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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCrimson Keep - First Person ARPG - Released!
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Author Topic: Crimson Keep - First Person ARPG - Released!  (Read 21697 times)
Ian_A
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« Reply #60 on: August 13, 2016, 04:34:29 PM »


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Ian_A
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« Reply #61 on: August 22, 2016, 03:52:41 PM »





Hey everyone, Ian here, artist and game designer for Crimson Keep. It's been awhile since our last article, but we're back with some good progress.



Crimson Keep is coming along! It now has: melee combat, enemies, procedural level generation, level difficulty transitions, abilities, leveling etc. A lot of the infrastructure for creating the rest of the game is in place. The last big piece of the puzzle is items, equipment, and inventory. Ben's started working on defining different item types and manipulating items within an inventory UI.

Before starting work on the inventory and items, Ben wrapped up the game's sound infrastructure, and we're now hooked up and using Fabric by Tazman Audio. This allows us to easily define a pool of sounds the game will randomly pick from when an event occurs, along with random pitch modulation. It also cleared up an issue we were having with sounds cutting other sounds out.

On the art side of things, I'm continuing to fill the Crypt rooms with props and things for the player to encounter. I'm also looking at further tweaking elements of the Crypt's design until it looks just the way I want. Following that I'll be working on the next area, an overgrown cave full of plants, water, and trees, called The Grotto.

Another welcome addition to the game is traps! The first trap is just a simple spike trap driven by an animation. They don't do very much damage now, but I'll probably balance them to be pretty dangerous. I don't think we'll have a system for disarming traps as I feel it just slows the player down for no real reason, when it should be easy enough to dodge and avoid a trap. Using traps against enemies of course is another option, but the fact that a major part of progression is leveling your character and weapon skill, will make sure that traps don't become the best solution against enemies.

That's about it for now. Thanks for your continued support! Stay tuned for more development news from Crimson Keep!
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Ian_A
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« Reply #62 on: August 29, 2016, 02:14:59 AM »

Monsters drop items!!!
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Ian_A
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« Reply #63 on: August 31, 2016, 12:18:09 PM »



New trailer for our hack n'slash roguelike Crimson Keep!!
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« Reply #64 on: August 31, 2016, 04:08:41 PM »

This looks rather interesting!  I particularly like your choice of art-style, with characters and objects resembling miniatures in a table-top game.

I'll confess that, as a matter of personal taste, the mention of grinding is a little off-putting for me--and only "a little" because I get the impression that it's not full-scale grinding, but somewhat compressed.

That aside, however, I like the idea of a first-person hack-n-slash roguelike!
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« Reply #65 on: September 01, 2016, 12:42:20 AM »

This looks rather interesting!  I particularly like your choice of art-style, with characters and objects resembling miniatures in a table-top game.

I'll confess that, as a matter of personal taste, the mention of grinding is a little off-putting for me--and only "a little" because I get the impression that it's not full-scale grinding, but somewhat compressed.

That aside, however, I like the idea of a first-person hack-n-slash roguelike!

Hey thanks. The grind won't be a "grind" in the traditional sense, as in it won't be slow, so it should be pretty enjoyable. It's getting pretty fun, we're excited about where it's going!
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« Reply #66 on: September 01, 2016, 07:32:11 AM »

The grind won't be a "grind" in the traditional sense, as in it won't be slow, so it should be pretty enjoyable.

Ah, that's reassuring to read! ^_^

It's getting pretty fun, we're excited about where it's going!

I'm glad to read it. ^_^

Are there plans to release a demo sometime soon?
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« Reply #67 on: September 05, 2016, 12:07:06 PM »

Subscribing  Gomez
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Ian_A
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« Reply #68 on: September 06, 2016, 06:55:20 AM »

Thanks pals. We don't have any plans yet for a public demo, we have a semi large list you can join for a friends/family alpha demo though every couple months when we release one. You can join that list here: http://goo.gl/forms/0ohp7jBvm4

Made this the other day, testing out art styles for class portraits that the player would see at character creation:

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« Reply #69 on: September 06, 2016, 07:37:36 AM »

As to the demo, fair enough. That said, if access to the alpha-demos is so freely given, why not just make them public?

As to the character portrait, I like it, but I'm not sure of how well it meshes with what I've seen of the rest of the art-style: to my eye, most of what I've seen has resembled tabletop miniatures, while this looks somewhat cartoony.
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« Reply #70 on: September 08, 2016, 12:41:35 PM »

As to the character portrait, I like it, but I'm not sure of how well it meshes with what I've seen of the rest of the art-style: to my eye, most of what I've seen has resembled tabletop miniatures, while this looks somewhat cartoony.

Thanks for the feedback! I have to be honest here, the art style was never intended to resemble tabletop miniatures. I think this opinion is a product of the title screen image that incorporated a tilt shift and characters in a static pose.



That's the only point in the game where there is a tilt shift, and where the enemies are locked in a static pose. And this title screen will be changed at some point (to a cool flyby through a cave around the Crimson Keep).

Personally I find the art direction element of making art for this game one of the most difficult parts, it really is difficult sometimes to make multiple characters/environments jive together as the same style. My methodology thus far in keeping all the enemies in essentially the same style is just making sure I do all the art myself. The only piece of visual art in the game not made by me is a painting I paid a freelancer for, that will be used for promotional material.

I may sound insecure about this, but in the end I'm okay with people interpreting and enjoying the game's art through any lens. Wink Hand Shake Right And hey, 3d printed miniature versions of the characters in my game would be some great swag to hand out!
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« Reply #71 on: September 09, 2016, 10:29:02 AM »

Thanks for the feedback!

My pleasure--I hope that it's useful. ^_^

I have to be honest here, the art style was never intended to resemble tabletop miniatures. I think this opinion is a product of the title screen image that incorporated a tilt shift and characters in a static pose.

Ah, that's interesting!

While that title-image likely doesn't help, as you point out, I don't think that it's the primary source of the impression. Speaking for myself, I think that a lot of it comes from the stylisation and surface-texture of the characters and environments--not just in that one image, but in videos and screenshots as well. In all fairness, this was perhaps suggested to me, or reinforced, the the art in other projects that I've recently seen that do use a "tabletop-miniature" art-style, such as Underworld Ascendant or The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.

Personally I find the art direction element of making art for this game one of the most difficult parts, it really is difficult sometimes to make multiple characters/environments jive together as the same style. My methodology thus far in keeping all the enemies in essentially the same style is just making sure I do all the art myself. The only piece of visual art in the game not made by me is a painting I paid a freelancer for, that will be used for promotional material.

To my eye, I think that the 3D environments work well together, and the style seems self-consistent between them. (And overall, I find it quite appealing! ^_^)

Hmm... Coming back to the question of the 2D art that you recently showed, it occurs to me that as long as the 2D elements have a self-consistent style that doesn't clash with that of the 3D elements, it may still work well.
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« Reply #72 on: September 10, 2016, 05:05:08 PM »

Barrels finally breakable!
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 12:59:38 PM by CrimsonKeep » Logged

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« Reply #73 on: September 12, 2016, 07:36:57 AM »

Heh, I kinda like the way that they just flop apart. ^_^
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« Reply #74 on: September 17, 2016, 05:17:36 PM »





Hey everyone, Ian here. It's been an exciting several weeks since the last article. In that time we've really started to sand off some of the game's rough edges. It's starting to feel like a fuller experience, and finally has a bit of (not too much) tutorial-ization to help get players up to speed.



The tutorial area I made is the first of what I'm calling static zones. These are areas of the game that are not randomly generated. This could include temples (full of many god shrines) boss arenas, shops, etc... The tutorial area serves as a bit of a playground for the player to get their bearings, figure out the controls a bit, before they are thrust into combat. And it is of course short enough that the experienced player can skip through it in a matter of seconds (but there's 5 barrels and a ghoul that are probably worth killing for experience and loot).

Tutorials are a tricky thing, but hopefully our controls and interface are simple enough that the player learns it quickly. Tests have been going well so far, and it hasn't taken people very long to get accustomed to the UI and basic controls. Rest assured that the tutorial and help related things in the game will be option and unobtrusive for the seasoned player. There will be no "Hey Listen!" in Crimson Keep.

Speaking of UI you'll notice that we now have an ability bar to the left of the hot bar. We've scaled down the number of abilities the player will have access to at one time, but more or less kept the total number of abilities. Each time you achieve a level in which you earn an active ability you'll be selecting from a large number of tactics, each suited to a different play-style, and synergizing with different builds. Plan to play a bow using Berserker for some reason? The ability "Smolder" will be of little use to you, as its main perk is making enemies more susceptible to melee damage.

In the end the player will have access to 5 abilities (3 class abilities, 1 weapon ability, 1 mobility ability (dodge)). Dodge also received an upgrade recently, Ben thought it would be easier to use, and feel better if it could be used during another abilities animation, as it's for getting away in a pinch. It definitely feels better now. More tweaking to do with it and every ability of course, but we're making good progress in that department!



This week I finally got around to populating the crypts with some enemies. The first of which that actually has some significant differences from other enemies is the Battlecage Skeleton. Necromantic magic of the crypt has erupted deadly bone spikes out of the ribcages of these fellows. Naturally causing them to damage the player if caught in the line of fire when they charge.




The demo for this month really felt a lot more complete since it's the first time we've been able to share the game with items, equipment, and all those goodies. So I felt the demo really needed an end, something to achieve. So we finally have a boss room, a door that remains locked until the boss is defeated, and of course, a boss! One of the many gripes people had playing the game before was the lack of motivation to kill the enemies, when you can simply run past them. Now with the introduction of boss arenas we have enemies that must be killed to progress. I think this is a better solution than doing the Binding of Isaac style (kill all enemies in each room to open doors) or Zelda style (Kill miniboss to get boss key to kill boss). I think it works for those games, but wouldn't necessarily work for ours. Instead we've opted to do it more like Diablo or Dark Souls, where there are certain boss enemies that are required, and all the minions are optional (But it's a pretty good idea to kill those minions in preparation for the bosses.)

Anyways, the game's had a good couple of weeks and it's been a lot of fun working on it! We're looking forward to getting some good playtest feedback and improving the game even more. Thanks for reading, and as always, please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts or critiques on the game's systems, or the footage.

-Ian
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 12:59:59 PM by CrimsonKeep » Logged

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« Reply #75 on: September 19, 2016, 07:40:01 AM »

Interesting!

I like the new enemies--they have an interesting design, and a form that seems likely to make them easily distinguishable, I feel. ^_^

Regarding the abilities, will players level up only a few times during a full run, or do they get more abilities than they can have active? If the latter, do they give up abilities to gain new ones, or can abilities be swapped in and out of "active" status during play, or between areas, perhaps?
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« Reply #76 on: September 19, 2016, 09:42:22 AM »

A very cool way that the barrels are breaking. The skeleton enemies also look really cool nice design on those as well.
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« Reply #77 on: September 19, 2016, 07:09:23 PM »

I like the new enemies--they have an interesting design, and a form that seems likely to make them easily distinguishable, I feel. ^_^

Regarding the abilities, will players level up only a few times during a full run, or do they get more abilities than they can have active? If the latter, do they give up abilities to gain new ones, or can abilities be swapped in and out of "active" status during play, or between areas, perhaps?

Thanks Thaumaturge, that's the goal is to try and make each enemy (and environment for that matter) look somewhat different. Even if its just different equipment.

Right now in the alpha there's only 3 abilities, so only 3 levels to gain, but we plan on adding passives that augment your abilities and other stats. The plan is around 20 levels. So 3 active, and a bunch of passive upgrade decisions, and maybe 1 big choice at level 10 to further define your class (big things like dual wield).
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« Reply #78 on: September 19, 2016, 07:10:07 PM »

A very cool way that the barrels are breaking. The skeleton enemies also look really cool nice design on those as well.

Thanks Kevin  Waaagh! Waaagh!
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« Reply #79 on: September 20, 2016, 08:21:17 AM »

Right now in the alpha there's only 3 abilities, so only 3 levels to gain, but we plan on adding passives that augment your abilities and other stats. The plan is around 20 levels. So 3 active, and a bunch of passive upgrade decisions, and maybe 1 big choice at level 10 to further define your class (big things like dual wield).
Aah, I see! I'll confess that I don't think that passive abilities occurred to me when writing my previous post. ^^;

I don't think that I've mentioned this before, but looking back at your screenshots and gifs, I rather like the stylisation of your health bars. ^_^
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