Mayhem Manager is a game I’m developing. You can play the beta version in my arcade site by pressing the “Mayhem Manager” button. (NOTE: Game does not yet run well on mobile devices.) You can invite friends to play with you or play against bots. Because it’s in beta, there is no walkthrough or tutorial yet. So here’s a brief overview of what the game is and how to play it:
What do you do in Mayhem Manager?
In Mayhem Manager, you play as the manager of a team of gladiators. Each season, you select and train fighters and give them equipment to help them in battle. Then they square off in the arena in a single-elimination tournament, until only one team remains. That team is crowned the champion, and the next season begins.
Below I’ll give a more in-depth overview of each stage.
1. The draft
Each team gets to pick one young fighter to add to their roster. When it’s your turn, click “Pick” to add the fighter you want to your team.
2. Free agency
Teams who want to hire additional fighters can spend money to add them to their roster. When it’s your turn, click “Pick” on all the fighters you want to hire, then click “Done”.
Teams can buy equipment that their fighters can use in battle. Each equipment has different abilities. Some give your fighters more powerful attacks, some improve your fighter’s stats, and some have special abilities like healing teammates.
You can also choose a skill to train your fighter in. This improves the stat you chose by half a star. This is in addition to small random stat increases/decreases that happen every season.1 Instead of a skill, you can choose instead to attune your fighter to an equipment. This improves the power of that equipment when the fighter is using it.2
4. Battle royale
The battle royale determines the seeding of the tournament. Teams that do well in the battle royale can face weaker opponents or even get a bye in the first round.
In the battle royale, you choose one of your fighters and the equipment you want them to wear. Then they battle against each other team’s best fighter in a free-for-all. Their goal is to survive as long as possible.
When you pick equipment, keep in mind that fighters only have one head, two hands, one torso, one pair of legs, and one pair of feet. This means you can’t, for example, equip two equipments that go on the feet, or three equipments that use the hands.
All teams will be matched up in a bracket and face off one-by-one. In these fights, all of your fighters will participate, and you choose which of your fighters should wear which equipment. When both teams have made their choices, they’ll all fight, and whichever team wins gets to advance to the next round.
A team wins the fight by damaging their opponents until all their fighters lose all their HP. When a fighter loses their HP, they don’t die; they’re out for the rest of the fight, but they’ll be healed up by the time you enter your next fight.
After the tournament, you prepare for the next season. This means re-signing any fighters whose contracts expired, and repairing any equipment that broke.
A fighter’s contract lasts 1 year if you draft them, or 2 years if you re-sign them or sign them in free agency. If you don’t sign a fighter in preseason, they’ll become a free agent and any team can sign them (for a more expensive rate).
Equipment need to be repaired every 2 years. The price goes up every time you repair an equipment.
When you’re done re-signing fighters and repairing equipment, click “Ready” to advance to the draft.
How do I know what fighters and equipment to pick?
Well, that’s what you’re supposed to try to figure out!
I don’t know all the best strategies, but I will explain what the stats and abilities you see do. I’ll start with what types of equipment a fighter can use. The simplest are weapons, which either grant melee or ranged attacks. A melee attack can only be used within a short range from the opposing fighter. A ranged attack can be used from any distance, but it can be missed if the fighter is inaccurate. The cooldown listed on the weapon describes how long the fighter has to wait after using it before they can use another ability.
Some equipment give your fighters actions that aren’t attacks. The action’s effects will be explained in the weapon’s description.
Some equipment will require charges to use. This means that a fighter has to spend some time charging up, not using any other abilities, each time they use the equipment.
And some equipment change your fighters’ stats. I’ll explain here what each stat does. (This information is also visible if you hover over a fighter’s star ratings.)
- Strength is a damage multiplier for melee weapons. A fighter with 0 star strength deals half the listed damage of the weapon, and a fighter with 5 star strength deals 1.5x the listed damage of the weapon. A fighter with 2.5 stars of strength deals exactly the listed damage.
- Accuracy determines how likely ranged attacks are to hit. A fighter with 0 star accuracy hits 25% of the time, a fighter with 5 star accuracy hits 75% of the time, and a fighter with 2.5 stars of accuracy hits 50% of the time.
- Energy determines how fast a fighter charges. (Some abilities require the fighter to “charge” before using them.) A fighter with 0 star energy takes 9 seconds to charge, a fighter with 5 star energy takes 3 seconds, and a fighter with 2.5 stars of energy takes 6 seconds.
- Speed determines how fast a fighter moves and how likely they are to dodge melee attacks. A fighter with 0 star speed moves 2.5 m/s and has a 0% chance to dodge. A fighter with 5 star speed moves 7.5 m/s and has a 20% chance to dodge. And a fighter with 2.5 stars ofspeed moves 5 m/s and has a 10% chance to dodge.
- Toughness reduces the damage a fighter takes. A fighter with 0 star toughness takes 25% more damage from attacks, a fighter with 5 star toughness takes 25% less damage, and a fighter with 2.5 stars of toughness takes exactly the amount of damage the attack deals.
The strategy from this point is up to you! But I have some simple tips if you’re not sure what to do:
- Give melee weapons to strong fighters.
- Give ranged weapons to accurate fighters.
- Give weapons requiring charges to fighters with high energy.
- Try to give each fighter a weapon or other ability to use. Otherwise they will have to use their fists, which are quite weak.3
- Spend most of your money each season. You will only get half of it back next season.4
What does it mean that it’s in beta?
It means I’m not done developing it. Here’s a list of some of the most important features still in development:
- Add support for mobile devices
- Add more equipments with more exciting abilities
- Allow fighters to have innate special abilities
- Make the bot opponents more challenging to play against
- Add a real tutorial
- Make the interface more helpful and easier to use
- Make fights more visually exciting to watch
- Allow users to import/export save files to continue where they left off
I don’t have a timeline for when these will be finished, because I have a job and several other projects on the side. But rest assured that these changes are on the agenda!
How can I contribute?
The most helpful thing you can do is playtest the game! And please tell me what you think! My goal is to make a game that is fun for other people in addition to me, which is hard to do when other people don’t tell me what is and isn’t fun.
If you want to go further, you can contribute art. I am currently seeking:
- improvements to the art for the arena (which has some large unfinished areas)
- art for new equipment
- new hairstyles, facial expressions, and default clothing for fighters not wearing equipment
Contributions should match the existing (very simple) art style of the game. Please contact me if you want to provide art so I can give you a template to work with.
If you’re really ambitions you can try to provide code. The source for the game is here. It is made primarily with TypeScript and SvelteKit.
Thanks for reading this far, and please do consider playing!
Younger fighters will tend to improve each season, and older fighters will tend to decline, but due to randomness the opposite can happen sometimes. ↩
Numerical effects will get 25% stronger when attuned. (For example, weapons will deal 25% more damage.) Stat changing effects will improve by half a star; so “+2 toughness” gives +2.5 stars of toughness, and “-1 speed” gives -0.5 stars of speed. ↩
They count as a melee weapon that deals 5 damage awith a 5-second cooldown. ↩
This is in addition to the $100 that each team gets at the start of each season. So if you end a season with $20, you’ll start the next preseason with $110. ↩