August 24th-27th 2012 :: Theme: Evolution

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Fantasy Map Tactics

by McFunkypants - 48 Hour Compo Entry


Viva la evolution!

The evil red science-denier armies are slowly roaming the land looking for blood.

You control three green unarmed bards intent on swiftly spreading the word about science to the Mapletree kingdom.

Capture 15 cities to rule the kingdom while avoiding any bloodshed!


I've always loved the "fantasy maps" that you find at the beginning of all fantasy novels (LOTR, Game of Thrones, etc). There's something exciting about seeing the map, with all sorts of interesting looking places just begging to be explored. I thought it would be fun to make a turn-based strategy tactics wargame based on this visual style.

I created my game in HTML5 using jquery, because something like this doesn't need 3d rendering performance, and because it is very easy to turn the game into a mobile (android, ios and ouya) app using phonegap.

I started by first drawing some typical fantasy map icons using marker on paper. After scanning in the images and creating a spritesheet, I wrote a simple random map grid creation class. It uses deterministic random procedurally-generated terrain (a seeded mersenne twister PRNG) so that a complex map can be recalled with a single integer seed value (no need to save a huge array to disk/cookie/localstorage). I then add extra water tiles around the edges by varying the shoreline randomly.

Finally, I scatter hamlets, towns, cities, forts and castles in non-blocked tiles and give them random location names by combining two syllables from an array of three-letter strings.

This results in a fantasy book-style map with scattered forests, mountains, hills, swamps, and deserts that hold a plethora of interesting-sounding locations.

Finally, I implemented an A-Star pathfinding algorithm that can navigate a character around obstacles to get to any waypoint on the map (the green and red dots: green is how far you will move in a single turn before running out of "energy").

I also coded a line-of-sight (LOS) algorithm for use in the combat, which means that eventually projectiles and magic spells could be cast in a straight line but would be blocked by mountains or towns. The white dots are tiles that you are able to "see" - but in this version you control peace-loving bards with no attack skills.


This game is more like CHESS or a puzzle game than a typical tactics title like Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem.

Drag with the mouse button held down to scroll the map. You can zoom in and out with the + and - buttons.

If you want to restart with a completely different random map, enter any number into the box in the top left and click the world button.

Your green bards move very fast but die instantly if touched by a red army (unless you are really lucky). The red enemies move very slowly, but you are vastly outnumbered.

Choose which army you want to control by clicking the buttons on the bottom in the middle.

Click the location you want to move to and advance the turn (bottom left button) to start moving.

You only get ONE order per turn, so choose wisely.


Post Compo (JAM) edition: featuring enhanced terrain generation and new sprites for proper shorelines!

Downloads and Links




Haris Mujkic says ...
Aug 26, 2012 @ 10:50pm

That was funny. I lost two times, but there was a third luck. I captured all 15 cities and I had only one soldier left. :) Graphics are really pretty. Congratulations on finishing your entry.

Folis says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:57pm

This game totally hit my taste! It takes the map elements form games like Civ and Victoria II, and adds a new gameplay twist. 5/5!

Fenmar says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 3:00pm

I actually concentrated on one bard and tried to avoid the enemies. Worked better than using all three units. I really liked the generated maps.

K1NET1K says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:06pm

Reminds me of Civilization. I didnt understand how to tell the current unit selection. Nice war themed music. Those maps are excellent, looked hand drawn initially

yetanother says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:08pm

I like the "map parchment" style. Fun to play!

Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:46pm

Love presentation! I like the movement and the soudn, but sadly this thing runs quite slow.

nuria says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 5:00pm

Great idea! Very few strategy games are as easy to pick up like this one. The graphics and style are great. I had some performance issues, the game lagged a bit for me.

I think the interface can be improved a little, maybe showing your characters on the bottom instead of the next/prev unit buttons. Also when you change units should be clearer which is the active one. I'm kind of amazed you managed to make all this in 48 hours. Strategy games are usually hard to code. Congrats!

McFunkypants says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:08pm

Thanks for all the kind words, people! I really struggled to finish on time. I had to scale back many of my ideas: initially I'd hoped to make a full-on tactics game, with various attacks and stats and experience points and all the rest. The "unarmed" insta-death mechanic was born out of time constraints and honestly I think it is a BETTER game because of it!

New players: please keep the comments coming. Your feedback is extremely valuable to me. In particular, I'm open to any suggestions for improvement!

aquasheep says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 7:26pm

It was fun! I also had some performance issues, but no big deal; it's only js after all. As for improvement ideas I would say: The music is good! Use it more; the game needed more sound in it. Also, I would make the AI more aggressive because it seemed like they moved somewhat randomly.

I'm also impressed you did this in 48h; great job! It's a heck of a great base to make an awesome, really different online game out of. I would definitely keep working on it (and if I knew JS, I'd probably offer to help, but alas, I don't know much past the basics).

Sanguine says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 8:05am

I agree that fantasy maps are really cool, so this game is cool too!

whilefun says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 12:40pm

This is pretty fun! I cannot win for the life of me though, haha. I got 7 of 15 once, which is decent. It's neat to see someone using html5 too. I love the graphical feel of the parchment and hand drawn map items. It's a great aesthetic :)

darkshadow says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 4:34pm

The maps are the best thing about the game, I didn't see the purpose in having more than one unit if you can only move one (unless you are intending to add different types of units later), so I spent the time moving the one guy around all the cities. What would look really nice is some roads connecting some of the more major places, they might be quicker to move along but attract enemy armies that want to ambush you. As it is as well as strategy, you could make an awesome RPG from the map as well!

Aug 28, 2012 @ 9:06pm

Enjoyed playing through the game, looks like I did what a few other players did and won with just one army remaining.

Nice, authenic visuals really stood out here, adds to the atmosphere of the game which, whilst it is of a slower pace than some entries, revels in it.

jwolf says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 1:22am

Pretty neat game!

I had an issue where one town in the lake was blocked by a hill or something, cause it to be inaccessible (although it looked like I could get to it from a diagonally adjacent spot, but couldn't). You may have fixed that already in the Jam version.

Puzzlem00n says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 1:37am

Hmm. What is the point of the castles if all you need is to capture cities?

Anyway, nice game! It's pretty awesome for a board style game, which I don't always enjoy.

recursor says ...
Aug 29, 2012 @ 2:01pm

I really like the art style. For post-compo you should animate the little characters in the same style. I'll also agree that the game does run a bit too slow. This is a good start to something that could be really fun.

Aug 29, 2012 @ 6:00pm

This was pretty cool and the map graphics were good, it took me a while to figure out what to do though, I don't know if the game is just supposed to be slow or if it was running laggy on my computer, but it took couple of seconds for any actions to input.

For such a simple game it was surprisingly intense, won on my first try but I was getting nervous when huge red mass just crawls closer turn by turn. It was bit hard to figure out the character movements at first, perhaps you should make the green and red lines more visible.

The game is pretty nice, but I don't really see it anything to do with the theme besides bad guys hating science.

Aug 29, 2012 @ 9:20pm

Good god my spelling is horrid in my last post. Must've been after I game-devved non-stop for 36-hours :P

Anyway, to re-iterate: Lovely presentation, especially with the parchment-style, music and the nav-points.

SethR says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 12:12am

Love the look of this. Was a bit confused that only one guy moved when taking a turn (I set movement on all of them).. never trust us to read the readme.. :) But now I get it.. and ruled the kingdom!

juaxix says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 3:18pm

My army was defeated very quickly!
Nice musiic

Colapsydo says ...
Sep 2, 2012 @ 9:51am

The gameplay is appealing, and maps are so nice. Great job on the generation.
The strategy aspect could be reinforced with a better visualisation of roads and paths, imo.

tcstyle says ...
Sep 3, 2012 @ 10:53am

This game looks great with the drawn map style.
The mechanics work bt could need some more depth of gameplay. This has some potential for a bigger and more complex game.

Arc says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 1:18am

Enthralling stuff. I like to play before reading the comments of others but in this case I wish I hadn't. If I'd understood that I can only move one bard per turn, I would have enjoyed it more. I mistook it for a bug. I wish I could give more suggestions as you asked for in your post above. It's beautiful to look at, the music is appropriate and if you fulfill the other game mechanics that you mention in your blurb, I wouldn't be surprised if you gathered a following of devotees. Valiant effort! One of the best I've played so far.

Kmad says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 10:10am

It's great to see more turn-based games in the competition, I really like a lot of the ideas in this entry. It has a tenuous connection to the theme and is a bit too easy but it looks great and there is plenty of potential for an amazing game to come out of this. Hope you develop it further.

sev_inf says ...
Sep 9, 2012 @ 1:25pm

I live turn-based strategy games. This one is pretty good, but it needs ability to select units with a mouse and some sound effects.

sorceress says ...
Sep 12, 2012 @ 8:19pm

A good concept with a interesting graphics style, but this game is far too easy!

DaveDobson says ...
Sep 15, 2012 @ 7:37pm

Interesting game; reminds me of the old Daleks game for early computers. The art is really great. The interface confused me for a while until I got into it; I should have read the info page more closely, but it was not immediately obvious how it worked. Music track is neat-o; nice work!

joekinley says ...
Sep 17, 2012 @ 9:08pm

I love the graphics and the overall mood. It was very fun to play after trying to realize what to do at first.
Really nice game actually. It's a nice chess-kinda-thingy that is a lot of fun to play.

Also the audio was nice and all. The terrain generation looked really nice.

kibertoad says ...
Sep 17, 2012 @ 9:15pm

Run kinda slowly and wish it was more connected to the theme; but it was pretty interesting technically :).

Sep 17, 2012 @ 9:34pm

I'm a big map fan too, always spend ages looking through them when I'm reading a book so I can see exactly where the characters are. Anyway; so was it possible to select movements for all 3 bards and then end the turn, or could you only move 1 bard per turn? Overall I really enjoyed the game, I appreciated the chess aspect and like that you kept it simple

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