It’s been some time since I wrote a post for this blog – mostly I tend to post updates on the Twitter account or directly to the game’s Discord server (link to join is in the Steam discussion board for the game) – but the end of 2021 seemed like a good opportunity for a longer post on my plans for the game in the new year.
Armoured Commander II was released on Steam out of Early Access in September of this year and since then has gotten quite a few updates. My current plan is to finish the game by the end of August 2022, although I’ll continue to provide bug fixes and general maintenance after that time. My hope is that by then I’ll be able to add everything I wanted to the game, and will have at least laid the groundwork for further additions in the form of community mods.
There are nine general areas where I will focus my development work over the next few months, presented here in no particular order:
I have at the moment a list of a few bugs that need to be addressed in the next minor update, and I expect that bugs will continue to be reported through the new year. The Discord community has been especially helpful in this, since they can report an issue quickly and I can usually address it in a hotfix in fairly short order. As new features get added, new bugs appear, so this will be an ongoing task for me throughout the new year.
Quality of Life Improvements
Again, this is an area where the Discord and Steam communities have been very helpful, since they have suggested interface and display changes that have ended up greatly improving the game. Even minor things like changing a display colour can greatly improve the overall experience of the game. This also includes minor changes to gameplay, such as a recent change where I removed Overrun as a separate command and turned it into an action under the Drive command. The player can still perform the same type of attack, but now it’s much more flexible in terms of when and how it’s used. I’ll continue to make these sorts of changes wherever possible.
There’s still a number of unit types that have been suggested on the Discord and/or have portraits ready to go but still need to be added to the game. Many of these were historically quite common, while others were very rare, but all of them have a place in this expansive game.
This is a mechanic that I’ve been working on for a while – to have gun tractors spawn with gun units, and give them the ability to tow the gun around the scenario map if needed. I’ve already added some elements of this but still need to finish it off. This will bring in some interesting game choices, such as whether it’s better to target a gun tractor first and thus remove the gun’s mobility.
I’ve already added a new region and two new campaigns set in the South Pacific, but there’s much more to do in this area. Although tanks were not very well suited to the terrain of the Pacific islands, they still played an important role in many important battles. Already the unique features of the region and the forces involved have created a new type of game experience in the Battle of Luzon campaigns.
Late War Campaigns
There’s a few important areas of the war that are not yet represented in the game, such as late-war Italy, and the Finnish-Soviet front. I definitely want to add these before I can call the game complete.
Campaign Random Events
This is something I may or may not end up adding, but I had an idea to have a random modifier apply to some or all campaign days. For example, you might be told that today is a decisive battle, and so receive a VP bonus; or you might be offered amphetamines for your tank crew, which reduces fatigue but increases the odds of critical failures. These would add a little more variety to different campaign days, even if you’ve played the same day mission before.
There’s many aspects of the game that are either missing sound effects altogether or are still using rather generic effects. I’ll continue to add these as needed, and hopefully in time the soundscape of the game will be much more mature.
This is a feature from the original Armoured Commander game, which is to have a visual depiction of the region and your location within it. All campaigns currently provide a geographical location for each campaign week, so adding this should just be a matter of creating the PETSCI consoles for each region, and providing the game with the appropriate geographical references.
There’s also a few other areas that I would like to work on, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to before the end of the summer. The Second Sino-Japanese War, the Spanish Civil War, and the Korean War are all settings that would fit well within the game. Some work on these has already been done on the Discord server, so perhaps the players will have already completed these before I can get to them myself.
In any case, it should be an eventful first half of 2022 as I continue to develop Armoured Commander II, and hopefully help it grow into the completed game that I had envisioned years ago.