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999613 Posts in 39235 Topics- by 30648 Members - Latest Member: lonelytomato

April 24, 2014, 12:51:14 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsSword Legends
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Coopaloops
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« on: April 21, 2013, 06:32:29 PM »


Hi everyone! Very excited and happy to announce Sword Legends, a retro top-down action/adventure game that my friend Richard (richard here on the forums) and I have been working on for several months now. This game is our love letter to the action adventure genre. We are huge fans of oldschool Metroidvanias and Zelda-esque action adventure games, and wanted to take a stab at creating one of our own. We aren't necessarily trying to reinvent the wheel, but we are definitely trying to make a fun and unique 2D action adventure experience based on the games we love.

Here are some screenshots of a dungeon we're working on! It's still pretty early in development, but you can get the gist of the style we're going for.






Influences


Richard and I both grew up in the golden age of the SNES. Sword Legends is heavily modeled after games like A Link to the Past, Super Castlevania IV, and Super Metroid, but we are hoping to evolve on them a bit and achieve gameplay mechanics and a unique style that we can call our own. We love games where exploration and discovery play major roles in the player's experience. Dark Souls is another big inspiration for us...we loved the combat and intentionality of the Dark Souls game world, as well as the sense of wonder and discovery that came with exploring a well designed open-world environment.

Gameplay


So what is this game going to be like?! I would say Sword Legends' gameplay is based on 3 things:

  • More combat, less puzzles
  • A hand-crafted open-world environment
  • Minimal story + environmental storytelling

So, we want more combat and less puzzles. Most of our design direction revolves around how we can make combat and mobility interesting. The first Zelda is a great example of this…there wasn’t really a lot of puzzle solving, and I would argue that it was more about the combat in the game. Dark Souls was the same way – the combat system was really deep and allowed for some very interesting situations. Second, we are hand-crafting an open game world. That means going where you want right from the start and doing the dungeons in any order. Procedural level generation is a big thing these days, but we want to be intentional about the environment design. We want the world of Sword Legends - the dungeons, the monsters, the secret nooks and crannies - to be something that people will remember. I can still remember almost everything about the Link to the Past world map, and my hope is that we can create a game world that will resonate in people’s minds after they have completed the game. Last, we are looking to have very minimal story. It's not that story is a bad thing in games, but we kind of miss the days when you hit the start button, get thrown into the game world, and then…well, you're on your own. I think Super Metroid is a perfect example of this: brief opening cinematic --> baby Metroid gets kidnapped --> go. The rest is just figuring things out on your own and getting some implied story through the environments you explore. We have a story in mind for Sword Legends, but it's not super heavy at the moment, and we'll probably tweak it as we go.

Status


Currently we're working on Sword Legends as a side project. Richard and I both have full-time day jobs, and are working on Sword Legends weeknights and weekends. Our hope is to one day go full-time with development for the game, but we are currently aiming to get a playable tech-demo ("proof of concept" if you will) finished first. We're about 50% of the way done with the tech demo, and are looking to have something finished by the end of July (which probably isn't going to happen at the rate we're going haha). Will definitely post updates on progress here.

We're hoping this game will turn out to be a great entry in the action adventure genre that does some interesting things with tried-and-true gameplay as well as pay tribute to the golden days of the SNES! We're going to try to keep this devlog updated weekly...there's usually some new stuff to show every four or five days or so. We'd love to hear your thoughts and get feedback on things as well, so let us know what you think! Smiley
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 02:45:06 PM by Coopaloops » Logged

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Sword Legends
richard
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2013, 07:43:19 PM »

For those just checking this project out for the first time, Hello! I am Richard, the main developer of the proj.  This weeks focus has been doors door doors!  You'd be amazed at all the subtleties of a door.  Closed doors, magic doors, locked doors, open space doors, stairs!   We've been getting old school inspiration loading up Zelda Link to the Past and checking out room to room transition.  It adds such a nice dimension of depth when you can enter into the archways of doors leading from room to room.  No magical teleportation!
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richard
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2013, 07:51:52 PM »

Hah, just saw this on Reddit.  Running in games with stamina.

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Coopaloops
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 08:55:17 PM »

Here are some monster concepts...going for kind of a cartoony/windwaker-ish vibe. These guys will get pixelated soon. =)



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Sword Legends
Coopaloops
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2013, 08:29:26 PM »

Recently I have been working on designing a title screen (among many other things!). Still figuring out the logo, but am hopefully going to have that done soon. Check it out!


Does it look like it could live on the SNES? I've been looking at title screens from old SNES games that I love for inspiration and reference - Pilotwings, Star Fox, Super Metroid, and Super Castlevania IV to name a few. I'm still working on it and might change a few things, but am liking it so far. There are going to be some cool particle effects in the foreground, and if I really feel like torturing myself I'll animate the cloth attached to the sword. Woot!
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 08:43:31 PM by Coopaloops » Logged

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Sword Legends
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« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 08:56:33 PM »

I really like the look of that title screen. The symmetry of the sword and the sun seems in opposition to the asymmetry of everything else in the image.
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Coopaloops
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2013, 09:08:20 PM »

Thanks mrscience! I have been debating the symmetrical aspects of the picture, but I think I like it as well. Am planning on putting the logo above the sword/sun...I think it could either ruin the image or make it better depending on how the logo turns out. We'll see. =p
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Sword Legends
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2013, 04:11:14 AM »

I really like the look of that title screen. The symmetry of the sword and the sun seems in opposition to the asymmetry of everything else in the image.

Ditto!  Wizard Hand Thumbs Up Right
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Coopaloops
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2013, 08:07:22 PM »


Here's a new environment I've been working on...it's the first area you wind up in, and the entrance to the first dungeon in the game. Am trying to make it really unique and atmospheric. What do you think of the leaves for the trees? I have had the hardest time with those (esp getting them to tile the way I want them to), but I think I've ended up settling on a flatter/more simplified look. It's a bit less rendered than some other pixel games I've seen, but I think that's ok. It's just the style I've got going I guess. Anywho, more to come soon...
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 08:36:32 PM by Coopaloops » Logged

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Sword Legends
Conker
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2013, 10:12:11 PM »

Wow I like the looks of this.
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2013, 12:34:24 AM »

very nice
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richard
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2013, 07:25:13 AM »

Heyo everyone  Blink isn't the new art awesome!  We've been keeping up pace at building Sword Legends, life in dev land has been good. We wrapped up alot of the door and room transition stuff, and dived head first into enemy AI.  When we were creating the game, we thought we might want to try some finite state machine system for representation of enemy behavior.  We used a 3rd party library called Playmaker, which is very cool, but... coop and I are a stickler for details.  It just ended up being alot more easier to use a programming language to describe all the nitty gritty details of monster brains and have it all easily presented for viewing and modification.

So we have two monsters right now that are pretty smart-ish, well, smart enough for first level dungeon anyways.  The first is an eyebat which has pretty simple logic of chasing, attacking, and backing off.  The second more interesting one was a simple guard with four directional walking around logic, shielding, attacking, and visibility.  He's taken some time to get right, but I'll be really happy when he's finished.  I can already feel that we'll be able to reuse a lot of monster logic and frameworks so everything won't be entirely baking something from scratch and I can get onto other cool things!

Coop and I are really excited about the logo screen, it's like.. been in our dreams, we have some really slick plans for what the intro experience in our game will be like, I hope we can make a video for you all of that first moment you press start.  It's going to be awesome.

Anyhow, back to the code mines!
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richard
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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2013, 07:54:25 PM »

Heh, s'the small things that take you back sometimes

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« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2013, 01:02:19 AM »

Wow, your updated art style is really good. I like the simple elegance of the tiles and colors.
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« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2013, 01:06:32 AM »

Excellent visual style
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