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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsElontrias [4 Player Co-op RPG]
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Swifty
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« on: November 14, 2014, 05:02:09 am »



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Elontrias is a co-op RPG that will offer deep character progression,
customisation, action combat, dynamic bosses and creative puzzles.
For those wondering; this is the evolution of my previous project, Dungeon Core.

We will be doing scheduled weekly updates to document our changes and progression with the project.
With that said, we're still in very early development so the design is where most of the work will be going.


4 Character Archetypes (Fighter, Mage, Archer, Thief) with multiple specilisations per character.
Customisable character loadouts - tailor your character to how you want to play.
Structured open world for players to explore.
Immersive storylines and story arcs.


Nathan Hold - Programmer & Lead Technical Designer
Brodie Swift - Artist & Lead Designer


Facebook - Coming Soon
Twitter
Youtube - Coming Soon
Twitch: Nathan Hold
Twitch: Brodie Swift
Tumblr
IndieDB
IndieDB
GameDev - Coming Soon
Website - Coming Soon


Aseprite - Pixel Art & Animation
Photoshop - Concept Art
Unity3D - Engine
SourceTree (Git) - Source Control
Trello - Project Management
OBS - Recording & Streaming



Screenshots:






« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 02:19:47 am by Swifty » Logged

Swifty
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 09:24:04 pm »

Elontrias Devlog #1

DESIGN LOG
Okay so we're now officially one week into development, a lot our work has been put into the design document so far as you can see:


Inspiration List
 • Baldurs Gate II
 • Diablo 3
 • Wheel of Time
 • Name of the Wind
 • Dota 2
 • COD: AW

Movement
For movement we will be using a Hybrid style of WASD and point-and-click. Players will move their main heroes through WASD but summoned\controllable units can be given commands via a point-and-click system. This will allow for more action gameplay while allowing maximum flexibility for friendly controllable AI units.

Combat
Combat will be a mix between Dota 2 & Diablo 3.
We will have auto attacking within range of a selected enemy unit.
Targeted/Skillshot Abilities that will require aiming and positional awareness.
Passive abilities that auto-trigger on certain circumstances.
Upkeep/Toggle abilities.

Towns
Our current goal with towns is for them to actually feel inhabited. To achieve this we're going about designing our towns with a very technical mindset. We first work out what the towns primary export is and then expand around that, making sure it would be self sustainable and also fit within the world and complement the areas around it.
We then fill out the town with all its NPCs and their trades and their relationships with other members of the town. Our goal here is to have individual personalities for each npc that can be driven by the AI to create the feeling of a real operating town.
 
Heroes
We've got initial designs for 8 Archtypes each with 3 specialisations. Our primary goal when designing heroes is to make sure they are fun to play with some extremely creative and unique abilities. I don't want to get into anything too specific yet; but there's going to be some awesome abilities and combos available!

Character Loadout
For Character Loadouts we are borrowing from the concept of the "Pick-13" system in COD:AW.
There will be a set number of slots for Abilities, Passives, Perks, Enchantments & Potions that will allow players to design and tweak their loadout for what suits them and their hero.

TECHNICAL LOG



So, technically for the game we will be focusing on getting the underlying tools done for development at the moment, these tools will greatly increase final productivity rather than diving straight into direct code. It may seem like a slow start to begin with but at the end it will be easy to add or change anything.

TileMap System with Editor



This will be the first tool developed for the game, as it will allow us to rapidly prototype town and map layouts. The primary goal with the TileMap System & Editor is to be easy to use and fast to get ideas out.

With that in mind, these are our list of features:

  Easy TileSet creation
  Picking TileSet
  Picking Tiles from TileSet (With click drag and mouse down)
    Scroll bar for too large TileSets
  Placing Tiles
    Stamping
    Erasing
    Fill Tool
  Building TileMap directly in a Unity scene
  Undo \ Redo
  Grid with custom colouring settings
  Multi-tile selection
    and placement via stamp tool
  Sorting Layers
  Ability to define custom properties for tiles (I.e for pathfinding)
  Animated Tiles

TileMap Editor in action:


The rest of the planned tools are:

 • Pathfinding System with Editor (Should interface with the tile system using custom properties)
 • Statistic Editor (easy way of adding removing strength, intel etc to all units \ characters)
 • Object Database and Editor
 • Ability \ Spell Database and Editor
 • Character Database and Editor
 • Hero\Class Database and Editor

Using the Unity 5 beta I've been playing around with the networking and the new UI features and have made up a rough mockup of the Host\Client UI that transfers the user into the world. I've also got a simple chat system utilising Unitys rich text option for the text field allowing for players to add formatting to the chatbox text.

Hosting & Connecting:


Networked Player Movement:


Chatbox Features:


ART LOG
Not too much to see here just yet. I'm currently establishing the style and working on the first towns tileset as well as getting the default animations down. Expect to see some stuff here next dev log!
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 09:32:19 pm by Swifty » Logged

Swifty
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2014, 12:59:09 am »

Elontrias Devlog #2

DESIGN LOG
Most of that week was spent prototyping, so there's not much on the Design front. We've got some pretty unique features planned but we're keeping them under wraps for now.

ART LOG
The last week we have been experimenting with different art styles so we can lock it down and get into character and tile creation.

Through some adjustments we began testing a 3d/pixel art hybrid style. Deciding that the template heroes I'd already done we're too small, I created two higher res heroes and we put together a simple scene.




Wizard Design Process


However through testing the creation process on the art assets as well as level design; we came to the conclusion that the time trade-off wouldn't be worth it.

This led us back to the original hero designs, yet we both felt that they were all too bland for being heroes and needed revamping. I decided to look back on my Dungeon Core art for inspiration on style as we both liked that but wanted slightly bigger and more detailed heroes. With this in mind I designed the new set of heroes.

Old Hero Designs


Dungeon Core Hero Designs


Revamped Hero Designs


So with the Hero designs completed I started on creating a tilset template that could be used for multiple tilsets.

Here is the template:


By applying to sprite and masking out the different areas I can get pretty quick results that can be tiled quite seamlessly:




TECHNICAL LOG

So obviously we worked on the 3D art style, which required a different camera and a few changes added to the character controller code so I did those. The main things I worked on however are the following:

Statistic Database and Editor



So the statistic editor is a simple way of adding\removing what stats a entity has in our game world, they have a bunch of settings like a maximum and minimum value so that when we are testing things we can set sane values for stats (If we feel like it) and we can link stats together so that something like Intelligence can increase mana by a certain given ratio.

Whenever we create a new entity they will be given a statistic container with all of these stats!

Abilities Database and Editor



The ability database and editor is going to be very complicated once complete, however currently it's a simple database of a name description and icon, which will work until we actually want to use the abilities.

Currently I am thinking about having each ability have it's own GUI and data type that gets saved with the base ability data. This will make abilities very generic and easy to create (Once the data, logic and UI have been made for them).

I also made a custom inspector for the data created with the two above editors to show when someone last edited the data and how much data there is!:

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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2014, 02:45:28 am »

Looks cool, art style is promising.

I admire your commitment to making tools - I'm sure this will pay off many times over.
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Swifty
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2014, 01:00:50 pm »

Thanks GeoffW, we'll have more on the art style soon. We've started to lock it down, I'm just finishing off the hero designs and I should have some animations to show this week Smiley

The tools will definitely pay off in the long run. I'm particularly excited about the terrain feature Nathan is working on, which will automatically tile the sides and corners of paths!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2014, 01:26:34 pm by Swifty » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2014, 04:15:48 am »

Elontrias Devlog #3

ART LOG
This week I spent designing the different directions for each hero:


Once I had those down I started on setting up a run-cycle template.
I then applied it to the Knight to get some running happening:


I'm also working on some out doors scenery tiles; you'll see more of that next week!

TECHNICAL LOG

This week in the tool development I worked on the underlying API for statistics, items and statistic modifiers. This allows us to programmatically add stats modifiers to items or abilities which can include things like: buffs, debuffs, damage, DoT, HoT. Statistics can be altered later on and all items will update to match so we can add or remove stats while developing the game without hassle.



This allows us to quickly and easily create items that modify any stat.
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2014, 10:17:49 am »

I'm a huge fan of coop games, whether they're RPGs or shooters.

For your networking solution, are you using the Bolt engine or Photon or using the tools that Unity provides?
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nhold
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2014, 02:12:48 am »

I'm a huge fan of coop games, whether they're RPGs or shooters.

For your networking solution, are you using the Bolt engine or Photon or using the tools that Unity provides?

Thanks, so are we!

Networking wise I was going to roll my own, my method was going to be using a modified version of GameObject.SendMessage() which will work for offline as well as online games. This way anything that works in single player will work in multi-player. I have not really looked at Bolt but Photon is pretty overkill for our game seeing as we won't support more than 4 players at a time even though it is possible (Someone can host a game with however many players they want).

I am kind of developing our tools in conjunction with the networking so that we don't really have to worry about it too much, we just kind of build the world and the tools will auto-magically handle the rest and this is why I think a custom solution will work the best.

Do you have experience with Bolt or Photon that might show they are suited to that?

On a semi-unrelated note, here is the current LoC of the tools:


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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2014, 02:25:28 am »

I'm really digging the style of those characters, so itty bitty yet detailed and not overly complicated. It's good that you decided on this direction in the end Hand Thumbs Up Right
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2014, 02:31:14 am »

I really like that running animation, he's fast with long steps, looks very good.
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2014, 03:47:24 am »

The sprites look great! I thought the 3D style looked brilliant though.. Wink
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2014, 04:34:32 am »

Oh wow, this is looking awesome! Smiley Following. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2014, 07:00:21 am »

Networking wise I was going to roll my own, my method was going to be using a modified version of GameObject.SendMessage()

Do you have experience with Bolt or Photon that might show they are suited to that?

Hey! I've got a tiny bit of experience in both Bolt and Photon now. I only just did the tutorial for Photon last night. From what I'm reading, it's very similar to Unity's networking features. You might want to check it out just in case and you're able to use Photon to develop multi and single player without having to develop two separate games.

I've also got a license for Bolt, I got it on sale and figured I may want to make a game with it in the future. It's a little more challenging to get familiar with, because the developer is still making documentation and tutorials for it.

Photon costs more money in the short and long run if you use their cloud services, so I suppose you would just need to think about if your game could support the cost or if hosting your own server is an option.

Bolt would allow you to have the client host their own server from their computer (I don't know if this is an option for Photon.) The challenges with this is ensuring that people know how to do a little networking for port forwarding / uPnP / NAT / Firewalls.
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Swifty
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2014, 05:19:28 am »

@Netsu - Thanks man, yeah I'm definitely happy with the art direction we've chosen.

@Hipshot - Cheers Hipshot, I loved Hammerwatch! Can't wait to see where your new project takes you!

@Happymonster - Haha I know, 3D was really fun to mess around in. There's some issues with the billboard sprites though. In the end we decided that 3D would be too time consuming. I'd love to try it in the future though!

@aamatniekss - Thanks man! Hope you enjoy what's to come Smiley

@dszordan - Thanks a lot for the insight. Nathan (the programmer) will get back to you about what he's going to do. He said we'd definitely be looking into both of those as well as his own solution.
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Swifty
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2014, 05:22:24 am »

Elontrias Devlog #4

ART LOG
This week I spent work expanding on the outdoor tileset, as well as getting up some GUI prototypes.



GUI Mockup:


We've established a generic set of animations that all units will have, so I plan on getting all those down on the knight hero first before moving on to the others. These will be things like Run, Cast, Death, Use, Hit.

TECHNICAL LOG

This week in technical land I got the proper animations \ idle states working with an extensible controller, as well as a new UI which is all showcased in the following gif:

In-Engine Footage:


On top of that I started the easy process of saving a world and it's characters out, who here loves RTTI and serialisers? I do!



So in the process of creating the little world, I have found several missing features and bugs in the tile system:

  • Need ability to move a layer up and down.
  • Need ability to see what layer you currently have selected
  • When replacing a tile with another tile the undo system doesn't register the first tile getting deleted

Bolt would allow you to have the client host their own server from their computer (I don't know if this is an option for Photon.) The challenges with this is ensuring that people know how to do a little networking for port forwarding / uPnP / NAT / Firewalls.

We'll most probably be doing it this way. People will host their own server for a few friends and them to play through a game and we'll have Unity's NAT punch-through on a server sitting at my house with my awesome Australian fibre net unless we need something bigger.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2014, 05:33:04 am by Swifty » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2014, 04:19:39 am »

Elontrias Devlog #5

Swifty is running a bit late on his art log, so he'll post it up tomorrow.

Technical Log

Hey guys, welcome to another week of progress for Elontrias! The tools are at an acceptable point where we can start developing everything and anything missing(Dialogue Tree, NPC Editor etc) we can add along the way. From this point on progress should increase by a lot.

So let see this week I did the following:

Inventory

The inventory now works graphically and is drag-able. Previously it only existed logically! See the gif below!

Items

Items can now properly exist in the world rather than just logically and they can be picked up with the hotkey F if you are near it!

Items also show a tool tip when in the inventory and the mouse is over it.



Menu UI

The UI had to be redone again. This is because the Unity 5 betas NetworkViews cannot be built to any player so I had to downgrade to Unity 4.6 which messed up the UI a little bit, so here we are with a nicer UI that even has a class selection pane.



In Game Chat

The chat now hides if there is no activity in a while, I also changed the API so a class can listen for when a piece of text is added and make it a link or show some other info. (E.g the player adds their name to the message).

To bring it back just press enter.



That's about it for this week, a few misc bug fixes and stuff not counted! Next week I'll be putting the graphical side of the ability system in along with a few test abilities and if I have time the graphical side of equipping items while trying to polish all of the above stuff.
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« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2014, 04:23:07 am »

Hey guys, I've been a bit busy leading up to Christmas but I managed to get a couple things done in regards to the art. I decided not to be lazy and actually animate the left side animations for the hero. I've gotten the run done as you can see it here:



I fixed up the scale of the well, and I'm working on some more tileset pieces but I'll save those to show all at once. I'm also doing Concept Art pieces for the heroes, here's the Knight:



Our next update won't be until early January, so Merry Christmas to all and have a safe holiday!
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2015, 03:56:12 am »

Howdy guys I hope everyone had a great time over the Christmas break, we've been working away on Elontrias, so let's get on with the update!

Elontrias Devlog #6

ART LOG
I designed a goblin enemy and animated his walk cycles for all four directions.


I also did the first draft sprites for each item type:


TECHNICAL LOG

Hey so on the programming side I worked on a few things.

Inventory/Equipment Update

So previously the inventory and equipment UI would not update when an item was added or removed but now that works as any RPG player would expect.



AI

This is the first point of AI for Elontrias! Our AI will be pretty complex when done, hopefully doing a nice simulation but right now it's basic. AI currently age, use energy and die as their energy levels drops they get hungry which will eventually override their current task so they can go eat(There is no food in the world yet, so everyone starves) when they are full, happy and have some energy they may find a mate where they have a chance to breed, spawning a new AI into the world which uses the middle ground of the parents statistics (aggression, bravery, intelligence, strength, max health etc) with a slight randomness.

Eventually we want the AI to build their own settlements dynamically so hopefully they create something a little different each time.



Abilities

Abilities can now exist and will work in the world and there is a UI for the player. I have two test abilities (They both do the same thing which is a charge). See my awesome coder ability here, I have to fix the tool-tips and make them have colour coded areas for prettiness, but for now they work.

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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2015, 11:04:00 am »

Hey guys! How's the game coming? I can't wait to see more, it looks so darn good! :D
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« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2015, 01:41:43 pm »

Wow. Your idea for the AI sounds so intricate. It makes me think of Limit Theory --- how the AI functions as almost a player to the game, rather than an additive.
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