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Rogue Aces

How to not suck at Rogue Aces – by The Commander

 

good_dude_boxless

What ho, Pilots! It’s the Commander here from Rogue Aces – the new aerial combat arcade rogue-lite from Infinite State Games and Curve Digital. Now, for your eyes only, are some exclusive tips I like to give plucky recruits on how to achieve jolly, big and fat scores and not totally suck.

There’s nothing I enjoy more than a little friendly competition, so why not spice things up with some insider knowledge, what-what?

 

Firstly, Ignore Me

Feel free to ignore my missions. You’re a Rogue Ace after all, it’s not like I expect you to behave! In fact, anything with a flag on the battlefield needs destroying, so if you happen to blow something up before I ask you to do so will net you a nice early completion bonus!

Secondly, Don’t Autoland

You’ll need to learn to land manually. You can use autoland, but that will spend some of those precious points you have earned. Yes, yes, it’s not very easy, it does take practice, but there’s nothing quite like the feeling of taking a burning and beaten up plane all the way back home and landing it safely. I always tell my pilots in training that as you approach, use your throttle to adjust your altitude. You can even use the drag of your plane’s nose to slow down. If you overshoot a run-way? Not a problem old chum! You can taxi along the ground, which is also handy for moving to a better take off position.

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Third, Aerial Steals

There’s been talk of some pilots undertaking an extraordinary procedure called the ‘Aerial Steal’. Word has it, they eject from their plane, land on an enemy plane, and then take control by throwing out the pilot! Now, as long as they remember to move the throttle up again on the stolen plane, that would of course technically work, but I couldn’t possibly sanction such absolute nonsense. But, let’s say one did manage to pull off an ‘aerial steal’ as it were, one would replenished their bombs, rockets and fuel in return for such a feat of derring-do. You do however inherit the damage of the stolen plane, so best not fill it with holes first my old fruit!

steal.gif

Fourth! Bombing targets

Buildings drop a whole lot better when the explosion is at the base. So what we like to do at Rogue Aces HQ is barrel along the ground like an absolute maniac blasting the bombs at the very bottom of the building. No, it’s not very elegant, and it certainly isn’t very stealthy but who cares? TALLY HO!

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Fifth, Fuel

Aaah, yes. You’ll need to keep an eye on the fuel gauge at the top of the screen, so you’ll know when you need to return to base. You’ll see a red dot on the gauge; this shows the distance to the nearest possible refuelling base. If that whole bar goes red, well, it may be time to consider an aerial steal. Not that such a thing is plausible.

Sixthly and finalfthly! Grab Those Crates

Your plane is lucky enough to inexplicably improve its mechanical statistics by collecting wooden crates dropped by enemy planes. Best not to overthink about the mechanics behind that, but the point is, always check planes to see if they’re carrying upgrade loot after every mission. If you keep collecting crates, your plane will become more and more irresponsibly overpowered.

I could go on for ages giving my little tips and tricks, but we must leave some for you to discover yourself. Fortune favours the brave, pilots!

Rogue Aces

Under the Hood pt.2 – Dogfighting and Upgrades

Welcome to Part 2 of this Under the Hood series. Today I want to go over the flight mechanics and AI, and the best ways to approach them in order to come out on top. Especially against that devilish Baron!

Another important aspect of your dogfighting capability is your plane’s upgrade level, so I’ll get into how that works too.

 

Dogfighting

If you’ve played the game at all, you’ll know that there are only really two things you have to control your plane:

  • Desired Direction – in the default control scheme you set this by holding the left stick in the direction you want the plane to point on screen. Unless you are cruising horizontally you should always be giving the plane a direction
  • Desired Thrust – unless you’ve remapped it, this is controlled with up and down on the right stick. For the most part it can be left at 100%, unless you are attempting a manual landing, but it can also be used to perform stall turns

 

I say ‘desired’ because you don’t directly affect the plane’s direction or thrust, you are making demands of it. The plane’s ability to meet your demands is determined by its upgrade levels of turn rate and acceleration, and its damage levels. Engine damage affects maximum thrust, while wing and tail damage affect turn rate. And thrust affects lift, so at lower thrusts the plane becomes more ‘drowsy’ and less responsive to changes in direction. You can see the damage levels of your plane via the damage HUD (left on the d-pad unless remapped).

 

However the enemy AI is also bound by these same rules. They are doing nothing more complicated than trying to turn to face you while avoiding the ground. They are unaware of each other, so don’t work together for instance, with one leading you while his comrades get on your tail. That would have been evil >:)

This has an important side effect: it makes them predictable. Ideally you should be close enough to your target to see which direction they are turning and angle yourself to best get behind them for a kill shot.

However, often they are off screen and, depending on the mode, you will see just a marker. But you know that they will be simply trying to fly at you, guns blazing. If they just flew past you they will need to turn around to do this, so chances are they are flying in a circle either clockwise or anti-clockwise. The radius of this circle is determined by their difficulty and wing/tail damage. You can use this to your advantage to come in behind them.

Once you are behind them it is very easy to stay there filling them with holes (unless your turn rate is worse than theirs). This is absolutely the best way to deal with the Baron. What we see a lot of people doing in streams, which is a really bad idea, is…

“We’re going head-to-head, Mav!”

Tom Cruise made head-to-heads look cool in Top Gun, but in reality (and in Rogue Aces) they are a very bad idea. Flying at the enemy head on allows them to do as much damage to you as you do to them. And in the case of the Baron (or multiple bogeys), there’s a good chance their damage output will be much higher than yours, so please don’t do this…

By all means put a few bullets or rockets down range in their direction on approach, but before you get too close, aim to pass to the side and then turn in behind them.

 

There are a couple more advantages you have as well: your plane can go higher than theirs, and you can dare to go much lower than they do. Be careful going higher though as you will lose some degree of control in the thinner air with reduced thrust, so getting close to the ground and coming up under them as they fly over is a much better idea.

 

It should be clear by this point that one of the most important aspects in dogfights is turn radius. With that in mind, it’s often worth putting a few bullets into the enemy to reduce theirs, meanwhile making sure to collect as many upgrade crates as you can to maximise yours.

 

Upgrades

There are several attributes to your plane that can be upgraded (different game modes may have reduced amounts). Each attribute has a fixed number of upgrade crates it requires to maximise the stat, and you will only ever be given exactly this amount over the course of whichever mode you are playing.

The complete set of attributes (and the number of upgrade levels) are:

  • Acceleration (10 levels)
  • Armour (10 levels)
  • Bomb Capacity (4 levels)
  • Cannon Fire Rate (10 levels)
  • Cannon Power (10 levels)
  • Fuel Capacity (5 levels)
  • Rocket Capacity (4 levels)
  • Turn Speed (10 levels)

 

Upgrade crates are fed to you with varying rules depending on the mode. However you should always strive to get as many as you can, because the enemy is constantly upgrading too and it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. It’s also very important in campaign modes to get your guns to a sufficient strength that allows you to cut through ground forces like butter. Ground forces don’t get any harder to kill, they simply get more numerous. And their difficulty is based on distance from the carrier, unlike the enemy planes.

 

So to close out let’s look at what determines when you can get upgrade crates from enemy planes in each mode:

  • Normal/Veteran Campaign: as soon as you start you should be able to get a couple of upgrade crates. But then your upgrade level will be capped until you complete missions. After every mission complete, kill an enemy plane to see if it will give you a crate. Keep killing planes until they stop giving crates. They won’t give any more until you complete more missions (you may have to complete 2 or more). One notable exception is the Baron. He will always drop a repair crate when you disable his plane (which can’t be destroyed) then another two upgrade crates when he explodes into the ground.
  • Frontline Campaign: the upgrade level in this mode jumps up every time you advance to a new island. Your first action should be to keep killing enemy planes until they stop dropping upgrades. Finding the enemy airfield and killing them as they take off is a very viable strategy. If you should fail the island you still keep any upgrades you collected on that run.
  • Survival: every plane killed drops an upgrade in this mode.
  • Bomber Defence: the upgrade mechanism in this mode is different – instead of upgrade crates, each kill fills up the bar in the top right. When this bar fills up fully, your bomber’s guns and armour are upgraded and the bar resets.
  • Hot Potato: there are no upgrades in this mode.
  • Rogue Ace: this mode starts you and the enemy at maximum upgrade level, so any upgrade crates you see in this mode will re-arm rockets, bombs, refuel your plane or repair it.

Thanks for reading, and see you next time 🙂

Fly safe!

Rogue Aces

Under the Hood pt.1 – All Game Modes (and how to unlock them)

At Infinite State Games, we are of the older ilk of gamer. From a time when a tight arcade game loop was enough to keep you coming back, and the struggle to beat your own score and the promise of unlocking more things was the motivation to keep you going.

And Rogue Aces very much follows this old school model.

But I’m seeing a lot of wrong information floating around about the game modes and how to unlock them. Given that we’ve locked all the modes behind skill gates relevant to the mode, I’m not too worried about spoilers – you still need to ‘git gud’ 🙂

So to kick off this series about how the game works underneath, let’s first look at what game modes we’ve got and how to access them…

 

Campaign Modes

  • Normal Campaign – the default game mode unlocked from the start. Enemy planes and mission targets are marked, and auto landing is allowed.
  • Frontline Campaign – every island in this mode requires you to capture a base, so you unlock this mode when you capture your first enemy base (see More->Tutorials->Capturing Bases for more info). Only the nearest Allied Base is marked, but auto landing is allowed.
  • Veteran Campaign – this mode is for the best of the best, so it is unlocked when you prove you can reach mission 20 in the campaign and defeat your first Baron. In this mode there are more enemy forces (land, sea and air) and they are stronger. Mission targets are marked as usual, but enemy planes are not. There is also no auto landing, so check out that Landing Guide!

 

Arcade Modes

  • Survival – this is a mode for the dog fighting purists out there, and so is simply unlocked by, well, dog fighting. Kill 20 planes in campaign mode to unlock this mode. Planes are marked, but there is no auto landing. But then landing resets your multiplier, so you’ll probably want to find another way to stay in the fight.
  • Bomber Defence – this one is a little bit different and a little bit hidden. To unlock this mode you need to view the Credits. Eventually you can control a bomber. Once you’ve scored 5 kills the mode will unlock.
  • Hot Potato – this mode is what happens when your game spends too long in development! You have no weapons and must hop from plane to plane via Aerial Steals. And so you unlock it by getting 3 or more Aerial Steals in any game mode that allows it.
  • Rogue Ace – the final, and arguably best, mode. This mode has no missions or upgrades – your plane is fully maxed out for pure arcade craziness. But so are the enemy! Unlock this mode by upgrading your plane to 50% of its maximum power (in Normal Campaign this may happen around mission 40, but is a little random). The only thing marked is the nearest Allied Base, and there is no auto land. But landing is for rookies 🙂

 

Bonus

  • Training Ground – this mode is unlocked by default. It is an excellent place to come and practise your flying skills as there is no map collision. And for extra fun you have infinite rockets and bombs. That never gets old!

 

Good luck unlocking them all, pilot!

PS4, PSVita, Rogue Aces, Video, XBONE

VO is in Rogue Aces!

We’ve just finished putting the voice over in the game, and what a difference it’s made. Putting audio in any game really makes it come alive, and it’s one of our favourite parts of the game making process.

However when the voice over goes in, when it’s performed by someone as indescribably awesome as Marc Silk, that’s when your game’s personality really jumps out of the screen and in your head.

Here’s a video of us starting a new game and playing some missions. Marc does the voice of both the British Commander and the rather unhinged American Pilot.

 

Sounding pretty cool, huh?

Actually recording the VO with Marc was a blast.  Mike called up to Marc’s studio via Skype, and via the medium of clever electronics was able to see and talk to him while the recording was being done.

There was lots of Scooby-Doo and Shaggy impressions in between takes, and much dicking about which definitely helped get the energy right.  There was also a lot of adlibbing which made the cut into the game.

Visit Marc’s website here and if you’re a in the market for top class VO, this is your guy right here.  He’s also bloody lovely.  www.marcsilk.com

Rogue Aces, Sony, VIta, XBONE

Rogue Aces: Meet The Enemy

Good_Dude_Boxless.pngWhat ho, my old fruities!

Now look here, I’ve got some intel on the enemy forces you’ll be taking on in Rogue Aces.

So pay attention, pilot!

 

AERIAL FOES

4.png B101 Fury Wasp – Slow turns, small engines weak guns.

1.png B102 Angry Squirrel – better fire power, slow speed.

2.pngB103 Sparrowhawk – highly agile fighter

3.png B104 SkyTiger – Big guns, fast and tough.

5.png B105 Nashwan – Max acceleration, turn speed, armour & guns.

 

Bombers_Revised.png

 

B112 The Spangleford Skyburglar

Heavily armoured, chain gun toting flying fortress capable of delivering explosive payloads or paratroopers.

There have been larger enemy assets spotted in the skies, but we’re going to need you to investigate those for yourself, pilot.  We do however have this classified silhouette…

Enemy_Airship.png

GROUND-BASED FOES

Tank_Aim.png T021 Death Tortoise Tank – slow but capable of killing you in one shot.

Enemy_AA_Truck_Drive.png P-A2 A-A Artillery Vehicle – powerful anti air attacking powers.

AA_Turret_Revised.pngAnti Aircraft Turret – hell bent on destroying you.

Flak_Boat_Cruise_Frames.pngSS. Rusty Destroyer – The tank of the sea!

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Armoured Train – the enemy has taken to adulterating beautiful choo-choo trains and sticking a load of horrid guns on them.  These are modular and change their configuration according to the threat level.

There are reports of much larger nautical military threats out there, but nothing concrete.  All we have this this classified silhouette…

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Now, there’s still a few months until we start our all out assault on the enemy, and it’s quite possible that we’ve missed some threats off of this intel report that you’ll have to encounter in the field.

We do however have this footage from a previous night time test flight you might enjoy

In the mean time, we suggest you follow infinite state games on Twitter to keep abreast of the latest intelligence coming in.

@infinitestates

TALLY HO!

ISG, PS4, PSVita, Uncategorized, Wing Kings, XBONE

Wing Kings Brand New Screenshot Blitz!

Wing Kings (working title) is coming along VERY nicely indeed.  We have in our hands solid proof that an arcade aerial combat roguelike is insanely fun.  But don’t worry, it’ll be in your hands in Q1 2017!  Here are some new screenshots of a prop-plane blowing things up 😉

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Some little fellas here running away from your bombs

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There’s your Commander, greeting you to the game.

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Whoops, we had to eject here due to flying plane into cliff edge.

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This is one of the enemy’s biscuit factories.  Better destroy that.

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Bit of night time parachuting.

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This is a well guarded factory, getting rather peppered with bullets!

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Taking flak from all angles against this battle ship.

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Some serious tank action!

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A giant enemy airship took me out!

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Well, at least I took a few tanks and some dude with me.

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A little unsporting perhaps, this sort of carry on.

So there we go!  Next up, we’ll be putting in the other ecosystems and environments.  Just as soon as we’ve put in the BARON BOSS FIGHTS! Oooooh!

And don’t forget, if you want to help us choose the final name for Wing Kings, we’ve put it to a vote!  Check out our shortlist and let us know which name suits the game best here!

Team ISG

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