Of Camps and Cannons
You're a bit overdue for an update on how we've been spending your money since our Kickstarter concluded. It's been a busy month, and I'd like to show you some of the things we've been working on. We've recently made substantial improvements to the exploration aspects of Expeditions: Conquistador, and one of the most obvious changes is an overhaul of the main interface:
The most important change is the relocation of our menu buttons to the top left corner, where they've been arranged in a diamond configuration. We're really happy with how that turned out, and we hope that you'll like it as well. We've also made the compass smaller and moved it to the top right corner, where it now also serves as a button to open the map. At the same time, the camp button has been redone and moved to the lower right corner.
We've added an info bar to the top of the screen, which displays your remaining moves for the day, how many days have passed since the beginning of the game, and the amount of rations you possess. Finally, we've polished up the log messages in the lower left corner so they look nicer, are easier to read, and are colour coded for easy identification.
A major focus for us this past month has been the design and creation of our camp management system. This system is intended to add more variation, logistics, and long-term strategy to the basic act of exploring our game world, and it incorporates several different features. Above, you can see the Tasks tab where you can assign routine tasks as well as contextual tasks to each of your followers. The follower list can be sorted by name, tasks, health, type, or rank, in ascending or descending order.
You'll also notice a sequence of numbers under the name of every follower, which summarises their skills. A follower's starting skills are based on their type, but every time you promote a follower, he or she is granted 3 skillpoints that you are free to distribute among their camping skills. The follower list in the camping menu also displays the type, rank, morale, and health of each follower, as well as what food you've given them to eat.
In the Rations tab, you can decide what each follower should eat when you make camp. Meat is gained from hunting down peccaries during your travels and from assigning followers to hunt when you make camp - any meat that isn't either eaten or preserved will spoil and is wasted when you camp, so you should only assign rations if you have no meat. If anybody has to go hungry, they will lose morale.
Additionally, you can choose to assign two meals of meat or rations to a follower, which will grant you a chance to raise that follower's morale - the lower their morale, the better the chance. If you don't want to worry about this, you can simply click the Default button, which will assign one meal of meat to each follower and only switch to rations when you run out of meat.
As a part of the camping system, we've also added a crafting system. This consists of two parts: Construction, where you can assign each follower to construct one item every day out of four new crafting materials, and Invention where you can assign a follower to invent upgrades for your expedition, such as more comfortable tents or faster carts. The resource expenditure for construction will depend on the Tinkering skill of the character, and only characters with a high Tinkering skill will be able to invent the highest levels of each upgrade.
Last but not least, the Treatment system that already existed in the Kickstarter beta build has been integrated in the new camping system - treating a patient is a task that leaves the doctor no time for other tasks such as guarding or constructing, and injured characters cannot be assigned any tasks other than to be treated. I'd also like to mention that following the feedback we received from the Kickstarter beta, we've raised the deterioration risks substantially for most injuries to discourage players from simply ignoring injured characters for long periods of time.
Of course we've worked on many other things since our Kickstarter concluded, including implementing the remaining skills for every character type, a bunch of new usable combat items, getting started on the Mexico campaign, and so on and so forth. In that respect, here are two new (very work-in-progress) screenshots that in my opinion speak for themselves:
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Aug 3, 2012 - Sep 12, 2012 (40 days)
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Special Thanks on the Logic Artists' website + Access to the Backers' forum on our website (Kickstarter exclusive)Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
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Previous rewards + Digital copy of the game for PC + Unique heirloom item to use in battles (Kickstarter exclusive) + 2 HD wallpapers of the gameEstimated delivery: Jan 2013
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Previous rewards + PDF version of Expeditions: Conquistador Art Book + PDF version of the Game Design Document + Download link to Behind the Scenes videoEstimated delivery: Jan 2013
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Previous rewards + Collector's Edition Boxed version (replaced with the boxed version) + Printed Expeditions: Conquistador Art book + Leather map of the Aztec Campaign + Diary of the Conquistador (contains 15-20 pages story and a special in-game quest) + Conquistador flag (no additional cost for shipping)Estimated delivery: Jan 2013
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