Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Hey folks,

We have a noticeable UI change coming this week, so I thought it might be good to explain the difference(s) so that you guys will know what’s happening and, hopefully, will be able to help us put it through the paces in our next round of playtesting. (Patch notes won’t do this one justice!)


This is a general term for (you guessed it!) things that you can interact with in the game. This includes chests, corpses, harvestables, statues, banks, etc. Now that every wall and tower asset in the game needs be built using harvested or collected resources, the number of interactables skyrocketed, the damn game is sick with ‘em! As a result, the interface needed some adjustment.


Until now, we used an interaction-radius to trigger the F (or G) to Interact prompt. It was a little wonky, especially when different environmental assets had overlapping spheres of influence (like boulders and trees clumped tightly together). You could inadvertently start harvesting the wrong thing – or trigger a teleport gate when you intended to upgrade a wall.


To clean that up, we now use the targeting reticle (within a minimum distance) to determine exactly which Interactable you want to trigger. If you want to upgrade a tower, you point your targeting reticle at that tower, etc. There are still a few interactables that are based on positioning within a radius of the object (such as the teleport locations that zip you through gates) but these are now the exception, not the rule.

In addition, we added a slight highlight to the object being targeted. When assets are close together, this highlight gives you warning so you can adjust your aim before you Interact.

Note that this change requires us to go back and make a small modification to all the interactable art assets… so not all of them will light up immediately. In priority order, we’re going to start with the harvestables, then the construction state assets, then the completed buildings. (We aren’t doing targeted PCs or NPCs yet – let’s see if we like it before we go beyond interactables.)


We’re also limiting which interactions are available to you during combat. If you want to capture a Fort or Keep, this is now an out-of-combat action, which means it will be risky to do this if enemy combatants are nearby. We’re also limiting the asset construction window (which is used to feed resources to buildings and walls) to out-of-combat mode, because fighting happens in and around these assets, and we don’t want the interaction prompts and highlighted assets to distract from combat.

Interactions that are combat-related (such as looting corpses, chests, using siege weapons and teleporting through gates) are still allowed during combat.


Interactions will now break stealth (with the exception of looting chests or corpses and using gates). Yes, this includes capture interactions.


The length of the F to Interact timers was generally in the range of 3-5 seconds. We took a hatchet to them, because they were annoying.


To new testers, this will all probably seem pretty normal. To returning players, you’ll likely forget that some interactions require you to leave combat mode – so try and keep that in mind before you run to the forums and report that XYZ interactable is no longer working.

That’s it for today! Thanks again as always, and keep up the testing because it’s pushing us ever-closer to our first real Campaign Test!

See you in game….

J. Todd Coleman

Creative Director, ArtCraft Entertainment

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