Dev Diaries: Devilish Details
It’s now the middle of August and development has been progressing in a steady pace! Even though we’re aware that this is only a calm before the storm, we’re using every moment to recuperate and prepare further while bringing you small but sweet consistent updates from the Dev realm.
Let’s delve into it!
We’ve had many internal discussions on the dungeon mechanics, with redesigns applied to the room layout and environment aplenty. With that in mind, it’s great to write that we’re now happy with how the system works and how it adds to the flow of gameplay. Put short, it is functional, plays well (feels original), and has a genuine impact on the game (remember, dungeons and crafting are heavily linked).
Check out these images to see what the dungeon looks like today!
The scenery and elements that you will encounter in the dungeons have also received a facelift. The most significant change comes to the textures themselves — dungeons feel like they belong in the magical, alien world of Hash Rush now. We can’t wait for you to explore them!
The second major issue that we had to tackle a rather interesting issue related to line of sight and fog of war. The core of the issue was to make sure that units could not see through walls. After all, if you’re dungeon crawling, you really should not be able to see through walls.
This leads us nicely to the next point, Fog of War updates to the entire game!
Fog of War (FoW)
Vision, in general, is something that we had to handle carefully. Why? Because Hash Rush is an RTS (Real-time Strategy) game, and in such games, sight equals information, and information leads to victory. What we had (until now) was a rather simplistic fog of war, if a unit walks into an area, it lifts the FoW in a fixed area around it. However, that’s not the level of realism that we wanted. What we wanted (and what we now have) is a system that reacts to elevation and objects.
How does that work? We now have different levels of elevation, which, in turn, affect what units can see.
For example, a unit sitting at elevation level 1 (meaning on the ground level) will not be able to see another unit standing above them at elevation level 2 (i.e., on a hill). Units can spot other units on their elevation level or below them, meaning they can look down but not up.
When it comes to the obstacles, the easiest example would be trees. As tree’s are a solid object, creatures with eyes should not be able to see “through” them. Simply put, this is now how our game works.
Have a look back at the dungeon video above and you’ll see the new Fog of War system in action!
As we explained, sight is essential, but so is what you’re looking at. We want Hash Rush to have a striking visual impact, and, in that interest, we have added new models for enemy units, player units, and new models for the player buildings.
Check out this interesting snapshot of the new buildings, do you recognize any of them?
Quality of Life
And, last but not least, some Quality of Life changes.
Grouping units together is a staple of RTS gameplay, but needless to say, things get more complicated when there is a special unit in the group.
A Hero is always a great addition to any squad, yet keeping track of their abilities can be challenging. With this new update, you will be able to see and use a Hero’s abilities while selecting the group they’re assigned to, without having to frantically look for them in the heat of battle. Moreover, if you decide to have multiple heroes in the same group, you will be able to cycle through them to unleash their abilities on the poor fools that dared challenge you.
Another improvement that we’ve made to the heroes is how one equips them with new items. Our previous version was rather cluttered and not the most easy to use, so we’ve redesigned this quite a bit! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so have a look at what the new hero/equipment screen looks like now.
While fighting is important, we also gave some love to the building aspect of the game. Building and expanding are extremely important in Hash Rush, and more often than not, the position of your buildings impacts how the match will progress. Build mode now features a semi transparent grid that will help players place down their structures more accurately — go for symmetry or pure chaos, it’s up to you.
On the building topic, we felt some players were having issues finding the Advanced buildings — this is a thing of the past, as we have added a handy button that will cycle between Basic and Advanced buildings.
Coupled with the grid, your bases will soon be legitimate works of art!
However, some of the changes we are making are not yet set in stone.
For example, we changed the day/night cycle to work in real time. We are curious to see how this will impact the game and we will definitely experiment more with it, so keep an eye out!
So now that the stage has been set, the final preparations commence for the long-awaited second playtest! The previous one was a great learning experience for us and, we hope, a very fun experience for you. We will get back to you with more details soon.
Until then, thank you for reading!