Apartment detailing by Daniel Allen:
Recent community posts
I'll try and go through your list and give you some answers and the general direction SM2 is going in.
There should be an option to downsize the UI in the settings. The galaxy map is implemented the way it is to accommadate specific gameplay features that are not yet implemented.
You can customize most of the marines that is not the Commander/player, excluding stats like Aggression. You can still change the name, portrait, and gear of each marine (according to their class).
You have a few questions about the gameplay that make me unsure how to answer you. You can play 95% of the game purely with the mouse, I believe the only functionalities that requires the keyboard is entering marine names, panning the camera, and issuing Delhi space strikes. Panning the camera can mostly be accomplished via cycling between marines and the camera orbit buttons on the bottom right, although that's clearly not the exact same functionality.
Three active skills is a game design constraint because there are other options each marine has that they didn't have in SM1, specifically door opening triggers and a larger pool of abilities each marine can acquire. Between class weapon effects, head/body targeting, and the potential pool of abilities, there are far more options a SM2 marine has than a SM1 marine did.
Quite a few people have expressed a desire for the full squad portrait on the tactical field and is something I am reworking at the moment.
I am not sure if there is an issue with your download/install, because there are quite a few tooltips implemented, including how to open doors (of you mouse over them), so possibly you should reinstall the game?
Thanks for all the feedback! I don't think I can address all of that individually, but I will speak about some of them more specifically, and I'd like to make a few comments on the overall design of the game to inform that.
Steam Marines 2 is intended to be a permadeath game. The systems are balanced around the player not reloading saves just because something goes wrong. This is unlikely to change.
I agree the user interface needs a lot of work: it's my main focus at the moment! A note: by default the action cam should be enabled, not sure why yours was not, but it does make the (default) targeting much more clear. I'm not sure why the tooltip is showing under your icons, or why the door tooltip is displaying an incorrect keybind - I'll look into that.
There are issues with stacking unit portraits on the tactical field the way you have depicted, specifically health, armor, and attack values are displayed as pips and can, as the game progresses, get large which means they run more to the right and would overlap the other portraits. I could stack them vertically (this is what I did in Steam Marines 1) but my main issue was that many players complained because 1) they found duplicated information on screen, and 2) they found themselves looking between the portraits and tactical field double checking.
Creating a full squad at the start of the game was something I wrestled with in Steam Marines 1 as well. The main problems were that you could make the early game pretty degenerate, and this also tended to flood new players with too much information.
I'm not telling this to suggest you're wrong - a lot of this will be subjective from player to player. I'm just supplying my reasoning and past experience trying other things :P
I am very glad you gave me so much feedback about your user interface/experience impressions and I will definitely take that into account moving forward!
Unless specifically noted game updates should not break save files. However, a game version update will make your save out of date.
Editing your Save.bum file to change the SaveVersion line (the second line of the save file) to the currently installed version of Steam Marines 2 should allow the game to load the file correctly, for example SaveVersion v0.7.0a to SaveVersion v0.7.1a
The Save.bum file, as well as other config files, can be located at the following locations:
Windows: "\Users\<User>\AppData\Roaming\Worthless Bums\Steam Marines 2\"
Mac: "~/Library/Application Support/Worthless Bums/Steam Marines 2/"
Lin: "~/home/<User>/.config/Worthless Bums/Steam Marines 2/"
- Implemented Boose Bomb ability: adds an additional space strike (if under max!)
- Implemented Leadership Whitepaper ability: grants +1 Empathy.
- Implemented Ma Peis Black Hole ability: a miniature black hole that devours units near it.
- Implemented Ammaal's Petal ability: has a mysterious effect.
- Implemented Marine Beacon ability: warps in a friendly marine unit if the roster is not full (current max of 6).
- Decreased Atomport skill cost from 5 Action to 4 Action.
- All starting skills for all marine classes are now 4 or less Action to use to improve the overall quality of abilities marines start with. Some abilities may still require 1 or more Attack.
- Added more marine lines of dialogue/barks.
- Bugfix: Ripsaw animations not always firing.
- Bugfix: Grenadier splash damage not always triggering when the primary target dies.
- Bugfix: Overlays not persisting correctly through marine attack states.
- Bugfix: Player/enemy turn text not always showing during the start of turns.
- Bugfix: Prevents a marine moving to a floor tile when in an angled camera orbit and a door node partially obscures that floor tile.
- Bugfix: Tooltip for Armor Plating skill says increases Armor by 1 even though it actually increases by 2.
- Player run scores now implemented, accessible via the main menu.
- Scores are now displayed between each level, and when the player loses and wins the game.
- Unit Info Panels will now obscure game world objects less, although there is no "smart" positioning.
- Unit Info Panels will now temporarily toggle off when entering targeting mode.
- Unit Info Panels will now retain the last mode the player manually set it to when leaving targeting mode.
- Improved performance of tile nodes, unit info panels, and tooltips for low end machines and Mac.
- Changed the "AlphaSquad" developer console command to also grant action and attack to all marines.
- Updated game win message with state of the game and score information.
- Bugfix: Ripsaw tooltips will now properly show when the cursor is moused over them on the tactical field.
- Bugfix: Player/Enemy end turn messages not always appearing in some cases.
- Bugfix: Action panel buttons should now always re-appear after the end of an enemy turn.
- Bugfix: Some event log messages were appearing out of order from the actual events.
- Bugfix: Engineer Tier 2 Helmet not always displaying correctly in the squad manager (stats were applied correctly).
- Unit info panels are now on by default.
- Overlay toggle button added to tactical field.
- New tactical field UI.
- Added new marine attack icons distinct per class.
- New resource icons.
- Fog of war is now less CPU intensive.
- Performance tweaks for low end machines and Mac users.
- Bugfix: Fixed Tier 2 Grenadier armor arms not always spawning in correct position until the marine moves.
- Bugfix: Fixed overlapping targeting UI elements on escape menu.
- Bugfix: Fixed possibly stutter until game restart on Linux when using grenades too quickly.
- Bugfix: Color coordinated side panel resource text colors and overlays.
- Bugfix: Armor rating updating more timely in the UI when using armor boosting skills.
- Bugfix: Fixed occasional shotgun sfx delay when a Leader class marine is firing into closely packed enemies.
- Implemented camera pan movement controls to setup > Keybindings.
- Fixed various UI elements possibly blocking other elements in certain resolutions.
- Exposed more developer console debug tools to players (documentation forthcoming).
- Added a message to screen when the game is saving in the combat scene.
- Added another tier of marine weapons that can be found in treasure chests.
- Added enemy unit camera tracking, enabled/disabled in Settings > Gameplay.
- Added more information to the marine targeting panel, such as marine class effects.
- Added more information and color coded enemy unit tooltips.
- Certain explanation text clarified, e.g. marine tooltip accuracy now specifies base accuracy.
- Changed the way certain sound effects were played so they were not dependent on player camera distance.
- Fog of war slightly tweaked to show doors more clearly when marines are in hallways with doors just within sight range.
- Reduced delay in UI scaling when running certain hardware setups and resolutions when first loading the tactical scene.
- Various performance tweaks for low to high end machines.
- Bugfix: Treasure chests and alien merchants sometimes spawning at incorrect height positions.
- Bugfix: Alien merchant colliders sometimes being too large and triggering off marines on far away tiles.
- Bugfix: Skill icons 4, 5, and 6 ordered correctly from left to right instead of right to left.
- Bugfix: Marine dialogue not always firing on picking up items.
- Bugfix: Linux and Mac builds should have resolution being saved correctly to file for wide screen windowed resolutions.
- Linux/Ubuntu 14.04 LTS support.
- The environment/move keybinds have been renamed to select/interact to clarify what those actually do. Additionally opening doors has been moved into the interact keybinding both for correctness and to prevent players from accidentally deselecting their marine(s).
- New event log in tactical field.
- Randomize names button in Commander creation screen.
- New targeting panel UI shader.
- Targeting panel UI bottom now clamps lower to prevent blocking target sight.
- Added armor rating to selected unit panel resource lines.
- Added the gameplay option UI Constant Size toggle.
- Added queuing system to unit dialogue boxes so getting spammed with dialogue will not almost instantly hide previous recent dialogue.
- Lowered the average damage per attack of enemy units across the board. Some units have had accuracy or crit values increased to compensate.
- Bugfix: Enemy units would not reset to idle animations after certain attack situations.
- Bugfix: Single click would sometimes open a door and move the marine onto the new floor space.
- Bugfix: Sometimes marine temporary attack effects would not wear off after attacking.
- Bugfix: Brainien firing through multiple walls, typically targeting the marine Commander.
- Bugfix: Some enemy melee attacks sometimes playing flamethrower sound effects.
- Fixed Guard tooltip to correctly say the skill requires 4 Action.
- Renamed some grenade skills to bombs to better reflect their in-game use.
Thanks for the feedback! I agree the UI/UX needs work and the Commander creation screen is far from ideal. I'll see what I can do about escape closing top level menus and adding some sort of randomized default names for the Commander.
Regarding grenades: One of the reasons I made them drop at the marine location instead of being thrown is I wanted more emphasis on marine positioning. I would like more feedback about this from other players, but generally realism is not a reason I find particularly persuasive, although if everyone is constantly confused by this I would take that as a sign!
The difficulty of each planet/derelict ship is not perfectly balanced. Each level has a set pool of enemies that can potentially be spawned (e.g. robot enemies tend to appear on robot ships, alien enemies tend to appear on alien ships), and so there is variance there. While it's not immediately clear to new players what those pools are, part of the information given is what armor upgrades are given at each planet. I felt that this coupled with random classes for your starting marine squad might help influence players.
The damage of ranged enemies could be lowered somewhat. As there are no difficulty levels/options in SM2 as of right now I was trying to reach a moderate level of difficulty but I probably missed that on my first shot. I am getting gameplay analytics so I'll be adjusting based on what I see!
Yes, the fog of war may be a bit overbearing on some wall/door sections, I'll take a look at that. I have plans to adjust bloom and such in a future update so players can decide on how much visual eye candy they want.
May I ask what platform (Win/Mac) and version you're on? First I've heard of the exit button not working!
What is Steam Marines 3?
A first person shooter role-playing game. Current design is planetary/space station hubs with procedurally generated dungeons/ship interiors for missions and combat. Other slated features include:
- Settlement building.
- Crop farming.
- AI companions.
- Space avocados.
- Diegetic interfaces.
Is... is Steam Marines 2 out yet?
Yes! Available right here on Itch.io! ^___^
Daniel Allen has been hard at work playing with environments we can build procedurally!
Design is moving toward a stealthy, horror blend rather than a fast paced shooter. I very much intend to have conflict resolution tools beyond shooting stuff.
Hello, 2017! Delayed, but still progressing. Some juicy concept art for upcoming unit assets:
Been revamping the marine relationship system and adding in an ability toolbar that allows all marine to mix and match, with modifiers based on marine class, marine personalities, and gear stats.
Been making some progress on the polishing and art asset side of things lately. Alpha in late September/early October, hopefully! Been trying to cram most of my assets into my first system to let players know how the overall structure of the game plays out. Still working on two planet side tactical environments.
Unfortunately I don't believe the alpha release is going to have fully fleshed out environments like desks, chairs, lockers, and that sort of thing. Because of the nature of them being interactable I ran into some issues with the level generator and placing them to work well with the core gameplay. Still working on that.
I've repurposed the shield shader from the ship combat scene for personal use. Steampunk battery technology is awesome, right? Well, maybe it's actually alien tech. Who knows. Certainly not me.
Repurposed Ship Shield Shader
I haven't! But I do need to take a step back and reassess how I want to implement it as a more traditional tile and turn-based style of gameplay. I also like the idea of being able to target specific parts of ships for tactical advantages >:)
Yes, several people have now expressed concern about the real time nature of the ship combat. I'll likely be changing this.
Walls and floor tiles should be much more clear this time around. It's fully 3D, you can alter the XZ angle via camera rotation, and you can zoom in and out. While you currently can't alter the Y-axis angle, this should provide people with all the viewing they need.
But let me know if that isn't the case once the game launches! Originally I had free camera orbiting (click and drag to view at any angle) but locked it down primarily for ease of use/return to old viewing angles and to simplify controller/dpad settings.
Steam Marines 2 is going into alpha release within the next few months!
The game currently features:
- Permadeath - take care of your marines or die trying.
- Turn-based combat - master movement and fire tactics.
- Procedural generation - ship interiors and planetside levels.
- Factions - human, alien, and robot units with their own gear and tactics.
- Customization - marines with names, portraits, and gear.
What's New For Returning Players?
Some comments for players of Steam Marines 1 who may be interested in differences between the two games:
- Marine squad size has been increased. Still try not to reach zero marines.
- You control your spaceship instead of just fighting inside of it. There is a bare bones ship combat system in place (that is not turn-based) that I intend on expanding. Essentially your marines are aboard the I.S.S. Delhi and you can land on planets, moons, et cetera to insert your marines into combat.
- Marine firing is no longer restricted to cardinal directions. Movement is still based on a square tile grid.
- Steam Marines 2 separates out Action Points and Attack Points. Whereas in the first game all attacks/abilities used some set amount of Action, the sequel allows more granularity in what each marine can do per turn by separation of resources.
- Marines now reveal fog of war in a 360 degree sphere instead of just a cone in the direction they face.
- Tactical combat is a lot less about lining up marines and Guarding and a lot more about line of sight positioning and choosing shots; Marines can now aim for the head or center of mass which affects damage and accuracy bonuses/penalties.
- Proximity to targets affects accuracy.
- Marines are now differentiated not only by class/weapons/armor but by personality traits. Traits have chances to trigger per marine per turn that can boost Action, experience gain for the turn, and other effects.
- Portraits. Lots of portraits.
People love portraits, right?
As with my roadmap for Steam Marines 1, this list is not a series of promises. It's intended to give you a general idea of where I'd like to take the game. If I try something and I don't like it and you don't like it, I'll take it out. Maybe the game will pivot in a better direction. Game development is like that.
The current game plays like this at an abstract level:
- New campaign - > generates a new squad of marines.
- Go to universe view. Fly around, orbit on some space rock, and launch a mission.
- Marines try and shoot things because that's what marines do.
Things I'd like to add post-alpha launch:
- An actual story. Steam Marines 1 had a very bare bones plot - you awake from cryosleep and discover your ship is under attack. Ahhh! Fight your way through several decks and crush the big baddie. Huzzah! Because you can now control your ship there's a lot of directions you can go in terms of exploration, warping to other systems, procedurally generated planets/missions, and even potentially building a fleet. Which leads me to...
- ... building a fleet. This is a bit far-fetched because 1) a lot of code assumes you've only got one ship, and 2) this adds a whole lot of micromanagement/tedium. It may be a better idea to control your original ship and allow automation of any captured enemy ships. Managing multiple squads of marines? We'll see. This isn't supposed to be a 4x!
- More. More items, weapons, armor, enemies, et cetera. To be upfront my character animator has taken several months off to focus on his own game. It's a bit loosey goosey at the moment but if he's not back on board by the start of 2017 I'll get another artist to continue; That said he does enjoy working on this project and I anticipate he will return - he's done great work so far. Because of this the current number of models in the game is lacking: one suit of armor per marine class, two weapons, and four enemy units. I know this is light on visual bling.
- My environment artist is currently working on water/fire worlds for marines to fight on. He also made the human, robot, and alien ship models. He's getting ready to make space stations as well. I think a variety of environments is always nice in tactical games.
- My portrait artist has about (30?) more portraits to make, so added to the current 30 that'll be about 60 illustrated portraits for marines to choose from. Toying with the idea of crossing out portraits as marines die and you can't reuse them for that run afterward.
- There is (non-turn based) ship combat in the game, but it's far too simple to be considered finished. You basically fire missiles to lower enemy shields then launch marine capsules to board the ship. I have ideas on this but it also needs to jive with any sort of fleet organization that gets implemented.
Steam Marines 2 is currently slated for full release at the end of 2018. That gives me about two years to work with post-alpha release to get cracking on the above list. I'd love to hear any feedback on what you'd like to see in the game, although clearly this is a bit open ended as the game isn't out yet.
But even high level, abstract feedback is good! Things like "I want turn-based gameplay, I don't feel that real time ship combat is a good idea." is valuable!
(Enough people have raised issues with its real time nature I'll be changing it.)
(Update 26 October 2016)
Had a bunch of delays, including art because Hurricane Matthew chased one of my artists out of his home! More or less back on track now.
This enemy-repurposed space station is now fully operational.
(Spaceships and space station by Daniel Allen.)
Thanks for reading!
Unfortunately my character artist does not have the time to work on Steam Marines 2 until closer to the end of the year. This is bad timing for the project since at the moment there are only four enemy types, one suit of marine class armor per marine class, and two weapons per marine class.
As a result I've pivoted the development somewhat in this direction:
So basically an emphasis on ships, space, and more of a strategy layer since I'm unable to really flesh out the tactical layer with more eye candy and armor/weapons at the moment. On the plus side this should serve to demonstrate what kind of game Steam Marines 2 wants to be when it's fully complete.
Fortunately my portrait artist and environment artist are still busy beavers - you all like illustrated portraits and space stations, right?
Thanks for reading,
Sorry, I think there's some confusion. There are already procedurally generated tactical maps where your marines move about. I was speaking about the planets and galaxies your spacship can navigate through to reach those maps for specific missions.
Hi, Harley. Yes, I think most people would, but there are drawbacks associated with that like having to take time and effort away from other aspects of the game. I think The Division is the most recent example of "too big, not enough content in there". That said it's easier to get down the core mechanics and content and expand with planets, stations, and universe content later so that's just groundwork that needed to be done anyway.
A discount is something I considered early on, but ultimately I have no system in place to verify who actually owns Steam Marines 1, particularly since Desura is essentially belly-up at this point; most non-Steam buyers don't even activate their Steam keys. Potentially I could do platform-specific discounts (Steam on Steam, Itch on Itch, et cetera) but that has its own issues.
Official Website and Mailing List
What's Been Going On?
Currently the game is still in a state of design flux. On a week to week basis I'm still changing systems and mechanics, ripping stuff out, and prototyping stuff in. Sound effects and art assets are still flowing as the game universe is hashed out.
The core game is in there, namely obtaining missions and executing them on a grid-based tactical battlefield. You can move marines around, shoot stuff, use special abilities, and fog of war is fully functioning.
- Squads of up to six marines with arms and armor, ranks, promotions, stats, and relationships with other marines.
- More fully formed enemy faction distinctions. Robots and aliens have their own ships, unit types, and specific tactics they employ.
- Procedurally generated maps/levels.
Future Development Goals
- Get the user interface up to snuff.
- Reconsidering massive procedural galaxies/planets. It doesn't quite seem to jive with shorter, mission based gameplay. Steam Marines 2 was not originally conceived as a sandbox game, but it's not set in stone one way or another.
- Tactical space combat? Possibly! Fleet/empire building much less likely.
- Gear mods like scopes, suppressors, energy cells, alien tech, et cetera. The script code to swap the objects is in, but the game logic to hook it all up and the art assets are not. Complexity call from a game design point of view whether this makes the cut.
- Terminals, lockers, and chests make a return, but portholes probably will not. There will be more tactical options with these interactive environment elements this time around.
- Focusing on building up the player's Commander (in-game avatar) RPG style and focusing more on inter-marine relationships both on and off the battlefield.
So When Can We Play This?
Probably Q4 2017. The price will most likely be around $25-30 with the price increasing throughout development, similar to Steam Marines 1.
I'd like to stress that this will absolutely be an alpha launch, so if you're uncomfortable paying what I'm charging, don't. You can always adopt a wait and see approach, and if you followed me during the Steam Marines 1 development on Steam Greenlight you'll know that I'm very open to suggestions and what I'm currently doing.
Monthly updates seemed to work best then and I will most likely adopt that same release schedule this time around.
When Is Full Release Planned?
End of 2018. It's gonna be a long ride!