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Battletech Developer Journal - 06

Eck

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I'm Chris Eck, and I'm the tools developer at HBS for the Battletech project. I've recently been given permission to write up articles about some of the things I work on which I hope to post on a semi regular basis. Feel free to ask questions about these posts or give me suggestions for future topics. However, please note I am unable to answer any questions about new/unconfirmed features.

Last week I saw my current task list at the lowest it has ever been... Two issues! My manager asked me if we should start pulling in some of my 1.7 tasks back in and I said let's see how next week goes... I'm glad we did because now I'm back up to 12 issues. >.< There's still plenty to do to get Urban Warfare/1.6 out the door so I'll be busy until the last possible moment I'm sure. In the recent livestream, Connor said that he found out the reward for completing all your tasks... is more tasks. It's like a pie eating contest.

 

Exploding buildings!

Now that we've demoed some of the new features, I can talk about some interesting things I did a while ago. The designers wanted building destruction to be able to affect the battlefield a little more dynamically than just removing a big obstruction. The feature pitched was to paint down some kind of design mask as the building was destroyed. Sure. We can do that.

We had exploding buildings before (it's not a video game until you have exploding barrels) and any time a building died, we would paint down a destroyed building design mask that acted similarly to trees. Adapting this system was relatively easy. I added a new class to Obstructions that would detail what happens when the building gets destroyed.

public class ExplodeBuildingSettings
{
    public bool explode = false;
    public int damage = 50;
    public int heatDamage = 0;
    public int stabilityDamage = 0;
    public int radius = 50;
public string paintTerrainVFXName = "";

    public ArtilleryVFXType artilleryVFXType = ArtilleryVFXType.Explosion;
    public TerrainMaskFlags paintTerrainMask = TerrainMaskFlags.None;

    [EnumFlags]
    public PaintOverTerrainMaskFlags removeTerrainMask = PaintOverTerrainMaskFlags.Road | PaintOverTerrainMaskFlags.DestroyedBuilding;
}

So if the building is set to explode, it can inflict a configured amount of damage, heat, or stability to every unit that is in the configured radius. The artilleryVFXType is the VFX that gets played (like an explosion or electricity field). It can also paint a new design mask down like a coolant puddle that helps cool off your mechs, or an electricity field that makes it harder to be hit, or even a forest... Even if it doesn't make sense. :)

Since the UI can only display one design mask, we had to have a priority system for design masks. Roads and destroyed buildings are pretty high up on the list so as part of the exploding building step we remove those design masks to paint our dynamic stuff down.

When I first started testing this feature, I turned on exploding buildings by default... Here's what happened:

 

More Blood Bowl

Since I played the tournament last week I got the itch to start playing more. Cyanide's Blood Bowl II is an almost direct port from the table-top, and I absolutely love it. But Online play can be pretty darn toxic at times. Kent (Zinak) told me about this cool, laid back league with a pretty clear mission statement of "Don't be a dick." and so I signed up for their Season 3 event. Here's the discord link if anyone else is interested: https://discord.gg/YxHUpf

I decided to stick with my orcs and got to play one preseason game vs Shaoz's Ogres. I streamed the preseason match on twitch and uploaded it to you tube here:

Grubsnik wound up scoring and I got a doubles skill up and I decided on Dodge.

Sorry for the shorter article. I've been putting in a bunch of late nights for Urban Warfare, plus it's Mother's Day weekend. Hopefully the exploding buildings make up for it. I'm sure you understand. :) 

 

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Very interesting in the way the map changes are applied and even more interested in the variables that can be applied!  Looks like we can make it more dangerous by upping the stability damage in a radius, with a chance of knocking over 'Mechs.

Plus, not I eagerly await the first RogueTech 'Seeder' Artillery that will sprout entire forests in minutes :D

 

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Unfortunately it doesn't actually paint trees down - just the design mask. You get all the benefits of it but no physical trees.

Someone worked at a mod that could burn out forests with inferno artillery so maybe he can launch some elvish tree bombs too. :)

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