📢 Attention Firestrike Commanders:
Welcome to the 4th installment of the Battlehouse Dev Blog, a place where fans of all Battlehouse games can enjoy regular behind the scenes peaks into the minds of Battlehouse Developers. Last week, bh-nirgal took a deep dive into some of the current projects he’s working on for Thunder Run and Days of Valor, and this week he’s giving Firestrike some love. So without further adieu, here’s bh-nirgal:
Firestrike is the first Battlehouse game I played, and the last one to be moved into my area of responsibility. Weird, huh?
Firestrike is one of the more difficult titles to develop. The other games are all set by hand. A Rifleman in TR and DV has 15 levels manually set by the developer. Hit points, damage, movement speed, and so on are chosen by whichever developer worked on the unit. Individual levels can be adjusted. This can lead to poorly balanced units. Firestrike was developed on an automatically balancing algorithm. The downside to this algorithm is that concepts that weren’t in the original design are hard to add in without breaking everything else. Firestrike’s revenue is also a lot lower than other games. Firestrike makes about as much in a month as Thunder Run makes on a Saturday.
To justify the development resources to upper management, I proposed that Firestrike get to test new concepts before they go to other games. This meant that I had to get some new tech working in Firestrike. Landmines had to go in first so that I could (later on) add new types of landmines. The armed TOC was the first example of a new gameplay mechanism that Firestrike got first.
The next steps for Firestrike will be to add a new tier and to aid lower level players in levelling up.
The Vault, a building present in Thunder Run and Days of Valor, will be added in to help new players avoid a total disaster when attacked by higher level players. Ideally, a player should be able to retain enough resources to fully repair their base and army and to complete at least one new building level or new technology research, regardless of how many times they were attacked while logged off. Player input is welcome and requested for several topics:
- Which would you prefer, many upgrade levels per tier, or one upgrade per tier? Assume the resources and costs would be the same regardless.
Tier 16 will add more levels to all of the defensive technologies, more building levels, and four new units. What are those units, though? Player input is key here! As veteran players know, each tier gets an Infantry unit, an Armor unit, and an Aircraft unit. These are balanced by the algorithm, so the only real choice at play is the art assets to use. Anything that is currently in TR and DV is available. What would you, the players, like to see as the Tier 16 units?
Tiers can also receive a “special” unit of any type. Tier 16 is going to receive the UH-60 Blackhawk as a “special” unit. It will most likely not be deployed in the initial Tier 16 patch, because it will require an engine change. More details will be disclosed in a future blog post, but I will disclose Firestrike will get to try out a new mechanic with their implementation of the UH-60 before any of the other games.
Like what you see in this Dev Blog, or have suggestions on things you’d like to see Nirgal talk about in the future? Let us know over on our Thunder Run Discord Server (for Thunder Run players), or on Clan HQ (for all other games). See you all next week!