Blog 447: Status Update Y4

Project Y4 is nearing some kind of milestone. Aside from the (several tiers of) final boss and associated props, the main quest line is complete.

Mostly untested, but mostly complete.

Main Game Structure

The over-arching gameplay structure is defined and unlikely to change. I’m still swithering over whether or not to put you through a (more difficult) repeat of the defence segment — though it would fit the plot perfectly, it feels a bit cheap (whereas repeating open-world hack ‘n’ slash segments doesn’t… Call me irrational).

Of course the lengths of all the segments are still set to flucuate; all parts require side quests, the defence needs considerable tweaking, the final offences and AoS segment are mostly implemented but completely untested…

  1. Open-world hack ‘n’ slash, node hacking mini-games
  2. Defence
  3. Open-world hack ‘n’ slash
  4. (Defence 2?)
  5. Small offence
  6. Open-world AoS
  7. Large offence
  8. Final bosses

I have finally bitten the bullet and made crystals unshaded, to make them stand out more. In a world without sphere mapping...

AP-AM Equipment

This is the equipment roster as it stands. I intend to vastly increase the weapon/shield options, though, as they feel somewhat limited right now (but then again, When the Freedom Slips Away only really had five of each). Even if I have to resort to cheap recolours…

The suite of undercarriage mods has already expanded somewhat, since I finally decided to add in some raw weapons along with the fun abilities (in place of the failed attempt to introduce seperate shoulder cannons).

I am also considering a further High Explosive shell mod, which will give a bigger explosion than the default… This may be powerful enough to outweigh all other mods, though, so I’m not sure.

Conspicuous in its absence may or may not be the Cryo shell mod. I am currently phasing out all the cryo stuff, because I can’t get the game to reliably play the frozen animations of units caught in the blast, nor convincingly insta-shatter them on them taking damage.

Weapons

  • Level 1
    • Razor Blades
    • Crowbars
      • Reduced attack speed.
    • Gladii
      • Increased attack speed.
  • Level 2
    • Electro-Blades
      • Chance to EMP stun.
    • Heavy Blades
    • Projector Blades
      • Increased attack speed.
    • HoverCon Saws
      • Reduced attack speed.
  • Level 3
    • Saw Waves
      • Increased attack speed.
    • Morningstars

Shields

  • Level 1
    • Basic Shields
    • Standard Shields (Grey, Red, Green, Blue or White)
    • Ammo Pack Shields (shut it Breindal)
      • Increased artillery shell capacity.
  • Level 2
    • Dazzle Shields
      • Evasion.
    • Projector Shields
    • Gravel Pads
      • Reduced movement speed.
  • Level 3
    • Concrete Slabs
      • Reduced movement speed.

Shell Mods

  • EMP
    • Little damage, wide-range and long-lasting EMP stun.
  • Gas
    • No damage, but releases caustic gas clouds that linger and damage anything within them.
  • Ammo Scavenger
    • Default explosion, but ammo regenerates.
  • Spiderbomb
    • As EMP but also drops a Spiderbot. This is a point-blank better version of the EMP mod… Unless you’re an arachnophobe?

Undercarriage Mods

  • Barrel Magnet
    • Move explosive/toxic/EMP barrels around. If one is carried when the AP-AM is destroyed, it will detonate.
  • Bomb
    • Drop a single-use nuke like the one you use to enter the facility in the beginning, dealing super-high damage over a large area. A bad choice for close-range combat.
  • Extended Magazine
    • Increase ammunition capacity.
  • Quadshot
    • Unleash a super-short-range flak blast that heavily damages a single target and those around it.
  • Repair Drone Bay
    • Carry around a repair drone for repeated use. Repair drone drops aren’t exactly rare, but the random numbers have a habit of dropping shells when you need health — so this provides some security, if you’re that way inclined.
  • Ore Collector
    • Harvest some mysterious meteors for a side quest. Hopefully the promise of shiny equipment will make it easier to stomach going about without any undercarriage ability for a while. Or you can just stick it in your cargo hold until you need it…
  • GEP Gun
    • Launch a super-long-range guided missile that does superlative damage to a single target.
  • Thaelite Refractor
    • Unleash a high damage close burst. Think Prism tanks from Red Alert 2, but… red… Oh for fuck’s sake it’s just Fan of Knives with lasers.

The GEP Gun is always the most silent way to eliminate Manderley.

Bonus Missions

The bonus missions are in a sorry state. I have lots and lots of ideas and plans, but only Asteroid Wars has any more implementation than rough terrain. The roster has changed a little bit since last time, as I’ve managed to squeeze out a couple of the areas in favour of main quest elements (most notably the underground factory offences). So all of these are potential and still subject to change or being dropped entirely.

For AP-AM-based bonus missions, I intend to make a slightly cut down AP-AM that is more like the original Henrik. The artillery cannons will be replaced by an EMP burst generator (so close burst stun), and the front EMP cannon will become a normal cannon (single-target damage). Modular sword, shield and undercarriage functionality will be retained, but equipment will obviously vary by mission.

Basically, these missions will be set ‘after’ the main game, when the AP-AM has been completely tested and released as a cut-down production model.

  1. Tutorial
    • Currently contains more dialogue than the entire main game. Learn about the exciting features of the AP-AM as your progress through a short, tightly controlled assault course. If the main game hasn’t already been played, this will automatically run into it.
  2. Gala’s Trench
    • A mini hack ‘n’ slash exploring an anomaly in the polar region. This will hopefully be the largest of the bonus missions, and its blue/white aesthetic will be a nice change from the beige/brown grunge of the main game.
  3. Asteroid Wars
    • Battleships-style space combat in a small but proceduraly generated asteroid field.
  4. Overlook
  5. Meteorite
  6. Biohazard
  7. Outpost
  8. Dustbowl
  9. Lake of Fire
  10. Mausoleum
    • Just outside EY43, a small collection of mausoleums marks those who have died from industrial accidents at the facility. I don’t really know what to do with this one just yet.
  11. Zeus Rising
    • This is an idea to make more use of the growing tree maze generator, and another re-implementation of a failed-at-the-first-hurdle RDZ Industries project that was never even publicised. Watch this space.

Would you like some glare with your glare?

Overall Progress

50% if we’re lucky? There is still a long long way to go.

But once the bare-bones main quest is complete, which it definitely will be reasonably soon, I can start thinking about alpha testing and music and other sundries that will involve other people.

Because at that point, the map will be a complete product. Even in the event of me bottling it, I could delete all the bonus missions and never add any side quests, and it would still be possible to bandage up and release the map. It would have beginning, a middle and an end.

That means that other peoples’ efforts would never go to waste, even if I failed to realise the complete vision.

So if you want to be considered for alpha testing, now’s the time to start being really really nice to me.

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12 thoughts on “Blog 447: Status Update Y4

  1. this ‘news’ is obviously bogus
    you can’t complete a project in wc3 without a fully functional team of at least twelve promoters and three project leads

    also you don’t even have a studio, you are plain old rao dao cow. what nerve you have.

    Like

  2. If it is 7 years work, its worth waiting. This progress has, by far, been very promising.

    Meteorite harvesting? Reminds me of…something.

    O hi thar, secluded electrostaff-wielding robotic orc-like blacksmith.

    Like

    • Hurr hurr. Right now he’s just a generic technician-in-a-car like all the civilians (except the truck), but I haven’t done particularly much work on that quest (let alone designed the equipment that will be its reward).

      Like

      • A guy who can assemble an almost-epic meteorite chainsaw should at least deserve a chain of side-quests. And a name. Anything like “Blacksmith” would be…uncivilized.

        But that would be at full release. I’ll be waiting.

        Like

      • Doubt it’ll be a chainsaw, brosef. The current plan is that you’ll get your item reward and then have to escort him out of the base like all the other civilians.

        Though I suppose I could add future bonuses if you do manage to get him safely out of the facility…

        Like

      • Its not a chainsaw?

        Nice.

        Then he’s definitely worth rescuing. That rescue mission should be hell for some players; a mistake could cut off a whole line of potential quests.

        Like

      • No, you rescue him AFTER he’s made you the equipment reward. Then he’ll be out of the base. Safe. Gone. No more interaction.

        Like

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