I just finished the PRE-ALPHA milestones for Pursuit of Power 2, which took about 17 months to complete. I now have most of the major components in game. I added a lot of code since my last blog update.
I settled on the design for most of the fortress upgrade process. When you summon a portal, the 4 fortifications are automatically summoned. The fortress structures all use an upgrade refresh timer that prevents upgrades until ready. This timer is influenced by the number of friendly and enemy banner zealots that form connections to the fortress. Players can effectively speed-up the upgrade process by connecting friendly zealots. They can also prevent or slow-down upgrades for enemy fortresses. This is a very important concept, especially since the fortress will constantly attempt to re-summon destroyed fortifications when the upgrade timers are refreshed.
Players can also upgrade the tiers of the portals and fortifications. I am contemplating the possibility of automatically upgrading the fortress over time. Either way, I will most likely add tech branches for each fortification so players can upgrade their units. Each fortification is associated with a resistance type (physical, endurance, elemental, and magic). Those tech branches will be unique for each resistance type, and the chosen upgrades will determine the next options, to create the unique tech branches.
I removed the concept of prestige since the upgrade timers fill the role of differentiating each fortress. I want the older fortresses to be tougher to capture. Using one resource pool makes it easier for players to manage their units. I don’t want players to worry about resources reaching their cap too fast, which would waste them. To help that effort, I finally added queueing for summoning troops. This can be done for each fortress and the queued counters are displayed for each troop type. Players can also set a rally point for each fortress so troops can be sent into the current battle without micromanagement.
Towers can be summoned using a player ability. I balance the fact that they can be summoned fairly quickly by starting them as weaker structures. Towers automatically upgrade over time, making them more effective at killing zealots. This means that players can summon towers near enemy zealots in order to cut the lines. On the other hand, the enemy player also has time to send siege units to the towers to protect the zealot line. I want to have many situations where one player can force action by other players, which can then counter that action, etc.
I now display the current tier over all player units as a number of small icons near the health and rage bars. These graphics will eventually be different for each unit type. It is now easy to identify stronger units. Players can see the current upgrade refresh timers too.
Rage is somewhat functional for troops. As troops are hit by enemy abilities, rage begins to build. Each time rage reaches the tier threshold, a new rage level is gained and the rage wraps around. Currently I decrease rage over time, so it fluctuates during the battle. My plan is to use the rage tier to select the current ability table for each troop type. Higher rage tiers will employ more powerful abilities. Player abilities will also be able to affect rage. I have many fun ideas related to how player abilities will work in combination with troop abilities.
These are just some of my changes. I will now focus on unit abilities, computer AI, and finishing the multiplayer code. In addition, I will get the artwork in game. I had postponed that effort until ALPHA so I could make sure the gameplay was stable. My blog posts will be more frequent once I start adding the artwork. Thanks for reading!