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December 14, 2017, 10:04:04 pm

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCrimson Keep - First Person ARPG
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CrimsonKeep
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« Reply #160 on: August 03, 2017, 08:22:43 am »

Whew lads, I don't post here enough!

BACK IT IN YALL.

Here's some pictures:

















Anyone gonna say hi to me at pax?

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CRIMSON KEEP - First Person Action Roguelite
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« Reply #161 on: August 09, 2017, 10:38:39 am »





Hey there, new video!

This time I show off some new abilities for the scoundrel class, as well as some of the combat changes, and some new menu/prop art.
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CrimsonKeep
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« Reply #162 on: August 17, 2017, 08:49:03 am »



Exploding arrow ability!
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« Reply #163 on: August 17, 2017, 10:47:13 am »

The exploding crossbow bolts look cool. ^_^
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« Reply #164 on: October 18, 2017, 09:51:22 am »





Man, PAX West was a lot of fun! We had a bunch of people stop by and try the game out, and we got lots of great feedback. I think we learned a lot about what people are enjoying about the game, and what's getting in the way of that, and overall I'm very pleased with how it was received.

Players did pretty well with the combat in the game once they learned the basic controls and started experimenting and learning how the different enemies behaved. Around 20% of the people who played were able to defeat or almost defeat the first boss, on a first or second attempt and I think that's a pretty good percentage. We're definitely trying to make a game that the player must learn and adapt to, bringing different strategies to different enemy types.

As I mention in the video, one of the most obvious additions we had to make to the game is the ability to click and drag to move/equip items. Before now the player had to click to pick up an item on to the cursor, and then click again to drop it off the cursor, which works, but is a little less intuitive.

The tutorial also became a point of focus, as people seemed to completely ignore the original sign layout. They were originally just kind of placed at random points in the starting area, with no real directing the player to each of them. Now the tutorial is more linear, which can be seen as a negative, but it can be run through, or skipped through in about 25 seconds, and rewards the player with a few items and a free experience level. The tutorial is now more comprehensive as well, explaining things like leveling, abilities, equipping, and mana better. In the future we may disable the "forced" tutorial once a player reaches a certain point in the game, but I also kind of like the idea of always leaving it in, in case a player comes back to the game after not playing it for awhile. (Thoughts on this appreciated!)

Recently Ben's also been making strides with the player movement system, I think it's one element of the game which has improved a lot since the beginning. Now feeling a lot more polished than when we started with the default Unity FPS prefab.

The future of the game is looking good, and we're getting antsy to release it to the questing masses!

-Ian
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« Reply #165 on: October 18, 2017, 10:59:17 am »

All interesting developments, I find, and I'm glad that you received so much useful feedback from the event, and that it was so well-received! ^_^

As to tutorials, I just recently happened to see a set of tweets mentioning the idea of non-overt tutorialisation. It's something that I've given thought to with regards to my own game: Should one strive to reduce the reading required in learning the game, and indeed strive to hide the presence of a tutorial at all? Or is it okay to have an overt, text-based tutorial?
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« Reply #166 on: October 18, 2017, 11:06:26 am »

I like the aesthetic you have going, for whatever reason I get a little bit of a Dark Souls vibe from it even though they're stylistically very different.
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« Reply #167 on: October 25, 2017, 12:11:05 pm »

All interesting developments, I find, and I'm glad that you received so much useful feedback from the event, and that it was so well-received! ^_^

As to tutorials, I just recently happened to see a set of tweets mentioning the idea of non-overt tutorialisation. It's something that I've given thought to with regards to my own game: Should one strive to reduce the reading required in learning the game, and indeed strive to hide the presence of a tutorial at all? Or is it okay to have an overt, text-based tutorial?

Thanks!

Yeah it's a quandary for sure. I don't think text was really necessary when controllers had a dpad and 2 buttons (or less). But using a mouse and keyboard or a modern game controller I think it is somewhat important to tell the player what the buttons do. But it also depends on the genre and how established the control scheme. Something like devil daggers is so simple and rooted in the genre control scheme that it probably doesn't have or need a tutorial at all? I've always liked the modern zelda approach of just showing what most buttons do on the screen, even changing with context. If you can keep the interface clean and manage that, it's pretty cool. The less the player has to remember and re-learn if they put the game down for awhile, the better, in my opinion at least.
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« Reply #168 on: October 25, 2017, 02:39:01 pm »

I like the aesthetic you have going, for whatever reason I get a little bit of a Dark Souls vibe from it even though they're stylistically very different.

Thanks! I'm a pretty big dark souls fan, so yeah I can definitely see someone getting that impression. I looked to dark souls for certain elements of the combat like the inability to move while attacking.
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« Reply #169 on: October 26, 2017, 09:50:06 am »

Yeah it's a quandary for sure. I don't think text was really necessary when controllers had a dpad and 2 buttons (or less).

Heh, probably true, in most cases! Many of the mechanics could probably be discovered by simply trying the buttons and seeing what happened. (Although I wouldn't be surprised if there were some (likely rare) games even then that had subtle mechanics that would be easy to miss, perhaps by being context-sensitive.)

But it also depends on the genre and how established the control scheme. Something like devil daggers is so simple and rooted in the genre control scheme that it probably doesn't have or need a tutorial at all?

That might well hold for simple games (I don't know Devil Daggers, so I won't comment there). However, I'm inclined to add the caveat that players new to the genre are going to start somewhere, and if it's with a game that assumes genre knowledge they might still feel a little lost. An optional tutorial might help there, at least.

In my own case, I think that my combat mechanic is probably sufficiently unusual that it benefits from a tutorial; similarly the "climbing" mechanic.

(It might be possible to convey the combat mechanic without text via a long series of carefully-designed encounters or stages to an encounter, but that seems likely to become long and boring.)

I've always liked the modern zelda approach of just showing what most buttons do on the screen, even changing with context.

Not being familiar with Zelda, I take it that you mean the "press <BUTTON HERE> to <ACTION HERE>" prompt? I'm in two minds about that: On the one hand, it's useful for tutorialisation, and to remind a returning player of the controls. On the other hand, if it appears later in the game I suspect that it might reduce immersion a little. (Of course, the importance of that sort of immersion likely varies greatly from game to game.)

If you can keep the interface clean and manage that, it's pretty cool. The less the player has to remember and re-learn if they put the game down for awhile, the better, in my opinion at least.

Indeed, I agree on both points. ^_^

In addition, some mechanics seem to really lend themselves to minimalistic tutorialisation--they can be conveyed via the environment (suggesting a running jump via a large gap, for example), or cunningly hinted at.
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« Reply #170 on: October 26, 2017, 04:15:17 pm »

Not being familiar with Zelda, I take it that you mean the "press <BUTTON HERE> to <ACTION HERE>" prompt? I'm in two minds about that: On the one hand, it's useful for tutorialisation, and to remind a returning player of the controls. On the other hand, if it appears later in the game I suspect that it might reduce immersion a little. (Of course, the importance of that sort of immersion likely varies greatly from game to game.)





Yeah, it can be immersion breaking, I think you have to do it right. One distinction that is a little less immersion breaking and hand-holdy is the use of symbols. Zelda: OOT does it pretty well, and the interface remains clean and useful. Is it uglier than having no information? Probably yes, but I think it reaches a pretty good middle ground between form and function. Despite a lot of people hating the helper fairy in this game, I think the game's wide appreciation means they tutorialized just right, and they attracted all kinds of people to play because of that, not just core gamers.
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« Reply #171 on: October 27, 2017, 10:25:51 am »

Ah, I see! That's not what I had in mind at all, and is likely at least a little better that what I was imagining. That actually looks like a decent system, to me. Thank you for clarifying. ^_^
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« Reply #172 on: November 06, 2017, 01:25:32 pm »



Hey everyone, today I wanted to speak a little bit about our achievement system. I think achievements are tragically mishandled in a lot of games. I would say eighty percent of games, probably more, don’t offer in game rewards for completing them. And why shouldn’t they? If you remember back to the Rare Shooters on the Nintendo 64 (Goldeneye and Perfect Dark) you might remember the awesome, pre “achievement” system in which the player had to complete special challenges in each stage.



The different difficulty modes for each stage naturally affected the damage enemies did and things like ammo and health for the player, but more interestingly they added additional objectives. By beating each stage in these games on different difficulties you essentially unlocked achievements, but these achievements provided the player with something: cheats/modes, and eventually a fourth difficulty mode that turns the game into a sandbox of sorts. Players have the opportunity to go back and use cheats which sometimes drastically change and unbalance the game, but can be a lot of fun to play around with.



Many games have done unlockables like this, but a lot of the time they’re just cosmetic, or are after the game proper ends (new game plus). Those Rare shooters, and more recent unlockable obsessed games like The Binding of Isaac, constantly reward the player for playing well, and just playing at all. Almost(?) every achievement in The Binding of Isaac adds a new item or character to the game’s massive pool content, changing the entire game (sometimes in a small way, other times in a big way) after each achievement.



It’s our goal to do something similar with Crimson Keep. Classes, class abilities, areas, and items, can all be locked by achievements in our game. Ideally (by the time the game is complete) each achievement will unlock a little piece of content in our game, and keep you coming back for more!

Thanks for reading!
-Ian



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« Reply #173 on: November 06, 2017, 10:52:16 pm »

Sounds great! I haven't played much Goldeneye or Issac but I love the idea. Will the achievements be hidden? If so will you reveal what was done once one is completed?
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« Reply #174 on: November 07, 2017, 09:47:10 am »

I really like the idea of achievements having in-game effects, especially during the course of the game (as opposed to affecting a "New Game +", as you said).

One caveat that I have is to make sure that the game has enough content to remain enjoyable even if the player (somehow) acquires no achievements at all (or the barest minimum). If not, the game may end up feeling like important content is being unfairly held back, rather than being given as reward for play.

That said, such an approach to achievements is one that I've wanted for quite some time now, I think. I've long held that my favourite implementation of an "achievement" system was in... Planescape: Torment. The player-character's tattoos in that game were given as a result of the player's actions (progressing in the main story, completing certain optional objectives, taking on new party members, etc.). However, they were also part of the game's world (and thus didn't much reduce immersion), and provided in-game benefits (and detriments, in some cases).
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« Reply #175 on: November 07, 2017, 01:16:31 pm »

Sounds great! I haven't played much Goldeneye or Issac but I love the idea. Will the achievements be hidden? If so will you reveal what was done once one is completed?

Ben offered the opinion awhile back that whether you hide something or not players will dig into it to find the secrets. I believe this happened when the Binding of Isaac: Rebirth came out initially; it had secret achievements that required inane, super crazy criteria that no one would ever guess, so people just decompiled the game to find them. I tend to agree with Ben, why hide?

Quote
The Lost is unlocked by dying consecutively with certain characters, with no other deaths. Deaths must be completed in the order shown here, and seeds can be used for the runs except for the last with Azazel:

Isaac must die to a Mulliboom in The Basement or The Cellar.
Magdalene must die to her own bomb in The Caves or The Catacombs.
Judas must die to any Mom attack in The Depths or Necropolis. Being killed by any monster spawned by Mom will spoil the entire attempt at unlocking The Lost.
Azazel must die to any Satan attack in Sheol. Being killed by The Fallen in the boss room or a Kamikaze Leech will spoil the entire attempt at unlocking The Lost. Being killed by using The Bible doesn't count as a Satan kill.
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« Reply #176 on: November 07, 2017, 02:11:10 pm »

One caveat that I have is to make sure that the game has enough content to remain enjoyable even if the player (somehow) acquires no achievements at all (or the barest minimum). If not, the game may end up feeling like important content is being unfairly held back, rather than being given as reward for play.

Yeah, this is definitely something I've been thinking about as I decide the unlockables. Desktop Dungeons is a game that may have gone too far with its unlockable content. It's an interesting take on the roguelike formula that offers a bunch of class and race combinations, but I believe it starts you with only one combination, and you have to unlock the rest. I feel they most likely lost some players based on this feature alone since a lot of players have a specific archetype they prefer to play as in RPGs or fantasy action games. I think it's a good policy for Crimson Keep to not lock out any particular classes, besides maybe special/nontraditional secret classes, so that a player can always find a play style they like. I do like the idea of requiring a player to play a less desirable class to unlock things in their desired class.   Corny Laugh Corny Laugh Corny Laugh I think it can be fun to play outside your comfort zone, a player might decide they like something that they thought they didn't.
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« Reply #177 on: November 08, 2017, 10:06:36 am »

Desktop Dungeons is a game that may have gone too far with its unlockable content. It's an interesting take on the roguelike formula that offers a bunch of class and race combinations, but I believe it starts you with only one combination, and you have to unlock the rest.

That does sound potentially annoying. :/

I think it's a good policy for Crimson Keep to not lock out any particular classes, besides maybe special/nontraditional secret classes, so that a player can always find a play style they like.

Indeed, I think that I agree with that. Personally, I think that I would take it further: provide each class with enough non-locked abilities that they're fun to play without achievements, and then use achievement-unlocks to make them even better.

I do like the idea of requiring a player to play a less desirable class to unlock things in their desired class.   Corny Laugh Corny Laugh Corny Laugh I think it can be fun to play outside your comfort zone, a player might decide they like something that they thought they didn't.

It can be fun, I think, but it can also be frustrating, especially if the undesirable class is one that the player really doesn't like. I'd suggest not leaning too heavily into this, or requiring a player to take such a run too far. Nevertheless, having a few such unlocks may well be a good idea!
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« Reply #178 on: December 08, 2017, 10:10:08 am »

Hey everyone, check out this new Dev Log where I talk about random, new, and interesting improvements to the game as we continue to add content and refine the experience before release.



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« Reply #179 on: December 08, 2017, 04:37:02 pm »

The little killer bushes are neat-looking enemies. ^_^
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