Wildman Update #2: Prototype Gameplay and Q&A
Once again, thank you for your continued support and for helping us spread the Wildman word. Every post and tweet matters!
Thanks also for all of the feedback, questions, and requests. We want to encourage you to post on Kickstarter, on our forums, or on Twitter or Facebook.
Anyway, on to the update.
Let Us See the Game!
Today’s update is focused on some of those requests and questions, with the primary one being “Let us see the game!”
So, we’ve prepared Wildman Video Update #1, which includes some of the current prototype gameplay.
This is extremely early development footage using an older version of our 3D rendering technology with the lighting removed and placeholder models and textures. For those interested in the new tech, it will use deferred rendering; you might want to Bing that. (Hah, kidding. Google.) Everything will be significantly better looking when the engine upgrade is completed.
The way our internal development works is that our designers prototype core gameplay using placeholder visuals like you’re seeing in this video. While this is going on, our art team is finalizing the game’s look and engineering is working on implementing and/or improving all of the underlying systems.
Wildman features a fixed isometric/top-down camera like Diablo, or Dungeon Siege minus the ability to rotate the camera. It uses standard PC action-RPG controls: Click to move and attack, click buttons or press hotkeys to activate abilities, etc.
When you first start Wildman, you will create your Wildman character. Character creation and base stats are still works-in-progress.
The overall arc of the Wildman is that he starts with little more than a simple club. Through exploration and success in combat, he acquires—through learning, stealing, assimilating; pick your favorite term—new technologies from his enemies. These technologies mirror historical developments in areas like metallurgy and medicine. In other words, Wildman starts with clubs, moves to swords, figures out how to heal himself, etc., all because nice people “teach” him these technologies after he bashes their heads in.
Your same Wildman character can be used in two separate (but overlapping) game modes, Overland and War Zones. War Zones appear in the Overland mode, but can be launched separately as standalone gameplay experiences. If you play RTS games, think of this as the campaign and skirmish.
The “Overland” mode is a traditional action-RPG like Dungeon Siege or Diablo. It will include a seamless world without loadscreens for you to explore. It will feature multiple environments, with thematically appropriate flora and fauna.
Along the way, you’ll meet people and creatures. These people and creatures won’t be friendly. In fact, they’re kind of mean. They will attack you. You will beat them up. They will die.
There will be objectives for your Wildman to complete. You may receive treasure, experience, weapons, armor, and/or technology for completing these objectives.
An example of one objective may be “defeat Ungar the Undying in the War Zone.” Which leads us into…
In the context of the Overland Adventure portion of Wildman, think of a War Zone as an elaborate boss fight. If you enter a War Zone directly from the main menu, think of it as a fun, repeatable, and configurable PvE skirmish experience. Both versions feature identical core gameplay, but the Overland version is seamlessly integrated into the Overland experience.
So, when playing in the Overland, you may come across an abandoned Citadel. It is similar to a checkpoint, and once “captured” by the Wildman, he establishes it as his new base of operations.
Think of a literal fork in the road. If the Wildman goes one direction, he continues on his Overland adventure until he reaches the next Citadel. Between Citadels, he will fight monsters, collect loot, and complete objectives.
However, if the Wildman ventures further into the War Zone area, he will invariably stumble across an enemy Citadel, triggering an “act of war.” This brings the War Zone to life. Each Citadel begins unleashing hordes of soldiers. These soldiers meet on the battlefield. These automated battles rage on during the War Phase until one side has defeated the other.
Soldiers tend to carry around gold in their pockets—who knows what shopping opportunities exist in the middle of war?—and this gold tends to fall out of a soldier’s pocket when he dies. If you collect the gold, you can use it to upgrade your Citadel or purchase different kinds of Outposts that will unleash different types of soldiers. Do you need ranged units to support your melee units? Collect some gold and build and Outpost at one of the pre-defined areas in the War Zone. (Note: We may not literally use gold as the War Zone currency.) After the initial purchase, you have multiple upgrades for that type of unit. If the melee is, say, attack dogs, you may have choices to increase their number and attack in packs, or they can be "rabid" attack dogs and do damage-over-time.
Other upgrades are similar to those found in RTS titles with similar themes. You will be forced to make high-level strategic decisions on how to spend your available resources, reacting to the opposing War Zone champion and his army. The give and take feels much like a strategy game.
Within each War Zone, there may be mini “adventures;” for example, a path may lead away from the main battle area to a dungeon that features a particularly nasty monster, but it has some seriously nice loot. You will have to decide if it’s worth it to ignore the main battle and risk falling behind or go for the treasure.
We’re hitting 1000 words here, so we’ll call this an update. We hope this clarifies the core gameplay a bit. Feel free to ask more questions. And keep spreading the word.