IMO, one of the original game key features was animated unit portrait. Despite being “just-a-visual-effect” thing, it conveyed what unit experiences and its emotional condition really well, making unit feel “alive” and thus important to player. I remember how I pushed that boost strength button like a crazy and shout together with my outnumbered and doomed infantry “To the DEATH!!!”. Ah, what a great memories, that were intense moments indeed!
It took quite an effort of our developer to learn how portraits were implemented in DO and reconstruct the precise character’s pose in UE. Also, the task required matching original SEQ files with in-game numerous emotions. Even a standalone tool was developed to facilitate the process.
Big kudos to Devst3d for making portraits animation looks so much authentic to the original game.
Now, portraits in high-resolution look even brighter, making units even more “alive”!
Another great feature of original game is troops morale mechanic. Personally, I was always wondered why troops morale in other strategy games, like Total War for instance, does not feel so good for me. And the answer is - it is too predictable and thus does not deliver enough DRAMA! This somewhat randomized outcome makes you replaying the same battle over and over without being bored too fast, IMO.
It took more than a month to research DO morale via play-testing, design its flow and then trying to reproduce it in the remake. It is still far from being polished but looks pretty close to the original one and we are satisfied with the result.
What's coming next
There are some other minor features added but I’ll better leave their short list below and
What is also important to mention is that recently, we have revised our goals and decided that the next project’s milestone would be a playable Demo of the first mission where “…Cmdr. Bernhardt’s mercenary army the Grudgebringers defend a small trading post from attack by goblins”
To make this Demo happen we still need to overcome development of enemies AI, which is already a solid challenge itself, as well as fine-tuning melee models number in combat, ranged dependence on unit’s characteristics\level\LOS and dozens of other minor tasks on our list.
Taking these, there is still no ETA for Demo yet and up to 2-3 months is our rough estimate for now (if only real-life allows us).
Full list of developed features:
Units may flee from melee fight or ranged fire
Fleeing unit may rout permanently leaving
Animation of unit portraits during different events (i.e. charge, death, etc.)
Unit traits such as unbreakable or fear\terror (fear mechanic is still under work)
Magic cycle (early version)
Line of sight tweaks (still more to fine tune)
Battle win\lost conditions
kill all enemies
Morgan unit killed or routed
Games’s Main menu, pause menu
Bells and whistles:
units fighting animation now closer reassembles DO’s one
when unit is hidden its status arrow becomes green
ambient sound effects (birds, waterfall, river stream)
visual improvement of cannon fire and projectile explosion