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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Althea Campaign Interface

Another quick update just to report that things are still progressing along nicely. Alongside creating new material, I have been improving existing code and making everything work together more smoothly where possible. I took a pleasing step forward this week, by introducing the "extra buttons" that run inside the main hotbar specific to the Althéa Campaign, including ones for the Main Menu and combat procedures in particular, which I hope will make combat within the campaign both more controlled and enjoyable.

New hotbar buttons and Main Menu options!
The New Interface

To explain briefly, there will be (as it currently stands) six new buttons within the main hotbar that sit alongside (to the right of) the familiar camera angle buttons:

1) Main Menu Button: Basically does what is says, and brings up the Main Menu for the player, where they will have further in-game options. This menu is not available during combat.

2) Party Maps Button: When the player(s) acquire maps throughout the campaign, this button will open the Map Screen when pressed to allow viewing. In a MP game, the map opens for all players so that the map can be viewed and discussed by all players at the same time.

3) Turn Based Pause Button: One of the first combat buttons that player(s) can use. This is a global toggle setting, so it sets for all players in a MP game. When clicked, the game will pause every six seconds, which the player must un-pause. This auto-sets if "Pause on Attacked" is selected from the Main Menu, allowing a hybrid turn-based system to begin.

4) Toggle Player Group AI: The second combat button, which can also be used to simply immediately stop all companions in their tracks if need be, is the Group AI toggle. Note, a "group" is all PCs that a player controls. In an Althéa MP game, each player controls their own group of PCs, as opposed to a normal OC game where only the party leader player controls the added PCs. This AI button does *not* toggle AI for those creatures in the party that are not "created" by the player or added as "companions". e.g. Animal Companions and Familiars cannot have their AI turned off.

5) Observe Condition (HP Bar): If the player acquires the ability and wish to use this facility, then HP bars for enemy creatures can be toggled on or off via this button. Note, it is a global setting, so all players would have this feature turned on or off in a MP game.

6) Statistics Panel: Lastly, their is a button that brings up a game statistics panel giving some information about the PCs in the party. e.g. Number of deaths (and type of revivals), best creature killed and number, etc.

Main Menu Updates

Lastly, just to mention a couple of new additions to the Main Menu:-

A) If a PC suffers a penalty to hit and damage due to hunger, they will now find it on the Main Menu.
B) A new toggle button to pause if a trap is triggered has been added.

Actually, I have made an improvement to Trap Detection as a whole. Now, by default (with or without the above option being switched), a PC will stop everybody in their tracks if a trap is detected. This is *not* using the pause facility, but simply a command to stop, which stops PCs from doing whatever they are doing. The pause option (as mentioned above) is a toggle that sets the pause if the trap is "triggered", when "stopping" is too late. At this point, the player can decide whether to quickly intercept the moment of pause for their PCs or not. (Hitting the AI toggle should do the job.)

I am hoping to move forward on finishing some more quest writing in the coming weeks, subject to some real life events that are occurring. I will try to keep you all updated all the same.

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