Zombotron - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Sin Vega)

Oh, the many things I cannot tell you, readers! They are many, and they are things. One thing I can tell you is that argh, howl, yes, I am indeed working on the enormous pile of hundreds upon hundreds of indie games that are surely aiming to destroy me. The second thing is that it’s time once more for the world famous round-up of the best indie games on Steam that, round here, we call Unknown Pleasures.

Maintaining a stoic silence this week: spikey frights, fighty tykes, and flighty sprites.

(more…)

A Legionary's Life - Sertorius
Lately, I've been mostly busy with the phalanx combat. It's not something you'll find in this update, as you will meet the Macedonian phalanx in the third and last campaign which has not been released yet, but I had to make sure it would work properly before moving on to other things.

It was a bit tricky to design and balance this new kind of combat, because there is going to be at least one or possibly two mandatory fights against the phalanx. Players with very different Skill levels could reach that stage of the game and even legionaries on the lower end of the spectrum should have a fair chance to survive with a very careful approach. Characters with superb Skills might attempt something more "heroic" if they feel like it, like trying to cut their way through the spear wall and engage the phalangites in close quarters.

As for today's update, let's see what's new in version 0.11.5:
  • The weight of Attitude in combat has been increased by 60%. A very defensive Attitude won't make you 100% safe, but it should improve your survival rate. Remember that Attitude is a double-edged weapon: if you are aggressive, you will see your chance to hit go up, but you will be more exposed than before, so be careful.
  • The probability to improve your mental Attributes after leading a successful foraging mission or after a display of good leadership has been increased. The chance of *not* improving any Attribute is now about 20%; it was 35% before this change. As always, the odds of improving will gradually go down as your current values grow more distant from the initial ones; this process is so slow that you probably won't notice any difference for a while.
  • Attributes that are suffering penalties due to equipment are highlighted in red.
  • One of the branches of the battle at the end of Part V, specifically the one that involves staying in the ranks, lacked an appropriate reduction of Fatigue at the end. Now you should get a little rest before the next onslaught.
  • There are two new random events. One of them only triggers if you have the rank of optio.
  • The sound effect for shield blocks has been changed.
  • I have made some changes to the engine regarding the way the Hall of Fame and saved games are handled.

I would appreciate any feedback, especially on the balance related changes. Once again, thanks for your support and encouragement.
A Legionary's Life - Sertorius
Improvements:

  • You can use hotkeys to select combat actions and activities during the "Lull" phase. You can press Ctrl at any time to highlight the available hotkeys.
  • Combat Tutorial: the first time you enter the melee phase of a fight, you will see a detailed tutorial. It is automatically disabled when closed, but can be reactivated in the Options dialogue.
  • Shared kills: when an enemy has suffered any kind of successful attack from both you and an ally (resisted Feints and Shield attacks do not count as successful), it won't matter who landed the killing blow: the kill is always counted as *shared*. All bonuses and points are halved (and rounded up, where necessary). This makes combat with allies feel more cooperative, as the "race" for the killing blow was admittedly frustrating.
  • There's a new Help in the Character screen.

Kills missed because of a sudden rotation have been reported as annoying by several players. For this reason, two measures have been implemented:

  • An alert will appear three rounds before a rotation happens.
  • In addition to the above, if you reduce an opponent's health to less than half its full value when you are rotated, you will receive half the bonuses for a kill (rounded up). The opponent will also figure in your list of vanquished enemies with the prefix *Wounded*.
    The only circumstance in which this does not apply is if a companion helped in the fight. In other words, a vanquished entry that is both *Shared* and *Wounded* won't count, as that would be way too cheap (it's a very rare scenario anyway.).

Changes:
  • The Help shown during foraging missions should be more informative.
  • The minimum amount of settlements appearing has been increased by 1, while the Intellect influence on the time spent to gather supplies and the Awareness influence on the collected amount of supplies have been halved. With these changes, the overall difficulty shouldn't change for expert player, but it should be more accessible to new players.
  • It is now rarer to skip two or more combat rounds in a row (i.e. the Quickness check is much easier to pass after the first failure).
  • The militiamen in the very first fight have "Content" Morale instead of "High". This should make the battle a little easier.
  • The Shield Skill check used in the "safe" option when assaulting the walls of New Carthage is now easier than before.
  • The frontal assault during the second battle lasts two rotations instead of three.
  • In the alternative route of the same battle, the Fatigue penalty for failing the Endurance check during the flanking maneuver has been reduced.
  • The Morale penalty you receive for failing to understand what's going on at Ilipa has been reduced.
  • The loss of Morale after wounds is now constant rather than random.
  • The "bandits" random event won't trigger unless you have a Rank or your Sword and Shield Skills are both at least 35.




A Legionary's Life - Sertorius
I've just released a very minor update to solve a potential compatibility issue with imported saves from the demo. Besides, the demo is now available directly from Steam.

For the time being, I'm focusing on what can be improved based on the feedback I received.
Thank you all for your support.
A Legionary's Life - Sertorius
Version 0.9.3 is out, and with it the long awaited Early Access begins.

The game follows closely the events of the Second Punic War from a Roman conscript soldier's point of view, but there are also many random incidents and encounters. A further campaign set in Macedonia is planned for the full version.

The turn-based combat system is quite complex under the hood, but it's easy to learn and interpret thanks to ever-present indicators and tooltips.

Feedback and opinions are welcome.
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