Xuhao (Tom) Du
Dota Auto Chess
Updated: Jan 24, 2019
These days a RPG game becomes really hot among Dota2 players. Even some people who never played Dota2, they will play this game through Dota2 launcher. This game called Dota Auto Chess. It is really weird why this RPG game could have such a big impact in Dota community. So here, I’d like to share my idea about this game to analyze its success from following aspects.
2. Art style
As you know, Dota2 has its own creative workshop which allows developer to use heroes’ model and motion in Dota2. And it also allows developers to upload their own models for their games. In this game, most models are from Dota2’s heroes, so it is quite familiar for Dota2 player to accept its art style. And for other players who never played Dota2, the designer of this game tries to keep the visual concept very simple. Every chess player has a battle board which just like the chess board. And each board keeps all the elements on it in a same color in visual. It is quite easy for people who first see this game to know this is a chess game. The whole color in the map seems a little bit dark, but it is because Dota2 prefer to use dark color as their elements. However, people will not feel uncomfortable when they play the game, because the UI and the board are perfectly blended together. The concise UI and the harmony board make this game look really good.
The developers of this game says that this game’s idea comes from mahjong which is a traditional Chinese game. And it also combines with turn-based strategy game and card game. Each turn of this game, the chess players allow to buy heroes (cards) using gold which they could put them on the board to defense next invading. Each hero’s amount in the pool is fixed, that means if other players already buy this hero, your chance to buy this hero will decrease. This is a very interesting design because sometimes you can buy some heroes you don’t want to interfere other players’ hero configurations.
Also, to make this game has more culture basement, every heroes’ passive skills and active skills are designed according to the background of WarCraft. That means Clockwerk (a hero in the game) should be Goblin and Mech, OreMagi (a hero in the game) should be Ogre and Mage. If the player is familiar with this background, it will be easy for them to know how to make a hero deck. And because of each hero has its own feature according to the background. If chess player selects to put some heroes which are in same race on the board, they will have bonus ability which means the heroes will be stronger. And there are more than 10 race in this game which make this game more fun to play.
Another point, because it is a chess game. You can place your hero anywhere on the board. But different hero will have different mode of action. Some heroes will jump to the end of the board at the beginning, some heroes will stay at the current place. It is because the attack range of different heroes is different. So when people are playing this game, they need to consider how to place the heroes will have the best effect.
At last, how to win this game? Player will meet different player’s deck randomly each turn. Except the first three turns and every 5 turns after the 10th turn. That is because the NPC turn could give some equipment for players which make them stronger. And because players will meet each other randomly, it is hard to just prepare for one kind of deck. So player need to use strategy to make sure they will win. If they lose in one turn, their health will decrease by the amount of the remaining enemy which seems quite fair. And at the beginning turns the decrease of health will relative small because the designer want to control the game time in around 40 minutes which is quite good for players to start a round.
4. Gold System
In this game, the most important thing is the gold. Chess players need to use gold to buy heroes or refresh hero pool or level up (every level they increase will allow them to place one more hero on the board). So maybe the most important thing is to keep balance between the people who always win and who always lose. This game’s gold system is quite balance I think. Because when people lose for many times they will get a lose streak bonus, which give their chance to have more money to make the hero deck stronger. Also, if player wants to store the gold, they will get a 10% interest every turn which also means if you lose too much health at the beginning, it doesn’t matter. The players still have chance to win because they have more money to consist a better deck at the end. I think it is because of the balance of this game that so many people are willing to play it.
It is hard to show the charm of this game only after you play it. So I’d like to recommend you to try this amazing game. Maybe it is not so perfect now, but it still could bring a lot of fun especially when you play with your friends.