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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsTelepath Tactics (Releasing in April 2015!)
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Author Topic: Telepath Tactics (Releasing in April 2015!)  (Read 114808 times)
Craig Stern
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« on: August 08, 2010, 02:06:46 PM »


Ever wanted to a moddable Disgaea, FF Tactics, or Fire Emblem? One with hotseat multiplayer? If so, you will like what you're about to read!

Telepath Tactics is a strategy RPG featuring Fire Emblem-style single player campaign. It comes with a map editor and mod support, including for custom campaigns--create your own or download others' to play.

There is also a multiplayer hotseat mode in which players assemble small armies of units and kick the ever-loving crap out of each other (only, you know, using tactics). This mode features 22 different character classes with their own movement types, attacks, and elemental strengths and weaknesses. The game features multiple play modes and up to 6 armies on the battlefield at once.

In both single player and multiplayer, the world is both destructible and constructible: destroy walls, build bridges and lay explosives, changing the face of the battlefield to your advantage.


Here is a short teaser video showing Telepath Tactics in action. The game has been Greenlit, and will be released in March 2015 for Windows, Mac, and Linux.



______________

Original first post:

I've been working on a new turn-based tactics engine in Flash that supports hotseat multiplayer play. Once I've finished getting everything up and running in hotseat mode, I'm going to figure out how to make this thing properly via over-the-internet multiplayer (never done that before).

This isn't the first thing I've coded in AS3, but it is the first thing I've coded where I feel comfortable enough with the language and how it works that it seems likely I'll complete it.

Here is what I've got working so far:

--a (theoretically) unlimited number of potential players
--levels generated on the fly from arrays
--seven different unit types with different attacks and a slew of different resistances to six elements
--mouse-driven UI that allows you to move characters by clicking every movable space in range, select attack targets from all available targets in range, undo moves, and select from a variety of (up to eight) attacks that each character may possess
--some slick battle cam code that lets you pan around the battlefield with the arrow keys (or mouse, if you move it to the edge of the game screen)
--you can hit space to have the battle cam auto-pan over to the next available character

Things I still need to get in the engine:

--area-of-effect attacks
--character animations
--win conditions
--more unit types
--more attack types
--destructible battlefield objects
--map editor

I'd post the thing, but it's not really playable yet, and it's too ugly to merit screen shots (it's just chock-full of programmer art at the moment). I'll post again when I've got more.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 08:08:48 AM by Craig Stern » Logged

Craig Stern
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 01:33:46 PM »

Added:

--team-based color tinting of units; units that have already gone get grayed out
--chars must be able to pay PsP (magic point, essentially) costs to use particular attacks; PsP cost is deducted during an attack
--PsP regain at the start of the turn based on whether a char attacked or moved during previous turn
--working HP Bars that pop up following an attack
--pop-up info about chars and buttons now adjusts so it doesn't go off-screen
--attacking now accounts for character chances to dodge, and character elemental resistances shave off a percentage of damage from certain attacks

Okay, here is how it looks right now--it's ugly, but functional:

« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 01:41:44 PM by Craig Stern » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2010, 04:32:48 PM »

New:

--enemies now die when they reach zero health
--the game recognizes when a player has eliminated all members of all other teams, and declares that player the winner
--a heaping helping of bug fixes

Almost forgot!
--the 'e' hotkey now ends your turn without having to set each remaining character to "done" manually
« Last Edit: August 10, 2010, 04:36:51 PM by Craig Stern » Logged

RCIX
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 07:57:13 PM »

Ooh, i like! Element Wars! gonna stick with this art style?
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 07:21:39 AM »

Thanks! The art is all placeholder stuff. Right now I'm getting the engine set up so I can hire an artist to come in and redecorate while I build maps and tune the gameplay. Smiley
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RCIX
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2010, 01:27:51 PM »

If I was you, I'd stick with the periodic table of elements style, at least for the characters; it's an interesting style I've never quite seen before for a tactics game Smiley
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 05:33:15 AM »

The glow for units is probably going to stay, but I can't imagine too many players getting excited about moving around little boxes of text. Then again: Dwarf Fortress, amirite? Wink

Okay, new update: the battle camera now supports queueing up of different destinations. This feature has been implemented for attack sequences: when you tell someone to attack, the camera pans to attacker, pauses, then follows the attack to the target, where the damage bar then pops up. It's a pretty neat effect.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2010, 06:41:50 AM »

Update: when you click on a character to move and click a destination tile, the game now selects a particular route to the destination and moves the character visibly along it, a la Fire Emblem, while the camera pans over to it alongside.

Next on the agenda: destructible battlefield objects.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2010, 12:23:36 PM »

Well, that was easy. Destructible battlefield objects are now in-game and working perfectly. Only two varieties are in at present (boulders and trees), but many many more are planned, particularly for indoor areas. Other than walls, mountains, chasms, and bodies of liquid, every obstacle in the game will be destructible.

One cool thing about destructible objects in this engine is that because of the way I've set things up, different objects will be susceptible to different types of attacks. Trees, for instance, are vulnerable to heat element attacks, while boulders are more susceptible to light/pressure. So in a sense, they'll be just like normal units. (All destructible objects are 100% resistant to mental attacks, however.)

In addition to destructible battlefield objects, I've added in elemental weaknesses to the game balance out some of the strong elemental resistances certain units have. Spirits, for instance, have 50% resistance to physical damage, but are weak against mental attacks.

Next up, I need to add in directional character facing and backstab/sidestab damage bonuses. Smiley
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2010, 04:42:03 AM »

Spent some time fixing a couple of issues in the character movement code. Nothing too interesting. Here's a screenie of the placeholder destructible objects: Cheesy

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Craig Stern
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2010, 04:09:59 PM »

Directional facing for all characters is now in the game! Characters auto-turn while walking, turn to face the correct direction when attacking, and can be rotated manually before or after moving (but not after attacking).

But here's the important part: characters now score a 50% backstab damage bonus when they hit another character from behind. I'm also considering adding a substantially smaller sidestab bonus (maybe 10% extra damage).
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2010, 02:51:01 PM »

I realized the other day while I was thinking about how my engine handles movement that this game suffers from The Disgaea Exploit.

If you've played any Disgaea game, you probably know what I'm talking about: it's a feature of those games that a character can move, a second character can move, and the first character's move can be undone, meaning that you can move a bunch of characters into a formation conducive to a healing spell, or move them out of the way of friendly fire, have the spellcaster finish his turn, and then go back and undo the moves for every other character you moved and have them take their turns normally.

It's fun in a single-player game like Disgaea, but it would be fundamentally unbalancing and obnoxious in a multiplayer game like this. Accordingly, I've just gone through and added some code that prevents players from undoing a character's move after they've clicked on a second character. Problem solved.
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2010, 03:30:04 PM »

Why not just have a stack of moves and have it go through the stack and undo the last move done? You could just clear the stack of moves once they end their turn since there's no going back at that point, but you could undo all moves done that turn in case you change your mind about where you want to move.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2010, 06:40:35 AM »

Hey Epitaph, thanks for the suggestion! That's sort of what I'm doing. Undo data is stored on a per-character basis, and undoing of earlier moves is now disallowed whenever a new character moves or attacks.

Characters can move multiple times per turn, provided you don't move them to the full extent of their movement ability. I've now made it so that you can't undo earlier moves once a new character moves or attacks, but if you move them a second time, you can go and undo that second move.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2010, 08:48:08 AM »

i'd make two encouragements:

1) don't wait until late before you start coding online multiplayer. that's exactly *not* the kind of thing you can add late in development, you need to take it into account from the start, it absolutely can't be added later on without re-writing most if not all of the code. i should know, i made exactly the same mistake with 'alphasix'. it's not coded like hotseat multiplayer at all, it's a completely different thing.

2) if possible try not to use the pure top-down perspective rather than some sort of isometric or projectional perspective, i think that makes most games look ugly; even computer chess games like chessmaster don't use purely top-down perspective anymore; also i'd suggest not to re-use graphics from your old games (it tends to make all your games look the same), as much time as it saves i don't really think it's worth it to make someone think they're playing the same game with different text / slightly different rules and levels
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2010, 09:42:52 AM »

Thanks for the advice, Paul! Good to know about the multiplayer--I'll definitely start looking into coding that soon, then.

This engine actually uses a projected perspective a la Final Fantasy 6 and prior--you just can't tell right now because of the crummy placeholder art I'm using. Smiley I plan on getting an artist to redo all the tiles and characters for sure.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2010, 01:42:21 PM »

I've just added bridges as a new destructible object. Bridges are walkable, allowing characters to cross otherwise impassable terrain (water, lava, chasms, etc.). Bridges can be destroyed, however, cutting off avenues of attack for an opponent and potentially forcing them into a choke point on certain battlefields.

Certain characters (Mechanics) are going to be able to build and repair bridges, so there will be a certain amount of terrain manipulation going on during battles. Bridge manipulation will, I imagine, become especially important during battles with geographical win conditions like Capture the Flag or Defend the Castle.

« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 01:45:59 PM by Craig Stern » Logged

Bree
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2010, 01:53:44 PM »

This is sounding really cool. Looking forward to seeing the finished product!
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2010, 01:37:08 PM »

Thanks Theo!

So, after a couple of weeks of attending to other things, I've resumed work on the game. New stuff:

--Mechanics can now build bridges: specifically, they can build one tile of bridge per turn.
--Flying units can now fly over water, lava, chasms, and certain destructible battlefield objects (rocks, trees, etc.)
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starsrift
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« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2010, 04:02:33 PM »

This is looking really cool!

Are you planning to have some kind of matchmaking server, or strictly peer to peer, type in the IP?
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