Production schedule // mission editor first look // reward updates

Production schedule

I've gotten a few questions/heard some confusion about when we're delivering what, so I think a picture to point to is in order. This is a living document (compiled from—you guessed it—another spreadsheet) and is subject to change if we need to push a date because things always take longer than you expect, but I think is a pretty good estimate.

Again, if we need to push any of these I'll let y'all know when we know! These are our predictions for key dates:

  • Delivery of physical rewards by the end of this year of our lord 2023.

  • First public beta early 2024.

  • "Bones" version of the game with a tutorial and an instant action mode by the end of 2024.

  • Then entirety of 2025 will be the 100% stretch goal "draw the rest of the owl" year, with delivery of whatever we have at the end of that. Continual beta playtest updates throughout 2025 is likely.

This is both a wild amount of time to me (three years? that's almost like an entire college degree, should be plenty!) and no time at all. I'm spreading the stretch goal money to work 2/3 game dev and 1/3 day job for the entire three-year period instead of doing a single dedicated year at the end, but that means every week I have to focus on Lancer Tactics is precious. Between the day job, moving houses, managing the bizdev and production of the project, and a geology field trip in Ireland for much of August, dedicated programming days feel like rare jewels.

My inclination in these cases is to just work harder, so I've been having to intentionally slow down. Things will take as long as they take. Better to build up a good solid work+life foundation than indulge the "oh god I need to have something to show for the next update, go go go" paycheck-to-paycheck impulse.

Mission Editor first look

aka something to show for the update

So with that, Mark and I had a great day this week hashing out the different tools and screens we need for the Mission editor! Even though this is technically a stretch goal, it makes more sense to do this up-front to build the tools that we can use for the rest of development.

A notable absence is the lack of an in-game dedicated map editor; for this first pass, we'll be leveraging the excellent Tiled tool for painting terrain, objects, and elevation. Rather than reinventing the wheel right out of the gate, we would rather focus our development efforts on making the editors for Lancer-specific data like units, command zones, sitrep rules + triggers, and dialogue.

This is only a coupla days of programming after we came up with the designs, so it's still pretty rough (all map assets are placeholders). The tabs top-left are the six tools that we think we'll need: mission data, map tiles, command zones, units + reinforcement groups, sitrep triggers, and dialogue. The white junk is a visualization of the terrain data coming in on boulders.

I guess this is also y'all's first look at the basic map layout, as well! Accidental reveals of note:

  • rectangular tiles rather than hexes (paying the hex technical+asset tax was ultimately not worth it),

  • rectangular tiles (lol what) (it normalizes the number of tiles shown vertically and horizontally, useful for seeing entire 10+ tile ranges for weapons) (it also opens up some neat perspective tricks by allowing units to overlap the tile above them),

  • and elevation (we're doing an elegant technical trick to get the cliff edges to line up with tile edges, maybe will post about someday) (also ignore the double-layered ones; they had too many awkward constraints about how they had to be placed to work visually, which meant we had to drop them if we wanted to ever do destructible cliffs).

Coins update

We just got our second coin proof and are reviewing it. It's likely we'll put in the full production order sometime next week.

Stickers update

The production run of stickers has finished! This is what 2500 symbols of being gay and doing giant robot crimes looks like:

Unfortunately, we're not quite done because I messed up the order for the IPS-N stickers and accidentally ordered them as glossy finish instead of matte and didn't notice in the digital proof. I was stressed about moving and dealing with confirming with my bank that the order was real and just whiffed on that detail.

I think we just gotta redo them (a $750 mistake 😭) because everything else is matte and they stick out like a sore thumb, but that leaves me with 2500 IPSN misprints that I'm not sure what I'll do with. Make 'em available afterwards in a digital storefront for cheap? Just send them out to everybody as a free bonus along with the rest of the stuff? Engage in an ineffective guerilla marketing campaign by plastering them all over Portland? I'm open to ideas.


The core of Lancer Tactics’ engine.


Event system, aka, how to handle nested "you've activated my trap card" triggers