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Momentum - turn-based tactical RPG set in Vietnam War - CANCELLED

Ibbz

Augur
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
489
- Squad movements, the enemy units move in groups instead of one by one.

Anything that speeds up group enemy movement in a TB game is welcome.
At least to a Nu-XCOM level (most likely we will have more details about the gears and equipment the soldiers can carry).
I would assume it wouldn't be a big deal to let the player create a character ala an IMP Merc in JA2? Even if they're treated as a normal soldier and the game simply continues on if they die. Need some way to add the #1 Vietnamese killer

+_32b05a94a750aa4422f38b605a6c7abd.jpg
 

Grandlion1981

Lead Alchemist Studio
Developer
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Jun 17, 2019
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40
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Berlin
Taka-Haradin puolipeikko

Yes, suppressive fire and moral checks are not in the prototype yet, but it is definitely on the must have list.
Regarding heights, we haven't tested this part yet, we use MoCap for the soldier movements so we need to add some specific technologies/tweaks to make things work and automatically adapt to different heights. For instance if you heal someone on the ground and he is 1 meter above you how should we manage this. A very relevant question, but we are too early in Pre-Prod to know for sure that we will have heights.
 

Grandlion1981

Lead Alchemist Studio
Developer
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Messages
40
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Berlin
Ibbz

I will go a bit offtopic, because characters in tactical RPGs are a very interesting topic in general.

Actually it is quite a big deal, deciding how you want to create your soldiers and how the player should be able to customize them, etc. has an impact on a LOT of things, design, systems, animations, etc. etc. Also for JA2 which is one of my favorite games of all time next to old xcom, they can get away with a lot of things because the characters on the tactical map look almost all the same. In a more modern game, it is different. The topic is quite large. If we just focus on the design question you have to answers the following questions.

The more RPG like the game is the more the characters should be detailed and unique. It also means that they are more expensive to make, and players would most likely reload if the character dies. It means the studio produces fewer characters but can produce deeper storylines and stuff related to companions. The more the player cares about the soldiers the less he will let them die which can destroy the experience. On the positive side, the less the characters can die the deeper and more interesting the story and options the developers can do. For instance, special events that only trigger when a specific character is with you.

Now if you do a game like XCOM where the players might get their soldiers killed very often and for stupid reasons (original xcom). You can't do JA2 types of characters.

What does this mean in the end for the type of game?

- If you want deep story, interesting characters the Tactical RPG needs to make sure that the key characters do not die, or if they do you will reload on your own.

- If you want a more military sandboxy experience, where you have a lot of freedom, then it is better to do more generic characters.

Now coming back to the real question, should you allow the player to create their own character?
If you allow the player to do that, you make your game more like an RPG, because people will usually not let their main character die. If you use the same tech as the other characters in the game, it should be quite easy to do. o

JA2 is an outlier because it combines both RPG elements and sandbox elements, it is super hard to pull off, because it is super expensive to produce games like this nowadays, if you want to do nice looking 3D Characters AAA style (including animations, textures, voices, etc.), the cost will be between 10-30K EUR, depending on a lot of stuff. If you want to have 50 characters in the game + good looking NPCs you may end up with 100 characters. This means 500K EUR just to make characters. Tactical RPGs do not sell a lot of copies most of the time, so publishers and investors are unwilling to invest enough money to make this work.

I'm barely scratching the surface of this topic, but I hope it gives you guys a bit some info about the challenges. :)
 

laclongquan

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Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
For instance if you heal someone on the ground and he is 1 meter above you how should we manage this. A very relevant question, but we are too early in Pre-Prod to know for sure that we will have heights.

Probabbly a height check to make sure both healer and patient be of same plane. If not enough space for both of them in that same plane, healing might not happen at all.

Specifically, if healer at a place 1 meter lower than patient, he might need to pull patient down to where he is, or pull himself up there, if enough space. If not enough space, he might have to move the patient to other place before healing can occur at all.
 

Ibbz

Augur
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Messages
489
Now coming back to the real question, should you allow the player to create their own character?
If you allow the player to do that, you make your game more like an RPG, because people will usually not let their main character die. If you use the same tech as the other characters in the game, it should be quite easy to do. o

JA2 is an outlier because it combines both RPG elements and sandbox elements, it is super hard to pull off, because it is super expensive to produce games like this nowadays, if you want to do nice looking 3D Characters AAA style (including animations, textures, voices, etc.), the cost will be between 10-30K EUR, depending on a lot of stuff. If you want to have 50 characters in the game + good looking NPCs you may end up with 100 characters. This means 500K EUR just to make characters. Tactical RPGs do not sell a lot of copies most of the time, so publishers and investors are unwilling to invest enough money to make this work.

I'm barely scratching the surface of this topic, but I hope it gives you guys a bit some info about the challenges.

Thanks for the explanation, I'm assuming you're going for more disposable soldiers then ?
 

Grandlion1981

Lead Alchemist Studio
Developer
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
40
Location
Berlin
Yes, most likely, we are still trying to assess the right balance between both. There are some ideas we explore, for instance maybe the soldiers are more disposable but maybe the NCO could be more detailed and the player should try to have him survive as much as possible.
 

Grandlion1981

Lead Alchemist Studio
Developer
Joined
Jun 17, 2019
Messages
40
Location
Berlin


Hi guys, please have a look at the video if you are interested in work in progress stuff. It is a video of our prototype as we are trying to experiment with a new visual and gameplay experience to see how it may feel. We are testing some new ideas about the Group Movement (see below for more info). We are testing, how to make a large group of enemies move together (or splitting it into subgroups instead of 1 by 1) to attack the player position. The player still moves his soldiers on his own, but we speed up enemy turns by moving enemies in tactical groups. This video is by no mean a nice marketing video, it is not perfect, there are bugs and stuff. We would be interested to have your opinion about 2 features in this video.

1) Group movement: Seeing multiple enemies moving at the same time to speed up significantly enemy turns. In this case, you would lose a lot of visibility as well on what is going on during the enemy turn, since a lot of things are going on. Cinematic Camera placements would be of course used to show you critical moments, for instance, soldiers dying. On the other hand, you would miss most of the minor enemy actions.

2) Cones of fire: You have to specify to your soldiers in overwatch in which direction they should look (About 90Degrees coverage, bigger than in the current video).
2a: The player decides how big the cone should be, the bigger it is the harder it is to hit the enemy.
2b: The cones are preset at 90 degrees and the chances to hit are not influenced a lot by the situation

What do you guys think? I would love to have your thoughts on these concepts/ideas.

Thank you
 

Taka-Haradin puolipeikko

Filthy Kalinite
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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
Could cone of fire coverage be used to differentiate weapon types from each other?
For example sniper - or marksman rifle could have long, but narrow cone while SMG or pistol would give wider cone, but only at short range.
 

Grandlion1981

Lead Alchemist Studio
Developer
Joined
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Messages
40
Location
Berlin
Could cone of fire coverage be used to different weapon types from each other?
For example sniper - or marksman rifle could have long, but narrow cone while SMG or pistol would give wider cone, but only at short range.

Yes, if we get to a point where we believe cones would be a great addition, it will make sense to make it different based on the weapon.
 

Taka-Haradin puolipeikko

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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
Bad news from Discord:
[Lead] AshramYesterday at 12:29 PM
Dear Momentum friends and followers, First of all, thanks for your participation and presence on our Discord Channel. Your contributions have been gladly received, and we have benefited from a wealth of experience and input. Because we trust in transparency, we wanted to let you know that we are going to put on pause the Momentum project. We've started this journey more than a year ago. The last couple of months have been hectic (and nerve-racking to be honest) trying to find a deal with strategic partners in the industry. Although we've made some progress and generated positive support at most of the publishers and investors we have talked to, there were a couple of recurring points that surfaced as strong arguments against Momentum and our studio: - The idea of an RPG game with tactical combat set in modern history was well-received, BUT the Vietnam War as a setting was deemed too controversial. - Our team had a solid pedigree, but we have not shipped a game yet together. We have tried to iterate several times about the first point, but it's more and more looking like a catch-22. Even with our best intentions, there will always be a reluctance to accept the Vietnam war as a backdrop from industry partners. Therefore, releasing a Momentum video game with the Vietnam War as the setting is highly unlikely any time soon.
HOWEVER
It does not mean that we are stopping the adventure of Lead Alchemist altogether. Physical prototyping and testing will continue. We want to continue building core gameplay mechanics that are fun to play. What's new and exciting is that we have decided to pivot to a different setting and universe. This new world is less controversial and more flexible in terms of narrative and visual identity. We have taken the direction of Retro-Futurism. It allows us more creative freedom to build a compelling universe. We are busy establishing solid foundations for this new IP (think Babylon 5 meets Crimson Skies). We intend to make this IP transmedia, allowing us to release different types of products like Pen & Paper RPG, comic books, and computer games, all based on this newly created retrofuturistic world. Once again, thank you for your support so far. We hope you'll like the new universe we are dreaming up!
 

agris

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Grandlion1981 Sorry to hear that market forces are keeping you all from pursuing your vision. That being said, the framework you're developing can be applied to any number of settings, and isn't unique to Vietnam. Perhaps there's another interesting historical period for you and your team? World War 1, the Egyptian / Levant theater of war comes to mind, with all the advisors and competing factions. Shameless plug:

Similarly, I'd love a RPG set around NE Egypt, the southern Levant and the Arabian peninsula in about 1917, with British-occupied Cairo being the hub and the bedouin tribes and geopolitical factions (Ottomans, US oil, British, French) as game-altering players. The game would be single-player with occasional companions, movement is real time and combat is TB similar to Silent Storm, with fully destructible environs and sound localization for NPCs outside of LOS. Combat would occur in the same map as the rest of the game - no jRPG style combat maps. Travel on the worldmap would be similar to Fallout 1, with random encounters and locations either discovered through serendipity, dialogue or the odd map. Quest design would be be focused on multiple skill-paths similar to Fallout 1, with combat-heavy maps designed for different skilled pathways similar to Underrail. The player can annotate local maps similar to BG2, there is a Quest Log similar to the IE games, with no quest compass or screen pop-ups. The UI would be skeuomorphic (think Indiana Jones), the perspective oblique-cavalier, with likely AOD's style of camera control. Player inventory is a grid, with item weight and volume restrictions similar to Neo Scavenger, including the ability to expand capacity via bags. There would be an IE style paperdoll, with approximately that many item slots. The main game world interface has a fixed combat log, and all conversations can be reviewed after the fact. The art style would be pulp 90s style take on the era and location, with the silly levels of violence present in Fallout. There might be light scifi, at the late stages of the game.

The character system would be classless, so your character's abilities are entirely driven by stats, gear, perks, quirks and flaws. A combination of SPECIAL and Arcanum - which is pretty well approximated in Hackmaster 4e. Primary attributes are not rolled, but allocated out of a fixed pool (SPECIAL style). There is a pool of building points (BPs) that you can use to tag and increase skills and modify attributes. Your BP pool can be increased by random (greater BP value) or specified (less BP value) selection of physical flaws and mental quirks, such as weakling or agoraphobia. Depending on the skills tagged, an entirely optional list of CYOA 'splat-book' style scenarios can be played out near the end of character creation, which can modify everything from attributes to skills to starting gear and quirks/flaws. There will be at least a 50% chance that the results of this are bad. Perks are available every X levels, and rarely for the completion of quests. There would be pre-made "Fighter / Thief / Talker / Engineer" characters that can be selected to jump into the game (with or without manual tweaking), or even all-encompassing stat/skill/quirk/flaw templates that can be applied to the character creation screen as a starting point, and then modified. Final characters can be saved as new templates to tweak in the future as well.

Quasi-historical, WW1 Cairo, TB combat, classless with deep character abilities and Fallout 1 / Underrail sensibilities. With destructible structures. And no romances or crafting (maybe Cromwell-style item upgrades..).
 

Saduj

Arcane
Joined
Aug 26, 2012
Messages
2,370
Could just keep everything the same but make the setting a "fictional war, wink wink".

Vietnam war is too controversial? WTF.

That's Boomers talking. Meanwhile, Vietnam has been over way longer than they waited to start making a million table top games about WWII.
 

Viata

Arcane
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Nov 11, 2014
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8,745
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Water Play Catarinense
Could just keep everything the same but make the setting a "fictional war, wink wink".

Vietnam war is too controversial? WTF.

That's Boomers talking. Meanwhile, Vietnam has been over way longer than they waited to start making a million table top games about WWII.
That is mostly because America lost the war. They can't accept the fact people are trying to get money from their loss. :troll:
 

Saduj

Arcane
Joined
Aug 26, 2012
Messages
2,370
That is mostly because America lost the war. They can't accept the fact people are trying to get money from their loss. :troll:

Maybe if they had played some Vietnam games, they'd of learned that if your victory conditions are heavily dependent on the cooperation of the enemy nation's civilians, you're going to lose. They've been running things for a while and no matter how many times it fails, they keep sending armies to do "nation building".
 
Last edited:

udm

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
Messages
2,448
Sorry to hear about the cancellation of the game. Despite my initial reservations, I was still interested in seeing how the development would unfold. Was the setting an issue because of special snowflakes afraid of getting others' feelings hurt?
 

ironmask

Savant
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
389
Why not start a kickstarter? It's always worth a try. It's how we have atom and the upcoming encased.
 

Harthwain

Magister
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
3,433
Vietnam war is too controversial? WTF.
It isn't. There is Radio Commander and it was well received. Some investors/publishers/whatever are afraid of Vietnam as a setting is all. I am guessing they must be American, because I don't recall Vietnam being at all controversial in Europe. Then again, idiocy has no borders.

On the subject of controversy - it's forbidden to discuss POWs or city bombings or death camps on Paradox's official forums (the guys responsible of Hearts of Iron series, you know - grand strategy WW2 war game, essentially), but at the same time we had Stellaris (from the same developer/publisher), where you could resettle, enslave, perform orbital bombardments or exterminate native population (primitives), prohibit procreation for whole populations or straight up exterminate them (literally genocide). So... Yeah - as long as you do "it" in space, anything can go.
 

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