Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fog of War

Hey Everyone,

So todays dev blog is a short intro to the new Fog of War system we're currently working on.

As most of the C63 players know the old fog of war system was based around maps. If you had a single unit end its turn within a map, then you were given detailed information on friendly and enemy unit positions. Not a very realistic situation, and honestly not something we were too happy with. Our original design featured a hex based fog of war system however, due to the nature of our old slow development times (remember, we used to be a 2 man, part-time dev team) certain features were forced to be cut. So this was a compromise solution for us. Something that kind of worked, but would take us much less time to complete. And it did work, from a gameplay standpoint, in that it forced players to think strategically about how to scout. However it failed to match the general spirit of historical accuracy that was one of C63's design pillars. Which is why we decided to spend the extra development time on the new fog of war system for Clash of Command.

The new system that is currently in the pipeline matches our original vision. Each unit will generate its own "field of view" of hexes within the game board. And as crazily as this sounds we looked up the math from a NASA article about the distance a mounted officer is approximately able to see (though we used the simpler trig based algorithm) and then made a few rough approximations to come up with our new fog of war system:

A unit in open terrain (for those that weren't C63 players, we have a few different terrain types: Open, Broken (aka hills), Woods, Town, and City) with nothing blocking their vision would see in a 3 hex radius. Other terrains may block vision (Broken, Woods, City). And certain terrains offer a height advantage that allow units to see even farther. Broken terrain results in a 6 hex radius, City terrain results in a 5 hex radius, and Town results in a 4 hex radius. We think this new element will add some strategic tension to the game and will greatly impact the role of Cavalry in their traditional role of scout.

The fog of war system is still a work in progress at this point. Ranger is currently bug testing it on the Engine side and Steven and I are just now able to start parsing the data, so I don't have anything to display graphically on this one, just yet. In the meantime Ill share some screen captures that Steven made of our last internal playtest.

Camera movement:

Unit selection and highlighting:

Unit movement planning (mouse):

Unit movement planning (keyboard):

That's it for now. Thanks for dropping by and reading up on our progress!


Monday, August 1, 2016

Internal Playtesting

Hey everyone,

So this post is going to be short, but right now that's actually a good thing.

Last Friday we had our first internal playtesting session. There were a few major bugs, but the core gameplay and turn processing system is up and running. The programming team (Ranger, Steven and myself) have been hammering both of those systems out over the last few weeks and will be bug hunting and adding in the last few core features next week, while Justin and Nick have been working on art assets.  Justin is working on the map and should be putting the finishing touches on the roads and railroads this week. Nick has been hard at work on the iterating the 2D user interface design and we think we've finally started to dial in the UI into something that is both highly functional and intuitive.

Anyway, thanks for checking in. Now its back to work for me...