What I did
Had some things occur this sprint which took a lot of time away, but somehow it still ended up being a somewhat productive. I’ve thrown together a quick world map with a number of territories (shown as hexes) which display some basic info and can be occupied by any team. At first I was all for using hexes, but now that I’ve had some time to play around with it I’m not sure it’s right feel for what I’m after. I think something with fewer, more spaced out territories with better graphics to represent them would be nice, but as I’ve said so many times before it’ll do for now.
I’ve changed the character placement in the combat mode to randomly place characters within that teams spawn area. This lets me put any number of characters in each time, although I will have to add some options for choosing where to play them later. Could do with a better demo level before that though.
I’ve completed an early Team Management screen. It’s very rough, but does the job until I have the time to do some proper UI research and design. From here you can change the name and equipped weapon of any team member for any team, and add or remove team members as you will. I haven’t placed a hard limit on the how many/few team members you can actually have yet, but that’s a fairly trivial thing to set.
What I didn’t do
Only have a few missing features from the team management screen now. I want to be able to set the portrait used to represent your character. Later I’ll build a library of images to choose from, but it feels important to allow players to import their own faces to use. I’m not sure if that’ll stay long term, but it’ll certainly work for now.
I’ll also want to save all team data to disk, and loads it again when you start a new game. It won’t be very visible to the player, but it’s important to do right and will need some research doing beforehand.
I want to update the world map so that you can only attack territories adjacent to your own. There’s a few ways I can do this, some quicker than others, but what I really need is do is make something adaptable which I can just load in for future maps. It’ll take a bit of planning, but shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out.
Finally I still need to let teams take over enemy territories when you defeat them in combat (or lose of your own if they defeat you). It’s kind of key to the whole persistent strategy side of things.
What I will do next time
I intend to implement all the features mentioned above, none of them are really optional at this point. I’ll also fix the issue I discovered while writing this post where there’s no lower/upper limit on team sizes. I’ll look at this properly later when I start to balance things out, but for now I’ll set them to 1 and 8.
On the bug side of things there’s 2 annoying ones which gave popped up recently which I need to fix. First of all the game will sometimes instantly leave combat mode after it begins. I’m not sure what’s causing this to happen, but as its intermittent I think there’s a timing issue somewhere which I need to look at.
For the second one, I’m not quite sure when it happened, but most of the health bars aren’t showing in the combat mode. It just flicks between showing one, then another as you move and rotate the camera. I’ve got no idea what’s causing this one, so I’m going to need to crawl through my past commits in git to see when it stopped working.
When that’s all finished up I’d like to create some sort of post battle report screen which appears when the combat mode ends. No idea what I’d like on there right now, but the health levels, damage done, and characters killed for all people involved seems a good start. I’ll also need to track that data during the combat.
If I can get all of this done then I think I’ll be ready for another prototype release for anyone who’s interested. It will still be incredibly rough, buy at least I’ll finally have something resembling an actual game.
As always you can see the status of my current sprint on my Trello board.