Dev Blog #42 Going Full-Time and Battle Brothers Roadmap

May
23

Dev Blog #42: Progress Update – Going Full Time and A Small Roadmap

Time for some good news!

It’s been more than three weeks now since Battle Brothers released into Early Access and so far it has been pretty successful. The game was well received and we got a lot of helpful feedback from all of you, much of which we’ll incorporate into the game over the course of the next year. There is a lot still left to do, of course, but things are looking bright.

The game has also been a financial success for us. As you may be aware, Battle Brothers was developed by a core team of just 3 people over the course of nearly 2 years in their spare time while also working day jobs. The recent success now allows us to quit our day jobs and start working fulltime on Battle Brothers. That’s right, we’re about to have a lot more time we can put into the game and should be able to make progress much faster than before!

The downside for now is that quitting our day jobs and going full time is not something we can do over night. As you may know from experience yourselves, changing jobs always comes with a lot of organizational hurdles. Getting legal stuff out of the way, setting up new workplaces, doing a clean handover for you former job, existing contractual obligations, and so on. We are looking at a transitional period  that will keep us pretty busy over the next couple of weeks.

During these next weeks we won’t be able to make much progress on the game itself and provide you with updates as frequently as before. It’s all worth it, however, because once things are settled, the game should progress at a much faster pace than in the 2 years before, and we’re already looking forward to really get going!

A big thank you to all of you who made this, our dream of working on our very own game, possible! And an extra big thank you to those of you who supported us even more by getting the Supporter Edition!

A Small Roadmap

To give you a better idea of our immediate plans, once we have settled into working full time on Battle Brothers, we also want to share a small roadmap with you.

1) Event System
As explained in our last blog post, our next immediate goal is the addition of the event system to add interesting encounters and tough decisions outside of combat, as well as laying the foundations for dialog and a future rework of the contract system. Because a lot of events will change depending on what backgrounds or traits your Battle Brothers have, it’ll also add a layer of complexity to character backgrounds beyond just their different stats.

2) Goblins
Next up are Goblins. Those are the green skinned cousins of the orcs that have an entirely different fighting style. While orcs rely on physical prowess and brute-forcing their way through your ranks, goblins lack the physical power to do so. In fact, they’re quite fragile individually, more so than your average Battle Brother. In battle they rely on their wits and dirty tricks instead, preferring to fight at range. Goblins come with their own arsenal of unique weaponry and skills – throwing nets to incapacitate their enemies, arrows with terrible poison and long jagged pikes. Goblins should add an entirely new challenge to combat in Battle Brothers and are also meant to be a missing piece of the puzzle that is game balance by making ranged combat more important. No longer is the nimble swordmaster safe from all danger!

Goblin Concept

3) Rework of the Worldmap
The third and by far largest step on our immediate roadmap is a rework of the worldmap as a whole. It’s quite clear that the world simulation, as it is now, is not satisfactory. With the resources available to us now and the lessons learned so far, we’re going to design new gameplay around commandeering a mercenary company in a low-fantasy medieval world. We already have a solid concept for this, and we’ll update you once things are further along. Yes, there will be multiple human factions working against each other. And yes, we’ll make contracts a lot more interesting and dynamic.

 

18 comments

  • Jago
    Jago
    May 23, 2015 @ 15:22 pm

    Congratulations! It’s awesome to hear that you can work full-time now!

    “human factions working against each other”… o.O
    I can’t even… wow, I didn’t expected this to be honest. This is gonna be glorious!

    Reply
    • GOD
      May 23, 2015 @ 16:15 pm

      It’s a pretty big change. They must be confident that they can pull it off now.

      Congrats on being succesful enough to go full time! The quitting is a hassle, but it’ll make things more relaxed in the long run.

      Reply
  • Shift310
    May 23, 2015 @ 19:19 pm

    The event system will be great, I’m sure. That will add an unpredictable twist to the gameplay and make things very interesting.
    I like the way this roadmap is going. :)

    Reply
  • Asterix_von_TWC
    May 24, 2015 @ 1:12 am

    Excellent news! Hang in there lads… we are with you all the way.

    A suggestion for the World Map: make it bigger…. it feels a tad too small at the moment, I want to be able to explore a vaster world… and to be honest this should not take too much extra memory.

    Reply
  • Mashed Zombie
    Mashed Zombie
    May 24, 2015 @ 7:28 am

    Did Battle Brothers really sell that well?! How is the greater evil going to work with human factions working against each other?

    Reply
  • Sky
    Sky
    May 24, 2015 @ 13:44 pm

    Congratulations!

    Happy to see that you can afford to go full time on BB, hope it will have only positive effects on the game itself.

    Reply
  • SirGroggy
    SirGroggy
    May 24, 2015 @ 14:06 pm

    Very happy to hear that the game is successful enough for you guys to go full time.
    I can tell from playing the game that you guys are very talented, right through from the details of the artwork, to the very innovative design which borrows the best from many genres, and the excellent programming such as the procedural generation engine and dynamic world.
    Congratulations and I was proud to be a small part of the financial success.
    Also I am happy to see that the highest priority is the character interactions, dialogue etc, as that looks like the area where there is the most space for bringing the characters to life.

    Reply
  • RusBear
    RusBear
    May 25, 2015 @ 9:40 am

    Happy for you, the developers. The fact that the game has a certain financial success is very good. I hope that our( ordinary players, who supported the game and bought early access) modest contribution will help you to make not just another EA imperfection with big promises but a really good game. You have it all – a sense of style, interesting base and a great responsive the community often with very interesting proposals. Good luck and inspiration.
    P.S. Do not drink to celebrate too much :)

    Reply
  • danielleve
    May 27, 2015 @ 0:48 am

    congrats ~ may the development going smooth ~_~

    Reply
  • Salperticon
    Salperticon
    May 27, 2015 @ 9:33 am

    Those are indeed very good news to hear.
    Congratulations!

    I just hope that this will not backfire in some way in the long run.
    I do not know about many small development companies who can stay independant and alive for long these days.
    Most either vanish after the initial flow of money ebbed away, or are bought up by larger companies like EA or Microsoft.
    Here’s hope that enough people will value all the work you put into this amazing game to spare you from this fate.
    The potential is definitely there.

    I’m very excited to see the game develop further in the future, the Event System and the Goblin faction in particular.
    Regarding the world map changes, I have to admit that I am a bit… sceptical.
    Several human factions working against each other sounds nice on paper, but I’d rather not see this becoming a second Game of Thrones.
    So far, the “humans versus evil” theme worked very nicely for me, and I would be sad to see that getting lost in internal schemes and plots of warring human kingdoms.
    But we will see what you make of it.
    I am confident that the result will be enjoyable either way.

    There are quite a few more changes which are planned for the future, but not listed on the immediate roadmap so far, which I am looking forward to very much.
    Maybe even more than the current changes announced for the near future.
    However, I still recommend to take it slow, think any changes through before you implement them, and in general do not let yourselves be influenced by other people too much.
    The game is great already as it is, even though it is clearly not finished, and there is surely the possibility to fix it until it is broken.

    That being said, keep up the good work, wish you the best for the future, and hope that you will have as good a time with the game as we players have.
    Thank you so much.

    Reply
    • Jaysen
      May 27, 2015 @ 10:14 am

      Thanks a lot for the feedback!
      We have a pretty solid financial planning for the long run so we are not going all euphoric and then crash ;) As an economist by trade i am always taking risks into my calculations and the decision to go full-time was a very thorough one. Also, i think big companies will not likely try to buy us out as our game is very niche and not something that you can sell to everyone and their mother ;)

      Regarding the worldmap: There will of course still be all the evil factions and they will cause all sorts of trouble. Maybe sometimes even starting a massive uprising so that all the human factions have to work together to stop them.
      The main goal of the faction system is to give better context to your actions as a mercenary company and give you the possibility to interact with various factions without just hitting them across the head. I dont want to go into too much detail here but there will be more in future updates on this topic.

      As said in the update we now have to take care of all that organizational hassle so we have some time to think everything through before we start with the implementation. You are definitely right about being careful on what suggestions to take into the game. If we are not 100% convinced that it is good for the game we will not put it in.

      Reply
      • Salperticon
        Salperticon
        May 27, 2015 @ 11:02 am

        Thanks a bunch for your reply, Ser Jaysen.
        It makes me feel much more confident about the upcoming changes.
        It is a great relief to hear that you are planning your steps so carefully and well.

        Also, I will totally try and convince my mother to buy your game now.
        Just to prove you wrong.

        Reply
        • Patrick (Breakdown Epiphanies)
          May 27, 2015 @ 17:44 pm

          ^^ Man I really love how Battle Brothers already spawned such a great community, especially here on the site. I bet your mother will show the greenskins who is boss ;)

          Reply
      • Asterix_von_TWC
        May 27, 2015 @ 18:21 pm

        @ Jaysen I bought my mother and her mother a copy :D – excellent to hear your plans, I think your communication with the fan base has been exceptional thus far, and I hope you don’t lose the energy because it in itself keeps us engaged and entertained. If it starts to eat away your development time too much, you could think of appointing some community moderators. I nominate Jago for instance.

        For me, playing the game very frequently, (17 (ungodly late) hours last 1.5 weeks) – I would say my main development wish is a larger World Map… to make it all feel “more epic” … right now the map feels more like a region than a world. With non-combat characters in the company (like a horse keeper for instance) the travel time could be significantly decreased.

        Reply
        • Asterix_von_TWC
          May 27, 2015 @ 18:23 pm

          Sorry for the double post but I just had to say this: a new Hugo was born in Stockholm to an absolute non-gamer last week, and off course I could not resist and strained into a minefield of explaining why Hugo was such a symbolic name… luckily I was not ostracized for it :D

          Reply
  • alsaindar
    alsaindar
    Jun 25, 2015 @ 23:17 pm

    Are stats for the leader (the player) going to be introduced? You as the player are supposed to be leading a band of mercenaries, and you’re supposed to have been a former mercenary. The game play however makes you seem more like a merchant since all you do is manage money and resources. The men can level up, but there’s nothing to represent your skills as a leader. In my opinion a good option would be to decide either from the start of the game and choose a “class” or have an option prior to each battle. The difference being whether you lea from the rear or from the front. Leading from the rear would give global bonuses, maybe increase units action point pools or something like that, while leading from the front gives you an extra warrior who provides extra resolve and morale. The leader should also have their own skill tree as they level to distinguish them from other battle brothers. It just makes little sense when your warband is attacked and surrounded for the leader (who was supposedly a seasoned warrior himself) to be no where in sight.

    Reply
    • Jaysen
      Jun 26, 2015 @ 11:43 am

      We have different ideas of actually giving the player a character that he can customize to some extent at the beginning of the game but he will not show up in the tactical combat. Maybe through some sort of question system that also determines the background of your mercenary company.

      The implications are just too grave: What if he gets killed in Battle? This would turn most fights into a babysitting-the-captain thing and if we made him unkillable it would break the immersion, especially with all the permadeath going on.

      It is a bit like in the new Xcom where you get addressed as commander all the time but never show up in the tactical combat. A retired mercenary captain can have many reasons why he would not be able or willing to fight himself.

      Reply
  • alsaindar
    alsaindar
    Jun 26, 2015 @ 18:22 pm

    Well in XCOM its understandable, in modern military organizations the brass are never on the line. Introducing the leader of the company as a controllable character though would reinforce his importance. Even if he does die though, the warband wouldn’t just disolve, the men would simply decide on the next leader. You’re reasons for not making him a a combatant are valid though from a game standpoint. So long as there is some way to customize him I’ll be content. Beyond that, I’m loving the game so far.

    Reply

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