Fabian Fischer Profile picture
May 8 10 tweets 3 min read
1/10 Been thinking about #GameDesign reasons that make me return to @TeamWoodGames' #SuperAutoPets more than to other (match-based, vaguely roguelike-ish) games. To me it's all about how the game is systemically built to be playable "whenever" and "forever".

Let me explain! 🧵 Image
2/10 With its asynchronous format (at least with its front-and-center "Arena" mode), the game sacrifices elements of counter-play other auto-battlers offer. You can't adapt to a specific opponent, because you don't have one. You just go up against a random sample team each round.
3/10 However, even in other auto-battlers "direct duel" situations are rare and building the best generalist team from the shop draws you get is usually what you want to do anyways. SAP builds all around that (more in Arkuni's great reddit post btw: reddit.com/r/superautopet…)
4/10 What SAP gains by sacrificing live synchronous play is an immense amount of convenience. They call themselves a "chill auto-battler" and it's true. The game waits for you, you can stop and return anytime, you're never stuck in a ~30 min social contract with 7 other people.
5/10 This makes it a "whenever". Matches are short and even if you only have time for one round, just pause and return hours later with the game state laid out. No need to remember what you "were going for". It integrates with your life schedule instead of the other way around.
6/10 The second part, the "forever", is what they are working on now. While the first two packs offer hundreds of hours of combinations to explore, a third one is one the way, but more importantly: the "weekly pack, an idea any remotely CCG-like system should look into adopting.
7/10 In this mode, instead of playing with pack 1, 2 or 3 you get a randomized selection from all available packs each week, with the appropriate number of units per tier etc.

Card games (and the likes) often run into problems of reduced consistency the more content they add.
8/10 That's why card games usually add cycles or seasons and render the older cards obsolete after a while, which does support their somewhat predatory business model, but feels bad for players. The "weekly pack" ensures consistency even with large amounts of new content though.
9/10 On top of that every weekly brings a new meta. A CCG cycle might get stale after a few weeks, but shuffling the content weekly prevents that (SAP isn't a CCG, so there's no "everyone plays the same pre-constructed deck", but there's still a meta of what's strong per set).
10/10 That's the "forever" - a draft-driven core game in an expandable structure and a fresh meta per week. Combined with the convenience of being playable "whenever", this makes SAP the game I've been returning to after *every* other game and easily one of my all-time favorites.

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More from @Ludokultur

Dec 28, 2021
#GameOfTheYear thread! 🏆

#GOTY 1/11
Super Auto Pets by @TeamWoodGames is a simple, yet surprisingly deep auto-battler. Its true genius lies in its laid-back asynchronous format. You can play a full run in 10 minutes without ever waiting for anyone, but also take breaks anytime. ImageImage
#GOTY 2/11
Roguebook (@PlayRoguebook) is the best #roguelike deck-builder of 2021 for me. It didn't really break genre conventions, but did enough to stand on its own (such as heroes switching positions all the time for special effects, or the overworld map exploration part). ImageImage
#GOTY 3/11
Gem Wizards Tactics is a true @keithburgun game in how it boils down tactical combat to where it's at its most interesting and builds an intricate, massively replayable system of emergent depth on top of that. So many unique situations and creative combos to explore! ImageImage
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