Headquarters World War II - Dev log #1

Headquarters World War II is a fast-paced turn-based strategy game where your battlefield tactics are as important as your army management skills. Experience both sides of the war, battling in Europe as the USA, the UK, or Germany.
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MarcoT.
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Headquarters World War II - Dev log #1

Post by MarcoT. »

Hello guys!

It is Oleksandr from Starni Games. I have been working on the Headquarters: World War II game design from the very first days of pre-production (almost 2 years ago) and today I am happy to finally reveal some of the key mechanics to you and discuss them in detail.

Normandy landings
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Headquarters: World War II is a tactical level turn-based strategy game. So, you can expect a realistic scale, with many factors being considered during each attack, including a major impact of your troops’ positioning. The game is set during the Normandy landings and has 3 campaigns: the British, the Americans, and the German sides. It also has a robust multiplayer for up to 4 players in a match. Now, let’s talk about a few of its key features.

Hill fortifications
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Directional armour

All armoured vehicles in the game have directional armour - that means usually front armour is most powerful, side armour is less powerful, while back and top armour are most vulnerable. This idea can be found in many tactical games.

StuG firing
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However, in many games, it is often a very basic representation, where if your attack angle is somewhere between front and side, it would just choose whichever is closest. In Headquarters: World War II, we calculate the exact angle of attack and arrive at an adjusted armour value based on the front/side armour value and the attack angle.

Flanking the enemy tank
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For example, if you attack an enemy tank at 60 degrees to the side, it will have 1/3*Front armour value + 2/3*Side armour value = Adjusted armour. There could also be a third side - top armour - taken into account if you are firing from an elevated position.

Flanking from elevation
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Directional cover from walls, fences, and other obstacles

Following a similar idea, if the unit is hidden behind a wall, but attacked from a certain angle - it would only retain part of its cover. For example, in this case, it would only get half of the cover from the wall.

Tank vs Infantry
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Attacking angle and its implications

Now, let’s discuss how these rules affect gameplay. As an attacking force you will have to try and attack from the best angle available, and every tile you move closer to the enemy unit’s flank or rear gives you an extra edge.

Getting to the enemy’s rear
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As a defending side, you will have to consider your unit’s positioning - which way your armoured vehicles are facing - and the possible routes of the enemy’s attack. Always make sure the enemy cannot attack your units from the rear and try to avoid being flanked.

Attacking from the rear
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During a recent playtest my AT Infantry squad managed to ambush my colleague’s fearsome Tiger II tank in the woods (tank on the forest road, infantry in the forest) and attacking its side made quick work of the powerful adversary.

AT Infantry ambushes the Tiger II
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Burning Tiger II tank
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AT Infantry celebrates its victory near burned down Tiger II wreck
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Combat prediction feature

The game is quite simple to start playing - just move your tanks and fire at the enemy. However, there is a greater depth to it once you start really getting into it. To allow you fully enjoy the “easy to learn, hard to master” approach we have two modes for Combat prediction - the feature that shows all the combat details and modifiers that affect your next attack. One is a brief combat prediction - a simple summary, another is a detailed combat prediction where you can see all the parameters. You can switch between the two as you play by pressing a single hotkey.

Short Combat Prediction
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Full Combat Prediction
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This feature allows you to filter how much information to receive at each moment of the game. At first, you might want to just play and enjoy the tank battles without going too much into details and feeling overwhelmed. Later on, as you’ve grasped the basics, you might want more info to better understand the intricate game mechanics. Once you have fully explored the game, you would probably once again disable the extra info as you already know what to expect and would only occasionally turn it back on to clear up some confusing situations.

Short Combat Prediction
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More to come

Fortified positions on the cliff
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I cannot cover all the juicy stuff in one Dev blog and this is just the tip of the iceberg. In the next Dev log, I will tell you more about:
- Randomness implementation in the game
- 4 possible attack outcomes
- How morale works
- Buildings and their destruction
- Cover and profile

*Please, note that some UI elements are not final and are subject to further change.

Serenity
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See you next time!
steevodeevo
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Re: Headquarters World War II - Dev log #1

Post by steevodeevo »

Hi

Looking forward to this as I'm a big Starni fan, not so much zoomed in company level tactical games, so this seems a bit of a departure for Starni.

Three comments in the devblog, 2 sound picky but I am wondering whether I understand what is being said about the combat calculator or whether it is a totally forgivable early Alpha bug -

- The Stug is flagged as British. Is this a captured unit or a bug. Its targeting a British unit.

- in the image discussing flanking and armour facing, the Sherman is facing the Pz4s side, yet the combat calc has a higher bulls eye score for the Pz4 and the damage points for the Sherman and Pz4 are identical.

- a more esoteric comment. Given what you guys have gone through and are again going through in Ukraine and specifically Kiev, has your horrific experiences had a material impact on the game's development?
For example, is Headquarters likely to end up a 'darker' more gritty and sober game, like Ukraine War Stories, than it might otherwise have been, namely a standard abstracted and 'fun' tactical wargame / shooter. I know the units in Headquarters have crews, experience, stats and morale, I would guess this could be something that the real war may have influenced your coders.
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Re: Headquarters World War II - Dev log #1

Post by OleksandrSienin »

steevodeevo wrote: Wed Oct 12, 2022 6:10 am Hi

Looking forward to this as I'm a big Starni fan, not so much zoomed in company level tactical games, so this seems a bit of a departure for Starni.

Three comments in the devblog, 2 sound picky but I am wondering whether I understand what is being said about the combat calculator or whether it is a totally forgivable early Alpha bug -

- The Stug is flagged as British. Is this a captured unit or a bug. Its targeting a British unit.

- in the image discussing flanking and armour facing, the Sherman is facing the Pz4s side, yet the combat calc has a higher bulls eye score for the Pz4 and the damage points for the Sherman and Pz4 are identical.

- a more esoteric comment. Given what you guys have gone through and are again going through in Ukraine and specifically Kiev, has your horrific experiences had a material impact on the game's development?
For example, is Headquarters likely to end up a 'darker' more gritty and sober game, like Ukraine War Stories, than it might otherwise have been, namely a standard abstracted and 'fun' tactical wargame / shooter. I know the units in Headquarters have crews, experience, stats and morale, I would guess this could be something that the real war may have influenced your coders.
Hello Steevodeevo

Glad to hear that you are interested in the project, and thank you very much for the support!

1) Yeap, our bad - faulty screenshot, it's a German unit of course :)
2) Yes, they have similar chances of different types of shots, because that does not depend on armor. The fact that it attacks from the flank means it would deal more damage if it does land a hit. I will tell you more about how that work in the next Devbolg.
3) We are indeed working from Kyiv and the last 8 months were extremely "eventful"... Yet, right now we are fine and fully focused on the project. As for the impact the war had on the game - it is yes and no. No, because many aspects of the game were implemented or decided upon before the war started. As for the yes, I cannot say for sure, but I keep noticing many of the things we did in the game in the real war around us - so it rather confirmed some of our work - in terms of visuals and animations. Let us say we have just got a lot of extra references for our art and animation team, but they would have done extremely well without such "extra help"...
I remember our discussions before the war being like "what happens if a tank runs right into a tree at full speed?" - we decided that it depends on a tree's size, and now we see footage of a Russian tank smashing full speed into a large tree - it did not end well for the tank. We also were discussing how much damage would a tank firing at a house deal to it - and now we have seen plenty of footage where Russian tanks are just firing at an apartment building almost point blank with no good reason. Also, the AT launcher squad in a video from the front looks very much like in the game.
So, I cannot say it changed the game a lot, but rather confirmed some of the stuff that we were already working on. We had the WWII footage to study even before the war started this year, after all.

Looking forward to your feedback on the next Dev log! :)
steevodeevo
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Re: Headquarters World War II - Dev log #1

Post by steevodeevo »

Looking forward to that! Trying to get my head around the full damage calcs and failing miserably so far 😄 Probably needs dev 2 and a verbal run through.

P.s. we're following what is happening with drones and missiles to infrastructure and civilian targets in Ukrainian cities. My heart goes out to you all. I find it incredible that in the 21st century and so called civilised world this can happen.
jeffoot77
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Re: Headquarters World War II - Dev log #1

Post by jeffoot77 »

thxs for this awesome game . It looks like a new Battle academy

will there be an editor ?
my custom single player mini-campaign in order of battle : normandie-niemen:
http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=374&t=79333&p=676302#p676302
Tassadar
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Re: Headquarters World War II - Dev log #1

Post by Tassadar »

Looks really great I will for sure follow the development, as this seems like something right up my alley.

Based on the view initial screens, the only thing thing maybe worth small review is the color scheme. Might be due to lighting, shading and similar details still in very early stages, but it looks a bit too bright and fire seems to be more on the Hollywood end (but that just might be the fault of still images versus actual animations).
steevodeevo
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Re: Headquarters World War II - Dev log #1

Post by steevodeevo »

Olexandr or other Devs.

What is the x1.2 multiplier at the end of the final accuracy calculation?

I see what all of the other numeric modifiers are but not this one. Is it something to do with experience or some other intangible? The Pz4 and the Sherman have the same value in the screenshot.
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