Well, this is a die hard subject. Here's an explanation of how we are dealing with it while not breaking the game. Originally, stacking allowed for several things, such as:
- avoid blocking each other's way
- condense firepower from a reduced area (one single cover spot for instance)
- easily move all four soldiers around at once
When it comes to game design, these are tactical tools that we will keep. But in what form?
Non blocking soldiers
As it's implemented now, it's simply not possible to block another soldier's path. The only limitation will be about standing too close.
Even if one is standing in the frame of a door, any other soldier can walk past him.
Here is an example of how we are designing the cover system to allow multiple soldiers on one window. The soldiers will not blend together, but the firepower will come from the same spot practically.
Of course, we will adapt similar solutions for other types of covers, such as corners, low walls, trees, etc... The question that this solution raises is how many soldier can fit behind a certain type of cover. Not an easy one.
We are working out algorithms and interactions, to move several soldiers at once effectively. For now, we have a rough implementation where they simply have a line formation.
That's still pretty crude, there is still quite some work to refine it further. For example, have soldiers snap to covers nearby elegantly. It will be challenging, but interesting.
There are other situations where stacking soldiers is beneficial to the gameplay. But we felt these three were the most important ones.