A couple days ago I teased a new Roguelike, Revenge of the Starmen. I'm not quite ready to release the public alpha to the universe, but it does seem like a good time to reveal some of the mechanics key to the game.
Today I'm going to give a quick overview of the combat system, at least as far as the player character is concerned. The system is derived from the combos in Grid. For the uninitiated, combos in Grid were a 1-2-3 build up where each successive attack dealt more damage than the last until you hit the maximum amount of damage.
In Revenge of the Starmen, the idea of the 1-2-3 is preserved, but the player now progresses to the next link in the chain on each turn regardless of whether or not you make an attack. Unlike Grid, Revenge of the Starmen is constantly looping regardless of the situation (e.g., 1-2-3-1).
The aim of the "combat step system" is to remove utterly random damage, allow for a deterministic approach to tactics, and still allow for a more complex approach to damage than simply always doing 2 damage or whatever.
The goal of moving away from the chained attacks from Grid is to encourage the player to make clever use of movement and waiting. For example, if the player is at step 1, it might be best to move away from an enemy, wait a turn, and then turn around and smack the enemy for maximum damage potential.
I'm going to post a few more of these mechanical previews over the next week or two leading up to the first public release.