Tactical Breach Wizards - Pentadact
At the start of the video we put up yesterday I said you'd be breaching 'drug dens and terrorist hideouts' - that's actually not a great characterisation of what we have planned, and a few comments made me realise it might have given the wrong impression. So I thought I'd go into some more detail about our current ideas for who you'll be fighting and why. It's all very likely to change, of course, but it might give a better sense of the tone we're going for.

You're a team of rogue agents - you don't work for any government or organisation, and you've all left your various jobs to deal with urgent personal crises by breaking into rooms and knocking people through windows. The two characters we've shown are the cop-like ones, but the other four have backgrounds in guerilla resistance, military, medicine, and 'ambiguous', respectively.

These are the ideas we have for who you might be fighting:

The Rival Team
My favourite idea so far for a main antagonist is not one villain but a whole rogue team just like yours, but more ruthless. They do kill, and the bloody wake of their operations is what motivates some of your characters to join your team and help track them.

The Chapel
A major global power, a state with a strictly enforced national religion, which has invaded and occupied various other countries around the world. Riot Priests are their enforcers, and yours turned on them to save her (adult) daughter in a protest. Her daughter survived but was captured, so she joins your team to get your help fighting the Chapel to break her out.

Cops
Witch Cop comes from a less oppressive nation than the Chapel, but the realities of the police force she joined there left her conflicted. 'By the book' vs not was probably not the right term for their differences - I think it'll be more that their book does not fit her own ethics. You'll sometimes be fighting her former colleagues to bust someone out of jail, and sometimes because, you know, everything you do in the game is illegal.

The Druid Mafia
This one is still in flux, but I like the idea of druids in expensive suits using their plant magic to out-produce rival drug cartels, cutting their cocaine with unicorn bone and corn starch. What's your beef with the Druid Mafia? I don't know yet, but it won't just be to stop their operations - you're not law enforcement, your missions are more personal.

The enemies shown in the video, by the way, aren't from these factions (except the Riot Priest obviously). We just needed to start making enemies before we had any concrete concepts nailed down.

In general we want to pit you against people who have power, and abuse it. Your team, of course, are inherently powerful, and questions of whether you're abusing that power are something I'd like to feature - if you've played Gunpoint, you've got an idea of how complicit I like the player to feel.

But we'll need to be careful, when borrowing the trappings of real-world armed authorities, that we don't glamourise real-world violence with how we depict it in our dumb game about wizards. We'll be keeping that in mind more as we make the game, and in how we choose to show it.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1043810/Tactical_Breach_Wizards/
Tactical Breach Wizards

Tom Francis, former PC Gamer editor and developer of Gunpoint and Heat Signature, released a ten minute video of gameplay footage from his next game, Tactical Breach Wizards, a turn-based strategy featuring cops with magical powers taking down drug dealers and terrorists. Think Doorkickers but with lightning bolts and transmutation spells. The video (above) is narrated by Tom as he shows how the game works runs two of the wizards though a couple of levels.

If you've played Tom's earlier games, it's not a huge surprise that the first action shown is a 'Riot Priest'—a wizard brandishing a huge riot shield—knocking a bad guy through a window. Knocking people through windows is sort of Tom's thing. The other character shown in the video is the Witch Cop, who plays by the rules to the extent that she only gains mana by not using excessive force. Knocking that bad guy out the window is over the top for Witch Cop, but when she does two damage to an enemy with two health, she does gain mana for only using the necessary amount of force. Mana can be spent on special spells, such as a chain lightning bolt shown in the video's second level.

In an effort to encourage experimentation, the rewind button shown in the video isn't just a development tool for demonstration purposes, but an actual feature of Tactical Breach Wizards. Players will be able to undo their moves and rewind the mission at will.

"This rewinding stuff, it obviously makes the game a bit easier," Francis says in the video. "There's less kind of stakes to each action you take. You're free to just play around and try stuff. And I actually don't want the game to be very difficult to complete because it's going to be a story driven experience."

Yes, Tactical Breach Wizards, a turn-based strategy about magical cops infiltrating terrorist lairs, is story driven. Each wizard cop you recruit ("I think there's going to be about six of them," Francis says) will have their own backstory and personality, and he'd prefer it if players get to experience the full story. To reward those who want to challenge themselves, players can earn style points by completing missions efficiently and with fewer moves. Style points will unlock outfits and cosmetics for the wizard cops.

At least that's the plan for the moment. Tom is careful to note on the Tactical Breach Wizards Steam page that the game is still being developed "so everything about it might change!"

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