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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsTangledeep: 16-bit roguelike dungeon crawler! Now with magic trees!
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Author Topic: Tangledeep: 16-bit roguelike dungeon crawler! Now with magic trees!  (Read 27189 times)
zircon
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« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2016, 02:47:44 pm »

New build is up! Again, tons and tons of stuff here :D

http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build10-08-16.app.zip <- Mac OSX
http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build10-08-16.rar <- PC

GAMEPLAY FOOTAGE






ENGINE / PERFORMANCE
* Switched over to entirely new tile map rendering system! Instead of hundreds of tile objects stitched together at runtime, the entire map is drawn as a single texture. Much more efficient!
* Map decor is now drawn as a single texture for optimization purposes
* Another pass on performance / optimization and sharpening of textures
* Initial map generation should be faster

CONTENT / FEATURES
* Accessories can now be found! These helpful items can even add new abilities while equipped! Note that to equip an accessory to a specific slot, you must first select the slot (press "Enter" on the Accessory 1 or 2 slot).
* Related - Items can be tagged as 'unique' (only one can be equipped at a time)
* Champion monsters will now spawn! These have modified names and skulls hovering next to them. Champion monsters are considerably more difficult (higher stats and damage) but drop at least 1 magical item guaranteed, in addition to awarding more XP/JP.
* Offhand items can now be found, such as shields! Also, you can dual wield weapons by putting one weapon in your off hand. The offhand weapon will give you an extra swing at reduced accuracy and damage unless you get a Dual Wield skill (to come later...)
* There are now 6 basic weapon types: Swords, Knives, Axes, Bows, Spears, Hammers, and 3 tiers of each type for now. None are strictly better than another. The right pick depends on your character and situation!
* Two handed weapons can now exist - right now, this includes only Bows.
* There are now two basic armor types: light and heavy. Light armor is balanced between slash & pierce protection whereas heavy armor protects better against slashing damage.
* Shields protect against blunt damage and offer a small chance to block (completely mitigate) an attack.
* Helmets can now be found and equipped as accessories. Yes you can wear two helmets. Whatever. Helmets increase raw HP and provide light mitigation against blunt damage.
* There are now 3 tiers of magic mods for various stat boosts, extra damage, and durability. More to come!
* You can now stop wandering monsters from spawning by finding a destroying a monster-attracting crystal (there's one on each floor.)

QUALITY OF LIFE
* Camera movement and character movement have both been made much smoother
* Hero movement looks a bit more animated!
* New tutorial popup for when you accumulate 150jp (enough to buy your first ability). Remember to hit "J" folks!
* Monsters will not spawn in rooms with stairs up/down
* XP/JP gain is shown in popup text and in the combat log
* When weapons get low on durability, their durability numbers in the lower right (active weapon) area will turn yellow (50% or less of max) then red (<=25% of max)
* Fog of war system changed. It should look better overall by revealing more of the dungeon map texture.
* When attacking a monster with damage resistance, you'll see a message noting the (in)effectiveness of the attack. The damage number will also pop up in grey.
* Scanlines shader should be disabled by default
* Attack descriptions are a bit more flavorful
* Enemies and objects should no longer pop in and out but smoothly fade instead.
* Removed step sounds for now

ART
* New hero sprite! Not 100% done but it is much closer to the style of the game than our placeholder.
* More adjustments to the look and feel of the dungeon tileset, including stairs up/down.
* Cursor bounce and blinks!

BUG FIXES
* Auto equipping a weapon after weapon break - maybe fixed/improved?
* Cleaned up behavior with monsters that use jump abilities

BALANCE / CONTENT TWEAKS
* Map sizes and rooms are bigger on average now
* BRIGAND: Backstab now adds bonus damage when attacking an enemy from different angles (i.e. not the same angle twice in a row)
* BRIGAND: Improved Parry… has been improved
* Reworked behavior for RONIN type monsters (wanderers that move room to room)
« Last Edit: October 08, 2016, 06:14:37 pm by zircon » Logged
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« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2016, 10:33:14 am »

Wow, that's quite a list of changes! I had thought to mention the lack of a JP-indicator, but for some reason never did--I'm glad that you seem to have implemented something to that end anyway!

I have the new build downloaded, I believe, and intend to play it in the not-too-distant future! ^_^
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« Reply #42 on: October 15, 2016, 03:27:38 pm »

All right, I've spent a little bit of time with the new build, and have some feedback:

First of all, I think that it's improved! Overall, I believe that I had more fun with this build than the previous. ^_^

The game runs much more smoothly now--I didn't notice any slowing down as the game progressed.

The new hero-sprite is cute, and an improvement over the old sprite, to my eye. ^_^

The "champion" monsters are a welcome addition: not only do they provide a guaranteed source of magical items, this same property makes them particularly appealing targets.

I'm not sure of whether this is an issue, but I did discover a "club of cunning and cunning", which seemed a little odd. Tongue

I did encounter a few issues:

The cursor in the "equipment" screen seems at times to resist control--I think that I encountered this when I had an armour item equipped and selected, and attempted to move "right" to the inventory list.

The same cursor is also sometimes not visible when the screen is opened. A little experimentation seems to suggest that it might effectively be "in the wrong column", as I think that pressing the "right" arrow a few times brought the cursor back into the screen. I believe that I replicated this issue by closing the screen with nothing in the inventory column.

Finally, I ended up in a state in which I could no longer act, neither moving nor attacking; attempting to do either seemed to simply pass the turn (with enemies moving around me). I could activate abilities and ranged weapons, bringing up their targeting regions, but once again clicking simply dismissed them with no effect, if I recall correctly. The equipment and character screens responded as expected. Speaking of which, the latter did show that I had a very negative amount of "CP"--but I'm not sure of what that value represents, so I don't know whether this is relevant or not.
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« Reply #43 on: October 17, 2016, 08:42:52 pm »

All good feedback - We'll see if I fixed those things properly!

WINDOWS: http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build10-18-16.rar
MAC OSX: http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build10-18-16.app.zip

AUDIO
* Let there be music! First two tracks are in the game. Subject to some tweaks and of course the simple crossfade implementation between floors is not final. Looping also not quite working properly.
* Stairs up/down sound is implemented.
* Footsteps are back in the game. You can control their volume from options (Escape)

ART
* More tileset enhancements!
* Monster movement is now at a constant velocity instead of the 'smooth' style player movement.

* The Fungal Toad and Creeping Spider now have new art.
* Full pass on all monster animation timings (should look much more diverse now)

IMPORTANT - Now that the camera is 'pixel perfect', I highly recommend hitting Escape and setting the Zoom Scale to taste! This should save as a preference going forward.

BUGS
* It should not longer be possible to take negative damage from poisons.
* Damage over time effects caused bugs when the actor who inflicted them died before the end of the effect. This is fixed.
* You can no longer convert any weapon into a ranged weapon by pressing "F" with a bow/slingshot and switching weapons.
* Blinking cursor behavior in equipment screen should work better.
* Various improvements to make player info on the main HUD update at the right time.
* Wandering monster champions will no longer spawn without the skull indicator.
* Fixed bug with sprite flicker and fast movement.
* Draw order should look better between destructibles, monsters, and the player.

BALANCE
* Champion monsters no longer spawn as frequently. Also, there is a cap to the number of champions that can spawn per floor.
* “Find Weakness” is no longer consumed when you hit the target. Instead, the duration ticks down by 1 extra turn per hit (the normal duration is 6 turns). You should now be able to get 2, maybe 3 hits out of it! Also, Find Weakness should no longer spawn the weak spot in a wall.
* Destroying the monster spawner now yields experience.
* Mold-Infested vermin now spawn on the 1st floor, albeit weaker.
* The hero gains more stats with each new experience level.

CONTENT/GAMEPLAY

* New breakables now spawn on the map and can be smashed for TREASURE!
* The "Job" screen (opened with J) now shows all learned abilities in addition to learnable abilities from your current job. You can also hotkey these learned abilities (as long as they are not passives) by hitting the alphanumeric 1 through 0 keys.
* You can also use skills directly from the Job screen by pressing Enter. This is useful for when you eventually have more skills than can be hotkeyed!
* New monster, the highly aggressive Jade Beetle, found on floors 3 and below!
* Another new monster, the Dark Chemist, can be encountered on floors 4 and below!

ENGINE

* Camera should now be "pixel perfect" regardless of screen resolution!
* More optimizations to smooth out spikiness when monsters take turns
* Extensive work to prepare all the various ingame objects (and the map itself) for serialization (saving/loading).

QUALITY OF LIFE
* Every class will have their own starting weapon that spawns nearby, with infinite durability. It will be weak, but now you'll never run out of your weapon supply.
* Current job JP is now displayed under your XP in the upper right.
* Cursor movement sensitivity is a little lower in menus now.
* When scrolling through an item list, the cursor will now wrap around properly.
* Stairs up now have a different color on the minimap (magenta) than stairs down.
* Destructible objects now show differently on the minimap as well.
* Game start should be a little faster.
* The options menu now recalls settings even after quitting the game.
* Tutorial popups can also now be toggled from the options menu.
* SFX volume control actually works now. Also there is now a footsteps volume control.
* The combat log now writes which items were dropped when a monster or object dies.
* Placeholder enemies have been scaled up in size.
* Semblance of a game over screen!
* Movement speed delay is now shorter (150ms instead of 200ms)
* Attack animations are now faster overall
* Combat text moves faster

EDIT - 1 hour after initial build there were some bugs so I made another build wooo

BUGS
* Both music tracks should load now.

CONTENT / GAMEPLAY
* Monsters now have more varied basic attack types.

ENGINE
* Music / audio manager improved.

QUALITY OF LIFE
* Keypad enter can now be used in options menu
* Camera movement is smoothed out and better (doesn't jitter with character bounce)
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 10:25:26 pm by zircon » Logged
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« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2016, 11:12:25 am »

Downloaded, I believe! I'll hopefully get around to trying it soon. ^_^

Actually, thinking about ranged weapons, I've been finding that some of them feel a little limited in range. In many cases I can only get one or two shots in before the enemy reaches melee range. Conversely, it can be tricky to approach an enemy without having them step either out of range or too near for comfort.
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« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2016, 09:24:30 am »

No new build yet, BUT... I'm overjoyed to say that I now have a working save/load system! I'm sure there are bugs I haven't found yet but this was a HUUUUUGE undertaking, serializing and recreating objects, links between actors, loot, player UI, map state, etc. So next build will have that for sure!
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« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2016, 10:11:48 pm »

Lots of progress on a new class! But first, how about this awesome work in progress shot of the town / camp area?!

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« Reply #47 on: October 22, 2016, 05:46:27 am »

Looks great - and not what I expected to see from a dungeon focused game. Nice!

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« Reply #48 on: October 22, 2016, 08:30:52 am »

That looks really good indeed! ^_^

(And quite unlike the dungeon areas--I think that it could be quite an improvement if the dungeons were to look somewhat as lavish as this area.)

~

I've spent a bit of time playing the most recent build, and have some feedback, I believe:

Things that I liked:
 - I really like the lower zoom--I think that it helps to be able to see further around my character.

 - I like having a JP-counter on the screen, and the presence of learned skills in the JP screen.

 - The music is a rather welcome addition! It adds a bit of atmosphere to the gameplay, I feel. ^_^

Mechanics:
 - Having spent a bit more time with the ranged weapons, I find that I don't really like pressing "f" first, then selecting a target--it's less convenient than I'd like, especially for an action that I might want to take often. Since melee-ranged combat is simply point-and-click, why not do the same for ranged? Perhaps something like this: when a ranged weapon is selected, hovering over an enemy brings up the range-overlay, and clicking attempts the attack, as with melee weapons.

UI:
 - I'm inclined to suggest collecting the various character-related screens into a single, central screen, perhaps separated via tabs. While I visit the "Equipment" screen often, I find that I tend to forget about the "Job" screen (even with the JP counter at the top-right), and barely ever remember the "Character" screen. Collecting all of the screens into one place might make for a useful reminder: as the saying goes, "out of sight, out of mind".

 - It might be useful to have a means of comparing items, or at least of comparing an item to the one currently equipped. At simplest, perhaps place "up" or "down" arrows next to values in the item being considered that are higher or lower than those of the equipped item.

 - I find that I keep expecting to be able to close the map by pressing the "escape" key, as with other screens in the game.

 - It might be useful to have the inventory sort items by type, or perhaps to provide "auto-sort" buttons for various sorting methods.

Stats:
 - What do the character stats do? I can guess at the effect of "swiftness", but what does "guile" do for me, or "spirit"? Perhaps it would be helpful to have tooltips for stat-values, both in item-descriptions and the character screen.

 - On a similar note, how do I determine what damage-types a given enemy deals, or is weak to? Right now I'm not really seeing it, and tend to simply ignore the damage types and simply select the highest damage/defence numbers. (That said, I'm not a huge fan of damage types anyway, and don't really like the idea of swapping and changing my gear for every other monster.)

Possible Bugs:
 - I had one case (possibly two) in which a breakable dropped two items (reported in the log, I believe), but only one seemed to be collectable. An image remained that I presume applied to the second item, but it seemed non-interactive.

 - Finally, I encountered another case of the game seeming to become stuck. I believe that I had just killed a "Gleaming Summoned Living Vine of Evasion"; upon dying it dropped a Verdant Tonic. I found that I could no longer move nor act, by either keys or mouse. I could still open screens, and select weapons and abilities, but not target anything.

~

All that said, I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that either the game or the "brigand" class is not quite for me. Something's not quite "clicking" for me during play, I fear. :/

Part of this is perhaps because, even with the job-skills, the brigand (as I play it) seems to still rely heavily on basic melee attacks, and thus on repeatedly clicking on an enemy until it dies--a mechanic that I just don't find particularly engaging.

However, some of this may well be fundamental: I'm not a huge fan of stat-based mechanics, preferring ability-based ones; for example, I tend to play casters in RPGs, with the fun of a level coming from the new spells that I gain access to more than changes to my stats.

Finally, I'm currently not finding there to be much reward for exploration: loot is acquired from enemies more than breakables, and the various rooms are all more or less the same. (One suggestion might be to take a leaf from Pixel Dungeon's book and have a variety of "special rooms" salted around the levels, offering a bit of extra variety. That said, even a bit more visual variety--as in the screenshot above--might help a little.)

I still intend to keep an eye on, and perhaps respond in, this thread--especially if a new character class is made available!
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« Reply #49 on: October 23, 2016, 12:04:36 pm »

PARTY TIME!!! Second class & save system! The Floramancer needs a little work and of course balance is not going to be final for awhile, but you can play around with cool summons and swing around and stuff. AND you can change classes. Plus other new stuff. Yeah.

Windows: http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build10-23-16.rar
Mac: http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build10-23-16.app.zip

ART
* New slash animation!
* New art for the Plunderer

BALANCE
* JP gain does not scale with floor anymore
* Chests spawn less frequently
* Brigand Find Weakness returns even more charge time (65)
* Grotto Flyers are not quite as aggressive
* Mold-infected vermin are more likely to drop loot
* Many other tweaks and changes to monster balance

BUGS
* Projectile weapons now fire projectiles again, and at the right angle hopefully!
* Picking up an offhand item will no longer unequip a 2 handed weapon (like a bow)
* Equipping an offhand item while using a 2handed weapon will no longer cause crashes
* You can no longer shoot already-destroyed destructibles
* Abilities and ranged weapons should now automatically 'snap' to the first good targetable tile (was not working reliably before)
* Possibly fixed crash bug with monster TakeAction() null reference (may have occurred when monster target died unexpectedly)
* Movement types that spin (rotate) will now spin over the entire course of the move.
* Accessories now spawn again.
* You can no longer make movements faster than the movement threshold (one square per 150ms)
* Backstab passive ability now works

CONTENT / GAMEPLAY
* NEW CLASS - the Floramancer! You can select this class at the start of the game. Abilities include summoning pets, summoning vine objects, pulling yourself (swinging!) to said vine objects for super mobility, and laying down thorn traps for enemies to walk on!
* You can now find Job Change Books as randomly dropped consumables which allow you to switch jobs during the game. This will be done a little more elegantly later.
* Ability system fleshed out more. Each job has 4 active skills that come with the job, plus a couple of innate passives. The innate passives can't be passed on from one job to the next, and by default the active skills are not either. However, you can spend JP to MASTER one of these default skills, after which you CAN transfer it to another job.
* All ingame actors can now have "factions", such as Player or Enemy. This ties nicely in with abilities that summon creatures to help you out!
* More crate and chest types, with new art - more ways to get gear!
* Destructibles can be tagged as destroyable by monster, so that monsters are able to break them to proceed forward.
* New monster - rock viper!

ENGINE
* Game saving and loading, VERSION 1!!! This was a massive undertaking - I had no idea how difficult and complicated serializing the game's data would be! But thanks to Jim Shepard (developer of Dungeonmans) pointing me in the right direction, the system is functional and expandable. I'm sure there are bugs I'm missing of course so... go find them! Press ";" to save the game and load it from the main menu.

QUALITY OF LIFE
* Default settings will now initialize when you first load the game
* Destroyed objects no longer show up on the minimap
* Cursor is shown in options and dialog menus by default
* The starting room should no longer ever have monsters in it.

--------------------------

Quote
I've spent a bit of time playing the most recent build, and have some feedback, I believe:
Re: Feedback

* I agree that point and click for ranged weapons would be good. Will do that.

* The character screen UI is definitely not final. All that stuff (equipment, character, job) needs to be designed properly. Sorry it's not great right now but I agree 100% and it will be improved.

* Method of comparing gear makes perfect sense. Yep!

* You can sort items in the inventory by hovering on the slot of your choice on the left, or did you mean sorting in the "All" list?

* STATS: If you hit "H" for help you can read what the stats do right now. Of course this is really early on so it's all subject to change.

* DAMAGE TYPES: You can tell what kind of damage monsters do by reading the combat log and watching the animations, which of course are not as good as I would like right now. Once the animations are improved it will be a little easier to tell, but the combat log will say so too.

* MONSTER WEAKNESSES: Monsters don't have weaknesses right now. Some monsters do have damage resistance to specific types though. Once I put in an "inspect" or "examine" function you'll be able to tell this more easily.

* Brigand feedback: Yes it's very possible it's not the class for you, because it does rely on melee attacks. But if you're just standing in one spot trading blows you're not making use of its abilities, especially the learned ones. Once you learn stuff like Backstab and Improved Parry you get big bonuses for strafing around enemies. Combine that with Find Weakness (which has been buffed) and you can get some huge hits in.

Another motivation to stay mobile is Precision Jab and Hemorrhage. Set up bleed effects and kite your enemies while they bleed. Once you get Lacerate you can then pop the bleeds to do even bigger damage (AOE).

BUT of course not every class is for everyone and indeed I want each one to have a different feel, which goes for the magic users as well. Let me know what you think of the Floramancer!

* EXPLORATION: I agree that there isn't a ton of fun and unexpected stuff in the dungeon yet. The reward for exploring right now is primarily breakables, which *do* drop gear guaranteed compared to monsters, whose drop rate has been slightly nerfed now. But there should be more.

Things like... fountains, more kinds of shrines, merchants, etc. Definitely want to do more of that. And when it comes to visuals, absolutely no question that we are very early on in terms of the tilesets. Not only will this set be fleshed out more with visual interest but there will be multiple sets and multiple kinds of floor layouts. The next layout I do will be focused on open spaces, "cave" style with lots of room to maneuver.
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« Reply #50 on: October 24, 2016, 12:25:05 pm »

* Brigand feedback: Yes it's very possible it's not the class for you, because it does rely on melee attacks. But if you're just standing in one spot trading blows you're not making use of its abilities, especially the learned ones. Once you learn stuff like Backstab and Improved Parry you get big bonuses for strafing around enemies. Combine that with Find Weakness (which has been buffed) and you can get some huge hits in.

I've given a little more thought to my tendency to end up trading blows. I do move around, and do make use of my abilities, but I suspect that it's often simply easier to just click on the enemy than to pick out an ability and apply it, especially when dealing with weaker enemies that pose little threat.

(On top of that, I sometimes find myself short on stamina or energy, leaving me with only standard attacks.)

Another motivation to stay mobile is Precision Jab and Hemorrhage. Set up bleed effects and kite your enemies while they bleed. Once you get Lacerate you can then pop the bleeds to do even bigger damage (AOE).

I don't use "Lacerate" very much, but I am indeed a fan of "Hemorrhage". Letting an enemy bleed to death while keeping out of its range likely appeals to my caster-appropriate preference for attacking in a context in which my opponent is prevented from attacking in return. Wink

BUT of course not every class is for everyone and indeed I want each one to have a different feel, which goes for the magic users as well. Let me know what you think of the Floramancer!

I'll give it a try, I think! ^_^

(I do have a partial concept for a classical caster, if you're interested--but I have no argument if you'd prefer to stick with your own concepts!)
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« Reply #51 on: October 24, 2016, 06:15:48 pm »

Sure I'm always happy to hear any and all ideas. Go for it!
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« Reply #52 on: October 25, 2016, 11:22:30 am »

Sure I'm always happy to hear any and all ideas. Go for it!

Great, and thank you. ^_^

I'll try to keep most of the below fairly vague as to flavour; it could work with a number of themes, I think. (In my head it's largely traditional magic: fire, lightning, etc.)

The basic concept is of a Job-Skill-only class: this class doesn't use weapons at all, and none drop for it. Instead, all attacks take the form of job-skills. Each drains energy; if no energy is available, they instead drain stamina; if no stamina is available, they drain health.

The skills would include both utility and damage abilities. The aim is to have combat in which each turn calls for thought, and perhaps forethought.

Possible abilities, largely drawn from traditional RPG spells:
  • A simple "cone of damage"
  • "Marching" spells: These move by one or more tile per turn.
    • A "marching cone": The player targets a tile neighbouring their character, and the effect then spreads outwards in a cone from that point.
    • A "spreading pool of damage": The player targets a single point as the origin of the effect. On each turn it spreads outwards, stopping at walls and extending to some maximum range.
    • A single-tile, seeking, "marching damage" spell: The player targets a single, nearby point from which the spell then starts. On each turn, it moves towards the nearest enemy, damaging anything in its current tile.
    • A "direct-damage" spell: This darts off along a specified line, perhaps moving multiple tiles per turn, damaging a single target on "impact"
  • A wall raised to block off a region (perhaps specified by indicating start and end tiles for the wall)
    • This might allow the player to control the flow of battle and affect the movement of enemies
  • Similarly, a wall raised that doesn't block passage, but that damages those that pass through--much like the floramancer's "bed of thorns".
    • Creatures with higher intelligence might think to go around it
  • A "chain damage" spell: upon hitting the target, a lesser version hits another nearby, etc. The catch would be that the player is a valid target for these lesser blasts, if near enough.
  • Perhaps a spell that moves enemies in some way--something that might work well with the cone and chain spells above, increasing the number of targets within reach.

Finally, this class might not acquire job-points via the killing of monsters (although experience would still be acquired this way). Instead, job-points would be gained by finding items specific to the class--a wizard might find grimoires, or crystals of power, or wells of knowledge, for example.

(This last might contrast with a class that does somewhat the opposite: job-points and experience are gained normally, but job-skills are only added to the list of skills available to learn by finding class-specific items.)

~

I've spent a little time playing as a floramancer, and have some feedback:

First of all, it's an interesting class, and I am indeed finding it rather more enjoyable than I did the brigand. It's still not quite my style, but I'm having more fun with it, I do think.

My read on it--which may colour my thoughts below--is that it's essentially a ranger/summoner, using the "pet" to hold off enemies while avoiding contact and striking at range.

(Part of my enjoyment of the class may come from a personal rule that I've established of not using any melee weapons, even in desperation, thus reducing the temptation to slip into the gameplay that I've previously mentioned finding unappealing. Indeed, I'm inclined to suggest simply not dropping melee weapons for this class (or restricting melee weapons to only include the lighter items--knives, etc.), and slightly increasing the rate at which ranged weapons drop.)

The "pet" is a very welcome addition--for one thing, it's lovely to have a third party to handle the boring "hit things until they die" gameplay. Wink I've noticed that multiple summons are disallowed; is the pet intended to improve as the player levels, thus making it capable of taking on stronger foes?

My main critique right now is that I feel that the class could use more job-skills--it feels a little anaemic to me as it is. A few ideas, if I may:
 - Clinging vines, much like the bed of thorns, that hold enemies in place.
 - A "Ring a' rosie" spell that surrounds the player in thorny rose-bushes. These prevent movement either in or out, but not ranged attacks--although the player might still be able to use "vine swing" to pass through.
 - Buffs for the pet--poisonous thorns, extra health, etc.
 - Transformation of the pet into a static "turret" with increased range.
 - Perhaps an ability that commands the pet to go to a point and attack the nearest enemy (flavoured as a small plant that releases a chemical signal, perhaps).

I'm not entirely convinced of the utility of the "Conjure Anchor Vine" spell. Since there are no environmental hazards or obstacles (that I've thus far seen), the main use that I see for it is to escape dire situations. However, simply moving away from an enemy doesn't make it go away, so this just buys a few turns. If the pet is present (or I can summon it), I can simply vine swing to that, giving me an "anchor" that also holds off enemies. If I don't have sufficient energy to call the pet, I might as well stand and fight, I feel. On top of this, casting the spell takes up a turn, potentially giving nearby enemies the opportunity for a free attack.

I'm inclined to suggest dropping the "anchor vine" spell and simply scattering anchor vines (and other such plants) about the dungeon. Not only does this provide single-turn vine-swings, but it might provide an opportunity for a little extra class variation: while the floramancer swings to these vines, the brigand might cut them down to create camouflage that provides a single-use sneak-attack, while some other class might cut them down to gain a random potion, and yet another might cut them down to drink sap and regain stamina and energy.

(Indeed, I'm somewhat of a fan of objects that are present for all classes, but work differently for each.)

Finally, I found a bug, I fear: I started the game, opened the "help" screen, then closed it. After this, the UI buttons seemed to no longer respond--they were visible, but didn't seem to accept clicks. I believe that I was playing in windowed mode, with a resolution of 960x720,
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« Reply #53 on: October 25, 2016, 07:04:53 pm »

Preview of new combat effects going in next patch. Ouch!



RE: Floramancer feedback, very useful, thanks. Yes it does need more abilities for sure. There are only 6 right now I think and there should be more like 10-12.

I hear you that the anchor vine is not 100% useful right now. But I don't want to make them pure random either. What if you are in a bad spot and you want to summon one in a specific place to escape? Or you want to set up for a fight? I'm not sure that should be taken away from the player.

Here's my thought, that I'll try in the next patch. Instead of summoning 1 at a time, you summon 2; one at the target point, and one right next to you. Or maybe it will summon 3 in a line, like a wall. Any monsters you fight that are near these will be SLOWED as the vines grasp at them. This will help deter the monsters who may also turn to try and destroy them before going for you.

This way it has more utility - an obstacle to control the battlefield vs. your enemies, AND a way to set up escapes.

Of course part of this is contingent on having more dynamic combat from the monster side of things, and the dungeon itself, so that's on the list to do also...
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« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2016, 09:49:51 am »

Quick build to address some crash issues and also quality of life stuff. There will be more coming but I wanted to get this out first.

WIN: http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build10-26-16.rar
OSX: http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build10-26-16.app.zip


AUDIO
* Much more subtle sound effect for switching weapons

ART / VISUALS
* New battle effects: punch, bite, pierce, claw, blunt, slash, axe, arrows!
* Tweaked destructible art
* "Jitter" effect when anything is hit with a normal attack. Adds some extra oomph to combat

BALANCE
* Brigand "Precision Jab" now hits both sides at once.
* Floramancer's "Anchor Vine" now slows nearby enemies too. (But only if you're in combat with them.)

BUGS
* Fixed small issue with animation frames flashing at the end
* (Hopefully?) fixed a couple crash bugs related to missing item prefabs
* Fixed game load issue

CONTENT / GAMEPLAY
* Removed Brigand's "Find Weakness" skill, replaced with "Dashing Cutter". Dash to an open square and hit everything nearby along the way!

QUALITY OF LIFE
* When using (targeting) an ability, a quick description of the ability effects will now display.
* Monsters are now RED on the map. Hero pet(s) are GREEN.
* Auto targeting ranged weapon by pressing F now prioritizes last attacked foe, followed by ANY enemy you're fighting.
* Summoned creatures now inherit their summoner's combat targets, allowing them to spring into action on summon!
* Area of effect abilities will now exclude your pets.
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« Reply #55 on: October 26, 2016, 04:38:20 pm »

Preview of new combat effects going in next patch. Ouch!



Ooh, I like those effects! ^_^

I hear you that the anchor vine is not 100% useful right now. But I don't want to make them pure random either. What if you are in a bad spot and you want to summon one in a specific place to escape? Or you want to set up for a fight? I'm not sure that should be taken away from the player.

Here's my thought, that I'll try in the next patch. Instead of summoning 1 at a time, you summon 2; one at the target point, and one right next to you. Or maybe it will summon 3 in a line, like a wall. Any monsters you fight that are near these will be SLOWED as the vines grasp at them. This will help deter the monsters who may also turn to try and destroy them before going for you.

This way it has more utility - an obstacle to control the battlefield vs. your enemies, AND a way to set up escapes.

Of course part of this is contingent on having more dynamic combat from the monster side of things, and the dungeon itself, so that's on the list to do also...

Hmm... Fair enough--that seems like a reasonable approach for the most part, I think. I do like the idea of that additional utility, I believe!

However, I'm inclined to suggest that the status effect to apply to all nearby enemies: having the means to slow or stop an enemy seems like a good way to set up combat. (Unless you intend to have another ability that's dedicated to such slowing or stopping, of course.)

(I do think that randomly-placed vines could work, as long as there was some logic ensuring a fairly broad placement of them. However, what you have seems likely to work too, and will likely be easier.)

Quick build to address some crash issues and also quality of life stuff. There will be more coming but I wanted to get this out first.

I have it downloaded, and intend to play it soon, I believe. ^_^

Oh, a thought that I don't believe that I mentioned previously: now that player-allies are available, it might be useful to be able to see their health. (I'm inclined to suggest a small health-bar connected to them) This might allow the player to better evaluate their status; a dying ally might be the player's cue to heal or buff that ally, or perhaps make a hasty escape while the enemy is still engaged, for a few examples.
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« Reply #56 on: October 27, 2016, 06:11:30 pm »

Right, once again I've played a little and have feedback:

The "combat effects" add a nice touch of variation and flavour to the combat, I feel, as well as--I presume--suggesting the damage-type involved.

The new Anchor Vine was useful in slowing enemies, but not as much as I'd like, I'll admit. That said, I don't think that I ended up attempting to back out of a dangerous situation, so I may simply have not tried it at its intended use.

Once I reached the levels in which enemy Living Vines appear, I had at least one instance in which I didn't know which of two was mine and which was an enemy. Looking at the update post above, I see that I could presumably have checked my map, but doing so didn't occur to me at the time. It might be helpful (and convenient) to have a more immediate means of telling them apart--perhaps a simple colour-tint? (Admittedly, this issue would likely be obviated if you ended up taking my suggestion of showing a health-bar over player-allies, as the bar would also serve to mark them out.)

It seems that the summoned Living Vine interprets the use of the "Photosynthesis" ability as an attack, as the pet seems to start attacking me when I use it. :/

Now that I'm perhaps more heavily relying on energy than I was with the brigand (especially since I generally want to keep a pet around), I more often want to refresh my energy bar. Potions of energy are rare, and so--when I have them at all--kept for the more urgent situations. However, resting seems to stop once the player's health or stamina (I'm not sure which) becomes full, meaning that it's often not an answer to regaining energy, even in an empty level. I have found that I can simply attempt to walk into a wall repeatedly in order to "waste" turns and regain energy, but it might be handy if resting continued until all bars were filled (or the player cancels it, of course).

(On a related side-note, I've found cleared levels to be good places to rest; I'm glad that one can ascend stairs as well as descend! ^_^)

I do find myself enjoying the game more, I believe; I'm mainly waiting for those additional floramancer abilities to flesh the class out a little and perhaps aid my survival into deeper levels! ^_^
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« Reply #57 on: November 01, 2016, 01:15:18 pm »

 Grin HUGE and awesome new build today!  Grin

WIN: http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build11-1-16.rar
OSX: http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build11-1-16.app.zip

There are a ton of patch notes and way more things that happened under the hood. But here are the major points I wanted to address:

* A single dungeon layout algorithm was not enough. Now there are 3 generator algorithms which create very different environments. You'll immediately notice the "cave" layout which will (hopefully) help show you the importance of maneuvering.



* Floramancer has been fleshed out and finished. Lots of new abilities and tweaks! The goal of this class is to control the battlefield through indirect combat (summoning), and in particular, to reward planning your turns carefully. Placing vines in the right spot will make all the difference, especially now that there are more complimentary abilities to interact with and benefit from them.



* Weapons didn't feel different enough. If you had a strong axe vs a strong sword (both slashing damage), there was minimal difference. Now, each weapon type has unique traits that may benefit you depending on the situation.



* You can now hover with the mouse or press X (for "examine" mode) to check out what is in a tile. This is a way to quickly check a monster's % health or see what is in a pile of items.

* New monsters, and some tweaks/new powers in existing monsters!



FULL NOTES

AUDIO
* Some new Floramancer SFX
* NEW music track!
* Music now plays totally at random per floor (including start of game)

BALANCE
* Playing around with XP gain - dialing it back a bit overall to encourage forward progress
* Monsters don't crit as often, or as hard
* Brigand Sneak Attack no longer works with ranged weapons

BUGS
* Floramancer: Healing your pet with Photosynthesis no longer makes your pet want to kill you.
* Stairs should now save/load properly. Oops!
* Miscellaneous bugfixes with loading data
* You can no longer dash into walls with Dashing Cutter
* (Probably) fixed weird bug with monsters not rendering sometimes?
* May have fixed bug with abilities randomly not firing

GAMEPLAY, CONTENT, FEATURES:
* Two NEW dungeon layout algorithms, plus more room templates for a much more varied dungeon!
* Floramancer "anchor vine" ability is now "Vine Wall". Summons 3 blocking vines that slow enemies, and can be swung to! Enemies will have to break them to pass.
* NEW FLORAMANCER ABILITY: "Detonate Vines". Blow up one of your summoned vines (even your pet!) to do AOE damage.
* NEW FLORAMANCER ABILITY: "Creeping Death". Summon a small but deadly plant that rapidly expands outward to consume your enemies!
* NEW FLORAMANCER PASSIVE: "Plant Synergy". When standing near one of your summons, regenerate extra health, energy, and stamina by absorbing nutrients.
* NEW FLORAMANCER PASSIVE: "Aura of Growth". Once learned, vines will randomly spawn as you move around the dungeon. (They don't block you anymore! See Quality of Life below...)
* Hovering over a tile with the mouse will pop up a display of what's in that tile (if anything). If there are multiple things, like multiple items, that will be displayed. If it's a monster, the monster's % health will be displayed.
* For keyboard-only players, press "X" to enter eXamine mode. Move the examine square around with the keys.
* Floramancer's living vine pet now receives Thorned Skin if you've learned that ability.
* Pets will now regenerate HP, stamina and energy just like the player.
* New Monster - Treasure Hunter. This bad mofo will ruin your day with a bow.
* New Monster - Young Fire Elemental. Coming at you with raging aggression, flaming skin and the ability to turn the floor into lava.. uh oh!
* Weapon types have been differentiated more beyond their damage type (slash, pierce, blunt), damage, and durability...
*** AXES now hit every monster around you.
*** SPEARS have a range of 2 (hit "F" to attack at range with them.)
*** MACES have a 15% chance to stun an enemy for 1 round.
*** DAGGERS deal increasing damage with each consecutive attack on the same enemy.
*** SWORDS will counter-attack the enemy on parry.
*** Ranged weapons (bows, slings, crossbows) have a range of 3+ so they're cool by default.
* Salamanders now have a fire breath ability to help teach you to avoid telegraphed enemy attacks.

ENGINE
* Created code supporting customized & weighted spawn tables for each dungeon floor. Steps toward more balanced and better-tuned encounters!
* Effects of all kinds can have internal cooldowns for how often they can be used on an actor. For example, a slow effect can be set so that it only processes an actor once per 3 turns, regardless of who uses it.
* Monsters can use summon effects now...

QUALITY OF LIFE
* New display showing summoned pet HP and turns remaining.
* Your pet will now travel floors with you.
* (R)esting will now restore your stamina and energy to full, also.
* The monster spawner crystal should no longer spawn on stairs.
* Your pet will always be visible to you and will no longer wander into unexplored areas.
* Floramancer summoned vines are no longer player collidable!
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« Reply #58 on: November 01, 2016, 09:18:01 pm »

Wellll shortly after that last build I found out that most monsters were no longer using abilities. I fixed that and then added a bunch of other stuff including some buffs to Brigand abilities to make them more interactive, and complimentary. NEW BUILD NEW NOTES

WIN http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build11-2-16.rar
OSX http://zirconstudios.com/game/Build11-2-16.app.zip

ART
* New class sprites! Also, if you change classes, your sprite will change.
* Some new battle FX

BALANCE
* Brigand's Precision Jab, Lacerate, and Dashing Cutter benefit from on-hit attack bonuses
* Monsters starting at level 3 will have more HP

BUGS
* Many monsters that were not using their abilities... will now use their abilities again.
* Weird Young Water Elemental behavior fixed
* Crossbow is now 2handed
* Monsters no longer have vision of you just because you have vision of them. Hopefully no more of this:





CONTENT / GAMEPLAY / FEATURES
* Brigand's passive pierce bonus has been changed. Instead, she gets a 20% chance to inflict bleeding with any slash or piercing weapon on a regular attack, which is good, because:
* Brigand's DASHING CUTTER - Now gets a damage boost if the target is already bleeding
* Brigand's PRECISION JAB - Now gets a damage boost if the target is already bleeding
* Brigand's WALL JUMP - Now strikes all nearby targets at your landing point, if they're bleeding!
* These bleed-related effects ALSO work with Hemorrhage. So if a target has a mild bleed (from your attacks or Precision Jab) AND hemorrhage, dashing cutter & precision jab will do even more damage.
* Enemy champions are now extra dangerous at low health. Watch out!
* New battle ring! It's ok.

QUALITY OF LIFE
* Floramancer's Summoned Living Vine has a slightly different hue to differentiate from enemy monsters
* Brigand's Dashing Cutter can rotate in 8 directions
* Visual indicator for when an enemy is bleeding
* Reminder message will appear in the combat log if you have enough JP to learn an ability
* If you don't have enough JP to learn an ability, job sheet ("J") will now mark it in red
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« Reply #59 on: November 04, 2016, 11:53:57 am »

I've spent a little time with the new build, and once again have feedback! (All of this is based on playing as the floramancer, I'll note.)

To start with, the new sprite is cute! I like it. ^_^

The floramancer definitely feels more viable now! Having "Thorned Skin" apply to my summoned pet, as well (I presume) as having the pet recover health should result in the latter surviving a little longer--although I have still had cases in which it seemed to fall rather quickly to enemies, I think. "Creeping Death" seems tricky to use, but interesting. I might suggest having it hang around for one additional turn after it finishes propogating: it may just be that I want for practice with it, but given the energy cost I don't feel as though I'm getting as much effect out of it as I'd like.

Being able to recover energy by resting is welcome. That said, I do seem to feel as though I'm too often low on energy, given the kill-focussed nature of the class. As noted previously, I can recover energy by resting, but that's dangerous in an uncleared level, and it's tedious to repeatedly go back and forth between the current level and the previous in order to rest. Energy potions seem to be somewhat rare. Perhaps it would be worth altering the rate at which energy -potions and -orbs drop for this class?

(That said, it's possible that I should just prioritise taking the "Plant Synergy" skill--I was intent on some of the others in my playthrough, and so neglected that one.)

I see that the summoned Living Vine's attacks aren't effective against all creatures--which is a bit of an issue, given that it's one of my primary methods of attack. Perhaps it might be worth having some means of changing the Vine's damage-type, or another summon that attacks with a different damage-type?

The new Vine Walls are neat, and an improvement over the previous Anchor Vine spell. I might suggest making them a little tougher: they seem to fall to a single hit from an enemy, and while that proved useful on one occasion, on others it didn't seem to do much to slow down advancing foes.

Having my summoned creature follow me past stairs is appreciated. However, I'm in two minds on this: I'm generally not a fan of having my summoned creatures suddenly vanish, so I'm inclined to suggest having them last for the entirety of a dungeon-level, and disappear when moving to another. However, this dislike might be mitigated by an indication of how many turns a summoned creature has remaining, which I believe that you indicated above should be present, but which I don't seem to have seen in-game.

The summoned Vine does seem to be better at following the player, but can still get lost occasionally.

I like the telegraphed enemy skills.

The new, open dungeon layout is nice. I do think that it could use a bit of tweaking--there still seems to be a sense of a larger grid-layout to it, and it feels "messy" in places, with little chunks of wall scattered about--but it's a good start at the least, I feel.

Some of the new UI changes have proven rather helpful. The yellow text that indicates an ineffective attack is especially welcome, as I feel that it helps me to learn what works--or rather, what doesn't--against which enemies. The similar prompt of a new job skill being available is appreciated. (I'm not sure that it doesn't have a minor bug, however: I think that I've seen it announce the availability of a new skill when at least one had previously been available, and the newly-gained job-points weren't enough to add another to the list.)

Colouring unavailable job-skills in red is handy, but a little hard to read against a blue backdrop, I find (at 800x600 resolution, at least).

In all cases--and especially the red-on-blue text--I do wonder how those prompts might look to a colourblind person. Perhaps it might be worth checking that, and marrying them to additional changes--italics for skills that one can't buy, and bold for "ineffective attack" and "job skill available" prompts, perhaps.

The popup that appears when one hovers the mouse over an object is useful, but seems to be a little buggy. While it appears to be consistent for enemies, it seems to quickly stop working for summoned creatures, stairs, and altars. Moving to another dungeon-level seems to temporarily fix the issue. (I'm not sure that this affects the above-mentioned issue of not knowing how many turns a summoned creature has, as on those occasions on which the popup has worked, I think that I recall only seeing health displayed there.)
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