Check This Machine Strike Horizon Forbidden


A tactical approach

Machine Strike is a room-based board game that allows Aloy to play against characters from the Forbidden West. In this tactical game, players move miniature figures representing iconic Horizon machines around the board and action against each other. The goal of Machine Strike, invented by the action tenakt, is to free the board from your enemy’s machines. To achieve victory, the player must not only hold the strongest figures but also execute a strong strategy. And the further west you go, the more difficult your opponents become.

Bart van Oosten, World Design Lead at Guerrilla, is one of the opinion leaders behind this mini-game which is new in the sequel. “We started prototyping right after the Frozen Wilds! Many open-world role-playing games use this type of activities to immerse themselves in the world, which always attracts a group of players.”

At first it was just random cubes with random rules, but we wanted to include individual machine statistics, which meant that the board had to be scalable to meet these ideas. This is how we came to the tile system. Each tile is assigned a value that affects the values of each piece of machine that lands on it, such as the Increased strike of the meadow tile. Then we created a paper prototype of the game that we played a lot! It helped us to understand the set of rules and the reasoning. It took us almost a year to complete the entire mini-game.”

Made authentically in the Forbidden West

The implementation of Machine Strike in the game itself was a joint effort of different teams, from AI and visual design to storytelling and user interface. Conceptual artist Christian Auer was part of the team that helped shape the visual appearance of Machine Strike. “All parts had to be attractive without being too tied to a particular tribe, because this game is played by a variety of residents of the Forbidden West — be it an Oseram tinker or a Tenakt experienced in action. We also wanted each piece to feel special, like a collector’s piece, so they had to carry a little Prestige in their design.’

Learning curve

Before Aloy enters The Forbidden West, one of the first settlements she explores is the mining town of Oseram, Chainscrape. In the lively brasserie of his center, Aloy can meet Salma, a friendly and cheerful Oseram who is more than willing to explain the rules of the game. “A tutorial was essential to get people interested in Machine Strike,” says Bart. “we wanted to make it as casual as possible, like a friend sharing his recent hobby with you while having a few drinks. Our team of narrators did a great job of conveying the information in a warm and understandable way.’

The machine strike is one of the many activities you can stumble upon in The Forbidden West, but Bart and Christian are especially proud of it. “It was great to see people enjoying the game,” Bart says. “I am very satisfied with what we have achieved and I hope that many people will still like it in the future. We knew that Machine Strike might not be for everyone, so we tried to make the recording as discreet as possible.’

And if you are stuck against a particular character, my best advice is always to find the best Position for your units, whether on high ground or when you put your characters out of range. And don’t be afraid to overload. As Salma said‘ “This is often the best way to turn a game in your favor.’”

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