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November 27, 2014, 01:42:32 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsFinishedDungeon Hearts - New Endless mode added in 1.1
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Author Topic: Dungeon Hearts - New Endless mode added in 1.1  (Read 36387 times)
Chris Pavia
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« on: November 29, 2011, 08:18:18 PM »




Video Devlog #1




Video Devlog #2



Dungeon Hearts may not be the final name, but since I ended up removing the zodiac gate from the game, it didn't make sense to call it that anymore.

At it's core, the game is basically a cross between any JRPG battle, Puzzle Quest, and Henry Hatsworth.

If anyone remembers the original devlog for this game, I stopped working on it a while back because it had gotten a bit too big for just me to work on. In addition to the puzzle-battle gameplay, there was a randomly generated dungeon for the player to travel through, and a bit of procedurally generated storytelling.

After taking a break for a while and looking back at the game more objectively, I decided if I just focused on the puzzle aspect I could complete the game in a reasonable amount of time. The dungeon crawling was secondary anyway, something to break up the puzzle sections. So I cut everything outside of the battles. And because iPad is the primary sku, constraining the gameplay to shorter sessions would play to the platform's strengths anyway.

Playing the puzzle game on the bottom half controls the battle on the top half. After each battle, a mini-game allows the characters to level up and unlock special abilities, then the next battle starts. The enemies that show up are randomized each time, and most have their own special abilities. At the end of a set number of encounters (depending on the difficulty chosen), the players face off against a boss. Over the course of gameplay, the party will advance from forests through various dungeons. If they survive, that is. Leaderboards and achievements will be implemented as well, of course.

It's being developed for iPad, but Windows and Mac versions will most likely follow.

Progress may be sporadic since this is my fallback project whenever I need a break from Gaia, but I'll be working on it at least a couple days a week.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 08:03:00 AM by Chris Pavia » Logged

Chris Pavia
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 12:50:44 PM »

Got to do a little design work on lunch break for character stats and progression.

Characters (and enemies) have the following stats:
-HitPoints: Drop to 0 and the character is KO'ed.
-Vitality: Determines the amount of HP gained on level up
-Strength: Affects damage for physical attacks. Note that unless affected by a particular ability, attacks always hit.
-Spirit: Used for damage from magic attacks and healing.
-Physical Defense: Damage reduction from physical attacks.
-Magical Defense: Damage reduction from magic attacks.

I'm also considering a Luck stat for Crit chance, but haven't made a decision yet.

On level up a character will be granted a set number points in one or more predetermined stats. Each character has 5 special abilities, with one being unlocked every 5 levels (subject to change).

The leveling mechanic is implemented in the game already (a short mini-game between fights), but it doesn't actually have an effect on anything yet. I also still need to come up with a system for deriving damage/healing/mitigation values from the stats.
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JackMenhorn
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 01:41:35 PM »

I like where this is going.
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 05:12:49 PM »

Chris Pavia, do you exist just to make me happy? This is sounding better by the minute, and I've always wanted an RPG that focuses on battles and such.

Keep up the absolutely astounding work, man. This is definitely one of my top picks here.
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 06:12:56 PM »

Thanks for the high praise Smiley I'm pretty excited about this game because it encapsulates the nostalgia of my youth, considering FF 4, 6, and DQ 4 are what made me want to make games. And even with only the basic interactions implemented the game is already pretty fun which is a good sign!
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 06:44:51 PM »

Oh, I forgot to mention that if I can get the classes balanced well enough, I plan to have an unlockable feature where the player can use any combination of the 4 classes they want. This will probably be awarded for beating hard mode or something similar.
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Sam English
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2011, 07:32:57 AM »

 Kiss
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2011, 07:41:02 AM »

Ug, I can't believe I spent HOURS last night and this morning trying to fix a seemingly minor bug. As it always goes, it ended up being a lot more pervasive than it initially seemed. But I finally got it worked out. I think.

Here's some more design info (and what the bug was related to):

When things get really busy in the puzzle section, you may not have time to look at the top half and see exactly how your party is doing. When they are weak they go down to one knee, and collapse when they are KO'ed, but I wanted to incorporate this info into the puzzle section as well, both for the player's sake and to affect gameplay. Whenever a character enters the weak state (< 25% health remaining), all their tokens on the field become visually cracked. This has no effect on gameplay, it's just there to inform the player that the character is in danger. When the character is KO'ed, all their tokens are shattered. Until the character is revived, their shattered tokens cannot be moved or used in combos, so they act as garbage blocks. Enemies follow these same rules.

I've got this system implemented for the players currently, next on the to-do list is to add it to the enemies as well.
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2011, 06:45:38 PM »

Now when an enemy or character gets hit, numbers appear and bounce over them showing how much damage was dealt (a la Final Fantasy). I've always wanted that feature in one of my games  Kiss

I need to come up with a bunch of environment ideas. After every few battles, the characters will advance into a new environment. A environment is mainly just a background image with a few ambient animations. Obviously the characters should be advancing into more sinister environments each time, and they should embody the classic JRPG environments. I'm trying to keep the mood kind of dark, so nothing too bright or happy. I'm thinking that I'll need 16 in total. So far I've decided on the following:
-Dark Forest
-Marsh
-Ruins
-Airship
-Carved stone dungeon
-Natural stone cave/dungeon
-Magma dungeon/volcano
-Crystal dungeon

Other possibilities:
-Snowscape
-Mountains
-Mechanical/metal dungeon
-The Moon

Feel free to suggest more!
« Last Edit: December 01, 2011, 08:02:18 PM by Chris Pavia » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2011, 07:44:50 PM »

Here's the list of what I think of when I think "RPG locations"

-A dark forest with floating fireflies and moonlight gleaming through the trees
-An open field, with rolling seas of emerald grass, a blue sky with fluffy clouds, and mountains in the distance
-The stone dungeons of same ancient, long abandoned castle / temple. Ancient artifacts litter the floor, and skeletons are scattered about.
-A hot dry desert with biting sands and ancient carved spires towering in the distance.
-A majestic temple carved out of ivory, with water rushing from fountains and through aqueducts.
-An airship in the midst of a battle, being bombarded by cannon-shots and soaring through storms.
-A floating island, dreamy and serene, covered in overgrown mossy ruins of ancient civilizations.
-A tower of clanging gears, giant pistons hammering and valves whistling out steam.
-A cave made of staggeringly massive, prismatic crystals, that scatter the light and dazzle the senses.
-A snowy mountainside, being assaulted by a blinding blizzard.
-A canyon, red and dusty, with a river winding through it deep down below. You are precariously traversing the side, a rope bridge in the distance connecting to the other side. Huge carved totems and temples are embedded into the rock.
-An imposing castle carved from an obsidian mountain, with magma and foul magic surrounding it.
-A multicolor landscape of pure darkness and chaos.

Pretty darn cliche.
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2011, 08:16:39 AM »

Thanks for the great list!

I fleshed out more progression stuff yesterday. When starting a run, the player can choose from an easy, medium, or hard run. The main thing this affects is the number of battles. An easy run has 7 battles and 1 boss, medium has 14 battles and 2 bosses, hard has 21 battles and 3 bosses (exact numbers subject to tuning). The mode will also affect how quickly difficulty increases, in relation to how fast the puzzle pieces scroll, how often the enemy uses special abilities, how densely packed the field is, number of garbage blocks, how grouped together pieces of the same type are (for easy comboing), and other factors.

At the end of the run, the player is scored based on thier performance and that score is uploaded to the gamecenter leaderboards. I don't know if it will be possible, but I'd love to have the abililty for people to challenge friends by having them both go through the same run and see who does better.
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2011, 09:16:21 AM »

Since I keep getting pinged by musicians, I should point out that Sam English is doing the soundtrack for the game. But feel free to send me a message if you want me to keep you on file for other projects. I enjoy going through people's portfolios, and having too many musicians is a problem I'll always want to have Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2011, 12:29:26 PM »

I don't know if I'd be interested in your game or not, but I just wanted to tell you that it is extremely pretty.

Damn it looks good.
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2011, 02:04:38 PM »

Thanks for the compliments! What is it that makes you think the game might not be for you? The puzzle aspect?
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2011, 02:16:36 PM »

Indeed. It's not that I hate puzzle games, but I'm not sure if I would enjoy them mixed into an RPG. I'm like you. RPGs are what made me want to make games. (Though different ones, as I was a bit young for your favorites.) I like the turn-based formula a lot, and sometimes deviations from that aren't always enjoyable to me.

However, variety is something that I greatly value in games, and I hope that more indie games of genres other than platformers will be made in the future.

I'd probably be willing to try it, especially if a Windows version comes out, as I don't own and do not plan to own an iPad. To be honest, it isn't that the puzzle aspect removes my interest. I just have spent a lot of money on indie games in the past year that I didn't enjoy, which happened to be puzzle games. So, I'm just a little wary of anything puzzle related. Who knows though. I could enjoy your game a lot. I haven't played it, so I can't know for sure.

I still think it is really pretty though. Those character models are great.
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2011, 02:37:54 PM »

Cool, thanks for the feedback. Out of curiosity, what did you not like about the puzzle games you've purchased? I'm actually not much of a puzzle game person myself, but as a designer that makes it fun to put my own spin on things.
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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2011, 02:49:44 PM »

I think that puzzles might be more fun to design than to play. Wink

I don't know if it is the games themselves, or maybe just that the huge amount of indie puzzle games has gotten to me. I don't want to claim that I'm an expert on game design and what is fun and what isn't. I certainly am not. One of the problems I have with puzzle games is that some puzzle games are tedious rather than fun. I feel bad though, as people put so much work and effort into these games with what I feel is a bad puzzle mechanic.

Another problem I have is the pacing in most puzzle games is the same. It's slow. A lot of puzzle games have no time limit. I think that maybe speeding up the game a little might make some of them more exciting. The slower a game is, I feel the easier it is to see its flaws, as you have all the time in the world to see them.

This is only my opinion though. I'm sure there are other people who feel the exact opposite way about puzzle games. It also might not help that most of the puzzle games I have played are puzzle platformers. A lot of them have a similar feel, so I might just need a break from them rather than the games being flawed.
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2011, 03:01:51 PM »

Well being too slow definitely won't be a problem with this game, at least. The tokens scroll across the screen on their own so you have a limited amount of time to make your attack and defense combos. As you progress, the tokens scroll faster and more things get in the way of you making combos. So the goal is for the gameplay to grow more and more frantic as the player progresses through a run (with some dips so the player can catch their breath periodically).  It's easier said than done though, of course. Thanks for the insight!
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2011, 03:05:52 PM »

Interesting. Looking back, you stated it was like Henry Hatsworth and Puzzle Quest mixed with and RPG. I read that before I said all of this, but it didn't click in my head until now. That said, I'll be keeping my eye on this devlog.

I look forward to future updates, and good luck!
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Chris Pavia
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« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2011, 05:52:50 PM »

Today I wrote up a list of 16 items that need to be completed for the game to be in an alpha state (all major systems implemented, even though there may be no content for said systems). 9 items are improvements to current systems and the rest are entirely new systems.
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