Is what I’ve been working on recently.
January is an exam heavy month so a lot of time was spent outside of the office working for cold, hard immediate cash but I did find some time to keep the Free Company fires burning. The grand strategy layer has now been moved over completely to a controllable real time based system (though the amount of time that each thing takes to do still requires much careful balancing). Instead of having to hit ‘end turn’ to advance progress you can just unpause and watch events play out at whatever time speed you like. This system will be further upgraded (probably soon) with a system of notifications that pause the game and automatically present you with some information when some important event occurs (lore research complete, building constructed etc).
Parallel to that I’ve also been building up the lore research sub-system gradually working out new technologies and what buildings, skills, items and further technologies they unlock. The tech tree helps provides a kind of narrative to the strategy layer and some interesting prioritisation choices when multiple projects are available simultaneously. As in X-com I plan to gate some lore/technology based on the discovery or ‘recovery’ of certain items from the tactical battle component. It is just one way that helps tie your actions in the two layers together in a deeper way than just a win/loss dynamic.
My todo list informs me that I also have tasks coming up to work on a proper injury system for mercenaries, the aforementioned notification system and some more work on buildings.
Inspiration wise I’ve been drawing on a few new games recently that I’ve finally gotten round to playing in the post x-mas period.They are Eador: Genesis (a HOMM-alike with excellent AI) and Dark Souls (a properly rewarding and challenging action RPG with a classic D&D inspired melancholic mythos). I heartily recommend either.