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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingLegend of the Chambered [early WIP]
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Author Topic: Legend of the Chambered [early WIP]  (Read 9172 times)
Notch
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« on: May 03, 2009, 07:26:57 AM »


Click here to play (Applet. Java 1.5)

Ok, so I've had this thing for 2.5d dungeon crawlers for a long time. I loved both Dungeon Master games, I loved both Eye of the Beholder games (the third one doesn't count!), and I loooooved both Ultima Underworlds.

A while back, I decided to just buckle down and make one, from scratch, drawing all the graphics myself and doing all the level design. Those are usually the two areas I fail at the most. Unfortunately, I kept adding more and more things to the engine instead of working on the actual game, and when my schedule got more busy[1], I kind of let it slip and didn't work any more on it.

But now I felt the urge to finish some larger project again rather than to just keep doing competitions, and I started to look at this one again, and I'd love to hear people's opinions on what I've got so far.

Any kind of feedback is greatly appreciated!

[1] actually, I just got lazy.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 07:30:05 AM by Notch » Logged
Bood_war
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 08:00:53 AM »

This is great! I love it so far, but a few questions:

Do the characters attack automatically? (I'm not the most experieced with dungeon crawl games)

Also, what do some of the items do? Things like keys, amulets and such.

Other than that, I'm looking forward to this.
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george
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 08:08:27 AM »

welcome to TIGS Notch! Cool game you have here, and amazingly smooth for a Java applet (I know, I'm prejudiced  Grin). Fun visuals (I like the tree leaves rustling in the wind, nice!) and the game looks good, however all I could figure out how to do was move and equip items (very easy, though it'd be easier to have full sets of gear to make the process faster -- maybe a few items scattered at first then full sets? Chests maybe?). For the life of me I couldn't figure out attacking. Then I died.   Sad

Also I would really like some sound!

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Notch
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 08:18:24 AM »

Hi, thanks for the feedback. =)

To attack, you put a weapon in a hand, then right click on the weapon in the hand. It's not very intuitive, I guess. =)
(I just made it work the way it worked in Eye of the Beholder)

What would be the most intuitive way of attacking? Just having your guys attack monsters in front of you at random could work, but I'd rather keep the sense of micro management you get from having to manually attack.
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Bood_war
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009, 08:26:35 AM »

For attacking, I feel that if you could switch to a character (like when you're equipping a character) and then right-click where your want them to attack on the screen.

Oh, also, the first time I saw a spider it scared the shit out of me, as I wasn't expecting it.  Wink
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superflat
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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2009, 09:43:19 AM »

Very sweet indeed.  I like how you have a raycasted game still feeling like a pre-drawn pseudo 3d one ala DM.  Did you roll your own raycaster for this?

I'd suggest letting the monsters collision sphere be a bit bigger so they don't disappear while you're fighting them.  Also the DM classic of the item you pick up becoming your mouse pointer.

Other than that, it's bringing back a lot of good memories, including the scariness of DM, which is no mean feat!
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Notch
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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2009, 10:17:11 AM »

It's not a raycaster at all, actually. I build a list of all walls near the player, clip them against the viewport, then render them in Z order by building a polygon of them and texture mapping it. Since each column is aligned with the screen (no tilted walls), this texture mapping is very very fast.
Floors and ceilings are then flood filled to any gaps below/above the walls.

If I'm not mistaken, this shouldn't be too far from what Doom does.

As for having picked up items show up in the mouse cursor.. this should already happen! Isn't it for you? What OS, java version? =)
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superflat
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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2009, 02:45:35 PM »

Ah interesting, I didn't know there was easy access to 3D API's from Java...  Good stuff!   I'm running Safari on a Mac Pro, if that's of any use...  As for Java version, presumably it's the latest because the machine's only a few months old.
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Alec S.
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2009, 09:20:44 PM »

The game looks nice and runs smoothly.  I think the combat works alright, although it's rather hard to play as a team of 4 characters having to attack for each of them.

I also think the interface could be made a bit more intuitive.  For example, if you pick up an item, you should be able to automatically equip it to a character from the main screen (maybe by dropping it on their portrait).  It's a bit of a hassle to go to each character's screen each time you need to equip an item.  Also there should be a specific button to go back to the main screen from the character screen.  Clicking on the character's name to return to the main screen isn't very intuitive.

All in all, though, this is quite a nice start, and I look forward to future iterations of this.
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Notch
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2009, 11:24:48 PM »

Ah interesting, I didn't know there was easy access to 3D API's from Java...

Ah, no, I rolled my own from scratch. I love engine writing. =D

There are a few decent quality opengl bindings in java (LWJGL, JOGL. They require some magic to work in applets, and will not work at all in unsigned applets, meaning the end user will have to click a "yes, the applet can have full access to my computer" button.

There are some pure java texturemappers as well, but once you get there, I prefer to write my own. It's more fun. Grin


malec2b:
Making it more intuitive is a very good idea. I'm a bit blind for this since I'm so used to the old games it's inspired by, so I really appreciate someone pointing it out. =)
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shrimp
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2009, 12:51:00 PM »

Hey, I enjoyed my short play on this! It's really slick and has a great feel to it.

As other people have said already, I think it could be made more accessible/usable with a few (hopefully) minor additions, like the auto-equip and some kind of auto-attack. For the latter, maybe you click on the equipped weapon to toggle a highlight on it (so the button lights up or whatever) and then whenever an enemy is in front of the party the character automatically attacks with the weapon.

Depends how far you want to go with automating this stuff.

The other (minor) thing I found frustrating was that you effectively have a minimum range for picking up items - when you're standing on top of something you can't see it onscreen so can't pick it up. Perhaps all items within the "minimum visible range" could appear in a row of buttons in the UI or something?

Perhaps also keys and coins could be automatically placed in some keyring/purse. I kind of resented having to put each coin in an inventory slot manually Wink

Fun stuff though, keep going!
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Gryphon
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2009, 01:27:57 PM »

This is good, although I found that it's pretty easy to kill monsters if you just back up while repeatedly attacking. Still, I really like this! Definitely put in some auto-loot function, though. Besides that, this is cool.
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Notch
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2009, 12:14:32 AM »

I'm a bit worried about autolooting filling your inventory to the point of insanity. Now knowing there items end up, like which player is carrying what, is also probably fairly frustrating.

Automatic coin pickups and a (shared party) purse is a great idea, though! =D

Not being able to pick up items on the ground too near to you is a problem. Not being able to see spiders is another.. The viewport already has the horizon fairly high up in the screen in an attempt to fix this, but it doesn't really work too well.

How would a gui component for showing things on the ground near you look? The only thing I can think of is either a very intrusive window/area of the screen, or to simply list all the items along the bottom edge of the screen, just on top of the character panel.
Or perhaps I could add the ability to duck. :D Might feel a bit weird, but at least it lets you get closer to the ground.
I could make the first puzzle in the game force you do crawl through a small hole to force the player to learn to use this.
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Bood_war
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2009, 02:36:36 AM »

I think that (for being able to see) it should stay the same. You can see spiders coming, or if you don't it's pretty obvous they're attacking you.
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Notch
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2009, 03:32:44 AM »

Or they could jump when attacking. =D

I'm half-toying with the idea of making movement tile based like in those really old dungeon exploring games. It'd still be 3d and would animate nicely when moving/turning (I've done a version like this in the past).
It makes the game feel more like a game and slightly less immersive, but in a somewhat nice way.

After having read the awesome thread on in game tutorials in this forum, I think I've got a good plan on how to design the game start.
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shrimp
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« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2009, 09:55:47 AM »

I'm a bit worried about autolooting filling your inventory to the point of insanity. Now knowing there items end up, like which player is carrying what, is also probably fairly frustrating.

Automatic coin pickups and a (shared party) purse is a great idea, though! =D

Ah sorry, I didn't mean automatically pick anything up, just
1. User clicks on coin/key in world
2. Coin/key goes direct to purse/keyring without any further user effort

And then for equippable stuff, the ability to drag it onto a portrait and have it be automatically equipped if there's nothing in that slot, as someone else said above. 
Or, maybe, auto-equip if it's clearly better than the current item?

Quote
to simply list all the items along the bottom edge of the screen, just on top of the character panel.

I was imagining this one, or something similar. I don't like the sound of adding duck just for picking up nearby stuff, but maybe you have other uses for it in mind!

The grid-based thing might be interesting. I tried something like that briefly but I didn't have any interpolation between positions and it ended up fairly unpleasant to look at. What's the old game that had that sort of interpolated 3D world movement? Space Hulk?
edit: ...ah no, it was Etrian Odyssey on DS. Nevermind!
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 02:20:05 PM by Ed » Logged

Gryphon
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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2009, 10:02:47 AM »

I haven't gotten too far in this yet, starting up a new game right now. Just wanted to know if there are multiple dungeon levels? This is really fun so far; a version where you could create and save characters would RULE!  :D
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Impossible
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2009, 04:09:21 PM »

I'm half-toying with the idea of making movement tile based like in those really old dungeon exploring games. It'd still be 3d and would animate nicely when moving/turning (I've done a version like this in the past).

id's Orc's and Elves (and Doom RPG) games do this.  It works really well imo.
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Notch
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2009, 11:23:08 PM »

Oh yeah, so it does!
I found the older engine that did tile movement. It works fairly well, I'd say. That thing feels much more like a proper rpg "game" than chambered currently does, which has kind of a doom feeling going on.

Autoequip on dropping stuff on the character (and if it's not equippable, place it in the inventory) is definitely going in. =)

Just wanted to know if there are multiple dungeon levels? This is really fun so far; a version where you could create and save characters would RULE!  :D

There's just the one level at the moment. It's pretty much just a test level and won't be in the final game. =)
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Bood_war
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« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2009, 02:41:36 AM »

As a suggestion for auto equip, it could only keep the best items and drop weaker ones e.g. chain mail picked up for a character, and leather armor dropped?
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