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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogs[Demo Build 3!] Hazelnut Bastille: A Lush SNES-era Topdown JRPG Adventure
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Author Topic: [Demo Build 3!] Hazelnut Bastille: A Lush SNES-era Topdown JRPG Adventure  (Read 29617 times)
Aloft
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« on: July 02, 2016, 09:52:25 am »



The Public Demo is Out And Directly Available from Landing Page!


You can hop on our landing page now, and subscribers will get the link for the latest updated build for each platform! These will always be up to date, so when a new one is out, you can get it from the same place!




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Check out our site, and subscribe for demo access at:  http://www.aloftstudios.net/hazelnutbastille


Hello TIGsource!

Hazelnut Bastille is a title being developed in the Unity engine for PC, Mac, and Linux, for a little over a year now.

It is is a topdown adventure game with metroidvania elements which seeks to continue the great lineage of superior design from the mid 90's- the moment in time when mainstream 2D titles reached arguably their greatest level of refinement, in titles such as Super Metroid and Link to the Past. We seek to emulate this period in most ways, from graphic presentation, to audio production, to general level design philosophy.
‚Äč
Hazelnut Bastille tells the story of a young woman who travels to a foreign shore on the outskirts of her world, in order to seek out the promised gifts of mythological ancients, in hopes of retrieving something which was lost to her. On the way, her story becomes irrevocably intertwined with the lives of those living in this far off land.










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Early Enemy and Item Asset Design

We are currently in heavy development of the core gameplay assets, primarily the basic enemy set and the quest items. We feel it is best in the beginning to focus on the most central feature of our gameplay experience, which happens to be the dungeon combat, and get the feel and the flow of this experience as studied and polished as possible, before it makes sense to move onto important, but less gameplay-critical assets and features, such as our extended environment tilesets.

Currently, we have 12 integrated enemies. The current design goal is for 20 base dungeon enemies, and 10 variants (bringing the total to 30 basic dungeon enemies). We also plan to include around 5 total mini-boss characters, and of course a boss for every dungeon. The overworld is expected to contain approximately 10 enemies as well.

While talk of quantities gives you an idea of scope, it is yet more important that our enemy designs are all useful and endlessly re-usable. Every enemy must occupy a well-defined combat niche with a clear purpose, and have behaviors and patterns that are both simple and easy to learn, and also interesting to engage with at the same time. We are ascribing to the theory of generating complexity by combining simple and straightforward primitives into new experiences. We need enough variety in our set that we have access to a large number of unexpected synergies between them, but also few enough that the player can easily recognize each one and recall its properties. If the player can easily read the room and its enemies this way, they can immediately grasp the special challenge a certain room is presenting them with.

As of this moment, all of the enemies seen below exist as playable assets with full feature-sets and behaviors. As we work our way down our early list of enemy characters and integrate them in, we will fill them in for you here!






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GUI and Inventory Design


        



        







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Story And Setting

Our story follows the path of our Heroine, a young woman living a dispossessed life in another time and place. The world she lives in resembles early 18th Century Europe, but her civilization is also strangely provincial. No one seems to have any reliable notion of history that extends back further than a few hundred years, before they diverge in fantastic ways. Some of these histories speak of a cyclical disaster that has kept the people in ignorance, but others assure that this is merely a peasant-myth.

Following recent tragic events, our Heroine's life situation is uprooted from under her, and needing something to believe in, she boldly strikes out in search of the answers to these unknowns. She travels to a far-off island land claimed to be the seat of lost civilizations of a golden age of the world, also said to be the roost of countless rogues and drifters like her, squatting in the ruined antechamber to the past.

She finds a place that seems to be guarded by the conscripted forces of nature themselves, and hostile to any ignorant newcomer. Every tree and fox works in league for her demise, for reasons that are not clear. But rather than be deterred by this unexpected resistance, our Heroine is emboldened by new expectations that something truly magnificent lies ahead!








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Articles and Interviews:

June/12/2017 3DMgame.com Mandarin Chinese Feature Article:

http://www.3dmgame.com/news/201706/3661538.html

June/11/2017 Dark Side of Gaming Feature Article:

http://www.dsogaming.com/news/hazelnut-bastille-is-an-open-world-retro-rpg-inspired-by-zelda-a-link-to-the-past-demo-available/

June/10/2017 SiliconEra Feature Article:

http://www.siliconera.com/2017/06/09/hazelnut-bastille-demo-looks-satisfy-link-past-itch/

June/5/2017 Retromania Spanish Language Feature Article:

http://retromaniacmagazine.blogspot.com.es/

May/31/2017 One Angry Gamer Feature Article:

http://www.oneangrygamer.net/2017/06/hazelnut-bastille-legend-of-zelda-inspired-adventure-game-gets-free-demo/31996/

April/12/2017 Ninichi's Indie game and Music blog:

http://ninichimusic.com/blog/2017/introducing-the-game-hazelnut-bastille

January/27/2017 IndieWatch.net:

http://indiewatch.net/2017/01/28/aloft-studio-get-right-gameplay-fancy-pixels/

Dececember/13/2016 Siliconera.com:

 http://www.siliconera.com/2016/12/13/hazelnut-bastille-top-homage-link-past/


______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Check out our site, and subscribe for demo access at:  http://www.aloftstudios.net/hazelnutbastille
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 11:37:31 am by Aloft » Logged

JohnStanford
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2016, 01:10:30 pm »

I'm really liking what you've put up. The art and sound are fantastic. I don't have much to offer in terms of actual critique--just wanted to say this looks really good.
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tinyDino
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2016, 05:25:53 pm »

Looks very pretty man. May I ask what the blue bar at the top is?
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Aloft
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 05:40:54 pm »

A mana bar.

There are a set of "magic" type items, which deplete it a little bit at a time, or a lotta bit, based on how potent they are. The mana will auto-refill slowly as long as the player is active, or can be refilled quickly with collectible items.

There are a lot of factors to balance, such as allowing the player to use their items at regular intervals, but not rely on them exclusively. We were fans of the system in Link to the Past, but we also both felt most items used mana too quickly, and since only items refilled the bar, the player was de-incentiveized from using them, just in case a puzzle which required mana was near.

The current items which are in the game, or nearly in, are a flying drone (featured in the latest build), a magic richochet projectile, a temporary block spawning rod, and a gap-spanning glider, with many more planned and being tested.
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Garmy
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2016, 06:07:19 pm »

It looks pretty cool, can't wait to see more
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2016, 12:31:40 am »

I like the soul of this.
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Aloft
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2016, 04:34:52 pm »

Map Editor-Manager Tool Overview

This is a look at a tool that we have developed for the project in the Unity Environment- our project-specialized map editor system, which we use to manage area regions of our environment, and script the enemies and events that occur in these areas.

It controls placement of rooms on our cell grid, allows us to create tiled art for each room, place collision, control the spawning of enemies and traps, script the event system for things like linked buttons, timers, room and dungeon-specific variable triggers, and manage our drops system.


The main screen for the editor, pictured below, is the Area view. In our system (and many like it), an area is one "scene" which loads together, composed of a collection of rooms sharing the same tileset, such as a dungeon. We determine how many cells wide the area is, and then we can embed rooms in its grid of any cell width (1x1, 1x2, 2x2, 2x3, etc). Currently, each cell is 18x14 tiles, which is based on our game viewport of 18x13.5 tiles on camera (may stay the same, may change). We are thinking of adding additional levels of granularity to the cell grid, such as a smaller 9x7 cell.

We have fields for how many floors the area rooms each have (as opposed to dungeon floors as LTTP had), and how many graphic tile levels we want (we are using a lot atm, since our tiles have a lot of overlaps, and we want to separate the rooms into logical layers, such as floors, walls, column and door overlays, etc.

Pictured is the test level, which you can actually play right now in our build posted at the top of the thread.





This is a shot of the graphic-tile editor sub-tab.

Tileset has been determined by the area view over this level, and we are free to place tiles in each of the layers.

The layer on which enemies, traps, and the players draw is determined above this layer as well.

Currently we have tools for area stamp, copy and paste, fill, and delete, and a nifty layer offset function on each one, which helps save space on the tileset (without the need to have say, an 8-pixel offset double for something like a floor tile-border), or combination tiles such as LTTP used).

We look forward to explaining our other systems in the editor, such as the event manager, in later posts!


« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 04:44:48 pm by Aloft » Logged

Aloft
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2016, 03:37:09 pm »

Testing out some slime trail effects which cast a slow-debuff on the player for our slug enemy


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Aloft
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2016, 08:56:57 am »

And their cousins, the Flame Snails!

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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2016, 12:20:43 pm »

Nice one, following
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Aloft
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2016, 11:30:58 pm »

Here is a run-down of a new behavior being tried for the Chitin enemy, under the behavior title, "Darter":


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jesseb
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« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2016, 01:28:55 am »

Looks really nice. I'd be curious for you to elaborate more on how you build your levels. I'm also working on a 2D top-down game in Unity right now and having a pain figuring out how to keep my tiles properly snapped together.
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Aloft
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2016, 09:00:18 am »

Quote
Looks really nice. I'd be curious for you to elaborate more on how you build your levels. I'm also working on a 2D top-down game in Unity right now and having a pain figuring out how to keep my tiles properly snapped together.

This is a great question. There are a few things that you have to do to make sure your tiles render well, especially if they have a small pixel resolution like our 16x16's here.

First, make sure that your unity unit is a multiple of the width of one pixel. It makes precision issues a lot simpler. We chose 1 UnityUnit= 100 pixels, or .01 UnityUnit= 1 pixel.

Next, it is helpful if your orthographic camera viewport is a multiple of the number of pixels in the 2 dimensions it has to render: for instance, if you are rendering an area 16x10 pixels wide (a very small viewport), a camera of 64x40 would be great for you, and avoid irregular-shaped pixels that you would get with a non-multiple.

The next part that is crucial is making sure the tiles are snapped to precision. Our means of doing that was using an editor we wrote to place tiles, rather than manually setting their location in a world. The editor's script handles the dimension placement for us.

Finally, you can have done all of this right, but still get an issue where you get slivers of bleeding on your tile edges. Our solution to avoid that was to have the editor we made take all of the tile gameobjects it makes, and to write them to texture layers at runtime. So rather than rendering from the tiles themselves, we are actually just rendering a few image layers.

Hope that is helpful for you!
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jesseb
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2016, 11:32:45 am »

yah very interesting, thanks. so you're using a custom editor to place tiles! i'm surprised there isn't a built in unity way to do this already.
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Aloft
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2016, 11:46:39 am »

I agree. It is strange to me that the Unity engine doesn't have an out of the box tile system. With the amount of mobile games being developed in Unity, it seems like a natural thing to include.

From their perspective, I guess they could argue that they will never be able to supply a tile system that works for the needs of every project, so it is better not to include one at all.

That is one feature that Unreal4 does have, but their tile system, while pretty good, is also not a complete solution for most types of 2D games.

Most people either work outside of Unity, with systems like Tiled or DAME, and import the tile data, and use Unity to read that data, or work with 3rd party Asset store tools in Unity, or develop their own.

Goodluck!
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Aloft
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2016, 04:12:35 pm »

The Monova Enemy's firing animation. I think it goes without saying that this is something you want to avoid!


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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2016, 04:26:13 pm »

Oh this looks lovely Smiley
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Aloft
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2016, 12:58:16 am »

Another little cutie!

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Aloft
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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2016, 07:12:54 pm »

5 O'clock on Friday, you be like:




                                                            
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Aloft
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« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2016, 05:21:08 pm »

New Item: Ice Rod


Our Ice Rod is an item with several sides to it. One major use is that it may be used to freeze a walkable path into a body of water, and is in this sense a navigational aid, and a tool for reaching previously unreachable areas. Another use is that it may be used to freeze a single enemy for a few moments, provided it doesn't strike an armored surface. It even has some less-obvious uses, such as putting out the player should they happen to catch fire.

All of these great uses are balanced by a high mana cost however, so despite being a great all-around item, it also fits in a balanced role within our combat engine!





New Item: Splitter


The Splitter is a relic left over from a great civilization past; it splits the primal energy of the world into its two major poles, both of which are highly destructive in their purest states; the concentrated projectiles will strike up to 2 enemies each, so in order to make good use of the moderate mana cost spent by using it, the player must skillfully align their shots to do maximum damage.


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