Copper Dreams Gameplay Video — Alpha Testers report in for Block 24!
Good tidings backers!
If you asked Santa for a Copper Dreams video update for Christmas, you're in luck! We've made a ton of progress since the last update. Turn based, timed actions, stealth, bullet-hell, simulation-oriented ruleset — we've got it all!
We’re making the last checklist of map preparations and checking it twice to get backers in the streets of Copper Dreams. The extra time and resources you’ve provided have gone into iterating on the core design this year and have been tremendously helpful, making the game and ruleset into the wonderful beast it now is. The game really couldn’t have gotten to this state without your help. We're very happy for you all to be able to start the new year back at the turn of the century. Ci-War 2000!
We’re working around the clock to get a build ready for you all, so expect some news on that final date shortly. For $35+ backers, we'll be sending out information about getting a key in late January. Everyone else, expect your beta keys in the next couple months!
The alpha build will have some varying options for you test out a raid on Block 24, a syndicate stronghold full of petrified civilians and hostile agents. There will be a normal, mission-oriented version, as well as more mechanics-focused ones to mess around with in the playground-like map:
- Golden-gun mode for one-hit kills
- Don't get caught mode
- Machine-gun mode
- A few super secret modes to unlock if you beat previous modes
They should give a range of options to test for balancing and how things feel. We'll be mainly looking for feedback on our 3 vertical slice tests, which we'll describe below. After further iteration on the alpha-mission with your feedback, our next milestone is updating the build of the game with the first of the main campaign maps to check out, which we’ll just be doing in chunks.
Looking Back at 2017 Development
Some of the gameplay mechanics have undergone iterations since the original Kickstarter, but have stayed true to the concepts we wanted from the Burning Candle ruleset which we talked about on the original Kickstarter page:
The gameplay needed to become something very fresh and different from what we've ever played before as we iterated on what we wanted these core concepts of the ruleset to feel like. We needed a gameplay-heavy experience to make all this work, focusing on player agency and hiding nothing behind CYOA blockades. After a long evolution we've finally landed in a stage that just needs tweaking and feedback. The ticks and tiles and movement are all intuitive with the ruleset, easy for a player, and with just the perfect amount of dice and tables to reference and keep everything in order (soooo a lot).
For actual gameplay, we broke our efforts down into 3 vertical slice tests set as goals. These had to be just right for the ruleset and gameplay to work.
1 — Visualizing step-by-step actions within turns
Goal: The entire game-world is built with turns that are visualized with ticks (.25 sec intervals in gameplay). In combat your individual actions take a certain amount of time, and then dictate when your world stops for another turn.
Execution: Play cat and mouse noise with an enemy combatant with turns, get into a firefight, and then lose enemy and have them return to patrolling. This has most of these mechanics that can be telegraphed easily with in-game notifiers and the tick display.
2 — Gameplay impactful damage and resources
Goal: Character damage should encourage a change of tactics, and be mechanically as profound as the damage. This needs to be done in a fun way, not to impede gameplay.
Execution: Attacking an enemy in the legs results in slowing their move speed. Attacking in the arms reduces aim quality, attacking in head lowers sight and hearing. Enemies will react to this and change tactics appropriately.
3 — Accessible environments, movement, and tools
Goal: Moving around the world needs to be simple and intuitive and not require any hand-eye coordination. The interface bar needs to give easy access to any available player skills equally, to establish an equal importance between them during gameplay. Sensory mechanics for both NPCs and the player need to be easily visualized within the 3d maps and with height.
Execution: A combination of auto-movement changes and manual toggles to navigate around an environment by running, walking, and sneaking, then climbing, jumping across a gap, crawling through a vent, ascending a ladder, swimming, manually jumping over a trap, and then manually opening and closing a door. Get every skill a player can put character points in within a click away on a uniform dock-like interface.
We’ve continued with the design we’ve had the past couple updates, and things are rounding out nicely. Characters and scenes represent a sort of claymation/palette knife visual which has appealed to our urge to keep things abstract and are textured blocky in a distance to easily identify objects and people, as well as interesting up-close. The old pixel-art style failed to do that well, and this has been a natural evolution that we're happy with.
The Kickstarter backer heads are starting to roll into the game now as well. We'll post more of these in our next update as we bring more of you into the game. Some are being used as player character options, some story-based NPCs you talk to, and some enemy agents. Depending on what age bracket you’re in, your character’s head/body model will change appropriately.
There are also added scar decals for characters who choose any Ci-War 2000 veteran background advantages or disadvantages during character creation. There are already a ton of head variances for the models planned for, so we aren’t going crazy with more background influencers, but age and the Ci-War background options are more cosmetically interesting ones we thought would be worth adding.
There's so much more to show and explain, like our new visual for the sound your character emits depending on action and movement, or the joint enemy AI collaboration that is currently underway, and we can't wait to tell you more about them in the near future.
See you all in the new year!
Hannah & Joe