Attributes and Movement Types

by Dale M.A. Johnson


created 3/29/07


In addition to statistics, units have special attributes and movement types tied to their performance on the field and in battle. Attributes define what kind of unit a given class is, and what their characteristics are. Movement types dictate what terrain the unit can cross, and how many movement points a given terrain will cost.



Let's say you have a mounted cavalry class, and you want another class, a pikeman class, to have an advantage against mounted units in battle. You can't do this based on what items the cavalry class is holding; there's no telling how a given cavalry unit can be equiped. Instead, you base it on the cavalry unit's attributes.


An attribute tells the engine, and the player, what kind of unit a given class is. Let's take the cavalry class, for example. We would likely create an attribute called "mounted" and assign it to the class. You can create up to twleve different attributes and assign them to classes. Certain attributes can be set to have weaknesses or strengths against other attributes, or weapon types. For example, we could give our pikeman class an attribute that would gain an advantage against the mounted attribute. Or, we could make an item group called "polearms" and set that item group to have an advantage when used against the mounted attribute.


Attributes are represented by 48x48 pixel icons that appear on a unit's status screen. Each class can have up to four attributes. They are not required to have attributes if you don't a given class to have any. When a unit has more than one attribute, they are factored together. For example, if you gave your cavalry unit both a "mounted" attribute, and a "physical" attribute, and some sort of "anti-horse mage" attacked that had a 20% advantage against each of those attributes, the total advantage when added together would be 40%. Likewise, if the "anti-horse mage" had a 20% advantage against cavalry, but a -15% weakness against physical units, then the total advantage would only be 5%. If you're creative, you can use this to your advantage and create some unique gameplay features.


Movement Types

Movement types are similar to attributes in that they define what a given class is like. However, unlike attributes, each and every class must be given a movement type, and they may only have one.


Let's go back to our cavalry/pikeman example. The cavalry would have a "mounted" movement type, while the pikeman would have an "infantry" movement type. Let's say we want the normally swift cavalry unit to move hampered in forests, while pikeman would move normally. First, we set the movement types to each class. Then we set the forest terrain to cost 3 movement points for the mounted movement type, but only 1 movement point for the infantry movement type. We could even set it up so that mounted units couldn't move through the forest at all!


We can use this in many unique applications to create fun, varied, and interesting classes. There are a total of 10 movement types that you can set up, and, like attributes, each can be given a 48x48 pixel icon that will show up on the unit status screen.