The Warfare build is progressing, but has been slowed somewhat by our current programming bottleneck. Our programmer for All Heroes Die, Whitney, recently took a full-time day job. She’s still working on the game, but at a much slower pace. So, we’ve rejiggered our schedule slightly. We had Whitney take a slight detour from Warfare to put in something Graham has been dying to see – a more robust secondary targeting system for game events. This allowed Graham and the event writers to proceed with redoing some of our old events and adding some new ones while she continues to work on Warfare.
The new plan is that we will be putting a build out next Friday, May 28th, come hell or high water. How much of the Warfare stuff it contains is still up in the air, but it will definitely have new art, new events, and a number of improvements based on the revamped targeting system. We also found a really nasty inefficiency in our load sequence, and have lopped off 20 seconds of load time and 3/4 of our used memory (!!).
So, what is this targeting system, you ask? In order to explain that, I’ll give you a really brief overview of how game events work in All Heroes Die.
A game event in AHD currently targets one of the heroes (the player controlled members of their noble house), and consists of text describing the situation one of your hero faces, a piece of our event art showing the scene, and several text choices for how to resolve things. You might think of it as a computer-enabled choice in a Choose Your Own Adventure book, where your choice is hooked up to the stats of your hero and everything else going on in the world.
Under the hood, we do a number of things in order to select what event will be run (I gave a more detailed explanation here in the forums). One of the first ones is to make sure we have a valid target. If an event requires that the hero we run it for has the trait, “Star-Blooded”, then we test all your heroes to see if one fits that bill. If not, the event is discarded; if yes, we run it with that hero as the primary target.
But then, what do we do if you have more than one target in the event? What if the game event is, say, between a parent (the hero) and their child? Up until recently, we only did this kind of event very rarely. It used a hacky implementation that only could deal with hard-coded targets. This is thing we shifted Whitney over to working on – now we have a for reals system for secondary targets.
We’re really psyched about the possibilities here – this sort of further control allows targeting setups like:
- An older hero and their young spouse.
- A hero and their non-hero parent.
- Two family members, neither of which are player controlled heroes.
- A hero and their magically talented niece or nephew. (to be more specific)
- An intolerant hero and their mentally unstable family member. (to be very specific!)
This system will eventually be expanded to tertiary and further out targets.
One of those scenarios above – two family members, neither of which you control – really excites us. This allows us to have events that target two people around you, giving a better sense of the world not just revolving around your main characters.
So, this is where we’re headed. We’d love your feedback and thoughts on what’s going on, either in the comments or the forums. Thanks!