Alpha v.0.2

Hi again! This dev log is a little bit later than I planned. For the past few days whenever I found myself ready to upload the new build of the game, I kept finding new small issues or things that could use some more tweaking. I finally managed to get everything I wanted finished and ready for the next release. Here it is!

Movement system

While the old method of movement is still available, I've added an additional control method. You can now use the WASD keys to move the player character freely around the map. I've also changed the turn system a bit - instead of having a number of movement points per turn (or game day), the time advances now every time the player moves to another tile. I've updated the in-game time display to better reflect that:

The clock's hand moves a quarter of a full revolution for every step the player makes, and for every full revolution a single day passes.

The change in the movement system meant the path rendering had to be updated as well. Instead of showing with green arrows tiles you can reach with your current amount of movement points and marking every final tile with a turn number, the path is now shown in standard green for tiles you can reach before the end of current day and a lighter green for everything beyond that. It also displays weekdays on tiles to mark how long will it take to reach them.

Help and controls screens

As a temporary measure, I've added some help screens to explain the gameplay a little bit better. There are separate control screens available on World View and Combat View, and an additional Help Screen on the World View.

The combat screen got more improvements. One issue the game had before was that if you managed to surround your unit in combat with other units, when its turn came you couldn't do anything about it and you were simply stuck. To fix that problem, I've added a "Skip turn" button:

If, for any reason, you don't want to move or attack with your current unit, you can press this button to skip that unit's turn and move to the next one.

The other upgrade I've added is a pause menu. For now it only has the option to return to the main menu. In the future I'm planning to add more options, like a settings panel and global help screen / knowledge base.

Fixes and improvements

A lot of things I was fixing were caused by the movement system change and related collider bugs, but there are also some things that were present in the previous version of the game:

  • the camera and game controls are now locked when displaying a menu prompt, help/controls screen, etc.
  • the temporary change of color on army highlight in the combat screen now no longer causes them to revert to their basic color
  • the damage in combat is now properly calculated, so no more 0HP armies
  • the selected path and current camera zoom are now properly restored after combat

I've also added information prompts on new week / new month start, since previously it might have been difficult to notice their effect. To mark the tile the player is currently standing on, I've added a square marker around around it, but I'm not really happy with how it looks. I'm going to think of a better solution to this. It might prove unnecessary, since I'm considering moving away entirely from the tiled world.

What's next?

The next update will probably be smaller, but it might take me some time to complete it. I'm going to go through the pathfinding system and improve it, since at least a couple of other future improvements will depend on it working well. Also, having a pathfinding system that returns a straight path instead of zigzagging every chance it gets would be nice.

When the pathfinder is done, I'm going to use it to make some combat upgrades. One is purely visual: the highlighting of tiles in movement range for active unit. I want it to properly display tiles that the current army can reach during its turn, taking into account other units around it. The other upgrade is more important from the gameplay point of view - I want the player to be able to choose from which direction to attack the enemy. If the currently active army can approach an enemy unit from more than one direction, the player should be able to make a tactical decision instead of giving that up to the shortest path available.

I'm also considering adding a bigger map to the game. The current one is really not well thought out as a game mechanic demonstration. I'll have to consider whether that move will also include writing a loader for map files or if I'll leave that for a later time.

Thanks for playing!

That is it for today. I'll try to upload the next update as soon as possible. Thank you for your time!

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