June 18, 2012

Telepath Tactics June 2012 Update

Hey folks! I’ve been chugging away on Telepath Tactics, and I figured it was time to give you all an update on its progress.

I’ve been polishing the game’s interface and adding little niceties in anticipation of the Chicago Gaming Lounge and Showcase happening this coming Friday through Monday (which, if you’re in the Chicago area, you should come to). This will be the first time the game will be playable by the public, so I’ve been working to make sure that it’s as intuitive and bug-free as possible before that happens.

The new, 6-player Archipelago map.

Telepath Tactics hotseat mode is pretty close to being feature complete, mechanics-wise. The game now has full support for custom attacks, custom battlefield objects, custom items, and custom tilesets; Last Man Standing and Capture the Flag game types; highly customizable match rules; competent AI opponents; working music and GUI sound effects with independent volume sliders; a clickable mini-map; random item drops; elevation; status effects; environmental hazards; swimming; bridges; object creation and destruction; a full-featured map editor; support for player-created maps; etc.

There are still a number of things I need to add before I can call this done, however:

  • Diplomacy. A feature is in the works to dynamically form alliances with other players and demand tribute in the form of collected items. It’s not mandatory, but I really want it in there. Political machinations fit really well with the setting and overall dynamic of the game.
  • Team matches. 2 vs. 2 and 3 vs. 3 matches need to go in. I’m not as excited about these as I am about the dynamic alliances, but I recognize that people are going to miss this feature if it’s not in there.
  • Inventory management. Characters can grab, carry and use items, but that’s the extent of it right now. I’ll need to add in a function to drop items and transfer them to other characters.
  • Character animations. These are in progress (see below), but are in no way complete. Once the artist has finished creating their animations, I’ll need to code an animation system into the game.
  • Character sound effects. Once the animations are in-game and working, I then need to sync up sound effects to character actions (footsteps, attacks, and so on).
  • Voice acting. I’m going to keep things simple for this one: grunts and death cries, mostly.
  • Character portraits and GUI art. There are no character portraits in the game at present, and all the GUI art you see is placeholder. That needs to change.
  • Internet multiplayer. I started working on this feature before, but I’ve put it on hold so I could polish and fix bugs in anticipation of showing the game at various festivals and events (where everyone is going to be playing in hotseat mode anyway). Internet multiplayer is still going to happen, but the aforementioned bug fixing and polishing takes priority for now.

There’s also the possibility of a single-player campaign. I’ve been asked about adding one several times now. Right now, I’m focused on making this the best multiplayer game it can be, so while a single player campaign will be a nice bonus if it makes it in, it takes a back seat to the game’s core focus.