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Rosstin
2014-04-12, 01:33 PM
QUEEN AT ARMS WILL BE ON KICKSTARTER, AUGUST 15TH! JUST A FEW MORE DAYS!

Original thread: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?327457-Battle-based-on-Blanchetaque-(was-Scouting-Missions)

Question: What advantages can an army gain by striking first, assuming that the enemy knows the attack is coming? Assuming that we're in an Agincourt-style battle, with a narrow passage between a wood and a hill through which the armies will clash, and the enemy is on home-turf, with weaponry of that time period.


http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/photo-1.jpg


The heroes have a strike team of a master mage, a team of engineers with black powder and specialized weaponry, a unit of medics (with ~WWI medical technology), a ~100 man cavalry, as well as a few thousand men-at-arms and longbowmen.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/QAAlogo_polish1_400.png (http://queenatarms.com/demo.html)

Somehow I've lost track of the last thread that Mr. Mask, Brother Oni, Serenity and I were using, so I'm posting a new one. "Queen At Arms" is a visual novel, a sort of cross between Fire Emblem and Telltale's Walking Dead, if you will. You make decisions and your soldiers live or die based on them. The forum, and more specifically Oni and Mask, have been helping us design battles to be technically accurate.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/lineupColor400.png (http://queenatarms.com/demo.html)

Our new writer, Diana, created an excellent possibility tree for this battle that we're using to organize Chapter 3. I feel like I owe you guys a demo of what we have so far by now, so here's the Chapter 1 Demo (http://queenatarms.com/demo.html). It's large because we haven't compressed the assets yet, ~350 megabytes.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/ScreenShot2014-04-12at123106AM_400.png (http://queenatarms.com/demo.html)

I should have a playable thingie in Twine for people to try out on Monday.

The Oni
2014-04-12, 02:21 PM
Sweet! As a fellow game designer I would be more than happy to playtest the hell out of this. Keep me posted.

Rosstin
2014-04-12, 02:25 PM
Sweet! As a fellow game designer I would be more than happy to playtest the hell out of this. Keep me posted.

Check out the Chapter 1 Demo (http://queenatarms.com/demo.html)!

The first chapter still needs a lot of work. In particular, I'm not happy with the excessive length, the pacing, and the number of decisions. But the graphics and content, I'm very happy with. I'm looking forward to coming back to it soon, after we get to the end of content (a month or so of development.)

Be patient and at least play up to the first battle with the wolves, or the big battle at the end which is even cooler. I'm really proud of those. When we do our second pass, we're going to have more action and content and decisions in the very beginning (and it will be shorter) so it won't feel like you go more than a few minutes without an interesting decision.

Any additional advice you have would be highly valued! We're going to Kickstart soon (I hope to raise around ~$2k to recoup dev costs) and anything we can do to have a better demo would be truly excellent.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-12, 03:34 PM
It's terrible and I hate it.


Now that my inner critic has had its say, I'll play the demo and tell you what I think.



Not just the thread. I looked through my posts, and there is a gap where posts in it should be. I think it has been entirely deleted. Hopefully the same does not happen here (I'm not sure why they would delete the thread without warning, may be confusion from the new site or the spam threads).



By the way, I saw King's Ascent mentioned on your site and played it. It was very good. The tone mechanics, feel, and story were exceptional among flash games (reminds me of some of the other great ones out there).

Rosstin
2014-04-12, 03:37 PM
It's terrible and I hate it.

Now that my inner critic has had its say, I'll play the demo and tell you what I think.

Not just the thread. I looked through my posts, and there is a gap where posts in it should be. I think it has been entirely deleted. Hopefully the same does not happen here (I'm not sure why they would delete the thread without warning, may be confusion from the new site or the spam threads).

By the way, I saw King's Ascent mentioned on your site and played it. It was very good. The tone mechanics, feel, and story were exceptional among flash games (reminds me of some of the other great ones out there).

Thanks Mask! I wondered about the deletion, but I figured they would have said something. There must be a place on this forum for a thread like this. We're creating content and collaborating. :smallconfused: I can't imagine they would have deleted our thread without warning. It's a shame, there was so much good content there. Why not just move it?

I have a new question by the way:

Question: What advantages can an army gain by striking first, assuming that the enemy knows the attack is coming? Assuming that we're in an Agincourt-style battle, with a narrow passage between a hill and a forest through which the armies will clash, and the enemy is on home-turf, with weaponry of that time period.

The heroes have a strike team of a master mage, a team of engineers with black powder and specialized weaponry, a unit of medics (with ~WWI medical technology), a ~100 man cavalry, as well as a few thousand men-at-arms and longbowmen.

Gonna draw a map for the battle now, which I haven't done yet.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-12, 04:02 PM
The thread deletion was probably an accident, when the moderator was deleting spam thread en masse. We should consider PMing a mod to see if the thread can be recovered.


Generally the defender has all the advantages. If your firepower greatly outweighs your defence it can be different. With nuclear war, striking the enemy first can make a big difference--but since they can see you launching your nukes launching and fire back before yours hit, there isn't much way of hitting first. A cavalry charge is another example of much greater attack than defence capability.

Normally the main advantage of attacking first is surprising your enemy or attacking when they aren't ready for you. Other than that, you normally attack when your side has significant advantage (specially if they're dug in on familiar ground).

With the master mage, you might rig an attack spell, first to fire has the advantage. Gunpowder weapons are similar, but you aren't likely to be able to get bombs or the like over before their counter offence, and I suppose you don't have guns or firespears. The cavalry can try to hit their cavalry in a charge, but usually the enemy cavalry will be arranged to counter-charge or fall back to where your cavalry aren't willing to go.

If the battle is taking place in a narrow stretch between trees, then your tactical options are quite limited, which makes attack a much harder proposition.

One thing to note is your men's morale can make a difference. Morale can suffer if you sit there and let the enemy take shots at you for a long time. If morale is high, and attacking isn't a tactical blunder, then an attack to take advantage of your men's high spirits mightn't be a terrible idea.

Slipperychicken
2014-04-12, 04:03 PM
I recall that the English won Agincourt partly because the French impetuously charged their entire country's nobility through the mud like they were bad AI, keeping their crossbows so far back that they were useless. And by the time they realized a head-on charge was a bad idea, their command structure was annihilated and their forces in disarray.

I wonder if our heroes could set bombs in the mud like they were land-mines.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-12, 04:09 PM
Forgot another potential advantage. The context of an attack or defence can make a huge difference. If for example the enemy force's morale is reeling from some misfortune, it may be best to attack before their morale recovers.

Rosstin
2014-04-12, 04:11 PM
One thing to note is your men's morale can make a difference. Morale can suffer if you sit there and let the enemy take shots at you for a long time. If morale is high, and attacking isn't a tactical blunder, then an attack to take advantage of your men's high spirits mightn't be a terrible idea.

I like this! This is an excellent idea.

That's basically consistent with what I was thinking, in terms of striking first being suboptimal. The Sylgardian (enemy) forces certainly aren't going to attack first, though.


I recall that the English won Agincourt partly because the French impetuously charged their entire country's nobility through the mud like they were bad AI, keeping their crossbows so far back that they were useless. And by the time they realized a head-on charge was a bad idea, their command structure was annihilated and their forces in disarray.

I wonder if our heroes could set bombs in the mud like they were land-mines.

The problem for the heroes is getting the enemy to attack first.. there's one solution for the player, which is to capture the enemy commander before the battle, and to parade her in front of her troops in chains. This enrages the enemy so much that they foolishly attack (like the French.) Otherwise, there's no way that the Sylgardians (enemy) are going to make the first move. YOU'RE the aggressor on their turf, they have no reason to attack; they're defending their home. I'm open to other suggestions for things that can force the Sylgardians to attack. Currently, if the players wait too long, the Sylgardians get reinforcements and then advance, but I have this as a negative for the player (the increase in the Sylgardians number of troops offsets your advantage, plus I guess your troop morale may be lessened.)

Rosstin
2014-04-12, 04:16 PM
I also drew a map!

KEY because my handwriting is terrible:

Heroes are in the upper-left.
Rocklin Hill is in the upper-right, a rocky hillock. There are boulders here which can be blown down onto enemy troops, but enemy archers are hiding behind the boulders. If you send the mechanists against them alone, they'll be slain. But if you send the mechanists with some soldiers, they'll slay the archers and blow down the rocks.
Hardlin Forest is in the lower-left. The forest was killed by a tree-blight, so all the trees are dry dead wood, highly flammable. There are enemy archers hidden in the wood.
The enemy is in the lower-right. They stalwartly refuse to attack. If you wait for them too long, reinforcements arrive and THEN they advance. This might still work out for you if you prepared the battlefield effectively.



http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/photo-2.jpg

Mr. Mask
2014-04-12, 04:57 PM
All sounds good.


A lot of options for forcing an attack.

There are political ways of doing it. When the Germans held part of France in the Great War, politicians called for the army to attack. And so, many men were lost.... over a few miles of land no one really needed. Men have been put to death in battle so generals could report gaining a few yards of ground on a battle line. Generals may offer battle solely because it looks good. Politics are the enemy of a soldier.

Holding something key, whether political/symbolic or practical, will similarly force an attack. If you hold the route supplies come to the enemy or one of their important castles, they need to dislodge you. If you hold a central castle of their kingdom effecting communications, and it's causing the internal structure to break apart, they have to get rid of you. If the war has dragged on and they're at their economic or morale's wit's end, they need to beat you before they call it quits or collapse. Same for if the army is running low on supplies but doesn't want to retreat without giving battle. Most of those don't apply, but some might be able to partially.

You can also tempt the enemy into attacking. Feign weakness, disorder, low spirits, bait them. If your enemy is quick to anger, seek to anger them. If you have Slygardian prisoners you could torture them in front of the army, gift them their heads or use them as decorations. You could force prisoners to fight as cannon fodder on the front of your line with their noses cut off. Honestly, I feel you'd be better to try and recruit prisoners, particularly if you already have Slygardians (this does increase their authority in numbers, on the off side). Doing weird stuff to captured Slygardians will lower your own Slygardians' morale.

If you did capture an enemy commander, you can use them as bait or try to use them in negotiations. For this, you'll want a good second in command who will take charge and prevent negotiations going too far.... but at the same time, they'll want to drag out the negotiations, make it seem like you're getting somewhere--until their reinforcements arrive. An enemy commander will also know plenty about their troops, so you can probably torture a lot of useful information out of them. I will mention that you do get some people who really can resist giving information (if they care more about the soldiers and their country/honour than the pain you can inflict), so torturing them doesn't have to give you a lot or even any good information. If you're going to have more than one major figure you can torture, making so that one gives you useful information but the other doesn't might be good for variety. With using the commander for bait, you could parade them, or even go so far as to torture them in front of the enemy army or send them the commander's head, if you really wanted to anger them (each method has its advantages and drawbacks). You could consider having a variable for how tempted the Slygardians are to attack which can be built up, and if it reaches a certain point they attack (and they're mad... which means higher morale).

Slipperychicken
2014-04-12, 06:13 PM
YOU'RE the aggressor on their turf, they have no reason to attack; they're defending their home. I'm open to other suggestions for things that can force the Sylgardians to attack. Currently, if the players wait too long, the Sylgardians get reinforcements and then advance, but I have this as a negative for the player (the increase in the Sylgardians number of troops offsets your advantage, plus I guess your troop morale may be lessened.)

Henry actually made the first move, advancing his longbows to provoke a French cavalry charge (said charge might have worked if it wasn't for English stake-walls, or if the French reacted before the longbowmen could replace their stake-walls), starting the fight before the French reinforcements could arrive. Also, the French had a 5-to-1 advantage, and their leadership ignored their generals warnings, preferring to charge straight in. Also, the French largely discounted the longbowmen as peasants who would be no match for the heavily-armored nobles.


Also, I've heard it said that the "peasants" resolve was improved by some of their disadvantages: they wouldn't surrender because, if captured, they couldn't get a ransom, and would be simply killed (the "cut off two fingers" thing was what happened if they were lucky). Additionally, I've heard that English forces' hunger (which wasn't quite full-blown starvation) meant they fought more viciously than normal.

Rosstin
2014-04-12, 10:36 PM
In 100% unrelated news, I discovered that someone with 138k followers retweeted the tagline of one of my previous games, Queer Catboy Love Triangle Disaster:

"Beau, a gay catboy, is trying to date two boys at once. Can Beau earn back the love of Shane or Colt, or will he die forever alone?"

It got re-retweeted 24 times!

https://twitter.com/dexbonus/status/449781215583682561

Refuge in audacityyyyy!

ngilop
2014-04-13, 12:29 AM
Im tired as heck so take what im about to say with a grain of salt if it ends up making no sense.

But look up the Battle of Lake Trasimene where Hannibal abosulety wrecked the roman army, only suffering a minor casulaities while destroying half the roman forces and rome of the only army that could effectivelly check his rampage across the land .

the BIGGEST bonus one gets for attack first, and if its a good and solid attack is the crushing blow it does to the opposing army's morale. the black powder weapons could be a HUGE decivise component of the heroes invasion army. if morale holds it would force the opposing to have to attack to prevent the heroes from basically just pot shotting the army to death.

Rosstin
2014-04-13, 01:41 AM
Hm, I really like the idea of a sneak attack somehow using black powder. Maybe it could involve those boulders... I think I might use that!

I was toying with the idea of a sneak attack somehow happening with the cliff or forest somehow. I think that could be an interesting advantage for first-attacking (but only if the player is clever somehow.)

That ties into what Mask said about atomic weapons, too.

Brother Oni
2014-04-13, 02:45 AM
It might have been time for a new thread anyway. Having a look at the demo now.

The old thread still exists in Google's web cache though, if there's information you'd like to recover from it: link (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WBDNy7h8_c4J:www.giantitp.com/forums/archive/index.php%3Ft-327457.html+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-a).

Rosstin
2014-04-13, 02:58 AM
The mods said it was deleted by accident and are restoring it.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-13, 03:22 AM
Playing through the demo now. Will write down my thoughts as they come, updating this post or writing more as necessary. So as to not spoil it for others, I will put this is spoiler tags.



Training Ground

My thoughts playing this scene: "Boy... I'm going to end up doing ten billion push ups."

There was a bug where when I typed in my name and pressed enter, it appeared to quick-save instead of continuing. It started working again after a moment. Just thought I'd mention in case other have had this.

The process feels a bit odd to me. He's probably the nicest instructor I've ever seen. That's not to say it's a bad thing, the Ortheran bootcamps don't necessarily conform to modern military standard. It feels a lot more informal, which can work.

The main character's apparent lack of confidence and place is good. It seems a little extreme to me, the kind of thing that would make your life hell from then on, and makes them seem a bit incompetent. I don't mind this, but I can see some being irritated by it.

With the option to glare at the officer or stare at the ground, I think you need a third option: "Stare ahead." Looking at the ground or staring at an officer can be asking for trouble, staring directly ahead is the best way to try and avoid it. I tried both options. I expected I'd get smacked down or shouted at either way, but looking down was the right choice. When I think about it, this can also work well for the setting. In the more informal structure, they want a more informal show of pecking order. An officer looks at you, you look down.

Originally, I was thinking the glaring at him option would be better, since I figured I was going to be punished either way so I would be better to show I was here to fight. That's not to say it should be that way or that anything is wrong. Just, noting which choices I thought were best seems like it may be useful to you, since it can give you a glimpse into my decision making process and what tells I picked up on.

EDIT: Realized you can earn some respect with the soldiers for glaring, and an affection point with your bro (at th cost of a respect point). Nice touch. Sorry for not noticing it earlier.

Will play on further.



Played up to where I see the mage character.

I'm really enjoying the game. The music, art, writing, tone, it draws me in. There are a couple of typos I noticed. "James pulls a blueprint out of the pike of papers," for example. There are also lines where I would change a word or two, as an editor. These are very minor concerns, though.

Only issue I've had in this section is the choice to look at the blueprint or ignore it. The way the choice looks, it seems I have the option to ignore James and get back to my duties, or to spend time looking at the blueprint in fear of reprisal. However, the second option seems to be whether I look at the blueprint closely, or stand there not paying attention.

I recommend changing the second option to something like, "Look around the room for the, 'something special to drink'." Still not perfect, maybe a bit too obvious as to which is the optimal choice (at least from my thinking).



I want to say that I like the optional scenes in the game. The fact I can skip that conversation with the soldiers feels more immersive than it ought to. I don't usually play VNs, but this is fun.

I tried the wolf fight. I liked it. The decisions were logical. Some might consider it a bit hard for a tutorial fight, but I think it's just right (not hard to start again or save before the fight). Now I'm trying out options with the bloody shirt to see where it makes a difference.

....Using the king's portrait as a dartboard? I can see that happening. And it's hilarious.

Sort of expected a joke on how this was going to get them executed. "Well, we'll both be in the gallows tomorrow... but why the heck not?"

Alastor is probably my favourite character. I like the others though. James and Lucius are cool.

Changed my mind... Spy Master Fox ALL THE WAY! I feel like I've met a kindred spirit in him.

Similarly, I don't think there are enough times I can replay his scene where you first meet him. It is too glorious.

No, really. I've edited this last spoiler box at least three times now. I have to say how much I love this scene and its possibilities. It does a good job of being fabulous and great without diluting the serious tone of the game.

By the way, Prince Alastor's name appears over his text box before you know he's Prince Alastor. I think that might happen with a couple of other characters too.

Couple of points with the duel with the soldier.

The combat knife should probably be called a dagger. Combat knife is a bit modern for the setting, and speaks of a modern culture where knives for defence and survival aren't considered ordinary knives. If you intentionally want to go for that it's fine. I'll mention an alternate name might fit the setting (not saying it will, might be better as it is), battle knife, fighting knife, combat dagger, or just combat knife.

I'm not sure if I get respect points later with the soldiers for being covered with wolf blood or winning the duel, but I will mention I expected I would (that stuff tends to get military respect). How you win or lose could effect your respect. Trying to catch the blade with your hands, it ought to become a joke around camp and lose you respect (at the same time, everyone knows you now, so the respect penalty isn't much). Winning by feigning an injury might negate the respect bonus, winning with fake magic or howling would earn you respect, and winning with good tactics would and no tricks would get you the most respect. I'm not saying you have to do this, and I hope my tone doesn't communicate that. Just talking about my perspective on it in hopes it will help.
EDIT: I noticed you can use the crossbow. That's a nice touch. For that, I personally wouldn't give any penalty to respect with the men for pulling the crossbow, since you didn't shoot it at the guy. You don't really earn respect either.

With the fight, I can picture players being confused when Berin and Nicholas aren't happy with your performance regardless of which actions they try. I could tell that your character's swordsmanship is meant to be sloppy, out of practice. Still, I feel making the right tactical choices in the duel should alter their reactions slightly more. Something to the lines, "Your tactics were good, but your execution was dangerously poor. A better swordsman would have slain you."

I kind of feel that a bigger deal should be made about the option to try and stick a knife in a fellow soldier during a training exercise. A -1 respect penalty from the soldiers seems a reasonable idea to me.

By the way, I discovered you can go back and make different choices without loading the game. If you just scroll the text back (with the mouse wheel, like most VNs) you can get back to branching decisions and pick a new one. Normally you can't in VNs. Honestly, I think this is a good thing, saves me time saving and loading. Just thought I should point this out to you. While it is convenient, it does have the effect of taking some weight from the experience (ince it's so easy to try all options). On the far end of weighting, you could consider savepoints or the like--I think we briefly discussed that possibility before. With the type of game it is, with tough decisions, it makes me feel the weight of the decisions is important. However, I'm probably underestimating the value of convenience and overestimating how this will effect player experience (most people won't realize you can use the mouse wheel to go over past text).

Rosstin
2014-04-13, 10:33 AM
Mask, this is excellent feedback! Thank you! Some of the best we've gotten so far!

Rosstin
2014-04-13, 10:40 AM
Like The Gargoyles, our old thread will LIVE AGAIN: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?327457-Battle-based-on-Blanchetaque-(was-Scouting-Missions)

I think we'll continue using this one, but I'm grateful to be able to reference the old one still.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-13, 10:43 AM
Glad the feedback is useful. I've played through quite a bit of the demo, but haven't commented on large sections since there aren't really any problems. There are areas you could polish harder, but that's about it.

I'll continue to give feedback in hopes I will be consistently useful by doing so.


I'll mention that I'm unsure about James' use of dude. Personally, I'd consider similar expressions with a more archaic tone like, "brother." There are probably better ones, but I feel too fatigued to think of examples.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-13, 11:45 AM
You use the word, "horseflesh," when describing how you're killing reindeer with your pikes.

Reindeer don't really have the strength of a warmount, but the reindeer of your setting could be significantly bigger/stronger/sturdier quite reasonably.



Finished the demo. I thought it was very good. Liked the battle in it. Looking forward to more.

That battle on twine you're working on will be interesting to look at.

Rosstin
2014-04-13, 12:51 PM
I look forward to implementing some of your feedback. ^_^ I already made a couple changes.

Today I'm going to try and push the Agincourt Battle forward as much as possible. Mainly I'll be tying to tie together the ends in Diana's excellent framework.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-13, 01:34 PM
Looking forward to it.

Having gotten to see the game in action and see it perform so well, I'm in high spirits to see more. Being able to see where my input has helped with a good game is very cheering.

I'll probably play through the demo again when you've updated it once or twice. Might be able to work out some other helpful feedback.

Rosstin
2014-04-13, 02:33 PM
Your contributions really have been immensely valuable. I can't think you enough. :smallredface:

This is moving along really nicely. I was able to consolidate Diana's work and it's all coming together.

I did this as the options for a "first strike"


We've decided to take the offensive.

n "Striking immediately is unexpected, and may give us an advantage if we do exactly the right thing."
n "However, we can only launch a single unexpected attack before the element of surprise is lost, and we can't execute these plans simultaneously without a means of synchronizing movement."

((If you developed SIGNAL ARROWS with the James/Rubus combo, you can execute multiple plans at once and really own this phase))

[[Send a phalanx of Knights to run through the ranks of the enemy (probably bad-- they're prepared for this. -10VP).|firstmoveknights]]
[[Send Fox's assassins to take out high-value targets (+5 VP if you don't torture Lor, +20 VP if you did.)|firstmoveassassins]]
[[Send Rubus in as a surprise attacker (really dumb move! +20VP but Rubus dies)|firstmoverubus]]
<<if $adamus eq "loyal" or $adamus eq "traitor">>
[[Send Rubus's pet mage in as a surprise attacker (only if you have converted him-- he survives because he's familiar with the enemy) +25VP|firstmoveadamus]]<<endif>>
[[Send a wagon full of black powder towards the enemy and detonate it with fire arrows (doesn't work, it's way too obvious) +0VP|firstmovewagonexplosives]]

Mr. Mask
2014-04-13, 11:22 PM
With the signal arrows, how would they work? To need magic they give an impression of impressive nature. Normal signal arrows aren't complicated.

One thing I suggest is that they give a signal that only your own side can recognize. Normally, if you were sending up signal arrows, the enemy spies and scouts would catch wind, and the enemy would go on alert and make surprise plans ineffective. So, if they were signals you can recognize but they can't, that works out well.


With the knights, you'd take losses if they were prepared for it, but you may still inflict an amount of damage which could bring you closer to victory. If they attacked after one of the other events like the Rubus blasting stuff, the enemy may be disorganized enough that their attack will cause a lot more damage.

That's an idea... the order you perform the plans in could change the effectiveness of them. If you send the gunpowder in first, the enemy is more alert to knights charging in, but they might also be distracted from Fox sneaking into their camp to assassinate. If major figures are assassinated, it makes it easier for mages to inflict damage without their spells being countered or specialists sniping them. If the mage has caused chaos in the camp, it makes it easier to send a wagon of gunpowder in or a bunch of knights. If the gunpowder has blown a hole in the formation, that would probably make it easier for the knights too. could have an achievement for lining the plan up perfectly, like a Mission Impossible op. A couple of lines of dialogue about you being seen as a master planner would also make players feel great.

Of course, the math has to work with the victory points. If they got 500 VP from this, that'd probably be way too much VP, and it wouldn't really matter since they were 300 points over the best result. So, I suggest the VP points gained scales down with each plan you enact. Normally knights charging would give you 10 VP and you would lose many valuable knights. However, if it is the second plan you enact, it only gives you 5 VP, if it's the third plan it gives 3VP, and if it's the fourth to last it gives 1VP. If you enact it directly after the mages or gunpowder, it gives +2 VP and lowers the number of losses among the knights. This way, enacting all the plans together in the correct sequence will give you a lot of VP still, but it won't be ten times as much as if you had only used one plan.

To make things more interesting if you miss out on the signal arrows, I suggest allowing the player to be able to enact two plans if they don't have them (as opposed to all plans). You could even allow them to attempt to perform more than two plans, but with bad consequences since the element of surprise is fully lost by the third plan (each plan you enact after the second will penalize you).

If you have the signal arrows, your generals might still be nervous about enacting multiple plans. Usually generals offer good advice, but they do tend to be cautious (which is a very good idea in war). I mean, if you perform the plans in the wrong order, throw in the cavalry after an unsuccessful gunpowder cart, send in the assassins when the mage has put the camp on alert, you could end up taking some nasty losses for little to no gain.


I don't intend this to sound like a forceful suggestion. It isn't. I thought It would describe the thought in detail in case it is helpful. Working out the dialogue to hint at this stuff could be something of a migraine; writing often is.

Rosstin
2014-04-14, 09:53 AM
No, these are great suggestions! Thank you!

The math is definitely going to get complicated. From a game design perspective, I can tell it's going to be extremely difficult to "nail it" in terms of getting the numbers right. I'm just going to have to do my best and then do some observational playtesting later.

I'm still kind of hoping to turn Victory Points into troop deaths or something later, so I can make them transparent to the player. Making them into deaths might be a bit schmaltzy but it's very direct and clear. Still thinking to see if I can come up with a better noun for them, or explanation of what they are in-universe. I was thinking "percentage chance of victory as estimated by our tactician" or something, but that's even worse than troop deaths. Ah well... a "later" problem.

Rosstin
2014-04-14, 10:16 AM
New art! Meet our illustrious villains, the leaders of the Sylgardian forces. (Plus a random soldier, named Fred, who just happened to be there when the portrait was taken.)

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/allbads600.png

Rosstin
2014-04-14, 01:46 PM
Okay, new question:

What's a typical makeup of a medieval army? I'm trying to figure out the number of troops the enemy would have in the Ch2 Blanchetaque battle. I'm sure I don't have the numbers quite right. The protagonist's army consists of about 9000 men counting all kinds. The Sylgardians (enemy), however, at the point of the Ch2 Blanchetaque battle has just come back from a sneak attack, where they had a fairly low number of men. Excellent timing, strategy, and tactics had allowed them a victory. Now, at the bridge, they've gained slightly more men well retreating but still don't have a force to match the Ortheran (hero) army.


Sylgardian Soldiers are rank-and-file men and women. Their armor is a bit thrown together. They fight passionately to defend their homeland but aren't very well-trained or prepared for war. They lost a lot of good soldiers to Kendrick's army as well, through Kendrick's recruiting process. Unlike Orthera, Sylgard is pretty equal-opportunity; there are both men and women who fight as soldiers. In this battle, there are a few thousand soldiers.
Sylgardian Knights are Sylgardian noblemen and women. Commander Lorimette was one of them before the war. They're skilled in mounted combat and have good armor-- typical Knights. There are only about 100 knights.
Sylgardian Longbowmen are akin to English longbowmen. Their attacks play a big role in battles. There are 100-300 longbowmen, very highly skilled. They use whistle arrows, which make a terrible noise.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-14, 01:58 PM
Glad that my suggestions are in line with reality and aren't ambitious dreams to be hammered by Zeus-like figures. Hopefully that will extend to my own design.

With the math, do it first in its simplest forms with the end results. So, rather than working out the VP for every given sequence of actions and then trying to balance it, first work out how many VP you want them to gain for the best possible way of winning. Then, work out the least VP they can possibly get with losing, and the least they can gain without losing. After doing that, it'll help give you a baseline level of balance, and something to aim for/from. It will also simplify your options and variables so you need to test less frequently and shoot in the dark less.

Estimated, projected, or expected casualties could work for names. A comment specific to how good the victory will be could also add to it. "Our estimates are of 600 casualties. It is an affordable loss, the enemy should lose scores more." Having the estimates casualties sometimes be slightly or very inaccurate could be interesting. "Your absurd plan didn't kill everything like we expected! That guy over there? He's still alive, somehow."


All they need is a cleric and they can apply for a labour card from the league of evil opposites (they can't have an opposite of Fox, he's one of a kind). Good job on the characters. That art doesn't look easy to make, and it looks very good up close (a lot of art falls apart with closeups). It'd be amusing if you had one of the soldiers using the generic soldier art as a major character.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-14, 03:03 PM
Well, 9,000 is like a legion at over strength. Rome had about fifty legions (over 300,000 men) at most at the height of its power when in all-out war economy. European armies became a lot smaller till a lot later (Asian armies were still pretty huge).

England several times in its military history was raising forces of about 10,000 men to attack France or defend itself. Your setting appears that it is more advanced than the dark and middle ages, and Ortheran has seemed more like a major empire, so the army numbers would generally be a lot higher. Armed forces can be busy in other places, so even if the army is so large if they want to keep guys defending the country and suppressing rebellions and continuing the conquest in X place, you have a smaller force to work with.

The situation makes a difference as well. If the economy is bad, going into full war mode can cause a collapse, so the mad king could raise less troops than possible. If everyone is sick of war with low morale, raising a lot of troops and drafting people can go sour as well.

Still, the army numbers aren't hard to modify if they need changing, on the bright side. I can take them to experts I know for a more certain estimate.


As for the division of jobs, it's hard to say. Some armies archers were also their infantry, with a small force of heavy infantry and knights to support them. Estimates of Argincourt have been as high as 80% of the soldiers being archers (of an estimated 9,000 men or less), with the rest being men at arms or knights. Other forces like the Romans preferred a lot of heavy infantry with, truth be told, a lot of ranged support (ballistae in wagons among the infantry, slingers, archers, etc.). It's a bit hard to use Roman estimates since their Auxilia was comprised of a lot of different units including cavalry, and archers were normally a small part of that (but slingers and other skirmishers helped with that role).

You might be able to say the range for the number of ranged units an army is likely to have it from 80% to 10% or 20% (there may be more extreme examples). Note that with examples with a lower number of ranged units, the infantry were often issued ranged weapons. The Roman pilum, some European forces which issued slings to every man, and every soldier can and will throw rocks.

With knights, it depends on your definition. With feudal knights, a force could be anything from 1:10 knights:soldiers to 1:1 knights:soldiers. This can be due to a large number of warriors, or it can be due to a small conflict where they levy the knights but don't levy many soldiers (that way the soldiers can keep farming, and the knights can get experience doing their jobs). Some cultures' armies could be said to be all knights, in that the army is composed entirely of warriors. In your case, you'll probably be thinking more of the 1:10 example, with knights playing a role as the heavy cavalry of the the army and a smaller, more precious elite force. You don't have to, of course.


As an aside on the note of armed forces, I'll mention that while marching, they're usually split into several groups a few miles apart. The van and rear guards, and guards to the left and right, with a central group as well. This was to make ambush less effective while still maintaining good communications. Depending on the terrain though, you may only have a van and rear guard, and lines of sight may be so short they need to be much closer, to the extent where they don't serve their usual function.

Couple of things I remembered from the demo.
When you attack the knight who fell from his deer, you get the option to kill him or check his uniform. This gave me the impression of striking him down, or stopping to look at him while he struck me down. The wording prior or the wording of the choice could be tweaked slightly to make it clear you've captured him as you check. "Capture him, and check his uniform."

Several of the instances currently do not have timers where it might add to the tension and immersion. Of course, not having many is a good idea for the first chapter. A lot of the events also give you about a minute to make your choice, and so don't need a timer.

As another neat fact, soldiers are probably going to weaponize their reindeer's antlers. Elephants' tusks had their ends cut off, and they placed on long steel tusks on the end in place. Sometimes they also attached spiked chains to them, or a barbed wire like mesh that went between them, or other interesting ideas. Whether they tie stuff onto the horns or saw bits off to add blades, you're likely to see the antlers weaponized.



Sorry for the bursts of trivia. Just stuff which came to mind.

Rosstin
2014-04-14, 03:03 PM
It'd be amusing if you had one of the soldiers using the generic soldier art as a major character.

One of the more, well, unnecessary things that I'm personally doing is creating a basic personality for each "generic" soldier. Every time one shows up in the script I make sure he's an actual character (if a shallow one). It's a lot of work, but my gut tells me it may be appreciated. At least by someone, and that will be enough for me. We also have some mix-and-match art layers for them that I'll implement eventually, although right now we're pushing hard on finishing the main characters, priority over everything else.

Rosstin
2014-04-14, 03:08 PM
As for the division of jobs, it's hard to say. Some armies archers were also their infantry, with a small force of heavy infantry and knights to support them. Estimates of Argincourt have been as high as 80% of the soldiers being archers (of an estimated 9,000 men or less), with the rest being men at arms or knights. Other forces like the Romans preferred a lot of heavy infantry with, truth be told, a lot of ranged support (ballistae in wagons among the infantry, slingers, archers, etc.). It's a bit hard to use Roman estimates since their Auxilia was comprised of a lot of different units including cavalry, and archers were normally a small part of that (but slingers and other skirmishers helped with that role).

You might be able to say the range for the number of ranged units an army is likely to have it from 80% to 10% or 20% (there may be more extreme examples). Note that with examples with a lower number of ranged units, the infantry were often issued ranged weapons. The Roman pilum, some European forces which issued slings to every man, and every soldier can and will throw rocks.

With knights, it depends on your definition. With feudal knights, a force could be anything from 1:10 knights:soldiers to 1:1 knights:soldiers. This can be due to a large number of warriors, or it can be due to a small conflict where they levy the knights but don't levy many soldiers (that way the soldiers can keep farming, and the knights can get experience doing their jobs). Some cultures' armies could be said to be all knights, in that the army is composed entirely of warriors. In your case, you'll probably be thinking more of the 1:10 example, with knights playing a role as the heavy cavalry of the the army and a smaller, more precious elite force. You don't have to, of course.

This is exactly what I needed to know!

When you attack the knight who fell from his deer, you get the option to kill him or check his uniform. This gave me the impression of striking him down, or stopping to look at him while he struck me down. The wording prior or the wording of the choice could be tweaked slightly to make it clear you've captured him as you check. "Capture him, and check his uniform."

Several of the instances currently do not have timers where it might add to the tension and immersion. Of course, not having many is a good idea for the first chapter. A lot of the events also give you about a minute to make your choice, and so don't need a timer.
I'll work on this! I'm planning to add way more timers, but I have to figure out a better way to code them. Right now it's too intricate to add them for everything, because if I do any rework then it will be a nightmare. Worst case scenario I can add them all at the end, but I'm sure if I'm clever I can find a way to essentially code it like "menu with timer: STUFF"


As another neat fact, soldiers are probably going to weaponize their reindeer's antlers. Elephants' tusks had their ends cut off, and they placed on long steel tusks on the end in place. Sometimes they also attached spiked chains to them, or a barbed wire like mesh that went between them, or other interesting ideas. Whether they tie stuff onto the horns or saw bits off to add blades, you're likely to see the antlers weaponized.

Awesome XD
I have to remember to notify the artists when we draw our first reindeer
EDIT: The artists LOVED this

Rosstin
2014-04-14, 03:13 PM
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/goddess-bridge-both.png
(the peerless Meagan Trott)

OK, so for holding the bridge against the Ortheran army, what's the smallest number of Sylgardian men that would mount a credible defense against the Ortheran's 9000? I want to keep it as low in the low-thousands as I can, in order to make it less odd that they were able to sneak in and attack. I can also have men show up from beyond the border, which the bridge spans. That might make more sense, that troops rendezvous with the sneak-attacking knights and archers.

Ultimately, what the Ortheran's had to do in Chapter 2 was cross the raging river using pontoon bridges or ice magic or horses or something (because the Sylgardians pull a thou shalt-not-pass *SPOILERS* destroying the bridge and killing King Kendrick), so I'm guessing that the Sylgardians could turn back such an attack with way less men than the Ortherans.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-14, 03:34 PM
Had thought you were probably going to add more. Since there was only one in place, it seemed like you're still testing it. Hopefully a good work around can be found to make it easier to edit and place those timers. Otherwise, balancing those is gong to be a serious pain.


Glad my ideas are being so well received. I'm not entirely sure how you should weapoinze the antlers. It might be best to chop off smaller pieces and replace them with blades and spikes. Replacing the whole antler with a steel one could make it lighter and stronger, but those things would be VERY hard to produce. Keeping the basic shape is probably important for the reindeer's comfort and ability to use them, though not necessarily. Reindeer shed their antlers, so that will have to be kept in mind--I don't know if tame ones do if you keep them well fed, or if it's actually of importance. It does mean that if you work out a better design for the weaponized antlers, it's possible to saw them off differently when they regrow their antlers. If you can't stop it, it also means there are times when they won't have antlers, weaponized or not.

Might get advice on the antlers. It's cool enough to be worth it. If I ended up critiquing the antlers as not being weighted right or something, I'd feel bad since the artists work so hard.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-14, 03:47 PM
Well, Stamford bridge was held against an army of several thousand for some time, by one man. A force of a few hundred, less than a thousand, could probably hold the bridge for quite a while. The bridge is kind of large and exposed, but those walls on the sides of it look good for ducking behind so you probably won't be able to just devastate them with archer fire. Note that if they were holding it against an attack with time to prepare, it's likely to look a bit different. wooden stakes and wagons placed in the way so the attackers have to climb over junk. Big shield emplacements to protect them further from missiles, with some gaps for them to fire out of. Since there's a road leading to the bridge, they won't be able to dig trenches and stick stakes in the ground like I otherwise would.

It really depends on how much time they have to prepare and what they have, though. If they have a wagon, they can put it in your way pretty instantly, and they can make non-critical supplies into shields. If they have a day, they can cut some stakes to set up by the wagon, they can make frames for large shields out of logs to protect themselves. With a few days, they could have a palisade at the end of the bridge, with an earthramp for their archers to stand on and to stop you from knocking it down so easily.

How well they've set up their defence will effect their ability to hold you out. It should be noted that for such a mission that they pulled off, they could be entirely elite troops of a high calibre. This could mess up some estimates if it is not recognized, as they will not make taking the bridge from them easy.


And I have to say, the artwork is amazing. You really did well finding these artists.

Rosstin
2014-04-14, 05:02 PM
And I have to say, the artwork is amazing. You really did well finding these artists.

I'm a lucky guy! :smallbiggrin:

Laiska
2014-04-14, 05:43 PM
Howdy, the fabled Diana here! All this input of yours is very helpful, Mr. Mask! (And other, more specific compliments when I have the concentration to do more than skim :P)

Once I iron out the last couple things in the Twine battle prototype I'll put the link up. The biggest thing with the math for it will be making sure that it is not too easy or too hard for a player to meet the required winning points, so there will be a lot of adjusting the numbers there. Currently each particular action in battle (setting a certain trap or having your troops attack a certain way) earns you a set amount of VP, theoretically in proportion to how effective it will be in terms of overall victory. These numbers might not even appear to the player in the actual game, but currently the points are indicated with each action.

Also I feel bad now, that we've had to (for various reasons) minimize Fox's presence in the game, since you like him so much xD Hopefully we can get him added back in once the other stuff is taken care of.

Brother Oni
2014-04-14, 05:57 PM
What's a typical makeup of a medieval army?

I thought we covered army organisation and disposition in the previous thread?

As Mr Mask said, 9,000 men is close to two full legions, but I was under the impression that the Ortheran army was smaller organisationally with 9 regiments consisting of ~1000 men each, following the ECW-era organisation I had suggested.
Going further back to feudal times, organisation becomes very fuzzy with variable disposition depending on the nation and their preferred doctrine at the time. As mentioned earlier, England was very fond of its archers, so were predominantly archer heavy, while the French favoured cavalry with crossbowmen mercenaries tacked on as an afterthought.


Well, Stamford bridge was held against an army of several thousand for some time, by one man.

That's a folk tale, on par with Zhang Fei holding off the entire Wei army at Changban with an epic Intimidate check, caused two enemy commanders to die of fright in the process.

It's not until the modern era with machine guns that you can start realistically holding off thousands with a handful of men: eg the La Fiere Causeway in WW2 (http://www.historynet.com/world-war-ii-capturing-the-la-fiere-causeway.htm) where a handful of Germans held up an entire division (~10,000+ men) over a bridge.



A force of a few hundred, less than a thousand, could probably hold the bridge for quite a while. The bridge is kind of large and exposed, but those walls on the sides of it look good for ducking behind so you probably won't be able to just devastate them with archer fire. Note that if they were holding it against an attack with time to prepare, it's likely to look a bit different. wooden stakes and wagons placed in the way so the attackers have to climb over junk. Big shield emplacements to protect them further from missiles, with some gaps for them to fire out of. Since there's a road leading to the bridge, they won't be able to dig trenches and stick stakes in the ground like I otherwise would.

You wouldn't hold the bridge itself, just the immediate area behind it to bottle neck any attackers. That way, your defensive archers get enfilade fire straight down the centre of the bridge as well as a nice big open area full of targets.

Personally I'd barricade around the exit of the bridge and turn that into a killing ground - leaving stuff on the bridge just gives the enemy cover. Trenches and the like would depend on whether it's a paved road or not and whether you'd want use of the road quickly afterwards. There's not much you can't do with lots of shovels and enough time.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-14, 06:37 PM
Hello Diana. Good to meet you at last.

I am looking forward to trying out the battle in Twine. Hopefully, I can be of some help with the math and pathing, since I'm the one suggesting all these ambitious ideas (because I hate to see someone not crushed by a mountain of work). I agree about your point with VPs, they probably shouldn't appear to the player in the final game, and the idea is to make it so you don't get differences too immeasurably huge from one and other (55,000,000,000 VP points for hitting them with a nuke).

Great characters don't always need a strong presence in the material. I would like to see more of fox, if it were possible to find the deleted scenes in or out of the game it would be nice. But overall, you need to do what's best for the game and story, which means having Fox in it as much as aids the story (I'll mention if he seems to be too absent, or even too present).


Oni: Normally I'd agree. The way the bridge looks, it has some nice height to it. You aren't going to be able to build a palisade taller than it. You'd want a strong line of defence at the far end, but just one line of defence doesn't seem strong enough. You need to force the attackers to struggle with you over every inch of advantageous ground you have, so that you can blunt their assaults and force them back. With Operation Market Garden, the bridge they couldn't take had buildings on the other side of it with better height, plenty of sniping positions and decent cover. They had enough firepower to kill stuff crossing the bridge quickly, they could remain hidden as they struck, and even with those factors they were getting slaughtered trying to hold it. A palisade, however, isn't going to offer quite the same protection or benefits, when the men can set up archers on the centre of that bridge and snipe men off the earthworks. The bridge is wide enough that they can move effective numbers of men across it, but not so wide that it'd be hard to defend.

That's my impression of the bridge, at least.

With the road and shovels, I figured it was a magic road like the bridge, and mightn't be able to be picked apart normally. If it's normal, you could pick it apart and probably use the stones for something (drop them on someone's head).

Rosstin
2014-04-14, 07:01 PM
The bridge was definitely placed there by the Goddess, but that's a very distant fact to the people who live there. It was put there a looooong time ago. It's not particularly more resilient or any more special than a normal bridge, as evidenced by how it gets destroyed. It does make its destruction seem rather sacrilegious, though.

The road is similarly unspecial. When the Goddess was an active presence on the planet, her goal was just to repair the damage done by other Gods and set up a place where humans had a chance to live peacefully. So she created a little bit of structure to the world, and made a few changes here and there, but tried not to abuse her power.

This is all just backstory that won't even really show up in the game directly. We just worked it out so that we would understand the kind of world the characters live in. It's a world with powerful magic, but one where magic is poorly understood by most, despite the fact that technically anyone could learn it. (Channeling divine energy intentionally is sickening, and you have to build up a resistance to be able to use it like Archmagus Rubus does. Of course, some people are Mary-sues and don't have the sickness, like the MC. Although she only learns magic at the expense of learning other things, of course.) If the world exists in its current state for a long enough time, probably magic will become a more and more present force in the world.

Although, we're planning to have the Goddess Althea be the one who meta-greets and respawns the player when she dies. If I have time, I'm planning to write a hint for each death.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-14, 07:08 PM
In that case, if they have time they'll dig up the road so they can more easily plant stakes, dig tranches, and erect a palisade.

I like the backstory. Your army will likely be unhappy seeing the road dug up, though not nearly so displeased as when the bridge is taken out.

Rosstin
2014-04-14, 07:10 PM
In that case, if they have time they'll dig up the road so they can more easily plant stakes, dig tranches, and erect a palisade.

You said "tranch" :smallbiggrin: (sorry, Adventure Time reference, they've been using that instead of "bitch")


In that case, if they have time they'll dig up the road so they can more easily plant stakes, dig tranches, and erect a palisade.

I like the backstory. Your army will likely be unhappy seeing the road dug up, though not nearly so displeased as when the bridge is taken out.

Yeah, the bridge being destroyed is meant as a statement by the Sylgardians. The leadership of Sylgard is really hardlined against Orthera invading them and they're willing to do literally anything to stop them. It's not something that Orthera is really ready for, and this sort of comes up again and again. (This world is a tad more civilized than real Medieval Earth, they have more rules around combat and more traditions oriented against violence. It's not Westeros.)

Mr. Mask
2014-04-14, 07:31 PM
And I said dig tranches... Not even going to comment on that. My mortgages are better left buried.


The real middle ages wasn't as uncivilized as Westeros. Nowhere is. ....except for the cases when it was, but much, much worse.

Either way, an army that has gotten complacent and civilized, in need of a wakeup call. When they see just how desperate their enemies are, it will shake them.

veti
2014-04-14, 07:42 PM
Question: What advantages can an army gain by striking first, assuming that the enemy knows the attack is coming?

Initiative. The attacker gets to decide at what time, in what weather, the battle will be fought, which units will engage first, which units will engage where, etc. If they can either overmatch the enemy by sheer force (e.g. the cavalry are sufficiently fast moving and well armoured that they'll just run down the enemy archers, which is what the French seemed to think would happen at Agincourt), or deceive them (e.g. by launching both a frontal attack and a concealed flanking movement at the same time), or simply make best use of their own advantages.

In general, though, a side with a strong defensive position will try to provoke the other into attacking. There are two basic ways of doing this:
1. Tactical - e.g. use your superior missile troops to make the enemy's current position untenable, or trick them into thinking they can score an easy victory.
2. Strategic. Most often, the attacking side simply has to attack - because they're expecting enemy reinforcements, or because they're out of supplies, or because they need to destroy one enemy before tackling another, or they just can't afford to keep paying their army to sit still. Basically, the attacker acts when they think their chances aren't going to get any better. Even great generals sometimes attack hastily because they know their own strategic position is only going to deteriorate (e.g. Napoleon at Waterloo, Rommel at El Alamein).

Rosstin
2014-04-14, 08:23 PM
That's good, Veti. Thank you. I think we did at least decent job with the reticence to attack first, thanks to everyone's suggestions.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-14, 11:17 PM
Realized something with the antlers. I thought you'd have them for most of the warring season, from early summer onto the start of winter. I forgot to account for the time it take them to grow. They aren't very good weapons until Autumn.

You could have that, make it an interesting time when the reindeer are more dangerous. You may wish to consider these reindeer (already different in that they can bear a rider and are aggressive enough for war) able to keep their antlers in good condition for longer. Perhaps due to magic or drugs.


For weaponized antlers, you could also consider barbed wire going between the antlers, or ever some kind of spiked chain, like with the elephants tusks.

Rosstin
2014-04-15, 04:03 PM
I think we're going to go with rule-of-cool on that one... weaponized antlers is too good an opportunity to miss. The artists are way too excited about it.

Although, it's fall/winter anyway... they still have antlers then, right? Yeah, it looks like that's the right season, they fall off between December-Spring, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Man, I haven't even considered months for this world. I think we'll stick with the 4 seasons and base months around that somehow. We do have a clock UI to build a bit later. I'll have to consider it before then.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-15, 07:07 PM
Here's an example of how it goes for a real white tail deer: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild/game_management/deer/antler_growth/

Pretty neat, right? The antlers are pretty soft for most of their lifespan, later hardening. The deer sharpen them on trees to get the nasty looking points in the last picture.


When I thought about it, I considered a a plausible method if you want to have steel antlers. In early spring, the fourth month,you would harden those stubs with chemicals, similar to how fingernails can be hardened. You may also try to prevent them from growing their antlers. After that, you place on bladed antlers of steel, much like you would on an elephant's tusk.

I'm not sure how your artists want to draw it. If they prefer whole antlers with some steel blades, replacing the smaller sections of antler with steel, this idea doesn't work for that. For that, I'd go with the reindeer being a type that keep their antlers for longer (they're already bigger, stronger, more aggressive so as to make mounts) naturally or through intervention. Say, they don't shed their antlers when domesticated for war, unless the antlers begin to break (this is impossible with normal deer, I'm pretty sure). Then they'll have their antlers most of the time, growing them back if they break or get too old.


When Nick asks you to take off your shirt along with the other soldiers, I was confused as to how they didn't notice. I guessed that it was meant to be that he had them take their shirts off one at a time, sending them out after checking them, and you being last. But, I was uncertain enough that I thought I should mention.

Rosstin
2014-04-16, 12:31 AM
Hm, yeah, I can see how that part would be confusing. We'll find a way to fix it. I sent your reff to the artists.

Laiska
2014-04-17, 11:06 PM
Hey guys! So here is the first compiled draft of the completed battle, as put together in Twine:

http://philome.la/petitscygnes/battle-of-arendy-v140417

I've got no head for warfare, so I've relied heavily on input from a couple people more knowledgeable than I (and I've tried to read over all the useful stuff you guys have written!), but if there's anything thing here that is massively weird please let me know.

The logic is not properly in place for the last portion of the battle, as it's going to be done up in Ren'py, but enough content is in that you can get an idea of where it's supposed to be going.

Obviously, as our last major battle, this will be riddled with spoilers, but if you don't mind that please feel free to have a look!

Mr. Mask
2014-04-18, 08:03 AM
Played through it a couple of times. Here are the bits I noticed.


Mail and leather: As mentioned previously, these aren't good terms for light and medium/heavy armour. The soldier's appearance doesn't really make it clear what they are wearing, which is good-that's often how it was when you wore a surcoat. They could be wearing mail, or brigandine/coat-of-plates, laminar, or lamellar. They don't seem like they'd be wearing a breastplate, though. The arms don't appear armoured, which is fine, they did without arm or leg armours many times in history.

Whichever armour option you go with, I can give you details on each of them, I recommend changing that to a note that you can reduce your soldiers' armour.


Rangers: This term for the archers is rather odd. If the archers' job description before the war was rangers then it's fine. I figure this is place-holder, but I thought I should mention.


Foresight: On the note of reducing their armour, in the twine version there isn't really a reason given as to why I would do this, just a mention of its functionality. Throughout the twine overview of the battle, my options were never known to me ahead of time, aside from the fact I have insights into the development of this battle. I'm not sure if this is intended for the final version, but as it is, it is hard to be strategic.

As an example with Rubus, it is mentioned I can enchant the arrows to make my archers hit harder. It doesn't really mention I won't be able to use Rubus' wind shield later if I do this, however, so of course my thought is to use any advantages which are put in front of me. Some indication that if I have Rubus do this, he won't be able to use his magic for anything else, that would be nice. Even then... I won't be able to make an estimate based off my options, I'll only be able to estimate based off the narrative. "Let's see... I can get this bonus which looks pretty good, but since they give me the option to wait for something better... chances are I'm meant to do that."

If it was possible to gather information in detail about your commanders, their abilities, and their options, then it could work out. "No, don't use the arrow spell--he has that windwall thing which I think will be much more useful."


Attack or defend: The word attack is a bit misleading. It gives the impression of marching forward with your army, when really you start with efforts of guerilla warfare and subterfuge to soften them up. I suggest splitting this into three options. Consider your options for defence, for attack, and work out ways to weaken the enemy. You should have the option to not follow the guerilla warfare stuff with an attack (I'd probably use it then try and lure them into my defences, unless I devastated them enough that a charge looked hopeful).


Scouts: It seems strange I can only send scouts over the cliff or into the forest. Some armies didn't keep very good scout corps, but this still seems rather strange. You cold have the option for how you divide your scouts between the two paths, if there are too few along the forest path they get wiped out and you get no info. Too many on the cliff may get them spotted. A slider bar might actually work for this part of the game.


Stop Ranged Attack: The Slygardians aren't likely to stop their ranged assault when they've surrounded you. One of the big advantages of attacking an army from multiple sides is that you can put all sorts of missiles onto their heads where they've been forced to mass up.


Hours: Waiting a few hours can blunt the morale of your men and have the other effects shown in the Twine Battle. If enemy reinforcements are less than a day's travel away, I can't imagine the Slygardians attacking before then unless you put out some truly delicious bait.


Enticing the Enemy: The enemy is currently too easily enticed. Parading the captured knight is enough to get them to attack before reinforcements are present, even if you have the maximal number of troops to start with. Their willingness to charge should be relative to the strength of your force, but generally speaking charging an enemy's defences is a serious matter (especially when reinforcements are on the way).

I recommend the option of crucifying her alongside captured enemies in front of the army. That will get their attention (I can't think of a worse way to die, and I've spent too much time thinking about that). You could also send her head along with other prisoners' to the enemy, via catapult or messenger dropping them at the edge of the camp.

Even with one of those options, it mightn't be enough if your force is strong and reinforcements are near. Actions to make them think reinforcements have been delayed could lower their requirement for charging. Actions to make your force seem weaker and exposed would entice them.


Flame in the Wind: Wind effects the direction fire spreads, so it would seem like the oil-fire trick would be more effective if you had the windwall going. If you don't want it too overpowered, you could reason you already have a firebreak set up so that it isn't such a problem.


No Waiting?: It seems the only waiting option is waiting until the enemy attacks/is reinforced. I can't wait some time until the scouts return


Muddy Stakes: I did not expect making the ground muddy to make problems for the stakes. At this level of muddiness, it's probably more effective against enemy cavalry than the stakes. I'm not quite sure how boggy the ground would need to get for that effect. Even walking is probably hard.


Nick's Defensive: When you tell Nick to stay on the defensive, it reads that he's going to lead an attack along the cliff-side. The wording should be changed between, "lead a frontal attack," and, "sneak around slowly and attack from behind." Can't help with exact wording, might be able to later.


Might play through it again, later. I hope this feedback is useful to you. I'm not sure I'm at my best as I write the finishing touches of this response.

Laiska
2014-04-18, 11:08 AM
Yeah, a lot of the actual wording in the Twine file is a bit slapdash, and not really meant to reflect the wording in the actual game (these are all just stubs that are going to be fleshed out with narrative once we put in the real writing). To be honest I wrote half of it while sitting in my car and the other half in the middle of the night :P

The advantages and disadvantages of certain options are also going to be addressed by the narrative, before the player makes their choice. For the sake of brevity we left them out for now, just to get the structure nailed down.

The bit about the scouts is a good point, though. I was trying to keep the combinations simpler, so I only put in options for one or the other, but there could be an option for both as well. Assigning exact proportions may be beyond where we want to complicate things codewise, but that's a nice idea.

One of our other consultants suggested that the Sylgardian archers might stop their fire if they partly surround the Ortherans for worry of friendly fire, if their men were in too close quarters to aim precisely. But, do you think they would continue anyway? The strategy of muddying the field was his suggestion as well.

I also agree on the point about Lorimette. I don't really like that option. I also get the impression that she would have told her troops beforehand not to do anything rash in the event that something happens to her, as they have a capital (and country) to defend.

Will keep all your input in mind though, thank you!

Rosstin
2014-04-18, 01:44 PM
Played through it a couple of times. Here are the bits I noticed.


Mail and leather: As mentioned previously, these aren't good terms for light and medium/heavy armour. The soldier's appearance doesn't really make it clear what they are wearing, which is good-that's often how it was when you wore a surcoat. They could be wearing mail, or brigandine/coat-of-plates, laminar, or lamellar. They don't seem like they'd be wearing a breastplate, though. The arms don't appear armoured, which is fine, they did without arm or leg armours many times in history.

Whichever armour option you go with, I can give you details on each of them, I recommend changing that to a note that you can reduce your soldiers' armour.


Rangers: This term for the archers is rather odd. If the archers' job description before the war was rangers then it's fine. I figure this is place-holder, but I thought I should mention.


Foresight: On the note of reducing their armour, in the twine version there isn't really a reason given as to why I would do this, just a mention of its functionality. Throughout the twine overview of the battle, my options were never known to me ahead of time, aside from the fact I have insights into the development of this battle. I'm not sure if this is intended for the final version, but as it is, it is hard to be strategic.

As an example with Rubus, it is mentioned I can enchant the arrows to make my archers hit harder. It doesn't really mention I won't be able to use Rubus' wind shield later if I do this, however, so of course my thought is to use any advantages which are put in front of me. Some indication that if I have Rubus do this, he won't be able to use his magic for anything else, that would be nice. Even then... I won't be able to make an estimate based off my options, I'll only be able to estimate based off the narrative. "Let's see... I can get this bonus which looks pretty good, but since they give me the option to wait for something better... chances are I'm meant to do that."

If it was possible to gather information in detail about your commanders, their abilities, and their options, then it could work out. "No, don't use the arrow spell--he has that windwall thing which I think will be much more useful."


Attack or defend: The word attack is a bit misleading. It gives the impression of marching forward with your army, when really you start with efforts of guerilla warfare and subterfuge to soften them up. I suggest splitting this into three options. Consider your options for defence, for attack, and work out ways to weaken the enemy. You should have the option to not follow the guerilla warfare stuff with an attack (I'd probably use it then try and lure them into my defences, unless I devastated them enough that a charge looked hopeful).


Scouts: It seems strange I can only send scouts over the cliff or into the forest. Some armies didn't keep very good scout corps, but this still seems rather strange. You cold have the option for how you divide your scouts between the two paths, if there are too few along the forest path they get wiped out and you get no info. Too many on the cliff may get them spotted. A slider bar might actually work for this part of the game.


Stop Ranged Attack: The Slygardians aren't likely to stop their ranged assault when they've surrounded you. One of the big advantages of attacking an army from multiple sides is that you can put all sorts of missiles onto their heads where they've been forced to mass up.


Hours: Waiting a few hours can blunt the morale of your men and have the other effects shown in the Twine Battle. If enemy reinforcements are less than a day's travel away, I can't imagine the Slygardians attacking before then unless you put out some truly delicious bait.


Enticing the Enemy: The enemy is currently too easily enticed. Parading the captured knight is enough to get them to attack before reinforcements are present, even if you have the maximal number of troops to start with. Their willingness to charge should be relative to the strength of your force, but generally speaking charging an enemy's defences is a serious matter (especially when reinforcements are on the way).

I recommend the option of crucifying her alongside captured enemies in front of the army. That will get their attention (I can't think of a worse way to die, and I've spent too much time thinking about that). You could also send her head along with other prisoners' to the enemy, via catapult or messenger dropping them at the edge of the camp.

Even with one of those options, it mightn't be enough if your force is strong and reinforcements are near. Actions to make them think reinforcements have been delayed could lower their requirement for charging. Actions to make your force seem weaker and exposed would entice them.


Flame in the Wind: Wind effects the direction fire spreads, so it would seem like the oil-fire trick would be more effective if you had the windwall going. If you don't want it too overpowered, you could reason you already have a firebreak set up so that it isn't such a problem.


No Waiting?: It seems the only waiting option is waiting until the enemy attacks/is reinforced. I can't wait some time until the scouts return


Muddy Stakes: I did not expect making the ground muddy to make problems for the stakes. At this level of muddiness, it's probably more effective against enemy cavalry than the stakes. I'm not quite sure how boggy the ground would need to get for that effect. Even walking is probably hard.


Nick's Defensive: When you tell Nick to stay on the defensive, it reads that he's going to lead an attack along the cliff-side. The wording should be changed between, "lead a frontal attack," and, "sneak around slowly and attack from behind." Can't help with exact wording, might be able to later.


Might play through it again, later. I hope this feedback is useful to you. I'm not sure I'm at my best as I write the finishing touches of this response.

This is great, Mask, thanks. ^_^

We're working through the battle and implementing it into Ren'py today and we'll do our best to make things more accurate and transparent.

Mr. Mask
2014-04-18, 06:12 PM
Reasonable to have placeholder names. Thought I should mention them all the same.

As for shooting into a surrounded mass of troops... it depends on how clear your battle lines are and how well and close you can position your archers. Under the circumstances, it seems the archers would be able to stand where they like without worry, and pick their shots so it went over their own forces, targeting the Ortheran troops at the far end of the cliff wall if necessary. Without missile support, being surrounded isn't as bad as you might expect (still pretty bad, you can't really escape or enact a good counter).

I thought you mightn't like the option of crucifying troops in front of the army. Romans loved their crucifixions. Considering Orthera is less sadistic, kind of soft, you could just go with killing her and hanging her body out front, maybe with other executed prisoners. Not as effective as active torture, but the symbolism is strong enough that it almost is. "We took your commander and killed her. And now we're displaying her like a trophy." A bit more effective than sending them her head, since she's displayed for all to see, but might hurt the morale of your Slygardian troops.


Looking forward to seeing the battle. I played through the demo a few times, it was quite good. Will likely do the same with the battle.

Rosstin
2014-04-23, 11:25 AM
diana and me, hard at work implementing the twine battle in renpy now

diana got most of it into renpy, i'm going to do evaluation and editing as soon as i can

Mr. Mask
2014-04-23, 07:30 PM
Take your time. But get it done right now.

The funny thing is, in game design, that's not really a joke.

Lilapop
2014-04-23, 08:33 PM
Sylgardian Soldiers are rank-and-file men and women. Their armor is a bit thrown together. They fight passionately to defend their homeland but aren't very well-trained or prepared for war. They lost a lot of good soldiers to Kendrick's army as well, through Kendrick's recruiting process. Unlike Orthera, Sylgard is pretty equal-opportunity; there are both men and women who fight as soldiers. In this battle, there are a few thousand soldiers.
Sylgardian Knights are Sylgardian noblemen and women. Commander Lorimette was one of them before the war. They're skilled in mounted combat and have good armor-- typical Knights. There are only about 100 knights.
Sylgardian Longbowmen are akin to English longbowmen. Their attacks play a big role in battles. There are 100-300 longbowmen, very highly skilled. They use whistle arrows, which make a terrible noise.

Melee infantry has a ridiculous range of quality and specialization, even with the specifics you mentioned.

Do they use shields, and if so, what size? A stationary footman with a really big shield would be next to immune to archer fire from his front or left (less so when shooting over long distances, so the missiles are almost coming from above).

What weapons do they use? Charging your cavalry head-on into prepared pikes is suicide, while their rear (if its on short notice) is pretty vulnerable. Onehanded weapons might not help the footmen against a charge, and are pretty awkward to use against someone who's chest is higher than your head, but certain types are better at penetrating heavy armor (Oakeshott XV swords, warhammers, blunt stuff). Halberds, bills, pollaxes and the like have some armor piercing capabilities and make it easier attacking a rider, but sacrifice the shield. Big axes and swords can kill unarmored horses from outside of the rider's probably onehanded weapon.

All those can swing cavalry charges, as well as keeping heavy cavalry in a prolonged melee (and both independently of each other), from suicidal for the knights to a massacre among the infantry. Oh, and keeping a tight formation is crucial to survive a charge, while it increases casualties from missile fire - and switching from one to the other quickly might be more than their basic training allows.
Regarding the special arrows, how used are the Ortheranians to those? I guess after a few battles they would notice that the hollow tips are worse at penetrating than solid ones.

Ugh, wall of text. But thats just the point: there are so many variables in "footmen"...

Mr. Mask
2014-04-23, 09:04 PM
Their armament will depend on the armour in play. The weapons I've seen mentioned were swords, pikes, bows and crossbows, though one character had an axe and another had a strange double-bladed staff I think (which isn't a bad thing). I think shields may have been mentioned.

Rosstin
2014-05-24, 05:12 PM
More work on this this weekend. Implementing things into Ren'py, making "screens" for some of the more complex decisions. (I was away for a bit because I had a big job interview with Gameloft, and made this pitch: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-KLEDV4bGfUYzdDRkxkOXY4YWc/edit . Sadly I didn't get the job... I think they wanted someone more senior.)

I implemented the "prepare for enemy to strike" stuff. Now I'm working on the "goad enemy" option. If you captured Lorimette you can parade her around in chains, which goads the enemy into attacking. If you killed her, Diana suggested displaying her body or something.

I need to come up with various strategies for goading the enemy that have positive or negative effects.

Brother Oni
2014-05-24, 05:48 PM
I implemented the "prepare for enemy to strike" stuff. Now I'm working on the "goad enemy" option. If you captured Lorimette you can parade her around in chains, which goads the enemy into attacking. If you killed her, Diana suggested displaying her body or something.

I need to come up with various strategies for goading the enemy that have positive or negative effects.

Instead of displaying her body, you could alternately return it by catapult/trebuchet, most probably in pieces. If that doesn't inflame the enemy, I don't know what will.

There's a variety of other options, from the subtle (leaving a deliberate weakness in the disposition of your forces), to the less subtle (advance your longer range missile troops and start harassment), to the slap in the face (the infamous Mongol horseback archer's feigned rout).

Mr. Mask
2014-05-24, 07:59 PM
Displaying the corpse has the added benefit that they can't conduct rituals to send her up to paradise and acting as a constant insult.

There isn't much more you can do to anger an enemy than display their commander's corpse while your formation shows a visible weakness, harass them with arrows, then have your archers retreat like scared dogs when they try to fight back. The only problem would be being too obvious, so that the commander and the wiser men were staunch against attacking, or if you aren't organized and disciplined enough to pull it off without hitches.

Actually, there is something else you can do. You can have them capture some of your men or have a double agent go over who give information which makes them anxious to attack.



Ross: Sorry to hear you missed out on the job. If the VN and Rex Rocket do well, it should be helpful to future job interviews.

Anything in particular in that google drive I should look at?

Generally, how easy it is to goad the enemy depends on the strength of their position and their commander relative to your own. Some commanders will never be goaded, but many are greedy and have been. The bigger your force is, and the better your defences, the harder the enemy would be to goad, basically. The problem with strategic disadvantages to goading is that there aren't many. Sun Tsu pointed out that trying to entice the enemy is good because it doesn't really have a drawback--if they don't take the bait you can call it quits without peril.

One drawback would be to effectively goad you'd want to not fully fortify your position in apparent ways. If your troops aren't well disciplined and organized, and if they have low morale, then trying actions like false routes and trying to put fake weaknesses into your formation could result in them becoming true routes and weaknesses, complicating the resulting battle. That could be truly disastrous, but it might work as a more minor penalty if the problems are minor enough.
The only other disadvantage is that if you use a lot of obvious tricks to goad people, then others will know to be wary of your/those tricks.

There might be some dumb ways to goad the enemy. Like, sending a man over to get captured by the enemy, telling him that you want him to tell them that they should attack your side. Then, when the enemy tortures him to be sure, especially if morale is low, they'll find out you told him to tell them that they should attack you because you want them to attack you. The smart thing to do is take a poor sap, give them a strong impression that it'd be really bad if the enemy attacked, then let him get captured by the enemy. He'll tell them the truth, as far as he knows it, and they'll feel convinced to attack.

You can also use more skilled double-agents, Slygardians being the most successful option. One trick is to scar the agent with signs of mistreatment and torture, so the enemy really believe he's turn coating. If he's skilled, he'll convince them in your weakness, and they'll attack you when and where you're strong. This guy better like you enough, and if you had choices for how to treat him you should treat him like a king (and if possible, keep his family as "guests" somewhere). If morale is low and you don't treat him well, and he doesn't have a convenient family to hold hostage, and especially if he's Slygardian, they're likely to actually turncoat and reveal damaging information to the enemy.

Another way to goad the enemy would be making false preparations to retreat home, to Orthera, under certain circumstances. I'm pretty sure you made it clear that wasn't an option, so it's a question of whether the commander of the opposing force realizes that. It requires them to want to destroy you for that to work for goading them. If you had done stuff to gain their ire, like displaying their dead commander, that would make this a more goading initiative.


As mentioned, one of the problems of goading the enemy is if they realize reinforcements should arrive soon. If they're not really sure when the reinforcements will arrive, that will help. If they're worried about food shortages, that will also help--so subterfuge where you destroy food stores and denying supply caravans would help (though the latter doesn't seem possible).

Demidos
2014-05-25, 12:02 AM
Thoughts:

Gruff man speaking -- "Cast" instead of casted
Speaking to Kendrick -- Overseas is a single word
Speaking to prelate -- led instead of lead
Speaking to Alastor -- It smelled "of" saccahrine. Also, somewhat of a specific term. Sugary might serve your interests better.

Those from the demo. Don't know if you want to change that though.

Also, what benefit do the various +/- scores give you?

Mr. Mask
2014-05-25, 12:08 AM
You can only go down certain routes with a high enough score with the soldiers or a character.

Good catches. Thanks for proof-reading for Ross.

Rosstin
2014-05-25, 05:18 AM
Sorry, Google Drive is really bad at linking the URL to a PDF file, it defaults to the folder. Here's the real link to my pitch: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-KLEDV4bGfUYzdDRkxkOXY4YWc/edit

Thanks for all the tips about the "goading" event! For now I've only allowed the event if you capture Lorimette, but maybe I'll add it for killing her as well.

This battle is really horrendous, you can do THE WORST stuff in it... ^_^;

Mr. Mask
2014-05-25, 10:28 AM
Well, shooting people with arrows and hitting them with swords isn't so nice either. Regardless, this is likely to be perceived as a battle with very horrible options, though someone trying to convince the MC of performing these actions could point out what I said (you're making people kill each other every battle).


Will look at the concept.

Rosstin
2014-05-25, 06:32 PM
That's a great point! I think the same thing. We were talking about suicide bombing (there's also basically genocide in this battle) and I was saying "how is it different from forlorn hope and noble sacrifice?"

did this today
building a gui like this is an inordinate amount of work :P
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/screen-1.jpg

Mr. Mask
2014-05-25, 08:56 PM
Might want to change pikes to stakes. A line of pikes is slang for a line of pikemen, sometimes.

Explanation might be able to be changed to Briefing.

Do it could probably be changed into something fancier, but I think it works as is (military talk is often a mixture of fancy terms and simple language).

I like the GUI. It's unfortunate how unhelpful programs are with making even simple GUIs.

Rosstin
2014-05-25, 08:57 PM
Thanks, Mask! Yeah this is a LOT of work. It's silly, it's just some menus, but it's more tedious than some of the platforming code I did for King's Ascent.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-25, 09:02 PM
Its amazing what trouble an unsuitable program can cause. Why I like Game Maker, since it does one of the better jobs of that.


Sorry for this aside, but do you know of any VN engines that work for making a multi-platform VN (Android, IOS, PC, consoles would be nice but aren't necessary)? Best I know of is a package for Unity.

Brother Oni
2014-05-25, 09:42 PM
Might want to change pikes to stakes. A line of pikes is slang for a line of pikemen, sometimes.

It's less sometimes and more generally accepted shorthand. I read 'line of pikes' as a formation of pikemen, since I've never heard stakes in a defensive fortification referred to as 'pikes'.



Do it could probably be changed into something fancier, but I think it works as is (military talk is often a mixture of fancy terms and simple language).


Depends on the period. While I agree that most military speak is a combination of technical terms and clear, direct language (not necessarily simple), it's not until post WW2 that things get silly: The Art of the Mag Flip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEEEy1dMceI).
Before then, the period dictated more of how military speech went - I remember reading advice from a ECW commander about how to move a company from column to line formation, with specific warnings to not let one block pass in front of another as that would 'invite the enemy to attack and throw us into disarray'.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-25, 09:52 PM
Your example is to do with language evolution in general, rather than differences in military linguistic conduct.

Demidos
2014-05-26, 12:41 AM
If you're still designing the battle, I must say my first thought was to delay the central force while I sent the horsemen and some troops around, the troops to take out the archers and thus take the high ground, and the cavalry to circle the battle entirely and hit the enemy force from the rear.

Also, if you have some sort of database of all your text, I can run through it for grammar/vocab, if you want.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-26, 03:29 AM
Good point, Demidos. There are quite a few tactical applications for that ledge. If you wipe out the archers up there, you could place your own there, for example. With moving forces behind, it should be noted that moving a sizeable force is likely to draw the enemy's attention, so they're likely to block up the ledge. Still, if you capture the heights, it's handy.


Ross: Read the game concept. Not sure why they didn't go for it. They might have something similar in the works.

Brother Oni
2014-05-26, 04:04 AM
Your example is to do with language evolution in general, rather than differences in military linguistic conduct.

Really? Do you have any sources for how military folk talked differently compared to civilian folk prior to WW2?

In WW1, speech by British soldiers was normal, just full of slang for various terms much like any profession. Earlier than that, I can't find any differences in how they talked.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-26, 05:03 AM
I'm sorry, what?

Brother Oni
2014-05-26, 09:13 AM
I'm sorry, what?

Edit: Never mind, irrelevant to this thread and I'm quite frankly tired of the general nature of your posts, not least your assumption that everybody know what you're thinking about and your inability/unwillingness to at least format your posts for clarity.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-26, 09:35 AM
How would you like me to format my posts? Until now, I haven't had any trouble with communication due to my formatting. What is causing you trouble?

I'm not exactly happy you would talk about me in that way, as though I'm trying to be abrasive. Even when I haven't felt like it, I've tried to answer every one of your posts to the best of my ability.

Rosstin
2014-05-26, 01:43 PM
Guys, come on ^_^;

Would mounted reindeer be skilled at navigating cliffside terrain? More skilled than horses?

We did two versions of the reindeer's horns but the artist who did the picture wasn't super into the prosthetic horn thing, so we didn't go with that.

http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee493/rosstin2011february/charge_reindeer_zps3a7b1c8a.pnghttp://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee493/rosstin2011february/charge_reindeer_metal_antlers_zpse1cbdd2f.png

Mr. Mask
2014-05-26, 02:02 PM
We sorted it out over PM.


A bit of a difficult question, since reindeer don't really come in that size and weight class, and aren't normally laden. After that, I'm not sure they'd be likely to maintain an advantage in sure footedness or fleetness over horses. Now, if they were tree goats (http://www.horsenation.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/tumblr_my2ksoQaVY1s04h2ho1_1280.jpg)... I'd just assume them about as good as horses. Someone who knows reindeer better might give a slightly different answer.


Of the two pictures, I think the second one would look better if the base of the antlers were brown/natural, with indication that the metal was attached. The edges could look sharper, I feel.

If the artist isn't deeply into it, you may be better to go with the first picture. Depends on your relationship with them and how big you are on the idea of weaponized antlers.

Rosstin
2014-05-26, 02:11 PM
Our other artist was really into weaponized antlers, but she doesn't have the time to take on the CGs, alas. We're just going to do non-weaponized antlers. I'm asking a lot of the artists and we're pressed for time, so I'm needing to "Ed Wood" and just take the first version of most of the art unless there's a serious problem.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-26, 02:22 PM
That's the way things go in game design. Don't worry if you feel it won't end up perfect because of little bumps in the road like this. No product is perfect, "and no game is ever finished."

Rosstin
2014-05-26, 02:43 PM
I'm still pondering the "victory points" dilemma. The problem is that Victory Points go up and down, they're very abstract. If I change them to "friendly troop death" or "enemy troop death" they'll become more complex.

I guess I could show the player the number of living troops on both sides, or the "army strength" on both sides (based on number of living troops.) Then the winner is the player whose "army strength" is the highest (and the less confidently you beat the enemy, the more your army suffers at the end... so if you win by a tiny amount of "army strength" you suffer devastating losses.)

Then I can model victory points and living troops as "army strength"?

Or I could just put a bar at the top of the screen that's two colors. "Enemy Army Strength" "Friendly Army Strength". There's a meter in the center that goes back and forth. If it passes a certain threshhold (the center), you win.

Hmmmmmm... representing this to the player is hard.

Maybe I should just have one thing, Enemy Army Strength. It's like an HP bar. When you get "victory points" the Enemy Army Strength goes down. When you lose "victory points" the Enemy Army Strength increases. The player doesn't see anything about Victory Points. They just see "Enemy Army Strength".

Basically I could replace "Victory Points" with "Enemy Army Strength" and just invert the numbers so that you're trying to make a number shrink to zero. The math will be the same but backwards.

Rosstin
2014-05-26, 03:21 PM
Rubus can only cast one spell during the Ch3 Battle of Arendy, so once you use it you miss out on any future spells he could have cast. I wonder how many players will end the battle without him casting a single spell...

Rubus keeps on saying "I could solve that, with my MAGIC!" and the main character keeps on saying "NO! What if we need it later?!"

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/r_400.png

I am le silly today

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/s4_4koma_400.png

Changed pikes-> stakes, explanation->briefing

hmmm, i'm not nuts about how the word "briefing" looks in the game.... i'll sleep on it though

Rosstin
2014-05-26, 08:32 PM
If you're still designing the battle, I must say my first thought was to delay the central force while I sent the horsemen and some troops around, the troops to take out the archers and thus take the high ground, and the cavalry to circle the battle entirely and hit the enemy force from the rear.

Also, if you have some sort of database of all your text, I can run through it for grammar/vocab, if you want.

Thank you, Demi! I may take you up on that!

(sorry for triple-post)

Mr. Mask
2014-05-26, 08:51 PM
Exact numbers during the battle would cut into the immersion some, and it mightn't be as clear an indicator as you'd like. Getting the casualty numbers to work when you can come into the battle with a different number of soldiers could also become complex.

Vagueness does have the advantage of the player wanting to experiment to find out how many victory points they can get in a battle and giving the impression of confusion. You could consider not showing the victory points but instead having a description of how the battle seems to be going periodically. That will still be vague and immersive while giving more critical information (if described correctly).

You could have a red and blue bar, where the blue part gets larger when you're strong and winning and gets smaller when you're weak and losing. It would give direct visual feedback, so it may be the better idea. It can of course be used in conjunction with descriptions of how the battle is going.

The shrinking bar could also work, and it is best to think of the battle in those terms when working out the maths.


You might want a spell he can use when the battle is basically over (with you winning) for mopping up the retreating enemies. Might make your enemy in the final battle weaker or something, or accomplish nothing if those enemies can't reach the capital. Possibly a hint or warning at the final stage of the battle that it's his last chance to cast a spell.

Thanks for your hard work. I hope the text in those menus wasn't hard to change, considering how hard they were to make.


Looking forward to the next demo. If you edited the last demo at all, I'll retest it. Was a lot of fun.

Rosstin
2014-05-26, 09:22 PM
Thanks for all your help, too!

I'm working as hard as I can to make a new, polished demo of Battle 3 available. The whole thing should be very "stand alone", because I have a debug developer menu at the beginning that lets you choose any initial state you want for the beginning of the battle.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-26, 09:31 PM
Good idea.

I expect you've thought about this already, but it may be wise to not publicly release the second demo. Depends on your marketing strategy, and how much of what content it makes up. Some people have done well making most or all of their game free, and it is good to be noticed, so it might be better to release the demo.

Just thought I'd mention. Hope my vague back and forth doesn't make things harder to puzzle out.

Rosstin
2014-05-26, 09:44 PM
Not at all! Actually, some of us gamedevs were talking recently, and there have been studies that show releasing a demo can HURT your sales. A lot of times the game people build in their heads is way better than the game you actually make. Hype. ^_^;

My need to release demos is more related to my desire to playtest things enough than my desire to have good marketing. #1 Finish a game #2 Finish a GOOD game #3 Tell people
The demos hopefully help us with #2.... so if they hurt us with #3, I'll just accept that.

So far the game isn't really very well known, and neither is the demo (I think) so it's not very many people who will have a chance to play the demo.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-26, 09:58 PM
Makes sense. Forgot to add that fact you mentioned, demos hurting sales. There are instances where it helped, like with the Stanley Parable. A VN is sort of a good choice for a demo, almost. You can give them the first part of the game, end it on a cliff hanger, then the time they spent and wanting to know what happen should pressure them to buy. That's the theory. In practice, I'm not sure it's a good policy.

Does depend on your price point. If you're going for the cheap game people might buy because the screen shot looks good, complicating it with demos isn't a good idea. More expensive games which aren't well known might appreciate a demo--depends on the habits of the VN market specifically.

Hopefully, since your game has a strong female character and is interesting and well made, you'll be able to get word out when the time comes. That first point might be the strongest, but also a double-edged blade. The MC shows a lot of weakness as part of being a good protagonist. That could be misunderstood and used against you. Though, some controversy is probably helpful to sales (too much isn't).

Rosstin
2014-05-26, 10:13 PM
The game is very much in danger of being highly controversial. We had a very long and detailed meeting about it recently. We're working on it, but we don't want to lose our edge, either. In the end, the game has to get finished and come out. That's always number 1.

And, ultimately, all I really want is to create something I can personally be proud of, and stand behind. If we do end up offending people, I'll know that it wasn't my intention, and we did our best to avoid it.

We've created a really flawed, imperfect world with this game, full of racism, sexism, and violence. So, there are a lot of people we can piss off with this game. In order to have a world like this and not seem like a bunch of jerks ourselves, as writers, we have to make sure that the main characters in the game have some awareness that these things are bad, and comment on them. If they don't interact with that stuff, and we don't give the player the power to make decisions regarding it, then it's not very empowering. So I'm doing my best to give the player the agency to fight against the world's culture a bit. Not so much that it's annoying or preachy, but just enough that the player knows that we don't condone those things.

It's basically really dangerous territory, but that's the price you pay. If only we'd done it like DnD, where they live in a nice fantasy world without bigots and sexists.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-26, 10:24 PM
That's a good stance. I don't really have anything I could add to that.

Just be prepared for people to get mad about stuff which isn't fair, even stuff which isn't in your game (someone misrepresents something which gets misunderstood as something else which gets confused when repeated and then becomes a big thing--it can happen).

The MC or other characters being against problems in the culture is a rather necessary point in fiction. I'll keep an eye out for that when it occurs to see if I can offer any advice on how to smooth it, so it doesn't feel forced.

Rosstin
2014-05-26, 10:33 PM
Yeah... I'm prepared. Our audience includes tons of people who will get very upset about that stuff, so... I've braced myself. People are going to get upset. It's a certainty. The important thing is that we as a team do our best.

If we get an equal number of people angry that we shoved it down their throats, and didn't address it enough, then we'll probably have done the best we possibly could have XD

I just remember that, we could have made a game without any black people, any women, and no one would have batted an eye. The fact that we included any diversity at all makes me proud (and also a little sad, that I have to feel proud that our cast isn't 100% white males).

Mr. Mask
2014-05-26, 11:26 PM
That the sad hypocrisy of it. Anything with diversity, and those who claim to stand for it will be out to destroy it. Makes me think I should just write about frogs--no one cares about frogs. In the end, I'll probably make something interesting and diverse against my better judgement, and then we'll be in the same boat.

Rosstin
2014-05-28, 02:34 PM
In the next 2 hours I'm going to try and work on consistifying the troop numbers and stuff for the game.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-28, 06:53 PM
Sounds good. Let me know if you need help.

Rosstin
2014-05-28, 07:49 PM
I got too tired and died of sleep XD

we did decide on the costumes for the generic mechanist and cleric NPCs though

Rosstin
2014-05-28, 09:00 PM
We just set a date for the Kickstarter.

August 15th.

My life is over. (T▽T)

Mr. Mask
2014-05-28, 09:27 PM
Your life was over when you made your first game. Such is the addiction.

Glad to hear the Kickstarter date. Another thing to look forward to (or in your case to dread).

More seriously, how much of the kickstarter plan have you got worked out?

Rosstin
2014-05-29, 05:36 AM
Hm, well, I have plenty of to-do lists and contacts and things... I could certainly use any resources you have in that regard. I helped a bit with Rex Rocket's Kickstarter but I didn't run it, so this is really the first Kickstarter I'm responsible for.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-29, 08:01 AM
I've done research into kickstarters on quite a bit of stuff. Never compiled it, so I'm not sure where I'd begin.

The pre-kickstarter marketing is something many miss out on. Have plans for that?

Rosstin
2014-05-29, 12:43 PM
I can link you to our super secret folder of kickstarting and my thread on lemmasoft, I guess. Just be careful b/c I think the edit permissions might be open.

http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=25420&p=325444#p325444

https://drive.google.com/?tab=mo&authuser=0#folders/0B-KLEDV4bGfUR0NWemNqTEtXbDg

I'm trying not to stress out about it. We're only going to try and raise about $3000.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-29, 01:59 PM
I'm in. You can erase the links now if you want.

Rosstin
2014-05-29, 09:17 PM
No worries, they're not that sensitive. This thread doesn't get that much traffic, either.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-30, 12:59 AM
As an aside, have you checked the recent humble bundle sale? You can get the new RPG Maker engine for a dollar (there's other stuff too).


Read the thread. Sorry to see so little help from that thread you posted. I'll read through your kickstarter plan and point out any issues I notice. When you say that you weren't the one who planned the Rex Rocket Kickstarter, who was it that did, if I may ask? It seemed a pretty solid kickstarter page, so anything you remember from it should be useful.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-30, 02:43 AM
Read the document. It's a pretty solid Kickstarter document. A few things I noticed.


There isn't really much of a pre-kickstarter plan mentioned. There was a game called Darkest Dungeon a while back on Kickstarter. They advertised their game two or three months prior to the kickstarter. They had quite a nice trailer to do it, and a concept which naturally triggered some hype. This is a VN, where its good points might be more difficult to show off. You can show the timed choices and military decisions, which will look exciting in a good trailer.

A good trailer is pretty central to pre-marketing. If it's just, "we have a cool concept," you can still get attention and still get hype, but it's harder. Better to work on a good trailer for the game first, preferably with potential to expand upon it in future updates prior to and during the kickstarter. On the plus side, the trailer can be used as part of, or solely your kickstarter video. Will have to discuss trailers in more detail later.


The other thing I noticed is there's a bit of a gap in your reward tiers, currently. From 10-15 to 40 dollars. It's just a mock-up, of course, so you may have intended to lessen that gap. Generally, I find there's a kind of domino effect with backers, where it basically goes, "I guess I'll pitch more than the minimum $5... but for just $5 more I could get the game. But for $5 more I could get that cool bonus soundtrack. If I'm going to get that, I may as well add in $10 and get that artbook, which is what I actually wanted. Hmm... the next tier looks pretty cool too." Kickstarters often have a $1 option just to make the next option more attractive, and that's often how the $5 option works. I may be overestimating it, and studying the successful VN kickstarters is a great idea since it's possible the VN market has different habits, but it's worth considering when working out how the price goes.

On a more experimental note, is it possible to change the currency of rewards into Euros? It appears that when Americans see a reward tier is 11, it seems more attractive to them than $15, and makes the stretch goals and goal seem smaller. I haven't fully verified that, and if it's clear you're from America they may smell a rat from such a move. It's not something I'd suggest diving into without pondering it.


Those are my thoughts thus far. If they're any help, I'll write up some more.

Brother Oni
2014-05-30, 06:36 AM
Yeah... I'm prepared. Our audience includes tons of people who will get very upset about that stuff, so... I've braced myself. People are going to get upset. It's a certainty. The important thing is that we as a team do our best.

If we get an equal number of people angry that we shoved it down their throats, and didn't address it enough, then we'll probably have done the best we possibly could have XD.

I think it's equally important to remember that people happy with the setting will tend to keep quiet, while the unhappy ones will be more vocal. If you get, say 200 complaints from sales of 10,000, that's only 0.2% of your fanbase unhappy with it, so if (more likely when) the complaints start coming in, keep your heads up. :smallbiggrin:

On a personal level, if a game sells itself with a 'realistic' period setting and not include important cultural aspects (eg racism and Call of Cthulhu games set in the 1920s), then it falls very flat for me. The fact that you've chosen to take the harder route, nets you at least one fan in me.

Rosstin
2014-05-30, 11:09 AM
Thanks everyone! This is all good advice! I may be putting together a prototype of the Kickstarter page today, in fact, and I'm doing a presskit too.

Oh-- Robert Maher ran the Rex Rocket Kickstarter. He's the visionary and hardest-working guy behind Rex Rocket. I do a lot of work for Rex Rocket too, but I do like 10 hours/week of level design compared to Rob's 20-40 hrs/week of art, production, design, and promotion.

Rosstin
2014-05-30, 12:15 PM
OK, it may be time to make our military titles sexier and more accurate. Our current titles:
(also a Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BqVEb_Wa0ns8yImXGdvxCg_FHP92VcpR9SZytCAj53w/edit )

ROYALTY
King Kendrick - The King of Orthera. Officially the ruler of the Ortheran Army. Delegates power to Commander Bryce. Holds the throne by right of assassination.
Prince Alastor - The Prince of Orthera. Heir to the throne. Holds immense power but adopts a foppish persona. Secretly the Kingdom's spymaster.

ARMY
Commander Bryce - The boss of the entire 9000-person Ortheran Army. However, is senile and is propped-up by Assistant-Commander Berin, his longtime friend. The Commander is also the direct boss of the 500-person cavalry of knights. (is this a realistic number of knights?)
Assistant-Commander Berin - The true boss of the entire 9000-person Ortheran Army. Has to put up with Bryce's craziness. Close friend of Commander Bryce. Bryce orders him around, and Berin is forced to persuade Bryce of wise courses of action through his surprisingly deft words and an intimate knowledge of his friend.
Aide Marcus - The protagonist. Aide to Assistant-Commander Berin and Commander Bryce. No official power. However, the Aide has the ear of the Commanders and sometimes is able to influence major decisions in subtle ways. The Aide may be someone who will be groomed for command, or may be just a convenient and pretty servant, depending on the whims of the Commanders.
Knights - Proud noblemen, mostly hailing from the extremely religious and warlike country of Montecrest, the birthplace of King Kendrick and Prince Alastor. They are well-trained in combat and outfitted in the best equipment. Their reindeer are well-trained and battle-worn. There are about 100 Knights and 400 Lesser Knights (what would I call those?)
Unnamed Rank - A rank of people who assist in organizing Sergeants. There are 10-50 of them?
Sergeants - Each sergeant leads a squad of 5-20 men, so there are at least 400 of them?
Soldier - Rank-and-file men with a bit of training. Commonly fight on-foot with pole weapons. There are about 7000 of them, including the Sergeants.
Longbowmen - Rank-and-file men with special training in the longbow. There are about 1000 of them.

SPECIALISTS
Master of Mechanists James - Needs a way better title. The Master of Mechanists leads a group of 10 Mechanists and 90 Apprentices who build mechanical devices and maintain weapons and armor for the Ortheran army.
Archmagus Rubus - An incredibly powerful magic-user, hailing from the far-off island of Alabaster (we are changing that island's name to something else ASAP). Has 3 apprentices and 10 aides. However, there are rumours that he does not put much effort towards training others in the arts of magic.
Spymaster Fox - A mysterious figure who commands a force of 30 spies and assassins. No one else in the army knows anything about his activities, except perhaps the King, Prince, and Commanders.
Prelate Lucius - A priest who is skilled in surgery and medicine, as well as religion. The medical technology that Lucius employs is closer to a Victorian level than a Medieval one. Employs a force of 100 clerics who assist him in nonmagical healing. Lucius is technically capable of a form of magical healing, but almost never employs it, as it causes life-threatening sickness for the user. He and Lucius are, in-truth, the only real magic users in the army, and Lucius seldom employs his magical talents. As of the game's start, Nicholas Cordale temporarily works as a Cleric, due to an unnamed incident.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-30, 01:10 PM
Rob might be willing to look at the kickstarter plan and add his feedback to the pile. Aamzing how the internet these days can't even bother with decent feedback, sometimes.


The King and the Prince probably works. It does, admittedly, imply succession. The prince supposedly gets dibs on being first to have his brains eaten by the crown, so that's a kind of succession. If you really wanted to accentuate the crown, you could consider calling him, "The Crown" and the prince would be called, "The Crown's Son," or variations like, "Son of the Crown", "Crown Son." That would give an impression of them taking the crown's blessing very seriously.


Other titles worth considering for Commander Bryce include (Grand/High/etc. )Marshal, General, Imperator (if you want a Roman Empire feel), something made up, something fantastical (Sword of the Crown, etc.), or something bureaucratic and official (supreme military secretary or whichever).

The assistant commander's rank title will depend on what you decide for the commander. Generally speaking, you'll probably want something without assistant in the name. Something more to the lines colonel, major general, even something like Subcommander Berin. That is, assuming he has a genuinely important role in the military, rather than being like a squire who has to take control of the situation.


Aide sounds fine to me. A mixture of suitable and unique enough to be interesting.


500 knights for 9,000 men sounds reasonable. I can't think of a good way to work out the likely number of knights without things getting pretty complex. Sometimes they had a few, sometimes they had tons. That number might be on a bit of the small side for cavalry support. That can work to make the knights seem more rare, special, valuable (particularly if your common troops suck while knights rock). It also prevents cavalry from being overpowered.

As for a title for the knights... hard to say. To begin with, you expect it to be in the Montecrestian language, so knight is likely to be a suitable translation if you don't want to use a Montecrestian word. You could focus on the nobility aspect, and call them something like Banner Lords. You could focus on the religious aspect and call them warrior monks, or knights of the goddess or something. You could go for something more fantastical like, "Antlers," due to their characteristic mounts.
Those are the possibilities as I see them.


The unnamed rank would be a captain. I'm unsure how you should work out the squad sizes and number of officers, just now. Bigger units with less officers is a sign of being understaffed, or having more of a mob mentality.


For the soldiers, you could call them footmen, or men-at-arms, pikemen, levies, conscripts, infantry, and other things. Several of those will of course still apply, regardless of the usual term for them.

Aside from bowmen and archers, I don't have any particular ideas for main terms for the longbowmen. If they had a particular social class, you could call them free archers or something, but I don't think that applies to this situation.


The specialist titles have grown on me. I'll try looking at them again later and see if I feel untoward with any of them.


Hope this was some help.

Brother Oni
2014-05-30, 03:18 PM
Prince Alastor - The Prince of Orthera. Heir to the throne. Holds immense power but adopts a foppish persona. Secretly the Kingdom's spymaster.


I would suggest Crown Prince Alastor to indicate he is heir to the throne over any brothers (who are also princes) he may have.



ARMY
Commander Bryce - The boss of the entire 9000-person Ortheran Army. However, is senile and is propped-up by Assistant-Commander Berin, his longtime friend. The Commander is also the direct boss of the 500-person cavalry of knights. (is this a realistic number of knights?)
Assistant-Commander Berin - The true boss of the entire 9000-person Ortheran Army. Has to put up with Bryce's craziness. Close friend of Commander Bryce. Bryce orders him around, and Berin is forced to persuade Bryce of wise courses of action through his surprisingly deft words and an intimate knowledge of his friend.
Aide Marcus - The protagonist. Aide to Assistant-Commander Berin and Commander Bryce. No official power. However, the Aide has the ear of the Commanders and sometimes is able to influence major decisions in subtle ways. The Aide may be someone who will be groomed for command, or may be just a convenient and pretty servant, depending on the whims of the Commanders.
Knights - Proud noblemen, mostly hailing from the extremely religious and warlike country of Montecrest, the birthplace of King Kendrick and Prince Alastor. They are well-trained in combat and outfitted in the best equipment. Their reindeer are well-trained and battle-worn. There are about 100 Knights and 400 Lesser Knights (what would I call those?)
Unnamed Rank - A rank of people who assist in organizing Sergeants. There are 10-50 of them?
Sergeants - Each sergeant leads a squad of 5-20 men, so there are at least 400 of them?
Soldier - Rank-and-file men with a bit of training. Commonly fight on-foot with pole weapons. There are about 7000 of them, including the Sergeants.
Longbowmen - Rank-and-file men with special training in the longbow. There are about 1000 of them.


I suggested General and Colonel in the previous thread, but depending on the theme, you'll probably want to change them to something more thematic.

Strategist Marcus Cordale, maybe or some derivative thereof.

Horned Knights, with Stags for the lesser knights, in keeping with the aggressive martial theme.

Captain for the unnamed rank. Sergeants for the next rank down and I wouldn't distinguish between soldiers and longbowmen in rank.



Master of Mechanists James - Needs a way better title. The Master of Mechanists leads a group of 10 Mechanists and 90 Apprentices who build mechanical devices and maintain weapons and armor for the Ortheran army.


Taking a page out of the Royal Engineers and in keeping with the martial theme, Sapper General James [Last Name]? Sapper Master? Forge Master for a more archaic name? Iron Father/Master for a religious inspired name?

The number of officers (including non-coms) seems about right to me - an ECW era army would have ~5 officers per 100 men, so 450 officers for a 9,000 strong army is on par. Only two other organisational comments I will make is that 9,000 bodies is very big for a single unit with a distinct identity, and since you've got 9,000 fighting men by the typical T3R for a medieval force, you're looking at an entire force strength of ~18,000 strong.

James' and Lucius' men would be included in that additional 9,000 (I suggest giving Lucius a few more) and would James' remit include crewing of siege weapons? If so, then he needs more men - maybe a crew of ~5 apprentices per engine with a single commander (Sapper captain? Mechanist captain?) running a battery of 3 engines. The big complicated pieces would probably need a commander each.

Fox's men would not be included at all, since they're strategic assets rather than tactical.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-30, 10:08 PM
Is Marcus officially allowed to help with strategy? I figured that they were just an Aide who can take advantage of the fact their commander is useless and impressionable.

Demidos
2014-05-30, 11:04 PM
Just dropping in again, hope you don't mind. XD

About the knights, you might not want to call them "lesser" knights, and instead make the 100 "better" ones have some additional title like Knights-Rampant or the Knights of the Golden Hinds or something. I'm no history major, but I can't imagine aristocrats appreciating being called "lesser" for any reason.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-30, 11:46 PM
Whoops, missed the part about lesser knights.

One thing to note, is that in Europe even the grand dukes were also knights. The 100 more important knights are likely to have more impressive landed titles. Or, if it's more due to their veteran status than their social ranking, they'll have some military or ceremonial designation to represent their honoured role. Could be Lord Knights, Horned Knights, a title specific to their unit like, "the Gold Arm Knights," or the like.

Rosstin
2014-05-31, 01:24 AM
Thanks guys! Demidos, your comments are absolutely appreciated. I'm hoping to have time to iron this all out tomorrow. Massive search-and-replace functions @_@

Adding a new member to the team possibly, as well, to draw our battle maps in more artsy form.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-31, 01:27 AM
Looking forward to their work. They'll be welcome if they pop up here, though probably they'll be fine looking at the thread or just your notes from it.

Brother Oni
2014-05-31, 02:18 AM
Is Marcus officially allowed to help with strategy? I figured that they were just an Aide who can take advantage of the fact their commander us useless and impressionable.

The alternative is including her as part of the CoC and making her a major or a captain.

I'm more than happy to accept any suggestion for the 'lesser' knights, since Stag Knights brings up unfortunate impressions. :smalltongue:

Mr. Mask
2014-05-31, 04:53 AM
Personally, I think it's more fitting to call the lesser knights, "knights," and either don't have a obvious title for the more important knights, or give them a fancier title (Lord Knights, whichever). It's hard to make suggestions because I'm not sure on the direction Ross wants to go with their title. Religious title, deeply separated lines between the two types or mild division, division due to status or experience, difference in function, etc.. I mentioned some of the specifics of a title earlier, that if they're just an elite among the knights, then they may have a unit-specific title (Knight's Templar, Order of the Garter, whatever).

Rosstin
2014-05-31, 10:00 AM
I'm thinking about it. So far, units like that haven't played a major role in the story (and probably won't ever do so.) The level of granularity is just too intense. We're doing more NPC sprites, though, and I think you'll probably be able to visually see the rank of a knight or other character based on his sprite. (The higher rank ones will just have more decorations.)

Speaking of which, Mask and Oni, do you guys want to be units in the army somewhere? I can't necessarily promise we'll draw your faces in, but I can use your names in the pool of NPC names for a particular class of unit. There are a handful of units that have "personality sketches" in the game, like a superstitious soldier who pops up a couple times, and a
soldier who is a spy for the Sylgardian forces

Eventually I'm going to do way more of these. You guys can basically be the first "Kickstarter reward" characters we do.

Mr. Mask
2014-05-31, 10:27 AM
It'll be easier to tell with sprites to base their ranks off. My suggestions will still be rather blind without the other details, but I'll make a few in plausible directions.

I think it'd be cool to have a soldier in the game, if it isn't trouble. If it denies you a backer award you could give out, don't worry about me.

Rosstin
2014-05-31, 10:30 AM
Basically our strategy is just to draw the base character, then some optional hairstyles and decorations on photoshop layers, and flip them in and out to make different characters. I'll show an example in a bit.

NichG
2014-05-31, 10:43 AM
I don't have much to say in detail about the battle design (a bit late to the party on that I think, and military history is a black box to me), but I wanted to chime in with a 'good luck!' on the Kickstarter. I've gotta say I'm also curious about how your experience with it will go and afterwards I'd be interested in reading a post-mortem of the process.

Rosstin
2014-05-31, 12:01 PM
Thanks NichG!

Rosstin
2014-05-31, 02:39 PM
OK, let's get to work on this "titles" thing....

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BqVEb_Wa0ns8yImXGdvxCg_FHP92VcpR9SZytCAj53w/edit

First, "Commander"... hmmm... let's see what you guys said about that title.....

Personally, I like "Commander" and my main concern is that it's a naval title and I don't want players to b---- about that, which is the main reason I'd change it.

OK, so these guys:
Grand Marshal + Vice Marshal (this is okay)
General + Colonel (I'm not nuts about it, phonetically)

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/smallbryce.pnghttp://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/smallberin.png

Mr. Mask
2014-05-31, 07:35 PM
Marshal and Commander are the most appealing. Some people may whine that the later is a naval rank normally, but the term could be a reasonable translation of whatever term the Ortherans use. One thing going for Marshal is that it isn't as used as Commander.

Rosstin
2014-05-31, 08:46 PM
I've spent enough time on this that I've wrapped around and am considering sticking with Asst Commander and Commander xD

In other news I resurrected the original battle map, I'm talking to an artist about doing actual battle maps for the game.

Rosstin
2014-05-31, 09:01 PM
The first battle map:
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/c1battle.png

I'm going to look for references, to find good map designs for my artist to use as a guide.

USAGEWISE:

the map should show up once or twice in the chapter as foreshadowing
can be used as a transitional element, if doing so does not break immersion (playtesting needed)
it should be viewable at will from the game menu
used often in the battle and viewable at-will
is an inventory item that the protagonist acquires

ARTWISE:

elements important to the game's battle and story should be highly visible
non-important elements should be de-emphasized
color should be used, as readability is important
should be built as a PSD with layers for each element
it's possible that in extreme cases we might need to change important events later on, modifying the map. so again, LAYERS
we might also want to use the map as a clickable interface at some point (unlikely but not impossible

Rosstin
2014-05-31, 09:24 PM
I'm going to change the Prelate title while I'm at it. I've never liked that title (sorry guys!)

How about.... Bishop Lucius + his priests, or clergymen, or clerics?

Mr. Mask
2014-05-31, 10:21 PM
Sort of wondering about the assistant in Berin's title. It hints that his role is purely as an assistant. Might be nothing important.

Good stuff with the map. Nothing really to add. I sort of wonder why they have an abandoned fortress right near their capital, but there are reasons you might.

Bishop doesn't do it for me, personally. I'm having trouble thinking of a title more suitable than prelate.

Rosstin
2014-06-01, 12:32 AM
Vice Commander?

Demidos
2014-06-01, 12:50 AM
Sort of wondering about the assistant in Berin's title. It hints that his role is purely as an assistant. Might be nothing important.

Good stuff with the map. Nothing really to add. I sort of wonder why they have an abandoned fortress right near their capital, but there are reasons you might.

Bishop doesn't do it for me, personally. I'm having trouble thinking of a title more suitable than prelate.

Hierophant?
Elder?
Chief Healer?
Archpriest?
Healbot?

Mr. Mask
2014-06-01, 01:39 AM
Vice Commander suits me, at least.

Of the titles listed, Hierophant sticks out to me.


That's just my opinion, though. It's more important what the fans and team think.

Brother Oni
2014-06-01, 04:52 AM
Speaking of which, Mask and Oni, do you guys want to be units in the army somewhere? I can't necessarily promise we'll draw your faces in, but I can use your names in the pool of NPC names for a particular class of unit.

While I have no objection to you using my name or avatar (an idea is useful when it comes close to crunch time :smalltongue:), I don't think I would fit Ortheran or Sylgardian aesthetics unless you wanted the knights to have stylised masks for their full face helms.
Given plate harness is personalised for the user and the comparative wealth of the knights, some individuality would be possible.



Personally, I like "Commander" and my main concern is that it's a naval title and I don't want players to b---- about that, which is the main reason I'd change it.

As I mentioned in the last thread, outside of the navy, commander is a job description not a rank.

Grand/Vice Marshal looks the best since you want more flavour.


I'm going to change the Prelate title while I'm at it. I've never liked that title (sorry guys!)

Further to Demidos' post, from the previous thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=16925701&postcount=116), my suggestions were Prelate and High Canon.
If you're hunting for alternative names, here's the resource I used: link (http://www.macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus-category/british/People-in-authority-in-the-Christian-church).

Since you're changing Prelate, does this mean that Chapter Master is back on the table? :smalltongue:

Rosstin
2014-06-02, 10:47 AM
Any fellow Gamedevs have tips on how to design a Kickstarter Video?

Mr. Mask
2014-06-02, 11:40 AM
If you mean video editing, I don't know how to help you there. I can offer some general advice.


First, you need to consider your resources. Do you have good microphones? Good scenery where you live? Good cameras and people who know how to use them? Could you get film students who live nearby to help you or the like? Those are going to effect what you can accomplish with live action footage. Along with such things as your ability on camera. Be prepared to run several takes, while paradoxically acting natural.

Music and gameplay footage comes into question as well, along with content made specially for the kickstarter video. There have been a few where the characters will address the backers or even undergo a unique scenario which doesn't occur in the game (usually as an example), and that is a possibility.

Both angles have similar goals and points. You want to hook the viewer at the start of the video and leave them impressed by the end. You need to decide which features will be interesting to backers and how to present them to maximize their interesting nature. The project, yourself and your team will also need some good presentation if you want to spend much time dwelling on any of them. A general outline of the video, followed by a more detailed script and semi-storyboard, and then the video itself is the general process. You'll also need to consider the skill of your video editor.

That's the basics. There are specifics on how to draw in the viewer which could be discussed, and other details.

NichG
2014-06-02, 12:46 PM
Any fellow Gamedevs have tips on how to design a Kickstarter Video?

Complete lack of personal experience but things I've read suggest that the audience responds better to seeing the actual developer talk about the project rather than have it be 100% screenshots/etc. So even if you think you sitting there in a messy dev environment talking about your game would be boring or embarassing, it seems like having at least a good chunk of that is important to making people feel a personal connection with the project.

Aside from that, probably you want to focus more on 'how awesome will this be because of you guys!' angles than 'here is why you should buy our game' angles, although some of both is important. Basically make the audience feel like they have direct power over how awesome the product is, rather than just 'if this doesn't get funded it won't happen' which is kind of underwhelming.

Mr. Mask
2014-06-02, 01:02 PM
Nich's points are good. Personally, I consider the first one awkward and embarrassing for both parties more often than not, but I have also heard that it gets a good response from backers. Some projects like Sealark have done very well with very little, so there isn't a cut and dry method--but then Sealark was from an established indie dev.

The second point is one I shouldn't have neglected. Telling people they're special and can change the world is wise, and slightly true in the case of kickstarters.

On the subject of telling people fund the game or it won't happen, I will note a few kickstarters have said the game will happen regardless--but the backers can make it happen sooner and much better than it could otherwise come and be. That one by the guy who worked on Spiderman 2 set the goal at one dollar and then gave that money himself, but managed to hit large stretch goals in place. As you mentioned, the main point of a kickstarter is to get attention and kickstart a project's fanbase and funding. Strangely, many people are hesitant to back a kickstarter that mightn't succeed, from an ignorant and instinctual misunderstanding of how the money isn't lost if the kickstarter doesn't reach its goal.

Rosstin
2014-06-02, 02:32 PM
I'm working on the game's GFX, to make the future video better.


show slash2 with fastWipeUp



image slash1 = im.MatrixColor("gfx/s1_d2.png",im.matrix.opacity(0.75))
image slash2 = im.MatrixColor("gfx/s2_d2.png",im.matrix.opacity(0.75))



$ fastWipeUp = CropMove(0.1, "wipeup")


http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee493/rosstin2011february/result_zpsffba65ac.jpg

Mr. Mask
2014-06-02, 02:35 PM
Is it difficult to make the screen shake? Just thinking that if you could make the screen jerk to the side (to the left if he hits with his left hand, the right if he hits with his right), it might be more effective than the slash animation (both might also be good). With the kickstarter video and trailer in mind, the slash animation is a good idea.

Rosstin
2014-06-02, 03:23 PM
We got screenshake too :-)

Laiska
2014-06-12, 04:14 PM
Heya folks, inept story person D here again to bring you all something the boss man here says you'll quite fancy, a siege!

Following the massive battle that was posted about prior, despite having bested the Sylgardians, the Ortheran army still needs to find a way into Sylgard's capital so that they can confront the Queen. Upon approaching the capital, they demand entry, but are of course denied entry, and so must attempt to starve out the Sylgardians, or else force their way into the castle.

Now the mechanics of such things are by no means my forte, so I've cobbled together a proposal for this section based on scant research and suggestions for other, but I'm sure it's pretty unrealistic, so here (https://docs.google.com/document/d/10Ysfrz0uqid4g-1JE-Tn4bgtCNsJnJHVgU-JKUbd8_8/edit) is a copy of the planning doc. Feel free to make comments/edits/feedback, what have you.

- D

Mr. Mask
2014-06-12, 08:25 PM
First thing I notice, is Alastor's becoming desperate and slaughtering the Slygardians on your side. First off, you mightn't have any Slygardians on your side since you have the option of splitting with them earlier (unless you've been recruiting more regardless as you continue through the story). If the ruler made an order like that, I as the commander would overrule them--violently if necessary. Because in the end, all you're doing is threatening your own soldiers. "You want to kill off some of your own side? Sure!" Unless you meant the captured Slygardian prisoners on your side of the wall, in which case torturing or mass executions shouldn't result in your men revolting (would probably ruin any chance of peace).

To me, being able to plant explosive charges but them not taking down the wall seems strange. It does depend on just how much of a fortress we're dealing with here. Xi'an has walls a hundred feet thick, so it would take a heck of an explosive to blow a considerable hole in that. But then, Xi'an is almost impossible to take by storm, so it mightn't be the best fit (unless it is extremely under manned).


A bunch was said on the subject of sieges in the last thread, starting from about here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?327457-Battle-based-on-Blanchetaque-%28was-Scouting-Missions%29&p=17188328&viewfull=1#post17188328

I'll also quote the relevant bits.


I agree that for the final battle, you might want to end if a bit differently. I suggest having this lead up to the final battle. It sounded like you wanted to have a castle storming for the final battle? That can work out to be pretty dramatic, with a lot of setpiece moments.


For storming a castle, you first need a reason they're not just starving out the defenders. Having it that your supplies are running low and your caravans no longer coming could be enough. The fact more enemies might rally and come and end you could also be sufficient. The defenders will have been torching their own farmland and poisoning their own water, so that things are getting more desperate for your troops. If you commit to storming a castle, there are a few ways of doing it.

Undermining takes a lot of time, but is very effective. It can't really be done if there is a very deep moat (sometimes castles were on islands, and lakes or the sea were their moats). With enough time, you can destroy an entire castle with undermining. In the game you're unlikely to have enough time, and would only be able to undermine part of the wall in preparation for an assault.

Siege towers, siege ladders, battering rams and trebuchets are all possibilities. Also stuff like having men place logs by the gate, then setting them alight--the fire weakening the gate. They all take time to construct, and you can have more than one. In the case of the game, you'd want some kind of resource to determine how much you can do and why you don't want to do as much as possible. Guerilla forces harassing you (from the castle or from the countryside), limited necessary manpower (depends if you're building them from scratch or just piecing together ones you brought) combined with lack of time due to supply shortages, something like that. I'm afraid I'm not a lot of help here, it's hard to think of the answers you need at this moment.

Sneaky tricks are possible. A castle was taken in the Crusades by having men sneak over the wall and open one of the side gates at night, letting the crusaders in. Potential sacrifice mission for Grey Fox perhaps? Others are possible as there have been plenty of siege tricks--even a Trojan Horse.

Choosing where and when you attack is a possibility.

The morale of your men and the strength of your enemy could also be important variables. If your men's morale is too low, you could have the possibility that the siege will fail. Waiting may have a negative effect on morale. One way to boost their morale is a dramatic gesture showing them the position their in. Before the battle, have a feast till your supplies are dwindling, feed grain to the horses, smash the cooking pots and destroy what supplies you have left. This was recommended by Sun Tsu for when in desperate straights, and the final battle is likely just that. As for the strength of your enemy, this might be the time for a dramatic blood curse, or suicide bombing, or other such things to even the numbers and/or take down the walls, if your men are not numerous enough or high enough in morale.


The storming itself will be quite interesting, with many stages. The main character could decide whether to be among the troops of the breach, or to stay back for each section, perhaps. Going with them boosts morale while putting you in danger, and hanging back allows you to skip the given stage with slightly higher losses and the risk you will fail if your men's morale wavers. In the case of multiple plans (trebuchet plus siegetower, etc.) you may get to choose where you deploy yourself depending on which area is likely to have the hardest/most important/easiest fighting (if you can force a breach quickly, your morale will be boosted--if some of your troops flee from a hard fight, your morale will drop for the others [don't worry, if you survive that stage the fleeing troops will likely return]).

The first stage will differ depending on the methods you chose. Climbing over a broken wall (bomb, trebuchet, or undermining), smashing through the gates or walking through a smashed gate (ram or trebuchet), climbing up a ladder onto the wall (siegeladder), climbing out of a siegetower onto a wall (siegetower), charging in through a sidegate (Grey Fox). These have some consequences for your involvement, like having arrows shot at you as you climb a ladder, or needing to escape the gatehouse before they pour burning pitch on you. Depending on how you do them, these scenes might be a bit heavy on text/story/writing, so this mightn't be a great idea development-wise. as they are action sequences, you could consider going thinner on the narrative, and swapping back to the thicker narrative at key points (after the first stage, when the breach is successful, you have the important conversation with love interest B).

After breaching, you still have the inside of the capital to deal with. It's probably an urban capital, so that probably means a literal maze of streets, filled with blockades and archers in high places trying to thwart your advance. You could consider setting the town alight, making it easier to bypass that stage and the next stage (an enemy mage might need to sacrifice himself to stop the flames or something--or just that the enemy is busy from fighting fires).

After getting through the town, there is the inner wall to assail. I'm afraid I'm a bit lacking in knowledge on besieging inner walls. Rams and ladders are still a possibility, undermining is too, probably. Undermining would require you to stop the storming and wait a long time--which isn't an option if you made that dramatic gesture of destroying your supplies, even if you manage to capture enemy supplies from the city. You could also try hitting the inner wall with your trebuchet which will also take time. It gives this stage the choice of whether to push the assault or to rest. If you have them reeling from blood curses, bombs and the city being on fire, pressing the assault would be a good idea. If you had a hard fight, a brief reprieve would be a good idea for your men. If you have supplies left, or have captured enemy supplies, you could give them a bit longer to rest and have another morale boosting feast within their walls (feasts drain resources so you have less times to use trebuchets or the like). Once you attack the inner wall, the process is similar, but the defences better and the resistance stauncher (you could consider something like having them blow up their own wall once you captured it)--but your enemy weakened and more desperate, more surrounded on all sides than ever was possible before.

Once you get through the outer wall, there is the keep which could also be split into stages (you'll want to be more detailed with it, since it's the dramatic finale and there is less variation to worry about). It will involve you breaking through its doors, climbing its stairs and fighting through its hallways, until you break into where the Queen is hiding for a final confrontation (if you have the option to hang back, then you would get to speak with her after she is captured). You'll probably want the main character and her officers present for storming the room with the Queen. I mean... it's the enemy Queen--not something you want handled by common soldiery.

That's my ideas and thoughts on storming a castle. You can cut out some options if you need to. Let me know what you think. Storming a castle might be too epic for the resources you have at hand for all I'm aware.




I really love your idea for sacrificing the love interests! I suggest making it possible to keep them all alive if you did a great job with command throughout (I think you could make it a pretty hard ending to aspire to). Killing the boys to make up for your tactical mistakes is a very interesting idea.


[Edit] Forgot to mention earthworks. These took quite a bit of time and manpower, and the men working on them were at risk, but they were often necessary for crossing moats (logs are better for moats, use logs if you can) or making siegetowers usable. Luckily, the manpower can be completely unskilled. You can build earthramps up to the tops of the walls so that you can just walk up, with enough time, effort and risk (it's not fun building those when the enemy is throwing boiling water at you). You need to do this work under cover of pavises (which you'll need to construct, they aren't too hard to construct), and you'll need your archers to suppress the enemy for it to work (which puts them at some risk, but they'll also have/need pavises). While the ramparts are slow and difficult to set up, they allow your men to walk up on to the enemy's walls, and are very hard to counter (you can smash siegetowers with fire or catapults).

Raining dead animals and people with disease into their walls is another very common way I forgot to mention. It doesn't take a ton of time either, so you're likely going to want to be doing that as you prepare other responses.

[Edit] I forgot to mention another one. If there is a nearby river, or if the river leads into the city, it's possible to dam it up and try and force your way in through there, or to dam it up hard then break the dam, so that it hits the city in a wave. Note that making the ground around the castle wet and marsh-like will have negative effects on your soldiers health, and this is dependant on local rivers and the lay of the land (and the type of castle--it mightn't even notice).


With regard to the siege, you are besieging a capital right? Mr Mask's comments are all accurate, but it neglects a major factor - the civilian population.
At best, they're additional bodies to throw into the melee, at worst, they can rebel and open up the gates to the Ortherans.
In either case, they're going to be a significant dent into the food supplies of the defenders.

If the Ortherans were feeling particularly noble, they could permit the civilians to evacuate the city before the siege lines close up, the effects of which would be double-edged: the defenders could fight harder, knowing that their families are now safe (well safer), but also realise that surrendering would be a viable option since execution of the entire garrison is potentially off the cards; another point would be that the defenders now have less people to watch the walls, but with significantly less mouths to feed - they could take all that food and retreat back to the castle where they could potentially outlast the besiegers for years.

Sending in the main character (or Nick) in as one of the storming parties would probably be the sacrifice option. They weren't called the forlorn hope (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forlorn_hope) for nothing.

The castle wall will be as equally tough to assault as the city's outer wall since in a siege, the castle is the last refuge for the defenders.

With regard to storming the throne room, unless someone knows the layout of the castle, it's going to be very haphazard as to who gets there first - for the sake of a good narrative, it would be the officers and the main character. In reality, it would be whichever group of soldier finds it first, since it would be the medieval version of clearing a house room by room, which is incredible chaotic.

Dropping in dead animals to spread disease would take time to take effect, unless you're talking about a modified disease (eg. weaponised ebola with a break time of 18 hours), which is beyond their technology level, even with magic.
Another common tactic to demoralise the defenders would be to catapult prisoners back into the city (whether they were dead first is optional and how many parts to sent back was variable) - another potential atrocity action would be to let the civilian population go, then capture a significant number of them and return them back to the city by trebuchet. That said, I'm sure once you start on the children and babies, you're so far beyond the moral event horizon, it'd be too silly to take seriously.



Oni: It was mentioned that every man woman and child were being armed, so the third option is that at best they're going to fight you till you kill every last one of them (or capture their Queen). That can happen, but it really depends on the Ortheran mindset behind this war. Telling the kids to take up knives and fight the invaders would make some people rebel pretty fast (others have given that order very successfully).

How many they can feed for how long depends on the castle. As a rule of thumb, they should be able to afford to feed the number of men needed to effectively hold the castle for an extended period.

Offering to let the civilians through might be a good idea. If you don't have the food to starve out the defenders to begin with, that's less people to fight/slaughter/worry about on your way in (though they may swell the ranks of the guerilla fighters bothering you), and you might be able to plunder more food in the process of taking the city. With some sieges, civilians were trapped between the castle and the besiegers, thrown out due to food shortage but not allowed through the siege line in case they were spies.
You won't likely get to see that unless they throw out civilians who won't fight pre-emptively, but it'd make for an interesting decision of what to do with them.
I wonder what the problems would be with breaking your word and taking the civilians they send out (when you say you'll let them through) as hostages.

Sending an officer at the front of a siege party would be a good way to boost morale (them dying for the cause probably has some worth). With the main character, if they took part in the breach it would probably not be from the front (still would be very dangerous).

I think they'd be able to find the throne room by the staunch defence.
"Captain, we think we found the throne room!"
"What makes you so sure?"
"It has like a bajillion guys defending it. So... can we get some reinforcements?"

The time it takes to build ramparts, undermine or the like will be enough for disease to take effect. If they decide to just blow up the wall or open a sidegate immediately, then there won't be enough time for negative effects to show. How effective it is depends on a variety of factors. If you let the civilians out, that's less people to get sick and spread the disease.

A bit confused by what you mean with it being silly sending over the children and babies in catapults.



Well, I've used up all my strength writing this. I'll go and die now. (Dang this post is long... I wish I had added some bolding or the like to make it easier to read)


So if you double or triple the number of mouths to feed with all the civilians, it's not going to last long.



The break period for bubonic plague is ~2 weeks, so if they fire diseased corpses in on the first day, it would barely be enough time to make a dent in the food supplies assuming they're well provisioned.

With regard to the brutal murder of children and babies, it was a comment on how ridiculously over the top cruelty and brutality devolves into a comedic caritature than actually shocking and repulsive, much like A Serbian Movie.
Besides which, imagine what would happen to the army's morale if the protagonist gave that order, not to mention whether the soldiers would actually obey it.



Hence my much maligned spoiler tags. :smalltongue:

Go get some rest and get well soon. :smallbiggrin:


Get well soon? That might be too much to ask. Well, I might get lucky on that end. I always seem to get sick after finishing a stage of a project.


Thanks for the rule of thumb. Will try to remember that one.


Mouths to feed: Well, that was just a logic estimate for pure fortifications. City fortresses are trickier. Certainly, there's no point to a fortress if a bigger army can starve you out quickly. So, that either means an immediate population dump, or that they have enough food to last a while. I might do some research into that when I feel better.


Plague: I agree that two weeks seems unlikely to dent enemy supplies. Did I imply it would be somewhere?


Infants: Well, it depends how you write it. The main character may wish to stay distant from the event, so you might get something closer to hints that it is happening (what is half-perceived can be creepier). I figure you wouldn't want to oversee it, since it is unnecessary/unpleasant and might be bad for your PR.

As for whether the soldiers would obey and whether their morale would suffer... depends. The USMC relationship with the Japanese during the last world war comes to mind.


If you want fancy, small bags of gunpowder tied along the arrow shaft with a fuse that's ignited just before firing (two man job).
Arrow hits, fuse ignites the gunpowder, boom - explosive arrows.

For additional fun and games, put metal fragments in the gunpowder bags for shrapnel or combine this with a shorter fuse than the flight time, so you end up with airburst munitions.

You may need a bigger charge than that possible by arrows though - I've seen an illustration of a chinese arcuballista with the concept:


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_kXQTi6OKqW0/SPt8YdK4PgI/AAAAAAAAAz4/GJimp80UnKU/s400/20070320101129390.jpg

Another possibility is to use the larger bolts (alternately catapault/trebuchets) to carry a payload of something like caltrops to make an area difficult to traverse by foot or hoof. Combine with the explosive charge and short fuse to airburst the caltrops over an larger area and you have a medieval version of cluster munitions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cluster_munition).



Cannon may take some time since the main issue is crafting a barrel strong enough to take the pressure (even wooden/leather barrels took a while to develop).



I think we're talking about two different things. I was under the impression the capital was a fortified city with a separate castle inside the walls rather than fortress city where the castle is integrated into the city wall defences.

The main difference between the two being that in the former, the military and royal family are equally well protected from the citizentry in case of revolt, while the latter has better deployment lines (you don't have to get the people out of the castle first to get to the city walls). The former would have its own food store which wouldn't be opened to the civilians except by express orders of the commanders.



I'm not sure what you mean: link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Okinawa#Civilian_losses.2C_suicides_and_ atrocities).

I know that Japanese civilians who followed orders and killed themselves rather than being taken prisoner by the Americans used to throw themselves off cliffs and some US soldiers/marines tried to shoot them on the way down to try and put them out of their misery before impact.

If you're talking about the USMC treatment of Japanese soldiers rather than civilians, then it's significantly different circumstances.

There's also not the familiarity between the USMC and the Japanese that the Ortherans and Sylgardians have, which would significantly affect the relationship.
I think the PR would be bad regardless of whether she hung around or not since the source of the orders to fire the civilians would spread like wildfire around the camp.

Was going to respond to that last bit that familiarity does not always mean military actions will be pleasant. The American Civil War had an unbelievable number of civilian casualties. So, I feel you can do what you want to with the Ortheran soldiers. After such a long and hard war where the enemy has been pulling nasty tricks, I myself can't imagine them feeling like being too noble towards the Slygardians; but I could help you justify this behaviour if you need it.

The points about the civilian population and why they can't starve them out are covered already in your version. You may have looked over this already, but I think it will cover my and Oni's initial response to how a siege might go. Do ask any further questions you have and say if you're not sure about something, though--I don't expect these quotes to be satisfactory on their own.

The general point is that I'd expect to have more options for how you approach and handle the siege, and various stages of the siege.

SerenityFrost
2014-06-14, 03:36 PM
We totally plan on there being options on handling the siege, but we're also trying to keep those options simple and swift. The player would have just gotten off an intense battle phase in the game with almost no downtime (for the player, the mc has a single free day) to recoup. While there is some merit to hammering on the player to help them sympathize with soldier fatigue, there needs to be a balance to it.

And yeah, the King killing our own men is a bad end option. Basically him doing that signifies the end of the siege. He grows impatient and does something that makes the soldiers revolt. Since the Sylgardians in the castle don't have any sort of relief coming, it seemed like a good way to give the siege a time limit. It's not one of my best ideas, admittedly. Both Laiska and myself are certainly open to other ideas on how to do this.

Mr. Mask
2014-06-14, 06:39 PM
With a siege, there aren't really suitable A B C options. It tends to be made up more of elements like whether you add some siege towers to the mix, whether you build an earth ramp here, and if you wait till the undermining operation is finished.

For the attack, even the fastest method of attack will involve a few days preparation and surrounding the city. Once you've constructed ladders and rams, and simple ways to cross the moat (assuming there is one), you can make your attack from several angles. A direct, minimalistic plan would be very unlikely to succeed, unless you outnumber the enemy to an extreme (and are willing to take extreme casualties). If the enemy was seriously undermanned and ill prepared, then it could work.

I can go into more detail with the decisions you would make and the mechanics of it (not right now though. If I feel better tomorrow).


For the bad end option, I suggest supply shortages forcing you to retreat. You'll be deep in enemy territory, and it has sounded like the Ortherans haven't been the best off in terms of supplies or soldiers for this war, so your supply caravans are likely to be pretty thin (assuming they aren't cut off altogether). The capital meanwhile probably has enough stocks to last for a year or more. There's also the possibility of political trouble at home, or even the weather. If when winter comes, your supply caravans are crawling at a snail's pace, and your soldiers are freezing to death, while the Slygardians are regrouping and picking them off, you could get to the point of starvation and revolt. If there is political pressure at home for a victory, the war could be ended even if you're close to winning.

Or, you could go with the Slygardians are regrouping being the reason. Stalingrad was under siege for a long time, until a second Russian force finally came and encircled the German army. All chance of success was lost in that moment. If the Slygardians regroup and encircle you before you take the capital, that would definitely be a game over. The best ending you could manage at that point is negotiating a less than ideal peace for your side, an outright surrender, or fleeing for your lives before they encircle you.

That second idea might be better. More dramatic and decisive. One thing going for the supply lines is that you can see the state of your troops as the problem worsens, and it gives you a clear sort of time limit. Their performance will also get worse as they get more hungry and more of them die from sickness, making it a balancing act between good preparation and the state of the men who make the attack.

Sorry for gabbling here. Running a slight fever.


If you want a bad ending where Alastor goes mad due to the crown, you could consider him assassinating the MC because she won't follow his orders (and has failed to placate him). If you had been ordering him to assassinate people previously, it would be a rather poetic ending.

SerenityFrost
2014-06-15, 03:58 AM
Gabbling is always welcome, Mr. Mask. You taught us quite a lot with your post there. Also, I hope you're feeling better soon. Fevers are often the bane of my existence because they can really staunch creative output. d:

It's starting to sound like having a siege will take a different sort of mechanics than what we've been using for battles. Nothing impossible to do with our game engine though. It could be reported to the MC that we only have X days worth of supplies to make the siege happen, which would handle the element of urgency I was hoping to do with the King's "overreaction". Also, having him kill the MC outright for disobedience after threatening to kill captured soldiers (if any) and our own Sylgardians (also if any) could be a better plan for showing his desperation and darkened soul.

It occurs to me that it would actually be beneficial to the player to have less soldiers at this point in the game. Less mouths to feed means more supplies to go around. It could be something for the player to consider when a smaller amount of soldiers = a larger amount of days to win the siege. It could also mean, however, that there are less people to send out to gather more supplies if needed. There could be a chance of losing men each time you need to do this. It'd be a delicate balancing act to be sure.

It'll certainly be difficult to have a siege without clear A B and C options seeing as that's about 100% what a visual novel is in the first place. But I don't think it'll be impossible to pull off. We've spent quite a lot of effort being as accurate as possible in all the previous battles. Also, someone who's willing to buy a visual novel would understand what it is already (or have figured it out by this point in the game) so I suspect the player will give us slight leeway with the siege as far as planning flexibility. If we can be clever and find a way to make it feel like they're really handling a siege though, that'd be absolutely excellent.

EDIT: This idea for the bad end hit me about an hour after making this post. It's possible that when you hit Day X if you're running low on supplies the King's solution to this problem is to kill soldiers to make supplies last longer. Since player agency is the key to this game you can agree to let him do this, or refuse. Refusing ends in your death, agreeing ends in soldier revolt and your death.

Brother Oni
2014-06-15, 04:55 AM
It occurs to me that it would actually be beneficial to the player to have less soldiers at this point in the game. Less mouths to feed means more supplies to go around. It could be something for the player to consider when a smaller amount of soldiers = a larger amount of days to win the siege. It could also mean, however, that there are less people to send out to gather more supplies if needed. There could be a chance of losing men each time you need to do this. It'd be a delicate balancing act to be sure.

Until you hit less than the minimum number of men to maintain the siege, at which point the defenders will just sally out and kill you.

For an idea of how a protracted siege deep in enemy territory would go, take a look at Caesar's Battle of Alesia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Alesia) where they built fortifications to keep the enemy in and a second set of fortifications to keep the relief force out.

Note that the intention of this siege was to starve the enemy out and would only have worked if the civilian population was kept penned in to rapidly deplete the defender's food supplies. Stockpiling of food for only military use is likely to spark off a civilian revolt (not to mention that it's the soldier's families that are starving), which will potentially end the siege as the defenders would have great difficulty in fending off attacks from two sides.



EDIT: This idea for the bad end hit me about an hour after making this post. It's possible that when you hit Day X if you're running low on supplies the King's solution to this problem is to kill soldiers to make supplies last longer. Since player agency is the key to this game you can agree to let him do this, or refuse. Refusing ends in your death, agreeing ends in soldier revolt and your death.

I would say that the King would start killing the wounded as killing fit soldiers is the height of insanity and any sane soldier would refuse that order. Compliance with the order results in an army revolt and your lynching, defiance results in the King ordering your execution.

If you don't want the King so blatantly unhinged, what he could do is to order more and more assaults in order to get the siege over with - agreeing with this plan results in you leading the next assault to a gruesome end while refusal is regarded as treason and a traitor's death.

SerenityFrost
2014-06-15, 12:10 PM
I like the escalating assault ordering idea for a regular progression in the siege. We could even make him constantly choose Sylgardians (if they have them) to do it. Though the less dramatic option, it can leave some ambiguity to the King's change in personality. It could come off that he's just inexperienced and desperate rather than crazy. There's always room for that in the last chapter or even the climax of the siege where the King and Queen face off and you need to make the decision of which side you're on.

As for siege tactics. There's meant to be a discussion before the siege with the generals where each pitches a strategy that reflects their abilities. (Magic, Engineering, Brute Force.) The player is then allowed to pick which they want to start with. There were two ways we considered handling the aftermath. The King ignores the player's decision the next day, even though at the meeting he was supportive of what the player chose, and orders the soldiers to go along with his plan (stealth), which he didn't bring up at the meeting. Or the King goes with his stealth plan without the MC's knowledge and things roll with what the player chose only to find out it was just a distraction for what the King wanted to do.

Mr. Mask
2014-06-15, 02:20 PM
Serenity: Fevers tend to staunch thinking in general. Feeling better now, just a bit unpleasant instead of like I was sleep walking, and typing, and living in general in a state of sleep.

Think of the mechanics like Gods Will be Watching, a balancing act between preparedness for the assault and other factors. There still end up being some choices you make as to how you want to assault, even if it's just how many siege towers you're building compared to how much you could have undermined with the same manpower and time. During the battle itself, you can have an exciting fight scene, where you can make choices like whether to take the towers and walls or to push onward into the city, and etc..


You're going to need to set up Alastor's fall, orders and reactions carefully. Otherwise it might feel like Long Live the Queen, where the death seems too unexpected and unavoidable. If his orders are too absurd, then you could logically get the support of the officers and army (particularly if you've been respectable among them), and Alastor could do nothing to you. Of course, he is a master assassin, so unless you arrange his death (wasn't it possible for him to die in the last battle?), he can kill you if he decides to, even if he can't get it done officially. There's also the question of the romance and whether how much he likes you will effect this. If his madness is too clear and too dangerous, and you have a lot of influence with the army, then the logical solution would be to supplant him one way or another. Whether you're allowed to do that and how to prevent the player needs to be considered.
In general, rather than a single event that results in your death, you might want to make it part of the balancing act, trying to placate Alastor and prevent him from doing anything rash.

Killing prisoners when you're in a siege and running low of supplies is fairly standard (assuming you can't just ship them to a POW camp), but it's still very different from killing your own soldiers. A witch hunt of Slygardians among their own ranks requires participation of the masses, but it's hard to imagine soldiers turning on people who have fought with them, unless there has been some heavy resentment between them festering. And if Slygardians make up a sizeable portion of your force... it would just be far too mad an idea (if they're separated, mixed into the Ortherans, then you could try an extreme, sudden betrayal on the level of a genocide plan, rounding them up and killing them off--but there is a reasonable chance of it resulting in a revolt instead, and would only be worthwhile if you were sure they'd turn on you).


The number of men you want depends on a couple of things. You do need a stronger force to succeeding in storming a castle (barring something like kidnapping the queen then the enemy army surrendering). If you can't destroy them out in the field, you can't destroy them when they have amazing fortifications. Even when you greatly outnumber the defenders, stormings often fail, or succeed at absurd cost. And while more men does mean more to feed, it also means you have more to dig trenches, patrol the area, and help with other necessary tasks.

Some could be sent on foraging runs to try and make up for their presence (you could make it a mechanic deciding how many forage and how many work if you wanted, but it wouldn't be necessary). For losing men when you're foraging, I don't think your losses would be significant enough to put a dent in your military plans. If there are enough enemy forces present to do that, then it's time to send patrols to hunt them down, or to stay in camp with heavy watches and sentries.


For the ABC, it's fairly similar to the previous battle where you prepared your defence. Just, this time, you're preparing your assault. You still have the choice of whether to wait for a plague to spread from flinging stuff over the wall, whether to cross the moat with pontoons or to fill it in with dirt, how many areas you're going to focus your attack on, and possible spying actions. A good mixtures of decisions (including decisions with good synergy) results in getting a victory without too many losses.


For the king's idea, you could make it that he decides there should be "accidents," among the sick and wounded. He wants Lucius to poison them secretly so that it will look like they died of a plague. Though, similar to the POW, if you have a supply line going, you ought to be send away your wounded and sick who won't soon recover with the caravans on their way back. If you're cut off you wouldn't have that option.


Oni's idea of ordering early assaults is good. This is a common problem among commanders, getting impatient during a siege and attacking before they're ready (why Sun Tzu said to avoid besieging walled cities). A failed assault results in some enemy casualties but a whole lot more for your own side. You'll also lose stuff like siege towers in such attacks and need to rebuild them. Failed assaults also reduces morale, and morale will drop greatly with successive failed assaults.

Something's gotta give if you keep attacking with glorious failure. Either your men will be so casualty-stricken and demoralized that they no longer have the ability to storm the capital (resulting in a retreat or a pointless siege until the enemy finally wipes you out), the troops become so angry that they overthrow you and Alastor (consider the possibility of a slightly brighter Bad End, where you can choose to join the revolt to save your own skin, if the men liked you enough), supplies have given out and it's getting to the point of starvation so you have to retreat, or the attrition is enough that one day you actually capture the walls from the enemy (if your army was strong enough and your plans close to reasonably prepared enough enough, multiple assaults could work).
Even if you win through attrition, it will be harder to take the city, inner wall and keep if you've taken too many casualties.

While you can't outright refuse the King, there are ways to weasel your way out of these early assaults. You can probably argue and convince him out of the attack at least once, especially if you are on good terms and/or have a good military reputation in past actions (that way, you get some leeway for military skill OR dating/befriending Alastor). Tell him you can't make the attack today because of so and so, but you can definitely make it next week! Then, next week comes, and you just happen to get a bad knee. If excuses aren't enough, you might be able to overrule him once if you have respect among the officers. There might be certain actions that sate Alastor, and delay his next demand for you to attack (anything from chats and romantic interludes to news from spies that a plague is spreading within the city or that you've managed to get extra supplies). Eventually, you'll hit your limit for how much you can argue against him, make excuses, and overrule him, till it gets to the point where you'll be relieved of command (or worse) or assassinated by Alastor.
I think this could be a fun subplot alongside the siege plans, part of the balancing act you need to maintain.

There could also be some excuses you could make during the attack. "The siege tower is busted, do you still want to attack?" "Oh for the love of... YES! Who needs the siege tower!? Take that city!"
Just thinking that if the player spends a lot of time and resources on siege towers, then they lose them all in an attack they didn't realize they'd be forced to make, it'd be annoying. Though, with proper foreshadowing, it could be their own fault for not adjusting their plans to what was clearly a problem.

You could consider highlighting events which are provoking Alastor into this state. Some of the men are getting sick from hunger, and he's visibly upset--thinking they should have ended the siege before this happened. Or news from home is that he's being portrayed as indecisive, and his men aren't properly cared for. Or the enemy feigns some false weakness, to provoke you into attack and he's taking the bait. Would make him more sympathetic and the situation would be deeper.


As you mention, putting Slygardians up the front is a clever way to dispose of them. And, this seems such a reasonable idea for getting rid of potential enemies, you don't need to be too crazy to think of it (just kind of paranoid and/or racist). Heck, with enough morale you could throw all the Slygardians in the first assault, blatantly showing your disregard for their lives, and they may still go up there and fight for you (an assault on fort Wagner comes to mind). If morale was high enough that it didn't result in some kind of revolt, then it could make for a dramatic scene where the Slygardians willing accept their suicide orders. Reminiscent of Gallipoli.


Stealth isn't a bad idea, actually. There were a number of forts no one could take, till they got some dangerous men to sneak behind the line and open the front doors. Troy is the most dramatic example of this. Not telling your other officers is a sign of paranoia, which can be reasonable in some cases--but is probably Alastor losing his level-headedness in this case.
How does the stealth plan go in the story?

SerenityFrost
2014-06-15, 04:33 PM
I've had this rolling in my head a while, but haven't mentioned it yet since I wasn't sure if it felt realistic enough. I was thinking the King's stealth plan was that he was going to sneak Lucius into the castle via an underground passage. The passage is too small to send men through, and easily collapsible if discovered, so he wants to be smart in his use of it. Lucius is sent through with the intent of setting off a contagious sickness. Something that will spread quickly in close quarters. Lucius is the only one who doesn't put forth a plan during the meeting, and is a trusted adviser to Alastor. If Lucius has enough respect for you, or you're in a romantic relationship, he'll come to you with concerns but won't tell you about the plan because he wouldn't betray the King's trust in him. What you tell him will influence what he does, however. If you express a preference for hostages he'll use an illness that is unpleasant but not fatal.

As for Alastor's relationship with the MC, yes, that does influence him some, but not enough to not kill her. We have every intention of making sure his "madness" is a slow build with an explosive pay off by the climax. As well as a proper resolution in the final chapter should the player choose to not kill him and then pursue said resolution. This includes a culmination of any romantic feelings.

EDIT: That last paragraph is very vague. I'd go into more detail, but it's not really battle relevant.

Mr. Mask
2014-06-15, 05:07 PM
There are times when the enemy has managed to poison water supplies. If they were meant to be sneaking into the city, I'd expect them to also try to open the gates and take it while they were there. They mightn't succeed at the latter, but it's certainly worth a try. The passage might only reach to an area that intersects the water way that feeds into the Slygardians' well, so they mightn't have the option.
Once the water is poisoned, the Slygardians have a serious problem. If there's a lot of rain or snow, they can survive off that. If they have a second well they can swap, though they probably will be infected by the contaminant before they know to swap. If they only have one water source and work out its contaminated, then they could try boiling the water which might work--which is why you'd expect Lucius to mix in a poison which can be cleansed from the water. If their only water source is poisoned, they'll have to surrender before long.

Alastor's relationship sounds like it's going to be interesting. Looking forward to exploring that.

SerenityFrost
2014-06-15, 06:09 PM
Romance with Alastor will have a slow start, but should be well worth it by the end. At least I hope so. d:

Mr. Mask
2014-06-18, 03:32 AM
To do a quick break down of the siege, you have a few resources.


Supplies: Needed to maintain your men.

Engineers: Necessary for skilled jobs.

Soldiers: To fight with, and to perform basic labour and duties from foraging to ditch digging. You might consider splitting them into infantry, soldiers and elites, but it mightn't be necessary.


The first thing to do is set up camp and a perimeter, including building up trenches and pavises so you can get close without being shot by arrows. There are different extents you can build up your defences too, depending on how likely you think an assault from the fortress is, but you can overlook that aspect if you like.


Then you have a few choices for how to spend your resources.


Siegecraft: Catapults, bridges, rams, siegetowers, ladders, and other things. Most of this will be lost in an attack, with the exception of catapults (you might lose them, if the enemy has catapults in their towers). Some pieces require more engineers (skilled labour) than others, but I can't think of good numbers for that offhand. Different pieces also take different amounts of time. There are also different qualities of catapult and the like, but I'm not sure if there's a good way to decide that at this point in the game (maybe placing a more optimal number of engineers on a project?). High quality siegecrafts are harder for the enemy to burn or dislodge, and catapults hit harder and more accurately.
Also, if the enemy has catapults and siege towers, that's going to make things really awkward for your siegetowers. You might be able to take their siege weapons out, somehow.

Catapults: If the enemy lacks long range weapons, it is possible to attack the walls continuously without losses. You can also throw carcases or fire over the walls to cause problems for and weaken the defenders. If you leave your catapults in place near the walls (so as not to have to recalibrate them every time you shift them back and forth), there's a chance the enemy will send agents to sabotage them in the night (strong patrols would help prevent this).


Undermining: While digging is an unskilled job, undermining does require some engineers. It's technically possible with unskilled labourers and only a couple of advising engineers, but it increases the chances of something going wrong (cave ins) or the enemy becoming aware of your undermining activity and position. Once you've gotten to the wall, you have to decide how much of it you want to encompass with the tunnel, a bigger collapse meaning a wider gap in the wall (and some more losses among the enemy, but not so much that it's worth tracking).
You might be able to tunnel into the fortress and send in soldiers behind the walls, except I can't remember a detailed historical case of that to verify the tactic.

Counter-mining: If the enemy works out where you're undermining them, they'll thwart your efforts by counter-tunnelling, including tactics such as: Tunnelling into your tunnel, sending in men (or women in their case?) to kill your miners. Using sulphur or other toxins to drive off or kill your miners. Undermine or overmine your own tunnel, collapsing theirs so as to cause yours to collapse. Use explosives to blast your tunnel and collapse part of it. If successful in any of these, the enemy will of course prematurely collapse part of your tunnel before it gets to their wall. Unless you already have the tunnel reaching under their wall, in which case I can't remember what procedure is.
Having trouble thinking of how your men could thwart explosives and gas. They could try chucking grenades back from where they came from, perhaps (that still may collapse your tunnel, but less of it), or put out the fuse if you can reach it in time. You might be able to stuff the cracks gas is leaking from while enduring what did get through.


Ramparts: It's possible to build up ramparts (dirt) at the walls/moat. You'll need portable shields to do this (can be arranged), since the enemy will try to kill you. You'll also need suppressing fire from your archers (otherwise, no amount of shields will save the men), which will expose them to counter fire (will get to that in a moment). Building ramparts is unskilled work, it won't benefit from engineers.

Filling the Moat: It's possible to fill in the moat (if there is one) with dirt so your men can cross it without needing to move bridges onto the water during the attack. Also, the enemy can't burn dirt like they can some of the platforms.
Evidently, you can fill the moat more or less. You could try to fill a narrow crossing where the enemy will focus their fire and wipe out your army, or you could make a nice and wide crossing, or you could fill it in at multiple points around the fortress, or you could fill in the whole thing.
You may need to fill parts of the moat to make use of siege towers, though you could wheel out a platform at the same time instead.

Logs in the Moat: If you have them, logs are a quick and easy way to fill a moat and make it suitable to cross on foot. It's not going to support a siege tower, and you can't build a Wall Ramp on it, but your men can cross it just fine. They can carry ladders, too.

Wall Ramp: You can, with effort, build up your ramparts all the way up to the walls. Same rules apply as with moats, overall. You'll face stronger resistance building ramparts to the walls (which means casualties among your diggers), and it might be a lot more work (depending on how deep and wide the moat was).


Trading Fire: You can, as a distraction, to cause losses, or to suppress the enemy while you do something like dig ramparts or place bombs, send your archers to fire on the men on the wall. This is a less effective distraction/suppression than a full assault.

The more archers you have, the better, but it is assumed you will always have more to start with (you don't storm a castle if you don't outnumber its garrison). The archers on the walls have a lot of advantages: Height, strong defences with clever use of arrow slits and the like, perhaps even catapults or ballistae (if they have those, your siegetowers will be in trouble).
Your own archers will have pavises (if they're not suicidal), but their biggest advantage will be numbers. If the enemy has five hundred archers firing, and you have two thousand, it's intimidating enough that it will suppress them and limit the number of casualties you sustain while increasing the number they sustain. That being said. you're still likely to see higher casualties than the enemy. Taking cover as you are, the casualties will not be great on either side.
If you have a lot of men (particularly archers) you could try to weaken the enemy through attrition in this way.

A lot of archers use a lot of arrows. Depending on your stock in the game, it might be wise to play more strategically with your supply. You can ignore issues of supply if you prefer, some armies were pretty well stocked.


Burning logs at the gates: If there are wooden gates or wooden portcullis, you can place logs there and set them alight to weaken the gate, making it easier to tear down later. The enemy will try to shoot you as you approach the gate, and they might have murder holes which let them attack you when you reach it (they might be able to pour water on the logs to prevent your plan from materializing, too).
Evidently, you can't get at the gate if there's a drawbridge or iron portcullis in the way, and you'll need to deal with those first (will write about those later).



The enemy would also have a few variables, which you're trying to overcome.

Health: The first would be the health of several walls you can attack. You can reduce it by building Wall Ramps, hitting them with catapults, or destroying them them through undermining. When the health is reduced to zero, you've created a huge gap in that wall.
You can also subvert their defensive bonus with siegetowers (not completely, you're still fighting through a funnel with those).

The gate and other defences would also have health, which you need to reduce to zero before you can pass through it.


Enemy Soldiers: There are the soldiers of the city, their numbers and ability to fight. The bigger this is, the harder it is to take the walls and chase them into the city, and the more losses they can inflict upon you. You reduce it through stuff like disease, and by getting on the walls to fight them, etc..


Advantage: In a given situation, there is the matter of who has a more of an advantage, who is able to inflict greater losses on the other.

A good way to understand this is to think of chokepoints. If you can only fit in one man to fight, where your enemy has ten positioned and able to attack, you're going to send a countless stream of men to their death one at a time. Similarly, if you have to climb a sixty foot wall for five minutes before you can hit the enemy with your sword, they're going to rain down arrows and kill a lot of you before you've even inflicted damage (with your sword). Similarly again, a man standing on slick mud in a pit has little chance against the man on high, sturdy ground.

Essentially, advantage is just a modifier for who is taking how many casualties within a situation. Fighting your way up the stairs, it might be 1:1.5 in favour of the defender. If you were fighting two to one, it might also be a 1:1.5 raiot in favour of the two. If you had two to one when fighting up stairs, it might be 1:2 or 1.5:1.5 depending on which side has two guys.
Those numbers aren't really based off anything. not up to coherency much less working out the proper numbers. I'll probably have to come up with some later, so you can work out victory points based of f the scenarios your troops face.


Capacity: There is a hard cap on how many men can attack from given angles/placements. If you have ladders side by side along the length of the wall, and as many men climbing them as possible, you've hit the cap for that. The enemy meanwhile, besides stacking archers on the wall, can also place men in the towers, can have people throwing boiling oil on you, and can be firing through arrow slits from within the wall, having a much larger cap.

For this reason, it's wise to spread out your assault when you have more men than necessary. Spreading out your assault forces your enemy to do the same, and prevents them from taking advantage of their higher caps (usually you don't have enough men to effectively defend everywhere at once).


Wall Capture: This stat would show how close you are to chasing the enemy from the walls and capturing them (though the player might never see it). It would work much like a health stat for the enemy. When you reduce it to zero by damaging the enemy via getting men on the wall or through the gate or attacking them through gaps in the wall or through attrition and disease before the conflict, they'll retreat from the outer wall to the city.

You'll then have a City Capture health stat, an Inner Wall stat, and a Keep Capture health stat, all of which you'll need to defeat in order to take the fortress.

Basically, the enemy will abandon fortifications when they've lost their advantage. If there are as many of your guys on the walls and in the towers as there are their guys, there really isn't any point in sticking around on the walls (unless there was nowhere better to retreat to).



OK, I've gotten to the point where I'm forgetting what I just typed, so I better lie down and rest. Let me know if you have any questions on what I mentioned, or about anything else. Going to have to work out the situations your soldiers will face. You'll need something like a turn system, to work out how many casualties are sustained before the situation changes (like, if climbing the ladders took five turns). Less complex than it sounds.

SerenityFrost
2014-06-18, 07:48 AM
Mr. Mask, that is absolutely fantastic. And just what we need before our team meeting tonight. We'll be talking about how we want to handle the siege and the mechanics we'd need to do it. This is going to be a huge help in getting that sorted.

Mr. Mask
2014-06-18, 10:16 AM
Glad my post was timely. I'll await updates on what you collectively find/decide/think of in your meeting. Will make it easier to offer advice on handling mechanics.

Brother Oni
2014-06-18, 11:42 AM
Nice one Mask.

Only comment I have is that flooding incoming tunnels is also a viable counter measure (or building the city on sandy/waterlogged ground), as is flooding the city.

Both tactics are highly dependent on the terrain though, so it may be easier to simply omit that option.

Laiska
2014-06-18, 02:52 PM
For lack of much useful input I've just been lurking here to read the replies, but that is fantastic, Mr. Mask! Thank you, seriously. It's going to be a challenge to balance streamlining game mechanics with authenticity, but this guidance really helps.

Thanks to you as well, Oni!

Mr. Mask
2014-06-18, 07:14 PM
Oni: Whoops, that was a pretty big miss on my part. Only defence I can think of against that is to pre-collapse the end of your tunnel before they flood you, then tunnel toward the wall at a different angle so they aren't fully sure of your position. Thanks for pointing it out, Oni :smallsmile:.


Lakisa: Just Mask is fine :smallsmile:.

Hadn't expected to get so much praise for that post. All I can really say for it is that it is thorough. Just happy if those flaws Oni caught are the only ones (and glad he caught them, since flooding is pretty big).



Actually, a little more on flooding. I will say that it will require a fairly sturdy tunnel which won't collapse when the water hits it, and you'll want the water to go at it with an amount of pressure so it can't just be plugged up (having a wide exit and entrance helps). But I don't know if it will really be a lot of work to prepare it for that.

Setting up the water to go into the tunnel isn't too hard either, though it does take a bit of work (particularly if you want high pressure, and very especially depending on how far away the river is located). Mostly unskilled work, but you'll definitely need some engineers to oversee it. Making sure the exit will break when the water hits it will probably be overseen by James himself, to make sure it's set up right.

Once you hit them with flood waters, it will be their city's ability to drain the water against the river you have pumping water in. If they're fast and you didn't make it too hard, they could still stuff the hole, so you'll want to flood them at night for maximum confusion. If it was really bad, they'd need to keep the gates open just to stop the outer wall from becoming a swimming pool, and hopefully prevent the water from reaching into the walls too much. If you have any gaps in the walls, they'll help to drain the water as well.
Even if it drains, the water is likely to spread disease (you can arrange for the water to hit some dirty stuff on its way in for extra effect) and chaos in the enemy camp, and you can assault the castle while they're trying to plug the water to distract them on both fronts.

If there isn't good drainage in the castle, then the outer wall will fill up till the pressure of your water system can't overcome the weight of the water in the city. There are a lot of variables there to control how much pressure you can get, largely depending on the highest point the river feeds the tunnel from and the size of the river. There are also ways you can use a lake for this, I think, where it would depend on the size of the lake (quite a tricky project).

Note that the enemy might see what you're doing, particularly if you're setting up an aqueduct from a distant river. Even with attempts to make them think you're going to hit their gates and walls with it, they'll actively start probing for your tunnels once they see it.

If the city is flooded, that's going to cause a lot of problems for the defenders depending on how flooded. If it flooded to the extent where it was flowing over the outer wall, taking the fortress will be easy. A few men in the towers will probably surrender to you as you open the gates and rush men onto the walls as the water level lowers. When the walls are taken, you'd damn the aqueduct and occupy the city as soon as it was traversable. The enemy could try to take the city back, but most of their defences will have been ruined and your men will capture a large portion of the city by the time they get into position. Still, they could offer some resistance, knowing it well, and being on the defender's side of things.
-
Of course, the defenders are likely to open the gate themselves to try and drain the water. Then you have an awkward situation where if you keep the water going, it'll (gently) flood your own camp too, acting as a source of some disease and some confusion (that is, a worse source of those things). Still, it would be worthwhile, as this inconveniences you far less than the enemy. Taking the walls isn't effortless like if the outer wall overflowed, but it will give you a lot of advantages. They will have lost a lot of supplies and facilities, all movement on the walls will be very congested, and they'll need to traverse by bridges or boats to get between the inner ward and the outer wall. Their housing will be destroyed too, so they'll be demoralized. Eventually, they'll manage to plug the hole, and the castle will start to drain properly (though they'll still have lost a lot of stuff when it has finally drained), and they'll regain freedom of movement and use of the lower floors of the city and walls (including arrow slits).

Even if the city is flooded less dramatically (which is more likely), you'll still destroy supplies, ruin enemy movement through the city and around the outer wall, and cut off a stable line of retreat. This is likely to damage their Wall Capture HP a lot, as they'll be more nervous about being overrun and wiped out and so will begin to retreat sooner. The advantage ratios and caps might also be weakened for the defenders, due to the congestion and etc..

On the point of disease, remember that stuff you do to plague the city will be a problem when your troops occupy it and are trying to besiege the outer wall. Technically you can keep various facilities outside the wall (assuming it's any better) to lower the exposure to diseases, but you will need a lot of your men stationed inside the city in case the enemy performs a counter offensive, so it's probably unavoidable.



Despite the fact I typed up all that on flooding, it is quite possible you don't want to have flooding. I mean, it's either a pretty dramatic victory, or it's something that may not be worthwhile compared to undermining. Plus, you'd have to have it be less effective if there are gaps in the walls. Also, it's one of the easiest things to leave out, since it effectively do it you need a decent water source with enough height. Makes me feel silly for writing so much on the subject, and recommending you don't use it. Annoyed with myself, even. Rats.

SerenityFrost
2014-06-19, 04:38 AM
So we came to the conclusion at the meeting that it would be better not to jar the player with a completely different game mechanic so close to the end and for only one scenario.

How we plan on handling the siege is thus. The player gets several options at the planning stage of the siege. They select the plan they think will work the best and get to see it play out with flavor options sprinkled along the way. So what we're looking to do here is to write out three different ways the siege can play out depending on which general's strategy the player decides to go with.

The option the player selects is not the real plan. The King is doing behind the MC's back. In a blind play through the player should (hopefully) feel just as frustrated as the MC when it's revealed that all of their planning was a distraction for a much more deadly option. Especially when the MC was under the impression that the point of this war was to strike up a peace, not overtake a country.


You two fellows have been a massive boon for me and the other writers. Half of our time writing is spent doing research to make sure things are handled realistically and accurately. You pretty much did half of our job for us by providing us with all this information, and that means more time we can spend making sure the script is polished and engaging. d:

Mr. Mask
2014-06-19, 05:00 AM
Three options seems a bit frugal compared to the game's other battles, but I guess it should be fine for a trick where the King will handle the plan. Let's see, plans... Depends on the time sensitivity of the King's plan. An assault on the wall can probably occur well ahead of undermining.

- A general assault, with siege towers and logs and ladders. Fastest. Relies on the strength of your assault. Nick's idea?

- Undermining the walls followed by an assault. Longer. Relies on your cunning and the strength of your engineers. James.

- Pick at the fort with catapults, archers, diseased carcases and general attrition before assaulting. Longest. Premise would be to take advantage of your greater numbers and to wear the enemy down before striking the killing blow. The Mage might suggest this, magic could be involved (continually casting spells on the fort while this is going on could be unpleasant for the defenders)?

To make things less suspicious, you might have the option to ask about a plan involving Fox sneaking in and opening the gate or something. That'd go hand in hand with an assault, so the King could just agree to that but focus his attentions on his plan of wiping out the Slygardians rather than opening the gate as intended. Or, he could have an excuse for why Fox can't do that, acting as stronger foreshadowing of something being off.


Glad if this is of help. Research is a lot of work, so it's understandable this will be a much more efficient way of getting the information you need.


EDIT: Actually consider another option, sue for peace, recommended by Lucius. He wants to try negotiating on the basis of his religious status, to convince the Slygardians to make peace. His desire stems from Alastor's plan, and the part he'll have to play in it. He'd much prefer if it never came to that. It'd give an option for each of the Romances, aside from Alastor (assuming you don't know he's fox at this point). The option for peace is either shut down by the king, or comes to little or nothing.

Just an idea, I don't know the flow of the story by that point, so it mightn't fit.

Also, come to think of it, being the king now, it makes sense for Alastor to not suggest a course of action to you. Leaders don't usually have the luxury of making suggestions, they give commands. Making a suggestion gives an unfair impetus to listen to their suggestion even if it is flawed, and looks bad if your suggestions aren't chosen. So, in talks among the officers, it'd make sense if he was more formal and let the others suggest plans. Then, you'll choose from among the plans, and you'll suggest it to the king.

Brother Oni
2014-06-19, 05:13 AM
Actually, a little more on flooding. I will say that it will require a fairly sturdy tunnel which won't collapse when the water hits it, and you'll want the water to go at it with an amount of pressure so it can't just be plugged up (having a wide exit and entrance helps). But I don't know if it will really be a lot of work to prepare it for that.

It's less a collapse of the tunnel and more that the tunnelers can't breathe underwater.

Water tends to gravitate towards the path of least resistance and a big void like an underground tunnel is the ideal space for it to collect. Unless the ground is fairly impermeable to water (eg clay), it will seep in eventually (hence my comment on building on sandy/water logged ground as that will cause water to move in even more quickly), hindering any attempt by the tunnelers to pump/bucket chain the water out, or making the entire tunneling operation logistically impossible (you need to fit the diggers, the waste earth extraction and water extraction all in the same tunnel).
Since undermining tunnels tend to be very small (digging is hard work), it doesn't take much water depth to make them non-viable.

It's also not especially difficult to flood a tunnel - all you have to do is raise the water table above the depth of the tunnel (eg a water filled moat instead of a dry moat) and things will become deeply unpleasant for the diggers.

Edit: Ah, I was talking about the defenders using water to stop undermining, rather than the re-direction of water that you're on about. From what I've read of water attacks, it's typically done by digging a channel towards the target (no tunneling), then redirecting a river/lake towards the city to make life extremely unpleasant for them.
Building a dam to build a body of water and using the flood waters as a massive battering ram was less common due to geography, but not unheard of. This is the reason why pre-existing dams are also usually guarded during times of war.



Also, it's one of the easiest things to leave out, since it effectively do it you need a decent water source with enough height. Makes me feel silly for writing so much on the subject, and recommending you don't use it. Annoyed with myself, even. Rats.

Hence my two line comment. :smalltongue:

To be honest, it isn't really your fault for missing out flooding - castles tend to be built on high rocky ground, making offensive use of water non-viable. Even with cities, their location is of critical importance and even when the geography was optimal, western sieges didn't use them very often.

Mr. Mask
2014-06-19, 05:20 AM
Yeah, thinking too much of raging floods rather than annoying ones that ruin the mining operation all the same. And my mind was a bit focal on western siege warfare, it is true. China has some great examples of flooding I should have recalled.

SerenityFrost
2014-06-19, 09:07 AM
Our archmagus is very good at controlling the elements. He could, potentially, start or stop a flood with magic.

Brother Oni
2014-06-19, 10:22 AM
Our archmagus is very good at controlling the elements. He could, potentially, start or stop a flood with magic.

I just want to make sure that you're aware of the scale involved here.

Flooding the Tower of London (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_London) to a depth of 1 metre would require 48.5 kilotonnes of water.

If all that water was converted into a rushing wall of 20m wide by 2m high, it would be 1.2km long. If it was travelling at 10m/s (about the speed of a human sprinter), it would hit a static object with a pressure of 1.2MPa. For reference the pressure wave in the immediate devastation zone of the Little Boy nuclear bomb was a mere 5 psi (34.5 kPa or 0.0345MPa).

A non-controlled flood that covered more area but with less force, would require even more water.

Edit: Another point I wanted to raise - if our archmagnus can manipulate that mass of water, then he would be able to collapse a ~86m section of the walls of Xi'an (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortifications_of_Xi%27an) (assuming it was made out of solid granite), making the siege pretty short.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/Xi%27an_-_City_wall_-_013.jpg/640px-Xi%27an_-_City_wall_-_013.jpg

SerenityFrost
2014-06-19, 01:59 PM
Numbers aren't a strong point of mine, so I hadn't actually realized the scale involved. That is probably much more massive than he could do. Not without using the souls of a chunk of soldiers for fuel. An unacceptably large chunk.

Brother Oni
2014-06-20, 02:29 AM
Numbers aren't a strong point of mine, so I hadn't actually realized the scale involved. That is probably much more massive than he could do. Not without using the souls of a chunk of soldiers for fuel. An unacceptably large chunk.

While I'm all for not letting facts get in the way of a good story, I'm a lot less lenient on the rules of the setting and the laws of physics, particuarly when they're being applied inconsistently. :smalltongue:

I'm just trying to help avoid the "Wait, what?" moments where you're told that 'I am the archmagnus, master of elements! I can move kilotonnes of water but not a similar amount of earth because um, plot?'.
I have no issue with 'I am the archmagnus, master of elements! I can redirect free flowing water easily but that curtain wall is too solidly built. Knock a couple of holes in it first and I'll see what I can do.'

SerenityFrost
2014-06-20, 03:35 AM
Pfft, no. I really go out of my way to make sure anything I introduce as a character ability is realistically handled within the rules I've set for the world. You feel free to point out any dumb things that I do not notice in that regard. Spells don't come from nothing there. You need to burn an equal amount of energy to the scale of the task you're performing.

Magus' in the setting can pull that energy from anywhere as it's in everything. The same life force that makes trees seek the sun collects inside humans like bowls set out in the rain. There are two layers to the soul. There is the core, which is there from birth and while it can be cracked or marred cannot truly be changed. Then there is the surface, a collection of the energies around you there to protect the core. The surface is an always shifting and changing element. It gives and takes from the world and the people around it. A properly trained magus will only take from the surface for a boost in power, but will usually draw from the world around them. An untrained or malicious magus will tap into the core for power, which is both dangerous and damaging.

Archmagus Rubus has a saying in the games, something that he repeats from his home. "Only a fool draws on their own soul for power." This is because if the one wielding the magic weakens themselves in such a way the magic can get away from them. You have to use the energies around you as just using your own is unwise.

The rub to all this is, however, that taking energy from others confuses the magus' body making them very sick until they get used to it. Depending on a magus' constitution this can range from months to even years. In the case of Prelate Lucius he has the talent of a magus, but was trained by the church who doesn't understand magic in the slightest. They see the illness not as an adjustment but a sign that the one trying to use said magic is unfit to be doing so. Lucius got used to hiding how sick it made him rather than learning how to work through it, so he uses his magic sparingly and often draws from himself first.

Now for Lucius this is a much less dangerous prospect. He uses his magic to heal others. Archmagus Rubus, on the other hand, asks the aid of the elements. Losing control of his powers can cause destruction on a massive scale. Lucius losing control only really harms himself.


Well, that was a bit longer a rant than I'd intended. d:

Brother Oni
2014-06-20, 06:31 AM
You feel free to point out any dumb things that I do not notice in that regard.

I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't. :smalltongue:



Spells don't come from nothing there. You need to burn an equal amount of energy to the scale of the task you're performing.

'Energy' energy or measurable joules energy? Because I can calculate how much energy you'd need to shift the 48.5 kilotonnes of water and how much energy a living thing has in storage form (starch, fat, glycogen, etc), but I'm not sure you really want to start going down that route.

The less said about solar powered magi, the better.

Also, it's not life force that makes plants seek the sun but auxins triggered by photosensitive receptors... I'll shut up now.

SerenityFrost
2014-06-20, 02:27 PM
I think I'll avoid the exact math for now. d: The sun thing is more an artistic metaphor than hard fact. However, I have always found magic fueled by math to be an interesting concept. Just one that I could never properly explore due to my absolute inability to work numbers into any cogent form.

Were I do go with measuring I probably would go with joules. In case you were curious. It would make for some very clean and elegant logic to, say, conjuration or transmutation magics.

Rosstin
2014-06-21, 08:52 AM
Emily has been working on our Kickstarter icon for Queen At Arms (https://www.facebook.com/QueenAtArms). What do you think?

Also, our game was reviewed by a well-known Tumblr user (http://acelineus.tumblr.com/post/89082112822/queen-at-arms-demo-review)!

http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee493/rosstin2011february/KICK_ICON_IMAGE_zps0d67ab5a.png

Mr. Mask
2014-06-21, 10:52 AM
A little conflicted on the image. I like the background, but I wonder if it distracts from how neat Marcus looks. But hen, even with a duller background, my opinion mightn't be improved as I initially expect.

Excellent review, I'm happy for you. I hope it makes the rounds on tumblr. Feels nice to see the choices complimented, even though my part in it was very small.

Brother Oni
2014-06-21, 11:15 AM
However, I have always found magic fueled by math to be an interesting concept. Just one that I could never properly explore due to my absolute inability to work numbers into any cogent form.

May I suggest the Alex Versus series by our very own Saph (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/member.php?20586-Saph), where the titular character is a probability mage.

I've helped him out with the odd question as well, although it went to somewhat morbid places than this thread (it's one thing to look up history of warfare, it's another to look up mortality and morbidity papers of death and injuries caused by falls).


Emily has been working on our Kickstarter icon for Queen At Arms (https://www.facebook.com/QueenAtArms). What do you think?
http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee493/rosstin2011february/KICK_ICON_IMAGE_zps0d67ab5a.png

I like it. The background frames Marcus very well and I can see she's using a sabre. My only comment is that you may want a bit more clarity around her eyes (or just a larger image) to highlight the fact she's wearing glasses as at the moment, it looks like her eyes are a bit weird (your Kickstarter one is perfect, although it's from a different angle).

SerenityFrost
2014-06-23, 06:01 AM
http://benedictjacka.co.uk/alex-verus/

That book series there, Oni? I do like me some urban fantasy from time to time. I just wish I had more time to read.

Brother Oni
2014-06-23, 06:49 AM
http://benedictjacka.co.uk/alex-verus/

That book series there, Oni? I do like me some urban fantasy from time to time. I just wish I had more time to read.

That's the one. To my shame, I have the first book, but haven't got round to reading it yet (still trying to get through Citizen Soldiers by Stephen Ambrose).

Rosstin
2014-07-15, 09:41 AM
http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee493/rosstin2011february/TENT_PLAN_final-2_zps978d2917.png

Planning a battle...

Mr. Mask
2014-07-15, 08:17 PM
Nice art. With all the talk of end-game, this picture looks nostalgic to me. Like, "the good old days... before I killed off half the romances and who the villain was changed three times. ...I miss those days." The first time you see it, it'll probably give the impression of "this is awesome! I get to command troops and make strategy and the main characters are taking over! Everything's going to be just fine."

Makes me wonder if you could use it twice, somehow.

Rosstin
2014-08-09, 12:44 PM
just 6 more days... august 15th

http://i1230.photobucket.com/albums/ee493/rosstin2011february/CORONATION_02_small2_zps9bb43746.png

Mr. Mask
2014-08-09, 12:55 PM
Exciting times. Will make sure to tell some of my friends about the game and kickstarter.

Rosstin
2014-08-11, 12:20 AM
Exciting times. Will make sure to tell some of my friends about the game and kickstarter.

Thanks Mask! We'll need all the help we can get.

Rosstin
2014-08-14, 06:49 PM
We are currently in the mad throes of our Kickstarter!

Mr. Mask
2014-08-14, 07:23 PM
Nice! Will check it out the kickstarter.

Rosstin
2014-08-14, 07:24 PM
Nice! Will check it out soon.

Thanks man :smallbiggrin:

Mr. Mask
2014-08-16, 07:34 PM
Woah! Way to go on clearing your goal on day 1 everyone! That ought to bring a load off your minds.

Hope to see you hit many juicy stretch-goals. Though, I do hope you don't extend yourselves too far with those (some kickstarters have gotten in trouble with that). You ought to email some news sites to tell them about your exciting upcoming game.

Once again, congratulations!


EDIT: 1,000 dollars? Well... will be interesting to see what Olivia has in mind. I suppose you'll keep that a secret for a while, though.

Rosstin
2014-08-16, 09:19 PM
Exciting times!

Brother Oni
2014-08-17, 12:53 PM
Huh. I didn't realise Fox had been cut. It would make the $1,000 stretch goal interesting if Fox is re-instated with minimal changes. :smalltongue:

Laiska
2014-08-18, 02:38 AM
@Oni: Heh, yeah, we had some logistic issues with Fox, as he was initially planned. We've worked out a new angle for him now though, so it would be great if we get a chance to implement it.

Brother Oni
2014-08-19, 06:06 PM
Looks like Stretch Goal One's been achieved - time to start cracking the whip on the artists? :smalltongue:

Rosstin
2014-09-02, 07:21 PM
The artists are superstars :smallcool:
The writers, too. Good job, guys.

$89 away from our last stretch goal! Then, new stretch goals. ^_^;

Mr. Mask
2014-09-02, 11:35 PM
The pledges are climbing steadily, it seems. Makes me wonder what your next stretch goal will be.

By the way, when the next demo releases, if you can give me the script in a document it will be easier for me to denote typing errors or suggestions.


EDIT: Oh, and with the theme of your game, this new discovery might interest you: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2011/07/invasion-of-the-viking-women-unearthed/1?csp=34tech&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+usatoday-TechTopStories+%28Tech+-+Top+Stories%29&siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-K0N7ZWh0LJjcLzI4zsnGxg#.VAaV0mP56BW

Rosstin
2014-09-07, 03:24 PM
We're just a few dollars away from our latest stretch goal!

Mr. Mask
2014-09-07, 03:47 PM
Yeah, I've been paying attention. I'm interested in how you intend to improve the battle system. Not sure if there's anyone left I can mention the game to, sadly.

I expect you may also hit the Voice acting stretch goal before the end. Not sure if you have any ideas left after that goal (as it is, I'm worried you might have under budgeted the price of voice actors).


PS: Been checking out Extra History?

Rosstin
2015-03-14, 12:31 PM
It has been A Long Time since we last updated this thread.

Queen At Arms is nearing the final stages of development now. We expect to release the 1st version of the game on Steam in Q2 2015.

I want to thank Brother Oni and Mr. Mask again for helping us so much in regards to planning out our battle sequences for Queen.

Meagan Trott and I are now in the earliest stages of planning for our next game, a very small gamejam-sized visual novel, based on the story of Carmilla. We have a thread for that here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?403672-Carmilla-Research-for-an-1870s-Historical-Lesbian-Vampire-Game).

Rosstin
2015-07-01, 05:02 PM
I wanted to personally thank Oni and Mask for their help in the battle-planning phase. The game is out now.

http://aqualuftgames.itch.io/queen-at-arms

It will be out on Steam a little later, and there's also a Deluxe edition coming in the future.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y237/AsterAzul/onimask.png

Brother Oni
2015-07-02, 01:16 AM
Congratulations! I hope it sells well and thank you very much for the credit. :smallbiggrin:

Mr. Mask
2015-07-03, 06:25 PM
Excellent work Ross! I will look into the game very soon.

It's funny you're using itch.io, though. A game jam I'm in is using it (oh yeah, I made my first game). I guess it's one of the new major indie platforms?

Rosstin
2015-07-04, 12:33 PM
Itch is just very simple. We are Greenlit on Steam but we wanted to launch a little smaller first, and Itch let us do that.

Mr. Mask
2015-07-04, 02:19 PM
Ah, makes sense. It's also handy if the site takes a smaller cut (there's some trick with coupons you can use to encourage that site).

NichG
2015-07-04, 10:01 PM
Congratulations!

I'll be curious about whatever you're willing (and allowed) to share about your experience with the Steam release once you go forward on that, since we will also hopefully be going through the same process in a few months.

Mr. Mask
2015-07-05, 02:21 AM
Congratulations to you as well then, Nich. I wish you luck with crunch time (it's a pretty interesting experience...).

Rosstin
2015-07-05, 01:13 PM
The nuts and bolts of being Greenlit... it's just a website form. You need to drive a crapton of traffic to vote for you on Steam. You should really do that during your Kickstarter. Steam has been getting easier and easier throughout the years though and at this point if you have a reasonably popular game, you will definitely get Greenlit.

In order to host on Steam, you need to either a) have legally founded your company or b) put your game up as a private individual.

The latter is way easier but if you have a big team they might not want to have everything flowing through a single person.

NichG
2015-07-05, 07:15 PM
The nuts and bolts of being Greenlit... it's just a website form. You need to drive a crapton of traffic to vote for you on Steam. You should really do that during your Kickstarter. Steam has been getting easier and easier throughout the years though and at this point if you have a reasonably popular game, you will definitely get Greenlit.

In order to host on Steam, you need to either a) have legally founded your company or b) put your game up as a private individual.

The latter is way easier but if you have a big team they might not want to have everything flowing through a single person.

Yeah, we actually did manage to get Greenlit during a slow month on Steam. The thing that's slowing us down now is getting all the founding-the-company stuff out of the way since we're in different countries. So I haven't even gotten a chance to look at the API yet or see what we will actually need to do code-wise. In the mean-time, I figured that we'll probably at least make as much on Steam as we made off of it, so I'm putting that towards commissioning art to give a better visual impact overall, and trying to fix some silly design decisions we made along the way (like the fixed 800x480 resolution...)