Black Talons
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Black Talons

Sitio Web Oficial

  • estrategia
  • táctico
  • rol
  • mercenarios
  • ciencia ficción
  • mechs





Brief Interview to the Developers of Black Talons

There is something in Black Talons that attracts me, maybe the context, maybe the general concept, maybe the potential for tactical combat where my choices matter. After reading everything that is available I still felt there were a few things that I wanted to know, to answer them I went directly to the source (the answers were given by Ricardo Cesteiro, the software engineer of the team).

For the purpose of clarity I have edited the questions a little bit.

J de Juegos How are you considering a single soldier in the game, do we, as players, work and handle individual troops or do we work at squad level?

Ricardo Cesteiro Infantry units are handled at squad level. Which means the player can't order one specific soldier around, only the whole squad.

JdJ How does a unit class evolve?

RC Each unit has a squad leader that earns experience in battle. With experience the squad leader levels up, as does the whole squad. Consider the leader as "the face" of the squad.

JdJ Can we mix different mercenary classes in a squad?

RC The class applies to the whole squad. For example a recon squad only has light armored soldiers with the recon specialization. The player can choose the squad's weaponry from different sets of equipment, but can't add or remove specific soldier classes to the squad.

JdJ At what level is unit persistence handled?

RC Persistence is handled at squad level. Again, it's the squad leader that earns experience and grows up, granting his bonuses to the whole squad.

JdJ Can we have a squad made of veteran and recruit mercenaries?

RC Veterancy is gained by the squad as whole --either the whole squad is recruit or veteran.

JdJ If we are working with squads as 'units' how do we assign equipment and weapons, or does each soldier improve their own as they "survive" and become veterans, while other members are still rookies?

RC Mechs can be assigned with weapons and equipment, but infantry squads can only be equipped with weapons (some specializations grant the squad extra equipment, but these are special cases). As stated above, weapons are equipped using predefined sets of weaponry.

JdJ Can we upgrade/equip independent soldiers in a squad?

RC Kind of. While the player can't choose the weapons for each specific soldier, he can choose from different sets of equipment. For example for a squad of 6, have 6 soldiers equipped with assault rifles or 6 soldiers equipped with laser rifles, or 3 soldiers with assault rifles and 3 soldiers with laser rifles.

JdJ I belive I have seen the units take cover automatically, is that so?

RC That's correct. If the units are idle and if there's cover nearby, they'll move there automatically. But only if they're idle --if the unit has been ordered to do something, it won't break orders to go to cover.

JdJ In regard to units and squads, gameplay wise, would you say you have a view in the line of Company of Heroes or Men of War?

RC Maybe we can compare the gameplay to Company of Heroes, regarding infantry squads. In Black Talons the player has more control of the battle, though. The action can be paused so that the player can carefully manage the battlefield and order his units around.

JdJ Does the game work capturing/maintaining "control points" or is that understood through the context (like it is clear we need to hold the LZ)?

RC Some missions specifically require the player to capture and secure control points, others don't. But generally speaking the control points are essential to call down reinforcements during the mission, so even if it's not a mission objective, the player will probably need to control them to complete the mission.

JdJ What would be an example of the weather/environment affecting combat?

RC One example: when fighting in ice regions, snowstorms can appear randomly. These drastically decrease the line of sight of the units and increase the fog of war.

JdJ What other game features can you list/name regarding the tactical side of gameplay?

RC There are a number of variables that can affect a battle: cover, higher or lower ground, weapon types, unit specs and abilities. Some units are able to deploy a barrage of fire, suppressing anyone caught in the barrage. Other units are able to throw grenades or smoke grenades, use stealth generators, while others deploy shields to protect themselves and their allies against enemy fire. Each unit has its own strength which can be wisely used in battle.

Other than that, there are important locations that the player needs to control. Landing zones are essential do call down reinforcements --either by the player or by the enemy. Some maps have specific points of interest, like computer panels that control some system on the map, like a power bridge that can be turned on or off, a defensive turret, a door, etc.

This interaction with the map creates points of tactical importance, which may or may not be used by the player.

JdJ Feel free to add anything you consider that would help players understand your ideas better.

RC We're trying to create a game that mixes futuristic tactical battles with a global management of the campaign. As the leader of the company, the player must take important decisions that will affect the campaign and his troops. This is not a linear campaign where the player simply has to beat one mission after another. There's a lot more going on here: recruiting new units from allied factions, customizing and equipping Mechs, upgrading the Battlecruiser / mobile base. There are many variables here that depend on the player, and that will directly affect the battles and the tactical part of the game.

We want to create a fun wargame with a high replayability value and a lot of options to explore.

- - -

Does the above change how I feel about the game? I would say no, but it does require me to change a few of my expectations. It is more Company of Heroes than Men of War. However, the truly important thing is the focus on the tactical, which in essence depends on the diversity and variety of weapons, equipment, troop classes and their abilities. For what Ricardo says and the available information it is clear that there will be plenty of tools available to us, the players, so it will be us making the final choice on how we use them.

For example. If I have troops that can deploy shields for protection then I have the option to create cover where there is none (even if for just a crucial moment). If I have soldiers that can throw smoke grenades I can reduce the line of sight of my enemies for a time. If a squad can mix weapon types then they are ready to deal with enemies that are weak to either of the weapon types they are carrying and still inflict damage (if strong against laser then weak against projectiles, or viceversa). Now everything is down to level design and creativity when imagining special atacks, skills, weapons and so on, something the team has shown to have plenty of.


Teclado EZ-Reach 2030 por TypeMatrix.

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