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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsWizardier - 2D Magic Action! Protect the villagers!
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Author Topic: Wizardier - 2D Magic Action! Protect the villagers!  (Read 2950 times)
Biggerplay
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« on: April 08, 2015, 03:00:30 AM »


Hey everyone, I'm working on a 2D pixel art wizards action platformer called Wizardier! I thought I'd show it at this early stage so I can get feedback as I go! Here's a screen shot


The player is a special type of wizard from an ancient order called the "Wizardiers", their role is to protect the villagers in the kingdom using their magic. The game starts though after some of the wizardiers have turned evil and killed all the other wizards in the order apart from you! It's now your quest to protect the kingdom, moving from village to village fighting off hordes of monsters and evil wizards any way you can. The gameplay takes place over 24 hours in the game world (20 mins in real time) and the level is complete if you manage to make it to dawn with at least 1 villager left alive!


I'm a big fan of the old game Defender, where you job was to protect those little people, I want to create something similar with Wizardier but with also elements of Terraria so that you can actually dig down and create caverns and places for the villagers to hide.

Each of the villagers will have their own fear value, which determines how they act. The higher their fear the more agitated they become making them run around and generally be difficult to manage! so part of your job (while fighting off hordes of monsters) is to try to keep them calm. In the above screen shot the wizard has created a fire which causes the villagers to gather round.

There will be different types of monsters that behave differently and offer a varied challenge to the player. So for example rats are easy to kill but they can create tunnels into where you have the villagers hidden, Ogres are slow moving but can smash apart large parts of the scenery and goblins just jump around and make a nuisance of themselves!

It's early days yet and there's still lots to do, but I've got the wizard running/flying digging/building and some monsters and villagers in. My first big goal is a 1st level demo, which hopefully I'll have done in about 1-2 months from now. I'm doing all the coding/graphics myself but I'm working on it full time so hopefully that's a realistic timescale. Ultimately it would be great to get this on Steam early access.

Between now and then though I'll be posting images/.gifs and how the codings going. I'll be updating here, and also on http://www.indiedb.com/members/biggerplay, and my own blog at www.biggerplay.com as well as numerous tweets! ( @biggerplay )

Let me know what you guys think, I'm always open to feedback and ideas!
« Last Edit: July 29, 2015, 06:26:57 AM by Biggerplay » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2015, 07:40:41 AM »

I like the idea of a wizard defending people, and the backstory looks pretty cool, despite being simple at first sight. I would expect to see good spell effects from a game focused on fighting using spells (I guess?).

Wizard's sprite looks pretty different from the villagers though, almost as if either one didn't fit in.

But yeah, I'd suggest doing some shader/pixel magic to have something eye-catching.
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Biggerplay
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2015, 08:43:15 AM »

I like the idea of a wizard defending people, and the backstory looks pretty cool, despite being simple at first sight. I would expect to see good spell effects from a game focused on fighting using spells (I guess?).

Wizard's sprite looks pretty different from the villagers though, almost as if either one didn't fit in.

But yeah, I'd suggest doing some shader/pixel magic to have something eye-catching.

Really cool spell effects is something I'm looking forward to implementing Smiley, fireballs, lightning, plasma bombs etc, if you have any ideas for others let me know.

Good point about the style of the wizard I'll look into that some more.

A bit more info about the gameplay. A key element is the constant time pressure you have. Monsters will be spawning at different intervals, keeping the pressure on you to keep the villagers safe, but it’s good to plan ahead and make caves and safe areas for them early on before things really start heating up.

I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to have a number of different stages of lighting conditions (the tiles being tinted) or just jump from day to night half way through (10 mins in), I’ll have to experiment a bit to see how that goes.

Another important aspect is being able to change the environment, the wizard can dig and build (places a stone block) in 4 directions, and this gives the player a lot of freedom with how they want their barricades and safe areas to be.

Then we have the actual battling with the monsters! The wizard will be able to use the various spells such as fireballs, plasma bombs etc, some of these will be double edged though, the plasma bombs for example will destroy monsters in an area but will also blow out a section of ground.

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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2015, 07:30:37 AM »

Here's an early look at some of the action in Wizardier. Still lots to do, UI for one ,and this just shows 1 spell (fireball) and a monster (goblin), but hopefully it gives a slight feel for what it's going to be like.

Click the image below to see the fuller length video on youtube!



Here's a .gif of the action as well.

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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2015, 05:32:34 AM »

Villagers in protective bubbles!

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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2015, 05:41:35 AM »

Had to drop the tile tenting as it slow things down too much when lots of digging was going on, but happy with how the graphics are looking now. Here's a latest screen shot. Comments always welcome!


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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2015, 06:26:03 AM »



It's been roughly 4 months since the last game diary, and I'm pleased with how things have progressed although it's not been completely smooth sailing as I've been learning Unity as I go. I've pretty much got most of the game elements done, including...

Playable wizard character with animation.
Fireball and plasma bomb effects.
Digging with edges auto-created (unfortunately no tile tinting but i'll get to that lower down).
5 layers of scrolling.
Nice pixel graphics (if I don't say so myself! Smiley).
Rudimentary inventory and crafting system, with spell and object icons.
Various objects in the game such as plants, skulls, chests and boulders, some of these are real physical objects that can be manipulated.
Villagers which have a basic A.I, so they run away when they are scared.
5 Monster types, all animated with basic A.I.
Text speech system for the villagers and monsters enabling them to vocalise their reactions to events.
Presentation and game over screens.
Simple sound fx.

Something I'm pretty pleased with is more or less everything I mentioned in the previous game diary I've implemented and gone further with new ideas that I had along the way. Let's talk about the above in more detail.


The wizard

The wizard was the first character I designed and animated, the only thing that changed with him is he grew over the first month as I originally designed him way too small.

Fireball/Plasma bombs

It took a while for me to get the fireball looking how I wanted, in the end all it took is some particles rising up as the fireball was travelling along. The Plasma bomb was straightforward to implement, but unfortunately it meant that I had to drop the tile tinting. Still want to improve the explosion animation for the plasma bomb though.

Digging

The digging worked well from early on, although I changed how I worked out the edge possibilities. Originally I manually created all the variations in Photoshop, but soon realised that if I want any kind of variation in the basic 2x2 blocks that make up the ground I'll have to find a way to automate the process or at least solve the variational issue in code, and that's what I did. In SpriteTile you can have a lot of layers for the scrolling, so what I did was lock a whole load of layers together and then use each layer as it's own edge layer, left/right/up/down edges, and then you can just put your edge tile into the right layer, and when there's corners etc they just lay on top of each and other combine perfectly Smiley, no need to manually draw the variations! That was the good news, the bad news is tile tinting had to go, which was a shame because I had created this cool algorithm for tinting the tiles according to how far they were from the light (non tile), and it worked great when the wizard was blasting through 1 tile at a time, but when I introduced the plasma bombs which could destroy a bigger area (5x5) then the amount of processing it took to tint over that larger area just slowed the game down too much. So it had to go. I did try real time lighting as well, but again doing that with the amount of tiles there are on the screen slowed the game down too much. If I wanted to drop the whole digging concept in the game and lowered the amount of scroll layers I probably could of had real time lighting but that has been done many times already in other games, and I wanted to offer players the digging as a fundamental aspect of Wizardiers gameplay, so digging/particles stayed, tinting/lighting went.

Scrolling and Pixel graphics

I've always been a stickler for lots of parallax, so I knew right away I wanted to take advantage of the layers in SpriteTile and create some nice hills, middle distance trees and then finally the foreground. I've not regretted choosing pixel graphics for the style even though there's been various articles flying around denouncing pixel art. I like pixel art and hopefully the players will like it too. For this kind of game I think it fits perfectly. I've been sharing my time between coding and creating the pixel art for Wizardier for over 4 months now. The only issue with pixel art is animation, because it pretty much means you are stuck with keyframe animation, i.e drawing lots of frames, and can't get away with tweening everything (although I know of one game which tweens pixel art animation, but I prefer the keyframe approach). This takes time, a lot of time, there are ways to shortcut the process but either way it's a time consuming task. But I'm really pleased with all of the graphics, I'm always tweaking bits here and there but I think the pixel graphics are of a good standard.



Inventory and Crafting system

I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted to do with the inventory system from the start, the only question was do I buy a plugin from the Unity asset store or do I roll my own. I spent a fair amount of time looking at the inventory assets available and eventually picked one only to decide soon after that it wasn't really what I needed (did more than I needed) and I was better off doing my own thing so that's what I did. It's still not done properly yet, I want to improve how it looks, but it allows the wizard to pick up items in the game, and then cast spells using combinations of those items.

Objects in the game

One of the things I love about Unity is how you can make all your game objects use physics. This is still something I'm learning to take advantage of, but it makes for some cool gameplay/level designs as the player can use the physics of those objects to destroy his enemies! apart from that it just looks cool Smiley

Villagers

There's only 2 villager types in the game right now but I've designed a lot more and I'll implement them over time. Each of the villagers have a basic A.I which allows them to react to dangerous situations, i.e run away. It's all based upon a fear value which increases the closers the monsters are to them, and decreases when they are further away. If they are scared, they don't check their surroundings very well and stand a chance of running off the edges of platforms to their death!

Monsters!

There's currently 5 monsters in the demo (and a "special" extra monster), from pixies to trolls to ogres!, I have to admit one of my favourite things is designing/creating the monsters, animating them takes time but it's all worth it when you see them come to life in the game. As with the villagers they have a basic A.I which allows them to react to what's going on around them.



Text Speech

Something I wanted to implement from early on was the characters in the game saying little phrases, this was especially important for the villagers as I wanted to give them as much personality as possible to build empathy in the player for wanting to rescue them. I then also had the idea to extend this system to some of the monsters to make derogatory remarks to the wizard! and then that opens up the whole Terry pratchett type remarks you can have in a fantasy based game, that's certainly something I want to do more with as the project continues.

Presentation

This is real basic right now, just some scrolling tiles so that has to be improved, same for the game over screen.

Sound

It would be great to have a nice retro sounding fantasy soundtrack for the game, and that's something I'll be reaching out to a few contacts I have to see if that's something that can happen, also need to put more sound fx into the game, to bring the environment alive more.

Right so where are we now? Well I'm a few days away from having a 1st level demo finished. It's still very much a beta first level demo, and not what I would call public ready, but it will be complete in the sense that it shows most of the games elements in a nice pixel art package Smiley players will be able play through the level and complete it, hopefully having fun along the way. At this stage I think it's time to start showing people, starting with some publishers, see what the feedback is and take things from there.

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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2015, 11:07:37 AM »

Using fireballs to dig!

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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2015, 12:32:11 AM »

Gameplay video of Wizardier!



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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2015, 01:50:26 AM »

Great presentation of your project. Looks like it's gonna be a fun game to play!
Great work man!  Beer!
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 01:52:37 AM »

Thanks! shame I can't embed the video directly onto this page.
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 05:35:51 AM »

Really like the destructible scenery, any idea about how this might be part of the game?
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 05:45:21 AM »

When I first started out I just liked the effect, but it's turned into a fundamental part of the gameplay, the player can create their own platforms/stairs up to parts that they wouldn't otherwise be able to get too, and you can blast away aways to make things fall down like Boulderdash Smiley apart from the discover new areas by digging.
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