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Game News Copper Dreams Kickstarter Update #16: Ticks and Tiles

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Infinitron, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Copper Dreams; Whalenought Studios

    Joe and Hannah of Whalenought Studios broke the summer daze this morning with a new Copper Dreams Kickstarter update. It's all about the the game's combat system, which has continued to evolve and is now quite unrecognizable from its original concept. The elaborate turn schedule of previous iterations has been replaced with quick micro-turns that Whalenought are calling "ticks". The result is a combat system that resembles nothing so much as an isometric, tile-based version of the experimental shooter Superhot. The update includes numerous animated GIFs of the tick mechanic in action, although only one of them shows a combat situation:

    [​IMG]

    As we mentioned in the last update, the gameplay wasn't feeling as impactful towards the goal of being able to react to enemy turns on the fly. There also wasn't a way to clearly visualize these elements. It was competent on paper and execution — turns for players/NPCs just take a variable amount of time on the combat bar to execute, however, wait times, lack of clarity of predicting enemy turns and not wanting to get stuck in a long turn during combat was hampering player actions, encouraging you to play too carefully. There was the promise of reactivity in turns, but gameplay and use of time just wasn't allowing it. Ticks, tiles and shorter phases allow the player to have the intel to make more calculated and reactive decisions.

    The ruleset we had described in our original Kickstarter pitch has been a difficult one to find just the right gameplay for. The original idea had the essential premise of the turn-based model with just staggering turn order. Players and NPCs took turns when they were able to, and these took various amounts of time to perform and recover from, and could be temporarily interrupted. These actions were all displayed on a single timeline.

    What we've implemented instead is a solution that replaces the general idea of ‘time’ with chunks of time for actions we call ticks. We also brought back tiles to quantify distance, in the pursuit of clarity.

    Ticks are represented by a quarter second of gameplay, but are abstract in that longer animations can play-out during these, or multiple hits shown off individually. So behind the scene, these play out like regular turns where gameplay they appear as more linear time.

    Importantly, on a bar with other combatants these are super easy to compare. If an enemy is targeting you with a pistol and takes 3 ticks to aim, and 4 to recover from, you have the insight to know to start running and to attack after their bullet is airborne, as it obviously won't follow you. So with ticks, you can quantify how long your action will take compared to your enemy’s actions, allowing you to plan your moves and have the payoff of dodging and taking cover.

    In Turn Mode, which can be toggled whenever you want and is automatically turned on in combat, after any action you take recovers, the world pauses for you to take another turn. We’ve somewhat reformatted the UI to make this snappier, and there’s no longer a confirm button for using an action. Once selected, your actions cannot be interrupted or changed, so gameplay is quite a bit quicker.

    The new layout also makes it simple to assess when and where bullets and thrown objects are headed. When it’s your turn you can see what direction they’ll be flying at and start to get the feel for how fast they travel.

    With these changes the gameplay really has hit its stride, and we’re very happy with it. We hope you enjoy the flow of combat and all intense roll-under action during the alpha.​

    Also included in the update is an overview of some of Copper Dreams' new features (which include swimming!) and a very thorough description of its damage and healing mechanics. Classic Whalenought stuff. They're promising a proper gameplay video in the next couple of weeks.
     
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  2. ArchAngel Arcane

    ArchAngel
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    Yea lots of complicated stuff. PoEtards can skip it, it is too complicated for them.
     
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  3. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

    Self-Ejected
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    Looks much better than I expected.

    Joe with ailments in RL!!

    I wish you a fast recovery.
     
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  4. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    I wonder how intuitive this is if you just pick it up from day 1.
     
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  5. Jinn Arcane

    Jinn
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    This game is going to be the one to get these guys the recognition they deserve. Looks so damn good.
     
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  6. aratuk Arbiter

    aratuk
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    Looks good! Glad they are healthy again.
     
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  7. Jim the Dinosaur Arcane

    Jim the Dinosaur
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    Not 100% sure I understand, but so basically it's now uninterruptible RTWP, in that you can wait in RT with choosing which action to take, but once you take a certain action you're locked in? Would still better be than RTWP obvs in that the spacebar twitchiness is restricted to inter-action phases, but iirc their old staggered phase-based system didn't have any twitchiness at all with even the action deciding moments being pre-determined.
     
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  8. Jack Dandy Arcane

    Jack Dandy
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    Suddenly this is looking stylish as fuck. Way to go!
     
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  9. ArchAngel Arcane

    ArchAngel
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    No, it is simultaneous Turn based. And instead of initiative stat you got action time and action recovery.
     
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  10. Jim the Dinosaur Arcane

    Jim the Dinosaur
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    I'm not sure I understand this part, you mean that the only change now is that instead of decision moments being determined directly by character stats (e.g. Initiative 5 character can make decision each 5 time units, regardless of whether the action is finished), it's now per-action (e.g. a pistol shot takes 4 time units for this character, after which he decides anew)?
     
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  11. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    This system does seem reducible to "forced-pausing RTwP", but I don't see where you're getting "uninterruptible" and "spacebar twitchiness". The way I interpret it, in combat the game is locked into "Turn Mode" and always pauses between ticks, no spacebar necessary.
     
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  12. Jim the Dinosaur Arcane

    Jim the Dinosaur
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    Yeah, I misunderstood, the changes as I understand them now make sense given that making decisions mid-action is a bit of a waste.

    Then again I'm maybe still misunderstanding who knows this day and age.
     
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  13. ArchAngel Arcane

    ArchAngel
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    Yes. Initiative stat is basically that but for tabletop so math is simpler for humans playing tabletop. On computers all TB games should be like Copper Dreams is doing because this is more realistic and computers can do the math for us.
    Only thing I don't know is if you can influence how fast your character does these actions or is this always same time for action and same time for recovery.
     
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  14. Jim the Dinosaur Arcane

    Jim the Dinosaur
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    I know it was always phase-based/simultaneous-TB/whatever, but if the switch they've made is towards action-based from character-based decision moments, then that's hardly towards a more "realistic" standpoint. A person with fast reaction time/acuity/initiative doesn't necessarily perform actions quicker, but can make split-second decisions: he can be aiming at Steve, see Hank pulling a shotgun in the corner of his eye and abort his action and shoot Hank instead. As I understand it that used to be CD's system, but now the protagonist has to (?) keep shooting Steve, which is what I meant with "uninterruptible", Infinitron.

    But besides the niggle of realism I think the system is prolly superior this way: it's not like you're going to take advantage of aborting actions mid-way like in the above scenario more than a handful of times, so it makes for smoother(tm) gameplay.
     
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  15. ArchAngel Arcane

    ArchAngel
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    No, you were always going to choose your action then watch it play out simultaneously and then when your turn comes up again choose something new to do. They just now changed it all to specific ticks or time units.
     
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  16. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    I haven't played the new tick implementation yet but I assume the system will mould based on alpha feedback.
     
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  17. Deadman Arcane Patron

    Deadman
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    Looks impressive. Will probably buy into early access.
    You need to be 35 dollar tier to get into playtesting right now, right?
     
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  18. Gylfi.Fenriz.Conquests Augur

    Gylfi.Fenriz.Conquests
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    beautiful mood, fell in love with.

    May i ask you tho, is the gameplay modern? that is, one single type of action, combat, repeated constantly to keep the genre aryan?

    or is it more old style? So does it also have puzzles, items in inventory, adventure bits, exploration?
     
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  19. ArchAngel Arcane

    ArchAngel
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    Very old school, probably more than many old school games.
     
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  20. Mustawd Arcane

    Mustawd
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    This looks like RTwP...

    I backed a turn based/phase based game. Wtf is going on?

    EDIT: Can someone explain it like I'm a 5 yr old? Been working 70hr weeks for a bit and I don't have the focus to make sense of it. TIA.
     
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  21. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    Aint no RTwP here
     
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  22. Jim the Dinosaur Arcane

    Jim the Dinosaur
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    it's RtwP but with the pauses automatically taking place at the end of each action, and with the decisions locked in during actions (e.g. if I shoot Steve for 4 seconds, I can't decide to do anything else until those 4 seconds are done and I've shot at Steve).

    So it ostensibly removes the downside of RtwP: twitching over the spacebar, cause all the pauses are automated.

    The downside of this approach and why I think the gif and description made it look like RtwP to the both of us is that it lets you make more decisions by doing smaller actions: do one step at a time and you can make a decision each time unit, its own kind of twitchiness.

    Maybe having decision-length bound to character initiative rather than action length would be a better call still hmm (or having a steep threshold for initiating a small action I guess)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 26, 2017
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  23. Abu Antar Tweet, tweet Patron

    Abu Antar
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    They should make a video update and explain the system while playing. I'm still interpreting all of this that it isn't very far off from how Grandia works, even if it's not the same thing.
     
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  24. Avonaeon Arcane Developer

    Avonaeon
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    Really looking forward to the Alpha! Looks better and better.
     
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  25. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy 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 Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    The original system was cool in theory but would have led to a very unusual and niche game. I feel like what they've created here has a chance of breaking out and becoming popular. It's snappy and intuitive.
     
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