Samstag, 12. Juli 2014

Camo Tactics Alpha 1 Build 4 released!

Alpha Release 4 is out! Get it on GameJolt or Indie DB!

CamoTactics Alpha 1 Build 4

Many features were implemented and I worked off all planned items, including some that I considered optional. Interestingly, most of this was implemented during the first two weeks after release 3, and that productivity spike sadly slacked off in the following two weeks. I am still very satisfied with the progress I made this iteration. To recap what I wanted to implement this month, here is the full list:
  • [DONE] Make installation easier. There's multiple ways to do this (installer or bundled jar) and requires more research.
  • [DONE] Extend UI functionality (preparation for main menus and missions)
  • [DONE] Get rid of the prototype-ish graphics and replace them with better ones.
  • [DONE] The early prototype of this game included a very simple "camouflage" system which gave combat an interesting twist. This system is going to be re-implemented.
  • [DONE] Performance and usability improvements
  • [DONE] Many bug fixes (primarily inventories, weapons, sound) and internal improvements
  • [DONE] adding some first particle effects
  • adding infantry
  • mounting vehicles
  • [DONE] more advanced AI

I have a lot of plans for the next build already, which is going to be scheduled for 16th of August. On my list are:
  • "Walking" AI. So far I only have one for immobile static defenses.
  • A first stub of the Tower Defense Mode, as attacker. I can possibly get that one running till then.
  • A first stub of the Mission System.
  • Playtesting revealed I need better possibilities to take cover. Infantry is going to be a lot more fragile than tanks, so this is VITAL. For this I'm going to use obstacles such as trenches or bunkers as "sensors", and these sensors reduce damage or even have the chance to eliminate a projectile if it touches that sensor. This can be different to each projectile type, such that Missiles aren't able to travel through a wired fence, for example.
  • Reimplementation of Infantry. Infantry was not adapted to gfx changes made prior alpha 1 build 3 and thus taken out of the game, so I'm going to reimplement them next update.
  • Infantry mounting tanks (later vehicles).
  • Many internal improvements, cleanups and bug fixes.

Optional list is:
  • Play around with armed motorcycles.
  • Consider overheating as additional weapon property.
  • A "size-based" Inventory, rather than grid-based: Larger items are larger in inventory than small ones.
So how is Camo Tactics going to look like when done? For some answers, please refer to this post.
I am very excited with this game, and I hope you are too. Thank you for reading!

The Future of CamoTactics

The CamoTactics release of Alpha 1 Build 4 is imminent! Some of you may have wondered what exactly this game is about and where it's going to go. Fear not, for you will find answers here!

Game Structure:

I am likely going to use a Mission - Mission "Debrief" structure for this game. You do missions and get back to the mission screen to proceed to the next mission. In between, you can place items in your personal storage, buy or sell weapons, ammo, and other items, or change your equipment. This can be integrated with most of the planned game modes.

Game Modes:

Planned modes are:

Tower Defense mode. You can take the role as either defender or attacker. It may include zombies (grinding zombies with tanks?! Omg!1!one!).

Arcade mode. This is giving the player more freedom to try all available weapons, camos and vehicles, and it's going to be very similar to how the current alpha build works.

These two will definitely be in the final game. Ontop of this, I have multiple other game modes I can extent on.

Strategy Mode. I recently implemented a "death cam" that lets you scroll around the map after your death. What I could do is letting you send orders to friendly NPCs and even control them.

Campaign. The campaign itself is going to be story-driven and strategic. You will have to sneak through or shoot yourself through different levels. This is frankly where the game can possibly explode in terms of effort and time. Since I've never done a game with story before, I'll reserve the right to cut off the campaign and simplify it if I feel it's not fitting to the schedule.
Should I not be able to add a story at all, I'm going to let enemies drop notes containing some of the story in arcade or tower defense mode.

I can also directly integrate this into different game modes. Say, if you collect weapon X in the tower defense mode, you can use that weapon in the campaign. If you bought weapon X in campaign, you can use it for tower defense mode. Your inventory of that particular game save will apply to all these game modes (except arcade). So if you want to progress well-equipped (i.e. if you're playing on hardest difficulty), you can do some grinding and have some variety at the same time.

I yet have to experiment with this type of game design, but I think with the right balancing it has the potential to make the game more fun.

Other Gameplay: 

Combat should resemble real life combat. You take cover in order not to get hit. You use camo in order not to get seen. Your weapon behaves like a real life weapon would: it has recoil, a base bullet spread, and it also breaks the more you use it. Weapons will also be customizable using different attachments.

I'm keeping the possibility open to customize your characters as well, but I am not sure in what detail this will be implemented.