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  • Rasmus Nielsen

Devlog April 2022 - New battle board and initial settlement manager showcase

Hello, we welcome you to yet another devlog. This time around, we're covering a new battle board and showcasing an initial settlement manager. This one is gonna be a real treat!

New battle board

It was no secret that our previous battle board was going to be replaced. We've had the art department work on a new iteration; the illustration below shows the new version.

As you can see there have been major changes to almost all aspects of the battle section, not only a new board, but other elements have been ordered differently. We also have new visuals for the morale and end turn elements. Now, you might think this board looks very unique, and that is because it is, it is inspired by an excavated ancient board game, called "The Ballinderry Tafl Board".

Also you might notice a slight difference to the cards compared to last time you saw them, do they look a bit squished? Well, that's because they are. A problem with the previous board design was that the cards were placed to the side, but we wanted to center them to the screen. So we made the cards fit in that place, and this was done by squishing the cards in height. This of course makes it so that a lot of the beautiful card artwork is obscured, however, we also have a fix for this: When you hover over a card with your mouse cursor, the cards will "unsquish," and the card will be shown in full detail.

Here's an example:

In the new board, the grid squares also became more rectangular, meaning that we of course also had to change the visuals of what we call "tokens." These are cards when they've been placed on the board.

You can see the changes to tokens in the following illustration.

Again, we have to squish the tokens, like we've done with the cards. One issue you might notice in the this image, is that the artwork may crop weirdly, that's because the face or point of interest (POI) for the card artworks can differ, but cause we don't currently define that per card (we've just defined a general point that most cards somewhat share), those weird crops occur. For the future we'll be able to define this POI per card, so that the card crops with the POI always being in the center of the cropped image.

Settlement manager

The settlement manager is another game mode, which would also link into the battles in the future. As the name suggests, here the player gets to manage a settlement. This mode is very early in development, so any screenshots and descriptions of features may change drastically.

When you start your settlement, you will be welcomed with the following.

Once again, this is very prone to change, and is very likely going to change. Right now, this only serves to develop and show some of its features. Here you see a set of building slots, each of them has a certain building assigned to them, and you can only build that building on those building slots.

The dwelling will increase the maximum allowed population in your settlement, the population only serves as workers for now, but can in the future be assigned certain professions or as military units. For now, the population does not increase/decrease over time.

The woodcutter and farm produces wood and food respectively every turn.

The barracks has no function as of now, but will be where the players would train population as military units.

Of course you can choose to build any of these buildings on their respective building slots, seen in the following video.

Each of the buildings cost a certain amount of resources, which the player has a set amount to start with. If the player has enough resources, they can choose to build the building, if not, the resource costs will be highlighted in red and they won't be able to construct the building.

Also note that each building takes a certain amount of turns to finish building, and the player will be presented with a panel that shows how long it will take once they make the choice to build.

When a building is finished, the player can click on that building, and will be presented with a new panel, shown in the following video.

In this panel, the player can assign workers to that building. Workers can for now only be assigned to the farm and woodcutter, each of them produce two of their respective resource, per worker assigned to the building. In this video we also brought up the console, which gives messages on what happened during the round, these or similar messages will be integrated into the game itself at some point.

Of course, now we have mentioned resources a whole lot, but we have not even told you what these are, let's do that now!

The player can bring up a resource panel at any time by clicking the hammer and wrench button. For now we only have three resources: Food, Wood, and Wealth. Resource are expendable, and produceable.

That is it for the settlement manager system, while it does not seem like a lot, it had to be basically built from scratch as it is very different from the battle mode. We did however try to make an easily extendable back-end for the system, which we definitely have, so there is a lot more going on under the hood, and it will also serve to improve our workflow and efficiency for continued implementation.

So that does it for this month, I hope you enjoyed reading how the game has developed. Please feel welcome to leave any kind of feedback or potential ideas you might have.

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