Consumed By Greed


Short version / USP: Consumed by Greed is a realtime strategy game designed from the ground up with quick, arcade / console style controls and gameplay style.

Long version: Though in essence an RTS in the sense that the gameplay involves building stationary and mobile units, resources, and battles, the similarities with PC based RTS games end there. Consumed by Greed is played entirely with a D-PAD and 2 or 3 action buttons, and has no need for the heavy mouse based controls of a PC RTS. It has simpler mechanics yet still rich in deep strategical alternative choices.

The gameplay and controls are based on the typical console arcade style grid based games such as for example Bomberman: you control a single character to walk around the world and press action buttons to do things. In Consumed by Greed, you collect items simply by walking over them. Items are stored in an inventory visible on screen (FIFO buffer of up to 10 items), and represent either things that can be built or “powerups” that can be activated (pressing the assigned button makes this happen in the square your character is standing in). Some of the items are:

  • Static defensive units, such as turrets, traps and walls.
  • Mobile offensive units. A mobile unit has a “home”, which is the square it is built in. This is the place it will wait before engaging, and return to after battle. More importantly, home squares are the game’s way of grouping: all units in adjacent home squares are considered a group and are controllable as a single entity when attacking, and will attempt to keep the formation they are in. This has several benefits to the player: grouping while building is UI wise both simpler and less hectic than doing it on the fly during attacks and such. It allows the player to make strategic combinations of units (e.g. combining weaker cannon fodder units with stronger units or healing units) very easily, and it becomes very easy to replenish died units in a group, all without requiring multiple unit selection mechanisms that are awkward with a console controller.
  • Resource extractors. These are built on top of resource patches in the map and will automatically accumulate resource points as long as they are not destroyed and the patch hasn’t run out. There is only one kind of resource (gold, or just plain “money”). Resources are the natural limiter of the pace of the game in the sense of how much you can build, which steadily goes up. The resource curve is less extreme than in RTS games however, in the sense that being efficient with them gives you a significant edge, but smart choices in building gives you a bigger edge.
  • Shops (or “factories”). Shops can be built, and each kind of shop has a range of different items it offers (mostly subdivided between simple/cheap items and advanced/expensive, but also kinds of items such as offensive/defensive etc.). Different from an RTS, shops put only a single item on offer at a time, randomly from the set of possible items they sell, and you can choose to buy the current item by simply walking into the shop (this will cost resources). The randomness is to make the game have a mild amount of “make the best with what you are given” as opposed to executing fixed and predictable strategies (a similar role as played by shuffled cards in Poker or Magic the Gathering). You still have a great deal of control through in what kind of shops you build, how many, and in what order you buy from them. Needless to say, again the way shops are done does away with the need for any special UI/controls to use them.
  • Powerups, such as extra health, damage, speed etc, and more rare & more extravagant items for tactical use (list TBD).

Besides the inventory at the top, the bottom of the screen will show a list of groups (containing mobile units) and certain stats about them. You can move through the list of groups left and right with the shoulder buttons, and control the current group by pressing one of the 4 target buttons (the 4 color buttons on the controller, which correspond to target colors visible in game). Doing so will make the group move to the target, and attack anything in its way and at the target. 3 of the targets are assignable (you can set them simply by pressing the target button without selecting a group, this will allow you to move it anywhere in the map), and one target is the “home” target, which sends units back to their home base. You can only tell groups where to go, but nothing else: attacking is automatic once engaged, and tries to be as optimal as possible (distance, target selection, formation) so to not make the player feel he would want manual control. This control scheme allows groups to be sent around the map almost faster than with a mouse, and in an intuitive way (since color coding will allow you to select targets without much thought). See the example controller layout:

Your main character has basic offensive ability, and an order of magnitude more hit points than the average unit. As such, it can only be killed if it can’t escape or is cornered by larger number of enemy troops without troops of its own. The game is lost if the main character dies, or if the game detects you are out of units / items / factories / things to pick up (unable to progress).

The game is by nature most suitable for multiplayer, where 2 or more players can start with nothing but a single factory in their inventory and a map with interesting connectivity and/or resource patch placement. A singleplayer campaign will be provided however, and will focus on overcoming odds of large pre-deployed enemy AI forces that have less resources vs the human player that starts with very little but has more resources, i.e. an unequal situation between AI and human that leaves the human feeling smart because overcame a situation that was stacked against him.