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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCute Retro Turn Based Strategy [Playable, HTML5]
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Author Topic: Cute Retro Turn Based Strategy [Playable, HTML5]  (Read 2290 times)
koalefant
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« on: August 27, 2016, 03:04:02 pm »

Here is a little one-man turn based strategy game.

Playable browser build: http://mandarincake.com/tbs



Inspiration
The game is heavely inspired by Advance Wars and simple but fulfilling battles of older DOS versions of Civialization and Colonization.

Gameplay
The game consists of a number of small tactical scenarios each supposed to be quick and played as a little puzzle.
Apart from singleplayer the game allows you to play with your friends in an asynchronous (aka play-by-mail) online battles. Multiplayer is already functional in the mentioned above build.

Tech
I am using C++/SDL2. Native linux version is used for development and published online builds are prepared with emscripten (awesome C++ to JavaScript compiler).

Art
What you see is a placeholder programmer-art drawn mostly with Aseprite. This art is here until I found an artist willing to contribute to the project.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 12:07:41 am by koalefant » Logged

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koalefant
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2016, 03:13:44 pm »

Posting a build in the Playtesting section already gave me some invaluable feedback, thanks to it:
  • I made units to fight back. In the earlier build only the attacker would deal damage.
  • Initially turn of the unit would be finished after the first move - now you can do it in multiple steps until move points deplete.
  • End turn button is back.
  • Terrain effects are explicitly shown during the fight and when choosing movement destination.
  • Attack ranges for own units are now shown.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 03:30:08 pm by koalefant » Logged

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rj
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2016, 03:57:51 pm »

nooooi i love the gbaesthetic here
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koalefant
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2016, 04:42:17 pm »

@rj: thank you! Roll Eyes

Added a level that is supposed to teach player how to use terrain to own advantage.


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freank
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2016, 11:42:09 pm »

very nice idea !
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Anton
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2016, 06:12:15 am »

I've tried it and I really liked what I've played Smiley
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koalefant
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2016, 12:27:40 pm »

@Anton: makes me happy! Smiley

Adding some more movement: now all soldiers jump like bunnies Facepalm:
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 12:44:47 pm by koalefant » Logged

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SamSerious
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2016, 12:46:49 pm »

advanced wars flash back!
I love the look and feel of it.
you need to add the typical kind of music, pretty please Smiley
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EyeballKid
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2016, 01:08:16 pm »

I think it looks lovely - keep the style as it is, it's got real charm!

I found it a little confusing sometimes, not knowing what effect the different terrain and building have. The icons which pop up (shield, red cross) help, but they are only visible when you've got a destination under the cursor... maybe they should always be visible? But that'd be a bit cluttered, visually. Or maybe there should be "?" icon, which pops up a box displaying each feature (building, tree, mountain) and beside them icons indicating which effect(s) they have.

It's easy enough to get once you've played a couple of levels, but you want the first-time player to immediately know how it all works.

Either way, I _love_ the lack of text, so if you can make it more obvious without plastering text everywhere, I'd be very happy :-)
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koalefant
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2016, 06:24:55 pm »

advanced wars flash back!
I love the look and feel of it.
you need to add the typical kind of music, pretty please Smiley
I am keeping sweet audio for the end, but yes, I want some cheerful drums. Hand Any KeyNo No NOHand Any Key

I think it looks lovely - keep the style as it is, it's got real charm!

I found it a little confusing sometimes, not knowing what effect the different terrain and building have. The icons which pop up (shield, red cross) help, but they are only visible when you've got a destination under the cursor... maybe they should always be visible? But that'd be a bit cluttered, visually. Or maybe there should be "?" icon, which pops up a box displaying each feature (building, tree, mountain) and beside them icons indicating which effect(s) they have.

It's easy enough to get once you've played a couple of levels, but you want the first-time player to immediately know how it all works.

Either way, I _love_ the lack of text, so if you can make it more obvious without plastering text everywhere, I'd be very happy :-)
Cheers, yay, I have to get back to drawing then!.. Coffee

I am a bit puzzled with how to communicate terrain effects at the moment - I have tried to show icons when the unit is under the cursor but then it obscured icons that appear during the battle, made them less noticable. I am thinking now of adding tooltips that would appear if you hold your the mouse still. If this gets annoying - I would like to try with (?) button as you suggested. That is a good idea.

And yes, I want all hints without text as well! Somehow there were so many DOS games that could be played practically without reading and nowadays it is quite rare. For example one could play most of the original Colonization just with the icons, even do the city and resource management. Not negotiations of course Roll Eyes. I think interaction with unexplained visual resembles more the way we interact with the real world... Also, when I read the labels in the game while I playing I feel like there are voices in my head...  Who, Me?
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koalefant
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2016, 10:22:37 pm »

Some tiny cottages:
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koalefant
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2016, 10:24:05 am »

Experimenting now with a movement arrow showing path to unreachable yet location.


Game progress is being saved in the localStorage from now on.
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bacon
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2016, 11:38:33 am »

Experimenting now with a movement arrow showing path to unreachable yet location.


Game progress is being saved in the localStorage from now on.

Ooh that's an interesting idea. I'm playing with something similar in my game — what do you see as the use for it here?
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koalefant
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2016, 11:45:08 am »

Experimenting now with a movement arrow showing path to unreachable yet location.

Ooh that's an interesting idea. I'm playing with something similar in my game — what do you see as the use for it here?

I had been watching some people playing for the first time and some of them don't notice grid of available moves at first. I hoped that this could help to educate them: you can also go there, but in steps. It should also help players to learn about different terrain cost as it always shows the fastest path.

It adds a bit of clutter though. I want to keep it only if it works as expected. Otherwise it looks cleaner without second arrow.
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SolarLune
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2016, 01:56:35 pm »

Hey, this looks cool. I liked Advance Wars, and this has a very similar style. I like the soldiers jumping around. Have you thought about changing the grid colors to be more indicative of where you can move? I think dark gray transparent squares don't read as "you can move here" as, say, green or blue opaque squares.
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koalefant
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« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2016, 06:49:59 am »


Hey, this looks cool. I liked Advance Wars, and this has a very similar style. I like the soldiers jumping around. Have you thought about changing the grid colors to be more indicative of where you can move? I think dark gray transparent squares don't read as "you can move here" as, say, green or blue opaque squares.

Great to know, thanks for the compliment =)

I agree that the black is overlay is not most welcoming color, but I am strugglying to find something that doesn't break the color palette - I have tried some blue and green tones, and the whole thing looks way to vivid then, too many colors.

White overlay is more or less neutral, but I find it somehow foggy, also not happy with it:  Lips Sealed


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koalefant
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« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2016, 07:17:45 pm »

Just added some tank animation.



Aseprite rocks! Coffee
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koalefant
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« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2016, 09:33:13 pm »

Added animation to articulate that artillery is deployed and can attack.
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koalefant
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« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2016, 06:02:33 pm »

Update #1:

Yay, just uploaded first build with a working Multiplayer! Cheesy



Took me quite a bit of time to get it to a working state.

What is exactly implemented:
  • One of the mission tiles opens a Multiplayer lobby. I was thinking what would be a nice way to make sure that player has played at least one mission before starting MP - and this felt like a natural solution. This approach also opens a possibility to introduce new game modes in a surprising for player way...
  • It is possible to play 1vs1 with another player.
  • It is possible to play more than one match at once. The goal here is to have asynchronous/play-by-mail style game where one can play multiple long rounds without being constantly connected...
  • One can invite other player to play a game just by sending a browser link.

Still a lot of functionality has to be implemented, for example, proper logins, notifications for turns, stats and some kind of matchmaking...
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 10:54:20 am by koalefant » Logged

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koalefant
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« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2016, 10:53:08 am »

Update #2:

  • Improving sprites, new base icon, new tank design, soldiers are turning and shooting now (old/new):
  • New symmetrical level for multiplayer, and new UI style that is supposed to be more vivid and clearly separate active UI elements from static ones.
  • Progress screen is animated now.

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