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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsHeart&Slash - [RELEASED ON XBOXONE AND PS4]
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Jefe533
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« Reply #40 on: July 09, 2013, 09:40:50 AM »

Hey Juan, this is looking awesome. How does the clockwork lens work to reveal enemy resistances? Is it a one time use item? Do you have to keep it locked on to an enemy for a certain amount of time before it coughs up the info (like Metroid: Prime scans)?
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #41 on: July 10, 2013, 12:46:17 AM »

Hey Juan, this is looking awesome. How does the clockwork lens work to reveal enemy resistances? Is it a one time use item? Do you have to keep it locked on to an enemy for a certain amount of time before it coughs up the info (like Metroid: Prime scans)?

Right now, it works as long as you have it equipped (and leveled-up enough to be able to see resistances). It might prove to be too much, but by having the head equipped, you are losing the opportunity of having another, more useful in combat, head.
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #42 on: July 10, 2013, 03:38:36 AM »

Daily Progress update (1 of 2):

Something new today:


A new enemy I started today, the FlyBoy. Let's see if I can get a basic version of him into the game today...

MISSING (for the most basic version):
1-Fly, HitStun and Knockdown animation.
2-Basic behavior (pathfind to player - at different heights-).
3-Build the game object (non trivial, but not too difficult).

Then, to have a more or less complete version (for alpha) of the enemy we need:
1-More specific behavior (keep it's distance to the player, work in groups, etc...)
2-Arms and legs that change its behavior (faster jets, cannon, machinegun and chainsaw -for example-). Also heads that provide some cover (I don't want a full-blown shield like in the bigger enemy, but maybe something that breaks after withstanding some damage)

In the best of worlds, a buggy version of the complete enemy will be done this week. More realistically, it might take longer.

Feedback will be appreciated!
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #43 on: July 10, 2013, 07:40:47 AM »

Daily Progress Update (1.5 of 2):


Items 1 and 3 (animations and building of the game object)completed!

Left to do today:
-Implement Fly, Knockdown and Death beahavior.
-Fix a small bug that popped out in the hit feedback particles (they spawn way too far away in a smaller enemy).
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #44 on: July 10, 2013, 09:32:34 AM »

Daily Progress Update (2 of 2):

And... FINISHED!

MEET THE FLYBOY






Of course this is just very basic behavior, and there are probably bugs to arise, but it's a solid base from which to build the attack behavior for this enemy. (It still feels not organic enough in the way they pack together, I will have to improve the flocking)

The fact that I've gone from having nothing implemented of this enemy to this basic version in a single day bodes pretty well for the future development of the project, I think.
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mason
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« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2013, 06:27:08 PM »

Wow, I really love this aesthetic. I'm looking forward to seeing how this comes out. It makes me want to make a dungeon crawler.
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #46 on: July 11, 2013, 12:52:01 AM »

Daily Progress Update (1 of 2?):

Well, this is an early one, but today's first task proved deceptively simple. I implemented the first custom part for the FlyBoy. A head shield that works differently to the BigBoy's shields. In this case the player does not enter a HitStun state when her attack is blocked, the enemy does (but does not receive damage. After a discrete number of hits to the shield (or after a strong enough hit) the shield is destroyed. This makes the enemies slightly more resilient without becoming too much of a pain (they are nimble and fly, so they should not have a lot of endurance anyway).

I also slightly improved the death effect for enemies, but nothing too radical.


Next step: give the FlyBoy a Cannon!
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #47 on: July 11, 2013, 06:59:41 AM »

Daily Progress Update (2 of 2?):

Today's second task was not as surprisingly easy as the first one, but it was no more difficult than expected, though.

Now the FlyBoy has a Cannon!






Left to do for the Flyboy to be Alpha ready:
1-Melee variation
2-Retreat behavior (right now they tend to stay too close to you...)

This basically puts me 3 hours ahead of schedule for today. I'm going to try hacking at the FlyBoy to see if I can implement a melee variation tonight. Even if I don't manage to, tomorrow noon it should be done, which gives me some time to either squish some bugs (not too many left) or implement an easy to implement item.

As I think I mentioned before, I will go back into teaching next week, which would impact the rate of progress here (from 5 and some days of work a week to around 3). This, along with some family commitments in July and August, will definitely move the first-playable/alpha release (60% content 50% polish first level) into mid September (in the later margin of my original schedule).

However, this will give me more time in the future to work in Heart & Slash, so I still target December/January for Alpha 2 (content complete 90% polish first level).
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #48 on: July 11, 2013, 09:47:30 AM »

Daily Progress Update (3 of 2):

This is the final one for the day. Now FlyBoy has a Drill!

The screentshot is not the best, but the little fucker is hard to capture (attacks way too often, need to tweak that).


Left to do is for the attack to actually damage the player (that's why there's no video yet), and the retreat behavior I talked about above. Maybe, if I'm feeling generous, a rocket trail effect for the jets (this kind of visual polish is something I'm not particularly in need of finalizing for alpha).

However, and although it's still early, I am feeling quite sick today, so I'm calling it a day (I already did much more than I planned, even with the sickness). Tomorrow I will be able to get the FlyBoy to Alpha ready status and implement some other simple piece of content.

Next week I will get started in the final enemy needed for alpha. The two hard pieces of content to implement are that enemy and a new weapon. After that it's all tiny pieces until the picture is complete.

Bear in mind that a lot of this content is rough. It does work, and it feels Ok, but it will be imbalanced and unpolished.
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #49 on: July 12, 2013, 02:40:52 AM »

Daily Progress Update (1 of 2):

The Flyboy is finished:






In that video the only real problem is they retreat too fast, and that there's no warning before they charge. Both of these have already been addressed while uploading the video.

They are a little bit too hard to kill right now, but that's just tweaking (frequency of retreat triggering and all that).

Now, the plan for today is to implement the Kinetic Condensers, a set of arms that accumulates energy when you run and boosts your damage output according to the accumulated energy (which drops fast with each attack and slowly when not running but not attacking).
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« Reply #50 on: July 12, 2013, 07:33:18 AM »

Daily Progress Update (2 of 2):

Still feeling pretty sick, so no more work today.

However, I finished what I needed to do for today. It's just a pity I can't get ahead of schedule a little more.

Anyways, the Kinetic Accumulator works (with level behavior implemented). Since its an "under the hood" improvement, the video also shows the finished FlyBoy, with slightly less annoying behavior and attacks warnings for the drilling.

Click on the image to play the video (just figured out how to do this!!!!):



Next in line for development is a third enemy type (a ground based, fast and nimble humanoid). Ground enemies take time, so I expect 3 to 6 days of work for this one (most likely 6), and since I am going to be busy with some commitments, it's not clear it will be finished before August).
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #51 on: July 13, 2013, 09:02:29 AM »

This is along one. I'm basically going to lay down my current plans for the game, but no screenshots. Feel free to read or not, but if you do read, I'd love your feedback!!!!

Design Update 1:

We are in a weekend and I couldn't find time today to work on the game, therefore I spend some time thinking about and solidifying some of the game design. I want to use this devlog both as a progress update tracker and a design log, so here we go:

MAIN CONCEPT:
3D Hack and Slash Roguelike.

COMBAT SYSTEM:
Flexible combat system. Similar to DmC and Lords of Shadow 2 (and others), the main character can carry up to three weapons. You swith to them by holding one of the triggers, if not trigger is held, the default weapon gets activated.

On top of this, we have an equipment system that complements the combat system. Up to 4 body parts can be equipped at one. The effects of these bodyparts can vary, but in some cases they can add additional attacks and moves to the main character.
 
PROGRESSION SYSTEM:
This is where the roguelike aspects come in. Level are procedurally assembled from a set of rooms. Each of these rooms has multiple variations. Some of these rooms may contain spawners with pickups (there is no item drop by the enemies). Levels will be separated by theme and there will be 5 of them. Exploration within a level is allowed, but at the time a system by which after defeating a boss a new level is started is the plan.

There's permadeath, so the levels need to be short enough, probably they should not take more than 15/20 minutes to beat each, which implies the enemy health needs to be low (we don't want enemies that withstand a lot of damage, or at least we don't want many of those.

There's XP, obtained by killing enemies, this XP can be used to upgrade your equipment or your character (which is a non-switchable equipment piece). Each piece of equipment has four levels, from 0 (the level they start at) to 4.

Also, some enemies have modifiers that can grant bonuses or minuses when the player kills them. Right now, this is the only way to regain some health.

METAGAME:
Not every piece of equipment will spawn every game. The set the game chooses from will be selected from a subset that will increase in size (and power) as the player continues to unlock achievements. These can be metagame achievements (equip a full set of gear) or in-game accomplishments (find a secret room with an specific piece of equipment that will randomly spawn from now on).

THINGS I'M NOT SURE ABOUT YET:
Level generation. I'm scared the levels will be too big/take too long to traverse. The game should play really fast, and exploration is an important but minor factor to consider. This is something I need to play careful attention to when I start to receive gameplay feedback.

Variety. Going 3D makes art production somewhat slower. For alpha the game will not have enough variety, but I'm unsure whether the plan for vertical slice (see below) will be enough, or if I need to introduce many more small variations into the mix.

Level structure. There's the option of tying all 5 different levels/areas together (think castlevania) and make the game more exploration based. bosses would actually be present, but it would allow for backtracking and more gameplay flexibility (performance may suffer, specially in terms of memory). By not dividing the experience in discrete levels, the experience would become more structuraly sound, but it will require some work on level generation and I don't know how "necessary" it really is.

The metagame progression is way too simple right now. Something along the lines of Rogue Legacy could be nice, but I don't want to go so heavy on the RPG elements. A possibility is to unlock characters and NPCs in the dungeon that allow the player to skip levels/progress faster to harder areas.

DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION GOALS FOR PRESENT MILESTONE (PLAYABLE PRE-ALPHA):
HAVE:
SYSTEMS:

-Input
-Combat
-Equipment
-Level generation

CONTENT:
LEVEL 1:
-Three rooms, with three variations each.

ENEMIES:
-FlyBoy with three parts (four different configurations).
-GruntBot with three parts (six different configurations).

ITEMS:
-Two Weapons (Katana - Single enemy focused. Limited combos and Shields -Block attacks). three variations each.
-Two Heads (Clockwork lens and Spectralizer)
-One Arm (Kinetic Accumulator)
-One Leg (Combat Legs)
-One Body (Rocket Pack)

MISSING:
SYSTEMS:

-None

CONTENT:
LEVEL 1:
-Two rooms, with three variations each. these are bigger rooms.

ENEMIES:
-NimbleBot with three parts (six possible configurations)
-Level 1 Boss.

ITEMS:
-One Weapon (BladeOnAStick - Medium Range crowd control).
-One Head (Visual Harmonizer, makes you invisible to enemies on evade)
-Two Arms (Power Projectors, push enemies away when running into them, and Resistant Bracers, give elemental resistance, three variations)
-Two legs(Spring shoes, self explanatory and another one TBD)
-Two bodies (Cannon Body, shoot cannonballs with your body and another one TBD)

POLISH:
-Rework many particle effects.


DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION GOALS FOR NEXT MILESTONE (PLAYABLE ALPHA):
SYSTEMS:

-Main Menu System.
-Metagame Unlock and progression.
-Level End/Start of next level.

CONTENT:
LEVEL 1:
-Three more rooms (total of eight), with 5~10 variations each (will need to add variations to previous rooms).

ENEMIES:
-Two more enemies, for a total of 5, with 5 parts each (will need to add two parts to the already present enemies).

ITEMS:
-Two more weapons and two more of every other kind of equipment, for totals of:
-5 weapons with 5 variations each.
-5 heads.
-5 bodies.
-5 arms.
-5 legs.

POLISH:
-Write unified shaders (performance and visual appearance)
-Post processing and setting the final look of the game (I'm thinking about a slight tilt-Shift plus some aggressive saturation/color-Correction, maybe a toon shading).

EXTRA:
There are some systems implemented but without enough content yet. These will (I hope) provide variety without making the implementation too hard. But I don't know yet the extent of how many different variations to implement. The systems are:
Terrain modifiers: Right now implemented a slowdown (reduces player speed in half), a boost (forces the player into running for 3 seconds, and a gravity platform (when in contact, the gravity of the player switches to the normal of the modifier -basically allowing to walk up walls).
Enemy & player modifiers: Modifiers that can change the stats (resistances and damage) of player and enemies without requiring extra logic. The Health modifier enemies start with (that give the player 1 health on death) ios an example of this.
Cinematics: Special logic for certain rooms. Apart from a basic tutorial, I am using them to implement arenas (rooms which doors close on enter, and won't open until all enemies spawned are dead).

I feel I need to do significant design work on this last area, but it's been neglected from a while.
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #52 on: July 15, 2013, 06:32:33 AM »

Daily Progress Update (1 of 2):

So it was a slow day (still recovering from the virus that took away the weekend). However I was able to fix some bugs AND implement a new part.

This is the Smoke Mask. It basically gives you a fast backflip evade (better than the standard) AND makes you invisible to enemies for some time after that evade. While invisible, enemies will move to your last visible position and will not attack.

If you attack you will become visible again.

A video, as usual:


Note that there are a couple of possible variations to this item, specifically, adding backstabbing, or a huge damage boost that only lasts for the first attack after being invisible (trivial to implement). I have noted that for future content to implement (the current version is more than powerful enough for the first level, maybe even too powerful).

I will spend the rest of today doing some design work on the new enemy type. I will show some images later.
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« Reply #53 on: July 15, 2013, 02:19:04 PM »

Daily Progress Update (2 of 2):

A late one (did lots of things in between, haven't been working all time).

I finished the first pass at modelling the NimbleBot (I find some tweaks are always required for these, but they are fast).


Tomorrow I will start the animations, and hopefully have a basic version running around in-game.
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« Reply #54 on: July 15, 2013, 02:50:24 PM »

This looks pretty cool.  I love the style of the graphics, although to be honest I'm not totally won over by the dull, grungy palette so far.  I appreciate that it's a stylistic choice, however - perhaps it will grow on me.

Regarding the metagame:  If you're looking to emulate the best aspects of Roguelikes then I would avoid taking the Rogue Legacy route.  I like Rogue Legacy a lot (I've sunk about 20 hours into it now) and it's 'legacy' progression system is quite interesting from a thematic and narrative angle, but in gameplay terms it really subverts the usual purpose of permadeath and ends up being a fairly traditional ARPG in the end (in terms of progression).  To beat the end boss in RL it's pretty much vital to do a fair bit of grinding away in order to level up your stats, which is very counter to the design ethos of more traditional roguelikes, where generally you should be able to complete the game with your very first character if you're good enough.

If you must include 'unlocks' I would recommend doing it more after the fashion of Binding of Isaac, where the meta-game allows you to unlock more items and enemies but those additions are balanced so that the overall difficulty of the game remains more or less the same, just with added variety and complexity.
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #55 on: July 15, 2013, 11:40:56 PM »

This looks pretty cool.  I love the style of the graphics, although to be honest I'm not totally won over by the dull, grungy palette so far.  I appreciate that it's a stylistic choice, however - perhaps it will grow on me.

Regarding the metagame:  If you're looking to emulate the best aspects of Roguelikes then I would avoid taking the Rogue Legacy route.  I like Rogue Legacy a lot (I've sunk about 20 hours into it now) and it's 'legacy' progression system is quite interesting from a thematic and narrative angle, but in gameplay terms it really subverts the usual purpose of permadeath and ends up being a fairly traditional ARPG in the end (in terms of progression).  To beat the end boss in RL it's pretty much vital to do a fair bit of grinding away in order to level up your stats, which is very counter to the design ethos of more traditional roguelikes, where generally you should be able to complete the game with your very first character if you're good enough.

If you must include 'unlocks' I would recommend doing it more after the fashion of Binding of Isaac, where the meta-game allows you to unlock more items and enemies but those additions are balanced so that the overall difficulty of the game remains more or less the same, just with added variety and complexity.

Cool, thanks for the feedback, this is what I need.

I have issues with your statement that a traditional roguelike is beatable on the first go by a skilled player. Prior game knowledge and spoilers in classic roguelikes are used to substitute a progression system (ADoM, NetHAck and Crawl are what I played most, and they all present this problem in different degrees -NetHAck being the most obvious offender-). Sure, there were no mechanics forcing the grinding, and I agree that's ideal.

Actually, Binding of Isaac and Shiren the Wanderer are my main references for a metagame. I agree Rogue Legacy's system is too much (making it something different than a roguelike) but there's something compelling about it's precision that I want to try to emulate. I also like the fact you can significantly ease the game as you go through it, which applied to a more traditional roguelike, could allow for a game that is beatable on a first go by a really good player OR can be eased somewhat through grinding so players less skilled at action titles have a chance. It's not about requiring the grinding but about making it an option for a lesser player. RIght now I'm thinking about bosses that don't respawn between playthroughs, or maybe enabling shortcuts or some other ways to speed up the early game.

I dunno, I still need to explore a lot of options. And this is not something I will tackle until everything else is in place, since what will work best is going to be dependent on how the game feels.

And for the art: THANKS! I need constructive negative feedback (back patting is nice, but useless, IMHO). I agree with you the palette is boooring. I had planned for the first level to be duller so the second one feels really gratifying visually when you reach it, but this is too much. It's somewhat easy to change, thought, and I already did some stuff on the playable to bring color back into the game (fog and lights are very colored and make the visuals pop a little) but I agree that at some point I need to go through my assets with a paint bucket tool looking for options to enliven everything. However, I find the process tedious and boring, so I was being lazy about it. You pointing it out serves to remember me I need to tackle it soonish, and I will try...

I got to this point by: 1- making the game all by myself. 2- Improvising and working without concept sketches or any previous attempt at art design.

It's not so much an stylistic choice as a consequence of developmental inertia.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 11:47:28 PM by Juan Raigada » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: July 16, 2013, 04:32:44 AM »

Daily Progress Update (1 of 2):

Did a couple of animations for the nimbleBot. Here you can see the first pass to for the walking animation.


These animations take time (and I'm not yet 100% happy with them), that's mainly why I have scheduled 6 full working days to work on this enemy (And have used 1 so far).

I'll try to tackle today animations for:
-Jump
-Fall
-Fall Recovery
-SideStep

Then I will implement (during the weekend, hopefully, since I'm working Wed-Friday) a first version of the enemy that just walks around.

Then I will do animations for:
-HitStun
-KnockDown
-GetUp

And implement those behaviors so the enemy can be killed. At this point, the Default part should be done. This will happen, at the earliest, on Sunday.

Then I'm travelling for a week, so I won't be able to start on the three parts that enable attacks until July 29th. Those are easier, and by that weekend the enemy should be finished.

It's a little bit frustrating to have to slow down development, not so much due to work, but due to family holidays and other commitments. However, I still think a playable pre-alpha is on schedule for September.
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« Reply #57 on: July 16, 2013, 06:10:38 AM »

I love all the work you're putting into this. This actually reminds me of Megabyte Punch and Spiral Knights. I can't wait to play it.
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #58 on: July 16, 2013, 09:34:21 AM »

I love all the work you're putting into this. This actually reminds me of Megabyte Punch and Spiral Knights. I can't wait to play it.

Soon, my friend... Soon.

BTW, didn't knew about Megabyte Punch, and it looks cool and has some things in common with this game. Thanks for mentioning it.
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Juan Raigada
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« Reply #59 on: July 16, 2013, 11:24:44 AM »

Daily Progress Update (2 of 2):

So it turns out it's something between a spider and a dog... (but robotic):


It's funny how small the model turned out to feel once crumpled together (it has the same lengths as the main character). However that led me to experiment with a 2x scaled version (the big one you see in the video).

I have now a new modifier I will implement (will be fast, so it will be done at any point I feel tired by other tasks): GIGANTISM. It will give the enemy 1.5xhealth, 2x damage and 2x size (will apply only to small enemies where it will look ok), and it will cost a certain amount of "Danger", so the system can scale better from low danger to high danger enemies...

I will certainly lighten the skin of the NimbleBot a little bit, and make the ëye"emissive, so it should be easier to spot the small f****rs than in the video.

Next update will be up on Saturday! Have a nice week, guys and girls...
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