• entries
    9
  • comments
    27
  • views
    9841

Merc Tactics: Early beta demo

Sign in to follow this  

1750 views

As promised in my last post, I am releasing an early beta version of Merc Tactics.
Merc tactics is a squad based game similiar to Jagged Alliance. It is set in a lawless country plagued by tribal warfare. You control a ragtag band of mercenaries, which strive to rid the country of the gangs and restore order.

You can download the game here: http://astronautz.com/MercTactics/MercTacticsSetup.exe (Windows version)
Instructions on how to play here: http://astronautz.com/MercTactics/help.html
A short video of the game play is here:


In my opinion this game *rocks*, however I'd like to see what other people think of it. I'm especially interested in feedback about the game play - Is it too hard? Is it boring? Anything you think is missing and ideas how to improve it are most welcome.
Bear in mind, though this is a very early beta - many features haven't been finished yet and there is a lot of placeholder artwork ohmy.png .
Although it is inspired by Jagged Alliance, it differs radically in many ways. The UI and game play is much more simplified, to make it playable on a tablet (which is the target device).
Also, battles are not limited to two parties. You can enter a battle that is already on-going and new parties can join in on a battle at any moment.
Everything in the game is randomised. The strategic map is randomly generated by an algorithm, as are all battlefield scenes. So, no two battles will be the same and no two games will be the same.

Update 26/9/2015:
I uploaded a new bug fixed version of the demo. Download from the same link above.
Sign in to follow this  


9 Comments


Recommended Comments

The game looks good! I am reminded of a few existing games similar to this: X-Com Enemy Unknown, Fallout Tactics, Frozen Synapse, etc.

Some initial impressions from watching the video:
1) So, you're telling me that a pair of guys with guns can take out 10+ guys with similar guns?! That seems a bit unrealistic.
2) The game generally seems a bit unrealistic. Getting shot even once is going to have a huge effect, not just docking a few hitpoints. What if you could hit body parts (arm, leg, torso, head) and that would have various effects on the character? Leg hit reduces movement, arm hit reduces accuracy, head hit is instant kill (without helmet), torso hit is devastating, etc.

3) Rooms should have doors and windows, which have a tactical consideration to make. Breaching a house shouldn't be easy! You never know what's behind a door until you breach it.
4) rooms should be lit and unlit. If a room is unlit, visibility into the room is very limited, but visibility out of the room is unaffected. If two foes are in a dark room, they should have reduced ability to see each other.
5) The universal visibility of all visible foes is odd. How does a squad member communicate to his team mates that he sees an enemy? Maybe this should be skill and equipment based?
6) Grenades and explosives. These are for clearing out rooms, stunning and injuring characters.

7) Shooting out of a window should give great cover bonuses

8) Picking up ammo or new weapons should cost AP.

9) If you don't move, you should get an accuracy bonus. Or perhaps, your accuracy bonus would be proportionate to how much you moved that turn.

10) Different positions change your accuracy rate and movement speed. If you're prone, you are hard to hit and have high accuracy, but are almost immobile. If you're kneeling, you have higher accuracy and better cover, but no movement speed. If you're standing, you have very bad accuracy and are easy to hit but can move quickly. Moving from one position to another should cost action points, depending on what position you're in... standing to prone costs more than standing to kneeling.

11) Fear is a major factor in gun battles. A near hit is just as scary as an actual hit (pucker factor!). Nobody runs out into the open or into a hail of bullets. I think it should be a factor in the game.

12) Fire and destructible items would be sweet. Is the enemy standing next to a gas can? Shoot the gas can and make him catch on fire!

13) The AI should try to coordinate movements with each of its team members.

14) Vision should be based on a vision cone. You can sneak up behind someone and shoot them. This makes flanking and out maneuvering the opposing forces a viable tactic.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Thanks, for the feedback slayemin.

One thing I'll say is that if you are going by the video alone, you're only seeing about 50% of the game. (I realise now, I should do a more comprehensive video)

 

I can answer your points one by one:

> you're telling me that a pair of guys with guns can take out 10+ guys with similar guns?!

Well, that happends in practically every action movie and game ever made ;)

There is a difference between a simulator - something which is ment to accurate portray reality and a game which is ment to be fun to play. You end up with stuff that's unrealistic as a result of balencing the game play - and there really is no perfect solution to that. I try to make stuff realistic as possible, but game play must always come first.

> 2) The game generally seems a bit unrealistic. Getting shot even once is going to have a huge effect,

... actually, it does. The wind is knocked of a soldier when he/she gets hit and loses action points, also you
can get critical hit, where the character loses accuracy and AP's permently.

> 3) Rooms should have doors and windows..

Yeah, that's something I want to do

> 4) rooms should be lit and unlit.

Yeah, that's going to be tricky to implement. Probably, something to do in version 2.

> 5) The universal visibility of all visible foes is odd.

This goes back to my previous point. If you get too hung up about realism you can end up destroying the game. The average user is not going to analyse it so much.

> 6) Grenades and explosives. These are for clearing out rooms, stunning and injuring characters.

Grenades and _landmines_ are one of the key features on my to do list!

> 7) Shooting out of a window should give great cover bonuses

Ballistics are done by the physics system - so yes it works out that way, but there is no such thing as a "bonus"

> 8) Picking up ammo or new weapons should cost AP.

It doees! But I haven't implemented ammo yet.

> 9) If you don't move, you should get an accuracy bonus. Or perhaps, your accuracy bonus would be proportionate to how much you moved that turn.

Yeah, the thing about accuracy is that it's very hard to tell for the player if he has a accuracy bonus or not. For instance, you could have a soldier that's a very good shot fire 5 times and miss each time. Then a soldier with poor accuracy fires 5 times and hits 3 times. That's just they way that random numbers work. Over a small amount of shots, stuff like that can happen, but over, say 100 shots it evens out. The point I'm trying to make, is I could do that feature, but it's unlikely the player would even notice.

> 10) Different positions change your accuracy rate and movement speed.

At the moment, there is only kneeling and standing postions. Kneeling gives a small accuracy bonus. I'm trying to keep the game simple and I don't think it benefits from moving in prone or kneeling position.

> 11) Fear is a major factor in gun battles. A near hit is just as scary as an actual hit (pucker factor!). Nobody runs out into the open or into a hail of bullets. I think it should be a factor in the game.
Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.

> 12) Fire and destructible items would be sweet. Is the enemy standing next to a gas can? Shoot the gas can and make him catch on fire!

Yeah, that's something I really want to do as well.

> 13) The AI should try to coordinate movements with each of its team members.

I'm not ruling it out, but I don't think that will cause the AI to work any better. I will be improving AI in general though.

> 14) Vision should be based on a vision cone. You can sneak up behind someone and shoot them.

This makes flanking and out maneuvering the opposing forces a viable tactic

.
Already tried that. I found it made the game unnecessarily tedious to play, insofar that when you are moving you have to constantly turn around in case you missed an enemy behind your back.

Still that doesn't prevent you from flanking the enemy, which is actually a very effective technique for winning.
 

Share this comment


Link to comment

The video's cool, got me to try to download it, but I got a black screen with the text:

Failed to compile vertex shader:  lightAndShadow 0(6): warning C7555 'varying' is deprecated use 'in/out' instead.

 

EDIT: 

My machine:

windows 8.1 w/ 8gb Ram, x64, and my videcard is a Geforce GTX 260

Share this comment


Link to comment

The video's cool, got me to try to download it, but I got a black screen with the text:

Failed to compile vertex shader:  lightAndShadow 0(6): warning C7555 'varying' is deprecated use 'in/out' instead.

 

EDIT: 

My machine:

windows 8.1 w/ 8gb Ram, x64, and my videcard is a Geforce GTX 260

Yeah, I tested on AMD, Intel and PowerVR GPUs, but never Nvidia. I'll look into that

Share this comment


Link to comment

Unfortunately, I don't have a Nvidia card to test on.

The game requires OpenGL 3.3, which should be supported by GTX 260.

I take it you have the latest drivers installed?

Share this comment


Link to comment

I watched the video on YouTube, it's really nice. It's remind me XCOM.

Unfortunately, I have Nvidia card too, I'll wait a little I guest.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I watched the video on YouTube, it's really nice. It's remind me XCOM.

Unfortunately, I have Nvidia card too, I'll wait a little I guest.

Thanks.

I'm not convinced yet that the Nvidia issue is not caused by out of date drivers.

Anyway, I put up a new version of the demo that fixes a load of bugs. In particular, there was a bug that the entire shader error message was not being displayed. So now, if you run into any problems, at least I will be able to diagnose the problem properly.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I have found a glitch where my soldier got injured and was moved to the hospital but the car never left the village where the soldier was wounded resulting in the car nor the soldier being able to move anymore.

 

 

EDIT

maybe you could at a health bar above the enemies so you know how much HP they still have

Share this comment


Link to comment

Hi COLllin,

Congradulations on being the first person to play my game!

Yeah, the code that manages teams is a bit buggy. I am going to remove that completely in next release, as it adds nothing to the game.

There already is a health bar of sorts. The enemy have a red icon above their heads, this turns darker as they become more injured. I'm also going to add an injured idle animation, when they are hurt badly.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now