Some people just love playing their board games with their friends. Game developers love them and have put many on consoles, computers, and mobile devices with mixed reviews. But lately, the trend has been going upward with many great games built on board games, including great games like Stratego by Wanted 5 Games. The game is available now on Google Play and Apple App Store.
The game is extremely strategic, as you have many different pieces to place on the board. The main point is to kill the opponent's leader with the players you have. If you have a player with a higher score, they defeat the piece, but if the opponent has a better score or a bomb, your piece dies. The strategy is that you aren’t shown their strength unless you attack or spy on them. With so many pieces on the board, it’s impossible, so being strategic about where your players are makes the game interesting.
Wanted 5 Games has worked hard to keep the fun from the game with online play, fun graphics, and an excellent soundtrack. The game is a must-get for board game players looking to have a quick game at lunch with friends or with family after a meal.
We got to speak with one of the developers, Robin, who has been on our Discord forever and is happy to be using Cocos Creator to develop the game. We asked him a lot of questions about the game and why Cocos.
Cocos: Great to talk to you, Robin. It’s amazing you have a game like this. Working with IP (intellectual property) can have a lot of problems. How did you get the game?
Robin: The company behind Stratego, Jumbo, reached out to us in 2021. We frequently play board games during our Friday afternoon drinks in the office, so this game fully aligned with our team and company. Our collaboration is a unique partnership that leverages the strengths of both companies.
C: Were there a lot of other challenges other than getting the IP?
One of our major technical challenges was implementing AI. This AI serves as an interactive tutorial to help new players become familiar with the game and offers a training mode for skill improvement. Developing an AI for Stratego is particularly complex because it's a game of imperfect information, unlike chess or Go, where players can directly see their opponent's piece identities.
While our current AI is excellent for new players, we're actively working on further improvements based on actual gameplay. Additionally, we're exploring the possibility of implementing Google Deepmind's AI, which will definitely offer a challenge, even for experienced Stratego players.
C: Was that one of the reasons you chose Cocos Creator?
R: Not really, but the specific project requirements always drive our game engine selection. For Stratego, one of our primary goals was to create an online multiplayer game that could be played across multiple platforms like Google Play and the App Store. This required an engine that could easily export to these platforms from a single code base.
After evaluating several engines and conducting numerous tests, we determined that Cocos Creator was the best fit for this project.
C: What were some of the things you liked about Cocos Creator when using it?
R: For us, having all the game sources in one codebase was super important. Allowing us to add and integrate new platforms quickly was one of the main reasons for going for Cocos Creator. Another reason was that most of our development team members are experienced in TypeScript.
Our decision to go with Cocos Creator resulted from ongoing experimentation and testing, and it proved to be an excellent fit for this particular project. Over the past few years, we've worked on multiple gaming titles, ranging from small to large projects. In recent years, we've also had the opportunity to work with several existing IPs.
C: For those coming into building a game like Stratgo, what would you give as advice?
R: Here’s a few ideas:
1. Have a good workflow to work together with multiple team members. You don’t want to have issues when merging scenes. If you are unsure if your workflow works correctly, try it out before starting the actual development of your game.
2. Read all the Cocos Creator documentation before starting your project. There are a lot of great built-in features, like feature cropping and built-in asset compression, which other engines don’t have.
3. Use atlases and only load them during the game when they are really needed. This keeps the initial payload of the game low, resulting in faster boot-up times for your players.
4. If you build for multiple platforms, for example, iOS and Android. Make sure to always create a build for each platform during the development of your game. Try to catch platform-specific bugs as early as possible.
Thanks so much to Robin and his team for making a fantastic game and showing that Cocos Creator can be an amazing tool to build games for your own or large IP. If you haven’t downloaded it now, you can from our website for free.