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I drew some wall tiles for my strategy game to allow units to climb stairs and stand on defense walls. But rendering a unit on top of a wall is not visually practical so I ditched the idea. The tiles that have stairs look like good decorations and I want to use them. But they might confuse the player. What do you think?

Scene without decorations:

Scene with decorations:
If you can climb the wall on any tile and not just the ones with stairs, then yes, it probably will be confusing. I think with strategy games especially, players associate the way a particular tile looks with some sort of function. Especially if they stand out as much as those stairs do.

Here's a map from a Fire Emblem game:

Not much decoration here! And what little decoration there is tends to blend into the environment, such as those windows and pillars. They don't really stand out enough to suggest that they can be interacted with.
Uh, I think the walls can't be walked on in the images provided, right Irog? In which case I don't think it's confusing.

I mean, the fact they're too small for any of the characters on the map to climb is a kind of dead giveaway.
Yeah, I don't see a problem with the stairs either. Even if someone gets any ideas, they'll figure out what's what in a single turn.
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
I imagine enemies moving would also make clear what's passable and what isn't, right?
I think the walls can't be walked on in the images provided, right Irog?
Yes, units can't walk on walls.

I imagine enemies moving would also make clear what's passable and what isn't, right?
Yes, wall are not passable for both the player and the AI.
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The walls aren't passable, so I think it's self evident.
Also the tiles for the stairs are small, so it looks like decoration.

I think I would have more questions about the house. Can I walk on it? What happens if I do?
The house is an obstacle like the trees or the walls. It blocks movement, a billman can't attack behind it but a shooter can shoot above it.
They don't look too confusing but they do feel out of place and weird. To me it looks like it's just slapped on not really fitting with the rest of the hexagon style. I would honestly just conform the walls to only the direction of the edges. Can't find a good example but imagine this shelf design is a wall...
Could you describe your idea with a sketch?

I think that in any tile based system, the walls connect the centers of adjacent tiles. Connecting square tile centers happens to align with the direction of a tile edge. But connecting hexagon tile centers don't align with the direction of any tile edge.

Actually found an example Wesnoth does it But yeah dunno how possible it is on your end.
Yes that's a very good way to make walls. But I built the whole game using a binary passability: a tile is either passable or not. Wesnoth's approach requires to define passability between tiles. So if I want to use Wesnoth's wall, I need to adapt the map format, rewrite the code that checks valid moves and above all recode the whole AI and its pathfinding. Possible yes but very very costly... to the point that it almost means restarting from scratch. Thus I'm probably stuck with my initial design choice.

Thanks for pointing this out. I didn't play Battle for Wesnoth for quite a while and I should replay some to look at the other design choices the developers made.
Beta testers!? No, this game needs a goddamn exorcist!

I was in a conversation about this just last night while playing a board game. Walls that look like this tend to make players want to walk in the empty areas next to the wall. It's confusing when you can't. If you make the wall in the centre of the tile, there's no arguing the point since everyone knows you won't be able to walk on half a tile.

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