November 21, 2012

Telepath Tactics November 2012 update

Hello folks, and welcome to another update on the development of Telepath Tactics! Lots of great stuff has happened over the previous month. First, the title theme music is now complete and in-game. Second, Benn Marion has the game’s title screen art almost done:

Pretty, no?

The biggest substantive change since last month is that the game now supports team multiplayer! Have a 2 vs. 2 match, 3 vs. 3 (if the map is big enough), or something more lopsided (e.g. 2 vs. 1); Telepath Tactics now supports all of the above.

Just as importantly, Telepath Tactics now supports map-specific conditions.

Conditions are basically settings that you can stick in a map’s XML file to customize its function and appearance. Conditions can do a huge variety of things. They can flip on fog of war for a battle; they can tell the AI to remain passive for a certain number of turns; they can even designate certain characters whose survival is mandatory to winning the battle.

This last use means that you can now designate, on a battle-by-battle basis, characters whose death will mean the end of the battle. Using this condition on enemies will essentially turn them into boss characters; using it on player-controlled characters will create heroes that the player must keep alive; and using it on CPU-controlled allies will create an escort mission. (But don’t worry: I don’t have any plans to create escort missions.)

Other conditions are cosmetic in nature, but they look pretty darn cool. There are two conditions in-game right now whose function is purely aesthetic: Global Lighting and Weather.

Global Lighting is a setting that changes the way everything looks on the map without affecting game performance. The game currently has a variety of lighting settings based on times of day (Dawn, Afternoon, Evening and Night) as well as a few special-purpose settings like Overcast (for cloudy days) or Sepia (for those times when you absolutely have to have a flashback sequence).

Weather is the second new aesthetic condition. Currently, the only Weather settings are Rain and Snow, but that will change as I add more goodies.

Here is a short video I put together showing some global lighting and weather used on some multiplayer maps. (Of course, conditions work equally well on single player maps.) As you can see, global lighting and weather effects definitely impact the mood of a map:

You might also notice a couple of other changes in that video: (1) characters now stay facing the correct direction after moving, and (2) character health bars now shrink in real time when the character takes damage.

Finally, what would an update be without bug fixes? I know you’ve been waiting with baited breath to hear this, so here it is: I fixed some bugs. (Somewhere in the back of the room, a girl swoons and faints.)

That’s it as far as changes to the game, folks. However, I do have two big pieces of news to announce!

  • Telepath Tactics is going to be at PAX East! If you’re going to be in Boston next March 22-24, come find me on the show floor; I’ll have the latest build of Telepath Tactics available to play, and I’ll almost certainly be giving away some cool Telepath Tactics swag.
  • Telepath Tactics is going to have a Kickstarter! I mentioned this as a strong possibility in one of the game’s many pre-alpha teasers, but it’s now official: a Kickstarter campaign is going to happen, and soon! There are going to be some pretty awesome reward tiers, so keep an eye peeled. (And of course, if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll be the first to know when it begins.)

That’s it for now. I’ll be back with more awesome Telepath Tactics news soon!