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July 26, 2017, 02:32:06 am

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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 4145 times)
sinclairstrange
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2017, 05:39:57 pm »

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! ^^; )


Sorry, I think I might of worded that a bit too strong with the "first" part. I agree I think you should aim a nice balance between story/gameplay and gameplay shouldn't always be first, (being very board with those words.) I was more talking about that (specially the circle of indie dev's I'm friends with) usually get a bit too stuck in with the characters/story/backstory/ideas/plots ect that they tend to forget about developing the gameplay aspects and then unfortunately the story/plot/atmospheric elements then don't get portrayed as well as it could.

I'm one for atmosphere and story development with characters/enemies having some sort of backstory but I believe developing it in tangent is the best approach for the most part. Story ideas can influence gameplay mechanics and visa-versa.

But yes I agree, what ever really works best for the developer. Nothing wrong in planning ahead, as long as you're not always planning haha.
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« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2017, 11:32:08 am »

Sorry, I think I might of worded that a bit too strong with the "first" part. I agree I think you should aim a nice balance between story/gameplay and gameplay shouldn't always be first, (being very board with those words.) I was more talking about that (specially the circle of indie dev's I'm friends with) usually get a bit too stuck in with the characters/story/backstory/ideas/plots ect that they tend to forget about developing the gameplay aspects and then unfortunately the story/plot/atmospheric elements then don't get portrayed as well as it could.

I'm one for atmosphere and story development with characters/enemies having some sort of backstory but I believe developing it in tangent is the best approach for the most part. Story ideas can influence gameplay mechanics and visa-versa.

But yes I agree, what ever really works best for the developer. Nothing wrong in planning ahead, as long as you're not always planning haha.

Ahh, fair enough! That makes a lot of sense, I think--and indeed, becoming stuck in particular element of a work can be a dangerous pitfall, I think.
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2017, 11:22:22 am »

Hello again! Thanks for the interesting views on story and game play, appreciate the responses.

So as usual, the game has moved forwards so I'm pretty happy. Here are some of the changes
 - An exit point, currently a ladder, is now placed in the room furthest from the start room. The great thing is that this 'distance' isn't add the bird flies, it's the minimum number of rooms the player would have to walk through to get there.
 - Goblins! They're not very smart yet, they just flee you and walk around. They are going to be mostly scared characters.
 - Better chests! Now they have this awesome 'jump' animation when they open Patch made, and release lots of items on the ground. Huge architectural stuff was changed to support this.
 - New inventory system with simple UI. You can pickup floating items and they appear as an icon on the left of your screen. Scroll to change selected item, changing what the mouse cursor does (throw potion, shoot bullet etc)
 - Minimap. Did I already mention this? I dunno. Basically a low res view of the level that gets generated when the level is generated.
 - New health bars
 - Probably some other stuff I forgot to add, I'm in a rush.

COMMENCE GIF DUMP.





See my twitter for more  Smiley
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gstryfe
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2017, 11:44:31 am »

Awesome idea and beautiful execution so far. You got pure ECS actually going, I envy you! (in a good way hahaha)

I'd just like to rapidly way in about the story/gameplay discussion by saying that the story of this particular game seems to set the overall tone, and this is what a story is all about in a game. I understood and agree with what @sinclairstrange said about not showing your story properly, but when you're doing a fine gameplay job like you guys, the story adds much more depth than if it was just another procgenned dungeon crawling (that also has it's value ofc).

Looking forward to see more, following! Coffee
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« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2017, 02:03:14 am »

Wow okay so this is a super image heavy update. Is that bad? Should I just link to images? Feedback plz :D

Hello again log, it's been a while. School has started up again and so where my days were full of coding, now they're biology and english and stuff. I have been able to get some work in, but because I haven't had a lot of time, it hasn't been super well spent yet.

What I tried to do for a little while was make it so that lighting was per (large) pixel. I thought it would look cool, and would mean entities like enemies and treasure chests would be lit too. At the moment (and prior to my attempts), lighting was computer *for each tile, before the tile is drawn*. All on the CPU, yada yada.

This was my attempt, based on a couple of articles. The main one is http://www.redblobgames.com/articles/visibility/, which has super nice live demos too. Read it if you're interested.

So I started out with no lighting

Learnt how to show meshes with kha, using the g4 api (allows access to shaders, fine control of meshes etc.) These g4 tutorials helped. https://github.com/luboslenco/kha3d_examples/wiki
...simple triangle

...a circle with variable resolution

Next I had to find the corners of the tilemap. Shooting to the four corners of every tile was silly, as along flat walls, there is no need of extra triangles. To find the corners was actually super easy, I found a simple tutorial at http://www.lofibucket.com/articles/tilemap_corners.html. Here the corners are high lighted, and you can see a g4 circle and the naive debug rays.

Now I could fire rays to those corners, as well as one degree above and below, so to shoot past the tile if it was a shadow caster. There's more details on my first link Smiley

And that's where I stop. There were some really persistent glitches and lag issues. The actual ray casting was slow, maybe I should have tried ray casting by my self, doing low res bresenhem or something. Anyway, this whole process took awhile. It's all in a git branch I can pull down if I ever have time to resume it.

I plan on moving on to more game play-ey stuff now, I feel like making gaem. Here's me making a healing potion, showing some (poorly recorded ahaha) text particles. Now I'm working on lasers and maybe grappling hooks.
 Awesome.
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LozzaDawg
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« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2017, 10:26:43 pm »

Gaem is coming along great so far! Glad to see that you're making progress on the gameplay. Btw I love that little text animation with the potion!
I can't wait to see the lasers, keep it up! Beer!
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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2017, 03:52:56 am »

Thanks for the replies everyone, appreciate them Smiley

Progress has slowed with us back at school, but I've started working on a grapple hook and patch has some sweet items that can start to be put in. A rapid fire gun has been added, and it's bullets bounce. Items from chests are magnetic, and chests light up after being opened. I've been experimenting a lot with stuff behind the scenes, like merging wall colliders. I'm hoping to add a nice debugger UI soon and get some sweet weapons in. Peace!

Grapple hook, done today:


Magnets, done a while ago:
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LozzaDawg
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« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2017, 01:12:24 pm »

This is looking awesome! The magnetism and chest opening animation look really good, and the grappling hook sprite is nice and fits well with the theme. Can't wait to see what will come next!   Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2017, 07:15:28 am »

Looking great! Definitely keep the images in the post, rather than linking them. It's OK to have some big image posts. Most logs do.

Really enjoying your write ups on how you are researching/trouble shooting various systems, mechanics, etc. Don't really have a lot of critical feedback at this point - just keep doing what you're doing!
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« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2017, 01:49:21 pm »

Thanks folk! Replies keep me going.

Yesterday Patch and I made spikes happen Smiley


We've got lots of ideas for stuff to add, and these are slowly going to be appearing
 - More dungeon variety
 - More enemies/bosses
 - More items
 - etc

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« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2017, 11:54:28 am »

It looks like you've made some neat additions of late! ^_^

The grappling hook is interesting--how do you plan for it to be used? Is it a primary weapon, and if so, can it be used to deal damage? Or is it a secondary item of some sort?
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« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2017, 12:16:19 am »

Thanks! In terms of the grappling hook, I don't really know, to be honest. It was originally added because I felt the need to have some sort of variety in the options for how you move around. Walking around every where is okay, but I think it's kinda interesting to have agility as a mechanic, just as much as shooting and stuff. So far, it's still really wip - instead of sticking to the one place you fired it to, it's more of a steering wheel, where the destination isn't really locked. It's hard to explain. Anyway, I never really considered it a weapon. Having secondary options is something I've really thought about, it can be tedious switching to a potion while also trying to fight a battle, I just haven't worked out an intuitive way of building this in.
 Undecided

Turrets!

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« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2017, 06:19:15 am »

I saw you're doing ECS. How does it influence your productivity? Is it a boost or a distraction?

Also, is the game real-time?
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« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2017, 10:33:50 am »

Regarding the grappling hook, what about binding it to a key of its own, and making it a primary element of the character's movement--a sort of super-dash, in effect? For example, if the "fire" button is by default the left mouse-button, you might put the grapple on the right mouse-button.

This might allow players to quickly zip about the rooms while shooting more-or-less freely. Conversely, since grappling (presumably) uses the same targeting mechanic as ordinary combat, making use of it should in general call for taking pressure off of the enemy, thus giving it tactical consequences.
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« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2017, 04:15:10 pm »

Thanks for your ideas Thaumaturge, I like the idea that it's really built into the game and it's control. I'd like it so that other things can be like that too (use potion while shooting, or something). I'll be sure to work on this more!

Hi Zireael! Yes, the game's realtime, when I can get it running at 60 fps lol  Giggle Yeah, ECS is interesting. It's such a big change for me that sometimes I hate it, sometimes I love it. In a couple of cases, it's made me really frustrated, because the whole point of ECS is that you're generalising things, you're making components that can fit everywhere. But games aren't like that, games are complex things that have lots of edge cases.

For example, lots of entities in the game do things on a timer, so perhaps you could generalize timers, and keep them separate from what the timer triggers, (shooting a projectile, lowering/raising spikes) etc. So, in theory, we could make a timer component, and a 'raise spikes' component, that listens for the timer event. But now these components are coupled, and what if you want spikes to be raised on a timer, but only sometimes, and only if the player is moving towards the player, and the player has atleast 50% of it's health. Sometimes ECS can feel like it's limiting you from crazy cases like that.

At other times though, it's just great. I can make any entity at all in my game, it doesn't matter what, have a light attached to it with one line of code. The light can have whatever colour, intensity, etc, and it just works. Treasure chests, enemies, traps, anything can have a light. Or, with one line of code, I can make any entity drop treasure when it's bumped into. Anything with a damager component instantly does damage to other stuff, blood particles and all. That's really cool  Wink

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« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2017, 10:16:32 am »

Thanks for your ideas Thaumaturge, I like the idea that it's really built into the game and it's control.

My pleasure, and I'm glad to read it! ^_^

I'd like it so that other things can be like that too (use potion while shooting, or something). I'll be sure to work on this more!

Of course, beware of taking it too far: you could end up using so many keys that the control scheme becomes rather unintuitive, given the mechanics that it serves.

(I do think that with health potions, at least, it may be useful to the player to have a specialised button available for quick access.)
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« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2017, 12:18:41 am »

Another update! Lot's of really really good news.

This has been known on twitter for a while, but I haven't shared it here yet. A new team member has joined, again, making us a team of three! His names gas1312 and he has made some pretty incredible chiptune, which you can hear here: https://soundcloud.com/gas1312/. I can't wait to hear what the game could sound like. Welcome to the team gas!  Hand Joystick

The main thing I've been working on this week is the games first boss[/b], titled the 'Corrupt Soul'. This was planned out as a sort of non-solid being made up of lots and lots of dark particles that fly around and damage the player. Although it's not yet done, I'm pretty pleased with it's current aesthetic/behaviour. Nice healthbar, cool swirly particles. Hand Thumbs Up Left

This is the AI I've implementated so far:
The boss normally has too modes, ranged firing and chase. These alternate every couple of seconds. In ranged firing, the boss doesn't change velocity, but it's individual particles fire projectiles at the player. In chase mode, the boss chases the player. When the boss dips below 25% health, it enters rage mode, chasing the player quickly while constantly firing projectiles.

You can see all this, along with the simple menu in the clip below.
https://twitter.com/5Mixer/status/845890121022918656



I'm not too sure about the numerous healthbars... it potentially takes away from it's particle-ey look. I think this could be fixed by not showing full healthbars/only showing them on mouseover?

 Gentleman

As well as that, I spent all my time yesterday building a little tool that might work it's way into my workflow down the line. It's a texture packer tool that works through the terminal, and basically just gets a bunch of images, puts them into one packed texture, and gives you a JSON file with the image locations. It doesn't even have CLI flags yet, but does feature filesystem watching (realtime updates of packed texture), looks through nested folder and is able to ignore non .png stuff.

The source code is all online at
https://github.com/5Mixer/Asset-Manager

And you can download the exe at
https://t.co/QQRCqMv9lP (just keep in mind the lack of flags atm means files *must* be in an 'assets' folder.)

ASCII!

Video of usage:
https://video.twimg.com/tweet_video/C7vCZ2MV4AAfKG_.mp4
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« Reply #37 on: March 27, 2017, 11:47:47 am »

Regarding health bars for the new boss, since it is a boss, another idea might be to place its health bar at the edge of the screen (perhaps at the top), separated into sections, one for each particle. This should de-clutter the actual enemy, as well as mark it out as something special.

Congratulations on the new team member! ^_^
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« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2017, 09:32:47 am »

For normal enemies, I'd probably only make health bars visible if they are less than full. That way you can see which enemies are damaged, and if no health bar is shown, you know they are at full. And I'd definitely try to make the boss health bars different and more noticeable in comparison - probably doing what Thaumaturge suggested, and moving them to the top/bottom.
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« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2017, 03:02:27 am »

Thanks people! I've taken on your advice.

I'm on holidays, and besides binge watching terrible tv shows (and good movies, sharkshaw redemption was awesome) I've done a little work on the game.

 - I started a changelog file, which is helpful for these updates!
 - I tried out some shoot sound effects gas made, which is nice.
 - The main play state was cleaned up a bit (eg. the grapple hook rendering code was moved into a grapple hook system)
 - The minimap was moved to the top right of the screen and made a fraction smaller. Instead of fading out, it's toggle-ing with 'M'.
 - Messed around with how grappling hooks worked. I'm struggling to get something that feels like a grappling hook while being fun.
What I've made it behave like now. Notice how I can't shoot another hook until I've reached my desination or unclicked my mouse:
Old behaviour (this is from ages ago, just note how I can change direction midflight):
 - Did a very quick pass of lava. It's just an animated, lit sprite that does damage now, and it's placement is very poor, that'll be fixed! Smiley
 - As a bunch of work, patch and I's work has combined to form 'zones', currently just rooms with different tilesets but in the future, zones may have different entities in them, special differences etc etc. To test this out as I worked on it, I made a testing tileset.
 - Finally, we've decided the first level will be hand made, to help setup the story. You're breaking out of your cell and into the rest of your dungeon.

Whew! Lot's of stuff. Motivation dipped earlier this week, but making this log has been very motivating :D Thanks for sticking around guys!

I'm aiming for some sort of an alpha/dev/friend/interested people test in the coming week. I'll post here, but I'd like to hear your level on interest anyway Smiley
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