Rubicon's Ramblings

Random thoughts from an overworked dev

Epic Little War Game – Dev Diary 6

Hi all. I realise it’s been a long time since I made an official post about the game’s progress, so here we go.

As you may know, we launched a greenlight campaign to get the game onto Steam a couple of days ago. That’s going well enough but faster being better, go mash the yes button if you’ve not done so yet please?

And now for some content…

Gratuitous Video:

Here’s a little video we knocked up of three AI’s knocking seven bells out of each other on a tiny little map. We just fixed the camera view and left it running so it’s not exactly a hollywood action epic, but it shows some stuff like base building and not getting itself stuck.

Online Multiplayer:

Pretty much finished this now. It’s all implemented on an independent server, allowing all release formats of the game to play against each other and so to bring together the largest pool of players we can. Steam users will be able to login with their credentials at a single button click or you can play online without any account creation at all if you want. We’re taking steps to make the online experience as slick as possible for both casual dabblers and the hardcore death or glory types like me.

In terms of play options we’re offering the usual 1v1 straight up PvP combat and another mode that we hope you’ll like – cooperative.

Co-op Play:

It’s you and a friend (or random stranger you hooked up with) playing as a team, versus two cunning AI’s doing likewise. By the time we ship, or at a later free update, we might offer a freeform sit and go version of this, but what we’re actually working on right now is a sort of formal multi mission campaign. Players will have to team up and complete certain missions online by working together. When someone’s completed them all, they’ll get one of several badges to show off with in the lobby.

Of course if you like co-op play but not online, you can set up a skirmish game however you like and do it locally. All skirmish games allow for up to six players, all of which can either be AI or player controlled, and you get to pick sides before it kicks off.

Skirmish:

The AI is basically cooked now, so all options are in place to pretty play the game how you want, endlessly replayable with a large selection of prebuilt maps and of course the random map generator that I’m particularly proud of.

As mentioned earlier, the setup for a skirmish couldn’t be more open with everything configurable. If you really want to, you can set up a 2v4 game with you and a friend playing four AI’s, or maybe it’s you versus five AI’s or whatever. You pick.

 

Random Maps:

Also totally finished. We’ve spent a lot of time making sure that all maps generated are actually playable. And the best bit, you’ll be able to use them in online play too which should keep that fresh forever. All such maps are symmetrical (in various ways) with fair and similar starting points, so there’s to be no yorping about who got the best position.

Single Player:

We lost our freelance game designer last year. I think he got delusional and became quite hooked of the idea of making a living from his work. That goes against our company ethos so he had to go. Imagine. Earning from making games? Pah.

Seriously though, good luck to Steve and I hope it all works out at Splash Damage. Whip those n00bz into shape will you?

That did put us in a tight spot though, so it’s yours truly designing all the levels and gameplay for the single player experience now. Whatever, I can squeeze it in amongst all the gameplay code, the AI, the units, the terrain generator, the engine, the… zzzz you get the picture.

Anyways, the solo campaign is coming along apace. I’ve made ten levels in about twenty days and it’s just got to the point where the player learning curve has (hopefully) ended and I can start unleashing some proper carnage. I don’t know how many levels will make it into the final game but I hope at least 25 and ideally many more. What I don’t want to do is make millions that are all the same – quality beats quantity with this stuff.

Audio:

We’ve commissioned (or rather, are in the process of commisioning) a ton of new sound and music for ELWG. All of the sounds you hear in the video above, the promo one for greenlight and etc. are all leftovers from Great Big War Game. We will be updating all the audio as it arrives and I can’t wait to hear the final music track.

Or in other words, nothing yet to report. And on that bombshell, I’m about done for this episode myself. Thanks for reading and go back up top and mash that greenlight link – you know you want to. Thanks!  :)

– Paul Johnson.

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