Strategy prototype level up!

New batch of screenshots! I’ve made lots of changes to the prototype, especially after playtesting it with one of my friends. Some of the changes:

  • Units are now represented by icons instead of a circle with their letter
  • The Scout, a new unit, has great movement and range of vision, useful for gathering information on your opponent’s units. They are quite weak, however, so don’t leave them exposed to attack.
  • When changing turns between players, there is a transition screen so that player information is hidden. So players can switch seats or hand the computer to each other or however they’re playing.
  • The map can now zoom in and out, with everything scaling up and down as it should.
  • The minimap updates according to what the player can see, and where units are, as well as what part of the map the player can currently see. The player can click on the minimap to center the screen somewhere in it. If the player moves the mouse near the edge of the map, it scrolls as well.
  • The info boxes on terrain and units can show less detail, in order to give more space for the main view.
  • The attack preview has been re-redesigned, following a redesign based on my friend’s feedback. Another friend saw it and said there was a small chance of misunderstanding it, so I changed it. It takes up a lot of space, but I think it’s clearest like this…
  • The custom mouse changes color to show whose turn it is.

Those are more technical changes, based partly on feedback from playtesting and on conventions of strategy games (minimap, scrolling, etc). There are some intended gameplay changes, including the scout which has already been implemented.

The main one is moving away from the “one move per turn” idea and towards allowing players multiple moves per turn. I had originally thought that the chess-like idea would be interesting enough, but my playtester said she would like to do more in a turn. It also led to only one unit fighting at a time, of course – the other units would still be behind, since there was no way to move them all forward at a time.

There are two possible solutions to this. In the simpler one, each player gets 3 commands per turn to issue to any combination of their units, for example attack with one unit and move two others closer to support it in the next turn. In the more complex one, each player gets 12 command points per turn. Movement of any unit to any hex costs 1 command point, while attacking costs 3 command points. This would enable a player to move, for example, a group of units together in the same turn. I’m leaning towards this latter idea because it creates more possibility space for the player.

I’m trying to figure out how to make a standalone of the prototype in order to make it available to play, but I’m having some difficulty. I recently switched to Processing in Eclipse, which doesn’t have the nice simple exporter that the Processing IDE has. Must figure out some solution!

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