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Vinland UI

Starting work now on the UI for the game.
I need to get on with this as it's going to handle controls for things like changing infantry formations, giving orders to your units, targeting and combat etc...

Here's an early version of the UI command buttons:

The commands will also be accessible by hotkey. For example the first 4 are A, S, D, F:
1. Attack, 2. Sentry, 3. Defend and 4. Flank. These will set the overall state of the selected units.

Attack will make the unit move to the selected destination or enemy, trying to shoot whenever possible.

Sentry will go in to observation mode and for infantry they will go prone. Tanks will open their hatches to get a better look around. They won't attack unless first attacked, and will get a better visual range in this mode. You can use the ambush mode as well (second row, number 6), in which case they won't get the visual bonus, but will be harder to spot.

Defenders will try to turn automatically to face the nearest enemy, infantry will go prone and spread out to make a harder target. Tanks will button up (close their hatches) for safety but will have poor visibility.

Flanking units will move at a faster pace but will be more vulnerable. Infantry will bunch up to avoid causing traffic jams, making them a prime target for artillery. Vehicles will have a chance of breaking down or suffering mechanical damage when moving at flank speed and will be easier to spot due to increased engine noise.

Other actions there include:
5. Resupply on/off. If you have some supplies then begin distributing them.
6. Replenish troops. Alternatively use supplies as extra troops to man captured artillery or anti-tank guns.
7. Force target. If you want to shoot a bridge or house or some other non-hostile thing.
8. Exit vehicle/ house, unload. Any infantry on this agent will be dismounted.
9. Stop moving, hold fire. Cancel all orders.
10. Setting/ menu. Bring up main menu.
11. Repair self, others. If you have repair crews or engineers.
12. Conserve ammo. Don't shoot big guns, only small arms.
13. Indirect fire. Use a tank or gun like artillery on an unseen part of the map.
14. Ambush mode. Try to hide, don't shoot until shot at.
15. Call air support. Resupply by air, call in paratroopers, fighter cover, spotter planes, bombers etc... These will be kind of abstracted, you won't see the planes flying around on the screen right now. I'm leaving that for an expansion.
16. Show objectives.

Some of these are going to get changed There will probably be some more actions such as lay/clear mines. I'm also thinking of adding or moving some existing actions in to special abilities like aim at tracks, ambush and so on.

I also worked on the trees and found a way to get the clip alpha looking better:

Usually on the texture tab I set alpha to have 100% influence, so it should match the alpha setting of the texture. But this is rarely correct and setting it lower avoids the dark edges I was getting before.

I've also started maintaining the project on Github.
Not sure how I like it yet, it's nice to have some version control options and ability to experiment, but I'm not 100% on it yet. I've made a few mistakes and ended up losing some of my code once or twice. I'm sure I'll get more accustomed to it though. :)


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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.


I finished working on the code for adding foliage and having some extra time I decided to experiment with the code for rockets.

The original idea I had was that rockets would be large vehicle components that can be fired very quickly, regardless of how much manpower is used for reloading.

They would use up a lot of ammo, so they would run dry after a short but devastating barrage.
The problem here is that it's easy to take advantage of this by adding a lot of ammo, which is much smaller than in bulk than the rockets.

There's also the problem of firing large caliber rockets. In real life rockets of up to 30cm were used, but I think that will be too powerful for the scale of combat in this game.

lol. Somehow that one trooper survived the mother of all explosions...

A 30cm rocket could contain nearly 30KG of explosive. That would be a very large explosion.

I've tried to balance the game by using a simple equation to make bigger guns more powerful, but hopefully not too powerf…

Infantry combat and entering buildings.

I've been working a lot on the game recently and I've nearly rebuilt it to the level it was before. Past that maybe, since now I have the beginning of a working combat system and the ability to save and load the game.

Infantry can now occupy a building. It's quite an abstract representation, since they stay at the door and turn invisible. But they can then fire from one of the windows and take damage from shots at the windows too. I think I've set it up well so that when building damage and destruction is working then the system should continue to work.

For combat I tried some new ideas, but they didn't work out that well. It seems that it's important that viewing range should be further than shooting range. Now shooting range is pegged at 18 units of distance, while viewing range can extend out past that.

In the above image one unit has an officer, so has further viewing range. The other can only see as far as they can shoot, a dangerous situation since the en…