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1056269 Posts in 42893 Topics- by 34843 Members - Latest Member: Zeyes

October 22, 2014, 09:13:00 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsTelepath Tactics (Now with an ALPHA DEMO!)
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larsiusprime
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« Reply #660 on: November 20, 2012, 03:24:15 PM »

For performance, it all depends on what setup he's using. In something like flixel, adding full-screen semi-transparent post-effects - even ones with alpha, do take away a bit from performance, but are generally much faster if they're composited directly onto the framebuffer than if you draw them as a separate layer using the display list.

So if Craig's rending directly to a single BitmapData that acts as his framebuffer, it might be possible without too much of a penalty. Especially if you can get away with using copyPixels() rather than draw()
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Nostrils!
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« Reply #661 on: November 20, 2012, 03:36:48 PM »

Sure, if Craig wants that in the options and likes the idea in general. It's up to him of course. I know that some devs don't like having visual stuff like that as optional, though, as they don't like the idea of some players having a "poorer" visual experience.

Your screenshots are a good example of how much it adds. And that's just static images. Does the cloud layer also move in SD?

it moves, slowly (although that depends on the room, windy areas have them moving faster). its alpha value also is usually lighter than in that pic (i was doing some testing on clouds and had it set darker at that point)
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #662 on: November 21, 2012, 10:52:07 AM »

This game does not use Flixel-style rendering, unfortunately, so covering the screen with a moving translucent images would probably incur a noticeable performance hit. If I were to blanket the map in a static fog image, however, it would probably work nicely. (That would be similar to the way I'm doing global lighting--it transforms the BitmapData directly just once, so there's no ongoing performance cost.)

I'm quite sure that a single moving fog or cloud shadow image with alpha would not prevent the game from running well on most modern Windows computers. However, I'm being particularly sensitive to issues of performance with Telepath Tactics because (a) AIR applications tend to run slower on Mac, and even moreso on Linux; and (b) I want to port the game to mobile devices when I'm done, where performance is also likely to be an issue.
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larsiusprime
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« Reply #663 on: November 21, 2012, 01:18:05 PM »

If you're not using flixel-based rendering, you actually have an advantage on mobile - you'll get to take advantage of native Hardware Acceleration Smiley
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #664 on: November 21, 2012, 01:33:02 PM »

I've released a new monthly update! Check it out.

It's funny: it seems like every single month, I think "I didn't get any work done the last month," but then I sit down to write up the update. After I've written it all out, I inevitably realize that I actually accomplished quite a bit. It's a pretty good morale booster. Smiley

If you're not using flixel-based rendering, you actually have an advantage on mobile - you'll get to take advantage of native Hardware Acceleration Smiley

That's the plan!
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #665 on: November 24, 2012, 10:57:37 PM »

Spent the last few days getting the game ready for its Kickstarter campaign. Short version: map editor now allows row-by-row and column-by column-map expansion, "Fire" is now a weather condition, I've added the title screen art into the game, and the Title Screen Menu, New Campaign and New Match menus are now all considerably more attractive.

I'll go into this stuff in more detail later. For now, I am dead tired and going to sleep.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #666 on: November 26, 2012, 09:41:29 PM »

I've submitted the Kickstarter campaign, and now await Kickstarter's approval. Once they give me the green light, I'll launch the campaign and let everyone know about it!

In the meantime, I've contented myself with making further improvements to the game:

  • I've replaced the hard-coded exception in the game that lets explosive charges explode on death with a new character attribute: onDeath. This attribute lets you make any character or object use any attack when it dies. This means that you can create your own explosive objects, or even characters that detonate upon death.
  • The game now has a separate animated bar for changes to character Energy, much like the Health bar but with a light blue and gray color scheme to distinguish it visually.
  • Items that increase or decrease Health or Energy now trigger an animated bar upon use. They now feel much more satisfying to use as a result.
  • Items can now grant and remove multiple status effects at once. (It works much like attacks: just delimit each individual status effect with a forward slash.)
  • Fixed an issue with negative item statuses (e.g. items that damage you when used) not working properly.
  • Fixed an issue with the timing of pop-up messages on items that both alter character stats and teach a new attack.
  • Fixed a bug relating to the character accuracy stat that made it so attacks were never dodged or blocked.

That's a fair bit of work for one night, I think! I'll explain the changes from my last post later.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #667 on: November 27, 2012, 03:44:37 AM »

As promised, here's a little more about these:

Quote
map editor now allows row-by-row and column-by column-map expansion, "Fire" is now a weather condition, I've added the title screen art into the game, and the Title Screen Menu, New Campaign and New Match menus are now all considerably more attractive

  • The new "Fire" weather condition now causes little fiery sparks to float around the screen. It looks great in lava-filled caves!
  • When working in the map editor, I found that I would frequently start working on a map, then later realize that I needed more room to work, or that I'd calculated incorrectly in trying to determine the number of rows or columns I'd need to make the map symmetrical. Rather than starting over (which is a horrible waste of time), the map editor now lets you expand the map row-by-row or column-by-column in any direction, whenever you want, without disturbing your previous work. It's really damned handy.
  • I've redone the look of all the main menus, including different versions of the title screen for windowed mode and fullscreen mode. It's looking much, much, much nicer now! I can officially show this game at PAX East without embarrassment.

That's it for substantive updates lately (well, that and last night's lengthy post). I've been working my butt off on getting the Kickstarter campaign ready to go. I submitted the thing Sunday night, and only require Kickstarter's go-ahead to launch it. Not gonna lie: I'm chomping at the bit here! I can't wait to launch this thing. Smiley
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #668 on: November 27, 2012, 09:18:49 AM »

Small update: I've added in a second set of animating bars for attacks that also impact the attacker's Health or Energy. Feedback, for instance, damages the target while healing the attacker: so the game now shows animating health bars for both the attacker and the target (one filling up, and the other draining). Likewise, with Soul Suck, there's a health bar displayed over the target and an energy bar over the attacker: the former depletes, and simultaneously, the latter fills up. It's a really nice visual effect that neatly underscores what's happening in these attacks.

Next, I'm going to add the option for persistent text at the top of the screen. (Watching new players has shown me that people will almost immediately forget tutorial text after they've read it, even if they've read it multiple times. Kind of sad, but whatever.)
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #669 on: November 27, 2012, 12:53:42 PM »

More small updates! Most significantly, text overlays have been added to the game.

There are two kinds of text overlays. The first appears whenever you press a number key to call up an attack; it displays the name of the attack at the top of the screen for a couple of seconds so you know which attack you've selected.

The second kind is a custom, persistent text overlay. You can call this up on a map-by-map basis using the "AddTextOverlay" dialog Action. Persistent text overlays will remain onscreen until the end of the turn, or until you erase them via the "RemoveTextOverlay" dialog Action. These are used to display information the player might need to refer back to during the turn, such as tutorial instructions and new mission objectives.

In other news, right-clicking now advances dialog rather than calling up the right-click menu. (This was another thing I noticed during playtesting--inexperienced players would frequently call up the right-click menu by accident during dialog and end up inadvertently quitting the battle. This is no longer possible.)
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #670 on: November 27, 2012, 04:21:08 PM »

OH SNAP!



So...

...guess what I'm doing tomorrow? Grin
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #671 on: November 28, 2012, 05:38:36 AM »

TELEPATH TACTICS KICKSTARTER IS GO.

Please visit, contribute, and spread the word to help make this game even more awesome!
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beetleking22
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« Reply #672 on: November 28, 2012, 06:26:07 AM »

Game looks pretty nice! Good luck with Kickstater! I have feeling of success there.
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larsiusprime
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« Reply #673 on: November 28, 2012, 06:39:57 AM »

Just backed it!  Hand Money Left Grin Hand Money Right

GO! GO! GO! DO IT NOW!
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #674 on: November 28, 2012, 02:17:02 PM »

Thanks, guys!

Right now, about 8 hours after the campaign's launch, the Kickstarter campaign has 98 backers and $1,922 pledged, or 7% of the project goal. I don't know enough about Kickstarter numbers to know if that's good or not, but I can't say that I'm entirely comfortable with the thought of ending the first day with less than 10% of the funding goal. I'm starting to get the feeling that the next 30 days are going to involve lots and lots of marketing to push the campaign to its goal.

Speaking of which! If you're reading this devlog and you haven't backed Telepath Tactics yet, please do so, and then please tell your friends to do so as well! As explained in this post, the future of this project depends upon the success of this Kickstarter campaign.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #675 on: November 28, 2012, 09:12:31 PM »

Phew! We hit 10% of our funding goal after all. What a crazy day this has been.

Just now, I took an hour away from answering messages and marketing and made a couple of small improvements to the game:

--Paul Greasley pointed out to me that the outdoor battles didn't look like they were occurring in daylight due to the coloration of the vegetation. To test his theory, I created a Daylight lighting preset that makes everything about 20% yellower. Below, you can see the map without daylight lighting and with it:



I think it improves the look of the daytime outdoor battles quite a bit, myself!

--I also fixed a rather nasty bug wherein the AI would sometimes lock up after a turn involving character dialog. I had only just caused this bug in the previous update, though, so it wasn't too hard to find the culprit.
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beetleking22
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« Reply #676 on: November 29, 2012, 04:23:30 AM »

Oh shi thats was pretty fast! 3k in one day congratulation! I also recommend that you update you kickstarter page in due time..

Hahaha that bright adjustment is much better than the old one!
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #677 on: November 29, 2012, 05:51:56 AM »

Thanks! Not quite as fast as Barkley 2, but it's definitely coming along. Wink
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #678 on: November 29, 2012, 10:00:11 AM »

Telepath Tactics Kickstarter update #1 is up!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1426761469/telepath-tactics/posts/358685
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #679 on: November 29, 2012, 07:04:31 PM »

Phew. I spent a little time today working on a new battle map, but by far most of today was spent managing the Kickstarter, responding to messages, and promoting the campaign. I'm starting to understand why people say running these campaigns is a full-time job...

On the plus side, as of the time of writing, the campaign has now broken $4,000.00, which is pretty frickin' swell for one and a half days of fundraising. (By my standards, anyway.)

If you're interested in the single player campaign's story, by the way, I suggest reading Update #1: it's chock full of juicy info. Wink
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