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WARTILE - A Timed Based Game

Hi Everyone

During the last year, our small team at Playwood Project, have been working on a new project called WARTILE.

Here is a short overview of what the game is all about.

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It have been a crazy year and we have much work to do, but are excited to start showing what we have done so far, what iterations we have been through and
from today, start sharing our weekly progress with you.

Current state

Wartile Trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41cVE_6aI-k

The first pencil stroke

The first pencil stroke

I had just terminated my job as Game Designer at IO-Interactive, it was time to realize an old dream of mine… to start a small game development studio…

First… I needed a good idea…

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And so it slowly began… the brainstorming and when everything is possible, your mind is going everywhere, ending up nowhere.

But suddenly it came to me. When I was a kid I loved playing with miniature figures, give them a purpose in life and a reason to fight.

So I started to draw out a game where you would control a party of miniature figures into battle, in a fantastic medieval universe.

A Board Game

A Board Game

Tom came along… (on the picture) and as he was testing the unreal engine and setting up the code foundation. I began building a (hard) prototype of a Board game.

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We where making a mix between a turn based and real time strategy game, so playing it like a normal board game was challenging. Still making a hard prototype of the game really helped setting
a lot of the different game mechanics in perspective.

The physical board-game helped us talking about the order of everything, attacks, animations, movements and the cool down system.

First mocups

First mockup’s

I had been working in the Unreal engine many years ago with the development of Recoil Retrograd (RIP)
But the new Unreal 4 is amazing for any graphic artist, and we quickly started to identify our art style… or tried to.

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We played around with a few different visual takes, but did not really nail the right feel or look.

Some of the key words for the art style was - Textural, miniature feel, board game and unique.

This looks very promising, im curious about the the actual gameplay

It fights

It fights

Defining our art style compared with other games, while adding animations and effects to the Combat system.

Things starts to show. The combat system is working and the units can be moved around on the grid.

Playable

Playable

Now with the system working, we could start play the game. With my daughter always around she where appointed to be our main tester :slight_smile:

To move a unit, you pick it up and drag and drop it, within their move range. If they are placed next to an enemy, they will start auto fight each other.
The different unit classes will force you to think and time your strategy, since some units counter each others.

A unit based cool down system, makes sure that when you move a unit you cant move it again for X-seconds, leaving the enemy some time to counter or react on your actions. But you are free to move one of the other units not in cool down.

We decided to go for a clear visualization of the tile set and then combine it with a realistic/model look for everything that was not a tile.

Making it look good

Looking better

With a fun multi-player game play, we set out to to improve the look and feel of the game.

The front screen and title was a mock up. We where trying different iterations on the menu art and layout style. Since most
of the story would be told outside the levels, the navigation, feel and mood of the menu was important.

New interactive objects was added. The roadblock spikes that can delay the enemy and the stone pot damage trap where some of the first ideas.

All the characters at this stage was still placeholders.

This looks amazing!

First model

[SIZE=5]First model[/SIZE]

With a lot of placeholder characters in the game, it was time to make our own characters.

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We contacted a freelance character artist who was excited about the project, and started the first outsourcing job.

With the first character done, there was still great room for improvement, both with the 3D model, but even more with the concept and art style. It was clear that outsourcing key art, required a lot of communication, since iterations at this stage is very time consuming. ----We needed to do something different.

We learned from the experience and prepared for the next patch.

The whole concept etc looks fantastic. Waiting for more progress. Good job so far.

Looks really good Michael! Say hi to Tom from me :slight_smile:

Hi Adrian, good to see you in here, I will invite you over one day so you can try it out… and maybe you will let me try Planet Alpha 31

Second model

Second Model

We teamed up with MOOD, a group of guys we had worked with at Io-Interactive… really really talented. They made our first real knight lineup.

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This was a step in the right direction, the art style got much more identity and we found a good balance between realism and fantasy. To begin with we aimed at making our characters look like real miniature models and when we got the second character back from out sourcing the result was much better.

Both we and our freelance 3D artist had improved a great deal, and we felt we where moving forward in defining our character style.

Unfortunately for us, our partnership with MOOD didn’t last long, since they where busy and had to focus on own projects… this amazing one Fall of gods - maybe one day they will let me make a game on this IP.

Looks fantastic! :slight_smile: Out of curiousity do you have a wireframe on that knight?

Hi, I am glad you like it.

Here is a picture showing the wireframe, the low poly with baked maps (including shoulder pads :D) and with texture maps (first iteration).

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Hope it helps.

Very impressive work!

I really like the idea here! The first art map ( coastline ) looks stunning to me.

The concept on combining turn-based game with RTS seems really interesting, I would be very interested to hear more details about the gameplay regarding those aspects. Also I’d be interested to hear of the scale you are planning for the game. Is the player supposed to be commanding armies? With the current size of the map and units, it does not really convey the scale of whats happening, unless it is supposed to be very small scale.

Nice work, I was honestly surprised by my own reaction to your concept.

The Game Rules

The Game Rules

We haven’t talked much about the game rules of WARTILE yet, even though that is key.

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Personally I am torn in the value of a game design document, since gameplay iterations happens so fast that the documentation is obsolete before the ink is even dry (or document saved).
On the other hand, writing the rules and systems down on “paper” force you to mentally process every possible situation and hold mechanics up against each other.
This step is very healthy and any programmer on the team would appreciate designers doing that exercise before requesting a system.

Of course, it is a fine balance since blueprint in unreal 4, enable designers to make in-game iterations so fast, that test levels can become the Game design documentation.

A Game design document also helped us understand the size and complexity of the game, and reminded us to keep it simple and doable.