Caribbean! — Status update #7

December 19, 2014  |  Caribbean!, На Карибы!  |  4 Comments

Hi everyone,

It’s time for a new status update. Right now we’re preparing the biggest update we’ve ever released till this point, so you can expect a lot of changes. For this reason, we decided to shift the update’s release to January to give us a little more time to make it even better.

First, we added a new renown system. Now it’s split into military renown for soldiers and trading (or administrative) renown for entrepreneurs. It’s becoming a very important part of the game and it defies what you can acquire: which troops, ship upgrades and building types will be available to you.

Military renown should be pretty clear, it didn’t change much from what there was before. Trading renown can be considered as a total amount of all your assets: your ships, your money, goods in your cargo hold, value of your property and so on. If you are a billionaire, you’re a celebrity of Caribbean.

So things will get a little tougher. Some troops will be harder to get, cannons will disappear from free market, and you’ll need to pay taxes for your property and goods in your cargo hold.

There are also new faces!

There are also new faces!

Another addition comes out of this — players will generally have to pay more. You’ll need to pay port charges for every stop in a port, and the amount of pay will depend on the value of your cargo. If you won’t have enough money, customs officials will confiscate a part of your goods. Although, if you don’t wish to pay anything at all, you can always contact smugglers.

Smuggling is the third addition. If you want to sell your goods in a city, but don’t want to pay for port charges, smugglers are your best choice. Of course,when you set a meeting with smugglers, you also run the risk of stumbling into customs patrol. Depending on your skills, this situation could end in different ways. Some will manage to persuade the patrol that there’s no goods on the ship, others will have to take a fight.

The fourth direction of our current development is the new quest system. We removed quest distribution through ‘talking heads’ — now they are given out in a separate panel in cities. You will also be able to hire mercenaries there, in case your battle rank doesn’t let you hire troops in garrison.

caribbean!quest

New strategic map is something we announced a long time ago and right now it takes 60% of our efforts. We changed the scale of the game world, increased the amount of settlements and also completely reworked the map’s visualization. By the way, the settlement concept was changed and now there’s no villages in the game. From now on, the world consists of cities only.

Finally, the updated naval battles. We heard enough feedback on how boring and monotonous current naval warfare is. We have some new gameplay elements in the works which we’ll tell you about once we’re ready to ship the update.

That’s it for now. See you next year and happy holidays!

Leave comment

Eador — Update notes (December 4)

December 4, 2014  |  Eador, Эадор  |  56 Comments

Hi everyone,

New update for Eador is available today.

150

Update notes for 1.5.0:

New:

  • Added minimap (F2 to toggle).
  • Added tooltips for non-active dialogue options (like ‘Not enough gold’).
  • Added descriptions for Scout’s available actions before a fight start.
  • Hiring ‘Cavalry’ guard now requires ‘Warriors guild’ instead of ‘Barracks’.
  • Added 8 new site types.

Fixed:

  • Map generator bug which led to impassable locations.
  • ‘Empty’ slot in enemy’ army description when attacking a province.
  • Income tooltip preventing clear view for construction queue.
  • Missing price for spells used by units during tactical combat.
  • Incorrect damage prediction when using a flank or running attack.
  • Bug in medal rewards distribution.
  • Bug that caused often healed units to receive a Healer’s medal.
  • Inability to see HP loss of huge units positioned in upper rows of the tactical map.
  • Elf druid didn’t get advantage of Commander’s Ranged tactics skill.
  • Events in uninhabited provinces.
Leave comment

Caribbean! — Multiplayer dilemma

December 2, 2014  |  Caribbean!, На Карибы!  |  13 Comments

Hi everyone,

We think it’s time we discuss some possible multiplayer options for our game, seeing as lately there are more and more questions about it both on our forum, Steam discussions and our FB page.

Initially, we only thought of ‘Caribbean!’ as a single-player game, because at its foundation was our attempt to convey the feelings that gave us Sid Meier’s Pirates! in its time. But taking something as template doesn’t mean full copying. Mount & Blade’s genom, that we got together with its engine, obliged us to focus on a good fighting system as well.

That’s why the game’s concept sounded like this:”economic strategy + naval battles + war strategy + roleplaying”. This is a good, massive foundation upon which we can build so many ideas. So many, in fact, that we have more planned ideas than we can possibly implement. Trading routes? River expedition into the depths of America? Searching for the secret Maia towns? Advanced control of generals and fleet? We’d like to do all of it.

Riot

Multiplayer was left for later, as it requires a different approach. And not just different, but an entirely opposite one.

For us the perfect blend of roleplaying and strategy means playing at a pretty slow pace. You can sit and think as much as you like. You can send your squadron to loot a town and drink some tea while your ships cross the Caribbean sea. Multiplayer’s having none of it: everything is fast paced, there’s a lot of emotion and tension involved and compressed into 5-10 minutes sessions.

Traditional multiplayer, such as the one we did in ‘With Fire & Sword’, isn’t very interesting to make at this point. We think it’s time to try something new, but what would it be exactly? Maybe some sort of team deathmatch with set goals? Goals that could be different for each team or maybe for each individual player?

A lot of people ask to add multiplayer. Some of you ask to add co-op. Could you tell us what you mean by ‘co-op’ for this game?

Before we dig too deep into this, here’s an official announcement. If by co-op you imply an ability to play the single-player campaign, but with friends online, we won’t be able to make it happen. This game would be titled ‘Mount & Blade Online’ and our studio of 10 people is not the one for this job.

But perhaps you’d like to suggest your idea for a fun multiplayer mode without resorting to creating another WoW-killer? Let us know what you think.

P.S. Before you ask — yes, we played The Deluge’s naval battle mode.

Leave comment

Caribbean! — Status update #6

November 21, 2014  |  Caribbean!, На Карибы!  |  3 Comments

Hi everyone,

Time has come for us to share what we’ve been working on since the last status update.

Firstly, boarding locations seem to be complete. While we were working on the scenes with the battleship, we had some ideas on how we could improve the whole boarding process, but in the end decided to hold off implementing until later development stages. Battleships were the most powerful means of destruction in XVII century, really huge ships. Adding them into the game took us some time. Anyway, we really hope you’ll like this ship.

Next, the old global map is no more, and the new one is in the works. It’s a bit hard to read at the moment, but the world should get prettier soon. If you remember, initially we wanted to include not only local tribes, but Brazilian colonies, Maia’s and Apache Indians’ towns, even cities of New England as well. This idea proved to be too ambitious, so instead we decided to focus entirely on the Caribbean region, territories of Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and other states have been taken out from the game.

new_map

The new troops hiring system is now finished. Our main goal was to distance it from the system familiar to you by M&B games. Now the troops aren’t hired with a series of questions and answers (“How many Spanish musketeers would you like?” – “I would like 5 Spanish musketeers”), it’s now done with the system of icons and sliders. It’s working very similar to the current trading screen.

newhire

Finally, we began working on the new quest system. Quests have been untied from the dialogues and lords. To be honest, dialogues in M&B sometimes seemed quite routine to us — especially when a lord that assigned a quest, decided to go to war, then lose it and be jailed for a couple of weeks. Now quests are assigned by cities and factions in a single quest panel.

Plans for the following month:

– Making more quests (possibly some special ones with smuggling involved);
– New rank system to replace the current one;
– Adding trading renown – as we mentioned, we’d like to make trading and business a full-fledged activity for roleplaying;
– Finishing the global map and the new version of the city screen, which we’ll show you in a separate post once we have some pretty screenshots on hand.

Also please be sure to ‘like’ our little Facebook ‘Caribbean!’ page if you want to stay up-to-date with the game’s news at that place and if that’s your thing. Thanks!

Leave comment

Caribbean! — Status update #5

October 29, 2014  |  Caribbean!, На Карибы!  |  13 Comments

Hi everyone,

We wanted to share another status update and along with it give a warning that the next update will take a while to be finished. But it should be the biggest update for us since the Early Access launch, and if everything goes as planned, the game will smoothly enter the beta phase.

City3

Here’s what we’ll be working on for the next month:

1. Creating new mechanism for quest assignments.

Giving out quests in Mount & Blade series always depended on certain characters. But sometimes it’s not very convenient as the lord the gave you a quest could be taken prisoner and you’d have to wait for his grace to be released in order to receive your hard earned reward.

2. Adding new quests.

We want to redo the quest system completely. Firstly, no more ‘go to the village on the edge of the map and kill a character with ‘Suspicious guy’ tooltip. Meaning we’d like to reduce the amount of FedEx-quests and replace them with a bit more meaningful actions. Secondly, we want to divide the quests by trading and military ones. A peaceful player that doesn’t really want to rob and kill others and likes trading should be rewarded for his play style. So a part of the quests will be dedicated to battles and killing, another — for trading and money making.

3. Changing the renown system.

We’re planning to make renown a main capital for the player. If you’re a known captain, you’ll always be able to gather a gang of thugs ready to die for you during Spanish colony assault. If you’re a known merchant, you’ll always be able to find investors ready to give you their business share. But not the other way around.

4. Updated city screen.

Just as a reminder, the current version of the city screen is a placeholder. We’ll do our best to make it prettier and load a bit faster.

5. New strategic map.

The current strategic map is filled with graphical artifacts, impassable seas and what not. Not to mention the not so realistic geography. New map will be done in an absolutely different visual style that was never used in M&B games. So far this idea sounds risky, but we hope you’ll like it.

It’s quite difficult to know for sure how much time all of this will take, so no certain dates for now. However, we hope to finish working on these tasks before the New Year.

Leave comment

Caribbean! — Update notes (October 17)

October 17, 2014  |  Caribbean!, На Карибы!  |  12 Comments

Hi everyone,

Today we’re releasing an update where we change things up a little in land battles. Please watch the video below for instruction on how to use it and let us know what you think:

Update notes for 0.910:

– Added new options for controlling armies in land battles. NB: Before battle starts, players have 60 seconds to place their troops. To access the battle planning interface, press ‘Backspace’ button.
– Added new boarding location – frigate.
– Improved AI for enemy armies.
– Added 3D icons for available actions at boarding scenes.
– Changed balance for crew sizes during boarding.
– Gunners are now divided by their nationality. They also have a personal weapon and ability to fight in close range.
– Added assault cavalry units.
– Changed balance for player’s starting army.
– Added separation of all single-type troops by squads in land battles.
– Removed items purchase from village elders that caused an error earlier.
– Fixed a bug with sudden ships sinking after battle start.
– Fixed a bug with incorrect additions to ship crews.
– Fixed balance and bugs in ‘Old Jorge’ quest.
– Fixed a bug that prevented ships repair in the sea.
– Fixed a bug with smoke caused by shooting with some weapons.
– Fixed a bug with long-barreled guns which AI tried to use as shields earlier.
– Fixed a graphical artifact in the launcher.
– Fixed a bug with moving sailors from other ships to flagship.
– Fixed a bug with ships display after its purchase in the harbor.
– Fixed a bug that prevented hiring troops in captured towns.
– Fixed polygon errors in officer armor sets.
– Fixed a bug with ships HP after being upgraded.
– Fixed a bug with ships hull HP.
– Fixed bugs in global map’s physics.

Leave comment

Caribbean! — Status update #4

September 30, 2014  |  Caribbean!, На Карибы!  |  11 Comments

Hi everyone,

Since the last status update we’ve focused on these three elements: adding new boarding locations with frigate, developing strategic control for land battles and content’s optimization.

1. Frigate.
Frigates are pretty big ships, ancestors of cruisers. For boarding fights with frigates we added a multideck element, though in a simpler form, to really highlight the size of a new ship. We intentionally removed its more realistically looking version and an access to the captain’s cabin, so that it wouldn’t hurt fights dynamic.
By the way, we noticed that when you go for boarding from larger ships, there can sometimes be jamming near the jump ropes. We did some changes in AI, so this situation should get better.


2. Strategic control in land battles.
This is a pretty ambitious task we are still working on. However, we’ll add the first working version in the upcoming update.
The general idea is to make the player a commander and let him control his army. It begs comparison with Total War series, but it’s important to keep in mind one distinct difference: in TW players hire full troops, when in M&B series players work with individual units. This puts some restrictions on functioning of AI, army formations and even pathfinding. We’ll see what we’ll end up with, but for now land battles seem to have become a bit more fun.

3. Content optimization.

Though it’s more of a content cleanup. During the development the game got an incredible amount of unused scripts, textures, models, locations and so on. Much of this content was left from ‘With Fire & Sword’, that we had to give up for gamedesign reasons. Some things we were just too afraid to touch, as Mount & Blade engine could always need them to work properly.

It’s a very dull job that can’t be delayed any longer. City screen loading times and some cases of game crashes clearly show the engine reached its limit. So for the upcoming update we won’t be really focusing on new content, but will instead remove the old one.

That’s it for now. We hope the update arrives pretty soon, it’s very interesting to hear your opinion on new land battles.

Leave comment

Caribbean! — Status update #3

September 16, 2014  |  Caribbean!, На Карибы!  |  5 Comments

Hi everyone,

We’d like to tell you what we’re currently working on and what we want to include in the next update.

First, we want to finish a new working version of land battles. We figured what the game was missing is RTS elements because ‘Caribbean!’ is no longer a game about feudal fights of knights and peasants. Creating formations for infantry and cavalry that players will be able to control with handy interface is our main goal for the next two weeks.

The next on the agenda is finishing the city screen. As we already mentioned, what you currently see in the game is a placeholder. The end result should be pretty and intuitive. Also, if possible, with shorter load times too.

Finally, we’re planning to add one more boarding location, for ships of higher ranks.

About fixing the bugs. We understand that you want them gone as soon as possible but we can’t promise that just yet. Until the game’s foundations are complete we don’t really want to resort to full-on bugfixing. In that case we run the risk of delaying the development for a few more months. Nevertheless, we’ll try to deal with the following problems first:

– Massive damage caused by ship ramming.

– Jamming on the deck at the big ship / small ship boarding location.

– Spontaneous changes in ships HP in sea battles.

– OP grenades and troops that use them.

We may add something else to the list, but please note that some of these problems won’t be easy to resolve and will take more time than the other.

Stay tuned for the updates and keep the comments coming. Even if we don’t reply to all of them, we certainly do our best to read through all feedback.

Leave comment

Caribbean! — Update notes (September 11)

September 11, 2014  |  Caribbean!, На Карибы!  |  9 Comments

Hi everyone,

Today we’re releasing a pretty big (and long overdue) update for ‘Caribbean!’. You can check out our new video devblog where we show what’s been added and changed:

Update notes:

Strategic part:

– Added new interactive city screen.
– Introduced system for building construction.
– Added new entities ‘Cargo hold’ and ‘Storage’ to the game’s functional.
– Changed goods trading interface.

Sea battles:

– Increased size of the sea locations.
– Improved AI’s behavior during battles.
– Increased shooting distance for ships’ artillery.
– Added ship ramming ability.
– Added ‘captain’s bridge’ camera option.
– Added ‘spyglass’ camera option.

Boarding:

– All boarding locations are completely redone.
– Added ‘rope jumps / climbing up’ for the attacking side.
– Added crow’s nests for masts on all ships.
– AI is now divided into ‘defending’ and ‘attacking’ entities. Attacking AI will try to get to enemy’s deck as soon as possible, while the defending one will hold the line.

Land battles:

– Changed cavalry behavior. It will now always attempt to perform charge attacks.
– Added starting formations for the entire player’s army. All troops are now divided by their types automatically.
– Partly reworked order system.

General fixes:

– Changed shooting visual effects for most weapons.
– Fixed a bug in artillery’s smoke particles that caused FPS drop.
– Changed horse troops line-ups of all factions, except for the Brotherhood of the Coast.

New commands for controlling your troops:

1, 2, 3, 4 buttons will order the troops to come up to the player. Same buttons in combination with Ctrl will give an order to attack.

1 – order melee units to come up to you.
2 – order riflemen to come up to you.
3 – order close-range cavalry to come up to you.
4 – order long-range cavalry to come up to you.

Ctrl+1 – order melee units to attack.
Ctrl+2 – order riflemen to attack.
Ctrl+3 – order close-range cavalry to attack.
Ctrl+4 – order long-range cavalry to attack.

Note: The ‘Come up’ command doesn’t replicate the old ‘Follow me’ command. The troops will only come closer to the player and will make a formation relatively close to his position.

Known issues:

As the game is going through an active overhaul stage, many of its elements are completely turned off or don’t work correctly. We’d like to ask the players to be understanding of this. The development process doesn’t let us release a fully working current version of the game. But at the same time we don’t want to keep you waiting for an update any longer.

So here’s what you’ll need to keep in mind when playing the version 0.900:

– You can’t hire garrison in a city captured by you. This is because the city menu concept is being changed. In the future we’re planning to add a brand new screen for troops hiring and city upgrades. Advice: after successful city assault you can leave there freed prisoners – they’ll go the garrison automatically.

– Industrial buildings will produce the goods, but won’t sell them. You’ll need to collect the goods from storage and sell it yourself for now.

– The old system for controlling the troops was turned off, but the new system is only in the beginning of the development. Most likely, you won’t be able to control the troops with comfort in the nearest month.

– Price system and its balance. We have an especially rare pistol that costs 180 000 piasters and a frigate that costs 150 000. Sometimes two almost identical sables can differ in price dramatically. A good cuirass can cost like a regiment of royal musketeers and so on. We’re aware of these problems and ask to be patient. We can’t start working on the economy balance until overall work on the gameplay is finished.

– Same goes for weapon balance. Grenades and cannons, above all. We’ll certainly fix this, but closer to the release.

– FPS drops and slow locations loading. We’ve reached the limits of M&B’s engine possibilities. It can be fixed with optimization and cleaning old content. But the thing is that the engine often relies on the resources which are dangerous to delete from the game. We’ll optimize the game, slow but steady. We already started working on that, but owners of lower-end PCs will experience some problems in the current version.

Leave comment

Caribbean! — Status update #2

Hi everyone,

We have to let you know that the big July update we announced earlier won’t be coming — instead, it’s going to become even bigger and land in August. We’ll share the reasons behind this decision, as well our current work progress, below:

Boarding. We think that boarding is the heart of combat gameplay, even more important than sea battles. The current version of the boarding fights stopped being satisfactory for us a long time ago, and as a result we’re redoing it from scratch.

Graphic quality of the boarding locations was too poor compared to the character models so all ships are being completely redone. Besides the evident difference in textures, we redesigned level geometry: got rid off jamming on decks and unnecessary rooms, made the movement on ships more clear and free for the player. We also added crow’s nests on masts, to provide riflemen with additional spots.

Plus we’ll try to add some new animations, including the classic boarding jump rope.

Naval combat. The second most important element of the game. We’re still torn between which path to choose: making everything more simple and arcady or adding more options for strategy and control. But our internal tests showed that either way we’d need to deal with current small locations. Right now gameplay functions well only with 2 vs. 2 ship battles. Our limit is 12 ships on the scene, and with that amount of ships there’s very little room for everyone in the sea. Making the location bigger is a challenge as we have to work around the engine’s limitations. So for now our programmer added a ‘spyglass’ option that many of you asked for. More significant updates in this area should be coming in September.

 

Trading and economy. Initially it was supposed to be a side gameplay element, but we want to increase its importance in the game. Actually, working on economy takes more time than anything else at the moment as we keep changing some basic things in M&B engine. For example, right now we separate player’s personal inventory and his cargo. It’s not very convenient and logical to carry not only a set of 12 breastplates but two tons of cacao as well. Another new element is building construction in the towns — there’s so much to do here that we won’t even dare to promise it done by August.

Strategic map. We got a lot of feedback on geography of our map and its flaws. Apologies for the inaccuracies — that was our first try to befriend realism with gaming. In August we’ll do our best to finish the new world map, more accurate and, possibly, far more attractive.

The plans are pretty ambitious for us, and we hope we can implement all of this with no problem. After the August update we’ll be ready to switch to the next big step — refining land battles and implementing city sieges.

UPDATE:
Sorry for the delay with the update — unfortunately, the vacations of our team’s members have taken its toll. We should be able to release it during the second week of September.

Meanwhile, some little teasers for you: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Leave comment