Category HoloWars

New Unit Type and much more

No more buildings

During the holidays I reworked much of the game. You can see new screenshots in the gallery and in the video above.
I actually got rid of buildings. This was a hard step as the micro management seems integral to a common real-time strategy-game. I just couldn’t generate a scenario in which it was actually fun to micromanage buildings and workers or made the overall strategic decisions deeper/better. I may decide that they are necessary later on but for now they are gone. You can see in my previous post and also in the newest video how unit dropping will work for now.

More details and better overview

Another major change is the increased camera zoom level and the decreased average number of units that will be generated during a round. These changes do actually go hand in hand. Right now I am really trying to make the game not too complicated in terms of playing. I still want it to be tactically deep, but having to micromanage 100 units and deciding which cards to play AND finding possible targets for card effects just was a real pain. So now there’s much less units on average, the zoom level is closer into the battlefield and the maps are slightly smaller.
I utilized Blender to create new models for many things in the game and I think the new closer look on things really benefits from details I added during the modelling process.
holoWarsNewModels

New Unit Type

In addition to the changes mentioned above the visualization of effects is everything but optimal. If 4 units attack 4 other units and each of them has an effect applied it becomes very difficult to see which unit is triggering what area effects on which targets. To ease that situation some of the unit effects will be utilized by a new unit type called “Beacon”. Beacons are stationary units that can be destroyed just like tanks. They will likely have a higher base health pool and are mainly there to generate an effect in an area around them. Beacons are also shown in the above video, but they do not effect the tanks around them in the games version the video was created off.
beacons

Going on

The last days have been great to build a better foundation for future development of HoloWars and I am looking forward to go on. If you like HoloWars please make sure to follow me on twitter (@TimTipGames) or to subscribe to the HoloWars Newsletter. You can find the corresponding links and form on the top right of this site.

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Day 1

I think I will remove most of the buildings. They do only generate overhead. Instead units will be “dropped” on the battlefield.

Here’s a super short video showing how that’s going to work:

Unit dropping won’t work everywhere (unlike the video) or there’s going to be a delay on when units will respond to commands. So you can’t just drop an Armada of units right into the ongoing battle in the enemies base. Video quality is horrible. Need to improve that.

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HoloWars is alive

Been busy with some dayjob stuff but have also been working on new graphics for HoloWars. More to come…

Green Holo

 

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Lot’s of things done

Although it is very satisfying to have the multiplayer implemented, the act of doing so wasn’t. I had to work a lot on code and sync issues and had to change quiet some things behind the scenes. Pretty much everything I had to do was code work. It is absolutely awesome to play the game in multiplayer now but as important as it is, it’s a feature that is very hard to show on video let alone screenshots. So once I was done with it, I started to overhaul the UI and fixed a lot of annoying bugs that had to do with unit-selection and resource management. I added two new screenshots to the gallery that show some of the new UI fetures.

I also added a minimap that replaces the UI elements that showed who captured which territory beacons.

A new window  serves as chat and card-log. Whenever a player plays a card, a corresponding log entry is created in that window. Hovering over a card will show it in detail. That should make it easier to see what is going on and to learn about cards that your opponent plays which you didn’t know or can’t remember completely.  Here’s a screenshot showing it: 

New UI and chat-card-log in action

New UI and chat-card-log in action

In recent versions of HoloWars you had to send your workers to the place you wanted to build a building at and had to click a “build” button once the worker reached it’s target. I changed that behavior to the classical way where you choose a target location for the building with your mouse and the worker will automatically go there and build the building once the destination is reached. That eases a lot of the micromanagement that had to be done by the player before as one had to wait for each worker to reach the target location before one could build.

I removed the action-menu that was located at the left border of the screen (you can see that in some of the older screenshots) and moved all relevant actions to the actors who are involved. So build-menus will appear next to selected workers and unit-production menus will appear next to buildings. Here’s another screenshot to show a worker with it’s corresponding menu (A menu next to a building is also visible on the screen above):

A worker and it's menu

A worker and it’s menu

There’s also a new tactical view that shows a colored grid to indicate the range of units to allow for better positioning. It’s still pretty confusing so I’ll show that once it’s done.

I am very happy with how everything’s coming along and still am eager to create a video …

Coming next:

  • New cards
  • New unit types (Soldiers and a flying type)
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Working on multiplayer support

It’s been a bit quite here for a few days.  Mainly because I have been taking part in the recent Ludum Dare competition. If you like you can check out a game I made in 48 hours HERE

Regarding HoloWars I made a big step forward in that the multiplayer is working for 90% of the games mechanics. I will spend the rest of the week and the beginning of next week to fix the remaining bugs and make sure that the network experience is smooth for everyone. It has actually been a lot of work to get the networking implemented but I am happy with the result. The underlying code also allows for easy implementation of new cards without touching much of the network code.

I realized that there’s still very little information about HoloWars in my blog posts that could give a coherent picture of what I want it to be like.

In order to fill those gaps I still want to do a video about HoloWars to also show some footage of the game. The only video available is still from the 7DRTS jam and isn’t even close to the state of the game. So stay tuned!

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Card overhaul

 

tmpDeckManager

I revamped the card design and made them much more eye-friendly. I also changed the layout to allow for some images on them .While the art on them is mainly a placeholder, it helps to distinguish them purely visual without reading their title or description. I also implemented a very basic deck building screen that you can see in the screenshot. It allows to drag and drop cards into your current deck. The underlying structure makes it easy to save and load decks and only needs some more GUI elements to reflect these features.

 

But that’s really a minor priority right now as I am currently implementing the multiplayer. Once that is done and I fixed some bugs that I am aware of, I plan to have a playable version online that everyone can try. I am really looking forward to playing the game versus others and to hear your feedback on the state of the game.

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Rules

I have been working on a rule set for HoloWars in the past two days. I also drafted some more cards to see how it will all come together. I think this is crucial right now before I go on with development of the game.

As the things that I am working on right now is a lot of “behind the scenes stuff” I thought I could do a little video explaining how the game works right now, and what it will be like in the near future. I hope to start doing dev videos the coming weekend.

Here’s a screen of some of the cards that I have implemented in the current version to play around with. Now that I refine the rules, I don’t know yet which of these cards are going to be in the final game. Also there are going to be at least three different colors for cards that correlate to a play style and specific game mechanics. And I have to improve the readability :)

cards

Some WIP cards. Click to enlarge

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HoloWars Introduction

HoloWars is a Real-Time-Strategy Collective-Card-Game or how the kids call it: a RTSCCG.

HoloWars combines two classical game elements:

  • Real Time Strategy (RTS) and Collective Card games. The RTS gameplay follows traditional routes but is condensed into two main elements: Farming resources and building factories, workers and tanks. This highly stylized RTS paradigm is than extended by a myriad of possible card combinations into a deeply tactical game.

 

  • The Collective Card Game (CCG) comes into play when you use the same resources that your workers gather to expand on the battlefield  to play cards at any time. Summon units in the middle of your enemies base, apply a healing effect to a unit and all allied units surrounding it or simply speed up all your units. Following a distinct rule set you can build a deck suitable for your play style. Focus on build speed, terrain advantage, healing, plain gun power or whatever you focus your cards on.
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