Hello, explorers. Today I want to take you through the work I’ve done on combat so far.scrn1

So you’re making your way through the House – perhaps you’re on your way to trade hazard-coffee with the Ninefold Caliphate, or explore the fungal ruins of Chaga in search of occult relics. Along the way, you’re chased by another kinetopede – in your experience, neutral travellers will happily leave you alone, and those which chase you rarely have good intentions.


Disaster! You have been caught!

Combat in HOMR is occasionally rewarding, but mainly it’s something to be avoided. It’s difficult, dangerous, and HOMR’s vague equivalent to XP is tied to exploration rather than to battle. So rather than fight it out, you decide to try to run away from these bandits.


How will this go? You need to pass a Guile challenge to successfully flee; your Guile represents not just your general tricksiness and sneakiness, but also the skill of your kinetopede’s Pilot.


Failure! Your Guile stat wasn’t high enough – maybe you’ve been building up some other stat instead, like Insight or Guts – and there’s no way to get away now. And there’s no way you’re giving up your hard-earned money. Time to fight.


And here we have the fruit of the last week’s labours – the combat screen! You transition here immediately, as soon as a fight is initiated. Here are some quick bullet points regarding the above image:

  • You’re in the bottom left. Your enemy is in the top right.

  • Your enemy’s Hull and Will are also up there in the top right corner. There’s no current way to reduce these, but if the enemy’s Hull hits 0, they are destroyed, and the lower their Will is, the more likely they are to run away from you.

  • The white buttons are for testing purposes only. They represent the 4 possible outcomes of combat – either the enemy is destroyed, the player is destroyed, the enemy flees, or the player flees. For either side to flee successfully, not only do they need to pass a Guile check, but the Distance between the two vehicles also needs to be high enough.

  • And in the lower left, you can see we’ve generated your Crew! Some of these sprites represent your procedurally-generated lower-deck crew, while others are your unique upper-deck crew. Either type of crew-member can, of course, die, hopefully causing intense player anguish. Currently you can click on them, and then click elsewhere, to move them around the grid like so:


Ignore the nakedness of the sprite. I haven’t got round to animating clothing yet.

Anyway, this is a good amount of progress for one week, and I’m really pleased with my pace so far. I still need to do a lot of stuff, though – there is SO MUCH about combat that I haven’t revealed in this update, and plus I need to do the drudge-work of finishing crew sprite animations – specifically, they need clothes for when they run around, or they’ll catch a chill.

And then I need to add the enemy crew, and weapons, so we can have actual combat!

For the sake of it, though, let’s finish our little story. Who wins this encounter? The player, of course!


Time to continue our explorations. There is so much darkness out there to not see.

Next week I’ll have added artillery fire, and the combative side of combat. Hope to see you then!

As always, for more up-to-date dev progress, check out my Twitter at @pixeltrickery.

Devlog Friday, Part 3 – A kinetopede kerfuffle
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