Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Dissecting my own design. The Gratuitous Tank Battles GUI

Nothing in life is perfect. Not even sheldon cooper. So it’s always worth taking a fresh look at stuff you have made and trying to tear it to piece and criticise the hell out of it. Fortunately, the internet is full of people, ‘professional’ or amateur who will tell you your game sucks, but often not in especially helpful ways, so I’m trying to tear my own game to shreds and find everything I can to criticise and improve. So I present to you my initial thoughts on everything that is rubbish about the GTB interface for battles (and obviously this acts as a todo list for the next patch…) Click the image below to enlarge

Let me know if you think of other stuff in the battle GUI (or any part of the game) that is unclear, confusing, or could be improved.

Gratuitous Tank Battles gets a minor update…

To 1.012. Here is the full changelist:

version 1.012
=============
1) Support for new detail textures in closeup
2) Tanks now take corners smoothly
3) Graphics detail slider now adjusts lengths of tank tracks.
4) Fixed bug where weapons that had an already selected target could still fire at it when it was within minimum range.
5) Fixed Steam achievement bug
6) Possible fix for steam-integration slowdown on certain setups.
7) Support for detecting modded content in online challenges.

I’m still working on the game, obviously. I’ll be analyzing what balance changes need making, and hopefully tweaking a few other minor things that bug me. Textures that don’t tile well, particle effects that could be better, and so on.

The only outstanding bugs I’m aware of relate to steam integration, and hopefully I’m narrowing in on suqashing them for everyone.

I’ve been looking a bit at the steam in-game purchasing for stuff like expansion packs (if there will be any) but it looks a bit complex for a one-man band like me to implement.

I think I’m bumping up against the limits of what a one-man company can do, and may have to choose my battles more wisely in terms of where I compete. I have a new version of GSB ipad sat in front of me waiting for testing, plus some redshirt stuff to check up on, and of course there is always showmethegames.

How I found time for archery yesterday is a mystery :D

Gratuitous Tank Battles patch 1.010 released

Right… so at last this patch is released.  It seemed to take a while, but that’s because I kept suddenly managing to trigegr bugs that I’d heard speak of (like legends of dragons in them there mountains) but never seen with my own eyes. A bit like Darth Vader and his son…

Anyway…

Here is the fix list, and it’s one that pleases me a lot :

version 1.010
=============
1) Fixed some issues with corrupt uploading of challenges and removed ability to decide whether or not map is uploaded with a challenge (now handled automatically).
2) Balance: Small turret hulls cost reduced by 25%, Large turret hulls cost increased by 25%.
3) Balance: Damage from flamethrowers has been substantially boosted to 30(small) and 40(large).
4) Balance: Turbo launch missile system damage has been slightly reduced.
5) Balance: Scenario 12 (Tuchola Forest) has been made slightly harder as attacker and much harder as defender.
6) Fixed bug where the accuracy stats on the unit design screen did not correctly show the effects of augmentations or targeting modules.
7) Support added for enabling and disabling installed mods.
8) Fixed bug where airstrikes that had not triggered yet rolled over into the next battle.
9) Fixed bug where the final row of items on the emplacement picker on map edit screen could not be scrolled to on all screen resolutions.
10) Fixed bug where shift-key state could be misinterpreted when selecting units. 
11) Fixed bug where right clicking to deconstruct during deployment phase (rather than left clicking) also is instant and refunds the full unit cost.
12) Added a new tutorial hint to explain the unlock choices a bit better.
13) Nightvision button below minimap is now disabled if nightvision is not available for a given map.
14) Fixed a number of crash bugs relating to going back and forth from the unit design screen.

My final final-playthrough before uploading suddenly let me spot a few things I’d like to improve/change, but they will be in the next patch, which will also finalise the mod support stuff, possibly allowing for modded campaigns even, who knows? This patch also adds a whacking big document on how to mod the game.

In unrelated news, it suddenly occured to me today that due to some complexities involving friends in other countries PLUS the arcane planning process we are going through to get some work done on the house… the only timeslot for me to go away on holiday between now and next year is pretty much… right now. So if I could teleport, I’d be on a beach in St Lucia right now sipping cocktails.

And yet I’m here, emailing people to chase up Gratuitous Tank Battles review coverage.

Bah.