Daily Design: Day 351

Daily Design is a series of game concepts devised daily through all of 2016. These are just basic concepts, designed based on randomly generated words. Today, they are;

Thrust, Cunning and Opponent. 

As such, the game I’ve designed today is…

En Garde


En Garde is a multiplayer fencing game akin to Nidhogg, only without the terrifying art style of the sequel.

Like real fencing, this is as much about mind games than physical reflexes. Players have various stances and attacks, each of which is different depending on the stance the player is currently in. It’s basically a fighting game if everyone played as the same character, and that character was much more complicated than most. I should also preface this by saying that all my knowledge of fencing comes from an old James Bond movie, so it may be slightly less than perfect.

Basically, though, this is a version of fencing where a single stroke determines the winner, regardless of where it lands. Players are in any one of three stances at any given time – these are High, Mid and Low. Each corresponds to a particular fighting style, with High being strong but slow, Low being quick but weak and Mid being, predictably, in the middle.

Because one hit is a victory regardless of damage inflicted, the strength here refers to how hard an attack is to parry. Attacks made in High stance can only be parried in High stance and with good timing, whereas Low stance attacks can be parried easily, as long as the defending player is quick enough.

The idea is to “stance dance”, adapting to your opponent’s stance and looking for openings. Your opponent’s stance can be figured out by looking at their character model and the way they hold their sword. Each stance has four attacks bound to face buttons, where the button corresponds to a direction – in other words, the circle button on a PS4 controller will attack from the right. Players can dodge in any direction (including ducking), which is useful against Mid and High attacks.

The idea is that fights are very short, but that highly skilled players will manage to keep matches going for longer. There’s a lot of parrying and dodging going on in high level play, which means that skilled players should be identifiable at a glance.

That’s it! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with another quick game concept. 


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