Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 16, 2013.

Update #6

Dungeons are go! (Also: more about custom campaigns)

Hello, gentle backer! I wanted to let you know that we've just now hit our dungeons stretch goal with 13 days left in the campaign. Not too shabby! Next up is randomized battlefield generation, followed by an extra branch in the main campaign, then ports to mobile devices. We're going in the right direction. Thank you once again for making this possible!

In other news, I've been getting a lot of questions about specific aspects of campaign creation in Telepath Tactics. Here are a few of those questions, along with my answers.

  • Can you create single player battles with more than 2 armies?

Yes! That is already supported in the game. You can have a single player campaign battle between 3 different armies--or 4, 5, or 6, for that matter.

  • Can you make different armies ally with one another?

Yes! What's more, the AI knows how to cooperate with allied armies, and will do so if you set up multiple armies in an alliance with each other. (That's true for both single player and multiplayer, incidentally.)

  • Can you give human players control of more than one army in single player?

Yes! If you want to create a mission where the player fights alongside allied armies, you have the option to make those armies CPU-controlled or player-controlled. (You can also make enemy armies player-controlled if you so desire.)

  • Can you make it so a campaign's plot branches based on whether a specific character survives a battle?

Yes! That's just one of the many, many cool things you can do with the scripting system in Telepath Tactics (and one possibility for how the main campaign could branch if we hit our fourth stretch goal).

  • Is it possible to have certain characters get player-directed stat gains on level up instead of randomly chosen stat gains?

Yes!

In addition to fielding various questions about the flexibility of campaigns in Telepath Tactics, I have also been getting questions about the map editor. What is it like? Is it really that easy to create awesome battles?

Instead of answering these questions with puny human words, I decided to create a video. Follow along as I use the map editor to create a new battle complete with lava, destructible objects, lighting and weather effects! (Just, uh, disregard the fact that it sounds like I super-glued my sinuses shut--my allergies are going a little crazy with the advent of spring.)

The map editor is still in alpha, so don't assume that this is the final state of the thing (it definitely, definitely isn't)--but that should give you the basic gist.

Not only is making new battles really, really fast, the editor autodetects custom tilesets, custom character classes and custom destructible objects, so it works just as well for campaigns with tons of custom content as it does for campaigns with default assets. (I should know; I've been using it for months now as I continue to throw new tiles, objects and character classes into the game!)

So there you have it, folks. Any other questions? Are there other things about Telepath Tactics you want to know about? Just let me know, and I'll talk about them in our next glorious update. But for now: onward to procedural battlefield generation!

Cheers,

Craig

Comments

    1. Craig.small

      Creator Craig Stern on April 4, 2013

      Hit and run is easy; just set afterAtk to CanMove. There is not currently any way to both move the attacker and damage the target, though I do want to add that into the engine eventually.

      Move Bonus and Levitating are also positive status effects (I think I forgot to add Move Bonus into the manual; I'll fix that!) For the most part, if you want an attack to buff a stat, you should edit the affects attribute so it refers to that stat (e.g. instead of affects=Health, you'd use affects=Strength). I just checked--the manual is out-of-date on that point, and it looks like I stopped midway through implementing that in the engine. I'll finish that up tonight while it's still fresh in my mind.

    2. Missing_small

      Creator Hap Perry on April 4, 2013

      As another question, and sorry if I'm being bothersome.. I've been looking at the guide a bit, and I was wondering if it was possible to have an attack move a unit and damage an enemy? Like, say, Hit and Run for a stealthy unit so they can stab and then retreat, or a Joust ability for a knight that has them charge forwards and then attack?

      Or a Teleport skill that releases a damaging or stunning wave of energy around where you teleport to, for example.

      My second question is.. Are there positive status effects? The only one I could find in the guide was harden and the newturn one, but status effects that, say, increase your damage or movement speed would be a nice option for a support oriented class. Or abilities that make other people teleport... Like a Tractor Beam, or a Spatial Warp attack or such.

    3. Craig.small

      Creator Craig Stern on April 4, 2013

      Thanks, Beñat! To answer your question: yes, you absolutely can. The game supports custom sprite sheets for character classes, including support for custom attacks with their own attack animations. You can trigger dialog trees upon characters attaining certain levels using the OnStat trigger, then offer a choice of replies naming different skills, each leading to a different dialog branche. Each dialog branch, in turn, can then run a TeachAttack action to have the character learn the associated skill.

    4. Craig.small

      Creator Craig Stern on April 4, 2013

      Hey Hap! Yes; to turn off permadeath, stick a Condition tag in the map encloding the text "Permadeath,false" (no quotes). That will make it so any fallen characters return in the next battle. You can turn Permadeath on or off on a battle-by-battle basis. (So, even if you usually use permadeath, you can turn it off for a friendly "training" battle or somesuch.)

      And yes, you can effectively make it so only some characters have permadeath using scripts triggered OnDeath. That's more complicated than just flipping the Permadeath condition on or off, but it's doable.

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Beñat Ramos Elorza on April 4, 2013

      Nice update Craig, really thanked all the multiplayer related information.

      I'm really looking forward to the early release.

      Will we have the opportunity to create aesthetically different classes? And then, attach (player-created) skills to their leveling trees (that can be directed by the players as well)?

      Wonderful game, keep it up!

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Hap Perry on April 4, 2013

      Here's another question. Can you change permadeath settings at all? I'm poking at the idea of using this for a game in a MMORPG type setting, but if people can just relog in the next day after they die, it doesn't make much sense for them to have permadeath on in battle death. Well, until plot happens at least, so yet another question is if you can turn permadeath off for some campaigns, can you turn it back on again in the same campaign after a few missions? Or even, say, in mid mission?

      And thinking of permadeath, can it be on for some people without being on for the others? Like, say, someone who has a bomb attached to their VR headset designed to go off when they die? But not everything has been set up like that?

      And thanks for making such an interesting looking game. ^_^

    7. Armikogjim4.small

      Creator speedster -Armikrog Army Annelid- $4.96 on April 2, 2013

      John, I was reminded of that Heroes of Might and Magic vibe as well, only army stacks are replaced by more heroes.

      My friends and I played Heroes III with a number of custom maps, some downloaded and some made locally, so releasing the editor was one of the things that impressed me about Telepath Tactics. It provides so much replay value!

    8. Craig.small

      Creator Craig Stern on April 2, 2013

      My pleasure, John. Thanks for supporting the game! :)

    9. Conner.small

      Creator John Howard on April 2, 2013

      This looks absolutely amazing Craig! One of my all-time favorite games was the "Heroes of Might and Magic" series. My wife was fantastic at making new maps to play around with after I'd beaten the campaigns and pre-made maps. Some of the graphics in later games were...less than modest, but this looks like it will be perfect for me and my family. Thank you so much!!

    10. Pups_4-27-09_005.small

      Creator StromIV on April 2, 2013

      Alright, because I was thinking of a map with a sort of 'wave of enemy approach' That might need them to spawn on the same square that a previous enemy was spawned on. Glad it is taken into consideration already that a enemy won't spawn on the square someone else is on.

    11. Pups_4-27-09_005.small

      Creator StromIV on April 2, 2013

      Sounds good! I can think of some very creative people making whole campaigns for this game.

    12. Craig.small

      Creator Craig Stern on April 2, 2013

      The map editor won't let you stick multiple enemies on the same square, but you can do it by hand if you like. (Just be aware: characters are not allowed to spawn on the same square as an another character. If the game detects a spawn about to occur on an occupied square, it will search for the closest free space and spawn the character there instead.)

    13. Craig.small

      Creator Craig Stern on April 2, 2013

      All maps have a "nextbattle" attribute at the top of the XML file which tells them what scene to go to next if the battle ends normally. If you want to branch the progression, you can bypass nextbattle and tell the game to go to specific scenes instead by using a dialog tree with scripts attached. (You can have the game not actually display the dialog tree and just run the scripts to if you like.) I've outlined how that works starting on page 18 of the manual, if you're curious: http://sinisterdesign.net/Downloads/Telepath%20Tactics%20Manual.pdf

    14. Pups_4-27-09_005.small

      Creator StromIV on April 2, 2013

      And another. You said you could have the enemy set to spawn after a set time in that square. But what if you want to have more then one enemy set in that same square? Can you set multiple enemies in the square and set each individual enemies spawn time? I guess that could be something to look forward to.

    15. Pups_4-27-09_005.small

      Creator StromIV on April 2, 2013

      Sounds good. Can't wait to mess around with it. Will the same be for creating say... a whole campaign while dialogue and story? Say, map 1 ends and it will move on to map 2? Or map 2 ends with x conditions and therefore moves on to map 3b instead of 3a? I am trying to keep track of a lot of stuff for different campaigns so it might have already been answered, but I forgot.

    16. Craig.small

      Creator Craig Stern on April 2, 2013

      Yes. You might notice that this happens in the battle at Dawbry in the alpha demo--enemy reinforcements appear at the start of the third turn.

      To make a character that spawns later, just open the map in a text editor and change the first value in the character's Unit tag from 0 to whatever number of turns you want them to spawn after. (For example: enemies that spawn after the first two turns will have a 2 instead of a 0 in that first spot.)

      This is another thing I'm going to put in the map editor so you won't have to do it by hand; I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

    17. Pups_4-27-09_005.small

      Creator StromIV on April 2, 2013

      And a question about the editor. Will you be able to script in more enemies appearing at a set interval? Maybe something like 'Turn 10 introduces Enemy Archer on time 1:4'? 1 being the vertical tile placement and 4 being the horizontal tile placement.

    18. Pups_4-27-09_005.small

      Creator StromIV on April 2, 2013

      Looks very good. Glad you hit the next stretch goal. Nice video, and I can't wait to see the map editor upon completion.

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