Devlog #24 – Let’s make war

February brought yet another seasonal event to cpd, alongside plenty of new mechanics. Let’s see what they’re all about in this month’s devlog:

The first big update of the month was VDay, introducing for the first time some Valentine’s romance to 2090’s Cinci. If you missed exchanging presents with your lover this time, don’t worry – there’s always next year.

There were also some minor changes to other mechanics, like adjustments to how your Current Stash works and slight improvements to the usage of Hard facts and Moods, but the bigger changes and system overhauls came with our second named update of the month: Let’s make war.

Street wars

Street wars have always been a large mechanic, but they’ve been greatly expanded, with new mechanics, new companions, and new information types. Your ability to affect the chaos your street wars cause has also been amplified, and your different teams have more impact in how you conduct the fight on the streets. One of the biggest additions is a new card called War thoughts, which allows for more and different approaches to how you carry out the war.

Along with the update to war mechanics that came a few weeks ago, this update aims to make street wars even more nuanced and detailed – and perhaps bloodier and more brutal. Attacks from both sides can now only happen from the second day of a war onwards, so you’ve got longer to gather intel and prepare for when the fighting begins. We’re not done with wars yet (lots more to come), but we think this update adds a lot to the experience so far.

Fight or flight?

The Fight or flight card has also been overhauled, giving you – and your opponent – a broader range of options when facing yet another dangerous situation in Cinci streets. Combat tests and fights were rebalanced to include the impact of several different weapons; even grenades can be employed, and you can preview your weapons’ performance in several combat tests. Some companions will also be able to help you now, making this system a more dynamic and interesting experience.

The chase scenes have also gone through a very large overhaul, which has been a long time in the making. These scenes have had a lot of feedback over the game’s lifetime so far, and make an interesting case study in the asymmetrical nature of game design: players are much more likely to remember the one time they were dominated by their opponent in the chase, and forget the far greater number of times that they had complete control.

We addressed this by making sure that you now have a certain number of guaranteed turns for every turn that your opponent has, so you’re no longer at risk of being locked out of making proactive choices. However, your opponent is now given the same opportunity, resulting in the chases being more balanced overall. Some will still be harder than others (potentially much harder), but easy chases will now also be more challenging.

There have been a lot of other changes and additions, especially to weapons, companions and calling in your crew during a chase. We also added something that’s been a big ask for a long time – now when you run out of time, it’s no longer an automatic loss.

As with the war mechanics, there will be plenty more updates to the chases in future. A big part of the overhaul was changing the underlying systems to make adding and changing content much easier in future. It’s taken a while to get this far as  it’s always been a big change to make in one go (due to the scenes’ nature, it was impossible to implement them bit by bit), but now that it’s here, expect more iteration more often. As with any big overhaul, we’re sure there are lots of balance adjustments still to make, so please bear with us and remember to send your feedback!

More details

Besides the big overhauls, a lot of other systems have undergone smaller changes. It’s now possible to purge sleeping pills if you take them by accident, and if you are on them, your alertness is now capped so you can’t accidentally raise it again. Companions and passengers have had some work. You can no longer pick up some hired help to be a passenger; companions now fill that role instead, and there’s a new companion type specifically for ride-alongs: Shotgun.

As always, there were plenty of other tweaks and adjustments, as well as new art added and bugs fixed. If you want to see all the changes in detail, you can always go through our changelogs right here, on Steam, or on our discord server.

You can also join the discord if you want to be a part of the discussion about cpd, be it to give us your feedback or just to talk to other community members about your experiences – we have a very active community there that does just that. And of course, don’t forget to visit us on our twitter too.

Thanks for your time, we’ll see you next time.