February 25, 2013

Telepath Tactics February 2013 update

Indie MegaBooth
Update time! First, I’d like to take this opportunity to formally announce something exciting: Telepath Tactics is going to be at the Indie MegaBooth at PAX East!

This is a really great opportunity for the game, seeing as the gaming press tends to converge on the MegaBooth and, you know, actually cover the stuff shown in it. So that’s good. (It’s also good from an expense standpoint–but that’s another issue.)

Speaking of game development expenses and ways to address them: the Telepath Tactics Kickstarter is coming in less than a month! I’m taking a somewhat different strategy this time around, timing it to take advantage of PAX East (and what I hope will be a corresponding uptick in publicity from being in the MegaBooth).

Despite my current limited resources, I’m still pushing forward and making needed substantive improvements to Telepath Tactics:

  • You can now create ice bridges by using Cold element attacks on water tiles. This was a feature I’d been wanting in the game for some time; all in all, it took less than an hour to add. Have a look.
  • The map editor now includes a new dialog editor that makes it easy to create your own dialog trees and edit existing ones. I’ve also extended the dialog/scripting system with new triggers and script actions to ensure lots of flexibility to create interesting branching conversations and branching campaigns. Of particular note is the fact that you can now define, modify, check and display custom variables in dialog. This allows you to model money, shops, character relationships, or just about anything else you can think of during the course of a campaign. You can see this stuff in action in the video below!

  • I’ve been making a lot of improvements to game interface in anticipation of releasing an updated demo. I’ve replaced the ugly beige dialog box with a somewhat nicer looking placeholder graphic, and have reworked my whole approach to the battle GUI. I’m looking to hit a sweet spot between useability and minimal screen clutter–unexpectedly, this led me back toward an implementation reminiscent of the combat GUI window from Telepath RPG: Servants of God. You can see the new interface design below:

  • I’ve rewritten the code which establishes panning bounds for the game’s maps to avoid showing black space on larger maps when in fullscreen mode, and minimizing the amount visible on maps which are smaller than the size of the screen. (More details on that here if you’re curious.)
  • Benn Marion has made some much-needed tweaks to the title screen art, and it’s now looking awfully nice:

Telepath TacticsTitle Screen 750_499

  • Composer Ryan Richko is now working on the Telepath Tactics soundtrack. My favorite track he’s sent in so far is a sinister, ambient piece called “Evil Lurks.” Give it a listen!

  • Attack animations are now coded into the engine itself. Whenever you attack with a character, the game now checks for an animation specific to the attack being launched. If it can’t find one, it instead loads a default animation (which you can define on a character-by-character basis). The attack animations for the Swordsman, Cavalier, Cryokineticist, Bowman and Healer are currently in-game and working; the others are still being created.
  • Also, we’ve got some lovely death poses underway for the game’s various characters. Here are a few finished ones:

In short: work on the game’s animations is progressing slowly, but it is progressing. However, I’ll be able to speed things up dramatically with successful Kickstarter funding.

Speaking of which! The Kickstarter will launch on or about March 14th. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter and on Facebook–we’ll be posting announcements when the time comes, and we’ll need your help to spread the word! Thanks for reading; I can’t wait to kick this thing into high gear.

  • Ghold

    Godspeed, traveller!

  • dodell92

    Lots of goodies in this update. Here’s hoping PAX will do wonders for the Kickstarter, I know I’m donating again. Between the new scripting and the animations, I’m not sure which to be more excited for. I feel like there’s definitely going to be some variety, but what would you say is the general essence of the soundtrack at the moment?

  • CraigStern

    The soundtrack is too early into production for me to really sum up its essence; give it a few months, and I might have a good answer for you. 😉

  • wartman

    I’m hesitant to say this, but there still are a lot of things that bother me about that title-screen art. Are you looking for critiques? I’ll keep my opinions to myself if not, but I think it could still be improved.

    Otherwise my anticipation for this game is only growing–those sprites are marvelous and the gameplay just keeps looking better.

  • CraigStern

    Thanks! And yeah, by all means, if you have suggestions for the title screen art, I’m happy to listen.

  • wartman

    I think my problem is that you have about four different, interesting illustrations jumbled together. The fire-guy shooting at the spearman is great. The charging lady is engaging. The ninja dude attacking the golem is wonderful. Together in the same image… I can’t really tell what’s going on or where to focus.

    Maybe I’m crazy, but perhaps you’d be better served if you didn’t try to have every unit in one image? Especially because the weird stuff-like the golems-that are the strength of your setting are hidden off in the background.

    I hope your artist uses lots of layers in his art.

  • CraigStern

    I see your point. I’ve actually started using a cropped version for a lot of marketing for this very reason. (See: http://sinisterdesign.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Box-Image.png )