Archive for January, 2015

Prestige is back (and more)!

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Before I start my update, I want to show the 3 leader classes as promised. They are the Shadow Knight, Mage, and Stalker classes from left to right.

Pursuit of Power 2 Leaders

A few weeks ago, I started thinking about ways to encourage (reward) aggression in the game. I think that is a good goal because it encourages battles and a path to ending the game. Otherwise I will just play Monopoly if I want a really long game :)

So I decided to add prestige back to the game, but done in a different way than previously envisioned. The most prestige is gained when your banner zealots reach an enemy fortress. You also gain some prestige when your “sacrificial tower” kills enemy zealots. The amount of prestige earned scales to the level of your tower, which increases over time. That way players can’t just drop a tower in a good spot and immediately gain a lot of prestige. The other player could counter the new tower by attacking it before max level is reached.

The prestige can then be used to cast some new avatar abilities I created. They are tied to the avatar presence that will be providing situational awareness in game, such as to warn of attacks. As a reminder, your avatar is the connection to your god from whom you derive your powers. The abilities are very powerful buffs and therefore have longer refresh timers than leader abilities. There are 4 total and they affect different aspects of the game (leader, troops, towers, zealots).

For example, the avatar ability of the Mage that affects leaders might alter an ability. It could modify the Meteor Shower ability that only affects troops so that it has an Aftershock component that also damages towers. That would be the only ability that players can cast to directly damage towers. In addition, the mage leader troop could be buffed in some way that gives a big advantage while the buff is active. That gives more value since the Meteor Shower ability could only be cast 3 times total while the avatar ability is active.

I’m pretty excited about the possibilities of the avatar abilities. I think the prestige will add some fun too. Right now avatar abilities will require prestige in addition to power. I could add prestige as a cost to other things in game, but I don’t want it to be the main focus. I just want to augment the current gameplay with it. I also think the concept of sacrificial towers is cool. I’m envisioning a Shadow Knight tower that is a guillotine with simultaneous long-range and short-range attacks. I have ideas for the other classes too, which I will reveal later.

I made another change to tower concept. I’m just going with 2 types for now. One is the tier 1 basic tower that will probably be affected by avatar abilities. The tier 2 tower is the sacrificial one. I’m keeping the unit pools separate between troops and towers. But, I’m limiting the towers to 50 max focus while the troops will be limited to 100 max focus. That should still give some strategy to unit selection.

I also made a bunch of fixes to the game setup for various situations. There were a few actions that could crash the game. The client and host could get out of sync too. Plus a bunch of other random stuff.

I’m continuing to work on the GUI layout. I am making room for the avatar, probably at the center of the menu bar. I’m tweaking the other information too. I should have the Dark Treant siege troop in game soon. It looks very cool. I’m planning to play my first net game over the Internet (as opposed to LAN) in about 3 weeks. More to follow… thanks for reading! :)

ALPHA 3 Milestone Completed!

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

I just completed the ALPHA 3 Milestone for Pursuit of Power 2. Only one more ALPHA milestone until I officially start working on BETA releases. That will mean I am mainly working on content, gameplay tweaks, and polish. Until then, I will continue to implement the remaining major components while fixing bugs that I find.

I improved the pulse event for multiplayer so zealot projectiles are shown if source or target is visible. That is a similar design to the previous update for player units. Sometimes the zealot pulse wouldn’t show on the client due to order of events. Now it works very well.

I streamlined my entity classes in order to consolidate some of the design for units. That made it easier to allow towers to be stealth, which will be used for at least one Stalker tower. It will be sort of like a trap. I also increased the towers to 3 per leader class. Each one is a separate tier to match the troops. They use focus too.

The additional towers will give me some more gameplay options. Right now I am probably using the previous tower as the tier 1 unit. It will have some basic abilities and provide a solid defense when it upgrades to max level. Tier 2 will involve some kind of buff or debuff AoE. Tier 3 will be a strong tower that is intended to control a key point on the map. It will most likely have multiple abilities that fire at the same time, including AoE zealot damage. That will help control an area and demand attention from enemy players.

I will continue to refine the tower design. I have some other ideas such as triggering AoE abilities when hit by leader abilities and possibly troops too. That mechanic could add some interesting gameplay options. Maybe zealots interact with them too. I definitely want to explore more ideas with the towers, zealots, and fortresses. I think the defensive capabilities of the fortress are too strong right now. Some more options are needed to improve offensive capabilities, which should always be greater than defense to ensure no stalemates.

I reduced troops per leader so now there are 5 total. That allows me to focus on more concrete roles. Plus I can move some of the abilities to the new towers. I’m considering a combined focus pool for summoning all units. Currently, I have separate troop and building focus to control the limits better. But I do like the idea of placing more importance on strategy with summoning units. I think that becomes more interesting with a combined unit focus.

I will be getting some outside feedback soon on those types of gameplay considerations. Every month I feel like I have more of the gameplay solidified. There are still some decisions to be made, but I feel good about the direction of the game. I look forward to showing some gameplay video in 1-2 months. I also have all 3 leaders completed, so I will show a screenshot of them in my next blog update. Oh yah… Happy New Year! :)