Monday, April 16, 2012

Dr. Attachment, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Descriptor

One of the hardest parts of design work is assigning descriptors to specific parts of your build.  You've built it, now what do all those tiny bits signify?  Knowing which pieces come off when you lose an attachment can help speed up the game a tiny bit.

Weapons are easy; swords, rifles, and missile pods tend to be visually distinctive.

Movement attachments are fairly easy; you can't really miss wheels, rocket packs, and extra legs.  Jump jets and jet engines might be a little harder to spot.

Defensive attachments are where it starts to get a little difficult.  How do we know what pieces are armor and not the actual frame?  What does a force-field projector look like?  Shields, on the other hand, are the easiest part of this attachment.

Spotting is where things go sideways.  How do you tell a laser targeter from a gun?  Is that a spotlight or the mecha's head?

So, please, don't over-Greeble your designs.  The other players thank you.

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