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« Reply #200 on: October 09, 2015, 07:31:01 AM »

A quick update this week about adding region labels to the worldmap and covering it in fog for more rewarding exploration:

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Dev Blog #55: Progress Update - Region Labels and Worldmap Exploration

While we're busy working on the new worldmap, there's two new features we want to talk to you about today: distinct regions on the worldmap that have names of their own, and better worldmap exploration through the use of Fog of War. Let's take a look!

Region Labels

The world of Battle Brothers is procedurally generated and not handcrafted like in many other games. This has the great advantage of having a different world for you to play in every time you start a new campaign, adding a lot to replayability. It also comes with some drawbacks, however. A procedurally generated world can feel kind of random, and lack a feeling of history and purpose to it.



We're doing several things to address this, and one of them is introducing the concept of different regions to the game. Regions are areas of one particular terrain, for example a mountain ridge or large open plains. The larger regions have been named by the inhabitants of the world according to their history and beliefs, and we display these names on the worldmap much like they'd be displayed on a map. The names used in the screenshot are largely placeholders still, but the intent is to have the names convey a certain character and sometimes history attached to them. With the world no longer just a collection of nameless interchangeable mountains and forests, we'll also refer to regions in both contracts and events for helpful directions and to increase immersion in a world that is new with every campaign and yet should feel rich and lived in.

Worldmap Exploration

Another idea that's been in the drawer for a long time and that we're now implementing is to improve the experience of exploring the worldmap by uncovering what is initially covered by fog. Battle Brothers is a game with a lot of traveling, exploration and visiting new areas and regions. A hidden worldmap that is gradually uncovered by the player should add to the sense of exploration and adventure. On the practical side of things, it also helps to see at a glance where you've already been and where to explore next.



Initially, only the area around human settlements and the roads between them is uncovered. The wild, home to Goblins, Orcs and worse is for you to explore.What you can’t see from the screenshot is that the fog is actually animated in the game and looks quite cool.

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« Reply #201 on: October 16, 2015, 06:34:16 AM »

This week we have a completely new mechanic for the worldmap: Attached locations:

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Dev Blog #56: Progress Update - Attached Locations



Previously we’ve talked about how settlements work once you’ve entered them (Dev Blog #53). This week we talk about how settlements will work on the new worldmap based on an entirely new concept: attached locations. These are special locations that belong to a nearby settlement and influence it in various ways. Let’s dig deeper!

Attached Locations

Did you know that all villages currently in the game have a wealth rating that increases as caravans reach it, and decreases as it is raided and militia units die? And did you know that this wealth rating determines the selection and prices of items in the shop, and the strength of militia it can spawn? Many players don't, and that's an issue.

We want the world of Battle Brothers to feel dynamic, and the player to feel that they have an impact on the world. An abstract wealth rating, unfortunately, often isn't transparent enough to explain why a settlement is doing poorly, why certain items are or are not available, and what can be done about it. To achieve where we want to go with Battle Brothers, we're therefore replacing the wealth rating with the concept of attached locations.



Attached locations are small specialized locations outside a settlement that influence heavily the available goods, services and recruitment options of that settlement. For example, outlying wheat fields will not only make food more readily available and cheaper in the nearby settlement, but also have more farmhands volunteer for your mercenary company. Iron mines, on the other hand, will increase the selection of metal-based weapons and armor in the settlement, and will bring a larger population of miners looking to take up the mercenary profession. A stone watch tower will have a look out for bandits and beasts, and may spawn militia to help out any caravans, while adding militia to the recruitment options. There are no less than 30 different attached locations on their way into the game, and they all have different effects.

In medieval times, settlements did not just randomly pop up. There was usually a pretty good reason for them being there. This reason may have been rich soil, good hunting grounds or other valuable resources like ores, wood or gems. By adding specialized attached locations we represent this in the game; settlements both look and are very different from one another based on their specialization, and as a player you'll have a pretty good idea on what to expect in terms of item selection, prices and the kind of recruits you'll be able to get just from looking at it on the worldmap.



Attached locations can also be attacked, raided and burned to the ground independently of the settlements they belong to. There will even be contracts for the player to raid these or burn them down. Once an attached location is destroyed its benefits are lost for the according settlement. As a settlement has its outlying farms in ashes and the farmhands dead, there can be shortages of food and other goods, and fewer people will be available to join you. Unlike with the abstract wealth rating from before, however, this is something easy to see and understand just from looking at the worldmap; if everything around a settlement is burned to the ground, that settlement is obviously doing poorly, whereas a settlement with all kinds of farms and workshops active will be flourishing. If a city's barracks are burned to the ground, it should be intuitively understandable that their defensive capabilities are significantly lowered. Attached locations, once burned down, are not lost forever. They can be rebuilt, and there'll also be contracts that have the player be a part of this.
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« Reply #202 on: October 23, 2015, 06:47:13 AM »

There will be different human factions in the game, more on this in the blog post:

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Dev Blog #57: Progress Update - Factions, Part 1

Things are progressing nicely on our end. Many mechanics of the new worldmap are already in place - albeit largely with placeholder visuals and still in need of some refinement. This week, we'll cover an entirely new and very important aspect of the worldmap rework: Factions. Let's find out what that's about!

Introduction

Battle Brothers has evolved a lot during development, and it has evolved even more so during the Early Access period since its release in late April of this year. One constant for the game is that it will always be fundamentally about managing a group of human mercenaries in a low power fantasy world. What's changing is how we're wrapping it in a game that best serves the theme and is the most fun, while at the same time keeping it at a level that is ambitious yet achievable.

As you may be aware, the current strategic open world gameplay was considered to be a milestone along the way to an ultimately more structured game experience. One aligned more along bits of story and one single emerging threat - the greater evil. The concept of a more or less united human world against a single big threat was inherited from the game's X-Com roots, and was to provide a mid and late game challenge and goal. It's a sound and achievable concept, and we're at this point now where we'd implement those greater evil mechanics. So what's happening?

We've been taking a step back to look at how we can best serve the theme of a quasi-medieval mercenary simulation given how the game has evolved, and also in light of our move to work full-time on the game some months ago and the resources now available to us. As it turns out, the game worked out quite well as an open world experience, even as barebones as it still is in some aspects.

Our conclusion is that it'd make for the best game in the long run if we really focused on improving the open world gameplay and make this one of the strengths of Battle Brothers, instead of constricting the gameplay that is already there by forcing the player to ultimately fight against a single threat each game along a much more narrow story path.

It's for this reason that we're now introducing multiple human factions to the game. No longer will there be just one implicit human faction - instead, there will be multiple ones each with their own goals and competing with others by means of diplomacy, intrigue and warfare. And it's you, the player, navigating their sea of schemes trying to make a living as hired swords. As we're tilting the focus of the game more towards interacting with these factions, you'll also be fighting more and different human enemies, and we’ll convey more story via completely reworked contract mechanics. But for now, let’s learn about the first kind of factions: human noble houses.

Noble Houses

Historically, bigger realms have always been a very diverse mixture of a lot of smaller realms and fiefdoms ruled by competing and collaborating noble houses. Although these small parts were usually devoted to a king or supreme ruler, they often changed allegiance and fought and schemed against each other in their struggle for power. The feuds between these noble houses create a perfect place for a mercenary company that is not bound to a lord and that can take on whatever contract pays best.

Like most things in Battle Brothers, noble houses are procedurally generated for each new campaign. To give them as much personality as possible we want them to look and feel very distinct from one another. Each noble house comes with a set of different traits that determine their ‘corporate culture’; their goals and their actions in achieving them - which ultimately also means the kind of contracts they’ll offer to the player. While a ‘Warmonger’ may hire mercenaries to aid in open warfare, a ‘Schemer’ may hire the player for some false-flag operation to gain influence over a neutral city.

Noble houses also come with their very own coat of arms. We dove deep into medieval heraldry to make the coats of arms realistic and believable, but we also took a bit of artistic licence to make them easier to read and more catchy. You can see some concept art pieces of how they may look in the finished game below.



Besides their coat of arms, each noble house will also have a motto. A motto is a short phrase, proverb or word of wisdom that the house identifies with. The motto will usually mirror the character of a noble house, and we’ve based these mottos on historical references as well. A very aggressive house that is bound on acquiring new settlements through war and intimidation might have a motto like “Through arrows and enemies!”. A noble house that is rather peaceful and cares about the wellbeing of its subordinates may have a motto like “Firmly in act and gently in manner”.

With the combination of all the above aspects we’re confident that there’ll be a great variety of noble houses that not only look differently but also feel different on the worldmap, offer different contracts and create new and unique situations in every game. The world of Battle Brothers starts out for now with three different noble houses that are in a kind of cold war state - they do not openly fight each other but are still working against each other in most cases in an attempt to increase their influence based on their specific goals. Mercenaries, of course, are ideal for any operations that must not be tracked back to the noble houses, and not all of them necessarily chivalrous in nature.

But wait, there’s more!


Noble houses aren’t the only factions in the world of Battle Brothers. There’s also a new ‘relations’ mechanic, and we haven’t touched on the role of individual settlements for factions yet. And is there still a greater evil around? All this and more in next week’s progress update!
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« Reply #203 on: October 23, 2015, 08:57:12 AM »

Now that's one game I'm going to get.

Really like what you're doing here, keep at it!
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« Reply #204 on: October 23, 2015, 09:18:51 AM »

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Our conclusion is that it'd make for the best game in the long run if we really focused on improving the open world gameplay and make this one of the strengths of Battle Brothers, instead of constricting the gameplay that is already there by forcing the player to ultimately fight against a single threat each game along a much more narrow story path.

It's for this reason that we're now introducing multiple human factions to the game. No longer will there be just one implicit human faction - instead, there will be multiple ones each with their own goals and competing with others by means of diplomacy, intrigue and warfare. And it's you, the player, navigating their sea of schemes trying to make a living as hired swords. As we're tilting the focus of the game more towards interacting with these factions, you'll also be fighting more and different human enemies, and we’ll convey more story via completely reworked contract mechanics. But for now, let’s learn about the first kind of factions: human noble houses.

I love it! That's awesome, guys

open world is the way to go, you can check out Mount & Blade for some inspiration
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« Reply #205 on: October 23, 2015, 09:41:24 AM »

Awesome, awesome content. Love all the new stuff you guys are doing...

Been looking for a good excuse to bust this game open again. It sounds like theres a lot of work going on right now so I assume there is no imminent update coming to Steam soon but just curious when you plan to make your next live update to the early access build?
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« Reply #206 on: October 23, 2015, 11:42:39 AM »

Things keep looking better and better! I can't wait for more of this to be pushed out into the public build Smiley


I love it! That's awesome, guys

open world is the way to go, you can check out Mount & Blade for some inspiration

They have cited Mount and Blade as one of their major inspirations many times.
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« Reply #207 on: October 29, 2015, 01:40:45 AM »

Awesome, awesome content. Love all the new stuff you guys are doing...

Been looking for a good excuse to bust this game open again. It sounds like theres a lot of work going on right now so I assume there is no imminent update coming to Steam soon but just curious when you plan to make your next live update to the early access build?

Thats a tricky one. As with all computer development it ends up taking way more time than you estimate at the beginning. We can not give an ETA yet but it can well be early next year.
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« Reply #208 on: October 30, 2015, 06:37:43 AM »

Dont call me a spammer but it is already a week since the last blog update, so here goes:

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Dev Blog #58: Progress Update - Factions, Part 2

Last week we’ve talked about the introduction of different human factions to the world of Battle Brothers, another important feature that will change how the game is played. We’ll continue this now and talk some more about noble houses, settlements and relations, as well as what place Orcs and Goblins now have. Let’s get started!

Settlements

We’ve already talked previously about how settlements on the new worldmap are quite a bit more numerous and diverse. What you probably don’t know is that those settlements are also small factions of their own. Whether independent or controlled by a noble house, these factions are represented by a mayor, elder or ruling council and have their own agenda - mainly revolving around protecting their people and trade opportunities. Consequently, they’ll offer different kinds of contracts to the player than noble houses might do. Less concerned with global politics, and more about what is going on in their immediate area.

Noble houses each start with a small region consisting of several settlements under their control. For most, that isn’t enough, however, so they’ll seek to gain control over more settlements, whether they’re neutral or need to be wrestled from the hands of other house. Depending on a noble house’s traits they have a variety of measures to bring a settlement in their sphere of influence. This can be precious bribes, intimidating village elders or helping settlements against threats like orc raids. The conflict between noble houses while competing over settlements will be one of the core drives behind the game by creating lots of various contracts for the player to pick up.



Noble houses don’t rely entirely on mercenaries of course, but can also muster troops of their own. The above image shows a selection of shields and armor bearing their banner for a nicely consistent look on the battlefield.

Relations

In order for the world to feel reactive to the player’s behavior and to introduce more consequences to your actions, we’re introducing a relations mechanic. The player will have a relation value to each and every faction, including independent settlements, and this value determines how positive or negative the player is viewed by them. For example, relations will drop if the player attacks a village's trade caravan or does anything else detrimental to that village. On the other hand, relations will improve when the player helps out a faction by completing contracts for them.

Relations can have consequences all the way from lower prices, better contract conditions and more potential recruits, down to merchants refusing to sell anything to the player out of spite or even people attacking the player on sight. Because completing contracts for one faction may often be to the detriment of another, it’s up to the player to navigate in a way that they don’t make more enemies than they need to.

Other Factions

The enemies will also see some changes in order to fit into the new order of things. Much like the different human noble houses, Orcs and Goblins, too, now consist of several individual factions. Different Orc clans will act independently from another, and will for the most part also attack each other. The same holds true for different Goblin city states.



For the new worldmap, we want the different kinds of enemies to feel much more distinct, both by where they appear and by what kinds of actions they can perform. To be more in line with our Orc lore, they'll now truly be nomadic in nature; individual clans are massive hordes that never stay in one place for long and leave a wake of destruction wherever they happen to travel. Goblins, as per their lore, will now live in large underground cities in mountains.



What about the greater evil? As we explained in last week’s progress update, we want to shift the game’s focus away from the notion of a single great threat every game that also determines the winning condition of a playthrough. This concept just doesn’t fit well the open world approach we decided to go for. Not all is lost, however, as Orcs, Goblins and Undead can now experience special events causing a surge in power. As individual orc clans unite for a time and sweep across the world, or the undead rise from their graves, new challenges arise for the player. Repelling an invasion such as this will no longer end the game or be a winning condition, but will bring variety to the game and change the playing field without constricting you to follow a linear story.


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« Reply #209 on: November 06, 2015, 06:41:11 AM »

To flesh out the noble houses a little more and make them more unique we decided to add standard bearers and knights. More in this weeks blog post:

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Dev Blog #59: Progress Update - Standard Bearers & Knights

Work on factions in the world of Battle Brothers continues and ties into the tactical combat part of the game this week, as noble houses get lots of nifty stuff to wear and get their own identity  on the battlefield. Also, work on new contract mechanics has started. Let’s take a closer look!

What’s been happening?

Like with all opponents in the game (and in this case, allies as well) we want noble houses to have an identity of their own and pose a unique challenge on the battlefield, to require different tactics from beating, say, orcs or bandits. To this end, noble houses will have access to equipment not otherwise available and make use of skills and tactics that differentiate them especially from other human opponents. We’ll cover all the units available to them in detail with their lore at a later point, but for now, here is a preview of what is to come.



Noble houses make use of standard bearers with any full company. Not only do they look impressive and give a sense of organized and regimental warfare lacking with other opponents, they passively raise the morale and will to fight of nearby troops. In addition, they can make use of the ‘Rally’ skill, just like the player can - blowing a horn to push their comrades to go the extra mile.

The single most dangerous individual unit employed by noble houses is the knight. A man of noble birth, trained from youth in the use of weapons and warfare, steeled in experience by combat and attending tourneys across the land. Their station affords them the best equipment available, and their helms may be adorned with ridiculously intricate decoration that picks up themes of the noble house they serve. This decoration is in fact based on what knights have historically worn - although, while in reality this was usually limited to parades and tourneys, we took the artistic license of making it a custom for knights to display their station and grandeur in this way in the world of Battle Brothers in all situations. It makes for a nice contrast to have knights care so much for their presentation, to stage themselves as untouchable warriors and connoisseurs of the fine arts, only to end up all muddy and bloody on the battlefield like any soldier of common birth. Speaking of battlefields, knights come with partially randomized perks to reflect that each knight has his very own experiences, strengths and weaknesses in combat.

At the same time, work on the new and completely redone contract mechanics has started. We’re currently prototyping to make sure that everything works out as planned and will have a dedicated update or two to let you know all about them within the next few weeks.



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« Reply #210 on: November 13, 2015, 06:20:03 AM »

This week i have some new village screen images for you:

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Dev Blog #60: Progress Update - Settlement Screens

With most of the assets for the noble houses now in place we have returned to fleshing out what you see as you enter the various settlements on the worldmap. We previously worked with placeholder images to get the mechanics down first and make sure that everything works out as planned, but now those settlements receive their final look and polish. Check it out!

Settlement Screens

The worldmap consists of a variety of different terrain and climate zones, including several new additions we introduced a while ago, and those also show as you enter settlements. As villages, cities and strongholds are located in the frozen north, buildings will be covered in snow and snowy mountains will cover the horizon.



A settlement located in the wide open steppe of the south will have a much different vibe to it, as does one high up the mountains or deep in the forest. Having settlements fit their environment helps to make the world as a whole feel more coherent, and individual settlements more like real places and less generic spots on the map. After all, entering a city in the snowy north only to see lush green meadows on the inside wouldn’t exactly help the atmosphere.



Of course all settlements will look differently during night time. The shops are closed and usually only the tavern will remain open. You will be able to spend the night there and rest until morning. Here is an example of a settlement during night time in a grassland environment.



What you can’t see from the images is that we’re also creating a whole ambient soundscape for settlements depending on both their environment and the buildings within. A coastal fishing village will have you hear seagulls, a village containing a smithy will have you hear hammering on metal, and every settlement will have the sounds of people and civilization to really make you feel that you’re in the middle of a living and breathing place.

Meanwhile, work on the all-new contract mechanics continues. Next week will see a more lengthy update again as we’ll introduce how contracts now work and how you’ll be earning your crowns in the future!

Meet us in Hamburg

If you are in Hamburg you can meet up with us tomorrow 14th of November at the “Making Games Talents” conference at the HAW Hamburg. We will be representing Overhype Studios and be talking to young people wanting to get into the game industry all day so if you are in the area or attending anyways drop by and have a chat with us!

More info here (German only): Making Games Talents 2015

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« Reply #211 on: November 20, 2015, 06:00:44 AM »

THe dev blog this week explains how the all-new contract system will work:

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Dev Blog #61: Progress Update - Contracts, Part 1


This week we’re talking mercenary contracts. They are a core feature for a game about managing a mercenary company, so we’re redesigning how they work in order to have them be more interesting, varied and reactive to your choices. Let’s get into it!

Introduction

Battle Brothers is a game about managing a mercenary company in a medieval fantasy world. That’s pretty much the core premise, and something to keep in mind with every feature we consider. Mercenaries, by definition, are free agents that offer their services for a fee, that take on mercenary contracts offered to them by different parties. And that’s something we really want to emphasize and make a core gameplay element of with our new contract mechanics.

There’s a couple of issues we have with how contracts work in the game right now. They’re too few, too simple, too repetitive, too static. Because they also are agnostic to the player’s progress, they can be impossible to complete or be completely outscaled in their reward by selling loot of enemies the player just randomly engages on his own, demoting them to merely a means of additional income rather than the guiding light they’re supposed to be. Finally, with loot being the major source of income, certain enemy types are vastly preferable to others that drop few or no loot due to their nature.

With these problems identified, we took contracts back to the drawing board. Let’s check out what we came up with.

Contract Negotiations

Contracts are offered to you in settlements all across the land. Some are concerned with local problems, issued by single settlements that require your services, and some are of more of a global nature and offered in all of the settlements that belong to a particular noble house. The number of contracts on offer in a single settlement is no longer limited to just 3, and you’ll also be able to see if there are other contracts on offer even if you have an active one. Because contracts may now have a time limit or contradict each other (like both attacking and defending the same caravan), you’re limited to fulfilling one at a time.



The contracts offered to you also depend on your relation to your potential employers and your renown. Renown is a new statistic that is basically your ‘business reputation’ and measures how reliable and competent you’re perceived to be across the lands. Successfully completing contracts will increase your renown, as will winning hard battles, but failing or cancelling contracts, not to mention betraying your employers, will lower it.

Contract negotiations are now handled in dialogs much like events on the worldmap are. Potential employers will introduce themselves, explain the task that they need you to perform and make an initial offer of what they’re willing to pay. This is where you’ll now be able to actively negotiate the terms of your payment. You may at any time accept their offer or ask for different terms, such as payment in advance, more payment on completion or other clauses depending on the type of contract. This also allows you to customize payment to your current needs - just lost half of your men in battle and are low on crowns? Then ask for a lot of payment in advance to be able to recruit new men and stock up on supplies before going into battle, even if it means less payment overall. Don’t test the patience of your potential employer too much, though, as eventually they may decide to break up negotiations. Once negotiations have been completed, you’ll see a final overview of what you’re to do and what payment you’ll receive. At this point, you can agree to take up the contract or take a look at other contracts available and return at a later time to sign it.

How Contracts Work


To put it simply, contracts can now be quite a bit more complex. Just take a look at the flow chart for the new ‘Raid Caravan’ contract to get an idea. Contracts now can branch differently based on 3 different ways;



They can branch randomly. Because you’re likely to do quite a few ‘Escort Caravan’ contracts in your time, we want to make sure that they play out differently and offer a surprise every now and then. Perhaps what the caravan carries this time isn’t quite what you expected. Or perhaps it isn’t bandits that stop the caravan, but soldiers of a noble house that claim that the goods the caravan caries are stolen. By changing contracts up we want to keep them feeling fresh and less predictable.

They can also branch based on your actions. Contracts can now trigger dialogs with player decisions at any time, the same way events work. For example, some contracts (and random branches) may offer you an opportunity to betray your employer for a fat bribe. Depending on your decision, the contract will play out differently. Other branches are the result of your actions in combat, and not of dialog. For example, contracts now come with more granular victory conditions; it’s no longer just a matter of getting a single survivor of a caravan to their destination - the less carts make it, the less happy your employer will be, and the less he’ll be inclined to pay you or hire you again in the future.

Finally, they can branch based on actions in previous contracts. Your decisions may carry over from one contract to another. Take the previous example of you betraying your employer. The next contract they offer to you may seem like any other you’ve done before, chasing away some bandits. But it’s a setup - heavily armed troops await you. Your employer isn’t of the forgiving kind and now seeks vengeance for your betrayal.

By introducing different branches, we want to have contracts feel much more varied, reactive and give you more choices of how you conduct yourself in the world, but also introduce consequences for your actions. Always keep in mind that helping one faction is likely to anger another, and you can’t afford to make enemies of the whole world if you expect someone to keep paying you.


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« Reply #212 on: November 27, 2015, 07:34:28 AM »

Let's go through an exemplary contract in this weeks dev blog:

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Dev Blog #62: Progress Update - Contracts, Part 2

In last week’s update we talked about what we feel needs to be improved regarding contracts in the game, and introduced new mechanics to do just that. This week we’ll walk through one of the new contracts together to get a better feel for how those may branch out and how you can affect their outcome. Onwards!

Your Reputation

The contract we’re taking a closer look at today is the ‘Raid Caravan’ one. For a long time there have been requests from you guys to be able to raid caravans yourself - and now, you can. It’s not the same as living as bandits, but it’s the shadier side of mercenary business where your employer cares little for the life of a few peasants if it furthers their agenda.

Because we want to also portray the less chivalrous side of mercenary life, and give you options on how to lead your own company, we have a bunch of darker-themed contracts and decisions available. Being hired to slaughter a bunch of peasants, let no one escape alive and burn down their homes, may not appeal to everyone, and that’s ok, but it’s a way to earn some easy crowns because those peasants will hardly put up a fight against hardened mercenaries.

Your inclination towards actions such as these are now measured with a new ‘moral reputation’ scale, which reflects how people know you to act. If you’re particularly bloodthirsty, people may fear you just for your reputation, which may even unlock some additional actions in contracts and events, while being known as kind and merciful may garner you the goodwill and support of the people.

Raid Caravan

Because we’ve covered contract negotiations in last week’s update, we’re jumping straight to the action. Your employer hired you to raid a caravan, kill everyone and burn everything - their motivations for doing so vary throughout the game, the specifics will differ, but the general structure of the contract remains the same. You’re given information on a caravan travelling from one settlement to another and have to intercept it on your own terms. Predict the way it’s going to take, pick a good spot, pick a good time, and attack.



As you close in to attack, several things can happen. You may be spotted, and the caravan leader may seek a parley to offer you a bribe. You’d just have to return to your employer and tell him that you failed to catch up to the caravan. If you accept, he may even offer you a second bribe to name your employer. Failing to destroy the caravan will hurt your reputation either way, but naming your employer is a betrayal - and if your employer were to find out, he might seek revenge, and will certainly not want to trust you with contracts for the foreseeable future. But then, how should he find out? And it’s a lot of crowns you’re offered.

The caravan may have also taken up travellers along the way. One of them could be a swordmaster, a dangerous opponent that now threatens you to leave alone the caravan that so graciously took him along. Is fighting him at the risk of losing good men worth it for what you’re paid?

Closing in on the caravan successfully, you have several options. You may choose to encircle the caravan for different starting positions in battle - helpful when your orders are to leave noone alive. So are wardogs, of course, to catch up with anyone attempting to flee. If it is night time, you may try to close in even further. Note that while these actions allow you to adjust your approach to the situation, they’re not meant as a replacement for a potential deployment phase, preset formations, or similar.

The battle is done, you’re victorious! Time to report to your employer. Again, several things can happen. Maybe this time, while looking for valuables and burning the rest, your men find some delicate papers about your employer that make for an interesting read. Turns out that this was the reason he wanted to have the caravan burned in the first place. You may choose to burn the papers with the rest, or take them along. As you return to your employer, you can blackmail him with the papers for a large sum of crowns, but at the cost of your relations. Or you can just hand them over. Or keep them for a later time.

And did you let anyone escape alive to tell the tale of your attack? If so, then you better hope they didn’t know who you were, or they didn’t make it, because if the trail leads back to your employer, he probably won’t be happy about being incriminated. And neither will whoever owned that caravan appreciate your involvement.

And that’s a day in a mercenary’s life.


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« Reply #213 on: December 04, 2015, 07:59:08 AM »

New worldmap assets and individual characters for each faction will make is what we are working on:

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Dev Blog #63: Progress Update - Map, Faction Leaders

Time is flying by as the settlement screens get finished and we move on to work on the actual map part of the worldmap. Let’s take a closer look!

What’s been happening?

The settlement screens are done for now, so we’re moving on to polish the worldmap assets. Just like the settlement screens, those, too, had initially been done with placeholder images and are now receiving their final look. Below you can see how the central buildings of settlements, the same ones you previously saw on the settlement screens, look on the worldmap now.



At the same time we’re implementing more faction mechanics and contracts. All factions in the world of Battle Brothers now have a number of characters leading them - family members in the case of noble houses, and influential citizens in the case of settlements. Although those characters don’t have the depth as in a true rpg, we do feel that giving faces to the factions really helps to have them come alive.

As factions give out contracts, you’ll be dealing with individual characters that negotiate with you and to whom you report after all is said and done. You’ll potentially be working with them on several contracts, and they can also become part of contracts themselves. You may be escorting them, you may fight alongside them on the field of battle, or you may even be hired to kill them after having worked with them for some time - in which case they’ll permanently depart from this world, just like your conscience.



The above shows part of the new ‘Factions & Relations’ screen where you can at any time get an overview of the factions in the game, their leading characters, and your relation to them. Factions, too, come with a bit of procedurally generated backstory depending on their traits and values, in order to give you an idea of who it is you’re dealing with. If we find the time, we’ll also add some more clothes and hats suitable for nobility.


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« Reply #214 on: December 04, 2015, 08:03:11 AM »

Love how deep you're diving into all this. Will have huge impacts on the already great experience, looking forward to seeing these updates all go live next year.
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« Reply #215 on: December 11, 2015, 08:47:17 AM »

Yes, pretty hard to wait for us too as we really want to see all the peoples reactions to the stuff we added to the game!

Meanwhile here is this weeks blog:

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Dev Blog #64: Progress Update - Oceans and Sea Travel


Ever wondered why there is no big body of water in the world of Battle Brothers? Well, wonder no more because now there is! And you can even fast travel from port to port for a small fee to cut down on those long pilgrimages. Let’s check out the details!

Ocean and Coast Lines


A while ago we talked about how we want to reshape the geography of the world of Battle Brothers. How we'll have both land and sea for an actual continent and smaller islands off the coast. In short, a more believable and varied looking world to play in. If you missed the original announcement back then, you can read up on it here. With this in mind, our focus turned towards the ocean and the coast this week.



Creating a coastline that fits well into our hex-based tile system, looks nice and integrates seamlessly with all kinds of different terrain we now have was a surprisingly nerve-wracking endeavour for our artist. After a long process of trial and error, and experimenting with a wide range of brushes and textures, we now have an actual shoreline along the coast where ocean meets land. With that established we can go further to add various details, like driftwood and rocks, to make the coast look more varied. At the same time we're looking into animated waves for the ocean in order to make the worldmap feel more alive than before.

Fast Travel by Sea

Not only makes the ocean for more interesting geography, it also makes for natural barriers for travel. In fact, some settlements on islands off the coast can't even be reached by foot. To make these accessible, and to cut down on travel time across the world in a way that integrates well with the setting, we've added fast travel by boat this week.



Coastal settlements, whether a small fishing village or a mighty castle by the sea, come with docks which can be accessed from the settlement screen. Here you'll be able to browse through available routes and board a ship for a small fee (depending on distance and the number of men in your employ) to fast travel to another settlement with sea access.

IndieDB Indiegame of the Year: Vote for us!

The well known website IndieDB is hosting their Indiegame of the year voting 2015 right now and Battle Brothers already made it into the top 100! The voting continues until the 20th of December so all of you have the chance to cast a vote for us. Please head over to IndieDB and throw a vote our way - and while you are at it, tell your friends about it. You can follow this LINK. Thanks so much for supporting us!


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« Reply #216 on: January 08, 2016, 05:34:24 AM »

New year new dev blogs!

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Dev Blog #66: Progress Update – Putting the Pieces Together
The holidays are over and it’s back to work! This week we started putting all the pieces we have been creating over the past months together so that we can start playtesting and balancing all the new additions for the update in February.

Populating the world

Reworking the worldmap feels a bit like taking a machine apart and putting it back together. We started again at the beginning, improving the layout and terrain of the world, adding more interesting and unique settlements, and creating a more complex web of different factions. Now is the time to populate the world again and let the inhabitants roam the world.

Speaking of population, the world now has more clearly defined regions than before. There's the densely populated areas between settlements that belong to noble houses - you'll find bandits there every now and then, and the odd beast may find its way there, but it's a lot safer than the regions bordering on the wild. The wild is largely covered in fog at the beginning of the game and for you to explore. It's home to Orcs, Goblins and worse, and not somewhere you should venture out to before you got some experience under your belt.



Hostile locations on the worldmap received a graphical overhaul, and some, like the large camps of Goblins and Orcs, got redone. This is because we want to give both Orcs and Goblins more identity in accordance with their lore in the world of Battle Brothers. Orcs, for example, are now actually the nomads they're supposed to be; they live in tents because they may at any time pack their things, migrate as a large horde to somewhere else (hopefully not near human settlements!) and put down their tents there to raid anything in the vicinity.

Another change is that there is no real distinction anymore between inactive and active hostile locations, as was the case in previous versions. Every location now can send out parties for hunting, raiding and similar, although smaller locations do so less and in fewer numbers, and some factions may be more passive than others. You may find Ghouls hovering around old battlefields and graveyards, or Vampires taking a stroll at night, but the undead are generally content sitting in their crypts and guarding their treasures.



While parties roaming the world will feel familiar if you've played previous versions of the game, there have been some improvements and additions. Caravans, for example, now actually carry the produce of the settlements that send them, it can get taken by raiders (from which you in turn can take it) or unloaded at marketplaces of the settlements that caravans reach, for you to buy there. Noble houses patrol their roads and shuffle troops between their outposts, and they're generally more formidable than the generic Landsknechts of old. Ships now also sail between coastal settlements, transporting goods and passengers.

Loot & Treasure Locations

Because looting golden chalices, ornate tomes and gemstones feels more satisfying than mundane money every time, we’ve added a number of loot items for you to plunder. Those are largely cosmetic, but they also serve another feature we’re introducing: treasure locations. You may find treasure at all kinds of locations, of course, but there’s now a few locations well-hidden and littered around the world that contain vast amounts of treasure, including pieces of unique equipment.



You may stumble upon these locations by yourself, or you may follow rumors and leads you pick up around the world. We’ll talk more about treasure locations and rumors in a future update together with the introduction of taverns.


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« Reply #217 on: January 18, 2016, 02:24:23 AM »

Here is the newest blog post on specialized shops in Battle Brothers:

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Dev Blog #67: Progress Update - Specialized Shops

A centerpiece of how individual settlements will feel distinct on the new worldmap of Battle Brothers is different buildings with a unique gameplay function. This week we’ll be taking a closer look at some specialized shops that are coming with the update in February.

Specialized Shops

If you’ve watched our

you’ll already know that every settlement now comes with a marketplace. The marketplace works as an amalgamation of what a variety of smaller traders peddle throughout the settlement. That is, all kinds of different goods and equipment that are regionally available. Apart from supplies, such as different kinds of food, this may also include weapons, armor and shields. However, the selection on the marketplace is limited to what those traders bought themselves and are now reselling, the quality is limited to what is commonly available to and affordable by the people living there, and the equipment may have been used before and look the part. You may even find the occasional great deal here, but to outfit your growing mercenary company you’ll eventually want to look elsewhere.



For those who have the crowns, there are specialized traders available for weapons and armor which have a much larger selection of quality equipment, brand-new but also quite a bit more expensive. These traders are the weaponsmith, the armorsmith and the fletcher. You are more likely to find these in the settlements surrounding fortifications than small fishing villages, and while the smithies are more likely to be found in settlements with good access to metal, you’ll find the fletcher in settlements with good access to wood.



Whereas the weaponsmith will have a large variety of melee weapons on offer, with a few throwing weapons thrown in, the fletcher specializes in ranged weaponry. The selection of ranged weapons in the game is still limited at this time, of course, but we’ll eventually add more of them that will then make their way to the fletcher as well. To make browsing specialized shops more interesting and also worth it later in the game, you’ll now be able to sometimes find unique named weapons on offer - for kingly prices, of course.



An even more specialized shop than those three is the kennel. You can pick up a wardog or two all over the land, but if your tactics happen to rely heavily on man’s best friend, you’ll want to head out to go to the source: one of only a few kennels across the land where the best dogs of war are bred and sold in large numbers. Kennels are usually part of smaller fortifications, so they’re worth visiting for reasons different than large castles. Dogs and their handler are yet to be added to the image you see above.

There’s a bunch more buildings coming, including one that will allow you to customize the appearance of your Battle Brothers to your liking. Return here, as we’ll be revealing them in future progress updates!

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« Reply #218 on: January 18, 2016, 05:20:52 AM »

The game is looking better and better with every update. Great job, guys! Keep it up.
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« Reply #219 on: February 01, 2016, 02:13:33 AM »

We now have a release date for the big worldmap update which is the 29th of February so in about one months time you will be able to test out all the new stuff in the game! Here is the announcement:

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Dev Blog #69: Update Date Announcement, Pretty Pictures

February is almost upon us, time to announce a date! The worldmap update will be released exactly one month from now, on February the 29th. We’ll use the time until then for adding some more minor features and more content, as well as for bugfixing and balancing. As the release draws closer, Jaysen will also start a new Let’s Play series to give you a tour of how the game now plays.

Bugfixing and balancing doesn’t make for good content in blog updates, sadly, so this week we’re a bit short on material. Let’s look at some pretty pictures instead!

Pretty Pictures

Most of the worldmap visuals are finished now. There’s a few settlement locations left to be done, like the harbor, but at this point it’s more polishing than creating new assets. Take a look at one of our new environments, the steppe. It’s modelled after terrain you’d find in some southern European countries, like Spain. With a drastically different look from the tundra and snow you can find in the north, it makes for more distinct regions in the world and more variety as you travel it. How much steppe there is, and where it is exactly, changes with each world you generate.



Swamps also received an overhaul. Looking more dreary now, they can be found in small to medium stretches more or less all over the world. Traversing them has become slightly faster, but travelling on dry land is still preferable. That ground fog is actually animated, and they have quite a lively sound ambience.



Mountains are still not something you want to cross regularly, as it takes a long time and is costly in terms of supplies. To make it easier to distinguish them from hills, all mountains now have snow caps. Should you make it to the top, you’ll be able to see far across the land - useful perhaps if you’re looking for something.

Hills are now a common terrain that can be crossed at decent speeds. Settlements at hillsides often have an economy based around mining, like the one in the picture below. Goats are held here as a source of food, and you’ll be able to purchase goat cheese in the settlement. The gem mine will also likely make caravans from here juicy targets for bandits, which in turn means good job opportunities for mercenaries.



Noble houses are quite a bit more active than the Landsknechts of old, especially when it comes to defending their territory. This picture shows a company of soldiers led by a knight battling against a horde of marauding orcs. Speaking of orcs, they had all their sounds redone and a lot of new ones added to bring them to the same level as goblins.


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