The News Grandmaster 4000


didn’t that already happen with battle royale/dayz/arma


Basically every major new breakout game genre started with hobbyists working for free and giving it away. A good preview of the kind of dynamic and inventive culture we can expect when we finally kill capitalism.

Tower defense, MOBAs, battle royale, this new chess thing… am I forgetting any?


Whatever Team Fortress was (it turned into hero shooters, anyway). I think that might have been when that started. But then FPSs as a whole were sorta indie if you count id’s shareware model. I guess sandbox games weren’t but that’s the only big trend in recent memory I can think of that wasn’t… Oh, and soulslikes… But that might have developed out of rougelikes? I’m not up on that genre’s history


I mean soulslikes are just action adventure games. They’re closer to Zelda, Metroid, and Castlevania than anything else.


3 out of 4 of those are essentially Warcraft III custom maps (i.e. strictly degenerate minigame iterations of Warcraft III) that have yet to evolve into anything particularly good or great, and people only cared about battle royale (and arguably it only became good) when the capitalists arrived.


Tower defense absolutely predates Warcraft III


I’ll concede that, but I am pretty sure Warcraft III custom maps most strongly codified and popularized the formula as such. Gazing at this, most of the games before Warcraft III didn’t involve autonomous towers, which to me is the key thing I think of and expect to find in any modern tower defense game. Warcraft III modders made tower defense into A Thing.


Hmm maybe that’s why I don’t like them? I never thought about it in those terms


I was definitely thinking about modern Tower Defenses as originating with Starcraft custom maps and turned into A Thing by Warcraft custom maps, but I guess there was a long lineage of proto-TD games before those.

I still think we can credit much of the innovation in the medium of video games to hobbyist creators though. I mean, look where they first originated, with programmers fucking around in their spare time in the context of academia.


love how on brand this is for you even if I don’t think it’s entirely fair


I think that’s unnecessarily far-reaching, but if you discuss multiplayer then the point is more valid. I’ve always believed multiplayer is fertile ground for hobbyist innovations because:

  • the games are more abstract; they can survive on reshuffled art in a way that isn’t tenable for single-player, which requires more organized production
  • multiplayer lives and dies on people playing it something easier with super-fast community tweaking than building a monolith for a few years before tossing it into the harsh competition of the world
  • multiplayer mod games are community built, as people make incremental riffs on core ideas. It’s much closer to a dumb, chancey natural selection process than an professional cheating in absence of pressure


The Resident of Evil Creek is just a board game with some extraneous visual effects thrown in


I believe that a great tower defense game could be made, one as deep and engaging as the RTS games they spawned from, but I haven’t seen it yet. They Are Billions is a strong step in that direction but it still relies more on manual troop control than static defenses.

The world was not yet ready for the one attempt at a MOBA that is also a good videogame, but Paragon was also not yet ready for the world.

This Auto Chess thing is essentially just a more obtuse tower defense game with a slot machine added to it. I don’t think it could be its own genre; it’s conceptually complete as it is.

Anyway I don’t immediately have anything against his “hobbyists save us from capitalism” idea; just that the examples he picked categorically underwhelm me lol.


if you don’t think that naming wc3 models after dragonball z characters is deep and engaging then I don’t know what to tell ya!


This is such a reductive take that I don’t really know where to start. The random rolls of available chess pieces is essential to the flow of the game, which at its core is about split decision making and working against randomness to perform the best way one can at any given time with their available options. The skill and depth emerges in the player’s moment to moment understanding of what is possible now, what is possible five rounds from now and what is possible fifteen rounds from now (maybe its only similarity to chess). The way its economy functions is far closer to counter strike than a slot machine. Engaging with the game’s systems as opposed to its immediate aesthetics may lead you to the deep tower defense game you’re looking for. xo


There’s also interest, win streaks, and lose streaks that make it more skillful, too; if you’re not getting good rolls, you could attempt to go on a lose streak to gain an economic advantage. If you’re getting good rolls, do you continue to press your luck and try to keep securing the win streak or do you let off the gas a bit, bank some money, and use the interest as your economy?

It’s actually a pretty well-designed board game, albeit sort of opaque and complicated when you start.


I have no idea what game you’re all talking about is it just a straight up chess game or are y’all just calling it that


It’s a game called Auto Chess, formerly a mod called Dota Auto Chess, and it’s mostly called like that because you place your units on a chess board and it plays automatically.


It’s a Dota 2 custom map called “Dota Auto Chess” that has very little to do with actual chess.

It’s much closer to a card drafting game. You play against 7 other opponents. Each turn you use money to buy units (from a randomized “hand” drawn from a shared deck), and place those units somewhere on your 8x8 “chess” board. Then, you’re matched randomly with another opponent, and the units automatically fight each other. If you lose, you lose health proportional to number and power of units the opponent had left standing after the fight. Once you get to zero health, you’re out of the game. Last player standing wins.

Each unit has a “species” and a “class”. If you get a certain number of units with the same species or class, you get synergy effects and stat bonuses. You can also combine 3 of the same unit to level it up (and combine 3 level 2 units to create a level 3 unit; thus it takes 9 level 1 units to create a level 3). The synergies and level up mechanics help dictate your overall strategy and what units you should be drafting.

I didn’t get into the economy, interest, win & lose streaks, unit rarity, rerolling, locking, leveling up, neutral enemies, items, positioning, etc, but those are the basics.


Capture the flag in first person shooters was a mod in itself