Expeditions: Conquistador – Gamescom Results

Yesterday we returned from Gamescom, where we’ve been exhibiting the game to the public since Thursday (and to GDCE attendees on Wednesday). Apart from being a chance to show people what we’re working on, Gamescom was an excellent opportunity to watch people play, and analyse what problems and shortcomings the game still has. We came back from there with a large stack of pages scribbled full of notes and comments about things to fix, change, or add.

The major thing we’re going to do is improve the world map. We’re really happy with how the combat system has turned out, it’s just as tactical and cerebral as we’d hoped, and it’s only going to get more so as we add the remaining features that we didn’t have time to add before Gamescom. The world map, however, does not meet our own quality expectations in a few key ways.

First of all we’re going to remove the hex grid from the world map, both for aesthetical and technical reasons – without the hexes, it’ll look better and it’ll run better. The grid will still be there in the background, but it won’t show up anymore, instead you’ll see a path light up to show how you’ll get to the point where your cursor is, how many moves it’ll take to get there, and whether you can make it without camping. The main problem we’ll have is how to show the player where you can go and where you can’t – in other games with world maps, the world tends to be very discretely designed, with clear boundaries between where you can walk and where you can’t (cliffs always being extremely steep, woods always being very very dense, etc.). Since our world map is based on real topological data, we don’t have that luxury, and the boundaries between mountains and jungles are typically quite vague. We haven’t quite settled on a solution yet, but it’ll probably be a combination of using the terrain textures to indicate where you can walk, and changing the cursor when you’re hovering over unwalkable terrain.

Another thing we’re unsatisfied with in the world map is the sparsity of things to find and things to do. Right now, you can find events (the narrative content in the game), rations, medicine, and treasure. We’ve always wanted to add stationary and wandering enemies as well, so that will be one of our first priorities. We’re also talking about adding a simple crafting system to allow you to construct your own barricades and traps when you make camp, and the crafting materials for that could be collected throughout the world map as well. Similarly, we want to add little pickups that give you a bonus to your daily movement, increase your people’s stats in the next battle, and so on. Finally, we’re planning to add a camp management system through which you can decide what should happen when you make camp – who should go hunting, who should be on guard duty, who should construct items, who should handle randomly occurring nightly tasks (survey the surrounding area, search the nearby caves, have a practice fight). We’ll also allow you to decide how many rations to give your people and who should go hungry if you don’t have enough food or go unpaid if you don’t have enough valuables.

These are just some of the most important changes we’re going to make to make the world map more engaging as well as user friendly. We’re processing all our notes now, dividing them into user stories and individual tasks, and prioritising them according to importance. Soon, we’ll have brought the world map up to the same level of quality that our combat system currently displays.

For less development-specific information, please keep checking our Kickstarter for news updates 🙂

 

 

 Source: LogicArtits

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