Music, grappling, new build!

Another month, another build. For today we have a new alpha build, a behind-the-scenes look at the music creation, and a buncha new content (grappling! Drake and Goblin gear!).

New build!

Version 0.1.3 is available here. Highlights to this update include grappling, the full Goblin and Drake licenses, dangerous terrain, and pulling boss subtitles from the pilot names & callsigns folks submitted as backer rewards.


Heads up that this update is not compatible with previous pilot portraits since we've been adding, fixing, and reorganizing the available assets in that editor, so your pilots' portraits will show up as a default random one until you remake them.

As always, thank you for playing and you can help us by reporting bugs here. Thank you to everyone who reported bugs — we got 65 reports and were able to fix about 4/5s of them for this release. Bless 🙏

Music!

Listen to a preview of one of LT's new tracks here.

One of the intense joys of getting so much support through Kickstarter is being able to hire & pay professional artists to do bespoke stuff for the game. Music is the single strongest leverage point in being able to set the emotions of a game.

Lancer's tagline is "mud and lasers" — interpreting that, we wanted something that rides the line between electronic and acoustic instruments. We got these big scifi robots running around, but we don't lose contact with the ~human feelings~ of the people in and around them. We are featuring acoustic instruments in an electronic-feeling soundtrack.

The score's writing and production is by Robin Rutenberg (they/them), and they totally knocked it out of the part. Robin is a composer, sound and media artist with an emphasis on transfeminist worldbuilding through storytelling & performance, experiential sound, experimental composition, digital arts, and poetry. They work across mediums, from interactive game art, to film, to sound installations.

This May, Robin and Naarah spent a week in Berlin recording the acoustic parts of Robin's compositions (Cello, Timbales, Cajón). Mark also happened to be in Berlin for unrelated reasons so got to check out some of the recording process!


Also pictured: Naarah Strokosch performing cello on the score. Robin and Naarah were in the band Four Families together from 2012-2017. You can hear Naarah on the Four Families' albums as well as on Robin's solo project (Gabe Darling).

Gabe Darling (SpotifyBandcampiTunes, YouTube, Instagram)
The Little Books (SpotifyBandcampiTunes, YouTube) <-- new release coming soon!
Four Families (Bandcamp) <-- soon to be on all streaming services :P  
We're currently on the mixing/mastering step. The next steps are incorporating them into the game and doing some fancy FMOD shenanigans.

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And Now For The Changelog

Engine Additions:

  • Added Burn and Overshield to the engine, with very basic UI about it. Added half-done WIPs of fusion cutter and aceso stabilizer to test appling burn and overshield, respectively
  • Impaired applies to saves
  • New line AOE calculation that's more consistent. (basically a width-1 cone)
  • Grapple system! You can now grab someone and move them off a cliff. Grapple groups (called "katamaris" in the engine) can also link up and all move as one big ball o' mechs, with individuals getting peeled off and left behind as they get moved into walls.


  • Units now get shunted when they end up in an invalid space (the WIP pictured below was a bug where they get stuck in a "no after you" infinite politeness loop)
  • add dangerous terrain, lava block
  • Only blast/cone/burst aoe attacks apply damage to the ground.
  • Tested out some water shaders. Did not yet implement them in the engine because Carpenter put on his producer hat and told me there were more pressing matters to attend. It's pretty though!

Content Additions:

  • Drake traits, gear, and CP: heavy frame, blast plating, and guardian, argonaut shield, shield generator, levi cannon, portable bunker.
  • GMS gear: turret drones, personalizations, type-3 projected shield
  • Nelson gear: ramjet
  • Vlad gear: webjaw snare, caltrop launcher
  • Finished Demolisher's basic kit
  • Bombard's gear: bombard cannon + siege armor
  • Draft of all three Nuclear Cavalier talents
  • A scattering of core bonuses; I think we have at least one per manufacturer now.
  • Add elite and veteran NPC templates, which spawn and pull boss subtitles from Kickstarter backer data.
  • Goblin gear: Metahook, Horus upgrades II and III, and OSIRIS NHP actions.


  • Dia has started writing work on the first campaign module!
  • New color palettes available in the portrait maker.
  • More portrait assets available.  

Content Fixes:

  • grunts now survive damage if they pass a save
  • fix autopod only attacking allies
  • fix Hunter II not showing all available aux weapons to throw
  • singularity motivator no longer triggers on heat
  • getting immobilized mid-movement now interrupts the movement
  • prone now slows you instead of immobilizing you (I know, it's a little weird, but that's RAW)
  • fix smoke mine not expiring
  • consume accuracy buff from core siphon correctly
  • can now clear lockon by stabilizing.
  • can not stabilize to clear continually-applied statuses like slowed from spun up assault cannon
  • invades and quick tech can be used multiple times on a turn.
  • AI can use ordnace weapons
  • large deployables (e.g. Drake Bunker) now require flat surfaces
  • fix getting re-engaged after disengaging

Bug Fixes:

  • fix "add objective" button crash on new maps
  • fix hibernating actions not serializing correctly
  • fix weapon mods falling off weapons as soon as they're applied (since they're unique, they become invalid to place on any other weapons and that made them invalid on the weapon they were on as well)
  • fix crash when switching maps and then painting blocks
  • fix two portrait slices not being able to have the same file name

UI Improvements

  • Added text-to-speech accessibility options and button to read whatever's under the mouse
  • Show attack roll in neurolink popup
  • Add new fetchers for getting values in triggers, which allow you to do things like set up a zone that kills whatever walks into it
  • set FPS limit to 60
  • close mission objectives on ending turn
  • Allow cardinal camera rotations; let's let it cook for a bit and see how things feel in gameplay
  • Add boss subtitles effect when spawning elites/vets, pulled from backer survey data
  • Compcon assist correctly places large deployables (don't have to be next to the top-left to place it)
  • fix aoe deployment: can't double up, being size 2 doesn't block you from deploying lines downwards
  • added dots to gear bar for charges
  • Animated health bars!



Next up for me is building out the campaign beat/combat engine and editor. It's a strange feeling from going to micro-bits of content like OSIRIS's fourth gate allegiance switching to finding myself back in an open field of "how do we want to structure this large part of the game on a basic level?" — large architectural choices require a very different way of thinking.

Oh, and for timelines: I've been telling people when they ask but don't think I've posted an update here. The timeline from this update still holds mostly true, except that everything is pushed about one quarter (i.e. 3 months) back because of the unexpected switch to 3D. Looking at it again, backer mapmaking calls will also probably not be until next year because we don't have the asset pipeline for maps that we were obviously expecting when we were in 2D.

Best! Olive

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First Kickstarter alpha is available!