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April 01, 2020, 12:25:42 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsRadio General - the RTS where you can't see your own units
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Foolish Mortals
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« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2018, 04:27:57 PM »


Devlog 13: New UI & Camouflage




Alrighty, as always, life is busy, so this took a while to come out, but hopefully the results are worth the wait. There's three pieces of news:

UI
First is the UI. To send an order to a unit using the old UI (pictured below), you had to click on a number of dropdown menus. During playtesting, a number of people commented that it was cumbersome due to the number of clicks you had to make. You had to select both a recipient and an order from two separate dropdowns, then click SEND. This was often 5 clicks for a single order. Very cumbersome.


So I made a new UI (pictured below)! I got rid of the dropdown menus to reduce the number of needed clicks. On the left-hand side we see a list of your units, and on the orders you can give, represented by icons. With this new design we have much finer control over who the recipients are. To send the order, we select who we want to receive it, and then click on an order icon on the right. This is often 2 clicks. Much better than the 5 clicks from before!


Also, I now have a better way of displaying information about your units. We can have different unit icons to show what types of units you have. We can see their veterancy, how many troops are in the unit, as well as their type. Above we have 2 regular rifle companies, and a recon unit. I'll soon put the new UI in front of my usual group of testers and see what they think.


Camouflage
Ok, onto the next addition: camouflage. Units now have asymmetric lines of sight. This means that if a unit can see an enemy, that enemy doesn't necessarily see the observing unit. I made sightlines visible between enemies, so let's take a look. Below we can see that the blue unit in the forest can see the enemy, but the enemy can't see the hidden friendly unit. The forest gives camouflage to any units within it, so the enemy has to move closer than it normally would to spot the enemy.


With camouflage comes the ability to ambush enemies! Our friendly unit opens fire, and the enemy unit is temporarily stunned and doesn't return fire for a bit. This lets smaller units sometimes defeat larger units through the clever use of terrain. Cool!


New Team Members
Lastly, my team has expanded. I am no longer a lone-wolf! I've been joined by two friends who'll be doing some part-time work on it. One is working on the speech recognition with the microphone, and the other is working on making the audio and sounds. Very cool!
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Foolish Mortals
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« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2018, 08:34:36 PM »

Devlog 14: New UI Continued

Not a full video devlog this time, just a further update on the UI.



The main difference is the placement of received messages along the top of the screen, sorted by their sender. It shows the 2 most recent messages from each unit. This lets you know at a glance what each unit is up to. There will still be a full log to view ALL received messages, but this condensed view should be very useful. One problem for the future is if there are too many units to fit horizontally along the top of the screen (more than 5). Oh well, that's a problem for another day.
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« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2018, 01:03:09 AM »

Hi Michael! Smiley

It's nice to meet you, especially since it turns out that we came up with the similar idea for our project Radio Commander!

We've never heard of your project before and I'm really excited that I can read your Dev Log now Smiley

So far I've read, I think that Radio General is focused more on simulation and Radio Commander is more focused on narrative aspects Smiley

I hope that you are not mad that someone on the other side of the globe came with similar idea  Coffee


Best regards!
Jakub
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Foolish Mortals
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« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2018, 08:47:17 AM »

Hi Michael! Smiley

It's nice to meet you, especially since it turns out that we came up with the similar idea for our project Radio Commander!

We've never heard of your project before and I'm really excited that I can read your Dev Log now Smiley

So far I've read, I think that Radio General is focused more on simulation and Radio Commander is more focused on narrative aspects Smiley

I hope that you are not mad that someone on the other side of the globe came with similar idea  Coffee


Best regards!
Jakub

Hi Jakub. Probably a good thing we're covering different wars. Looking forward to seeing more info about your game (and implementation).
« Last Edit: September 25, 2018, 11:52:42 AM by Foolish Mortals » Logged


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« Reply #44 on: November 07, 2018, 11:08:32 PM »

Devlog 15: 3D





It's been a while since I last posted here, but that doesn't mean I've been idle. I had a research paper accepted at CHI Play 2018 (computer human interaction conference) in Melbourne, AUS , and also had the opportunity to present Radio General at the conference (as well as Melbourne's Public Games Week Exhibition).





I've made a number of changes since last time, but the most major (and visible) one is the 3D visuals. We now have an excellent 3D command tent, done by a colleague (who also attended the conference). We're going for a more a diegetic design, with much of the interface being present in-universe. An example being the coloured pens on the desk you can click on to change your drawing colour. You also do a few other things in the game world, such as clicking on the lantern to turn on and off the light.

The difference between the two above images is that the second one has nicer finished lighting, and some terrain. Other changes have been made, but those will have to wait till next time.
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« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2018, 03:02:03 PM »

That is absolutely stunning! The brandy glass is a very nice touch  Gentleman
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Foolish Mortals
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« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2019, 10:03:06 PM »

Well, it's been far too long since I've posted here. Life got pretty busy, as I got to visit Australia for a conference, and a big trip through some of southeast Asia with my family. Then christmas came, and with that visiting relatives. Lastly, I was the chief organizer of my city's only global gamejam site (which just ended 7 hours ago), and we had over 60 participants make 13 games. This was a blast, but also exhausting.

As for development, it's progressing. More updates to come soon as I get back in the habit of devlogs.
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« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2019, 11:33:16 AM »

Devlog 16: Paradrops & Paperwork

One of the big features I've been working on is paradrops. During certain missions, the player will be able to request that paratroopers be dropped at a specific location, at a specific time. This of course involves filling out paperwork (pictured below).



Unfortunately, jumping out of a plane is not an exact science, and the unit won't arrive at the location you specify. This variance or 'drift' is determined the wind speed and direction (mentioned in the mission briefing). If the unit lands in a forest, town, or swamp, they will take some casualties (landing on a tree hurts!).



Using paratroopers opens up some tactics, as it allows for the flanking of an otherwise impassable position (remember, flanking negates defence!). Example: there's a town that straddles a river with a bridge. This is the only bridge in the immediate area. Regular land troops would only be able to attack from the one direction. A savy commander would request a paradrop on the other side of the river, allowing for the town to be attacked simultaneously from two directions.

When testing paradrops, I found users to enter some surprising things I never anticipated in the forms. This is partly due to people not reading the form properly. This may be due to my test environment (observing people playing it in person), though I believe it's just most people don't like reading. This input validation has been causing some headaches, but I believe I've gotten the most common errors out of the way.
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« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2019, 11:43:40 AM »

Devlog 17: Fresh Coating of Paint

This was a big update on the visuals. Of course lots is changing from the frequent play-tests, but those details are less flashy to look at than the visuals.




New Figurines
I’ve started work with my 3D artist earlier than planned in the milestones due to wanting nicer in-game screenshots for the Steam store page. We now have both Canadian and German infantry figurines. These new figurines can display more information than the old stand-ins: at the top of the banner pole is the unit type. The background colour of the flag shows which sides it’s on (yours or enemy), and the flag shows the unit’s phonetic name at the top, and the regimental symbol of the unit (wargamers love including their ‘favourite’ regiments). I may alter the flag to show the flag of their respective country, or part of it at least, as that’s much more recognizable than these other symbols.


Improved Maps
I’ve contracted a cartographer to make new map symbols and colour palettes. I’ve currently implemented new forest and swamp terrain features, but more are on their way. New colour palettes have also been implemented, and in future each geographic region will have its own colour palette (drier colours for Italy & Sicily, greener colours for France, etc.)

For the images below, which do you prefer? Is each element easily understood?

A.



B.



C.

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« Reply #49 on: March 09, 2019, 02:09:15 AM »

i remember this. glad to see it getting polished up. i think your core concept is so good that you would have success either way but it's looking really nice. congratulations.
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« Reply #50 on: March 09, 2019, 07:14:42 AM »

I’ve contracted a cartographer to make new map symbols and colour palettes.

Kudos Smiley

For the images below, which do you prefer? Is each element easily understood?

I prefer A. Looks familiar and is therefore easily readable.
B looks strange.
C is readable. But more abstract than ordinary maps.

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Foolish Mortals
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« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2019, 03:03:39 PM »

I’ve contracted a cartographer to make new map symbols and colour palettes.

Kudos Smiley

For the images below, which do you prefer? Is each element easily understood?

I prefer A. Looks familiar and is therefore easily readable.
B looks strange.
C is readable. But more abstract than ordinary maps.



Thanks. Preference noted!


i remember this. glad to see it getting polished up. i think your core concept is so good that you would have success either way but it's looking really nice. congratulations.
I agree, I think either will look good.
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« Reply #52 on: March 23, 2019, 02:13:29 AM »

I like A except maybe the swamp feels a bit small like the texture could be slightly scaled up to look less crowded? And not a fan of the trees along the edges being cut off. If it was a map drawn by hand someone would make sure to put the tree symbols in a way that they were not cut in half like that. I understand if you implement it with a bitmap texture this is what happens and making it look perfect might be too much work. Looks great anyway!
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« Reply #53 on: March 23, 2019, 02:24:52 AM »

I like A, but C is way clearer , if that makes sense. Shocked

Haven't seen this game before, it's right up my alley, , reminds me of Ruse. I loved playing that game, but it had huge problems.
It looks awesome, I'm waiting for something playable!
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Hi! First game-dev experience!


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« Reply #54 on: March 23, 2019, 02:36:23 AM »

It remember me this game (youtube video) that mix a board game with a virtual game. great idea
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« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2019, 11:25:18 AM »

I like A except maybe the swamp feels a bit small like the texture could be slightly scaled up to look less crowded? And not a fan of the trees along the edges being cut off. If it was a map drawn by hand someone would make sure to put the tree symbols in a way that they were not cut in half like that. I understand if you implement it with a bitmap texture this is what happens and making it look perfect might be too much work. Looks great anyway!
Thanks! Yeah it's definitely tricky not to have the little tree symbols be cut-off at the edge. I'm wondering if a shader could accomplish this...

I like A, but C is way clearer , if that makes sense. Shocked

Haven't seen this game before, it's right up my alley, , reminds me of Ruse. I loved playing that game, but it had huge problems.
It looks awesome, I'm waiting for something playable!
Yeah it's pretty divided between A and C (and nobody likes B).
Yes RUSE was AWESOME looking! I loved zooming out and looking at the command room. The graphics were all super detailed.

I’ve contracted a cartographer to make new map symbols and colour palettes.

Kudos Smiley

For the images below, which do you prefer? Is each element easily understood?

I prefer A. Looks familiar and is therefore easily readable.
B looks strange.
C is readable. But more abstract than ordinary maps.
Noted. As for abstractness in maps - it depends. Often colour is used to denote foliage level, but I'm using colour to also denote height. I like using colour for height as  any maps that don't involve forests or water (like the Sicilian mountains) would look bland and colourless.
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« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2019, 01:57:04 PM »

Devlog 18: Painted Figurines


This update was a big one, so I'll split it up into a few parts. My 3D modeller has been hard at work, and figurines are now painted in colour to look more like tabletop figurines. Each faction also has unique figurines (note the different helmets between Canadian and German troops). Currently we have figurines for regular Infantry (riflemen), Scouts, and Snipers. We made sure that each unit type has a unique profile and stance.

In terms 3D models, the next step is to get painted tanks (ooh yeah). Pretty psyched to see painted Shermans and Panzer IV's.
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« Reply #57 on: April 16, 2019, 10:58:22 AM »

Devlog 19: Day-Night Cycles


The command tent now features a full day-night cycle! This adds a lot of flavour, as briefings can now take place during preceding day/night. Additionally, the lighting will slowly and subtly change as in-game hours pass during missions (each real-world second is one in-game minute).
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« Reply #58 on: April 24, 2019, 10:04:16 AM »

Devlog 20: Operation Husky


We’ve started work on Operation Husky: the invasion of Sicily. Canadian troops land on the shores of Sicily, and must take the nearby village of Pachino and the nearby airfield. This early mission will provide a gentle introduction to using infantry by first giving the player a single infantry company, and slowly providing additional reinforcements. The player will have to use flanking to take the objectives, and then defend against a counterattack from the 122nd Italian Coastal Infantry Regiment. Briefing screenshots below tinted yellow due to lantern light at night.
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« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2019, 01:56:22 PM »

Devlog 21: Great Outdoors
Beautiful Italy (seen above). Outdoor scenes seamlessly change without a loading screen when certain levels are selected - levels in Italy use the Italian outdoor scene, France uses France, etc. In future, we will also be able to load independent weather effects such as rain, snow, fog. Each outdoor environment can have different post-processing effects (e.g. color hues. Italy is goldish, France more greenish).

We want Radio General to be as historically accurate, as well as be educational. Using archives and official sources, we will be including historical documents such as photos, letters and diaries from soldiers who actually participated in the events you're witnessing. Between missions you'll learn what it was like to be a soldier on campaign in WW2, and gain new appreciation for what they went through.
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