…are pretty distracting!
Work has been progressing slowly on Free Company the last couple of weeks, school has broken up for the summer so my teacher girlfriend and I have been enjoying the freedom from the school schedule by larking about. Now the Olympics has proven to be an additional distraction as I try to type code on my laptop while being constantly glued to the tv.
Anyway, I’m working on expanding the thin campaign layer a little bit at the moment as a change of pace from the tactical battles code. I’d found myself struggling to get back into the programming while I was working on the tactical battle path finding for whatever reason but the grate thing about indie game development is that if you get burned out you can try coming at the game from a different angle for a while (there is always plenty of work to do). So I drew and painted up some little building icons and I’m now re-factoring the existing morass of the campaign layer so I can squeeze them in on their own screen.
The idea is to introduce more and more systems that feed into one another, so the buildings will be built and upgraded with gold and prestige that you earn from completing contracts and they will in turn unlock more ways to improve your mercenary specialists, boost your prestige and add more ways to earn gold. I guess the goal is to one day have something as satisfying as building your base up in X-Com or improving your towns in a HOMM-alike game. For now it’ll be fairly simple though, columns of little icons and descriptions.
After that I may pirouette back to the tactical battle code I was working on before, which was the rather tricky process of adding penalties for trying to disengage from, and move through melee combat opponents. Right now one of the most effective tactics in the tactical battles is to run away from an opponent for half of your allowed moves and then charge back in to get a charge bonus every turn. Obviously that is a bit ridiculous and not the tactical game of positioning I’d like to move towards. Instead I’m going to allow a free ‘unopposed’ attack on a mercenary that tries to move out of hex adjacent to an enemy. Sounds easy enough but it means I have to rework the movement interface and logic for this special case to a) allow the unopposed attacks to be shown and b) to indicate to the player that he is about to make a special kind of move that he might want to think carefully about. I also have to change the regular A* pathfinding code to avoid including this type of special move in the middle of a normal path, instead it will attempt to give enemies a wide berth unless you specifically ask to attack them or otherwise enter their threat radius.