It has been five long months since the Tactera Demo was released on the Gear VR. In that time, the reception has been spectacular, with tens of thousands of downloads and a 4.4 rating on the store. The user reviews have been wonderfully positive, but many of them demanded the same thing: a full version.
I’m excited and proud to announce that the time has come! The full version of Tactera has been submitted for review to Oculus, and the launch date is set for May 31st! To celebrate, I put together a short teaser trailer to show off some of the new features I’m especially excited about:
There have been a bunch of changes and improvements since the demo. The biggest of those are the creation of a campaign mode and the addition of six new unit types. I’ll be sharing more details about those in the coming weeks on this blog, but for now, I want to share some info about some of the other interesting changes to the game mechanics.
By far the most-requested feature was the ability to control your units after they’ve been deployed. In the original design of Tactera, I allowed the player to give the first waypoint, but allowed the units to decide where to go after that by themselves. The idea was to avoid micromanagement and instead to focus on the higher-level strategic decisions. However, it was frustrating to see units going to the wrong spot instead of attacking where you really intended.
In the full version, units will still automatically push forward and attack new targets, but I’ve added the ability to “redirect” them, essentially overriding their current destination with a new one. To do so, you target the ground and hold down on the touchpad to select all units in a certain area. Then, tap on a destination to give them a new order. This isn’t meant for fine-grained control. Units that are engaged with enemies won’t break off combat, you can’t select a single unit out of a group, and your units won’t stand still after reaching their destination. But this new feature does allow you to control the current targets of your army without imposing the burden of micromanagement.
New Economic Options
In the demo, there was a base upgrade mechanic, but it wasn’t entirely clear how it worked. In the full version, the base upgrade options have been expanded and made more user-friendly. There are now two different options: BOOST and UPGRADE. You just target a friendly base and hold down on the touchpad for a moment to see these options pop up.
The UPGRADE option lets you trade short-term productivity for a long-term bonus. When you choose to upgrade a base, it will stop producing units for a while. After the upgrade is complete, the base will produce units at over twice the normal speed. It’s a pretty traditional investment mechanic, and very useful. However, if an upgraded base is destroyed, it will lose its upgraded status, so it’s best to only upgrade the bases you can protect!
The BOOST option is essentially the opposite idea. When you choose to boost a base’s production, it will go into overdrive, rapidly churning out units for a short time. After that, however, the base will go almost totally dormant, producing units at a much slower rate than normal. Boosting trades long-term production for short-term benefits. This is great for a high-stakes, all-in “rush” strategy, a final assault to knock out the enemy, or a last-chance push to turn the tide of a losing battle.
These new mechanics will need to be explained in-game, of course, and the full version of Tactera includes a whole new tutorial for that purpose. The demo only included a few hints that would pop up during the first battle, whereas the new tutorial will actually pause to give the player time to read and to figure out the controls.
This new tutorial is quite short (the game mechanics are still pretty simple, after all), but it gives the opportunity to explain the mechanics and to answer a few frequently asked questions as well. For instance, yes, artillery can damage air units. No, there is no friendly fire. And yes, units will automatically move forward to attack, unless you choose to redirect them.
I’m very excited to finally be getting this into the hands of players, and I appreciate all the support the game has received over the past several months. I was thrilled by the reception of the Tactera Demo, and I can’t wait to see how people like the full game!