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pitpony
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« on: November 18, 2014, 05:31:15 am »

Right, enough lurking, I figure this is the right time, and place, to introduce my project and finally drag it to completion.

A bit of History

For this next bit, we need to travel back in time...



The date is the 6th December 2011; I had an idea for an iPhone game that mixed the tile laying mechanics of Carcasonne with some light roleplaying mechanisms, all tied up in a nice Puzzle-type package.

Commence 6 months of fairly pacey work culminating in the project being put on hold in August 2012.

Fast forward slightly to June 2013 and I decided to resume the project with renewed entusiasm. By July 2014 I had once again cancelled the project - in fact I'd had enough of things in general.

This bring us around to present time where, since about October, I've been working on the game again.

(There's a valuable lesson in here somewhere about taking a short break rather than quitting  Wink).

About the Game



In One Last Path, you lay tiles in order to reach the exit. You don't control the character directly but instead, once a set time has elapsed, the character will begin to follow the path you have laid.

Along the way you'll need to overcome obstacles. This is done by collecting items, stored in your inventory, which can be used to overcome these obstacles.

For example you may place a bridge to traverse water. You may destroy a wall in order to lay down a new path. You may reverse the direction of the character to take another path.

I plan on the game having a light story which I'll tell through the environment and the npc's you meet.

About the Tech & Tools

I'm using cocos2d as the framework for the game.

I've custom built a bespoke level editor for the game. This is written in JavaScript with a Ruby API taking care of data storage. I wanted the ability to rapidly prototype levels and I think my web-based level editor achieves this.



Next Steps

I'm very much moving onto gameplay as I begin building the early levels. I need artwork and new obstacles to flesh out this gameplay. There remains a fairly subsantial backlog of items in order to get this game into a Beta state.

Pics, GIFs and Stuff



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Fenrir
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2014, 05:36:44 am »

It seems really nice, congratulation for the work done so far!

I don't get something, tiles you get are picked randomly like in Carcassone or you can choose the one you'll play?
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pitpony
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« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2014, 05:45:08 am »

Thanks Smiley

The tile is random but you can always see what is coming next.

In that last image, the tiles at the top show you what's coming next. The tile on the far right is the next tile and the two to the left of it are the next two.

So there's an aspect of managing the space. You can get rid of useless tiles by destroying them with explosives (one of the inventory items its possible to collect).

I did contemplate allowing you to select one of the three tiles coming next. But I quite like the simplicity of just tapping and getting the next tile.
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pitpony
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2014, 05:50:13 am »

As I re-read that, I wonder if it would be better if I provided a bank to temporarily store a tile. So I'd just show the tile coming next but you could opt to store it in a bank to the left. What do you guys think?
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Fenrir
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« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2014, 06:03:47 am »

Quote
As I re-read that, I wonder if it would be better if I provided a bank to temporarily store a tile. So I'd just show the tile coming next but you could opt to store it in a bank to the left. What do you guys think?

Yep I definitely thought about this solution when reading your message, it worths a try. Smiley
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pitpony
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2014, 06:06:50 am »

Absolutely. I think I'll give it a try next. Smiley thanks
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pitpony
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2014, 03:07:30 pm »

Time for an update.

Not as much progress as I'd have liked but still edging forwards  Smiley

My primary focus has been on testing a gameplay mechanism for temporarily storing tiles. This actually took me on a rather long path involving work on the UI (which needed doing anyway), modifications to the tile sets, and revisiting my queue code for a bit of rewrite.

Actually the whole UI interaction got a revamp.

First things first though - Tiles no longer have rounded corners! Dramatic I know Shocked

It takes us from this...



to this...



Aside from the aesthetic improvement, which is subjective, it actually solves an issue with horrible gaps between the tiles when playing. I think its better.

The aforementioned storage mechanism works quite well too. Essentially you have a central space showing the next available tile. Then to the left is a bank for temporarily storing a tile. You can only store one tile at a time but it helps in tricky situations. The bank to the far right now shows the item selected from the inventory. All 3 of these can be freely chosen between by tapping them.



My previous UI had quite a lot of hidden interaction which this version removes. Thats definitely for the better as the game should be as easy to fathom as possible. There's still improvements to be made especially around the readability of which bank is selected and to more obviously differentiate between the current tile and storage banks.

Anyway, the whole thing comes together to look like this during gameplay...



Quite a lot of work for not a lot of forward momentum. However, the game looks and plays a little better so I’m doing something right Smiley
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jctwood
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2014, 03:14:46 pm »

This looks incredible. I would love to play this on ios. I can imagine some lovely night colours with stars reflected in the ocean.
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pitpony
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2014, 03:20:12 pm »

This looks incredible. I would love to play this on ios. I can imagine some lovely night colours with stars reflected in the ocean.

Thanks  Wink

A night cycle or night time tile set is a great idea. Especially if I can tie in some clever mechanics with that. Adding this to my ideas backlog Smiley
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jctwood
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2014, 03:22:17 pm »

Glad to have lended to the ideas backlog. Yeah maybe certain tiles are too dark and spooky for your character unless you put a lit tile next to them. Or something.
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pitpony
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2014, 03:48:04 pm »

Glad to have lended to the ideas backlog. Yeah maybe certain tiles are too dark and spooky for your character unless you put a lit tile next to them. Or something.

Thats a good idea. Or perhaps in those levels the player character has a light limiting visibility.
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jctwood
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2014, 11:40:09 pm »

Hmm yes that would work well I think! The more I think about it the more I like the simplicity and malleable nature of the concept.
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pitpony
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2014, 07:45:45 am »

I couldn't stop thinking about the change from a more rounded look to something altogether more square. I managed to get some more time in on the graphics to test out fully migrating to that style.

Some new foreground objects



A new protagonist [WIP]



And what it looks like altogether



Personally I think it works Smiley Its altogether more cohesive and follows through on the new UI design. Its also a little easier for me to produce which is important when I'm doing the graphics and programming solo.
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pitpony
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2015, 02:32:13 pm »

Crikey, its been a little while since my last post. Unfortunately thats because life has a habit of getting in the way somewhat.  Roll Eyes

I am now back on track, I think, and have even implemented a little reward system for myself as encouragement Hand Money Right

I've worked on a few smaller bits and pieces on the game. I actually implemented the in-game reward system and hooked up the full level completion -> level up -> reward loop. Its very much WIP however and not really very exciting at the moment.

On the game balance side, you now lose any items gained during a level if you fail to complete it.

Something which I can show you is the new guides system. This is to help you place a tile on the imaginary grid. Its quite a useful aid, especially early in the game when you're getting used to the controls. I think it works quite well.



I've also been playing around with the level editor a bit, adding some new blocks. Its only really just beginning to expand to the point where I can get a bit creative with the levels.



That's all for now  Smiley
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