Topic: First Impressions after playing the Combat Demo

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    Avatar photoAlesch

    Hey Guys,

    I downloaded the Battle Brothers Combat Demo after reading about the game in the , and the game swallowed up my entire afternoon. This just might be my most anticipated game since I first played the Mount and Blade demo back in 2004, and I mean that as the highest praise. During the course of the game I was reminded of a whole slew of games and books that I enjoyed.

    What I was most strongly reminded of was the series of books. Like the books, the setting seems dark (there are an awful lot of zombies around), grim (One of my chainmail-clad badasses got killed with a single strike), and while the setting obviously contains magic (I’ve stabbed a few Necromancers) it doesn’t seem like your mercenaries are going to be getting access to any. It’s not a perfect parallel of course; as I read it the Black Company books were at least somewhat inspired by the Vietnam war: with most of the “real” fighting being done off in the distance (by wizards instead of aircraft) while the regular infantry (who were the perspective characters) were mostly around to die horribly, or maybe kill someone who got past the B-52 Wizard Guy. The Battle Brothers isn’t quite that gloomy, but it is dark, and it is about mercenaries, and it definitely reminded me of those old books.

    The game also reminded me of an old game called by Microprose. Both games have some fantasy elements (again, so many zombies) but the player is given mundane, non-magical characters to battle against them with. Of course, Darklands is also set in the Holy Roman Empire, and there are German names aplenty, which might be another thing that made me link the two games in my head. I, of course, haven’t seen the world map in action yet, but I can only hope that that will remind me of Darklands as well. If you guys make your world map locations as interesting as the ones in Darklands (even if they’re as text-based, I love text-based) I will be a very happy man. I loved Darklands, especially for its tone and setting, but it really fell apart when it came to combat. Battle Brothers, from what I’ve seen, definitely doesn’t disappoint there. So as much as I loved Darklands, I’m definitely excited about what I’ve seen from Battle Brothers so far.

    While the Combat Demo didn’t remind me of it very much, what I’ve seen posted about the world map stuff definitely reminds me of . The parties moving around with their banners; the cities, villages, and bandit hideaways; the day/night cycle; all of that reminds me of Mount and Blade. I remember how excited I got when I first heard about that game back in high school. I begged my mother to buy it for me, and I still play that game even now: 10 years after I first bought the beta copy. Of course, the biggest part of that game’s longevity, for me, was its modding community.

    Which leads me to the first of my questions: is Battle Brothers being built with future mod-ability in mind? As I was playing through the scenarios in the Combat Demo I kept thinking that it would be very enjoyable to have a series of scenarios linked together with some manner of plot, a campaign if you will. While that doesn’t seem to be the direction that you’re going (and I’m not saying that you should go in that direction, overworld maps and free-form play are really cool) but that seems like something that might come out of a modding community… if one were to crop up.

    I’m also curious if there’s any plans for multi-player. It probably wouldn’t work with the real-time world map, but I do like beating my friends at strategy games…

    My third question is probably my most important: do you have any plans to do something like Steam’s Early Access? Giving beta access alongside pre-orders is becoming increasingly common business practice in the video game industry, and while I’ve read some valid complaints about that trend I happen to like it. Like most people, I believe, I like playing games far more than I like waiting for them to be released. I already like what I see, take my money!

    Avatar photoPsenBattle

    Hey Alesch, first of all welcome to the forums.

    Thanks for your post, it’s an interesting read and I think you named quite a few of the things we had in mind while working on the game. Especially the grim and brutal setting is important to us. Not only because the “cute” character busts need a stark contrast but also because we’re all big fans of the old X-Com Enemy Unknown, where your men usually get horribly slaughtered :) A shocking defeat can be just as entertaining as a great victory.
    I haven’t heard of the Black Company or Darklands but I’ll definitely catch up on that!

    The worldmap is actually inspired quite heavily by Mount & Blade. Just like you I’m still playing that game thanks to the awesome mods (especially “1257 AD”, where I get a lot of inspiration regarding authentic medieval weapons and armor). The best thing about the map is the “world simulation” with lots of different factions each following their own agenda and fighting each other. This creates an awesome living background for the players actions. What we want to avoid is that the player feels lost pretty easily and doesn’t know where to go and what to do. On top of that we don’t want you to spend half of your playtime traveling around to get from A to B.

    Just as an additon to the setting: While the combat demo almost exclusively features undead opponents, in the released game there will be at least 4 enemy factions: Undead, Human Bandits, Orcs&Goblins and Beasts.

    Concering your questions:
    Modding would be awesome and something which could pretty easily be done for visuals by just exchanging bust graphics and environment tiles. Unfortunately beyond that it would involve quite a bit of work from our programmers and we absolutely have to focus 100% on just finishing the game. Our resources are stretched to the limit with just that already :) Maybe one of our programmers can elaborate on that, but I’m afraid there won’t be mod support soon.

    Same goes with multiplayer. While it could be pretty funny, we have no option but to focus 100% on the core game and after that we see what the future holds.

    Concerning Steam early access: That’s something we’re absolutely looking into. Next steps would be Steam Greenlight and then possibly Kickstarter. Then we can see if there’s really an audience for the game. If that succeeds, everything’s possible! (so spread the word :))


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