I think it is about time to expand the gameplay with infantry units. The Asen warriors are the strongest in the game and most of their models was already complete so I decided to start with them.
The Yager is an anti-vehicle warrior armed with a so called Qi-Lance. She is fast and deadly for all vehicles and aircrafts, but she has problems with base defense as she will be dead before she gets in range due to her light armor.
The last update was about 2 weeks ago, but I was not lazy during that time. Among new units I wanted to introduce to the game there will be a new gamemode with a new map as well – a Volcano map for one player playing against waves of AI. The upcoming changes also incluse an update to the XML files which will be handy for modders to create their own gamemodes. Build 1.4.2 will be released on Halloween. 😉
I am sorry for the delayed update, due to some RL business, but now the new Update is finally online. Download and have fun. 🙂
⦁ Animations for Ragnarok: Walking forward / backward, Transforming, Attacking, Jumping, Strafing left / right and Crouching
⦁ Radar Input: Clicking onthe Radar map now brings your Camera to the point you clicked
⦁ Right-Mouse scrolling cursors
⦁ Units and Structures are now visible on Radar
⦁ Falling system: Aicrafts are now falling down when they die instead of vanashing in the air
⦁ Improved altitude system
⦁ Improved Commander mode camera handling
⦁ Improved Right Mouse Scroll: Now the scrolling orients at the point where you hit the right mouse button rather than using the screen center as reference
⦁ Increased Right-Mouse-Scroll speed
⦁ Lockstep game turn rate changed from 20 to 40 turns per second
⦁ Optimized Camera and Controls in Commander Mode
⦁ An issue where a Commander model was not rotated correctly in Commander mode
⦁ Sometimes Ragnarok was rotating uncontrollably
⦁ While in Commander Mode, the locomotion system was slowing you down
Changes that are coming with Pre-Alpha 1.4.
⦁ Animations: Eliminator Idle and Selected state
⦁ Grid-System for indicating where a structure can be placed
⦁ Icon: Dropship
⦁ Icon: Kubus
⦁ Map “Orbital Patrol” for Skirmish
⦁ Nuke FX
⦁ Prefered Fire distance setting
⦁ Space Fights gamemode (Basic gameplay and RTS controls)
⦁ Structure placement sound
⦁ Unit: Atlas (UNI Space Station)
⦁ Unit: Badger (UNI Miningship)
⦁ Unit: Crusader (UNI Attack-Fighter)
⦁ Unit: Onura (UNI Industrial Commandship)
⦁ Unit: Prophecy (UNI Commandship)
⦁ Camera Settings: models and textures look sharper now
⦁ Holding “F” key now lets the camera smoothly follow selected units while reeasing the key lets it jump like it was before
⦁ Improved Commander Mode Camera handling
⦁ Improved Commander Mode Character controls
⦁ Improved Music Playback system
⦁ Improved Obstacle Avoidance
⦁ Improved Resource Gathering
⦁ Improved Tooltip System
⦁ Improved Weapon Performance a bit
⦁ Overall improvements of the structure placement system
⦁ Power production of Tech-Power Plant has been changed from 120 to 300
⦁ Prepared the Main Menu for upcoming Shellmaps
⦁ Removed Naval-Warfare and Space-Fightes gamemodes – they are now part of Skirmish mechanics
⦁ Renamed: UNI Fighter into Hawk Fighter
⦁ Revamped vehicle explosions
⦁ Structure placement dummy and grid can now be placed and rotated freely
⦁ The Options menu, that currently only displays the controls, now has a”Back” button to close it
⦁ Tech-Power Plant now explodes with a huuuge booom
⦁ A potential performance bottle-neck related with harvesters searching for resources in Space FIghts
⦁ An issue where looping audio sources were not moving with the object using that sound
⦁ The camera got resetted each frame when while the Commander unit was dying
⦁ Unit AI was not engaging foes when a nearby friendly unit was attacked
⦁ You were unable to close the Options menu while in game
Known Bugs / Issues:
⦁ AI is not using the new placement system and therefore it might place structures like a maniac (a proper fix will be in the next build)
Pre-Alpha 1.3.1 is now available for download and play.
Please, report all bugs you might find so I can fix them in the next update. Thank you in advance. Now for the Changelog:
⦁ Icon: Sentry Core
⦁ Icon: Citadel
⦁ Icon: Citadel Omega Laser
⦁ Perk: Omega Laser for the Pandora’s Citadel
⦁ Music: “Willow Tavern” for Asen
⦁ Music: “Stellar Sphere” for Pandora Forces
⦁ Enabled unit deaths
⦁ Laser of the Citadel is now available after unlocking the “Omega Laser” Perk.
⦁ Icon: Siege Tank
⦁ Icon: Butcher
⦁ Icon: Striker
⦁ Icon: Eliminator
⦁ Icon: Hailstorm
⦁ Improved Landing mechanics a bit
⦁ Improved Audio system a bit
⦁ Siege Tank Animations
⦁ Units / structures targeting and firing the ground
⦁ Sentry Core was not returning to Power Plant or Citadels range
⦁ UNI Fighter was sliding away on Airfield
⦁ UNI Fighter was unable to attack objects
⦁ Looping sounds now stop playing if they are out of range
⦁ Looping sounds were not moving with its source
⦁ An Object was able to place all instantiated sounds of a certain type in one position
The last update was a few months ago and alot of stuff has changed since then. The most important thing was the release of Pre-Alpha build 1.3 which took more time than I anticipated, due to alot of changes. One of the biggest is my new workflow. My old way of doing things was – for example – to complete a model with all its textures. This took me alot of time and especially for models and textures of the CFA design it has eaten up much of my motivation. So instead of working slowly for a few weeks on a single model, you will see more unfinished work that will be completed during the games development – hopefully done by artists that are more capable than I am.
<< Version 1.3 >>
I recently made a small gameplay video showing the latest progress presented in the build 1.3. It shows most of the new features, like the Kubus, Sentry Cores and the CFA Dropship as Command Center.
There is quite some stuff new in this game, like the Dropship of the Diploducas / CFA, the Sentry Core and Kubus for the Pandora Forces and tons of new music tracks licensed for this game. If you are new to RTS gameplay or don’t really understand the gameplay of Timeless War yet, you can also activate AIA by pressing the “Q” key while ingame and learn from the AI system, even though it is still in development (more info about the AIA system in Dev-Blog #8. 😉 For a full list of all the changes, please take a look at the Change-Log of build 1.3:
You can download and play the Pre-Alpha 1.3 here:
<< Pandora Forces Defensive System >>
I talked about the Kubus in Dev-Blog #8, so I continue with their turret:
The Sentry Core is part of the Pandoras’ defensive system called Remote Turrets. They need a power source in close proximity – a Power Plant, Command Center, large combat space ships like Dreadnoughts, or a Siege Tank in Power Supply Mode (the latter is in development) – to be able to activate. While active, the Sentry Core can be selected and moved around like a unit and attack enemies in range. It even will be able to travel trhough all your base to engage intruders in your base. Right now the turrets stay at their place and feed all enemies in range with blue plasma bullets. But if they get inactive somehow, they have to be brought back in range of a power source. This is one thing I am currently working on.
For Battleships and Dreadnoughts those guns will be alot bigger with a devastating fire power at long range, however they will work the same way and can be destroyed to cripple that space ships punch. More about that once Space Fights are implemented. 😉
<< Mobile Construction Vehicle >>
At the moment, the CFA Dropship is just another structure with no other purpose than building new buildings. Later this will change so the Dropship will suit the CFA’s aggressive gameplay: At the beginning of a match the Dropship will have an animation to make it land and deploy like a MCVs or Crawler known from the C&C series. Once the spawning animation is complete you have two options. First cou can start building structures in which case the Dropship would abort construction if you want to take off and place it somewhere else. Alternatively you will have a perk that allows you to leave the Construction Vehicle on the ground and take off while you can still build stuff. The perk will also unlock an Upgrade for the Dropship to create a new construction vehicle inside its cargo bay. That means after deploying again, the Dropship will leave another constructure vehicle at place. This mechanic will come very handy if you need to quickly expand in your enemies back while leaving the old base as a decoy or simply to attack from two fronts. And while the ship itself is on the move, it will be able to transport light units across the battlefield. Besides, the hatch on the top side of the aircraft will be an utility slot for upgrades that vary with the choice of your Commander.
<< Having Performance Issues? >>
While having some test games, I realized that the game can be laggy at larger battles. Do you have made the same experience? I am trying to address all the performance bottle necks and fixed quite a few of them in build 1.3. Additionally I will make use of Multithreading, a methode to split code into single threads which then can be computed by additional CPU cores of your machine. Currently it is just done by the Unity Engine for Pathfinding calls of units, which are only triggered every 0.5 seconds after an unit was created and they dont even take much time to process. So I was thinking that I could make use of alot of unused CPU resources to max out the games FPS count even on large battles. It technically takes just a few lines of code to implement and a bit more work to move Unity API functions which I have done quite alot so far. What do you think? Do you have any experience on that?
<< Pre-Alpha 1.3.1 >>
The next build will not take a couple of months to be done. Actually the release is planned for this week. For 1.3.1 I will fix some of the know bugs and other issues I might come across. Also I am very grateful if you could post any bugs you found in the comment sections down below, bugs I might not be able to find otherwise. I will try to fix them in later builds. The more details you present, the more helpful you bug-report will be.
Thank you guys for reading and I hope you like the latest Pre-Alpha. Stay tuned for more! 🙂
Here is the change log for the upcoming Pre-Alpha version 1.3:
- Music: More tracks added for Pandora Forces, Asen and CFA
- Options Menu – only shows Keybindings for now
- Panfora Forces Sentry Core
- CFA Starting Building: The Dropship – it is still WIP and has not much fnctionallity yet
- Structures can now be built and sold in Commander mode as well
- Projectiles are now included in the deterministic framework
- Improved projectile and object pooling for better performance
- Improved the Radar system which now uses almost no CPU at all
- Optimized locomotion system
- Removed unneccessary colliders
- Animation System: It is now much simpler but also more accurate and friendlier towards performance
- Optimized Object status comparison
- Reorganized Harvester AI
- Revamped the docking system to make it work for Space Fights and Ground Combat – it still is work in progress
- Most explosion effects are disabled for now – need to make some improvements
- modAtkRate increased the ROF instead of decreasing it
- Kubus took 3000 seconds to built and costed 30 $
- AI was constantly passing orders to units without checking
- Lockstep system was causing identification errors in targeting system
- Ragnaroks Health bar disappeared after entering in 3rd-Person Mode and back in RTS mode
- AI Attacks Cloaked Enemies
- Unit AI didn’t discard a target that was out of range
- Unit/Player AI didn’t acknowledge a cloaked and undetected unit as unattackable
- Build List was flackering when another object was selected than a factory
- Error caused by the docking system
- Alot of isues related to quitting a running match
- Player Color is now randomized if none was selected
- An issue that made the cloud shadows shift while rotating the camera
- AI players were unable to attack
- AI of units wasnt working properly
Known Bugs / Issues:
- AI places structures inside resource fields
- Aircraft Docking is a bit awkward now
- UNI Fighter slides away after docking
- Unit AI Issues
- Butcher Attacks are not triggered appropiately
- Structure placement is disabled after holding right mouse to scroll fast
- Sentry Core doesn’t reapproach nearby Power Plants or Citadels as intended after leaving its range
- Units glide into each other after leaving factories
- Hover locomotion of Pandora Tanks cause some jittering
- Siege Tank animations not working as intended
The Download will be available this weekend. All that needs to be done is building the program and uploading it on IndieDB which usually takes a while. A real Dev-Blog will be published as soon as possible.
the next Pre-Alpha is currently in progress. It will contain alot of fixes, new features and content. All that still needs to be done are a few textures for new models I added. For example the CFA-Dropship I posted quite some time ago (Image #1, Image #2) which will also be one of the new units. And since the animation system is now heavily improved, there is finally nothing stopping me from addingnew animatins as well as Asen units which require alot of animations.
I am not entirely sure when I can release Pre-Alpha 1.3, but it most likely be around this weekend or next week. So stay tuned. 😉
About one month has passed since the preview post I made on the 8th of May – and I am really sorry for all delays. Now the big update I announced back then is finally online – and comes with awesome new features! In this article I want to show you the newly added Main Menu system and the Skirmish menu – which finally works so far -, the AI assistance called AIA, Shield Effects as well as introducing the Pandora Forces support unit to the game and, most importantly, new gameplay mechanics provided by the cloaking system.
<< The Main Menu >>
Sure this not something to celebrate, but still I wanted to leave a few words on it. First of all, I wanted to make a video blog about the interface instead of hitting you with a wall of text, yet I failed because I realized I am horrible at speaking freely in english. So to move on: the Menu system is not complete, but can now navigate to the skirmish menu with just 2 clicks and setup a Skirmish game like you are used to in other RTS games.
“Editor”, “Mods”, “Profile”, “Options and “Multiplayer” are non-functional right now, but they will be extended later. “Singleplayer” leads to the Singleplayer menu with the button for the Skirmish Menu.
The Skirmish Menu allows you to easily adjust a singleplayer match with AI allies / opponents as you like. For now there is only 1 gamemode and 1 map available, with limited settings. Also after all this I didn’t have the time to create more Commanders, so there is only Ragnarok for all factions. I promise to bring more once I have more time to create new models and stuff.
The only skirmish map you can play for now is my former “Asgardian Hills” map. I decorated it with trees and rocks, swapped a few textures and shaders and I also placed 4 Mineral Fields in the center.
<< Support your Troops >>
Support units are an essential part of Timeless Wars gameplay. They boost allied and your own units attributes like Attack Damage, Rate-of-Fire, Speed and much more. In case of the Kubus, the resilience of nearby allies is increased.
The Kubus emits a shield to all units in close proximity: 50% of the units health will be added, while it regenerates. Currently the Kubus allows you to tank 100 DPS of damage which is roundabout the damage output of a standard infantry unit. However this buff can have a massive impact on a battles outcome. Even if you are outnumbered, the right use of the Kubus will ensure your victory. At least if the enemy isn’t smart enough to destroy it first which is the case for the AI right now… I will work on that. After all, I promised a challenging AI and I want to keep it. 😉
Besides, the shield effects are just for show even though I personally like how projectiles crash on it with an awesome sound while it glows as result of the impact. Once the options menu is available, you can turn that effect on or off any time in the graphic settings.
<< Artificial Intelligence Assistance – AIA >>
AIA, the most important feature if you are controlling your Commander directly, just want to watch AI-Only players tare each others apart or just an RTS noob like me. 😛 AIA is like a regular AI player – thats why you can set the difficult level for the player in Skirmish Menu -, but you can always turn it on / off during the game and always make your own decisions: you can control your commander, build and control units and order AIA to do whatever you want. Ok, the latter is not available yet, but it will be once a working Chat-System is implemented.
At the moment, only a fat line of text in the bottom center of the screen indicates that AIA is active. Later it will be replaced with a small button in the command bar that can also (de)active AIA.
<< Stealth is Key >>
Unlike most RTS Timeless War has no Fog-of-War (FOW) system, despite what I said on previous updates. I had one before, but it didn’t felt right. I mean you can see thousands of meters into the far, but the terrain infront of your nose is unknown? Also how does FOW fit with high-tech factions that are letting Gods look like amateurs? However, removing FOW without a proper replacement would leave almost no room for sneak attacks if the player can always see what you are doing.
Since I wanted to implement a cloaking system anyway, I figured that this could be the solution to this dilemma, while integrating level objects to the gameplay. The premiss: EVERY unit can cloak!
How does it work? Once a unit like the Striker tank is close to props – like trees, bushes, rocks, rubble, trash, wrecks ect. – an attribute determines whether if and how fast a unit can enter cloaking increases. Small units can cloak even if they are hidden in a bush, larger units like Ragnarok or aircrafts need a much larger value until they are invisble to your enemies. The size of the unit also decides what decloak condition a unit has. Infantry for example will only be decloaked when they fire their weapons. Most vehicles on the other hand already decloak when they move and have longer timers in general. Most structures cannot hide themselves, but there is an exception. More on that later. 😉
With this gameplay mechanic cloaking becomes a really powerful tool and the right use of the terrain can change the outcome of a battle drastically. To counter it I decided that all units can detect cloaked units as well by using an attribute called “Perception”. The perception attribute allows you to see hidden enemies. Commanders and Turrets usually have a high perception range, but will be scouting units and sensor arrays specialized in finding cloaked units on a large distance.
Just a side note: There is a method I call Remote-Cloaking. Technically it is already in the game, but I had no time to configure and test a Stealth Generator, so I leave it for one of the next update.
<< What coming up next? >>
For the next update I planned to overhaul the animation system. It currently is way to complex and performance intense. Also I want to implement more units and structures for humans, Asen and Pandoras as well as finishing the CFA Dropship. In short: I will hammer up increase the Eye-Candy factor. :3 You may can expect victory conditions so you are able to win a match whether its against bots or humans.
Finally all important points are done, so lets finish with the changelog. Just click on the following LINK. The next build will be online within a few days, because I have a few things that still need some work and I want to deliver you a product of high quality.
Thank you guys for reading and I hope you like the new features. Stay tuned!