Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #9: World Map Structures I: Exploration Phase

Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #9: World Map Structures I: Exploration Phase

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HousePet

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I remember when I found a pile of 2d art assets in the Alpha Centauri files for the random events, that were not used in the game. Was very sad.

Is this scan range thing passive or active? You've got some scope for variable scouting mechanics if you use a bit of both.

Psynumbra sounds like either an anti Psy field generating thing or a mind eating thing. Sound interesting either way.
 

Juris Docta

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I remember when I found a pile of 2d art assets in the Alpha Centauri files for the random events, that were not used in the game. Was very sad.

Is this scan range thing passive or active? You've got some scope for variable scouting mechanics if you use a bit of both.

Psynumbra sounds like either an anti Psy field generating thing or a mind eating thing. Sound interesting either way.
I’d guess the latter. Anti-psy seems more like an Assembly thing.
 

Fenraellis

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To quote part of my post in Discord:
Yeah... these 'void' creatures are awfully reminiscent in concept to Shadow Demons. With a race name like "Psynumbra," (something something "Psi-Shadows") you can tell they likely deal Psionic damage as a primary type.
Next thing you know some lore blurb on one of them, or one of the Kir'Ko will mention a Vanguard scholar confirming or theorizing a connection between the two(precursor race prior to the enslavement).

Another new landmark tile, and it follows a pattern now with the last one of showing it's primary income generation:(edited)
https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/447412639098994690/477303967831818271/unknown.png

On a side note, I don't recall Resistance/Weakness being shown in different colors, but I approve of it.
 

LennartGS

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The game looks absolutely beautiful. However, I hope you realise that the lore text for the bonus event you showcase here makes literally no sense. "Among the burned out wrecks of this convoy, next to an energy pod worth 37 (lightning symbol) we found a nearly depleated, but still intact." A still intact what? A still intact sentinel? A still intact droid? Why does this event have such an epic title (the lost sentinel) when it is just about some random abandoned droid?
Might be a bit unclear - it is supposed to be a guard/escort robot to the energy transport.
 

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While (please correct me if I am wrong!) the first screenshot only shows the yellow markers, no red ones, I'd like to show my support for this.

When designing things that show stuff by colour (even presentations), always edit something more than only hue. Saturation, symbol, something. It does not only help people with colour perceiving difficulties, it helps everyone differentiate between what you are showing more quickly and easily. It is one of the things that should be taught in every presentation or UI making class, yet it is often forgotten (I'll admit to being guilty in this every once in a while).
I looked to me like it only has red markers but this only proves the point.

With "realistic" color scheme with no pronounced strong color it might be very hard to properly distinguish what happens on map. AoW3 was already relatively tame for a fantasy game (they probably went for "pastoral" color scheme so it looks sorta like Renessaince painting) but it didn't have things like that really affecting gameplay. Here I hope for different icons with more pronounced colors.
 

LennartGS

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I looked to me like it only has red markers but this only proves the point.

With "realistic" color scheme with no pronounced strong color it might be very hard to properly distinguish what happens on map. AoW3 was already relatively tame for a fantasy game (they probably went for "pastoral" color scheme so it looks sorta like Renessaince painting) but it didn't have things like that really affecting gameplay. Here I hope for different icons with more pronounced colors.
The difference is pretty much as big as can be:
- Different symbol, ! for moving armies
- Animation: inward moving arrows for static guards, outward for moving stacks.
- Color difference

Scanner.jpg
 

Quark02

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The difference is pretty much as big as can be:
This. I like this. Props to whomever did this.
Is there any indicator that shows radar range (perhaps when the specific settlement is under selection)?
Does jamming the radar just cause blind spots (to be detected by yellow marks suddenly disappearing) or is there a notification or visual marker that shows that something is causing the radar to malfunction in that approximate area?

On a side note, I don't recall Resistance/Weakness being shown in different colors, but I approve of it.
This was probably a reaction to a suggestion (that having been moving the arrows closer to the damage channel icons for easier reference - visually getting the information instead of having to read or check the whole row). A good change.
 

LennartGS

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This. I like this. Props to whomever did this.
Is there any indicator that shows radar range (perhaps when the specific settlement is under selection)?
Does jamming the radar just cause blind spots (to be detected by yellow marks suddenly disappearing) or is there a notification or visual marker that shows that something is causing the radar to malfunction in that approximate area?
Due to map interface overload, we've decided not to show a line displaying max scanner range, although we can see that the Mplayer-hex counting crowd would want it. Maybe we can add it as a special lens. I think all scanner jamming is done on a per sector basis next to the usual unit stealth abilities. You would not know a sector is obscured just by looking at the map; unless you notice a particular structure like a Shroud Station or an active Op. There's plenty of potential meddling to be done with the scanners, but we don't want to over do it as we want scanners to be dependable most of the time.
 

Fenraellis

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The question arises, what symbol might there be for those that are friendlies, but not allies(for shared vision)? Something like someone with whom you have a peace/non-aggression treaty.

They are not site defenders(yellow symbol with tight arrows pointing inward), and they are not enemies (red symbol with expansive arrows pointing outward), yet they are still units, and should come up on the scanners in some fashion. Neutral units may or may not share the same symbol, or require their own...

I understand the desire to avoid bloat, but in this case, it's likely necessary for clarity.
 

Buladelu

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The difference is pretty much as big as can be:
- Different symbol, ! for moving armies
- Animation: inward moving arrows for static guards, outward for moving stacks.
- Color difference
Ah yes, this looks great. My fears were ungrounded! Color similarity is irrelevant with clear symbols like that.
 

Jean-Luc

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Due to map interface overload, we've decided not to show a line displaying max scanner range, although we can see that the Mplayer-hex counting crowd would want it.
Instead of showing all the scanner ranges you could only show the one for the currently selected unit/army. Though it should still be optional.

An alternative way to do it would be to show the range line only on hexes covered by fog or shroud. The visual noise would be almost non-existent on uncovered hexes (since the shroud is probably black and the fogged hexes would be muted detail and color wise) and there's no point in showing the range on fully visible territory anyway.
 
Last edited:

Gloweye

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Please add that lens guys. Id have it always on, much like hex grid currently. Its just to valuable to ignore.
 

Gloweye

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Will invisible units be seen on sensor? Will higher tier sensor upgrades provide a measure of counterplay?
 

LennartGS

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At the base level the scanner has no friend or foe detection. Of course Allies are able to share vision / scan range as before.

Invisible Units are not shown (I think / they shouldn't)

There is a plethora of scanner upgrades and debuffs possible. Right now there is an upgrade that discloses owner, and it is possible to hide sectors.

We're still in the process of balancing this all out; like which scanner modifiers are available to all (via the covert ops tech tree) and which are unique to particular factions. Also particular races or Commander perks could give a scan bonus. And we might add a global scanner scrambler event :)
 

Buladelu

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At the base level the scanner has no friend or foe detection. Of course Allies are able to share vision / scan range as before.
Then how can this be friend? Or vision sharing is optional for allies? Or do you mean you can't know if it's roaming neutral or AI/player army?
 

Leon Feargus

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Or do you mean you can't know if it's roaming neutral or AI/player army?
Yes, or at least that´s how I read that.
Activating a basic scanner means that you can see armies in the fog of war, the armies can be site-defenders (always independent) or roaming units (either independent or player). If you have an alliance with a player, you will share vision range so there will be no fog of war in the areas where their units are.
Interesting detail is that Lennart mentions ¨at the base level¨, so supposedly you can upgrade your scanner in such a way that it is able to tell which player a group of units in the fog of war belongs to.
 

Jean-Luc

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Hope we see some psi based scanner abilities. Maybe psi can't be jammed/interfered with (since it's innate and not technology based)?

Or maybe even some actual scanners. :p
 

Elder Fogcrow

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Good idea BBB, might work. Events are a nice tool but can be overwhelming. Collapsible interfaces are tricky with controller though (*ducking*)



Yes it sure is.



They are an NPC Faction.



You can't found cities next to one another. Further anti-snow ball mechanics like diminishing returns linked to # of cities are considered and will be called in if necessary. Size and density of maps are big factors here.
I´m so dissapointed to see a good idea discarded for this reason. (*takes a rubber chicken, and fights down the urge to throw it at the last second*)
 

Juris Docta

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Hope we see some psi based scanner abilities. Maybe psi can't be jammed/interfered with (since it's innate and not technology based)?

Or maybe even some actual scanners. :p
I’m thinking maybe a scanner penalty around the Tear at least...