I’ve been putting off posting until the game gets prettier, but that might take awhile. So, here goes. I should have quite a bit more time for development this year, but I’d like to begin by recapping where the project is at this point.

So, what is the Extravehicular Tactics project? Essentially, turn-based tactics in space. In particular, infantry combat in 6DOF. I love hard sci-fi, and turn-based tactics games tickle my brain like none other, so for me it seemed a natural game for me to develop. It started out as some rough prototypes a few years ago, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. Hopefully, some like-minded folks can get something out of it as well.

Anyways, I’ll focus this first post on the main concepts, as a bit of an introduction:

  • 3rd person control over your soldier’s movement, similar to Valkyria Chronicles (VC). I do enjoy how immersive the system is, but the main benefit here is that controlling characters in full 3D space is quite difficult without it. I’ve explored some voxel-based systems, but they feel quite unwieldy compared to direct 3rd-person control. There is no grid here, so you can carefully control your movement, and even crouch and lean.
  • 6DOF movement in zero-gravity environments. As this is space combat, I really want to explore the tactical dynamics of such situations. There are also magnetic boots, and a limited amount of Newtonian physics (mostly recoil propulsion from certain weapons.)
Taking shots…
  • Direct aiming, also similar to VC, with weapon spread replacing the % chance to hit of other turn-based tactics games. I may add some sort of quality-of-life interface to give a clearer understanding of whether your shots might hit, but so far the spread feels pretty intuitive.
  • Time unit (TU) system for movement and actions. This is similar to the original X-COM 1994 ’94 system. It forces a trade-off between movement and actions like in the modern XCOM’s 2 AP system, but the fine-grained control over your TU pool feels a bit better with the continuous movement controls.
Getting shot…
  • Interiors and limited destruction. The theme of space combat surely means you can breach into spaceships, right? Also, there will be space stations, habitat drums and the like. The jury is still out on whether oxygen will be a major part of interior combat like in FTL, but I wouldn’t mind trying it out. Ultimately, this game is a big stretch for me as designer as is though, so I might have to temper my ambitions here.
  • A full strategic layer. My favourite thing in strategy games is when the battle system feeds into the strategic arc of the game, and vice versa. I’m still experimenting here, but there will definitely be in-depth squad management and base-building, alongside some map control/exploration elements.
Overview cam, to help make sense of the complex environments.
Managing equipment.
Space balls…?

Ultimately, I’d love to get some version of this out within the next year, whether that’s a closed beta or full-on early access. Game dev never goes as planned though, so we’ll have to see. Perhaps I’ll post a loose roadmap at some point.

At any rate, I hope that someone gets something out of these devlogs, and please feel free to comment here or connect with me on twitter or tumblr with your thoughts. I may also start cross-posting these on tigsource, or at least post similar content. I have many thoughts on the project kicking around in my head lately, so you can expect quite a few posts soon. Perhaps some videos as well. Cheers!