Last update: 2021/04/28
Does the game support modding?
Sorry, but no. This game has been designed and developed by a single person. With such limited resources, priorities had to be established very carefully to make sure it had a chance of being finished and released. Even so, that took over two years.
The combat is too random! Why am I always dying in the first battles?
If you find yourself dying too early and too often, you should consider changing tactics. It is important to remember that in this game you are just a soldier. If you have held the line and are still alive at the end of the day, you have already done your job. You are not expected in the least to kill every enemy you face on the battlefield.
The Attitude bar is your best ally. Don’t be afraid to be very defensive during combat, even if it costs some Morale. With practice, you’ll learn to adjust the bar as the fight goes on to minimize that loss, and to increase your chances to inflict damage when the opportunity arises.
Always be aware of the Stance of all the fighters involved. If you attack an opponent when his Stance is full, you are exposing yourself to enormous danger: if you miss, you will be way more vulnerable to counterattack.
Fatigue is also extremely important and should be managed carefully.
Besides, the way you develop your legionary during the “camp” phase will make a lot of difference.
Last but not least, don’t feel compelled to accept every challenge and dangerous task. In fact, it may be in your best interest to avoid danger as much as possible for as long as you feel comfortable: you are not competing against anyone.
Can I use any of the secondary weapons listed in the Character screen?
Roman legionaries used short swords because they were particularly well suited when fighting in tight formations. There is an occurrence where you can use your pilum like a spear to counter a cavalry charge. Situations where you could use other types of weapons without it feeling forced didn’t come up as I wrote the rest of the game.
Are the probabilities accurate or is the RNG broken?
The numbers used as a fill rate for the indicators in the combat interface are the same used for the actual roll. The RNG module uses Unity’s Random generator at its core, which produces random values with a uniform distribution. The whole mechanism has been tested very thoroughly, so you can trust the values you see. I understand it’s frustrating to miss two or even more rolls when the chances are high, but please consider that probability has no memory: if an action has just failed, your next attack with an appealing 75% chance of success can still fail with a probability of 25%, it doesn’t matter what happened before. Also, you can be sure you’ll notice unexpected failures a lot more than expected successes, and that will affect your perception of the fairness of the RNG.
During some of the fights my Stance circle is never full. Why is that?
When your enemies have the high ground or you are attacking a fortified position, your max Stance is penalized by a certain amount. This amount is shown as a number next to an icon at the top left corner of the screen. If you hover over the icon, a tooltip containing an explanation will appear.
Why are enemies getting multiple turns and I am not?
During each round, all fighters involved have a chance of skipping their turn. This is called No Action in the Equipment screen. The lower their Quickness, the higher the chance becomes. A character’s current Stance affects this chance significantly (low Stance will slow you down) and their Fatigue level also has a strong impact (the more tired you are, the slower you become). Morale plays a small part, too.
Similarly, each fighter has a chance of obtaining an extra action (Second Action in the Equipment screen). The higher their Quickness, the higher the likelihood of this happening. Again, low Stance and Fatigue have a strong negative impact on the odds. Morale has a small influence on the outcome (Morale above Content makes you slightly faster. Morale below Content makes you slightly slower).
All this is explained in-game in several places, including the Help of the Equipment screen, where the percentages are shown.
On the Combat UI, three blinking dots represent a skipped action, while three spinning bars signify an extra action. You can also open the combat log when in doubt about what happened.
If you are attacking a fortified position (see the previous question), it is very likely you will be acting slower than your opponents.
During a game I failed a roll when the relevant stat was high. In another game I succeeded when the same stat was low. Is something wrong?
Chances are weighted based on your stats. The actual chance depends on the difficulty of the task at hand, and each check in the game has its own fixed difficulty: an especially high Attribute might give you, for example, an 80% chance to succeed at a given roll. A low stat might give you 20%. As you can see, it’s possible to fail the 80% roll during a game and pass the 20% one in another. It’s not common, but it can happen. Most rolls can be passed automatically if your Attributes or Skills are high enough, but again it depends on the difficulty of the task; some of them require very high values—even above 80—for an automatic success.
Why don’t you show numbers instead of gauges in the combat interface?
The first prototypes had plain percentages, but they seemed too “cold” and out of place in a game like this. A visual feedback that relied on the player’s intuition felt closer to what I wanted to achieve. In the heat of combat, our legionary should have a general idea of how confident he is about his next move, but it seems wrong to tell him that he has a 38.1% chance of hitting his opponent’s head. Well, not exactly “wrong”, but more suited to a science fiction game.
At first I wanted to use colors, with different tones of green representing a good chance of success and different tones of red representing a low chance, but I realized this would cause problems to color blind people. During the early access stage I used a “hand with a thumb” icon: the percentage used for the actual roll was converted into an angle and used to rotate the icon. Later, I replaced it with the current gauges.
How do Enhancement Points work?
When you create a new character, you get points to spend according to the following formula:
(Best score / 2) + ( (Sum of HoF entries / 20) * Lerp(0.5, 1.5, (HoF entries count) / 20))
20 is the max size of the Hall of Fame.
Lerp linearly interpolates between 0.5 and 1.5 based on the HoF fill rate (if you have 20 entries, the average score of your entries is multiplied by 1.5).
The formula ensures that your points never regress. You can spend all of them every time, because they are always restored to their full value for each new legionary you build.
I heard the same music tracks elsewhere. Do you own exclusive rights to the music?
No, all the music tracks in the game are either in the public domain or under CC BY 3.0. You can find the details about each piece in the credits.
Where is the save file?
There are two save files: current.sav contains the current game and hof.sav contains the Hall of Fame. Both are located in C:\Users\[your windows username]\AppData\LocalLow\ARoberti\A Legionary’s Life\saves.
AppData is a hidden system folder, it’s in the same folder that contains Documents and Downloads. You have to temporarily make it visible to access it.
Are there plans for DLC?
Regrettably, this game has been conceived as self-contained since the early design stages; there are no plans for DLC at the moment.
Will you make more games?
I certainly hope so, though it is a very long and risky process. I began working on a new game early in 2020, but that’s been sporadic at first, and totally set aside in February as I worked on more updates for A Legionary’s Life which required my full attention. After that, I have been able to design and develop it on a full-time basis, though it will take patience until I am able to present details and show something concrete; hopefully, A Legionary’s Life will be able to keep supporting this new project financially for as long as necessary.