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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCall of Saregnar - old-school story-centric tactical role-playing game
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Author Topic: Call of Saregnar - old-school story-centric tactical role-playing game  (Read 2684 times)
Rhuantavan
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« on: August 20, 2016, 06:09:00 AM »

Hello everybody.

I thought I'd open a log for my old-school story-centric tactical role-playing game Call of Saregnar. As an introduction, here's my vision:

A Mature Story, A Believable World
A deep and engaging story with charming characters unfolds over ten chapters filled with murder, mystery, intrigue and suspense. The world is low in fantasy, and magic is rare. Despite that, you will encounter some creatures coming straight from mythology, but giant rats and slimes have been evicted from this universe.
In the game you take control of a small group of unique charactes, each with their own backstory, personality and ambitions. As you progress through the world, they may join or leave you and they do interact with each other, giving you clues and directions on your quests and help you unfold the intricate story.

1990’s Old School Look
Call of Saregnar features a 1990’s inspired 2D + low-poly 3D look and VGA resolution so you can get immersed into what’s most important: the story and gameplay. Let your immagination do the heavy lifting!



Freedom to Explore
Despite being a story-driven game, the world is always open for exploration, so there is nothing stopping you from exploring the whole map in the very first chapter!



Tactical Turn-based Combat
Combat is turn-based and each opposing party starts roughly at the opposite side of a grid-separated battlefield. The party that has the initiative, starts first, moving all of its characters. After one side has moved all of its characters, the opposing party gets to move. There are a number of highly-strategic spells to be used in combat, not just damage-dealing ones, so you have to plan accordingly if you want to succeed.

Detailed Party Management
The characters you play are alive, so it means that they get thirsty and hungry, they feel cold and heat, they can also fall ill and must be taken care of. Fortunately for you, micromanagement is not completely manual as characters will feed automatically, as long as they have the food in their inventories. When you're traveling through snow, it is best to have heavy clothes in your inventory or your characters will fall ill or worse. You'll also need to heal their illnesses manually, for example. Talking about clothing, boots do wear out, so be sure to watch the condition else your characters might end up walking barefoot. You should also regularly take care of your weapons - oiling the bowstrings and swords, repairing armor, etc… – as they get damaged.



Character Development
While your characters’ attributes rarely change, their skills advance on a per-use basis. Skills can also be learned from a trainer or by reading a book.

Encounters
In a land as rich as Merrentar, you can expect to run into a variety of events that will affect your journey. These events may go from falling into enemy ambushes, discovering particular interesting spots and places, meeting traveling merchants or bandits, perhaps wild creatures, wounded travelers, a neat trove of herbs, a set of game tracks... all of these events are greatly affected by the various party skills.



Unique Magic System
To gain divine favor from the gods, pray and give offerings in the form of money, food or other valuables. Divine favor is you magical pool from which you can cast unique highly-strategic spells.

Items
Although the game has fewer weapons and armors than the average RPG, each item is that much more detailed and fleshed out. Finding new equipment brings significant benefits as the difference between the old and new is now actually noticeable.



Grey Matters
CoS challenges you to think and pay close attention to everything you read, because often that's the only way to complete sidequests or even main objectives. There are no quest markers or objectives, only a quest log with your past conversations for reference.



If you want to know more about my project, visit the facebook page at http://facebook.com/CallOfSaregnar/, follow me on twitter @Rhuantavan, or visit my blog at http://www.damjanmozetic.si.

Thanks for looking!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 10:43:23 AM by Rhuantavan » Logged

Indie game developer working on Call of Saregnar, an old-school story-centric tactical role-playing game.
amanfr01
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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 08:21:44 AM »

Yes. Everything about this = yes.

I'm not sure if it's an intentional call-back to "Daggerfall," but I'm really enjoying the similar aesthetic! It is all about the 90's old school look, so that fits the time period.

Ultimately, I look forward to staying on top of this one. Let me know if you want specific feedback on anything! What has me most intrigued is the concept of tactical, turn-based combat as opposed to real-time (such as the "Elder Scrolls" series).

EDIT: P.S. - I just followed you on Twitter. I'm fairly active on there, so I'll enjoy seeing your updates Smiley

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Rhuantavan
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2016, 10:36:41 AM »

Much too kind sir.

The game is in fact very much inspired by Betrayal at Krondor:




The style of the gfx though – as you've already guessed – is the mid to late 90s DOS era RPGs.

As of this point, I am working on the combat mechanics, so I'll be a bit quiet on the screenshot front for a while.

P.S. Followed you as well. Wink
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amanfr01
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2016, 02:52:15 AM »

Mentioning DOS era of RPG's has me even more stoked Smiley

Great game reference, by the way! Not a big "Let's Play" watcher, but this one is somewhat entertaining to watch ^^
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2016, 07:42:16 AM »

Wow man, sounds like you have a pretty solid idea of the concepts and mechanics you want. I like the "per-use" skill mechanics, trainers, etc - reminds me a lot of the Ultima skill system.

Though I'm unsure as to how combat will work - you said it will be grid-based battlefields. Will the perspective change to a more top-down approach, or will it stay in first person? It may be difficult to judge distances, etc, in the first person view? That's my thought.

Following  Beer!
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Rhuantavan
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2016, 07:54:53 AM »

Thank you Pixel Noise!

The combat will load in a 3rd person top-down view, where you can control your party members in turns.

Take a look at the video of Betrayal at Krondor I've linked, and skip ahead to 24:30. It is pretty much what I'm planning to do.
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2016, 10:05:54 AM »

Ok, that's what I figured. I never played Krondor (loved the books though), but some of my friends rave about it.

So will the movement outside of combat be tile based - sort of like the early Might and Magic games, and kind of like Krondor (though Krondor had 8 directions of movement vs. 4, it looks like)? Or will it be free 360 degree movement?
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Rhuantavan
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2016, 10:17:32 AM »

No, the movement will be fluid with no mouselook. You'll use the mouse to inspect and interact with the world, while using the cursor keys to move and rotate... at least that's the plan. Wink

Krondor had a unique step-based movement, each step making some time pass, but it was still free 360 degree movement in some way. Hard to explain. Smiley
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amanfr01
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2016, 02:56:58 AM »

Do you plan on using that "Time-based" step function a la Krondor? I don't think it's a bad thing, necessarily, but I think keeping time separate would be helpful for new audiences. AKA People born after 2000 xD

Simply my 2 cents Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 03:19:33 AM »

Do you plan on using that "Time-based" step function a la Krondor? I don't think it's a bad thing, necessarily, but I think keeping time separate would be helpful for new audiences. AKA People born after 2000 xD
I've been pondering on that for quite some time now, and haven't reached a conclusion yet. I feel that with smooth movement, you wouldn't expect time to flow only while you move. In Krondor, realizing that time only passed when a step was made, was quite straightforward; in my case with smooth movement it may not be... in fact it might be weird. Any ideas? Smiley
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amanfr01
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2016, 06:11:04 AM »

Perhaps smooth movement triggers time passing at a designated speed. For example, if you're walking (in general, in any direction of a 360 movement type), time passes. If you're standing still, it doesn't pass at all. Movement can be a trigger for standard time passing, rather than a single step = a single "in-game" minute. Does that make sense?

Just an idea!
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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2016, 06:54:26 AM »

Yes, that's exactly the thing I was talking about with time passing as you move... it is weird to me. Also I don't think it brings much to the gameplay, aside from the fact that you can take all the time in the world to plan travel... or perhaps I can build some additional gameplay on it. I'd have to open a poll to see what people think. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2016, 07:08:21 AM »

Gut feeling says I'd go with a fluid day/night cycle, and not involve movement in regards to time passing. If you really want the player to be able to micro-manage time, maybe add a pause function (or just bringing up the Options menu usually does that).
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Rhuantavan
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« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2016, 08:19:19 AM »

True, that is perhaps the most sensible thing to do, and one I will most probably implement, but I'm still exploring other possibilities. I am sure BaK implemented the time-passes-with-each-step method because they had an engine, which could not handle realtime movement on the machines at the time. Should ask Neal Hallford (@nealiios) about it.
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« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2016, 05:02:58 PM »

I agree; in this day and age, real time would be ideal. However, if you did go the other route (movement = time), it'd definitely be something different in our current gaming industry.

Personally, I enjoy games with real-time clocks ticking away. But you might attract some old-school gamers in the alternative fashion. Ultimately, do what works best for the gameplay and concept Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2016, 12:51:41 PM »

Began some UI work today. Not sure of the direction I'm taking it yet, but it's getting somewhere.

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« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2016, 01:56:31 AM »

Fiddled with shadows and lighting for that extra sweetness and also got a custom shader working for the cross-billboard trees to make them look more realistic and less... crossed.

Apart from the visual stuff I went to implement a messaging system tying in some of the game's subsystems together with the progress of time.

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« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2016, 05:27:00 AM »

This looks fantastic! I prefer this latest screenshot's UI to the WIP UI.  Hand Thumbs Up Right Hand Thumbs Up Right

Gut feeling says I'd go with a fluid day/night cycle, and not involve movement in regards to time passing. If you really want the player to be able to micro-manage time, maybe add a pause function (or just bringing up the Options menu usually does that).

Agree with this. Seems like the way to go. Or possibly having time pass when your movement is above a threshold (like walking fast/running) - so turning or taking a few steps doesn't progress time.
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Rhuantavan
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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2016, 05:48:22 AM »

Thanks, I agree on the latest UI. I've abandoned the WIP version a while ago Wink

In regard to progressing time, I've implemented it just like you said. Turning does not progress time, only moving does. It feels pretty natural in-game. It serves the fact that the world distances are somewhat compressed than they would be if simulating the real world. That means the distances between places (villages, cities, etc.) are shorter than in the real world, but it still has to take the same time to travel than in the real world, thus time has to pass faster than normal. If time were passing continuously, then it would pass too quickly. If time progresses when moving, you have all the time in the world when standing still or looking around.
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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2016, 01:00:04 PM »

Here is an update on the UI. A WIP character inventory / stats screen. Also the (probably) final money indicator on the right side.

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