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08/21/20New boards added: /vrpg/, /vmg/, /vst/ and /vm/
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Janitor applications are now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied!

okay nerds its been a minute but we've got a major new update out (and 20% discount) as part of tacticon on steam:


- online multiplayer
- hotseat multiplayer
- map generator
- totally redesigned supply system
- skirmish mode (arbitrary faction selection for matches)
- brand new 1v1 & 2v2 map to demo all of the above
- all sort of other small tweaks and fixes

full patch notes:

the design stuff has been major and was definitely an outcome of some of the discussions had here in the past. namely, trying to get rid of finnicky bullshit. we've got more design stuff in the pipe (ammo, pop buildings) but imo the game is the best its ever been.

i wrote a design blog on the changes and am going to post them here just for some context if people are interested. also happy to talk about strategy dev/publishing/ea/whatever.

if you don't already know — cantata is a "grand tactics" game, kind of like advance wars x civ. giant tactical map, unique units per faction, logistic/management/building/etc.
(new 1v1 map featured, new region ui)

Big Change: No More Global Supply

This was a true band-aid rip off moment. But also like taking sunglasses off. Once gone, everything else fell into place.

Global supply has been around since the very start of Cantata. It was initial meant as a way to curb long playtimes as well as provide a global resource that allowed you to build stuff on the map (more on that later).

However, people hated this. It was a ticking clock you could do nothing about. So we added in mines and resources to allow you to better control the resource flow. But then because resources were on the map, we lowered the starting pool of supply. And lowered it again. And again.

And now we’re looking at it and asking, well why is this there at all? Before, the answer was because you still used Global Supply to build infrastructure - it was effectively your only resource pool that we could draw from in semi-abstract to pay for infra. But now we have region storage, as well as the ability to add things to local region storage. Could we use region storage to pay for infrastructure?
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sounds extremely gimmicky

Big Change 2: No Global Infrastructure - Now built in the context of Regions

Turns out yes, yes we can. and then some. See one other thing about infrastructure was that as the game matured we realized we need to place more restrictions on how and where you could place infra, largely to prevent players from indulging their worst impulses (see Water Finds A Crack) - but also to better shape what we wanted Cantata to “feel” like.

These were largely tied to regions, which meant that you would click an infra building in your global infra menu, and then have to basically search the map to find somewhere you could build it. Not only this, but it was also very possible that you couldn’t actually build it anywhere at all.

Thinking about “grand tactics” again, this is less of a problem if your map is 10x10 out whatever, but in Cantata you could easily have 30 regions across a map 10x that size, and trying to find the right one to place a building falls squarely in the “finnicky bullshit” category.

So if regions largely dictate what infra can be built in them, why not literally tie them together? So we did.

Regions now show you both in their (new) UI and on the region "badge” what infra can be built in that region. You can select the infra option from both the region ui or the badge on the map.
thats just the skirmish maps we ship right now. there's no limit to multi player counts, you could do 16 if you wanted. you can also host your own maps to play online.

But what off global supply? Don’t you still need global supply to build infra? Not anymore!

Infrastructure now is built using the region storage! This has a great knock on effects as well in allowing us to get rid of the player level constraint for infra options: Because we can require specific supply types to build infra, this acts as a more natural tech tree - better infra requires better supply types, so you’ll need to have already built something that produces those requisite types, and so on.

Another related change is that mining units now longer produce global supply, and instead produce a “base” resource type to the region’s storage. This also better makes resources feel like they fully exist in the scope of regions vs. going to some abstract place.

If you’re a Cantata player I already know what you’re thinking, if you’re not I don’t know what you’re thinking of right now? Maybe wondering why you’re reading a long design post about a game you don’t play? Who knows!

Cantata players may think: This sort of system with the region supply line changes seems like it produces the same types of problems the old unit to unit line system did, with units/regions requiring access to types they don’t have easy access to. To which I would say - I agree!

So we got rid of region supply lines. These take the cake for a feature in the game that took the most effort but stuck around the shortest. These once again getting cut due to “finnicky bullshit” rule.

But regions still need to connect to share resources, so how does that happen?

(map editor pictured - its literally the same tool we use to build the campaigns and ships with the full game, accessible from in game. you dont need a seperate program or know how to code)

Supply Networks

When you own two adjacent regions, those are effectively automagically connected and form a ”network” by which their storage is directly shared. Any regions captured adjacent to that network are also added in (we also added some changes here where regions must be "held” for a period of time before their ownership flips).

You can have multiple supply networks, and multiple disparate networks, if connected, can become a single network.

What we realized with the previous system was that we were just limiting you on supply lines for no good reason. Not only this, but the system didn’t make a ton of sense in the function of the game. A region with two supply lines could connect to a region to its north and east, but what about the regions to its west and south? Especially if the region border was “open” - you’d have to route supplies another step just to go adjacent to where you were, which then means literally another turn in the chain.

So instead of requiring you to build and micro the lines, only to still end with subpar results, we just axed it. This also reduces a ton of the cognitive load of “an I doing this right?” that is very present in the game as is. Now it just works, and your focus is on building and capturing territory.
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Supply Outposts

If everything is now done in the context of owned regions, how do you actually do stuff in regions you don’t own? We went through a TON of iterations on this, and landed somewhere I think rides the line of finnicky bullshit but is definitely useful enough (and hands-free enough) that I think it’s pretty good, and that’s the concept of Outposts.

Outposts are buildings that you can build that allow you to expand a supply network that exists in regions adjacent to the region you are building inside of. Provided you are inside the range of an outpost, you have access to the network inventory of the region that that outpost is connected to. Connections are also automatic, so no need to mico them.

Outposts can additionally daisy chain off of each other, such that you could actually extend a supply network far across a map without needing to explicitly capture territory. The downside of this is that the outpost is an actual unit on the map, meaning it can be destroyed, so if you have a long chain of outposts you’ll need to defend those outposts from other players taking them out.

Notably, being inside the range of an outpost doesn’t allow you to build infrastrcuture, so if you want to actually establish a meaningful base, you’ll still need to capture the region.

Even just in testing, the existence of outposts has already proved super interesting. It forces you to think about player supply access in a way that didn’t make a ton of sense (or wasn’t as literal) before, and has already produced a better feeling game!
I respect that you're open about the fact that you're advertising your game. Good luck.
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ty. hard out here for indie strat people when the rest of this board is 15 threads on HOI4 mods or cope posts wishing for more indie strat.


(map generator output, i promise it is cooler than it seems)

No more consumption costs for resource production

Imagine you have a supply network of 15 regions, each with 1 buildings. These building all produce 1 supply type B by using 1 supply type A. This means that you need 15 A. However, your network only has access to 8 A - where does the supply come from? Who gets skipped?

Well you could add in some priority mechanism and… sorry my “finnicky bullshit” alarm is going off. So we just got rid of consumption costs. Cantata gets a lot of these problems, ones that are solvable but at what cost- is Cantata a game where you will micromanage building priority for consumption costs? No, but that doesn’t mean that you could do that in other games, we just feel like something like that isn’t right for our game.

No control of mining, generator, and producer pull

This is another one of those things that just stressed players out. Having the option to increase or decrease lull made people feel like they had to constantly micro those settings in order to achieve baseline optimal production/consumption.

Even though we want expert players to have ways to show mastery, being the best at micro-Inc sliders is neither fun nor cool. It is instead “finnicky bullshit”. So we cut it.

Now, everything just produces a baseline 1. That number won’t go up and down by your hand, so now when you build a building, it produces 1. You don’t have to keep thinking about it.

This also provides some flexibility in the design - units can now have the ability to raise or lower this number, which IS cool and fun. But at a baseline, you can look on a map and get a sense of how much of what is being produced by just the unit placements, no worry about sliders. This also runs into a new design rule I have:

If your design requires a slider, it is a bad design and you should get rid of it.

Every slider I’ve put in Cantata I’ve eventually taken out. Maybe choosing between 5 numbers is fun (through probably more 2-3), but choosing between more than 5 numbers is boring, in part because it’s very hard to reason about. Additionally, large ranges of numbers usually map to smaller numbers of discreet states - if that’s the case, make more fun ways to just pick those states directly!
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There’s a small litany of other changes to support this patch’s features, but I think I’ve touched on all the major stuff here. The crazy thing about all this is that, I think, when you play the game you won’t really even notice any of this. The sum total effect of all of the above is that the game just feels “right”. When I said Cantata got a haircut I really meant it - it’s the same game but just cleaner, tighter. I think you’ll really like it.

I put together a sort of tutorial on the major changes you can watch here:


Hope you all check it out and happy to answer questions or whatever! Again, 20% discount now on Steam!
Just pushed a hotfix for the latest patch:

Handle host migration/ai replacement for multi matches if players leave

Fix bugged Multitudes unit for Unified Spirit
DEV-3585 - User Submitted - Fix region infra limit tooltip

DEV-3588 - User Submitted - Better indicate production amounts in tooltip (number of icons)
DEV-3587 - User Submitted - Default to network storage view if player owns region
DEV-3589 - User Submitted - Adds health info to infra tooltip
Looks quite interesting but the art style filters me hard
Just dropping by that I already have it, just waiting for a dent in my free time and massive backlog.
can't you faggots come up with something a bit more creative than low-effort pixel art?
thats fair. the game is totally moddable though so i very much expect more "normal" stuff to emerge. we also ship a ton of assets from some tilesets so you can already make levels that look like pic attached. custom mod data for units and terrains is in the pipeline though and already works (the base game itself is a mod), we're just polishing it for full release.

based anon thank you

i won't take the bait
i won't take the bait
i won't take the bait
i won't take the bait
i won't take the bait
i won't take the bait
The pixel art is the best part of the game
if truth is bait then you have a long way to come as a developer.
is that supposed to be a compliment?
Looks good anon. I wishlisted it, will maybe pick up when it's out of EA.
Been following this on discord for months now, don't usually do early access but the price is pretty tempting
Despite the artstyle i decided to give it a go and its surprisingly fun. Marching a line of conscripts towards robots defense was quite enjoyable, wish i could boost their damage somehow tho, maybe a support unit?
I might buy it when i stop being a poorfag.
conscripts are pretty much just a meat wall you can plonk down to hold/siege a position cheaply while the enemy wastes several actions chopping through them
you need to tech up to your mechanized units which your conscripts will then bubblewrap against enemy melee units
I know thats the intended playstyle but i really like leveling up shit tier 1 units in strategy games. But here veterans just gives conscripts more vision range (redundant since there is the scouting buggy) and more HP, it would be cool if veterancy also gave them 1 more damage
Veterancy used to give them damage and attack range in early demo i played before early access even started. It was absolutely busted too as you didn't need any other units outside of jeeps to transport your roided up veteran conscripts that mop the floor with everything.
fwiw we're probably going to bump the price on full release (to 30). if it's certain we'll announce it so we aren't pulling wool on people, but if you are interested its def not a bad time to buy. price bump is to reflect full campaign + skirmish (with mod ability) + multiplayer (online and hotseat) + full map editor.

thanks for trying it. for buffs - we have a passive system in the game but havent turned it on yet because we're still trying to figure out how to best dole it out to units. general idea is that you can grant passives (or debuffs) to specific units via AoE or direct. we also have the idea of "radiating" a passive from a specific unit, but tbd. you can sort of get a taste of this with the tower's activated heal. we also DEFINITELY want to add multi select/execute so moving a line of conscripts doesn't shave years off your life.

we initially conceived of veterancy as pseudo-random (like choosing from a bag), and the conscripts currently reflect that concept. however after lots of playtesting, people dont like the die-roll feel (probably due to game scale) so we're likely going to moved to more fixed-progressions. we'll still keep the pseduo-random ability in though for modders. generally the "perk" system is in deep need of a full spec out, but our team is super small so it's hard to prioritize that when marquee features like online multi are much more flashy. but we'll get there.
>we also DEFINITELY want to add multi select/execute so moving a line of conscripts doesn't shave years off your life.
Would be awesome, but i imagine its not that simple, there is probably reason why turn based tactics games usually dont have such option
most tbt games are nowhere near the scale of cantata so they don’t have to worry about it. you can have four different fronts in a single cantata match that are each the size of a medium scale AW map. the closest parallel is hex counter wargames, and grognards get off on having to micro chits on a board. we’ll prob do something where you can queue a lot of units to move in a line together, and then execute each move at once. something similar for attacking. so more like pike and shot or other line battle games. I’m really excited for the feature because I think it will really cut down on click count for otherwise “basic” stuff
>and then execute each move at once. something similar for attacking. so more like pike and shot or other line battle games
Something like in "Fields of Glory 2" where your whole formation can move at once if they are X number of fields away from the enemy?
Sounds like a huge quality of life feature
yeah basically exactly this. we'll likely have to do "continue" checks because it's possible to get "new information" based on revealed fog
thanks for the update devman looks like you're on the right track stripping away unimportant stuff, will check it out once it's out of EA
Amazing game, keep up the good work
Whoa that's a pretty big change to the supply system. I haven't played it since the demo but I liked looking at my supply chain lol. From what I'm reading and what I remember from the demo the change is probably for the better but I'll still miss it.
Excited to play whenever it leaves early access
Just missed the sale, forgot because of uni work. Hope you guys do another sale around Christmas
Guys, you suck, stop being MP oriented, this is not going to fly, the gookclick won't even pay attention to you. When are you going to make a proper SP? The whole benefit of the game was a great atmosphere and a narrative must back it up
Anyway I'm happy for you OP, game design looks fun and I'm going to try the game when it's released as 1.0. I have a family so I don't have time to do the betatesting.
This, look up stats for other strategy games, MPiggers are like 20% at most. If you want financial success focus on SP.
thank you!

not sure but maybe! publisher mostly controls when sales happen, but may take part in whatever winter sale valve does

the main focus of the game is and has been a really big narrative sp campaign. we only added multi this patch after being in ea since may. all the reviews and playtimes before this patch where people have 10-100 hours were in the narrative sp only. if you don't know this that means we've been doing a bad job getting the word out in the past. we currently ship chapters 1-3 out of 9, and will likely ship 4-7 before 1.0 and all chapters at 1.0.
>map editor
>skirmish mode
Aw shid. I've been holding off but I think it's time to buy in.
we’ve had the editor since the first EA release but skirmish is new yeah. full discourse the AI is bad at skirmish right now so it’s best paired with friends.

Also yes you can host custom maps with friends, you just need to send them your map file and have them put it in the right place. we’re going to add workshop or some other mod platform to make sharing easier in the future but tbd.
also one thing this update adds that isn’t TOTALLY turned on yet is “moddable map generation” - so instead of just changing some parameters on the generator but still generating “cantata” maps, you have the ability to define custom generator input that you can use to generate maps. if you look at the generator settings that’s the “palette” selection. we’ll talk a lot more about this in the future - but basically not only can you make fully custom maps, but you can also design “generators” to generate diffferent flavors of your favorite mode/terrains.

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