Development on Game 3 has been moving right along. Below is a new screen shot that shows some new cool features. First, you’ll notice three ‘Command Nodes’. Command Nodes are like the city in CW1. They get dropped down from orbit at the beginning of a mission at locations of your choosing. You can drop down as many as you have (you start the game with one).
Command Nodes each have built in reactors and can make a small amount of energy themselves. Each can produce packets as well. This means you can have separate battle networks if you wish. On large maps you might drop Command Nodes onto opposite sides and each will fight its own campaign. You can also link networks together. When you do this, energy is shared across the entire network.
Storage pods hold excess energy. In game 3 they ‘physically’ hold the energy within their structures. The energy in storage nodes always gets used up before the internal buffers of the Command Nodes. It can be a good idea to stick these around your network. This system also allows me to create pre-filled energy structures. Things that might be good for a one time use and that may be found on some maps… or that may be dropped from orbit during game play.
Collectors and Reactors currently work much like they do in CW1. Of graphical note, the green projection area of the Collectors now gets a little more polish. There’s a border, corner rounding, and proper conformity to terrain edges. I am considering adding a few twists to energy production… simple and subtle things like ‘higher ground yields slightly more energy’.
Network wise, you see a network similar to CW1. This was a very popular feature of CW1. CW2′s network was made up of removed terrain cells, but in Game 3 there is a return to path lines between structures. Again, I’m experimenting with some tweaks. Things like ‘max capacity on a line’ and ‘packet portals’.
And lastly you can see something in action in this screen shot that is a real blast. You can build little Terraforming units that, at significant energy expense, will raise or lower terrain. In this screen shot you can see I have one taking out the rocky area in the middle of my main base. I am also building “The Wall” on my southern flank. I’m putting a few pedestals so I can mount Pulse Cannons on them (they need line of sight). Terraforming is as easy as clicking the “Terraform” button and then painting the terrain. Once the terrain is tagged (you can see the areas I have tagged in this screen shot), you need one or more ‘Terrap’ units in range and they will go to work.
I continue to tweak and experiment on the interface for Terraforming, but I can say that it’s a blast to play with. If you like to build a base and camp, you can wall yourself inside a castle while you build your forces. Or maybe you are on the offensive… in that case a small squad of Terraps sent forward might open a channel to drain a Creeper pool. Or perhaps you want to dig a moat in front of a forward position to buy your forces a little more time. Or maybe you just need to smooth out some terrain so you can increase your industrial might… These and probably a dozen strategies yet undiscovered become possible.
I’ll be adding the Creeper pipeline system soon, as well as some totally new concepts. So stay tuned, it’s about to get good!