Dev Blog #43: Introducing the Event System - Battle Brothers Developer Blog

Jun
26

Dev Blog #43: Introducing the Event System

Time sure flies by fast! It’s been a full month now since we announced that we’d go full time and needed some weeks to get everything sorted out. While we took care of business and set up our new workspaces, we were also featured on the Steam Summer Sale for a day. Yay!

We’re happy to let you know that we’re now back in the saddle again. Both Christof (the programmer) and Jan (the manager) have moved to work full time on Battle Brothers. The last of the bunch, Paul (the artist), will join us mid-July. Development pace should now pick up again.

As previously announced, the first item on our roadmap is the introduction of an event system for the game. Today’s update to the game adds just that, so let’s take a closer look…

The Event System

Managing a mercenary company is not an easy thing. Not only do you need to command your men in battle, now your leadership skills are tested outside of combat as well. It’s easy to forget at times that the little guys you control are supposed to be humans. As humans, they sometimes have their own agenda, they have strengths and weaknesses in character, they may change with time, they may quarrel or bond with each other, and they’ll come to you with requests. While traveling on the worldmap, a lot can happen, much of which we can now convey to you with events.

event system battle brothers

To kick things off, we’ve added 47 events to the game. These include things that you can just stumble upon while traveling the world, some things that require you to be at certain places, as well as things that require characters of certain backgrounds or traits in your party. Some backgrounds may not play well together, and some may have advantages or disadvantages also outside of combat. What choices you have available at events may depend on what characters you have, and the outcome of your choices may differ as well.

Those 47 events are pretty much a vertical slice of what we want to ultimately achieve with the events, showing a bit of everything. Some events are comprised of only a single scene, some are quite complex and contain a dozen different scenes. It’s not nearly enough events yet to cover everything, of course, but we intend to add a lot more as we go along to make for a varied and reactive experience. Keep in mind that as everything else in this game, the event system is in Early Access too, and not finished. Once we add additional mechanics in the future, such as player reputation in the world, we’ll also weave this into the event system to trigger different events depending on your reputation, and to allow for events to change the reputation you have.

Note that you do not have to start a new campaign to have events in your game, your old save should load just fine. However, you’ll get the most out of the events with a new campaign.

Character Moods

Together with the events we also implemented a ‘mood system’ that tracks a mercenary’s current mood on an individual level. This was necessary as many events potentially influence how your mercs feel and how motivated they are. We model this by a scale ranging from ‘euphoric’ all the way down to ‘angry’. A character in good spirits receives a bonus to his resolve while a disgruntled character will probably be more reluctant to risk his neck for you.

blog_content_event

For example, a highborn noble gets into a fight with a lowborn servant – depending on how you, as the leader, decide to handle the situation there might be people upset or satisfied in the end. The effect on your mercenaries’ moods adds another layer of consequence to your decisions during events and makes them more meaningful and impactful. Getting all the different characters in your mercenary company to work together can be a challenge in itself.

New Weapons

While we were at it, we also added a few more weapons to the game.

wpns

From left to right: Wooden Flail and Reinforced Wooden Flail – agricultural tools turned weapon, these are lower tier variants of the Flail. Woodcutter’s Axe – a two-handed axe meant to fell trees, but will fell men just as well. Warbrand – a hybrid between a one-handed and a two-handed sword.

What’s next?

We’ll keep a close eye on the changes we’ve just introduced and will likely provide smaller but more frequent updates for a while to iron out any issues and make minor content additions. Once things are looking good, we’ll target the next item on our roadmap – the Goblin faction. This will be the largest update to date and come together with a lot of other changes, such as to AI and the leveling system. We want to do as many of these changes as we can in one go, because unfortunately that update will then have to break compatibility with save games from previous versions of the game.

Changelog

  • Added new event mechanic on the worldmap with 47 different events to start with. We’ll continually add new events from now on.
  • Added two new combat music tracks exclusive to fighting bandits and beasts, respectively.
  • Added a limit to the amount of food, ammo, tools and medicine that can be carried at once. Previously, the player could haul giant stockpiles of everything around the countryside, essentially removing these resources as a consideration and additional means to pay upkeep. This change should make them stay relevant.
  • Added Warbrand as a two-handed sword variant.
  • Added Woodcutter’s Axe as a lower tier two-handed axe.
  • Added Wooden Flail and Reinforced Wooden Flail as lower tier flails.
  • Added Masterwork Bow.
  • Added ability to pause the game on the worldmap also using the ‘Pause’ key. Makes sense.
  • Changed Skeleton Guards to have 8 AP (up from 6) to bring them in line with other skeletons and enable them to stick to the bulk of the fighting force.
  • Changed fatigue costs for movement to be double across the board. Movement hardly factored into fatigue before and this should provide another drawback for using heavy armor, especially when fighting more skirmish-oriented opponents, such as the upcoming Goblins.
  • Changed Athletic and Clubfooted traits to have double the effect on fatigue costs for movement.
  • Changed Taunt skill to be more effective.
  • Changed crossbows to be reloaded automatically after combat ends.
  • Changed amount of crowns the player receives from selling loot to be lower.
  • Fixed flipping the map during an AI turn potentially preventing the game from proceeding.
  • Fixed game refusing to continue during an AI turn under specific conditions.
  • Fixed laggy UI after changing character name and confirming with return key.
  • Fixed Gravedigger background incorrectly using text of the Graverobber background.
  • Fixed incorrect icon for Impale skill of the pitchfork.
  • Fixed Berserk perk sometimes not working correctly.
  • Fixed inaccurate sell prices shown on items in the shop interface.

 

 

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15 comments

  • Jago
    Jago
    Jun 26, 2015 @ 17:55 pm

    You’re back!
    Gonna play that new build now, bye! :D

  • screeg
    screeg
    Jun 26, 2015 @ 19:36 pm

    Mein Gott! This all sounds promising though I’m honestly not crazy about the mood icons. What about something simpler and cleaner to read?

    Also the wooden flail seems pointless. The flail is only a so-so weapon anyway, why add weaker variations made of wood? Are there historical precedents for a wooden flail? It looks like something a jester would carry.

    • Rap
      Rap
      Jun 26, 2015 @ 21:45 pm

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flail

      We want to establish a healthy equipment progression in the game – which includes lower tier variants of all the weapons. Yes, the lower tier variants quickly become obsolete right now, but that’s because it’s so easy/cheap to gain access to the higher tier variants in the game. It won’t stay this way. As for the Wooden Flail specifically, it’s also meant as a weapon for AI farmers and militia. The Reinforced Wooden Flail is likely more suited for the player.

      Agreed about the differently colored backgrounds for the mood icons.

      • screeg
        screeg
        Jun 29, 2015 @ 15:07 pm

        My problem with the wooden flail is it’s unrealistic. Is a farmer going to fashion a flail out of wood? Why not use a club? I understand completely about weapon progression, but perhaps with the flail you could go with rusty flail / flail / morningstar or something like that.

        Unless I could get a special attack while my enemies are incapacitated with laughter when they see my flail. :)

        • Rap
          Rap
          Jun 29, 2015 @ 15:17 pm

          The wooden flail is an agricultural tool already in the posession of said hypothetical farmer, used for threshing to separate grains from their husks. It can also be used as an improvised weapon.

  • screeg
    screeg
    Jun 26, 2015 @ 19:37 pm

    Tried to link to an image but it got scrapped. Pasting URL: http://i.imgur.com/RpehG4l.jpg

    • Tomes101
      Jun 27, 2015 @ 9:32 am

      Die Symbole für die “Charakter Moods” sind ja klasse. Ich verstehe nicht, warum du diese gegen simple Pfeile austauschen willst.

      • screeg
        screeg
        Jun 29, 2015 @ 15:09 pm

        Because they’re hard to “read”, too much detail in too small a space. Perhaps if the faces were more iconic, like the actual theater masks they’re based on.

        • Tomes101
          Jun 29, 2015 @ 18:32 pm

          Die sind doch nicht schwer zu deuten. Die Mimik stellt ja eindeutig die Gemütsverfassung dar. Nichts gegen deine Pfeile, aber eine Mimik können dich nicht ersetzen.

  • Sarissofoi
    Sarissofoi
    Jun 27, 2015 @ 12:38 pm

    Sweet baby Jesus!
    At last!
    Good. I will check this and write some negative comments soon.

  • Columbus
    Jun 27, 2015 @ 15:47 pm

    Wow, interesting. Am I correct in making the observation that you’re making what is already a niche hard game even harder?
    If this is your intention and/or your goal with the game… then Kudos to you. though you are limiting your potential market.

    • PsenBattle
      PsenBattle
      Jun 28, 2015 @ 13:29 pm

      Hey columbus,
      Dont worry well balance everything again and again until we have a game enjoyable for everyone :) we still have a long time to go until full release and there will be so many large, game changing mechanics to be implemented, its not worth spending too much time on balancing right now.
      Cheers!

    • Holy.Death
      Holy.Death
      Jul 1, 2015 @ 11:54 am

      What’s wrong with hard games? If game is a niche it’s more likely so due to not being as known as Souls’, which only became wider known in gaming community after Dark Souls 1 and just before Dark Souls 2. I think it’s a good example that proves difficulty of the content has little to do with financial success.

  • bengarrett1971
    bengarrett1971
    Jun 27, 2015 @ 16:15 pm

    The event system is great, adds good flavour…and I loved the event I just had where the long walk from a caravan escort mission caused Wendel the farmhand to lose his Fat trait ;-)

  • Waaagboss
    Jun 29, 2015 @ 17:34 pm

    I really like the new events, but one thing is bugging me. The small limit of resources is really an issue. My group survived now to day 200, and barely any challenging fights still exist in the normal area around town. I solved this problem by making extense raid in the northern wilderness, beating up skeletons and stuff. But now I kann barely cross the mountains without my people deserting cause of hunger. I like the Limit idea (I had food for 200 days before.) but please increase the limit to like 400 or something, same with the other things. Would be great. Maybe have the opportunity of buying caravans and being able to carry more supplies, at the cost of speed.

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