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1356289 Posts in 62823 Topics- by 54620 Members - Latest Member: bitluni

February 23, 2019, 08:21:25 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsTenderfoot Tactics
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badru
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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2018, 06:43:15 PM »

Guess I'm gonna write a little devlog update while I wait for a bar to fill up!

Spent this week working mostly on my overworld and narrative stuff, largely by just walking through implementing the first bit of the game. Wrote and rewrote the format for my scene/script data, which for instance lets characters perform actions, say lines, propose quests, and is used both within a combat encounter or just as a simpler version in the overworld.

Did a bit of work to genericize my water shader so it functions right both in combat and in the overworld, and blends between the combat version of itself and the overworld rendering in the background of a combat. It's a bit sloppy in certain places. The biggest reason I did this is because I decided to make the combat ground based on the overworld where the combat was initiated, and if that happens to be right on the shore I wanted the water to blend into the lake smoothly. Oh yeah! I also put in the logic so that if the combat water surface is below the water level, water can rush in from off-grid to fill it to lake-height. Gonna try to get a flattering screenshot, lets see...




Made a new region you can see in those screenies, meant to be a more colorful, inviting, happy place for the earliest zone.

Oh yeah! One thing I did during this process that was exciting - until now I only had AI control of non-magical units - knights/archers/scouts, which are obviously simpler. But I really want the very first scene in the game to be of two AIs fighting with high tier units, so I mocked that up a bit. It was incredibly easy to make fairly stupid, but still fun/satisfying AI for the units I chose for this - Shaman, Bog Witch, and Warlock.



Oh and because it's something I worked on this week, here's a shot from some early story stuff, that I probably won't share as candidly??

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ANtY
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« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2018, 12:27:05 AM »

Nice progress! Not sure if you already wrote about it but I wanted to ask how does the progression outside battles look? Can you upgrade your "soldiers"? And if so, in what ways? How about the equipment choice?
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badru
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2018, 09:17:14 AM »

Nice progress! Not sure if you already wrote about it but I wanted to ask how does the progression outside battles look? Can you upgrade your "soldiers"? And if so, in what ways? How about the equipment choice?

Thanks! I guess you mean like upgrading your folks' skills and such?



Right now it's really simple. You level up in whatever class you're playing as.

Having enough levels in the right classes (and the right affinity, which is a born-in attribute currently) unlocks classes further down the tree. E.g. level 3 Scout unlocks both Archer and Knight. Level 3 Knight unlocks Battlemage (if you're any affinity but life) and Spellsword (if you're any affinity but fire).

For each level you have in a class, you get one skill slot. At any time outside of combat, you can swap out your skills freely.

There isn't any equipment system anymore - cut it. I might put something back in but I'm leaning towards the simplest version of this thing for now.
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ANtY
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2018, 12:57:41 AM »

Sounds cool, I like class progression trees! I agree that not including eq might be a good idea, but in that case I'd also not put any consumables - maybe do some refilling fountains or sth.

Though I'm not sure about the Knight -> Battlemage  Cheesy
maybe something like a battlepriest or paladin would fit better?
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badru
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2018, 09:57:38 AM »

Sounds cool, I like class progression trees! I agree that not including eq might be a good idea, but in that case I'd also not put any consumables - maybe do some refilling fountains or sth.

Though I'm not sure about the Knight -> Battlemage  Cheesy
maybe something like a battlepriest or paladin would fit better?

Hm okay. Yeah I don't have any consumables or items at all currently.

The comment on classes is a weird one. Battlemage is the name I'm using for now for the class which has at its core: fire/earth/water spells at very close range, broad AOE, high health. I don't think your suggested names fit it at all? Seems like you're projecting world/story ideas from other fantasy universes onto this game. Maybe you're trying to be helpful but it feels rude to me. Maybe the "Cheesy" is just a bit too much.
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ANtY
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2018, 01:26:26 AM »

sorry, man, definitely didn't want to come off as rude. don't take my comments too seriously
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badru
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« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2019, 02:41:17 PM »

WOW I took too long between devlogs, so this is kind of a biggie. I'll probably just drop short notes on certain things and then possibly dive into them deeper as a follow up. Are dev-vlogs a thing people like?? It might be easier to just stream me talking through the stuff and then post the recording as a sort of vlog... just thinkin' out loud here...

THE BIG AND BROAD STUFF

Okay so the first thing that I'm absolutely not going to talk about at all yet: I've done a ton of work on the intro sequence, implementing features I want for storytelling reasons, changing around the way the characters work and even the world concepts. Writing is hard but it's what's going to make this real.

One thing I'll mention is I decided to frame all of the humans as goblins for thematic reasons. A core theme I want to address is the gradient of intelligent life and moral personhood, and part of how I want to talk about that is by framing the goblins (ex-humans) as dog-like compared to the spirits. I want to write them as stupid and cute and loyal, and I think goblins already have some of that baked into them as a concept. Plus, I want it to feel playful on the surface to be fighting your lil dudes against each other, and I think goblins come with that for free too, whereas humans killing each other feels more fucked on the surface, for good reason. Got a lot of work to do replacing all of my Human___ code with Goblin___ code, heh.

Hugely, the game's been silent for a long time, but we've just added a full first audio pass, and its REALLY GOOD AND I LOVE IT so maybe I'll do a deep dive into that later. Probably definitely. It feels so much more full and deep and rich and wild.

An important functional change, that impacts a lot of the game's structure:
  • All jobs other than scout/archer/knight start locked now.
  • When a unit of yours meets the req for a job you dont have, a pointer shows up on your horizon, where there will be a special encounter with units of that job type, which will grant you the job unlock.
This has helped a lot with reducing the information load on the player right at the start. It also adds a nice structural component that adds spatial meaning to the overworld, which has helped a lot with making the overworld and travel important. AND it has added a nice way to build out a game-long structural arc that relates to the overworld navigation and is narrative-esque but can live on its own for players who don't care about the story.

COMBAT

Added a pause menu. While paused all of the goblins sit down. This wouldn't be a combat note except that! The reason I added a paused menu is so I could but in it a button to run from combat
  • for enemies, to make fights end faster (and with less violence) when you're clearly winning
  • and for you, so you can bail if you're clearly losing or just don't want to fight right now
This is a major improvement for gameplay, but I'm also really happy with the way this changes the tone of the violence.


Added trees as fixed impassable objects per map for more tactical variation. Has done a lot to make each match more specific and interesting.


Improved the readability of bushes and difficult terrain by adding a particle pop to them (and adding a ton of late snap to the animation) when they get full grown.


Added a concept - interior encounters! Excited about the narrative and visual possibilities this opens up for me.

OVERWORLD


Added a map to the overworld. Currently this indicates roughly where you are, but nothing else. I'm not sure what I'll do with it long-term, but I wanted to start to build this in because I want wayfinding to be a functional element of overworld play. I'll probably want a compass and to mark some key locations? But it's also nice to just give players a map and let them use it manually.

Goblins now scale down as they get further away from you in the overworld, until they disappear.
  • better for perf
  • adds mystery and required attentiveness for players when in dangerous areas
  • leaning into the thing I've got going where reduction of detail due to distance is a structural part of the visual style


Built a system to blend regions in the overworld spatially rather than temporally by serializing material properties into color values and writing them onto a data texture, blurring that texture, and then sampling it with bilinear filtering. Did a lot of tools work to build a better editor for this.


Added a concept - overworld forests.
  • Now feral goblins (which are the source of random encounters) only spawn in forests
  • The player now moves faster and the camera zooms out a bit outside of forests
I did some fun shader work on this to get the models to pan in worldspace (there's just a single static mesh for those trees, with no C#). Could be a fun little post maybe?

PARTY MENUS


Built real skill trees!
  • Used to be a simple pool of skills you could choose between
  • Now skills level up into other skills - More powerful, and sometimes more complex
  • With this came lots of polish on the skill menu UX


Really built the early classes out further
  • Added earth mod to knight (slam - an AOE skill that lowers the earth),
  • plant to scout (canticle - an aoe heal that grows plants), 
  • fire and earth to archer (fire and explosive arrows)

On a last note!
I've decided to actually try to maintain social media accounts. They'll be 100% (95%?) focused on creative work, because that's the internet I miss existing. So if you want to follow my creative work in a way that's more regular and less of a wall of text, my sig has a link to my website hub thingy, which has links to the various social media platforms.
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