The screenshot below shows different angles of the Stalker’s Treant troop. That is the siege unit, which has a special ability called Murder of Crows. When activated, the crows sitting in its twisted branches carry sharp barbs to friendly troops to provide a damage shield. I also included each player color so you can see all of the variations. As a reminder, gold is used for your troops, blue is used for allies, and red is used for enemies.
I also added an avatar image to the game interface. Right now it is a rough draft, but it already looks cool. The current version shows the head and shoulders of a hooded figure with a hidden face. Spikes stick out of its shoulders. I display the current number of enemy banner zealots that are attacking your fortresses using red text under the avatar. I plan to make many improvements to the design, including animating the avatar. I also want to add voice overs to give situation awareness.
In addition to that interface change, I made several other tweaks. I added a divine bar on the right to mirror the avatar bar on the left. The avatar bar is used to activate the avatar abilities mentioned in the previous blog update. The new divine bar is focused around divine abilities (zealots and guardian). That includes the option to select a banner zealot destination, teleport leader to banner zealot, and two more powerful abilities.
The guardian of the fortress can be summoned to cast a powerful breath weapon at a chosen location. I still need to implement that breath weapon, but the general idea is that it will cause a lot of damage and include some special effects. It will probably have a longer recast that is affected by the fortress timer (influenced by banner connections).
The other ability buffs the banner zealot and will also be tied to the same timer and recast mechanism. I’m planning to modify the current banner AoE to only happen when this buff exists. Also, I will probably only trigger the AoE when the leader uses its sacrifice ability on a connected zealot while the buff is active. Both of those abilities will most likely cost prestige in addition to power.
I mentioned previously that all 4 avatar abilities also cost prestige. At the time I just had a few of those abilities implemented. I now have all avatar abilities implemented with some kind of useful effect. Most will be modified further, especially the ones that are generic. I just want something in place so I can test them out. It will also help when I play my first Internet game with a friend in about 3 weeks.
Besides that stuff, I created the design layout for the fortress and tower animations. I have the layout done for the crystal animation too. The structures are taller than even the siege units to they create some scale to the game. Fortresses will show a pulse effect that matches the crystal pulse before the fortress is summoned over it. The fortification towers will have a simple attack animation. Both have a frame for when they are destroyed. The detached towers will have a more intricate attack. The initial version of the fortresses for all 3 leaders have been created already. It will be great to have the completed artwork for them in game. I have been using the placeholder art for a few years now.
So I’m continuing to add new artwork to the game. I will be sure to always include a screenshot in each new blog post, at least for a while. I’m also adding more details such as shadows to trees. Plus I’m tweaking the multiplayer. All of these efforts will help prepare the game for outside testing as well as my Kickstarter (early April). Thanks for your time!