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1047593 Posts in 42468 Topics- by 34319 Members - Latest Member: thompson05

September 30, 2014, 11:53:50 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsClaustrophobia: The Downward Struggle [EARLY ACCESS OUT NOW]
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Author Topic: Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle [EARLY ACCESS OUT NOW]  (Read 4034 times)
TheIndieForge
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« on: March 13, 2014, 01:28:25 PM »





Introduction

Well hello there TIGSource Forums! Long time lurker here, how do you do? Gentleman I've been following many of the devlogs over here for ages, and I felt it was about time I post my own. Claustrophobia has been my main project on and off for almost two years now, and it has gone through a number of changes. The most recent (and most drastic) of these came about a few months ago, when, for a number of reasons, I decided to completely start over. Sometimes a clean slate is the best thing for an ongoing project, and building the game again from the ground up felt like the perfect time to start a devlog over here.

About the Game

Claustrophobia is a roguelike dungeon-fest focusing heavily on deep character customization, strategic turn-based combat, and completely unforgiving gameplay. Forge your own class tailored to your play style, and set out to fell mighty demons and gather hordes of shiny, shiny loot. Equip yourself with mountains of procedurally generated gear, navigate halls and corridors teeming with deadly traps, and see just how far you can get.

Features (Many still Planned)

  • Ever-Evolving Exploration - Traverse procedurally generated dungeon floors, and attempt to defeat each zone's boss. But defeating the final boss does not mean the game is won, oh no. Your character will re-enter the dungeon from the start, and find that everything has got a whole lot tougher. See just how long you can survive.
  • Procedurally Generated Gear - All weapons and armour are completely randomly generated, and gear will spawn based on your play style. There are 5 tiers of item rarity. Can you build a Legendary set?
  • Class Forging - There are no base classes in Claustrophobia. Instead, you pick character traits, which will determine the skill set you can use. Endless customization awaits!
  • Enemy Synergy - Enemies and enemy placement will be based around which enemy types work best together. Clearing a new room will require you to consider the units inside, and work out the best way to dispose of them. This involves exploiting an enemy's class weakness as well as their positions.
  • Shops! Crafting! Quests! Collectables!
  • Leaderboards! Achievements! Other Steam stuff!
  • It's a Traditional Roguelike - So that means procedural environments, permadeath, traps, scrolls, potions. I could go on.
  • Full Soundtrack by the fantastic Chris Kukla.

About Us

Or really, me. The Indie Forge is a single person team based in the UK. My name's Dan, and I'm a student studying Programming at University. I've been messing around making small games (in GameMaker and the like) since I was about 10, but Claustrophobia is my first real game. It started out as a side project to throw together some game ideas I had, but after I started to receive a fair amount of interest about it over on IndieDB, I decided to expand it into a full game.

Project Backstory

Claustrophobia originally launched in Alpha over on Desura in mid 2013. It did a whole lot better than I ever expected it to (what with it coming from nowhere), and gathered a healthy little community. It received a fair amount of interest from various small YouTube and Indie Game sites, and was featured in the Indie Royale Bundle over Christmas and the New Year. Claustrophobia was Greenlit in January (which still blows my mind), and I decided that in order to give everyone the best product that I could, I would start again from scratch, and release the new version over on Early Access as soon as I was happy with it. The original version of the game is up for sale on Desura, IndieGameStand, and GamersGate, and I'm planning (if all goes well) to release the new build for testing in July.

Development Screenshots












And some UI stuff thrown in:


Final Notes

And that's that. Update posts may sometimes be a little sporadic during term time, due to my ever-growing pile of Uni work, but I'll still be working on Claustrophobia. I'll make sure this thread is kept up to date all the same. Thanks for reading, and I'll see you all around!

« Last Edit: September 09, 2014, 09:16:16 AM by TheIndieForge » Logged

TheIndieForge
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2014, 11:05:41 AM »

Spent the last couple of days working on a particle engine for spell and combat effects. This resulted in many, many fireballs.



This particular (tee hee) effect was just thrown together in a couple of minutes as a test. I also have various blood splatter and sword slice effects in the works. All in all the engine is pretty versatile, I'm pretty pleased with it!
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kurtss
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How nice.


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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2014, 12:31:38 PM »

This looks really good, posting to follow. Smiley
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yaomon17
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2014, 01:39:47 PM »

Always glad to see some well drawn pixel art in a solid looking game. Looks great, can't wait to see more.
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TheIndieForge
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2014, 12:57:45 PM »

Thanks for the kind words guys!

Worked a load more on particle effects.

Burning


Poisoned


Sword Combat


I feel like the burning effect is waaay too obtrusive, but I'm not sure what to change. Any thoughts?
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Noogai03
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WHOOPWHOOPWHOOPWHOOP


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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2014, 12:33:54 PM »

Looks pretty sweet!

Please, please make this easy to play with a keyboard (except for inventory stuff and using potions), Hack, Slash, Loot basically forces you to use a mouse and I hated that so much...
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So long and thanks for all the pi
RainWorldIsAwesome
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 04:39:00 AM »

Very very interested!  Waaagh!
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SamLewisJones
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 04:52:13 AM »

Ah very nice! I love the character design and the RPG style combat.

I would be happy to work on this kind of game.

Here's my music site with Samples, please drop me a message!
http://eclipsejapan.jp/
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I am a composer, 23 from the UK. http://eclipsejapan.jp/
Samples and contact at that link.

Game, FaR; currently in production!

ARRD-ART
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 05:14:02 AM »

Looking good! Can't wait to give it a try!
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http://arrd-art.deviantart.com/

Check out my DeviantArt page and leave a comment!
TheIndieForge
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 03:13:11 PM »

Thank you everyone!

Noogai03: The previous version of Claustrophobia also suffered from similar control issues as Hack, Slash, Loot (arguably) does. The problem comes from having 8-directional movement and interaction. There's just no way of representing that movement fluidly with a keyboard, while still keeping mouse interaction. So what it really boils down to is whether I sacrifice 8-directional movement to allow for full keyboard control, or continue with the mouse being used for all movement and interaction. That's something I've yet to decide on, and I'm actively searching for a middle ground between the two!

SamLewisJones: Thank you for the offer, but I already have an excellent composer working with me!

Progress

  • Added positive and negative Status Effects such as those I was working on the particle effects above for.
  • Spent a load of time optimizing the main game loop - enemies will move and update every turn even if they have not been discovered yet. They will only delay the player's next turn while they complete their actions if they are visible.
  • Added dual wielding. I'm really tempted to design a class around dual wielding shields...

And finally.


I'll probably randomize the pile of wood left over, it looks a little funky.
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TheIndieForge
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2014, 10:15:39 AM »

Hey everyone! So it's coming to the end of the semester, which basically means mountains of coursework and little time for development. Hence the lack of updates Sad
But only a week left, and I've managed to find a little time to get some things done!

Progress

Added the character panel, which, well, works very much like any other RPG. So spaces to equip various items of gear, and a breakdown of attributes.


Each level (and through certain other means) you will receive a number of attribute points which can be assigned in this window. They can be edited until the confirm button is pressed.

The Details button brings up a separate window with a more in-depth breakdown of individual statistics should they be needed.
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TheIndieForge
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 04:42:07 AM »

Hello everyone! My University work is finally done (hooray!), which means Claustrophobia now has my full attention.

Gear Generation

Randomly generated gear was a massive part of V1, but it lacked much of the item depth that I really wanted to get into the game. An item was only considered “better” than another piece if it had a higher value for your character’s single base stat, which not only made gear progression fairly boring, but also made Plate armour almost always the best choice, due to the high Armour Rating.

This time, gear generation is much deeper, partly due to the changes and additions to base stats, but mostly due to item properties. Item properties modify all sorts of things, from elemental damage, critical strike chance, increased gold find, lifesteal, chance to cause status effects, etc. The finished game will have a large number of different item properties, ranging from common stat modifiers, to unique passive abilities, such as summons and spell effects. The generator has an already massive selection of rules on how items should be created, based on the item type, spawn level, rarity, and base stat type. Here is an example of a selection of level 10 items:



Stat values are yet to be balanced (that staff for example, has waaaay too much damage. Then again, it is “The Devourer”…), but this gives you an example of the sort of thing to expect. I’ve seen some absolutely ridiculous level 50+ legendaries generated with 10 or more properties, which just made me happy. I have some great ideas for new properties too.

Visual Equipment

Of course, tonnes of gear would not be fun unless your character is running around wearing it! So of course, visual equipment returns:



Once again, graphics pictured here subject to change! While working on this system, I also decided to trial something that was not possible in V1 due to the limitation of the sprite size: visual weapons. While they would not be animated due to lack of time and artistic skill on my behalf, they do, in my opinion, look pretty cool, and they just add a little bit more to character customization as a whole.

I do have one issue however - how they should be displayed. Due to the nature of Claustrophobia’s sprites, the player will always be locked in the “standing” stance pictured above. This causes a couple of problems when it comes to lining the weapons up to the player’s hands. For example:



In option 1, a natural position is used, which unfortunately covers the player’s face when facing right or dual wielding. In option 2, the weapons are kept away from the face, but the positioning is unnatural. So, I’d like to know everyone’s opinion on this. Should I:

  • Not show weapons (easiest, but no weapon graphics :’( )
  • Use Option 1 (natural, obscures face)
  • Use Option 2 (no obstruction, unnatural)
  • Angle the weapons vertically (I also tried this, but I felt the weapons were to close to the body. Also wouldn’t really work with bows…)
  • Something else? (any better ideas?)

Saving and Loading

Finally, the majority of the code for saving and loading the game has been written. Since the new engine is structured in a much nicer way, there shouldn’t be any of the weird loading oddities that V1 suffered (I’m looking at you teleporting doors). Once again I’m using XML, but I’ll need to look into encrypting everything this time. The new system will also allow multiple save files.
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TheIndieForge
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2014, 04:25:54 PM »

Fixed the weapon angle!



I think everyone will agree this looks 100 times better.
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FlyingShisno
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2014, 07:01:42 PM »

  • Not show weapons (easiest, but no weapon graphics :’( )
  • Use Option 1 (natural, obscures face)
  • Use Option 2 (no obstruction, unnatural)
  • Angle the weapons vertically (I also tried this, but I felt the weapons were to close to the body. Also wouldn’t really work with bows…)
  • Something else? (any better ideas?)

I like you fixed weapon angle for single weapons, but I'm kinda stuck when deciding whether I like Option 1 or Option 2 for duel wielding. I'm leaning more towards Option 2 for duel wielding, though both are great.

Also, I'm casting my vote against not showing weapons. They definitely need to be shown!  Cry

Anyway, everything is looking amazing. I can't wait to play it. With Darkwood being released on Steam Early Access and NEO Scavenger entering the final stages of the Story Events, I have a lot of anticipation building. I'm about to explode. Angry
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2014, 04:41:45 AM »

Great Art Assets so far.
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2014, 06:34:08 AM »

FlyingShisno: The issue with the second option for dual wielding with the new angle is that the weapons stick out a little too much from the main character, and this is only a small sword. You tend to be constantly poking the enemies either side of you. But don't worry, I'm totally with you, they'll definitely be shown now I've got something that works!

lionfish: Thank you!

Progress

  • Added saving and loading for generated items.
  • Added Bows and Staves to generation.
  • Started work on a basic set of spawning rules based on the item's rarity and where it was found (floor, enemy drops, chests etc).

Bows and Staves:


I'm looking into creating Item sets, which give benefits based on how many pieces of that set you are wearing. The biggest issue with this at the moment is that the chance of finding a complete set when everything is procedurally generated is next to impossible, so I need to work on a more reliable way of getting set pieces.

I also got a brilliant suggestion for adding cursed items and how they could work, which will definitely be making it's way into the game shortly.
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2014, 07:42:22 AM »

Hey all! I've been making loads of progress recently, so I figured it was about time to write about it!

Progress

A fair bit of progress can be summed up in a single screenshot, so, here you go!


  • Added shops and the ability to buy and sell items.
  • Rewrote the player/enemy turn cycle, so that enemies all take their turns at once as a single enemy turn phase.
  • Added the ability to compare the stats of two items side by side.
  • Added a character details window which breaks down all your current stats, what they do, and how they effect each other.
  • Added sprites (icons and character graphics) for all common tier 1 items. Item graphics are going to be tiered in that a different graphical "set" will be used for items every few levels for each rarity type. That way you'll continually find more and more visually appealing gear. Unfortunately this means a massive workload of spritework, but I'll get there eventually.
  • Added Character generation, allowing face and hair customization. At the moment these are chosen randomly, but there will be an interface for it soon.
  • And a load of balancing stuff trying to work out what the best values for certain stats should be and how they should scale on gear.

Next up is non-gear items (potions, wands, crafting items) and spells.
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« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2014, 09:06:36 AM »

Progress


Added Ranged Combat! This is actually a pretty significant improvement over Claustrophobia V1, which had extremely clunky ranged attacks. The attack would basically happen as soon as you clicked your target, and then the animation would catch up. Unfortunately this normally resulted in enemies moving before attack animations had actually completed, which just looked awful all round. The new version waits for the completion of whatever attack animation is in progress before the the target is actually effected and the attacking unit's turn is declared complete.

While the gif only shows a normal bow shooting arrows, this system also works with any particle effect I want, which means when it comes to the skill engine (which is pretty much next on the list) I can haver all sorts of flashy spell effects act in the same way.
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2014, 11:36:12 AM »

New combat animation and hit effects (and a terrible combat strategy).


Also started work on abilities. Right now targeting and casting are working, which layers nicely with the combat animations I was talking about last week.
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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2014, 10:10:05 AM »

Started work on the skill engine. The system is very basic at the moment, but it allows for various different target-able and cast-able areas, as well as different rules as to what should be hit in the selected area.


In this case we have a 5x5-cell targeting area and a 3x3-cell casting area. Anything inside the casting area would be hit by the spell, which in this case is an extremely cliché and boring Fireball of Testing. Which also hits like a wet kitten.

Once again this is a rather significant improvement over V1, which had a somewhat limited skill engine comprised almost entirely by single target instant cast abilities. Greater engine flexibility means much more room for creative and flashy effects.
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