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1065115 Posts in 43445 Topics- by 35464 Members - Latest Member: TeaTotalin

November 20, 2014, 06:14:40 PM
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1  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: November 19, 2014, 05:13:36 PM
Gorgeous concept art.

I noticed from your company's website you have unity experience.  Why did you choose to create your own 3D engine?  Are you building it on top of SDL, or was that only for the tech demo?

Networked multiplayer is a huge amount of work - are you guys using any middleware?  Although being a strategy/tactics game, you will probably avoid some of the headaches around latency.  Is it turn based?

Thanks for the detailed updates, it was a fun read.

Glad you're enjoying the devlog so far!

Yup, we're still building on top of SDL for porting purposes. One of the reasons we went with a custom engine was just the fun of developing the tech itself, but there were practical considerations as well.  Being able to scale and implement whatever middleware we want is a big plus, as are potential costs. Unity might be great, but outfitting the whole team and keeping it up to date can get quite pricey in the long run.

We've also actually worked on both real-time and turn-based multiplayer games in the past, so we have some tech we can use here. For Trudy, it's more an issue of keeping things deterministic enough to prevent cheating. Granted multiplayer is much more of a wish list item at this point, but we're trying not to shoot ourselves in the foot.
2  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: November 17, 2014, 09:30:34 PM
Thanks, soon enough I'll be able to model those for in-game using our editor!
3  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Slain! The 7 towers. Pixel side scrolling Gothic adventure. on: November 17, 2014, 11:15:15 AM
Looks very good, if a bit busy, but the contrast is clear between the background and the foreground. Those scraggly trees from the earlier concepts are awesome too; remind me so much of the mood in Sleepy Hollow.
4  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: I Want To Be Human - (PC game) on: November 17, 2014, 09:42:25 AM
It might be the YouTube video FPS, but one note I'd make about the boss is that he seems to go invisible when hit for a little too long. Perhaps that 1/60th of a second blinking typical to older console games would work a bit better?

Also, the Cerebral Bore was awesome in Turok 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEKLa373SIw
5  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Project Rain World on: November 17, 2014, 09:06:05 AM
The new water effects are impressive; fit right in and help make the world feel alive, just like the bat-snacks!

Also, the lizard tongue-fighting seems like a promising gameplay element. Are you experimenting with anything along the lines of luring/poisoning the enemies?
6  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: VHS Story [strategy/tycoon/streetfighter manager] on: November 17, 2014, 08:41:31 AM
Couldn't help but think of:

Love the art; hopefully doing all those movie references won't be too big a task for the artist!
7  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: November 16, 2014, 10:21:44 PM
Even more concepts!

The feathered gentry of Trudy.

Forgotten machines.

Marketplace concepts.

Map layout for the Aerie's Lyceum.

A few UI concepts.

8  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: November 08, 2014, 12:49:48 PM
Appreciate it! We're definitely going for a more kinetic, interactive vibe. The idea is to make the battles feel a something like a turn-based moba rather than an abstract board game.
9  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (The Forge Arena) on: November 05, 2014, 04:23:03 PM

Initial mockup of the forge arena.

One of the first gameplay elements we'd like to iterate on is the concept of an arena battle where the crowd and/or a "battle master" can have an impact on the fight itself. These modifiers range from items being tossed down by the crowd in the rafters, to the layout of the map itself changing based on in-battle events.

To prototype this gameplay, we've decided to mock up an arena in Trudy's "Sleepless Forge" district.

Destructible barrels can cause a fiery explosion or shower units in oil making them more vulnerable to heat-based attacks.

The arena battlefield is asymmetric with a giant furnace leaning against one wall. In the center rests a rough hill of terminals and crates, while the opposite end of the furnace is used as storage for various carts and hazardous materials.

The mine carts can be pushed to knock around enemies, while the terminals activate the conveyors leading up to the furnace.

Various pipework and heat grates also present dangerous areas that can be activated based on each team's performance. There's no real safe spot in the arena, but plenty of points of interest that can either provide an advantage or backfire in spectacular fashion.

Conveyors above the arena can be activated to feed the giant furnace.

The furnace itself was designed to look demonic with twisted metal at its top forming downcast eyes illuminated by the inner heat, and a front-side grill tapering into jagged teeth. The whole front plate can be raised and lowered with a pair of chains to imitate biting and chewing.

As the furnace is fed, molten metal drips from the sides of its mouth.

It's possible to stay at the edges of the arena, blowing up barrels from afar and pushing carts into oncoming foes. However, reaching the center allows the activation of the terminals that feed the beastly furnace causing fire and steam to explode from the pipework spread throughout the arena.

Furthermore, feeding the furnace will eventually cause molten metal to drip out and cover the lower sections of the map making the central hill the only spot where units can survive.

3D mockup of the forge arena.

Hopefully this variety of options will encourage players to explore various strategies, including shoving their enemies -- and perhaps even allies? -- into the gaping maw of the furnace in order to gain instant favour of the forge. 
10  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: October 27, 2014, 03:21:23 AM
More concepts:

A mood piece for the Sleepless Forge.

Level sketch of the Aerie's Lyceum. Inside are housed various punchcard-libraries and technology blueprints of yore.

Miscellaneous prop sketches. Yeah, we couldn't resist putting in an explosive barrel.

Concepts for the creepy, diminutive, and artificial Homunculi.

Coloured variations of a Homunculus.
11  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: October 24, 2014, 01:58:36 PM
Looks great. I love tactics games.
I hope it's going to have a comprehensive single player campaign.  Toast Left

Yup, we're definitely aiming for one. It's a lot more resource-intensive than making a multiplayer-only title, but creating a (hopefully) cool campaign in a cool setting was always one of the driving points.
12  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: October 24, 2014, 08:30:19 AM
I'm facing the same questions about interface in my own project so that was interesting. However I don't really see the point of colour-coding the movement range in team colour. I got the impression that this will be a single player game, and then you would probably only see your own movement anyway. If you're planning to include a hot-seat mode I could see the point, but I'd personally solve it by indicating the active team in another way, like a team banner on the UI or something.

The game looks cool though, I really like that you're not using an established fantasy setting.

The movement indicator of the opposition is there for potential preview options/range estimates, but it's also used to indicate the team itself. Underneath each unit, the tile is filled with the team colour. Since we're not palette swapping the characters as in a typical 2D game, and a single unit type can exist in both teams, it's very easy to mix them up without colour-coding. 
13  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: October 24, 2014, 08:22:56 AM
You're speed is pretty impressive, as is how experimental you've been.

My only comment is that adding a conditional to the movement range will be confusing for players. Making it harder for them to estimate next turn's moves. Granted for a tactics game that sounds fine.

We're not too worried about this element as it has worked rather well for various turn-based combat games in recent years. One of the benefits of this approach is that it's not quite as complicated as an action-point system, but it does allow for more flexibility than typical SRPGs.

One thing I'm not a huge fan of that's common to tactics games is the gradual inching-forward of each army, and having a secondary movement range does help to get the units into the fray much quicker while allowing for strategic retreat. To further compensate for potential downtime, we're also trying to give each unit a special defense ability when there's no target in range. In addition to raising def% and being able to pick a facing direction, defending can potentially also reload weapons, summon allies, heal, set down a projectile-deflecting shield, etc.
14  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: October 23, 2014, 09:26:08 PM
Thanks! There are still a bunch of features for the level itself -- nevermind the game -- but we're trying to be consistent with pushing ahead.
15  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: October 23, 2014, 11:35:17 AM
Level editor updates!

  • Clicking and dragging now selects an arbitrary area of a single surface.
  • Double clicking selects an entire surface (wall or floor).
  • Holding Ctrl. allows for appending to the current selection using the above controls.

  • Any floor-cell can be turned into a slope.
  • Slopes come in 22.5 and 45 degree variations -- anything higher looked odd when traversing it, and anything lower was not noticeable enough.
  • Slopes can face any one of the four cardinal directions and can be rotated independently.

We've also added support for extending the map in any direction and fixed up some rendering bugs with ambient occlusion.
16  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: October 16, 2014, 06:39:39 AM
Forgot to mention: for movement paths and outlines we'd like to go with smooth, curving lines over sharp, angular ones. Quadratic bezier curves can be used to achieve this look, and here's our first shot at it going through a colour-cycle:

17  Feedback / DevLogs / Movement Indicators on: October 15, 2014, 11:53:10 AM
Over time, Tactics games -- or just games with turn-based combat -- have adopted a few common interface concepts. Here are a few conventions we're considering for Trudy:

1). Player's team is colour-coded blue, the enemy's red, and NPCs green.

2). Movement ranges reflect team colours, are often represented with filled in tiles.

3). Alternatively, movement ranges are represented via an outline that traces the edges of the movement range.

4). Multiple ranges are used to indicate that a unit can travel further but at a cost, e.g., can't attack, extra resources need to be spent to attack, etc.

Blue/Red/Green team-colouring seems like a no-brainer so we'll probably keep with that convention. We'll also most likely go with outlines instead of filled-in tiles to keep UI real-estate to a minimum. However, a bigger factor for using outlines is our desire to save filled-in tiles as indicators for areas from which a unit can attack.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars is the only game I know of that did this and it worked rather well:

Granted we won't be defaulting to green tiles but potentially stick to team colours. This, however, brings up another issue --  secondary ranges are often colour-coded yellow:

This always seemed a bit counter intuitive to me as gold highlights are standard indicators for something that's interactive. The association in my head is that yellow == can act, team-colour == can move, but not necessarily do anything else.

We might just flip the convention here -- make move+act outlines gold, and move outlines team-coloured -- or simply go with white outlines like Shadowrun Returns:

I think I have a slight preference for coloured ranges as they're easier to parse, but I'm not sure if our approach would be counter intuitive to XCom players; what do you guys think?
18  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: WARBITS - Classic Turn-Based Strategy on: October 15, 2014, 09:47:04 AM
Nicely polished visuals. The game screen doesn't feel cluttered, but I still appreciate the icon-based minimap.
19  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (3D Tactics Game) on: October 10, 2014, 06:21:34 AM
Thanks! Hopefully we'll be able to fully realize this world in-game given the usual constraints.
20  Feedback / DevLogs / Re: Trudy's Mechanicals (New Art!) on: October 09, 2014, 12:57:50 PM
New art!

Decorations for the luxurious Aerie. The floating hot-air balloon gondolas are the preferred method of conveyance for the rich.

The ramshackle Warrens, where most of Trudy's populace live and work.

Generator-level sketch for a map in the sewer-like Underworld.

Concepts for an alarm station that summons friendly NPC Constables and a healing station which recharges the HP of all surrounding units.

Initial sketches for a Constable, the default non-Mechanical law enforcement unit of Trudy.

Coloured Constable sketches. The high-tech plasma rifle was replaced with an energy baton to better suit the setting.
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