December 1, 2014

Telepath Tactics November 2014 Update

Hello, tactics fans! I won’t waste your time with a big preamble–let’s get right to what we accomplished this month:

new animations! As I mentioned last month, I’ve been doing a lot of promoted unit attack animations myself to save money, so this is where a pretty big chunk of my time went this month. I animated all of the attacks for an additional 5 of the game’s promoted classes: Pyrokurios, Arbalist, Puppetmaster, Skiakurios, and Shadowheart. A sampling of the animations I completed as part of this task follow:


I also hired Conrad Seto to help me out with some additional promoted unit animations; he’s hard at work on the Drake, Marauder, and Greater Spriggats! Here are the animations we’ve got done for the male and female Drakes so far:


Finally, Lorne Whiting has wrapped up the walk animations for all of the game’s promoted classes!


To sum up: we now have all of the rest poses and all of the walk cycles for the game’s 23 promoted classes, and 11 of the promoted classes now have 100% completed attack animations as well. Once the remaining promoted classes get their attack animations, all promoted character graphics will be complete.

new character portraits! David Hammond was back on portrait duty this month; we got four new character portraits, and swapped out the class for an existing one!

Telepath Tactics - Umber Vitalia Edwin Naila andOliver

big dialogue system update! Conversation branches can now be assigned individual names, and dialog trees can now be navigated by branch name instead of by branch number. This makes big, complex dialog trees way the heck easier to make and modify. (More details on how it works here.)

Telepath Tactics - Lissit Cut Scenenew cut scenes! I added a a whole bunch of new cut scenes to further develop character relationships, add new characters, and explain what’s going on the in the plot. (Basically, I added in all of the narrative stuff that really needed to be placed in between all of the battles I created last month.)

new merchant dialog. Among the scenes I added is a merchant with a much larger selection of wares, with the ability to browse weapons, armor, and items by category.

death monologues for Meridian, Silithis, Des Serret, and Hee’la have been added to the game.

polish. This sounds dull, but I spent a bunch of time playing the new battles, balancing and tweaking them so they’re both challenging and fun to play. It may not be as sexy as adding new content, but it’s ultimately more important. (This is my aversion to wasting the player’s time at work; given the choice, I’d much rather give the player eight well-tuned and interesting battles to play than sixteen unbalanced or uninteresting ones.)

new music! Ryan Richko wrote some new stealth music for the bandit fortress, and re-did a couple of tracks with live cello. We now have either rough or final drafts of all of the game’s tracks! Last I checked, the soundtrack tops out at 25 songs; not too shabby.

–got some new user interface art from David Hammond in anticipation of adding a save / load game screen to the game:

expanded the lissit language! It now has past and future tenses, as well as the verbs “to take,” “to give,” and “to choke,” and words for “this,” “coward,” “honor,” “ghost,” “happily,” and “willingly.”

–made some balance changes. Snare Traps now cost 3 energy to lay instead of 5. In addition, all elemental blast attacks now start with range 2-3 by default, and have a psy power damage multiplier of 1.3 (changed from 1.2), essentially making them do an extra point of damage for every three points of psy power the attacker has (instead of an extra point of damage per five points of psy power). The Blinded status effect has been increased in power as well: it now reduces attack accuracy by 80% instead of 75%, and lasts 5-7 turns instead of 3-5 turns. These latter three changes should make psy fighters (and Farasat in particular) more viable in the early-to-mid game.

Telepath Tactics - Poisoned–poisoned characters now turn green.

new script action: AddAttackerPortrait adds the default character portrait of the current attacking character to the screen.

new special character: related to the above, -ATTACKER- will be automatically substituted with the name of the current attacking character.

–fixed a bunch of bugs.

Progress this month was decent, but I admit, I did not get nearly as much done as I did last month. Largely, this is due to the fact that I came out of my self-imposed “hermit mode” to attend a variety of social functions throughout November. Clearly, having a social life and steamrolling through Telepath Tactics are not compatible goals–not as long as I have to hold down a non-game-related day job, at any rate. I’ll be re-hermiting myself for the month of December in order to power through the remainder of the campaign.

Speaking of which: as of today, I am officially up to the final third of the game! My goal for this coming month is to create a complete rough draft of this final portion of the game. If I hit my mark, I’ll have that done by December 31, leaving me January, February, and March for playtesting, polishing, Steam implementation, and badgering my artists into finishing up any graphical loose ends. I plan to send out press copies around the end of February; this means we’ll have reviews ready to go when I release the finished game in late March 2015 (right near the end of winter).

Fencer_F - MotivateAnyway, that’s where things stand; I’m feeling very good about the game, and I hope you are too! If you’d like to help me out as we move into these final months, there are three things you can do that would be very helpful:

1.  Get an early access copy of Telepath Tactics and post your feedback on the game. I want to hear your opinion!

2.  Get our last game, Telepath RPG: Servants of God. This will help me to fund the last bits of art that Telepath Tactics needs!

3.  Follow me on Twitter and like Sinister Design on Facebook, and encourage your friends to do the same. The more people that do this, the more people I can reach when the game officially releases. With a big enough megaphone, we can give Telepath Tactics the launch it deserves!

Until next month, tactics fans!