Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Long And The Short Of It, Working Campaigns and SaveGames

Long Campaign, Short Campaign, Save Game ... cos you can't really play through the whole thing in one sitting ... well, you could if you never have to ever do anything or go anywhere, but must people occaisionally have to.
And behold, there is a Short Campaign.

Don't have time to conquer an entire continent in a procedurally generated, airship fleet commanding showdown between the world's Great Powers, yet don't want to play through a one off, single tactical battle, but fancy something with a bit more longevity?

Then maybe the Short Campaign is for you. Also known as "The Citadel Campaign", "The Dastardly Pirate Citadel Campaign" ... and possibly a few other things until I work out the correct name which I shall ultimately call it. One thing is for certain, it has Dastardly Pirates and a Citadel ... actually that's two things ... Two things are for certain, it has Dastardly Pirates and a Citadel ... actually it doesn't have a real Citadel because I haven't made the model yet ... so you'll just have to pretend for the time being.

The Short Campaign comprises of a triangle of territories (hexes) reaching 8 or 9 at it's deepest point. They're all under the control of the Dastardly Pirates who send out flagons of treason from their Citadel Fortress right at the back, and it's up to the Regime of your choosing to blast their way through enemy territory and storm that Citadel.

Blank/blue territories are captured ones, and the player's regime gains cash and extra troops from wrestling them from enemy hands. Seizing fortifications allow for class upgrades. The deeper into hostile territory the player pushes, the more skilled and better equipped the opposition becomes. The player can only launch attacks from territories which they occuppy, and each adjacent captured hex gives additional troops for the assault.

And this is where the main part of the game is now fully functional. Yeah, in bold and everything.

From the "Campaign Overview" section, you select your troops, equip them, and then it's straight to the "Tactical Battle" mode where you direct your chaps around in hot turn-based squad tactical action! The end result it recorded, your veterans are upgraded or if deceased removed, successful conscripts get promoted into the veteran core, loot gets gathered, and the Campaign world is updated to reflect the changes, territories change hands, progress is made ... or not if you got your bum whupped by the opposition in the Tactical Battle.

And when the Campaign reloads, updates the changes, and it all continues. It's very much in the mould of the original X-Com "Geoscape" to "Battlescape" and back again - except you're fighting for possession of territory and territory change hands depending on battle results. And it all works - exactly as I'd envisioned (or at least hoped it would) when I first started, 13 months ago.


In fact, 80% of game logic is complete and bug-squished. Obviously there's a bit of tweaking that can be done here and there, but it works. The Short Campaign Mode works in it's entirety, the Single Battle Mode works - though I've only one map at the moment and I've yet to introduce the Armoured Cavalry class option, and the old Long Campaign Mode (the thing with the airships) works save for 3 known bugs and a bit of tweaking.

And I've knocked up a save game system which works across all 3 game modes. Because of the various jumping back and forth in the Campaigns between "battle mode" and "campaign overview mode" it took a bit more effort than just saving out the current missiongroup. It's going to get a slight tweak to incorporate the difficulty level when displaying available saved games to restart, but apart from that it works as desired. Each game mode has 10 saves.

There is now also now a difficulty setting for campaigns, so the player can choose their own level of challenge.

In the video below is it all in action, abridged obviously as time and filesize are premium in both uploading and watching these sorts of things. There's also a little hiccup when I attempt to save from the "tactical battle" part first time as I had fix a bug and re-execute the gui to get the info to display correctly ... note to self: don't write a save game system at 5am ...

The combat is very abridged, just a little taster but if you've watched any of my previous videos you'll know the gist. As it's early on in the campaign both my troops and the Ai's are lowly conscripts with the most basic equipment, and thus have trouble hitting the broad side of barn. In the end the Ai throws in the towel and flees the battle area after taking a few casualties.

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