Mod support, community designs, NEW FACTION++
Time for another update. On the menu today we have a funding and mod support update as well as details on the community design process. We will also briefly cover the connection between rooms, the crew and the bridge. Oh, on the topic of the bridge, since it is such an important room we decided to take another look at it and do some important upgrades. Finally, we have a new faction reveal today which may affect your loyalties.
First things first, back when we ran the Kickstarter we announced a series of mini-stretch goals. We had one each at $550k, $650k and $750k and are happy to report that we have now passed the $750k threshold. This means that everybody who backed minimum $25 or more will also get the digital add-ons strategy guide, art bible and character pack #3 at no additional cost!
Furthermore, since we fully expect to hit the $800k stretch goal (extended mod support) during 2014, we decided to go ahead as if this stretch goal was already met. Having more powerful mod tools will be useful not only to modders after launch but also help developers before launch since we invest in more robust tools that save us time. We have a lot of respect for the time and effort put in by mod communities to extend the lifespan of games like Mount&Blade, Elder Scrolls/Fallout, Total War, X3, Torchlight and many others. We look forward to seeing what kind of mods will pop up for The Mandate as well as total conversion projects for <insert your favourite sci-fi universe>.
Moving on, let’s talk a bit about the community design process where backers can help create part of the backstory and content for The Mandate. First off, we are releasing more information about the last 1500 years (CLICK HERE) as well as the last 100 years (CLICK HERE). Over on the new forums we have outlined how this community design process will work. Login to read the details in the pledge sub-forums. If you forgot your password or never logged in to the community site CLICK HERE. We have pre-generated all 17000 backers so you are already in the system and must use the email that matches the one you are registered with from Kickstarter or PayPal. If you want us to change your email then send us a private message with your old and new email via Kickstarter.
For each design tier we will be adding examples made by our writers. Do not despair if an example does not yet exist for your design tier as it will be added soon. Currently our writers are fleshing out the key NPCs for each faction as well as the various sub-factions. What are sub-factions? Well, a major faction is not a singular entity. Not all Romanovs or Arkwrights think the same. There are differences of opinion and we represent this via sub-factions. Some sub-factions have agendas that conflict with each other or their “parent” faction. Others may support each other or are ignorant of each other. Instead of throwing a bunch of sub-factions in the player’s face at the start of The Mandate, we believe sub-factions will improve the immersion of the game as well as be an incentive to replay The Mandate and work for different major factions
We talked earlier about mod support and this is keeping the programmers and designers quite busy. As for the art team you saw some of their latest work in the Battle Orchestrator trailer we released a while back. While we are pretty happy with how the ships look, we are not 100% done with them. For now, though, we are focusing on the ship interiors as this is important both for boarding gameplay and how our chain of command will work. So how will this work exactly? Each room will have a number of consoles which must be staffed by crew. If a console is unmanned or damaged, this can impact your ship in a number of ways. Broadly speaking each room will have one or more of the following consoles:
- Basic consoles which allow a room to function (normally placed in the center)
- Specialist consoles which add new equipment or abilities (walls and corners)
- Command consoles which confer bonuses to all other consoles in the room (corner)
To put things into perspective, let’s look at a series of tactical consoles which are used to control some of the ship’s weapons. We have different types of basic consoles that allow us to operate the weapons on the ship. In addition we have specialist consoles that allow us to install more or better weapons and finally we have a command console which is operated by a warrant officer who is in direct contact with the bridge.
On the topic of the bridge we will have a series of command consoles here which are operated by officers. These officers direct the warrant officers in the various rooms around the ship and interface with the captain (you!). Since the bridge is such an important room we decided to iterate on the old bridge concept. With some outside input we explored sketches of modern-day bridge layouts and used this as input when revamping our bridge.
Here is the front and back of the revamped command bridge on a frigate vessel. Naturally larger ships may have more expansive bridge facilities. Notice also that our old friend the battle orchestrator features quite prominently in the center of the room. In addition there are access elevators that connect the bridge both with the other decks as well as directly to the shuttle bay. In case you are wondering, the big screens at the front are not made of glass - the risk of an A-wing accidentally crashing through the screens is minimal due to a) sturdy construction and b) being in the wrong sci-fi universe.
When the new community site launched, we added a poll which made references to two new factions. Several backers were confused and asked who these new factions were and whether they had missed out on important lore information. Today we are revealing one of these factions, the Osmani, which is inspired by the Ottoman Empire. CLICK HERE to read more about this mysterious faction. This faction at the same time demonstrates how we are inspired by but not constrained by history.
Backers, meet the Osmani faction leader, Sultana Sadeet.
CLICK HERE to read more about her.
Your friends at Perihelion Interactive