Arcen Games

Games => Bionic Dues => Topic started by: keith.lamothe on July 25, 2013, 04:15:09 PM

Title: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 25, 2013, 04:15:09 PM
Chris asked me to post this here:

http://christophermpark.blogspot.com/2013/07/sneak-peek-at-bionic-dues.html



Our last full game for the year (aka not an expansion pack for an existing game) is called Bionic Dues, and will most likely arrive in October.  We've been working on this for a while, but didn't want to share much until it was further along and we could share some actual graphics, etc.

What is this thing?  It's basically a tactical roguelike (turn-based), although it's not squad-based.  I'll get better at describing the genre of this with time. ;)

No screenshots yet, as there's still loads of pieces that are placeholder, but gradually we're moving pieces into a finalized state.  As with these two:


Those are "Exos," which are basically like legless mechs that hover around.  In the game you play as one of six characters, and you remotely pilot any combination of four Exos pulled from six classes: Assault, Sniper, Science, Siege, Tank, and Brawler.

Story
The premise of the game -- and the genesis of the title -- has to do with these Exos.  You were an ordinary citizen in a futuristic city... that was, naturally, taken over by robots.  As always, right?

People still live in the city and try to go about their business, but frankly it's dangerous with the robots all around, killing people and causing other problems.  But the expense of moving from the city is way more than a regular person can afford.  And the common people can't even afford the bionic implants that would let them better defend themselves from the robots!  Sheesh.

But good ol' corporations have a deal for the citizenry: they'll give you bionic implants for free, so long as you do a tour of duty in the city, trying to wipe out the robots.  (Aka, these are the dues you pay in exchange for your bionics).  The tours of duty range from going on very dangerous missions to the front lines as cannon fodder... or remotely piloting the massive Exos.  Thankfully your aptitude tests placed you in the latter camp, so the danger to your person is negligible.

Except that things are getting worse than ever.  The robots are making some immediate headway against the central command of the humans in the city, and a massive assault force is building for a battle that will wipe out the human presence once and for all.

And, gosh darn it, wouldn't you know it: all of the Exos of the more experienced pilots got wiped out in a recent raid.  Since you're fresh out of training, yours were the only Exos not stored in one of the regular bunkers.  Exos are hardwired to their pilots and can't be transferred without a lengthy and dangerous process.  More Exos are being rapidly manufactured for the other pilots, but for now you're the only thing standing between the city and total annihilation.

Exo Choices


As mentioned further above, when the game starts you get to choose both 1 of 6 characters, and any combination of 4 out of 6 Exo types.  You can run 4 Tanks if you want to, although that would be super hard.  Most of the average-difficulty builds will include a single Science Exo and a single Tank Exo, and then whatever other combinations you wish.

You'll notice that there are two sets of visuals for each of the Exos: one is the "regular" build, which you start the game with.  The second is the "epic" build that you get after certain major events in the game.  The epic versions not only look cooler, but they have more slots for customization, and in some cases whole extra guns.

Exo Customization
As you play, you'll find various "parts" for your Exos.  Some of them are for specific weapons or subsytems, while others are generic enough to be used in lots of subsystems, with varying effects depending on the subsystem.  As with any good roguelike, these things have procedural stats, etc.

The number of slots and weapons varies by type of Exo, and we're still working on the balance for all that.  But typically each Exo has between 2 and 5 fixed guns, each of which can be heavily customized; all have a reactor and propulsion and shields/hull slot; and almost all have some manner of computer slots (the science by far having the most).

You can't do any of this customization while you are in the tactical missions, so you have to plan your loadouts prior to going in.  You do know the general type of the mission as you go in, though, so that helps you choose what in general you want.

City Map
Between missions, you're looking at the city map.  It shows you a matrix of mission nodes that you have already completed, as well as new ones that you can move to.  Which missions you take determines which other parts of the city you gain access to (and which become revealed at all).

This isn't a strategy game, but which missions you choose does have lasting importance.  Missions might weaken your enemy (denying them certain types of robots, destroying specific Boss Bots that will be in the end-of-the-game wave, etc), or they might strengthen you (awesome parts for your exos, upgraded exos in general, etc).

On the city map you can see how the end-of-game forces are looking, and you can also see the current status of your command center.  Every time you fail a mission, your command center takes damage.  Too many missions failed, and it's game over.  But there are certain types of missions that, if you win them, will repair your command center.

There are a fixed number of days that you have to play through before the final attack from the robots will play out against you.  However, there are certain robot command areas that you can attack to get some awesome loot as well accelerating the timetable forward by five days.  So you can control the length of time (in number of days) the game takes as you play, depending on how the situation looks at the time.

Oh, I should have mentioned that normally each mission (won or lost) advances time by a day.

(The above epic/regular Sniper Exos are actual in-game resolution.  However, they are not quite finalized as the lights have not been added to them yet.  The Assault Bot way up top actually has the final lighting applied.)

Tactical Roguelike
Most of the gameplay takes place in a straight-top-down view inside of various buildings in the city.  There are a variety of flavors of missions that emphasize different aspects of your general skills.

In other words, it's not like Valley 1 where there were a bunch of crazy missions that all broke the general rules, strung together by free-exploration bits that worked by the general rules.  The missions themselves here are the general rules, but each mission type might be best suited to specific types of Exos or customization.

You control one Exo at a time, and can switch between any of your four living Exos at any time.  When an Exo gets destroyed, it is out of the mission and you must switch to a different Exo immediately.  But after the mission, all your Exos are back even if they were destroyed (yay repairmen!).

You also don't have to faff around with things like ammo collection or what have you, but during missions you do have a fixed amount of ammo for your big guns in particular.  Precisely how much depends on how you've customized your weapons, your reactor, etc, on each Exo.  So there's a definite principle of scarcity here during missions (and there are some ways you can get a refill on ammo in some missions, if you find the right thing), but it's not encouraging hoarding between missions.

The combat here is something we are still balancing, but the general idea is that your Exos (except the Tank) are mostly pretty fragile.  You want to deal devastating force before the robots in a given area are alerted, then move forward to the next area, etc.  This is not remotely possible all the time, but you want to do it as much as possible.  There are also various environmental things that you can do in order to whittle down the enemies you will have to face in an area you want to cross, etc.

Exploration
I'm not sure how people will view exploration here compared to most roguelikes.  There is exploration in the individual missions (though we are still experimenting with exactly how much there should be, via mapgen), and then there is also AI-War-galaxy-map-style exploration in the City View.  And of course the contents of the missions themselves are procedural, as well as the loot.  I think it's a cool amount of exploration, but it's not a sandbox.

(RaptorBot, at the stage of having been inked -- so post-sketch phase -- but not yet colored/textured, and not yet lit or animated.  All in all it takes a pipeline of 5 artists for each robot or Exo, and I'm super excited about the results.)

Hilarity
The robots in the game range from incredibly-stupid-and-buggy to run-away-now-frightening.  The lowest form of grunt robot in the game is literally called the DumBot.  It always misses its first shot at you, no matter what (Storm Troopers much?).  Some of the others are hilariously stupid and ineffective as well, and their debuffs are referred to as bugs.

This actually serves as a nice contrast from things like the Boss Bots (of various sorts), the higher-quality variants of each general bot class, and the standalone scary bots like RaptorBot or DiamondBot.  Maybe that's why Storm Troopers are such bad shots: because then Darth Vader seems even more imposing.

Anyway, we thought it was really fun and funny to mix in deliberately-bad robot AI with frighteningly-effective robots.  And even the DumBots are not without peril, because if you let them whittle you down that's Bad... and if you step into a room with a few dozen of them, that's still Really Bad.  Unless you're packing a couple of plasma siege cannons, in which case it's back to Really Funny.  But now you're out that ammo, and I hope you don't need it later in this mission.

Subject To Change
There are a lot of holes in my explanation above, because I didn't want to talk about things that I felt were most likely to change: specific weapons or skills, what the heck the reactor and the computer systems do, the differences between the Exos, the breakdown of the various bots, and so on.

And even with the things that I did talk about, we're still in the middle-prototyping stage on these things, and tuning them and testing them heavily, as well as straight-out still implementing them.  So things may change before you get your hands on it.  But we have hit a point where I was comfortable enough with the design and the current alpha implementation to share at least this; Keith and I are both super excited about this game.
(Much-enlarged view of the Epic Brawler Exo, prior to lighting or animating, but after everything else.)

Schedule
Right now the expectation is that we'll be ready for private alpha with players by the end of August, and then into public beta by mid-September at the latest.  And to 1.0 by mid-October.  All of that is tentative at the moment, but things are proceeding well.

Also on our schedule for the rest of the year:
- Skyward Collapse: Nihon no Mura (Expansion 1) beta next weekish, 1.0 by the end of August.
- AI War Expansion 6 in lateish October (full release) with a beta in September sometime.
- Skyward Collapse Expansion 2 in November or December, with a beta a month or so prior to that.

And that's what's going on with us!

Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: madcow on July 25, 2013, 07:43:32 PM
This sounds pretty sweet, are there plans to have system targeting/damage? (Aka, I want to shoot out his plasma cannon - or crap my exo only has its pistol shooter left and I need to take these guys out).

PS: Why must you come out with games faster than I can play them :(
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on July 25, 2013, 09:15:13 PM
Turns out I can post from my phone, since I'm still logged in now. Am mobile and my laptop did not have my forum login, hence the request for Keith to post the op.

Glad it sounds good! In terms of system damage, there is no plan for that, since combat with any one enemy does not last that long. If you are engaged that long with one enemy, probably something is wrong. More than anything else, this is a game of maneuver.

We are still working on all that, so that may change. But currently that's how things are going. And you can do the equivalent of systems damage when you consider which bots in a room you attack, etc.

Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 25, 2013, 10:24:24 PM
I thought you'd said we'd have system damage for the player unit(s), though.  But I guess that was a few weeks ago ;)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Shrugging Khan on July 26, 2013, 07:07:53 AM
Come on, with that many parts it'd be a shame not to have system damage for the player!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on July 26, 2013, 08:59:44 AM
Ah, for the player, sure. But he was asking about targeting enemy subsystems, which we'd never talked about. And honestly I had forgot about the targeting of player subsystems, but I'm in now way opposed to it.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: madcow on July 26, 2013, 10:55:08 AM
Hey player system damage is cool too!

Is the way switching exos around work similar to something like hero academy where you have a set number of moves for your team and can use them all on one guy, or split them up between your team?
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on July 26, 2013, 11:32:06 AM
Have not played hero academy, but exactly on the speculation there. You basically have a certain number of action points, and you can use them on any combination of your guys. Switching guys will probably take one ap. Movement generally takes 1 ap, but can be less if you have propulsion system upgrades (it's a float). Attacks often take more than 1 ap, particularly for bigger guns. And things like machine guns take 1 (or whatever) ap per shot, but unload into an enemy multiple rounds at a time at the moment.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: madcow on July 26, 2013, 11:49:46 AM
Yep, that's basically hero academy style except with an extra cost to switch active heroes.  Sounds good!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 26, 2013, 11:51:20 AM
I've played Hero Academy.  This is very different :)  The shared AP thing is there but that's about the only point of true similarity.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: KDR_11k on July 26, 2013, 12:15:06 PM
So it's like Trine or Pokemon Rumble where you have only one active character but can switch it out in-place? Or are they all physically present on the map?

Having everybody be a glass cannon and the player's chief weapon be surprise sounds a bit like a turn based Hotline Miami.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: madcow on July 26, 2013, 12:26:57 PM
Oh, I was making the hero academy comparison for how turn movement worked, not gameplay in general btw.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: doctorfrog on July 26, 2013, 05:19:54 PM
I'm trying to assimilate that post! This game sounds very intriguing! I really enjoy roguelikes and turn-based combat games and would definitely like to be involved in the beta once you start looking for testers.

Judging from the description, though, it sounds like it has some roguelike elements in common with something like ADOM, but perhaps has more in common with XCOM or Jagged Alliance? That is, you have an overmap with missions, there is an overarching goal of self-improvement, skills-honing, and weapons-gathering, and the bulk of the gameplay takes place in turn-based tactical battles? With a big boss battle that you're building towards (~Valley 2). Sprinkle in a little bit of Space Hulk, maybe? Those are the bells that are ringing for me.

So naturally I just have ALL THESE QUESTIONS! But I will restrict myself to these two:


I guess what I'm trying to figure out is if this game should be positioned as a roguelike or as a turn-based tactical combat game. Two very different audience expectations.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on July 26, 2013, 05:48:52 PM
Cheers!
Quote
"Do the individual missions take place on a single screen, multiple screens?"

It's a single map, but something that has a view that pans and zooms and so forth.  Like AI War or Skyward.
Quote
"Assuming that missions are procedurally generated, do they have multiple levels, like roguelike dungeons? (See ADOM with its overmap and individual dungeon areas.)"

No, each mission itself is like a single level of a roguelike dungeon.  Think of the entire city like a roguelike dungeon, and a mission as a (variant size/difficulty) floor.  That's how we've been thinking of it as we created it, actually.

Quote
"What sort of variety do you have planned for the missions?"

We have 22 defined at the moment, and that's likely exactly what it will be at 1.0.  A single number like that is kind of vague, though.  Is 22 a lot or a little?  In some respects it sounds like a lot, but it's not like 22 game modes (capture the flag, deathmatch, etc).  These are kind of the intersection of objectives plus ways to play.  Here are some example ones:

Common missions (aim for mix of 40 so far)
----------------------------------------------------------

Office building missions: Slightly above average number of loot closets, that are only accessible if you are able to lockpick. Ends at reactor.  But also has a moderate reward at the end.

Hacker missions: Slightly above average number of loot rooms behind doors that must be hacked, that are only accessible if you are a good hacker. Ends at reactor.  But also has a moderate reward at the end.

Destruction missions: Lots of destructible walls with branching paths.  The non-destructible paths are always much harder, while the destructible paths are easier and have better loot. Ends at reactor.

Hostage missions: There are several locations with hostage somethings -- cryo pods? -- you must save at least 75% of them or you lose.  Robots will choose to cap the hostages if you tip them off too soon.  You get more rewards for every hostage you save.  The mission ends when all the hostages are dead or saved.  You can interact with a hostage cryo pod to warp it out like you warp your exos in and out.

Firefight missions: These are kind of a cage match with some moderately strong enemies.  Some cover for you, but not a ton.  And no long and winding hallways.  Kind of a roadblock’s big brother.  Moderate rewards for winning, and also there tend to be a few loot closets and hacker loot rooms around the periphery.  However, when all the robots are destroyed, the mission ends immediately.  So you have to go for the loot while being harassed if you want to get the loot (or use stealth, etc).

Uncommon missions (70 total so far)
----------------------------------------------------------

Armory missions: Looting the armory in these gives you a ton of awesome weapons-related parts that are of unusual rarity compared to the loot closets in most missions. 8 of these.

Science Station missions: Looting the science station in these gives you a ton of awesome computer-related parts that are of unusual rarity compared to the loot closets in most missions. 8 of these.

Parts Fab missions: Looting the parts fabricator in these gives you a ton of awesome general parts that are of unusual rarity compared to the loot closets in most missions. 6 of these.

Shieldworks missions: Looting the shieldworks station in these gives you a ton of awesome shield-specific parts that are of unusual rarity compared to the loot closets in most missions. 4 of these.

Reactor Fab missions: Looting the reactor fabricator in these gives you a ton of awesome reactor-specific parts that are of unusual rarity compared to the loot closets in most missions. 4 of these.

Propulsion Lab missions: Looting the propulsion lab in these gives you a ton of awesome propulsion-specific parts that are of unusual rarity compared to the loot closets in most missions. 4 of these.

Salvage missions: If you already have a lost home base section, that is immediately repaired when you win one of these.  Otherwise it gives you one piece of really rare loot.  These would be kind of “general missions” like the armory, most likely. 10 of these.

Blockade missions: Small mission by comparison to most.  Gives very little loot by most standards, but is quick and easy and usually at highly-connected junction points. 5 of these.

Assassination missions: Fairly small missions, but with an epic fight against a boss robot in there somewhere.  Excellent reward for killing the boss.  These are also minibosses that would show up in the final mission, and if you kill them they aren’t in the end of the mission.  5 of these total.

Fuel depot missions: Move in and lay charges by a big fuel depot chamber at the end.  Moderate reward for success.  Also destroys every mission adjacent to that node on the meta map.  Gives no rewards for those missions, but does cause training grounds/assassination/factory/etc losses, and won’t destroy rare nodes (can’t seed next to them).  3 of these total.

Training ground missions: There are a bunch of robots in here (200ish) all in a few different rooms.  Your job is to break in and destroy as many as possible before you die.  Each one you destroy reduces the robots in the final confrontation by one.  Extra loot bonus if you win.  5 of these total.

Factory missions: Destroying these helps keep that general type of bot out of missions in general, as well as reducing their numbers in the final confrontation. 8 of these.





All of that subject to change, and some of it is probably pretty unclear since it was Keith's and my notes for ourselves, given knowledge we didn't share yet.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Aquohn on July 26, 2013, 10:38:31 PM
Whoo! Another Arcen Game! This sounds awesome! I can't wait to start alpha-testing!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 26, 2013, 10:41:28 PM
Whoo! Another Arcen Game! This sounds awesome! I can't wait to start alpha-testing!
For some reason this played back mentally in the voice of Claptrap from Borderlands.  Followed by an explosion (since explosions are common accompaniment).
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Aklyon on July 26, 2013, 11:04:05 PM
Whoo! Another Arcen Game! This sounds awesome! I can't wait to start alpha-testing!
For some reason this played back mentally in the voice of Claptrap from Borderlands.  Followed by an explosion (since explosions are common accompaniment).
For Exos or for Claptrap?
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: doctorfrog on July 27, 2013, 03:12:59 AM
things

That's pretty forthcoming! Thanks for the details. Really looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Histidine on July 27, 2013, 06:26:20 AM
So it's a zombie outbreak, except the zombies are robots? Cool!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: tigersfan on July 27, 2013, 02:30:42 PM
Whoo! Another Arcen Game! This sounds awesome! I can't wait to start alpha-testing!
For some reason this played back mentally in the voice of Claptrap from Borderlands.  Followed by an explosion (since explosions are common accompaniment).
For Exos or for Claptrap?

Yes. :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: mrhanman on July 27, 2013, 02:51:37 PM
This all sounds incredible!  I think you've got another hit on your hands!  I can't wait to play it! 8)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: madcow on July 28, 2013, 01:27:49 AM
Sheesh I started playing Borderlands 2 recently.

I want the explosions to BE claptrap, he's so annoying. Honestly, 90% of the NPCs are just so freaking annoying I want to smack/kill them all. Maybe a sign I'm above their demographic age (which is probably like 12). Thankfully the crazy guns make up for it so far.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Aquohn on July 28, 2013, 03:19:14 AM
I want the explosions to BE claptrap, he's so annoying. Honestly, 90% of the NPCs are just so freaking annoying I want to smack/kill them all. Maybe a sign I'm above their demographic age (which is probably like 12). Thankfully the crazy guns make up for it so far.
...
And now I feel sad.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: madcow on July 28, 2013, 08:51:42 AM
Heh, what?
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Aquohn on July 28, 2013, 12:31:52 PM
Heh, what?
Er, trace this to the top. Apparently I sound like Claptrap. Claptrap is annoying. Ergo, I am sad.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: madcow on July 28, 2013, 12:40:51 PM
Oh, I missed the part where you said you sounded like Claptrap. ;)

My bone to pick with Claptrap is entirely in the writing, so no offense intended!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Aquohn on July 29, 2013, 01:44:19 AM
Oh, I missed the part where you said you sounded like Claptrap. ;)

My bone to pick with Claptrap is entirely in the writing, so no offense intended!

Haha, none taken!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Billick on July 29, 2013, 09:18:58 AM
I haven't played and of the Borderlands games, but I've been playing Poker Night 2 which has Claptrap as a character, and holy crap is he annoying. 

Bionic Dues looks awesome though!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on July 29, 2013, 08:20:51 PM
Here's a fun sneak peek at the animated Assault Exo (not yet lit).
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: chemical_art on July 29, 2013, 08:59:08 PM
Here's a fun sneak peek at the animated Assault Exo (not yet lit).

Why are there moving hull parts? They really off-put me, because I don't understand why they'd move and make said hull weaker.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on July 29, 2013, 10:00:44 PM
Here's a fun sneak peek at the animated Assault Exo (not yet lit).

Why are there moving hull parts? They really off-put me, because I don't understand why they'd move and make said hull weaker.

Real reason?  Because they look awesome, and still is boring visually. 

If you want a fake in-game-world reason I'm sure I can make one up, too.  But suffice it to say there are a lot of constituent parts on these, and armor is not their best thing.  This could be part of the propulsion system, part of the computer system sensors, part of the reactor venting system, even.  It could even be decreed that it is some sort of thing that messes with the computer vision algorithms of the robots.  I don't think what is going on there is outside the realm of sci-fi plausibility, and it really does look vastly better.

Gameplay-wise, it also serves a purpose: alerted robots are animated and alive-looking, whereas non-alerted robots collapse down into a less saturated, non-animated shell.  So we don't have to do something like put a cheesy "ALERT!" or "!" or whatever over top of them.  Very efficient.

Anyhow, I'm super proud of it.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: mrhanman on July 29, 2013, 10:46:46 PM
I like the animation.  It makes the exo a lot more interesting visually, and also gives the impression that the machine is breathing and therefore alive.

Are these things alive? Or piloted remotely/locally by some direct neural interface (a la Avatar or Evangelion)?  Or is there a dude manipulating plain old levers and switches inside?
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on July 30, 2013, 02:14:19 AM
I was just thinking, yeah, it doesn't make sense because it looks like the robot is breathing. Then you brought up the idea of a ventilation system. See where I'm going with this? The "breathing" is the robotic suit's ventilation system, and it may have been designed that way for the sake of familiarity with human bodies.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on July 30, 2013, 07:11:27 AM
Good idea with these being a bit alive -- that's pretty cool actually. These are remotely piloted, but if there is a bit of the pilot inside the exo that would go along with why they are so hard to unpair.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: madcow on July 30, 2013, 10:16:33 AM
For some reason the animation makes me think he wants or is trying to hug. But poor robot, we all know robots can't hug.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Aquohn on July 30, 2013, 10:18:22 AM
Good idea with these being a bit alive -- that's pretty cool actually. These are remotely piloted, but if there is a bit of the pilot inside the exo that would go along with why they are so hard to unpair.

A bit of the pilot inside it? Like what, the appendix? :P
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on July 30, 2013, 10:48:35 AM
A fleshy hippocampus-like organ grown in a petri dish from the pilot's DNA, perhaps? :)

Of course, another reason for the hull movement could actually be related to the venting required for propulsion, I realized today.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Aquohn on July 30, 2013, 11:02:50 AM
Yeah, LaughingThesaurus floated that particular idea earlier (the ventilation one, not the hippocampus).

In which case you might want to add some steam VFX.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on July 30, 2013, 11:05:02 AM
There actually is a certain amount of sparks and so forth coming out from under them, and they let off a smoke trail when they move.  But I'll look at potentially doing some steam too when I get around to adding more flourishes with them.  Because of the nature of this game, we're really able to pull out all the stops with things like details on the bots and particle effects related to them, etc.  To the best of our abilities, anyhow.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: madcow on July 30, 2013, 11:36:19 AM
By the way. The animation speed on it seems really fast to me. Like distractingly fast, maybe it's just me but it might do better as slower, exaggerated movements.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on July 30, 2013, 11:38:44 AM
That's an artifact of it just being a quick gif.  The animation speed in the game is set a completely different way, from a png sprite dictionary.  It was either this fast as a gif, or annoyingly slow.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: madcow on July 30, 2013, 11:41:25 AM
Oh okay, wasn't sure but figured it would be better to say something now than nothing at all!

PS: steam would be cool too as others mentioned.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: mrhanman on July 31, 2013, 12:01:01 AM
There's a PnP RPG I used to play (might have been G.U.R.P.S.) that had example cyborgs that were only a human brain and nervous system in an otherwise completely mechanical body.  I always thought it was a cool notion that stuck with me even after having forgotten the specific source material.  Something like that could work.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Aquohn on July 31, 2013, 08:27:01 AM
There's a PnP RPG I used to play (might have been G.U.R.P.S.) that had example cyborgs that were only a human brain and nervous system in an otherwise completely mechanical body.  I always thought it was a cool notion that stuck with me even after having forgotten the specific source material.  Something like that could work.

Er, lore-wise, that would entail permadeath. And would kinda not gel with the story much.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 31, 2013, 10:16:47 AM
There's a PnP RPG I used to play (might have been G.U.R.P.S.) that had example cyborgs that were only a human brain and nervous system in an otherwise completely mechanical body.  I always thought it was a cool notion that stuck with me even after having forgotten the specific source material.  Something like that could work.

Er, lore-wise, that would entail permadeath. And would kinda not gel with the story much.
To protect you from the robots, we'll make you mostly into a robot!

... actually I'm pretty sure that's been done somewhere.  Either way, I don't think it's what Chris had in mind :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Aquohn on August 01, 2013, 07:26:34 AM
Er, somewhat off-topic, but shouldn't the banner at the top be announcing Bionic Dues instead of SC and EotM?
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Oralordos on August 04, 2013, 06:30:13 PM
So the game is an alternate universe from AI War where space technology was never developed?  ;)

Is there going to be multiplayer? You have had it in every game so far, but a turn based game is harder to develop a good multiplayer for.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: tigersfan on August 06, 2013, 08:21:57 AM
Er, somewhat off-topic, but shouldn't the banner at the top be announcing Bionic Dues instead of SC and EotM?

Fixed. Sorry about that. I kind of forgot about that part of the forums, then when you mentioned it, I was off.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 16, 2013, 01:32:10 PM
So the game is an alternate universe from AI War where space technology was never developed?  ;)

Is there going to be multiplayer? You have had it in every game so far, but a turn based game is harder to develop a good multiplayer for.

Sorry, I missed this for some reason -- yep, there is multiplayer!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Winge on August 18, 2013, 09:02:16 PM
Color me interested.  A roguelike that isn't FTL does sound nice right now.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: MaxAstro on August 19, 2013, 01:33:00 PM
Hm, for some reason the way you describe this reminds me of the new X-Com game.

Which is one of my favorite games ever, so color me interested.  :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 19, 2013, 01:42:40 PM
This has drifted more in the direction of roguelike than tactics game in its actual moment-to-moment play, I should note.  Though all of the big picture stuff is the same, and really it's just come down to what felt most natural and fluid as we prototyped repeatedly.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on August 19, 2013, 01:45:38 PM
Even the big-picture stuff has changed a lot since we talked about it initially, iirc, but that's not as recent a change.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 19, 2013, 01:48:30 PM
Actually, most of the sections up there are pretty much unchanged; we waited until pretty darn late to talk about this, so that helps.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Penumbra on August 19, 2013, 04:35:45 PM
This just makes waiting all that more difficult...  :P
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: nas1m on August 19, 2013, 04:48:24 PM
This just makes waiting all that more difficult...  :P
Yeah, Chris must be really busy for having leaked this few information so far ;D.
Looking really forward to this one. The more roguelike the better!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Penumbra on August 21, 2013, 12:55:22 PM
I wonder if it would take only a little push to get Chris to spill more info.....



::poke::
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on August 21, 2013, 01:01:26 PM
I wonder if it would take only a little push to get Chris to spill more info.....
You might be on to something.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: nas1m on August 21, 2013, 01:14:02 PM
I wonder if it would take only a little push to get Chris to spill more info.....



::poke::
I think you might be right ;D.


::poke::
::poke::
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2013, 01:48:57 PM
I am planning to post some screenshots pretty soon, which is something. :)

But if you like, I'll leave you with some cryptic tidbits because I'm just mean like that:

1. Your Exos can "whistle" (not in a musical sense), and it's critical to your survival for a reason that is obvious once you play the game.
2. Your Exos are super fragile.  Seriously, it's easy to screw up a mission pretty darn fast.
3. There is a stealth move that looks really awesome on your Exos, and which lets you move freely for a bit.
4. The first main thing that changed since my original writeup is that you only control one Exo at a time, despite your roster of four being at your fingertips.  This was mentioned earlier in the thread.
5. The second big thing is that the concept of AP (in a tactics game sense) is gone, and instead this controls more like a traditional roguelike.  That just felt more natural.
6. Here's a few more Exo portraits if you like. :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Penumbra on August 21, 2013, 02:06:43 PM
But if you like, I'll leave you with some cryptic tidbits because I'm just mean like that:

Bring it on!

5. The second big thing is that the concept of AP (in a tactics game sense) is gone, and instead this controls more like a traditional roguelike.  That just felt more natural.

This is super exciting! Will every action take the same amount of time like in Shattered Haven, or will there be a more discrete time cost for different actions?
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: nas1m on August 21, 2013, 02:11:07 PM
This - looks - plain - awesome :D!
Count me intrigued ;).
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2013, 02:27:08 PM
Cheers guys. :)

5. The second big thing is that the concept of AP (in a tactics game sense) is gone, and instead this controls more like a traditional roguelike.  That just felt more natural.

This is super exciting! Will every action take the same amount of time like in Shattered Haven, or will there be a more discrete time cost for different actions?

I'm not sure what you're referring to with Shattered Haven, as that's a realtime game, not turn-based.  Not that Bionic is really turn-based either, but nothing happens when you do nothing.  You walk one square or take some other action and then enemies walk one square OR shoot.  Weapons have ammo per mission and abilities tend to have limited uses per mission (but not all of them).  Enemies also have ammo, and shut down when they run out.  The BlunderBot has one good rocket shot at you, for instance, and then is useless.  But man that rocket.

Think of Cardinal Quest or Dungeons of Dredmore; it works like those.  In multiplayer it still works like that, except there is a range in which enemies react to you (technically this is also true in solo).  If you are at one end of the map and I am at the other, our actions don't cause anything to happen outside our local zones.  If we're in the same part of the map, then it does.  There is no advantage either way, because the ratio of your actions to enemy actions is the same in all cases.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: nas1m on August 21, 2013, 03:08:04 PM
Dredmor? This gets better by the minute :D. I was always more intrigued by the roguelike aspect of what you shared so far. So did i get you right in that the player always controls a single exo, but can morph/swap it into/with another one that then takes its place?
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2013, 03:13:33 PM
Dredmor? This gets better by the minute :D. I was always more intrigued by the roguelike aspect of what you shared so far.

The games are extraordinarily different and have very different foci, just to warn you.  Dredmor has a lot more things to customize, way more abilities and items and so forth.  Bionic has no real items, has fewer abilities, has a vastly larger number of customizable slots, and has probably a reasonably comparable amount of types of loot.  It also has the larger meta layer where you are winning or losing as you play, and achieving victories that actually change things as you go through missions.

So a very large part of why you probably love Dredmor is absolutely not here, although they control pretty similarly at a basic level.  And in other respects this has a bit more in common with something like, I guess, AI War or XCom.

So did i get you right in that the player always controls a single exo, but can morph/swap it into/with another one that then takes its place?

Yeah, pokemon, exactly.  Except "always" is a bit misleading.  It's actually "a certain number of times per mission," depending on the strength of your warp core.  Which is one of the many many things you can customize via the procedural loot.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on August 21, 2013, 03:16:42 PM
And in other respects this has a bit more in common with something like, I guess, AI War or XCom.
The resemblance to XCom phased out with various changes.  Even the strategic layer doesn't really remind me of that particularly.

But it is a very interesting twist on the roguelike/roguelite, and the AIW influence is certainly identifiable in places (in a good way).
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2013, 03:27:40 PM
And in other respects this has a bit more in common with something like, I guess, AI War or XCom.
The resemblance to XCom phased out with various changes.  Even the strategic layer doesn't really remind me of that particularly.

But it is a very interesting twist on the roguelike/roguelite, and the AIW influence is certainly identifiable in places (in a good way).

Fair enough -- not having played XCom, it's hard for me to gauge.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: Penumbra on August 21, 2013, 03:28:02 PM
Cheers guys. :)

5. The second big thing is that the concept of AP (in a tactics game sense) is gone, and instead this controls more like a traditional roguelike.  That just felt more natural.

This is super exciting! Will every action take the same amount of time like in Shattered Haven, or will there be a more discrete time cost for different actions?

I'm not sure what you're referring to with Shattered Haven, as that's a realtime game, not turn-based. 

Yeah, I don't know what I was referring to either! I messed up, trying to write too many ideas at once... I meant straight turn based, like in Dredmor. Or "time based" like Adom.  You've answered it. Thanks!

This is looking more and more exciting!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: nas1m on August 21, 2013, 03:44:12 PM
Dredmor? This gets better by the minute :D. I was always more intrigued by the roguelike aspect of what you shared so far.

The games are extraordinarily different and have very different foci, just to warn you.  Dredmor has a lot more things to customize, way more abilities and items and so forth.  Bionic has no real items, has fewer abilities, has a vastly larger number of customizable slots, and has probably a reasonably comparable amount of types of loot.  It also has the larger meta layer where you are winning or losing as you play, and achieving victories that actually change things as you go through missions.

So a very large part of why you probably love Dredmor is absolutely not here, although they control pretty similarly at a basic level.  And in other respects this has a bit more in common with something like, I guess, AI War or XCom.
No worries, I thought as much ;D. So definitely still count me excited.
But you should know that if you don't stop throwing around such high-caliber excitement raising analogies you will blow my excitement core ;) - *homer* mmmh XCOM ...

EDIT: And yes, I got Keith that there is no such resemblance any more - again, no worries!
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on August 21, 2013, 03:45:35 PM
No worries, I thought as much ;D. So definitely still count me excited.
But you should know that if you don't stop throwing around such high-caliber excitement raising analogies you will blow my excitement core ;) - *homer* mmmh XCOM ...
That's why I mentioned it wasn't really like XCOM anymore, I know there's a lot of people out there (myself included) who have extremely high expectations associated with that name :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2013, 03:47:31 PM
Yeah, I will cease any references to it.  There really isn't a good comparison for the meta layer stuff here -- that I am aware of -- so I went with that as the closest possible thing.  I guess AI War is kind of close, vaguely, in terms of the grand strategy elements.  But this isn't grand strategy, it just has a bit of that vibe.  I guess it's a good sign that I can't think of what else this is like. ;)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on August 21, 2013, 03:55:10 PM
There really isn't a good comparison for the meta layer stuff here -- that I am aware of --
Yea, I can't think of anything either.  There's a bit of AIW, and a bit of Colonizations, but neither really applies outside of an isolated point or two.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2013, 03:56:39 PM
It's interesting, because it's not a strategy game.  But most games that give you interesting decisions that affect your long-term situation like this are strategy games.  This is almost more "choose your own adventure" in some respects though.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on August 21, 2013, 04:01:31 PM
Dunno.  I'd call the meta-layer a strategy game in most important respects.  Generally speaking choose-your-own-adventure games tend to be more "you lost because the last decision you made wasn't the right one" and occasionally because of a decision made a while ago, and quasi-often because you made a series of decisions all draining the same resource (health, etc), but here it's more the sum of them all.  I guess we'll see.  Very difficult to put labels on this one except to identify our inspirations.  I think it's a good sign :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2013, 04:02:16 PM
Indeed. :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on August 21, 2013, 04:03:15 PM
But the core gameplay is readily identifiable: roguelike.  And it's good that the central thing you'll be doing most of the time isn't totally out of the blue genre-wise.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2013, 04:04:27 PM
Good grief yes.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: abdulmuhsee on August 21, 2013, 09:26:37 PM
So when I think of a roguelike, it essentially revolves around exploring a darkened dungeon and encountering random monsters, which you then kill for experience points, cooler weapons, and gold.

Is this essentially that with a team of mechs instead of dwarves and a dilapidated cityscape instead of a dungeon, or will the turn-based sequences be more like missions where the enemy team is also well-defined and you face off (a la Final Fantasy Tactics)?  Or will it be something between that?

I'd also like to know a bit more about the character customization; is it more about customizing the mechs or the character actually controlling the mech?  Will you be able to give your mechs certain standout color schemes or designs to make them differ from other peoples' mechs? 

Character customization has probably always been the largest factor for me in enjoying roguelikes or D&D games.  If I can be happy and leveling up, which is the hook that keeps people playing, doesn't mean much.with my character customization, then I have a much higher chance of being happy with the game, but if not, then the experience

To give examples, good customization = Neverwinter Nights, with lots of races, outfits, armor, feats, physical customization of how character looks, etc., while bad customization = Torchlight, where even though you can name your character, that's about it.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2013, 09:49:40 PM
So when I think of a roguelike, it essentially revolves around exploring a darkened dungeon and encountering random monsters,

Yes, although the monsters are not random in their own stats.  The monsters you encounter, and in what concentrations, are random however.

which you then kill for experience points, cooler weapons, and gold.

No EXP, no levels, no gold or other currency.  Also no new weapons, technically, although at one point you do get new Exos entirely.  Instead you get tons of procedural loot in the form of "parts" that you customize your mech with, making your weapons and other subsystems (propulsion, shields, reactor, computer) both more powerful and different.  The loot comes from chests that you find around the mission, and from winning the mission itself.  As well as from type of mission on the city map, really.  But the monsters themselves are no reward; they are obstacle only, and avoiding them is just as good as killing them.  If you can.

Is this essentially that with a team of mechs instead of dwarves and a dilapidated cityscape instead of a dungeon, or will the turn-based sequences be more like missions where the enemy team is also well-defined and you face off (a la Final Fantasy Tactics)?  Or will it be something between that?

It's between that.  The overall city map has a well defined mix of mission types, in a nondefined position structure.  The city map is where you choose your missions, and what missions you choose is really important.  It's what determines how the rest of the game goes, really.  You strengthen yourself in certain ways, or weaken your enemy, etc.  Most tactics games and roguelikes have nothing like this; it's more strategic, really.  Although all it involves, literally, is choosing which icon to click to undertake your next mission.  Still: it's a hard choice many times.

The missions themselves are like floors in a roguelike.  So you're choosing your floors, both which you do and in what order.  There are 125 missions, and you can only do 50, max.   Likely you'll choose to do fewer via attacking command centers of the robots.

I'd also like to know a bit more about the character customization; is it more about customizing the mechs or the character actually controlling the mech?  Will you be able to give your mechs certain standout color schemes or designs to make them differ from other peoples' mechs?

The characters cannot be customized at all.  The point of them is that they have a large fixed bonus that they give you throughout the game.  Something game-changing, like better loot from Meg, or more health and ammo closets for Emma.  A smaller end-game force for Tuck, and more scouting range on the city map for Axis.

The mechs themselves are hugely customized internally, via something like 30ish item slots per mech (it varies).  Maxed out would be 3 slots each for 5 weapons, 4 reactor slots, 3 propulsion and shields slots, and 5 computer slots.  That 30 total is theoretical, though, as a mech with 5 computer slots would never have 5 weapons.  These things vary by type of mech, and so 20-25 per mech is probably a better guess.  Times four, since you have four mechs.

So in terms of making your mechs unique, there certainly is a ton of gear.  In terms of visual customization, there is none: nothing you do affects the appearance of your mech, except in the customization screen you can see all the little icons in their slots I guess, heh.

Character customization has probably always been the largest factor for me in enjoying roguelikes or D&D games.  If I can be happy and leveling up, which is the hook that keeps people playing, doesn't mean much.with my character customization, then I have a much higher chance of being happy with the game, but if not, then the experience

To give examples, good customization = Neverwinter Nights, with lots of races, outfits, armor, feats, physical customization of how character looks, etc., while bad customization = Torchlight, where even though you can name your character, that's about it.

You're likely to find this as being bad customization by that specific criteria, I think, although you can decide for yourself.  This game just isn't about that sort of thing, and I think the cross comparisons you're making aren't really the same sort of goal of game.  Think of this almost like the biggest SHMUP customization screen ever: kind of like Tyrian's ship customization to an extreme degree, but with loot drops instead of a store.  Or it's like Borderland's loot drop systems, but with way more customization flexibility, but no levels or store.

In other words, it's pretty sideways from that sort of thing.  It's not a level grind, as there are no levels.  The impetuses for keeping playing are:

1. It's just plain visceral fun (to me) to run around shooting guys with rocket launchers in particular.
2. Getting sweet loot drops and then figuring out what to do with them is really fun.  This is akin to many of the weapons in FFTA for me, or again Tyrian.
3. The interesting tactics of how to navigate each mission is fun, and there is real tension as to whether you will win or lose; I lose quite a number of them at this point.
4. The overall meta-narrative of the city as you explore, find new missions, and impose your will on how the final showdown is going to play out.  This has a sort of grand strategy aspect to it, but without complexity.  It's something Keith and I both find really compelling, but people that don't may not be captivated here.
5. In general the constant improvement of your Exos, and the increased flexibility you get from more gear.  You may change loadouts for specific types of missions in order to emphasize different attributes of your Exos.  This is sort of like the level grind, but it's not linear or even orthogonal.  It's scattershot in that interesting roguelike/roguelite way.

So, yeah.  I have no idea if you specifically will enjoy it, but I think it's pretty darn cool. :)  Generally speaking it doesn't have all the same hooks as other similar games, partly because saying those games are similar is always slightly misleading, heh. ;)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: mrhanman on August 21, 2013, 10:55:44 PM
Aw, come on! Enough with the torture, and let me play it already!


 :P
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 21, 2013, 11:08:59 PM
Still a lot of things we're actually implementing, it's not ready yet!  Keith and I are actually the only people to touch it yet so far at all.  Although my son did enjoy watching me run around and fry robots this evening, heh.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on August 22, 2013, 10:24:16 AM
Yea, it's way closer to ready than it was even a week ago.  I have to be careful when testing to not just do unrelated running around the board.  If I slip it isn't for long though, as the bots are fairly efficient at killing me.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 22, 2013, 10:33:35 AM
I've actually been getting really good at clearing missions using an Assault / Siege / Tank / Science team.  But that was before I heavily adjusted the room population logic last night; now the difficulty is back where it's supposed to be. ;)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: MaxAstro on August 22, 2013, 11:03:55 AM
Not to beat a dead horse, but thinking of games that might have a similar metagame, Atomic Zombie Smasher comes to mind.  At least in that there is an overarching goal, you pick between procedurally generated missions based on your desire to complete that goal, and your success or failure in missions affects the overall goal.  And also the game is Nintendo Hard, which it sounds like there might be elements of in Bionic Dues?

Anyway, that's another comparison to a game I love, so my excitement level is holding pretty steady for this one.  :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 22, 2013, 11:04:57 AM
I honestly haven't played that game and so can't really say, but your description on paper sounds kind of similar.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: MaxAstro on August 22, 2013, 11:11:17 AM
It's one of the best zombie apocalypse type games I've played - I'd recommend it if you've ever got some time to kill.

Anyway, it sounds like where you are heading with the metagame in Bionic Dues is exactly the kind of thing I love.  What really draws me to games like X-Com or Atomic Zombie Smasher or AI War for that matter is the interplay between my small moment-to-moment decisions and the big metagame decisions.  I love the feeling of those "this is gonna change the game" type choices, especially when they are driven entirely by the player and not prescripted.

It's why the new hacking mechanic in AI War is my favorite thing ever - I feel like my hacking progress is a numerical measure of my ability to drastically change the game in critical ways.  :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on August 22, 2013, 11:12:16 AM
There's some slight similarity to Atom Zombie Smasher at the meta-layer, but in Bionic it's much easier to plan ahead at that level.   There's also way more customization of your stuff in Bionic.  I played AZS a fair bit and didn't generally feel that the strategic layer permitted much planning beyond a "move" or two out, and while the customization (squad choices) were important and fun, we've got more here (more is not always better, but here I think it is).

And in the core gameplay AZS required a combination of quick thinking, good thinking, and quick reactions.  Bionic's core gameplay just requires good thinking, which makes me like it a lot more.  If a game is going to be brutally hard I prefer to lose because I mis-thought, rather than because I mis-clicked.  Not trying to bash AZS there, but it's a general issue I have with most realtime games that don't have really robust while-paused controls (though I may be misremembering and AZS did have those, in which case the preceding few sentences don't mean much).
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: keith.lamothe on August 22, 2013, 11:13:06 AM
It's why the new hacking mechanic in AI War is my favorite thing ever - I feel like my hacking progress is a numerical measure of my ability to drastically change the game in critical ways.  :)
It is definitely that :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 22, 2013, 11:13:18 AM
Awesome MaxAstro -- well, you should find lots to love in terms of the metagame here, that's for sure. :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: MaxAstro on August 22, 2013, 11:17:42 AM
Yeah, Keith, I definitely agree with you about AZS.  AI War has spoiled me as far as pause-based controls go, and I tend to freak out and make mistakes when things get really hectic... and in AZS one freak out means you lose.

Heh, AI War has spoiled my girlfriend too.  I introduced her to StarCraft recently and she loves it, but it took her a long time to stop trying to pause the game and issue orders.  XD

And I'm definitely with you as far as preferring just good thinking over quick, good thinking.  :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: tigersfan on August 22, 2013, 11:34:55 AM
I've done a bit of work on it (like I'm working on placing the mission nodes on the map right now), but I've not even gotten a chance to play it.

That said, Chris, if you really haven't played Atom Zombie Smasher, you really need to fix that. I think that game would be right up your alley.
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: x4000 on August 22, 2013, 11:46:59 PM
Probably so -- right now I'm absorbed in Civ 5 with what little gaming time I do have, though.  It's for my list later, then! :)
Title: Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
Post by: zharmad on August 23, 2013, 03:26:15 PM
 I'll throw in another +1 in for AZS.
 = = =

 Would Syndicate Wars be a better comparison?