Developer Diary 17 – The Double Header

Hi there! Here’s a new post, finally, with two screenshots to make up for the lack of updates over the summer. The game is starting to resemble the real thing more and more, so there is a lot to talk about, even if everything is not 100% done yet.

The first thing that jumps out of the screenshots should be the readability update. I picked a busy situation from the Normandy Breakout scenario (after the jump) to showcase this: note how it now reads better even though we’ve actually increased the clutter by adding city names to the map.


HQs are a new mechanic, first mentioned here, but now you can see them in-game. Check out the repair bridge, motor pool, pin down, etc. actions available to Patton’s 3rd Army. Each HQ is organized into five branches which can be upgraded in the campaign or suppressed during play.

The intel branch is interesting in that it provides visibility into Fog of War. At the level shown it provides 2-hex visibility, plus another hex of intel markers. This ability runs once at the start of turn though (similar to how supply works) – units that move into FoW later in the turn only uncover a single hex.

(click for full size)

Supply View

Supply is our core business, so we spent a lot of time working on it over the summer. We’ve added supply hubs and disruption, as first described in dev diary 5. In brief: supply still travels by rail, but from there it does not spread automatically any more: you need to place supply hubs in suitable locations.

The screenshot below actually shows the view that you see when placing a new supply hub – this is similar to, but not the supply view. You can place hubs at will along rail-connected locations, and the only penalty for moving them is a 1- or 2-turn delay involved.

We’ve added enemy supply view, which was much requested in UoC1. I was hesitating on this previously because it wasn’t clear what the FoW-visibility should to be for supply. As it turns out, the player has full knowledge of enemy supply sources and hubs, so it’s possible to create this view. Disruption is still hidden though, so the horizontal disruption bars you see in the screenshot are not there when you’re viewing the enemy.

(click for full size)

Technical Update

We’ve added multi-level undo, where UoC1 could only undo a single action. This turns out to be useful precisely because of the supply hubs: it takes a few actions to deploy them and see what kind of supply network results, and so requires a deeper undo.

In other news, there are now play/pause buttons during AI turn, similar to History Mode in UoC1. The camera rotation works with angle instead of angular velocity (hah!) which helps if you’re running with a low framerate. We’ve enabled using the system mouse for this purpose as well – the game remains totally playable even very on low framerates, except the mouse gets laggy, and system mouse pointer helps.

We’ve added SSAO which looks pretty, however it’s a subtle effect so you may or may not see a difference.

Cheers! 🙂

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