New Beta Build: The Chase!

So I lied. I said I wouldn't work on Victoria Day, but I did. I snuck a few features in, and that means new beta build 0.939b!

Boredom Relief Package

It's been a long time since a new build went up, and folks are probably getting pretty tired of hearing about mysterious plot updates. One day, while Cameron and I were discussing his forest-dwelling ways, he described some interesting ideas for chase and pursuit: ways in which the player might deal with being followed.

A few days of idea trading later, we had an interesting system that could be knocked out in relatively little time. And since Victoria Day was a stat holiday, I could put it together without significantly impacting the plot work schedule. As Cameron put it, "you could roll it out into a new build to keep people interested while working on the plot encounters."

Great idea!

New Chase Feature

Beta players will notice some new buttons in the map UI when logging in today. Here's what they look like:

IMAGE(http://www.bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2012-05-22.png) The hunt is on.

Here's an overview of what each does:

  • Run - All players now have the ability to run for a limited time. By default, players get 1 run move. Players with Athletic get 3. Run is activated by pressing the red button. Once active (button stays lit while active), moves are at half their normal cost. Each move deducts the half move cost from normal movement points, plus one run reserve point. When the reserve hits 0, run deactivates, and it's back to normal movement. Running will not be possible again until reserve points are at least restored to 1. Run reserve points can be restored by ending a turn with leftover moves. Essentially, this is a burst of quick speed for emergencies. And like all things, it has a cost. While running, the following penalties apply:

    • Player leaves more tracks than normal.
    • Player can't read others' tracks as well.
  • Hide - Clicking this button hides the player in the current hex, as best as possible. It costs one action to use, but it will automatically choose the best campsite in this hex for hiding, and apply an additional concealment bonus on top of that camp's base value. Players with the Hiding skill get an added bonus. Hide stays active until the player moves or attacks.
  • Hide Tracks - Clicking this button will attempt to cover tracks in this hex. It costs one action to use, but it can often help break the trail for pursuers out of line of sight (particularly if used at the right time). Players with the tracking skill reduce the tracks more than the normal amount. This can be used on any set of tracks, not just the player's.
  • Spy - Clicking this button changes the cursor to an eye, which can then be clicked on a target creature to gain valuable recon info on them.

    IMAGE(http://www.bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2012-05-22a.png) Getting ready to spy on the dogman.

    By default, the creature's last activity will be shown on pop-ups until they move again. If the player is close enough (or has Eagle Eye or other optics), they can also see current armament, wound status, and whether that creature currently sees the player or not. Without spying, players can only see the creature's type.

IMAGE(http://www.bluebottlegames.com/img/screenshots/screenshot-2012-05-22b.png) Info gained by spying.

The above changes involved a few updates to the way things used to work, for balance:

  • Athletics no longer grants 2 extra moves (instead, it grants the extra run reserve points above).
  • Pop-ups over creatures show less info now, unless player has used "Spy" on the creature.

Finally, since it's been a long time since the last build was uploaded, some other bug fixes and changes are bundled in today's build:

  • Creature sleeping floaties now only show when creature is visible. Also, they are prepended with the name of the creature who spawned them.
  • Fixed a bug which caused 0% condition items not to degrade when a turn was ended without leaving the hex.
  • Fixed a bug in the way the game tracked hours slept.
  • Added code to alert player to cases when player simply had trouble falling asleep vs. waking up normally.
  • Fixed a condition chaining bug which caused subsequent condition to be hidden if current one was. (This should help with cholera and food poisoning warnings.)

And there you have it. Surprise beta build 0.939b! Now, back to work on the plot...