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Copper Dreams Kickstarter Update #12: Massive Development Report
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 23 October 2016, 17:44:15Tags: Copper Dreams; Whalenought Studios
Joe and Hannah of Whalenought Studios have published the first Copper Dreams Kickstarter update since the game's campaign concluded in June. This update has been anticipated for quite a while and it doesn't disappoint. It's a truly massive list of some (but not all!) of the things that they've worked on over the summer. Various elements of the game have been changed, the most notable being the switch from standard point-and-click movement to a more retro "click-and-hold" design inspired by Ultima 7. The art style has also been changed, as the low fidelity "3D pixel art" style from the Kickstarter campaign was found to be unworkable in practice. The combat system has been tweaked and a Frozen Synapse-ish action planning mechanic has been implemented, usable both in and out of combat. I'll quote that part of the update:
Tactical mode is a mode of gameplay designed to allow you to plan movements while the game is paused. Using your pawns you can move your party around, following or each doing their own thing, and confirming it will have them execute whatever actions you had them do, upon which it will automatically pause again when complete. When the game is paused during tactical mode the world and other NPCs are also paused, and only resume their actions while your party is executing their pre-ordained orders.
Combat and tactical mode now use the same movement mechanics as normal exploration as well, synchronizing the gameplay experience and giving you all the benefits you have with interactions, jumping and careful positioning while exploring and sneaking. This not only makes for a cohesive movement system, but gives you that same precision to dodge narrow line of sights, take the long way around a wall to evade, or jump up onto some rafters and interact with the environment to get around in a dynamic way in combat. You can project your course and confirm or redo it, to make sure you execute on what exactly you want to do.
Since the camera is character-focused, we've also added in a combat-bar pause, so you can tab between different characters at will to get a scope of the environment from their perspective as needed.
While combat visuals, pacing and usability is still getting tweaked for the alpha, the ruleset hasn't changed from what we've described in the Kickstarter. Since removing the move tiles during combat there were some usability changes, like distance is now a unit of length, rather than a tile, and you can now throw onto any surface, instead of a floor tile.
We'll be looking for feedback on the flow of combat in the alpha dealing with executing time and recovery. It's a balance between pacing and being able to comprehend different character actions that could be happening simultaneously and keeping things flowing in realtime naturally.
One thing we did change on the bar was the idea of the original three states:
To instead be:
We think this is a bit more intuitive. Functionally it is similar, there is a temporary initiative bar that appears to roll people into combat or add them in later if they engage. Turn encapsulates both the original turn and execute, and when done executing their actions, characters flow into recovery. Post recovery, they pop back to be able to take another turn. Recovery is something we're adding into the ruleset to act as a more dynamic wait time, which was originally a static amount of seconds for everyone. Recovery time is accrued through what type of actions are taken during a turn. Running a long distance with jumping requires more recovery than just tossing a grenade.
To make characters even more mobile in combat we're expanding the original 'quickshot' movement system to be for all actions. A characters turn now always allows a move and action. Moving beyond a quick-move limit allows them only to move that turn for a longer distance.