Search Unity

Turn Based Strategy Game

Discussion in 'Made With Unity' started by BIGTIMEMASTER, May 28, 2019.

  1. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Not too long ago, some of you may remember @frosted and myself posted some WIP news about a rather large, medieval themed turn based strategy game... Well, as it turns out, that game was a little big for two guys to finish anytime soon. We took a break from it, did our own things for a little bit, then about 5 weeks ago I got a call asking if I wanted to make a similar game, but with one catch. We do it in one month. No matter what, no matter how awful or unfinished, we ship the thing in a month.

    "Okay, but only if you're for realsies," I said. And @frostred replied, "Dawg, I'm for realsies."

    We ended up adding two weeks to the production of the game because, to our surprise, the thing has ended up being pretty darn cool. The original intent was to more or less clone the old and gold game "Fantasy Wars," but along the way we kind of found our own theme and wanted to take a bit more risk and and deviate pretty heavily from the inspiration. We sort of fell in love with it and have been having a blast since.

    We are scheduled to have a playable alpha of sorts ready by this weekend. Anybody interested in play testing, please PM me or @frosted. Anybody who takes the time to play test and fill out a questionnaire will receive a free copy of the game at launch.

    About the game itself, it is a turn-based strategy game with two distinct types of gameplay : a narrative, linear campaign in which you must accrue an army to fight the The Great Deceivers Hellish Horde, facing semi-permadeath and tense, tactical battles. This mode is for those who like story, and to problem solve unique situations, but without the complexity of army management. You simply get what you get and have to make do.

    Second, we have a more traditional strategy campaign in which player upgrades and purchases new army units with gold earned from missions. This is for the more hardcore strategy fans who like to think ten moves in advance.

    About development, it's been a pretty busy month and a half with lots of 10-12 hour days but it's been a complete blast as well. It took us about half the time to kind of find our game, but once we did we just been going crazy with it. Biggest lesson learned so far is that we should have spent more time up front settling on a theme before putting as much time into production... but sometimes you just don't really know what you're looking for until you stumble on it. Taking on short, fast paced projects like this is a great way to make those mistakes and grow as a developer.

    Here's the good stuff :

    All screens are WIP:
    1.jpg 8.jpg 14.jpg 5.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  2. TonyLi

    TonyLi

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    Looks great!
     
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  3. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

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    Very impressive looking even if instead you said it took several months.
     
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  4. kdgalla

    kdgalla

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    Nice! Strategy games are not really my thing, but the screenshots look extremely polished for a 6-week game. After reading the back-story, I was expecting something a lot more crude and prototype-ish.
     
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  5. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Thanks guys. One thing that helped free up our minds to focus on visual polish a lot was having a strong template to work from. So as far as game design went, most the heavy lifting has already been done. That along with the fact that @frosted knows what the hell he is doing makes iterating on things very efficient.

    Also, keeping the tools you are working with bare-bones simple really helps. If we through rigging and animation into the mix we'd have like 4 characters and one level only, and it would just look like bad, wanna-be AAA. Having a lot of constraints kind of forces you to innovate and its fun to learn just how much you can do with very little. Like I've been learning that just simple changes to lighting can get a lot of mileage out of just a few super simple enviro assets.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  6. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    @kdgalla, I'm actually not a big strat gamer either (frosted is). That's part of the reason we added in a separate campaign type that takes out the complexity of strategy games and uses a simple narrative to focus gameplay just on tactical encounters. So you just think about the movements but not have to develop a "build." You'll earn new units through play, and if you lose them, you lose them. Kind of a semi-permadeath, linear campaign that is tough not just because of the enemies you face, but because you've got to maintain your army all the way through. (though you don't got to replay the entire thing from the start on failure, just individual missions. We aren't sadist.)
     
  7. frosted

    frosted

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    Just wanted to thank you guys for kind words: @TonyLi, @Joe-Censored, @kdgalla - Thanks guys.

    It's been a hell of a grind trying to get all this ready to go in the time frame we set up.

    We're at about 5 weeks and 2 days of production and I'm... friggin tired man!

    Still, very pleased w/ the results we put out here in the timeframe. Think they're pretty good. Game is pretty fun so far!

    As mentioned above, we're looking for some playtesters this weekend (more likely monday) if anyone's interested.
     
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  8. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Hey guys,
    We are scheduled to send out our playtest build tomorrow. If you guys like strategy games that are easy to pick up but hard to master, and you also like funnies a la Monty Python, this is probably something you'll enjoy it like we do. Help us make it better and we'll give it you for free!

    We've been pulling our hair out cleaning up the last little bugs (and it is the little ones which give the most trouble, it seems). Been an emotional roller coaster taking all the crap we've made in production and getting it to all just work. Our GIT game could stand to be improved and I think that's where a lot of our troubles come from.

    But.... its very close. It really is a special feeling to get so close to publishing your first game -- and being proud of it too! We put a lot of hard work and a lot of love into this, so here's hoping some people will enjoy it like we do. Of course with minimal marketing it's not exactly destined for success in this market, but as long as a few people appreciate what we've done we'll both be perfectly content. The real value is in what we've learned. That's not something that you lose even if your efforts produce zero monetary returns.
    PromoCampaignScreen2.jpg
    PromoCampaignScreen.jpg
     
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  9. aer0ace

    aer0ace

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    @BIGTIMEMASTER Hey, this was totally awesome to read. Good luck on the project! I wish I had time to try out a build, but I wouldn't mind watching some gameplay videos. Ha. That's so "millenial" of me to say, but I think this is the time we live in now. I can see how watching gameplay can sometimes be more fun than playing, especially when you're just trying to relax from working at the 9-to-5 AND your own hobby projects!
     
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  10. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    @aer0ace , heck i don't care how people enjoy it. If anybody gets something positive from it in any way that's enough to make my day.

    I do think it will be a game that's good to sit back and watch as there is a lot of humor in the writing. Though strategy games can be a bit demanding we've tried to keep the narrative campaign a bit more relaxing. We plan on having several difficulties so a player can find what suits them best.

    We just released our first playtest and got some great feedback. Still got another week and a half of final polish but once we release I think I'll make some playthrough videos myself to kind of show off the game and show how I think it's best enjoyed. Maybe an unlisted video just for developers where we can share some of the decisions we made, setbacks we faced, lessons learned, etc.
     
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  11. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Took a short break from all the tedious trigger setups and testing to do something fun. I took some in game screenshots, disable all the GUI, and then use some simple photoshop techniques to make some cool images from them.
    302e549e79df2248d95daedcc269c22d-jpg.jpg campaignScreen2.5.png View attachment 432919 3f1e38f0120d7516ef0413be4d9b59d7.jpg campaignscreen5.png

    We had the fantastic opportunity to watch some recorded footage of one of our playtesters first experience with the game. From this we've made a ton of improvements to presentation and accessibility in the last two days. The goal is for player to not have to figure out how the game works at all, only to have to devise their own strategies to best the game. As it were, our playtester was having too much trouble just figuring out the basic mechanics of the game -- no bueno!

    Getting video record of your playtesters is really valuable!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  12. kdgalla

    kdgalla

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    Second one down looks like a Bruegel painting or something.
     
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  13. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    had never heard the name. Looked it up... fantastic inspiration! The next game's gotta look like one of his paintings.
     
  14. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Final Week!

    Redeem Yer Eternal Soul in The Defiled City of Debauchery....


    Hold Fast ye Faith, Men of God, for Here March the Legions of Hell!

    Back! Back! Ye Infernal Beast!


    ....but before Ye May Redeem Thyself, Ye Must Prove Yer Mettle in the Weald of Eternal Nightmare...
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  15. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Gameplay demo.

    The first wave of Hellspawn be Faithless Men Turned and Bent to the Great Deceivers Will
     
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  16. hippocoder

    hippocoder

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    Sweet :D
     
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  17. frosted

    frosted

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    I just saw the redesigned final level for the first time in that video... lol... good stuff @BIGTIMEMASTER
     
  18. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Dawg, go to sleep!


    @frosted



    p.s. i made it horde defense just for you
     
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  19. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Awesome job on the game itself and the new approach to focus on a very short dev time. Good luck!! :)
     
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  20. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Small update.... we've been putting 100% of our effort into making the game, and hadn't done any research to selling on steam. Just found out, after making our account and making the $100 deposit, gotta wait 30 days before being able to publish!

    Hahaha. Well, we are gonna use this time to further playtest/refine and also optimize the game better. Anybody care to play test? Just send us a PM. You'll get a free copy of the game at launch. It's a pretty fun game -- I should know I've played it about a thousand times already...the thing I like most is that every play through is a little bit different. The way Nick's designed the AI really hits the sweet spot of predictability and randomness, so you can never find the perfect strategy, just good ones. Gives nice replay-ability.
     
  21. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Added a few more enviro goodies. Some farm stuff. Little piggies. I cannot express how much joy I had making these tiny piggies. They might be my most favorite thing in the game.

    Also begun optimizing more. Characters are the main thing. Reducing most of them by 3/4 total tris. Just chopping out edge loops and rebaking. I made them way too dense to begin with, not realizing how little geo you really need for a game with this perspective. A few thousand tri's will do for when the camera is at min zoom. We really outta use LOD's cause at high zoom a few hundred tris would do, but even with extra time I don't think I'll be able to manage that. Got more sound work and marketing stuffs to take care of.

    Also working on a quick video tutorial. Nobody likes clicking through tutorials, and we don't have a super robust early game to slowly acclimatize new player like you'd expect from AAA game. So a quick 2 minute primer to show basic mechanics and one practical example of unit teamwork should go a long way to ameliorating any initial confusions. And I think this is a good test for the developer. Can you explain how to play your game in very simple language and in just a few minutes? It's harder than you think!



     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
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  22. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Getting closer... We are at the stage where it's hard to know exactly what to do. Providence has shone upon us though -- we've finally found some high quality music that fits the project very well. Boy, what a difference good music makes! We are also gonna try to work in a lot more and better sound effects to get a lot more character packed into this game.

    Playtesters continue to give awesome and immediately actionable feedback with every new build. We still got a few more weeks to go -- if you got time and want a free steam key for the full release in a few weeks, shoot us a PM!

    One more positive thing to report, after watching a few play testers and noting about how long they take to complete levels, I am expecting average player could get 15 hours or more from initial play through. That's highly variable of course, but in general it looks like it takes our most skilled play testers about 4x as long as it does me to complete most levels, so I base my estimate from that.

    Also been updating visuals on all levels. Improved lighting, performance, and working towards a more thematic experience.

    Here's some portraits of character models I found:

    Arbalist.png Arbalist -- good for punching through thick demon skin at range
    Archer.png Archer -- a lifesaver in early levels
    Ballista.png Ballista -- the ultimate tool for Demon Death Dealing
    HeadlessMen.png Headless Men (Blemmyae) -- freaks from the Weald of Eternal Nightmare.
    Imp.png An ordinary Imp -- these stupid looking fiends poke people with red hot irons in Hell.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  23. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    ImpArcher.png Imp Archer -- Screw these guys. They're a real pain the you-know-what
    ImpRider.png Imp Rider -- the ultimate pest. Very fast, very agile.
    MalformedBeastman.png Malformed Beastmen -- Freaks from the Evil Swamp within the heart of the Weald of Eternal Nightmares
    Peasant.png Peasants -- The most powerful units in the game by far
     
  24. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Some re-lighting in the Weald of Eternal Nightmare to better match the theme set with our new music. I've taken some inspiration for this level from the original swamp level in Demon's Souls. I just loved the fact that you could so easily become hopelessly lost -- all the common easy-way finding tropes we get so used to as gamers they just completely threw out the window. I loved how engaged I got having to try to find my way through that nightmare.

    I don't think the WoEN is gonna be quite so hard to find your way in, but it is perhaps more dangerous... ye better get yer best running boots on, and when the going gets rough, have a plan on which poor souls you'll need to sacrifice. Being the leader ain't easy!

    Desktop Screenshot 2019.06.30 - 14.27.11.85.png Desktop Screenshot 2019.06.30 - 14.26.39.49.png Desktop Screenshot 2019.06.30 - 14.25.30.35.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
  25. hongwaixuexi

    hongwaixuexi

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    Only upgrades and purchases new army units? No other things? That's far below hardcore.
     
  26. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Hardcore means that experienced fans of the genre will need to apply all of their knowledge, patience, cunning, and problem-solving skills in order to make a clean first-playthrough (on hardcore difficulty mode). Most people will have to restart a few levels. Average gamer or non-genre enthusiast will find the game difficult enough that they will need to lower the difficulty setting for a non-sweaty playthrough.

    Hardcore Turn-Based Gamers means enthusiast who have played many titles in the genre and have certain expectations. They'll pick up on the mechanics quickly, so we don't waste time hand-holding them. We give em the bloody red meat pretty quickly.

    In order to make that possible, the game design and feature-load is kept simplistic. You can watch a short tutorial, play the game for thirty minutes and know everything there is to know about how to play. But the challenge is in the playing, not learning all the annoying features the developer threw in because they think more features = better game.

    Hardcore is not a feature load. It's the demand player must rise to. The challenge. Features don't make challenge. Level design and game design make challenge. In this game, we've spent almost double the time iterating on level design and polishing game design than we did in producing features. That's the only reason it's as fun as it is -- we built it, then played the S*** out of it. I've put probably 1,000 hours into just playing this game, over and over and over. It's not a slog and doesn't require much discipline, because the game is fun to play. It's easy to understand, but has endless nuance and emergent gameplay situations.

    But don't turn our promotional thread into another endless, useless babble over nonsense semantics. You can start a new thread for that. Maybe show off your hardcore, feature-rich game -- teach us all something by example.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  27. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Big news coming soon!

    As I been iterating on game balance, I done a lot of work tweaking the visuals as well. You can always make that a little better.

    We got new music. What a difference! Now we got a good mix that really fits the theme and gives a strong, thematic punch when needed. Really pulls you in.

    Some screenies of updated lighting, colors, some new props, etc:
    175cb2d43bb7bb0e8611b112280fc412-jpg.jpg A.jpg Desktop Screenshot 2019.06.12 - 15.17.41.30.png Desktop Screenshot 2019.07.01 - 09.02.00.95.png Desktop Screenshot 2019.07.03 - 19.25.14.83.png
     
  28. AwesomeNewbie

    AwesomeNewbie

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    Looks interesting! Great graphics, good luck with it! I like the new music!
     
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  29. Allen99n

    Allen99n

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    Wow, photos look good. Is a mobile game?
     
  30. BIGTIMEMASTER

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    @Allen99n,

    Thanks! At the moment, no it's only going to be released on steam for PC. It is a game that ought to be on mobile and we've discussed this, however there is a lot of optimization we'd need to do first to get it ready for that. If the game does well on steam that will make a multiplatform release more viable.
     
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  31. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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  32. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Cool youtuber has started a let's play of Hells Crusade. She's really entertaining and has a knack for finding hidden little gems in the strategy genre. Check her channel out.




    Also, Keep an eye out for some big free content drops soon.
     
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  33. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    Three hours of TB!:HC. Good mid-game battles from the Adventure Campaign:

    https://www.twitch.tv/bluecoaster/video/466367690

    I like this streamer a lot because he hasn't figured the game out completely yet, but has good focus and patience. Battles like a true crusader even in the face of defeat.
     
  34. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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    f7c7cbbaf6929cdfbe86daf8b341d650.jpg c2f7273cca37b52cc41cd83f86cbe275.jpg 8a7ae01605869398d9c6f6e1453d382a.jpg Sneak peek of new campaign in the works. A free DLC to keep you busy until the much anticipated Demon Campaign.

    This one is a bit hellish on the difficulty, designed to get veteran players all sweaty. A grimmer aesthetic for this 3-5 hour high-challenge campaign.

    The story is of two feuding Lords, who join together to make war against thy most evil foe. They'll quest to save their lands from defilement, siege an impossible fortress, and then hold it throughout a Night of Terror against a crushing force of evil. The most accomplished crusaders will do well to scrape out thin survival.
     
  35. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

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