May 17th, 2014
Hi! It’s been a while, and a lot’s happened since our last update.
To start, here’s a quick video of the latest:
Here’s the full run-down:
The world is continuing to come together, piece by piece. Below you can see concepts straight from Kalen’s sketchbook, some raw in-game assets, and a sneak peak at our latest environment:
And here’s a quick sample of the fleshed out backdrop for the palace we showed in the last update:
Characters & Animation
In addition to the environments, we’ve been busy working on updating our character models, textures, and animations to cover all of our different unit classes and abilities. I’ll talk more about classes below, but for now, here are a couple samples of our new WIP character models:
Here’s how they look behind the scenes:
Stay tuned for the reveal of our updated main cast!
Aakaash has been doing some really great work to set the game’s tone, and the soundtrack as a whole is really starting to come together. For this update we wanted to share three tracks which showcase the wide range between our epic, orchestral sets and our more intimate, atmospheric pieces:
Since the last update, my focus has been on implementing unit classes and abilities. With most of that work finally wrapping up, I wanted to dive a little deeper into the guts of how the game’s battle mechanics will work.
As mentioned earlier, the game is not about grinding for experience or loot. Originally, I had only planned for 10 classes in total, with minimal, linear progression. After a lot of experimentation as we got further into the development, I decided to expand that to 23 total classes arranged in a branching structure.
Here’s what the game’s basic rules and class hierarchy currently look like (click for hi-res; note: all of this is still being balanced and subject to change, and the banners, icons, etc. are not final, etc. etc.):
As you can see, the game’s basic rules and mechanics are actually quite simple; this is by design. The interesting parts of the gameplay emerge from the various unit classes and special abilities. Here’s what they currently look like (again, everything still WIP!):
Some takeaways and comments:
1. Classes and corresponding are designed to balance each other out and interact in interesting ways.
2. Stat progression is directly linked with class progression. This generally means high level swordsmen deal lots of damage, rogues are fast moving, etc. That said, players can choose to experiment with developing hybrids and customize their balance.
3. Defensive abilities are central to the game. In most tactics games, units can charge in without much planning and expect to be healed, revived, or replaced. Since none of these are easy options in Liege, players will need to ration their available actions and preemptively utilize defensive abilities to gain an advantage over the enemy.
4. The type of weapon a unit has equipped determines which special abilities units can access in battle, and the ability to switch weapons during combat opens up some interesting tactical opportunities. For example, if a swordsman is engaged with a fast moving enemy, he can switch to his bow and pick him off if he tries to escape. Enabling and animating switching weapons in battle was a tough technical challenge, but I think it’ll add a lot to the seamlessness of the game’s flow:
Hopefully that gives you all a better sense of the direction the game’s combat is headed in. I know some things may not make complete sense on paper just yet, but feel free to ask any questions you have in the comments!
After tying up some more loose ends on the core stuff, my next major milestone is to get a playable, early build of the game’s opening and tutorial sequences to our Alpha backers. It’s still a bit too early to confirm the date for that, but I’ll provide details in an update as soon as possible. In the meantime, I’ll try to keep the updates coming more regularly. Thanks as always for your patience, and until next time!