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1066924 Posts in 43553 Topics- by 35596 Members - Latest Member: Rekuul

November 26, 2014, 06:44:53 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingUnnamed Retro RPG - Classic Retro Western RPG
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Author Topic: Unnamed Retro RPG - Classic Retro Western RPG  (Read 4921 times)
Archibald
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« on: September 20, 2012, 06:41:34 AM »

Do you remember these old First Person perspective RPGs where you were walking around able to rotate 90 degrees only and fighting monsters and having mindless fun? The good old times where RPGs were colourfull, without tons of text and without complex mechanics? You see a goblin, you slay it, without any lame karma system, balance between good or evil, reputation and all othe useless things? Are you sad that Dungeon Master, Eye of The Beholder, Champions of Krynn, early Might & Magic, Wizardry are not coming back?

If you liked these, you probably will like that one too Smiley

* old, classic, retro western style RPG
* first person perspective, 90 degree rotation
* pixelated and simple yet colourfull graphics
* not a remake, just a game following the spirit of the old era RPGs
* no excessive fat that would get into the way of your fun




Tech demo (not playable yet, you can just walk around EDIT: you can do a lot more stuff now):
Download (tech demo) (for now Windows only, crossplatform possible later)


« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 01:45:38 AM by Archibald » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 07:39:32 AM »

I really like the graphics and the retro style :D
Maybe you should add more things people can do in the game. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 07:46:38 AM »

I really like the graphics and the retro style :D
Maybe you should add more things people can do in the game. Smiley

To clarify, it's not a game yet, merely a tech demo (to test if everything works, early  track tech problems, see if graphics fit, etc). It will be turned into a proper game in time Smiley

What do you think about the character portraits (the 6 slots at the very bottom). Aren't these too "hi res"? I feel these do not fit too well with the rest... not sure.
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 09:04:09 AM »

I really like the graphics and the retro style :D
Maybe you should add more things people can do in the game. Smiley

To clarify, it's not a game yet, merely a tech demo (to test if everything works, early  track tech problems, see if graphics fit, etc). It will be turned into a proper game in time Smiley

What do you think about the character portraits (the 6 slots at the very bottom). Aren't these too "hi res"? I feel these do not fit too well with the rest... not sure.

Neh, it's fine Smiley
I really look forward to see more!
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 09:45:35 AM »

I really like the look of the world/characters, but didn't like the portraits so much. Resolution is fine. I just didn't like the art for them, but that may just be placeholder art.

The interface is good. Any chance of some camera rotation (maybe as an option)? I realize that old games just flicked around to different angles, but it would be nice to have it smoothly rotate 90 degrees each time.

One thing that looked weird to me is the bouncing soldiers. It seemed to mean that they were mobile, while others were stationary. Am I right? In any case, it just made me think they looked like old-school powerups, just floating up and down waiting to be picked up. I think I'd prefer it if they just walked in place or something instead of bouncing.

The day/night cycle was a nice touch that I wasn't really expecting.
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 11:46:57 AM »

What bothers me with portraits is that these are 26x26 pixels (most of it being a head), while the monsters on the map have 3x3 pixels heads... I wonder if these won't look weird (to detailed) no matter how polished these are... Anyway, I can worry about that one later Smiley

Smooth camera rotation and movement. There are two problems with it, first technological (I would need to rewrite it to a proper 3D to make it work) and second ideological (personally, I hated these when I was younger)  Grin While as a developer I fully respect that players can feel otherwise, as a player I always prefered that a game was done in synch to the dev's soul, in the end I enjoyed such games more as a player. In short, I think it would be unwise in this particular case to follow that route, at least for this project.

The monsters that stay still are statues (scenery), not monsters, these are there because I wanted a nice screenshot and the prince with the sword looks nice Smiley All the real monsters are the ones that bounce. I could replace the bouncing with a simple animation (moving the weapon up and down by one pixel (argh! my art budget will skyrocket, 2 frames would be needed for each monster  Grin)) this could look better I guess...

Actually, there is morning/day/evening/night cycle Smiley I need to make these more distinctive I guess.
Which also makes me wonder about the resolution of the sky, right now it's 16x16 (half of it visible), but since it is far in the distance maybe it should be higher resolution (which would also allow stars visible during the night)?
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 12:27:14 PM »

You know, I've never seen REALLY low-res portraits in a game like this. Maybe you could try it. Tongue

This isn't "proper" 3d? The ground and walls looked 3d enough that I thought it might be. Anyway, yeah, I agree that developers should always stick to what feels best to them. Getting input is great, but you should never feel obligated to listen to it.

Monsters that stay still are scenery? Interesting...some of them look exactly like the "live" soldiers, so that's a bit weird.

Yeah, I realize there's a complex morning/day/evening/night cycle. I just didn't want to write all that. Grin  I don't really like the harsh lines of dark/medium/light sky colors. Maybe some dithering would be good, or just a slightly smoother gradient. Stars would be nice.

One of the few things that I dislike about the graphics is the mountains. Any chance you'd consider making them look 3d (ie. draw the bottom of the sprite as if it extends toward the camera a bit)? Another idea might be to change any ground tiles that mountains are on, so that you see stone all around and between them. I think that'd look better.
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2012, 12:58:30 PM »

Well, it's 3D but I coded it exactly as the old RPGs were coded (grid based render from back to front) Smiley It does not change anything to the player but helps me to get into the mode during all stages of development. I mean, I would not want the evil OpenGL to turn this fine 2D game (in spirit) into a 3D game Wink

I was thinking about making mountains as 3D pyramids. It's kind of a very basic shape and should still feel retro... Also it would keep the background of the tile covered. Besides, I don't see how other way I could make mountains here, the current ones, as you said, look ugly.
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 08:49:23 AM »

Update:
- basic combat (one sided, monsters do not attack yet)
- various options added
- more cute monsters Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2012, 06:08:04 AM »

Update (click the download link in the first post):
- monsters chase you
- varied monster attacks (beholders and wizards)
- can enter different locations (castles,cities,dungeons)
- a lot other goodies :D


Questions:

- how to make monster's "AI"? Right now these go around randomly, but if the player is within range of 5 tiles they start the chase.

- I'm not sure about ACTION button (space button right now). When you want to interact with things (like chest or well/fountain) you need to click that button. Also when you want to pass time (skip a turn) you press the same button (so when you interact with things the time passes as if there was the skip option used). Is it good?
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2012, 07:58:19 PM »

Enemy movement seemed...I don't know. They didn't seem to do a lot, but they popped out from behind things when I got near and that seemed just fine to me.

I don't think anyone attacked me, though. My half of the combat worked well enough. I liked that multiple enemies could occupy different parts of the same square. UPDATE: Ok...so I did get attacked after all. There's just very little feedback to tell me that. I was expecting the screen to shake or flash red or something.

Maps of house interiors look a bit weird, with certain squares being grey for no apparent reason.

You say there are chests in your last post, but I couldn't find any to test that "action key" thing you mentioned. The way you implemented it sounds decent enough, though.

You may want to alter your original post because your "tech demo" now has more than just walking.
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2012, 11:38:04 PM »

The current enemies are rather weak and the party has higher initiative, so in most cases you can wipe out the enemy before it even try to attack you... I guess I should  randomize the initiative or make monsters attack first?
For now to be fair just skip the first round (the hourglass button) Wink

By action key I meant pressing SPACE. I think I should make a button on the menu for this too.

Interiors - yeah, some graphics are quite random there right now, experimenting with the colours and textures.

Chests can be found in the castle (move north and you will enter it). Note that these do not disappear after use or give any sound or animation right now, but you can see the gold increasing each time you press the space while on chest grid (I definitely need to make it more intuitive, that's too long of a description just so people know how to open a chest Smiley)
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2012, 07:35:38 AM »

I like that the character portraits are higher res than the rest of the game.  Kinda reminds me of how in some older RPGs the portraits were often more detailed than the character models.  I'd like to see more portraits though.

Since this is a tech demo I don't know what's intended to work and what isn't.  I was expecting the "trap" looking objects to damage me (they didn't) & the chests to be interactive or give gold (they didn't, or I didn't use the right key).

The forest regions feel a bit cumbersome since you can't see much past your own location (intentional?) and have to navigate entirely by map.
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2012, 03:45:35 AM »

Update:
- you can interact with things (chests, wells) via mouse click now
- I removed the passage of time when interacting with things. It was confusing and annoying when after you speak with a shopkeeper and exiting you were instantly attacked by a monster (which took a turn after click).
- sea monsters and land monsters division
- a lot other things

I like that the character portraits are higher res than the rest of the game.  Kinda reminds me of how in some older RPGs the portraits were often more detailed than the character models.  I'd like to see more portraits though.
Really? I thought these were not compatible with the rest and should be replaced somehow... As for portraits numbers of course there will be more of these (right now it is the same portrait with slight modifications Smiley)

Quote
The forest regions feel a bit cumbersome since you can't see much past your own location (intentional?) and have to navigate entirely by map.
Hmmm, let's pretend it was intentional? Smiley But more serious, I know the forest is too high, but... these are trees, so these are supposed to be tall, right? Not sure.
The same goes for mountains (BTW, I changed the mountains to pyramids, I guess it still feels retro since it is a basic shape).

Also, I have a slight dillema here. Should you be able to walk over forests and mountains (after you acquire proper skills)? Or should these be totally impassable?
Originally I planned only walls and deep water (the darker water) be impassable to the player.

Since this is a tech demo I don't know what's intended to work and what isn't.
Yeah, I hate that part of tech demos too Smiley Let's focus on general interface, it is supposed to be working now.
In the last update I made chests less confusing (still not finished, the chests are not disappearing after use yet; traps are just a decoration not working at all yet).

Overall, I need the most the feedback about the interface (clicking things, moving around, etc) and general mechanics of the game (combat, time). Also about aestetics (desert tiles are not finished yet, I know that the mountain and the sand does not match).


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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2012, 01:22:02 AM »

Update
- chests and traps are fully functional now


I have shown the screens to "normal" players and I got mixed reactions. Some said it looks ugly... Can you say more about looks of this game? I hope it's not that we, developers, have an unusual taste when it comes to pixels that the rest of the world does not share :D I'm not sure how should I react, ignore it and leave as it is? Improve it? Change completely? An advice would be nice...
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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2012, 07:24:10 AM »

It seemed a bit early to comment on graphics too much, but ok. I think your color choices could be tweaked a bit. That grass is an "ugly" color, in my opinion. Actually, I don't think the dirt or sand colors look very good either. The sky sometimes clashes a bit with the other colors in the scene as well.

As far as the blocky graphics, though, I think they look fine. The new mountains are a little strange but not bad.

Don't let criticism get you down. These are minor matters and the game is coming along nicely.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2012, 07:17:56 PM by Quicksand-S » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2012, 06:03:37 PM »

Cool, I like the style! Monsters look great. I've been playing M&M7 so it's neat to see one of these. I've forgotten how the old games deal with this but I really didn't like how you can walk on a tree or a mountain and then if you rotate it feels like it follows you (good for monsters though). I'd vote for these things being impassable. The interface is tried and true so I think it works well. The main complaint about this that I have is that the text is quite hard to read (especially the red). With that black border I think it would be better white.
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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2012, 03:05:51 AM »

The old games did not deal with it, the trees/mountains were following you as well. But, very few allowed wolking "inside" trees, these were obstacles, so it was no problem then. As for chests they had front view and side view, which was displayed based on direction, anyway, I don't think chests are an issue.

I could live with mountains being impassable (maybe it's even better this way...), but for trees... especially if it's a cactus on the desert, these should not block the movement, plus it's nice to find a hut with a witch inside a forest.

Colours, sigh, the standard problem Smiley Yes, I look for feedback and ideas on the colour choice (especially the background of the "statistics" page and the letters colour).
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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2012, 07:17:22 AM »

Here's a random thought, though I didn't put much effort into it, so there may be issues I haven't considered: Place trees off-center in their grid squares.

Example: You're facing north and there's a tree in front of you, but you turn to face west and suddenly the tree is on the right a bit, because it's at the northern end of the grid square.

This way, the rotation of your character has a noticeable effect on things in your square. It could also make forests look more interesting, with random spaces between trees that can show enemies or interesting buildings in the distance.
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« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2012, 08:15:49 AM »

Update
- changed colours (white text and darker background), tell me what you think
- take a look at the portraits, I have put there placeholders from DM (needed to resize these a bit, lost some quality in some cases), which ones are the best (1-6 counting from left to right)?
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