With the new Medical features being released this in this week's update (hopefully), we're now turning our attention to some new features that will really change the foundation of Foxhole in the coming months.
For the last few months we've been iterating on what we call the open world game. We believe there is still much more work to be done in this area, like the redesign of the resource/production systems, a revamp of item storage and inventory, improved communication tools, and of course new content like structures, vehicles, and weapons. While we will continue developing these features, we will also begin working on some big things that will help us deliver vision of Foxhole, which is the idea of being able to work with hundreds of other players to fight a large scale, long term war.
I'm going to be introducing some of these features to you guys today.
Disclaimer: Any feature or piece of content shown here is a work in progress and subject to change in the future.
Large Scale Warfare
In the coming months, we will be moving towards much larger scale wars that will have narratives that last weeks. This will be largely done through the introduction of what we are referring to as the Strategic Layer, which will be a form of gameplay that is played from a world map point of view. This gameplay will exist along side what we are referring to as the Tactical Layer, which is the gameplay that you see during the weekly wars today. These two layers will work together like how two forms of gameplay work together in games like Total War.
The map below gives a sense of how big the world may eventually become. To put things into perspective, the Deadlands is just that little area at the center of the map here. While a lot of factors will determine the final size of the playable world, we are aiming to have an area that is at least 10 times the size of the Deadlands. We are excited about the idea of having an even larger world, but we have to plan for something that we feel is feasible with the team resources we currently have.
The strategic layer will be played from a world map point of view. Players will be able to see the world divided up into many zones, with each zone representing a region like the Deadlands. From the world map, players will be able to travel, direct production, manage supply lines, and initiate attacks. When an attack is initiated, a battle is resolved from the Tactical Layer (see details below). The initiation of an attack will be a group effort. The gameplay here will follow the same general philosophy as the rest of the game, meaning it will be as player driven, dynamic, and cooperative as possible. It should also be noted that the gameplay here is real-time and synchronized with the Tactical Layer. This means that Strategic Layer elements will have a huge impact on the Tactical Layer. For example, dedicating supplies to one side of the map may be detrimental to a zone level battle happening on the other side of the world since it will take actual time to move them. We will definitely have more to say about Strategic gameplay in the coming months. Stay tuned!
The tactical layer works like how the currently weekly wars are played out. A battle begins in a zone and the Colonials and Wardens fight until one side emerges victorious and claims the region. We expect these battles to last anywhere from 3 hours to 3 days, which is what we've seen from our weekly war experiments so far. We expect that some of the elements that you see in the Tactical gameplay today like resources and production will be moved to the Strategic layer eventually.
This is us planning out one of the new zone maps. We always plan things out on a giant board to get a better physical sense of distances in the world.
One of our early goals for Foxhole is to ensure that players are invested in their characters. We aren't making a game where you drop in and casually play a session. We want players to immerse themselves in the world, the war, and their avatars. So the purpose of having this feature is to put a face to each character in the world and make players recognizable for their talents and accomplishments in the war.
The idea of a character profile came from both the community and the dev team. At one point on the Discord, we saw players writing bios for their characters. There are also a few of us on the team that are really into classic RPG character creators.
A profile consists of some basic information, a bio, a portrait, and character attributes. Attributes are a reflection of how the player has been playing the game. It will allow players to be recognized for their role in the game and let characters gain notoriety and respect over time. For example, a character with a high Marksmanship attribute will eventually become known among the community and feared by the opposing side. Attributes won't grant players special powers or abilities and won't affect gameplay directly.
Below is a mockup of a fully created profile.
Check out this animation of the creation process.
New Character Models
Over the past few weeks, Adam has begun work revamping the character models. This hasn't been only a matter of creating a few new models, but has been a long process of research and planning for an entirely new system that will support a variety of new character visuals including males and females, skin colours, different kinds of attire, faction specific designs, and possibly even more customizations. We will have a lot more to say about this in the coming weeks, but for now we wanted to give you a super early look at some of this work. Keep in mind these images represent work that is heavily work in progress.
Here are some early scale tests for female models. We are also testing how wearables might work (with the characters below being in their default state with no worn uniform).
Here is some early work on the new base character meshes.