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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2014, 12:58:55 PM »

I second agersant about the bases. Try to scale the size of the bases by 1.2 and see how it looks? Also while the skull with the wings fits very well on the enemy base tile, the friendly banner has a rather stiff, "copy & paste on top" like look.

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« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2014, 03:15:02 PM »

Hi guys, thanks for the feedback on the bases!
This is a work in progress and you are definitely right about the shield looking a bit tucked on. We will rework this and give you an update.
Regarding the colors: We already tried a lot of combinations from light marble to dark red wood to wood with metal applications. The main problem is that we do not want the bases to be too "invasive". They easly get too prominent and take away the attention from the characters.
We will see how they look once we put them in the game!
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2014, 04:52:53 PM »

it definitely looks weird, but also very good

I like western TBS fantasy tactics so I'll be following this
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« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2014, 05:03:22 PM »

Hi guys, thanks for the feedback on the bases!
This is a work in progress and you are definitely right about the shield looking a bit tucked on. We will rework this and give you an update.
Regarding the colors: We already tried a lot of combinations from light marble to dark red wood to wood with metal applications. The main problem is that we do not want the bases to be too "invasive". They easly get too prominent and take away the attention from the characters.
We will see how they look once we put them in the game!

Here's a crude photoshop of what I was thinking of when I suggested a chess piece base:
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« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2014, 05:29:56 AM »

To give you some more info on our tactical combat mechanics we wrote an dev blog entry on the topic. You can also find the dev blogs on our page www.battlebrothersgame.com

Bear in mind that at this early stage everything is still subject to change. The combat already works fine, is fun and offers a wealth of tactical options the way it is - but that doesn't mean we won’t improve on it as we continue to develop the game.

Character stats

All characters, Battle Brothers and enemies alike, have distinct character stats which heavily influence their performance in combat. If you haven't already, you should read our earlier article about character stats (http://battlebrothersgame.com/character-stats/) prior to this one.

Turn Order

Battle Brothers uses an initiative-based system to determine the order in which combatants can act out their turns. There are no separate turns for the player and the AI to move all their characters at once, such as, for example, in Jagged Alliance. Instead, all characters, whether player or AI controlled, are sorted by their initiative and act in descending order, one after another. Initiative is calculated each round based on a character's action points, their accumulated fatigue and the type of armor worn. Characters that are slower, more fatigued or wearing heavier armor generally act later in a round than those that are quick, fresh and lightly armored. Being able to land the first strike can be a big advantage in a combat situation, as you can imagine, so it can pay off to have some of your Battle Brothers equipped with light armor even later in the game. We decided to go with an initiative-based system like this because we felt that this better conveyed the feeling of a frantic and dynamic close combat than neatly separated turns would.

Visibility and Fog of War

At the start of a tactical battle, most of the map is covered in black and needs exploring. Characters have a limited view range, which is influenced by obstacles blocking line of sight, the level of elevation that the character is on and the type of helmet worn. While the player is able to see what all Battle Brothers are seeing, the individual Battle Brothers are still sometimes limited by what they personally can see. For example, to be able to make an aimed shot, the respective Battle Brother has to have a clear line of sight to his target. Hexes that aren't currently visible to any Battle Brother are covered in the Fog of War (seen as grey and desaturated, as is common). The player can still see the terrain type and elevation of such tiles, but any enemy movement on it is concealed. The AI is limited by the view range of its characters in the same way, and it is well possible to hide from it or lure it into an ambush.

Terrain

Terrain differs in terms of the action points and fatigue it costs to traverse it. Some terrain also offers boni and mali directly applicable to combat. For example, as movement in swamp terrain is considerably slower, characters on swamp terrain also suffer from a malus to their melee defense stat. By luring enemies onto bad terrain, and making sure that your Battle Brothers are positioned on better terrain, you can give your troops a significant edge.

Elevation



Although the game is presented with two dimensional visuals, the battlefield has a third dimension to it: terrain elevation. Hills and hillocks can often be found on maps.

The level of elevation influences how far characters are able to see, with high elevation offering increased view range and allowing to see beyond obstacles which on lower elevation would block a character's line of sight. Higher elevation also means additional range for ranged weapons when shooting downhill. Elevation is important for melee engagements as well: attacking from high ground gives an attack bonus, and makes it more likely to hit an opponent's head, whereas attacking from low ground gives an attack malus and makes it less likely to hit an opponent's head. Using terrain elevation is an important tactical tool; archers are best placed on high ground, and a smaller force placed on a hill may well be able to defend it against a larger force that has to fight a literal up-hill battle.

Zone of Control

A Zone of Control is the area of one hex around any character equipped with a melee weapon, and a key concept in our tactical combat system. Any character attempting to leave a Zone of Control will suffer a free attack (basically an Attack of Opportunity, if you're familiar with D&D) from whoever owns that zone. If the attack connects, the character is prevented from leaving the hex but still pays action points and fatigue for the movement attempt. If the attack misses, the character manages to slip out of the Zone of Control. A character can be in more than one Zone of Control at the same time - and attempting to evade multiple free attacks in order to move out of melee range can often prove deadly.

With the Zone of Control we establish that characters can lock each other in melee and can't easily disengage. Once engaged in melee, character's can't maneuver freely to improve their position anymore - they have to account for their opponent in front of them, attempting to land a good hit at every opportunity. When holding narrow passes, other characters can't just run by - they can attempt to, but as they cross the Zone of Control, they risk being cut down in the process.

Some of the active skills we have in the game also work closely with the Zone of Control mechanics. For example, the attack skills of some ranged weapons can't be used while in any enemy Zone of Control (i.e. being engaged in melee range), as any opponent would be quick to strike you down as you attempted to draw your bow. Of course, this can be used by the player as well to shut down enemy archers without having to kill them. On the other hand, the "Spearwall" skill, once enabled, has the Battle Brother using it attempt to strike any opponent attempting to enter his Zone of Control and prevent them from doing so, as opposed to only strike when an opponent attempts to leave the Zone of Control.

Morale

Characters are subject to morale which fluctuates based on how the battle unfolds both for them personally and for their faction. Factors that will change a character's morale include: slaying an enemy, seeing an enemy be slain by an ally, seeing an ally fall, seeing an ally flee, being wounded and being outnumbered. With allies fleeing having an adverse effect on the morale of others, morale failure can be contagious; once the first character panics and flees, others have an increased chance to follow suit, which in turn will lead to an even higher probability of others fleeing as well.

At the start of each character's turn, if a character's current morale is lower than their base morale, a morale check is performed (by rolling dice). If a morale check fails, that character is considered wavering. If another morale check fails the turn after, the character will panic and flee, trying to get as far away from any known enemy as possible outside of control of the player. The character may eventually rally, but only if there is no enemy in the direct vicinity.

Morale affects most enemies just as it affects Battle Brothers - although some enemies, like Undead, are immune to its effects. Certain rare skills, such as of powerful enemies or rare artifacts, can directly challenge and lower the morale of targets - potentially having them flee without the need for any direct confrontation.

Flanking? Overwhelming!

Battle Brothers does not have a Flanking mechanic per se. We toyed around with the idea, but two points irked out: A combatant in real life can turn around in a split second, so determining that any combatant would be attacked from the back only for the fact that he couldn't turn around because it isn't his turn currently seemed very artificial. Second, it would require a very clear indicator of what direction any character is currently looking at - in other words, we would have needed character busts for every one of six possible directions. Sadly, our resources are very limited, and we'd rather spend them on more important things.

What we came up with instead is the Overwhelm mechanic. The more individual characters attack any defending character in close combat within a single round, the easier it gets for them to score a hit. Or in other words: We're granted a to-hit bonus for each character that attacked our target previous to us in the current round. This way we simulate the difficulty of defending against multiple opponents that attack from multiple sides without the need for any fixed character headings.

Shields

Characters equipped with shields have moderately increased defense against both melee and ranged attacks, or in other words, they have a reduced chance of being hit. They also gain access to the "Shieldwall" active skill - when using it, their defense is further increased by a significant amount. In addition, they gain a small boost to their defense for any ally adjacent who also uses the "Shieldwall" skill, simulating that several combatants can interlock their shields to form a sturdy shieldwall, viking style. Since to make full use of a shield, an active skill has to be used, the player (and for that matter, the AI) has to balance whether passing on an additional attack in favor of a defensive skill is the right move in the current situation, or whether going full-on offensive might be the better choice.



Shields, especially with their active skill, are a powerful tool in melee battle - but there is a way to get rid of them. Certain weapons, like all kinds of axes, grant their wielder a "Split Shield" skill. Depending on the type of shield and weapon used, a few hits with this skill can make short work of any shield. Still, as with the "Shieldwall" skill, any attacker has to balance whether trying to destroy the shield now in order to make any further attack easier to hit with is worth it, or whether it is a better option just trying to pummel the defender with attacks in the hopes of one of those attacks getting through. As with any combat mechanic, this applies to both the player and the AI - so sending a Battle Brother with a shield against an axe-wearing skeleton could well mean that you're about to have one shield less.

Status Effects

Characters can have any number of status effects depending on their equipment, the terrain they stand on and attacks they suffer. For example, a character can be stunned after being hit by a blunt weapon - while being stunned, the character will be unable to act on his turn (but will still attempt to defend itself when attacked).

Hitzones

There are two hitzones that each attack can hit: body and head. It is much more likely for any attack to hit the body, but a hit to the head does increased damage. In fact, a hit to the head is somewhat akin to a critical hit in other games, but we flattened the curve; it is more likely to hit the head than do a critical hit in other games, but conversely the damage increase isn't as great as in other games. In addition, since there are separate armor pools for body and head, the player can choose to equip Battle Brothers with helmets to protect against hits to the head. Some weapons and some skills also make it more likely to score a hit to the head, so this is something the player can somewhat control and that isn't entirely random.



Armor and Hitpoints

Hitpoints are modeled pretty straight forward - there is a single pool of hitpoints, and if that ever reached zero, the character dies. There are two pools of armor points (for body and head). On an incoming hit, the respective armorpool gets reduced until it reaches zero, at which point the armor is discarded and useless for the remainder of the combat. Only then can hitpoints be lost. In other words: Armor works as a kind of extra hitpoint buffer divided into two hitzones.

Attacking

Attacking an opponent in Battle Brothers always means using a skill - there is no anonymous basic attack. Since active skills are determined by the equipment worn there is some variety on what skills individual characters have at their disposal.

Using the one-handed longsword as an example, the wielder is granted the "Slash" and "Riposte" skills. "Slash" is a basic attack dealing average damage to a single target with an above-average to-hit chance. Its action point and fatigue cost are so that any character can perform at least one slash a turn, no matter how fatigued they are. Normally, a Battle Brother can perform "Slash" two times a turn, or one "Slash" and one "Riposte". "Riposte" on the other hand, is a more specialized skill. When activated, no target needs to be selected, but the character will for one round automatically perform a counter-attack on any opponent that attempts to attack him and misses. With "Riposte", a character can potentially do much more damage than with a single "Slash" - but this comes at a price; any opponent would first have the chance to hit that character, and the fatigue cost is substantially higher, so that "Riposte" can only be used a few times in succession. With "Riposte", our goal was to capture the sword-fencing idea of feints and counter-attacks in a more defensive skill. Other weapons have more offense-oriented special skills - such as the "Split Shield" skill of axes which you already learned about. While one-handed weapons allow for two attacks a turn, heavy two-handed weapons only allow for one - but one that will definitely be felt if it connects.

The skills, and our thoughts on developing them, are a complex topic on their own and perhaps warrant their own future article.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 07:03:35 AM by Jaysen » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2014, 06:52:56 AM »

This looks really nice, but I support the idea of using Chess Piece bases. I think a slightly more abstracted look could do wonders.

I would love to see a mockup of the terrain being a playing board and not that realistic. I think it could fit quite nicely.
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« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2014, 03:54:22 PM »

Hi Jaysen,

If you don't mind, I'd like to offer some suggestions on how to possibly improve hero avatars, as people seem to be noticing that something feels "off" there.

Let me start by saying that each individual piece of visual asset is really well crafted. So, excellent work there. The problem, as I see it, is in the way they're put together. In other words - in visual design. Or to be more precise, your avatars might be stuck in the uncanny valley between the literal representation and the symbolic representation - thus causing that inexplicable uncanny valley unease.

Since you're using busts, you're obviously aiming for the symbolic. Therefore, it'd be good to additionally articulate the visual design so it clearly states "this is symbolic representation" to your audience.

As things are now, it looks like avatar icons want to become the part of the "reality" of the map. This is problematic as they are clearly meant to be symbolic-iconic representations. As the part of the map they look like people sunk in the swamp up to their shoulders. Similar problem with the weapons. They're meant to be icons but their arrangement forces them to compete to become part of the spatial continuum of avatars. This in turn makes them look like baby weapons.

So in order to get rid of this weirdness, your visual design should establish clear breaks between different iconic domains. Terrain should be one thing, busts should be other thing, weapon icons again should be some other thing etc. Easiest way to do this is to separate things by differentiating their scale or perspective. This would clearly suggests they do not belong to the same spatial continuum (but are of course part of same symbolic continuum)

If you look at Unity of Command, it does precisely that (although I did get an occasional remark about giants buried in the sand). For example - the obvious scale discrepancy between cities and units permits them to be perceived as a part of the same spatial continuum, indicating that the representation of each is symbolic.

I do realize that what I've written above sounds a bit abstract. So here are some specific suggestions that I think could make avatars appear more plausible.

- First, the heads are too big relative to torsos. The size is somewhat above realistic proportions, enough to make them look grotesque. For fantasy heroes, smaller heads may be better. The character's shoulders will then appear bigger. This will in turn make them look stronger and more "epic".

- It'd be better if bases are made clearly visible, either by enlarging them or scaling down the busts. They are the main device for separating busts from the terrain. Currently it looks like you, for some reason, scaled the torsos to fully cover the bases and on top of that scaled the heads some more. I think all this should be kept in proper proportions, with enough of the base visible. Base, torso and head all belong to the same visual continuum.

- Weapon icons could be superimposed (and maybe scaled down a bit) in a way that doesn't suggests that bust is holding the weapon. Currently it looks like a hero is braced behind a tiny shield. To make things funnier, weapon is not in proportion with the shield, looking minuscule. So I think weapon and shield should be in correct proportions one to another (as they belong, again, to the same spatial continuum), but they both should be *pasted* over the bust, instead of made look like they're equipped.
 
- And finally, adding abstract but useful graphical elements like gauges and counters to avatars should strongly imply that the representation is symbolic.

Here's a little mockup with all this implemented. It's not a big difference but all these subtleties add up to help diminish the uncanny valley.




Overly, the game is looking great and I really like the atmosphere.
Keep up the good work!
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« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2014, 08:37:41 AM »

Hi Nenad,
first of all thanks for the detailed and constructive feedback, really enjoyed that!

To be honest I am a bit surprised about the uncanny valley comparison. In my eyes the figures are actually pretty sympathetic  and relateable – on the border to “cute” 
The abstractions we use serve specific purposes. The smaller a figure gets the more iconic and readable it has to be. That´s why we focus on the most important part and that is the head/face.

You are absolutely right about small head/big shoulders when talking general character design. An Ogre or troll for example needs to have a small head and a big body to emphasize his brutal and aggressive character.
Our Battle Brothers on the other hand need to be likable and easy to identify with, that’s why we go with the “cute” proportions. Apart from that look the game is pretty grim and theres a lot of bloodshed, injuries and death so that kinda evens out the “cuteness” and creates an interesting combination.

Concerning the proportions of weapons and shields it´s not that easy. They all have to fit in specific technical boxes and cannot reach out very far from the characters borders. On top of that If we use the “real” weapon proportions, they´d look extremely thin and long and cannot be recognized. They´ll just melt into the background and details will become a mess. For example a real swords hilt and handle are miniscule compared to the overall length of the sword.
So we also have to exaggerate the items iconic features to make them easily readable which results again in a “stubby” but “tight” look.

Concerning the abstract counters:
You are right that the figures may look a bit abstract, but they still are real in their environment. Think of them like tabletop figurines that are physically present on the board. Both the figurines and the environment exist in the same "visual continuum". If you move them onto a swamp the water will splash away, if they move on earth theres a little dust cloud etc. That's why we don’t want to put in lots of “gamey” counters and figure which distract from the bloodshed of the battle and interfere with the immersion.

Finally I want to add, that I don´t think you are “wrong” in any way. Your points all make sense and I can understand all of them. It´s just about what way you want to go and what style you prefer.

Have you seen our new sockets? They already make the figure stick out a lot better and we´re pretty happy with the overall look of the game right now 
That doesn’t mean we stop here. We´ll continue improving the look all the time, so your feedback for sure won´t go unheard 
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« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2014, 01:30:39 PM »

Just throwing this out here, but I prefer nenad's mockup. I was never a fan of the super deformed anime style either though. (which the giant heads, small torsos, etc always remind me of) I think immersion is an interesting goal, when your using incomplete figures on bases, that also won't have a full animation set. It just seems so abstracted away, that trying to then get someone to believe its real and a actual fitting part of a currently semi/serious realistic environment, seems like a very hard task.

I think if I was going with this art limitation, I'd be more towards a lego/toy/table top game styling, where the abstract and cute factors can be totally embraced, and things are consistent in mental model expectations.

It might even work as is, if you dropped the more textured/realistic hex environment, and went with a more abstract/artificial hex setup similar to like say hero scape.


Anyways good luck, I'm quite interested to see how this will shape up.

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« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2014, 06:02:14 AM »

Hi Gregg,

thanks for the input! We actually just finished a complete dev blog article on our art style and how and why it is looking the way it is now. Ill post the article in a separate post to not mix things up.
You are right about the lifelike environment and the abstracted characters. This is a somewhat unusual combination. However, i think that the contrast with the "cute" looking characters and the brutal bloodshed and dying going on (that is shown in a quite drastic and realistic way) makes for a really interesting combination. Just like we explain in the article below we are even pushing this contrast to make our game stand out more from other TBS fantasy games. We are convinced that our gameplay and gamedesign are very different and quite unique but it helps people to see the difference to other projects when you employ a very distinct visual style that is easily recognized.

Anyways, have a go at the article below and let us know what you think!
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« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2014, 06:08:44 AM »

Hey guys,
i want to share our most recent dev blog article with you. This time its all about the art style and graphics we use in our game. Hope you find it an interesting read.

"With Battle Brothers we are using a distinct design and artstyle, especially regarding the characters. In this dev blog we want to share with you the story behind the design and explain which decisions and reasons led up to the way the game looks now.

How resource constraints can turn into an advantage

We started development with full body figures painted and animated in Flash. But we soon discovered this would be way too much work for all the assets we needed, being that we are a team of just four people (only one of which is an artist!) and some of us are working a fulltime office job on the side. Not only would we have needed each character drawn in several directions, it was important to us also that the player could see all equipped gear on the characters. The exact helmet, shield, weapon, armor. This would have multiplied the workload immensely. You can see a mockup of a very early version below with the full body characters. Note that at this point we still had square fields instead of hexes.



So we were stuck with an extremely high workload and limited resources. Something had to give if we ever wanted the project to see the light of the day - we had to set priorities.

The first step was to cut character animations like walking and turning. Animations are a great way of having a scene feel alive, but especially with 2d visuals they require an immense amount of work. And while it seems cool at first to have your guys perform animated attacks and walk across the battlefield, these animations do become repetitive quickly; at some point, many players would likely feel that they're waiting for animations to finish more than anything else, and would choose to speed up animations or make movement instantaneous if the game supported this. At least, this was our experience with playing and watching other people play similar games for many hours.

Not having to deal with animations made things a lot easier for us, but some things still posed problems with full body representations. As part of our goal of showing all equipment that characters wear, we also wanted our characters to show the weapon they wield, which would be important for gameplay purposes. Weapons go in a character’s hand, naturally, but what about two handed weapons? The character would need a completely different pose to wield them than with one handed weapons, with ranged weapons, and with a lot of all the exotic weapon types we dreamed of. Since we also wanted to show different armor types on the characters, each pose would have needed to be drawn for every armor type. So as it turned out, just cutting animations might not be enough.

We knew about "Unity of Command" and decided to experiment with a similar look using busts placed on sockets to have the characters feel "figurine like". We imagined the look and feel of a  tabletop game or boardgame where you have somewhat abstracted figurines moving within a fairly lifelike environment of miniature terrain. For the weapons we chose to add individual icons that clearly represent them to the characters, as you can see on the screenshots. This proved to be a good solution because you, the player, can reliably identify a character’s equipment without the need for us to make different character poses or hand positions for each weapon type. To us, it was one of our main goals, having all equipment be clearly visible on any character, reached, while keeping our workload manageable.



This solved a lot of our problems. We could still go with a painted and detailed look and on top of that include all the customization we wanted without too much work by just layering everything. While we’re only showing the top half of characters without any animations, we wanted to make what we do show as detailed as we could. Characters got individual heads, we added visible injuries and made damaged variants for every type of armor and helmet that can be worn. In the screenshot below you can see how our characters are composed for the game. Each part like head, helmet or weapon can be individually swapped.

Ultimately, our resource constraint led to a unique visual style that is very distinct from other fantasy TBS games, that allows for detailed visuals, and that has now turned into an advantage for the whole project.

Designing the sockets

With the characters depicted as busts we wanted to go one step further in the direction of a tabletop game and add sockets. Also, as early feedback showed, the characters were not always that easy to distinguish from the environment, so we needed a way to make them stick out a little better. When designing the sockets themselves we wanted them to help the character stick out from the surroundings without the sockets themselves appearing too massive. The problem with massive sockets is that they can quickly become too intrusive if they are too bright or too large. They take away the attention from the character which should be the focus point. On top of that, it is very important for gamplay reasons to see where and on what heightlevel a character is standing. If the sockets were too high there would be a lot of confusion with what height level a character is standing on. On the other hand, sockets that are too small and too inconsiderable make the characters look like they are burrowed into the ground or cut in half.

With that in mind and based on community feedback we iterated various socket designs until we ended up with the one you can see on the screen below. We also have distinct versions for each of the factions in the game like the Battle Brothers, the Undead and Orcs & Goblins. At this point we are pretty satisfied with we design we arrived at, as we think it meets all of our criteria and looks pretty badass Wink.

Why are the characters somewhat “cute” looking?

All characters are depicted in a certain visual style, an almost carricature style if you will, with large heads and prominent facial features. In fact, they are borderline cute looking. Let us elaborate on why this is the case.

The game of Battle Brothers is pretty grim. Bloodshed and injuries occur at every turn and the death of Battle Brothers is common. The player should expect to lose people, and with our permadeath mechanic, they’ll be gone for good. Battlefields are littered with corpses. Now, we could have fully embraced this dark setting and made everything depressingly realistic. But what we chose instead is to go with a visual style that borders on cuteness not despite but because of the setting to create an interesting contrast. With your people dying left and being resurrected as zombies right, we want this to have a certain comical and/or entertaining value so that even the experience of losing can be fun in this game. We want the player to sympathize and become emotionally invested into the characters that they guide, and to feel their loss as more than just their overall combat effectiveness taking a dive.

On the other hand, there are also some technical considerations that made us go this way. The smaller a figure gets the more iconic and readable it has to be. We support seamless zooming in and out on the tactical map, and we want to Battle Brothers’ faces to be clearly readable even when zoomed out. We don’t use real proportions for weapon icons for a similar reason; weapons would look extremely thin and long, and couldn’t be easily recognized from afar. They’d just melt into the background and details would become a mess. For example, a real sword’s hilt and handle are minuscule compared to the overall length of the sword. For this reason we have exaggerated the items’ iconic features to make them easily readable - which results in the kind of stubby but still tight look.

If you have any further questions regarding the art style don’t hesitate to post here or head straight to over to Paul’s Art Corner and ask him anything!"
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« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2014, 01:59:58 AM »

Dev Blog update to let you know whats been happening with our project and what we are working on!

Media Mentions

Last week we got the first mentions of Battle Brothers on some external pages and we are pretty excited about that. To start off, Craig Stern of indieRPGs published an announcement article on the game including some screenshots and a gameplay video. Thanks again, Craig!

Secondly, we got a front page news article on RPGwatch that drew quite some attention to our project. The news articles on their page travel down pretty fast but they surely have a large audience. Thanks, RPGwatch !

Finally, we got a mention on a Korean site. We don’t speak Korean, but from what we could gather it’s the announcement of Battle Brothers as well. And probably some facts like this going to be the best game ever Wink


Tactical Combat



During last week we made some additions to the tactical combat. First, as we already revealed, the Necromancer of the Undead faction made it into the game with all his skills and AI in place. He isn’t that hard to kill and neither does he do a lot of damage by himself. What makes him really dangerous is his abillity to revive fallen combatants, no matter what faction they belonged to, as shambling Undead. If you don’t take him out quickly you’ll eventually get overwhelmed by a horde of re-animated dead bodies, including your own fallen Battle Brothers. In the upcoming open pre-alpha of the tactical combat you will have the opportunity to fight this guy and find out the best tactics to beat him.

We are constantly adding little things like new skills, weapons and equipment to the game. Last week we put a new two handed weapon in the game that comes with a unique and utility-oriented skill set, although it doesn’t do the most damage. This is the Bill, also called English Bill or Bill-Hook. It is a gruesome pike-like weapon with a blade and a hook attached. The Bill grants its wielder two skills, “Impale” and “Hook”, that both have a lot of utility to them. With “Impale” you can attack from two tiles away, outside the range of any other melee weapon currently in the game, so your Battle Brother can stand behind the frontline in relative safety and still get attacks in due to the long range of the Bill. The second skill, “Hook”, is used to pull an enemy that is two tiles away one tile closer. This is great way to break enemy formations (those Shieldwalls!), drag enemies down from higher elevation or pull them away from your archers should they manage to pin them. We’re sure that players will find a lot of situations to make good use of the added tactical options provided by the Bill. Of course, the same goes for the AI, which will use Bills as well to drag your Battle Brothers out of tight formations!


Speaking of AI, this is something we're constantly tweaking as well as development continues. Already, the AI is quite competent in using the skills available to it and has no qualms about knocking Battle Brothers down ledges to get to a better position, split shields with axes if faced with a Shieldwall or retreat to a defensible position if it gets overwhelmed. Aside from implementing the Necromancer’s AI, this week we've tweaked the defensive behavior and taught it to use Spearwalls so it can have any charge stop dead. That is, if the enemy is intelligent enough - Zombies certainly aren't. We should have a whole article devoted to our AI design eventually.

Finally, work also continued on our inventory system. With no funding for the game yet, progress is somewhat slowed by the fact that not everyone of us is able to devote as much time to Battle Brothers as we’d like, but we’re making progress here as well. In a future article we’ll cover the inventory with all the juicy details!

Worldmap

We recently shifted our focus on the design and construction of the worldmap and strategic gameplay. Although we had a rough idea of the gameplay we wanted for the strategic part from the beginning, there’s still a lot to do here. What visual style do we want? An old map style? A more realistic representation? How do we implement this technically? Do all the gameplay features we thought of fit together for a coherent whole? Do the tactical and strategic layers feel sufficiently connected? Is it going to be fun this way?

We have some pretty exciting stuff up our sleeves but it is too early yet to show it to you as we’re still constantly changing things around. Just this much: The strategical part of the game will not have to hide behind the tactical combat part!

Music and Sound Effects

Aaaand a quick mention regarding music and sound effects. What effects you might have heard in our gameplay videos are placeholders, sounds we put in the prototype to get a general idea of how things would feel with sound. We are now slowly extending our antennas in various directions to get some talented sfx artist and/or composer on the project who will create something uniquely fitting for Battle Brothers. However, we’re still in a pretty early stage regarding this and we want to get the gameplay right before focusing on presentation and sound.

 
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« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2014, 04:36:58 AM »

Looking really beautiful so far, been reading your older blog posts over the last few nights, really impressed by the way your all going about it and making decisions.. Really useful insights into what your doing, so cheers for doing these posts.

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« Reply #33 on: March 07, 2014, 08:26:06 AM »

Hi guys,
we just finished the next dev blog article and this time its something entirely new. We are now shifting our focus to the worldmap, or strategy part, of the game. All the concepts below are pretty fresh so if you have any ideas let us know!

Here is the article, enjoy the read:

Worldmap and strategic gameplay

So far we only talked about the tactical combat part of the game because we focused on developing it first, it is already fully playable and there was a lot to talk about. Now is the time to present the strategic part, also known as the worldmap, which we currently focus on. Everything that follows is heavily work in progress so don’t take it as set in stone. If there is anything you’d like to see in the strategic part of the game, let us know and well consider it!


What is the purpose of the worldmap?

When coming up with the basic gamedesign we took a lot of inspiration from classics games like X-Com and Jagged Alliance. Both of these games rely on two interlocking systems: A tactical and a strategic part.

While the tactical part takes place on a really small area where you control individual Battle Brothers and make decisions within a fast paced close combat, the strategic part shows the bigger picture where you have to make long term decisions like where to go, what battles to pick and how to make use of limited resources.

The main purpose of the worldmap is to give context to the tactical battles. It determines your troops, the equipment and skills of your troops, the enemy you fight, the goal or mission of any battle, the terrain, the weather and light conditions and the rewards you get for victories. Also, it gives long term consequences to anything that happens in battle; Brothers gaining experience and skill only matters if they keep those between battles, and Brothers dying has an impact beyond the current battle, for your whole campaign. Whether you win or lose a battle can also impact the worldmap and what future battles will occur. For example, destroying an enemy encampment will have it seize sending raiding parties to nearby villages and estates, increasing local security and stopping the drain of wealth, which in turn increases the quality and amount of available equipment and supplies for local merchants, as well as the rewards that villages can offer you for future tasks. Failing to destroy the encampment could mean that the village will eventually be razed and become unavailable as a place of commerce, safety and recruits.

However, the strategic part isn’t just to supplement the tactical one, and certainly not just a filler between tactical encounters. We want it to offer enough depth in gameplay to be interesting in its own right, to offer choice and consequences, and to require formulating strategies in order to succeed at it. In contrast to the tactical part, it is more of a management and strategy game and as such has a different pace to it, offering variety and a different perspective on the game world. Lets go a bit deeper and take a look at the elements that make up the worldmap.

Layout of the world

The worldmap in Battle Brothers covers the scope of a single continent with a geography and climate similar to that of your average middle-european country. It is procedurally generated at the start of every new game so that you have a fresh map to play on every time.

We have different types of terrain with which the map is painted according to various rules; for example, mountaineous terrain will often appear in a connected line forming a mountain ridge, and a village will usually be surrounded by farmland. Of course, we also have dark forests, open plains, treacherous swamplands and rivers curling downhill. To learn what a forest actually means in gameplay terms, see the gameplay section below.

In this world we place villages near fertile land and rivers, as well as bigger towns, and guardposts and keeps at positions of strategic importance. Roads connect these beacons of civilization, often snaking around the dark forests but sometimes having no choice but to lead right through them - despite the dangers that might lurk within.

The premise

“You take on the role of a leader of a small mercenary warband that finds itself in a country that has been abandoned by most regular fighting forces due to an oversees war. This vacuum of power leaves the country ripe with opportunity for any man who can wield a sword to earn good coin. But you are not the only power that is taking advantage of this opportunity. There are way bigger forces at work beyond the horizon that threaten to engulf everything in darkness..”

While the worldmap is dotted with a number of minor enemy parties, from independent roaming monsters to bandit encampments, there is also what we refer to as The Greater Evil, which will become increasingly dominant as time goes on. The Greater Evil is one of several possible armies which starts an invasion of the worldmap in an attempt to completely control and/or destroy it. So far, you’ve only seen some of the Undead army - however we have several more armies planned which differ significantly in how they behave both on the worldmap and in tactical battles. No, this game is not just about fighting the Undead!

General gameplay


Within the world your band of Battle Brothers is depicted as a figurine with a (customizable!) banner - and so is any other party you can encounter and interact with. All parties move around the map in pauseable real time. If you’ve played Mount & Blade before you should have a good idea how it’ll work.

While the general layout of the world is revealed from the start, most of the world is covered in fog of war except for a circle of vision around your party and also around the major settlements. When traveling across the country you will encounter other parties and locations, some friendly, some hostile. Usually they will be revealed when entering your field of vision, although certain terrain (like forest) can make it more difficult to detect them - and thus offer opportunities for ambushes. As you discover new locations, like long-forgotten ruins, they will remain visible on your map as a point of interest.

With the worldmap we are going in the direction of a “simulation” in a dynamic world instead of a pre-determined sequence of events or scripted quests that just pop up. We want to offer a world that feels open and alive, a world that you, the player, can actually influence. One where you don’t feel alone or feel like you’re doing all the work by yourself. Therefore, all parties, settlements and factions have their own agenda.

For example, merchants travel on the roads between settlements, but not just for show. As they reach their destination, they increase the local wealth with their trading, which in turn increases the selection of equipment and supplies available, and the rewards that the settlement is able to offer for any tasks. In the same vein, consider an encampment of robbers in the nearby forest. That encampment will send out parties to raid farms, fields, the settlement itself and the merchant caravans travelling the roads. As the village is raided and merchant caravans never reach it, its wealth plummets, its people become poor and can offer the player little. On the other hand, as the bandit raiding parties return home with their spoils, the encampment gains resources and can send out more and bigger raiding parties in the future.

The settlement will likely issue a call for help and offer a reward for helping against constant raids, which the player can follow up on. However, this is not a "quest" in the classical sense, and neither the village nor the robbers exist just for the purpose of this. The player could just as well have found and killed the robbers on his or her travels through the forest by chance, or perhaps the village militia could have fought them off. In this case, the settlement might never have experienced a big loss in lives and wealth, and wouldn't have needed help. Since a wealthy settlement has more to offer the player in terms of trading, equipment and recruiting options, the player has an interest in helping out the people not just because he or she was promised a reward for a specific task.

This is just one example for how we are planning to generate opportunities and gameplay by giving each party or faction their own agenda and their own resources to achieve their goals. Again, we want a dynamic, living world where you stumble across adventure opportunities all the time. On top of that, your actions form the world around you and the balance of power between all the interacting factions that are populating the country.

Worldmap features

Besides traveling the country and kicking monster ass there are a couple of gameplay features that the player has to employ to be successfull.

Troops



You can hire troops in most friendly settlements for a certain amount of gold. When hiring you do not know the exact character stats of the Battle Brother-to-be, which are randomly determined, although we might give you a rough indication based on character biography. Some recruits even have negative character traits like being tiny or short sighted. Others may be better suited for mercenary work and have traits like being athletic or strong.

The worldmap also allows you to manage all your Battle Brothers. You can rename them, equip them with weapons, armor and accessories. On top of that you can select new skills once they reach a new level. We’ll have a whole blog article dedicated to our level and skill system eventually!

Crafting

The worldmap allows you to craft any number of equipment for which you have the recipe and crafting materials available. Recipes for crafting can be found throughout the world, bought in settlements and looted from fallen enemies. Some more exotic recipies are the product of research (see “scholarship” further down).

Crafting materials can be obtained through looting, salvaging old equipment or be bought in settlements. There are various crafting materials, some easy to get like wood or iron, and some rare and only to be acquired by slaying extremely dangerous and powerful enemies.

Followers

Your band of Battle Brothers can also be accompanied by a small number of followers. Each follower will give a strategic advantage for worldmap gameplay and won’t be part of the tactical battles. There are various types of followers, each with different advantages. For example, a Scout may increase your party’s field of vision and increase your movement speed on difficult terrain (like forests). A healer, on the other hand, will increase the recovery speed of your wounded Battle Brothers and will lessen the danger of lasting injuries.

You will meet followers throughout your journeys. Maybe you run into them in a settlement or you free them from an enemy encampment.

Scholarship

Scholarship is the study of dusty tomes and ancient artifacts, best described as the equivalent to “research”. If you choose to do so, you’ll find a wide array of projects to be studied; there are clues scattered all throughout the land as to the location of legendary and ancient artifacts that could turn the tide in your campaign. Experimenting with exotic ingredients, like leftovers of magical enemies, might yield possible crafting recipies and ultimately equipment which bolster your Battle Brothers.

Further development

This is rough overview on the strategic part of Battle Brothers, and most of the above elements probably deserve a blog article on their own to be explained in detail. Let us know what you think about our plans so far, about your suggestions and what topic you’d like our next article to be about!
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« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2014, 06:06:25 AM »

Here is a little update on our project, this time around we talk about the Open Pre-Alpha Combat Demo that we have in the works right now and are planning to release within the next couple of weeks.

Enjoy the read and, as always, input and feedback appreciated!

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Dev Blog Post#8: PUBLIC PRE-ALPHA COMBAT DEMO COMING SOON

As you might be aware from reading our previous blog posts and watching our gameplay videos, we already have the combat part of Battle Brothers in a playable state. Now we want to put our game to the test and get you to play it and give us feedback. For this reason, we’ll release a public Pre-Alpha Combat Demo for you to try out (i.e. get horribly slaughtered by the AI) within the next few weeks. Today, we’ll talk a bit about what will be awaiting you exactly.

How far is the development of the tactical combat?

The tactical combat part is already pretty far in development. On the technical side of things, we’ve had our core game engine running for several months. The game has relatively modest demands on computers running it and should generally also do well on Notebooks and older PCs. Any video card supporting OpenGL 3.0 should be able to run the game - and if it isn’t, it’s precisely the job of the upcoming demo to bring this to light so that we can fix it.

As one of our advertised features is the procedural generation of maps, it was one of the first things we implemented when we had the groundwork done, and something that will also be present in the upcoming demo. We have all the basic combat mechanics in the game, including character stats of Battle Brothers and enemies, equipment, combat calculations, different height levels, fog of war and a good selection of different skills with which battles are fought. What is missing now most of all is content, balance and fine-tuning. There are also a few more advanced mechanics still missing (e.g. throwing weapons and limited ammo), but none that should get in the way of enjoying the game.


We have a competent AI ready to control enemy characters on the field of battle. Our AI does not cheat - the same restrictions apply to it that apply to you; it has limited sight range and can not see into the fog of war, and you being able to see them does not necessarily mean that they also see you. We decided early on that we wanted to tailor the AI of individual types of enemies to really reflect their capabilities and mind set, which is why you’ll find that your enemies will behave differently and not always predictable. The simple-minded Zombies possess a simple-minded AI and will just stumble towards the nearest target with no regard to terrain. Skeletons possess more of a cold intelligence and will attempt to gain a positional advantage, raise their shields in defense as you rain arrows on them and attempt to smash your shields as you raise yours. Necromancers will try to avoid getting to close to your Battle Brothers and try to raise the dead from the backline. Vampires will use their unique skill to try to pick off your men one by one, always trying to stay out of the reach of the bulk of your fighting force. Ultimately, we want the AI to be able to do everything that the player can in an intelligent manner (although, of course, not every type of enemy), but we’re not there yet.

The UI of the game is functional and offers helpful tooltips explaining skills, equipment and UI elements. Still, it is work-in-progress. You’ll notice that it currently has a very simple look - that is, because it hasn’t been skinned yet. Our priority here is to optimize usability first, and we’re still shuffling things around and adding new features based on player experience. That includes your experience also - if you have a suggestion on what we should change regarding the UI based on your experience playing the demo, let us know! Only once we’re satisfied with how the UI works will we skin it to give it a real non-placeholder look that actively contributes to the atmosphere of the game.

What will be included in the Pre-Alpha Combat Demo?

The combat demo consists of several scenarios that differ in tactical situation, terrain and quality and numbers of enemy opposition. Those scenarios are designed to showcase various stages of the game and combat situations you may encounter in the finished game. In each scenario you’ll have a set number of Battle Brothers which you can equip with a range of early medieval weaponry and armor to suit your tactical approach. The way you equip your Battle Brothers will to a large part determine the tactical options at your disposal. Not every weapon is suited against every type of enemy or situation, and neither is heavy armor always the best choice. You should experiment with different combinations to find strategies that work well.

The layout of the individual scenarios will be randomly generated to different degrees, as will the equipment of some of your enemies. You shall find that some of them can play out very differently from one playthrough to another. The demo will include the following scenarios:

Combat Basics - A simple scenario to try out the basics of melee combat. Easy.

Swipe - A scenario containing few and easy opponents on a map with lots of terrain features blocking sight. Well suited to get used to lines of sight, fog of war and ranged combat. Easy.

Early Game Combat -  A scenario simulating a possible early game encounter in enemy composition and equipment available. Moderate difficulty.

Defend the Hill - A scenario in which you have to survive against overwhelming odds while positioned on top of a hill. Well suited to learn about height advantage and to test sight and usability issues with height levels. Difficult.

Advanced Combat - A mixed scenario combining all the above elements and simulating more closely what an encounter might feel like at mid-game and later. Terrain can vary greatly between playthroughs, as can the enemies you encounter to some extent. Difficult.

The goal in every demo scenario is to kill all opposition without them killing your Battle Brothers first.



What will not be included?

The demo will be Windows PC only. While the final game will also be available for Mac OSX and Linux, the demo will not for the time being.

The demo will not include any strategic and management aspects of the game, accessible from the worldmap, but will be focused solely on the combat part of the game. As such, it only represents part of what the final game will be about.

Finally, the demo does not represent the amount of content that the final game will have. Only some of the weapons, armor and skills that will be available in the final game are included. Likewise, the demo will only include a limited variety of terrain types and enemy diversity. The final game will feature sound effects for every action and a variety of atmospheric music, but the demo will be quite limited in this regard.

Why release a Combat Demo?

We are now at a point in development where we want to put our game to the test and get people from the outside to play it and give us feedback. Feedback on technical issues, aesthetics, usability, mechanics, gameplay, AI and anything else. Perhaps we can even get some new ideas for the game that we haven’t thought about yet.

In addition, we want to get more people to know about our project, and we think an open demo is a good way to reach a bigger audience so that everyone can check out the game for themselves and discuss how they want it to shape up. We want to engage with you in the development of this game!

How do I get it and when will it be released?

The demo will be released within the next couple of weeks, the exact time depending on our progress. It will be downloadable from our website at www.battlebrothersgame.com/downloads and also on our indieDB page at http://www.indiedb.com/games/battle-brothers.

If you don’t want to miss it, follow us on our social media channels to get all the latest news. We want as many people out there to give us some feedback so be a Bro and spread the word about our project and the upcoming Pre-Alpha Combat Demo!
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« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2014, 01:26:11 AM »

Hi guys,

today we got a new look at Battle Brothers for you. This time we have a story in a "lets play" or after action report style for you. What happens in the story can actually happen in the finished game, we just flashed out the details and put the gameplay into the context of the world. Enjoy the read!

Quote
A Battle Brothers After Action Report

This is an imaginary After Action Report (AAR) of a couple of ingame days in the full version of Battle Brothers. It describes in a prosaic way the events that will and can actually happen in the full game. We want the players to live through their own stories and not experience something we made up - a whole world that is different for everyone and each story is unique to your particular playthrough and playstyle.

So enjoy the read and let us know what you think!


The Aftermath

Is that a light in the distance? Magnus rubbed the rain out of his eyes and tried to identify the source of the yellow light he thought he saw a couple of seconds ago but it had already disappeared behind the slow moving rain curtains that have had been falling all day. Right next to him, his companions Torstein and Bjarn staggered along the muddy road followed by Carl and the oxwagon that held all their equipment and what was left of their supplies. The lack of fresh food, shelter and a decent night’s sleep took a huge toll on the men’s morale. No one had talked in hours except for the occasional cursing about the weather, their situation and the indifference of the gods in general.

After what seemed an endless time trudging along the road, Magnus smelled fire. When raising his head he had to blink twice before realising that they finally arrived at Wiesendorf, the small settlement they planned on reaching 2 days ago.

Everything was going its way until Bjarn, who was scouting ahead at the time, told them about a strange set of ruins that looked like a burial site he discovered in the hills nearby. To reach the ruins they had to delay their trip and lose another two days, but they hadn’t made a silver piece in a while and the dwellers of the hills were known for burrying their dead with all sorts of riches for the afterlife. In the end, greed won over reason and from that point everything went downhill. There were seven of them when they made that decision.

A world ripe with opportunity

With most of the soldiers and young men being sent away to conquer a land Magnus never even heard of, the time was high for men who where ready to take fate into their own hands. Most settlements still maintained small militia forces, but the land beyond the town gates often had no protection, noone to keep the order of things. Hunger after a bad harvest can turn a good man into a thief, and a thief into a murderer, and there were few good harvests to be had these days with so many men sent beyond the great sea. Thiefs, cutthroats, highwaymen and worse set up camp all over the countryside. But there was also a decent coin to be made with safeguarding villages, caravans and merchants that travelled the land. This was the new order of things. At heart, Magnus always felt the urge to protect the innocent and helpless. A knightly notion, and a naive one some would say, but this was him. If a filled coin purse comes with a clear conscience he would be the last to say no.

Magnus assembled a diverse band of sellswords over the past months. Most of them not trained soldiers, but all of them decent men who knew which end of the sword goes where. All of them wanting to take fate into their own hands. Although they never officially made Magnus their leader, they all seemed to listen to his suggestions and so far they fared well this way.

The weeks leading up to those dreadful events at the ancient burial site had been a dry spot regarding silver pieces. The band encountered neither caravans in need of protection nor anyone else that would hire them. Not even pillagers or bandits to hunt on their own and exact a toll on. When Bjarn came back with the news about the ruins, the men’s eyes started to shine with the prospect of riches guarded only by piles of dust and the shattered bones of men that ended their watch long ago. Only Carl, an older and well-traveled scribe, tried to warn them about things much worse than outlaws. Things that were said to only come out at night, to rise from the graves with a hunger for the flesh and warm blood of the living, things from beyond this world. Laughing at the old man’s tales, the men broke camp and made their way towards the hills.

Fortune Favors the Bold

When they arrived at the ruins at dusk they set up a small camp nearby with Carl staying back and guarding their supplies. Bjarn, having his short bow at the ready, moved some paced ahead of them and scouted the area for any immediate threats like resident hill dwellers, or others also looking to loot the ruins. He had the best eyesight of them all and during his years as a hunter learned to move quietly through the brushes without being detected. The other six approached the burial site carefully in a spread out line.

At the center of the line was Magnus, armed with a short sword and a small wooden shield. He put on the worn metal helmet he found in a bandit’s camp some time ago. Little did he know that it would save his life later that night. To his left and right walked Torstein and Hjalmar, the youngest of their band, both not having seen even their 20th summer. They held their hatchets so tightly that their knuckles turned white and nervously looked at the sun that slowly faded away behind a mountain ridge in the distance, immersing the whole scenery in an orange tint.Magnus and his Battle Brothers approach the forest

To the far right Erik strided along, resting his massive two-handed axe on his mighty shoulder. As a woodcutter he knew how to use that axe. When it came down to it, there was little difference between a tree trunk and a man - or at least so Erik never got tired of claiming. The left end of the line was held by Heinrich. Although the years finally caught up with him, he was the only real soldier in this little company. The years had seen him do little else than fighting for coin, whether paid by noble lords or scraped together by villagers that feared for what little they had, and so joining up with Magnus and the others had come naturally. He needed the coin and this was the way he had always earned it. His face showed no emotion as he slowly walked towards the ruins in a rustling chainmail, the only one with armor that wasn't made out of some poor deer's hide.

Suddenly something moved in the woods to their left, less than a stone throw away. They immediately stopped and turned towards the dark woods where it seemed that a man was standing between the trees just looking at them. Bjarn shouted at the man to come out and show himself but there was no reaction except a moaning sound. They all looked at Magnus waiting for him to tell them what to do next when a tree to the right of the strange man started moving, and then another one.



The fading light tricked their eyes, it was not the tree moving but more human figures that had been standing completely still. As the figures shuffled forward and out of the woods into the last bit of light, Magnus saw their horribly disfigured faces that were covered in rotten flesh. Bjarn was the first to react while the others stood there in shock and disbelief. He pulled the string of his bow as far back as he could and let loose an arrow at the nearest of those things. The arrow hit it right in the chest but the creature just moaned and continued on towards Hjalmar who was closest to the woods. Only when the creature nearly reached him did Hjalmar come to his senses and stumbled backwards. Before any of the others could intervene, the undead managed to grab Hjalmar’s arm, pulling him close as he struggled, and buried its rotten teeth deep in his neck. His scream broke the numbness of the others and they charged at the walking dead that kept stumbling out of the woods.



They made quick work of the first line of undead that made it out of the woods and then rallied around Magnus to catch their breath. Hjalmar lay still on the ground with his face slowly turning white. There was nothing they could do for him, he was dead. The break was way too short, more undead came stumbling from the depths of the woods and headed right at them. They quickly aligned in a battle line and braced themselves for the incoming attack. As the face of the first zombie made contact with Heinrichs shield buckle they heard a loud scream from Erik’s end of the line. Erik struggled to get rid of one of the monsters that was clinging to his leg and biting him repeatedly. With one jump Magnus was at his side and smashed the thing’s head with a blow of his sword. Only then did he realize that it was not one of the zombies from the woods, but poor Hjalmar who had come back from the dead to attack Erik from behind. Magnus and Erik looked at each other and both knew that things looked grim for Erik. “Run” said the brawny man while tightening the grip on his axe “I will hold them back as long as I can! Run!”

“No way” replied Magnus and threw himself at the closing undead.

The next thing Magnus remembers is being shaken roughly by Bjarn whose face was covered in dried blood and mud. He slowly regained consciousness and tried to get his bearings. Blurry shapes around him turned into lifeless bodies, arrows, discarded weapons and smashed shields. Except for Bjarn he only saw Torstein who was leaning over something that was lying on the ground. Magnus tried to get up and groaned while scrambling to his feet. “We need to get out of here fast” said Bjarn. “Erik, Heinrich…?” asked Magnus, but Bjarn just shook his head. With Bjarn and Torstein supporting Magnus, who must have received a blow to the head, they stumbled away from the battlefield that was soon swarming with even more of the walking dead.



The Battle Brothers

The battle by the old ruins was neither their first, nor their last, but it was the first they fought together. They started out as strangers, united only by the prospect of easy riches. The things they saw, the things they did and the things they went through together turned them into brothers. Battle Brothers.
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« Reply #36 on: March 24, 2014, 02:02:02 AM »

Everything about this game looks absolutely fantastic!  Gentleman
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« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2014, 02:31:53 AM »

You guys need to hurry up with that playable alpha :D
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« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2014, 08:54:37 AM »

Yeah, we are tying a lot of loose ends together for the demo right now but finishing one task often spawns two new tasks ; )

Anyways, hoping to get the demo ready by next week!
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« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2014, 09:25:14 AM »

It's look really good. It is a really promissing project!

To reply about the first post on this page, I think too you made the right decision about cutting out animation and full body representation. Making an independant game represents already a tremendous amount of work, you don't need to add up features that are not compulsary, especially one that is so much time consuming.

Anyway, once the first version of the game finished, you will still be able to improve the graphism by adding bodies if at this time you feel like so. You could even think about sharing graphism with a team that work with a different type of game (like on an RPG for instance). But all this things can be done later so why bother now?
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One day, I will live in theory, because in theory, everything is possible!
Devlogs: Wind Fortress (RPG) and Sandbox Adventure (Visual Novels)
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