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« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2020, 07:13:46 AM »

Looks awesome!

Can you describe a bit of the management/survival part of the gameplay? Will it also be in real-time?
Thank you!
Yes, the entire game will be in real-time, in the classic overhead RTS view; only during leaders' Duels will it switch to a different view.
In essence, the game revolves around the survival element, which determines many things - like where, when, and even if the two opposing factions will ultimately clash. There are physical hazards in the wilderness, but the main problem will be the Attrition: your units grow hungrier, and will gradually weaken and can ultimately die if the Attrition is not tended to. This can be done by searching for food - huntables in the wilderness, for your army to share. Not only the food, but also other survival elements are randomized on the maps: snowstorms can hinder your army's progress in just the worst possible time, and then there's frozen lakes, saving precious time when crossing - but can also be treacherous, especially if heavier units are crossing them.
The AI is ever-adaptive to the environment, constantly searching for food, attempting to avoid certain hazards, and sometimes even sabotaging your hunting operations before the main army is even sent to attack. While it is a competent survivalist, the map conditions can sometimes take even the AI by surprise. You can also try and sabotage its food gathering, or lure its units to their deaths in the wilderness; tricks like this are more than acceptable to gain an edge over the enemy before the final clash of your armies will come.
Constructing buildings, like hunting traps, is done with your Leader, and killing the AI Leader (easier said than done, since they love travelling with bodyguards) will also greatly cripple them. You must also remember not to neglect map control and constantly scout for good spots to build outposts, traps for the enemy, etc.


Sounds like a very big project, but then again strategy games are always big, do you have a deadline for finishing the game? Also on what price will it be?


Yeah, aiming to release by Summer 2021. There's still a lot to be done sure, but since all the mechanics and more difficult things have been pretty much implemented, its mostly about finishing the Campaigns and doing some graphical overhaul which is pretty easy.
So far I've been intent to release it for free, as it's my first proper (big) game. Let's see if that changes anywhere. Maybe, maybe not!
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« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2020, 10:21:09 AM »

Been adding some lighting effects lately.

Campfires have normally a dim light, but in shade, it sticks out more brightly.

But most importantly:
Guns have some proper muzzle flash now!



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« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2020, 07:12:02 AM »

Hey there, a little update.
Still aiming for 2021 Summer release, but for now, I will post less densely on The Finnish War. Many things going on at the moment, with the holidays and quarantine behind me and regular life once again lifting its head. The Finnish War is still being worked on constantly, but with less frequency as was during the spring - summer.



I have a small to do-list for the game for the rest of the year 2020 - I aim to get that cleared by the end of the year, and then at the start of 2021, move to finish the Campaigns. After that, it's just minor improvements here and there as well as playtesting - then it's starting to look ready.

If anything comes up, like delays, of course I'll keep you informed. But for now, posting'll be less frequent than up until this point.



i'll see you guys later on in the autumn.
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« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2020, 03:03:27 PM »

Looks awesome!

Can you describe a bit of the management/survival part of the gameplay? Will it also be in real-time?
Thank you!
Yes, the entire game will be in real-time, in the classic overhead RTS view; only during leaders' Duels will it switch to a different view.
In essence, the game revolves around the survival element, which determines many things - like where, when, and even if the two opposing factions will ultimately clash. There are physical hazards in the wilderness, but the main problem will be the Attrition: your units grow hungrier, and will gradually weaken and can ultimately die if the Attrition is not tended to. This can be done by searching for food - huntables in the wilderness, for your army to share. Not only the food, but also other survival elements are randomized on the maps: snowstorms can hinder your army's progress in just the worst possible time, and then there's frozen lakes, saving precious time when crossing - but can also be treacherous, especially if heavier units are crossing them.
The AI is ever-adaptive to the environment, constantly searching for food, attempting to avoid certain hazards, and sometimes even sabotaging your hunting operations before the main army is even sent to attack. While it is a competent survivalist, the map conditions can sometimes take even the AI by surprise. You can also try and sabotage its food gathering, or lure its units to their deaths in the wilderness; tricks like this are more than acceptable to gain an edge over the enemy before the final clash of your armies will come.
Constructing buildings, like hunting traps, is done with your Leader, and killing the AI Leader (easier said than done, since they love travelling with bodyguards) will also greatly cripple them. You must also remember not to neglect map control and constantly scout for good spots to build outposts, traps for the enemy, etc.


Sounds like a very big project, but then again strategy games are always big, do you have a deadline for finishing the game? Also on what price will it be?


Yeah, aiming to release by Summer 2021. There's still a lot to be done sure, but since all the mechanics and more difficult things have been pretty much implemented, its mostly about finishing the Campaigns and doing some graphical overhaul which is pretty easy.
So far I've been intent to release it for free, as it's my first proper (big) game. Let's see if that changes anywhere. Maybe, maybe not!


What if ... you make your free version but with low content, focused more on mechanics and fun factor rather than many hours of gameplay and you post if free on gamejolt and itch io and... if the player feedback is positive and they love it then expand it into a bigger project, add more content and plan for a full version for $ on Steam?
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« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2020, 04:34:41 AM »

Looks awesome!

Can you describe a bit of the management/survival part of the gameplay? Will it also be in real-time?
Thank you!
Yes, the entire game will be in real-time, in the classic overhead RTS view; only during leaders' Duels will it switch to a different view.
In essence, the game revolves around the survival element, which determines many things - like where, when, and even if the two opposing factions will ultimately clash. There are physical hazards in the wilderness, but the main problem will be the Attrition: your units grow hungrier, and will gradually weaken and can ultimately die if the Attrition is not tended to. This can be done by searching for food - huntables in the wilderness, for your army to share. Not only the food, but also other survival elements are randomized on the maps: snowstorms can hinder your army's progress in just the worst possible time, and then there's frozen lakes, saving precious time when crossing - but can also be treacherous, especially if heavier units are crossing them.
The AI is ever-adaptive to the environment, constantly searching for food, attempting to avoid certain hazards, and sometimes even sabotaging your hunting operations before the main army is even sent to attack. While it is a competent survivalist, the map conditions can sometimes take even the AI by surprise. You can also try and sabotage its food gathering, or lure its units to their deaths in the wilderness; tricks like this are more than acceptable to gain an edge over the enemy before the final clash of your armies will come.
Constructing buildings, like hunting traps, is done with your Leader, and killing the AI Leader (easier said than done, since they love travelling with bodyguards) will also greatly cripple them. You must also remember not to neglect map control and constantly scout for good spots to build outposts, traps for the enemy, etc.


Sounds like a very big project, but then again strategy games are always big, do you have a deadline for finishing the game? Also on what price will it be?


Yeah, aiming to release by Summer 2021. There's still a lot to be done sure, but since all the mechanics and more difficult things have been pretty much implemented, its mostly about finishing the Campaigns and doing some graphical overhaul which is pretty easy.
So far I've been intent to release it for free, as it's my first proper (big) game. Let's see if that changes anywhere. Maybe, maybe not!


What if ... you make your free version but with low content, focused more on mechanics and fun factor rather than many hours of gameplay and you post if free on gamejolt and itch io and... if the player feedback is positive and they love it then expand it into a bigger project, add more content and plan for a full version for $ on Steam?


Those are exactly the sites I was planning on releasing first, Jolt and itch. Its a good idea. I think I'll finish my current to do-list for this game as intended, including the two (mediocre-length) campaigns, before release. I might have the inspiration afterwards especially with good feedback to add a whole bunch of stuff and perhaps expand to different sites. For now until Q2 2021, I know what is to be done still before this releases. big thanks for your help.
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« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2020, 11:38:58 AM »

Factions of The Finnish War

Here you have them. Didn't do a video this time, but i'm sure this does the job equally well, that is, to introduce the game's four playable factions. In true RTS fashion, all of them obviously come with their fair share of differences, from units to abilities etc.


THE SWEDISH

First up is the Swedish. The first faction I implemented to the game, and that's probably the reason why they are so 'casual.' They are overall pretty simple in the sense that their abilities and units are nothing ground-breaking, most likely because as they were the first faction I made, I was still hesitant to implement any sorts of massive game-changing traits for them. That's not to say they're bland or ineffective though, far from it.
The Swedish are all about mobility. This is reflected in many things: their Cavalry is faster than that of other factions, their Unique Ability makes their foot troops faster as well, and their Unique and Super-units are both exceptionally mobile - their Super-unit being the most mobile artillery piece.





But no faction is without their flaws - in the Swedes' case, their faster Cavalry is also weaker than other factions' equivalents, meaning while they perform certain tasks (like raiding or retreat) better, they lack the same staying power in battles.


THE RUSSIANS

Next up we have the Russians. Imagine them as a powerful, slumbering force that slowly but steadily moves forward with unstoppable determination and firepower. That's the Mother Bear in a nutshell.
Sounds overpowered? They're not though, obviously. The Russians, while having access to some pretty amazing stuff, suffer from slower foot troops than other factions. Their infantry is the slowest in the game, but they are not completely at loss when it comes to mobility...
This is because of their Unique Unit, the Bashkir, which is a perfect unit if all you want to do is harass your enemies to death. Raining flaming arrows and moving like the wind, they bring down buildings just as fast as they do enemy troops.



As mentioned above, the Russians come packed with their fair share of firepower. They have the long-ranged Cossacks, who can mow down enemies from afar, as well as the feared Tsar Cannon, the bulkiest artillery in the game!



All this is obviously not cheap to wield, and thus, the Russians end up being a costly choice unless you rely more heavily on standard infantry, which in their case is weaker (slower) than with other factions.
The Russians' Super Ability allows them to ignore speed penalties of the environment; snowstorms don't slow them down an inch, and they cross rivers much more smoothly than other factions!




THE FINNISH

The Finns are a personal favorite. For those who haven't figured it out yet, that's because I'm one!
In The Finnish War though, the Finns are a defensive-oriented faction with focus on support units. This means they're not the type to create a massive army with and go out guns and cannons blazing.
Aside from the fact that they have better support units, their Unique Ability grants their army better Morale, with all units with average or below-average Morale receiving a buff to that. This means that basically, they have the best staying power in the game - it's really tough to force a Finnish army to rout.
The Finns also hold more troops in buildings, with additional ones in the form of unique Partisan units coming out from them if destroyed by enemy.

Aside from their awesome staying power, their other trademark is Finnhorse Cavalry:



Some of the better raiding units in the game.

The Finns, however, have weaker artillery, and are also the only faction to not have any unique artillery piece.

They are a bonus faction, and you need to unlock them by completing the Swedish Campaign though.


THE FRENCH

Last and most certainly not least is the French. Like the Finns, they are a bonus faction, and in their case unlockable by completing the Russian Campaign. For a long time I considered the possibility of additional factions, because, well, the Finnish War was fought between the Swedish and the Russians. But, these two bonus factions, the Finns and the French, both tie directly into the events of the war and thus I considered them suitable as playable factions - only not in a major role, as that is reserved for the Swedes and Russians. In the case of the French, they were much responsible for the Finnish War ever taking place - and how the war ultimately ended allowed the French to shape Scandinavian political landscape with a heavy hand. Keep in mind, that the same French royal house that was installed on the Swedish throne in the aftermath of the Finnish War 200 years ago still rules in Sweden today.

But now, into their game mechanics.



The French are all about firepower: their artillery is the best in the game, and their Super Unit, the Gribeauval Mortier, the most fearsome cannon of them all.

This is the Mortier firing...



...and here we see the immediate aftermath.



In the cavalry department, the French shine as well: their standard cavalry has better Morale, and their Unique Unit, the Cuirassier, has a massive charge bonus on top of a defense bonus against firearms.



But, like all factions, the French have their shortcomings as well. While their cavalry are clearly superior, their infantry are at a loss, having weaker Morale. Thus, the standard 'human wave attack' with line infantry does not hold up as well with the French.


That's all the factions in The Finnish War, to give a little insight. Tried to keep it short, but turns out its quite difficult!
I've also tried to not have the factions' abilities and traits render the game's survival aspect any less challenging. That is, the abilities are mostly centered around combat and perhaps a few other things, but rarely contribute to giving them any better chances of survival in the winter environment, to not render the game's central aspect pointless.
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« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2020, 09:55:26 AM »

Introducing... Player Spoofs!

Basically, player spoofs are variations of the regular AI opponent that you can play Custom Battles against. Player Spoofs mimic real-life online players, with all their pros and cons.
Player Spoof AI can have any of a wide range of different personalities each based on a type of real-life player. Your opponent might thus turn out to be a skillful, competitive one, or a helpless newbie one.

Here are a few examples who you might end up against in a match against the Player Spoof AI:


1. the kind that only spams one type of unit, or builds nothing but one type of building (in other words, the kind we all were in our first times playing a new real-time strategy)



They also love taunting you.



2. the competent kind of player to whom victory matters so much they refuse to let you even resign!


...and is devastated when tables are turned.



...the fair kind of gamer who is competent and hopes to offer you a fair fight, being supportive and praising you for successful efforts...

...the slow-paced kind who doesn't dare to attack you even after a long time has passed, spams treaty offers, and is devastated if you rush them...

...and much more!
Also if you guys have any ideas for new Player Spoofs, don't hesitate to comment! The internet is an endless resource here, just seeing gameplay videos gives me new ideas of what kind of players should I mimic for the game.
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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2020, 01:34:07 AM »

Although I haven't posted as much about it, survival is still the central element and main focus of the game. So it's about time I shed some light on that too.

In The Finnish War, survival comes first, and battles are fought after, if you are still able to. There are, however, battle scenarios in Campaigns where the survival aspect is discarded and instead you have two large armies fighting to the death.
The purpose of the survival element was, firstly, to make games less predictable even if you always like to stick to the same army compositions and strategies, and second, to make the game more authentic since, in early 19th century warfare and especially in an unforgiving northern setting, supplies weren't always on hand and soldiers were forced to adapt into many kinds of luckless environments more often. The survival aspect of the game pulls the rug from under all players; even if you know you are good at a specific strategy, you still never know what to expect from the battle map and how the environment forces you to play this time in order to pull it off in the first place.

It all boils down to two key parts: Food and environment. Food is one of the two resources in the game, (second being Gold, mostly used only at the beginning of a battle to buy your army and Abilities) and it needs to be gathered by means of hunting. If your army lacks food, units will start suffering from hunger attrition, which lowers their battle capability and, in the end, results in death. Hunting is easier said than done, though...



Huntable animals spawn in packs, but units can either intentionally or by accident scare the animals to disperse and run off. This can slow down your progress severely, but can also be used to deny your opponents food. Different strategies need to be implemented, like creating a perimeter of traps around huntable animals, or scaring them in the direction of your traps. Remember that the AI also knows to make your efforts at gathering food more difficult...

The second key part of survival is the environment. There are hazards that spawn on maps, making proceeding more difficult. The first hazard and the more common one is snowstorms:



they slow down armies and reduce their sight, and can be advantageous or perilous: you might lose your chasers there, or you might get stuck in one at just the wrong moment, like when trying to retreat back to base while suffering attrition.
There are also frozen lakes, which can either be crossed or bypassed. The heavier the units crossing the ice are, the more likely it is to crack under their weight, plunging them to a watery grave. It can offer a tempting shortcut when giving chase to or running away from an enemy, but if you have a big, heavy-built army, you might want to reconsider.



that's the basics of the survival element in The Finnish War. Every game is certainly going to be different from the last.
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« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2020, 09:58:45 AM »

Been tuning the Campaigns' battle scenarios. Still lots of work to be done in terms of visuals and balancing especially.
But the vibe of big battles and making big tactic decisions is undoubtedly there...

The armies are mobilising - the enemy is yet to make his move:


Here the enemy vanguard has been finished - time to push on!


Enemy leader's last bodyguards fall, and victory is in our grasp!


how does it look? Let me know your thoughts!
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« Reply #29 on: December 19, 2020, 02:02:27 AM »

Some dev work before holidays!
Been improving the AI a lot recently; it now prioritizes the player's units over buildings when attacking, and knows to utilize the correct ammunition type with artillery depending on what units it's facing or if it's destroying structures.
Also, the survival mechanics have been tweaked somewhat lately.

All this obviously means the game needs to offer proper guidance for new players since the survival aspect as well as the need to excercise different strategies might prove challenging at first.

Well, you're in luck now...

Not only has the game's Tutorial been improved and is now fully complete...





BUT I also saw fit to add a Tips section, which offers multiple hints for strategy and some further insight into the game's survival and unit mechanics!

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« Reply #30 on: January 07, 2021, 11:46:20 AM »

The most work hours in The Finnish War has probably sunk into developing the AI. And it feels like although we're getting there, there's always room to improve....

But I've managed some things with the AI that I'm proud of and that generally enhance the single-player experience of playing against it. Firstly, the AI now knows to prioritize attacking your units over buildings properly, sending some of its troops after your units while others stay behind to destroy your buildings.


Also, the AI now makes more versatile armies, and you can expect to have all sorts of units thrown at you:


The AI's hunting has also been improved: it wanders more effectively, and builds hunting traps on more reasonable basis.
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« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2021, 10:19:26 AM »

Campaign moving forward!!

Just finished the next big scenario: Battles of Pyhäjoki and Siikajoki.



This battle scenario features the largest map so far in the game, and some pretty cool design.





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« Reply #32 on: February 25, 2021, 03:48:50 AM »

New Campaign scenario done!

Introducing the characters of Sven Dufva and Johan Sandels, the former based on a Finnish literary figure and the latter on a historical character.





In this scenario the mini-map is disabled so you will need to resort to tracking footprints and listening to distant sounds in order to keep track of the enemy, and find food for your troops!



Here we managed to assault their base when the Leader is away; always a good thing!



Do follow The Finnish War on Twitter:
 Hand Point Righthttps://twitter.com/thefinnishwar
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« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2021, 12:41:48 AM »

Campaigns moving forward and well on schedule.

Russian commander-in-chief is pissed!



Next up in campaign: Battles of Jutas and Oravais. Focus will be on the latter, since it was one of the decisive (and bloodier) battles of the war.



It will be another grand battle like the last one I've implemented, perhaps even larger in scale. Will feature a massive battle map. While the campaigns lean a lot on battle scenarios, obviously the survival scenarios haven't been forgotten.


The Finnish War on Twitter:
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« Reply #34 on: April 29, 2021, 07:21:09 AM »

Spring update!

Swedish campaign is nearing the final stretch. Two more scenarios left, after the one I just completed this month; Battle of Oravais.



Here you'll be facing your biggest challenge yet as the Swedes. The Russians are determined, and there are many!



A well-placed cavalry charge always helps though!!



It's been really fun making these campaign scenarios and I can't wait to get my hands back to the Russian one.
Much of balancing, quality-of-life updating has been done too. And one nice touch I've been wanting to include for a long time, pretty much since the project started. Statistics!



The Finnish War on Twitter:
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« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2021, 10:12:49 AM »

Hi! May I present some new gameplay footage here.
Hope you like what you see!



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« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2021, 11:42:17 AM »

You made some good progress since last I checked your topic and the gameplay seems solid.
gj
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« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2021, 11:03:43 AM »

You made some good progress since last I checked your topic and the gameplay seems solid.
gj
Thanks for your comment. Takes its time developing a project alone, but it's doing good atm!
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« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2021, 01:00:10 PM »

Swedish campaign nearing its end. The penultimate scenario is at hand now.

I'm talking the Battle of Koljonvirta, or Battle of Virta Bridge, where some serious **** is going down.





Sandels is back. He's my favorite character in the game, I'd say. Then again, he was something, for having statues, hotels, a beer, and a rock festival named after him in Finland.



Carefree as always, yet serious in face of a fearsome foe. That's how I want to depict the character.



The battle's gonna be huge. The rest of the campaign will still have focus on survival, so even with all these battle scenarios, the main aspect, being survival scenarios, will obviously not be forgotten.

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« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2021, 11:38:26 AM »

Since survival is the name of the game, I was long thinking whether the survival aspect is good just as it is at the moment, with all the planned features already developed and put in the game.
But, it never hurts to have more content.
The fourth and final Hazard for the game: Temperature!



Temperature drops will cause attrition damage to all units that are not near Camps.



Occuring rarely but at random intervals and lasting for random amounts of time, they can come at a really bad time if your troops are wandering far in the wilds without any Camps set nearby - even if the attrition damage is taken slowly, it is still taken.

The Finnish War on Twitter:
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