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Silence of the Siren - HoMM in Space?

Modron

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Perhaps it was on one of those catch em all random/indie strat/4x games threads.
 

Blake00

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Was about to say thanks for the tip only to realise I'd previously wishlisted it (yeah maybe there is another thread here lol?) and forgotten about it lol! Turning HoMM into a scifi game is a great idea (I remember someone did a scifi version of HoMM called Spaceforce Captains years ago but it wasn't all that great) if done right but.. argh.. I do not like flash/mobile game art styles.. it just looks cheap and kills my interest.. which is probably why I'd forgotten about it lol.

I don't mind cartoonish if done right eg HoMM 1 & 2.. but flash game art style is different and just yuck..

Still... I can see they're using a Songs of Conquest style 2D objects on 3D plane trick which is cool so maybe if they ramp up the coloured glowing/lighting effects like SoC did it'll look okay in motion when everything is animating. If they develop a good HoMM like gameplay system with some depth to city and hero development then hopefully that'll help me forgot about the art style too and my wishlist will turn into a purchase.
 
Last edited:

Modron

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They showed off one of the faction's city screens yesterday:

https://store.steampowered.com/news/app/2147380/view/3708194360588795642
The first look at base building
We are happy to introduce base building by showcasing a Fossorian base.
Every faction needs its center of operations and that is what we are here to share with you today. As an example, we will be taking a closer look at the Fossorian outpost to demonstrate the mechanics of base building.

And who are the Fossorians, you may ask? Other factions call them ‘moles’ for their similarity to little furry animals from the Earth - it is true that some ancestors in Fossorian evolution probably occupied a similar niche. Still, be careful not to use this name in their presence, you really do not want any of those furry bastards for an enemy.

Centuries prior to the space age, the Fossorians escaped from the polluted wasteland of the planetary surface to the colder but much safer embrace of underground cities. They also brought this architectural tradition to the Siren System as it provides additional protection against bombardment, infiltration, and also citizen emigration. The brutalist style mirrors the overgrown ego of its creators and complements the need for living in the safety of a bunker.

b737e1a0e1c2e16ad825fdddb4282cba89417359.jpg


They’re capable of building huge underground structures which can host thousands of warriors and war machines. At the beginning there are only the essentials: a base core to control all operations from, basic fortifications and of course a space bar where bored commanders are looking for a next job.

30883bbeb0653557003b360119912d9e1ddf49ca.jpg


After a few planetary cycles the base has grown quite a bit. The core building has been expanded and provides more income each turn. It is possible to recruit many more units and they have access to a trading hub so if they lack some resources, they can easily buy them or sell them if they are overstocked. At this stage the Academy has come online and can teach commanders new abilities that can provide a huge advantage in battle.

7d8f12ccd3bba4f37467307cda9ef02c5eabbd0d.jpg


The Base is now fully upgraded. It is possible to recruit the strongest units in their second upgraded form and teach commanders some of the most powerful special abilities. Other important upgrades increase visibility range around the base, allow heroes to travel from base to base and the fully developed defenses help to defeat even much stronger opponents.

957c217f0d3bde2014999cbd14c8e289f4efa59e.jpg


Of course base is just a small part of everything that is needed to conquer the Siren system. There are many structures on the map which provide important resources or even units you can use. But never underestimate the importance of the center of your operations.

We are now working on UI and soon we will show you the different ways how you can interact with your base and with individual buildings. How do you like the design so far?
 

Blake00

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Nice to see creatures doing stuff outside dwellings. I loved that in HoMM1 and was sad that it didn't continue through the series (other than some dragons in one HoMM3 town) as it brings a lot of life to the towns. And considering the bloody flash art style cartoonish look they're going for, it'll friggin need it lol!
 

thesheeep

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I'm not a huge fan of the art style, either, but it's still way better than than cartoon candy art style that makes every 2nd game nowadays look like a mobile game.
 

Blake00

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Looks like things are coming along nicely.. it's nice to see the map and also the base (castle) screen in motion. As expected all base management stuff is pretty much what we know and love in HoMM games.

https://steamcommunity.com/games/2147380/announcements/detail/3675551506165723760



And a 10min gameplay video too.. I was a bit worried about the graphics before, so am pleased to see they're pulling all the tricks (kinda like Songs of Conquest did) to make the cartoonish assets come to life with animation, lighting and zoom/panning effects (even in the bases).

https://steamcommunity.com/games/2147380/announcements/detail/3658664911073008893

 

Dr1f7

Scholar
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Jan 25, 2022
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they really need to scrap all the visuals and find a new art direction cuz this ain't it
 

Kruyurk

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Nov 16, 2021
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I dislike combats in HoMM because to me there is a big dissonance between what the grid and the units are meant to represent. A grid cell can fit any number of the same unit but not two different units. A unit represented by a single model that will always occupy the same space on the board can actually represent any number of that unit. One stack of 100 zombies takes less space that two stacks of 10 zombies. What space is the grid meant to represent? If the unit and the grid are an abstracted representation of the actual battlefield, why does the IA often have the same type of unit on separated stacks?

I also dislike the recruitment by week.

I had a lot of fun with HoMM when I was a kid, but the design of the game seems flawed to me. I find it pretty lazy of modern devs to copy the flawed elements of HoMM without questioning them, just because HoMM 3 is really popular to this day.
 

Harthwain

Magister
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Dec 13, 2019
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If the unit and the grid are an abstracted representation of the actual battlefield, why does the IA often have the same type of unit on separated stacks?
It is a good idea to have more units to get extra attacks. Unless you're at the point when one mega doom stack can kill everything with a single hit.

But, yeah, I preferred Disciples to HoMM, both units-wise and visual-design-wise.
 

Kruyurk

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If the unit and the grid are an abstracted representation of the actual battlefield, why does the IA often have the same type of unit on separated stacks?
It is a good idea to have more units to get extra attacks. Unless you're at the point when one mega doom stack can kill everything with a single hit.
Yes, it makes sense to split stacks from a gameplay perspective. My point was that it does not make sense from the perspective of what the units and battlefield are meant to represent. And even from a gameplay perspective it sucks, because you cannot split your stacks anymore when your army becomes diverse enough (if I remember correctly, you can only field one stack of every unit a city produces).

Again, I am not hating on HoMM 3, I had many enjoyable hours with it. But I don't think that it is a masterpiece of game-design that should be copied. I would prefer if the overall "feel" of the game was copied rather than its mechanics; I really like the balance it has between combat, exploration, cities/civilization development, heroes development, etc. And all that with a pleasing and consistent aesthetic/visual identity.
 

Kruyurk

Learned
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My point was that it does not make sense from the perspective of what the units and battlefield are meant to represent
Depends, if it represents direction, movement and time, but not space, it's fine right?
Yes, I think you could make sense of it that way, but I doubt that the developer intended combat to be perceived as abstracted in this way.
The big dissonance I have with HoMM combat is that each unit is presented and acts as a single entity (model, place on the grid), yet at the same time is presented as several entities (number, damage, etc). It still works because the game is fun, but it looks like a happy accident.
I have no idea how this combat system was created, but possibly it is that way because of constraints: for example they started creating sprites, then a gridded battlefield, and figured out having 50 models on that space would not work, so they put stacks of unit instead. And it worked that way.
Modern developers should go through their own figuring out of what works for them, instead of copying the solution that others found many years ago, as if it was the "correct" answer. Just copying other games without critical thinking and taking risks will just bring more formulaic games, that have a taste of "already played".
 

HeatEXTEND

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Yeah I agree, the options these days are practically limitless, let's see something new. I was playing a little devil's advocate :shittydog:
 

Blake00

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Looks like they've put out some new shots of other planet biomes too..

 

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