Community Maps Spotlight #8

Hi everyone!

We’re fresh from E3, and what an exciting show it was for us! Last Monday we showed off a new Starmancer trailer at the PC Gaming Show, so do say a big congratulations to the lovely development team at Ominux Games, and hit wishlist on the Starmancer Steam page. We know a lot of you are waiting to hear more Wargroove news on the PS4 version, PC modding and what’s next for the game, so we hope to share that with you as soon as we’re able to.

Last time on Community Maps Spotlight we challenged you to design and share your very own forest biome themed maps, to celebrate the Starbound’s 1.4 Bounty Hunter update which launched last week (wahoo!). Some of you may not know that Wargroove and Starbound actually take place within the same universe. Wargroove is actually set after Starbound, although the humans and Floran on Wargroove’s planet don’t seem to have any knowledge of the events of Starbound – except from Nuru of course.

On with the maps!

1. Sea Vs Air v1.2 by Sikey – Code: TGCR4B4K

Symmetrical maps are usually pretty popular within the community, which is why we’re always pretty excited to try out a competitive asymmetrical Wargroove map. This one by Sikey is inspired by Advance War 2’s Navy vs Air map and is a fun skirmish to gain dominance. The creator recommends playing as Emeric vs Valder or Sigrid when you’re selecting Commanders, so you may want to keep that in mind!

2. TinyGroove Campaign v5 by Derek – Code: SLHK8ASC

If you’re a fan of tiny maps and are keen for more content, TinyGroove by user Derek has you covered. The campaign story is set in an alternate, dark version of Aurania (which looks oddly familiar to Arthuria…) and has you playing as Dark Mercia. It contains a whopping 20 missions, consisting of 10x main and 10x side-challenges, each with Fog of War enabled. We especially love the Floran forest map (Chapter 5, Mission 1) set in the ‘Channelwood’, featuring Nuru, Sedge and Greenfinger. The visual design of the map itself is really impressive, and with so many triggers and flags built in, we definitely think you should give it a go!

3. Vanilla Island by tst5381 – Code: C6ELC9ZY

We had a great time trying out this fast-paced competitive 1v1 map. While simple in style and small enough for a quick bout against a friend, Vanilla Island provides a good mix of Ground unit based play, as well as the opportunity to recruit some Air and Sea units to mix up the play too. Great work!

4. Summoners of Moosecreek by Ulysse – Code: KGZH2EFZ

It’s always fun to see the creative ways players utilise our mischievous Floran Commander Nuru, and Summoners of Moosecreek is no exception! This 1v1 map limits you to only deploying units by using Nuru’s Teleport Beam groove – but don’t worry, the groove meter is set to always be at 100%. This means you can only recruit one unit per turn, but instead you have the advantage that units are immediately active for battle. You can’t use the Barracks, Port or Tower as you would usually, but by taking control of these structures you can increase the different types of units at your disposal. Ulysse has created a map which really makes you carefully consider every unit you spawn, so make sure to check it out if you’re looking for something new!

Thanks to everyone who submitted maps for this challenge. There’s no set theme for next time, so get creating and sharing your new maps and campaigns in time for the next Spotlight. As always, do check the in-game Custom Content section for new community-made content, as well as the Wargroove subreddit and Wargroove Discord! Bye for now.

Comments »

Community Maps Spotlight #7

Happy Friday everyone!

Before we get started, those of you in Japan may be pleased to hear that Wargroove will be at this year’s BitSummit in Kyoto on 1st – 2nd June. You’ll find Wargroove (and Stardew Valley!) at Nintendo’s Indie World stand, so do pop by and play if you’re going to the show.

While this Maps Spotlight had no theme requirements, next time we’d like to set another map design challenge! As many of you know, we’re soon to be launching Starbound’s 1.4 update, where players will be able to take on the role of an intergalactic bounty hunter. Since Wargroove’s Floran (as well as our quick-witted Commander Nuru) originally appeared as a playable race in Starbound, what better way to celebrate the upcoming 1.4 update than to create some luscious forest biome themed maps, with maybe even a bonus cutscene featuring the Floran Tribes or Nuru in particular!

To make sure we spot your map when we come to selecting the Community Maps Spotlight #8, make sure to post your creation to the Wargroove subreddit using the ‘maps’ flair, or drop them in the Custom Content channel on the Wargroove Discord before June 14th (you get an extra week this time while I’m away).

Now, on with the maps!

1. Legend of the Mirror Pool by Lyle – Code: X5TNNX22

We’ve been sharing a lot of competitive multiplayer maps lately, so here’s a cool single player campaign worth checking out! Lyle has created a fun, non-linear Commander collect-a-thon, which follows the story of Mercia and Emeric’s quest in search of the fabled mirror pool. Legend has it that the pool makes copies of whoever stands before it, so you guessed it, you’re in for a battle against your reflection! To help you on your quest you’ll need to get help from other ally Commanders, who you can recruit along the way to build the ultimate party. A lot of hard work has gone into each level, so give it a go!

2.  After the Flood by Fadedsun – Code: UPGQELWP

Fadedsun is on a bit of a roll. Last time we featured their Port Island Panic map, but we’re equally impressed with this well-executed 1v1 competitive skirmish. Having the terrain split up with swathes of water tiles, and the odd floating bridge adds an interesting dynamic to the battlefield, making you consider your unit movement and best route carefully, using amphibian and flying units to your advantage to move more freely.

3. Burning Sands v2 by Kodama – Code: AML3DSB2

If you have a few friends over (3 to be exact) and are looking for an awesome 4 player scenario map to challenge one another at, this one is absolutely delightful. Burning Sands splits you into 2 teams for a good ol’ fashioned desert brawl. Each day you’ll take damage from having units placed on the harsh desert sand, whereas finding shelter in the cool oasis water dotted around will heal you instead. The aim is to wipe out all enemy units, not just the opposing Commanders. There’s also a rather handy Commander-reviving mountain to the centre which you might need to scramble quickly for.

4. Groovehold – Team Defense by RibbonPen – Code: S69EU6UD

If destroying waves of enemies is your jam, grab 3 friends and team up to take on Groovehold, a great 4 player team defence scenario. Player 1 sets the number of waves (5x waves is a ‘short match’), and jump straight into the phases, looping between Recruitment, where players each have 1250 gold to spend to bolster ally ranks, and then the Battle phase, where you’ll take on hordes of AI outlaws. To win you and your allied Commanders will need to survive each wave, and keep your Stronghold safe and sound!

That’s about it for now. As always, we look forward to seeing what wonders you create for your forest biome / Floran themed maps, so be sure to share your map or campaign before June 14th. If you’re looking for even more community maps, or want to create and share your own strategic masterpieces, you can find them in-game in the Custom Content section, as well as a great selection on the Wargroove subreddit! Until next time.

Comments »

Community Maps Spotlight #6

Hey everyone!

Some of the eagle-eyed of you may have already spotted that we had two exciting Wargroove-flavoured tidbits since our last blog entry. On May 2nd we announced that Xbox players can now get access to Wargroove via Xbox Game Pass (Xbox Wire post here!) – we’ve been super pleased with the reaction so far, and are of course excited to welcome more players to the Wargroove community.

Last week we also teased a preview of Wargroove’s modding support for PC, which Programmer Krakauer has been working on lately. The below image is an example test mod of our tiny office dog Tolstoy, flexing his might as a Commander – complete with his own totally-not-Caesar-based portrait.  With the upcoming PC mod support, he could even have his own Groove and new abilities too! We’ll be letting you know closer to the time when you can expect it.

Floran fans may also be interested to hear that our first in-house game, space sandbox Starbound, has a new update (v1.4) on the way. In v1.4 players will be able to take on the role of Bounty Hunters, chasing down wanted galactic criminal gangs and restoring law and order in the universe! There’s also lots of other content to discover including new dungeons, monster variants, new items, furniture pieces and more. If you want to test it out and provide feedback, we have released v1.4 on Starbound’s unstable Steam branch. Please be aware that the update is still in development, and the unstable branch isn’t necessarily representative of the final implementation. Expect some bugs and incomplete content, so back up your saves before playing. You can find more info about the v1.4 update and Starbound in general on our Dev Blog.

Now, on with the maps!

For this Spotlight we tasked you with showing off your best desert biome themed maps, to celebrate the recent release of fellow pixel art strategy game, Pathway, by our friends at Robotality. We’ll go back to random entries for the next Spotlight, but will return to more themed challenges in the future!

1.  Port Island Panic v2.2 by Fadedsun – Code: 8AUM5FQE

I’m a big fan of small PVP maps, which encourage players to get stuck into the heat of the battle as quick as possible. This little skirmish from Fadedsun is a nicely executed battleground, with some skirting deep sea tiles to encourage naval movement/combat around the island, with space for strategic action to kick off on the central island. You’ll need to quickly utilise the ports and barges on this one to recruit and distribute troops swiftly, in order to take control of the sandy mass in the centre.

2. Crossfire 1.2 by Val-Valdor – Code: 3QTZTTQN

Player Val-Valdor uploaded a few clever desert-themed maps recently (Mountain Throne – EP8KW55S &  Income War – ZKYGA4E7 to name a few), but Crossfire is probably our favourite to play. It’s a 2v2 skirmish map which takes place across a wide island connected by tiny bridges. Together with your teammate you’ll need to gradually build up your forces to assert dominance across the sandy plains. You’ll need to watch out for the sandstorms reducing ground unit range in particular though!

3. Turtle Island 2v2 by SGswift – Code: TY3JXHS8

Another 2v2 map, but this time designed for fog of war play. The central island is littered with various structures to capture, so you’ll have to carefully plan out your movement across the map in order to balance recruitment and aggression with income management, together with your allied faction. User SGswift has a number of very pretty map designs, so if you give Turtle Island a go, make sure to click on ‘More from Author’ too and check out their others.

4. Shipwreck Showdown by Pnoir – Code: QFEMX42S

This map by Pnoir has a fun theme around a shipwreck with sunken treasure at the centre, but has a lot of chokepoints and long bridges to contend with! As their first map submission, we thought this was a great initial attempt, and with some balancing tweaks to sort out areas which could be exploited by smart positioning of defensive ranged units, Shipwreck Showdown could be refined into a fun, small rectangular free-for-all!

That’s all for today’s Spotlight. Big thanks to everyone who shared their desert-themed maps. If you’d like to see more community maps, or create and share your own, feel free to peruse the in-game Custom Content section, as well as taking a look over at the Wargroove subreddit (there’s a ‘Map’ flair for easy searching too)!

Until next time.

Comments »

Community Maps Spotlight #5

Hello everyone!

Things have been busy at Chucklefish HQ, with lots going on behind-the-scenes. We’re currently working on implementing modding into the PC version, as well as other exciting, secret things! The PS4 version is also still on the way, just taking a little longer than anticipated – thanks for everyone’s patience so far! In the meanwhile we’ve also been addressing minor bugfixes. Nintendo Switch players can now find the latest patch update (v1.2.5), which resolves issues when resigning from matches – full version history for all platforms can be found here.

Community Maps Spotlight #6 – Desert Biome Challenge!

Before we crack on, for the next Maps Spotlight we’ll be setting a specific theme as a map design challenge. To celebrate the launch of fellow pixel art strategy game Pathway by our friends at Robotality we’ll be looking for desert biome themed maps! It doesn’t matter the format, Commanders involved or subject matter, so long as it takes place on some burning hot sand. To make sure we spot your map when we come to selecting the Community Maps Spotlight #6, make sure to post your creation to the Wargroove subreddit using the ‘maps’ flair, or drop them in the Custom Content channel on the Wargroove Discord before May 10th.

Now, on with the maps!

1.  Cells Interlinked 1.1 by Andrew – Code: 94UTH6LD

While we were obviously drawn in by the Blade Runner reference, we stayed for the fast-paced gameplay of this tiny 4 player free-for-all map. You start with your Commander, units and captured buildings divided across different cells, already with your opponents locked in the cell with you. Expect lots of mini battles to erupt all over the map, as you battle your way through gates and extend your reach across each cell. Within cells interlinked…

2.  Night of the Spooky Scary Skeletons by Nanuq – Code: BNCQBZS8

Looking for a longer challenge to play with 2 other friends? Night of the Spooky Scary Skeletons sees you taking on hordes of the undead who have come to wreak havoc on the City of Dawnlight. Surviving the siege will be tough! However the death of an individual Commander does not necessarily eliminate you from the match, although it will weaken morale! You can arm fleeing refugees from Dawnlight by sending them to the highlighted areas in the armoury at no cost. As the allied forces, you’ll need to try and hold the City until the start of turn 41 (eek!) to win, or else lose the legions of the night.

3.  Pacdragon by Dustin – Code: KM7U4P8Q

If you love both Pacman and dragons equally – and let’s face it, who doesn’t – then this is the map for you. Pacdragon is a really fun 1 player scenario map, where you control the Heavensong dragon, gobbling up treasure to win. You’ll need to collect all 11 pieces of treasure scattered about the winding map, avoiding the ‘ghosts’ on your way. To temporarily make the ghosts vulenerable to attack, you’ll need to destroy a Crystal, which turns the ghosts into sweet little Dreadhounds!

4.  Fyre Festival by SummersEve – Code: S6ETYGZY

Now this one really made me chuckle. Based on the events of the notorious Fyre Festival (watch the amazing Netflix documentary!), SummersEve has faithfully recreated some hilarious moments of the supposed world’s hottest party which never happened. Mercia is cast as an influencer, with the first act seeing her take an Uber to the airport, before arriving at Fyre Island to be greeted by Billy McFarland (portrayed perfectly by the Floran Shaman) and the horror of his unfinished campsite, full of soggy tents. One of my favourite moments is the cutscene where Mercia is seen slumped to the floor as the rain pours down, in the sudden realisation that Blink 182 aren’t even coming anymore. Pure poetry.

That’s it for this time! We can’t wait to see what you come up with for your desert biome themed maps, so be sure to submit your marvellous creations before May 10th. If you’d like to check out more community maps, or create and share your own, you can find them in-game in the Custom Content section, as well as a great selection on the Wargroove subreddit!

Comments »

Community Maps Spotlight #4

Hi all!

Fresh from a quick trip to GDC, we’re back again with another Community Maps Spotlight to show off some cool maps we’ve seen recently.

Before we get into it, we wanted to take a moment to apologise to those who have been affected by recent issues with online play. We’ve been working on a server-side fix, and believe everything should now be in order, so thanks for your patience while we looked into it. Please do let us know if any issues continue and thanks for bearing with us!

We also recently released a bugfix patch for all platforms (Nintendo Switch v1.2.4 patch notes here, v1.2.5 for PC & Xbox One to fix a bug with resigning in multiplayer), so do make sure your system is up to date. v1.2.5 will also be heading to Nintendo Switch soon, so keep you eyes peeled for a patch alert on your device in the near future. Full version history for all platforms can be found here!

On with the maps!

1.  Archipelagos by Nanuq – Code: Y9RNKCS5

It wouldn’t be a Community Maps Spotlight without an Advance Wars map remake, now would it? This one is a lovely recreation of the AW2 map Archipelagos – albeit with some changes to better suit Wargroove’s gameplay. It’s a 3 player free-for-all Naval map complete with fog of war and a big expanse of water, scattered with islands to dart between. It looks beautiful in action, and is pretty fun to charge forward with your Merfolk capturing every Port in your path, as you extend your influence across the battlefield.

2.  Dustin’s Mini Moba by Dustin – Code: 2HGU7RP6

Here’s another interesting concept from the prolific Dustin (we previously shouted out their Co-Op Tower Defense map)! Mini Moba is a 1v1 XXX, which acts as a fast-paced moba-like where you’ll only need to control your Commander, while your units wreak havoc and level-up by gaining Gold as they take down enemy units. By reaching Level 6 you’ll unlock your Commander’s Groove and by Level 15 you’ll unlock your groove’s 100% charge.

3.  Hinterland Hijinks by Wynn – Code: MRM3H534

If you’re looking for a nice 2-player map then Wynn has you covered here. It’s a skirmish for control of the middle island, with Towers on each side primed and ready to recruit air units to launch aerial attacks on your Ports. It can get pretty fast-paced and exciting as both teams charge to the centre, so make sure to keep an eye on all bridges for units sneaking over to start their attack.

4.  River Encounter (2P Co-Op) by Lutukor – Code: ABDCJ7TG

River Encounter is another map based around a scramble to control the middle island of the map, but this time you’ll be teaming up with a friend for some co-op action! The stretch of water surrounding the middle island certainly adds to the fun, allowing you to strategically place Harpoon Ships and later even Warships to rain devastation on the central battlefield. Bonus points from us for some lovely decorations to bring the map to life!

That’s all for now. If you’re in London this week, then do come visit us at EGX Rezzed where we’ll be showcasing Wargroove, as well as some of our published games (Timespinner by Lunar Ray Games, Inmost by Hidden Layer Games, Eastward by Pixpil & Pathway by Robotality)! We’ll also have some Wargroove goodies to give away too (keep an eye out on our Twitter for details).

If you’d like to check out more community maps, or create and share your own, you can find them in-game in the Custom Content section, as well as a great selection on the Wargroove subreddit!

See ya next time!

Comments »

Community Maps Spotlight #3

Hello everyone!

We’ve got another Community Maps Spotlight to share some player created content.

Recently, NintendoLife held a custom map competition. We checked out some of the submissions and there were loads of really excellent entries – great job everyone who participated! Here’s a selection of a few interesting maps which were entries in their contest.

1.  Wagon Escape by Landmine752 – Code: DXNXA3DT
This unconventional map requires the player race in a Wagon to escape Sedge in persuit. Mercia has a variety of switches which can be triggered to enable the wagon’s escape. Every move counts in this fast paced wagon-ride of a map, which prioritizes movement strategy over combat!

2.  Wargroove: The RPG by Monkiikong – Code: PKPRHBKF
This map has Mercia explore the map to recruit a party to confront the Undead army. There’s lots of hidden items to find, objectives, and events, to build your party before confronting the final battle!

3. Labyrinth of Daedalus by EGYP7 – Code: 5LJQ3YPE
This map supports 1 to 4 players where you can play alone, against AI, or with up to three other friends to find treasure inside the labyrinth, and avoid the monster that roams the halls. If the monster sees you – run and hide! This maze also features moving gates, changing the layout as the match continues. The commander to find and collect the most gold and survive to escape wins.

4. Glory and Gold by Braeden – Code: FBFT47RY
Another gold collecting map. This battle is a two player skirmish to take the opponent’s commander or stronghold – but with the additional twist awarding a win to the first to reach 100,000 gold. Capture villages while defending your stronghold – but be as thrifty as possible!

5. A Foul-mouthed Standoff by TheOnly8Z – Code: HLA2GAYX
This was the winning map selected by NintendoLife! It puts Mercia between two enemy armies, and she’ll need to storm inside both their castles to win. She can hire ships and equipment to help her defend against overwhelming forces on both fronts! You can check out NintendoLife’s stream of this map if you want to see it in action!

In case you missed it there was a big update this week with a number of quality of life improvements! We hope you’re all continuing to enjoy Wargroove – and if you’d like to check out more custom maps you can find them all in the share section in game, and a great selection have been shared on the Wargroove subreddit!

Until next time!

Comments »

QOL 1.2.0 Patch Out Tomorrow

Hi all,

Shortly after launch Tiy mentioned in a blog post that we were working on a quality of life patch, combining some community feedback we received and adjustments we wanted to make. Well good news –Wargroove Patch 1.2.0 is out this Wednesday 6th March (tomorrow!) at 13.00 GMT / 14.00 CET / 05.00 PST / 08.00 EST across PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.

A quick PSA, in-progress online matches will be incompatible at the time the patch goes live, so we’d recommend not starting any strategic showdowns around then! You may also find yourself needing to update to the latest version in order to access the game’s online features after the patch, so do make sure you’re up to date if you have any issues.

Following the patch going live, if you do by chance find any bugs please do report them to the support section in the Wargroove Forums. If you’d like to chat to the developers and share your thoughts, you can also find us lurking in the Wargroove Discord server!

Check below for the full patch notes:

Checkpoint system:

  • While playing in campaign mode, you can set a checkpoint in a mission
  • If you are defeated, you can retry from the checkpoint
  • You can set a checkpoint whenever you want, but you can only have one active at a time (the previous gets overwritten)

Difficulty system overhaul:

  • Five difficulty presets, Story, Easy, Medium, Hard (Default) and Custom
  • Hard difficulty is the default, and is the standard rules of the game. It’s the only mode where you can obtain S-ranks
  • Medium difficulty is a bit easier and still lets you obtain up to 3 stars
  • Easy limits you at 2 stars
  • Story limits you at 1 star, and is VERY easy

Multiplayer:

  • You can now add CPU players to online games
  • There’s now a message clarifying that you must join a match if you don’t have any in progress
  • A number of fixes to Quick Play timers
  • You can no longer suspend Quick Play matches and play other games in the meanwhile, since they’re supposed to be realtime
  • 9 maps designed specifically for co-op have been added
  • Fix issue where user’s couldn’t get into Online multiplayer
  • Fix issue were main menu could not be invoked during opponent’s/AI turn

General Quality of Life

  • The effectiveness chart on unit info and recruit screens has been reworked to be far more readable and informative
  • Skipping battles, captures and cutscenes is now much faster
  • Display the S rank requirements on the overview screen for a mission
  • “Exit” has been renamed to “Suspend” to avoid confusion
  • You can now see teams on the Overview screen
  • Fix international text input on Switch
  • Display the Controller Select Applet on Switch less often
  • Add Korean font
  • Resigning will now destroy all units simultaneously instead of one at a time

New options:

  • Add “Movement Speed” option that allow you to set all units to move faster
  • Add “Confirm End Turn” option to avoid accidental end of turn
  • Add “Damage Range” option to display minimum and maximum damage on previews, instead of average damage

Fog of War:

  • Allies now share vision
  • Eliminated players can still see their team vision; eliminated teams become spectators
  • Spectators can view the current team’s vision
  • Hide enemy income and funds
  • Don’t spawn effects or show building colours inside fog of war
  • Don’t show battle and capture animations unless at least one of the units is visible to the current player
  • Fog of War now updates faster
  • Fix “sonar” bug that allowed you to obtain extra information within fog of war
  • Fix allies being able to move units into each other and becoming stuck

Fixes and tweaks:

  • Fix Tenri’s groove charge rate to the intended value
  • Change Nuru’s groove so that unit costs double the Gold when summoned
  • Change Ryota’s groove to allow him to dash through his own units
  • Fix team options; all teams should display correctly in 2v2 matches
  • Fixes for Vines and Crystals acting as Units
  • Fix for 7-2; commanders no longer change team after suspending
  • Fix sound effects in Cutscene editor causing crash
  • Fix Cutscene Attack animations causing crash
  • Fix Empty dialogue event boxes causing crash
  • Layering of actors and props in Cutscene editor should now work as expected
  • Fix crash when entering non-numeric text into Counter events
  • Fix issue with Tutorial 1.3 where user could get stuck when asked to select a barrack  
  • Misc language fixes
  • Misc minor fixes
Comments »

Community Maps Spotlight #2!

Hello again everyone!

It’s time to see what you’ve all been up to with another Community Maps Spotlight! Let’s get straight to it…

1.  Advance Wars Mission 1: It’s War by Fabian – Code: DP8VZ9ZU
It was bound to happen, wasn’t it? Fabian’s map is a fantastic recreation of the first introductory mission from Advance Wars’ Campaign mode. A fair warning though – although this opening map may have been fairly easy in Advance Wars, this version of the map in Wargroove can certainly be a challenge! Make sure to make good and regular use of your Alchemist’s healing powers in order to cut your way through Felheim’s forces.

2.  In Love and War – A Valentine’s Day Campaign v2 by Jeff – Code: 5ZUZMR65
Here’s a fun romance-themed campaign to get stuck into – Jeff’s campaign consists of 7 consecutive maps, each with unique objectives, the first of which is fighting your way through to the kitchen to find Emeric making omelets! Mercia will also find herself in a difficult situation with different Commanders fighting for her affection. But who will she pick? The choice is yours!

3.  Dogs of War by Terrkas – Code:  J5PRQW35
If you’re looking for a dog-themed challenge Terrka’s puzzle map is definitely worth a look, featuring a cute cut-scene to set the stage too. Caesar and his troop of battlepups are engaged in a battle for bones and bellyrubs, so you’ll need to keep your wits about you and utilise Caesar’s charged Inspire groove to defeat the Floran troops in just one turn.

4.  Dustin’s Co-Op Tower Defense v5 by Dustin – D8JYWXJV
Now this is certainly one of the most complex and inventive 2 player co-op scenario maps we’ve come across. Dustin’s Co-Op Tower Defense sees you face off against 10 waves of enemies spawning at the top of the map, in order to defend your castle from imminent attack as they travel down the main road. Moving your Villagers will purchase units and cast spells, and you’ll also spot Mana Crystals starting to appear at the bottom of your castle keep – once you have 10 crystals you’ll be able to move your Villager to cast a spell.

5.  Arctic Pass by [LuBu]VooDooZulu – PVEF24KB
We’re a big fan of co-op map creations, and this Winter wonderland of a 2v2 map is really nicely done. It has a nice mix of land and naval combat options, and the map design itself looks especially pretty once the snow starts coming down. Grab a few friends, jump in a Wagon and prepare to race for the middle Barracks with this one.

6.  Triple Trouble by Of Monsters and Ken – WUJTWQ48
We’ll finish this Highlights post with a really interesting concept. Of Monsters and Ken (who we shouted out last time with their Capture the Flag scenario), has created a clever 2 player scenario map featuring 3 lanes, and 1 joint wallet. To win you’ll need to keep an eye on all lanes and aim for a Stronghold takedown. It’s also currently in our Featured section on the Content Browser, so make sure to give it a go!

Before we leave you to get downloading ready for the weekend, a quick heads up that we recently summarised on the Wargroove subreddit our plans for an upcoming quality-of-life / community feedback patch for Wargroove. While the release date for this is currently TBC, we wanted to give you all a heads-up on what we’d be addressing and the features we’re adding to the game.

Until next time!

Comments »

The AI of War

Hey folks, Tom here! Today I’m going to share my experience of working on the AI with you.

I came to the Wargroove team fairly late, switching over from Stardew Valley once work on the multiplayer update came to a conclusion. When I first joined the team, Wargroove already had AI, albeit AI that would commonly throw away a win, or miss an opportunity to escape defeat. My first major task was finding ways to make the AI smarter… a daunting introduction for someone who (at the time) couldn’t even beat the AI!

Luckily, I had help from Tiy (game design) and Armagon (level design), experts at handing the AI its ass. Together, they sent me dozens of situations where the AI was acting dumb. My job in each case was to step through the AI’s decision making using the debug output available in dev builds, and figure out why it thought a dumb order was a good idea.

This heatmap is one such debug tool. It visualises ‘threat’: the damage that the AI’s opponent could deal against a unit on any tile of the map. Also factored in is the potential threat against each tile on future turns, albeit reduced by a decay factor. The AI bases decisions on a collection of heatmaps like this.

The gradient of the objective map biases movement of the AI’s units towards areas of strategic value: capturable structures, and opposing commanders and strongholds, for instance.

The support map provides a generalised approximation of the AI player’s combat ability. The AI uses this to keep its units from straying into enemy territory without backup, and to decide where to retreat to.

The AI uses values from these heatmaps to score every possible valid order it could give next, and then chooses the highest-scoring order to execute. When you see the AI do something dumb, such as sending its commander into certain doom, it’s almost always caused by a problem with the scoring method. Some specific examples I fixed were the threat map not factoring in crits, and the AI not considering the effect of the next turn’s change of weather on the opponent’s range.

The best possible way to score orders would be to model hypothetical future states of the match, e.g. by simulating the order on a copy of the match, or by trying to predict the opponent’s next move. However, for Wargroove, we need the AI to be snappy even on low-end devices, which limits the amount of looking ahead the AI can do.

One of the fun things about working on AI is that it can do really unexpected things. Even though Wargroove is a perfect-information game, the AI has to constantly deal with the uncertainty of not knowing what its opponent will do. One example is if the AI’s opponent is able to spawn a unit on their next turn that allows them to land a crit on the same turn.

Recruiting a pikeman here would mean Nuru can be defeated this turn, even though the outcome relies on a unit that didn’t exist in Nuru’s turn.

Without the ability to actually simulate hypotheticals like these, the AI has to use cautious assumptions, such as assuming that certain crits always apply. However, in a situation where the AI is nearly defeated, overestimating the threat on a perfectly valid escape route can prevent the AI from being able to take it. The AI may just sit there, ignoring a way out of its defeat. So making the AI more cautious can counter-intuitively make it act less cautious!

A lot of issues with the current AI can be traced back to the sacrifices we made to keep the AI snappy. I could write several giant blog posts about its limitations, and the weird side-effects of the trade-offs we made… But to provide a balanced perspective for a moment, having smarter AI doesn’t necessarily make a game better: a good game provides a challenge that scales with the player’s skill level. That means relative beginners need a fair shot at beating AI opponents. For more advanced players, there are always optional extra rules (beating a match within a certain number of turns to achieve a rank, for example), and multiplayer.

Comments »

Soundtrack now available on all major streaming platforms!

Hello everybody!

It’s been great to see how much people have been enjoying Wargroove and its music. If you can’t get enough of those catchy tunes, I’m pleased to announce that the soundtrack is now available for streaming on Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Bandcamp, Google Play and iTunes / Apple Music respectively.

To celebrate the occasion we’re adding all of the remaining songs to our playlist on YouTube. In all, there are 25 fantastic tracks available to groove to right now!

Our time working with Phonetic Hero on Wargroove has been an absolute pleasure, and we’re happy that so many people are finally getting to hear the full breadth of his work. While I’m a little sad that there won’t be any more Music Spotlights for the foreseeable future, it has been a privilege to shine a light on the compositions of this most-talented musician, and I’m personally looking forward to seeing what else he makes in the future!

Don’t forget, if you want to own the complete soundtrack for yourself, it’s available for download on both Bandcamp and Steam! If you are more partial to having something physical, there are still some of the limited edition vinyls available for pre-order thanks to our good friends at The Yetee.

Wargroove Vinyl Soundtrack

Bye for now!

Comments »