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Copper Dreams Kickstarter Update #26: Combat and Cars, Beta Coming November 15th
Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 1 November 2019, 15:49:49Tags: Copper Dreams; Whalenought Studios
To few people's surprise, the Copper Dreams beta ended up not coming out in late September, or in October. Joe and Hannah haven't fallen off the face of the earth, though. As today's Kickstarter update announces, they've got an exact release date for the beta now - November 15th. Along the way, they've also decided to scrap the party combat system that was described in the previous update, so it's back to single character with non-controllable companions now. The update has the details on all of that and more:
Beta testers, you’ll be getting an email when that’s available regarding what help we’re looking for with the start of the game. It'll explain what we can focus on tweaking with your suggestions while adding more of those maps in as we continue to finish stitching them together.
The new dialogue layout is pretty slick, using the power of multiple cameras! The characters are all animating 3d models from the game-world who gesture with their chat bubbles. Keywords are thought bubbles, and you get a little report card for people you meet with any known info you've obtained that's important. Aptitudes also use this and show their roll info in their own panels nearby. This was a social roll to get this drunk to follow you around.
The last update we talked about the RISK meter and segmenting turns to different party members. Shortly after we tested and discussed this companion-combat with some of our Alpha backers, we decided to roll back to single-player turn-based combat. Companions will remain auxiliary and the player can direct general commands to (move/attack/talk) as originally planned. Defend is now a normal action you can roll for while playing. Companions are both other agents, hires, and anyone on the street if you can charm/bio-hack them.
A big part of 2019 activities involved revising some code to get more enemies on screen, better performance with the line of sight transparency and black, as well as stitching together the map. Map loading is so 1999 [insert plethora of games that already got around it], and 20 years later I think we can dismiss it as lazy. And disruptive! I think back to a game like Dungeon Siege, and it was really neat that the whole game was just one enormous map you wade through — it really pits you in the world, rather than seeing it as a small art piece or tactical map.
For a more modern city, having interiors, rooftops, and underground all webbed together gives a much more organic feel, and a lot more tactical variance. This is also effective for the combat and NPC sensory mechanics — with a wide open and expansive the map, not having the safety of a loaded room also makes you vulnerable. Climb a roof and jump into a 3rd story window to escape some gang members, and they could follow, or be welcomed by a bunch of winos with broken bottles inside to surround you.
The Mega-Map is also a very organic way of going from block-to-block in the wilds of Calitana, and it's fun to just rage-drive your way out of a block if you need to get outside quickly. Prior to this map to map points always bottle-necked into large gates to transition scenes, but now there can be multiple streets that exit.
Between more populated towns (city blocks) there lies the urban wilderness, or more appropriately, urban wasteland. With grids down, civilians abandon these areas, and the streets are held by the gang and the gun, and a good taxi or a Treader with a turret attached are your best bets to get through.