Will Jagged Alliance: Flashback's difficulty progress steadily as the game continues? What difficulty options will there be in the game? Will Ironman mode make a return?
Ironman is a must.
The classic game theory is to use the magic number 3 in terms of number of difficulty. Easy, default, Ironman.
Difficulty HAS to ramp up as you move forward. The exact method to use will be part of detailed game design to look at. We have tried to use different options earlier in our previous games - from hardcoded spawn (a bitch to balance, but it gave an ultra tight experience) to a point based system similar to Warhammer 40k, where each unit and weapon has a value that the AI balances the enemy team upon.
Which to use for JA:F is to be playtested and decided later. Since we want to add multiple factions to the game, here is a place we cannot (only) use the JA2 system and need to tweak it to be enjoyable to play and still pose a challenge.
Kalypso has announced a patch for Omerta: City of Gangsters that will be released on May 23rd.
"an overhaul of the game interface and cover mechanics, the free update will add a host of new features including new sandbox game modes, new opposing gangs in single-player, re-balanced multiplayer modes and new multiplayer maps."
Jagged Alliance Galaxy and their community forum, Bear's Pit have an interview with Ian Currie about his thoughts on Jagged Alliance: Flashback and some of his memories with the series.
BP: Have you ever before felt as confident about a successor of JA2 being made as much as you are about JA:Flashback? And did you try to offer advice to any of the previous developers?
Ian: No, until now I never felt that someone 'got' the game. I was once asked to consult on a game and the game needed a lot of work. They didn't really respond to any advice so I gave up pretty quickly. (editor's note: the underline was made by us)
Jagged Alliance: Flashback has about 70k left to go before reaching their goal and they only have about two days left.
And the dev journal is quite informative as well, focusing on the whom, what and how of Triumph Studios starting development on Age of Wonders 3. Although I'm severely disliking some of the information leaked so far (they did WHAT to sieges!?!) I am still cautiously optimistic about this one.
During the development of the Overlord games we loaded up on ideas for a possible new game, even free to play and iOS games games were discussed with various partners and investors. In the end we opted to go for a more traditional sequel with the help of Markus Persson (creator of Minecraft), since we felt this was the direction are oldest fans would want us to take. We decided we want to capture all the things that made the original games great, such as the style of the original and the refined gameplay of Shadow Magic, while evolving the concepts to give the players more freedom in how they set up their realms. We didn’t want to limit players to just being wizards, but allow them to play a wide range of fantasy characters, such as Lord Stark, Sauron or Galadriel, all different types of leaders leading very different types of empire. This is where the ideas for a class based empire system came from. Together with the choice in starting race and specialisations this will allow for more variety in play styles and opponent types. There’s been a lot of depth added to the domain system, as well as city building and the in game economy. The presentation of the battles has been greatly improved, with fights now feeling more epic, with armies clashing with armies- rather than the chess board like battles seen in older games. We also added a cool detailed parchmented overview map. In short, there is no layer that hasn’t been touched by some form of improvement.
Designated vaporware and development hell posterchild Lock 'n Load: Heroes of Stalingrad is defenitely still kicking around. Game looked like a brilliant boardgame conversion years ago and still is looking like a neat take on Avalon Hill's ancient Squad Leader. And to prove it's actually real is here a 20 something minutes preview of the game in action. Yipes!
That last video of The Few was marred by some rather horrid voice acting and their recently released trailer also isn't that great. Thankfully 2002 Studios did manage to release an actual decent and informative gameplay video as well. And that one actually looks rather interesting. Keeps reminding me of a RTWP version of Over the Reich. And that's a good thing.
Do check out their Kickstarter if you like this kinda thing.
The second expansion for Gary Grigsby's massive War in the East is released. In Lost Battles they once again added lots of changes under the hood together with all sorts of shorter and longer scenarios. Including several massive full campaign ones. Together with Lost Battles they've also released the 1.07.08 update. Check out the changelog here.
Choose from short scenarios like Operation Konrad (Germany’s desperate defense of Budapest) and Operation Mars (Soviet offensives Operation Mars and Jupiter) or the longer ones like the Battle for Moscow (Operation Typhoon and the subsequent Soviet winter counter-offensive) and Vistula to Berlin (the final offensives through Poland and the fall of Berlin).
Adding to these are three full Campaigns: Winter 42-43 (the Soviet 42-43 winter counter-offensives including the recapture of Stalingrad), Stalingrad to Berlin Campaign ( the Soviet 42-43 winter counter-offensives which continues until the end of the war) and the 1941-45 Campaign (the standard full campaign with added sudden death victory conditions for both sides).
The latest Europa Universalis IV dev diary goes into the scoring system and Japan. Nice to see them admit the previous system for Japan they introduced in A Divine Wind wasn't working well. I do like Paradox obviously spending time trying to add flavour and character into certain nations in Europa Universalis IV through national ideas, events and the like. However the big news here is the scoring system. Which is overhauled to let the little ones have a chance at winning as well. Boom or bust?
Over the last decade, we’ve often been asked about how our games have “winners”. We firmly believe that most of our players are happy to just enjoy the sandbox, but if we want to push them to excel and to take on new challenges, it sometimes helps to give them a metric to use. What is the incentive to attack another strong nation if you can decide for yourself that you are “winning” without that?
And some of our games do have pretty defined goals that establish why opposing other players is a good idea, like Hearts of Iron, where the object is winning a great war, or Sengoku, where you need to become the Shogun. Others, like Crusader Kings and Victoria, have ways to compare your performance in one game with how you did in another.
Europa Universalis has always been rather more open ended, and this poses a different challenge to us as designers since it means looking at a game we know well in new ways.
The way we have solved this is a scoring system. The higher the score you have, the better you have performed, and in a multiplayer game, the top scorer is the clear winner (though we expect debates about who was the most duplicitous ally to continue).
So how does the scoring work? This is again where our division of the game into Administrative, Diplomatic and Military components comes in handy. Every month you get points, depending on your rank in these three different fields. The top 10 nations in each field earns points, with the number of points dependant on your rank in each category. You can never lose your score - your points will not go down and there are no penalties for falling behind - but if you are outside the top ten, you get zero points that month.
Your administrative rank is based primarily on your monthly income, your administrative technology level and number of provinces, plus minor factors like stability, prestige, legitimacy, outstanding loans, etc.
You diplomatic rank is derived from your fleet size, the number of subject nations you have (vassals and personal unions), strong countries you have allied with, your diplomatic technology level and your merchant power.
Your military rank depends on the size of your armies, your total manpower, the number of leaders you have, your military technology level and the quality of your troops.
As you can see, there are ways to block a powerful country from accumulating points if lesser countries get together.
With a title like that I don't even want to try and come up with a news title. Anyway, the rather groovy looking Door Kickers has a new alpha trailer. In which I have no doubt lots of doors will be kicked. Game seems like a RTWP version of ye good old Frozen Synapse. With a less trippy art direction, that is. Anyway, if you too think it looks groovy check out KillHouse Games Door Kickers Steam Greenlight page.
Although I'm sure everyone's getting a bit sick of Kickstarter campaigns rather than actual game releases, the bizarrely named Artifact Red-X has an interesting proposition. It's essentially reverse XCOM where you take control of an invading alien force hell bent on the domination of another planet. It plans to have both overarching base-building and campaign planning coupled with micro-managed squad based battles.
It all sounds great, but the Kickstarter campaign is a little odd; offering a physical tabletop game to coincide with the computerised version of the game reeks a bit of lack of focus and pie-in-the-sky grand ideas.
Regardless it's a game I would love to play if the project comes to fruition, so here's hoping.
Paradox doesn’t do casual games, but if they did, they’d probably... well, look exactly like Leviathan Warships. Leviathan Warships is a great example of a game that’s deceptively complex – fairly simple, no fuss concept that leads to endless amounts of tactical micro-management and customization. For those of you who haven’t read up much about it yet, allow me: taking command of a flotilla of ships (typically can go from 1 ship up to around 6, depending), you must navigate through a small-ish map to seek and destroy your opponents flotilla of ships. Simplez.
Hey folks, it is dev diary day and time to talk a bit about rebels and adventurers! Let's start off with the rebels; as you know, the old rebels are a nuisance but they are easily defeated and even if they hold a county for a long time, defection is rare. Sure, they sometimes kill a local ruler, but even that is uncommon. This is a shame, especially since we have explored better ways of handling rebels in the In Nomine expansion to Europa Universalis III and in Victoria II. So, for The Old Gods, we are replacing the old simplistic system with proper rebels with a cause (if you don't have the expansion, you will be stuck with the old system.) There are three new types of rebels: peasants, heretics and "liberators". As before, they can appear if the revolt risk is higher than 0 in a county. If the county is of a heretic religion, heretic rebels may appear. If the county is in a kingdom occupied by foreigners, liberators may rise up. If the other two types are not suitable, it's going to be a peasant revolt.
The new types of rebels all have a leader with a temporary title. They start at war with the ruler of the realm in which they appear, but they are hostile to everyone. Fighting them is like fighting a normal war; you get war score for crushing their army. If peasant or heretic rebels win, the county will be taken and becomes independent under their leader. Liberators are more dangerous; they tend to rise up with the best and largest forces, and they are after the entire de jure kingdom. However, they typically tend to settle for a few counties and the title to the kingdom itself. The system is fully moddable and it is pretty straightforward to add new rebel types.
And especially that last remark sounds good. Incline detected. Here's a nice video with the whole thing in action.
Well, this one is a bit of a surprise. 2002 Studios is trying to Kickstart The Few. An RTS about the Battle of Britain. They're not asking for a whole lot of money and apparantly also have pretty much finished the game and need a bit more time for polishing. Dunno, it does give some pretty nice Avalon Hill Over the Reich vibes so I'm cautiously optimistic.
"Never was so much owed by so many to so few" - Winston Churchill
The Few is a real-time strategy game about the Battle of Britain. The goal of the game is to defend Great Britain against German bombing raids.
The game has two distinct gameplay experiences where:
- The player manages war production and squadron placement
- The player organizes patrol routes and tactics
Once combat is initiated the player can lead their squadrons to attack waves of German bombers (...)
No two games will ever be the same as "German Command AI" results in each campaign playing out differently.
What? Wasn't this game already released years ago? Yup, but now Ageod have decided to apply a nice layer of polish to it and re-release it as Rise of Prussia Gold. Lots of new features and scenarios should lure you in. For those who already own the original game there is an Upgrade Kit to update the game. Anyone else can get it at the Matrix and Slitherine stores.
Rise of Prussia Gold includes 2 years worth of updates and fixes, improvements and even some great new features and adds 3 new scenarios to this strategy classic.
• Over two hundred new leaders (with individual portraits) for the War of Austrian Succession
• New unit graphics
• New Scenarios
- 1741 Maria-Theresa At Bay (Second Silesian War)
- 1744 The Empire Strikes Back (Second Silesian War)
- four-players Grand Campaign Scenario 1757-1763
• New Feature - Regional Decision Cards: these allow you to interact with the game by playing decision cards on the map. The system has been developed and improved from other AGEOD titles, and all existing scenarios have been updated with them,
• New Map Filters, to allow you to check weather and terrain,
• More unit features to better represent 18th century siege warfare
And apparantly turn processing speed is way better now.
Gary Grigbsy's rather massive War in the East gets even bigger with the second upcoming expansion, Lost Battles. Lots of new scenarios, victory conditions and such to keep you hooked on an already enormous timesink. War in the East is a game we here liked lots, so we'll be keeping an eye out for this.