Army Builder

So I'm back in Sydney, Australia after three and a bit months in Philadelphia. I can't say I enjoyed my time over there but it's done. There's just so many differences between the US and Australia, and many of them make very little sense to me.

The flight home was brutal, and my kid's Jetlag worse, so this week has been thin on the work front. It took me a day or two just to find my feet again, and by the time I did I had to fly out to Brisbane for my best mate's wedding. Lovely as it was, I've had trouble getting back into the flow for work.

Bonus points for the flight back from Brisbane: I'd spent some time on a nice little animated concertina for the orders panel. Relatively simple, but with some additional graphic design I reckon it'll look nice.


This week I had set myself one major milestone: organise the tasks required for a proper public Alpha version of Charge. While the game is technically playable at this point, and all the core systems are in place and functioning, there's still a ton of work before I can blindly hand it over to players. Very little of the game makes any sense at this stage, even if you are familiar with the general concepts of tabletop wargaming. So I spent a fair amount of my limited brainpower this week organising what I'd need to do to get it to a point where I could blindly hand it over.

Turns out, it's a lot, but that's alright, that's always the case.

Once I'd sorted that out, I set to work on the first major task: Building out my own home build server. There's plenty of options for build servers online, but either they cost a fee that I'm not willing to pay, or they lack control, and a core tenant of Anchorite (at least.. for now) is that I maximise control and minimise cost.

This process was going smoothly, I had the device remotely building on git pull requests, but then... Disaster Struck! Internet maintenance on our street (in fact.. in front of our apartment building) had knocked out our home wifi for a couple days.

So I switched gears and picked up the next task: the Army Builder.

Up until now the game just deploys you with a default armylist that I'd put together in the background. The full game should allow you to not just put a roster together, but to paint it, maintain it, and over time evolve it, and the first step towards that is a UI to build your roster.

For now it's simple, when you open the game, you're given an option to create an army. You choose from the grand array of one army lists, and then go to town adding units and upgrades to that list. It's not much, but it's honest work.

It's brought up a couple questions though, for instance: What is the points scale for Charge. Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Kings of War use a 2000 point system which feels natural to me, but as a designer I generally prefer smaller numbers. I could in theory chop that number down a decimal place, but that limits some of the choices for fine-tuned balance of upgrades. I could opt to not go with a points system at all. There's a lot of options, but for now I'm sticking with what I know just to get it started.

The next steps from here are to allow the player to select from multiple saved army lists (I'm thinking about capping this at 3-6. Theres no good storage reason for this, but I feel it'll lead to experimentation more if you have to change your armylists more often), some kind of Army Details page / Statistics page where you can get a feel for how the army is designed to perform (thinking maybe a pie chart or something else nerdy like that), and most importantly.. the army painter.. though thats an entirely seperate blog post.

Next week though I'm going to jump back onto Interloper. It's been too long since I've pushed any builds out for that, and now that I'm back home I can test it across all the platforms.. looking at you tvOS.

Tasks completed:

Bugs squashed