Warships pits six players in an epic space battle where you construct your own machine of war. There are 10 different ship types, each with their own special abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Some ships are well designed at dealing damage from long range. Others specialize in overwhelming their enemies by launching swarms of fighter ships. There are even support ships that have more defensive abilities and can repair their teammates on the battlefield.
Customizing your ship is an important and fun focus of Warships. When you initially choose your ship, you are given a large grid that represents areas where you can construct structures that provide, offensive, defensive, or utility to your ship. Powerful structures like shield generators or siege cannons take up more space then smaller structures such as repair arms or sensor towers. Having a cohesive building plan that compliments your ship is an important component to the game’s strategy.
Read on to hear Warships’ developer ‘Tya’ speak on the design process of the game.
Traysent: How did you get started in game design?
Tya: StarCraft! No, no, not this one, the first one. I was pretty young at the time, but I loved it. Editing, creating maps, making stuff that works. The best part is when you fix a bug. It would bring me a sense of elation and it's what got me hooked.
I loved explosions, but it wasn’t until the StarCraft II editor that I had the power to make that game idea that had been stuck in my head for all those years.
T: What made you want to make games with the StarCraft II editor?
Tya: Blizzard supports their games. I get a heartwarming feeling when I see stuff like Diablo II changes. I think the ladder was just reset recently? This matters, a lot.
It's nice to know that StarCraft II will very likely be around for many years to come, perhaps even a decade, and this is a great motivating factor for picking the StarCraft II editor.
T: What was the inspiration for Warships?
Tya: Homeworld. I think if you look closely at the ship models, you'll see it. I loved Homeworld. I grew up with Homeworld. I can't recreate it, but I can put my own spin on it.
T: How many people worked on this game and what roles did they have?
Tya: Just me! I designed everything from the triggers to the capital ships themselves.
T: How does the game work? What is in store for a first time player?
Tya: There are 3 gigantic starbases at either side of the map. Your goal is to blow up the enemy team's starbases before they demolish yours.
You're in command of a slab of terrain on your ship. You can build on top of this and move it around at your leisure. You can build everything from hangar modules, to giant cannons, to shields. Each building has its own life bar and can be destroyed. If all your buildings are destroyed, your ship explodes and you’ll respawn after a short time.
You get minerals by using your miner. It's completely automated so you don't need to worry about it, but you can give it new commands if you wish. You use your minerals to build new structures on your ship.
There are currently 10 ship classes. Each ship has a differently shaped hull and unique abilities. There's a wide variety of playstyles here, from the stealth cruiser, to the gauss cruiser which is essentially a gigantic cannon with engines stuck on it.
T: What do players who want to conquer the game and be great do to reach that goal?
Tya: Once combat starts, you're going to start taking hits and losing structures. Maneuver your ship so that less damaged parts, or sections that are hardened with sturdy structures, are facing the incoming barrage. Some structures, like a ship's engine, are key targets that will turn the tide of a battle. Get behind your target and blow out his engines, which will cripple his ability to avoid your big guns. On the flipside, don't let someone get behind you, else you'll probably lose your engine and be a sitting duck.
Moving out alone is fine, but you're probably going to die horribly.
Also, it's a team game. Moving out alone is fine, but you're probably going to die horribly.
T: What do you feel makes your game compelling?
Tya: At heart, the game is an RTS on moving terrain where you fight using your base, rather than an army.
I get a great deal of satisfaction out of placing my buildings "just right", and experimenting with different weapon combos.
I also really, really love the idea of carriers in video games. I love swarming capital ships with masses of fighters and worked hard to ensure this was as awesome (and balanced) in-game as it was in my mind.
T: Are there any updates coming to Warships that the community can look forward to?
Tya: Currently the Terran have an armada of 9 capital ships. I think the Protoss deserve a few more, and eventually the Zerg.
T: What advice would you give to someone who was interested in using the SCII editor to make their own game? Where is a good place for them to start the learning process?
Tya: Don't over-produce your map. Get the concept working early, and build on the concept. If the concept itself isn't popular, then no amount of polish will change this. We've seen many maps with poor concepts but incredible amounts of polish just fall on their face over the years.
Publish early. Get feedback -- the review system is great for this. Make sure your map is fun and has replay value first.
T: What’s the best way people can follow you and your work (Twitter, Facebook, Website, etc.)?
Tya: I read all reviews on all my maps for a start. I love harsh, blunt, uncut feedback the most. Not rude, just to the point!
My direct mapping email is TyaStarcraft@gmail.com.
The Warships website is warships.freeforums.org.
T: Do you have any favorite games on the StarCraft II Arcade?
Tya: Desert Strike. The EU version. I love it so much that I remade the map when HotS came out, with all the features I felt Desert Strike lacked.
It's published under "Desert Strike HotS" on all servers. Kinda regret using this name, though, as the US version of Desert Strike is very different!