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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThis is the End (steampunk squad-based strategy, xcom-like, with rats!)
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bryku
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« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2018, 02:40:56 AM »

August progress, week 4

It's time for the weekly update. I did some code work to make sure that more data is being stored in external files.



"Player1" and "Player2" type names are remnants of the original "Twin Demon Slayers" game. These will be replaced with class names soon.

Besides from that, I was hoping for Kurt to deliver first tile graphics so that I could finally get rid of the placeholders. That sadly didn't happen, so I focused on extending the game rules so that I can start introducing differerent character types.

I tweaked the calculation mechanism for % to hit. Each action has a base to hit chance, which can then be altered using a dynamic list of modifiers, like:
* Distance from the target (each attack has a range),
* Cover type (or flanking),
* Built-in defense stat of each character.

All this information is being visualized on the HUD:


Bonus:
I actually checked whether the game logic code, which I try to keep flexible would allow me to play as rat characters... and it worked Smiley


And whilst I was playing with this mode, I figured out that overwatch reaction shots get triggered even if the enemy is outside the weapon range, which always guarantees a miss.

Well, introducing new features always creates new bugs. That's just how it works, right? Smiley
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bryku
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« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2018, 05:33:25 AM »

August progress, week 5

Welcome, screenshot lovers! Here's some new stuff depicting the things I was working on this week:

I now have critical hits available. Player can see the crit chance for each attack type. A critical hit, obviously, increases the damage output.


With the character defence weapon, range, damage and crit chance features implemented, I was able to introduce new character classes:
- Ranger (a playable character), with no melee attack, but with a long-range rifle attack
- Rat Shooter (enemy character); also with no melee attack (so only a ranged one), it is also more tougher.

I have no graphics for these new characters yet (Kurt still busy with creating the tiles), so I simply applied some colors on the existing models to easily distinguish them.


The original Rogue character is now red. Note the weapon range difference for each character.

Remember when I was writing about enemy pods/spawn points? Well, I've customized them more. Each pod has a level. Each level can spawn different types of enemies, and that can be customized in an xml file:


Based on the configuration, the same pod can yield different enemy types:


Also, last but not least - I've changed the loot indicator icon. It will surely be altered in the end (but first we need to see how it will be looking on "real" tiles), but it is surely better than the old one:



That's all for now. I consider changing from weekly updates to more chaotic (and more frequent) ones - so expect me updating this thread as soon as I have something new to show.

And new thing *are* coming, for sure - I am busy working on implementing throwing actions, which includes using grenades and destructible terrain! What a time to be alive!

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« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2018, 01:48:29 AM »

Now this i like! Nice Skaven-vibe (one of the coolest races for sure) with the rats, and i really like the look of the sprites you have so far. I for one would not mind frequent and chaotic updates Smiley
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« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2018, 04:47:20 AM »

I like your UI and the character sprites, too <3
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« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2018, 06:31:49 AM »

Looks interesting Smiley
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bryku
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« Reply #45 on: September 03, 2018, 12:33:37 PM »

Now this i like! Nice Skaven-vibe (one of the coolest races for sure) with the rats, and i really like the look of the sprites you have so far. I for one would not mind frequent and chaotic updates Smiley

I like your UI and the character sprites, too <3

Looks interesting Smiley

Thanks guys! All credits for graphics should go to Kurt. And I know he's secretly watching this thread so I'm sure he'll be happy to see this Smiley

Anyway, here's an update: I've been working on some fixes to the cover/flanking mechanism. In some situations characters appeared flanked (yellow shield) even though they were hiding behind a cover. I spent some time on it, and here's the result (before/after):


Old, faulty version on the left; fixed one on the right. Rogue should not be flanked in this situation, as there is obviously a cover between her and rat grunt.


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bryku
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« Reply #46 on: September 04, 2018, 10:47:10 PM »

Guys, the ground tiles have arrived.

I spent quite some time adjusting my in-game level editor to handle them.

And this stuff looks good!
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« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2018, 11:36:36 PM »

Yeah nice tiles  Wink
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« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2018, 11:43:21 PM »

As this is steampunk, I suppose you plan to create it to resemble victorian London?
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bryku
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« Reply #49 on: September 06, 2018, 10:41:01 PM »

As this is steampunk, I suppose you plan to create it to resemble victorian London?

Well, a victorian era big city, yes. The gameplay itself (looking from the perspective of the theme, and not the mechanics) will be about making your way out of a capital city that has been infected by the plague. There will be various districts/levels to visit, which will include industrial zones, residental districts or sewers.

The initial level (that I plan to include in the first playable tech demo) will be placed in the industrial zone.
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« Reply #50 on: September 08, 2018, 02:02:01 PM »

OK, let's make it different today.

This update will focus more on game design thing. I won't be showing any new fancy gifs or images. Well, I will try to squeeze a graphic or two, but only for the game design sake.

This entry will be about weapon ammo feature. In my game one of the core concepts (similar to XCOM) will be cover and flanking mechanism. Enemy who has been flanked, or whom cover has been destroyed will be more likely to become hit by a ranged attack.

The other core feature of the game will be collecting stuff during the missions. In order to survive, player needs to find supplies to keep the characters alive. One of these supply types were ammo clips.

Character could take a number of ammo clips on a mission, or he/she could find them on the battlefield. If the character was out of ammo, they could not fire the weapon anymore.

That concept initially seemed OK for me. I do wanted the player to feel pressure due to lack of resources; and what is better than the need to count every bullet and ammo clip?

Well, during playtesting it turned out that this approach is not fun at all. When a character was out of ammo clips, they basically were losing the ability to perform the attack. Sure, the rogue character has a sword slash ability - but it won't be available at initial character experience level.

So the combat was not fun at all if a character was not having any ammo. The whole flanking/cover mechanism was not making sense.


No ammo in the clip, no clips remaining - character has literally nothing to do.


Solution 1: throwing ammo clips

Initially I believed that if I allow the characters to throw ammo clips between them, I could partially solve the problem - if one of them would be out of ammo, the other one could throw them a clip.

That still did not solve the problem though. First of all, forcing the player to use the "throw" action was clunky at most. When you are thinking about how to position your characters, you really do not want to remember that they do need to stay in the throw range, in order to catch the ammo.

Secondly, even with throwin mechanism, the team could still run out of ammo.

And thirdly: if the ammo clips would be such a critical resource, the players would heavily favor Rogue characters due to the melee slash attack that I mentioned about - as it does not require any ammo.

Solution 2: adding melee attack for everyone

If each of character types would have a melee attack, the player could make use of them even if they run out of ammo. That could potentially solve the problem, but then what would be the point of using ranged weapons at all?
I could make these melee attacks weak (to make sure that the player would not exploit them). However, what's the point in having these underpowered attacks available? I mean if you have only one use of a feature in a game, it does not make sense anyway.

Solution 3: removing ammo clips (as in XCOM)

Well, that would work. XCOM works like this. Each character has an unlimited number of ammo clips. They still need to reload, but they never run out of the ammo.

However, sticking with this idea would make my game too XCOM-ish. Also, remember I want the players to feel that they are running out of resources. And how could then run out of ammo clips, if there would an unlimited number of them?

Solution 4: weapons durability

I want the players to not worry about running out of ammo during a mission. However, I do want them to spend resources on weapon maintenance. So I came up with the following idea (which I've tried to embed in the game theme as well):

Weapons do not use "real" ammo - they are more like energy/kinetic weapons. Each weapon has an energy core, that heats up after each shot. When the heat is at maximum, player needs to cool it, which is the equivalent of reloading.


Weapon heat vs ammo. Basically the same mechanic, but with very different possibilities!

So far so good. So I've only renamed "reloading" to "cooling" and effectively removed the need of having ammo clips.

Then the durability thing comes in - after each combat, the energy core gets worn. If it becomes too damaged, the weapon becomes useless and the player is not allowed to take the given character to a mission - as it will be impossible to send characters without weapons. Player will have to spend resources on fixing the core.

This makes sure that the player has to worry about weapon maintenance.

The idea seemed OK, but then I realized I can go deeper with this one - by introducing a very nice risk-reward system.

The thing is that even if the core is at its maximum heat (so the equivalent of no ammo being present in a weapon), the player does not have to cool (a.k.a reload) it. They can risk performing another shot, that:
 - Will cause more damage (the core is hot so the projectiles are more deadly),
 - Can cause a core malfunction, which will damage the weapon owner and effectively reduce core's max heat (meaning that the "clip size" will be reduced).

This risk/reward thing seemed so good that I decided to go that path.

Goodbye throwable ammo clips - the era of weapon cores has come!
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« Reply #51 on: September 11, 2018, 06:23:56 AM »

As this is steampunk, I suppose you plan to create it to resemble victorian London?

Well, a victorian era big city, yes. The gameplay itself (looking from the perspective of the theme, and not the mechanics) will be about making your way out of a capital city that has been infected by the plague. There will be various districts/levels to visit, which will include industrial zones, residental districts or sewers.

The initial level (that I plan to include in the first playable tech demo) will be placed in the industrial zone.

This "get through the city" part sounds to me a bit like Vermintide from the point of the story. Which is a good thing in my opinion.

About your ammo problem
nr 3 looks like the easiest one (hey, it already worked in xcom and most players would accept that).
nr 4 for me looks more interesting. You give player a choice what he can do and in critical combat situation would probably give him a lot of satisfaction for good "last chance shot" that would allow him to win a mission. So yeah, nr 4 looks the best. Hope it survives testing Wink
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bryku
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« Reply #52 on: September 12, 2018, 10:37:19 PM »

This "get through the city" part sounds to me a bit like Vermintide from the point of the story. Which is a good thing in my opinion.

I haven't played Vermintide, but I've seen a lot of gameplays of it. And yeah, I am trying to reach that kind of vibe here.


And here's some update: the wall tiles have arrived, and I started to incorporate them into the game (had to remake the  way I display walls, as they now consist of two parts - the "wall" part and the "top wall" part:

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« Reply #53 on: September 13, 2018, 07:58:37 PM »

Haven't played Vermintide or seen much gameplay but it also sounds similar to navigating the sectors in FTL or continents in 80 Days. Neither of those games really engaged me in any Xcom-level strategizing about which routes to take from point A to point B, but I can imagine if done right that would be a great twist on Xcom's meta-strategy layer.
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« Reply #54 on: September 18, 2018, 08:55:05 AM »


Bonus:
I actually checked whether the game logic code, which I try to keep flexible would allow me to play as rat characters... and it worked Smiley


Only now I noticed that... this would be a very good feature! "Play the whole game to unlock the rat scenario". Or sth like that Smiley
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bryku
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« Reply #55 on: September 24, 2018, 11:26:22 AM »

So it's been some time since my last update. Was mostly busy with other stuff.

However, I did manage to think some things over, which resulted in some changes of priorities when it comes to developing features of the game. I will write more about it soon, I guess.

And, as there are some juicy new graphics available, here's a screenshot:
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« Reply #56 on: September 25, 2018, 04:43:53 AM »


Bonus:
I actually checked whether the game logic code, which I try to keep flexible would allow me to play as rat characters... and it worked Smiley


Only now I noticed that... this would be a very good feature! "Play the whole game to unlock the rat scenario". Or sth like that Smiley

Oh, I'd love to worry only about such things... Wink Gotta focus on the main game first. "Rat mode" might be a good feature in the 2nd part of the game in a far future. Or - for one of stretch goals in the Kickstarter campaign (assuming that I will run one, of course).
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« Reply #57 on: September 26, 2018, 09:35:50 AM »

Progress update - character names

OK, so I had to make sure that the player will feel a bond between the playable Survivors (as that's how I will call playable characters from now on).
The best way is to make sure that Survivors are not expendable - losing one should be a big hit to the player. I will make sure that the game mechanics take care of that.

However, there is nothing better in making things personal than giving names to characters - therefore, each Survivor now has a name, which is being generated from a set of possible names.

The name is displayed in the HUD, along with the Survivor's class name. What is more, the surname is displayed for a little while at the top of the character after the player switches to that Survivor:

(also, do notice these visual elements like posters and litter; these are being added randomly upon level generation)

The names are random, but are unique during the gameplay to avoid confusion. Some example names:

(and yeah, these are all female names; male names will come when I get the graphics for the Ranger class)

Also, I made sure that the "names" (well, classes really) of enemies are displayed as well. You do want to know who you're shooting at! (of course different enemy types will have different graphics in the end)



That's it for today; take care, and stay tuned for more!
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« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2018, 01:02:58 PM »

Alright, so the game needed a name. I named it "This is the End" - to reinforce the dark and unpromising setting of the game.

I am still mostly focusing on mechanics, but also I'm beginning to expand the game world lore - so, before I feed you with some new screenshots, here's the story summary:

The gameplay takes place in the Capitol - a large city located in a kingdom which was waging war against the Rat Swarm. Long story short, something went wrong. The battle for the Capitol has been lost; Rats flooded the city and brought their Plague along.

Player is controlling a group of Survivors, and their job is to escape the city. To achieve that, they need to swipe different areas of Capitol in search for resources.

As with any xcom-ish game, this one will also have two layers:
- combat layer (which I am currently working on)
- strategic layer, in which the player would be able to perform research, build/upgrade the equipment and travel between different areas of the city. I don't plan starting on that layer before I have a working and fun combat layer.


Enought of the text - here are some screenshots:




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nathy after dark
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« Reply #59 on: September 27, 2018, 05:27:45 PM »

I like the title. I think you should mention rats in the name of the topic though so people recognize it. I was wondering if I had followed multiple xcom-like projects.

Also, there's a really funny movie with Seth Rogen and James Franco with the same title to be aware of. (I like the movie but I don't support James Franco anymore in case anyone wonders....)
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