Net King’s Call V0.3.8 Devlog

Haven't checked us out on Steam or VoxPop yet? Well...

We’re finally released and ready for purchase! Now you can get a copy of Net King’s Call V0.3.8 for yourself! Being in Early Access, we’ll be making regular updates to the game and doing what we can to make it the most enjoyable experience it can be. To do that however, we’ll need feedback from real players. You can also download our demo to get a feel for the game’s mechanics before you buy!

New Update Video

We’ve made enough progress this time to showcase our updates for Net King’s Call V0.3.8 and some of the previous versions. Check out this neat video to get a quick look at all of the goodies packed inside this update.

Onto the Updates!

There’s been a bit of a gap between updates, but we’ve been using that time to develop various systems further. Big improvements were made to the Grand Network with trading and improved diplomacy, a new unit was added, a new game mode was added, and new sounds/music were implemented.  If you’re more interested in the Update TLDR, scroll down below. You’ll also be able to see the more minor changes we’ve made that don’t exactly warrant a whole section.

The Mimic

What’s in the box? Treasure? Knowledge? A cat? The last one is probably the closest here. We’ve implemented a new unit in Net King’s Call V0.3.8 known as the Mimic. Fantasy monsters are a great inspiration to our unit design, and how could we not add a well known classic? This unit is a bit stranger than the others, being able to absorb enemy attacks with a basic attack. Absorbing attacks will build up charge counters (up to a max of three) which will multiply the damage of the Mimic’s charged projectile attack.

Great for taking the enemy’s attention away from your supports while punishing them heavily in return. This unit will require a bit of skill to use, as the frames for which it can counter an attack take some time to animate into.

Wars and Defending your Network

The defense mode is ready to go, and that means you’ll be forced to keep invaders at bay if you want to maintain control of your network. Factions in this update have the ability to declare war on your if you’re not careful. The reasoning is simple at the moment, mostly being based on how many units you have, what kind of personality they have, and so forth. Doing quests and befriending them make them much less likely to declare war on you at all. 

But if you neglect a faction and take too many high value territories from their reach, they’ll look to challenge your claim as the next Net King. 

In the defense mode, it plays out very similarly to an invasion. This time you’re defending of course, and your goal is to eliminate all the enemy units from the board. The task should be simple enough assuming you have some units and spells ready to go.

New Quests

It’s been our intent for a while to add more quests to the game, in order to provide clear objectives and progress the story of Net King’s Call. For the most part the quest system is ready to handle multiple quests of different types. We’re giving the minor/generated faction quests first in order to explore their use and how it can be used to create interesting gameplay scenarios. Our quests at the moment are as follows:

>Capture X number of territories.

>Defeat X faction.

>Generate X amount of Net Coins.

>Research X technology.

>Train X amount of units of type Y.

>Unlock X number of technologies.

In the future we hope to create more interesting and dynamic quests which may include playing through an invasion or other game type. Sort of like a “challenge” mission you might find in a game like Advance Wars, with the benefit of increasing your relations with a faction.

Trading System

Taking a bit of inspiration from some of our favorite 4X strategy games, a trading system feels like something which should have been included a bit ago. Now you can trade resources with the AI factions that surround you. Tradeable resources include units, net coins, and in the future there will be “treaties” or “deals” that you can make through trading.

One of these deals we are currently developing is the “Scholarly Server” which will boost your research point generation by a percent. However, the AI will also be boosted and both sides will need to contribute net coins to its maintenance. If this requirement is not met, the deal will be removed along with its bonus. This will also possibly lead to worsening relations if you were the one to miss payments!

Update TLDR

+Added the Mimic!

+Added declarations of war and peace treaties.

+Added Defense game mode, factions at war with you can force you to choose between surrendering or defending your territory.

+Added trading system to faction diplomacy.

+Added new (generated) quests for different faction “personality” types.

+Added more faction spawns on the map.

+Added new track for the Hub map type.

+Improved strategic board camera controls and added zoom.

+Implemented new sounds for Medusa, Bishop, and Centaur.

+Implemented new sound for charging.

+Added fill-in boxes for processing assignment.

+Swordsman no longer has invulnerability to projectiles while charge attacking.

+Changed main campaign tutorial to have less enemy units.

+Reduced Archer arrow speed.

 

Bug fixes and known bugs

+Fixed bug where all player units in battle would have the same status effects (if one got petrified, they’d all be petrified, etc.)

+Fixed bug where pathing enemies on the strategic board would sometimes crash the game when trying to get to a building occupied by a player squad.

+Optimized enemy pathing to prevent conga lines from occurring as often.

+Fixed bug with quick saves not storing the game data for the Grand Network properly.

+Fixed bug where music would not play properly in certain circumstances.

+Fixed an issue with the “Virtual Private Network” technology that would reveal the entire map instead of just 2 spaces away from a player tile in the Grand Network.

 

Developer Thoughts:

"I really hate making tutorials" - Anthony

Don’t get me wrong, tutorials are incredibly important, especially when games have complicated systems. However due to having so many buttons on a keyboard, it might be confusing to some where to place their hands, even if they’ve already seen the tutorial. Plus from testing, it seems a player can read the text and immediately forget the information they’ve read. As frustrating as this is, we’ll need to create constant reminders in the tutorial to always let the player know what they need to be doing, as they go through it. For any other developers reading this, I suppose this was obvious, and I hope it was a good laugh.

What's Coming Up

Terrain Updates, Guarding, etc.

Our main focus for the next update will be integrating terrain cover bonuses for ranged attacks to give units more survivability when shot at from afar. This means it’ll be quite important where you place your units on the map, instead of always taking the fastest path to the castle.

AI Spell Casting

So far, the AI has not been able to use spells against the player, when it definitely makes sense that they would. We’ve been deliberating on ways to make this fair, but threatening, and are planning to include this update with the terrain/cover bonus update. This way as a player, you’ll be able to have some safer zones to pass through as you progress across the map.

Story Implementation

It’s critical at this point that we implement the story of Net King’s Call more than it has been. We’ve been tied up fixing bugs and testing for release to make sure gameplay is solid enough, but this came at the cost of major story elements being in the game. We hope by the next update that we add in more narrative for our players to enjoy and get immersed in.

VoxPop Games is pretty cool, go check them out

If you haven’t heard of a company called VoxPop Games and are a streamer, game developer, or PC gamer, keep reading. They’re creating a brand new online distribution platform for video games, similar to Steam, Itch.io, Gamejolt, etc. The goal of this platform is to create a new source of revenue for streamers with a peer to peer model. Streamers and users can promote games, while developers can set aside future gains for these groups in order to get more exposure, helping everyone in the process. Of course the people at VoxPop know better than we do on this subject and you can find them linked below.

https://www.voxpopgames.net/

Wrapping Up

Thanks for reading through the Net King’s Call V0.3.8 Devlog! If you want to follow and have some influence on our development, you can join us on Discord, follow us on Twitter, and participate in discussion on Steam and VoxPop Games. A link to our Discord server will be posted below. Feel free to ask us any questions or send us any feedback you may have!

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