Steam page of the game has been updated and the team is progressing with the Strategic Map and other planned features! We’re currently testing a new battle mode on nightly, and would love to hear your feedback!
Strategic Map and other expected features like the new lobby are planned to be released in one of the updates within less than two months, so the Steam store page of the game has been changed to keep the information up to date. Some of the things pointed out by the community have been either removed or rewritten and some new key features have been added to the list.
You can read the new description directly on Steam – http://store.steampowered.com/app/430440/Of_Kings_And_Men/
If you have any suggestions about improving the page, for example if you think something that you find interesting haven’t been included in the description, let us know on forums or the official Discord channel!
Maps For Strategy
Strategic Map is getting closer and closer to the first testings! Implementing systems for clans to be able to use them as factions on the map and the new Raid Mode with battle scheduling system to attack fiefs and use troops to fight in battles was crucial for the mode to work, leaving a significant part of its development behind, tested and working properly.
Right now, coders are actively working on creating the map itself. The plan is to support any possible population of players on the map, from relatively low number of clans up to infinity! Obviously, that kind of system could only be achieved with a dynamic map, not a pre-made one. The idea is that the map will be rather small when first released, but every new clan joining the new world will cause the map to expand – create new terrain and place some villages and castles around it.
Since the code hasn’t been finished yet for that part of the Strategic Map feature, artists will still need to work on the map’s visuals a little bit later. While there are already working versions of the terrain and fiefs placed on it, we’ll have to wait for artists to start working on it before sharing some of the the screenshots with you, but do expect them in one of the later dev frames or as sneak peeks on our Discord channel!
The team currently wants to implement the Strategic Map step-by-step, similarly to some of the previously released features like Hold Your Ground and The Arena. The first version of the mode, released initially in nightly, will be pretty basic, comparing to what it will become in the future. While it will obviously have to be playable and interesting from the start, later features and mechanics will be developed by gathering all the feedback from the community, processing it into real game designs, and adding those ideas into the game.
While receiving bug reports and collecting gameplay suggestions will be very important for the process of developing the mode, another thing that we’ll be actively looking for is what you, as active players, think about game balancing and how fair the mode is towards both big and small clans.
Having to make a decision whether to initially implement the Strategic Map as a more forgiving mode for those not familiar with similar mechanics or make it as hard to get into as possible, we thought that providing an easy start for new war participants will make it easier to understand the main concept of the mode, allowing more players to form opinions and share them with us in order to impact the development.
For example, new clans on the map will get their capital fortresses right from the start, and fiefs close to them will be much easier to capture than other settlements later on. The mode might become relatively easy for veterans of its predecessor, but as mentioned above, balance will be one of the major things for us to consider when updating the Strategic Map’s mechanics, so if many players, including those playing the mode as members of small clans, will end up wanting an overall more hardcore mode, it will get a place on our to-do list.
There will be much more information about the Strategic Map once the coders are ready to let the artists update the visuals, so we’re able to show you the map and explain what some of the things on it mean, like we did with the Raid Mode in previous dev frames. If you already have suggestions or would like to ask about some of the details, you’re welcomed to do so on our Discord channel or forums!
Meanwhile, we would appreciate your help with testing the Raid Mode, which is on our nightly, and contains many mechanics used in the Strategic Map! When you join the game with nightly version, feel free to either schedule a raid of your own via Raids button or join an existing raid from the Battles menu.
If you’ve been following our nightly updates closely, you must have already seen or heard about this small new addition to the game! As you know, Of Kings And Men has always been featuring only a single possible camera position, which is a convenient for combat third-person view. It provides a number of benefits like always allowing to see what’s happening around your character and never losing your weapon out of sight when quickly switching between stances during combat.
There are, however, downsides to that view as well. For example, the biggest issue with third-person view in a relatively fast-paced game like Of Kings And Men is fighting enemies while being close to walls or any tall objects around your combat area. There are a couple of workarounds that could be implemented to make the camera not feel clunky when hitting a wall behind, but zooming in on the character, moving the camera up, as well as other possibilities have their flaws.
After discussing it within the team, it was decided to choose a different solution, which is why a new first-person view is now being tested on our nightly server! While you’re free to always play in third-person like before, assuming you you don’t mind the camera jumping when fighting enemies in close quarters, you now also have a choice to switch to a completely new view by simply pressing a button on your keyboard!
The issue was there for some time already, but none of the previous maps forced players to fight in narrow passages of gatehouses or inside buildings. The new castle map changed the approach a little bit by providing a multitude of interesting paths for players to use in their siege, naturally encouraging such events.
We are now actively gathering feedback about the new implementation, which can be tested on our nightly by pressing V by default. The first-person view is not going to become the primary view of the game, and is expected to be mostly used while fighting inside small rooms or in tight paths, as well as for immersion when not participating in any combat activities, so it’s possible it won’t be as perfect as the original character’s point of view, but we’ll be trying to make it as comfortable as possible and improve the feature based on your suggestions.
Test The Wall
The new battle mode, which is currently used for the Raid Mode and will eventually be implemented for the Strategic Map’s sieges and village battles, is almost finished and is now being tested on nightly. While the mode itself has all the mechanics initially planned, there are still things that will be required for it be able to get into the next live update. For example, the mode will get a completely new UI and some of the tweaks and balancing changes might be implemented once it’s tested.
The main thing that is still being developed is the new castle siege map. While it’s fully playable and has all specific features required for gameplay like main paths to flags, small secret paths for sneaky attacks and walls with battlements to shoot the attacking forces, it is also crucial for the map to actually look like a real medieval castle.
In order to achieve that, both team members responsible for map design and team members responsible for art have been working together to create as interesting environments as possible, while keeping it realistic and viable for any tactic army commanders might have in mind. To give you a feel of the map, castles were rarely just walls with a keep, they also had houses for people to live in, barracks for soldiers to train, and many other structures to support everyday life of people in military as well as other possible settlers like servants.
You will be able to find all that on the new castle map of course, but each place will also server its purpose from gameplay point of view. For example, houses might serve as a perfect cover from archers shooting from the towers, and roofs of the buildings close to inner walls could be jumped down on, essentially becoming a risky shortcut for attackers. Each such area will be created with specific gameplay style in mind, so look closely next time you play on it, you might discover a completely new way of capturing that castle!
The are plenty of similar things on the map that will eventually be used in siege planning by army commanders. While the map in its current state is rather basic and doesn’t allow for such wide variety of tactical decisions, it will be vastly improved and tweaked before going into the next live update.
If you happen to see any issues with the map or would like to suggest something specific like blocking a path that’s too easy to abuse by attackers or adding a new one because it’s too hard to follow the same path throughout the whole siege, we’d love to hear them on our Discord channel or forums!
Fin has recently been working on a new sound system that was added to our nightly version already and is awaiting some more testing before going live. The system is implementing personal sounds to the game, in addition to global sounds that played for all players on a battlefield. For example, such sounds would be getting hit by the enemy, hitting someone else, or shooting a bow, but also User Interface sounds like joining a new game mode or clicking on buttons in menus.
There were some prototype versions of the system in the past, but they never made it fully into the game up until now. It’s very important to know when it’s your character that performs an action, and not someone else close to you, which could otherwise potentially confuse a player in a heat of a battle.
A lot of new sounds have been added to the nightly server on Friday, and it would be very helpful if you could check them out and tell us what you think! There is a special #sound channel on our Discord server, and Fin is there to gather your feedback!