Tacticaler

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jalbanesi
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Tacticaler

Post by jalbanesi » Sun May 29, 2016 7:40 am

Hi all,

I'm developing a turn based strategy and tactics game called Tacticaler. I took a lot of things from Advance Wars as well as other games like Panzer General.

It's currently in closed beta, if you want to test it you can join at http://www.tacticaler.com. I'm releasing weekly updates based on the feedback I receive from testers and my internal plannig.

Here are some screenshots from the latest release:

Image
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Let me know what you think of the project :D

:gesalute:

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DieselPheonix

Re: Tacticaler

Post by DieselPheonix » Sun May 29, 2016 2:54 pm

The logistics between missions is intriguing.

Any plans to include a versus mode of sorts?

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jalbanesi
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Re: Tacticaler

Post by jalbanesi » Mon May 30, 2016 12:20 am

You can give it a try by joining the closed beta, there is a release that can be played in the browser.

You can also see it in action in the latest gameplay video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2KzYNjVm1g.

For the moment I don't have plans for multiplayer mode, but a hot seat multiplayer is currently supported in the code and maybe I'll add it in future releases. Multiplayer online is out of scope right now.

ThunderWalker
Rank: Elf
Location: Netherlands

Re: Tacticaler

Post by ThunderWalker » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:44 pm

Logistics between missions is nice and much more 'logical' than the Advance Wars system until one realizes you can basically spam the board with units (and you need to do that pretty early already thanks to the turn limit, preventing you from taking your time).

Infantry looks goofy but I can live with that. We are used to AW which is pretty goofy by itself, so...


Also, there is a campaign, but no story. It feels bizarre and it gives us no characters to grow attached to. I mean, this is an AW forum, and who doesn't love Kanbei's sock-related antics or Andy's dumb-dumber-dumbest questions ("what's an airport?") or Sami saying something to Adder that was appearantly bad enough to VOCABULARY OVERLORD it in the American and European versions of the game (what did Sami say in the Japanese version of AW2, actually?).

Edit: Rofl @ the VOCABULARY OVERLORD thing... Talking about c-e-n-s-o-r-ship... :mrgreen:


Edit 2: I have played more of the game now, and it's not bad even if clearly unfinished.
Loved the single inf versus single inf mission, but the AI is a bit on the passive side for it to work well.

But now I have done... five missions (New Hope, Green Lake, Huntland, Helix and Napavine)... Love the logistics as mentioned above but the lack of an unit cap makes a number of missions easier than they should be.

Snowfield (without snow?) has the issue that the AI stops finishing its turns, rendering the mission impossible to complete unless you follow a specific move senquence. Note also that this mission is only beatable because the AI is hilariously stupid - it works fine for now, but if you are ever set on improving the AI you need to have a look into this one.

And the other three missions unlocked do not load (yet?).


Something else I've noticed is that there seem to be only a few different defensive types (light and heavy?). Is this correct?



Edit3: And the realisation of stockpiling massive amounts of money with not doing anything. Just leave the game open, then go shopping, then have a date at a restaurant with your girlfriend and then go out with your friends. And once you return back home: profit.

Not something that needs to be adressed immidiately, but it is something you may want to do something about before releasing the game.


I think these two things are probably the most important to fix:
- if someone tries to open a mission that is not in the game yet, have a mention that "This mission is not added to the game yet," which bails someone out to the main menu or at least the mission select screen.
- A stopgap measure that ends the AI's turn even if it stops doing anything halfway its turns. Maybe a timer - if the AI does not make a move for 30 seconds, the AI ends its turn automatically.
My sig is a void.

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jalbanesi
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Re: Tacticaler

Post by jalbanesi » Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:16 pm

Thanks for the feedback ThunderWalker!

Yes, I still have to design some mechanism to avoid spaming units in the battlefield. I'll be working on this next week and currently have two options:
- implement "deploy points", fixed for each mission and can increase by capturing cities.
- Implement "unit maintenance cost", each unit has a maintenance cost, like -$100/s, so if you build too many you will go bankrupt. This is the option I like the most but it'll be really difficult to balance.

As for the story, I'll try to keep it to the minimum. I have zero experience in narration and storytelling =). However, I might add heroes in later releases.

The AI needs a lot more work, I have several improvements ongoing. Also, if I add heroes, each one will have a preset personality (aggressive, balanced, defensive) and this will affect all the units behaviour.

Don't worry about the massive amounts of money right now, you'll need it eventually =)

As for the broken missions, the only playables, at the moment, are New Hopen, Green Hill, Huntland and Helix. I'll add the locked indicators in the next release. Also, if you want to continue testing you can replay any mission (this is intended only in the beta to aid testing).
The AI freezing bug should be fixed (in non-finished levels anything can happen), please let me know if you came across this bug again in the supported missions.

I think that's all for now, thank you again for your helpful feedback!

:gesalute:

ThunderWalker
Rank: Elf
Location: Netherlands

Re: Tacticaler

Post by ThunderWalker » Thu Jun 02, 2016 1:54 am

Great :)

I think a Maintenance cost is important, but deployment points too - for the very simple reason that you don't have unlimited citizens that want to join your army. You could probably use a combination of both to balance things out.

Something else to look into are warheads, but that's not immidiately important. Now there are only soft (varying from infantry to artillery) and hard (tanks) targets, but there's no difference in defence between the various soft targets. For now it does not require attention, but isn't it a little odd that infantry can kill artillery squads in two hits? I mean, while these vehicles are not heavily armoured, they are still protected well enough to protect against infantry assault rifles (and sometimes even against heavier machineguns). I'd suggest to address that in a later release (but like I said, this can wait a week or two, or even a month or two, or even until after you have all missions completed).

As for the storyline, just ask for help. I know enough about storytelling and dialogues to help you cooking something up. It won't be as easy to write a storyline now as it could be due to contradicting factors (guerilla and high-tech units like aircraft and ships don't go well together), but it can still be done.
*SNIP*
Edit: I am stupid and answered my own question - the answer being simply that if the guerilla faction is part of an original army that just managed to evade capture after the country being invaded, they do have access to high-tech units much more readily, though they may be hard if not impossible to replace until the factories are recaptured)
My sig is a void.

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jalbanesi
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Re: Tacticaler

Post by jalbanesi » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:33 pm

You were right, I finally went with a combination of maintenance cost and deploy points. It's still not fully coded, but I finished the design.

Right now, I'm working on the enemy's strategic inteligence. The goal is that the AI builds its own army just as the player does.

Additionally to maintenance costs, each factory upgrade lowers the maintenance cost of all unit that produces.

The next step is to modify the tactic intelligence so it can deploy units in the same way as the player does it. This will led to dynamic maps and a dynamic campaign. In the dynamic campaign, the AI will try to reconquer lost territories and conquer new ones to obtain resources.

In this video, I show the strategic AI in action from the enemy's perspective:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4ab-TAj0yc

The storyline is on hold right now, I have a couple of ideas but nothing fully defined.

More updates coming soon!

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jalbanesi
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Re: Tacticaler

Post by jalbanesi » Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:51 pm

Beta update 4 is out!

Image

- Redesigned tactic AI
- Maps with smooth borders
- Almost completed resource managment
- A lot of bugfixes

Join the closed beta at http://www.tacticaler.com

:gesalute:

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jalbanesi
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Re: Tacticaler

Post by jalbanesi » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:21 am

Beta Update 5 is out!

This is a big update, a lot of new features has been added.

- Dynamic strategic campaign: the different factions now attack each other (including the player) and conquer new territories.
- New graphics: new perspective to give a sense of depth.
- Tactic events: under certain conditions, events occur while playing a tactic map like rebels helping the player or another faction invading the province.
- New units: Mortar, AAA and SAM (aircrafts are coming in the next release)
- Settings screen: you can now control audio settings, hasten cpu turns and access some cheats like tutorial skipping and accelerated time.
- A ton of bugfixes.

I'm finally reaching a state of "feature complete" so I need as much test as possible, feel free to join the beta at http://www.tacticaler.com

Image
Image

:gesalute:

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Linkman
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Re: Tacticaler

Post by Linkman » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:45 am

Congratulations, that looks great!
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
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