Another long break between, and I always forget what I’ve implemented, so…
Started writing the tutorial, got the conversation system UI done, further refinement of the conversation system allowing choices and setting/unsetting flags from any conversation, other conversation stuff.
The game is really coming along, and can soon start moving from implementation to refinement. In the immediate future I’ll be implementing the campaign progress map, adding nicknames to characters, and hopefully soon writing the system that I imagined and started it all: the award citation system! Soon the men will be able to receive custom citations to medals they earn in the battlefield. A lot of work for a medium effect, but I think it’ll add a ton of flavor. We shall see.
Long time since updates, so!
The perk system is installed, or at least the skeleton. Every couple of levels you can gain a perk depending on meeting some pre-requisites. It will randomly select 3 you’re eligible for, and each perk has up to three levels itself. Each character can have up to 5 different perks. And of course a perk page has been added to the character sheet.
In the middle of hunting down a UI artist. Everyone I contact seems to be in the middle of work already. >.< Once I do a complete overhaul of the UI, I think I may do another Kickstarter, as that seems to be the most visible improvement, despite all the behinds the scenes action I keep programming… >.<
Alright, back to work!
Sorry, all the sexy stuff was done a long time ago, so now progress is GUI and interface and organization… just like war, minutes of frantic action, days and days of paperwork. -.-
Anyhow, I’ve managed to finish, for the most part, the drag and drop squad management system. Now besides just picking your formation, you can pick each person and put them in a spot in the formation. The tactical possibilities expand!
Contacted my artist after a long period of time and although busy, he said he could fit in a bit more of side work. So once I compile a list of extras(!), I’ll be working with him again.
On the music side, my music guy is working on victory music. It was just a little too stark to cut the combat music when you won, and a little too pumped to keep playing it over end-of-mission stats.
So there it is! Progress, progress, progress. Behind original schedule, but moving ahead nonetheless. Stay tuned.
Not much exciting news as tightening the game focuses on small aspects.
Some overall stats though:
MissionLogic.js (the file that handles AI, shooting, animations for combat) – 1761 lines.
GDO.js (Game Data Object, the mega file that handles saving, player data, classes) – 1445 lines
5 menu scripts averaging 500 lines each.
Sometimes it gets tough to continue when the large, sweeping parts have been done, but when you’re working through the details, you take a look back and realize how far you’ve come.
Moving forward, more tweaks and interface issues! Character leveling up needs to be smoothed out, GUI artist needs to be found, and connecting the research interface with the item acquisition! The show must go on…!
So, more mission AI. Made sure that on a defense mission, player characters will move back to their original position when they aren’t engaging an enemy. But what was engaging an enemy?
If an enemy’s in range, you’d shoot them. If they’re not in range, you go home. So it becomes a completely static fight and your guys never move. Boring.
But we have the psychological stat, aggression. Sounds like a more aggressive soldier would leave to pursue, right?
So we tie aggression to pursuit range, if the enemy is within max range PLUS aggression, you move to engage, otherwise you return home/stand your ground.
A lot of little bugs ironed out with that, but that’s implemented. Likewise, during the escape mission, your players will move after every shot, then make a break for it when they’ve passed all enemies. In addition, I added a point blank bonus for all firing. It seemed odd that the player could get next to an enemy and they’d be blazing away, missing repeatedly.
For future thought, perhaps people trying to escape should stand and fight if they get within a certain critical range. Because even if you were trying to escape, probably wouldn’t run RIGHT through a guy/tank with a gun, right?
Another long break in updates, but the holidays get the best of us.
I’ve been working on AI and mission types. So before randomized missions were implemented in kind and when you looked at them, but the actual missions were just the same every time. Now there are (nonsensically) randomly generated enemies for missions, as well as the assassination and defend mission types implemented. (By implemented I mean it highlights the target, ends the mission if it’s killed, and there’s different targeting AI for both.) However, I still need to implement the win/loss scenario for the defend mission mode, as well as different movement for defend and infiltrate missions. (Currently thinking that players and enemies will alternate between firing and moving when they’re trying to get somewhere yet are fighting.) It’s a fascinating process, thinking what would be the best possible thing for an AI to do given a scenario.
A good game design exercise is trying to limit what you look at to make decisions. For the AI in a defend scenario, you can look at whether the enemy is under fire, whether he’s in range, what range he is from the edge of the board, range from the player, if another soldier is vectoring in on him, relative running speed, health percentage, armor vs your weapon damage… there’s a world of data which you need to decide from, some important in some situations, some in others. It’s not making stuff up which is difficult as a game designer so much as what to care about, what to fudge, what to model, what to ignore. So fascinating.
The game continues, but I worry about being able to SHINE it in the time I’ve allocated. Finishing a working game is all good and fine, but not having the little bells and whistles done just right… Don’t have the experience so making educated guesses, but we’ll see. Oh, we’ll see….
Alright, it’s been a while, but a lot of good has been done.
Gameplay is almost completely functional, and this weekend I’ll be sending out another version for the alpha testers. A lot more stats are being tracked by the game, as well as displayed. Favorite weapon, shots, hits, and kills per weapons. Experience points are displayed, level upgrade is a little more elegant, and the music is now in game. Included a hard save in the options menu, mission system is now generating enemies, location, and objective, mission now lets you select a mission instead of just sending you in, verifies whether you have soldiers and a mission selected…
So a whole lot of things. I’m excited to see how goes, and to begin balancing and polishing instead of implementing.
What I did this week:
Modified mission objects and structures:
I had a mockup for missions, you would just choose easy, medium, or hard. Now, it randomly generates a mission with parameters such as number of enemies, mission type, and what type of terrain. It also displays such.
I think I covered it earlier, but you can upgrade and purchase different buildings now, although they are not hooked up to DO anything, except for the research building, which currently cuts research times.
I’m trying to develop in the rapid prototyping style: get things up and running, refine as you go. To that extent the game is playable, just with gaping holes and temp work everywhere. o.O
Soon I will remake a build and send it out to the extremely limited testing group. It’ll be fun, given I haven’t done it in a while and feedback prevents me from going too overboard in anyone direction.
Just to let y’all know what I’m doing…
Implemented the menus and scrolling for Building upgrades. Right now I’ve slotted blank requirements to upgrade the buildings and fake costs, but the mechanisms for upgrading buildings exist. Now just to integrate it into the rest of the systems and vice versa…
Taking a break with the family for Thanksgiving, will work intermittently. Happy Thanksgiving, all!
Alrighty, back from trying a Kickstarter project. Failed, but made a lot of contacts, got some boosts to morale, and learned a lot for any future attempts.
In any case!
Alrighty, implementing the real time system, and now re-jiggered it to work better with the research system. Currently, you can research stuff, and after a set amount of time it’ll finish, and that’ll properly unlock any tech that relies on it. Unfortunately, it’s all free and nothing checks to see if you need tech before doing anything. But it’s a step forward.
Hoping to wrap up all the basics of gameplay in short order so I can begin the story/background/tutorial/polish/refinement.