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Halfway Questions? Answers!

Posted by bach,

What a week! Halfway has made the rounds to quite a few gaming websites this week (here, here and here to name a few), which is of course super exciting, but also a little scary 🙂

To make things easier, we’ve also setup a mailing list for the game, so if you want to be kept in to loop via old-school email, make sure you sign up here: Mailing List

Now, to the actual content of this week’s update: We’ve seen the same questions pop-up again and again over the last few weeks. We thought we’d tackle some of these today and at the same time give you more insight into some of the game’s various aspects.

BUT, here’s the important thing: We’re always open to feedback and the game is far from finished. A lot will still change and ideas will be further developed and change.

We have no problem admitting that we’re big fans of X-Com. Let’s be honest, they’ve done an excellent job when it comes to streamlining the battle aspects of the turn-based strategy genre. We have taken inspiration from those ideas, especially when it comes to the battles. But X-Com is only one source of inspiration. Others to quote would be Jagged Alliance 2, Chaos Engine (visually), System Shock (story-telling). Mixed into the cocktail are also some of the japanese turn-based RPGs like Tactics Ogre. Of course comparisons only go so far.
All this to say: Yes we take inspiration from many games and genres, pick out the best, adapt them and make them into our own.

Does Halfway have procedural content?
Yes and no. What we don’t have is procedurally generated levels. Instead we have hand-crafted levels. As mentioned in last week’s post, we strongly feel this is the way to go for our game. With Halfway, we don’t just want to send the player through a series of randomly occurring battles, but deliver an engaging story with it. This is quite difficult to do with completely procedural content. We hope you will agree when you actually get to play the game.
A few aspects of the game are randomised, however. Battles are different every time you play them, with enemies being placed differently. Items and weapons have randomised elements to them as well. Plus there are events that happen outside of the battles which aren’t pre-determined (more on that below).

What about Squad customisation?
In Halfway your squad members don’t have fixed classes. Instead each squad member is made up of a tactical skills tree and some positive and negative perks. Some characters will share certain skills and specialisations. When a member has gained enough experience the player will be able to choose from skills and perks to customise their team.

We won’t put any limitations on what equipment a character can or can’t use. However, some characters will be better trained or experienced to make use of certain items and weapons.

An important aspect we wanted to ensure is that your squad is not just composed of “disposable” members. Instead they are characters with a story that you pick up throughout your journey in the game. They all bring a different angle to the story, and with that also certain abilities and specialisations that will be entirely unique to them. Learn how to use each member of your squad properly and you might just find some interesting new strategies to overcome the next level!

As a side-note: You as the player will directly play as one of the squad members.

What happens besides the battles?
After one of the first few levels, you will recover a sector of the space ship which will become your temporary headquarters. After every battle, you will return to the headquarters for strategic planning. Here, you can walk around your headquarters and talk to the other members of your small group of survivors, organise your equipment and put together a squad for the next level. Another aspect we’d love to add is that the player can delegate tasks to his remaining members, whilst he is out on the next mission. For example, they could go scouting for equipment, other survivors or just defend the headquarters to make sure they won’t be overrun by aliens.

We’d love to hear what you guys think, including any ideas and suggestions you might have. We’re thinking of doing another Q&A in the future, so if there are any aspects of the game you would like to hear more about, let us know in the comments.

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