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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsVersus (Moderator: Melly)Mustering the Titans [Finished]
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Izzimach
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« on: January 18, 2011, 09:43:34 AM »

Short version: Run around the map collecting ("mustering") an army of monsters and using them to beat the crap out of your opponent(s).  Fight with robots and monkeys and lizards and stuff.





Current build:

Web Player

For a bigger view area you can use the standalone programs...
Windows Executable
Mac App


Longer version: Each player can move around a map with various terrain and towers/castles.  Scattered around the map are "mustering points".  When you walk over a mustering point, you automatically recruit a monster.  The type and power of the monster depends on the terrain and the current monsters you have.  Eventually you should have enough monsters to attack other players and defeat them.

I'm thinking there will be three monster types with a rock-paper-scissors relation, so that it's important to see what monsters the other players are recruiting.  There may be a fog of war, but that may be too much trouble to implement.

The basic mustering mechanics are inspired by the old  Titan board game which had you moving legions of monsters around a board and "mustering" new monsters according to the terrain of the space you landed on.

The controls and general view will be something like the Defense of the Ancients genre of games, although there is no XP or gold to gain; the game is all about collecting monsters Pokemon-style.

I'll probably shoot for about 10 different monsters (3 each of 3 types plus one wild card) which seems doable on a month if I don't bother animating them. Tongue  I'll probably start by recyling some monsters from my other game as placeholders.



« Last Edit: February 26, 2011, 08:40:33 PM by Izzimach » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 05:12:13 PM »

Is 10 monsters really that much? I'm not sure about what kind of graphics you're going for, but yeah. Maybe do some palette swaps?

Still, this idea is tremendously interesting, and I always love me some mon-collecting! "Mustering" is such a good word, too.

What kind of style are you going for? Theme?
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Izzimach
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 08:22:36 PM »

Yeah, I was a little vague there.  Since I'm using Unity I will probably go for the 2D-game-in-3D look, which means everything is drawn using 3D meshes.  Palette swaps would work but that seems kinda cheap.

Style will be simple low-poly monsters wandering around, because it's easy.  Here is a quick mockup using some models from another game (Troll Rave) with trolls and trees on grass.



I had intended the theme to be very similar to that of Titan: old-world creatures like dragons, trolls, and so on.  But I could as easily use children collecting Pokemon equivalents, or robots, or aliens.  Or why not all three?

In many ways the theme is heavily intertwined with the "three types of monsters" that I pick.  I'm still brainstorming monster types while I work out the technicalities of multiplayer.  Some possibilities for the three monster types:

  • (Dragons, Undead and Knights) would be the standard fantasy stuff, and easily picked up by most people
  • (Earth, Wind, and Fire) would be mostly elementals.  I guess the game board would be made up of swirling ethereal chaos or something
  • (Robots, Unicorns, and Mutants) would be look similar to Post-Apocalyptic Unicorn Uprising, from the TIGSource VGNG competition

And so on.  I'm open to various ideas for this, since I haven't created any real art assets yet.

« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 08:37:36 PM by ghauss » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 08:39:56 PM »

I'd say a fun 50's B-Movie alien invasion / giant mutant / robot uprising would be a hilariously fun theme.
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Izzimach
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 09:14:24 PM »


Like an old Godzilla movie?  Godzilla was always fighting aliens and robots and crap, sometimes all at the same time.  That crazy Godzilla.
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Wilson Saunders
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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2011, 12:22:57 PM »

Very interesting concept. It reminds me of Syndicate Wars, where you could persuade'o tron a legion of civilians to act as meat shields between you and your enemies. Still the Civies never accomplished much and would not protect you for long in the face of rocket or mingun fire. One interesting feature of Syndicate Wars was that you could recruite police officers and even enemy agents if your persuade'o tron was powered up with enough civies under your sway.
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« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2011, 09:06:43 PM »


All I remember about my time playing Syndicate was spraying everything with miniguns Smiley while my mind-controlled civilians fluttered around like flies.  But yeah, the gradual build-up will be similar although I doubt this game will be as fast-paced.

I'm not sure the player themselves will attack at all; instead the players main power is in recruiting and controlling the army.  OTOH some similar games have given the player combat ability (such as Herzog Zwei) so it might be worth trying.

The Robots/Mutants/Aliens thing sounds like a good set of creature types, although I picture "Aliens" as green guys with silly fishbowl helmets.  I guess I'll have to give them orbital laser satellites to compensate!

The map will have to be a ruined city/radioactive wasteland, with crumbling buildings and puddles of green goo.  Or something.  For now I all have is this one tree model.



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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2011, 10:12:32 PM »

The simple (REALLY SIMPLE) server is running using Player.IO in Unity.  I had to modify a few things in the Unity example provided by Player.IO in order to better support autonomous creatures (your minions) that move and attack on their own.

Below is a shot showing the server (upper left) and two web player clients connected to the server.  All you can do at the moment is click on the tiled "terrain" to make your avatar move around, but it's a start.

Click on the image if you really need to read all that little text.

I should probably go off and make some creature models now.



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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2011, 12:04:20 PM »


Did some more creature/entity coding, so you can walk around to muster points.  When you get near a muster point, it vanishes and you "muster" up a new creature that follows you around.

At this point I'm modeling up some quick creatures.  At the moment player avatars are half-monkey scientists (apparently this takes place on Planet of the Apes or something) wandering through forests and city ruins building up an army.  I tossed in some robots made quickly with 3Dtin and will probably work out the combat by giving them some simple laser beams or something.  Here is a shot of robots loyally following their monkey master.



At the moment networking is using up a lot of bandwidth.  Thus I can't put the current game up for playtesting in fear of using up my allotted bandwidth too quickly.  I'll try to slim down all the data being sent so I can dump up a webplayer version in a few days.
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2011, 12:07:08 PM »

I'll be eager to give it a shot. Grin
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2011, 05:29:27 PM »

At the moment player avatars are half-monkey scientists (apparently this takes place on Planet of the Apes or something) wandering through forests and city ruins building up an army.  I tossed in some robots made quickly with 3Dtin and will probably work out the combat by giving them some simple laser beams or something.  Here is a shot of robots loyally following their monkey master.

This is madness.

Beautiful, amazing madness.
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Izzimach
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 10:18:12 AM »


Made a big lizard.  He's kinda big.  For comparison, here is the monkey scientist and the robots.



Big Lizard is there so that you have something to attack if there are no other people online to fight.

I REALLY need some input on control schemes and the map size, among other things, so after I add Big Lizard and some laser beams I should be good to put up a web player for testing.
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 09:40:03 PM »


Here we go.  Some robot armies fighting.  You can't see the monkey scientists very well amid all the EXPLOSIONS.



The victorious monkey then goes after Big Lizard.



I'm verifying the web player works, then I'll post a link for testing.
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Izzimach
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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 10:46:48 PM »

Gahhh, embedding mostly blows.  Try the windows executable instead:
<removed -- check first post to see if a more recent release is out>

Move your monkey around by clicking, press 'q' to make your robots move/attack whatever is under the mouse cursor.  That's it.  If you die, you'll have to quit out.

If you must, the embedded web player is here in a blog post.  I need a better place and way to put this up though.  Many file hosting services don't seem to like the .unity3d file type.

<removed -- check first post to see if a more recent release is out>

Comments on anything are welcome, but especially concerning:

1. Map size.  too small, too big?  It seems just about right, but with four players and some walls the current size might be a bit constricting.

2. Controls.  Man, the controls are terrible.  How should I let the player control the monkey separately from the robot/mutant/alien minions?  hotkeys?  by selecting units?

3. Yeah, I know you can surrounded by robots and not move.  I know there is no pathfinding.  That's probably the next thing I need to work on.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 11:04:45 AM by Izzimach » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2011, 11:01:05 AM »


The lack of a real interface was bugging me.  So I added:
  • A minimap (non-clickable atm)
  • Some buttons to select just your monkey or all units
  • The typical drag-select found in most RTS games
  • A "login" screen
  • Better attack command: you press <a> and the mouse pointer changes to a crosshair so you get some feedback that you're in 'click-to-attack' mode

Finally, I did some quick modeling of the aliens.  Unfortunately making 50's style aliens would have been difficult so I opted for interdimensional amoeboid aliens with white cones for "armor".  I've tried to give each set of creatures a slightly different modeling style and color scheme.  Robots are made from simple geometry and are generally dark grey/red; mutants are green and made in sculptris so they are smooth and blobby; the aliens are white/blue and combine both blobby and blocky elements.  In this pic, aliens are the little cone guys shooting lasers at the bottom of the firefight.



The real sticking points now are the pathfinding, scoring, and balancing of creature attacks.  I find it annoying that creatures are always getting stuck on corners, so pathfinding is probably my next task.

Game servers are disable at the moment until I build a new set of server/client binaries.
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Izzimach
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« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2011, 01:01:59 PM »


Okay, final stuff is in.  Specifically, kill and respawn of monkeys (avatars) and a simple deathmatch-style scoring system.

Pathfinding still gets stuck sometimes, but if you click around or get some of your guys killed it will probably fix itself Tongue

The Player.IO server is up, and I've made windows and mac builds.  If anyone can try out either or both platforms and report back, I would be most grateful.

Windows Build
Mac OSX Build

If you get on and no one is there, that's ok, just report that you successfully connected at least.

If there are a lot of people.... oops, I forgot to put a limit on the number of players in a game.  If you get on and there are a lot people, it will probably explode.  We'll see, I guess.
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« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2011, 03:19:31 PM »

Windows build. Connection successful!
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Izzimach
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« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2011, 09:23:19 PM »


Thank you sir!

I should probably put in some (stupid) Bot AI but the audio and lack of animation is really annoying me.  Dunno which I'll fix first.
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Izzimach
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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2011, 08:22:40 PM »


Yikes, I decided to animate most of the creatures.  Robots don't animation though.  Suck to be a robot.  I also gave each monster type a different attack: robots shoot missiles, aliens shoot lasers, and mutants throw fire.  Finally, I added a simple AI bot that runs around as target practice.

I noticed that the high-level monsters (which you muster after getting a few low-level ones) were simply too nasty, so I made monster power levels a little bit closer to each other.



The current play mode is free-for-all deathmatch.  The main problem with this mode is that when you are killed, you lose all your minions so when you respawn it's easy to get killed again.  I think perhaps a "last man standing" mode would work better but deathmatch allows for easy drop-in and drop-out of players during a game.

There are still some bugs with the pathfinding, so you may see all the monsters start getting lost and running into walls.  I'm not sure if I have the time or inclination to fix this in time for the contest end, though Tongue

A current web player version is available.  Hopefully it doesn't crash.

Mustering the Titans (Web Player version)
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Izzimach
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« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2011, 08:42:14 PM »


Everything seems to be in order, so I'm marking this as finished.  The game is not quite as fleshed out as I hoped; it could use some balance and more interesting unit interactions.  Probably some funny bugs in there too, but overall the use of Unity and Player.IO went off without much problem at all.  Too bad I didn't get to give the robots machine guns though.
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