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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Epocha Tower [Pre-IndieGoGo] [Action-adventure RPG] [GM1.4]
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Author Topic: The Epocha Tower [Pre-IndieGoGo] [Action-adventure RPG] [GM1.4]  (Read 6880 times)
M0ti
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« Reply #40 on: December 28, 2017, 05:43:16 am »

Nice to things progressing smoothly!  Coffee
Yeah, it surely is. It would be nice if in the 2018 the progress could get a little faster or more noticeable but I hope that I'm heading in the right direction for that.

Found this devlog recently, great read! The game concept sounds cool (I'm a big fan of action-rpgs) and love how you explain how you do everything.

I really love the 1st banner design-wise. I agree the middle one represents the ideas you're going for best though.
Glad to hear that you consider it interesting. I hope that maybe one day it would become also useful to someone. :D
The first banner is also my favorite. But I think it's because I was the one who draw it. Abstract shapes is kind of my thing. :D
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« Reply #41 on: December 28, 2017, 09:43:58 pm »

As the last post of 2017 I've decided to make an overview of my progress.
I was thinking about the Tower project for a little more than two years, but actual start of the pre-production was somewhere in September 2017.
The absolutely first visible thing I created was a concept art, that is still present in the first post of this thread. But it wasn’t until the October when I started programming the first prototype. Now, after three months of casual development we are here.
- Basic movement is possible on keyboard just like on joypad
- Some simple animations were made and implemented (treasure chest and walls)
- Different commands can be given to different objects by one trigger (I’m especially proud of this one)
- First danger was implemented in the form of arrows and the abyss. (The abyss now works only if you step into it from sides. From the top or the bottom it only freeze the player, but that's just a matter of some proper fixing :D)
« Last Edit: December 30, 2017, 06:22:59 am by M0ti » Logged


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« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2018, 03:10:59 am »

Hello everyone in the 2018! I hope that you all had a wonderful farewell-party with the last year and that you started this year the best way you could think of. I wish you all nothing but a success. I wish you a great leap in the development of your games. I hope your projects get all the attention that you deserve and most importantly, I wish you to have fun no matter what you do.
I set for myself huge goals this year. Some of them could be easily labeled as impossible. 
But let's not go too ahead. The first steps that I would like to do in January are:
1. Wrote an article about some game dev topic and find a good place for it. Right now I’m thinking about gamasutra.
2. Make a game-jam-like prototype, based on what I have now. That means to create a short playable game that tries to focus on one idea instead of its overall production values. The theme that I would like to focus on this way is “exploration”.
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M0ti
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« Reply #43 on: January 05, 2018, 11:54:41 pm »

The progress I did this week was amazing. The fast-paced-crunch-timy development bears fruit. The downside of it is that I’m not able to really cover the progress as detailed as I would like here. So this week report would be more like a simple summary. If you are interested in any part of it, just ask and I will cover it in more detail.

First I’ve spend two days by researching the theme (Yes, I’ve set a theme for myself “Exploration”). I’ve got through a tons of youtube videos and made a tons of notes from it. Here I would like to point out Game Maker Toolkit from Mark Brown. His analysis of Zelda dungeons is simply phenomenal. It’s interesting, fruitful and most importantly amazingly well done.

Then I started with making the game elements that were completely missing until now. I also focused on the smallest, easily visible and quickly feasible. The reason is that I would like to have as much time on level design as possible and to do that I need enough building blocks. :D

And that bring us to what I made this week:

I made a gate. Because moving walls are cool but I wanted some legit entrance.Here I’ve realized that having this gate on vertical wall will be almost impossible to spot or go through so that’s one big plus for the zelda perspective. Tongue



One good point that I’ve got from my research was that exploration is not fun if you don’t have nothing to find. Coins will also help me to hint to the player where is possible to get and what’s just a background.


This took me a lot of time, not just drawing but also implementing. I think it was 4 - 5 hours so almost half a day. But it was mostly due to my inexperience with both pixel art and programming. :D
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« Reply #44 on: January 06, 2018, 12:13:17 am »

Your animations are lovely  Kiss

Exploration is a fantastic theme, and one where you can pull from a pretty large variety of mediums; from Indiana Jones all the way to Magic the Gathering's Zendikar block. The GM Toolkit series is great and it's cool to hear that you're referencing it, especially in regards to Brown's opinions on how the Zelda series' dungeons have evolved/devolved/revolved over the years. Excited to see this project keep progressing!
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« Reply #45 on: January 06, 2018, 07:07:29 am »

The crumbling floor has a fabulous, Zelda-like animation.

Perhaps it's mentioned earlier in the Devlog, but do you intend on keeping the walking animation more of a slide than an animation? I love the character sprite!
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« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2018, 03:40:57 am »

Your animations are lovely  Kiss

Exploration is a fantastic theme, and one where you can pull from a pretty large variety of mediums; from Indiana Jones all the way to Magic the Gathering's Zendikar block. The GM Toolkit series is great and it's cool to hear that you're referencing it, especially in regards to Brown's opinions on how the Zelda series' dungeons have evolved/devolved/revolved over the years. Excited to see this project keep progressing!
Thank you. You are right that the variety of the resources to study the Exploration is enormously wide. That's why I decided to look for the conclusions of others, before I start my own research. And that's why before going anywhere else, I went to see what Mark Brown has to offer.  Wink
I've found his work accidentally last year, when I was looking for the GameMaker tutorials. And I accually dont think that his work could be considered as mere opinions. His work is always well-crafted, his reasoning well-founded and the conclusions are always valuable.
If I ever got into the teaching game design, I would use his videos as a part of the curriculum.  Gentleman

The crumbling floor has a fabulous, Zelda-like animation.

Perhaps it's mentioned earlier in the Devlog, but do you intend on keeping the walking animation more of a slide than an animation? I love the character sprite!
Thank you. And also thank you for the "zelda-like" word combination. It gave me an idea to use "#zelda like" as an hashtag when the game is ready for more wide promotion.

To tell you the truth I have only a little of experience with the animations, and that's why now I'm doing only the unorganick stuff. But before the end of the month I would like to try at least 4-frame cycle for every direction. Smiley
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« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2018, 07:49:26 am »

A Link To The Past is 100% a 2D game and only makes concessions to sideview when it looks better. If it looks bad, they break their rules. There's some really great Zelda screenshots that really break euclidean space in general, but Zelda is so good at both being consistent and easy on the eyes that when you play you hardly ever think twice about it.

Also, that treasure trap with all the arrows is awesome.
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« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2018, 01:37:32 pm »

A Link To The Past is 100% a 2D game and only makes concessions to sideview when it looks better. If it looks bad, they break their rules. There's some really great Zelda screenshots that really break euclidean space in general, but Zelda is so good at both being consistent and easy on the eyes that when you play you hardly ever think twice about it.

Also, that treasure trap with all the arrows is awesome.
Thank you. It took a while to properly set the whole trap, so I'm glad that you like it.
With the Zelda perspective, I think it woks so well in the game because the "camera" is close enough to rarely let you see the inconsistency. As you can see on the screen below.

It's from the GBA Zelda: Mimish Cap. Most of the time you can see all four walls but then you get into this yellow puzzles and you can only see the front one. But in the actual game you will not see it, because you will not see both examples on the screen at once to compare them.
So after a while, I've ended up with the conclusion that the flexible approach will be the best.
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« Reply #49 on: January 11, 2018, 04:55:57 pm »

Every day I’m trying at least for a few minutes think about the level design. It's to fully nutrish the creative process from both sides. (from assets and mechanics I can think of new level ideas; from level ideas i can think of new assets and mechanics)
Until this week it did not go very well. All ideas I had were just an embodiment of boredom. Just a simple "pick something here and bring it there". Then I’ve got an idea of adding the verticality.

Two connected floors one above another. Beside multiple staircases to move between them it also going to include the moving walls, that will just transfer from one floor to another, always obstructing one path.
To make this work I had to do two things. Create stairs that will link two rooms together and then study surfaces for adding some lighting.

The lighting has few advantages. It instantly distinguish one floof from another without a need of transition effect or animation. But most importantly, whit  this effect of light going through the hole, it gives to the player a tool to oriente and to exactly specify what is above him.

An Idea for the future development: A map that could not be read if you are not on the well lit spot.
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« Reply #50 on: January 15, 2018, 12:40:44 pm »

Last weeks progress could be easily separated into three categories. My twitter PR activity, drawing new assets and programing, which i did most yesterday.

Twitter PR stuff
The usual response I get for each #gamedev tweet with gif attached is 3 - 15 likes and around 200 - 700 impressions. That's why it was a really pleasant surprise when out of nowhere one got more than 110 likes, almost 9000 impressions and made that way a really noticeable peak in my analytics. :D

I tried to discuss it with my friend, trying to find the cause of it.
  • One thing is that the post was retweeted by the YoYoGames, creators of Game Maker, but they retweeted me before, which had almost no impact then.
  • Second guess was that the gif itself contained a whole idea more than just a simple progress.
  • Third is that it was just a simple fluke that can happen. :D

New Assets

I’m still polishing my animation of the doors with the lock. I was afraid of doing any light effects but I’m starting to be satisfied with this one. But for a while the only polish I do is just constantly making the flash effect bigger. :D

The second one is the floor flip. Also kind of a challenge (because it’s so 3D). I wanted something that will accompany the spawn of coins and other items that will not be hidden inside of a treasure chests.

Programming news
At friday I programmed two major things.I implemented the flip animation and after that I had to find a way to somehow simplify the process of creating multiple instances of one object.
Before I needed to manually wrote a create event for every single one of them. That means specify the type of trigger action (create), time, x position, y position and name of the object.
For 10 coins in one row I would have to manually wrote 50 lines of code.

Now I only need coordinates (x,y) of the first and the last coin in the row. The rest is handled by the script.

  • First it finds out if the row is vertically or horizontally.
  • Then what is the direction (left, right, up, down).
  • How many instances will be there and what will be the complete time of their gradual appearance.
  • Then, the timer will start and the magic will happen. :D


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« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2018, 12:55:42 pm »

This is coming along beautifully!  Hand Metal Left Kiss Hand Metal Right
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« Reply #52 on: January 22, 2018, 02:04:56 am »

This is coming along beautifully!  Hand Metal Left Kiss Hand Metal Right
Hand Thumbs Up Left Well, hello there! Hand Thumbs Up Right I think so too!
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« Reply #53 on: January 22, 2018, 02:06:06 am »

Last week I've concentrated solely on my second goal for the January, which is to write an article. The topic I would like to cover is “Main Menus”. The idea of the article is that the main menu is a part of our game like any other, so what creative and innovative we can do with it?
I set few categories, like Mood-setting menu, progress reflecting menu or main menu with a mystery. And now I’m searching for few more examples that I could mention there.

Do you remember some menu that do interesting things?
Which menu instantly set you into the moon?

Any tip will help me greatly.
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« Reply #54 on: January 27, 2018, 06:52:52 am »

I've been playing Persona 5 lately, and its main menu oozes style (just like the rest of the game) and always gets me in the mood for playing.
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« Reply #55 on: January 29, 2018, 02:53:56 am »

I've been playing Persona 5 lately, and its main menu oozes style (just like the rest of the game) and always gets me in the mood for playing.
You are right. I'm playing Persona 5 right now as well and it's menu is surely worth mentioning.
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« Reply #56 on: February 03, 2018, 09:53:52 am »

After a little more than a week of illness I'm finally ready to hop back in the game development. Also February is here, so I should look back and think about it a little.
In January I thought I could manage to make a stand alone, playable prototype of the game. Well, that turned out plainly impossible. How typical of me and my planning skills. My Word!
But despite the final failure it was a really fruitful month, because the deadline kept me pumped up. I’m sure that this way I did more work that I would do without an unreasonably impossible goal, and that’s a success. Coffee

The small thing I decided to finally try, is the walk cycle animation. I was really scared of it. Than I found this video:

which felt explanatory enough, to give me a courage to actually try making one for the first time.
For that purpose I redraw the character a little bit. I made some shade colors more noticeable as was advised to me from some time. I also got rid of the shield and the sword as I don't have any combat plans right now. Later, when I have an animation for every directions I will revisit it and add the shield as I already have a mechanic for it.
Sword will hopefully follow one day as well. Wink
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« Reply #57 on: February 08, 2018, 01:00:06 pm »

Demon Tower Lore Bits Part 2
The main activity of the game should be the circle between the tower and the city.
You prepare for the adventure and then enter the tower, with the goal of reaching as high as your abilities let you. After that you return to the city, you sell what you have found, you report on the quests that you accomplished and from your resources you prepare for the next adventure.

“But this way I will have to always start at the first floor. If the game is not randomly generated, why would anyone want to do that?”

The answer to that question is, that there is absolutely no one who would want you to repeat the same floor twice. Not just you, but neither the Tower.

If you complete the floor, your experience and skills should naturally rise, right? This way the threats of the already beaten floor are no longer a challenge for you.
Why would the Tower want you to waste your time with some weak slimes, when there is probably some newbie adventurer behind you, who could fail on them?
That's why inside the Tower is an elevator, which can lift you to your last visited floor, where suitable challenges and possible failure awaits you!
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« Reply #58 on: February 12, 2018, 07:53:11 am »

I’ve tried to continue with the walk animations but when I’ve started with the front walk cycle I was unable to draw it. The legs of the protagonist were too small to represent all poses of the walk cycle (especially when it came to the down pose).
So I’ve decided to stretch him a little bit.

To confess, I like it a lot. To me, he feels more lively, younger and vital. I was trying for two days to come up with even bigger and more detailed one, but it never felt better than this one. Especially because I wanted him to have eyes and was not able to come up with the pixelated eyes that would look great from the front.

After that I spent few days making the front walk cycle and after that I also redid the side one with the new look. All that's left is the walk cycle from the back and I'm ready to go back to the Game Maker.
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« Reply #59 on: February 14, 2018, 03:42:05 am »

As every year, the whole March is going to be dedicated to the NaNoRenO. Monthly game jam focused on making visual novels. If you never heard of it, NaNoRenO does not have an assigned theme and it’s kind of relaxed in every aspect.
For example you can spend as much time with the pre-production, as you wish, as long as the real production does not start before the March.
That’s why I’m planning to participated with the Tower project. In the last few months that I’ve been working on this game I made some sprites, animations and started to shape the idea about what the gameplay is going to be like.
But I still don’t have even a single character or a line of dialogue. I don’t even know what’s the name of the main character. And so I’ve got the idea that the NaNoRenO could help me with that. :D
I already started a forum thread on the http://lemmasoft.renai.us/ , where the NaNoRenO updates and discussions are usually held. I will parallely post updates on both forums, as it’s still directly connected to the Tower Project.
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