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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsTacticrawl | 2018 progress report
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deab
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« Reply #140 on: December 24, 2016, 02:36:48 AM »

Item Placement

I'm been working on item placement in the world. Previously items just sat in the middle of a tile. I'll be adding furniture and a lot more items next year, so it was time to tackle this!

Before getting started, I wanted to improve my asset management - I already have 30+ 'props' (and these were all created to test different requirements/uses) there will likely be hundreds of props once I really start on asset production.

Each is a Prefab with data including collider type/size, and the transforms for different uses in the world - on the floor, equipped to character hand, mouth (rats!) or character back - with more to come including belt hooks and world slots like hanging items or wall brackets. I posted about this tool back in 2015.


Here's a couple of Prefab data examples, melee weapons, and on the right, doors:



Once this was done, I extended my editor tools to specify a size in 0.05f blocks that an item occupies. This is stored per model:




In Game

For this initial pass, using the map editor items are placed randomly within a tile, without clipping other items. Some tiles also randomly spawn items at play time (grass spawns grass clumps, dungeon floor spawns bones etc.) Later this can be expanded to offer more control.

If the player 'drops' an item, a random position on selected tile if picked. A player can also 'place' an item, choosing the exact position. Only have a basic version working so far, but this will be expanded and the view can be used for new additions that will be interactive.




I'll expanding on this so items can include a 'platform' for other items - desks, tables etc. will have their own space for items.
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deab
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« Reply #141 on: January 07, 2017, 05:47:49 AM »

One of my goals with Tacticrawl is if you can see an object, you can interact with it. This week I've been working towards this goal.

Items include a list of 'hook types' they can be placed on (floor, weapon rack, sconce etc.) along with the existing equipping hooks (hand, mouth, back, belt). Items can then include different hooks to hold other items.

I've added a couple of working examples - a weapons rack that can hold weapons and shields, and a sconce compete with burning torch. I've also made a first pass at throwing items.

Here's a Gfycat example and another

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deab
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« Reply #142 on: January 12, 2017, 03:36:37 AM »


I've been working on throwing items, but noticed that the DESTROY order will now always throws weapons rather than use them.. more work required! (placeholder animation for throw)

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deab
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« Reply #143 on: January 14, 2017, 07:46:02 AM »

As throwing items hits the first blocking actor, I've updated shooting a bow with the same code.

I haven't yet told the AI, so poor Goblin archers end up shooting their allies which doesn't end well:



Some creature types won't care what they hit, for example skeletons will hit anyone in their way. Player will be able to exploit this! For players, the UI shows which target will be hit when you mouse over the 'shoot' icon.
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deab
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« Reply #144 on: January 22, 2017, 07:25:50 AM »

Video January Development Update



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deab
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« Reply #145 on: January 23, 2017, 01:09:11 PM »

I'm looking at how to deal with multiple armour sets and head types for models, with minimal manual rigging / managing.

Here I'm trying using separate models for the switchable armour. It's parented to the rig, but no weights are set up. Using the Unity import post process, I'm searching for the nearest vertice on the base (fully rigged) model, and copying the bone weights.



Very promising! If this works as expected, I'll be free to improve the base model, and even the rig, without breaking the armour.
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deab
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« Reply #146 on: January 28, 2017, 12:49:52 AM »

I've started work on character variations. I'm planning a lot of semi randomly generated characters, so ideally I'd like to be able to produce characters with various skin colours, hair styles, faces and armours (with various palettes). First step is hair:

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deab
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« Reply #147 on: January 29, 2017, 08:15:21 AM »

Hair can now be coloured from a preset selecting changing the UV values:



So selection of hairstyles, then colour. Skin colour next, then a selection of faces. Still trying to decide how to set up armour options.
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deab
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« Reply #148 on: February 05, 2017, 07:00:29 AM »

I've settled on keeping armour to complete sets - I'm not planning a loot-heavy game so armour won't be dropped by monsters. I'm planning at least one armour set per class/race combo. Each has a set of colour options to increase variety. Here's 4 human Ranger examples (studded leather armour).

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deab
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« Reply #149 on: February 05, 2017, 08:37:06 AM »

And some Gnome Wizards:



It's easy to add new bodies with the auto applied weights, so I can have some fun with variations to.
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deab
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« Reply #150 on: February 10, 2017, 07:51:36 AM »

Work continues with character generating. Here's a selection of human ladies: ranger, wizard and warrior.

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Luno
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« Reply #151 on: February 10, 2017, 02:28:14 PM »

Browsing through the previous posts, it's awesome to see how your art chops have improved over the course of the project!

You mentioned that you're not really an artist, but I'm curious to know if you are discovering that you really like owning the art yourself? Or maybe you wish you had a collaborator so you could focus more on code?
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deab
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« Reply #152 on: February 11, 2017, 01:16:02 AM »

Browsing through the previous posts, it's awesome to see how your art chops have improved over the course of the project!

You mentioned that you're not really an artist, but I'm curious to know if you are discovering that you really like owning the art yourself? Or maybe you wish you had a collaborator so you could focus more on code?

Thanks for commenting Luno. I love owning the art! The art and code are very much tied together until I start setting systems in stone (although I have a pretty good vision of where I'm going, this project is very iterative). I've known for a long time I wanted more variety in characters so didn't spent too much time on the previous set.

I'll be talking to an audio guy soon, but for now will continue with the art myself. When I move to a more content focused stage I may look at taking on a professional artist/modeller/animator.

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deab
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« Reply #153 on: February 11, 2017, 03:18:54 AM »

I've added a scale factor to characters. Each gender has a small range to pick from at generation - no effect on gameplay, purely to add more visual variety.

Once this was working, occured to me I could make more of this. Here's a 150% skeleton:




I'm adding a scale override to the character table. I doubt I'll go as far as 150%, but some creatures can have a larger (or smaller) size. 'Shrink' will also later be added as a spell. Small characters won't block a taller characters range attack, and will weigh less. Small characters may also be able to hide behind large props in the world - will explore this more later.
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deab
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« Reply #154 on: February 11, 2017, 03:51:06 AM »

Baby skeleton!

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deab
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« Reply #155 on: February 25, 2017, 01:19:05 AM »

Further work on character generation and making great progress. I've now added a tool for generating characters, or manually choosing components. This will for the basis of an in-game character creator later on, but is a huge time saver for testing. Currently its based on characters in the database, but I'll be adding a way to select from all found meshes - I'll use this for creating 'named' or boss characters that have a set appearance.

I've also added animation tools to I can view and test animations. Particularly useful as I only weight a base mesh per race, all other bodies/armours auto map to this base on import so helpful to check for incorrect weightings.


Click for Gfycat of the character tool:




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« Reply #156 on: March 18, 2017, 11:00:32 AM »

Spent like an hour last night and poured through all your devlogs and videos.

The game is really coming along. I love all the EQ inspired mobs (evil-eyes are perfect) and really looking forward to playing.

Your devlog format is great too -crazy how much you seem to get done in a short amount of time.

Keep the updates coming, looking forward to your next one!
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deab
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« Reply #157 on: March 19, 2017, 08:12:42 AM »

Thanks for the comments and taking the time to read/view, sometimes seems no one ever reads these.

Will be another update soon, lots more progress just haven't been updating, I'm lucky enough to work almost full time on Tacticrawl, but as I'm sure you know well, not all work leads itself to showing.
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« Reply #158 on: March 25, 2017, 01:53:14 AM »

Sound as a mechanic is planned to play a large part in Tacticrawl, and the first version is in. Sound events are propagated around the map based on distance (walls and doors deaden sounds). Players learn about sounds (that they cant see) as floating text, while AI characters 'hear' and can act accordingly.

In the gif below, the players footsteps alert a near by character..

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deab
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« Reply #159 on: April 03, 2017, 02:23:21 AM »

Utility AI
I learnt a lot with the first implementation but ended up with a number of crutches and workarounds, end result was I just wasn't getting the full advantage of a utility based system.

With the experience gained I've gone back and overhauled it. Managed to remove all crutches/workarounds, and now have a better understanding going forward to balancing.

While at it I improved the range attack AI. Intelligent races will now re-position for a clear shot:



Hard to see there, but AI characters also now only equip weapons when engaged or alerted (the bow starts on the goblins back). This will prove a useful clue as to when an enemy has seen or heard you.


In-world Sound & Breadcrumbs

Made a good start with the next major gameplay system - sound! (Note I'm referring to an in game event, not the audio clips a player will hear - although I am now talking to a sound designer to start on this).

Actions performed make a sound in the world, which propagates around the map based on the volume and surrounding tiles. Any character in range is notified of the sound type and source location.

For players, if the source action is visible nothing happens. When the source isn't visible, floating text is shown on the tile with a short description, and a log message is added.



And the log entries:



The sound description (and actual audio) will offer clues as to the source!

For AI characters, a 'breadcrumb' is created, which can then be acted on (or ignored). All the AI is told is the sound type and source location. Currently AI characters may come and investigate a sound if they aren't otherwise engaged. (Breadcrumbs will have other uses later).

Sounds are currently created by footsteps, spell casting, impacts (drop something, sword hitting flesh), and characters yelling in pain or calling for help.

For impacts/footsteps, sounds will also take account of the materials involved, and once added, the 'force' system providing tile based physics.

As with all systems in Tacticrawl this is designed to provide sandbox/emergent gameplay - for example shoot an arrow at an object to create a distraction, find a way to prevent or deaden footsteps.


Animations

I've recently started working with a professional animator/modeller. Rather than the current single step animations used for moving. we'll be adding animations covering 1, 2 or 3 tile movements (the available options for a single action). In testing this looks a lot better already, but nothing to show just yet.



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