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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsExilium. A dungeon game about stealing back your soul.
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Author Topic: Exilium. A dungeon game about stealing back your soul.  (Read 4034 times)
Mixer
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« on: December 23, 2016, 04:03:43 pm »

Hello Tigsource!
Here's the idea. You're a ghost trapped in the dungeons below a castle. These dungeons are proc-gen, have chests, slimes etc. At the start of the game, you venture through these dungeons trying to get materials like guns, abilities, etc. Then, whenever you want, you can attempt to break into the skeletons castle to steal back your soul, which had been stolen from you by the skeletons. As you try to get your soul back, you use the weapons and skills you gained in the dungeons in the castle.

You could try to break in with stealth, making use of potions and abilities. Or, you could get powerful weapons and blast your way through enemies.

5Mixer (me!) is leading the programming, Patch is leading the art and Gas1312 is leading music. We're a newly formed team and super hyped about the project.

I am building the game with http://haxe.org/ and http://kha.tech/. These tools allow for high performance cross platform game creation. Haxe is a language and kha is the library. Kha lets you use OpenGL in a cross platform way, adding a relatively thin API on top to simplify drawing images, shapes etc.

First Public Demo!
https://5mixer.itch.io/exilium-demo

play play play
feedback feedback feedback






Here are some old screenshots.



Check my twitter for the very latest screen captures!



We're working hard to make sure that the game never becomes RIP, because I'm sick of unfinished games  Smiley
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 06:42:02 pm by Mixer » Logged

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https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=59139.0
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2016, 04:30:18 pm »

Looks like a good start, I liked what I saw on twitter.

Let's hope for no RIP.  Gomez Gomez Gomez
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2016, 09:13:08 pm »

Hope you had a nice Christmas. This is my first little update. I don't have anything super fancy to show, as I've been working on yuck technical ECS details.

It turns out that I wasn't actually implementing 'proper' ECS (Entity Component Systems) in my code. I was just making components, which have methods, similar to how unity does it. Pure ECS means that components are just tables of data, and systems work with this data and put the logic into it.

Needless to say, converting between these was the past few days work. I'm really not liking this new way, perhaps because I've implemented it in a manner that is very verbose (pos.x += velocity.x becomes entity.components.get('transform').pos.x += entity.components.get('physics').velocity.x, often worse!!) or perhaps it's just unintuitive to me. I've implemented it really poorly, components are referenced by a string, which is prone to typos, loses type safety... I'm going to have to work on this a lot if it stays.

I've successfully rebuilt the player to behave identically to the old, OOP based player. Code to 'build' the player looks like this


I'm really considering using an existing haxe ECS library, such as Edge [https://github.com/fponticelli/edge] because I'm sure it would do things in a less verbose, faster manner. If I stick to ECS.

This work is pretty blergh, hopefully I'll have some shiny updates soon.
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 07:00:38 pm »

Hello! I'm not letting you die yet log.

So what I've been working on since my last post is... more of the same. Getting this ECS working. The good news is though that since switching over to a proper, external ECS library, my code has become significantly less verbose and I've started to enjoy that nice benefits I've read of data driven ECS.

I'm using the library eskimo (https://github.com/PDeveloper/eskimo) which lets me easily make components and systems. I was doing ECS in a easy but silly way, with entities having a map that links a string to a component, so the string essentially identified the component that was being referred to. By using strings to look up components, my code essentially lost type safety (no code explicitly said 'collisions' was of the type component.Collision), and typos could give me null components (entity.get('collision') instead of 'collisions').

Eskimo does it the 'right' way, where components are referred by type. You can see this below, where I construct a player entity, then get a component, the light component, to adjust some of it's properties.


So that's that for ECS. I'm pretty happy with it, and although I'm struggling with some things, like inter component communication, I'm glad it's done.

Also in the past week, I've added another library, differ, to manage collisions. Prior to this, I was using simple bounding box if statements, but I thought I'd upgrade. Differ uses SAT, meaning that any polygon type can have collision checks, and shapes can be on angles. Intergrating it into my codebase was super easy, but I've been struggling with performance issues. It's likely because I don't have any sort of quadtree set up, and it's checking for collisions in my big tilemap.

Until next time!
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 08:13:13 pm »

I know the flashy, pic/gif heavy posts are more fun, and this stuff might not feel as rewarding; but this is all work that has to be done, so feel good about your progress!
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2017, 04:12:34 am »

Thanks pixel noise! I'm getting there Smiley

After fixing up the performance of collisions a little, by skipping tilemap checks that are very obviously not going to collide, I decided I'd do something a bit fancy, if only to keep me interested.

Smooth shadows! Not sure if they are going to stay - I think it depends a lot on the game play mechanics I have, and if I can smooth the lines out enough, etc.
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Mixer
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2017, 04:43:25 pm »

Excited! I've got game play ideas. Up until now I've had no real end game in my head.

Here's the idea. You're a ghost trapped in the dungeons below a castle. These dungeons are proc-gen, have chests, slimes etc. At the start of the game, you venture through these dungeons trying to get materials like guns, abilities, etc. Then, whenever you want, you can attempt to break into the skeletons castle to steal back your soul, which had been stolen from you by the skeletons. As you try to get your soul back, you use the weapons and skills you gained in the dungeons in the castle.

The game could be played either using stealth, or plain shoot dem bad guys. Skeleton AI would mean when spotted, they alert others and protect the soul. In that case, you can just shoot your way through them or stealth your way in. I've got ideas for things like invisibility potions, smoke bombs, etc.

I'm really happy with this idea! I've got no idea if it's original (do you know a game like this?), or if it is too ambitious, but at least I have a direction.

What do you thing?
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 04:29:03 am »

Today I got to work on the dungeon generator. It's my first time writing one and it was a pretty interesting challenge.

My original implementation was to place rooms randomly and build paths between them, but these paths turned out to both be tricky and unsuitable for the game. When running around shooting stuff, you don't want to be confined to a one tile wide space. That'd suck.

So, scrapping that, I thought I'd try to make the dungeons 'grow' from a single room. I'd manually place a base room in code, then a function would recursivelly add rooms to random sides of the parent room, if there was space. These rooms all have random sizes. That worked pretty nicely.

I moved onto making the doorways. I just have an array of points to place doors. In the method where a room 'grows' from a parent room, I just place a door between the rooms.

After this, I have an array of room positions and door positions that I use to 'bake' the tilemap, turning it to an array of tile indexes. Done!

Of course, this could use a lot of work, but it's a good foundation that I can use to build on. From here, I'll be fleshing the dungeons out with some stuff to kill, then work on items, abilities, guns etc, and then likely move onto the castle.

Here is a preview of what a typical dungeon looks like Smiley https://hastebin.com/ituvogeduf.txt


And what a dungeon might look like in the game Smiley
Tweet with neat video: https://twitter.com/5Mixer/status/819155396136878080
Screenshot:
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2017, 05:21:13 pm »

I like the gameplay idea of having two separate phases of gameplay, and that you can spend as long (I assume) as you want on the first section. This should appeal to both minimalists/speed runners, as well as those who like to get OP and then wreck through everything.

Just a thought - you may want to consider including some sort of balancing algorithm into the second phase, so that it scales to the players "level". That's just a maybe - depending on if you have any sort of stats/level system, or whether a character's power will be entirely gear based.
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 05:45:20 pm »

Awesome feedback pixel noise, thanks. It's nice to take a step back and look at the game as the player would play it. You're right that some would probably love to speed through and ace the castle more on skill than dungeon items, while others would take their time.

As for scaling of castle difficulty, you're spot on. It's going to be interesting - I mean, even if you're well equipped for the castle, it shouldn't be so easy that it's boring, and that sort of balance is going to be tricky to get right.

It kinda ties in with what I was pondering earlier - what happens when you get the soul? 'yay you win go find another game to play?'. Perhaps these two issues are linked. Maybe there are multiple castle, scattered through an (infinite?) dungeon. There isn't some steps or magic tile that teleports you infront of a castle, the castle is in the same map as the dungeon. They're somewhat rare, and vary in difficulty. When you find one, you can raid it, and then move on and raid others.

I dunno, but I should think about it.
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 09:51:47 pm »

Hey Mixer, just wondering if you read the PM I sent you.
Hope to hear from you soon, cheers.
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 10:34:29 pm »

Read and replied Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2017, 04:39:21 am »

That's a very interesting idea! Following! Beer!
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2017, 01:57:11 pm »

Thanks _glitch Smiley

So I'm pretty excited, Patch is likely to be doing the art for the game. A few things still have to be worked out, but he's done some concept art and it looks much nicer than my art. This will be my first collaboration so hopefully everything works well.



And a very early preview of it in game:

Awesome  Smiley

Not nearly as interesting, but I've recently put an in-game log in the game, it's much more convenient having it there.

And enemies spawn randomly in rooms!


Cool! Smiley
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 02:57:05 pm by Mixer » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2017, 02:03:17 pm »

Nice.
I'm also excited to collaborate on a project.
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2017, 03:23:39 am »

Hello again!

Patch and I have made lots of progress since the last update!

One of the biggest notable changes is the decision to switch to a 16x16 pixel tileset. It gives us more room to play with, extra detail, better animations, etc. Unlike before though, with the 8x8 tileset, we've made a lot of entities smaller than 16x16, such as the 10x10 ghost. It's working so far. Here's a small example of just one tileset he has done for dungeons - there will be lot's of dungeon tilesets in the game.


Another interesting addition is animation and AI systems. Here, the ghost is animated to face the proper direction, and slime AI is spotting, chasing, and attacking. I also added health bars.


A problem that keeps coming up (*and apparently still am, ugh) is lag (but when targeting windows, web target works great?  Waaagh!). When looking at a profiler, it seems that most time is spent on collisions and physics. One reason I thought this might have been is because collisions were essentially at an n^2 speed, every entity was checking every entity. I implemented a grid based broad phase check, so that only likely collisions are checked.

I don't know why the problem still exists  Mock Anger

Also, I love JSON, so I put all my sprite data in a JSON file. Should make some things a little easier in the future, and should hopefully mean that when Patch has new animations they're super easy to setup.


Patch has done lot's of stuff on story lore and art so he might share a post about that sometime.

Cheers!
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2017, 11:29:26 am »

Wow, the art looks significantly improved, to my eye! ^_^

If I may offer a little critique, the floor looks a little busy to me, and I find that the character sprites don't stand out very well against it when fully-lit. Reducing the contrast in the floor tiles might help with both issues, I think. For the latter specifically, perhaps it would help to add outlines or shadows to the sprites, or to alter their colour-schemes a little.
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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2017, 03:30:55 pm »

Hello. I’m doing the art for the game.
So, hmm. Well, first things first. The sprites have changed a bit from the original.


As you can see, the arms of used to be fatter. That was one of the first changes we did to the art.


Here are some more sprites, currently, only the Ghost and Slime are animated, next in line is the goblin (green skin next to the slime, not to be confused with the taller Hobs.)
Another thing we changed were the tiles, as Mixer mentioned.
With 16x16, I started making tiles for the dungeons.


The perspective on the walls was weird and several attempts at fixing it have been made (more than just the ones shown here, haha.) and some improvements were finally made, but if something looks odd, please point it out. I’m far from mastering these perspertives.

The floor tile, as you can see, was dark (all of them were so that they didn’t blend in with the characters, as Thaumaturge pointed out.) However, they were made brighter because of the in-game shadows, the previous dark tiles were simply too dark and became black squares, which is why they were changed.

I experimented for some time, but kept disliking the outcome. Yesterday I went to sleep thinking about the same thing Thaumaturge posted, so first thing I did today was change that floor tile again haha, it is still bright but supposedly the in-game shadows will make it darker, so I’ll wait until they’re in to see what changes to make.

Here, have a couple bats.


Coin, just a coin.


He’s telling you something but his pixel voice is so low, it can’t get past the screen.


So here we have an Orc. Now, personally I find Warcraft’s and LOTR movie’s Orcs to be awesome, green skins are dope. But I remember reading or watching somewhere that Orcs looked like pigs, after some internal debating (maybe it can be compared more to a civil war, but whatever.) I decided to go with pink skin just to test it out. I quite like it and I hope to keep them this color.


Well that’s not all the art progress but I don’t want to spoil more, yet. So now I’ll talk about the lore of the game.

First of, when thinking about the lore, it was concluded that it wouldn’t be anything too expansive or deep. Just give the player some context (Although I would of course, enjoy expanding it and what not, but it can wait, for now I wanted to focus more on the art to get the game playable, details will be added afterwards.)

So this is the story that will be presented to the player:
“The ghost has been wandering the dungeons for a long time, a couple decades at least. Searching for clues of whom or where it came from. The search had brought the ghost many years ago, into these dungeons but for a long time now, no clues or even the slightest hint of its past have been revealed. All it knows, is that the undead inhabiting these dungeons are especially hostile to the ghost. Because of this, it has been unable to explore further into the undead territory.”

Just a quick intro really. I’m not sure if I should add anything. It’s supposed to be mysterious and not give the player a lot of information.

Now this is the real story, not known to the player, but that the player will learn through playing the game.

“The Lich Lord, famous to all the inhabitants of the many lands, was once a young gentleman who served in the human military, but was abandoned by his comrades when he needed their assistance. Suffering a brutal defeat, alone and angry he swore to take revenge on those who wronged him. While trying to achieve his vengeance, he stumbled upon a book of evil. He wandered the land while learning the dark arts. After many years of practice, he became an extraordinary dark magus. But most places forbid and feared these types of arts. Exiled from civilization, he journeyed as an outcast to the end of the world, perfecting and experimenting the dark and evil arts.

Millenniums passed, yet his existence remained thanks to his power. He had become known as The Lich Lord. An entity to be reckoned with. He possessed a numerous and loyal army of undead soldiers and servants. Countless brave and courageous heroes had attempted to slay him, only to achieve failure and meet their end. However, within the higher ranks of his army, the thirst for power was abundant and betrayal laid at The Lich Lord’s castle’s gate.

A powerful party of heroic individuals was gathered and welcomed into the castle while he laid in slumber, yet he felt their presence and rose to battle them. He would not go down without struggling, delivering several heroes and traitors to their doom. Nonetheless, they were too many for him to handle alone. Nearing his defeat, he used his remaining power to quickly cast a spell to teleport himself into a faraway land.

Yet, misfortune would befall him, for he had lost his body, memories and soul through the teleportation. Only his ghost remained, without too great a power. The Lich Lord’s epic to regain what he lost, had begun. But he didn’t know whom or where he was nor where he had come from. Confused, he wandered the lands for decades, gaining knowledge of the land he resided in. Eventually he found some clues regarding his existence. Following these clues, he wound up at the entrance of a mysterious dungeon.

After The Lich Lord vanished, the traitors that dethroned him, have been spending their resources sealing and protecting the soul of The Lich Lord, not knowing where he might be.”


Still lacking some polish but like I said, we’d first like to get the game into a playable state and more progress on the story isn’t really required for that right now.

However, the last part is something I’d like to ask some opinion on, I wanted it to be something more like this:
“After The Lich Lord vanished, the traitors that dethroned him believed he had actually died. And, in the last decades since his “death”, they had been spending their resources sealing and protecting the soul of The Lich Lord, not knowing he is alive.”

But why would they seal and protect his soul? And if his soul still exists, doesn’t that mean he is not dead? Just some questions I had for myself, but might as well share them here. Do please have in mind it’s fantasy and we can always do a weird twist to reality.

Anyways that wall of text is not something we’d show to the player together, we plan to split it into bits and spread them on books or pages around the dungeons. But we’ll flesh out that idea some more later.

That’s all for now, sorry if it's a bad devlog, I'm new to this. Embarrassed

Cheers! Smiley

Note: Some gifs weren't working, will edit them back in later...
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 04:25:20 pm by Patch » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2017, 03:26:35 pm »

Those sprites are looking much better with that extra detail/shading. Very minimalistic/small sprites but they're done rather well. Tile work is also nicely done and I know that tile work can be rather tricky in getting everything to "fit."

The story seems decent as well, although I would just say, make sure the gameplay comes first before the story. I know too many friends who fell into that trap with concentrating on the story and forgetting about the gameplay element but judging on past posts/images I don't think that is the case with this game Tongue

Looks like it's coming on really well, good luck with development, I look forward to seeing more! :D
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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2017, 04:14:21 pm »

The new sprites and tiles do look improved, to my eye! ^_^

However, the last part is something I’d like to ask some opinion on, I wanted it to be something more like this:
“After The Lich Lord vanished, the traitors that dethroned him believed he had actually died. And, in the last decades since his “death”, they had been spending their resources sealing and protecting the soul of The Lich Lord, not knowing he is alive.”

But why would they seal and protect his soul? And if his soul still exists, doesn’t that mean he is not dead? Just some questions I had for myself, but might as well share them here. Do please have in mind it’s fantasy and we can always do a weird twist to reality.

I think that much depends on just what a soul is in the setting of your game, what normally becomes of them after death, and how lichdom works in your setting.

As to "sealing and protecting", the former might be intended to prevent escape--to prevent the lich from rejoining his soul to whatever other parts of himself exist, and thus reconstituting himself and resuming his dominion. "Protection" is trickier--it might depend on the mechanics of souls or lichdom in your setting, or how the sealing is done.

The story seems decent as well, although I would just say, make sure the gameplay comes first before the story.
I partially disagree here, I believe:

If it's what works for the individual developer (or indeed, perhaps even the individual game), then fair enough. Indeed, this particular genre is one that I imagine is particularly likely to benefit from such an approach.

However, I disagree with it as a universal principle: I hold that for some developers, and for some games, it may work better to have the story come first. I don't think that gameplay should be neglected (as far as is called for in a given game), but rather that in some cases story may be the core element of the game, and some developers may primarily be passionate about the stories of their games.

(And indeed, I imagine that there are cases in which other elements, such as aesthetics or atmosphere, may be more important than either story or gameplay.)

In short, I think that it's a matter of what works for the developer, and perhaps for the individual game.

For the sake of clarity, however: I'm not saying that the developers of this game should put its story first--I'm just arguing against the idea that gameplay should always be put first. (If that's not what you meant by your wording, then my apologies! ^^; )
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 04:31:35 pm by Thaumaturge » Logged


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