The early delivery system for claiming territory in Hostile Territory was to shoot tiles. From prototyping done in November 2014 other possible delivery systems were explored. Some of the ideas were that you could roll bullets, drop bullets that explode or walk over tiles to claim them. Starting in January the team continued exploring methods for the player to claim territory.
Turning environment tiles on and off was a key feature of the build for EAE day in December 2014. After continued playtesting we cut turning tiles on and off for a permanent state of always off. The reason was to drive the negative feedback loop of tiles disappearing faster speeding up gameplay.
A problem with permanence of tile removal is that there was the potential for islands to form in which neither player could reach the other. I added a fix to combat the issue where tiles randomly returned on a fixed timer. The fix is subtle, but appears to resolve any of the issue.
Removing tiles instantly was brought up. The option still exist in the game for fast players which means we need to explore not having a claim state further. The slowing mechanic proposed by Allen and Rody has helped give meaning to keeping tiles in the game, but it might make sense to immediately remove.