Archive: Dev Blog

The Campaign Editor

Today we have done our first public demonstration of Wargroove’s Campaign Editor at the PC Gaming Show – if you missed it, make sure to check it out at Twitch!

In designing Wargroove, it was important to us to empower players to create their own content and stories, and the Campaign Editor is a key part of that. It’s the same tool that Chucklefish is using internally to create the campaigns that will ship with the game, and will therefore empower you to create content on par with ours, or even better! It will also be available across all platforms supported by the game, and the maps and campaigns you create can be shared online – either privately with friends, or publicly so that anyone can go check it out!

A lot of work has gone into making this tool simultaneously very powerful and easy to use, regardless of whether you’re using a mouse or gamepad. Scenario markers can be dropped on the world map, representing the different missions that players will encounter. They are then connected with paths (the dotted lines you see above), which represent the route you’ll take between missions. Branching campaigns are fully supported, and you’ll be able to specify the conditions necessary for certain paths to become available. For example, you might need to S-Rank a mission to reveal a secret encounter, or your choices inside the mission might lead you to different locations on the map!

After placing maps, you can open them in the Scenario Editor, which is a fully-fledged map editor.

In addition to drawing terrain and placing units and buildings, the Scenario Editor also allows you to write your own custom cutscenes, victory conditions, events (by specifying conditions and actions), and even feed back to the rest of the campaign. For example, you could set up a map with two exits, and when you move your commander inside one of the custom exit zones, you win the map and unlock a different path in the campaign screen.

That’s it for today. Hopefully this gives you a taste of the kinds of stories you’ll be able to tell with this tool. We’ll discuss the advanced features of the Scenario Editor more thoroughly in the future, so stay tuned!

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First Look at the Map

Here’s a quick look at what we’ve been working on lately, including a work-in-progress water shader, and a first look at some of the world map. Stay tuned for more information on this soon!

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Palette Swapping

Hi all, just a status update on what we’ve been up to.

Recently, we’ve been working on palette swapping for all the assets! This is necessary as, in multiplayer, more than one player can be playing with any given faction.

Palette swapping might be the oldest trick in the book, but in a modern game it actually involves a little bit of art workflow and pipeline changes. This is because the game is not limited to 256 colours, and because of how modern graphics hardware works.

The process is:

  1. Every unit is drawn using the “red team” colour palette. This palette includes three ranges, a “faction colour” range (which is red), a “skintone” range, and a “fixed colours range”.

    A small fragment of the Wargroove palette.
    A small fragment of the Wargroove palette.
  2. Every asset produced by an artist goes through a converter that looks up all the 32-bit RGBA colours in the palette, and outputs a greyscale image, where the intensity of each pixel represents the index of that pixel in the palette. This is done automatically as part of building the game. On the example below, the bright red tones are represented by the third entry in the palette (counting from zero, that means that it has index 2), so it gets stored in the image as a tone of grey with intensity of “2”, or #020202.

    They greyscale image represents the indices of the unique colours in the image.
  3. When drawing on the screen, for each greyscale pixel, the shader looks up the corresponding colour on the palette image, adjusting for the current palette swap parameters (unit faction colour and skin tone, for example). On the example below, #020202 (index 2) becomes one tone of blue, and #040404 (index 4) becomes a darker tone of blue.

    Colours on the greyscale image have been adjusted for readability.

This saves us a lot of video memory and bandwidth, and allows us to have units with different team palettes and skin colours at no extra work per unit.

A few of the Cherrystone Kingdom skintones.

Each faction in the game will have its default colour (for example, the Cherrystone Kingdom is red), but you’ll be able to override the colours in a multiplayer match. We’re also investigating providing “colour blind friendly” palettes, which would override how you see all colours, to make them more easily distinguishable.

Want to hear more about how things work behind-the-scenes? Let us know in the forum!

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Siege the Day

One thing I wanted to show off today was how structures work in Wargroove. Capturing a city from your opponent isn’t as simple as waltzing in to claim it – castles have defenses! You must break down the doors of enemy cities to capture them, but as you do so, the city and its populace will fight back with a barrage of arrows.

The longer a structure is captured, the more strength it will build up and the harder it will be to take. Certain units are strong and weak against them, so you’ll have to think carefully about how best to take down your opponent’s defenses!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

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Birds of a Feather

Hey everyone! Here’s a gif of a new unit I’ve been animating – the Harpy!

The Harpy is versatile – it is one of the cheaper flying units and is effective against both airborne and ground units. With its strong mobility, unhindered by terrain, it makes for a strong counter against cavalry units. Watch out for those talons!

I’ve been developing the Harpy unit in preparation for our first publicly playable build, which we will be showcasing at EGX Rezzed 2017 next week! We’ll be showing it alongside some of our partnered games, so if you’re visiting, come say hi!

Have a nice weekend, everyone!

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Commander Spotlight – Mercia

Hey everyone! I’m Jay from Chucklefish, and I’m excited to be kicking off the Wargroove development blog! It’s going to be a fun journey, and we’re excited for fans to be able to see what we’re working on from behind the scenes.

The Commanders are at the heart of Wargroove – a cast of exciting and energetic characters who each have their own distinct personalities and motivations. As well as acting as your avatars in-game, your Commanders will also be able to fight alongside your army as powerful units on the field. Be careful though, for if they fall, the battle is lost! Here’s a look at the first of our Commanders.

"I guess you missed my coronation yesterday?"

Queen Mercia is the young daughter of King Mercival II, the legendary and beloved ruler of the Cherrystone Kingdom. She is well-meaning, but inexperienced in the matters of diplomacy. Much more comfortable on the battlefield than on the throne, she hopes she can use her energetic and fearless spirit to rule the country she has now inherited, and gain the respect of those around her.

 

In battle, Mercia charges in with her mighty greatsword. It probably isn’t a great idea to underestimate her based on her friendly demeanour…

If you haven’t already, follow Wargroove on Twitter! Until next time, have a fun week!

Post your comments on the forums!

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Announcing Wargroove!

Hey everyone! Welcome to the Wargroove developer’s blog!

We’ve been teasing some new projects for a few months now, fighting the urge to spill all the beans about what we’re working on. Keeping secrets is hard! So it’s super fortunate that today, we’ve been able to announce our new title, Wargroove, coming to PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One in 2017. 🙂

We’ll be using this blog to post updates throughout Wargroove’s development — concept art, new character reveals, details about in-game systems, that sort of thing! Watch this space!

If you missed the details of today’s announcement, here’s our trailer!

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