Post Summer Plans

Ahoy there. Hope you all had a good summer. As often before; apologies for being rather quiet for the past couple of months. The reason is the same as usual – daily life threw a massive amount of work at me just before summer. I had hoped to get some time to work on P&T2 during the holidays, but I found that I needed to recharge the batteries, so the pace of work was rather slow. I did go to see a Captain Sabertooth show with the kids, though, which was pretty awesome and pirate-y.

Summer’s over now, and though I’m still unconscionably busy at work, development on P&T2 is getting back up to speed and I want the game to be feature complete by the end of the year. And the next update is going to be… huge.

To begin with, the combat engine will get released. You probably won’t encounter it very often at first, as there’ll only be a couple of events that can trigger it, but I will be adding more and more events as the game engine gets more and more thoroughly tested, including starting to introduce some of the multi-part stories intended for this game.

In addition, I plan to introduce a “flag” mechanic into the game, which will allow you to “choose” who you represent at any given point in time. Once that is implemented, it’s (almost) open season for port assaults.

Finally, I am planning two major changes to the game mechanics. One is the player skills – they’re getting revamped and somewhat streamlined. I’ll be removing some skills and combining others, so that it’s hopefully more intuitive how each skill is useful. I’m also considering going back to a “buy skill for XP” system rather than the current semi-random system, but I haven’t made a final decision on that yet.

The second change (and this is really major), is that I’ll be changing the scale used for trade goods. The old system had a “hidden” granularity for trade goods, such that each 1 “tonne” of food was actually 1000 units (most noticeable with food and ammo). This system is changed and made explicit; each unit of a trade good now represents 1 “stone” weight and trade goods are now bought and sold by the “barrel”; with each barrel being equivalent to 100 “stones”. Naturally, prices and ship capacities will be adjusted too.

The old system would have necessitated converting between two different scales for trade goods, since 1 unit of food in the old system would have required 50-60 crew to carry and would quickly have been <1 since some of it would be consumed during travels. The new system allows trade goods to be transferred from ship to land expedition and back again, without any hidden fractions – and allows the player to land with just a few accomplices – or a 1000-man expeditionary force.

To summarize, these are the things rolling in to the next update:

  • Combat system switched on
  • Changed skills
  • Changes to trade goods

These things will follow soon after:

  • Flag system (select which nationality you’re running)
  • Land movement
  • New stories made possible by the combat system finally being available

As ever, thanks for your patience.