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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsthe nightmare cooperative (pc released / working on mobile) [puzzle roguelike]
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Author Topic: the nightmare cooperative (pc released / working on mobile) [puzzle roguelike]  (Read 15536 times)
jonbro
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« on: March 02, 2014, 11:17:08 am »

THE NIGHTMARE COOPERATIVE


GET IT ON STEAM



A puzzle roguelike.

you control multiple characters, each with their own special move, and need to get through the 10 levels of the dungeon. Along the way, you can collect loot and more characters to help your party.

We have a page up on our website for the upcoming main release.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 04:05:06 pm by jonbro » Logged

jonbro
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 04:33:02 am »

fixed up some bugs with the game over screen, and things that cause some runs to be not completable, and did a bit of a release this morning.

I suspect I will be making this into more of a full game, with more graphics and progression and on all the devices eventually.
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slothwerks
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 01:01:34 pm »

Really neat concept, just saw it over on RPS and IndieGames.  Subscribed and definitely excited to see where you go with this.

My only recommendation after playing for 10 minutes is to explain or introduce the powers.  I wasn't totally sure how they worked.  The priest is fairly obvious; I think I understand the archer/mage, but I'm not sure if they're limited to certain axes (like chess).  Didn't ever get the Knight.

Monster AI is a little unpredictable, which makes it a bit harder as a 'puzzle' game, but it may become more obvious if I play more.

I really like this though.  The positioning aspect is a really unique and refreshing take on games like this.

I've also gotta say that I'd really like to have this on my phone, and I think that swipe controls would be perfect for it.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 01:19:35 pm by slothwerks » Logged
slothwerks
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 05:55:52 pm »

Had a bit more time to play, and was able to beat it.  A observations/comments:

Minor spoilers, I guess, but these are the powers (as I understand them):
Warrior: Deal damage to adjacent enemy
Archer: Attacks ranged on row/column (like a rook)
Wizard: Attacks diagonal (like a bishop)
Priest: Heals all allies
Miner: Breaks blocks, exposing gold

The weakest part right now IMO is the AI.  I'm sort of conflicted what would work better: a random, truly rogue-like experience or a set piece scenario like what @st33d did with Ending.  In any case, I think the game would work a bit better with more predictable AI (like in Ending) Just my 2 cents.

I found all the classes useful, including the miner surprisingly.  He was pretty useful for busting a more optimal path through the level.  A couple levels I was able to run by all the enemies. 

Great work Smiley
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jonbro
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 02:15:27 am »

thanks for all the great feedback! glad you are enjoying this.

so yeah, the ai. right now there are three classes that have randomness in their ai:

- pure random wander
- random wander until distance (5?)
- random wander until cardinal LOS.

the first two of those are definitely bad, and I need to get rid of them. I put them in the early levels so there would be some on boarding. I kinda just want to get rid of those early levels, and difficulty ramp faster.

I was kinda at a loss for how to do non-random ai, it feels like there are only a few solutions, but I will explore that more for sure.

I am going to shelve this for a while, I have a few other projects I want to take care of, but will be getting back to it the week after gdc I think.
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terri
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 07:26:41 am »

I love how the movement works, at first I was a bit lost but after playing a bit things make sense, though I agree that the enemy AI is not as interesting as it could be.
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slothwerks
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« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 04:53:00 pm »

thanks for all the great feedback! glad you are enjoying this.

so yeah, the ai. right now there are three classes that have randomness in their ai:

- pure random wander
- random wander until distance (5?)
- random wander until cardinal LOS.

the first two of those are definitely bad, and I need to get rid of them. I put them in the early levels so there would be some on boarding. I kinda just want to get rid of those early levels, and difficulty ramp faster.

I was kinda at a loss for how to do non-random ai, it feels like there are only a few solutions, but I will explore that more for sure.

I am going to shelve this for a while, I have a few other projects I want to take care of, but will be getting back to it the week after gdc I think.
Totally understand the need to get something up and running.

Since I'm pretty sure you've played both, 868-Hack and Ending both do a good job, and are vaguely similar to your game.  Ending's AI works better I think with a set-piece puzzle game, but there are some interesting ideas for a random game nonetheless, like taking turns to rotate to face a direction.  Something like 868-Hack might work better for your game, where the AIs are really pretty similar (hunter AI), but have other properties which make them interesting (fast movement, move through barriers, more HP, invisible)

IMO, the more predictable, the better for this type of game.  I did like the blaster enemies in Nightmare Collective, because I could exploit position to make good use of my abilities.
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Savick
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 05:03:40 pm »

After getting the hang of things I felt myself really planning my moves and caring about the little dudes. The fact that you're moving multiple characters at once is a great mechanic. I hope to see more depth and clarity added as you progress.
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fizzd
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2014, 03:38:41 pm »

Woah this was surprisingly fun! At first I was all 'oh not this whole control multiple people with each key press thing', but after I realised every character had a special power it become really engaging, because situations would always come up where I had to choose which characters to kill off by pressing either of the key strokes. Also I actually liked how the powers weren't explained and it was up to us to figure out how each guy worked. I'd say please omit a tutorial it is way more fun discovering things for myself. Nice touch on the lack of text too, it says something about how clear your sprites convey their functions.

That was a nice ten minutes Smiley Thanks for making it open source too, have always wanted to learn the basics of 2D in Unity and this is a great way to start.
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jonbro
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« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 02:57:13 am »

Since I'm pretty sure you've played both, 868-Hack and Ending both do a good job, and are vaguely similar to your game.  Ending's AI works better I think with a set-piece puzzle game, but there are some interesting ideas for a random game nonetheless, like taking turns to rotate to face a direction.  Something like 868-Hack might work better for your game, where the AIs are really pretty similar (hunter AI), but have other properties which make them interesting (fast movement, move through barriers, more HP, invisible)

Yep, having additional properties to tweak is totally the way to go with this. I suspect there could eventually be something like rock paper scissors against the main characters. I bet even just changing the trigger radius on the guard enemies could make a huge difference. Move through barriers with crappy attack would be kinda cool (the ghost!).

That was a nice ten minutes Smiley Thanks for making it open source too, have always wanted to learn the basics of 2D in Unity and this is a great way to start.

glad you liked it! Although, oh no, I don't know if this code is the best way to learn unity2d... it isn't using any of the new sprite stuff at all, it is just chucking sprites on the screen using custom meshes. Not a terrible solution, but not the easiest thing in the world.


After getting the hang of things I felt myself really planning my moves and caring about the little dudes. The fact that you're moving multiple characters at once is a great mechanic. I hope to see more depth and clarity added as you progress.

danke :D
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jonbro
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2014, 02:56:51 am »

I took a week off of this to work on 7drl, but now that is over, so I am back on it, and hopefully the updates will be coming fast and furious.

yesterday I started reworking the display system to support different sized sprites, not just 8x8 ones. this was also necessary so that I could do all the tween animations I want to do to get rid of the console.

I was going to do a work up of the design direction I wanted, but it turned out my artist had already started on a few mockups.



pretty excited about this direction, but will probably need to iterate on it a bit to make it more functional / support all the stuff that I have in the game already.

Hope I can get clear of all this graphics stuff soon, and start working on more features. Really helps illustrate why roguelikes are clinging on to ascii or off the shelf tiles.
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jonbro
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2014, 01:25:01 pm »

made some acceptable progress today, redid the ground art a bit better, and got nearly everything animating correctly. I still need to figure out some of the player effects.



this is still just temp art, since my artist is at GDC until next week. I wish this was a more exciting update, but it was mostly just about making sure that the new animation system is in place. Maybe I could try to make something new every day, rather than just working on the redo tweaking bits.

Also I realize that this is the first time that I have ever gone from jam code into real code without starting over from scratch. I am not sure if this is the right way to go or not.
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jonbro
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2014, 07:58:45 am »

ok, new version up.

0.5 changes
smaller level size
got rid of all random enemies

added new enemies
acid
lava
goomba until distance

new animations for movement and specials
removed console
enemies now spawn in on levels on a timer
distance enemies display attack lines

I came up with a bit of a meta game too... Thinking about adding different level types and having multiple exits from each floor, so the overall will still be 10 levels, but you can fork within the dungeon and find your way through easier and harder paths.
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jonbro
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« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2014, 11:10:06 am »

I didn't really make any progress on this today, but I did some thinking on it, so I figured I should take a few notes so I have all those ideas in one place.

The games that I played that got the roguelike hooks in me were brogue and zaga-33. Brogue for its abstract evocative landscapes, and zaga for its tight puzzles, where it always feels like a solution, if only you had made the right decisions. Hoplite was also surprisingly evocative, more in the kinetic feeling of the character, this flying spear ninja that was barely dodging blasts and at the last moment knocking a bomb into a crowd of enemies, then chucking their spear to take down the wizard that had just moved into a kill position. These things that you normally visualize post facto, but because you have all the time in the world to string together the moves, the work perfectly.

If you go back and play the original game that I am expanding to build into nightmare cooperative, it has a bit of that perfect engine feeling to it. It also includes free undo.

I think what I am struggling with right now is how to manage the progression of the game. Because the only way to change the state of your inventory is to have your characters die, and to pick up new ones, it means that you can't really form a bond with any of your characters. On the other hand, I am extremely hesitant to add more inventory to the game. Perhaps ongoing effects, curses, blessings, and charms could be attached to the characters? I don't want to get into a position where there are ever modal UIs on the screen, and I also don't want to get to the point where there is more than the one input button. I think the limited health might also be playing into this, it makes the characters super disposable.

ANY WHO.

Some of the ideas for different worlds that you could get into, and the enemies within them.

- tech world: enemies that can't be killed, only disabled through remote switches, teleporting enemies
- ice world: enemies that do a one turn freeze, ice floor tiles that when you step on them you continue moving in the same direction until you hit a wall, walls that you need to bump attack to get through.
- fire world: more lava, enemies that leave fire in their path (which disperses), ongoing fire effects on the characters that need to be put out in water

All this stuff feels like it can't be supported by the current systems, but I am not sure.
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jonbro
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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2014, 10:14:37 am »

alright!

Back from a trip to london, and feeling like I have a few more directions to explore with this. There is still the issue that it doesn't have enough depth, but I got some feedback that gave me ways to explore the main mechanic more. And they are really obvious, so should be easy enough to implement.

Since I took so much time off, I was also able to remember a few of my other projects which had been backburnered, but I am excited to revisit them again soon.

I think I have a larger process issue that I am struggling with right now (the fact that any art that I do will eventually get ripped out and replaced), so I need to figure out a way to make that ok when I am building stuff. I am not sure how to approach that issue yet though.
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jonbro
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« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2014, 08:16:55 am »

still pretty sick, but I managed to talk over the art with my artist and got him moving forward (i think).

also added a new enemy type, moves in the direction you move, attacks when you end next to it.

Thinking about adding a single inventory slot, I am pretty sure it will help with scaling the game, adding more levels and such. Also might start me down the path of overworking everything, but I am not sure. Certainly feels like something I want to do.
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jonbro
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« Reply #16 on: March 31, 2014, 08:09:42 am »

alright! back to work for real. I don't think that I am going to do another web release until the full version is done, at which point I am going to start charging for it. So everyone will have to use their imagination for these new features (or just tell me to post it, whatever):

- added barbarian character, knocks back enemies next to it
- added astral walker character, can walk through walls on a cool down (currently 5)

mostly just hung out and caught up at the office today, everyone has been away, so it was kinda necessary to reset. Might try to get some more done at home tonight.
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jonbro
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2014, 08:40:01 am »

new art! huzzah!

the cooperative


a map


this isn't final, needs another color pass, but I am way happier with this than the stuff we had before.
also added the following features:
acid/lava hurts enemies
enemies standing in the path of distance enemies block shots

I am sorta coming around to the vision that I need to get rid of all of the current enemies. I sort kinda hate all the early levels now :/ so... that is a fucking pain in the ass. for all of you, that probably means another dev build to play at some point tho :D hot dang!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 08:47:04 am by jonbro » Logged

terri
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2014, 09:01:44 am »

the new characters look really cool, that's an interesting style
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empika
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« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2014, 09:17:00 am »

Looking great dude! Love the simplicity Smiley
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