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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogs(Updated 1/13/13) Randomly-Generated Sidescrolling Platformer (for iOS)
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Author Topic: (Updated 1/13/13) Randomly-Generated Sidescrolling Platformer (for iOS)  (Read 2288 times)
laxwolf
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« on: December 02, 2012, 08:32:53 PM »

DEVLOG UPDATES!

New Devlog!
Devlog Update 5 (enchantments and finishing up weapons.)

Old Devlogs.
Devlog Update 1 (some art and the attack system explained.)
Devlog Update 2 (enemies, drops, and treasure chests.)
Devlog Update 3 (NPCs, dialogue, quests, and more.)
Devlog Update 3.5 (come up with some dialogue!)
Devlog Update 4 (randomly-generated weapons and more.)

Hello everyone!

The Intro:
This game will hopefully be my second mobile release! I have been shaping up the prototype for a few weeks now and have decided to show it to all of you!

The Game:
The game will randomly generate short (1-3 minute) levels (beautiful fields, graveyards, dark forests, haunted houses, castles, dungeons, villages, ruins, and even lively cities.) The players task is to navigate the entire level collecting coins, gaining experience, and completing small quests. The player can use experience points to build up skills and use money to buy new armor, weapons, and items. The short levels allow players to pick up the game at any point in their day. They can take the time to complete a few quests, work on their character, or grind on some enemies. There is no solid main story but I do promise, it involves a cat. Expect fun, dynamic combat mechanics, explorable levels, secrets, boss battles, tons of items, and tons of quests. Level design is based off Mario.

Various screenshots from 12/17/12!







« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 05:30:22 PM by laxwolf » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 01:04:33 PM »

I think the outline ruins the aesthetic that you're going for, as its much too harsh, the shadow could possibly work though.
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happymonster
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 01:19:44 PM »

Yes, no outline please. Smiley
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SpaceHero Command ... In Development
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RudyTheDev
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012, 01:26:41 PM »

I will play the devil's advocate here, but in addition to other methods, outlines can work with certain styles and yours is quite similar. That said, pure black outlines are rarely good for pixel art games. A subtle outline consistent between layers can do wonders though. Once there is animation and different effects and lots of baddies you will be really glad there is something to set things apart from one another. Also, that shadow is definitely visually pleasing and gives it some depth.
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012, 11:07:07 PM »

I like the visuals. Also, I hope the title is the actual name of your game, because I love it.
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 08:13:45 AM »

Let me cast another vote for outlines, although as mentioned earlier, not necessarily stark black.  I think it also delineates what is able to be interacted with pretty clearly and draws a sharper contrast between foreground and background.  In some areas the color palette is a little ambiguous between the top of a mound thing and the base (I think it is based on lighting sometimes if you know what I mean).
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 08:40:27 AM »

I think a black or any form of outline makes it look as if it was done by a kid trying to do something in MSPaint, I believe that shadow (or black glow) will work the best
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 12:35:20 PM »

Those softer outlines help a lot but I think the main issue is that everything's orange. I get the sunset thing going on but a little color and contrast on the foreground wouldn't hurt. I like the intensity and the glow of the sun. Really nice touch Smiley
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laxwolf
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 12:58:03 PM »

Those softer outlines help a lot but I think the main issue is that everything's orange. I get the sunset thing going on but a little color and contrast on the foreground wouldn't hurt. I like the intensity and the glow of the sun. Really nice touch Smiley

I was just using one of my more challenging examples to try and get to the core of the issue. Here's one with more contrast!



So I smartened up the enemy AI (very simple slime AI) The slimes hop around at random intervals, jiggle, attack, and take damage. I create the attack system and I am very happy with it.

How the attack system works!

Simply Put:
ChargeOfAttack*PlayerStrength + WeaponGoodOrBadValue
If number comes out below the enemies strength, it will be blocked.

Example:
So you may get an initial damage of 90, but the "WeaponGoodOrBadValue" came out to -60 making the actual damage 30. Problem is, the enemy you are up against has a strength of 35, so your hit is blocked. If you swing the same again, the mutation may be +45, making the actual damage 135. This is why you'll have to decide whether you want a balanced weapon or one with a strong critical hit.

Explanation:
First, the attack charge (from holding down the attack button) is multiplied by the players strength (an upgradable stat.) Then the attack mutation is added onto the damage. The attack mutation can be a high "critical hit" value or a low "blockable" value. Every weapon has a different mutation range; weapons with big critical values usually have an equally big blockable value. You may get some good hits in but a lot of your smaller slashes will get blocked. This encourages players to be charge up and take big swings rather than tiny ones. The great part about this system is the balance between the player's skill and the player's weapon. Better weapons will do more damage but the chance of blocking is a lot higher. In reverse, worse weapons will still do decent damage if you have a high level, but they won't do the damage that reflects the players skill. And on top of everything, the enemies have their own set strength, so even good weapons may have trouble dealing damage against a stronger enemy. The reason I designed it like this is so the player can be continually challenged even if they maxed out their stats and have the best weapon. Many RPGs suffer towards the end because players have an easy time slaying all the monsters. Though, players in my game will notice how strong they are when dealing 1000+ damage against a level 1 slime.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 09:23:34 PM by laxwolf » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 01:04:02 PM »

Why the buttons? Are you planning on implementing a different control scheme later?

Why not pick another platform if it plays better with a controller?
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laxwolf
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« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, 01:21:17 PM »

Why the buttons? Are you planning on implementing a different control scheme later?

Why not pick another platform if it plays better with a controller?

FACT: A game does not require an innovative control scheme to be a mobile game. There are many other platformers out on the App Store with buttons, it is simply the best way to control the game. I prefer developing for mobile, simple as that.

"Also, I'm the only one on the team voting against a virtual joystick, I can't get my point across. What's your take on the issue? Currently it employs the invisible joystick that records the last gesture on screen."

I see you have something against on-screen controls. Whatever puts the player in the best control of the game is the route I'm going to go, and I'm not going to confuse them with swipe gestures, especially with a game that requires two inputs of control. With my first mobile release, Super Fatty (http://fattythegame.weebly.com/), the concept was simple enough to offer the use of touch, tap, and tilt controls.
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2012, 09:24:26 PM »

Devlog Entry (12/17/12)

A lot of bug fixing and behind-the-scenes coding. Some new visuals added. Oh yeah, and coins!









Cool thing about the coins is the amount of coins dropped and the value of the coins all depends on the enemies' level or the chest's value, all of which is randomly generated.

I think I went with the right decision to make coins a dropped item rather than an item picked up throughout the world.

Mainly, I reworked some of the combat and stats, optimized code, did some art, fixed some movement issues, added outlines, and did some other "cool" stuff.

Oh, and the game runs at a pretty solid framerate. Hopefully I don't have issues when the levels are generated with actual art and not just gray squares.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 01:57:33 PM by laxwolf » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2012, 01:58:00 AM »

I made some decent progress tonight.

Here's the current weapon roster (only one style at the moment.)



Weapons Explained.
Player's will be able to guess the strengths and weaknesses of each weapon by detailing of the handle, the length, the width, and its edge type. Fancier handles have higher critical hits, longer blades have a longer attack range, skinnier blades will have a shorter charge time, and more ridged/coarse blade edges will do more damage. With the benefits comes weaknesses, fancier handles generally do less damage overall, longer blades do even less damage, skinnier blades have smaller critical hits, and coarse blades will take longer to charge up.

All the weapon stats are randomly-generated allowing for many diverse weapons. With the addition of enchantments, players will have tons of choices when it comes to weapons beyond the basic strengths and weaknesses.

Yes, I will be adding axes, maces, special weapons, and firearms.

NPCs, Dialogue, and Quests!

When you approach an NPC who can talk, a bubble appears.

There can be any amount of greetings, small talk, and explanations.

The player is than prompted with a question.

The quest is stated back to them so they understand.

Again, any amount of small talk, etc. can be added anywhere.

Just an example of conversation vs. quest dialogue.


Dialogue Explained.
The system is extremely dynamic and allows any randomly-generated (not random yet) NPC to have a conversation, ask a favor, or trade with you. There are currently four different types of interaction including chat, quest, random, and trade. Chat is just an orderly conversation, quest is a quest, random is just random lines of dialogue, and trade opens a trade window (merchants, blacksmiths, etc.) Lines of dialogue are randomly  assigned to a table depending on the type of conversation and the topic. Information such as the village's name, the people living in the village, and the surrounding environment are all added to fit the dialogue. So, instead of every tavern owner's name being John, a list of names is generated, assigned roles, and put into the dialogue correctly. Competing merchants can say "Don't buy from Ether, her potions are watered down!" which adds some personality to the town, village, city, etc.

Other things I did.
- Made all the dynamic animations nice and smooth.
- Fixed weird animation bugs.
- Added an animation for the torso when swinging.
- Added an overall damage stat to the weapons.
- Made combat more fun.
- Fixed slime jump bug.
- Created a timer for changing direction after an attack (if you attack while going backwards, you stay running backwards for 1.5 seconds so combat flows, if you just keep running, you eventually flip in the direction you are running.)
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 06:35:48 AM by laxwolf » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2012, 02:17:09 AM »

I like that its black bubbles with white text, but the font seems unclear and too small. Though I don't know if thats what it looks like on the phone.
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laxwolf
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« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2012, 06:34:16 AM »

Please write some dialogue for me?

Hey everyone! Coming up with tons of dialogue is a burdensome task for a solo-developer. I have come up with some stuff just to test the random dialogue system but I need much more. Please contribute some dialogue, even if it's just one line long! It would be great if you could come up with a legend or a string of useful information. You can be funny as well.

For names, just add nameTable[vt.randomer(1,#nameTable)] or a place-holder name. Also, if you want your name in the game, please include it in your response. Top contributors could possibly be actual characters in the game.

Examples of some dialogue:
"You should stay away from Leward, he reeks of burky leaves."
"Have you ever visited Arasail, I hear it's beautiful!"
"We haven't been attacked by wolves in months, praise God!"
"Have you heard the Legend of Rigarr? Too bad."


Get creative, thank you! Grin
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 06:42:05 AM by laxwolf » Logged

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