Copper Dreams latest update announces that Alpha will arrive soon and shows off a new video.
More information.Check out a short spotlight video with some of the bug fixes, interface, user experience and improved stealth, group, and AI we got in the past few weeks since the last update:
We finished some of the crucial AI we wanted to get into the alpha build around last weekend and then tackled something big for the beta (the main campaign) and time seemed to have gotten away from us. We're really sorry about the delay on that. We're very excited to show you the structure and content for the main game, and that should happen pretty soon after the Alpha launch, but first we really want to get some feedback on all these mechanics from you guys. We are in a crunch working on the last of the bugs so you don't have to worry about them, and some of them turned out more difficult than expected to squash. We'll have a new date by the end of the week, but expect the update on Steam to happen shortly thereafter, as well as the trailer.
Loading and "Death" Events
One aspect of note that we wanted to follow up on was our death events in the game. We have always wanted to focus the challenge of the game not on how optimized you can win individual fight by redoing them, but on the entire adventure, a challenge of resource and event management.
There's a lot of similarities with games with permanent death or rogue-likes in terms of randomization and structure we'll go into when we're talking about the main campaign later, but you'll probably get grounded playing the Alpha too.
So two things happen when you(r party) loses all their health. We'll have a dev post about all the event types that can happen in the game in more detail, but in short:
1. Reload Last Autosave
2. Play it Out
Reload Last Autosave
As before, only the game autosaves for you constantly except when an enemy is on the timeline with you, which means it does so after you do any non-combat action (open a door, jam a lock, talk to someone). Once combat starts that stops, if you get a party wipe you can jump back in right away from the last safe location. You can reload that anytime, so if you know combat is going south and you want to try again you can quickly jump back in.
Play it Out
We wanted to design something around the concept of what we do when players might be incapacitated in a tabletop game and the DM doesn't want to make everyone re-roll. There are some fun narratives that can occur that we wanted to explore as a part of normal gameplay, and thought that was worth experimenting with for the main campaign. As the nature of the previous option, choosing to Play it Out saves immediately after, so when they are available it can be more or less of a gamble given the situation/location.
Your agent in the alpha and main campaign have wicked good health insurance, thanks to your plum job. Playing it Out in a location that isn't heavily fortified or a dungeon lets your HealthInsurance Body-Bots come find you and fly you off to the nearest clinic location. The randomized city is divided up into blocks, and with a few exceptions every one of those has a clinic, so you'll never be far from where you fell.
At the clinic, a half-day passes (! this important for events), and you can choose to stay longer and heal or get back to it. Clinics are automated and will automatically bill you, or if you fail to have the funds bill your Syndicate which will keep a tab on you and make you pay for lunch.
If you fell due to or near by MFI, the city overlords, you'll be tossed into a procedural jail. Like the clinic, every city block usually has an (otherwise inaccessible) jail attached, and depending on your method of breakout you'll be outputted back into the block you were at. These jail maps are relatively small, isolation cubes for the city riff-raff, but will always have your equipment stored in an office that you'll want to loot before leaving. Maybe you can steal other inmates stuff!
These can be a gamble for a session. Events occur when you fall in an atypical location, like surrounded by cyber-mutants, in a Syndicate compound, in a sewer system with monsters, or other unfortunate places. Syndicates will throw you in the sewer drain which will put you in a different location, maybe to get help after, or maybe some other problems. At worst you might come out of these situations with a permanent disfiguration or ailment before a Body-Bot finds you, maybe mutants spread a mutation to you before throwing you out, or maybe you have a limb eaten off before you're found.
On the flip side there are potentially rewards and secrets to be found. Those sewer drains might throw you out into an otherwise inaccessible location where you are healed and able to discover cyber-quests, treasure, or other secrets. Some mutants are friendly and you could be rescued with augmented with beneficial mutations.
1 tile characters! Harder to hit.
There will be a Musings post this week going into some additional detail on the alpha map, so be on the lookout at our Community Page. We'll be in touch soon!
Hannah and Joe