Dev Diary #8 - The Path Forward
What is happening with your soon-to-be favorite rogue-like?
Hello there interwebs! It’s been a long time since the previous developer updated, however the silence has not meant we’ve been sitting still.
We’ve faced some hard times the last few months, with other necessary projects and responsibilities distracting us from our own major projects (Untamed Tactics and the card game Untamed Feral Factions) in order to keep food on the table. In the meantime, a little Grumpy Owl baby has joined us on this plane of existence (congratulations Joe!), we’ve closed our office in the Netherlands and have gone fully remote, plus I’ve moved to a different country!
Although we still haven't found the full funding we’ve been looking for to make Untamed Tactics into the experience we would like to provide, there are some opportunities for funding as well as possible collaboration in the near future that are super exciting. We’ll share more about these potentially amazing developments when we have ACTUAL contracts signed!
The monumental task that is making a game sometimes can be a bit demoralizing and daunting, however after a little dip in creativity and productivity around New Years, we’re back in full force and looking back now, by the Spirit Gods, what progress we’ve made in the last months!
The changes are too numerous to outline here (we’ve got about 20 pages of changes and fixes from the last few months alone), I’ll outline the major features and changes below.
Most importantly, Untamed Tactics is steadily growing into a VERY entertaining experience that is fluid, fun and tactical. I’m really proud of the work our team has been putting in. There are still a HUGE amount of things to do, change and improve, but I’m glad to report we’re on the right track to making something special :D.
World Map overhaul
The biggest change relates to how players experience and move through the World Map. Whereas we first had encounters seemingly spread across the static map at random, the new system allows players to move along a path and make meaningful choices regarding how they explore each Region.
A path structure is generated for each Region with several different encounters on it. Moreover, each of these encounters now awards a specific reward that can range from regular loot to Echoes (meta-progression currency, more on this later), allowing players to make their choices not only based on the type of encounters they wish to play, but also the rewards they want to gain.
A new encounter type can now also be found, Travellers, which allows players to meet a wide range of NPCs that offer special services such as purchasing rare items or choosing between meaningful upgrades. Travellers always offer something positive, and serve as a welcome respite from the potential dangers of Battles and Events.
During and at the end of the run, players can now earn Echoes. Echoes are earned by completing encounters on the World Map, as well as often awarded at the end of the runs. This persistent meta-currency allows players to purchase a range of permanent upgrades for their run. This could be gaining additional Gold when you visit the Camp, or allowing players to find Rare or Epic Gems during their runs.
After ending your run (by quitting, being defeated too often or finishing 3 Regions and the boss) based on your progress you will receive a certain score. Based on this score, you unlock up to 4 Gifts, which either contains Echoes or permanent unlocks for your future runs. Gifts mostly unlock new Scrolls, Gems and Runes to be found in your run, but can also unlock new Events, Travellers and Battle Maps!
Battle visual revamp
The battlefield itself has received pretty significant changes mainly from a readability perspective. While the game always looked pretty, it was also cluttered and hard to read. We’ve increased the size of tiles relative to the characters, as well as zoomed out the camera and moved some UI elements around to make things MUCH easier to read. Mainly, this makes grouped up characters much easier to distinguish and the obstacles of maps better discernable from the other elements.
Camera controls have been simplified to 3 zoom levels, and much smoother camera movement and clearer turn orders make it a lot easier to parse what is happening when more complex interactions (such as pushing and pulling) occur.
Enemies and allies
Joe has been hard at work making a BUNCH of new enemy types and NPCs. The Shattered Coast has a wide array of new enemies. The other Regions are slowly getting more and varied enemies in both their visual design and combat abilities/playstyles.
Enemies can also use a rest sometimes, and when far from the player characters (PCs) they now Sleep, waiting for the PCs to approach before they engage in combat. This way, in larger maps enemies no longer all engage, dragging the duration of the enemy turns on and on.
Moreover, the Camp has seen two new vendors enter the Camp: Merchant Dorian and Runesmith Lorraine!
Narrator system overhaul
On the audio side of things, we’ve revamped the system for when our narrator (Greycoat) speaks. He can (and will!) now comment on most activities, ranging from selecting a Battle on the World Map to performing a Critical Hit in battle. To allow for this, we’ve recorded over a hundred new voice lines! As new regions are unlocked
Currently working on
We’re in the middle of a big overhaul of the game’s core structure, since we finally found a good way to combine narrative and procedural generation in ways that make sense. Players will first play through a campaign that is integrated within the procedural runs. More content, Regions and characters are unlocked as players progress through the linear campaign. Once all Campaign Quests are completed, the world opens up and allows players to freely select from all Regions during and from all characters before each run!
Moreover we’re working on a new Class system that will allow characters to change classes during each run, upgrading their characters into more specialized playstyles.
I always end with something along the lines of “next time we’ll post an update sooner”, but I guess this time I’ll just not promise that xD. In any case the progress is solid and we’re VERY excited about what is to come for Untamed Tactics!
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