Infinity Heroes 101 - Lightmare Design Blog, Entry 3
The Infinity Heroes kickstarter is now live! Please go show your support.
Today’s article is all about filling out some of the juicy gameplay details, in particular how the game systems work and our plans in the future. If you have read my previous articles you may know some of this information, but this will help provide a summary for newcomers.
Welcome to Infinity Heroes
As introduced in the kickstarter:
Infinity Heroes is a Simultaneous turn-based strategy card game for Mobile & PC. Developed from the ground up to be a competitive title, Infinity Heroes promises to remove entry barriers persistent in most card games by introducing the idea of combining pre-constructed decks rather than deck building.
Each deck is lead by a Hero character, players start each match by choosing three heroes to form their lineup. At the start of each turn you can switch heroes, giving access to their own individual hero ability and ultimate cards.
A huge reason why we are so excited about Infinity Heroes is because of how the game is designed from the ground up to be easy to pick up and play both on a casual and competitive level.
This is because Infinity Heroes is a F2P (Free to play) game, but unlike other card games on the market doesn’t offset that by wasting your time grinding booster packs or other methods to build up a collection.
Instead, Infinity Heroes has taken lessons from the MOBA genre and games like League of Legends, Dota 2, and Heroes of the Storm.
Infinity Heroes will feature a free rotation of heroes for anyone to play each week. If you want to have permanent access to a hero, they are each individually available to purchase.
So this means if you have a hero you have really enjoyed playing for free that week but it is about to rotate out, you can spend a fixed amount to unlock it forever.
This also means that making a top tier competitive lineup is simply a matter of purchasing three heroes, this should be very exciting for those looking to prove their skills against the best.
Unveiling the Mechanism
Infinity Heroes is a simultaneous turn card game. But what does that mean? How does a game actually play out?
Each player’s objective is to reduce the enemy's life total to zero by playing unit and ability cards. Cards cost resources which automatically refill and increase at the start of each turn. Every turn a player also draws up to four cards from their current hero’s deck, meaning while the maximum hand size is only four, you always start each turn with enough options.
A large difference between Infinity Heroes (as well as Infinity Wars previously) with many other digital card games is that each player takes their turn at the same time, with a “Resolution Phase” playing out after each player confirms their moves.
Not only does this mean half the game is not waiting for your opponent, but also that there is a lot of tactical depth in attempting to predict what unknown moves your opponent might make and how to react.
Units are the main card type in the game, each having a resource cost, power, health, keywords, rules text and some pretty animated art.
Units are played onto the board usually starting in the “Safe Zone.” The next turn you can move that unit to the “Attack Zone” or the “Defense Zone.”
Units in the attack zone will automatically attempt to attack the enemy hero during the resolution phase. Likewise units in the defense zone will protect your hero from attacks, blocking enemies. Each zone has two or three slots and units can be moved between these to effect the order and thus sometime the outcome of combat.
When two units engage in combat, they permanently deal damage to each other equal to their power, with a unit with zero health being destroyed.
Finally each hero has to two ultimate cards, a unit and an ability. These powerful cards can often turn the tide of battle or provide powerful effects for a lower than usual cost. The catch however is that each type of ultimate card can only be used once per game. This makes your lineup of heroes important as you choose the ultimate card best for each situation.
Fighting for Balance
Whilst Infinity Heroes can be picked up and played very quickly, that doesn’t mean we have forgotten about the more hardcore competitive players.
In conjunction with the core skill testing nature of our simultaneous turns system, we have a number of systems in the works to foster a competitive and fluid metagame environment.
Firstly we plan on releasing the game with a large roster of 30-50+ heroes with new heroes coming out rapidly. So whilst Infinity Heroes lacks traditional deckbuilding, a huge combination of hero lineups can be used to tackle whatever type of deck you might expect.
In addition to our regular matchmaking queue, we also plan to include a competitive queue which we are looking at to include a hero selection banning phase. This means that each player gets to choose a number of Heroes to ban from being used that match, this way if you think a particular hero is overpowered it gives you options to balance things out.
Secondly we are experimenting with seasonal “Events”, global effects that will change the game for certain periods of time. These would force players to adapt and try out new heroes that may be better suited to the new environment and keeping the meta constantly evolving.
Finally we want to include aspects such as game spectators and visual effects to certain abilities to make the game easy and fun to watch, giving players a reason to stream and share their competitive skill.
I hope this brief overview of Infinity Heroes’ gameplay has you excited, note as always that some aspects may change before release as we tweak things to make the game as good as possible. Before you go, be sure to check out the kickstarter and show your support. Also, an exciting new thing we’re going to hide here, is we’ve just opened up the Infinity Heroes Discord channel: https://discord.gg/dTWAE8x