So firstly, I'd like to talk about the player base. Essentially you "inherit" the ruins of a town. The entire town was abandoned and left in an unfinished state. As the player your job is to venture out, complete missions and then come back and upgrade your base and try and finish what your predecessors started.
It's important to note here that there are essentially two modes in Dead Monarchy. Survival Mode and Monarchy Mode. Monarchy Mode will be when the world map gets added and is linked to the player base, however that is a huge feature that I don't plan on tackling until the end. So prior to that, in Survival Mode you essentially manage your base, venture out to complete different missions and come back to upgrade the base.
Your base will also come under siege from other forces and over time they will only get stronger. So essentially, you are in an arms race. Completing missions will give you rewards that you can utilize to upgrade your base which unlock new upgrades. The missions themselves are dangerous and death is permanent, so you'll have to balance carefully as you'll want to have reserves when your base is attacked.
Here are some screenshots of what the base looks like when you first inherit it:
The other thing I'd like to talk about is random map generation. So I've decided on 5 biomes that will be initially available. Forest, Plains, Desert, Swamp and Tundra. Each biome will have their own advantages and disadvantages and each biome will also be home to a specific monster faction.
The maps will also have partial random generation. I say partial because there are specific things that need to be avoided, IE having your spawning zone completely blocked off with rocks or extremely broken elevation. So essentially each map has a random template that it will first spawn and then there are smaller parameters inside that are randomly generated.
This is what a "template" looks like and is specific to the forest biome. First you have your static elevations marked out and along the edges of the static elevation are random tiles. These tiles could be anything from a flat tile, a blocked tile or level 1 elevation. The specific look for each tile type is also randomly generated, so you'll get rocks, trees, shrubs, twigs, bushes etc.
Moving away from the static tiles, there are solo tiles that are even more random in nature and it these tiles that help shape the map.
Here are a few different variations that this single template has generated. Each biome will have several templates and then the templates themselves have randomised features. All in all, I'm quite happy now with map variety as I feel like I've finally struck a nice balance.
I've struggled for quite some time when it comes to environments as with one person, designing several maps is an extremely time consuming process. Also on a personal note, I wouldn't find playing on the maps I handcrafted to be fun as I would already know the layout behind it. This way, even I have to be on my toes!
Honestly, I'll say it again. I struggle for a very LONG TIME when it came to map design, especially natural environments. There were two main reasons. I wanted to make battle maps and town maps consistent and time management. I wanted to make the natural environments as "natural" as possible but hand placing vegetation was a tiresome process. So all in all, I'm finally happen with where maps are at now. I'll also mention that there will be maps with "structures/ruins", but I'll save that for later.
The other thing I'll mention is that I've also been a fan of table-top environments or dioramas. I toyed around with having "backgrounds" but not only is that extra work, more performance heavy but it breaks the consistency between towns and battle maps. So rather having a detailed background, I've gone for a plain background but added an "earth layer" to the map to give it a table-top feel.
Old throwback to how the forest looked in demo build 0.2.0. At that point, I was quite happy but something still felt missing. You might have also noticed that the grid tiles are inconsistent. I'm still working on them but I'm actually going to be using "grid lines" AKA "XCOM 2 style" it'll add a bit more polish but also readability when it comes to seeing elevation clearly. I should be done with that hopefully next month, currently working in between two builds.
There's going to be more updates from now on. They'll be smaller updates, but I'll be posting every week now. Every Wednesday, I'll showcase a new armor set and every Saturday, I'll showcase a new enemy. Also, I'm going to try for a new devblog every month.
I'll be posting on Twitter, Facebook, RPGCodex and RPGWatch.
Cloth Armor Set 1-4: