Spacepods: Art and Pixels

Hey this is Kent, and I’m here to talk a little bit about some of the art changes we’ve made in this latest build of Spacepods. We’ve gone all the way back to square one with some of the graphics, which we think you’re going to really appreciate once you play the new version!

 

When we began working on the game, we started with the main elements: the pods. Our goal was to make a game that looked and played a bit like classic arcade top-down shooters like Galaga, Asteroids, and Smash TV. The pods and other game items we started with were very simple, chunky, pixelated ships. All of the powerups are designed to have that delicious NES quality to them, where things don’t look exactly like their real-world counterparts, but you can tell what you’re looking at regardless.

 

We also wanted the game to have a sense of spatial depth to it, so our background was made from a compilation of of open-licensed NASA photos, processed a bit to be as chunky as the foreground artwork. We made the sun in the middle of the map out of a real stock photo, to make everything look really high-end. The sun even had a dynamic glow effect to it that made it look like you’d incinerate if you got your pod too close.

 Old Star Field

When we stood back and looked at what we had put together, though, we had a problem: It clashed. The crispy, retro-looking ships and foreground artwork just didn’t look like it belonged with the high-resolution, effects-driven background. Some of our special effects even looked way too detailed to be part of the same game. So, we scrapped it and went back to the drawing board.

 

This time, we were looking more specifically at space games like Galaga, whose simplistic art style told you right away that you were flying through the stars. We worked from the same starfield as before, but this time we processed it down so that each star was just a pixel against the inky black of space. We reduced the color palette of the planets and asteroids, resulting in some very cool textures that look like they’re straight out of an 8-bit system. Again, we worked from real NASA photos, but processed them down into brightly-colored, pixelated versions of themselves.

 New Star Field

If you played the first iteration of Spacepods, the first thing you’ll notice when you load the game is that the title screen is totally different, too. We had a really fancy 3D sequence that would play right at the beginning, in which four planets would come careening out from behind our big, bright, fancy sun, and would come to rest in the middle of the screen to become the four main menu options. It was all done in Adobe After Effects, and it looked great, but we felt that like the background in the game, it didn’t really mesh with the aesthetic style of everything else. Instead, we looked back to the classics, and put together a start screen that would be right at home in a Super Nintendo game.

 

I know we’ll continue making improvements as the game goes through its various stages of development, and we’ll keep you updated on our experiments and discoveries as we go!

 

Spacepods: Enemy AI and Power Ups

    Hey All! its time for another stellar dev blog about Spacepods, and we would like to welcome gamers, game developers, or people who just stumbled upon our blog. Our last blog contained a large list of all the upcoming changes to Spacepods, but in this blog we would like to talk about the Enemy AI and the Power Ups.

Enemy AI

     If you played the first build of the game or if you have seen any of our gameplay videos, you will note that the AI of the enemy pods is a simple set of movement rules. They are designed to fly towards the player and shoot at the player. Their flight speed and weapon rate of fire is based on their color. This gave us some major gameplay issues. Firstly, the pathing gave the pods a more ram like behavior than an actually flying behavior. It seemed like the enemy pods were more intent on causing a cosmic traffic jam than actually hunting the player. It would become very frustrating to get surrounded by enemies and immobilized just to be shot down and then run over. We lessened this problem by fixating the enemy spawn points, but it still was an issue once 20 or more enemies had spawned. The second reason this was bad from a gameplay perspective was that with a large grouping of enemies all firing at the same time, it became very difficult to navigate through incoming fire while still being able to shoot back. This lead to the primary tactic employed by players becoming one of avoidance. Players simply ran away from the enemy pods or tried to fly in large circles around them. These tactics worked, but were by no means fun or the intended experience. The goal was to make a pod pilot feel powerful, able to take on massive hordes because of his flight skills and his power ups. The old AI simply left a lot to be desired.

     This is where the new AI was developed from. With a strong desire to make fight with enemy pods much more fun. Our first issue was the pathing, we had to do something to make the enemies pursue you without trying to run you over. We tried several different ideas, but the one that we are using is simple can be tweaked easily and has the ability to grow and accommodate for ships larger than pods. Another minor change was allowing the enemy pods to “track” the player with their guns. So instead of just shooting in a straight line out of the front of their pods, the enemies now shoot at you even if flying parallel with you. These changes make the game so much more enjoyable and give battles a much more dynamic feel. There are a few other changes to the enemies, but we want to surprise you guys with them, so you’ll just have to play and discover them.

Power Ups!

     Power ups are an essential part of Spacepods. When we first talked about making the game and the concept behind it. The core idea was flying a little Spacepod that could collect tons of power ups and become way more powerful because of it. Currently, we have 21 power ups launching with the next build. The original build had 7. So we have tripled the amount of power ups for you to collect! In addition, we overhauled many of the old ones and add artwork for each of them. Getting power ups now changes the look of your ship, not just its combat abilities. Collecting multiple power ups at the same time give your ship a fun modular effect. We are working on more new power ups but you are guaranteed to have 21 new and improved power ups to play with in the next release.

Powerups

We have been uploading preview videos of the various power ups to Youtube, and hope to upload more so you can see some of the effects and how they work. Head over to our Youtube channel BitForge Studios. As always we hope you enjoyed reading our blog and hope to keep giving out more updates as the development of Spacepods continues. Next we will have our artist Kent write up a post about the changes to the art style, UI, and other improvements to the look of the game. For constant updates, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Spacepods: Return of the Pods

Its been 3 months since our last dev blog about Spacepods, in that time we had a short break and returned with a large list of changes and improvements to implement. We compiled this list based directly off feedback from players and other devs over at the r/gamedev and our goal is to develop and release the best game we can. We will be posting dev blogs on a more regular basis. These blogs will cover and track our development process for Spacepods, and hopefully for our future games as well.

     The current build of Spacepods is available free on our website. This build will be replaced soon, so if you want to give it a try before the alpha build comes out you can. Playing the current build will help to give one a good indication of just how much has changed in the past few months. Some of the changes have to do with the art that exists in the games, and some changes were complete overhauls to existing systems like enemy AI. We have expanded on the list of power ups, increasing the number from 7 to 20. We will have a dev blog in the future covering these new power ups. Over all these changes make the game seem completely new.

So here is a brief overview of the changes coming with the release of Spacepods.

Spacepods Alpha 0.1

-Art

  -New star field that reflects pixel art style

  -New planets and moons

  -New meteors

  -New Space Station

  -New enemy Pods

  -New bullet animations

  -Added Power Up specific “attachments” which change the way your Spacepod looks.

  -New art for the Start Screen/Main Menu

  -Revamped HUD bar to fit pixel art style

  -HUD bar now has slots for 5 power ups

  -HUD bar now changes colors based on how much health you have

  -New Spaceman art added to the game

  -New Power Up beacon trackers to guide player to available power ups

-Environment

  -Sun rotates

  -Sun gives off heat which can damage you Spacepod

  -Planets orbit around the sun

  -Moons and other satellites orbit around planets

  -Meteor Storms still exist but have been tweaked

  -New Pod Finder which locates your respawn pod after getting killed

  -All planets and moons now act as physical objects which the Spacepods can run into

  -Redesigned zoom system which gives a better sense of scale

 

-Enemies

  -Enemy AI now tries to strafe the player while shooting instead of just ramming the player

  -Enemy targeting re-designed

  -Enemy firing mechanic randomised to make enemy less predictable

  -Removed enemy variations(fast attack, rocket, dual-shot) to get new AI working

  -Enemies now wrap from top-to-bottom and side-to-side when leaving the game world

-Power Ups

 – Only 5 Power Ups can be used at 1 time

 – Active Power Up beacons increased from 1 to 4

  -Current Power Ups

    -Homing Missiles: replaced with the Missile Salvo (5 flights of 6 Homing Missiles)

    -Buzzshield: changed in color from blue to red to help distinguish it from the defensive shield

    -Defensive Shield: art changed to match art style

    -Orbiting Drone” can’t be killed by enemy ships, last for 3 minutes

    -Armor Plating: art redesigned, hit detection improved so you lose armor before hull

    -Ammo Refill: art redesigned, now refills 100 ammo instead of 50

    -Repair Wrench: resets to full health. No more overage.

    -Wingmen: now spawn at space station and fly to you to help fight (75 ammo)

  -New Power Ups

    -Armor Drone: gives 3 Armor over 6 seconds

    -Shield Drone: gives 3 Shield over 6 seconds

    -Hull Repair Drone: give 5 Hull over 10 seconds

    -Spinning Blades: chop nearby enemies to ribbons

    -Decoy Hologram: 2 hologram Spacepods that enemies will chase while on screen

    -Warp Drive: teleports the player to a random location via science/magic

    -Magnet Arms: draws in all nearby ammo to the player

    -Meteor Camouflage: projects a hologram of a meteor over your Spacepods

    -Mine Deployer: allows you to drop proximity mines (15 mines total)

    -Speed Boost: gives a short term increase to speed and acceleration

    -Spread Shot: give 2 extra front guns that fire in a spread pattern

    -Time Dilation Field: slows down enemies and incoming fire within a certain radius

-Audio

    -New fx for Start Screen/Main Menu

    -New fx for power ups

    -Higher quality audio for the music

    -Ability toggle all audio on/off

    So there is the change log for the alpha release of Spacepods. This probably has you wondering when it will be released and how you can get it. Our goal is to launch this build as soon as possible, but we have a few things to do before this can happen. First we are working on a new landing page for the game.This page will get people new to Spacepods up to speed on the game. Secondly want to setup a secure login portal so people can play the game and keep track of how well they do. We would also love to give you guys access to forums so we can get feedback and cultivate a community around the game. Thirdly we are going to make the browser based version of the game free to play, just like it is now. We will also be selling a desktop build of the game with a Pay What You Want system. The minimum cost is $2.50, this will go toward further development. It is P.W.Y.W. so if you are feeling generous and want to buy it for more than $2.50 we won’t turn you away. While the game is in alpha, the desktop build will always be that price. When we enter the beta stage it will increase, so grab it while its cheap!  We look forward to getting this build out as soon as we can. That’s all the info for this post, if you are in the neighborhood, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and tell your friends about us.

Spacepods: Shiny Objects.

      Welcome to the Bitforge Studios dev blog. First off we want to give a big thanks to the r/gamedev community over on Reddit for giving us great feedback on our game. We are making exciting progress on Spacepods and look forward to uploading the next build to our site for people to play.

First timers, Spacepods is a space battle “shmup” that we have been working on for almost 2 months now. The current alpha build can be played by clicking the Spacepods link directly above this post. The game for now is in “Arcade” mode, but we have plans to flesh out a universe with a story and more game-play options and multiplayer. 

      Two weeks ago, we discussed some details of what is happening behind the scenes when you play Spacepods; ship speeds, damage, hp, etc. We also talked about the current scoring/ranking system for getting onto the leader boards. This week we want to give a little preview of the new Main Menu screen as well as our first iteration from a text debug log to an actual HUD. These two things have really brought the game to life and vastly improved the look and feel of the game.

      The first two screenshots are of the new Start Screen and Main Menu. The third screenshot is of the HUD. We used our amazing ms paint skills to let you know what each element of the HUD is related to. You can see from the small picture of the old HUD the major improvements we have made. Seeing the new menus and HUD in action is so much more impressive than looking at the screenshots, and we are working hard to get these finished and working by this weekend. If they aren’t quite ready for release we will try and post a video of them in-action. 

     

New Start Screen

New Start Screen

 

Clicking QUIT has been know to have adverse health effects!

Clicking QUIT has been know to have adverse health effects!

 

Old and Busted, New Hotness.

Old and Busted, New Hotness.

      The next build of Spacepods includes a few additional surprises to accompany the new look and feel. We have re-vamped the wing-man power up, made the orbital drones immune to enemy bullets because they are small, cute and should only be destroyed when sacrificing themselves in a head on collision. We have also added 3 new power ups, Armor Plating, Defensive Shield, and a Buzz-Saw Shield; which slices enemy pods up if they get to close. We are so excited for this build of Spacepods and we hope you are too! That’s all for this week. 

Want to know more about what’s happening at BitForge Studios? Follow us on Twitter! @BitforgeStudios and Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BitforgeStudios

Glitches

Every now and then, we as humans make mistakes, and sometimes things go wrong. On very special occasions these errors make neat things happen. Here are some screen shots from our development of Spacepods, they were taken when things glitched out. Hope you enjoy them.

 So Many New Pods

glitchcropped1

Early test of the escape pod mechanic.

Hull integrity: 2166

glitchcropped2

 

For loops gone wrong.

WARNING! WARNING!

glitchcropped3

 

An attempt to set up warning indicators.

We hope you enjoy seeing some of our mistakes. We look forward to bringing you more info on Spacepods, and hopefully an update to the game itself very soon.

Want to know more about what’s happening at BitForge Studios? Follow us on Twitter! @BitforgeStudios or Like us on Facebook.

Primary Target: Spacepods

Hello again, welcome to another dev blog from BitForge Studios. In this post we are going to talk about Spacepods. Spacepods is at its core a fast paced “bullet hell” game about interstellar conquest. At this stage in development we are laying the groundwork for the rest of the universe to unfold. We are currently focusing all our efforts on Spacepods and hope to get bring a really great experience to the player.

Our current goal for Spacepods is to get the core mechanics of flying and fighting down. This will involve top-notch AI for enemy pods, great speed and handling for your pod, and the first batch of power-ups the player can use to defeat the enemy. Once we have that as a foundation we will focus on making the game play more engaging and begin to flesh out the story and universe. The current version of Spacepods is very much an asteroids clone-arcade style shooter that consists of you flying around shooting other pods. While we love this “arcade mode” the final product will be much more robust. We hope to bring a compelling story to the game and even add multiplayer. The current version has a functioning high scores feature and a ranking system, we challenge anyone to beat our developer Phillip Mainprize’s (dev_pmainpri) high score of 91725.

Below we have provided some info on the current features of Spacepods.

Spacepods Current Features:

Spacepod Stats

PlayerPod
Hull Points: 10
Ammo: 150
Ammo Regen: 3 per 5sec
Speed: 850 mps(meters per second)
Acceleration: 425 mps
Deceleration: 800mps

GreenPod
Hull Points: 1
Ammo: ∞
Speed: 200 mps(meters per second)

GreyPod
Hull Points: 1
Ammo: ∞
Speed: 150 mps(meters per second)

PinkPod
Hull Points: 1
Ammo: ∞
Speed: 175 mps(meters per second)

OrangePod (Spawn at 150 kills)
Hull Points: 1
Ammo: ∞ (fires 2 shots at once)
Speed: 300 mps(meters per second)

PurplePod (Spawn at 300 kills)
Hull Points: 1
Ammo: ∞ (high rate of fire)
Speed: 350 mps(meters per second)

(All enemy Pods display points value upon dying and drop 15 ammo)

Available Power Ups

Drone Companion
Action: Orbits Pod and fires at same rate as player.
Has infinite ammo
Stackable
Wing-men
Action: Flies beside Pod, fires at same rate as player.
Has infinite ammo

Homing Missiles
Action: Target random enemy pod and destroy it.
Ammo per pickup +20 missiles
Stackable
Ammo Pack
Action: Refill player ammo
+50 ammo

Repair Wrench
Action: Repairs hull damage.
+5 HP
(Power ups spawn at a random location on the map every 5 seconds)
(Current limit of one on the map at a time)

Gameplay

Controls
WASD: UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT
LMB: Fires main gun
RMB: Fires missiles if any are available.

Events

In the event of Pod destruction, an indicator will appear and point your Escape Pod in the direction of your new Spacepod

While in your escape pod you can dodge all bullets, but collision with enemy pods will splatter you.

At 100 kills the player pod should upgrade to the Frigate Hull. This upgrade means more HP and firing 3 bullets for the cost of one.

At 150 kills the double barreled Orange Pods appear

At 300 kills the high rate of fire Purple Pods appear

There is currently one Environmental effect that occurs. The meteor storm.
It spawns large meteors that fly across the screen smashing enemy pods and doing large amount of damage to the player pod. We let you know when its about to happen with flashing text and alarm claxons.

Ranking

The ranking system is currently based on kills at the time of death.

Cadet                                           10 or more kills
Cadet 1st Class                          20 or more kills
Cadet 2nd Class                         30 or more kills
Cadet 3rd Class                         40 or more kills
Ensign                                        50 or more kills
Lieutenant                                  100 or more kills
Lieutenant Junior                       200 or more kills
Lieutenant Commander            300 or more kills
Commander                             400 or more kills
Captain                                     500 or more kills
Commodore                             1000 or more kills
Rear Admiral                            2000 or more kills
Vice Admiral                             3000 or more kills
Admiral                                     4000 or more kills
Fleet Admiral                            5000 or more kills

We are not 100% convinced this is the best system since eventually the enemies get harder to kill. We would like to switch it to points earned system soon. But for now that’s how the system works. No one has yet to earn a rank higher than Captain.

We hope that is info that helps gives some insight into what is happening when you hop in your Spacepod and venture into the unknown to fight hordes of enemy pilots. In our next blog we will talk about the some of the future plans for Spacepods. Until then, fly safe.

Want to know more about what’s happening at BitForge Studios? Follow us on Twitter! @BitforgeStudios

The Lore of HQ-77 and Exciting News About Spacepods

Hello Again.

First of all, big thanks to everyone who played SURVIVE and Spacepods and gave us some feedback on those to games. Having little game jams and challenges is something we want to continue. Keep an eye on our twitter for more info on little games we make that you can play free in your browsers.

Last week we skipped our blog that was going to reveal some information about the Lore and Setting in HQ-77, so we will go over all that in this blog. We know from previous blogs that the game world is built from an assortment of hexagon tiles. What we do not know is what this world is, where and when it exists, or why we should care about living here. Strap on your adventuring boots, this is gonna be a long post.

So let us begin by telling you that this world exists in an ancient time when the magic of the elder gods still held power over this world. In this old world there are many ancient beings including, Golems, Were-Men of all kinds, giant insects and dragons. The dragons are the physical embodiment of the elder gods. There are also the sentient(playable) races of this world. The elder gods are the beings responsible for creating the first 3 sentient races. The following is a brief chronicle of their ancient histories and how 3 became 8.

In the beginning of time the elder gods created 3 races, Elves, Gnomes and Trolls. They lived in relative peace and harmony due to being separated geographically. At some point a group of Elves moved out of the forest and into the grasslands, these Elves gave up there immortal nature to be given the gift of science from one of the elder gods. Over time these elves evolved into what we call Mankind. The nature of Mankind however, is easily corrupted. A group of sages and wizards still longed for a connection with nature and the gift of immortality So they left the cities of man and moved to the northern end of the grasslands. But instead of returning to the old gods of the forest they began worshipping the beast gods. This was a grave mistake, the beast god took these men and twisted their flesh combining it with that of animals. This brought about the race of the Satyr. The Gnomes have a similar story to tell. The Gnomes have long lived on the southwestern tip of the world, they love the marshes and the trees that grow there. There were at one point 3 prominent tribes among the gnomes. But now there is only one. You see, one of the patriarchs of a tribe once found a cave, and in this cave he found a crystal. This crystal mesmerized him and after learning of its magical properties, he began searching every inch of the cave, but finding no more he resolved to travel by boat around the world till he found more crystals. He took his 3rd of the Gnomish peoples and sailed east sticking to the coast. And after many days at sea he spotted mountains on the northeastern coast of world. He settled in these mountains and through the passage of time and the digging of deep mines, these Gnomes ceased being Gnomes and became Dwarves. There was however a great rift between the last 2 Gnomish tribes. Half thought the Dwarves were right in their quest for crystals and the power they held, the other half held fast to the swamp and the traditions of their forefathers. So after many debates and council meeting the second tribe of the Gnomes moved away from the swamp and into the badlands in the south. The harsh dry environment turned these gnomes into hard and tenacious people. The began worshipping the Djinn of the desert. After many generations they ceased being Gnomes at all. Their worship of the Djinn had transformed them into Goblins. While this ancient history was taking place all across the lands, the Trolls were beginning to dwell in the northern arctic lands. Upon encountering Trolls for the first time in the northern edges of the forest, the Elf king sent envoys to them in hopes of forging an alliance. The alliance was born in a royal marriage, and with it the race of the Orc. Peace existed between these peoples for some time till a high born Orc laid claim to the Elven throne. This caused a war in the north. In the end the Orc Prince and his people left the Troll kingdom and settled in the tundra west of the northern forest. There is peace in the land, but it is an uneasy one at best. Rogue Orcs raid the Elven lands, Satyr’s attack cities and caravans of Man, and the Goblins are beginning to cut into the swamp land of their distant relatives. This is the world you will shape for the better or worse is your decision.

There are 8 playable races in HQ-77. They are listed below with a few words to give them flavor.

Dwarves- strong, stout, loud. – Mountains/Cave
Elves- Graceful, Silent, Deadly. – Forest
Gnomes- Small, Ingenious, Crafty. – Swamp
Goblins- Swift , Devious, Tenacious. – Desert
Man- Determined, Intelligent, Charismatic. – Grasslands
Orcs- Hard, Cold, Calculating. – Tundra
Satyrs- Energetic, Musical, Demonic. – Grasslands
Trolls- Brutish, Unyielding, Large. – Arctic

From this list we can begin to shape in our minds the images of these races and where they come from. Due to the game being about shaping your own story, no race is Evil and no race is Good. Since no race is necessarily good or evil, you may ask what drives the story? The only answer to this is YOU! The player pick his races, then sets off on an adventure of his/her own design. Will you unite nations? Steal riches from kings? Wage war on the elder gods themselves? The story of HQ-77 is one that you will right. Your pen may be a sword, or bow, or the words from your lips.

So there is a brief over view of the Lore of HQ-77. Our next post will contain a map and further description of the setting, and cultural styles of the 8 playable races.

Before we close this post, we would like to bring some attention to a game from last weeks post. The game is Spacepods. Its a game we kinda built just for fun, but its becoming a pretty big project here at the office. After making a simple prototype and posting it on the gamedev subreddit, we got tons of feedback. People had ideas, suggestions wanted more so we gave it to them. We spent a good amount of time last week polishing up the prototype and making it into a fully playable arcade style game. We got in touch with a musician and had him lay down some sweet tracks and now the game is fully playable on our website. @BitforgeStudios

8 Hour Game Jam and Exciting News

Welcome Back!

Today we bring you a very special surprise. Our original plans had us presenting a dev blog about lore and back story for HQ-77, but we did a little challenge at the office this past weekend and we wanted to share our results from this. Our challenge was to make a very simple game in 8 hours. The result of this is a game we are calling SURVIVE!

The game of survive takes place on 2 islands that you as the player have been stranded on. You have limited health, you are always hungry and thirsty, and you are constantly going insane from your solitude. The only way to survive is to find and consume food and clean water. Food comes in the form of apple trees, and water comes in the form of clean water holes. Now before you go off eating every tree and drinking every pond, you should be warned that some trees bear no fruit, and some ponds are tainted water that will only quicken your impending doom. The resources will randomly spawn around the map, so you have to explore to stay alive. The game/ prototype is unforgiving. You will die or go crazy and then die, its only a mater of time.

This 8 hour game jam was a ton of fun, and we hope we can flesh out SURVIVE! More in our spare time. Survive however, is not the only exciting event that occurred over this past week. While we are still working hard on HQ-77, we found some time to team up with an Artist named Kent Sheely, and here is his website. We here at Bitforge are thrilled to work with him. Kent and Phil have been working on fun little concept call Spacepods. This top-down asteroid intergalactic combat game is in its infancy, but the road ahead looks very promising and we can’t wait to share it with you. Seriously we can not wait!

So here are links to play SURVIVE and Spacepods in your web browsers!!

SURVIVE

Spacepods

We hope you enjoyed this break from the normal routine and have some fun playing these to games. We are working on a high scores database for Spacepods! If you take the time to play please leave us some comments and feedback below!

Have a great day and game on!

The Genre of HQ-77

Welcome back!

It’s that time again! Time for another exciting dev blog where we reveal more info on HQ-77. With this post we hope to reveal more info on the genre of HQ-77. Namely that this game like many others in a way encompass multiple genres.

HQ-77 is a Role Playing Game as well as a Tactics game. Within the world of HQ-77 you will play a role, that role may be hero or villain. Regardless of the role you choose to fill, you will play out a story as that role. Like many other RPGs you will have stats and abilities, equipment and items, but the way you navigate the game world, interact with NPC’s, engage in combat is very much like a tactics or table-top style game. The combination creates a great environment in which the player can enjoy these to classic genres.

Role-playing games have been around for a long time, so lets talk about what makes HQ-77 different. One thing we noticed when playing some of the more common RPGs was that they are very limited in what role in the story you play. The overwhelming majority of RPGs have you playing the role of “Hero”, with your job being to save the entire world. While this is great, our idea for a RPG is a little bit more like the old school pen and paper style. In this older style of RPGs the player can play any role in the party, that role could be hero, or villain, or thief or adventurer. Freedom of choice is what dominated the birth of RPGs. We hope to emulate that design. We also know that in most fantasy themed games, Orcs and Goblins are bad and Men and Elves are good, however; our goal with HQ-77 it to make the game world much more gray. None of the races are inherently evil, and none are perfectly good. Each character in the game has an alignment that will make him good or evil based off the action he/she takes. This system will make for a much more dynamic, living, and believable world. In the end, playing HQ-77 will offer that classic tabletop RPG experience with a deep and rich game world.

Lets take the last part of this blog discussing the tactical aspect of HQ-77. The main feature in HQ-77 that emphasizes tactics like game play is in the movement of characters. Each character has very specific movement range. This range dictates how far they can go, and who or what they can interact with. By moving around the game world in a strategic or tactical way, you can out smart your enemies, aid your friends and move quickly across the map. Another aspect of the tactical game play deals with the hexagon tiles that build the environment. These tiles will be classified into types. An example of these types would be stone, grass, forest, and lava. Depending on where you place your character may gain buffs or status effects. These could be the deciding factor in a battle against a stronger opponent. The other important thing about these tiles is there height. If a tile is too tall, your character might not be able to reach it, and if it’s to far below you, your character will take damage by jumping down to it. You will learn by playing around with the system that the level of depth and tactical game play possible is astounding. Be smart with your characters and you will win more often.

That’s all for this post. We hope that gave you a clearer picture of our goal with HQ-77 and that you are excited to see this game coming together. In our next post we will discuss the lore and story of HQ-77.

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Codename HQ-77

Welcome everyone!

Its time for the first development post that will begin the slow reveal of information about HQ-77, we are so excited to begin this process. So lets get to it. HQ-77 is going to be a tactical role-playing game that offers you a classic pen and paper, D&D style story experience, with an amazing level of depth that grows from many different facets of the game. The levels of this game will range in size from small skirmish maps to large continents to quest across. Hexagon shaped tiles will be placed together to build large volcanic mountains, dangerous swamps, and a whole range of geological biomes.These biomes will yield unique monster encounters, unique cities and hours of game play.

HQ-77 will have many pre-built levels at launch, and we are working on a system to procedurally generate levels of various sizes. These features will add tons of replay value to the game.

So now that you know a little bit about the genre and game world, let’stalk about what all can be done. HQ-77 will be very sand-boxy, however not a world builder like Minecraft or physics playground like Garry’s Mod, but more a decision based sand box. Each action you take will be recorded and will feed into a very complex character alignment system, and that system will change the way all the characters in the game will interact with you. We hope that this system inspires characters to make choices for a reason, not just arbitrarily. Our goal is for players to interact with a story driven by meaningful choices that will affect the game world and change it for the better or worse.

Well, that’s all for this post, that gives you some exciting information about HQ-77, it’s genre, it’s game world, and why playing it is going to be a blast.

Join us next time for a more in depth discussion on the RPG-Tactics Elements of HQ-77.

Want to know more about what’s happening at BitForge Studios? Follow us onTwitter!
@BitforgeStudios