Battle engine basics

I made some progress. What I hate about game development is how hard it is to get a feeling for where you are. You can program various routines for hours and hours, and feel like you have got nothing done. But then, you keep adding a little bit after a little bit, and suddenly that feeling starts to show itself. Up until a few hours ago, all I saw was random code bits and some mockup art. Now, while technically not much has changed, I do start to see the bits and pieces of a game, or at least the faint shimmering silhouette of one.

With some projects (in fact, the majority of them) I don't really reach that tipping point. The number one reason I have for canceling a project is that I never get that gameplay I have in my imagination to emerge from the bits. I'm not quite there with this one yet. But I have hope.

Here's a screenshot of the current battle engine. It might be hard to see what's going on, but basically all of the army guys are aiming at me (I'm the identical army dude in the upper right corner), and I'm about to die. It's a turn based system, with the option to basically move, aim (pick a target), or shoot at them.

In this scene all of the enemies are armed with knives (because melee ai requires just a bit more work), so they follow you around if you move and try and get in and stab you. The turns for combat works reasonably well, and the interface works great.

One other feature, is that the game transitions between exploration mode and battles fairly seamlessly. Enemies will all be in the same positions they were on the exploration screen, and the scenery will be the same as well. The only difference is the spacing in battle mode is more rigid, while exploration has pixel perfect movement. It's sort of an anachronox/chrono trigger ish system.

Upcoming tasks: map out story, figure out character stats/skills, add randomness to combat, and then take a break from that to do some iterations on the art. After that is just build build build.