So – now that we’re dev-blogging, I thought I’d do short updates every now and then to let people know what we’re doing on a day to day basis, and what the actual process of development looks like.
Today, which happens to be my birthday, was spent working with 2 coders, and a bunch of artists on improving our editor. Specifically the editor that allows us to build the hexes that go into the game.
Because we’re hoping to ship with an editor, we have sort of broken building maps into 2 steps:
Build the building blocks the game is made of – such as the Hexes in the map, the Structures you put on it, and the Units that move around. This is done with a combination of “ugly but functional” internal editors, and some big ass excel spreadsheets that churn out .lua files that define a lot of the game.
Put all of these together in a more user friendly, consumer-facing editor, that allows you to build maps w/o having to ever switch programs and makes sure you are working with building blocks that dont (easily) break the game.
Today’s journey (and last night’s) was to pound the “Hex-Editor” – the one that allows us to build hexes – into something that we can use properly, since it has been a bit neglected, and there was a lot of ‘build as you go”-ness to it that needed to be standardized.
It’s unsexy work, but it has to be done.
Of course, making the tool is just the first part. The *really* hard part? Making all of the data once the tool is done. But that work gets compounded terribly if the tool is not optimized – and even a step that takes 1 minute can quickly become HOURS or DAYS after you use the tol long enough – and since game development is all about iterative building, you have to expect you are building allof your maps/levels multiple times. Having a tool that does not let you do that quickly… well, the time is well spent to get it right.
We talk about the limiting factors such as gold, mana, control points (and unit cooldowns) to prevent the problem of steamrolling in strategy games.
We also have a brand new main screen! Still being made, but what do you think of it so far?
The banner and description would change depending on the menu selected. We’ve also added a section below to announce updates, livestreams, and other news. This section will be replacing the annoying pop-up notifications that we had in Legends of Callasia. We’ve also added icons linking to some of our social media pages on the upper right corner, while the full list would be available in the Community menu.
So that’s it. Things will continue to change, and we’ll continue to share them. Til next week’s stream, only on the Ninesquirrels Twitch channel!
After sharing exclusive info to our Discord community, throwing out some hints, and showing it to some of our fans during PAX East, we’re happy to officially announce the title for our new project!
Last Regiment is a fantasy-themed strategy game with single-player campaigns and simultaneous turn-based multiplayer, which we are currently developing on PC, and hopefully on Mac and mobile as well. It takes the best parts of Legends of Callasia, makes a bunch of neat changes for a faster, deeper, and more strategic game, and allows player to design their own levels through its built-in map editor. (More here: Developer Blog #1)
The game is still in its alpha stage, but we are opening its development progress and livestreaming it on Twitch! The weekly dev stream by Boomzap Creative Director Christopher Natsuume starts on April 19 10PM EST at twitch.tv/ninesquirrels!
As another sneak preview, here’s a headshot of our lead character, Olivia.
This character is (obviously) based on Olivia from Legends of Callasia. We thought she was such an awesome character there, that we wanted her lead in our new game. So we have redone her, given her a new story, background, and costume, and brought her in as the leading lady for our new game.
In more fun behind-the-scenes fun: she is originally based on Chris’ niece. She is a beautiful girl now celebrating her 3rd birthday, and became part of their family back when we were making Legends of Callasia.