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Colony Ship Update #45: The Armory

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Colony Ship Update #45: The Armory

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 3 July 2020, 14:47:19

Tags: Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game; Iron Tower Studio; Vince D. Weller

The latest Colony Ship development update gives us our first look at an area outside the game's starting town. The Armory is a pivotal location where the player character will discover a mysterious device that kicks off the main quest, and it'll eventually become your base of operations. However, before you can unlock the armory door you'll need to deal with the gang of thugs who control the area, as seen in the new batch of screenshots included in the update. The first thing you'll notice is that Iron Tower have moved the game's dialogue box to the side of the screen, Disco Elysium-style. There have been other developments as well. The Pit has been expanded and should be fully scripted and playable by the end of the month, and the first prototype of the stealth system should be ready by then as well. Here are those screenshots and an excerpt from the update:

We're wrapping up the Armory (the second location), so we can finally show you something other than the starting town. Let's start with the intro:

With row after row of gutted depots, the Armory stretches before you as a shell of what it once was. The mutineers hit it fast and hard, overrunning the surprised security forces and stripping it of supplies. Weapons and armor meant for the future colony flooded the Ship, turning the Mutiny into a full-fledged war. The Ship Authority held its own in the end, keeping control of the lower decks, but at a great cost that went far beyond the Armory's lost supplies.

Your destination lies ahead – a reinforced door flanked by twin auto-cannons drawing on a seemingly inexhaustible power supply. No one made it past during the Mutiny, and no one's made it past since. Like the proverbial flaming sword outside of Eden, it sits as a guardian, a symbol of ancient strength, and a promise of marvels beyond.

You get the access card from Tanner (as mentioned in the combat demo), so getting past the automated security on that floor will be easy. However, you'd have to get past the local thugs first. You can fight or talk your way through or simply sneak past them. Multiple quest solutions are one of the cornerstones of our design philosophy.

- The old dialogue box at the bottom of the screen wasn't big enough to fit all the text and PC options in more heated conversations, so we went with a vertical setup. It's still work in progress (we switched to it a week ago) so feel free to offer suggestions for improvement. I can't say I like it but it's either this or what we had in AoD or using a scrollbar to make sure you see all the options.
- We wanted to show the skills (you can see them leveling up while talking) but you'll be using all skills not just speech and there's no room to fit them all. Maybe something like index tabs on the side?
- On the dialogue design itself: in AoD it was easy to fail a check and end up dead or in combat. In Colony Ship failures and successes modify the disposition, giving you a chance to recover from your mistakes.

The access card doesn't give you the keys to the kingdom. If you want to fully explore the Armory you'll need to beat retinal scanners on lower levels. At some point in the game the Armory will become your base of operations and you'll have to reinforce it (not base building but using scavenged parts) and defend against attacks.

Random tidbits for those who read Playboy for the articles:

- We updated the engine from 4.22 to 4.25, which fixed a lot of minor engine-related issues without introducing new ones (well, except for some minor font issues – see below, but that's manageable).
- We implemented 'guest' mechanics when an NPC temporarily joins your party, bypassing the party limit. You control them in combat but don't have access to their inventories.
- We're working on the Pit's (the starting town) quests at the moment and it's going well. The quests should be fully scripted - meaning the Pit's fully playable - by the end of July (half of it is already playable and I don't mean the combat demo).
- The stealth system (the first prototype) should be ready by the end of the month as well. I'm sure it will go through several iterations (meaning it won't be done until the end of summer), but getting something playable is a very important step, if only for quest and level design.
- Speaking of quest design, we expanded the Pit yet again as we added more quests, so now the Pit consists of three areas: Mainstreet, Camptown, and the Outskirts.
- We replaced more animations, added different icons for gadget upgrade parts, redesigned the upgrade screen, and did a bunch of other minor improvements.
- The combat demo was download 5,761 times (3,754 on May 9). Slow but steady...
Looking good. See the full update for additional details on the player character's interaction with the sharp-faced leader of the thugs.

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