The Last Blog #14 – New Features – part 2

Published: Category:Dev BlogWritten by: bruno

Haven #476259

Hello mighty warriors!

It’s monday, I know you’re still exhausted from fighting hordes of mutated monsters last night, but there is no time to rest! Let’s look at the changes we made regarding the Day phase.

The Seer and the Mist

First, we wanted to add some mechanics involved with the Mist which is surrounding the city. It has a central place in our lore and gameplay, but we didn’t play with it.

Now the Mist feels more “alive” by slowly progressing each night towards the city’s wall, making the monsters spawn closer to the critical action, putting more pressure on your heroes. It really gives this feeling of impending doom, heroes barricaded and suffocating in their shelter while the horror comes knocking at the door.

Of course, it wouldn’t be fair if the Mist could ONLY advance… so we added some tools for the player to control the Mist.

In our lore, the mages of the city not only drain their powers to cast The Last Spell at the Magic Circle, they also use a bit of Mana to repel the Mist outside the city, making some sort of invisible protective dome around the city. Of course they can’t do both tasks efficiently, so they ask for help to any magic user still alive.

Here comes the Seer. A new building you can build inside the city walls. It has several uses:

  • Repel the Mist! It costs a lot of worker, but having a bit more time before the monsters attack the walls can mean A LOT after the first few days.
  • Get some data about the enemy horde:
    • You can get infos about the incoming enemies composition, and even numbers if you upgrade the Seer.
    • When the enemies attack from several sides of the city, you can also get infos on which side will spawn the most enemies. Very useful to know where you’ll be placing the bulk of your forces for the next wave.

This Mist mechanic + this new building instantly became really prominent in the gameplay, especially when you survive a few days. It’s just the foundations of mechanics we could build upon in the future, but we are already quite happy with the results.

New Walls

Talking about systems which needed some expansion, the tools to defend the city which were available to the players were quite simplistic (again, we proceed this way for all mechanics: a first implementation with few gameplay elements to test the mechanic, and then if validated we use the system more and more, by small increments)

So we played a bit with the Walls you can build. We separated them into two simple categories: wooden walls, which don’t block Line Of Sight, and stone walls which are a lot sturdier but block Line Of Sight.

Each type has its advantages, so you’ll want to experiment a bit with them. Each type also comes with a “basic” and “reinforced” version.

As a side note, here’s a small tip on quality of life: you can directly upgrade walls by selecting a wall and choosing the corresponding upgrade OR just by building a new wall “on top” of a smaller one. Either way, you’ll never pay for more materials than if you built the wall from scratch, so you’re sure not to get screwed.

Catapults and Ballistas

Yet another system which had just a basic implementation, what we could call “active defensive structures” (ie. anything but walls…). In the Prologue, we had the Catapult and the Watchtower.

We reworked a bit the Catapult, so you don’t need one of your hero anymore to use the catapult in order for it to launch its attack! We felt it was a bit too much, since you really want your heroes in the frontlines fighting with everything they have. So now catapults give you a fixed amount of free uses each night, and it resplenishes automatically during day. Easy and deadly.

That’s still something you have to trigger yourself, but we also wanted to have some automatic defenses at some point… so we introduced the Ballistas into the game!

They are easy to use: they just shoot one time per turn on the closest enemy. We’ve already seen playtesters have a lot of fun with those, so we certainly have to expand on this later, maybe give some control on their targeting, but we’ll see…

They also come in two flavors: basic ones and “mounted” ones which ignore Line Of Sight prequisites. (another little something we added, the “Vision” special skill effect)


Okay so now for the big surprise… From the beginning we wanted to have traps in the game. It seemed to be working well with the concept of defending your city walls at all costs. And now we have them!

Like we said before, we designed a whole new system for them, so we implemented a few elements into the game in order to test it all out and see what was working and what was “meh”. So for now there are “only” 3 types of traps with different effects, and we’ll build upon them in the coming months.

So there is the Stun Trap, the Slow Trap and the Damage Trap. They should be self-explanatory… You can place them anywhere on the map, and they’ll trigger when an enemy finishes its movement on the tile of the trap. This part was a design nightmare, due to how the movement of the enemies is handled (all at the same time, calculations of the final position but no existence of “intermediate” tiles walked, etc…), we had to settle to trigger the effect at that particular time. It can lead to monsters “walking” on a trap but not triggering it, but all in works for the time being. If we want to change that in the future, we’ll have to rework a big chunk of the enemies system, so… we’ll see.

Last but not least

We also added a special structure which didn’t fit into my earlier arbitrary categories… We call it the Warp Gate, some sort of Teleporter structure we had fun with while testing things. It’s still experimental, but already bringing some fun strategies to the table. You’ll have to try it out and give us feedback on them!

Okay so that’s it for this second blog post! We hope you’re eager to try these news elements, see you next monday for the last part of this features reveal serie!

-The Last Team

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