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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogs♜ Kingdom ♜
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Author Topic: ♜ Kingdom ♜  (Read 37986 times)
noio
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« on: May 09, 2014, 04:51:19 am »



Kingdom is an atmospheric exploration/strategy game. It is about taking the time to notice your environment and enjoying it, but using what you learn to your advantage. It's simple but difficult. Establish a kingdom and ride out to discover how the world changes. Supply coins to your loyal citizens to build an economy and a fortress. Defeat is inevitable, so have a last look at the sun as it sets on your kingdom.




WHY A SEQUEL?
I'm building a much more ambitious game this time. Fixing all the annoyances of the original and adding an actual gameplay 'arc'. I'm also building a much bigger world to explore and expand into. I'm having a lot of fun creating different gameplay mechanics that hook naturally into the single action available to the player: dropping a coin.



I also have a DevLog on my own site and a page on IndieDB, but I really like & prefer the format of the TIGForum devlogs. I have always greatly enjoyed looking through the really awesome devlogs here, so I'll try to make this one up to par. I'll update this first post with new art assets. But the true goal of this devlog is to be able to have a conversation with you all! So I'll post updates asking your opinion as well as regular progress updates.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 05:35:24 am by noio » Logged


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noio
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2014, 05:29:17 am »

FIRST QUESTION
Hello all! So right off with the first question: what do you think about the trolls in the original game?

Mr. Stern from www.srslygames.com didn't seem to like them that much (link) and I sort of understand why. They are sort of funny and might evoke a short reaction of "what the..", but I'm considering introducing a more serious species of monster to the game. This would also have the advantage of allowing me to create a consistent visual style that I could create different monster types in.

Thoughts?
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castled
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2014, 02:02:45 pm »

I remember playing the first game a while ago, I really enjoyed it. For me, the atmosphere really made the game the game special. Glad to see there will be more!

WRT the trolls... I think their animation gives them an appropriately creepy aesthetic, so I'd hope any other monsters could continue that tradition. Not a fan of the trollface itself though, I don't think it's funny or adds anything in this game's context.
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UmutD
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2014, 01:42:30 am »

I played and liked the first one too! I wasn't much good at it, but I remember playing it for the atmosphere.

I remember noticing troll's face and finding it weird back then. On one hand you have cool & mystic day/night moments, slowly moving people and an amazing atmosphere with cool music, on the other hand that troll... It feels a bit arcade-y and out of place for me. But I definitely like that jerky arm animation.
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noio
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2014, 01:07:33 pm »

Ok. I'm building a new family of monsters. Mockup incoming  Hand Any KeyCrazy

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ephoete
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 12:36:55 pm »

Wow that's pretty neat man, beautiful rendering for the lights and the shadows, truely.
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noio
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2014, 05:54:26 am »

It has been a long time since the last post; but we're working full-speed again, this time in Unity. The video on Kickstarter was actually captured from a completely different iOS build of the game in native objective-C. But during the campaign so many requested a PC version that we decided to migrate to Unity. So, in the past few months both Marco and me have been learning C# and now we're truly making progress. Enough progress to initiate a weekly update video with the new stuff we've been building.

Here is the first one of those videos:

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noio
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 11:32:15 am »

Hey again! This is the second instalment of our update. I'm sorry it's just a video plug for now, I hope to write a more in depth text post exclusively for TIG soon.

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noio
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 12:44:57 pm »

Hey! Here is our new video. We have some new gameplay footage, including these guys:







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noio
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2014, 07:35:54 am »

Here is one of the new citizens doing what he's best at.



« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 08:31:15 am by noio » Logged


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aamatniekss
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2014, 02:16:23 am »

Wow ,that's one of the best pixel art I've ever seen! Shocked
Those original trolls look really weird. :| Definitely don't include them. The idea of producing more serious monsters seems good. Also the new little trolls, or whatever they are, look good!
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pitpony
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2014, 02:39:27 am »

Wow! this looks lovely.

I hadn't heard of the original game but have now bookmarked it to play over lunch Smiley
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danieru
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2014, 04:55:31 am »

Wait does this mean we can push back the forest and extend our lands? Either way  Beer!
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noio
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2014, 08:26:29 am »

Wait does this mean we can push back the forest and extend our lands? Either way  Beer!

That is exactly what it means.

So. Today I worked on the aim of our defenders. a) They can no longer shoot through walls, so they have to make a parabolic shot over them. b) I realized that—realistically—archers modulate the angle of their shot in order to hit a target, not the velocity as they do in the flash game. Shooting slower/weaker at nearby targets make no sense presuming you still intend to do damage.

These two things combined lead to a new, somewhat more elegant shooting strategy. For every given target position and fixed velocity, there are at most two possible angles for shooting a projectile that will hit it. The archer computes these two angles using the formula that is given on wikipedia. Then she performs a raycast along the lowest angle. If this is obstructed, she picks the higher angle. The screenshot below shows the high angle, the low angle, and the raycast which hit the wall in this case.





Of course this is all relatively common stuff for games, but I was reminded once again to always try and understand the math before just typing the formula. I spent an hour randomly flipping signs on different vector coordinates until I went through the derivation of the formula and found out that I was using negative gravity where they were expecting a positive number. Hah.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 08:33:43 am by noio » Logged


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noio
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2014, 07:52:27 am »

I wanted to create more interaction of the world with the river in the foreground. Also, I needed a way to indicate arable land. Two birds, one stone.



The first stage of the farm is just a haystack.

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Immudelki
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« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2014, 10:30:59 am »

How, very good news to see that prequel in dev! I didn't see that coming, and for such a great game, i'm really curious on which would be all those little or bigger improvements you will add.

Little animations gives always more life, and intersting paragraphs on those arrow-aiming questions keep it up Smiley
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noio
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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2014, 08:38:19 am »

Thanks!

I present to you: the first potato harvest.

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noio
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« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2014, 07:51:07 am »

This is a cross post from the IRKALLA topic. I thought it might be relevant here too.

Hi again!

Today I will tell you about...
Our Pixel Rules

As always, if someone has any suggestions to improve the amount of used screen space without penalizing the "balance", I would be very keen to know about them.


Hiya!

Super interesting read, I'm dealing with the exact kind of problem you have :D. We came up with almost the same solution Smiley

Our game renders to a small "screen texture" that is then zoomed and rendered to screen. Some other games scale up pixelart by scaling up each individual sprite, which allows "bigpixels" to overlap eachother halfway. This also allows you to rotate individual pixels, which Crawl does quite effectively. This all can result in smoother motion (especially in regards to the f@!$ing paralax jiggles[2]) but we decided against it.


Crawl's rotated bigpixels.


Rendering to a low-res texture has performance benefits, since we're actually rendering only the 512x256 pixels in our screen texture. Like you guys, we want "sharp" pixels, which means we can only upscale 1x, 2x, 3x, ... (Though there is a nuance here which gives a lot of flexibility! I'll get back to that later [1].)

We define a minimum horizontal region of this screen texture that we always want to show, then we zoom up to the highest integer zoom factor possible that still shows this whole region.

 Since our game is focused very much on a horizontal playing field, we letterbox the upper and lower regions of the screen instead of extending the view (which would just be filled with more sky / water). The whole "90° vertical screen orientation" thing is not something we even considered, haha.


Layout of the screen texture. We always show the middle part, the "extensions" are optional for wider screens.


Crop for a phone.


Crop for a 1920x1080 monitor.

This method gives a nice visual balance on most devices, some players get up to a 33% extended view field on either side, but that doesn't interfere with gameplay. It is flexible enough to never have black bars left/right. Top+bottom letterboxing is fine, but I really do want to fill the whole width of the screen. I don't think there are many devices with a 2:1 or higher aspect ratio, so I think we're good there.

We are rendering a few too many pixels (the ones outside the screen & under the letter box), but I don't think that will form a problem.

[1] @4x and up
So, there is a nuance regarding the rule that pixels can only zoom in integer amounts (1x, 2x, 3x). We all avoid non-integer zooms (like 1.5x) because it will either make bigpixels blurry (with anti-aliasing) or cause a kind of aliasing without it. At 1.5x, without anti-aliasing, what happens is that bigpixels on a line are zoomed by a factor of 1,2,1,2,1,.... However, I was surprised to see that at zooms of 4 or higher, this is not very noticeable at all. A zoom factor of 4.2x, for example, yields bigpixels that are alternatingly 4,4,5,4,4,... pixels in size, but this is not a disturbing sight. So, at a zoom of 4 or higher, we do not cap the zoom to integer levels anymore. This allows us a little extra flexibility to fill screens that would otherwise have a bit of letterboxing.


Upscaling by a non-integer factor is not so bad at high zoom levels. It's even less noticeable ingame where the contrast is lower.

[2] Parallax Jiggles
I was gonna rant about the "jiggles" that you get when moving objects are "discretized" onto bigpixels, but I'll save it for another time.
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Rethunk
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« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2014, 09:46:35 am »

Some fine pixel work there sir, and a great premise to boot! Special mention for the water effects shown in the video, the reflection and displacement look superb!
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EdFarage
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« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2014, 10:12:43 am »

those potatoes look flat
Just kidding, i love what you've got going so far, and that water thing is absolutely beautiful
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