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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsAuto Fire: A turn-based roguelike auto combat RPG - v0.6.55
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Author Topic: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike auto combat RPG - v0.6.55  (Read 11726 times)
Vertigon
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« Reply #40 on: January 10, 2019, 12:53:48 AM »

Some new Auto Fire coming in! Check out what’s new:

New Equipment:

  • Mines: When anybody (including you!) moves adjacent to one, it arms and then explodes 1 second later. Be careful!
  • Oil Slick: Lay down a strip of this, and any cars that hit this immediately lose their grip… perfect for tight quarters like the city.
  • Flaming Oil:  Leave behind a trail of flaming death. Sets whatever enters it on fire.
    Wide Smokescreen: Create a whole volume of smoke, 3 across



Gameplay:

  • The player can choose one of three cars at start with different weapon and equipment loadouts:
    • The Stallion has 3 Junkthrowers, a smokescreen and an oil slick. Good starter vehicle if you’re just getting familiar with the firing arcs
    • The Panther puts 2 Bolt Rifles, one front and back, as well as a minedropper and smokescreen. Its longer range makes for stronger hit, but you’ll need to pay a bit more attention to your facing.
    • The Cricket is small but has a short-range machinegun on its front. It also can spray flaming oil behind it. Good vehicle if you wish to stay mobile.
  • Things can now be set on fire, for continuing DOT. Right now just hooked to the Flaming Oil, although other weapons including the flamer will definitely be dealing this out.
  • There are now two sizes of cities… There’s a medium-sized 64×64 city, and the old huge 100×100 city (which is much rarer). The appearance of the smaller city in the overworld map is different.
  • The default boss is far less overpowered now. Sorry ’bout that!


User Interface:

  • Automap icons for exits and garages
  • Title screen popup allows player to enter name and choose starting vehicle.
  • Health and armor UI over various enemies only appear when that component is damaged… reduces UI spam overall.
  • Took a unifying pass on my amateur-hour HUD, so that everything has a more consistent look. Thanks to my developer friends for the feedback!
  • The vehicle display is now unified with weapons and armor in a single location.
  • Weapon names now pop up on the vehicle display so you are clear what weapon (and what side) you’re firing.
  • Updated icons for some equipment
  • Status icons are larger and more attention-grabbing.



Audio:

  • New sounds for rockets, flamers, and cannons.
  • Stingers and music now doesn’t start until a map is fully loaded.
  • Ram and explosion sounds are replaced with less terrible ones.
  • Vehicle acceleration (and visual effects) only play when speed is actually gained, rather than when you press forward (so it adjusts to “coasting” once you hit max speed).

Visuals:

  • Rockets have new effects and sound
  • Car body shakes when moving at high speed, camera shakes less.
  • Overworld cars now visually swerve and arc like the cars in tactical maps.
  • The borders on terrain maps look a hair better.

Bugs:

  • Fixed some elements of map generations on height-mapped terrain (although there still is a bug in there).
  • The Homestead and Walled City (both of which were ugly temp maps with very little functionality) cannot be entered.  Will be replacing them soon.  They are marked as not being able to be entered in the overworld.
  • The Boss site in the city (which announced, temporarily and rather cheesily,  "Here Comes the Boss") no longer can be seen.  It was intended to be a marker for system use, not player facing.

I'm starting to enhance the equipment now, and am looking forward to new usable items and updating the inventory for its use. Check it out on Itch, it's still free!

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« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2019, 11:48:02 PM »

Version 0.5.7 is out.  Some important bug fixes came in along the way!

Visuals/Fluff
  • All menus use standardized buttons and fonts now
  • Music for the garage
  • Screen darkens behind popups, drawing your attention to the UI when necessary
  • Adjusted the vehicle view in the UI to reduce visual noise.

Bugs
  • All cars now have everything socketable and swappable.  Locking equipment slots with fixed components is a feature, but not something I wanted to lay onto players at this early stage.
  • The equip popup now has a functional scrollbar, so you can use whatever you pick up.
  • Fixed hover information getting stuck if you exited the menu from the inventory screen
  • Fixed boss taunt popup issue



As always, it’s free to check out, so head to Itch and see what you think!
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« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2019, 02:30:00 PM »

Some details on how my city generation tools work here:
http://www.patricklipo.com/2019/01/19/tiles-tiles-and-tools/

Auto Fire's generation was a significant part of my early development. I ended up with some tools in Unity that allowed me to build templates of varying sizes and then export them to json. The templates have connectivity data, could be populated with abstract tile definitions that varied depending on the city style I was making, and even could scale using a 9-slice approach.



Even though I have this scaling flexibility that works for exteriors, I ended up organizing my city maps into 4x4 blocks, so all the templates I make are at that granularity (4x8, 12x12, etc). The nice thing is that I can more or less hand-craft my blocks, and the more blocks I make, the better everything looks. Of course, at some point I need to just take a whole month and make content for this system, but who has time for that? :-)



Ugh rotating those damn scaleable templates was some of the fiddliest stuff to get right. :-)



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« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2019, 09:37:11 AM »

Seattle was pretty well snowed in for the last 4 and a half days, so I had a really long weekend to work on things.  Did I make a ton of progress?  Well, I got some new points of interest in on the maps, improved the roads, threw exploding cars based on attack angle and its velocity and some other fun things... 

However, it was some stale pointers and strange exceptions that I was battling for most of the time.  Ugh.  I am *so* ready to get back to the fun stuff.  On the upside the weekend fixes were capped off with a stress test... :-)

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« Reply #44 on: February 18, 2019, 01:49:07 PM »

Auto Fire v0.5.08 is out!

I’ve had a pretty busy last month (and some weather drama), but luckily I did get some meaty things done on Auto Fire.

Controls

Many people have lamented that it is difficult to control Auto Fire because the “forward” key also accelerates. Responding to feedback, the new controls are thus: If you press forward, your speed is capped at 40 MPH (that is, 2 actions per second). This way you can manage most maneuvers without crashing into everything around you (previously a popular activity in urban areas).

Speed is still king however, especially out in the badlands! A separate Boost key is used to accelerate beyond 40, up to your vehicle maximum.

Citadels

A Citadel is a civilized city where you can take a break, get repairs, and buy/sell items. Eventually different citadels will have their own specific functions, depending on which corporation owns it.

The cool thing is that you can now load up courier missions at a loading dock, giving you a non-combat way to earn more cash.



Cool Stuff

Gaw’bless Unity. It took like a half hour to put ragdolls on the soldiers.

I’ve also got some transition improvements, added new features in the overworld and improved the entrance/exit of areas.

We now save out fog of war between maps. (Whew that was annoying).

Quests work better! They’re improving all the time… but in this case I needed to create a quest on the fly when the player had to deliver cargo. This way I can use all the quest features like lists of rewards, player tracking, unique generated descriptions, and hooking into triggers such as arriving at a destination and showing quest markers.



Lame Stuff

Some significant bugs were also dealt with… I had previously been very diligent about properly and safely deleting entities, so that I wasn’t deleting them from a list I was parsing through. Unfortunately I wasn’t doing so when adding entities to the list. Thus C# was complaining at me nonstop, and it was nice to deal with that.

I also had a few remaining Entity pointers that I was saving across frames, which was not safe. I had changed everything over to a unique token method of tracking entities, but I had missed a few things previously. Nice to level everything out.


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« Reply #45 on: March 30, 2019, 08:48:18 AM »

Another month of slow-but-steady progress on Auto Fire. I come home with a varying amount of creative and problem-solving brain drain from my day job depending on what I was working on, so sometimes I had long evenings with not much progress, when others I do a lot in 90 minutes before heading to work. A solid amount got done, although some was tangible and some was straight up infrastructure.

Conditions

There's a condition system now, where entities can be stunned, set on fire, made to skid, be blind, etc, and that will last a fixed number of turns before automatically removing themselves. Nothing super fancy, but it allowed me to do stuff like cause a vehicle to spin out when it hits an oil slick.

It also allowed me to give the player's radar more functionality, because it now "paints" targets within a specific radius for a set amount of time. Ideally the player should be able to build up sustained fire on a single opponent, or race through a group (at high speed to avoid being shot) and hit everyone with a radar ping before swinging around and taking advantage of the higher hit rate (and eventually critical hits spurred by this).

There is a new icon system above vehicles to show their current conditions, which hopefully will teach players more about the advantages of speed and choosing targets.



Combat Calculations

I also did some work on the to-hit calculations... I was using a "Diablo-style" hit percentage generator that tended to not miss a lot... the greater the defense, the more the hit chance headed towards zero, but in an asymptotic fashion. What happened there was that it compressed the viable range of hits more than I would have liked. Improving or reducing your hit chances didn't really seem to have a big impact.

So, I switched back to a flat hit percentage generation where attack and defense are directly opposed totals (more like D&D or other pen-and-paper games). It seems a bit archaic, but I put the minimum hit chance at 10% and reward the player with crit bonuses if they exceed 100%... and you definitely notice if you're moving at speed and are harder to hit, or if you get a hit bonus from radar painting your target. You can read a bit more of the nerdery here.

Finally, I found a bug that was causing enemies to hit you 100% of the time no matter what your defense or how fast you go! Now moving at higher speed is significantly more meaningful.

Weapons!

I did a bit of work on weapon resolution to clean up some weirdness, as well as allow for effective area effects over various volumes. I can have weapons with blast radius at impact, cone effects, lines, and more. This gave me some vastly improved versions of scatterguns, flamers, and so on.

I also switched over my missiles to LeanTween (a great Unity package that's freeeee, although the Editor that goes with is worth throwing a few bucks at) so that I could use more sophisticated arcs (splines, eases, etc) for the projectile travel. This gave me some great drunk missiles and so on.







City Flow

A somewhat smaller bit of work but vastly important was looking into problems I was starting to see in my city layout.

A couple of years ago I put multiple months into a city generation method that took pre-crafted blocks and spliced them together, street-to-street, with props and so on. It worked pretty well... However, lately the cities seemed to have wayyyy too many skinny alleyways and dead-ends, even though I remember putting a fair amount of effort into reducing these. Worse yet, I'd started to see some passability and playability issues, which I know I did checks for. Ugh. I love dusty Mad Max wastes, but the cities are just as important a part of the game and they weren't fun.

I spent some time trying to re-learn what the hell the 2016 version of me had made. For a little bit I thought 2016 me was a bit of an idiot... but it turns out he was somewhat clever. It was 2018 me who introduced a number of bugs that caused loops to no longer form... that guy was a jerk. Specifically I had some code that overlaid roads over previously populated obstructions to create extra loops, and those no longer overlaid properly. In addition, my passability checks were not properly busting holes through the buildings and obstructions when needed.

I added a bit more two-lane roads and discouraged alleys from forming very often. In addition, I added some new block types to my definition that had fewer buildings, so some extra open spaces could be formed. I can pretty much make an infinite number of city block components, so I'll keep adding ones that give some more driving freedom.



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« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2019, 10:06:18 PM »

Love the concept, downside is the car is big as the buildings wich is a bit off and pulls me out of enviroment feel
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« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2019, 10:21:48 PM »

The scale is a little cartoony, but this is deliberate.  That's why I stop short of a realistic look.  I do understand what you're saying, however, and am still playing with scale to get 100% comfortable with where I'm at.
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« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2019, 10:46:16 PM »

Version 0.5.09 is now out!  Check it out on Itch.io!

Within you'll see a bunch of the stuff I wrote about a couple days ago, come to fruition!  More importantly, there's now a settings menu (heyooooo thank goodness).
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« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2019, 09:50:23 PM »

Welp, another week, another build update.  I'm probably a bit too excited about having a key configuration screen, but there you go.

Some bug fixes in UI are coming in also, along with settings that persist across sessions.  Yay quality of life!

Finally, the vehicle selection popup at the start gives you more information so you can pick a car that matches your playstyle.

You can go get v0.5.10 right here.

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« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2019, 02:58:36 PM »

The scale is a little cartoony, but this is deliberate.  That's why I stop short of a realistic look.  I do understand what you're saying, however, and am still playing with scale to get 100% comfortable with where I'm at.

Good luck, i follow the progress
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« Reply #51 on: May 20, 2019, 11:11:08 PM »

Oh man oh man it’s been far too long since I’ve published an update. That’s a terrible thing I don’t want to happen very often, but I started to put in the quest updates and it made sense to get a number of additional features up to snuff in support of it. 

Worse yet, I sat on a hojillion changes in my source control before I checked everything in. I think it was like a month. Work was making me a little crazy, but that’s ridiculously bad form. On the upside, this update brings about a bunch of changes in a big sweep.



My primary goal for this update was to add more exploration and stages to the boss fights and quests.  For this I needed to support better quest state reporting, and make new emplacements to fight against to draw the boss out.  Then I realized that the whole system fell apart when you left the area, so I had to improve how quests were maintained when you leave an area.  Then I realized I wasn't really saving data the way I should and basically had to improve the saves to be near-ready for cross-session saves (hopefully soon).  Then I realized that spawning emplacements in random locations was really ugly and made them hard to find, so I added a content socketing system for bosses, emplacements, loot and hazards so that their placement could be more deliberate and hand-crafted.

Quests
  • Entering a map occupied by a boss now requires the player to progress through the map and take out a number of strategic structures in order to coax the boss to face you.
  • Outpost maps are defended by armored watchtowers.
  • Ruined cities require you to take out fuel dumps.
  • The quest title is shown when entering and area, and updates are shown as the player achieves objectives.
  • The mini quest display is cleaned up and should update properly.
  • Quests are properly resumed when the player returns to a location.
  • Reviewing your quests that are in maps other than the current one is handled better.

Music
  • Added some post-apocalyptic music and a couple stingers.  Adjusted existing stingers.
  • Added dynamic music tracks for city and outpost tactical maps.
  • Dynamic music now escalates as the player takes out more emplacements and the enemy spawns get more intense, up until the boss is unleashed and the boss music is played.
  • Added boss-specific music, and adjust the intensity based on how close the boss is.

Visuals
  • Adjusted the anti-aliasing so the game isn't blurry.  Temporal anti-aliasing can cause a smearing effect might work for realistic titles but ain't great for games with precise information to dole out.



Combat/Systems
  • Added sustained fire bonuses that improve player accuracy after multiple attacks.
  • Painting an enemy with the radar will improve player accuracy against them.
  • Improved some targeting response elements by indicating which entities are people, cars, emplacements, etc.
  • Emplacements such as watchtowers have new aggro and play distinct spotted sounds.
  • Extended the aggro duration of enemies and made sure they don't lose interest in the player while still in sight.

Balance
  • Junkthrowers do 50% more damage. They were supposed to be scrub-tier weapons but they were just sooooo bad.
  • The Stallion now has a bolt rifle mounted front and two junkthrowers (one per side).  Its combat capability was depressingly terrible.
  • Mines have a lower cooldown again.
  • Significantly more cash is dropped from loot crates and enemies.  Killing a boss and getting $4 was definitely sub-awesome.
  • Zones have fewer garages.

Map Generation
  • Quest emplacements like watchtowers and fuel dumps are placed in sockets that are part of map generation.  Thus their placement is more crafted.
  • Loot crates and barrels also have specific hand-crafted sockets for various map generation tiles, for a less haphazard placement.
  • Crates are off the beaten path, sometimes in nooks or dead-ends, but generally in a place somewhat thought out.
  • Barrels are placed in clusters around road hazards, fuel stations and large wrecks.
  • Loot and barrels now have a tunable target number placed per map.  Before it was a much wilder range of possibilities.



Progression
  • Population, quest progression and entity placement is now saved when exiting and returning to a map.
  • Entities, enemies, sites and pickups now save their state (when marked to do so) when leaving and returning.
  • This is not quite all the way to full savegames, but we're very close.

UI
  • Improved the display of enemy misses somewhat.  Shots go wide and misses are pretty clear.
  • Cleaned up the "chrome" UI window borders.  They were originally photoshopped from actual chrome dashboards but that didn't scale as well as I'd like.  Buttons have their own appearance now.
  • Improved some bugs with weapon targeting and the widgets over target vehicles.
  • Can now display entities as singular or plural for quest readouts.
  • Boss and targeting popup displays are now cleaner and, well, less terrible.

Bugs
  • Fixed the handling of rotating large objects...  This means that there should no longer be any invisible barriers.
  • Improved some poorly-handled persistent effects such as oil jets and skids...  These are now handled with greater safety and more robustness.
  • Enemies no longer can get in a state of attacking inanimate objects or themselves.
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« Reply #52 on: June 07, 2019, 09:58:38 AM »

I've been laying the foundation for a trailer over the last couple weeks, so most of my progress in Auto Fire has come in the form of cleanup, although there are a few gameplay tweaks, mainly to make that early experience a bit better. On the upside, there are less-soldier-y gang members, a cleaned up HUD, some new lighting and vehicle trails, check it out.



Starting next week, I'll be able to work on Auto Fire full-time for a while, so prepare for some meaty updates.  The goals are to significantly improve the player movement, reveal more options when driving, and fleshing out systems that have only been teased, like a more alive overworld.

See you on the road!



General

  • Upgraded to Unity 2019.1, which seems to have gained a little performance.

Balance

  • Improved the visibility of enemy cars (they were very short)
  • Increased the range of junkthrowers since they were still kind of frustrating to use.
  • Adjusted population cap to accommodate new fuel dumps and watchtowers.
  • Fuel dumps are now guarded by flamer gangers

UI

  • Cleaned up UI
  • The equipment quotes in the info popup are now aligned correctly
  • Revised weapon icons
  • Revised, crisper UI window frames, etc.
  • The player can turn the skid meter on or off in the options screen
  • Removed the skid meter behind the car by default, since it didn't look great.
  • Remove random encounter dialogues until they are ready.

Visuals

  • Revised the road decals to make for softer edges
  • "Soldiers" are now desert warriors
  • Foot gangers now use the proper pose to match the weapon they are wielding.
  • Added headlights to the player car when in a ruined city.
  • Lowered overall brightness of the city map, so that the light sources could stand out.
  • Increased the light brightness for streetlights and barrels and fire.
  • Revised the trails from the taillights of vehicles entirely.  They use a new system that makes them very smooth.
  • Improved the detection of offroad when a vehicle is driving, for visuals and gameplay ramifications

Audio

  • Gangers now use battle cries rather than military radio transmissions when they spot the player
  • Vehicles now rev their engine instead of honk when the spot the player


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« Reply #53 on: June 08, 2019, 09:56:49 PM »

An honest-to-god trailer inbound!  VO and everything...  Wooo!

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« Reply #54 on: June 27, 2019, 12:29:06 PM »

Auto Fire v0.5.14 inbound!



I’ve made some pretty good progress on Auto Fire, finally steering to towards a new phase of its development...  The prestige and reputation systems. These are more important than you might have originally thought to the future of the game.

You see, the world of Auto Fire is not the dreary low-tech wasteland that it appears to be so far...  Yes, the world did undergo a dreadful catastrophe, but that was many years ago.  Life goes on.  The corporate citadels around the badlands are packed with people living out their lives in relative monotonous comfort... Wages slaves in a company town.



It’s dangerous for the average person to travel and gas is extremely scarce, so few people ever leave the shelter of the city they grew up in.  Meeting new people is a rare delight.  Entertainment is limited to whatever the can find within the walls or by watching vids.

Life is pretty boring in the citadels.

By contrast, things are pretty rough out in the badlands, but it’s a lot more interesting.  City folk are eager for any tales from the outland.  Drivers are their reality stars, and sometimes even their heroes.  As a driver, your reputation is everything, so you’ll have to do whatever you can to build it.



Some other changes:
  • Weapons have been rebalanced to make one-turn cooldowns the norm.  This helps people get a better feel for turns, and hey it's more fun.
  • Enemy movement and weapon recharges happen on turn boundaries.  If you are moving at 20MPH, you get one move per turn, at 40MPH you get two moves per turn, and so on.
  • Finally, Fame is being tracked on the player. Leveling up your prestige ranks will get you access to new missions, vehicles and equipment.

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« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2019, 03:42:14 PM »

v0.6.00: A Smooth Startup

It’s arrived... a big update, worthy of a full point!  Auto Fire has had a lot of work put into it over the last month, not the least of it being the revised onboarding (that’s fancy-pants dev talk for what a new player experiences).  A lot of players’ first experience with Auto Fire was tough, because there were some really dangerous enemies out there in the badlands, and you were just as likely to meet them while you were still trying out your training wheels as any other time.

In the spirit of making the game more playable and easier to understand, there’s now an intro that eases you into things a bit... and sets up the conflict against your (generated) rival down the road!  Clear out those bandits and get back to civilization!



The game also tailors that early experience when you’re stuck with a couple of junkthrowers and not a lot else, so that you are less likely to encounter enemies that want to come punch you in the fun bits right away. This way you can pick up some loot, head to the garage, and upgrade away!

In addition, the player can now customize their character more fully upon startup.  You can choose your portrait, and the dialogue (even the procedurally-generated stuff) will adjust for male, female, etc.



There are a ton of changes that came in, but a lot of it is nerdy stuff that only I care about... Oh, hey, here’s some cool stuff you might actually notice!

Campaign:

  • There’s a new encounter system that extends the random encounters in the game previously.  You now can see your opponent, they can call you by name, and choose a course of action.
  • The game starts with some intro encounters that help give you a sense of what you’re doing there and what to do next.
  • Character customization has been extended to support player portraits as well as choosing gender.
  • Both enemies, players and any NPC can now be male or female.  Dialogue is set to use the correct language to address them as it comes up.
  • You now have a (soon to be) publicity agent and a rival that are generated on campaign start.  These are referenced and used throughout the game.
  • Agents are now handled outside of factions.  Thus agents (any NPC) can join you, an opposing faction, or be an independent operator like the player.
  • A story manager presents basic encounters that drive the initial experience forward.  This will hook in as more cause-effect things happen with the player.
  • Naming has been adjusted to better fit categories of civilians, punks, drivers and corporate suits.
  • Female names have also been added since we can generate those NPC’s now.




Gameplay:

  • Chests now break open when moved onto in the overworld.
  • Weapons now start with a higher amount of damage (junkthrower starting around 10) but don’t increase as drastically (the maximum is about 250% of the minimum, rather than the former 1000%)
  • Weapons have less of a randomized spread in their damages (used to be 70-130%, now is 80-120%)
  • Armor for the player’s vehicles have correspondingly been increased, from 100 per side to 150.
  • Armor repair kits now repair 15 per side rather than 10.
  • When the player is ambushed into a battleground, they start in the middle of the map rather than near the entrance.

Gameplay:

  • There’s a new intro cutscene that sets the situation when the campaign is started.  Because I know dying would be a chore and you'd murder me if you couldn't, these can be skipped.
  • Encounter text also has a teletype-style reveal, which again can be skipped if the player is impatient.
  • Portraits can show or not show in encounters, and can even show as a transmission.
  • The loading screen shows hints and has a spinner so you know if the game is live.
  • The cursor keys have been remapped to work properly within menus.  Key navigation of menus still needs improvement, but it should be better than it was.
  • Fame/Prestige is displayed properly on character and city menus.
  • Adjusted a bunch of buttons to be more visually interesting.



Visuals:

  • Cars now don’t kick up much dust when travelling on roads.
  • The gas can in the world is now red, matching the icon(!)
  • There is a quick stint of slow-motion when cars are destroyed, and the same effect is back when the player died.

Audio:
  • Revised some of the stingers when entering maps.
  • The turn-end sound was revised to be less in-yo-face.
  • Button presses have more audio feedback in more cases.



This coming month will be all about adding variety and continuing to improve the interface.  If I demonstrate the game at a show, what will draw players in? What will it take for them to understand what’s going on? What last flourishes or abilities would really sell the whole package?
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« Reply #56 on: July 26, 2019, 04:31:11 PM »

One day on the heels of v0.6.00 comes v0.6.01!  And it includes OBJECTIVE POINTERS...  It was needed!!!



https://vertigames.itch.io/auto-fire/devlog/91828/auto-fire-v0601-objective-pointers
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« Reply #57 on: July 30, 2019, 09:16:27 AM »

​We've finally launched a new Discord server to help relay information about Auto Fire.  It will hopefully also be a home for other types of vehicle combat enthusiasts, because we want to learn from fans of Car Wars, Gaslands, Mad Max, and so on.  

Join in and help us understand what makes car combat special to you?  Is it about the sheer attraction of powerful vehicles?  The weapons and electronics hardware?  Maintaining high speed?  Special maneuvers like the bootlegger reverse?  Building up your ride and skills?   You may just help us decide what features are next!  Click below to join in!​

« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 12:37:58 PM by Vertigon » Logged

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« Reply #58 on: July 31, 2019, 03:32:05 PM »

I am rolling off of a bunch of updates by the first coder to touch Auto Fire outside of me... My friend Jim streamed his work this past Saturday and Sunday and helped get some cool functionality in that I hadn’t done before.

Along the way he also added some Quality of Life improvements to some of the code, for his convenience but of course it will be helping me even more. Friends are nice to have!

In particular, I’m looking to snarf some of that ram functionality to wrap it up into a couple vehicle gadgets: A Ram Piston and… a Bootlegger somethingorother. Plus it lays the foundation for me to knock enemies around as the result of player action… something that ramming desperately needs.

For the time being, the new build has some fancy new features:

Critical Hits

Weaponry now has a critical hit functionality when fired…  By default a weapon has a 5% of delivering a critical hit, with a crit dealing 2.5x damage.  You can improve that crit chance by 25% by painting your targets with radar (the 1 key) before attacking.  Sustained fire does still improve your chance of hitting (as does radar painting) but only radar enhances crits.

Critical hits are a core method with which I want to handle skill improvements, electronic warfare, and general hit bonuses. Improvements to hit chances are also in there somewhere, but I don’t want to have a lot of shots missing in the game… that can be frustrating. Hopefully this will be a whole new angle by which players can decide what to do next.



Revised repair functionality

While gas and ordnance still cost cash to purchase, repairs to your car now need precious parts to fix up.  You can refill your resources and make repairs in 10-unit portions now, rather than in an all-or-nothing fix.

Resources will become all-important as time goes on, an cash will mainly be focused on acquiring new gear, doing deals, making bribes, and so on.

Improved smoke screens

Smoke screens are a staple of car combat, but to date it hasn’t really been effective at getting anyone off your tail. I already had wide smoke screens but decided that it should be the norm… you should feel good about spending your action using one if you are in trouble. These wide smoke screens will nearly fill a roadway, to help you make an emergency escape… It really can deliver the goods.



...and other stuff

Gas now informs you if you are full and can’t pick up any more.
Some improvements to UI and feedback
Menu/UI Usability improvements.
Links to the help page and Discord from within the game.
A few additional bugs fixed.
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« Reply #59 on: August 15, 2019, 09:20:07 PM »

Auto Fire has been going through a lot of work focusing on making the game more approachable for someone that might want to sit down and play.  This is specifically useful in preparation for the SIX show in Seattle on September 1.



In particular, I put a fair amount of work into adding Gamepad Support to the game. Yeah it’s still turn-based, but driving with the stick feels pretty good.  Here’s the quick rundown, assuming you have an Xbox-style stick:

  • Hold the Left Stick in a direction, and you’ll get a preview of the result:
  • Up/Down:  Acceleration/Deceleration
  • Up-Left/Up-Right:  Swerve Left/Right
  • Left/Right:  Turn Left/Right
  • Down-Left/Down-Right:  Hard corner Left/Right
  • Centered:  Coast (if moving) or wait.
  • The Left Trigger will commit the move and advance the turn.
  • If you hold the left trigger you can move multiple times in a row.
  • The Left Shoulder will Boost your vehicle, allowing acceleration over 40 MPH.
  • Tap the Right Stick in a direction and you will target the nearest enemy that uses that weapon.
  • The Right Trigger will fire any available weapon at the nearest target, or the targeted enemy if one is already being targeted.
  • The Directional Pad can adjust your aim target.

Additional functions:

  • The A Button will Activate an entrance.
  • The B Button will Brake.
  • The X Button activates the radar.
  • The Y Button brings up the Character screen.
  • The Right Shoulder and A/B/Y will use the appropriate Equipment slot
  • The Start button brings up the settings menu.
  • The Back button brings up the Automap.

The game is still the same at its heart, but holding a controller just immerses you just that much more, plus you’re not stretching your fingers over the keyboard.  I’d be thrilled to take any feedback you might have on it.



In addition, there should be a lot more information in the game about speed and what direction everyone is travelling in.  As is natural, a common player instinct is that if a vehicle isn’t moving onscreen (while the simulation is waiting for you to make your next move) that it is not currently moving at speed.  The wheel motion, dust from the tires and indication of speed changes should help you digest what the simulation is up to!

As always, there’s another grab bag worth of things that happened along the way:

  • The HUD adjusts the key prompts based on whether the player is using the keyboard or gamepad.
  • Radar now uses the R key (and resides in vehicle equipment slot 4).  It has a separate spot on the UI.
  • Enemies now do not shoot every possible chance they get (rather than move).  They are just as likely to try maneuvering than shooting.
  • Improved AI will not try to move directly in front of your vehicle anymore.  This was really frustrating because they’d keep forcing you to maneuver around them to keep from colliding, rather than shoot them.
  • Enemy cars are more likely to get moving rather than sit-n-spin.
  • Fixed issues with auto-targeting with specific weapon sides.
  • Adjusted some female surnames so I avoid generating women named “Scott” or “Howard”
  • Control remap interface is temporarily disabled until it can be properly revised.

I hope you can check it out!

Download on Itch.io!
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