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Author Topic: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix  (Read 160282 times)

Jaysen

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #60 on: April 07, 2014, 03:18:09 am »

We just made a new gameplay video showcasing all the new stuff and features (inventory, new soundeffects,...) that has been added over the past weeks. Afterwards we show a fight between a gang of Battle Brothers and a skeleton horde in a "lets-play" style with commentary. Hope you like it!

http://youtu.be/4Eeb2Nc4tBo
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AndClayton

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2014, 03:11:34 pm »

Personally, I would like to see a system in play that is made to give attachment to our soldiers; help build the emotional bond and trauma of losing one.

For example, one simple thing that increased my immersion with XCOM is that it showed your soldier's kill count. That incredibly simple thing added a new dimension of care for my soldiers.

Another thing is ranks and titles for your soldiers. An idea I've been thinking about specifically for this game is giving soldiers the ability to earn "titles", or something similar, by performing specific actions. For example, say a brother had had a lot of close calls with death; getting very close to dying, but continuing to take down enemies. So the system could count how many times he had been below a certain threshold of health and earned kills while there. Doing that could earn him a title among his brethren, "Stoneskin" (or something, that was just off the top of my head lol).

I hope you get what I'm trying to convey, though: it's the little things that add great immersion. Especially when it comes to caring for your soldier's well being. I think this game would benefit greatly from added systems to encourage forming bonds with your soldiers.

That's why I think Mount and Blade fails; it doesn't give you a reason to care for your soldiers, even your companions, other than the fact that you'll probably die without them. That was one of the only things that threw me off of Mount and Blade.   
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Neonivek

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #62 on: April 09, 2014, 04:17:36 pm »

I think the battle brothers are meant to be more of a organized militia then a proper army.

Though I think what you are overall trying to convey is correct AndClayton, that for a game like this, trying to individualize the battlebrothers and make them feel more alive like actual people, would go a long way to place us in this world.
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dennislp3

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #63 on: April 09, 2014, 04:26:29 pm »

Personally, I would like to see a system in play that is made to give attachment to our soldiers; help build the emotional bond and trauma of losing one.

For example, one simple thing that increased my immersion with XCOM is that it showed your soldier's kill count. That incredibly simple thing added a new dimension of care for my soldiers.

Another thing is ranks and titles for your soldiers. An idea I've been thinking about specifically for this game is giving soldiers the ability to earn "titles", or something similar, by performing specific actions. For example, say a brother had had a lot of close calls with death; getting very close to dying, but continuing to take down enemies. So the system could count how many times he had been below a certain threshold of health and earned kills while there. Doing that could earn him a title among his brethren, "Stoneskin" (or something, that was just off the top of my head lol).

I hope you get what I'm trying to convey, though: it's the little things that add great immersion. Especially when it comes to caring for your soldier's well being. I think this game would benefit greatly from added systems to encourage forming bonds with your soldiers.

That's why I think Mount and Blade fails; it doesn't give you a reason to care for your soldiers, even your companions, other than the fact that you'll probably die without them. That was one of the only things that threw me off of Mount and Blade.

+1

Kill counts and ranks are among my two most liked and wanted features in any game with the ability for individual units that make kills to have in my book...yet is sadly lacking in so many...those two simple metrics really help me bond with units.
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Rap

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2014, 06:08:22 pm »

I completely agree with you guys. It's been one of our design goals from the beginning to portray Battle Brothers as individuals that the player can relate to, grow attached to even, and see them as more than just a bunch of stats. We actively try to encourage this with a bunch of features, among them individual looks, customizable armor and character development.

In addition, all characters come with 0 to 2 randomly assigned character traits from the start, which should help define these characters as being unique among their peers. Character traits are essentially passive skills but canít be picked on levelup and arenít necessarily all positive. Current examples are being athletic or fat (mutually exclusive, increases or decreases fatigue recovery rate, respectively) or having eagle-eyes (i.e. slightly increased view range). A character with good eyesight would make a good candidate for a scouting or ranged combat role, but a fat man with poor eyesight could make a valued Battle Brother just as well Ė heíll just probably be the first to be out of breath in a prolonged engagement and not the one to spot incoming enemies, which, in my mind, adds to his character.

We also keep statistics for every Battle Brother, including a kill count, and noteworthy feats like slaying an especially powerful enemy or being the sole survivor of a battle gone wrong. They will be kept in the History tab that can be seen briefly in the recent video on the inventory screen (but they aren't implemented yet and won't be featured in the combat demo). Battle Brothers not only earn titles but potentially also character traits (i.e. actual gameplay effects) for achievements, both good and bad. A character having slain dozens of undead, for example, might earn a title and a character trait that makes him less prone to morale failure when fighting undead again. Titles will probably be freely editable by the player, though, and are considered to be more like suggestions based on what the character experienced (and his peers know him for). However, what won't be featured in the game is ranks. Like Neonivek said, Battle Brothers aren't a proper army and have a very flat hierarchy. We currently have a skilltree devoted to leadership and we might end up with some titles/traits related to leadership, but there won't be a rank per se for every character.

If you guys have any other ideas on how to encourage player attachment, or even specific ideas or wishes for titles, traits and such, I'd love to hear them!
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Levi

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2014, 06:10:38 pm »

That all sounds pretty great to me.  Could be pretty neat to have some negative traits you could obtain, like from being traumatized as an only survivor.   :P

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dennislp3

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2014, 07:04:27 pm »

it might be too much or just not fitting for balance but one thing I do hate is passive traits that don't change over time. For instance...being fat...I can understand someone coming on as fat but say they go through a gruelling campaign with 30 battles and they are in the thick of it I would imagine they might not be so fat anymore...it would be simple in my mind to simply check say...how much fatigue they have spent over a period of time and if its enough it could morph that fat trait into say a more mild fat trait...or perhaps the athletic one would require certain amounts of fatigue spent in a certain time period or it will downgrade to a less useful passive (albeit still positive).

I fear that if you were to get a person who has 2 negative traits that you cant change...why keep that? Why not throw him and countless others away til you have a bunch of people with 2 positive traits? I think not being able to change them with skill points or whatever is fine, I think not being able to choose what people start with is fine...I am just a bit meh about static traits that one can not influence.

I assume plenty of people will still "game" it like that but I do like the notion of being able to make men out of sloppy recruits and what not :P
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 07:10:16 pm by dennislp3 »
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Rap

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #67 on: April 09, 2014, 08:12:58 pm »

I can imagine not having all character traits be permanent, and your reasoning on this is sound. One thing to consider, though, is that those character traits are also character-defining to some extent. Having "the fat guy" you came to love suddenly being "the regularly-sized guy" among a bunch of other regularly-sized guys makes him also less special, which is what those character traits are all about. Then again, maybe he just started out as "the fat guy" and has long since become "the axe guy, slayer of dragons and sole survivor of the battle of xy". I suppose this warrants some more reflection once we're further on with development of the campaign worldmap.

Regarding your other point, the thing is that everything can and probably will be "gamed", as you put it. We can discourage people in this instance by making the difference between 2 positive and 2 negative traits just strong enough to be taken seriously, but not in any way crippling. We can discourage throwing away people for their traits with prohibitive recruiting costs and recruits being rare. But ultimately, that mindset of powergaming can apply to everything, and attempting to design the game in a way that suppresses this without having gameplay suffer for it is a fool's errant. Some people will reload the game for everything, from unfavourable battle results to characters gaining negative traits like being traumatized, as Levi suggested. That shouldn't stop us from adding such traits in the first place. We'll do our best to make this a balanced game that doesn't necessitate or encourage any such powergaming, but ultimately, it comes down to how each individual player chooses to play the game for him or herself.
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Neonivek

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2014, 09:26:47 pm »

another possibility  is that you can do what some games do, ok almost none do this but whatever, and some "negatives" become positives over time or with experience.

Fat not turning into "regular-sized guy" but possibly turning into "Heavy-set" or something along those lines where he exercised the weight off and now is going to throw his new bulky weight around. A characters "inexperienced" trait becoming "Nuanced" or "beginner's luck" or possibly a random trait altogether.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 09:29:07 pm by Neonivek »
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LuckyNinja

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #69 on: April 11, 2014, 08:46:37 am »

Jesus Christ, when did Bay12 get full of Tumblrina Social Justice Warriors? Seriously, taking inspiration from Medieval Europe is making them sexist & racist?

Anyway, on point. With regards to character traits, I can see upsides and downsides to making them either static/moveable, and potential ways of addressing both. Personally, I like the idea of character traits remaining static. It adds more strategic depth, in my opinion, forcing you to very carefully choose and adjust your party composition in order to succeed. Prevents you from 'putting too many eggs in one basket'.

Also, as Rap said, for better or for worse, character traits define people. If you present a method which can lead your zeroes to heroes, you'll find yourself with a very copy/paste army of superstrong, eagle-eyed, heroic roidheads, and for a roleplaying game that's generally considered a bad move. In KotOR, FF, NN, FO, your party, your companions, are all different. Not all of them are heroic, many have weaknesses, but it doesn't stop them from being badass. Not one bit. It makes for a far more gripping story, even if it's one that we the players project onto the game ourselves.

Archer A has the one-eyed trait, takes a shot at the enemy Lichking, has a 3% chance of hitting, succeeds kills him. On its own that's not exciting, but the player can spin that into the tale of how William the One-Eyed slew the Lich King from two hundred paces, turning the tide of the battle. With games like this, part of the enjoyment comes from making our own tales of heroism, and overcoming unbeatable odds, being the underdog. It's cinematic. Yes, in the real world, people change, and a fat man would turn fit through constant battle (unless he also raided the supply wagons after battle, but I digress), but in the cinematic world it's one thing that doesn't really get taken into consideration.

Besides, who said that being fat, and a coward, means you can't be a badass?

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EagleV

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #70 on: April 16, 2014, 05:30:42 am »

I don't have anything consturctive to add - apart from the fact that I like Neonivek's idea from a few posts back - but this all looks great, and I'm watching it with interest.
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Jaysen

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #71 on: April 18, 2014, 04:48:30 am »

Hey all! We just released the Battle Brothers Combat Demo!

You can download it directly from our website here - for all the infos check out the first post of this thread!

We are really excited about your thoughts and feedback!
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Elfeater

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Cool, im going to try this out.
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Rap

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Re: Battle Brothers - a turn based strategy RPG mix
« Reply #73 on: April 21, 2014, 02:25:01 pm »

With games like this, part of the enjoyment comes from making our own tales of heroism, and overcoming unbeatable odds, being the underdog. It's cinematic. Yes, in the real world, people change, and a fat man would turn fit through constant battle (unless he also raided the supply wagons after battle, but I digress), but in the cinematic world it's one thing that doesn't really get taken into consideration.

Well put. Also, I was thinking of Samwell from GoT all while writing about "the fat guy", too ;)
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EagleV

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The demo is great so far. Just wondering, I often see archers missing their target by a tile (or more? Not sure). Is it possible for them to hit other characters, apart from the target and those marked with a red shield icon?
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Quote from: Robert Donoghue and Fred Hicks
There are three things you must learn if you wish to defeat me, my young pupil. First, you must look within yourself and find your core of strength. Second, your mind and body must be in perfect unison. Third...
*WHACK*
Third, stop listening when you should be fighting.
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