Dev Blog #52: Worldmap Rework - Battle Brothers Developer Blog

Sep
17

Dev Blog #52: Worldmap Rework

Time has come for the biggest overhaul yet: an extensive rework of the worldmap both in terms of visuals and gameplay. Read on to learn about our overall plans and get a first glance at what changes you can expect on the look and feel of the map you’re playing on.

The Plan

While tactical combat progressed nicely over the past months, the worldmap hasn’t been touched much and many elements are still what we consider placeholders or proof-of-concept pieces, such as how contracts work. This worldmap rework will change how the game is played quite substantially, and because of the many changes and additions we’re intending to do, it’ll take us several months to complete. Yes, that’s several months until the next major update, unfortunately, but it’ll be worth it. Here is a shortlist of what we want to achieve with the new and improved worldmap part of the game;

  • A new look and feel of the worldmap as an actual continent, larger than the current map, with more diverse climatic regions and unique landmarks.
  • Settlements, such as villages and cities, that feel unique across the world and are recognizable for their different looks and services they offer. This includes taverns to rest at and ports for fast travel.
  • Different human factions that may work against each other, offering a diverse set of contracts depending on their individual strategy.
  • Different non-human factions such as individual orc tribes that differ from one another and may fight each other.
  • A new modular system for contracts that allows for more variety and player interaction. Reputation will be introduced as a measurement for progress.

Over the coming months we’ll cover each of these points in detail as we work on it, so you’ll have a pretty good idea about what will change exactly. To kick things off, this week we’ll give you a preview on the new worldmap generation, the thing we’re working on right now.

Worldmap Generation

With the rework one of our main goals is to both create a reasonable and believable world while still keeping up replayability by making it very different each time.

To give the player a sense of the real world we decided to stick to some rules that apply to central Europe and North America. Heading north will lead the player into colder and more harsh climates while moving south will generally result in hotter and more dry regions. Additionally, we wanted the world to have somewhat realistic coastlines with arms reaching inland and smaller islands lying somewhat off the coast.

Take a look at the screenshots below to see a first preview of the new worldmap using placeholder visuals for different regions. The strong colors are just for differentiating the regions better during development.

blog_continent_1

Regarding the landmass itself and especially mountain ridges we want to create natural barriers for the player to bypass. By splitting up the continent in different regions through the placement of obstructive terrain we effectively increase the perceived map size for the player while keeping the total tile amount reasonable.

blog_continent_2

As you can judge from the screenshots you will have quite different outcomes each time you generate a new map. Still, each map is based on the same algorithm and will adhere to the same general rules.

13 comments

  • Asterix_von_TWC
    Sep 17, 2015 @ 13:50 pm

    Thanks for the glimpse!

    The size generated now is not yet larger? Is that correct? A much larger map is very high on my list

    Would you consider doing interconnected world maps each with a different climate? I am thinking a pattern of 9 with the party starting in the center? That could help beat the code limitations on size?

    Are we going to see a shift away from “Germanic” factions?

    Reply
    • Rap
      Rap
      Sep 17, 2015 @ 13:58 pm

      The new map is larger than the old one. How large it’ll end up being exactly is something we’ll determine later on, once the map gets populated with factions and we can see at what size it feels best to play on. We’ll only have one worldmap per campaign. Additional cultures is something we’d very much like to explore eventually, but not something we can do with the first release of the game.

      Reply
  • Eisbrecher
    Eisbrecher
    Sep 17, 2015 @ 14:39 pm

    The new ideas all sound very interesting and should instill more character and variety in the game. I particularly like the idea on infighting (or, perhaps, alliances?) within the various factions.

    Reputation is also a very interesting idea, so that your actions can have an actual impact on the way the various settlements and factions perceive you. Right now, raze contracts seem to me the only feasible way of sustaining a high-level party. An although this is, after all, Battle Brothers, not Courier Brothers, courier and escort missions end up for a higher-level team as a net loss or at best a way of breaking even (covering expenses, that is) on the way to another settlement. So, hopefully, a company with a reputation of leading the caravans it escorts to their destinations might get better pay for this type of mission.

    Things are looking very interesting for Battle Brothers. I’m looking forward to learning more about the devs plans.

    Best of luck in the coming months.

    Reply
  • icemelon
    icemelon
    Sep 17, 2015 @ 16:07 pm

    Wooooha!!! What a nice devlog! The only sad thing will be the waiting time (months…) but that’s ok, we will enjoy your hard and good work.

    I love the idea of reputation and more variety with contracts, that will open a new world of options and ways to face each game.

    Also, I can’t wait to see a battle between two different orc factions, and later smashing both of them with my brothers.

    You are great guys, keep on with your work ; )

    Reply
  • Holy.Death
    Holy.Death
    Sep 17, 2015 @ 17:48 pm

    [quote]Different non-human factions such as individual orc tribes that differ from one another and may fight each other.[/quote]
    This is a very interesting point. Does it mean we will see more enemies, more weapons for them, etc. or just that some tribes will be focusing heavier on berserkers and some will be using heavy armor? Expanding the factions further is not something I’d be against.

    Reply
  • RusBear
    RusBear
    Sep 17, 2015 @ 18:20 pm

    Whether the processing of global maps also include changes in the tactical map, depending on the site of the world? Snow battle, in the fortress – if you attack a fortress, etc.

    Whatever it was- very well that you continue to work on expanding the game and filling its gameplay component. It’s great.

    Reply
    • PsenBattle
      PsenBattle
      Sep 18, 2015 @ 9:30 am

      Yes, the actual worldmap environment will be represented in the combat tiles, so its not only green grass anymore :)

      Reply
  • Capirage
    Capirage
    Sep 18, 2015 @ 9:38 am

    This is truly amazing, thank you so much. :)

    Reply
  • Eisbrecher
    Eisbrecher
    Sep 18, 2015 @ 10:53 am

    One of my mercs, who started with the “fat” trait, just lost it, following a month of non-stop trekking around the map. Is it possible to lose or gain other negative traits? It’d never happened before and I wonder whether I should stick it out with some battle brothers who have a couple of levels under their belts but also some negative traits, or there’s no hope of getting rid of, say, the “pessimist” trait.

    Reply
    • Rap
      Rap
      Sep 18, 2015 @ 11:04 am

      Yes, other traits can be lost or gained via events as well. Not the ‘pessimist’ trait specifically at this time, though. We’ll probably add more events for gaining and losing traits in the future.

      Reply
      • Eisbrecher
        Eisbrecher
        Sep 18, 2015 @ 15:06 pm

        Events are much more interesting now. Just lost a level 4 sellsword to a better offer from a competing company; in an earlier game, one of my more expensive mercs got such an offer, but he was saddled with negative effects, so I took a chance with trying to “sweet-talk” him. He decided to stay without a raise. Thought it’d work this time, with this really good one: he walked. Wish I paid him those 38 coins now :P

        I’ve also come across a couple of events that affect the stats of the battle brothers; marginally, as far as I can tell, but it adds flavor to the game.

        By the way, came across two “puny” parties, goblins and raiders, battling it out in a forest. Waited to see who’d win, thankfully it was the raiders (damn goblins can be deadly, even at night their archers are crack shots). Decided to attack the raiders, and they were in perfect condition. I suppose there’s no way of tracking damage like with the player party, but perhaps an AI party just coming out of combat could be somewhat weaker, to make such (rare) occasions more tempting for the player.

        Reply
  • screeg
    screeg
    Sep 18, 2015 @ 16:16 pm

    Would be very cool if islands served a purpose other than being inconvenient to get to, and if the Brothers could acquire their own boat…

    Reply
  • JackDandy
    Sep 19, 2015 @ 9:28 am

    I’m seeing islands! Will we get a chance to explore these?

    Reply

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