Dark Alliance is an action role-playing game set in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, the core of which is combat. Our small team at Tuque wants to bring the characters and monsters of D&D to life in a very real, visceral and fun way.
A couple of amazing games have moved the needle to the touch and feel of combat over the past few years. We hope so Dark Alliance do with what we call emergent combat. A combat system that is easy to learn and difficult to master.
Let’s break down the game design behind the battle in our game (with some brand new gameplay screenshots).
The first thing we knew we wanted to do was democratize our struggle – make it accessible. Everyone has to feel cool, take on their favorite hero’s coat and work their way through hordes of goblins and gnolls. Players begin with a simple choice of attack inputs: light attack or fierce attack?
We also want to give depth to players who invest the time to really master the fight – to embody the person of this hero. We want to stimulate the player’s imagination the moment they realize they are in control of what happens. Push forward and lightly attack to make a special move. After a successful hit, press X to force a critical hit. And so on.
We’d like to use the experience itself to help players learn these combos intuitively through our burgeoning combat system. We also want to avoid players feeling like they have to pause the fight to look for their combo keystrokes in the UI. Plus, this is a co-op experience – no one waits for a friend to find out.
Players can shine by seeing results of their input combinations that always make them feel like they did something cool, while also rewarding players who figure out how to make certain moves when and where they want.
This is an up and coming fight. Each hero starts with a limited set of moves that grows as they level up their character. Through this experience, the use of different light or violent attacks with different toggles and keystrokes opens different branches for different attack sequences. There are hundreds of branch results to investigate. The only thing that limits your hero is the endurance cost of his turn.
Heroes have to manage their stamina. Exhaust your stamina and experience a brief period of exhaustion before it regenerates. Running attacks will decrease stamina, and some of the strongest attacks will temporarily decrease your maximum stamina. Heroes regain stamina (and maximum stamina) over time, but it can also be replenished by running parries or if you’re in a hurry a stamina potion will do. Endurance management is partly what makes combat challenging. It puts players in an “economic mindset” in which they strategically consider the cost of combat.
Our approach is player-centric – like the benevolent dungeon master who enjoys having his players successful but also wants to make sure the challenge keeps things interesting. And once you’ve nailed the nascent combat system, you can still improve it even further. Dark Alliance has six challenge ratings (our version of skill levels) to give core players ample room to test their talent against our long list of monsters.
We believe that a good fight is a language of clear cues, incentives and rules. Complexity for Simplicity. We provide the tools. It’s up to the players to explore the system and see how deep it goes. The fight in Dark Alliance
We can’t wait for you to get your hands on our emerging combat system and give us your thoughts on when Dark Alliance will be released on June 22nd on Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S published. For more information, see Check out our other videos on creating Dark Alliance.
Wizard of the Coast
Dark Alliance brings the world of Dungeons & Dragons to life in an explosive action RPG that’s filled with real-time combat and dynamic co-op. Frost giants and vengeful dragons roam Icewind Dale uncontrollably as invading armies of evil grow stronger day by day. Now four heroes have to fight back the onslaught of the creatures and defend themselves against the darkness. Choose your hero and join up to four friends to fight legendary monsters. Explore the cold world of Icewind Dale as you defeat unstoppable bosses, earn powerful gear, and unlock new skills to take on even greater challenges. Conquer unstoppable monsters Dark Alliance puts players against some of the most legendary monsters from the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Frost giants, viewers, white dragons – gather the strength to defeat them all against insurmountable adversities. Fight With Your Friends Join up to four friends and fight together in a dynamic co-op experience with explosive real-time battles. Unleash devastating combos as you overthrow unstoppable monsters too powerful to do on your own. Choose your hero game as one of four different heroes, each with their own play style and customizable skills. Complete missions and defeat bosses to unlock new skills and earn powerful equipment so players can take on even greater challenges. Brave the Frozen Landscape Dark Alliance brings the world of Dungeons & Dragons to life like never before. Explore the cold and dangerous world of Icewind Dale as you defend your homeland from armies of hideous monsters. Pre-order now to receive the following digital content: Standard Game Beholder Weapon Set