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Thread: [Official AoB Preview #8] Campaign Development Diary #2 - The Factions

  1. #1
    Benjin's Avatar Artifex
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    Default [Official AoB Preview #8] Campaign Development Diary #2 - The Factions


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    In a second Campaign development diary (first can be found here) we discuss our first two playable factions, their starting positions, and their strengths and weaknesses.



    Hi everyone, we hope you are all staying safe and well during these extraordinary times. I'm pleased to let you all know that the Age of Bronze team is all alive and well, and though there as been some disruption, we are all still on our feet and progressing with mod development.

    In this post we'd like to talk a bit more about our plans for the campaign, in particular the playable factions which will be available when the campaign mode first releases, and the complete set we will be ramping up to with future updates. You may remember how our first ever playable release for Age of Bronze featured the Hittites and Egyptians as the first two playable factions, and this theme will be continuing with the first release of the campaign, where our first two playable factions will be Egypt and the Hittites.

    At the campaign's first release the other factions on the map will be unplayable and likely content incomplete, however in the months following launch we hope to bring the remaining major factions of the era up to playable status. At the very least we aim to have the following factions playable in campaign over time: Egypt; The Hittites; Assyria; Babylon; Mycenae; Knossos.







    Let's talk a bit more about Egypt and The Hittites. In custom battle mode the Hittites presented a large and versatile roster of sword, spear, and axe infantry, accompanied by solid (if slow) chariots. To contrast this, Egypt took to the field with little in the way of close-quarters infantry, but compensated with very strong archery and highly mobile chariot archers.


    Campaign mode will add a new dimension to how these factions play. Beginning in 1500BC we see the Egyptian New Kingdom start to flex its military might under Pharaoh Thutmose I, who will be your faction leader at the start of the campaign. The Kush Nubians to the south have recently rebelled, and though this rebellion has been comfortably suppressed they may seek to challenge Egyptian rule again when the time is right. Egypt on the campaign map will benefit from a healthy starting territory, benefitting from food settlements along the Nile, and a comfortable faction bonus to wealth from industry on account of their exceptional artisans. War, however, may soon become a regular fact of life, as Egypt also suffers a moderate diplomatic penalty with all other factions.







    The Hittites on the other hand start their campaign in less of an ideal position: sat in the dead centre of the Anatolian peninsula they are straddled by possible enemies - indeed, at this point in the timeline the Hittite Middle Kingdom suffered constant attack from their neighbours. The start of a Hittite campaign will therefore be tenuous, with victory or defeat hanging on your handling of your many nearby enemies. Your infantry, being amongst the most disciplined in the known world, gain a healthy bonus to their morale for land units. However you may also be able to offer the olive branch to some of your would-be-conquerors, with a minor bonus to diplomacy being another card in your hand.









    We hope this gives a nice teaser of what's to come with the campaign, stay tuned for more news and previews!


    - The Age of Bronze Team
    Last edited by Benjin; July 03, 2020 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Added new map styles for images
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    Nelduin's Avatar a.k.a ALG & echuu
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    Default Re: [Official AoB Preview #7] Campaign Development Diary #2 - The Factions

    Thanks for the news, eager to see more.

    Deserves a frontpage announce.

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    Default Re: [Official AoB Preview #7] Campaign Development Diary #2 - The Factions

    Very Nice.

    Few questions:

    - Why not use IA campaign map? Then Canaan would be where Canaan is, along the coast. Too late now I guess.
    - Will we see Elam or Medians as playable factions?

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    Benjin's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: [Official AoB Preview #7] Campaign Development Diary #2 - The Factions

    Quote Originally Posted by skillfultree View Post
    - Why not use IA campaign map? Then Canaan would be where Canaan is, along the coast. Too late now I guess.
    As it is still quite early in campaign development, we will review our choice of map to make sure it best matches our aims for the campaign. If we have enough time to get some of the small things changed (e.g. 2D maps, get names for those extra locations etc) before our current startpos is heavily edited, we can transfer over to the Imperator Augustus map.

    Quote Originally Posted by skillfultree View Post
    - Will we see Elam or Medians as playable factions?
    Currently we have no plans to make those two factions playable. The current planned playable factions are Egypt; The Hittites; Assyria; Babylon; Mycenae; Knossos. Of course, you will encounter lots of minor factions around them (e.g. Mitanni, Troy etc). I don't know about Media, but Elam will definitely be a minor faction in our campaign.
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    Benjin's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: [Official AoB Preview #7] Campaign Development Diary #2 - The Factions

    Seeing how many people mentioned that we should use the Imperator Augustus map (has more settlements + regions than the Grand Campaign), we've now decided go with that map instead.

    Below is our new map graphic, made by dontfearme22. In my opinion, he did a fantastic job with this one - it really captures the aesthetic we're aiming for with the new UI while also maintaining CA's map style.

    EDIT: Just edited the first post to accommodate the new map style.

    Last edited by Benjin; May 12, 2020 at 06:52 PM.
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    Nelduin's Avatar a.k.a ALG & echuu
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    Default Re: [Official AoB Preview #7] Campaign Development Diary #2 - The Factions

    I saw one or two years ago on the ModDB profil of an Attila mod, that while it is actually not possible to create new campaign maps, some people knows how to relocate cities/provinces borders. Do you know something about that?

    Incredible map, by the way.

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    Jake Armitage's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: [Official AoB Preview #7] Campaign Development Diary #2 - The Factions

    yep, i was thinking the same
    how do you plan to do that? just put a single sleepy faction? and what of active AI going around grey areas?

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    Benjin's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: [Official AoB Preview #7] Campaign Development Diary #2 - The Factions

    Quote Originally Posted by Nelduin View Post
    I saw one or two years ago on the ModDB profil of an Attila mod, that while it is actually not possible to create new campaign maps, some people knows how to relocate cities/provinces borders. Do you know something about that?
    Yeah we saw that too. Unfortunately, while I think it might be possible to move cities / province borders, the actual pathfinding for AI would still be unchanged, making way for a rather buggy campaign experience. For that reason we decided not to do that and keep the settlement placements the same, yet change their names and maybe change around which cities are designated as provincial capitals (i.e. walled).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Armitage View Post
    how do you plan to do that? just put a single sleepy faction? and what of active AI going around grey areas?
    You mean for the territories marked "Barbarian Lands"? We're currently unsure and are thinking of ideas on how to do that part as we're developing the rest of the campaign.

    Recently we were thinking of making those areas occupied by strong rebel factions; rebels don't have a presence on the diplomacy + map's faction colouring and they don't go around conquering anything except the settlement they've rebelled from, so it'd look like those areas have not been colonised (like in Attila). However, we haven't yet thought of a way to prevent active AI factions close to those borders from wandering in there. Perhaps there is a way to do that somehow, through scripting or maybe by making - as you say - several sleepy Barbarian factions (named after the cultures they represent) with their diplomacy turned off (default set to peace, not war).

    Eventually we do want to cover those places more properly with playable factions (e.g. Urnfield culture, with Proto-Villanovan, Knoviz, Talaiotic subcultures etc), but for our first release we're focusing on the portions of the map that are not greyed out. Currently trying to cover the non-greyed out territories is already a lot of work for a small team, so we had to scale down our ambitions if we wanted to get something out. Those greyed out parts of the map are also a lot harder to research due to the lack of information around there specifically from 1500-1100BC. When we do eventually try to cover them to make the full map playable, we'd likely have to get creative with them (e.g. make the Proto-Villanovans wear armour that we know the Villanovans wore; AFAIK we don't know what Proto-Villanovan warriors wore exactly).
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    Jake Armitage's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: [Official AoB Preview #7] Campaign Development Diary #2 - The Factions

    if you go for a disabling choice this should be an easy path (indifferent if you have just 1 faction or 1 faction per region):

    1) assign a factional trait (startpos/db or simple script) which:
    a) removes movement
    b) removes recruitment point
    c) set an incredibly high cost for buildings
    d) put an high po to avoid weird rebellions
    d) eventually remove growth

    2) convert the script I did for DIGS https://www.twcenter.net/forums/show...-upd-feb-27-20
    so to have them always at peace + no diplomacy at all
    this should avoid any interference by active AI with non active AI

    3) you could do another script which assigns just sack/loot as an option for the player (when he's into barbarian lands)

    4) eventually build a spawn armies system to simulate some guys ravaging here and there (I would use another faction and not the one - or the ones - you would put as inactive AI
    Last edited by Jake Armitage; May 13, 2020 at 01:45 PM.

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