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May
27

Dev Blog #75: Progress Update – Reworked UI

Back from our short trip to Malmö, we’re busy again working on the UI as per last week’s progress update. Things are progressing well: The game feels a lot smoother already and the UI now looks like it actually belongs to a game. We’re about halfway done, so let’s take a look!

The new Look & Feel

The UI in Battle Brothers is now made from real materials that fit the setting: wood, metal and paper. This makes it feel much more as a part of the game world and actively contributes to the game’s atmosphere. Below is an example of how dialog screens now look – made of wood with decorative viking-esque carvings and a metal band. Note that the text color for everything is something we’ll adjust at the very end.

event dialogue

The same look and feel of wood and metal is also used for the combat UI. All the buttons got a makeover to be more clear in their function and fit within the design. Tooltips now have the look of pieces of paper and small scrolls, written on with ink. Aside from their visual upgrade, they also come with some improvements in functionality. For example, as you can see in the screenshot below, any status effects are now listed complete with their name underneath each other. No need to learn every icon by heart anymore!

UI tactical combat

Similar to how tooltips are now scraps of paper, we’ve also made the panel showing the current objectives a scroll bearing the seal of your employer. Whenever it made sense and didn’t detract from the usability, we’ve tried to incorporate real objects that would be part of mercenary life into the UI.

scrolls inventory

A shout-out

Finally, we want to give a shout-out to the devs behind Unclaimed World and Wartile – we had a great time chatting with you guys at the Nordic Game!

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blog_header_ui
May
13

Dev Blog #74: Progress Update – Reworked UI

Here we go again. After being delayed a bit while we waited for some technical issues to be resolved, as well as some of us taking a small vacation to recharge our batteries, we’re now back to working full steam on the UI rework. What does it entail? Let’s find out! Read more…

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Apr
29

Dev Blog #73: Progress Update – Marching on

As mentioned in last weeks posting we will now shift to longer periods between updates as we go back to tackle the larger issues at hand. This is why there will be no update to the game today. However, we will let you know what we are working on right now: Read more…

blog_header_swamp
Apr
22

Update 0.6.0.21

This week’s update adds the last batch of natural combat environments. With all terrain on the worldmap accounted for in combat, we can cross another item off of our list towards a finished game!

Swamps received a major overhaul for a much sleeker look, as you can see below. Picking a fight on hilly terrain on the worldmap now actually results in hills in combat, so there is now a benefit to retreating to hills or luring enemies there to make a stand. Finally, snowy forests now look appropriately, and mountains come with their very own new combat environment full of crags and ravines.

swamp4

With all this done, we move on to work on adding more contracts, having locations like bandit camps being present on combat maps, and doing lots of UI work necessary before implementing certain new features. Because some of those items require longer periods of development and testing, we’ll transition again to have larger but less frequent updates to the game for a while. Depending on what we’re working on, it could be several weeks between those more meaty updates. We’ll keep you updated as we go along.

Changelog

  • Added new swamp combat environment.
  • Added new mountainous combat environment.
  • Added new snowy forest combat environment.
  • Added new hilly combat environments for grassland, tundra, steppe and snow.
  • Changed ‘Swipe’ scenario to use the new forest environment.
  • Changed ‘Early Game’ scenario to use the new swamp environment.
  • Fixed mountains, snowy forests and shores on the worldmap not being linked correctly to their combat environments. Requires starting a new campaign to take effect.
blog_header_snow
Apr
15

Update 0.6.0.20

This week’s update adds two new combat environments and some more cosmetic weather effects to the game. Read more…

blog_header_forest
Apr
08

Update 0.6.0.19 & Next Steps

This week’s update adds reworked forest environments to the game and gives you a roadmap of our next steps with Battle Brothers.

Forests have always been a bit tricky to navigate and read in the past because of how trees could clutter up the map. To solve this, we’ve changed the general layout of forests to be more clearly divided into mossy open pathways between pockets of very dense vegetation, making it much easier to read where you can and can’t go. While arguably a less realistic layout, it should make for better gameplay while retaining that feeling of fighting in a forest that is different from fighting on other terrain. There are still chokepoints and opportunities for flanking aplenty, but now with less usability issues. Below you can see the layout of a typical forest map.

new_forest1

Changelog

  • Changed forest combat environments to have a new layout and look.
  • Changed tundra terrain to have slightly less vegetation.
  • Changed Effectiveness vs. Armor of the Billhook to be slightly lower, and of the Pike to be higher.
  • Fixed potential crash related to pending offers for contracts that have you destroy a location when the location was already destroyed in the meantime.
  • Fixed issue with ‘Escort Caravan’ contract.
  • Fixed issue with Riposte skill.

new_forest2

Next Steps

Doing the worldmap update was a big step towards how Battle Brothers will play once it’s finished. With this done we want to give you guys a better idea on the future development of Battle Brothers by outlining the next couple of steps on our list. Note that this is not a complete or final feature list. As development progresses, we’ll give you an updated outlook again so that you’ll always know what things we’re working on next. The list isn’t in any particular order and we’ll often work on several things in parallel.

Tactical Combat Environments

We’ve added to the combat environments over the past weeks, and we’ll continue to do so. There’s autumn forests and snow still to do, as well as hills and mountains. Swamps will get a makeover as well.

Once all terrain from the worldmap has found its way into tactical combat, we’ll move on to build set pieces for different locations you can fight at. Attacking an orc camp on the world map will produce a different map than fighting at a graveyard, for example. All fighting will have to take place outdoors, however, and we won’t have actual dungeons for the initial release of the game.

UI Skin and Backend

There are a couple of issues with the third party UI library we use for Battle Brothers. There’s a tendency for mouse clicks to be lost, and the UI can feel sluggish at times. Because this library ceased to be developed and we’re now stuck with all these problems, we’ve started porting our UI to another library. This is a process that may take us several weeks but should result in a much more responsive UI experience overall, as well as increased performance of the game. We want to do this first before we get to adding any new features that require lots of UI work.

The current look of the UI, grey and orange, is merely a placeholder and will be switched out. We’re going for a skeuomorphic design, probably lots of wood and metal, to have the UI do its part for atmosphere and give Battle Brothers a more professional look as it nears completion.

More Contracts and Events

There’s 10 contract types and 70 different events in the game right now. We have another 10 contracts already written and waiting to be implemented, and we may write more. The same goes for events. Changing priorities has us working on other things first (mainly, porting the UI), but we’ll keep adding to the selection of contracts and events in the game.

Perk Rework

While the perk tree works for the game, there’s certainly room for improvement. It’s plagued by a couple of imbalances; there are perks that are must-haves, perks that are almost never picked, and perks that kind of work but could be made more interesting. We’ll go over all the perks and see if and how they need changing or should potentially even be replaced entirely.

More Equipment and Accessories

We have several more weapon types planned out, and there are a few tiers still to fill for certain weapon types, such as for bows and crossbows. Only a few weapon types have unique variants right now, but we’re going to add some for all of them. The accessory slot is very much underutilized still, and we’ll add a few more specialized equipment options that open up new tactical avenues.

Again, keep in mind that this isn’t a complete list but merely our next couple of steps. We’ll keep you updated.