Untamed Tactics

Dev Diary #4 - Content with the content

Milan dives into the core gameplay systems of Untamed Tactics, explaining the nature of Tactical TPGs, Rogue-lites and how they combine into a cool game.

Content with the content

Hey everyone!

Another week (or two, three weeks?), another development update. As mentioned in the last update, we’ve slowed down the feature creep for a moment to focus on the systems that were already in place and improving or expanding them as needed. Now that the core roguelike tactical RPG systems are in place (it’s in the name and should be in the game). This consisted mainly of user experience (UX) improvements, bug fixes and adding content. 

Those that claim QA isn’t a ‘proper’ part of development likely haven’t done QA themselves and with everything that exploded last week when testing the new features we’ve worked on, I WISH we had a QA department (or even person) to help us out. Especially now with the roguelike element in place, I’ll pray to the Owl Gods that we will in the near future! 

Looking back at the last few weeks, I can now clearly see that we’ve only just implemented some baseline features that should’ve been in months ago. Development is a bit of a puzzle, and since we’ve all never worked on something this big before, certain issues only come to light after months of development time. Hopefully we’ll remember to put in those movement preview lines earlier for next time!

Where we came from and where we’re going

Movement is quite an important part of the game, and we noticed that on turn start there was some slow down as the optimal/available paths for both players and enemies were being calculated. We improved the pathfinding algorithms and reduced the overall complexity of the calculations required, making the excessive waiting a thing of the past!

In the same vein, as mentioned enthusiastically before, we’ve added movement preview lines! This is one of those features that should have been in ages ago, but got snowed under by bigger, more ‘important’ features. Well, guess what, UX is the most important feature of them all, and I bet everyone can immediately notice what I’m talking about when you play it!

Advantage Strike & Parley improvements

Another crucial element we’ve been working on is improving the communication of Advantage Strike. Since it offers bonus damage through positioning (pretty important in a TACTICAL roguelike RPG) AND charges the Parley meter in order to chat to enemies in combat, it deserved some love. 

We’ve visualized the ‘advantaged’ positions in the movement highlights, meaning every character that can move to a position that allows for an Advantage Strike will see it! Also, we’ve added the new (placeholder) Advantage Strike icon to the Parley meter to better show the connection to each other. Man, I wish I came up with this before, as it would’ve saved us a bunch of trouble explaining these mechanics..

Content, content, and more content

Now that the core procedural systems for the roguelike are in place, the next step is having an actually playable game. One of the main things here is an obvious one, however one thing we hadn’t been thinking about in a while: pure content creation.

We’ve been designing and implementing new battle maps, with all-new win conditions such as defeating a single enemy, escaping the map through special tiles, and surviving for a certain number of turns. 

We’ve added several placeholder enemy designs to the game, and our amazing artist Joe has just finished up two new Frog enemies for Stranglevine Ridge (yes Joe, I know I have to animate them, I’ll get on it soon™).

Several new Events have been added, like an encounter with Vincenzo the Bard wherein they assist Vincenzo in writing his latest epic poem. 

Dialogue has been added to several optional battles, as well as the procedurally generated questlines for each Region. 

All of these things should give the procedurally generated Region of this lil’ roguelike some more diversity, and we should have at least a few unique-feeling runs in the game now. Due to the exponential nature of the roguelike systems combining together, hopefully with a few more content updates we can have a pretty dense experience already!

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See you next time!

~ Milan

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