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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsGhostlords - Strategic RPG with a dynamic campaign (Pokémon-like?)
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Author Topic: Ghostlords - Strategic RPG with a dynamic campaign (Pokémon-like?)  (Read 2424 times)
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Kyle 'Kyle' Rodgers

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« on: June 30, 2015, 06:04:12 AM »

Ghostlords is a strategic turn-based RPG with a dynamic campaign. Build a team of ghosts to help you travel across a post-apocalyptic haunted Great Britain, putting to rest the spirits of the dead and battling the forces of Greater London. Inspired by games like Pokémon and FTL - every playthrough will be a unique challenge.

Basic gameplay involves you using your ghosts to fight enemies, who might be supernatural, mechanical, or human. Battles begin with you selecting a ghost from your team and giving them orders. Your ghosts’ abilities have different elemental types and energy costs, and might inflict status effects. You’ll have to pick your moves carefully to succeed, and might need to take some risks. Battles will sometimes go well and sometimes won’t, depending on how lucky (or prepared!) you are.

If you fight and beat a wild ghost, you might have the chance to capture their spirit and add it to your team. Ghosts can have varying elements, stats, and abilities, which gives them certain advantages and disadvantages. Putting together a well balanced team will be the main challenge of each playthrough.

You start the game in Edinburgh and have to get to London, but how you get there is up to you. This gives you some control over who you have to fight along the way. You’ll need to plan your journey and your team carefully to get all the way to London.

It has been twenty years since the Ghost Crisis - an event that wiped out most of the population of the world, turning them into ghosts. These spirits are now doomed to roam the land and haunt what’s left of humanity.

Your name is Elsie. You are a Ghostlord - a human with the ability to bind and control ghosts. Greater London's Metforce have kidnapped your husband Daniel and are taking him to London. You need to get there and find him – before it’s too late.

I’m building Ghostlords in Unity using Matt Rix’s Futile 2d framework. Currently planning a desktop release on Windows, OSX, and Linux, but the game would work well on mobile too so that’s always a possibility.

Launch Date
I’ve been working on the game on and off for over two years already, and most of the functionality is done. It’s mainly just a case of adding content and polish at this point. No set release date right now, but probably early 2016?

This is a small sample of the ghosts that will be available. Planning on there being loads more!


« Last Edit: July 25, 2015, 12:07:56 PM by HelixFox » Logged

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Kyle 'Kyle' Rodgers

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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2015, 04:36:18 AM »

I’ve been working on encounters lately. Each area you go to will have some sort of situation for you to deal with. It could end in a battle, a quest, a pleasant shopping experience, or any other number of things. There’s a dialogue system that lets you interact with the people you meet and influence how each encounter goes.

Battles are 1v1 – one of your ghosts against whoever you’re fighting. Each ghost has four abilities – these cost energy to use. Ghosts typically regenerate one energy point per turn.

Select your attack and off you go!

Attacks that cost more energy will typically do more damage, but might not be as efficient. E.g. a 4 energy attack probably won’t do as much damage as two 2 damage attacks. It might be worth it, though, if the 4 damage attack can knock the enemy out first. There are also elements to take into consideration. E.g. a fire ability will do extra damage against an ice ghost.

Most ghosts will have a utility move as well, which can add status effects or do all sorts of other weird stuff. Your ghosts will learn new moves over time or you can buy them from merchants.

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making gams

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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2015, 05:39:40 AM »

You immediately get points from me for taking some area of England and making it post-apocalyptic. A related example, I love how there's a game named

, so, I like where the theme is going. I hope there'll be plenty of familiar locations from around the UK?

Inspiration being taken from FTL is always good, too, FTL has to be one of my favourite games of the last few years. I'll be interested to see how the gameplay comes along.

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Kyle 'Kyle' Rodgers

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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2015, 12:09:34 PM »

To get to London you’ll have to make your way through quite a few cities and zones along the way. You can pick where you want to go using the world map! Each zone is weighted towards certain encounters, so the exact route you take will depend on your current strategy.

For example, the light blue areas will have more Ghostlord encounters than most zones. Other Ghostlords are the hardest regular enemies you can find, so you should only visit those zones if you’re doing particularly well.

Each zone has several rows of areas you need to get past. You need to make your way down from the top to the bottom.

You can tell what type of encounter you’ll get by the icon. For example, the purple grave icon means you’ll find a wild ghost there. These are good areas to aim for if your team isn’t full or if you want to replace one of your ghosts.

The yellow exclamation mark areas have quests. Accepting and finishing a quest will usually give you some pretty sweet rewards.

I’m hoping to have a pretty decent selection of backgrounds to use for all the places you’ll go. It doesn’t really matter if you’re in a city or deep in the glorious British countryside, but a good amount of variety will help keep the game from feeling samey.

Also, time passes as you play the game. Each area has a day/sunset/night variation. Should also help to keep things feeling fresh!

And the same image with the UI enabled.

Most of my time right now is spent making assets and content. Working on some new ghosts and yet more backgrounds to add into the game.

Also working on more animations for the moves your ghosts can do. Here’s a Final Fantasy 6 inspired suplex.

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Kyle 'Kyle' Rodgers

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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 07:26:21 AM »

Been a while since the last update! I’ve been busy with contract work (got to pay the bills) and also have been working on a big new feature:

Most of the content in the game is loaded via xml, and this can be modified or added to really easily by adding new files to the game folder. You can add new:
  • Ghosts
  • Abiltiies
  • Characters
  • Environments
  • Relics
  • Encounters
  • Quests
  • Campaigns

It will be possible to add a new campaign that acts as a full conversion to the game with 100% unique content.

I’ve tried to make the process of modding the game as easy as possible. The xml files are quite simple. E.g. here’s the code to define the basic info for a ghost:

    <basic id="icespirit" element1="ice" element2="" type="ghost" startUnlocked="true" />
        <lang id="en">Ice Spirit</lang>
        <lang id="en">Devoid of emotion. She takes no interest in the affairs of the living.</lang>
      <hp growth="10" />
      <strength growth="6" />
      <stamina growth="6" />
      <magic growth="10" />
      <will growth="10" />
      <speed growth="8" />

Stat growth is applied by level – a level 10 Ice Spirit will have around 100 health (ghost stats can vary somewhat so that no two ghosts are the same).

You can also define what abilities the ghost can learn. Ghosts usually start with four abilities and can learn new abilities when they gain levels.

        <move id="barrier" />
        <move id="snowball" />
        <move id="punch" />
        <move id="freeze" />
        <move id="blizzard" />
        <move id="iceball" />
        <move id="frostorb" />
        <move id="avalanche" />
        <move id="icydeath" />
        <move id="concentrate" />
        <move id="intensify" />

You can also define the animation set for the ghost by specifying sprites. Sprites can be added to the game just by dropping them into the mod folders along with the xml files.

    <animset shouldFloat="true">
      <icon src="icespirit_icon" />
      <idle speed="0.16">
        <sprite src="icespirit_standing_1" />
      <attacking speed="0.16">
        <sprite src="icespirit_attacking_1" />
        <sprite src="icespirit_attacking_2" />
        <sprite src="icespirit_attacking_2" />
      <hurt speed="0.25">
        <sprite src="icespirit_hurt_1" />
        <sprite src="icespirit_hurt_2" />
        <sprite src="icespirit_hurt_2" />

And that’s pretty much all there is to adding a ghost to the game! A new ghost can be made pretty easily by copy/pasting an existing xml and changing the relevant info. It will automatically load in the next time you launch the game.

I fully intend to get Steam Workshop implemented eventually so it’ll be neat to see what people come up with.

Next time I’ll talk about campaign support and the story content I’m currently working on. For now, here’s Wrath, one of the latest Justice abilities:


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Kyle 'Kyle' Rodgers

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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2016, 01:27:19 PM »

Mostly content production since last time. Been working on new campaigns and ability animations, mostly. As well as a few other little bits. The game setup page in particular has gone through a lot of revisions recently. Here it is right now:

You can change the current campaign and tweak a few different values for your game. You can also pick your starting ghosts – how many you get to start with depends on the campaign. Once achievements are implemented you’ll be able to see those on this screen as well for the campaign/ghosts you have selected.

One of the campaigns has you play as Robyn, a Ghostlord who works as an operative for the government of Yorkshire. She’s on a mission into the Hauntlands (formerly Wales), a part of Britain that has been abandoned by humans since the ghosts appeared. Most ghosts tend to have lost a lot of their cleverness that they had before they died, but the ghosts in the Hauntlands haven’t. They’ve also banded together against humanity, and Robyn intends to find out how that happened and what interest they have in her.

Not quite sure how many campaigns the game will have when it’s finished, but hopefully quite a few. Enough to give a sense of what the world is like with fewer people and a hell of a lot of ghosts.

And now, some gifs:


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Kyle 'Kyle' Rodgers

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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2016, 07:11:05 AM »

Some new ghosts! First up is the Dogman. No one knows if this is the spirit of a dog that wanted to be human, or a man that wanted to be a dog.

Then there's the Boneguard. This is a very powerful ghost that you'll only be able to get by completing a certain questline. Animating its hammer is going to be difficult :p

And finally, the Fattygob, a strange impish creature. The Fattygob loves to roll around the countryside setting bushes on fire.


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