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Vinland 1936

What have I been up to this month?

Well you can see it in a couple of development blog videos, here, here and here.

Vinland 1936 is a game I've been working on (on and off) for about 3 years. It is somewhat based on the old Nirval interactive game, Blitzkrieg;

I hope you've played it since it is one of the best games ever!!! (IMHO)
Blitzkrieg was a real time tactics game. You didn't build a base, or spawn units. It wasn't about rushing the enemy. You got a small number of troops and vehicles that could be replenished or repaired if you had access to a supply base and the right supply trucks, but couldn't be replaced if lost. Once your vehicles were destroyed and your infantry killed you were finished. You couldn't just churn out some more from your factory and have another go at rushing the enemy guns. This made you invest a lot in each of your units. They really mattered.

It was also procedurally generated. Each mission (except for the historical missions) was put together from a sophisticated random generator. Each time you played you'd have to work hard to crack a new set of environmental puzzles. This means I can still play the game and enjoy it years later.

My own game is going to be similar, but I want to take the idea of replayability even further. In Vinland 1936 you are going to be playing an alternative history setting. Although there are a list of "historical" vehicle designs for each faction you're going to be able to customize them and create new machines. You'll not be stuck with the same old Panzer IV or Matilda II every time, your gameplay will change with the availability of rare parts, salvaged enemy chassis and your understanding of the customization program.

Here you can see an early war tank:

Slow but well armored, it has a heavy gun in the hull and a small turret.
There are several ways you could customize this design, adding more armor at the expensive of speed, adding a commander's cupola to the turret to help with visual range and targeting. Improved suspension will become available, or better weapons. Eventually you'll want to buy a new design since the small turret limits its usefulness in later encounters. But as you use it the crew will gain experience, maybe getting some special skills. It might be better to keep upgrading it rather than get a new tank with raw crew members.

Here's where having vehicle customization really makes a difference vs just having static designs. There's going to be an element of strategy in the vehicles you choose to design that will make every mission feel unique.

I really love the Blitzkrieg games, but the WWII period is so well known now it's hard for it to hold any surprises. And the most recent blitzkrieg (3) looks pretty boring to me, with very little of what made the original game so great.

I'll leave you with a picture of some of the vehicles I designed so far while messing with the vehicle editor:


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Back to Vinland.

I'm going back to my real time tactics project, Vinland 1936.
While working on the other project I overcame the problems which were stopping me from saving/loading the game and also cleaned up the base code a lot.

After a few weeks I'm getting near the the state I was in before.

Infantry are back to their previous state, and vehicles are running OK.
This time I'm going to push ahead with mocking up the combat system though before I work any more on the vehicle builder or graphical aspects of the game.


I finished working on the code for adding foliage and having some extra time I decided to experiment with the code for rockets.

The original idea I had was that rockets would be large vehicle components that can be fired very quickly, regardless of how much manpower is used for reloading.

They would use up a lot of ammo, so they would run dry after a short but devastating barrage.
The problem here is that it's easy to take advantage of this by adding a lot of ammo, which is much smaller than in bulk than the rockets.

There's also the problem of firing large caliber rockets. In real life rockets of up to 30cm were used, but I think that will be too powerful for the scale of combat in this game.

lol. Somehow that one trooper survived the mother of all explosions...

A 30cm rocket could contain nearly 30KG of explosive. That would be a very large explosion.

I've tried to balance the game by using a simple equation to make bigger guns more powerful, but hopefully not too powerf…

Infantry combat and entering buildings.

I've been working a lot on the game recently and I've nearly rebuilt it to the level it was before. Past that maybe, since now I have the beginning of a working combat system and the ability to save and load the game.

Infantry can now occupy a building. It's quite an abstract representation, since they stay at the door and turn invisible. But they can then fire from one of the windows and take damage from shots at the windows too. I think I've set it up well so that when building damage and destruction is working then the system should continue to work.

For combat I tried some new ideas, but they didn't work out that well. It seems that it's important that viewing range should be further than shooting range. Now shooting range is pegged at 18 units of distance, while viewing range can extend out past that.

In the above image one unit has an officer, so has further viewing range. The other can only see as far as they can shoot, a dangerous situation since the en…