Stardraft (working title) is a 1v1 game focused on army control and micro skills. Macro mechanics and early game are being skipped entirely (= no collecting mineral/gas).
Multiple points of interest on a relatively small map encourage alot of engagements, army movement and splitting up units. Players are encouraged to try different strategies & unit compositions. The game should appeal to both skilled players and beginners.
The first inspiration was the draft system known from games like Dota. Instead of multiple players picking one unit each, each player picks multiple units, trying to create the ideal army composition.
The second inspiration was Shootmanias Joust game mode. In case you're not familiar with it, Joust is 1-on-1 combat in a small arena. To recharge their ammo, players must reach one of the (usually) two poles which are placed at either end of the map, constantly moving back and forth between them.
1.1. Mindmap from the original Brainstorming session
2. Pre-Game/Draft Phase:
At the beginning of a game each player picks a hero/race, followed by a draft phase, where they get to spend points to fill up their army supply with units & tech/upgrades. The goal is create an army composition superior to the opponents. Additional points to spend can be obtained later during the game.
Edit: Details on how the initial draft process works are still to be decided!
2.1. Draft Phase Early Concept
Maps are relatively small, offer various terrain features to give each unit a purpose. Small paths & chokes offer opportunities to retreat your units should your opponent have a superior army. There are no Xel Naga towers to encourage scouting. Any place can be reached quickly to reduce time spent searching for your opponent. The ideal map size will have to be figured out during testing.
3.1. First Map concept (120x120) - actual maps may even be smaller than this
Each player starts at their healing/respawn shrine. From there, they have to get to one of the 2 reload locations, attack the opponents hero/army or attack their opponents shrine. Destroying the opponents shrine makes their hero finally killable as it won’t be able to heal or respawn anymore.
Similar to Dota, there are turrets defending the shrine which have to be brought down first. These turrets should be just strong enough so that a player cannot destroy their opponents shrine in one attack after defeating their opponents army. This should give players the opportunity to come back into the game, even after losing a big battle.
The main focus, however, lies on moving your hero back and forth between the 2 reload locations (think of them as drop zones for reinforcements), where players get additional points to refill/increase their army supply or get new tech/upgrades. Once your hero visited location A, you have to move to location B before being able to use location A again, and so on.
Moving between location A and B, attacking your opponents army/hero, attacking/defending the shrines, as well as the map itself, should encourage players to constantly split up their units - rewarding the player who is most active on the map.
Hero design has not been done, yet. The first heroes are most likely going to be Jim Raynor(T), Kerrigan(Z) and Zeratul(P).
They should be the strongest unit on the battlefield, but not too strong! After all the armies should protect the hero, not the other way around.
The estimated length of a game is about up to 10 minutes.
Inspired by Blizzards latest Observer Interface tech demo, the interface should display the player names, hero health/energy, supply numbers, unit count for each unit and a minimap.
When a player reaches one of the reload location, a new window becomes available to spend new points on units or upgrades, similar to dotas shops.
Edit: Details for player/observer interface features have yet to be decided.
6. First Version:
The first playable version of the map should be very simple. The reload mechanic (any unit) should be the first to implement (along with the shrine to defend/destroy).
The next step is including the hero mechanic (hero has to reach the reload locations, respawns/heals at shrine, hero abilities) Also: Implementation of interface features/graphics.
Last step: Balancing! Teaking the numbers! Figuring out what works best (will take a while). Overall polish of the game.
Once done, the game is ready to go public (Prepare Gameplay trailer, promo material for forum posts, project website, etc.)
6. Future Versions (Thoughts):
While the first version should only include original units from the HotS Multiplayer, additional units could be included (both from the campaign or even own unit creations), as well as more heros to chose from. This could potentially add more depth & strategical options to the game.
Also, once more heros/units are added, larger maps could be created that allow for 2v2 or 3v3 teamplay.
Currently only me (lefix) :(
I have a long & successful history in making melee maps and have been very active in the melee map community (Founder of The Planetary Workshop, orginazed Map of the Month competitions, created sc2melee.net) and have been working as a 3D Artist in the game industry for a couple of years.
Making Arcade maps is still someting new for me, however. I'd love to find some people to team up with for this project and will probably make a recruitment post soon.
I'd like to be the first to say that this looks like an awesome idea. While I can't join the team myself (All my free time is going to my own project at the moment) this is the kind of idea that I love. I value originality in maps very highly, and we tend to see very few maps that are strange and interesting ideas like this.
Anyways, I wish you the best of luck. If you get stuck on anything, feel totally free to send me a PM and I'll help you get things sorted out.