Designing a Hero Academy Team (Part 1)MNC-Dover10 Feb 20135392
I’m not much different than any other gamer out there. I love playing games of all kinds and sharing my experiences with friends. I’m also fairly creative and love trying new things. When I got my game design degree at the end of 2012, I knew a career in the industry was the next step. While this sadly hasn’t come to pass yet, I have decided to take my passion for creation and my love of game design and create a Hero Academy team.
If you’re a dedicated fan of Hero Academy, you’ve probably let your mind wander and dream up new ideas for teams to be added to the Robot Entertainment strategy game. For some, this means wildly brainstorming some ideas, for others it could mean jotting down some notes, and some take to their favorite forums to post their team concepts online. For me, it went a little deeper.
I wanted to create a team that fit within the lore and theme of Hero Academy, fun to play, fairly balanced, introduced some new mechanics to the existing engine, and was as professionally complete as possible. Because of this, I decided to create a design document for the team detailing every aspect of the team’s creation and the reasoning behind these choices. In addition, I enrolled the help of a former artist classmate to breathe life into the unit creation. I believe that my final product shows that I accomplished these goals and made a truly unique and complete team that would fit in nicely within the Hero Academy world.
The first thing I decided on was creating a unique theme. We’ve had varieties of races and themes amongst the teams so far, so I went with a focus that was unique to the game and kept with the theme; the Crystals. In Hero Academy, the Crystals are generally just thought of as objects used to help teams achieve victory, but what was the story behind them? My team was created with the idea that a rag-tag group of outcasts and vagabonds have come together in the pursuit of Crystal study and worship. They wouldn’t mesh well together, but the draw of the power from the Crystals has given them unity.
With the theme in play, the next thing to do was create a team bonus to center them around. Keeping with the Crystal theme, I gave them a +20% damage against Crystals. This would tend to have the team become Crystal destroying specialists, but I was OK with this as there isn’t a team that does this already in Hero Academy, the Dwarves probably being the closest. I also decided to stick with a standard, four units plus one super unit format for the team. This kept them familiar to the other teams making newer players feel more comfortable with using them.
After all of that was decided, I began the process of creating units. Not wanting to have overlap with the existing human teams, Council and Shaolin primarily, I came up with units that looked not only like strangers to one another, but rejects from the world proper. After a lot of experimentation and research, the team finally consisted of: the Guardian, the Rogue, the Geomancer, the Purifier, and the Golem.
So take a minute to look over the team and see what you think. You’ll find all of the stats, mechanics, and artwork for the team below. I will go into more details about my decisions for the individual team members and the challenges in balancing them in my next blog entry.