War of Magic v1.2F and other thoughts…

Published on Thursday, July 7, 2011 By Brad Wardell In Elemental Dev Journals

War of Magic: v1.3

With Summer here it is time to get v1.3 of War of Magic out the door and start thinking about v1.4.  I had to push some of the things I wanted to do in v1.3 (notably rewriting the tactical AI) into v1.4 as I ended up spending a lot more time than anticipating improving the overall “feel” of the game.

With v1.2F, I tweaked the economics further and made a few AI changes that I think should result in greater challenge as well as a tighter experience.  Overall, I’m feeling much better about how the game plays even if I’m not happy with other parts of the game (and I’ve yet to make a game I’m happy with but that’s a different topic).

Starting this month and into the Fall I’ll be focusing my efforts on the AI for Fallen Enchantress. So it’ll be what I learn in Fallen Enchantress that goes into v1.4. 

Fallen Enchantress will be the biggest challenge of my AI career as I believe (perhaps incorrectly as I’m biased) the ability of the AI monsters and AI players to make intelligent use of their special abilities in battle will be crucial to the overall enjoyment of the game. So a great deal of my time will be spent having the AI learn to not just cast spells but to treat their abilities and magical powers as a cohesive whole – to build micro strategies with them. 

In all likelihood, the first beta of Fallen Enchantress will hit before War of Magic v1.4 goes into beta so we’ll have a better idea where players want me to focus my efforts at that point since virtually everyone who got War of Magic will be getting Fallen Enchantress for free anyway.

The Lore of the World

War of Magic didn’t have the opportunity to express the considerable lore of the world. There are so many different creatures and types of beings in the world of Elemental that we are hoping will start to be shown in Fallen Enchantress.

If you’re read the book, Elemental: Destiny's Embers, you get an idea of some of the complex politics of the world, particularly amongst the Kingdoms of Men. Fallen Enchantress will let us explore the complexities of the Empires of the so-called “Fallen” as well as give players a better understanding of the much harsher conditions that exist in the eastern lands where the Fallen survive.

In War of Magic, the maps took place in the west where the lands were barren and brigands and darklings may have roamed the landscape. But the west was a paradise compared to what the Fallen were dealing with in the East.