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1043996 Posts in 42299 Topics- by 33977 Members - Latest Member: OblitiaDev

September 19, 2014, 05:51:42 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsSecret of Ox
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Author Topic: Secret of Ox  (Read 8801 times)
impulse9
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« on: July 08, 2012, 06:08:53 AM »



What?
A 2D, old-school platformer game with game mechanics similar to Commander Keen or Duke Nukem. The story will revolve around a young sorcerer who needs to prove to his elders that he is worthy of the sorcerer title by undertaking a dangerous journey. The "Ox" is an ancient gemstone that unleashes the power of true sorcery. (Not to be confused with bovine). Smiley

How?
I'm using C++, Allegro 4.4 (+ AllegroGL) and GIMP for artwork. I made my own framework (OxEngine) and I based the game on it. I also have a level editor called OxEdit in the making.

Status?
The editor is nearly finished.
The game is about 25% finished coding-wise and fairly unfinished art-wise.

Platforms?
- Windows
- Linux with Wine (or maybe native if I decide to port it some day)

Price?
Freeware.

When?
I have no idea.



Some old screenshots:






« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 09:25:08 AM by impulse9 » Logged

kamac
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 06:56:29 AM »

That editor looks great. Is it coded with C# + changed standard layout? Or it's your own GUI?
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impulse9
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 07:01:46 AM »

Thanks and no, it's C++ and coded from scratch.
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kamac
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 07:11:45 AM »

Well, nice one then Smiley
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GeoffW
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 07:38:50 AM »

Looking good ... it would look even better if you find a way to break up the repeating rock pattern.

Good luck!
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impulse9
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 11:14:04 AM »

Thanks, I will definitely try to.  Smiley
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impulse9
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2012, 10:58:29 AM »

Some updates:
- changed the screen resolution to 640x480 for a more retro feel
- redrew the background using only two layers of silhouettes of hills and trees (not parallax, I'm considering making it parallax though)
- drew some world objects that probably need some more work

Here is a recent screenie:



I think I got the character pretty much the way I wanted to, but I'm not sure how he should be colored (right now I'm sticking with red, but that might change):



Right now it's all very experimental. First I would like to get the style right, then I need to work on player animations.
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Pemanent
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2012, 01:56:48 PM »

The characters face looks a little bit long to me. Compared to the tree the character seems a bit too cartoony. Probably just me though. Everything looks good! Your editor is exquisite.
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impulse9
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2012, 02:07:16 PM »

Thanks! This is definitely not the final version, I will try out new things and see how they fit with the rest of the world. Hopefully this won't take a thousand years.

About the longness of the face .. yeah, that thought did pop into my mind lol ... but somehow it ended up like this. The character needs some more work. Actually a lot more work. Droop
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impulse9
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2012, 07:49:36 PM »

Lately I've been upgrading the editor and implementing useful functions into it. The editor now supports undo/redo (with theoretically unlimited buffer size Smiley), selection/fill, and clipboard.

Here is a brief demonstration of the editor:



Right now I'd say the editor is about halfway finished. The next step is to start working on game object design and to incorporate it into editor and later on in the game. Hopefully creating all the dialogues that are missing right now in the editor won't take too long either, so I can have this part of the project finished soon. Coffee

Edit: just spotted a glitch with redo (it redoes the blank areas as well when pasting) Durr...?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 08:39:50 PM by impulse9 » Logged

impulse9
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2012, 08:25:01 AM »

Changed the name to Secret of Ox. I think I'm going with this one now. My Word!
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Daniel Seabra
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2012, 05:45:01 AM »

Hi! I got here by following your signature. Who knew people actually clicked on those links?

Anyway, I really like the change in graphics you did from your first few screenshots to your second one. However, the tiles feel extremely repetitive. I can see where 'the grid,' or when one tile begins and the other ends. this is mostly due to that big boulder in the center/left of the tile, but other things, too. Also consider using one or two more tiles to vary it a bit.

OK, now, scenery. I like the whole winter wonderland thing. Reminds me of the Doctor Who Christmas special episode this year (also: angel). I think you should consider though, and not enough people do, why there are floating islands. When I go outside, and walk around, I see no floating islands, so, you got to think, why does my game get to have floating islands? Now, floating islands are pretty cool if you actually explain them. In one of my RPGs (tabletop, not video game) we had floating island cities, which would travel around the world and had culture, universities, restaurants (one of which we owned!), and etc. These islands were kept afloat with magic engines, and they slightly drained the mana energy of whichever region they seemed to be over at the time. So, you know, give some context for the floating islands, because they're cool but it's kind of hard to accept that they exist 'just because,' although we've seen them so frequently in games that that does sometimes happen.

The snow is awesome. The falling snow, I mean. Looks really good. Consider desaturating your background a bit (the one closest to us), because it kind of blends in with the player.

I think that was all I was going to mention. I'mma go click notify and follow this because  looks cool.   
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impulse9
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2012, 08:48:00 AM »

I agree, the rocky tiles are too obvious and don't create the proper illusion of connectedness. I'm really wandering in dark here a bit, creating seamless tiles appears to be one of my weak points at the moment.

About the floating islands - my end goal is really to somehow create the illusion that there actually *are* rock structures in the background, and everything is connected through perceived depth. Kind of like Prehistorik 2 does, where everything sort of blends in. I will probably be working towards that goal, but I suppose there might be *some* floating islands in game anyway, seems hard to get rid of them altogether.

Thinking of it, platforms floating in mid-air, moving around in a designated pattern are also usually pretty hard to justify realistically. Smiley Some games manage to, this one won't probably.

Anyway, thanks for the awesomely constructive feedback! Smiley I will keep your tips in mind.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 10:28:25 AM by impulse9 » Logged

impulse9
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« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2012, 02:20:09 PM »

Designed & programmed the object system, yay! So far only implemented in editor:

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impulse9
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2012, 04:33:45 PM »

Added an enormous amount of functionality to the editor.

Some new editor dialogs:



Engine now has a fully functional object / entity system, which basically allows me to import as many custom objects and monsters as I wish and enables me to program each separate object type to fit my liking. I also coded dialogs in the editor which allow user customization of object properties.

The editor is now in its finishing stages, and I'm starting more to work on the game itself.

Here is a HUD mockup:



The "ball" thing will be something like the Diablo mana ball, the long bar thing is for score and the little squares are supposed to hold info on collected keys and/or active powerups. There will be no health because I am evil and 1 hit from anything will make the character die. Evil

I have to think the game design through before I work on the HUD any further.

That's about it for now.
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« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2012, 07:27:37 PM »

From the above, I think the red character would look the best. I have a feeling that the others would blend into the surroundings a bit too much.
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« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2012, 07:43:42 PM »

Hand Thumbs Up Left C and Allegro? And not Allegro 5?! I think I'm gonna cry tears of joy.

Very admirable you're doing pretty much everything from scratch. Any idea for music? Keep up the work.
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« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2012, 01:48:02 AM »

I really like this ! I've always been a fan of cold winter settings in games and your screenshots capture the feeling perfectly. Also great job on the editor, it looks really impressive. I seem to end up making editors as a special built-in mode in the games I make, although it can be as nuch as a curse and a blessing doing it that way.

Apart from Allegro and C++, have you used any other libraries of toolkits for editor?
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impulse9
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« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2012, 09:24:30 AM »

I really like this ! I've always been a fan of cold winter settings in games and your screenshots capture the feeling perfectly. Also great job on the editor, it looks really impressive. I seem to end up making editors as a special built-in mode in the games I make, although it can be as nuch as a curse and a blessing doing it that way.

Apart from Allegro and C++, have you used any other libraries of toolkits for editor?

Thanks! Basically, no, I was crazy enough to make my own toolkit, based on my own window and event system. So, just my engine (which wraps Allegro functions) and a bunch of code that adds functionality and appearance to controls and windows. Using the toolkit is simple enough (a lot of coding though), and it does the job. It supports a simple tabbing system, so everything accessible by mouse is also accessible by keyboard (the lack of this is one of the things that annoyed me in my previous attempts at creating a GUI toolkit (yes, I've done it before Grin)). It does have its flaws though. Basically it's a dumbed down version of the standard Windows interface.

Hand Thumbs Up Left C and Allegro? And not Allegro 5?! I think I'm gonna cry tears of joy.

Very admirable you're doing pretty much everything from scratch. Any idea for music? Keep up the work.

I am not a big fan of Allegro 5 either. Smiley

Music-wise, I am in contact with a composer who has volunteered to compose a few tracks for the game. Hopefully it will turn out nicely. For now, I'm using tracks from nosoapradio which offers game tracks for free. Some of them are quite good.

From the above, I think the red character would look the best. I have a feeling that the others would blend into the surroundings a bit too much.

I agree, I will most likely go with the red one.

So, what's new?

The editor is nearly finished. I basically have everything done except the episode packer (which will basically take a bunch of level files and pack them into a single episode file) and unpacker (which will do the reverse), and there are some minor bugs involving undo routines and a few other things.

A recent screenie from the editor showcasing the crammed preferences dialog:



Game-wise, I have *a lot* of things to accomplish. Currently, the game concept is as follows:

- The game is heavy on the story, but all the player can do is read it (no "real" interaction with the story).
- The main game episode will consist of 25 levels in 5 different worlds (5 levels each), I plan for level difficulty to increase somewhat dramatically.
- You will be able to save at any point in the game (no checkpoints or anything like that).
- Enemies have health, but do not die. Instead, when their health drops to 0, they get stunned for a certain amount of time, then their health restores to its original value (kind of like in Commander Keen). So - nothing ever really dies (except the player, that is).
- Beside enemies, the player has to deal with traps that can be anything from spikes to poison arrows, falling blocks and magical turrets.
- Player has lives which he can collect during gameplay, but he has no health - everything kills him the moment it touches him. The rationale is that I want the game to be hard-core heavy using simple game rules, and, I want to portray the main character as weak - he is a novice sorcerer after all.
- There are only two spells the player can use - the "main spell" and the "advanced spell", which will be obtained upon finding the mystical stone about half-way in through the game. The main benefits of the advanced spell are damage and speed (and perhaps something on top of that). Spells will burn the player's mana, which he or she will in turn have to recharge to use the spell again.
- There will also be a number of pickable things in the game, such as score items, extra lives, mana and powerups (ones I have in mind are invisibility and damage multipliers).

I've also been putting a lot of time into optimizing the engine. The engine wraps essential Allegro functions and adds a ton of functionality on top. The game scene is a part of the engine, so the engine is very game-specific. It uses a metadata system which I devised in order to keep the description of the game apart from the engine and the app using it. It basically translates objects from descriptions into actual engine objects, so I am free to put any number of different object types into the engine and create many meta objects that will correspond to a certain type. For example, I can create a "walking monster" type of object, then I can base a number of different monster types on that type. The editor and game scene correspond to the object automatically. This will hopefully save me a lot of time when I get down to game object and monster design.

Here is a mockup I posted a few weeks ago in the Screenshot Saturday thread:



This is the game font I've been working on, it needs some improvements to increase readability:





Here is a (very quick) line-art mockup of what will maybe become the title screen once it is properly detailed:




Anyway, hopefully I will be able to release a tech demo soon.
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« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2012, 12:29:31 AM »

Looks cool! Commander Keen 4 was so awesome back in the day. Did you ever play Hocus Pocus? Another old dos game with a great feel to it - you might find some inspiration in this one too because it's magic themed. What do you have planned for the cut scenes? It would be neat to have character art/portraits in the same style you've done the rest of the world. Eager to play the demo when it's out!
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