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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsWolf Gang, a tactical RPG with a twist
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lyon
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« on: August 05, 2017, 05:41:10 PM »










What's all this about

Wolf Gang is a turn-based strategy game inspired by the likes of Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem, but with a bit of a twist. As a subversion of the traditional rock-paper-scissors strength and weakness dynamic, the gameplay is based around the concept of changing type on the fly. Players cannot be eliminated, but they can be knocked out for a set number of turns. Defeat goes to whichever team loses all of their control points.

I've made a short video that goes into explaining the game mechanics a bit more:






Each level has three hidden coins, one that is physically hidden in the level (as seen above), as well as one that is objective based, and finally one that is based on completing a level in X number of turns. These coins will be used for unlockables, and additional secrets will be unlocked for players who take on the greater challenge of perfecting the levels by collecting all three coins in one round.

I bleat about this over on Twitter too

NEWS:

We've got an alpha trailer!




« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 02:34:22 PM by lyon » Logged
bynine
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2017, 06:54:40 AM »

this is an interesting idea. any chance that you'd offer more depth in combat, like something requiring positioning or certain units who can attack from afar? right now it seems like it would be difficult to offer much meaningful gameplay if the system is that shallow
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lyon
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 07:26:36 AM »

this is an interesting idea. any chance that you'd offer more depth in combat, like something requiring positioning or certain units who can attack from afar? right now it seems like it would be difficult to offer much meaningful gameplay if the system is that shallow

As far as the actual combat goes, I think a lot of it will stay this simple, with a lot of the depth stemming from the level design. Stuff like choke points (bridges, ramps), high ground (You can only move up a certain depth but can drop down from any height), and stage hazards (falling boulders, etc) and how these layouts will impact your ability to predictively use the stance system to your advantage. HOWEVER this is subject to change if play testing reveals the game is too slow without some kind of ranged combat, like projectile attacks or dragoon-style jumping in from across the map. Having multipliers for direction facing feels redundant unless I adjust how damage works, seeing as strong stances knock out in one hit, with fights designed to last as few as one or two turns. Maybe one thing I could do is you're attacked from behind, you can't defend, but the attackers taking damage from defensive moves plays a lot into the quickness of fights and is used to prevent stunlocking so I will have to see.

One idea I'm still not sure if I will use is the ability to place traps that would automatically change a stance when you step on them just as an extra defensive play. The only thing is I have to think about how they're used (each character gets one trap? How does the game communicate that they've placed a trap already and that it belongs to that character? Can characters simply replace traps? Etc)

The one place where things will switch up is in boss battles, where unique mechanics to the boss character are introduced.
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lyon
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 03:28:42 PM »

Got a system in place now for scripting cutscenes that I can attach to the maps!  Beer!

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7box
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 11:45:24 PM »

An interesting concept indeed, Advance Wars is one of my favorite GBA game, so i'm intrigued in seeing where this game is heading.
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lyon
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 03:59:49 PM »

An interesting concept indeed, Advance Wars is one of my favorite GBA game, so i'm intrigued in seeing where this game is heading.

Thanks! I really loved Advance Wars too, and Advance Wars was definitely a jumping off point for me when trying to figure out an idea for a tactics game minus the RPG elements (ie: no leveling, equipment, etc).

Today was a big breakthrough for AI programming, as I was trying to not only have it be reflexive to difficulty settings, but also have teams work together instead of all just moving on the same targets.

If all other runes (which is what I've decided to call the control points) are already being targeted by other AI players, any remaining AI will essentially puppy-guard any AI team runes that are most at risk of being attacked. In harder difficulties, they behave much more aggressively, actively pursuing the player that is closest.

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lyon
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 06:29:05 PM »

Spent all day working on a grass shader that is responsive to the characters' position and I'm pretty happy with it!



EDIT: Now here's the thing about this, it's a little resource hog. Each of those little grassblades are a separate game object. If anyone knows a way I could somehow bake or spoof half of them, please let me know! I don't plan on having giant luscious grassy planes, but it would be nice to optimize it anyway!
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lyon
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2017, 01:26:24 PM »

Not a lot of visible progress lately, most of the work has been less cosmetic, and more behind-the-scenes. Today though, I've been retooling the cutscene/dialogue system to be able to handle character names (used to just search by game object's name), and finally getting around to doing up some sprites for the UI elements.

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lyon
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2017, 07:01:44 PM »

Added some UI stuff, including a display for turn order and contextual button prompts. Spent a whole lot of time optimizing stuff this week too, combining meshes to require way less draw calls, especially in the grass.

Also been working on some music and sfx but I am not quite ready to share that.

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lyon
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2017, 12:33:35 PM »

Finally got around to fleshing out some of the art assets some more. There is now an animation for changing stances which helps communicate what is going on during the turn in which they are vulnerable from that.



Just something simple for now. As a little bonus they do a little pose of the shape they are changing to.

Also got around to replacing the lovely white boxes with actual art assets for the teams' control points.



The sheep are agrarian, so their runes are a totem to the fruits of their labor, while the wolves are uhhh wolves, so theirs are made out of animal parts

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foofter
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2017, 12:38:33 PM »

Cute! Reminds me of Animal Crossing in isometric grid-based RPG - ie. one of my dreams come true!!  Smiley
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lyon
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2017, 12:48:32 PM »

Cute! Reminds me of Animal Crossing in isometric grid-based RPG - ie. one of my dreams come true!!  Smiley

Thanks foofter! I'm definitely inspired a lot by Animal Crossing in the look and humor of this, so I'm glad that's coming across Smiley. I've been Looking to those games as a model for doing more with less.

As an aside, it was actually such a pain to try and come up with a way to texture the trees that wasn't a direct transposition of the Animal Crossing tree bark especially, I feel like they really nailed the balance of simplicity and detail but I think I found a good compromise.
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lyon
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2017, 08:02:09 PM »

like something requiring positioning

After some player feedback, it was determined that defeating enemies felt fruitless. While functionally it is slowing the enemies down, which IS the objective of the game, it didn't actually FEEL like it made much difference in the outcome of the game.

To address this, I've decided to make it so that that the characters are knocked back when they're knocked out, so that 1) actions feel like they have more weight and 2) so that positioning actually makes a difference now. Players can be knocked down non-traversable cliffs, or they can position themselves against walls to avoid knock-back, for instance.

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lyon
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2017, 06:54:36 PM »

Finally got around to cleaning up and updating the main post!
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lyon
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2017, 09:48:58 AM »



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lyon
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2017, 08:23:32 AM »



The overworld map is far from finished, but I wanted to share a few things I was very proud of:

As you're traveling around the mountain, the camera stays rotated towards the center of the mountain, so that a) the levels can wrap around the mountain and b) it gives a far more satisfying sense of scale to the world than say a top-down super mario type thing.

The level selection pads dynamically look at the data for each map and pull out the totem for your team if you've beaten the level before, and the totem of whichever opponent you'd be up against if you haven't.

I think that these are all the levels that will be included in the demo, but we'll see if I need any more to ease players into the mechanics more. Just a reminder that the demo will be going live on November 1st to coincide with the launch of the Kickstarter, and you can sign up to the thunderclap campaign to help make the KS a success.

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lyon
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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2017, 12:57:01 PM »

There is now character customization! You can slap some clothes on the characters, which you unlock from scoring the coins in the levels.



The clothes are merely cosmetic, I received some good feedback about how annoying it is to not be able to wear the clothes you want because the buff it offers isn't good enough, so the badges will offer up little stat boosts instead.



I still need to program color sliders, but you can customize up to 2 colors per item



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lyon
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« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2017, 10:08:14 AM »

Got that color picker going and it's working



Also got support for multiple characters going with saving and loading



Definitely the most important feature addition yet
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lyon
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« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2017, 12:24:16 PM »

Really glad that I wound up adding in the clothing mechanic, because it facilitated the creation of this scene, which I wasn't REALLY sure how I was going to animate otherwise



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lyon
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« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2017, 06:14:11 PM »

I've made a short video that explains the game mechanics of Wolf Gang, check it out:


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