Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Tour of Gameplay!

Oh hey, didn't see there!

Check out our new Facebook page! Yaaay, and be sure to Like (if you want... Please :) )

Well as you are here, I guess I'll take you through the basics of how the game works! (Shocked face!)

Let's start with the basics. The Lawless Online is a free (FREE) Online, Multiplayer-Only Role Playing Tactical Strategy... As a way to help get your lovely heads around the concept, imagine Diablo but with the gameplay similar to the old Commando games (or Desperados) and based around objectives like Company of Heroes... all set in the world of the Old West.

Make sense? Didn't think so. But if it did then that's excellent and we'll continue.


Everyone starts by creating an account on our website (which is still under construction). From the Account pages on the website the Player, you, can create a new Character. This Character is the main Character in your game. He or She can be anything you want... A Bank clerk who is seeking revenge for the violence against his family... Or a General Store owner who is tired of being harassed by bands of Outlaws, or just a bat-Schmidt crazy Outlaw hellbent on killing everything and everyone  - Whatever you want, it's up to you! The more creative the better and these stories will help build the world of The Lawless Online with it's own user-created history and culture.

Once all the information has been set up about your Character and chosen what he/she looks like, you can start playing the game via a downloadable game client!

Let's say you have joined a game and it's a 3-player free-for-all match.

Each Player in the game starts with one unit - their Character they created on the website. They also have two resources - Notoriety Points and Cash.

Cash is the main resource. With Cash you can purchase Units, Equipment, Tech and maintain a healthy economy.

Notoriety Points are an in-match level system. So the more Notoriety Points you gain from killing people, capturing buildings etc. the more buildings, equipment and techs you have access to/


Every map in the game contains one or more Towns and each player's objective is to have Persuasion over the whole Town by securing the Town's important buildings such as:

Houses are the staple to the Towns. Although they are common they are extremely useful. It is up to each player to "capture" these Houses to gain territory and gain Notoriety Points.

OR you can choose to Rob the building and get a quick injection of Cash but you make the building inactive for a set amount of time.

Saloons can either be Captured or Robbed like every other building. 

A Saloon generates Cash per minute, capturing buildings like Saloons are vital to secure a good stream of income to fund your efforts. It is important to protect the ownership of these buildings and fight to capture other player's Saloons.

The Saloon also allows you to Hire Men. Once a unit has been hired, the unit costs per minute. But the unit is under your control until you sack him, he gets killed or you run out of Cash.

Gunsmiths can be Captured and Robbed like every other building, but they also generate Cash per minute.

Another benefit is items can be purchased (using Cash collected in the game) from these types of buildings and you can equip your Hired Units or your Character with them.

There are many other buildings but it would be a waste of time to go through them all, so imagine a map that has a town that consists of these important buildings and you and the other opposing players have spawned in different areas of the map.

It is every player's objective to capture the town and fight for possession of buildings and land that may tip the balance of power.


Ok, so now time to discuss combat! Each unit in the game has certain abilities and stances (depending on items and weapons you have equipped them with). It is important to learn the different attributes a certain weapon or item bestows on the selected unit.
For example a unit with a rifle has better accuracy and reload time when in a crouched firing position than when running around, although a unit equipped with a revolver isn't affected much by a crouched position but gains a fire rate boost when running around or charging.

Along with the changing attributes of items and equipment, the whole map is divided into areas of effect. So if your unit is, for example, standing in the middle of a road in the open, he/she suffers a dramatic decrease in their ability to take damage and can easily be surrounded. Although a unit perched on a hill gains a Range and Damage bonus which can prove useful when covering other units that are capturing a building.

Due to the constant cost of the units and shifting building ownerships, each player would only be able to reach a unit count of around 6 or 7. This means that each man counts and it is vital for the Player to choose equipment, weapons and tactics carefully in order to win fights that may break out.


The difference between a good player and a great player will be about who has learnt how to use the terrain to their advantage and equips each unit with the best set of stuff. But that's not everything. Everything you do in-game is recorded and translated into XP. At the end of the game, this XP is transferred to your account on our website and you can use the Account panel to "Spend" earned points.

Each Character has a choice of several Masteries. As an example, one of these Masteries is Attack, another is Business. These Masteries then contain a set number of skills and abilities - some passive and some deployable and are unlocked when Characters reach a certain level.

Each level awards the player with one skill point. For example, at a high enough level a skill in the Attack mastery is Charge. Once a skill point has been added to Charge - the unit can use the Charge ability. The Charge ability has a recharge time, but the more skill points you add to Charge, lower the re-charge time and add Speed for example.

Very much like Diablo!


That's all of the basic gameplay elements. Check back for updates and for more details or if you have any questions, leave a comment! or follow us on our Facebook page and ask us there foor allll to seeeee.

Jack Bromhead

Friday, 2 March 2012

Terrain time

Again, perhaps not the most imaginative of titles, but imagination isn't meant to be my thing.. Oh wait!

Both Philip and I have been working our way through the never-ending list of jobs to do but it's really coming along. Work on the tools (level editor etc.) vital to making the game is hitting a steady pace, so much so that elements of the GUI are being produced! Which is incredibly exciting as you can imagine.

Yesterday also saw the first day of our intern, Rory Tatton! Who helped us out a lot and will hopefully be helping us out even more in the near future. Thankkks Roorry!

In terms of my side of the job, I have been working hard on the terrain. Worked out a standard terrain tile and now working on all the little decals to bring it all together. To make my point, I will attach a selection of pictures showing the progress.

All the maps are built up layers of images. For example, we start with a tiled Terrain texture -

"Horrible seams!" I hear you scream at my face, with curled back lips and teeth showing. But not to worry! That will all be masked and hidden, hooray! So let's add some buildings to make a little... street -

Bang! Ok see we have some buildings there. That's a Blacksmiths, a General Store, a cheeky Saloon and a House on the end. Looks like it's popping out a bit and is not blending. So lets add the shadows in -

Shadows in, shadows shadowing. Quite nice, makes you feel like they're actually attached to the floor. Time for some details on the ground to make it look like they've been used and the ground is actually dirt and not just a .png file tiled with a simple bump map on. Footprints and erosion at the doorways! -

And then some track marks where wagons have been churning up the ground! -

In this arid land though, it's not a great place for farming. But that doesn't mean that stuff doesn't grow! So it's time to add one of the most successful species on the planet to make an appearance. Grass :D

Then some final landscaping for underneath the grass.

Ok, so that's a quick example of how the decals can blend in the buildings and the objects around. If I was to add a fence or two or a hitching point outside some of the buildings it would bring it out even more. But I don't want to spoil you slaaaaaaaaashhh I haven't got round to those little cheeky objects. But I will do soon.

Anyway, off to work I go. Hopefully I will have another update soon.

-Jack Bromhead