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December 06, 2022, 09:54:03 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogs[2022.03 demo released] Shardpunk: Verminfall (xcom/darkest dungeon/steampunk)
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Author Topic: [2022.03 demo released] Shardpunk: Verminfall (xcom/darkest dungeon/steampunk)  (Read 49781 times)
bryku
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« Reply #220 on: March 12, 2021, 01:54:33 PM »

I have some good news to share - I have started working full-time on Shardpunk! I will be giving more details about this in a near future; long story short is that I've been able to find someone who believes in the project, who allowed me to take a risk and start spending more time (like MUCH more time) on game development.

This is happening guys. After more than two years of part-time, few-hours-per-week development, F*ck yeah!

All that being said, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done until the game is ready. I am still tweaking some systems, making sure that the core gameplay loop is closed.

Anyway - there will be more announcements when the time is right. As for today, I want to share information about some parts of the game I made progress in:

Improved character AI

There were situations in the game where melee enemies could not find their way to the player. This was especially true in the sewer levels which seem to have more tight spaces. This is now resolved and these pesky rats should have no more issues with pursuing your characters.





It does not mean that the AI will be always making the best decisions possible. There are few places in the AI code where I am deliberately telling it to move to a position that makes them more vulnerable. With AI being too smart the game was not fun to play.

Game start screen

The player will be able to choose up to four starting characters for each run of the game. There will be sixteen characters to choose from. Right now I'm still at four; two more are in the making.





Note: I believe it will be adding more detailed mugshots for every character.

The player will be starting the game with four characters, with the ability to find more characters (but never more than five) during the game. There will be special character rescue missions going on.

Weapons!

I am finalizing the UI for this. You will be able to find better weapons for your characters and tweak/upgrade them during the shelter phase.





Final Chapter One mission

As I mentioned, I am working on closing the main gameplay loop and making sure all the features are there. After that, I will be working on the final mission of the first chapter (so-called "bridge mission" as it will be taking place - you guessed it! - on a bridge). I have the general layout of the final map ready, but there's still a lot of work that needs to be put in,

All in all, I am super excited about the future. I am working at full speed to finish the first chapter of the game.

Take care!
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bryku
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« Reply #221 on: March 13, 2021, 07:22:42 AM »

Thanks for the update! One way to implement "real" perma-death is to make it an option you can choose at the beginning of the game. I personally never do that and I feel like if there will be no option to turn it off or on in Shardpunk, the way you describe in your post (soften the perma-death) is a great solution.

Hm, having perma-death as a setting seems like an... interesting choice. Can you give examples of games having such mechanic?
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« Reply #222 on: March 14, 2021, 03:56:42 AM »

Hm, having perma-death as a setting seems like an... interesting choice. Can you give examples of games having such mechanic?

The first example that comes to my mind is Hardcore characters in Diablo II (and III). But actually, I never choose to play like this nowadays. I guess I'm not hardcore anymore Wink I always assumed that the new X-Coms' Iron Man mode was optional permadeath, but just read up on it and found out that you still have a single save game in that mode. I also just read that a more recent example is Watch Dogs Legion, but I never played that.
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UnemployedVillain
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« Reply #223 on: March 18, 2021, 09:30:50 PM »

Thanks for the update! One way to implement "real" perma-death is to make it an option you can choose at the beginning of the game. I personally never do that and I feel like if there will be no option to turn it off or on in Shardpunk, the way you describe in your post (soften the perma-death) is a great solution.

Hm, having perma-death as a setting seems like an... interesting choice. Can you give examples of games having such mechanic?

The newer Fire Emblem games are a big one. They call it "Classic Mode", as permadeath was the norm for the series and if a character died during battle they stayed dead. However in those newer entries they have another mode where characters are revived after battle.
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Copywright
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« Reply #224 on: March 18, 2021, 09:52:29 PM »

Thanks for the update! One way to implement "real" perma-death is to make it an option you can choose at the beginning of the game. I personally never do that and I feel like if there will be no option to turn it off or on in Shardpunk, the way you describe in your post (soften the perma-death) is a great solution.

Hm, having perma-death as a setting seems like an... interesting choice. Can you give examples of games having such mechanic?

The newer Fire Emblem games are a big one. They call it "Classic Mode", as permadeath was the norm for the series and if a character died during battle they stayed dead. However in those newer entries they have another mode where characters are revived after battle.

Personally, I love permadeath. It increasing connections to characters and ensures properly strategy is used. You feel the weight of carrying people's lives.

BTW, this really awesome. 2D XCOM is amazing.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2021, 10:32:10 PM by Copywright » Logged


bram_dingelstad
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« Reply #225 on: March 23, 2021, 12:30:21 AM »

... start spending more time (like MUCH more time) on game development.

This is happening guys. After more than two years of part-time, few-hours-per-week development, F*ck yeah!

Super cool and congratz! I just stumbled on this thread, but this tick all of my "would LOVE to play" boxes! I'm subscribing to the thread and can't wait to see what you do next. I haven't looked at all of the devlogs yet, but I'll def do. I've always been a huge fan of XCOM, so seeing someone making something inspired by it is super cool!
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bryku
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« Reply #226 on: March 25, 2021, 05:48:08 AM »

Super cool and congratz! I just stumbled on this thread, but this tick all of my "would LOVE to play" boxes! I'm subscribing to the thread and can't wait to see what you do next. I haven't looked at all of the devlogs yet, but I'll def do. I've always been a huge fan of XCOM, so seeing someone making something inspired by it is super cool!

Thanks! Yeah, there's still a long journey ahead of me but it seems that everything is on the right track to make Shardpunk a real game. Like, you know, a game that got released and actually caught the attention of people Smiley
« Last Edit: March 28, 2021, 10:44:07 AM by bryku » Logged

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« Reply #227 on: March 26, 2021, 08:35:13 AM »

Nice concept. How will player change team or it will be story based?
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Alain
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« Reply #228 on: March 27, 2021, 02:09:15 AM »

Yeah, there's still a long journey ahead of me but it seems that everything is on the right track to make Shardpunk a real game. Lie, you know, a game that got released and actually caught the attention of people Smiley

Shardpunk will be a real and great game no matter how much attention it gets!
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bryku
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« Reply #229 on: March 28, 2021, 10:41:35 AM »

Nice concept. How will player change team or it will be story based?

The player will be able to compose a starting team at the very beginning of the game. It'll be four characters picked from a pool of sixteen available ones. The game will allow the player to control up to five characters, meaning there will be a way to find at least one character as you go (or more, if some of your characters die during combat).
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« Reply #230 on: March 28, 2021, 10:43:49 AM »

Yeah, there's still a long journey ahead of me but it seems that everything is on the right track to make Shardpunk a real game. Like, you know, a game that got released and actually caught the attention of people Smiley

Shardpunk will be a real and great game no matter how much attention it gets!

Thanks for the good words!

However, if I want to pursue my game development career, I will require the game to get attention; I will require a way to fund my next title.

That being said, I need to finish Shardpunk first. And I'm doing my best to make it as good as possible Smiley
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« Reply #231 on: March 28, 2021, 11:41:25 PM »

However, if I want to pursue my game development career, I will require the game to get attention; I will require a way to fund my next title.

I totally understand and I am sure you will be able to grab people's attention. Shardpunk's look is great and it is easy to understand what the gameplay is like. I guess this gives you a great basis for marketing and grabbing people's attention.
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bryku
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« Reply #232 on: April 09, 2021, 11:17:12 PM »

So yeah, I've spent some time adding new content to the game. And I'm proud to announce that revolvers in Shardpunk are now a thing!


Yeah, that's the tier 1 revolver from the game, named "Old Revolver".

Still, do remember that there are no weapon "bullets" in the game's world (weapons are more of energy weapons type) so these revolvers don't have real drum magazines. But they still look cool!

Now, this new weapon type does not deal as much damage as other types, but shooting a revolver does not end the character's turn. It means that you can spend both action points on shooting:


Killing rats is the most fun thing in the game; doing it twice a turn is double the fun!

Or on shooting and reloading, if necessary:


Enemy is dead and you're all set for the next turn!

The first revolver-wielding character (which was already present on the above screenshots) is Michael: a "revolver leader" character type. He has some abilities that help others in combat, like the possibility to reduce their stress:


This will keep the other guy from the crazy zone for a little longer.

Another action type for this character is the ability to grant an extra action point to a character that can be spent on whatever you like:


With 3 APs, a dash AND a shot is a thing!

That's it for now! I will be working on another revolver-wielding character now, so expect the next devlog entry to be about it.

Take care!
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« Reply #233 on: April 23, 2021, 12:41:43 PM »

Howdy! I did mention two weeks ago that I was planning to work on another revolver-wielding character. And there he is! Please meet Silas:



On the contrary to Mike - the other revolver-wielding character who's kind of of a "leader" type - Silas is more of a loner.

Well, calling him a "loner" might not be the most accurate thing. Here's his starting trait:



which means:



This makes the guy immune to external stress-altering factors; other characters cannot cheer him up.



(Frankly, I am a little worried I will be getting mentally closer to Silas's personality as the game development progresses. Hopefully not!)

Now, here's the thing: our crazy friend can spend stress to enter a more aggressive mode, making him slightly overpowered. In the upgraded state, the "All in" action grants significant bonuses to aim and critical shots AND grants an extra action point. This state lasts for a few turns. The downside is that it generates stress and reduces your defense. Still, it's a good way to kill some more enemies.



Silas calms himself down by telling jokes that aren't funny to anyone else (which increases the stress levels of other party members). He can also spend action points in the shelter on... whispering sweet words to his revolver - which obviously increases the max damage output!



I had the most fun designing the skills for this character. It was the first time I decided to use Stress as a resource.

Also, Kurt (the talented pixel artist I work with) came up with a great way of presenting Silas as that gunslinger guy, who is keeping his weapon holstered. This might actually be a very good decision for the future if I decide to visualize different weapon types on characters - as Silas's weapon is not being displayed in most of his animation frames.

Anyway, that's it for this entry. Thanks for reading and you'll hear from me, as usual, in two weeks!




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« Reply #234 on: April 23, 2021, 04:33:07 PM »

Looking good!  I love the combination of Synthetik (art style) and the XCOM franchise.  I'm secretly hoping they'll make another xcom game - even another chapter of Chimera Squad will do!  Cheesy
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« Reply #235 on: April 23, 2021, 08:09:29 PM »

Wow, you did so many updates, the game seems very solid and closer to completion.

The new character looks fantastic, it surely has personality no doubt there.


(Frankly, I am a little worried I will be getting mentally closer to Silas's personality as the game development progresses. Hopefully not!)


I feel your pain, it is funny because it is true.
But do not worry, the harder the Journey, the bigger the end reward will be, stay strong!

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« Reply #236 on: April 25, 2021, 10:47:53 PM »

Silas sounds like a nice addition to the roster! Or not so nice, if you are part of the team yourself Wink.
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« Reply #237 on: April 26, 2021, 11:02:00 PM »

Great progress!

Thanks for making a turn-based tactical game. I was disappointed with the last XCOM installment (hate time-limited missions), but then I played Hard West which I enjoyed. I hope Shardpunk will join the list  Smiley

I like what you're doing with the shelter view, you really captured that feeling of resting between combat.

And a suggestion: idle animations seem exaggerated, can you try and see how it looks if you tone down them a bit?
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« Reply #238 on: April 27, 2021, 08:23:54 AM »

Great and funny character elaboration. Silas guy made me laugh, how he's raising stress level of others. :D
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bryku
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« Reply #239 on: May 07, 2021, 02:12:27 PM »

Great progress!

Thanks for making a turn-based tactical game. I was disappointed with the last XCOM installment (hate time-limited missions), but then I played Hard West which I enjoyed. I hope Shardpunk will join the list  Smiley

I like what you're doing with the shelter view, you really captured that feeling of resting between combat.

And a suggestion: idle animations seem exaggerated, can you try and see how it looks if you tone down them a bit?

Thanks for the good words! Yeah, strict mission timers in XCOM were a turnoff indeed.

Frankly, I did try with more toned idle animations and I did not like it. Maybe because previously the characters were even bouncier! Wink
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