Last week, we talked about how the studio chose Spartacus as a warrior in Breakaway. We wanted a strong female warrior in the game, so when we looked at characters from myth and legend, we identified a pantheon of warriors. Anne Bonny stood out as one of the first warriors we wanted in Breakaway.
Anne Bonny wasn’t born into a pirate’s life, she was drawn to it. She was born to a wealthy family but chose freedom and adventure over affluence, and details like that help shape the direction and design of the warrior in the game.
So this week, we’re going to look at all things Anne Bonny. Game Designer Chris Corey is here to discuss what it was like designing her gameplay in Breakaway. Ahoy, Chris! (I’ll never say it again I swear).
Anne Bonny is a shooter, which means she focuses on ranged DPS and single targets. She’s basically a damage dealer, and most team compositions should have at least one. Her range gives her a pretty good advantage against melee characters, because they have to get pretty close to her to deal damage. Her range makes her very effective against Buildables because she can destroy them from a distance without taking any risks.
The other shooter, Rawlins, is more of a mid-ranged warrior that’s focused on mobility. Anne Bonny is much more methodical. She has a much slower rate of fire and can’t move while shooting, but her shots have more range. She’s kind of like a sniper in that regard. For her it’s all about timing and positioning.
We didn’t want a roster of all melee characters, we wanted some variety, so adding a ranged warrior made a lot of sense. Anne Bonny did go through a lot of iterations. Originally we wanted her to control like a melee character, so there was no reticle and the direction of your projectiles were determined by the way the warrior was facing. That worked fine on maps that were flat, but when we started to introduce vertically, platforms, slopes and so forth, it didn’t really work out because you couldn’t hit enemies if they were slightly above or below you. And that was a frustrating experience. So we tried different things, like adding gravity to her bullets, adding arcs to the trajectory, different angles based on what attack you were using. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t, but in the end it just wasn’t intuitive to most players. So we went with a traditional reticle-based scheme.
Anne Bonny was always going to be a pirate character, but her personality changed a bit in the production process. Originally she was a spunky, sassy, bubbly type character. We weren’t happy with that, so we did a 180 and made her dark and gritty with an edge. We finally landed somewhere in the middle. She has some sass, a little edge, and enjoys the infamy that has come with her exploits.
Originally, Anne Bonny was a master of arms, which meant that she had a whole bunch of different ranged weapons. She had pistols, rifles, cannons – the whole shebang. So we went a little crazy at first, eventually we toned it down because we knew we wanted more ranged characters. We couldn’t have one character that had every ranged weapon, so we decided to make her focus on rifles. That’s how we landed on her sniper role.
Anne Bonny is great for dealing damage from the back line, behind your tanks. She brings the hurt from a distance, and if you can utilize her mobility to maintain your distance, you can keep constant pressure on the opposing team.