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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSwords of Calengal (2d Action-RPG)
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WiltonRi
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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2017, 04:48:00 AM »

Looks amazing. I love the artwork!
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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2017, 06:00:55 AM »

I really like the character's proportions - they make him look so much more heroic!  So often with this kind of game you see characters that are square- basically tile-shaped.  While I'm sure there's good reasons to go that route, the way you're going is way more to my taste. 

I like the transition between combat and non-combat mode too- really gives me a ninja gaiden (xbox) vibe- especially paired with the melee animations.  Those slashes are on point!
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qMopey
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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2017, 02:30:57 PM »

Came in here with no context, wondering why the engine's UI had so much care put into it. Turns out the main developer is a .net web dev, makes total sense now! Very nice looking tools. Your artists will love you Smiley

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xeeynamo
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« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2017, 09:54:25 AM »

I really like the character's proportions - they make him look so much more heroic!  So often with this kind of game you see characters that are square- basically tile-shaped.  While I'm sure there's good reasons to go that route, the way you're going is way more to my taste.  

I like the transition between combat and non-combat mode too- really gives me a ninja gaiden (xbox) vibe- especially paired with the melee animations.  Those slashes are on point!

Honestly character's proportions was not decided for a technical reason, a decision that we regret it some months later. A sprite that follows tile-size rules make it easy on collision and tile priority evaluation. In our case we need to be very careful on  tile placing due to its size, but we found a nice compromise that we are following to create new maps.


Came in here with no context, wondering why the engine's UI had so much care put into it. Turns out the main developer is a .net web dev, makes total sense now! Very nice looking tools. Your artists will love you Smiley

Posting for follow!


You caught me hahaha. The tools evolved very much since the beginning of the project due to our artist requests and new engine features. I will be happy to share new updates as soon as possible!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 09:59:40 AM by xeeynamo » Logged

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« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2017, 04:08:54 AM »

Long time has passed since the last update. In those months we improved the development tools, defined some guidelines for sprites, enemies and maps, then prepared two public demos for three italian exhibitions. Our team reduced the size from 6 to 5 members due to some internal re-organization too, that helped us to improve the focus for our goal.




Some tiles was completely re-designed, some tiles scrapped due to some Z-priority problems and we improved the shadow system.

The grass is not a single color anymore. We are using a combination of 4 tiles for the grass, combined with some other small details on a separate layer (like flowers, small rocks, grass borders); a separate processor combines as much layers as possible, optimizing memory, loading times and map size.

Small objects, taller than 16px and shorter than 48px, are placed as objects and not tiles. This solves the Z-priority problem that I described on previous page. Currently the creation process of an object is long, we need a separate editor to create and place them in less than one minute.

Animated tiles are a thing, but we are planning to implement dynamic palette support too. Currently all the game's graphics is in 32-bit and we do not have a palette as reference. What we want to do then is to convert all the graphics in 8-bit and use some old-school techniques like palette shifting, palette blending and palette changing to achieve great animations with a minimum impact on performances.




We improved object's shadow too. We are using two shadow sprites, one 16x16 and one 32x32. Based on Z-virtual position, the shadow will have a different size and a different opacity. When the game wants to render the shadow greater than 16x16, it uses the 32x32 version. Imagine it as a mipmap system.




A great effort was dedicated to optimization: it is currently possible to render and process game's logic of more than 2500 different objects (where each one uses the dynamic shadow system that I described previously) , running at [email protected] on an old Celeron CPU of 2008. There is still some room of improvments on sprite rendering system, because only few objects are included on batch rendering.




I will talk about new maps, gameplay improvments and enemies soon Smiley
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qMopey
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« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2017, 09:40:43 AM »

Our team reduced the size from 6 to 5 members due to some internal re-organization too, that helped us to improve the focus for our goal.

Gasp! Does that mean you guys fired someone  Who, Me?
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« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2017, 04:20:44 AM »

Okay, today we want to show you our first two enemies:


Barillo



Back on this post, the Barillo was not even working or have any animation. Currently it is equipped with a very basic AI: it follows you, attacks and then get back. As simple and weak it can be, it looks fun to take them down when mutiple Bairllo are hunting the hero.


Onipolla



This strange plant with an onion as the head, is interesting. It was designed to look the same from any direction, that allowed us to create circular moves around the hero. It has two attacks: a basic physical damage from the lash of one of their arms and a special attack that inflicts poison when the hero is too close.



Video gameplay

We created two videos during those 6 months of work.




This early technical build suffers from a lot of problems: the environment is very static, the collisions are not working, some objects are mis-placed or impossible to use as a tileset as I described in this post. We tried to avoid some paths too to not show how that build was broken haha. Musics and sound effects was placed during the video production and was not played from the game.





This new build came more than two months later with huge improvments: a new tileset is used, a flatter and simpler map is played, the Onipolla has a spawn animation and can poison and the game is 25% faster. This build was used as the first playable demo ever during our first exhibition ever.



Gasp! Does that mean you guys fired someone  Who, Me?

More or less. We are doing this as a hobby and during the free time, but with deadlines and a minimum of quality content that everyone should respect; that one did almost nothing but damage and slowdowns in one year of "work" Lips Sealed .
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amanfr01
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« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2017, 02:12:24 AM »

More or less. We are doing this as a hobby and during the free time, but with deadlines and a minimum of quality content that everyone should respect; that one did almost nothing but damage and slowdowns in one year of "work" Lips Sealed .

I'm working on one project that is very similar. With no financial gain upfront, it can be tough to find someone who still respects the project and wants to see it come to light (with $ at the end of the tunnel). I completely understand. The choice you made is for the best!

Overall, the progress you're making looks incredible. The Secret of Mana vibe is unreal.
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« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2017, 05:02:49 AM »

Today's update will be dedicated to our first boss.




Its name is Sarmanthor and it is located in the cave area.
The first idea was that this kind of huge humanoid bat used its tail to attack and, occasionally, used a single arm to slap the hero. Its body would be located on the edge of the screen without moving. Another idea was that Sarmanthor catches a mining cart to throw it to the hero; at the impact, the mining cart would be destroyed, dropping some HP spheres. The only way we had to force the player to fight it was that the boss battle took place on a rock bridge, where part of it was destroyed by tail's boss.




But during the production the main idea changed drastically. We ended up that the boss can twists its tail at the edges of this rock bridge, trapping the hero. Then, the tail squezzes little by little, restricting the fight area while Sarmanthor uses the hands to hit the player with punches. We though that the idea would work, then spriting and programming process started.




We decided to separate the body from the head in order to be able to animate them separately; this gave us more flexibility during programming phase, since the animation can be more realistics without to sacrifice the A.I.. Since I am using my engine to programming it and it does not support nestede entities, I ended up to attach the head to the body statically coding it.
The programming phase involved 4 days of work, then we reached a very good result.




The boss was created as objective for the demo exhibition that we took the last month. During that day one of the main problems was that hitting the tails showed dealing damage and it was not clear that it was meant to stop and push away the tails. Infact the players tried to kill the boss hitting the tails and not the body. That day I opened my trustworthy code editor and reduced the damage to 0, applying a patch in few minutes. After that, the next players fought it as we meant to be.

We would like to add a long-range attack to Sarmanthor too. It would be an icy cloud or some kind of ice elemental ray that comes from its mouth. I coded it just for testing, but I do not like it; we will try to change, improve or remove it in next days.




Obviously, boss battles has their dedicated music!


This is all for today Smiley



(yes, the death animation is inspired to Final Fantasy VI)



Overall, the progress you're making looks incredible. The Secret of Mana vibe is unreal.

Thank you so much :3 . Secret of Mana is one of our favourite games!
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 05:10:12 AM by xeeynamo » Logged

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qMopey
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« Reply #29 on: November 12, 2017, 07:57:40 AM »

yay more content and updates  Waaagh!
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« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2017, 05:47:23 AM »

November was intense due the idea to apply a fake 3D system into the game.

Since maps is a strong point on our game, we bring back our idea to add depth to the maps. Currently we are able to switch to different layers in order to use bridges or underground passages, but we were not completely satisfied yet. The depth system would be a breaking change for good. The idea came from Alundra, one of our reference points.



The implementation was not too hard but a long process. The concept is to mark every tile with a depth (a Z axis) value while objects would translate their Y based on Z. If the tile has a greater Z than the object it will be considered as a solid wall, while if it is smaller the object will start to fall.



This leads me to other major problems: while Z position afflicts the Y on graphics drawing, the entire collision detection system should be adapted to this new system; a falling animation should be implemented and we need yet to find a way to decide how climbing should work. Enemies should not see you based on a Z range and every solid object should have a Z height to decide on what Z it should be solid. Our game would become a 3D but with 2D graphics.

Before to jump directly on a serious implementation, we tried to implement the basics and evaluated the first result:



Currently we are happy on how it looks and we probably decide to keep it on final version. It is an important step to consider now, since all our future maps should be based on this change too. After deciding it, we will proceed to create a falling animation, fix the odd bugs and improve physics and collision detection!
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« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2017, 09:54:14 AM »

This is continuing to look really great.  I love those animations.  Also, nice job with that fake-3D!
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« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2017, 04:27:16 AM »

I'm really liking how this looks so far!
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2018, 07:05:18 AM »

The boss battle music is intense! It has a nice reminiscence to the tunes of SNES games (which, by the looks of it, is what you're shooting for), while having realistic instruments.
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« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2018, 03:35:39 AM »

The previous months was very tough to us with our lives and we did not had the chance to write here.

Still we moved forward and finished to rewrite the 2D physics in 3D, plus adapting existing the maps with the new system. This was the hardest challenge in the team, but we believe that this is an extremely fun feature.



The system allows us to play more with environment puzzles or to hide secret passages. We expect that the player can explore a map in multiple ways. That snowy map is the last one that we did and it is supposed to be located at the beginning of the game. There will be different enemies and the intensity of the snowstorm is supposed to be different between the beginning and the end of the map.



Of course the 3D system works with characters, enemies and objects. You can even drop an enemy if you do not want to fight it   Grin . There is a falling limit because we want to have flexibility on creating maps without to have them broken by the player and because we do not want to remove the health when the character falls from great heights.
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« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2018, 04:45:47 AM »

Congratulations on the update! I know how it can be to go months with what seems like not much progress. But it sounds like you've really added some polish.

I love the snow <3.
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« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2018, 08:54:37 AM »

Nice 3d effect! The graphics also seem to be improving since the first post. I hope you are planning on implementing some actual water graphics instead of just a single color though.
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« Reply #37 on: August 12, 2018, 04:26:36 AM »

Congratulations on the update! I know how it can be to go months with what seems like not much progress. But it sounds like you've really added some polish.

I love the snow <3.

Thank you so much! The problem was that we had to review most of the things to have the game more similar to the original concept, which is hard to achieve.

Nice 3d effect! The graphics also seem to be improving since the first post. I hope you are planning on implementing some actual water graphics instead of just a single color though.

The 3D physics is where we spent more time. I saw that your game is using that too, so we both know how hard it is! The grass map will be revisited anyway at some point. We want to focus on a single zone, the snowy mountain, and try to release a demo that is more focused on the gameplay than the amount of content. But yes, we are aware that have just a flat color for the water is not the best. Thanks for the feedback!
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