The Commander Update - The primary RTS element in the game and leader of the team gets examined in this weeks update.
1.A person in authority, esp. over a body of troops or a military operation: "the commander of a paratroop regiment".
2.A naval officer of high rank, in particular (in the US Navy or Coast Guard) an officer ranking above lieutenant commander and below captain.
3.The most feared monstrosity of metal and man to ever step foot on the battlefield.
Today we look at 'The Commander', the primary RTS element in the game. The Commander is in charge of each teams resources and how they are used. They will decide the very outcome of the game with the help of their team. Team work is vital to a successful Commander, as he cannot stand alone in battle for very long. A good Commander will inspire his team to work together by giving them objectives to reach, and by listening to their needs as upgrades become available. This ideal is the very foundation of Mist of Stagnation.
The Commander was an idea that got changed around many times in the early concept stages, and even 1 last time well into development of the game. We played off of some of the 'player/commander' game play models other's have already used, and spun off of it what we liked/disliked about them. Most notably was NS and Empires a Half-Life 2 mod. The result was a mixture of a commander who has RTS capabilities & an in-the-field presence, while still maintaining the steampunk environment. We started off with plans that the Commander would just be a unique player model that would be almost like a field promotion, but would still stand out to the other team. This was changed as we thought of games like TF2 and how important the silhouette of a player is in a fast paced FPS like this. With the inspiration of our very talented concept artist, we came up with 2 unique mech's that would serve as the vessel for the Commanders. As you can see, each mech has features that represent each faction. This idea also gave us a better opportunity to give the player a true RTS environment and HuD. We will be going into more detail about the factions in a later article, but you can read up about them in a previous update.
Coding began on this idea immediately, and the results instantly inspired the team. While in early development we used a stock vehicle to represent the Commander model the player would be in later.
(note: test level - models and layout do not represent final design)
After a quick mock up HuD, we knew how vital the Commander's HuD would be, so design started on it. For early development, we decided to use the same HuD for each Commander, but this will be changed as we move further down the road. This is the final result we decided on for the Commander's HuD The player playing as the Commander will has a 1st person view from inside of the mech, with arms visible as they move levers and hit switches relevant to the players actions. The Commander will not be a fighting vessel as its primary function, but does have some powerful defensive actions. As you can see, each commander will have an arm designated to a very powerful melee attack. In addition to this very high powered / low rate of fire attack, the Commander will also have the option to use its other "Hand" to punch and/or swipe away enemies that are close to it. We look forward to seeing some truly epic Commander fights in the future.
As the player enters the RTS mode and primary function, they will be presented with a holographic screen or 'Aural-Ocular Generator' (AOG) which will give the player an overview of the battlefield, upgrade options, and resource monitor. The AOG will take up most of the screen, so when in the RTS mode, the Commander will be vulnerable.
WIP Iron Mason Commander Mech WIP Northland Pirate Commander Mech
The Future of the Commander:
While the immediate future calls for a streamlined process of development without the addition of any new features, we do have our bucket list for it. We have thrown around ideas about buildings and how that would change the landscape of the game (no pun intended). We have plans to give each commander its own unique HuD and interior model. Anyone who is familiar with the UE3 engine knows it supports destruction on its vehicles; well as you can see, our mechs are a perfect match for that system. Visible damaged parts that can be blasted off and repaired back on. Which leads right into a repair system for them as well. The most important feature is still out there... we need you to tell us what you like and want to see as you all start playing Mist of Stagnation.
Thanks for reading and be sure to check back next week. If we get enough followers by week 8, we will have a very exciting gift for you!