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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsPursuit of Power 2 : The Chaos Dimension (RTS with Demo)
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Author Topic: Pursuit of Power 2 : The Chaos Dimension (RTS with Demo)  (Read 2579 times)
MikeVitt
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« on: April 22, 2015, 07:05:22 pm »

About Me

Hi, I'm Mike! I am working on an RTS called Pursuit of Power 2 : The Chaos Dimension. I am more than 5 years into development since the prototype. I have almost completed the Beta 1 phase of development. This is my third computer game and most ambitious project so far.

My Game





I launched my Kickstarter on October 03, 2017. Please help spread the word! Smiley

Features

  • Real-time strategy game with pixel art
  • Play a Shadow Knight, Stalker, or Mage as your leader class
  • Choose from a variety of upgrades as your leader gains levels
  • Command elite troops with strategic roles and a rage mechanic
  • Manage connections between fortresses in a unique way
  • Gain prestige by capturing rifts and performing heroic acts
  • Dynamic world events such as invaders that attack fortresses
  • Win by capturing all enemy fortresses or surviving the Apocalypse
  • Single-player campaign with a story and objectives
  • Single and multi-player skirmish (local or network)



Pursuit of Power® 2 : The Chaos Dimension is a real-time strategy game with a different focus than traditional RTS games. Players connect fortresses together in order to build, research technology, generate bonus resources, defend allies, and lay siege to enemies. Each player has a leader unit that summons structures and casts powerful abilities. Rifts dynamically spawn invaders and epic creatures that reward players with prestige when defeated. There is a priority system for enemy targets and a rage mechanic that affects combat in multiple ways.

Fight through a single-player campaign game with unique content and objectives for your leader. Play local and network skirmish games with up to 10 players. Join a team with allies that can come to your aid. Create new skirmish games using a map editor with a rich set of features.

Pursuit of Power® 2 will be released during August of 2018 for the Windows PC.

Gameplay

The game begins with your chosen leader spawning next to a crystal formation. Clicking on the crystal will summon your first fortress over it. Now you must race across the map to summon more fortresses over unprotected crystal formations using your leader and zealots.


Portals are summoned over crystal formations

What are zealots? They are devout followers that march from your own fortresses to any other fortress, whether friendly or an enemy. Zealots form a continuous line when there are no gaps between zealots due to deaths. Those complete connections transfer magical power that can generate resources, bolster defenses, or help lay siege to enemy fortresses.

The front zealot at the head of the line holds a banner. If any zealot dies before it, then the banner shifts to the next head of the continuous line. Power emanates from the banner during each pulse event. When connected to a friendly fortress, that power flows through it and travels back to the source, providing additional power for the player. The destination fortress also receives increased build progress for every friendly connection.

On the other hand, every enemy zealot connection to a fortress slows its build progress. If more enemy banner zealots reach the fortress than friendly zealots, it essentially halts progress so enemy troops can lay siege. In addition, the enemy banner zealots generate prestige when they successfully reach the portal.


Several zealot lines swarming a busy area

What are the resources? Every 2 seconds a pulse event occurs in the game. During that event, power is generated for players with fortresses over active crystal formations. Power is the main resource in the game. It is required for most game actions, such as summoning troops or using an ability.


Crystal formations generate power for players

Prestige is awarded for heroic actions against enemies. It can be gained when players connect their zealots to enemy fortresses, destroy enemy zealots, kill enemy leaders, or capture rifts. Prestige is required for some of the most powerful game actions, including the leveling system.


These units generate prestige when they kill zealots

How does the leveling system work? Leaders will gain levels as they accumulate prestige. There will be ways to choose upgrades, possibly tied to the captured rifts. I hope to change the appearance of leaders and visual effects for their abilities as they gain levels.


Mage leader casting a spell

Fortresses will also have an upgrade path. Many of those choices will be focused around powerful abilities for zealots. Portals will become larger and look more powerful as they are upgraded. Currently, the upgrade path requires a certain amount of "zealot pulses" for build progress, as well as a power and prestige cost.

Those concepts are still in the design phase, but I do want to emphasize that there will be player choices that have a big impact on the game. They will add a lot of strategic depth. Some of the current choices are just placeholders until the designs are completed.


Battle at a fortress

What is a typical battle scenario? During battles, units will select targets based on a few criteria. Towers will normally target zealots before any other unit. However, siege troops will draw fire when in range. That will allow your zealots to pass by without being harmed. The siege units are also very effective at absorbing damage from structures.


Towers will attack siege units as a priority

Fighter units will taunt all troops when in range. That can allow your high-damage units to harm enemies without risking death. Immobilization troops can fear, stun, and mesmerize most other troops. That can render a group of enemies helpless as they get picked off. When the immobilized unit is first hit, a bonus buff is triggered for the attacker.


Shadow Knight leader swinging his axe

Scout units can stealth and do extra damage when attacking while hidden. They can detect other stealth units and also have a debuff. That debuff amplifies the damage of certain abilities. All 3 major debuffs are displayed as icons near the troop health and rage bars due to their importance.


Stalker leader attacking with her bow

Rage is generated when the troop takes damage or while it is immobilized. As the rage increases, the troop gains rage levels. Each rage level multiplies the damage done by that troop. Killing troops with high levels of rage is important. Some abilities can even harness the rage to create bonus effects. Troops at max rage level are immune to immobilization effects. All troops decrease rage over time.


Player capturing an enemy fortress

How do you capture an enemy fortress? Players must first destroy all 4 fortification towers to make the portal vulnerable. Then they can damage the portal while fortifications are down, which isn't easy since fortifications can repair themselves with help from friendly zealots. The player's zealots will then capture the unprotected portal after several pulse events and a new fortress will be summoned for the conquering player.


Destroy all 4 fortification towers to make portals vulnerable

What are the rifts and chaos levels? Rifts don't become active until 5 minutes into the game. That gives players time to capture magic sources, build some defensive structures, and summon troops. Rifts with floating purple particles will become active during the next phase, so take note of where they are located.

When the rifts become active, invaders will start to spawn at a relatively slow rate. Capturing rifts will accumulate prestige over time and help push invaders further away from your fortresses. As mentioned above, they might also be tied to leader upgrades in the future.

For the most part, invaders will harass your fortresses, cause attrition to your troops, and disrupt your zealot paths by causing breaks in the line. It takes a while for them to destroy a fortress on their own. However, they could assist enemy players by destroying most of the defenses, allowing their zealots to capture the fortress.

Epic rifts aren't in game yet, but they will spawn boss creatures when they are implemented. Those rifts and creatures will be similar to mercenary camps in MOBAs. Most likely, each will have unique, but relatively simple raid mechanics that players must learn. I plan to let players control the defeated boss for a limited amount of time. There can be up to a dozen types of epic rifts and bosses with the current design.

Chaos surges happen at the start of the next chaos levels. They evict players from all captured rifts, returning them to the invader pool of inactive rifts. That ensures invaders can always be a part of the game. Furthermore, the spawn rate of invaders doubles during the 1 minute chaos surge. That means that invaders will often attack fortresses during the chaos surge, since the minimum threshold for attacks is more likely to be met.



How does the game end? There are two main ways to win the game. The more traditional way is to capture all of the enemy fortresses. Leveling-up your leader more quickly than your opponents can help, especially once you gain your powerful ability upgrades.

You can also win the game if you are the last player to survive the Apocalypse. The game world becomes increasingly chaotic as players conquer fortresses and destroy the rifts. Powerful creatures from an alternate dimension take notice and start to descend through the rifts, making the encounters more difficult. The attacks increase in strength until only one player survives and the game is won.

Are there any other gameplay concepts? I plan to implement additional features as funding permits. Those concepts include armor upgrades for leaders, morphing banner zealots, flying guardians, talking avatars that provide situational awareness and commentary, and more...

Beta Demo

Play the Beta Demo on Steam!

What is in the Demo? The demo for Pursuit of Power® 2 places you in a skirmish game as a Shadow Knight versus another SK computer player at normal difficulty. The features are limited in order to simplify things, which is important since the campaign tutorial has not been implemented yet. You will definitely want to read the "help tips" image and it would be good to read the extended help in-game too.

The Story

A long time ago, the first crystal awakened with a pulse of power. It called out like a beacon, whispering to rulers across the lands, invading their minds. They soon learned how to infuse their people with the magic of the crystals to create devout followers. Each new zealot increased their influence and fueled a hunger to rule over all.

The rulers continued to harness the power of the ancient crystals, believing they could gain immortality. They absorbed so much power that they ascended to another dimension, becoming worshiped by the mortals left behind. The deities then began to fight for dominance while gathering the strongest allies across every known dimension.

The battle for supremacy left unimaginable carnage in its path. The crystal formations became corrupted, tearing a rift within them and bringing chaos into the world. Invaders poured from the rifts, slaughtering anything that stood in their path. Balance must be restored to the Universe before everything is consumed by this Chaos Dimension.

You have risen to lead the mortal armies of your deity. As you conquer each world, you consume its power until you are able to transport your spirit to another world, leaving behind the remains of a diminished planet. From there you launch your assaults, summoning your armies through portals that connect those worlds.

You are aided by the Avatar of your deity, a formidable creature that can grant you god-like abilities to smite your enemies. This Avatar gives you insight into all divine beings, including the crystal formations and the zealots of your enemies. Through its omniscience, you can even sense when your fortresses are going to be attacked.

Now you must conquer each new world and harness its power to give your deity the dominance it needs to restore balance and heal the crystals. And perhaps in time, you will ascend to rule over your own empire...

Music

I'm working with Steven Harriton to compose the music tracks. We are going with an orchestral theme that transitions to some industrial during intense moments, like the raid encounters. The beginning and rift encounter tracks are designed for looping. The main gameplay tracks are meant to be played randomly to help keep it from being repetitive.

Armed and Dangerous (start of game, looped)
Stealthy Missile (main gameplay)
New Recruit (main gameplay)
Tower of Flames (main gameplay)
Decimation (main gameplay)


Screenshot with updated UI and combat effects



Links

www.PursuitOfPower2.com
Twitter @MikeVitt27
Kickstarter

Game Engine

I wrote the entire game engine in C++. I started it more than a decade ago, so the code is really robust. It is based on DirectX 8.1 and Winsock 2.2 for the network sockets. I designed the game to simultaneously handle more than 12 thousand zealots, 1 thousand troops, 1 thousand towers, 50 fortresses, and 10 total players. The path-finding is multi-threaded and very efficient. The multiplayer network code only sends updates for visible entities on each client and uses very little bandwidth, even with thousands of units in game.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2017, 05:31:46 pm by MikeVitt » Logged

MikeVitt
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2015, 11:34:56 am »

Dread Gazer



This is the initial design for the Dread Gazer, which is the Mage troop responsible for crowd control. It casts an immobilization spell called Mesmerize, which incapacitates all enemy troops within an area. Then those affected troops can be picked-off individually.

All three leader classes have a troop with an immobilization effect. The main difference between them is the effect that is triggered when the immobilization is broken by damage. The attacker gains a benefit from the proc of that particular immobilization effect. For example, currently the Dread Gazer's proc will heal the attacker. That heal can really add up if a group of incapacitated enemies are hit by an area effect damage ability.

In order to balance immobilization effects, rage increases for those incapacitated troops until they reach the max level, indicated by 3 rage icons. Then they automatically break the immobilization effect and are immune to it unless they drop below the max level again. All troops increase rage while taking damage and then it decreases over time.

Rage levels multiply the damage done by troops, so it is important to kill enemies with high levels of rage before other targets. Some player abilities can harness rage to produce additional effects. The Mage can even pacify enemies to reduce their benefit from the rage levels.

Game Overview (video)

I recently made a new video that shows a quick overview of the game. I'm going to spread out the game concepts over time so I don't post a wall of gameplay text Smiley

Gameplay overview :



If you like what you see, please consider voting for my Greenlight. Thanks! Smiley
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MereMonkey
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2015, 02:09:31 pm »

Your pixel art is outstanding Mike!
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MikeVitt
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2015, 06:43:40 am »

Hi! I can't take credit for any of the pixel art. I hired an artist (Meagan Bowden) to create the artwork for my game. I will pass along your compliment to her. Thanks Smiley
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Superb Joe
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2015, 11:12:10 am »

Hi Mike
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MikeVitt
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2015, 04:53:41 pm »

Hello. Thanks for visiting my dev log Smiley
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MikeVitt
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2015, 05:43:48 pm »

Below is the initial design for the Tormented Genie, which is the ranged damage troop for the Mage class. It is still a work in progress. The other angles are done too and will be animated by Meagan this week. Then she will work on the attack animations.



We also completed a lot of the new scenery and terrain. For me, that mainly involved some tweaks to the design/layout and a bit of coding. Meagan then cranked out a bunch of variations that are used in certain combinations to create variations.

I decided to first put that new artwork into my RPG "Birth of Shadows" as part of an update. That way I can leverage the same artwork for 2 games. Next I will merge the code changes back into Pursuit of Power 2. If you want to check out some of that new artwork, you can visit the Greenlight page for Birth of Shadows, which I recently launched.

Birth of Shadows (Greenlight) : http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=478045330

I will add some new screenshots and a video when the next batch of artwork is completed and merged. I want to also show the Dread Gazer and Tormented Genie in action Smiley
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 06:35:38 pm by MikeVitt » Logged

marcgfx
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2015, 05:59:22 pm »

impressive work. just hearing about your network capabilities made me sigh in awe. I don't even dare tackle the network code for my rather simple racing game. I actually started making an rts years ago too, but never finished. so you've cleared two goals I never reached. best of luck with your old and new projects.
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2015, 06:26:15 pm »

Hello and thanks! Smiley

Writing the network code was definitely intimidating at first. There are many different layers to it. I've always been fascinated by multiplayer games. I think those are some of the most interesting problems to solve.

If you ever want any help or advice with it, just send me a PM. I would be happy to explain any of it Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2015, 02:12:32 pm »

I might take you up on that offer. I don't believe it will even be possible with my current approach, fast syncing of (simple) physics/user input could just be too much.

If I may be so direct, you seem to suffer from the same problem I do. only very few comments on the project. It looks like you are doing awesome work, maybe you need to post a bit more frequently and invite people for discussions. but I guess I am the wrong guy to be giving advice on this Smiley there does not seem to be a demo yet? are you working full time on the game? my project is currently on hold, too much work atm...
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2015, 05:17:28 pm »

Yah, that would actually be pretty challenging. My RPG and RTS games allow for some lag, so it is much easier to handle latency.

I'm definitely going to post more on this thread in the near future. I hope to get some feedback on a few future gameplay ideas for my RTS. I just haven't been as active lately because I switched back to my RPG for about 2 months. I saw an opportunity to make some improvements, using some code and artwork from my RTS. Then I made my Greenlight for it.

I will be focusing my attention back to Pursuit of Power 2 in about a week. Then I can dedicate more time to this thread. My main focus will be to finally create a demo for it. I want to get the first few campaign levels into the game so I can use them to teach some of the mechanics. It is very playable right now, just not quite polished enough to get meaningful feedback.

I have a full-time software dev job and a 17 m/o son, so my game dev takes place late at night. That usually means sacrificing some sleep to get things done. Luckily, I have already finished most of the complex parts of my RTS, so I am able to continue making progress.

How about you? Are you able to set aside some time? I find that even 1 or 2 hours a night is enough to get something done. It helps keep me sane too Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2017, 09:02:18 pm »

I was really busy this past year after having a second child. My artist Meagan continued to create new artwork and I will share that soon. I was able to work on some of the final game design and recently updated my gameplay info, which is below. I hope to get some feedback on specific things during development. I plan to spend the next year working on Pursuit of Power 2. I'm aiming for a March 2018 release.

EDIT : I moved the updated info to original post so there aren't so many animated GIFs bogging down everyone's computer Smiley
« Last Edit: January 19, 2017, 01:04:02 pm by MikeVitt » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2017, 01:14:12 am »

From trailers, the game looks visually noisy, have you given any thought to reduce the clutter? Especially with what I assume are status buff images covering the entire unit.
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MikeVitt
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2017, 08:55:39 am »

Hi! Thanks for your comments Smiley

I am definitely planning to improve the effects images over the units. The circles are just a generic placeholder, but they are important in the game. For the troops, they identify rage level, which determines attack multipliers and can be used for some combo leader abilities. I'm going to try to consolidate the red rage bar into those icons and shrink them a bit (with a different graphic). I can probably fade them out when no longer active too, since most of the time they will be idle. That should help reduce a lot of the clutter for them.

The debuff icons are only displayed when one is active, so that declutter tweak is already done for them. They are important since you will want to use certain leader abilities on enemy troops that are debuffed... or cure your own troop debuffs.

The structure icons represent tier (or level) and will be improved too. They aren't really lined-up well right now, plus still generic. I will find a better way to display that information in the future.

Combat effects will also be improved a lot. I'm using some placeholder effects for a bunch of the attacks. I will use more subtle ones when I make an effects pass on the game. The bigger effects will only be used for special abilities, which don't happen as often.

I'm planning to do a lot of work on the visuals over the next year, so I really appreciate getting this kind of feedback early on. Thanks again!
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2017, 11:10:22 am »

Hello again Mike. Good work, keep it up!
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MikeVitt
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2017, 07:19:41 pm »

Hello! Thanks for the encouragement Smiley

I wanted to share one of the newer troops. This is the Minotaur Coercer, which is the main tank for the Shadow Knight leader. It costs power and 1 focus point out of 100 to summon it.



That unit has a rage buff ability, which is cast periodically around it (point blank AoE). Friendly units then gain a certain amount of rage, which can increase attack multipliers. In addition, the Shadow Knight has a Frenzy ability that can consume 1 rage level of its own troops hit by it, converting the rage to AoE damage. You basically trade extra damage for a one-time damage combo, ideally wiping out a group of enemies so the lost rage won't matter.

There are a lot of combo situations in the game that have different types of requirements. I plan to continue adding those types of mechanics to give players many opportunities for skillful attacks.

I'll explain more of those concepts in future posts. Hopefully I can get some ideas from the community too Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2017, 02:04:54 pm »

I updated my original post to consolidate the game information, which also includes a few more ideas. I added some more troop animations as well.

The idea I expanded upon involves rifts that will form in the game, as soon as I implement them Wink The rifts form between opposing fortresses. They are a "tear" between different dimensions that are tied to the fortresses owned by each player.

The rifts will be the engine of my dynamic world events. They will send out invaders to harass each fortress. There will be surges that happen where groups of invaders are particularly powerful. Perhaps those groups will have a commander that could even be "named" at times (random chance). During the surges, players would need to be more defensive to avoid having targeted fortress destroyed by the invaders.

Players can also trigger mini-raid events by hitting the rift with a special leader ability. That locks them to the rift so only they can damage the rift creatures. There will be waves of enemies with a final boss. I want to try and make it a fun encounter that changes each time, pulling from a group of raid behaviors. You get prestige when you win (used to level your leader). Maybe even a visible raid item if my budget permits.

I expect opposing players to try and prevent triggering players from winning. I balance that a bit by making the rift creatures do additional damage to troops not "in phase" (locked) to the encounter. So they will need to be careful since they can't damage those rift creatures. Other players might also simply attack a fortress while he/she is occupied with the rift event. That might force the leader to return to defend the fortress, which loses the rift encounter (moving out of range).

Finally, as these invaders and rifts are killed, the world gets more chaotic. I might display this as some sort of gauge so players know the state of the world. Eventually, the game changes to an Apocalypse mode if a player/team hasn't won yet by defeating all other fortresses. During the Apocalypse, rifts rapidly form around the world. They send increasingly difficult invaders to all fortresses until only one player/team survives. I think that could be a lot of fun Smiley

Does that sound interesting? I like the idea of PvE in an RTS. I think it adds some life to the game and makes it a bit more dynamic. Thanks for reading!
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MikeVitt
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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2017, 07:09:11 pm »

This is a new trailer I just made that shows me playing a skirmish game while narrating. I explain the current state of the game and also point out some of the changes that will happen during Beta development.




« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 06:24:16 pm by MikeVitt » Logged

MikeVitt
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« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2017, 06:08:16 am »

I launched my Kickstarter today! Any help spreading the word would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2017, 01:38:53 pm »

Looks cool! Any updates?
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