This last week has been a little shorter than usual because of easter. We had really awesome weather during the extended weekend, so we have spent some extra time outside with our friends and families. This means we got a bit less done in the sense of the game, but here in Sweden you have to catch the few days of good summer weather we get each year!
Most of the work this week has gone into game design. We have decided to experiment with a new, much more defined concept, called Sites. The general idea is to give the player a world map with outlines for roads, as well as markers for potential sites to explore. Once reached, they will reveal their identity. It could be a lumber yard, dock, robot manufacturing facility, oil refinery, nuclear power plant, etc…
Quick and dirty illustration of how we intend a potential world map to work
We want every site to offer more defined rewards, and challenges. Because of this, different loot will be available at different sites, and we want to create defining gameplay elements for each type of site which determines play style, as well as enabling determination of what steps of preparations should be taken to be successful. We hope this can enable interesting strategic choices in multiple dimensions.
We have also done a lot of design work trying to work out how we should efficiently create a feeling of escalating emergency during site raids. Because of this, we are working on creating a “danger level meter”. Every action you take which makes the hordes more aware of your presence will make this meter go up. Every time it reaches a new threshold, a new event will fire, spawning new approaching hordes, or other nasty things. Since the new hordes will escalate the situation further, we want to balance this mechanic into a self-feeding loop, where noise has a tendency to create the need for more noise. Even if the general goal for a raid is to stay as silent as possible, this hostile pressure will eventually drive you into urgency to escape with your acquired loot before you are overwhelmed, guns blazing.
First programmer art version of the danger meter
You might notice that at the end of the meter we have placed a skull. Reaching this level triggers a final event, which we plan will spawn the site boss. By killing this boss, you clear the site, enabling you to claim it for a base and/or potential resource extraction. This means you also have gameplay situations where you arm yourselves to the teeth and enter a site with the sole intent of conquest. In this situation your primary goal is to raise the danger level as much as possible to spawn the boss. In other words, the danger level is a mechanic that can be either unwanted or wanted depending on your intent.
Hope you enjoyed this slight insight into our plans for the game! We would love to hear your opinions on this part of the design on our discord https://discord.gg/jXJyxUh
It will be really interesting to see how our internal testing with the danger meter works out, and might cover it in next weeks blog if we reach any new insights. We also have a lot thoughts going on design-wise in the way of base building, and how we want your campaign to feel like a full scale war against the infinite hordes rather than just survival, so it might be about that as well. See you then!