fred Corchero is back to talk about Rawlins’ Buildables.
Rawlins’ Buildables went through a handful of iterations. We came up with the idea of the Jail just to see if it would resonate. It was met with hesitation at first. Originally it was a wall, and if you touched it were you trapped. But it was too easy to read and avoid in battle. Then someone came up with the idea to make it a trap on the ground, so when a warrior steps up on, boom, they’re in the Jail. And then they have to shoot or punch their way out of it. Once we made it into a trap, it quickly became one of my favorite Buildables to use. Just to see someone trapped in the Jail, you quickly see their expression turn sour. It’s awesome.
And then there was the Barrel Dispenser. This was a bit more difficult to create because, initially we couldn’t quite figure out how to make a rolling barrel appear out of nowhere. I can’t remember who came up with the idea of putting the barrels in a mine craft, but it solved a design issue for us. Mine cart goes up, barrel spawns inside, and then it tips over and dispenses.
The barrels will explode if they make contact with an enemy or Buildable. You can shoot them as well, and they’ll explode and do damage. Something that isn’t well known is that these barrels will also distract turrets, so you can use his Barrel Dispenser to distract the pesky Ballista.
There’s a certain feel you get after you play enough of the game. We all have experience playing Breakaway in the studio, so you can just kind of tell when something is overpowered or underpowered, especially if you find an exploit early on. Sometimes we find that there’s a Buildable that’s kind of useless because the damage is too low or doesn’t affect the battle enough. The Jail started off that way. Early on, you could break out of it really easily. So then we upped the health of the Jail Buildable, and then it became a viable tool to use in the game.
Originally, before the Jail, we thought stacks of dynamite could work really well as a trap Buildable for Rawlins. But Rawlins is a lawman, so what he does in the arena should resonate with his character. So the more we thought about it, Dynamite didn’t really quite fit. We considered using a hangman’s noose, so after experimenting with dynamite things got dark real fast! We realized Rawlins is lawful and honorable. So then, it just clicked. Of course his Buildable should be a jail cell!
The original design goal behind the Barrel Dispenser was to create a distraction, or to activate opponent traps. It was very support and utility focused. But we thought that was a bit too lackluster. Rawlins needed something more. And that’s how we arrived on exploding barrels. And much like the Jail, we had to tweak and balance everything about the Barrel Dispenser: how much health it has, how far the barrels roll, how big the explosions are and so forth.
Though we went through a bunch of cycles with trying to get Rawlins’ Buildables just right, we’re still excited to see how players use these Buildables when the Alpha goes live on December 15.