CityBattle: Virtual Earth (0)

CityBattle: Virtual Earth
Rikor Games

CityBattle: Virtual Earth is based on the neighborhood principle. The developers’ goal is to unite neighbors and let them fight for their own city, competing with other territories. Competing for something real, shifting the accent from personal victories to collective gains. In CityBattle, every citizen counts!

While the devs were choosing the mechanics for such competitions, pseudo realistic shooters, such as Battlefield, were at the peak of popularity. However, a decision was made against yet another clone of Battlefield, especially given that there is not that much left to invent there. Finally, it was Team Fortress 2, a 2007 game, that served as inspiration. Despite being fairly old, TF2 had a loyal and big community and no direct competitors.

In TF2, two teams of heroes from various classes, each with unique abilities, fought with each other. The central idea of classes with unique abilities served as the basis on which CityBattle developers created their own classes and game design, especially when it concerned interfaces and controls. This is how CityBattle was born.

It has to be mentioned that the empty niche in the shooter genre was noticed by more than one developer. In 2016, Battleborn, Overwatch and Paladins were released, almost simultaneously, all of them representing the new genre of hero shooter.

What makes CityBattle different?

  • The first thing any new player does is choose a place to reside in. After that, all of his/her fights shall be for that city. And it is not a tournament in the classical sense, when only the best 5-6 players fight for their land. Each and every player contributes to the prosperity of the city. Initially, CityBattle will offer only major territories, of about five million people each, called Republics. As the number of players grows, cities will form within the Republics.
  • All of the classes are levelled simultaneously. Having to separately level each class can be inconvenient and even frustrating for the players, while, of course, creating additional profit for the developers. In CityBattle, developers respect their players’ time, so they decided to go a different way.
  • Original mechanics of weapons and abilities. CityBattle devs did not shy away from self-guided bullets, endless ammo, guided missiles etc. Each class has several unique weapons to choose from. Usually, one weapon requires more skillful play, but is a lot more damaging. Another weapon may deliver less damage, but be easier to aim, to the point of self-guidance. Weapons are developed so that with each new weapon, the playing style will change dramatically.
  • Levelling that changes the mechanics of the class abilities. Some competitors allow for character improvement, but it usually concerns only the parameters. However, in CityBattle, modifications (or “mods”) alter the class mechanics as well. For instance, a teleport that brings the player back in time instead of forward in space. A shield that loses its activation cool-down. A meteor that stuns the enemy, instead of dealing damage.
  • A separate strategic regime for playing as battalion commander. The army of a city consists of Battalions. In each Battalion, there are 10 squads of five people each, led by a single commander. The battalion commander sees the situation in each of the squads’ combat and can provide support with a special drone. Although the drone’s armor and weapons are not something that breaks the match, it can activate powerful commander’s abilities, such as guide an orbital strike, deploy an automated turret or a repair station.

Commanders’ intervention will not ruin the game balance, because drones can be hit, and the abilities have a long cool-down period and require financing from the city budget. Besides, the commander can intervene only in one battle at a time and must be quick enough to respond to the enemy commander’s actions.

Generally, commanders add variety to the city battles and ensure interesting social interactions within the city communities.

How does combat in CityBattle work?

During the day, players can fight on the Training Grounds, improving their skill and earning experience. At a designated time, City Battle starts. While CityBattle is the name of the game, City Battle is a daily event when cities fight for control over technoparks – high tech plants producing resources for Virtual Earth. At early stages, technoparks will just generate money for the city budget. The government will distribute the budget between salaries, infrastructure development and military needs.

For the players’ convenience, City Battle starts in the evening, local time. Many factors counted: population density, city size, what time it gets dark etc. In the end, convenient times were established for each region. Currently it is between 7 and 10 p.m. Six technoparks are at stake. All the combat levels or locations in game are in fact technoparks.

Why does a city need technoparks?

Technoparks finance the city budget on a daily basis, and the government allocates funding for bonuses to soldiers, infrastructure development and military purchases. So the cities with the strongest armies shall be the most beautiful and comfortable.

In future, cities will compete for titles, such as the most beautiful or the greenest city.