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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsGuild of Darksteel - Cinematic platformer in a dark fantasy world
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Author Topic: Guild of Darksteel - Cinematic platformer in a dark fantasy world  (Read 23067 times)
Igor Sandman
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« on: January 28, 2015, 03:20:56 AM »

Index:
Introduction (this post)
The battle system
New movements
Zone Title
Inventory system
Grayscale effect on menus
Currency as a mean of progression
Intro text

Hello!

Lately, I've been working like crazy on my game Guild of Darksteel.
I'd like to talk to you about it. And I suggest I start with the story.


Title screen

Guild of Darksteel is a cinematic platformer/adventure game set in a dark fantasy world. As most adventure game, it is rather story-centric, but instead of having one main storyline, the game revolves around several small stories. As you progress through the game, you meet with various characters all with their own small story arc, a bit like in a road-movie.


Sellsword idling idly

I also want to empathize the modularity of the story. The characters you meet present their problemS, but from there on, what you decide to do with it is entirely up to you. Their story will evolve though, no matter what you decide to do. Even if you ignore them, you will be confronted with the consequences at some point in the game.


Sellsword walking walkingly

Building my game from small pieces that way, I rapidly came to a problem. How do I keep everything tied together? The way I decided to do it is through the theme. All the stories have a common theme: Death. For example, one of the stories involves a kid who just saw his parents get killed and he asks you to take revenge. Another story shows a dying man asking you to bring a silver ring to his wife so she can sell it and live without him for a little while. In all those cases you are free to act however you want, but if you meet the involved characters later in the game, their stories will have progressed accordingly. What would happen if you equipped the silver ring and talked to the widowed wife?


Mockup for the game (that is now implemented)

Likewise, the main character, nicknamed Sellsword, is himself involved in his small story. He is cursed to live forever. This introduces the Darksteel from "Guild of Darksteel". The Darksteel is a cursed metal, only used to create weapons and armors. Whoever equips one of them becomes possessed by it and is given superior fighting abilities and immortality. That sounds like a blessing and not a curse, but once you equip a darksteel pieces, you cannot remove it. It stays with you for eternity and curses you into a life of destruction. Those who wear Darksteel for too long loose their spirit to the gods of battle.

That's it for the story. Next time I drop by, I will talk more about the technicality of the game. If you have any question, any particular center of interest that you would like me to focus on, just let me know. I would gladly oblige.

See you next time!
Igor

More on Darksteel:
My twitter is @igorsandman
The website (still WIP) is: http://darksteel.igorsandman.net
« Last Edit: July 01, 2015, 09:26:41 AM by Igor Sandman » Logged

Music Vortex
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2015, 04:29:41 AM »

Nice story and the mock up looks very great!
Definitely looking forward to hearing more about this  Beer!
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2015, 05:10:23 AM »

Nice mockup, and love these kind of modular story telling.

Just wondering, how the battle system works?
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Fenrir
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2015, 07:21:56 AM »

Really nice, I love the art style! Are you doing everything alone?
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blekdar
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2015, 11:21:51 AM »

Well this looks lovely. I very much like the idea of the story. Would like to see combat in motion.

I see this blending very well with a hip-hop infused soundtrack, something like in Samurai Champloo or Afro Samurai.

I don't know if it's just me though, but his face...bothers me. It seems to drag in the opposite direction that it would in relation to the movement. Could just be me though.
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Igor Sandman
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2015, 09:22:39 AM »

Hello,
Thanks everyone for the positive vibe.
I'll make sure to talk about the battle system in the coming days.
See you soon!
Igor
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Juwdah
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2015, 07:32:17 AM »

Saw this at screenshake, really liked the overall artstyle and the animations were nice and smooth!
Didn't have a chance to play it, but could peek over everyone's shoulders a bit. About the combat, it felt a bit slow but skill-based, anything unique planned there?
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Igor Sandman
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2015, 11:06:03 AM »

Hey!
Too bad you couldn't try the demo at Screenshake. I'm sure you'll get a chance at one of our belgian gamedev meetups.

I'm preparing a post describing the battle system. It will probably be posted this week. I'm kind of busy lately with the festival and freelance stuff, so I'm posting late. Sorry! Smiley
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Igor Sandman
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2015, 05:52:31 AM »

Hello!

I finally have some time to post again. I'll describe the battle system of Guild of Daksteel.

Introduction:
The main focus of Guild of Darksteel is the story and the mood. When I started designing the game, I didn't wanted to end up with a battle system that acted as a filler in between dialogues. I wanted something engaging, something that could be a game in its own. Interestingly enough, when I demo the game at festivals or dev meet-ups, I regularly get complimented on the battle system. I can't tell you how satisfying that is! I'm so happy people like it even if it's only a secondary feature.

Fitting a battle system in an adventure game:
The battles in Guild of Darksteel are managing the rhythm of the game. They are holding the player from bursting through the levels. The first decision I took in that regards was to create a separation between the adventure phase and the battle phase.


When you reach an enemy, he will first detect you. If the player doesn't move, the game is in sort of a pause until he does. If the player decides to walk away, the enemy won't pursue him. Instead he will just go back to his patrolling. On an other hand if the player walks towards the enemy, the battle starts. To mark the transition between the two game phases, the screen fades to black in the character's back (in other words, only the characters are visible on a black background for a short period of time) to bring attention to the opponents and away from the environments which is no longer of importance. On top of that, a text flashes, saying "Conflict!".

The heat of the battle:
The battle itself is sort of a puzzle game based on memory and timing. The player can attack or parry for a short period of time. Each enemy type will always perform one specific set of actions. The first thing that is expected from the player is to block the enemy's attacks until he understands and remembers the attack pattern.


The demo only has one enemy type with a pattern of: attack, attack, block. Later in the development, I intend to add enemies with longer patterns, so harder to remember and also with various speed of execution. Ultimately, the player will thus be faced with various enemies each with their pattern and he will have to remember which is which. Once the pattern is known to the player, he will have to time his own attacks and blocks according to the enemy's moves.

Closing word:
When looking at the players in the demos I've done, it seems everyone picks it up very fast. To add some interest to the battle I also added a combo system which requires the second attack to be timed properly. The combo should also be performed at the appropriate time in an enemy's attack pattern too avoid getting hit in the middle of a combo since there is no hit stun like fighting games have. Even the combo gets picked up very quickly by players. It's fun to watch them try and squeeze in as many hits per pattern as they can!

More about Guild of Darksteel:
My twitter handle is @igorsandman
The website (still WIP) is http://guildofdarksteel.igorsandman.net
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blekdar
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2015, 08:13:13 AM »

Reminds me of Deep Dungeons of Doom:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/v5aYkTKT4RM

Which is a good thing as that's one my favorite mobile games. I see you're adding a combo system, are you planning on expanding on the defense portion of combat, such as have to defend differently for different attacks?

I'm liking where this is going, keep at it!
« Last Edit: February 12, 2015, 09:08:57 AM by blekdar » Logged

Igor Sandman
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2015, 09:21:22 AM »

It is similar to Deep Dungeons of Doom (great game!) only much faster paced.
As for your question on defense. As of now, I have no plan on adding various parries for specific attacks.
I would like to keep the fight mechanics as simple as possible in order to keep focus on the adventure side of the game.
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2015, 11:25:25 AM »

This looks cool. Following. What happens if you lose a battle?  I only played a little bit of superbrothers sword and sworcery but that had a similar combat system -- have you played it?
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2015, 08:59:36 PM »

looks cool, i really like the dungeon background and tiles. They remind me of something cool but i cant remember what
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Igor Sandman
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2015, 01:52:47 AM »

@Crusty: Thanks man! in the demo, if you die you start over. In the final game I think I will have check points that the players needs to activate so he can chose the one closest to where he's going. I own Sword and Swocery but I never plaid it much. Obviously, I was inspired by it when designing the character, but not so much for the battle system. I don't think I ever tried even one fight in Sword and Sworcery. It might be similar, as you say.

@AnalCentipede: Thanks man. For the environment I'm very much inspired by the work of Akihiko Yoshida, mainly Final Fantasy Tactics, Tactics Ogre and Vagrant Story. I don't know if the cool thing you're looking for is among them Wink
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« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2015, 12:24:37 PM »

Wowee, this game is looking SWEET!
I love the animation and concepts for attacking. Beautiful! I can't wait to play the full game!
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« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2015, 01:46:13 AM »

Lovely animation style - like the idea of switching between combat & exploration modes, looking forward to seeing more Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2015, 10:08:55 AM »

Wow, really like your pixel art style. I also like the feedback in the fights, remind me of prince of persia with some modern effects (screen rumble, time pause ...).
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Igor Sandman
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2015, 03:07:45 PM »

Thanks! :D
I really like Prince of Persia, so yeah there is a lot of PoP love in Guild of Darksteel Wink
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Igor Sandman
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« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2015, 06:42:20 AM »

Hello fellows,
It's been a while since my last update.
Here is why:
A couple of month ago, my coder quit and left me in the mud. His code was dirty and bugged. I had to rewrite some code and debug some of the old one. It wasn't the most pleasant part of developing Guild of Darksteel.

But I made it! I have now reached a point where my new demo has caught up with the old one.

The big change is the movement system. It used to be sort of tile based like Flashback, Prince of Persia and so on. Now it's real-time.

Here is how it looks:



I'm not the best coder around but I thought I'd share the siimple code with you guys.
A few things to note: it's not physics based, it's done in unity, main focus was recreating the acceleration and deleration when you start and when you stop moving.

Code:
//move
horizontal = Input.GetAxis ("Horizontal");

//get currentSpeed
//accelerate until reaching speed * horizontal
if(currentSpeed <= speed * Mathf.Abs(horizontal) && Mathf.Abs(horizontal) > 0.1f && canMove && !animLock)
{
currentSpeed += movementDecay;
//cap speed
if (currentSpeed > speed * Mathf.Abs(horizontal))
currentSpeed = speed * Mathf.Abs(horizontal);
}
//decelerate to 0
else if (currentSpeed > speed * Mathf.Abs(horizontal) && canMove && !animLock)
{
currentSpeed -= movementDecay;
//floor speed
if(currentSpeed < 0.01f)
currentSpeed = 0;
}
else if (currentSpeed < 0.01f || !canMove || animLock)
currentSpeed = 0;

//apply movement
transform.position = new Vector3 (transform.position.x + currentSpeed * direction, transform.position.y, transform.position.z);

AnimLock is a bool I use to prevent the player from doing anything while an animation is playing (like climbing a ledge or something).
Other variables are self explanatory I believe.

I sumbitted Guild of Darksteel to Intel's Level up for shits and giggles.
This reminds me of a funny story. After submitting I tweeted about it with the usual hashtags and I thought I'd add @intelgaming. They replied something like "Good luck, man xD". I expected a more formal message from intel if any at all, but sure intel why not! haha

Anyways, I see you guys soon.
Igor
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blekdar
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2015, 10:00:05 AM »

Glad to see you're still working on this.

I like what you got going for how movement works, but the run cycle looks a little...cartoony? If that makes sense. His upper torso doesn't seem to have enough forward motion. I think it would look better if you gave his torso a bit of a forward arc, and maybe decreased how far his leg goes forward. Would make it look a bit more like a job.

Actually if you just reduced the forward leg motion it might look even better. Just a thought.

Keep it up!
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