Hey everybody and welcome to another weekly bulletin. This time unexpectedly weekly!
I've been making more minor props and working on faction buildings, and Morpher has been tweaking multiplayer balance.
Most of the early and mid-game units have pretty well defined roles, and their stats have been meticulously tweaked to a point where most of them feel about right. Beyond straight up balance there's also the goal of making each unit useful in a good range of circumstances. Take the Nod Attack Bike for example; it's good against vehicles, but so is the Tick Tank. It's fast and cheap, though, like the Scout Buggy. So why weren't we ever building them? These sorts of questions have been coming up frequently as we zero in on the feel we're going for.
The late-game, and the Nod late-game in particular, is still a bit of a mess. While GDI is rolling out Disruptors, Nod is still having to compete using Tick Tanks since most of their high-tech weaponry - like Devil's Tongues and Stealth Tanks - is not designed to deal with GDI's unrelenting force. Their superweapons, the subterranean bomb and the chemical missile have gone through numerous mutations but the way that Nod should be (or needs to be) conducting their late-game tactics remains a little unclear. It's possible to deliberately balance Nod to be a faction which aims for an early win, but that takes some of the fun out of things when they do reach the late-game.
Does Nod need a special building to launch it's superweapons from? Is the waste facility and its roving weed-eater a good gameplay element, considering its dependence on the map's vein supply? Are there any gaps in their late-game unit list? These are the questions we're in the process of trying to answer.
In graphical news, I remade an old set of overhead road signs which were never completed back in the old days. I put together some holograms too, but they're a ways off being implemented as of yet.
And I closed out the set of oil refinery props with a few remaining assets. With these additional assets we can now have oil fields, pipelines, and refineries where previously we could only have pipelines. This isn't the world's most important addition, but variety is the spice of life.
The oil derrick is animated. At this point I doubt it will be capturable since the TS engine has no way to easily allow such a mechanic.
Last of all, I've been working on a couple of multiplayer maps. Acropunk will be an 8 player map, players start on raised platforms around the edge of a large pit full of rocky mesas. The map plays host to a few tech buildings, such as a few expansion nodes in the central pit and powerplants around the map's edge. Hopefully the map will work well in both free-for-all and various mixtures of alliances. It's not finished enough for me to provide a look at the layout, but here is a quick shot of some of the environment:
(The edge of a player's platform juts out into the mutated pit)
And that's what we did this week!