Skip to main content

Vinland 1936

What have I been up to this month?

Well you can see it in a couple of development blog videos, here, here and here.

Vinland 1936 is a game I've been working on (on and off) for about 3 years. It is somewhat based on the old Nirval interactive game, Blitzkrieg;

I hope you've played it since it is one of the best games ever!!! (IMHO)
Blitzkrieg was a real time tactics game. You didn't build a base, or spawn units. It wasn't about rushing the enemy. You got a small number of troops and vehicles that could be replenished or repaired if you had access to a supply base and the right supply trucks, but couldn't be replaced if lost. Once your vehicles were destroyed and your infantry killed you were finished. You couldn't just churn out some more from your factory and have another go at rushing the enemy guns. This made you invest a lot in each of your units. They really mattered.

It was also procedurally generated. Each mission (except for the historical missions) was put together from a sophisticated random generator. Each time you played you'd have to work hard to crack a new set of environmental puzzles. This means I can still play the game and enjoy it years later.

My own game is going to be similar, but I want to take the idea of replayability even further. In Vinland 1936 you are going to be playing an alternative history setting. Although there are a list of "historical" vehicle designs for each faction you're going to be able to customize them and create new machines. You'll not be stuck with the same old Panzer IV or Matilda II every time, your gameplay will change with the availability of rare parts, salvaged enemy chassis and your understanding of the customization program.

Here you can see an early war tank:

Slow but well armored, it has a heavy gun in the hull and a small turret.
There are several ways you could customize this design, adding more armor at the expensive of speed, adding a commander's cupola to the turret to help with visual range and targeting. Improved suspension will become available, or better weapons. Eventually you'll want to buy a new design since the small turret limits its usefulness in later encounters. But as you use it the crew will gain experience, maybe getting some special skills. It might be better to keep upgrading it rather than get a new tank with raw crew members.

Here's where having vehicle customization really makes a difference vs just having static designs. There's going to be an element of strategy in the vehicles you choose to design that will make every mission feel unique.

I really love the Blitzkrieg games, but the WWII period is so well known now it's hard for it to hold any surprises. And the most recent blitzkrieg (3) looks pretty boring to me, with very little of what made the original game so great.

I'll leave you with a picture of some of the vehicles I designed so far while messing with the vehicle editor:


Popular posts from this blog

Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative.

Telling a story; Creating a Compelling Narrative. In this blog I will talk about my own recent brush with story telling and go on to talk about how tools from creative wring can help you to better author the narrative in your games, whether they have a traditional linear narrative or a procedurally generated interactive narrative.

Narrative and structure in traditional fiction  last week I started writing a story set in the world I'm developing for my game Vinland: 1936.

I hope the story will help me to flesh out my game world and develop my own expanded universe which will be a good place to set my games in the future.

After about a week of work, on and off I've progressed the story to outline stage. For each character thread I have half a dozen chapters which plot a course through the events of the story. Each thread is told from the perspective of a different character.

Actually I started writing as soon as I had my outline, but I've since gone back and deleted what …

Back to Vinland.

I'm going back to my real time tactics project, Vinland 1936.
While working on the other project I overcame the problems which were stopping me from saving/loading the game and also cleaned up the base code a lot.

After a few weeks I'm getting near the the state I was in before.

Infantry are back to their previous state, and vehicles are running OK.
This time I'm going to push ahead with mocking up the combat system though before I work any more on the vehicle builder or graphical aspects of the game.

Map screen designs

I've been working some more on the map window. Right now you can only see the base, it doesn't show items, enemies or even doors on the map yet. These would be decals.

In the top window you can see the modified result of last night's tile based map. It looks good but there are some visual artifacts related to the problems I encountered yesterday, and as well it takes much more code and time to calculate.

The second window uses a cheap trick to fake an beveled look from a smoothed version of the 32x32 map. It uses black to mask unexplored areas.

Finally the third version is meant to look like a had drawn map. I'm using a cross hatching texture to distort it and unexplored areas are shown as blank map paper.

There's going to be a mechanic in game where you need to use some paper every level in order to activate the map for that level. From there it will fill it in automatically. Paper will be pretty rare so it might be worth keeping it safe for the more complex level…