For the past few months, I've been working on a 5v5 MOBA game for the Arcade. After lots of hard work I'm ready to release it this week.
My goal with this game was to create a MOBA that is easy to learn for new players and strategically satisfying for experts. I did away with things like items, shops, and XP and created something closer to what you'd find at a video arcade...if video arcades had MOBA games. Instead of a ridiculous amount of heroes and archetypes, I wanted to start this game with a handful of well-designed classes that feel valuable and unique. Instead of trying to destroy enemy towers, your goal is to capture them like you would in games like Arathi Basin, TF2, and Battlefield; the longer you control a tower, the more points you gain.
Don't let the simplicity fool you though, there's a lot of strategy to this game. In addition to the capture and control gameplay, there are also powerful Team Buffs that randomly spawn during the game. The power up locations are located away from the control points, but if a player grabs a power up, it will buff their entire team. This often creates a risk vs reward scenario: Do I leave my team to grab a powerup that will help us later, or do I stay with them now to help attack or defend? In addition, nydus worms frequently spawn around the map spewing out zerg units. If a team is not careful, they can be overwhelmed by the amount of units swarming the map. This creates a chaotic environment that requires excellent teamwork and decision making to succeed.
Station Control games also differ with most other MOBA titles in yet another way: The games last between 10-15 minutes. You can fit in a couple games during your lunch break, or play for hours on the weekend. Leavers are less of a problem because they don't have to wait for 30 minutes to start a new game. I also decided to make the game score only visible at the end of the match, so if players are tempted to leave but want to see how many kills, deaths, or captures they had; they need to wait a few minutes until the match is officially over.
I hope that you all give the game a chance and that you enjoy it. Personally, I think it's got a lot to offer.
I’m proud to announce that I’ve just launched Station Control, a brand new battle arena game for the Starcraft 2 Arcade. In Station Control it’s all about the action and each game is fast, frantic, and fun. Choose your hero class, capture and defend control points, gather power ups for your team, and hold off the Zerg as you battle for victory! Grab some friends, jump into SC2 and head to the Arcade, you’ll have a blast!
• Easy to learn!
• 5v5 MOBA combat!
• Capture and Control gameplay!
• Team PowerUps!
• Contend with Zerg forces, as well as the opposing team in 3-way battles!
• No hour long battles, games last about 10 minutes! Play, Win, and Play some more!
I recently had a chance to play this game; though not with people cause either every other game was full, or the game wasnt well known at the time...
anyways, just playing by myself did give me an overview one what the game play is like (technically still viable since there is the zerg swarm to test the combat mechanics). and for the most part, it was pretty solid. But if I'm allowed, I'd like to make a couple of critique.
Firstly, the zerg swarm doesn't seem to priorities the capture points, but rather stands guard in front of the spawn point. I sort of thought the purpose of the swarm was to try apply pressure to both sides, and since the main goal is to capture points, wouldn't it make more sense if the zergs were focused on decapping?
Secondly, while I like the concept of power-up, i don't really like how there is not much information on what each buff does aside from the general naming. It would be nice to have a UI which shows how much the regeneration buff heals you per sec, or how much faster your hero will move with the move speed buff etc. It would also be nice to see the duration of the buff to see how long you would gain these benefit for.
Thirdly, why isn't there an attack command? this makes things so frustrating when your up against the swarm, as you'd like to attack the general location but instead is forced to click on one of the enemies to do so; which could lead to a lot of misclicking and thus lead to terrible pathfinding as your hero would try to attack the swarm in the middle of the group because either out of pure adrenalin or panic, you accidentally clicked a units in the middle.
Fourthly, i think there should be a replay option within the game. As you said, the game averages around 10-15 min of game play, meaning
that if you wanted to play this game consecutively, every time the game ends you are forced to leave, rejoin and then wait for the game to load EVERY 10-15 MIN! It may just seem like a minor inconvenience, but I can see this problem getting very annoying very quickly.
Finally, and this is just a nitpick, for the assassins' rapid strike ability, I found it very annoying how it was a single target spell with a very short cooldown. If the ability is meant to be spam-able, why is it set up in the most annoying fashion? Having to target someone in melee range and expecting to try spam that ability is actually quite difficult and may well lead to a lot of misclicks; especially in a swarming scenario. It might have made the ability a little bit more fun to use if it was an ability where if u clicked it, it will do a small radius (100) AoE damage around the hero. this could potentially make combo-ing skills a lot more easier and a lot more fluent. Although if the ability was set-up like this for balance reasons, I can understand.
Overall, I can see this being a great game. A game that I can easily recommend to any of my casual gamer friends. I might probably give a much more insightful feedback on the game when I get the chance to play against other people. Until then I hope to hear more updates coming from this game
First of all, thanks for taking so much time to give detailed feedback on Station Control. This is exactly the type of constructive feedback that every designer loves. If you are interested in seeing more of the game in action, as well as design videos, I have a number of videos on my website talking about UI, Class Design, Game System Design, etc. As for your comments, I'll try to respond to each of them below:
1. I really like the idea of the zerg swarm attacking control points and it's something that I considered while designing the game. However at launch, I chose to have the zerg interrupt the respawn area. I'm still looking at adjusting this as I watch how the meta game for station control evolves. The reason I was hesitant to throw zerg swarms at control points, is that I feared imbalance if one team controls both control points that are being attacked. This could possibly create an uneven burden on one of the teams. The way it is right now seems very accentuated when you play with 1v1, 2v2, etc. In a full 5v5 match, the zerg units are usually eliminated pretty quickly which removes that buildup at the spawn area that you noticed in a single player game. Your feedback here is excellent though and it is something I'll keep an eye on!
2. I'd like to implement a buff timer as well, it just didn't make it into launch. It's definitely on my list of features to implement.
3. The attack command is coming! I underestimated how many people wanted this, so it's high on my list of features to put in.
4. A replay button would be very useful for groups who don't want to put another game together. However, it's not an easy feature to implement the way that the game is set up with triggers, timers, etc. It's the type of feature that I'll have to sit down and brainstorm on for quite some time. There are also potential problems if some players stay and other players leave, it could potentially create uneven teams. I really want to add this, or a similar feature, but I believe it's going to be fairly complicated.
5. The Assassin is the most difficult class to play effectively, but currently it is very powerful. Rapid Strike is best used with Severing Slice which slows the opponents run speed. This allows, in most situations, the Assassin to land rapid strikes while the opponent is slowed. All of that said, I still want to keep an eye on balance for the Assassin and one of the ideas I'm looking at is increasing the range of the Assassin's melee attacks ever so slightly to help land more rapid strikes on the move.
Thanks again for all of your comments and for playing the game. Taking the time to come to the forum and talk about your experiences really helps me gain the perspective and feedback I need to better support the game and the community!