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Pathfinder: Kingmaker Kickstarter Update #44: Camping System in Action
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 20 October 2017, 23:35:42Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Kingmaker
The Pathfinder: Kingmaker backer alpha has been running for the past few weeks. It's been a small and apparently private affair, so unfortunately very little has come out about what the game is like. Today's Kickstarter update announces that the alpha test period is coming to an end, although there will be a new alpha build at the end of December. In the meantime, Owlcat do have something new to show us. They've implemented the game's Expeditions-like camping system, which was the Kickstarter campaign's first stretch goal. There's a video of the system in action:
How nice is it to get some rest after a long, hard day of adventuring, knowing that your companions will have a watchful eye on the camp? Why not catch up with them and have a bit of a chat before you turn in for the night? We feel that companion conversations while camping are something worth turning a simple “rest button" into a fully fleshed-out part of our game.
Initially, when we started discussing the resting process in our game, each of us wanted to transfer the tabletop experience into the virtual world of Pathfinder: Kingmaker. We didn’t want to reduce resting to a single mouse-click, because in the tabletop version it’s never as simple as saying, “We’re going to bed now” and the Game Master responding, “Okay, you’re fully rested now!”
Looking for a good spot to get some sleep can be tricky! For instance, your party may wind up in a swampy location, where it takes a lot of time to find a place dry enough to set a camp. Almost always, before consuming ration packs, players try and go hunting – just to put their luck to the test. But there is no guarantee for success. You may send your bard and cleric on a hunting trip, and instead of finding food they end up bumping into a couple of quite aggressive dire bears. This actually happened during one of our weekly tabletop gaming sessions! And while resting, we often roleplay our characters. Especially when many of the players on our development team happen to be writers for the computer game. They really know how to bring their characters to life!
Taking all this into account, our camping has already gone through two incarnations: one that existed before our Kickstarter campaign and one we created after. At first we had the resting timeline and related functions, and only after we reached the first stretch goal on Kickstarter, the development of full-scale camping became possible.
The resting timeline is, in fact, a forecaster, that tells you what is due to happen after certain periods of resting time: after two hours of resting, casters gets their spells restored (if they've got a Ring of Sustenance), after 8 hours all the companions become fully rested, and after 40 hours all negative effects wear off. We believe it’s important to provide you with all the information instead of making you take standard 8-hours rest breaks and then you wonder why some of your companions still don’t have full health bars and one or three of them still suffer from Bestow Curse.
And this became our basis for all future iterations of the camping system.
In the second camping incarnation, our goal was to preserve the gameplay flow while emphasizing the importance of the rest process. That’s how our camping management interface was born. This is where you assign your companions for various tasks: main hunter, main camoufleur, cook, or guardian. Also, every companion will have a special ability he or she can use only while resting. Be careful, though: if a companion is assigned more than one task, he or she will remain tired after the resting ends, and a caster who doesn't get a good 8 hours of sleep won’t have their spells restored. At the same time, if you manage your companions right, hunters will be of immense help in saving you money, you would otherwise have to spend on ration packs, and camp camouflage will safely hide your party from the wildlife or bandits. And if you assign a cook, you’ll be able to make an excellent fangberry pie, which will not only feed your characters, but also give them a Bless effect for the whole next day. Of course, to cook delicacies like that, you’ll need to find the recipe and ingredients first, but the result is worth it.
By the way – did we mention that cooking in the camp is a thing now? This feature was officially tied to a community achievement and while we haven't quite reached it yet, we are more than 90 percent there. At this stage, unlocking it is only a matter of days, so it made sense to implement it in-game while we were already working on the resting feature.
Since the resting process is such an important part of the game, we need to preserve the feeling of immersion into the game world for you. To achieve that we wanted to visualize each character's role on stage. We cannot overstate our gratitude to each of you, dear backers, for allowing us to add such an important and atmospheric feature to Pathfinder: Kingmaker!
As many of you have certainly noticed, almost all our interfaces are full-screen and use elaborate artwork to help sustain the atmosphere. The resting process is special, because it focuses on the party's actions. To preserve the flow of the game, we made our resting interface in the form of a panel. Functionally and practically, the timeline didn’t change much. The only thing we added was a watch order. As for current role adjustments, we decided to place them on the panel to the left, which is a mirror image of the main game log. On the same panel, you can see the results of hunting and other skill-checks, and at the same time dialogues between companions will take place on the main screen. Initially we intended to make this stage unskippable, but many of our alpha testers told us they’d like to make the resting process a bit shorter. So, for those among you, who are not interested in camp conversations, we give the possibility to skip this part and instantly turn to further adventure-seeking instead. Our camp interface allows you to focus on the main game screen and logically separates the camping log from the general log.