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KickStarter Vigilantes: neo-noir, turn based tactical RPG

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Timeslip, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. ArchAngel Arcane

    ArchAngel
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    My only suggestion is to go ahead and take your time to make the game better.
     
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  2. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    Thanks ArchAngel! The response to the proposal has been very good among our Kickstarter backers, and this encouragement makes it a lot easier to get stuck in on the new features. Onward and upward!
     
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  3. ArchAngel Arcane

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    I look forward to try the more complete game when it is on Early Access and provide some real feedback beyond just some encouragement like now.
     
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  4. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    Sounds good, ArchAngel , thanks. Currently testing the mission where you have to prevent enemies fleeing, looks like it's nearly good to go.
     
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  5. Falksi Arcane

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    Looks an interesting game. Look forward to seeing how it turns out.
     
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  6. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Maybe you can throw some investigation missions in there where you track a crime and pin it on the right group to stop their influence from expanding. Fail and you end up wasting resources against one group while the other groups can track you down and pin you in an inconvenient ambush.
     
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  7. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    Thanks Falksi , me too :)
     
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  8. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    I was thinking of way to weaken gangs, in particular the mafia and Church of the Final Exodus, by finding evidence and passing it on anonymously to the police. Haven't thought about it in a while though. How would you imagine an investigation mission working?
     
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  9. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Arcane

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
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    Couldn't it be something that might be handled by a surveillance mission on city map (I assume that NPC that has been ordered to look into one of the city blocks is unavailable for other missions for the duration of the look out) or perhaps just special loot that you might obtain from successful missions.
     
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  10. ArchAngel Arcane

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    I would love if a sidekick system was added. Being able to recruit vigilantes that don't have backstory but can be used to fill out your team for missions.
    Have them recruitable with some ingame currency, let them get a wider access to skills but not become as powerful as main characters. Limit them so they cannot go to missions alone without one of the main characters and let them die permanently on missions.
    This would let you implement something similar to long war 2 with its infiltration mechanics. You could send different teams to infiltrate enemy territory before each mission and those are unavailable to be used in that time.
    Also these sidekicks could be a resource to be used for intel tasks and you could do a balancing task of how many players want to send on such tasks instead of keeping them in base for when real mission needs to be done.
     
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  11. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    In very simple terms, do your surveillance on a block. Stumble onto a crime that has happened, say a stolen shipment of drugs, guns, whatever. Or hell, some important dude murdered. Investigate the scene with applicable skills to determine which gang's modus operandi the particular crime fits. Find out from whatever sources you can muster, where the perpetrators have gone. Take them down and stop that particular gang from receiving game changing advantages. Screw up somewhere above and leave yourself open to an ambush.
     
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  12. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    The special loot was one of the possibilities I'd considered, cheers.

    It's an interesting idea, will add it to the list. Haven't played long war, though have it installed. Really should get around to it.

    I like the idea. Sort of a multi part mission, the first bit being a non combat intel gathering encounter, and the second being the violent punchline. Can't guarantee its addition but will add it to the list.
     
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  13. ArchAngel Arcane

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    And you could then have an ability for main character that instead of making enemy goons run away you make them join your sidekick team permanently. Or be able to do that in some of the less combat focused missions.
     
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  14. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    It's an interesting idea. Maybe it would be possible to make them feed you info on a semi regular basis. On the development front, I've added code to support enemy spawning during missions, and have just finished a playthrough of the prevent enemies fleeing mission. The dynamic is quite different from a standard mission. Firearms, predictably enough, work well here, and having a decent sniper makes the mission less difficult. The injuries factor in nicely, as if you wing the fleeing characters, it reduces their ap, giving you more time to take them down.

    Starting into the escort mission now. Am going to look at adding a bypass check, to open a shorter route to make the mission easier. Found a couple of levels which this could be done in.
     
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  15. Plane Escapee Your friend Patron

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    For me, yes, definitely. I have no idea what the current kickstarter-mob-mentality is though, making a poll among backers to prevent backlash might be worth a consideration. Even if a majority of backers would rather wait for a more feature and content rich game, a loud minority can easily shitstorm a small or mid-sized kickstarter project if they put their minds to it.
    Having a poll to point at could be effective at quenching that fire before it starts. One could argue that that didn't help Torment (the RTwP vs. Turn-based decision), I think they prevented an even louder backlash by having that poll.

    I wish I had time to give you some actual feedback on your many updates about the game, I appreciate how much time and effort you spend keeping us updated.
    Though generally, I would say the little feedback you're getting here is worth listening to. Lhynn and co. have great suggestions for the game.
     
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  16. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    We pretty much did that, with a video explaining some of the possibilities, and asking the backers if they would like us to finish up quickly, or spend extra development time fleshing out Vigilantes. The response was unanimously for taking as much time as we needed to make the best game we can. Felt really good to know we have that level of support (and perhaps even trust). The most commonly requested addition was more mission types, which was the area we felt was most needing attention, given the combat heavy focus of Vigilantes. Am working on this right now, and should be able to test the escort mission type tomorrow.

    No worries, if there's one thing game development has taught me is that there just aren't enough hours in the day to tick all the boxes. Yeah, have gotten a lot of good suggestions from here, quite a bit of which has made it into the game.
     
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  17. ushas Savant

    ushas
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    Playing now v14 and going through updates I can say it seems to me you are improving in the right directions.:salute: (last one I tried was probably v9 or v10)

    I like that you are giving players more substantial tactical options with pros and cons, in comparison to tendencies I often see when we get slightly different chances here or there. I don't have problem with the statistics. The moment when criticals land on both sides has its dramatic effect indeed. I see it more problematic when the whole system is implemented like a gradual progression and we are just repeating the same stuff over and over with better chances. At some point I realize the game will not offer new challenges or even possibilities to use different approaches... Remember the sweet moment when we crafted our first flying suit?:oops:

    Eg. the way you changed three melee perks. I also like situational ones like Adrenaline (paired with Controlled Breathing on Elena, as the second turn after using Adrenaline she doesn't act anyway). Sam started hand to hand but now he is also more controlling the battlefield by throwing grenades around (hoping you will be able to add more).

    Emilia with SMG burst tries to target arms and legs time to time. Just I'm not sure how much shaky hands and hamstrung are debuffing as it didn't happened to me yet (what about an icon cheat sheet accessible from the menu we get when pressing Esc key?). With lower CTH it may be useful to go for status effects as it's enough if at least one of 3 bullets hits, but with higher CTH I would probably rather go for the chance to put the target down. Although... I'm now thinking about how much we can slow down the fleeing enemies (heavy wounded + hamstrung -> will various AP debuffs pile up?).

    Anyway I'm looking forward to see what you can do with the progression of factions, especially if the system is taking into account and reacting to the player's advancements. I'm really digging thoughts and ideas in this thread. Though obviously a lot of it is too good to become true.

    A few campaign related questions are in the spoiler below, as I'm not sure if useful, depending how the game unfolds.

    Show Spoiler
    -- What if the player is focusing his actions against one faction for some time, will he unintentionally empower the others, as the system will let them grow over time? (until dealt with) But also as one of the power players is going down they can expand and become even more healthier...

    -- The game can have some replayability potential, if something like the above point is coupled with randomly distributed factions across districts at the start. So perhaps we will try to do a couple of initial missions blindly, and that will also influence what clues / intel will be available at the beginning stages. So while one player will decide to crush mafia at the beginning, for another one it will become the most feared final villain.

    -- I can imagine getting some more police attention if anybody is becoming too powerful, be it one of the three criminal factions or Vigilantes. As Sam is wanted, aren't the police forces a sort of neutral players which can go various ways? (eg. being corrupted by 'evil criminals' or closing eyes for 'good guys')

    -- I'm not sure whether it's Vigilantes vs. all three separately, or whether there is also some dynamic between them? For example are they competing with each other over districts? If there is some friction I can also imagine informers and false informers (giving directions away from their allies) trying to use the player against their rivals. I also wonder if it would allow the situation when two remaining criminal organizations may temporarily work together against the mutual enemy if Vigilantes are too much too quickly successful.

    As for companions, if you must do relationships and unfold their personal backstories with traumas or so, likewise with side quests -- assuming you are not many and cannot go wide, I would try to ask how it can improve the core gameplay.

    If the question to kill or not to kill is central to the campaign, eg. practically defines two paths, the way we gather information and interact with others, are getting different objectives and missions and eventually also endings, then party members caring about killing and responding to that might indeed improve such central element.
     
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  18. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    Hey ushas - thanks for checking out the latest build and for the feedback. Very helpful. Glad you are liking the general direction the game is headed.

    I'd never thought of that combo. Would definitely like to add more perks which have nice synergies with one another. If you have any suggestions in the area, let me know!

    At present, they last 2 turns each, shaky hands gives -5% cth, hamstrung reduces ap by 1 (2 if >9AP). They may need to be made more potent, but that's easy to do. I agree that more info is needed on status effects, among other things. Will either add a cheat sheet or tooltips to provide the info.

    Yes, all status effects stack. Found the wounded mechanic pretty good for stopping the enemies trying to escape in the bank robbery encounter.

    Show Spoiler
    Show Spoiler

    -- What if the player is focusing his actions against one faction for some time, will he unintentionally empower the others, as the system will let them grow over time? (until dealt with) But also as one of the power players is going down they can expand and become even more healthier...
    Yes, the more you attack one, the more you will restrict their income and incapacitate their better troops. Expansion/recruiting new lieutenants is up in the air at the minute, will have to spend more time playing through the campaign and figure out what works best.

    -- The game can have some replayability potential, if something like the above point is coupled with randomly distributed factions across districts at the start. So perhaps we will try to do a couple of initial missions blindly, and that will also influence what clues / intel will be available at the beginning stages. So while one player will decide to crush mafia at the beginning, for another one it will become the most feared final villain.
    The enemies are distributed randomly at the minute. They all start with the same number of tiles, and the same wealth value in tiles (of which there are 3). The gang AI is provisional, but they should attempt different actions depending on the player's action. It's hard to say what sort of variety this will result in just yet. I think there will also be scope for replay value in the difficulty levels, character builds, ally choice, and general strategy, but how much remains to be seen.


    -- I can imagine getting some more police attention if anybody is becoming too powerful, be it one of the three criminal factions or Vigilantes. As Sam is wanted, aren't the police forces a sort of neutral players which can go various ways? (eg. being corrupted by 'evil criminals' or closing eyes for 'good guys')
    The function the police play in the game is an open question at the minute. Right now, they mostly feature as bit parts in encounters. I'd like the idea of them reacting to the player, turning a blind eye, or hunting the player down depending on how murderous the player is, but it remains to be seen if there will be time. Having battles with police units, criminals and vigilantes would be neat, but to save time, I programmed the AI to allow for two teams in combat. Not impossible to change this, but likely time consuming. If anything happens in this regard, police support would probably be under player control, or attacking the player.

    -- I'm not sure whether it's Vigilantes vs. all three separately, or whether there is also some dynamic between them? For example are they competing with each other over districts? If there is some friction I can also imagine informers and false informers (giving directions away from their allies) trying to use the player against their rivals. I also wonder if it would allow the situation when two remaining criminal organizations may temporarily work together against the mutual enemy if Vigilantes are too much too quickly successful.
    It's unlikely the gangs will contest one another - they have similar levels of strength and have close to free reign, allowing them to make incredible amounts of profit. Making them fight each other would be cool, but it would take a lot of time, and to be honest it's unlikely. Making them team up against the vigilantes is possible. What is very likely, if the interrogation mechanic goes ahead, which it probably will in the next few updates, is that they will snitch each other out.

    As for companions, if you must do relationships and unfold their personal backstories with traumas or so, likewise with side quests -- assuming you are not many and cannot go wide, I would try to ask how it can improve the core gameplay.

    If the question to kill or not to kill is central to the campaign, eg. practically defines two paths, the way we gather information and interact with others, are getting different objectives and missions and eventually also endings, then party members caring about killing and responding to that might indeed improve such central element.

    Do you think more companion interactions would be a bad way to spend time? I'm aware "bonding" dialogue can become overly sentimental, and I'll try to avoid this, though some of that is unavoidable. It's a fair point, though, to tie it back into the core gameplay, will think more about it. Your suggestion about attitude to killing is likely to feature, with you being able to encourage a more flexible attitude when you build up a relationship. In addition to telling you more about your newfound friends, I'm hoping to use this dialogue to tell you (hopefully very tangentially) about Sam. I have my own take on a set of life events which could create a person both capable and inclined to tackle crime in this way, which I hope to point at indirectly though the game (difficult to do well). The hope is to leave Sam as something of a mystery, so players can try to figure out his backstory or come up with their own for him.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  19. ushas Savant

    ushas
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    First, let me express my gratitude that you're not going to nerf it.
    Wasn't it added in the same build? I thought I got the idea from you while listening to one of the dev videos:)

    Will try think about some. What about other mechanical synergies?

    For example, as it slightly rises Bladed damage as well as the Firearms skill the Instinct based character might be something I would consider if trying to make character who does both close and range combat. I don't know if that would be viable. From the offense perspective, for sure those who specialize only in one of the skills will be a lot better in that area, having higher chance to hit. However, as I said above if cth is low then one other option I can imagine is to use burst weapons or low AP cost actions (3 AP when attacking with blades and fists) to shower an enemy's limbs as one hit is enough for status effect to trigger. Dim Mak and Artery Strike can be useful too but those also cost one more AP.

    So what about a passive perk changing the Light attack mode into faster one?

    So from:
    Light Attack & Light Strike: cost 3AP, (+10% cth, -25% dam) in comparison to normal attack​
    It becomes:
    Light Attack & Light Strike: cost 2AP, (+10% cth, -50% dam) in comparison to normal attack​

    -> It costs you the previous version of the attack and one perk point, in exchange for an option to do more 50% dam attacks per turn.
    -- It would be nice if works for both light attack & strike as it's the same mode.
    -- And of course it would be handy for blade or hand-to-hand specialists.
    -- I dunno if useful for a ranged character who is flanked at close (low close combat and hp). If hamstrung will debuff >2AP, he may consider risking such strike for debuffing an enemy and then run away to another cover... But that's highly situational.
    -- Requirement: Close Combat?

    Edit: What about Fallout tactics perks? I can definitely recall one which can possibly nicely synergize with manyyy good ones:
    Break the Rules (once)
    Can take any other perk regardless of requirements.
    Show Spoiler
    Requirement for Break the Rules: 10 Utility :shittydog:
    (I think it wasn't working well in FT)​


    Looking forward to that scenario!
    Do AP debuffs reduce Max AP, AP per turn, or both?

    PS: I can post some bugs on your forum. Or should I wait for v15? (in case it's already locked or so)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
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  20. ushas Savant

    ushas
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    Having two teams is ok, perhaps improving and polishing the AI for that would be good way to go?

    The dialogue system is a good magician. So the conversation outcome at the mission start (possibly influenced by answers, skill checks, party members, reputation etc.) splits up everybody into two teams for the combat purposes (or neutral party can leave?). But globally it still looks like there are more sides at play. As a player I will always prefer to have full control over all the allies as you said. And you already do that with temporal party members. Anybody who is against me is simply enemy anyway. If they will also fight each other in the case of >2 teams, in some way it just means that it's easier for me.

    As you have implemented units spawning during combat, is it possible for both teams? And can it trigger a new dialogue? Mission example: after some time (number of turns) the police is coming to the area confronting us all, the conversation then determines which side they join for the rest of the encounter (or they can also cowardly back off of course).

    You can use the spawning mechanic as a soft turn limit for some missions: after n number of turns reinforcements are coming. For example, I'm trying to save or kidnap somebody from a survivalist facility, there might be one enemy whose sole purpose is to run away as soon as possible and come back with more enemies say in <10 turns. Whereas if I manage to stop him or others from fleeing, then the backup will come much later. Or whatever.

    Sounds promising! Perhaps if player already overcame one of them and weaken two remaining, they will team up. So they stop volunteering to snitch each other out (-> will take longer / harder to find their bases) and on some randomized maps or where it makes sense they will fight together against him? However, just adding more enemies would make turns last unbearably long. Alternative would be the help coming later on. But you know better what will be suitable. I'm just speculating.
    To be honest while I love party based games I'm not much into companions overall. So I don't feel like the right person to try answer this. Others would be more knowledgeable here. Anyway as developer if you feel strongly about something, it sounds like you have some ideas going, don't let us demoralize you.

    It's just that sidequests and content for companions feel sometimes like patched over the game. That also has its value, for narrative background, a place for PC to roleplay, pacing etc. But costs resources so I'm just trying to understand what is important from your perspective.

    Fictional examples using Emilia Desoto for illustration (open)


    a) At some point she triggers a special side mission and as a reward she buffs her stats and gives away her backstory. (tbh we can simply read that somewhere).

    vs.

    b) She plays a sizable role when interacting with police forces during campaign and thus possibly opening some options (could be just cops sharing intel leading to places and objectives in different order than in the case of interrogating enemies). Or if on the team she can persuade them to join our side during encounters like mentioned above. (we can learn about her that way too)
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
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  21. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

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    The different melee attacks are fairly provisional. I was considering making the light attacks costs less AP, as it would make them more versatile, but there will also be larger bladed weapons which require more AP, such as Katana, so I'll need to think some more about damage% and AP reduction.

    Really should take a look at these, break the rules sounds interesting.

    Just AP per turn for now, they can still store the additional AP, but lower AP enemies may not be able to make an attack every turn.

    Please do, I'll be getting into fixes for this version soon.

    Yeah, it still needs some work. Have a few ideas for fairly simple ways to create more varied behaviour.

    Yes, it is possible for both. No support for dialogue in the middle of combat, there can be pre mission and post mission dialogue. My current idea for making the police more important to gameplay is to spawn 1-2 police officers as allies if they like you, and to intercept you on the way back from missions, forcing you to reach the flee point, if you're causing too much mayhem.

    That's an interesting one. Will add it to the list.

    Most of the effort will be spent on building gameplay depth. Current plan is add as many worthwhile gameplay enhancing features first, then a few updates down the line, re-evaluate the merits of the remaining ideas in relation to the time they will take. I'd like to down something on the RPG front, but Vigilantes is very much focused on combat.
     
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  22. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
     
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  23. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

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    Thanks for posting Infinitron - beat me to it! Am wondering if there is a connection between how quickly you shared this, and the black "Infinitron's pet food supply" van that was hanging around my place yesterday morning? Strange, when I approached, the van departed at speed, and the driver seemed to be holding a device that might have been a directional microphone....
     
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  24. anvi Liturgist Village Idiot

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    Infinibot doing his thing.
     
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  25. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    Here are the level 1 and level 4 library illustrations. The library speeds up the rate of skill gains, provides bonuses to trade, presence, and surveillance and can boost the leadership stat at higher levels. Once we get all 5 facilities illustrated, I'll be able to add the facilities feature. This will likely happen in version 17 or 18. Looking forward to getting this in, will be nice to have a separate progression system, and a place to call home. What do you think?

    Level 1:

    [​IMG]

    Level 4:
    [​IMG]
     
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