Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Alpha Release #3 - Tutorials and HUDs

So, I've finally started doing some work on the HUD. With that comes the issue of HUD design, information/status displays, and how the player will interact with it.

The HUD is basically going to be a series of small buttons on the bottom edge of the map. These buttons will control the basic functions that can't be otherwise performed via clicking around the map(I'm aiming for as little keyboard/off map interface as possible). For some of these purposes, such as displaying character info, the buttons will open on screen menus or displays. For others, such as simple commands, they will just perform the command when clicked.

In addition to implementing the HUD, I've set up the dialog delivery and a basic tutorial map that explains how to play the game. It goes through selecting units, movement, combat, stat display/inventory, unit death, and leveling up. The dialog boxes display a portrait of whoever is speaking, and will eventually show their name next to it, when I get around to adding character specific dialog.

Within the next week, I plan on expanding the tutorial to change some things up, add a second chapter, put some real dialog in for the characters maybe, etc. For the time being, multiplayer is more or less how it's going to be for a while. I don't intend to do too much more work in that department until I've at least finished the first campaign, as that is a prerequisite towards a lot of the MP functionalities.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Alpha Release

So, the first public version has been released. The graphics are poop, but I'll deal with that later. The initial release includes both single and multiplayer capabilities, single player being vs AI. The core systems are in place for movement and combat, including leveling up and death of units, and different terrains allow for more or less movement over them.

Next major update will include stat displays for the selected units, all of a unit's stats being taken into account in battle(currently only attack defense and speed are used), a unit placement/creation system, and possibly equipment.

The current upload can be found here:

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Table of Contents
  1. Preface
  2. Imperatorum
  3. Single Player
  4. Gameplay
  5. Units
  6. Equipment

First things first, this is not going to be a blog for quick little posts about how frustrated I am with some piece of code or any such nonsense, it's going to be more like a running design document/major progress report. I have no intention of updating it every 2 hours with "I just completed mission Y of campaign X!" Just figured I would get that out of the way before anyone complains about the wall of text to follow. Many of these posts WILL be long, if you don't like long posts, just read the short ones, which will likely be the progress reports.

Imperatorum, literally meaning "of generals", is the first of my projects that will be covered on this blog. Imperatorum is an online tactical RPG, allowing for both single and multiplayer. The basic concept is that the player plays through the campaigns, acquiring new characters, special equipment, experience, and other such things that they can then use in multiplayer matches against other players.

The single player component is an important aspect of the game, and is currently my primary focus, as it is required before multiplayer can even take place. I intend for campaigns to be roughly 20-30 chapters long, with each chapter taking 20-40 minutes to complete, depending on the player's speed and skill. In the single player campaigns, the player can not use units from other campaigns(as this would be a nightmare for storyline purposes), but they will acquire units with strengths and weaknesses appropriate for that particular campaign. The campaigns themselves will be varied in setting and difficulty, ranging from an introductory campaign lasting roughly 10 short chapters in a high fantasy setting, to extremely difficult campaigns set in various time periods/levels of realism. The campaigns have to be played in such a manner that the player has finished at least 1 campaign of the difficulty rating under them, to prevent new players from attempting the more difficult stories with little to no experience. There will be storylines, it's not just going to be random battles for funsies. While I'm not a writer, I think I can come up with at least some rudimentary stories to tell over the course of the game, and the stories themselves will take up considerably less time than the actual combat portions.

On to the gameplay itself. The basic controls are almost all point and click, and movement is based on a grid, clicking a unit to select it, then choosing where to move the unit and who to attack. Combating enemy units will be a trade of blows between the two units, and for every 5 points of speed that a unit has over their opponent, they gain an extra attack per round(A unit with 20 speed fighting a unit with 5 speed will attack 4 times), this will obviously be offset by a negative correlation between speed and offensive power. Fast units will not be as powerful, powerful units will not be as fast. Both will have their advantages and disadvantages(High strength units can take down heavily armored foes more easily, while high speed units have a more even spread against hard to hit units, and get more chances for critical strikes and weapon effects, for starters.).

This brings me to unit, not character, development, I'll discuss character development at a later date. Units will level up during combat, they gain experience for doing basically anything except just moving or waiting. A unit who attacks another unit will gain experience from the combat, a unit who heals another unit will gain experience from that, a unit who uses an item will gain experience(although considerably less), and killing enemy units will grant a substantial chunk of experience. Upon leveling up, the units will gain 3-5 random stats according to their classes/preferences(A heavily armored unit will more likely gain defense than speed), and be granted 1 skill point to be allocated by the player however they see fit. Units will also be able to acquire or be given feats which will grant various advantages in battle, such as moving through enemy controlled tiles on the grid, or increased hit/critical rate. The best of these will only be given out to tournament winners in ranked multiplayer matches, though many will be available in normal ranked matches and through campaigns.

Equipment, it sort of needs its own section, so here it is. A basic description of the equipment is as follows. The unit is allowed to equip 1 weapon, 1 armor, and 1 accessory. They can HOLD 3 weapons, but no additional armor or accessories. Weapons will degrade as they are used and eventually become useless, while armor and accessories will not. Different unit types will be able to equip different things(A priest can't very well equip a massive battle axe or 200 lbs of armor.). There will obviously be tiers of equipment, with the best being considerably more difficult to acquire and considerably more effective. The requirements of the equipment system are based upon the character's build/stat. A large character with high strength can equip heavier weapons and armor, but would likely have low skill/speed/magic, and so would be unable to use a bow, thrown weapons, or magical weapons/staves.

Anyway, I think that's enough for now. It's a bit unorganized and ramblish, but hopefully I'll get better at it as I go.