Developer diary #12 – The hand of fate

Another week out in the Wastes, and I’m glad to see you all made it back! And mostly intact- mostly. My name is Mark, your wasteland guide, and I would like to welcome our newest warriors – come grab a seat by the campfire and I will tell you of wondrous powers and terrifying storms: the card decks.

I always knew I wanted cards in the Wastes- some secret information: tools and weapons that you could use at the right time to turn the battle in your favour. Wreck and Ruin features 3 different type of cards:

FACTION CARDS: each faction has 4 unique cards which symbolise the beliefs and core values they represent. The cards are your most powerful weapon in the game – you will take one at random at the start of the game and when it’s used it is gone for good so timing is critical. Want to get a feel for each faction’s powers? Reapers are violent and aggressive, their cards deal death and destruction. Salvoes are hardy, their cards allow improve their survivability and their ability to gain resources quickly. The Ruin Army command the most advanced technology, capable of tactical strikes where they are needed most. The desertkin use their mastery over the wasteland to call upon the aid of beasts that do their bidding.

EVENT CARDS: The wasteland is an unpredictable place fraught with danger, which this deck represents. At the start of each round a card is drawn and that will affect each player in turn. Maybe you are lucky and clear skies improve your movement; or maybe a lightning storm threatens to melt metal and flesh alike. You are all at the mercy of the cards, the only good thing is that everyone else is affected too!

SALVAGE CARDS: these unique cards are collected as you explore the Wastes gathering salvage sites and represent the lost technology buried under the sands of time. Some help your own faction, others allow you to hinder your opponents. They are free to use, all you have to do is decide when! Perhaps you will use armour piercing rounds to inflict double damage. You may be a stunt driver that can jump over occupied hexes. There are no duplicates so you know when you have it that nobody else does – all you have to do is pick the right time.

Aaaand that is the 3 cards types – which are you most interested in? Do you prefer to play conservatively or to jump in all guns blazing? I’m sure you’re already leaning towards a faction that suits how you would play, am I right? That’s us for another week – remember to be safe! and if you can’t be safe, make sure you bring more guns to the fight than your opponents…

Developer diary #11 – By a point or a landslide: winning’s winning

 
Good evening wasteland warriors, sorry for being so late but I can still make you out by the dying embers of the fire. My name is Mark, your wasteland guide, and I will tell you the secret of the Wastes. Throw another log on the ashes of its brethren and I will tell you how to win…
 
We’ve covered how to set up, how to use your vehicles so perhaps now would be a good time to tell you how to win! All factions require salvage to barter for much needed supplies, those with the most will have their fill of food and water to see out many days in the harsh wilderness. The best place to find salvage is at salvage sites: areas of technological importance from a time long forgotten, buried under the sands of time. The landscape changes from day to day as the weather moves the sand around, sometimes revealing a site with promises of technological riches. Glinting under the relentless sun, they can be seen for miles- and not just by you of course!
Players must capture the most sites by the end of the game to be declared the winner. 4 salvage sites are placed on the central tile at the start of the game but new ones will appear in new locations as they are captured – there will always be 4 to play for. To capture a site, a player must land on the site token which will begin flipped to its red side. It will then be flipped to its green side at the start of the next player’s turn, and if they fail to contest it by damaging that vehicle the token will be awarded; if damage is caused then the site is still contested by being flipped back to red and will then come to the next player again to maintain the pressure. A vehicle will occupy a site until it is either moved off it, it is awarded, or it is destroyed!
 
All sites still green are awarded at the end of any given turn to the forces who occupy them and they also receive a salvage card for their efforts (but more on that next week). The player’s last duty is to place new tokens to replace those captured: the tile they are placed in is randomly determined, but they can decide where within that tile it sits: maybe they make it easy for themselves to collect in the next turn; maybe they make it difficult to reach. Maybe they place it within reach of the enemy to draw their vehicles away! All are valid tactics.
With 4 to play for at all times, the battle will constantly move and open up new opportunities to collect more sites. Will you have the most sites collected when the dust settles? Will you be the champion of the Wastes? Only time will tell my friend, but I can assure you no matter what that you will have a good story to share around this very campfire…

Developer diary #10: Last action hero

Good afternoon Wasteland warriors, I hope the sun is shining where you are; nobody likes to be in the shadow of a lightning storm! My name is Mark and I am your Wasteland guide, here to help you survive one more week. Today’s topic is action points, and how to use them: without them you’re a sitting duck….
 
Action points are your life-blood in the game. Every turn you have 5 to spend on commanding your vehicles, but how you choose to use them is up to you. No single vehicle can win the battle on their own however: a vehicle can only use 2 actions points(AP) per turn, and they must be different actions. What are the actions? I’m glad you asked! Each will cost you 1 action point to complete:
 
-Moving: Each vehicle can move a certain distance – the lighter the vehicle the further it can travel. Scouts can move 8 hexes whereas big rigs can only move 4. Turning to face a new direction will cost one of your moves, so planning where you want to go in advance is important. Vehicles can also full-throttle their engines to try and move further, but you risk overheating if you push too far!
 
-Attacking: It would be rude if all those weapons were just for show, so each vehicle can attack anyone up to 3 hexes away. Your attack value shows how many dice you roll when attacking an enemy. What do you need to roll? The target has an armour score, every roll equal or greater inflicts damage. Rolling a 6 causes 1 damage and allows you to roll again. One die is all you need if you’re lucky enough!
 
-Ramming: post-apocalyptic vehicle violence at its greatest – ram an adjacent vehicle. The attacker rolls the number of dice equal to their armour and so too does the target, but they lose dice if they’re rammed in the side or from behind! It is resolved like attacking but the amount of successes are added to that vehicle’s size then the scores are compared. This means there is a high potential for damage, but also shows that heavier vehicles have an advantage.
 
The last 3 actions still cost action points but do not count to a vehicle’s 2 action limit:
 
-Search for salvage: spend an AP to take a new salvage card.
 
-Attempt to repair a wreck: vehicles are wrecked when they take too much damage. As long as they are still on the board they can attempt a repair.
 
-Bring a vehicle back on the board: Any vehicle can be brought back on the board after it is removed. It will cost an action point to remove 1 damage and you can spend as many as you like, but can be quite expensive! The vehicle is set back up in the setup area but cannot be used for anything else that turn.
 
This gives you an idea of how the core mechanics of the game work, only you can decide how to use them depending on the situation you are in. They always refresh in the next turn so don’t be afraid to spend them. Feel free to ask any questions you may have – I just hope you have enough actions left to survive til next week!

Developer diary #9: Setting up the board – the ever-changing wasteland

Hello warriors, old and new! My name is Mark and I am your wasteland guide, here to tell you about the wasteland we call home. Why does it always change? Because it’s more fun of course!

It has been 16 months since I first started this project. Those of you who have been there from the start, or have spoken to me will know that re-playability is a big deal for me: if you know a map inside out, you know how to beat it; how to work it to your advantage. I want to create a game that you don’t just play once – I want you to play it again and yeah, you’ll know how to play the game, but there will be new challenges in play. So I decided to create a play area made of 7 tiles, each of these can be placed together to create any map you can think of. Being double-sided, this means there are 14 possible faces which can be flipped, rotated, set up whatever way takes your fancy that day! So what makes the tiles different? Let’s talk about what is on them.

Setup areas: There are 4 of these for when you have the ultimate in vehicular violence happening. Only 3 players? 2? Simply flip them over and place the number you need in the right places, then use the remaining tiles to complete your map.

Rocks: the Wastes would be boring if it was just sand stretching as far as the eye could see! Rocks are impassable hexes and have a red hex border. You cannot enter these hexes, and they block movement and line of sight.

Water: bubbling up from subterranean caverns, water is rarely seen on the surface but when it does it can make travelling quite difficult. Water is a hazard, marked by orange hex borders. Water blocks movement but not line of sight so feel free to stay on one side and attack your enemies on the other. Be careful though – you can’t move into it, but sometimes you can end up in there with a well-placed nudge! If you end up in water it can be very difficult to get back out so just be careful!

With tiles containing one, or both kinds of obstacles, how you create your map will change how players cross the Wastes. The fight will move about though, so what helped you hide from your enemies can be the thing stopping you from winning later on!

I look forward to see the maps that all my warriors come up with!

Developer diary #8: Buckle up, this will get bumpy…

 
Good afternoon wasteland warriors, there are even more new faces round today’s campfire! My name is Mark, and I will be your wasteland guide: help yourself to some freshly barbequed rhinax, grab a seat and I will tell you about the most important survival tool in the Wastes – a sweet set of wheels….
Most vehicles out in the Wastes are unique, cobbled together from whatever salvage can be found to keep them roadworthy, but they all fall into the 4 different vehicle sizes:
 
Size 1: Scouts. The smallest of all vehicles, scouts mainly consist of bikes, quads, and vehicles of similar size. They are very agile, capable of covering vast distances and navigating obstacles with ease. They are capable of making weak attacks whilst on the move, but their agility comes at a price: to keep weight down and speed up they have flimsy armour and only the lightest of weapons. They cannot ram anyone as this would surely be suicidal. Each convoy is equipped with 2 of these units.
 
Size 2: Buggies. These are your jack of all trades – capable of taking on any role, they are reasonably fast, armed and armoured. Where they excel though is repairing: all crews have a basic understanding of vehicle maintenance for when they break down, but buggies are the only units capable of repairing friendly units whilst they are on the move. In a life or death situation (which is pretty much all the time in the Wastes) they can prove to be invaluable and are worth protecting.
 
Size 3: wreckers. As the name suggests, these armoured juggernauts exist for one purpose – to destroy everything that stands in their way. Hardest to destroy, bullets ping harmlessly off its thick steel plates as it comes at you without so much as slowing. Capable of short bursts of speed for maximum impact, they plough into their targets with their modified front rams, sending the flaming wreckage hurtling across the Wastes.
 
Size 4: Big rigs. The largest vehicles on the road, they are the command centre for each faction. They are slow, but these lumbering giants are capable of dishing out a load of damage and also absorb it too. Many special attacks can only be triggered by big rigs, and are immune to the effects of others. Light vehicles do not slow them down, and any too slow to move out of the way are quickly crushed beneath their hulking weight. They have a dedicated mechanic onboard to try and keep it running as it makes its way across the Wastes, keeping it in the battle for longer.
 
 
So now you know your choice of vehicles – each has their own strengths and weaknesses so knowing when to use the right vehicle can be the difference between survival and destruction. Until next week – stay safe, and keep your ride in peak condition…

Developer diary #7: Salvaging our relationship

 

Good morning warriors, I can see that some of you managed to find some caches of chocolatey goodness yesterday! You, in the back – the one with the helmet on – you’ve still got it all over your face. My name is Mark, your wasteland guide, here to warn you of the horrors I have witnessed out in the Wastes. Today however is not all doom and gloom: today I would like to tell you of the Salvoes….

 
The Salvagers, or Salvoes as they are known, are a group of people trying to eke out a living from the barren wasteland. Masters of re-purposing any technology that they find, they can break down any item to improve their own systems, trading what they don’t need for food, water and ammo. Their vehicles may look ramshackle as more salvage is discovered and attached to them, but they are actually some of the best kept vehicles seen these days.
 
Salvoes tend to avoid conflict as they travel as families and have their children to think of, but do not take this as a sign of weakness: they will fiercely defend their own and fight to collect resources to ensure their survival. Their uncanny ability to turn any seemingly useless piece of junk into unique items at the right time has turned the tide of many battles. Add in to the mix their repair skills and their effectiveness as a team and they will outlast their opponents.
 
So have heart fellow warriors – there are still good people out in the Wastes. But do not confuse their kindness with weakness or you may find yourself alone in the Wastes with a vehicle stripped down to the chassis, and, if you’re lucky – a pair of boots still on your feet….

Developer diary #6: You reap what you sow

Good morning wasteland warriors, I can see a few more have come to heed my words of wisdom. My name is Mark and I am your wasteland guide – my job is to keep you alive out in the Wastes, warning you of the many, MANY dangers out there. Today we talk about the faction of savages who terrorise the Wastes, the very uttering of their name is enough to strike fear in the hearts of most. Today I will tell you the tale of the Reapers…

 

Very few survive an encounter with Reapers, and some that do wish they did not as the scars of what they have witnessed cut deep into their minds and nightmares. The Reapers represent all that is wrong with our world: barbaric and cruel, they have shunned a more civilised path to satisfy their base needs. The Wastes affect us all differently: those counted amongst the Reapers are sadistic and violent who kill for greed, for pleasure, for sport, and for food. They are ritualistic, eating the flesh of their enemies to gain their strength and adorning their vehicles with what remains: crude trophies as testament to their fighting prowess.

Reapers do not recognise authority: strength and power is what they obey. Only the strongest and most aggressive Reapers can control the horde, and if they show any sign of weakness they will be challenged for control. Reapers regularly fight amongst themselves, and it is not unheard of for groups to be reduced to a handful of warriors when things invariably grow out of control. They would gladly watch as the world burned, then they would turn on each other. Fuelled by insatiable appetites and the pleasure of killing, they are rightly feared.

I hope I have made the threat they present clear – they are aggressive and to be avoided at all costs. Should you become a target of their attention I only pray that you have enough rounds to kill them all. I would recommend however leaving aside a bullet for yourself, which would be a small mercy given the alternative….

Developer diary #5: A world in Ruin

Greetings fellow Wastelanders, I’m glad that you have managed to survive another week in the big bad world. My name is Mark, your wasteland guide, arming you with knowledge to fight for survival in the Wastes. I have heard many of you talk in hushed tones, whispering as if saying it aloud would destroy its very existence: yes, there is a safe haven for travellers, refugees and those with no hope. The only known city in the Wastes – Ruin. A military complex constantly expanding due to the numbers of people appearing at its fortified gates, its protection is arguably paramount to the survival of our race. Today I don’t want to talk about the city of Ruin. Today I talk about its protectors – the Ruin army.

The Ruin army is made up of men and women much like yourself who have needed a place to call home. There is no greater honour than to give back to the community by signing up to join the army – a deadly and demanding job where each day could be their last. From simply keeping the peace within Ruin itself, to guarding its borders from starving beasts and marauding gangs hell bent on death and destruction, danger is in the job description.
 
The most seasoned soldiers are sent out into the Wastes to complete a variety of tasks. These can be supply runs, exploration, or the elimination of potential threats. These soldiers are highly trained and are capable of making split-second decisions. Brilliant tacticians, they can deal with any situation as it arises. They have access to the most advanced technology that Ruin has to offer: body armour to protect themselves, heavily armed and armoured vehicles to complete their missions effectively, and advanced weaponry to deal with any threats with extreme prejudice. With the technological marvels of Ruin at their disposal they are ready to lay down their lives in the service of Ruin.
 
I hope this sheds so light on the most advanced force in the Wastes, and hopefully one day you will find yourself under their protection. And if you fire first, be prepared for the consequences! As always be careful out in the Wastes, and if you’ve been paying attention then maybe, MAYBE, you may just survive til next week….

Developer diary #4: Nature’s fury

Desertkin warrior

 

Welcome wasteland warriors! I am Mark, your Wasteland guide. Last week I asked who you would like to hear about and only 1 – ONE – warrior was brave enough to step forward: Ross Bingham. He showed growing concern of the Desertkin encampment just south of his cottage compound so today we will shed some light on these enigmatic nomads. Friend or foe? that is up to you to decide…
 
The Desertkin have shunned what we would loosely call ‘modern’ technology, opting instead for a simpler existence. Technology is rare and therefore valuable, causing much unnecessary bloodshed; the Desertkin avoid much conflict by being self reliant. Living conditions are hard in the Wasteland with violent and unpredictable weather and terrain, and a man on foot would quickly disappear without a trace. In order to survive they have formed a symbiotic relationship with many of the wild inhabitants that roam the sands, supplying each other with food and strength in numbers. Desertkin rarely become involved in the squabbles of other factions unless their way of life is threatened, and should not be provoked if possible.
When the Desertkin ride into battle, the very ground shakes as they approach and many opponents are sensible to flee given the chance as what they see next strikes fear in their hearts. Desertkin have been raised in the wild with some of the largest and most fierce creatures the Wastes contain: quick and deadly vultox capable of spitting corrosive acid that burns through metal in seconds. Sand lizards with regenerative capabilities that can cauterize wounds on themselves and others. The mighty Rhinax, tonnes of muscle and sinew with a solid skull evolved to send flying any enemy it chooses to charge. These beasts are deadly in themselves, but add to that the Desertkin’s ability to co-ordinate these behemoths and ride them into battle, they become unstoppable.
 
If you see the Desertkin then it is probably too late; they are only seen when they want to be seen. Be respectful to them and their laws and you may just come out alive.
 
I hope this has helped educate you in the Desertkin ways, but do not hesitate to contact me if you find yourself staring down an angry Rhinax. And whatever you do, make no sudden movements…

Developer diary #3: wasteland warriors

 

Back for more, eh? Knowledge is power, and without power the Wastes will swallow you whole and leave nothing but dust: there’s no good looking corpses here! Welcome, I am Mark the all-seeing (patent pending) and it is my task to guide you through the wiley Wastes…

I’ve talked about me, and I’ve talked about the Wastes, but who would live in a world like this? It is a harsh and unforgiving hell: plant life is practically non-existent and surface water is scarce, breaking the barren surface from its subterranean hideaway and disappearing just as quick. Surviving alone is impossible- your only real chance is to join a convoy.

With no cities or towns to call home, small groups roam the Wastes in the search for purpose: for some that is basic needs- food, shelter, water. For others that is preying on others, taking by force what they want and sating their appetite for violence. There is no clear way of knowing how many people there are but there are no doubt countless roving bands out there- people who stick together and share common goals, ethos, or mentality. Large groups have identities and reputations- the factions.

 

Our story follows 4 of these, each with their own agenda:
The Salvoes- everyday people whose purpose is to survive one day to the next, scouring the Wastes for salvage to trade for supplies.
The Reapers- aggressive and violent, they leave a trail of death and destruction in their wake. They are ritualistic cannibals with insatiable appetites.
The Ruin Army – warriors that have created a settlement in the hopes of rebuilding mankind and reclaiming lost knowledge. Protectors of the ‘city’ of Ruin, an abandoned military structure now home to any who seek refuge, They defend their way of life with the technology they uncover.
The Desertkin – those who have embraced the harshness of the world and have adapted to co-exist with it. They have tamed many of the mighty beasts which roam the Wastes, using them both as cattle and as mighty steeds to fend off any threats.

I’m afraid that’s all we have time for, but over the next few weeks I’ll talk about them each in Greater detail: who would you like to hear about? Which faction will you join?

Stay safe out there, and hopefully you will make it through to next week’s survival guide…