The News Grandmaster 4000


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


Right I watched a how to play and thought “this is a deckbuilding game”


Yeah, that’s what appealed to me and why I played it a decent amount over Christmas. It’s not often that 200k people are playing what’s essentially a board game online.

The interface sucks and the Dota 2 client is laggy because it wasn’t built to have 150 units at once (hilarious, because WC3 would likely handle it better) but the core game is pretty neat.


Okay sorry I misunderstood Auto Chess the rest of my post is okay don’t hurt me (I will fight the clicker MOBA battle hinted at in my second paragraph if need be)

brb going to play Auto Chess more

edit: You have to understand also that Auto Chess has been embroiled in a direct critical dialectic with Artifact, like people are constantly drawing lines between them, using Artifact’s failures to promote Auto Chess’s successes, so naturally I’m on the defensive even though the dialectic itself is abusive and absurd. I came to a snap judgment of Auto Chess and I’m glad there are posters here who won’t take that shit standing.

edit 2: In my defense also the game doesn’t explain itself hardly at all, the tooltips are lacking, and the slowness of it combined with the deceptive simplicity (and weird things like what specific square to place each of your units on because I still can’t imagine it matters much, but I could be wrong about that too) combined with the aforementioned toxic dialectic context I encountered the game in and yeah I wrote it off too quickly


The positioning is something that you start to learn after about 10 hours with the game. Essentially, as you play better and better players, anything that seems minute becomes substantial and important (positioning, synergies, etc.) This 30 minute video (lol) explains positioning well:

It’s actually the approaches to positioning which change the game from being a pure math game into something creative, wild and unpredictable. High level players will scope other boards and place units accordingly. “I need this character to Ult quickly and die so I need to position it so that it takes a lot of DPS but not so much that it dies before Ulting.” etc.


and yeah, the game’s arcaneness is overwhelming at first, but I also find it to be somewhat part of its charm. there’s something compelling (maybe just for my type of personality) about learning very slowly by playing. I’m not gonna say that this is the Starseed Pilgrim of tower defense, or whatever, but overcoming and understanding the game’s depth has been super enjoyable (and reminds me of loading into wc3 maps and getting shouted at for not knowing what I’m doing). it’s felt as much like becoming literate in a foreign language as much as it’s felt like learning a fighting game.




Clicked the thread, saw the thumbnail, said out loud “are you fucking kidding me, Oddworld is back?!” I don’t even care if it’s just a movie or whatever


but it’s a game