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!