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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogs[GREENLIT!]NEO Impossible Bosses, MMO raidbosses minus the MMO grind
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Author Topic: [GREENLIT!]NEO Impossible Bosses, MMO raidbosses minus the MMO grind  (Read 2642 times)
ddengster
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« on: January 07, 2017, 02:29:50 am »



NEO Impossible Bosses is a party-based boss rush MOBA whereby you pick a combination of heroes to take down the IMPOSSIBLE BOSSES!  Inspired by the Warcraft 3 mod "Impossible Bosses" by Psyris, each boss is a unique challenge and has their own signature abilities.



PS. Also maintaining devlog on at hiveworkshop

Updates (newest-oldest):
Update #13: Steam store page is up! Wishlist the game now! Also, land destruction improv, reworked Extinguish ability, Demon boss work, + gifs!
Update #12: GREENLIT! Steamworks networking, leaderboards coupled with replays and a rant on how steamworks does it's callbacks, plus an updated hub area
Update#11: 2 new gifs featuring the dragon's roar and a new introduction for Count Winkus! And some comments on having to teach Multiple Unit Controls to new players.
Update#10: Indie Prize Finalist Nomination and a bunch of gifs, updates and comments on performance
Update#9: Greenlight update, Robo WIP walking animation
Update#8: Making the game's greenlight trailer on an i5/gtx650/8gbram with a $0 budget
Update#7: NEO Impossible Bosses is on GREENLIGHT!
Update#6 (Art): Mother Oak Soul Blast Ability! And why I've repositioned the inworld health/mana/cast bars
Update#5: Priestess and Ranger Gifs!
Update#4: The Twin Frost Elementals
Update#3: Playtest session #1
Update#2: Gravenous the Brute using his Barrage ability
Update#1: Oak Tree boss environment shot

Now for some informative screenshots with captions!

X heroes versus 1 boss on his home turf


Count Winkus unleashes his ultimate, Lightning destruction! Our heroes have to activate their shields to not take damage.


Part of the hub area, where you buy items and do other stuff..


Some development history..
Hi, I've been working on this game for about 2 years now, it's in what I consider pre-alpha, missing a good amount of content. I've always been inspired by Blizzard's rts games and it's community-made derivatives; Psyris's warcraft 3 map "Impossible Bosses" heavily inspired me to make an improved, more 'friendly' version of the original, since it had it's limitations in requiring a band of experienced players online to even complete the game.

The development of this game hasn't been exactly fast, but I'm more than satisfied with what I've learnt throughout this endeavor. I had some good game industry experience as a programmer going in, and it's been a blast doing things in a non-conventional manner.

Technical stuff
- Custom c/c++ engine
Because I had one already, and like to learn how stuff actually works, which I think is essential in coding my first rts-like game. Using existing engines and working around them to get what I want would deter me from learning what I would consider an essential piece of knowledge.
- Navmesh
One of my technical goals when starting on this project, the navmesh is based on similar tech to what the Starcraft 2 engine uses. It works even after sections of the navmesh is 'reclaimed' or 'destroyed'. If I have time, I'll explain in a devlog.

Art stuff
- I do not like your art.
Yup, much of the art was mashed together by programmer hands from premade stuff. Amazing visuals isn't the focus point of this game, but I'll take any tips on how to improve it.
In the meantime, why not feast your eyes on this delicious piece of early concept art by Jason Wang?


Gameplay stuff
- Why not derive from some action, twitch based, David-vs-Goliath boss game like SOTC, TitanSouls?
Niche game, I guess? In any case, I find raid organization and raid bosses in MMOs to be far more interesting in concept to me. And, I try to avoid needing twitch reactions from the player, something that I find people appreciate as they grow older.
- Controls?
Similar to what you have in RTS/MOBA games. Smartcast is available. Pause and issue commands if you feel like it.

Links
Website | Twitter

---------

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this first post! I'll be updating the devlog as time goes on.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2017, 08:32:15 am by ddengster » Logged

ddengster
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 10:04:56 pm »

Reserved post
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ddengster
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2017, 05:40:08 am »

Update! Environment piece for the Great Oak Mother boss.




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ddengster
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 12:37:18 am »

Another update! This time feauring Gravenous the Brute, a brutish melee boss. He'll catch up to you eventually.


Gravenous the Brute using the Barrage ability

If you've played the original mod, you'll notice the similarities with this boss and the 'Graven' encounter. I consider that encounter one of the best to pay homage to; it features a melee boss who is always trying to catch up to you, slowing you down, stunning you, breaking the arena.

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nu_muso
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2017, 08:45:04 pm »

Seriously awesome bosses! The concept art is great Beer!
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ddengster
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2017, 08:15:57 am »

So this week, Wednesday there was an indie game developer meetup in Singapore, and I went there to do some playtesting. It went great, there were no major bugs cropping up, and people were generally impressed at the amount of polish the game had. However, lots of people had trouble with micromanaging more than 1 unit, even though I had included precautions to help with this problem. The other major(?) problem was the bosses being too hard.

Now before I go further, let's look into the current control scheme for NEO Impossible Bosses.
- The player can pick up to 6 heroes.
- Each hero is hotkeyed to 1 - 6. (On hindsight, pretty sure the playtesters didnt know that)
- Each hero had 6 abilities, hotkeyed QWERDF, with D being the common invulnerability ability.
- You can pause and give commands to your units while paused.
- Smartcast is an option the player can enable.
- Mouse controls are your MOBA/RTS standard, leftclick to select and rightclick to interact/move/attack. Box select for multiple unit selection.

Here's some complaints I got, and my thoughts on them as follows:
- Too many abilities. I think I'll still stick to 6 abilities, it really helps to define and still diversify the hero class; 4 abilities is not enough. 6 abilities also introduces a higher learning curve, but there are target dummies in the hub area, and you have pausing.
- Don't like to pause. Some players prefer this playstyle. I'll let the lack of pausing be a bonus, but I think I will avoid lowering the difficulty of the bosses to accomodate no-pause runs.

Overall, it was a good, fun, though noisy event. It made me think that there's some merit in having less crowded/noisy playtesting, it gives the player time to think and concentrate.

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quantumpotato
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2017, 11:01:19 am »

I like seeing streamlined, interesting fights!
Check out Casmage https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=42922.180
and Warning Forever https://archive.org/details/WarningForever for reference on boss fighting!
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Clones Copy You, Kill Them All: http://QuantumPilot.Me ∞∞ Download Games: www.Combo.Zone
chinykian
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 02:47:14 am »

Looking great! Posting to follow, keep it coming! =)
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giga
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 03:55:44 am »

This is a really neat idea. it makes sense, since mmo leveling is usually just filler until the endgame.
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ddengster
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2017, 08:56:19 am »

I like seeing streamlined, interesting fights!
Check out Casmage https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=42922.180
and Warning Forever https://archive.org/details/WarningForever for reference on boss fighting!

Thanks! Will check them out, but I have an impression that these games are single character vs boss focused fights though.

Looking great! Posting to follow, keep it coming! =)

Thanks again!

This is a really neat idea. it makes sense, since mmo leveling is usually just filler until the endgame.

Indeed. I've come across posts of people saying that they don't feel like grinding out MMOs to get to the endgame.  Hopefully it fills up a niche, even though MMO endgames probably aren't the main draw for most people playing MMOs.
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ddengster
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2017, 11:08:30 pm »

Here's an upcoming work in progress boss, the Twin Frost Elementals! It'll be a nice change-up from the single unit bosses you've faced so far.


Freezard and Coldstone, The Twin Frost Elementals


« Last Edit: February 11, 2017, 11:14:50 pm by ddengster » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2017, 09:49:55 pm »

Been busy integrating 2 new models for our roster of heroes, the Ranger and the Priestess!


The Priestess casting Holy Nova, an AOE that heals allies and damages enemies



The Ranger using Rapid Fire, shooting arrows in rapid succession hitting enemies in a small spot
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ddengster
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2017, 10:02:02 pm »

This time, a gif featuring the Mother Oak's Soul Blast ability! And I forgot to mention, I've changed up the in-world health, mana and casting bars to be at the bottom of the unit. This helps to ensure that there won't be too much visual clutter when numbers and text start flying above the unit.


Soul Blast!!!

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ddengster
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2017, 03:01:01 am »


Steam Greenlight is up for NEO Impossible Bosses! Do give it a YES vote! Also, here's the trailer I cooked up for the game.

(hopefully this embedding works..)


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ddengster
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« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2017, 07:26:46 am »

X-posted from reddit;

So I basically cut a game(3d) trailer on an i5/gtx650/8gbram at $0, hope the details of this post might help others on a budget.


There are 2 parts to this. First is recording a number of clips of gameplay footage, the next is using free video editing software. Check the above post for the trailer that I cut.

For the gameplay footage, here are my experiences:
- fraps failed on me, it cut my game's fps to 30
- Nvidia Shadowplay also failed; it couldn't capture other games even with earlier versions.
- I switched to OBS, but couldn't get the correct setting until a friend told me of this guide
- I had to let the video recordings be made at 30fps such that the game ran at 60, but otherwise it went well.

For video editing, I didnt want to spend $$ on such software, so I looked for free alternatives.
- Shotcut is an opensource, crossplatform video editor, is still kind of unstable for use (at least on Windows), but otherwise the videos it exports are pretty accurate. I faced a number of crashes and performance issues while using it. There are also some limitations on filters like not being able to do dynamic zooms.
- Thinking that I needed a more fully featured video editor, I picked up DaVinci Resolve. It lagged my computer because it required preallocating 4gb of ram on my lean computer (couldnt change it to less than 4gb for some reason). Then I found out the test video exports were desaturated and contained artifacts if exported at 30fps and not 24.
- I tried Blender, it ran the smoothest of those I've tried so far, and also had color desaturation issues in exports. I made further investigations and found that ffmpeg also had some sort of color desaturation issues.
- Since I was short on time, I went back to shotcut. Since it had autosaving as a feature I could somewhat tolerate it when it crashed. I then made my video from roughly 10 gameplay clips.

If you have any thoughts on your experiences cutting trailers on lower end hardware, I'd like to hear about it.
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boustrophedon
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« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2017, 08:48:10 am »

really neat idea my friend
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ddengster
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2017, 10:03:03 am »

@boustrophedon: Thanks!

Been busy so far with the greenlight management. After roughly 8 days, it's sitting at about 600 unique visits, 150 yes votes (think I fell off the greenlight mainstays after 1.5 days). I wasn't expecting to get a blast of votes, since the art style wasn't quite eye catching and the game's somewhat of a niche compared to the more popular types of games. Hopefully someone can give me a gauge as to how I'm doing.

Meanwhile, here's a gif of the Robo boss's running animation that I've been working on. His back might be too upright for running, I'm considering having the usual full body slant forwards instead, and more shoulder slinging, but that breaks the stiffness of a big robot. It could still work if it's small enough though.


Finally, I could still use the greenlight vote, please do spread the word! Thanks!
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ddengster
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« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2017, 08:21:10 pm »

It's been a while since I've updated the devlog; I've been busy working on new bosses and other stuff. But more recently, NEO Impossible Bosses had a Finalist Nomination for the Indie Prize Competition at Casual Connect Asia!


Casual Connect Asia will be held in Singapore, I'll be there showing off the game:) Come say hi if you happen to be nearby!

On the game development front, here's some gifs as to what I've been up to:


DRAGON BOSS IS IN THE HOUSE BABY!


Main Menu


The robot boss is now named Terrordronn, and he's showing off his ultimate!


Introduction sequences for bosses



Multiple unit controls; there is now no need to do a key input to loop through each unit you've selected


A few failed visual enchancement experiments. This one is SSAO, with the resultant ambient value applied on the ambient term when lighting models.


Other tasks include: Selecting player colors, visual outlining experiements, enhancing the current boss encounters, bloom postprocessing, boss voiceovers.

Performance
I've now reached a peak whereby I need to do some improvements on the game's performance. I suspect that the way I'm handling particles is not performant enough, so I'll be attempting to multithread that stuff. Also, I'm using a hash map to keep track of my entities with handles as a key and using it to do a ton of handle to unit fetching; I'll have to change how the allocations work and embed recycable handle logic into my factories, and eventually change the hash map to a single dynamic array.
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ddengster
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2017, 08:53:46 pm »

2 new gifs this time. Based on feedback from Casual Connect Asia, I've been reworking the first tutorial boss to teach a few more mechanics, especially on Multiple Unit Control. To be more specific, I'll have to teach Attack-Move, Box selection, Tab to switch between subgroups, and Control Groups. It sounds like a lot, I'm hoping it doesn't exhaust new players.

To note, many RTS games have a separate scenario to teach RTS mechanics to players. I've decided to teach these mechanics via the first boss. This means a fairly lengthy amount of linear sequencing.




Our dragon's roar causes heroes to run in fear!


New introduction for our first boss Count Winkus

« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 09:04:10 pm by ddengster » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2017, 10:32:00 pm »

Honestly looks pretty cool man, I like it. Cut right to the fun stuff.
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