Welcome to the 1st SL DevBlog post! Although a dedicated section harboring all sorts of information will soon be created, I will take this opportunity to go through the major features of SL and the changes it will contain in relation to Savage XR.
SL will run using the Unity3D engine, a professional, high-tech engine featuring all the advancements in game graphics technologies and an incredibly clever editing environment. Unity3D is a multiplatform available for PC, Mac and Linux, mobile devices and consoles, and it is constantly and continuously improved and enhanced by is developers, taking a huge work load off the shoulders of game designers, who don't have to write their own render engines from scratch.
Contributing to the AAA visual fidelity of Unity3D, some of its highlights are: fast and smooth rendering performance, precision control over lighting, dynamic shadows, special audio and visual effects, particle generators, material manipulation with procedural textures, integrated terrain and atmospheric editor, built-in pathfinding AI, ragdoll physics, retargetable animations, precomputed occlusion culling, smart LOD support, cross-platform scripting, WYSIWYG prototyping, social network integration, GLSL optimizations with mobile shaders support. Who knows, maybe we'll get to play Savage on a mobile, after all! In addition to the game client, Unity3D will allow SL to run with a web player, so that you will be able to play the game right inside your browser.
SL will carry over the gameplay from Savage XR. The major features remain unchanged: commanders, economy based on workers, 3 tier bases and tech, units and tech research, building construction, human shield tower, upgradable towers, block vs. leap, networked respawn points and all the rest. However, based on the comparative analysis we've made, a number of changes will occur.
One rather minor change is the introduction of a new unit per race. No, not the Glider and Mech
. The equivalent of a Builder or Engineer, or call it Smith, if you want. These Labourers would possess increased work efficiency (mining, building, repairing) and an ability to carry and deploy more static devices like Land Mines or Sensors (compared to the other units). This is unit is dedicated to Phoe and all the newbies all around the world!
By far the most important one is the way loadout works. First of all, we're going to use a weight-based items/weapons system. This will allow cross-class inventory items usage, without allowing uber-combos. The concept is pretty simple: the larger the unit, the more weight it can carry. The heavier the items and/or weapons, the greater their impact. Alternatively, units could carry larger numbers of a item type, instead of heavier items, or mix the 2 aspects as the situation requires. Basically any humanoid unit (human siege is momentarily excluded) will be able to equip pretty much anything, but strictly influenced by its particular attributes/stats (mana, attack speed, movement speed, weight, health and stamina, tech line affiliation). The units will be biased towards certain tech lines, with the purpose of isolating designated roles for each of them. In order to get the most bang for the buck, units would have to equip the items and weapons of their particular tech line. Hypothetical example: a Nomad would be carrying a quiver (an arrow holder), which allows him to carry the arrows of the Archery weapons, effectively halving the weight any such weapon would deduct from his AvailableWeight.
As far as magic is concerned, for instance, a Legionnaire will be able to equip the Revive spell, but because his MaxMana and ManaRegeneration amounts would be very low, if he's lucky, he may be able to use it once per spawn. Whereas a Chaplain equipping Revive would be able to use it once every 20 seconds. Conversely, instead of the 15 Healing Potions he could carry, he may decide to equip 2 Immobilizers instead. Perhaps a Nomad would end up not even having a Max Mana high enough to cast the Revive spell at all! Spells, unlike magic items, are not stackable and will take up an inventory slot regardless of how proficient a unit is at casting it.
As a consequence of the new weapons interoperability, melee weapons, for both beasts and humans, featuring distinct appearances (unlike Savage 1 beast melee weapons) and they would be usable by any units (unlike Savage 1 human melee weapons). Individual units' bonuses and restrictions aside, they would carry over the animations and damage to any unit using them. This means we're going to see Scavengers with huge Predator Claws-like blades or Legos with hatchets. Not the best combos, obviously, but they offer increased flexibility in order to respond in various predicaments, as the situations arise.
Although this is not decided yet, Experience and Levels are going to work a little differently from how they currently do in Savage XR. Along with every increase in levels, units receive improvements of their stats, according to a table designed to facilitate them the fulfillment of specific roles, like scouting, tanking etc., which the units are designed for. But on top of that, players will receive a bonus to the stats associated with their most often performed activity. This way, workers will become better workers, fighters better at fighting and magic users, well, you get my point. But without neglecting the rest of the stats.
A new concept of tech trees, branching and linearity will be devised, aimed at conserving every tier's tech usefulness all throughout the game, albeit in various amounts. The tiers 1 - 2 - 3 progression's impact will be diminished. Savage 1 is unfolding in a predictable and restrictive way: you get the free Nomads then you research tier 2 to get Savages which turn Nomads useless and then you rush for tier 3's Legos which turn Savages useless. Even though there still are some exploitable niche traits, the tier 1 and 2 units aren't going to be seen around the battlefield unless in dire need of gold, most often at the very final moments of a game being lost. This turns the most part of any game into a Pred vs Lego skirmish, while making it very hard for any newbies to be useful in any way, or get a chance to learn anything since everybody else is already good at that one single thing going on, the Pred vs. Lego game.
Weapons and units will be designed in such a way that the different tiers do not turn the previous tiers obsolete, allowing for non-linear tech research decisions which keep tech lines still useful outside tier constraints. This translates into a new way of differentiating units from each other based on tech line affinity, primary goal and the required skill vs. effectiveness ratio.
Here are units screenshots on some pre-made maps accompanying the environment sets we got. And then the Arena map which i've made in 1 day, with no previous knowledge of how to. But we'll get pro mappers, don't worry