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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsTacticsV - A Retro Strategy(Tactical) RPG
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Author Topic: TacticsV - A Retro Strategy(Tactical) RPG  (Read 13776 times)
Zaibach333
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« on: May 12, 2017, 02:49:42 PM »












Some Info:
 
Tactics V is a retro-style tactical turn-based video game in homage to games like 1997’s Final Fantasy Tactics from Square-Enix. Its set in an in-house fantasy setting with lore and magic, etc. It also uses techniques to convert to a 2D isometric look from 3d assets.

You might be wondering about the V in the name, originally a code name differentiating it from four other tactical game systems I've made in the past.

The battle system is a passion of mine, one of the tactics # was a youtube series I kept going for years showing the developments of it using free tools, out of date now but people still gain from em.

The Major difference in approach on this iteration which makes me want to take it to completion is the timing system I put in place.

Very broad technical summary:

The approach was to make a tactical cutscene system, attacking/text bubbles/other animating, and go from there, the battle system simply applies user input to control this cutscene system, interrupts for triggered events and all that good stuff.

I have confidence in the game-play, we will further fill in the class definitions, and trees involved with inventory availability, skills, powers, etc. beyond the existing because of the ease of adding this content. (minus complex actions like say raise undead or something like that)

Content is made entirely without adding new code using node editors for the overland map linking to cutscenes in some Unity editor tools where every detail of the game can be added. content is in ScriptableObjects,

Levels use a series of custom navigatable meshes I call isometricPoly, mixed with any other 3d objects and a custom path finding system, jumping in levels (which varies on character stats) is a heavy brute force so I store those jump neighbors in files, to bake them into the level.

It has been a one man thing in the editor and code, but I had art help.

I have a story writer now, audio composer, and a modeler.

It’s been in development for 7 months on free time (15 months now), though I have been making these style of combat systems off and on for about 5 years

We showed the game at a local testing event which led to some good feedback.

here's a video of some gameplay at that point:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q24XRLZIc4g

Being a programmer I am tackling the look by creating a customizable palette which is then applied to the global shader values, locking our color use (aside from lighting angles etc.)

Characters maintain a screen space locked light source, while environment uses in-game lights.



Feedback:

feedback is appreciated.

it's come a long way


Implementation of non humanoid rigs, expanding single tile to multi-tile units on the grid, AI performance, and all the many aspects of combat has been evolving far beyond my past engines, and the art and content is growing.

« Last Edit: August 08, 2019, 09:33:03 PM by Zaibach333 » Logged

Zaibach333
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2017, 08:27:19 PM »

So on the art side I’ve been futzing with the shader, dithering shadows and faces. I’m liking the shadows but the faces(selectable tiles) might be better with partial transparency rather than full 0 alpha dithering.
[edit]I'm realizing this gif doesn't have the shadows, that's an outdoor thing, but it does show the selection tiles


On the Programming side, I've made the AI smarter, more specifically the area effect and ranged power users.
Ranged attackers like bowmen try to back away from the targets (even when in range) and search for a spot which wouldn't accidentally cause friendly fire when they shoot.
Ranged Power users like the Temperature Wizard will select the most damage causing area available within their range and movement, and approach the most opportune when nothing is in range.
which is a boost to some previous AI priorities I recently put in place for melee,
where all offensive actions attempt to get to the most opportune facing direction of their targets
because flanking, the sides is what I'm calling this, and rear attacks have a higher accuracy for the attacker.  I feel the more that the user is capable of using to their advantage the more the AI will need these little updates for a greater foe,

there's four or so AI templates currently but they're a bit loaded... Healer is needed, but attack nearest, attack strongest, and similar I've turned into one attack best target based on many things... they're tough but a better basis for these will be wanted before completing the AI portion of the game. sometimes I do catch spearmen going for the one hit kill case I put into all of the AI, and accidentally attacking through an ally, which I don't believe happens anymore in their normal attack cases.
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xix
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2017, 08:42:46 PM »

Haha AIs that team kill are hilarious. The GIF is looking pretty good dude. I have my suspicions, but I imagine there are specific artistic circumstances when you'd want to dither vs. when you want to just do transparencies. The PS1 era SRPGs definitely were able to do proper transparencies (thought Saturn ones less so...).
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Zaibach333
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2017, 10:02:59 PM »

yeah, perhaps more SNES influence for the dithering, I tried the faces for Tiles at 1/3rd alpha dithers, for now it's a happy medium.


also, here's some visible shadow dithering from a different scene
« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 12:13:50 PM by Zaibach333 » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2017, 03:05:19 PM »

So today was some refining, on the code side, I made interrupts more smooth, and can occur mid turn,
in this caption an opponent triggers a textBubble action on death, which is after an attack of some kind but not before the turn ends.



Also to notice is the lighting of outdoors, I've improved it considerably, probably not the last iteration on this stuff.
below uses more point lights via the fire emitter. as well as dithering of tiles, shadows, and the overall color palette now applied to the outdoor.



[Edit]It's also probably good to show the existing Equipment management system, it's functional. no auto equipping or outfitters but there's a sorter, and selling/buying/managing.  For technical details, there isn't mesh baking too much yet, so there's disabled rigged clothing which steal the bones from the actor on all the characters, goes for hair, facial hair, or anything that can't be changed with just a texture.

« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 03:26:48 PM by Zaibach333 » Logged

Melaniipon
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2017, 08:00:05 PM »

I'm hooked. I would so play this. Keep up the good work!
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j-swan
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 02:28:49 AM »

This looks like an awesome visual style with the rendering you have going on.
And the gameplay reminds me of tactics ogre or perhaps fire emblem. Very cool.
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Zaibach333
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2017, 05:52:36 AM »

Thanks! You think so? I wound up fixating on the shaders and colors for a couple weeks, but feels like an endless nit pick, probably a good thing I don't focus on art visuals 100% the time. 

[Updates]
The palette from the pictures are double the color palette from the second post now.

The key of colors per texture was upped from 6 to 10 possible colors.

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jctwood
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2017, 06:14:22 AM »

I really enjoy the art style of this! The menus look pretty slick too.
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2017, 06:35:27 AM »

Yeah this looks really cool. The art style looks awesome, almost like its rotoscoped or something. Have you considered making the terrain partially destructible or malleable to differentiate it from your inspiration games? I always felt that was something missing from Tactics Ogre, the ability to say, light a tree on fire or create a temporary bridge over deep water to open up new ways to attack. Looking great though!
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2017, 07:55:00 AM »

cool thanks, terrain manipulation is a back burner for now, a previous tactics system I made did do such a thing but I was making the tiles as actual objects for map creation back then, it's doable but I don't think it's a high focus. Thanks for that feedback, we currently have plenty of unique compilation but it is with a backbone from the inspiration, our design hopes to introduce many things at higher level classes (some influenced from table top combat systems like D&D), we'll have to see.

[Updates]
In some talks with some people about the art direction I think I'll update the post towards content modeling instead of pixel textures, still important but I think the look is getting there as it is.
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Zaibach333
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2017, 02:11:31 PM »

Dithering was easy to apply to the UI, makes a bigger difference on a larger screen, this clip shows this, and mouse menu input, plus a brief view of some of the menus for skills/powers management.



even can be applied to our company logo

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Zaibach333
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 01:21:29 PM »

Yeah, I went dither crazy, and I don't know how artists can handle doing visual tweaks all the time. in the refining of all this I've wound up putting light tint back in from the light sources and I may even put in specular lighting, going full circle.
I did come out with a better understanding of lighting at the shader level *shrug, and the colors are still based mostly on the palette, which was the initial side track, but I'm gonna try and get back to the content and mechanics again on the weekend.

Old

New


contrast looks diminished, it was the shadows from it being indoor which made everything look dithered, in reality the ramp is higher for contrast per texture but keeping some consistently solid color space is important too... oy, we'll touch up as we go and strike a balance.  Epileptic

 
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 01:36:45 PM »

I love the unusual style, and I love this type of game. The gritty yet cartoony world is drawing me in...

I just wish the characters portraits were a little more clear or relatable. Like, instead of a zoomed in look at the character model in motion (is that what it is now?), maybe holding still and more detailed? I just want a little taste of personality from the characters, and the portraits are usually the main place were you hook the player's heart strings with that...

In any case, good luck with the rest! I'd like to play. Smiley
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Zaibach333
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2017, 02:29:10 PM »

yeah, it's currently just a camera for the character profiles.  I've been contemplating that aspect to be completely pixel art... we are planning on having more icons too for say, status effects and what not, so depending on how it turns out it could be a direction we go, we only have so many differentiations for the generic human, so matching it up with a 2D template is doable, I'll bring it up though, it would add personality if we did it right, also with the shader I have we could match the colors well enough to the 3d character... Thanks for the feedback!

[Updates] So I did eventually add slight specular highlighting to the shader, I'll replace the gif in the title with it, hard to notice, but most of these effects are.


« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 02:43:52 PM by Zaibach333 » Logged

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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2017, 11:54:51 PM »

Love the art style on this one!  Looking forward to more!
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Zaibach333
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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2017, 10:34:41 PM »

Finally Updated the animations GraphicalGeek, thankfully your source was very similar to change, though I wonder if ik feet causes a performance hit.

So raising from the dead has an animation now,
Fixes allow for crossbows in the future, as well as a one handed spear, and a two handed club.
With some mechanics added I see potential in the climbing and swimming animations, especially the climbing.

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« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2017, 01:38:40 PM »

The progress you're making is pretty cool, dude. This is exciting!
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Zaibach333
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« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2017, 06:36:09 PM »

Running into some issues with the added animations, but the crossbow and short spear seem to be working, though there's no prerequisite proficiency skills for these new types yet, haven't decided the best class and skill point costs.  I added sorters for the shop and other item screens too.

crossbow Smiley

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« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2017, 09:33:56 PM »

Very unique art style, which I really like. Can't wait to see more GIF's Smiley
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