Update #34 - Demo update

Demo progress update:

We play the demo daily, ironman-style (since we don't any have save/load functionality yet), then report issues and observations. Naturally, it's a very important step that highlights balance and interface issues, and suggests better ways of doing things. In Jan we fixed a lot of bugs that were getting in the way, implemented textbox messages (now the player gets a full picture of what's going on), reworked feats, and did the first balance pass. Combat is very challenging and even a single opponent can put an end to your career. Going alone against 3 guys tends to result in a very quick death, cover or no cover. The AI flanks you like there's no tomorrow and uses a full range of attacks.

Grenades are done, but we're still working on the visual effects. Gadgets are still not done (didn't have time); we got about half the armor/goggles/gas masks modeled but not textured yet; and we only have a handful of portraits needed for the demo. The demo is in a better shape than it was in Dec, but we aren't there yet.

Anyway, this is boring to write and probably even more boring to read, so let me walk you through some screens instead:

That's the first fight, so you start the demo with traditionally crappy weapons. The damage is about the same, but the rifle has a much better range and slightly better accuracy. As you can see the textbox gives you very detailed info now:

- attack type (tells you how the enemy is fighting)
- attack outcome: critical, hit, graze, or miss (explains the damage or lack thereof)
- damage and DR breakdown (shows the effect of penetration on DR, among other things)
- rolls (I assume it will be easier to accept 3 misses in a row if you see what you're rolling and the breakdown)

I opened the character screen to see how my skills are doing. The character screen is also work in progress, we'll move things around, add more derived stats that should be there, move things driven by equipment like penetration to the inventory screen. Anyway, as you can see, the increase by use functionality is there. In the future we'll add this info to the main gui; here is a rough and somewhat disjointed mockup:

^ you can equip grenades right now; if the belt slots are empty they won't show on the main gui.

Lucky bastard managed to pull off a headshot and scored a critical. Now Titus is dazed and confused, which isn't good. Also, it appears I learned everything John Doe had to teach me about armor (see the learn by use mechanics here).

Things are not going well for Titus but the textbox messages keep me well apprised of the situation. Eventually I managed to kill the bastard, won the next fight against 3 guys (only took me 4 attempts), and moved to fight #3:

After killing this gentleman who was harder than the 3 guys before him combined on account of his shotgun, I finally got me an eager legal assistant by the name of Billy:

That's the aforementioned shotgun aka the Gatling gun: "A replica of the Gatling gun, named after a famous warlord of Old Earth. This multi-barreled tool of destruction brought Gatling great success in one of the home planet's many world wars". At least that's what it says on the box.

Now that you got a party member, the portraits with HP/AP bars appear on the left side for your convenience. You can gain up to 3 party members in the demo; dead party members won't be replaced so you'll have to do your best to keep them alive. That's about it, hope the next update will be a lot more interesting.