Tuesday 28 June 2011

TorqueTactics: X-Com T3D - Go Project 2! Month ONE

Rudi Unger has Panicked
Astra Petrov has Panicked
Stefan Faeber has Panicked
Sumi Iwasaki has gone Beserk

[nostalgia]Great days, great days ... [/nostalgia]

So 28 days after starting bang on the 1st of June, we ... that's the Royal "we" ... have got the basic gameplay of Project 2 (the "speed" project ... allegedly) sorted out.

What we've got:

Turnbased squad tactics gameplay, somewhat in the vein of Laser Squad and the original X-Coms.

Individual attributes for all team/hostile members, such as vision, accuracy, reactions, morale fibre, etc. Also rank which will be dependant on personal experience throughout multiple missions. Health never goes up, being more experienced does not make you any less susceptible to bullets ...

Vision: For spotting targets and is based on a whole host of variables from angle to range. Reactions are for who gets initiative and thus has the opportunity to shoot first.

Morale Fibre: Losing team members or getting wounded drops morale, which may cause a sudden outburst of unreasonableness brought on by a "Lack of Moral Fibre" and the team-member going LMF, which could result in them panicking and fleeing, freezing up in shock, or going nuts and blazing away at - hopefully, but not neccessarily - the enemy.

Attributes get a bonus based on Class, with each Class having different Primary and Secondary skills. For example: Marksman Class has Accuracy (for shooting) as the Primary Skill and Vision (for spotting targets) as the Secondary Skill. Gunner Class has Strength for Primary (for carrying the BFG and all the ammo) and Bravery for Secondary (machine-gunners don't bottle it and run!).

Individual Tactic For That Turn: Each team-member can choose their tactic for that turn, this is between "Cautious", "Standard" and "Charge!". "Cautious" tactic puts them in a crouch (smaller target) and gives them better spotting and accuracy bonuses whilst reducing movement speed. "Charge!" tactic doubles movement speed and gives the enemy less chance to fire at them, but reduces vision, reactions and hardest hit is accuracy (difficult to aim when you're bouncing around in a sprint). Most useful for crossing open ground quickly and storming into an enemy position for point-blank attacks after they've had their fire drawn by other team members.

Classes also affect usage of equipment and weaponry. A Recce Class (scout) is going to have negative modifiers when using Gunner Class weapons, Sapper Class will be the only one to plant mines (hidden from opponent view until oh-dear-they-stepped-on-it-bang) and Sappers and Recces will be the only Classes capable of spotting enemy mines (with Sappers able to disarm them and then reuse them).

I've been reusing the map from the Torque Valkyria Chronicles GameStyle Tutorial for the time being, and everything artwise is a stock placeholder.

And after copious "test as you go with echoes and HudMessages EVERYWHERE" I ironed out the bugs, fixed the broken loops, stopped the crashes and am pretty pleased with the result of "Month ONE".

Which brings us to Month TWO (even though I've still a few days of June left).

Month TWO will mostly involve creating an inventory system for team-members, with carry capacity based on individual strength with negative modifiers to energy/action points for going over the personal limit. Each item of equipment will require a weight variable.

I'll need firstAid kits and also some sort of "wound monitor", as well as the ability to "medivac" fallen team-members. Get to them and apply firstaid within 2 turns and they get medivaced, any longer or if they're wounded whilst down, then they've had it for good.

Flesh out more of the Class based system with variable equipment, abilities.

Sort out pathfinding and Ai squad tactics based on mission objectives (assault/defend, advance/delay, meeting engagement, raid). Ideally the Ai player/commander would have a range of stock tactics that they could use dependant on terrain, weather, squad strength, splitting squad into smaller sections for pincer movements etc, preferable tactics based on opponent faction (more on factions later).

Sort out a better "final score/mission over" GUI which details team performance, casualties, individual performance, mentions in dispatches, awards, experience, promotions, etc.

If I get time start the "Cavalry" Class of Lancer, Huzzar, Dragoon and get some tanks on the go. Create an armour penetration system, with mobility, gun and crew kills.

And finally it tested in action, with a small "experienced" 3-man squad, against multiple small squads of "lesser enemies"