Star Renegades Dev Log #2
⭐ Heeeeeey Renegades ⭐
It’s been a while! So this devlog is going to be a B I G one. The last few months have been one heck of a ride preparing for Gamescom and PAX back to back. Just wanted to give you all a bit of an update as to what we’ve been working on and what’s coming up next!
First off, we’d like to thank you awesome folks for sticking with us on this dev journey. During these past few months, we’ve recruited at least 2500+ fine rebels to join the Star Renegades community mailing list from CGX, Montreal Comiccon, Gamescom, and PAX! Your support resonates so much with us, and we cannot be more excited to show you what we’ve been working on!
Anyways, before we get started on all that, here’s a montage of pics of usssss!
Please note: all of this could be subject to change because we’re still iterating on many aspects of the game
We’ve been describing Star Renegades as a tactical rogue-like squad-based RPG (sounds like a mouthful right?!). In our screenshots and videos, you see a lot of squad turn-based combat going on, but what we haven’t shown online yet is some of the underlying systems that make our gameplay more robust.
To give you a rundown of our demo, here were the highlights we chose to showcase:
- Overland Travel Map Functions
- Character Progression and Camaraderie System
- Equipment and Merchant System
- Story-based Events (will be proc-gen in final version)
- Combat Loop
For the demos we took to Gamescom and PAX, we wanted to basically show off our core combat loop and watched peoples’ reactions to the mechanics. So far so gooood! This slice of our demo took our players on a journey through the explorable overland map to beat the Big Bad Bomb Boss Jomath. It was incredibly difficult to beat at first (something only Peter and Garry could beat aka difficulty level: insane genius) and the success completion rate was 3% on the first day for our players. We had to bug Peter to decrease the HP and shield amounts for certain mobs so that the rest of us normal people could enjoy the game a taaaaaad bit longer before getting wrecked- haha.
Despite some random bugs that we encountered here and there, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive so we think we’re on the right track! We totally loved how small groups of friends would walk by our booth, stop, do a double-take on Bryan’s pixel art process (we had him work on more Star Renegades characters and livestreamed it onto our TV), and sat down together at one of our stations to figure out how to beat Jomath- the final boss in our demo.
Our demo ran through one rebellion cycle or at least 30 minutes if you’ve been hanging on (even by a thread). The beauty of it is that you could win a fight, but lose half your squad, yet land on a node with a merchant and hire new mercenaries to keep on going. We’ve seen some players come back with one player left only to hire a new squad with new equipment. We also had two selectable squads from the start (different from our CGX demo), which offered different strategies to beat enemies. In the full game, you must defeat the Tyrant (not in demo) to bring a period of peace (20 years) before the next Tyrant rises up and rebuilds The Imperium.
The UI is something we’ve thrown together as placeholder while we tested out the combat, so it is already something we’re polishing for our next milestone. We know that improvements needed to be made with equipping items, hiring mercenaries, and leveling up heroes even before showing our demo, but focused primarily on combat mechanics and feel for this demo.
In the next section, I’ll be talking about the game outlined in a bit of high-level detail.
Overland Travel Map Functions
In our CGX demo, we put people through the tutorial. We had a sort of holographic-looking map with three nodes that you can travel to. It was pretty simple. However, since Bryan, Colin, and myself (Jacq) are avid lovers of JRPGs, we fell in the love with the idea of an overland travel map heavily inspired by Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy. We wanted all our players to feel like they’ve been hit right in the feels with JRPG nostalgia as they are exploring a giant map with their squad. Sooo we had a huge overhaul with the art, animations, and node mapping for the travel screen. It was a huuuge hit, as we saw many peeps stop at our booth to watch the gameplay video playing on loop.
Character Progression and Camaraderie System
In this demo, players were able to level up their characters and unlock more abilities with EXP they have obtained from fights and random narrative events. During combat, if your characters attack in a specific sequence, a camaraderie bonus unlocks between them. YEessss that’s right!! <3 This reveals a new duo combo attack between both chosen partners. We were very much inspired by Fire Emblem to implement this sort of relationship system, and plan to insert more supporting narrative to give our characters that extra flavour.
Equipment and Merchant System
Our equipment system works similarly to Diablo in which the traits for the weapons/armour can fully transform your skills. For example, the Enlightenment Chip transforms all single target buffs to AoE but loses 50% of its potency (still a great item though). This item is particularly strong on Xurx with his shield-generating abilities and attack buffs. We have little trade offs on traits on items so that no one item can make a character too OP (no winfinity gauntlets here sorry!).
Many people have asked whether or not Star Renegades will have a linear storyline with multiple endings. That’s still something we’re deciding at this moment. For the full game, Star Renegades will contain a multigenerational storyline. In our current demo, there are narrative events that pop up on each node your squad travels to. These events are procedurally generated and can alter the course of your mission based on what you choose to do. Right now, we’re leaning towards not having a rigid linear story, but rather supply our players with elements in game that allow themselves to tell their own story. That way, players have individual stories that they get to personally craft around each rebellion and the emergent story that is driven by the Rebellion Engine’s procedurally generated content, enemies, loot, and events.
So our combat is based around an info-centric (Peter: that sounds like a hip millennial term) battle system where you see your enemies plot their actions on the timeline. Interrupting, defending, and guarding are suuuper important in combat. If you don’t interrupt the Firewulf’s Immolate skill, your team will get roasted. And ooohhh boy- we’ve seen lots of peeps get punished when they weren’t careful in planning their next turn.
Oh and you’ll never have to worry about whether your heavy attacks will miss an enemy because there is no RNG in combat. Everything is under your control on the battlefield. You are the master tactician (so if your squad wipes, that is 10000% on you 😛)
Sooo this is what’s available in our demo for now. Of course we have a few other systems that we’re working on (that we’re keeping under wraps for now), but we definitely would like to tighten up and balance combat a bit more as well as heavily refactor our controls for UI and repolish all of our current windows. These are the things we will be working on for our Closed Alpha (ETA: to be determined)! Everyone on the team is working very hard to get Star Renegades to a playable state for our fans.
AAAAAAAND… when that happens, shortly after we’ll be ready for our first Star Renegades Closed Beta! WOOOOoo. To get in on this exclusive opportunity, make sure you sign up on our Mailing List and join our Discord for announcements as we get closer to that date! We will also be drawing some names for raffles to win a copy of Star Renegades as well. We’ll be posting announcements on our Twitter and Facebook and Steam as well so make sure you’re following us to get these updates!
Also, here are some pre-alpha reviews we’d like to share with you:
“This is the best game of the whole [Gamescom] show.” – Dedicated Fan (who came back five times to beat the demo with a different squad and also brought his brother to play)
“I like how there is no RNG. Everything is under my control. If I lose, I accept that it is entirely my fault.” – Awesome Fan of no RNGesus
“I may need to abduct your pixel artist :P” – Facebook Fan (jokingly of course)
Aaaand that’s it for now folks! Thanks for joining our community and tuning in to our channel to hear what we have to say. We’re well on our way to working on our next milestone, but we’ll be sharing secret snippets with peeps in our mailing list! So make sure you sign up for that 🙂
Cheers from your friendly neighbourhood Community Manager ❤,
P.S. Ummm sooooo…. Peter and Garry are STILL duking it out (since February 😮) for using “Read-and-React” vs. “Reactive Time Battle System” to describe our current combat system lol.. * P L E A S E * HELP US OUT and vote for either one of the terms and explain why you like it?? Thank youuu!
P.P.S. We’ve finally watched Avengers: Infinity War. On the plane. To Gamescom❗