In last Friday's post I promised to talk about the mission runner. We're all really excited about this one! If you're a long-time follower of this blog you may still remember that a few months ago we were prototyping missions first on paper, and then in the game build.
Since then we've come a long way through many many iterations and have finally settled on something we feel is pretty spot on what we wanted back in August:
We want the missions to be fast-paced, exciting and generally feel like you're sending your spies on a very quick little adventure.
Here's how it goes.
In the beginning you have a preparation phase where you have some basic information about the target - most importantly the difficulty and the key skill(s) you should have in your team for a high chance of success. Sometimes missions do require gun skills but just as often they are solved with something like social or radio skills. You can quickly setup different team combos and see how those would affect the odds. Like, I have Charlie and the Local Resistance on this one, what happens if I add Lucy? A bigger team usually has a better chance of success but the downside is that the chance of someone taking an injury also goes up with team size. Simple, subtle and tactical, just the way we want. Once you're happy with the team you can choose whether to also spend some intel for a one-time boost to the success chance and then your agents are off!
Now it's time for the Spymaster to take a sip of coffee and lean back while your team of professionals handle things to the utmost perfection. Or if you're more like me the coffee is cold and forgotten, and you're glued to the iPad watching your team making one mistake after another while also taking serious injuries.
So the timeline pictured above is filled from left to right in real-time, taking maybe 10-20 seconds to fill. What results is a quick little thriller "story", peppered with gameplay relevant things like experience points, intel etc. All the events are algorithmically generated so they will never run out like they would in a traditional game with pre-designed missions. Right now we are working real hard to make the resulting experiences even more rich and full of surprises!
I personally love this part of the game, it kind of gives the whole thing a soul and meaning of its own. It may seem academic to you now but when it's your baby - an agent you've originally recruited, played for hours and days with and leveled up from rookie to veteran - that suddenly takes a bullet in the middle of a mission you'll know what I mean. I hope your knuckles go as white as mine when you're waiting those long seconds to see if another agent actually managed to save him or not.
Disclaimer: Game development is an iterative process where things tend to change many times over before the game ships. That's a fancy way of saying that we can't promise any exact features discussed in this blog.