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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsFABULAR (successfully Kickstarted!) a 2D Action RPG with Realtime Pixelart
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Author Topic: FABULAR (successfully Kickstarted!) a 2D Action RPG with Realtime Pixelart  (Read 20393 times)
Batowski
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« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2016, 05:08:56 PM »

@ FRACTURES, hexdie, BeardTopher: thank you, and also everyone else for your nice comments, this is the strongest fuel that keeps us going forward Smiley

@huZba: very useful assessment about explosions in general. Unfortunately at this point it would be quite expensive for us
(development-wise) to implement fracturing ship hulls and such, because we use lots of textures even for one ship. Similarly to 3D games we have a diffuse, a normal map and a specular map texture, and I'm afraid that if we wanted to make destruction models it would be too much of a hassle to build the new parts and every texture for them. But we will come back to this later and assess it for sure...

Our plan with death animations and explosions is that we are going to introduce a 'dying' state for the enemy ships, so that if their HP goes below 0, an explosion effect is played on them, but they don't get completely destroyed, instead their texture becomes burnt-out and they start spinning around uncontrollably while on fire and then explode again to vanish forever.

If we can manage the burnt-out texture without building each one by hand (again 3 textures not 1) it would be great, but we haven't done any prototypes yet. I think for the time being, a nicer looking single explosion effect would suffice, it's just so tough for me to start it, because I just find it too hard for my skills...  Epileptic
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MekaSkull
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« Reply #41 on: April 04, 2016, 09:04:40 PM »

If I ever get the urge to do top-down ship explosions, I'll be sure to post them here for reference Hand Thumbs Up Right
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Batowski
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« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2016, 12:16:19 PM »

Hello devlog, long time no-see. Blink

We've been knee-deep in work in the last few weeks, so I'll be pouring in the info bit-by-bit in the following days to recap what happened.

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who pointed out that the general explosion effect was pretty weak in the game. I gathered my strength and will and came up with a hopefully better version. Still not the final one, because a) I have a long way to go animation-wise and b) the final system of 'ships pre-exploding, spinning around and then finally exploding for a last time' has not been implemented in the game yet.

I'm not very good in traditional keyframe animation, so I used a mixed technique of keyframes, procedural animation (bones in Spine) and the in-game particle system. My feelings towards the end-result can be described by the same words I used for the manufacturing technique: mixed Smiley. You can see it in action on the following gifs while absorbing some new content as well:


1. Warheads; a powerful new weapon type



These exploding rockets consume the 'missiles' resource when launched and they come in a variety of functions such as splitting, homing, cluster or guided versions. This particular one launches two missiles instead of one and both of them home in on the target.


2. Grappling hook



A useful equipment for melee fighters that allows a skilled player to pull elusive ranged enemies into close range where you can finish them off with powerful melee attacks.

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TheArtistJiii
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« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2016, 02:51:27 PM »

Wow this looks so good? Got a demo? Also do you use box2d for physics?
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j-swan
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« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2016, 03:39:25 PM »

Very nice artwork, can't wait to see the finished game.
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TS42
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« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2016, 09:23:09 PM »

Cool concept!

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« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2016, 11:41:46 AM »

Thanks for the nice words guys, that's what keeps us going Smiley

@mesh: we don't have a public demo yet, but planning to release a longer gameplay trailer soon, stay tuned!
We use Farseer Physics, which is a .NET port of Box2D, and we had to change it slightly to support looped worlds.
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TheArtistJiii
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« Reply #47 on: April 20, 2016, 01:32:45 PM »

Thanks for the nice words guys, that's what keeps us going Smiley

@mesh: we don't have a public demo yet, but planning to release a longer gameplay trailer soon, stay tuned!
We use Farseer Physics, which is a .NET port of Box2D, and we had to change it slightly to support looped worlds.

Interesting. I asked because i too am making a topDown space game with physics.I know you don't want to brand your game as such, but alot of people would consider it a shoot em up. Now its quite obviously more than just a shoot em up especially since melee combat is your focus. You said you're not sure how to brand it, perhaps you could try "Space Slice em up". ha. I kid(maybe).

Anyways to my point. I'm not sure how to brand my game either.
The main focus isn't really shooting. There are enemies in this game, but you don't defeat them by shooting them, and you don't defeat them by smashing them to pieces either THOUGH, there will be elements of range and melee that you can use to help you get to your goal.
If you don't mind answering, i'd like to ask you how handle character movement? At first i had somewhat of an asteroids game setup where theres one main Thruster(with asteroid-like physics) and you move in the direction that you are facing, and the rotation of the character was always in the direction of the mouse.
And after you release the thruster button, the character would stabilize itself after floating for a bit and it would make for interesting maneuvering when you time it right. 
Now i have it setup to where there are four different directions you can move in and the arrow keys rotate the character.
I sort of don't like it as much because it lacks the feel of the other method(probably due to my math calculations).
Since i want movement to be the the secondary mechanic in this game i really want to get it right. If you could tell me how you guys handled movement, perhaps it could help me make my game better. thanks.
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Batowski
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« Reply #48 on: April 21, 2016, 03:22:13 AM »

You said you're not sure how to brand it, perhaps you could try "Space Slice em up". ha. I kid(maybe).

Yes, the game is actually closer to a beat'em up than a shoot 'em up, but I think the whole 'em up' line would imply the wrong genre. My hope is that the Action RPG tag will set us on the right path and then gameplay gifs and videos will do the rest justice. Smiley

If you don't mind answering, i'd like to ask you how handle character movement?

About our control method

Well, basically we took a standard dual-stick shooter control method (WASD moves character relative to the screen + mouse controls aiming) and tweaked the hell out of it. Aiming turns the whole ship towards the cursor, this way we can have some nice strafing maneuvers, and also we can use separate "engines", so the ship may be faster going forward and slower when backing up. This introduces a new layer in the control system and forces the player to use less 'backing away while doing damage' tactics.

Some people have complained that they would like the controls to be relative to the ship and not the screen (W moves ship towards the front of the ship instead of up on the screen) but honestly I feel that it would add another unnecessary layer of difficulty to the controls, because you have to calculate with another parameter in your head. With screen relative controls you just know that if you press W then the ship will try and move towards the top of your monitor.

About engines and their visual effects

Somewhat unrelated, but the way the engine trail effects work is that the code analyzes the rotation of the player ship relative to it's current velocity vector and calculates each engine's required output (0-100%) in order to reach the current direction and speed. Then each visual effect has two sets of parameters, one is for 0% output and one for 100% and the code blends between the two accordingly. This allows us to place any number of engines on the spaceship turned in any direction, and they will emit particles correctly, but we mostly go for 6 in the case of player ships (fwd, back and side on both wings). On the following screenshot I boost towards the bottom right so the left and top two engines are working at a 100% output:



Making movement analogue on keyboard

We have a rule that every part of the game must be controller-friendly, and in a comparable way to mouse+keyboard controls. Which basically means we design with a 'controller fist' mindset and then work backwards from there and port controls to keyboard and mouse. Sometimes it's the other way around, such as in the case of aiming, but we mostly did things like emulating the analogue stick's gradual thrust and 360 degree movement on the keyboard to make WASD controls feel more analogue and less constrained to 8 directions only.

You can do this by introducing a vector for the ship's velocity. You can see this vector on the bottom left of the next screenshot with our debug interface turned on, it's the teal line and it's pointing from the left side of the screen towards the bottom right (colored circles are for camera debug):



The length of this vector indicates the current speed of the ship and the angle is the direction. I achieved this vector by pressing and holding down D on the keyboard and then pressing S a few times or holding it down for just a short while to divert it from the strict 90 degree angle movement that pressing only the key D would result. So basically if you hold W only that's 0°, D=90°, S=18°0, W=270°. When you mix the keys you start changing the angle of the vector and also it's length if you press a key that wants to go to an opposite direction. That obviously slows the ship down.

Well, it's a bit harder to explain than I thought it would be, feel free to ask more and I'll try and clarify.  Wink
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Batowski
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« Reply #49 on: May 10, 2016, 11:52:43 AM »

Hello everyone, and sorry about not posting for such a long time. Our only excuse is that we've been very busy in the last few weeks with finalizing the crowdfunding campaign of the game. As a direct result of that,

Fabular: Once upon a Spacetime is now LIVE on Kickstarter!




Besides a brand new trailer showcasing extended gameplay and bad-ass bosses, we have tons of exciting new information to share and plenty of rewards to give. All we can ask of you is to spread the link of the Kickstarter on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit or any other social media, every share and like matters!

I'm still in a post-launch traumatic state, so that's all for today. Cheers! Beer!
 
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Batowski
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« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2016, 01:30:29 PM »

Updated first post with KS info and new gameplay trailer!



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MekaSkull
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« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2016, 10:20:29 PM »

Really nice trailer and a very in-depth KS page.
Congrats on the kotaku feature too Hand Thumbs Up Right
I'll be keeping my eye on the campaign for sure.
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« Reply #52 on: May 12, 2016, 04:42:34 AM »

Amazing trailer, very well done!
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Batowski
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« Reply #53 on: May 14, 2016, 02:47:52 PM »

Thanks guys, we're super-busy with the KS, but will try and squeeze in an update soon (25%) Smiley
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Batowski
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« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2016, 06:58:16 AM »

Our first big content update is out on Kickstarter in which we've tried to broaden the horizons of the universe by introducing Deep Space flora and fauna.
Forgive me if I don't mirror it here, only provide a teaser and a big fat link to it:



Kickstarter update: Deep Space Flora and Fauna
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2016, 07:27:04 AM »

Very nice! I always love the idea of collossal beings in outer space that dwarf puny spaceships. Homeworld really did that right (and apparently they had even bigger ambitions for Homeworld 2 than what was realised in the end)
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« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2016, 07:46:19 AM »

Wow, the game looks super cool, I like the idea of mixing sci-fi stuff with knights. Gameplay also looks neat :-)
Really liked the Kickstarter video, I'm sure you'll reach that funding goal.
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Batowski
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« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2016, 02:12:54 PM »

Thanks guys!

@Ludipe: I sure hope you're some kind of a prophet. Smiley
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« Reply #58 on: May 18, 2016, 05:18:01 PM »

this looks cool. i like the trailer promo art too. following.
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Batowski
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« Reply #59 on: June 04, 2016, 01:43:45 PM »

Hey all,

Still knee-deep in the Kickstarter, but here's little progress-report:



So we've passed 60% yesterday, which is solid progress, but we are going to have a steep hill to climb next week, because it's going to be E3 soon and it will probably suck up all the attention. So far the press we got is quite nice, we've had features on Kotaku's Steam blog, Destructoid, and PCGamer. Also some industry names tweeted nice things about us such as Alex Preston (Hyper Light Drifter), Tyler Sigman (Darkest Dungeons) and guess who...



...the Legend himself Tim Schafer as well. I wish he was a prophet, because so far the money is not entirely in the bank.  Embarrassed

To be honest based on the overwhelmingly positive feedback we got so far we've expected a little more backers, but I guess feedback is a bit misleading at this stage. I reckon the ones who dislike something just don't leave comments and move on to the next Kickstarter that promises more for their bucks with a quicker delivery. So far the only negative feedback we got is that our delivery time is pretty far off, but we just didn't want to promise something that we can't deliver on. Also some of the KS-exclusive rewards seem to alienate some backers instead of luring them in, which is strange. They somehow associate it with the pay-to-win aspect and frown upon it.
 
As a very small team of 3 it is hard to get in the ring with the almost finished projects that go to KS to do a 'pre-order' type of thing. Which is perfectly fine of-course, it just skews people's perception of a realistic budget and delivery time for other projects that want to use KS for funding a start-up project.

In the meantime we are producing content on the concept-side, so here is an excerpt from our 2nd big content update:

The Automatons





Check out the full Automatons update on our Kickstarter page!


Lastly, if you have any means of giving exposure to our Kickstarter, it would be very much appreciated! Maybe tell a journalist about it or share it with your friends and colleagues, every bit of help counts!

Thanks,
Batowski out
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