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Post news RSS Dev-Blog #7 - Pre-Alpha and much more

It is finally time to release the first playable build of Timeless War. I also talk about a few changes I made during the holidays and what awaits you in the future.

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After one and a half years of development, while learning programming, the game is finally at a point where I can release the first pre-alpha between the 1st and 20th of April 2016. But before I go into the details there are a few changes I wanted to talk about.

Let's get one thing straight: a Sci-Fi game withour lasers isn't a real Sci-Fi game. :P So in Timeless War the battle field will also be brightened by shiny beams of light. The prime example I can show for now is the Citadel of the Pandora Forces.

The Citadel is the starting building of the Pandora Forces and lives up to its name. After unlocking a level 1 perk (currently available without unlocking) the Building gets a cybernetic eye that whatches over the base and attacks every enemy that dares to get too close to your base with a deadly sweeping laser. However, as strong as this laser might be, it has a large cooldown time so it is not the perfect defense. It also has its problems with fast moving targest, that are dodging the beam or simply outrunning it.

3rd Person Control
The mechanic of the game was a challenge, that needs to be done during the holidays. Before, by pressing F1 - the key will be configurable later - the game camera twisted, posed and reparented in a way that it somehow works decently. Do you remember the video Gameplay Demonstration #1 from Dev-Blog #3? It was buggy, glitched like hell and was heavily unoptimized... I used to handle everything, from camera control to unit movements, in a component I called ThirdPersonCameraController.

The new Third-Person-Control system works different. Instead of raping the game camera until it suits the gameplay, I enhanced the functions of my game camera to solve ANY situations in which this mode is used for (like Ship control in Space). On pressing F1, the if your Commander is alive on the battle field, it switches a boolean to true. The game camera then realizes that the mode is active and will constantly follow the camera bone of your unit. The movement also has changed: like before you control your Commander with WASD, but your unit now follows the direction of your cursor which makes the movement easier to control while in the same time it gets more dynamic than previously. By holding the right mouse button, you can rotate the camera in Third-Person-Mode. The mouse wheel can change the camera distance and holding the wheel button let's you zoom like binoculars, perfect for sniping at a huge distance. What do you think about a sniping mode?

The Pre-Alpha
Now to the topic some of you may have waited for way to long: the first playable version! First of all I wanted to apologize you had to wait so long for it since I promised it over a year ago. I underestimated the work that was needed to get to this point as an unexperienced programmer. But the time has finally come that I can release the first pre-alpha version in April. Do you have any questions? Feel free to ask in the coments down below or in our forums.
At first it will be a debug build for testing purpose, most likely. You will start on my test map you have seen on screenshots and in videos. You start with the Bifröst and your Commander is Ragnarok. For now you will be able to build the dummy structures I've shown a while ago. No perks to play with, no multiplayer, just Pandora Forces units and no infantry. You have one AI ally and one AI opppenent. Overall, pretty much basic gameplay.
While the development progresses, the pre-alpha will be extended as well to become a full-fledged demo of the final game. You will be able chose between 2 of 5 (in the final game) Commanders per faction, can use half of the overall perks in the Perk Store and one map for each mode. Meaning one map for Arena, all 3 variants of Skirmish, King-of-he-Hill, Head-Hunter, Co-op, Art-of-Defense, one map of each factions Single-Player campaigns and some other modes I have in mind. The demos tech tree goes up to Tier 3. Means you can build High-Tech units like Blade-Breakers or Siege Tanks, but Tier 4 and Super-Weapons will be locked for demo players. I want to make multiplayer available - it is hard to code one - in the demo or, if feasible, even allow demo players to participate in matches against full-game players. Its open for debate anyway.
I planned to enter Steam Greenlight by the 4rd quarter of 2016 and hopefully reach Early-Access soon after that. Customers will have no restriction of course. As long as the demo hasn't reach the content I stated above and the quality of the full game, the Steam version and the free Pre-Alpha / Demo here on IndieDB will be almost identical.

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Timeless War on Steam

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