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October 01, 2022, 06:31:21 AM

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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 44844 times)
Alain
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« Reply #340 on: July 18, 2022, 12:12:20 AM »

Nice, I guess it is a great thing to have an (optional) tutorial level for players not too familiar with the genre to have an easier start. Enjoy your holiday break!
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bryku
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« Reply #341 on: August 12, 2022, 01:28:18 PM »

Nice, I guess it is a great thing to have an (optional) tutorial level for players not too familiar with the genre to have an easier start. Enjoy your holiday break!

Thanks, I did have a blast!

Yeah, the game does need to be accessible - otherwise, I'm risking that players will bounce off it.
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bryku
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« Reply #342 on: August 13, 2022, 11:22:22 AM »

So my holiday break is over, and I am back to working as hard as possible to finish Shardpunk!

And I actually have lots of data to work with, as a week of closed playtests of the game (announced on the Discord channel) has recently ended. I received lots of valuable feedback!

The most important thing is that the game is enjoyable and combat is fun! The players tend to like the game and they have fun. Great stuff!

Two key points that I know needed some attention are:

a) The game is pretty darn difficult,

b) The players had moments in which they were unsure how to proceed.

Here's how I addressed them:

Point a) was something that kept on appearing since the days of the first alpha demos, and I was hoping that I made the game easier since then. I adjusted the difficulty level yet again - hopefully, the game will provide a reasonable challenge now.

As for point b), I've introduced a tutorial level (which I mentioned about in my previous entry) and expanded the number of tutorial messages. Also, I've added many visual cues that will help the player with navigation. Here are some examples of the UI highlights:


Hint about unspent team skills - which are accessed from outside character details.



Information about the possibility to upgrade your gear and a new gear upgrades popup.



Food distribution screen is now actually saying what the lower right corner icon is all about.

There were a bunch of other elements that I've corrected/planning to correct in the upcoming weeks, and hopefully, I'll be able to write more about them in the previous entry. I'm gonna be wrapping this one already though, as I need to make sure I spend enough time polishing the game. I really want to release it this year!

Take care!
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Alain
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« Reply #343 on: August 14, 2022, 11:45:16 PM »

Welcome back from you vacation! It seems like you got a lot of valuable input from you playtest and the changes you already implemented look great!
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bryku
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« Reply #344 on: September 02, 2022, 05:29:54 AM »

It seems like you got a lot of valuable input from you playtest and the changes you already implemented look great!

Yes, it's all about the feedback loop from potential players. A game designer can only get that far on their own, and then they need to actually test the product in the real world, it seems.
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bryku
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« Reply #345 on: September 02, 2022, 12:59:31 PM »

Here I am, back with another update on Shardpunk's development progress.

In general, the work is going well. I am working on creating another build for another round of playtests. The previous round gave me LOTS of feedback that I was able to forge into actionable items, and I definitely want to repeat that.

To add some variety to the stuff the player can do, I've added more world interaction to the game. I tweaked the triggers/scripts code I've created for the tutorial level, which allowed me to use it for creating custom in-combat events.

Here's a minor custom event at the tutorial level - the character reaches a certain area which triggers a 'cutscene' in which they say something and receive stress points - which I then use as an excuse to show a tutorial about stress:




Here are the characters spotting a larger battle scene which can be investigated for extra rewards:




And here's the beginning of a quest about a bunch of civilians trapped in the sewers:




These special events are randomly added to a level, so they might vary between playthroughs.

That's it for this entry. If you want to make sure you don't miss out on the next round of playtests, do visit our Discord channel!

Take care!









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Alain
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« Reply #346 on: September 06, 2022, 04:40:39 AM »

Great to hear progress is going well. The custom events also seem like a nice addition!
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bryku
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« Reply #347 on: September 16, 2022, 01:40:06 PM »

Hi! First and foremost, I've been recently interviewed for the FearFest festival that Shardpunk was a part of - you can watch the short interview here:





It was a great experience getting featured among all the other interesting games there. Indie game development can get a little bit lonely sometimes - especially if you're working alone in a home office - so seeing all the other participants and listening to their stories was a nice experience.

Mental note to self: if Shardpunk is successful and you'll be able to work on another game, consider renting a desk in a co-working space; it might help maintain your sanity.

Anyways, I've been working on adding more minor encounters to the game. Here's one about encountering bodies of imperial scientists:



Also, here are some visuals for the sewage levers for another quest:



Besides that, I've decided to adjust one of the available weapon upgrades: the stun module. Initially, that module added a probability that a character might stun an enemy instead of dealing them damage. It turned out to be more often received as "annoying", instead of "a surprise, but a welcome one".

And I get it - if you are trying to one-shot that nasty big rat with your upgraded weapon, and in the end, it just stuns it, you're frustrated.

Therefore, I made sure that the "stun" upgrade gives the player an explicit control over the "stun shot" action, which has 100% chance to stun a target - assuming that it will hit it, of course.



That's it for this entry. Have a great weekend everyone! And as always, the Discord channel is right here!
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Alain
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« Reply #348 on: September 18, 2022, 11:26:22 PM »

Mental note to self: if Shardpunk is successful and you'll be able to work on another game, consider renting a desk in a co-working space; it might help maintain your sanity.

I sometimes think the same. In case you do it, I'd love to hear your experiences. Also, great update as always. The stun upgrade is nice. I remember always playing the original X-Com's first missions mainly with grenades and the Stun Rod, because my soldiers could not hit an alien even if it was only a foot away from them Wink
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bryku
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« Reply #349 on: September 30, 2022, 06:58:50 AM »

Mental note to self: if Shardpunk is successful and you'll be able to work on another game, consider renting a desk in a co-working space; it might help maintain your sanity.
I sometimes think the same. In case you do it, I'd love to hear your experiences.

Yeah, I actually decided to move my work out of the house already. No need to wait for the game release; if I don't, I risk losing the rest of my sanity Wink I'm starting next week.


The stun upgrade is nice. I remember always playing the original X-Com's first missions mainly with grenades and the Stun Rod, because my soldiers could not hit an alien even if it was only a foot away from them Wink

Ah, stun rods and grenades! The classic strategy in original XCOM games!
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bryku
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« Reply #350 on: September 30, 2022, 11:55:37 AM »

There are two things I want to show this time: first is the expanded information screen present in the shelter, which allows the player to access information about effects that will be applied to a character in the upcoming combat:



Besides that, I expanded the tutorials section. A lot. And I've added videos to tutorial entries:



This should take care of the "I did not always know what to do in the game" piece of feedback I got Wink

Besides that, I've been busy fixing a bunch of stuff. Every time I play Shardpunk I find something that I feel needs fixing/adjusting. At some point, you do need to tell yourself to stop though, right?

Still, there are some gameplay rules that I believe need adjusting - but I'm gonna write more about it in the next entry.

Take care! And the Discord server is right here!
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