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Scramble! Battle Of Britain

A mechanically innovative, multiplayer, Simultaneous Turn-Based dog-fighting game set during that intense and heroic phase of World War Two, the Battle Of Britain.

 

How it works

In Scramble! German and British fighter squadrons go head to head over The English Channel. Competing players simultaneously issue control inputs for multiple aircraft while the action - and time - is paused. Those actions are then played out over a number of real-time seconds of action and animation, the consequences resolving simultaneously (shots are fired, loops are looped, collisions collided). The action is then paused once more and control inputs for the aircraft can be tweaked for the next action phase. This pattern repeats until the whole engagement is complete and you can watch the events back again as one uninterrupted dog-fight.


Crucially, players have a limited amount of time each turn to manually tweak the flight-paths of all their aircraft and get into firing positions. When the time runs out, both sets of aircraft move and shoot. Breaking down the real-time action into discrete chunks allows players to control an entire complex aerial battle with multiple aircraft in three dimensions. This creates rich tactical scope for players to use several aircraft in conjunction, forcing mistakes from their opponents, all the while up against the pressure of the clock.
 

A little more detail on the 3 key phases of play:

1) Planning – Time is paused. Players simultaneously set input controls (pitch, yaw, roll, throttle etc) for each of their aircraft, attempting to bring them into attacking positions. The Planning Phase is tightly time-limited (typically 15 seconds planning per aircraft, although this time limit is a server setting).

2) Action – Time is unpaused. The consequences of the preceding Planning Phase are played out. Aircraft move and shoot according to the inputs from the Planning Phase. The Action Phase is typically only a few seconds long (the “flight time” of the aircraft).

3) Review – Time is paused. Players can “scrub” (move back and forth) through the preceding Action phase's timeline, reviewing the events of the Action Phase in order to plan for the next. The Review phase lasts until all players “ready up” for the next Planning Phase (again this can be time limited by server setting).

 

Camera & Controls

Players have complete camera freedom in the 3D airspace. Tweaks are made to each aircraft's flightpath during the Planning Phase and the projected paths for the next Action Phase are shown via spectral "ghost lines". While players can see any flightpath changes they may make to their own aircraft, their opponents' ghost lines only reflect the last known inputs. Players must therefore get into the minds of their quarry to predict what their next move might be, using height, speed, comparative turning circles and misdirection to bring their own fighters into firing positions.

 

The Multiplayer Meta-Game

The Player's online profile is not an individual pilot, but rather a whole squadron. A pool of pilots is drawn from for each match. Pilots gain experience from each fight, allowing them to squeeze more from their aircraft. However, casualties are permanent. As your squadron develops new aircraft become available and your match rank increases. Match types include simple dogfights (with various numbers of aircraft and players), bomber escort and shipping escort missions. Several players can play for each side of any engagement, perhaps taking control of just a few planes each in a much larger battle with set objectives.

 

Scramble features dynamic atmospheric conditions such as cloud cover and time of day, allowing players to customise the scenario for a given match. While the focus of current builds is on multiplayer matchplay a singleplayer campaign is planned for the final release.

 

All screenshots are untweaked and in-game. Video Updates on Twitter.

We're currently seeking a publisher for Scramble! and a playable prototype build is available on request.

 

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