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Gameplay

Players are Agents

While outside of battle, players are agents - citizens of Zen Republic, who live in spacecraft homes and travel around the solar system organizing matches for their fighters and enjoying freedom. An agent has fighters living with them in their spacecraft. Agents are in control of the finances - they buy and sell fighters, in-game assets and stake in battles. They are also the ones organizing battles and tournament entries for their fighters.

Game Rules

The Zen Fighters gameplay is simple to understand, but difficult to master, active, exciting, and fast-paced:
  1. 1.
    Games are played in 1-on-1 fashion.
  2. 2.
    Both fighters stand on platforms at a distance from each other and behind them are 3 rings that they need to protect
  3. 3.
    Fighters are holding slingshots in their hands as weapons. Surrounding the platform is a moving conveyor belt with projectile orbs on it.
  4. 4.
    The fighter's objective is to take the projectiles, load them into the slingshot and shoot them through the opponent’s rings, thus inflicting damage.
  5. 5.
    A fighter wins a round if he drops the opponent’s life points to 0.
  6. 6.
    If timer runs out, the fighter with more health wins this round.
  7. 7.
    If timer runs out, but the fighters' health points are very close, sudden death mode begins, meaning that the first fighter to score wins this round.
  8. 8.
    The match is played in a best to three mode, so the first fighter to win two rounds is crowned the victor.

Three Pillars Of Mindfulness

This sports game does not only test fighters' physical and reactive skills, but also challenged them to be quick-witted, patient and strategic. Together with explaining the mechanics of the sport, let us introduce the three pillars we are building the foundation of the game with: Strategy, Timing and Instinct.

Strategize Your Actions

When the fighters start their match, they reveal all 3 SuperPowers that they have unlocked. Before each round of the match, fighters choose one SuperPowers to use for that upcoming round's duration. When both fighters have chosen their SuperPowers , they see what the opponent has picked as well and they begin fighting. When the round ends, the selected SuperPowers become inactive and for the second round they choose one out of the two remaining ones. If there is a round 3, fighters automatically use their last remaining SuperPowers .
This feature works somewhat like rock-paper-scizzors, in terms of being able to guess which power is your opponent going to choose and, if guessed correctly by selecting a countering power, fighter can get an edge during battle.

Time Your Shots

To deal damage, fighter needs to shoot a projectile into their opponent's rings. To make the damage output more variable, inside rings there is an inner target that keeps on getting smaller, until it disappears, expands to full size and loops this pattern again.
When the player hits the ring, if the projectile is within the radius of the inner target, the damage is multiplied by the current size of the target (large - NICE, medium - GREAT, small - PERFECT). The smaller the radius, the more damage is dealt. This is quite similiar to the Pokémon catching mechanic in Pokémon GO.
The timing of shots, taking care gravity and other factors in consideration, is essential in order to maximize the damage dealt to an opponent. This requires great patience and concentration, alongside muscle memory.

Defensive Instinct

To win at Zen Fighters, it is often times not enough to be a great shooter - fighters also need to learn how to defend. In their offhand, fighters have a shield that they can conjure and make vanish by a turn of the hand. The shield is useful for blocking opponent's projectile orbs.
The projectiles move too fast to make shielding a reactive action. If a fighter sees a projectile flying towards their ring while they do not have a shield ready, it is almost guaranteed hit. To successfully deflect opponent's shots, fighters need to analyze the body language and movement patterns and be able to put up a shield just a split second before the opponent releases the projectile. It is a difficult mechanic to master, but once fighters get a hang of it, defending becomes a psychological offense, putting the opponent on their toes and making them frustrated for being read.
What makes blocking a little more predictive, is that projectiles and rings come in 3 colors (green, orange and purple). Fighters can shoot any projectile into any ring, but if their colors match, damage is multiplied. So fighters need to be very perceptive of the color of the projectile their opponent picks up, because it lets them have a good idea into which ring their shot will try reaching and put up a shield before that happens.