To secure and speed up the release pace, and minimize the occurrence of delays, you can support us on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/winterfallgame


Hello there and welcome to this blog.

Work on the Outpost-building system has continued throughout the week. While we won't meet the initial objective of having it all wrapped up this month, it's still pretty satisfying to see all those systems come together. They kind of make up one of the two lungs of the game, without which the overall experience lacks structure and direction. So we're looking forward to seeing it all stand on its feet. Here's what we've been up to:


  • Completed the logic for placing Facilities & Extension in relation to one another

  • Added a radial menu to handle Facility/Outpost placement and dismantling

  • Finished and improved mechanics for Resource Expenditure when it comes to building Facilities

  • Implemented toggle for Outpost RTS Camera and Player Camera

  • Added Outpost Secondary Stats:

  • Readiness: Enables raid & defense type events

  • Resourcefulness: Enables adventure & research type events

  • Goodwill: Enables diplomatic & spiritual events

  • Labour: Enables construction & harvest events

  • Fixed Resource Expenditure & Resource Expenditure Logic for Facility/Extension Placement

  • Added Progress Bar to Facility/Extension Construction

  • Implemented Labour Hours for Facility/Extension Construction

  • Implemented Logic for Labour stoppage if missing resources

  • Implemented Logic for Labour cancellation if missing resources for 3+ days

  • Added Radial Menu to Facilities Extension, containing:

  • Operator Toggle: Activate or deactivate Facility NPC's work schedule

  • Facility with Operator has more services but higher daily Upkeep

  • Facility/Extension's Special Event button: activates Facility's Special Event, at Resource Cost

  • Facility/Extension's Inventory button: accesses Facility's special upgrade slots & item production

  • Dismantle button: Destroys Facility

  • Implemented new Inventory Framework

This is most of what we've been up to when it comes to dev work this past couple weeks. It required a bit of planning, fixing & design adjustments but it's getting there. Those are the mechanics by which the gameplay gains organic purpose, as you'll want to see your Outpost grow and thrive in the face of adversity, and you'll venture out in the Wild to ensure that, whether you're reaching out for Resources, collecting characters, gathering intel about locations to plan Expeditions, etc.


There is a lot coming up with this system, it's really the game's hub. The idea is to make it experienceable in a direct way (seamless play between Outpost and Wilderness) as well as in an asynchronous manner (play isolated game modes and see your winnings shipped to your Outpost), so that you can choose how involved you get: if you just want to have a quick half-hour play session, maybe you shouldn't need to go through all the steps of loading up Outpost Mode, checking out on the news there, setting up an Expedition and so on. Instead, you could just load up some gameplay straight from the main menu, do your thing, and later on when you have more time and load up Outpost, receive there the resources you unlocked previously.


Just the same, if you just want to chill and watch your characters live their life without any particular gameplay obligations, then you can load up Outpost Mode, let it run, and only intervene minimally. At the end of the day, it's all yours, so while the overall experience should build up in the same way for everyone, the moment to moment should be yours to determine according to your desires and expectations.


There's much more planned for this, including Social/Multiplayer components, but let's not get into this just yet, better to talk about things when they're well on the way to being functional already.


Upcoming High Priority items:

  • Fully finishing Facility Inventory & Functions

  • Implementing Expeditions Logic & Interface

  • NPC Jobs & Traits Fundamentals

  • Misc Fixes & Edits

To secure and speed up the release pace, and minimize the occurrence of delays, you can support us on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/winterfallgame


Hello there and welcome to this blog.

We've been hard at work on the Outpost-building system described in previous blog entries. Typically, those are the slow progress updates because they require a lot of groundwork to be laid out before anything really comes through. So from a list of many items, you will spend a lot of time on the first two items or so, before you can do anything to really begin. Anyways, let's get into what we've been up to for the past few weeks.


Outpost Crisis Mechanics

In our previous update, we were dealing with the Crisis mechanics: if Outpost resources dropped too low, a Crisis Event might pop up. We successfully completed that logic according to our plans. We have a Crisis Check, a Type of Crisis determinant, a Crisis Gravity parameter and some basic Crisis Events.

  • Crisis Check occurs at Resources Thresholds

  • 4 Categories of Crisis: Security, Management,/Economy, Cultural, Logistical/Industrial

  • Basic Crisis Gameplay Goals

  • Security: Defend Outpost from Bots for time duration

  • Management/Economy: Recover Missing Item

  • Cultural: Complete a Number of Interactions within time

  • Logistical/Industrial: Carry # of objects to a central location before they're all destroyed

  • Crisis Gravity Level influences difficulty for the above events:

  • Security: More or less bots attacking Outpost

  • Management/Economy: More or less obstacles on the way to Item

  • Culture: More interactions to complete within allotted time

  • Logistics/Industry: Less amount of time between each object's destruction

  • Crisis Gravity can be lessened based on what Facilities the Outpost contains

  • Crisis Messages inform you of the current Crisis's goal

Raiding or getting raided is par for the course for Wilderlands Outposts


The next step for this was to add the NPC contributions to Crisis: for example having guard NPCs in your Outpost would obviously play a part in whether or not there would be a Security Crisis in the first place. However, in order to get there, it was necessary to address first the mechanics by which you may get NPCs in your Outpost. And that is:


Outpost Building Mechanics

Your Outpost is a general "zone" containing a central Hall, customizable, as well as a number of slots for various facilities. From the Outpost, you will plan your expeditions, watch your characters live their life, and intervene in that life as you customize and improve the Outpost. This is a part where RPG meets RTS meets Life Sim.

The Facilities present in the Hall give you options as to what you can do from your Outpost and what is likely to happen in it, as well as what type of NPC is likely to come visit. It's a very intricate system so for now, let's focus on the Outpost Building Hall and keep the broader presentation for another time, when we can all shoot it on video again.



Outpost Halls contain 4 types of slots: Facility, Extension, Common and Fixed

  • Facilities are what you will build to add functionality to your Hall (Lodgings, Kitchen, Workshop, etc)

  • Extensions add specialty features to Facilities. Example:

  • A Foundry or Woodworks added to the workshop to enable metal-working or wood-working

  • A Pantry gets added to the Kitchen, adding quality of life and better craftable foods

  • Common is the public Mess Hall, living space in which Characters will eat, chat, and drink, sometimes sleep

  • Fixed are the tiles whose functionality is predetermined based on the Hall Model. You can only upgrade them


Basic Hall Layout. Different Halls may offer different basic layouts.


The rules for Facility-building are what we have been working on more recently and are as follows:

  • Click on a Hall Tile to select the Facility you want to build

  • Facilities cost Resources, initially and then daily

  • Facilities employs Labour, nameless little NPCs that wander by your Hall looking for work

  • Facility Construction begins at 6:30am each day and ends for the day at 6:30pm

  • A progress bar is added above the Facility tile being built on

  • It is possible to increase Labour assigned to a Facility's Construction

  • If Resource shortage, Construction is paused. If the shortage gets too long, Construction gets aborted

  • Facility Construction goes on day after day until the Facility is completed

  • When a Facility is completed, a portion of the Labour involved in it will claim its pay and leave your Outpost

  • Various Facility-based options enable you increase your Outpost's Labour Retention

  • Facilities will require Operators to run autonomously, add to the Outpost and produce for it

  • Certain Facilities will unlock Events, that you can then trigger, at the cost of Resources

  • Certain Facilities will add to Outpost Stats for various effects upon the Outpost's life

  • As mentioned initially, Facilities will play a role in Crisis Events


Those are the things we have been setting up this past couple of weeks. We should finish them entirely this week and, by the end of this month, wrap up the Outpost development systems completely. Outposts are very, very central to gameplay so it's a big hub of features. Once that is done, we will move to the Camping mechanics. The features list we provided in Update 13 is a MVP list, that is a list of features for Minimum Viable Product.


Given the nature of Winterfall, a MVP for us is already far, far bigger than a regular MVP for, say, an action game or a platformer. It's only made even bigger by the fact that Winterfall is a systemic game, that is a game where all kinds of systems run constantly to generate gameplay opportunities. In that type of setup, you can't have a proper picture of the experience until enough systems are actually functional.

To secure and speed up the release pace, and minimize the occurrence of delays, you can support us on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/winterfallgame




Our recent efforts have focused on tackling one of the last two items in the Wilderness features list: Outposts.

The logic for this is simple: the blueprint used to build and customize an Outpost is a scale up of the Camp-building mechanics. Scalability and adaptability drive the design of Winterfall, allowing us to cover a lot of ground by using the same mechanical structures in different parts of the game.

What is that blueprint, you ask?


Let's get into it, after some pictures.


Rebuilding the Hall

An Outpost is made of a Hall as well as some facilities around it. You've seen an excerpt of a piece of a Hall in the Trailer through this picture:

That scene, however, was built when I had no idea what I was doing regarding basic scene-building logistics so it became an expensive mess of hundreds of items that didn't survive the project developments too well.

So in order to properly design the Hall in preparation for the Outpost mechanics, I had to begin rebuilding everything from scratch.

The logic being that while the Hall itself is a fixed, static buildings, parts of it can be customized from a "tiles" system. Essentially, the Hall in its basic state is made of empty slots, which you can fill up with "Room" tiles which we call Facilities.

Facilities include all the usual: a mess hall for meals and feasts, a workshop, lodgings, all that kind of stuff.

So here are some screenshots of the tentative Hall rebuild according to that "tiles" system.



Now, let's talk about the logic before we go to the dev items.


Logic


Think of an Outpost as both a base of operations and a living community.

The Outpost System deals with the following mechanics:

  • Gathering & Spending Resources for the Outpost

  • Developing the Outpost physically by adding Facilities and People

  • Dealing with Crises bearing down upon the Outpost

Logic - Gathering & Spending Resources

  • Resources can be materialized from working Resource Nodes, or can be found in certain areas

  • Those Resources materialize as "Carry Objects" (crates, bags, etc)

  • Those Carry Objects must be carried to the Outpost

  • Once delivered, those Carry Objects update the Outpost's Resource count

  • Various factors cause a daily expenditure of Resources

Logic - Developing the Outpost physically by adding Facilities and People

  • The Outpost is built on a Grid

  • This Grid contains 4 types of Cells, with different rules

  • Facilities Cells, where basic Facilities can be built

  • Extensions Cells, where the above Facilities can be extended

  • Hall Cells, which are the default central area Outpost denizens will linger at

  • Preset Cells, which already contain predetermined Facilities that can only be upgraded

  • Facilities require Operators, specialized denizens that will operate them

  • Facilities have two main types of impact:

  • Open up new interactions/actions

  • Lessen the severity of adverse events called Crises

Logic - Crises

  • The evolution of Outpost Resources, as well as various events, will generate Crises

  • Crises generate high stakes gameplay goals and/or dilemma prompts

  • Success & Failure at Crisis Handling shape up the life & death of the Outpost

  • Specialized Facilities and Operators may lessen the severity of Crises


Development


Outpost Basics

  • Added a Permanent Hearth to the Outpost, ensuring respawn possibility in case of Woe

  • Outpost UI now displays counters for Food, Supply & Treasure

  • Outpost now contains a Drop Off area into which to drop aforementioned Resource objects

  • Resources in Drop Off update Resources Counter UI

  • Resources in Drop Off are "stowed" at 6pm

  • Drop Off no longer active between 6pm and 6am

Outpost Status

  • Outpost Health/Quality of Life now marked as a percentage (HP%)

  • Outpost Material Security now marked as a percentage (MP%)

  • HP/MP UI Display

  • People in Outpost incur HP Cost/day

  • Facilities in Outpost incur MP Cost/day

  • Daily HP/MP Cost UI Display

  • HP/MP status updated at 10pm

We're currently implementing the Crisis mechanics, which should be done very early this week.

Next, we'll be dealing with the mechanics that enable Facility-building in the Outpost.

This may lead us to either finishing things up with adding Outpost NPCs mechanics, or digressing to Camp-building.


Outpost NPC mechanics promise to be quite an involved deal, which is why we may want to finish up Camping first.

Some systems are that kind of rabbit hole, where you do know where you begin but it's impossible to know where you'll end. Winterfall contains a lot of those, so careful consideration will have to prevail here.


Thank you for your patience and continued interest!