Time for another There Will Be Ink update. The main new feature this time around is the reworked Quick Battle page and the brand new underlying Map Generator. The old Quick Battle page was pretty limited, offering options only for tree & cover density, which river to use, and which buildings/units to include, and the underlying map generator didn’t offer much in terms of map variety. The new Quick Battle page includes a mess of checkboxes and sliders to give the player much greater control over what kind of map will be generated, and the new map generator is capable of generating drastically more varied map types. Don’t worry about having to toggle every setting. You can click “Randomize!” to get some fresh settings and use the small randomize buttons on each section for further tweaks. I won’t go over all the settings, but check out the old/new screenshots below for a comparison, if you’re into that kind of thing. I’ve added a few safety checks to map generation, but there are bound to still be some wacky scenarios for some of the randomizations. The Campaign Generator (see below) will likely have tighter constraints on map balance.
Also new are procedurally generated rivers, which increases the variety of available rivers exponentially. The old prefabs are there as well. There is also a new weather type, “snow”, which is more than just the visual tweak you may have seen previously during December’s “Jolly Edition” seasonal content. Snow now accumulates on the ground and can be melted away with flamethrowers, explosions, burning buildings and trees, laser blasts, and even burning troops/corpses. Water is also frozen and can be walked over in snow maps. New to all weather types, trees and cacti will now sway in the wind.
In addition to being able to open Quick Battle maps in the Map Editor, players can now edit a copy of any campaign map using the “Edit in Map Editor” button on the pause menu. This includes boss levels and any other scripted maps. There are also a big bunch of enhancements, tweaks, and bug fixes that can be found in the lists below.
Next up, I’ll continue work on the Map Generator to make it more powerful and varied, and I’ll begin work on the Campaign Generator, which will generate a batch of maps and string them together into a campaign. With snow in place (*wink), I can also get working on Act III campaign missions. Cheerio!
New Features & Content
- Total revamp of “Quick Battle”. Includes options and sliders for terrain, weather, factions, difficulty, etc.
- Brand new map generator making use of the toggles/sliders mentioned above
- There is also a slight chance for “heat waves”/low stamina regen on calm, sunny maps, and a slight chance for sea invasions on non-snowy beach maps
- Procedurally generated rivers (when “Rivers” selected in Map Generator, will choose between prefabs and procedural/tiled rivers
- Snow is now a proper weather type
- Snow accumulates and can be melted with explosions, fires, flamethrower, lasers, etc
- Bodies of water are frozen and can be walked on in snowy weather
- Added “Edit in Map Editor” to pause menu – opens a copy of any map in the Map Editor
Changes & Enhancements
- Gamepad: Swapped shoulder buttons & triggers – Triggers are now for fire/grenade, buttons for zoom!
- Trees/cacti now sway in the wind (reworked how explosions affect vegetation as well)
- Bleeding out is now paused if a friendly unit waits next to the patient
- Bleeding out units now gain a notable evasion bonus
- Map Editor: Added “New Map” button to clear the current map
- Map Editor: Added scrolling (mouse wheel) for loading maps, when maps don’t fit on screen
- Added highlighting to load map/file names in map editor
- New art for tiled rivers (Map Gen & Map Editor)
- End-of-battle win/loss state now takes into account which teams have human players
- Map Gen: Ammo crates won’t spawn quite as close to the edge of the map
- “Medic!” and “Backup!” text now appears when calling for help (helpful in multiplayer)
- Mouse cursor no longer disappears on Main Menu if there are no gamepads connected
- T-Rex crate likeliness reduced by 50%
- Scorch marks no longer behave like craters (now drawn to background, better performance)
- Added minor screenshake when trees fall
- Stamina bar now only drawn when below 95% stamina
- Updated some out of date info on Controls page
- Removed powertext when active unit takes explosion damage
- Added colour gradient support for sliders (mostly for QB page)
- Loading a map in Map Editor plays sound
- Code cleanup and object merging
- Fixed causes of “too many open files” crashes (should be all, will watch out for further instances)
- Fixed crash bug when hitting “esc” immediately on battle start
- Fixed some jankiness with select left/right unit – should no longer skip units
- Fixed issue where trees/debris/etc would sometimes spawn on water (Quick Battle/Map Gen)
- Fixed issue where snow/rain/clouds were drawn behind trees
- Fixed issue where AI units would sometimes not recover from exhaustion
- Fixed bug where player could sometimes get locked out of game when a medic revives a bleeding-out unit
- Fixed bug where Alt RPG kills weren’t counted in EOB stats
- Fixed issue where flags & flames (from flamethrower) kept animating when game was paused