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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingStart-a-town! v0.2.1b HOTFIX (Feb 9th)
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Author Topic: Start-a-town! v0.2.1b HOTFIX (Feb 9th)  (Read 19306 times)
Angelo
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« on: June 04, 2009, 04:36:14 AM »

Get the latest version at: http://www.startatown.com/p/download.html

If it doesn't run, make sure you have the following dependencies:
Microsoft XNA Framework Redistributable 4.0
.Net Framework 4

Here's a new demo! If you've tried the old GM demo you'll certainly feel the difference. There's hardly any significant features implemented yet, but you can see the general direction. At the moment you can walk around the map, dig, and harvest berries. And eat the berries.

I'm more interested in feedback on game performance, interface, and graphics. More specifically on performance, I'd like some fps stats on different machines and on different resolutions.

Thank you!


Start-a-Town! teaser by startatown, on Flickr

Quote
Hello everybody!

I started this project in February 2009. My goal is to create a unique strategy/simulation game by combining elements from games like The Sims, SimCity, Settlers and Dwarf Fortress.

In short, the premise of the game is being in charge of starting a town from nothing. This will be achieved by convincing (randomly generated) visitors to settle in and build a house. Who you convince depends on the visitors' skills and personalities and what the player thinks will be beneficial to the community. From then on, the player will also assume the role of a mayor-type, regulating the town's policies and rules, making sure relationships between townies are healthy, productivity is high, the town's reputation to the outside world is good, and more.

The game will feature colorful isometric 2d graphics. There will be some aspects of procedural generation, like the game map and the townies' houses. Finally I plan to support some kind of modability, like the use of different graphics and/or tilesets. The development is still at very early stages.
 
Start-a-town! Development Blog
Start-a-town! Official Forum
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 09:07:19 AM by Angelo » Logged

William Broom
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 04:45:26 AM »

The graphics tiles are gorgeous, especially the waterfalls. I also love the night-time versions of the tiles that you show on the blog.

The character artwork doesn't look so great right now. It's not awful but it's pretty bland and doesn't really fit in with the style of the rest of the game. If I were you I would go for a shorter, more deformed style of character. The first game I thought of when I saw those tiles was "Grow Cube!" and the characters in Grow Cube are basically what I'm talking about here. Although obviously in your game they would need to be somewhat more detailed.

Design-wise, the concept sounds really fun. I'm wondering what activities there will be, besides convincing people to join your town and acting as mayor. Will there be combat? Exploration? Landscaping? Fishing?

One other thing, it's kind of weird how you keep comparing your game to The Sims so much. I don't think you can make a good game by just saying "It will be like game [ x ] but with [y]". And don't get me wrong, I don't think that's what you're really doing here. The concept seems quite different to The Sims, but maybe by looking at everything in Sims terms could wilt your creativity a bit, I dunno?

Love the idea of a poll on the blog, it gets people more interested in the game. I voted for Diablo-style movement btw Wink
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 11:33:06 PM by William Broom » Logged

Angelo
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 05:22:21 AM »

Don't worry about the character artwork, it's just one temporary sprite, no time wasted on animating it!

I have no plans at the moment to add combat. Exploration however is something I'd like to do. In particular, one of my long term plans is to add caves. The player will be able to assemble exploration teams to explore these caves, solve the puzzles inside and discover artifacts. Those artifacts can then be displayed in the town museum, attracting higher education visitors for your town.

The design decisions for my game didn't result from deliberately trying to differentiate from the Sims series, but are actually things I'd like to see in a game similar to the ones I mentioned above. It's just coincidental that the last few days I've been following the reports on the new Sims game, a series that I like very much, hence the latest post on my blog.

Thanks for the reply! Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 10:32:27 AM »

Looks great!

I voted for Sims-style movement, by the way  Wink
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 12:03:24 PM »

Noice! Posting so I can follow this.
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mokesmoe
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 04:32:51 PM »

For the movement style, I think you should have keyboard movement (wasd) as well as the mouse, but still have other interactions use the mouse. (when you click on something to interact your character will still auto-move there for you)
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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 04:59:26 PM »

Suggestion: people always wander off from multi-player games, you might want to make some system to handle it when your mayors leave, or people in their towns do, etc.  Or if people decide they want to overthrow the mayor!

You might, for instance, implement an election system of some kind.
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nihilocrat
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2009, 05:01:05 PM »

I forsee a Soviet Unterzoegersdorf appearing in this game... Noir
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Angelo
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2009, 05:44:08 PM »

Thank you all for the replies  Grin

For the movement style, I think you should have keyboard movement (wasd) as well as the mouse, but still have other interactions use the mouse. (when you click on something to interact your character will still auto-move there for you)

The thing with keyboard movement in isometric games is that it's very confusing which key corresponds to each direction, for example whether "up" is actually north or east. Even so when different games use each different approach. On the other hand, it's just a matter of getting used to. Adding keyboard movement alongside the mouse one isn't a difficult thing to do, but I doubt many people will use it when they can auto-move with the click of a mouse button.

Suggestion: people always wander off from multi-player games, you might want to make some system to handle it when your mayors leave, or people in their towns do, etc.  Or if people decide they want to overthrow the mayor!

You might, for instance, implement an election system of some kind.

Multiplayer? Who said multiplayer Smiley I wrote the visitors you get to the town will be randomly generated but perhaps I should be more precise by saying they are NPCs. The game will be singleplayer. As for elections, it would be some sort of "game over" if you lose them. I haven't decided yet if there will be a "game over" in this game.

I forsee a Soviet Unterzoegersdorf appearing in this game... Noir

Wow there, you can't just drop a word like that and not explain what the hell it means! Even wikipedia didn't make any sense WTF
« Last Edit: June 04, 2009, 05:49:17 PM by angelo » Logged

Alex May
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2009, 12:27:26 AM »

Whoah this looks and sounds superb, good luck!
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« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2009, 11:29:23 AM »

Multiplayer? Who said multiplayer Smiley I wrote the visitors you get to the town will be randomly generated but perhaps I should be more precise by saying they are NPCs. The game will be singleplayer. As for elections, it would be some sort of "game over" if you lose them. I haven't decided yet if there will be a "game over" in this game.

My bad!  I think every now and then that a multiplayer shared town thing would be kind of cool. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2009, 04:59:23 PM »

The thing with keyboard movement in isometric games is that it's very confusing which key corresponds to each direction, for example whether "up" is actually north or east. Even so when different games use each different approach. On the other hand, it's just a matter of getting used to. Adding keyboard movement alongside the mouse one isn't a difficult thing to do, but I doubt many people will use it when they can auto-move with the click of a mouse button.

Make up move the character up, as in northeast. If you want to move in a straight direction, hold two buttons.

And I would use it. Beg
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Mipe
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2009, 12:05:25 AM »

Make up move the character up, as in northeast. If you want to move in a straight direction, hold two buttons.

And I would use it. Beg

I agree, if the view is diagonal, so should be movement.
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2009, 07:37:09 AM »

Put movement on the numeric keypad, then you have the best of best worlds. I always find it weird if up goes up on screen, but it's a non-cardinal direction in the gameworld. Up=diagonal is confusing too though, no disagreement there.
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Angelo
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2009, 10:05:00 AM »

Yes the numeric keypad would be the best solution, but then since the game will be mostly mouse driven, the player's hand placement would be awkward (for right handed people that is). I'll try to add multiple control schemes and let players choose their preferred one. Anyway, movement control is the least of my worries! Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2009, 11:42:10 AM »

Ah, yes indeed, on both points  Wink
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Angelo
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« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2009, 10:08:36 PM »

What better way to procrastinate than drawing pixels!

Meet the new and improved... Mister Bloated Head! With his new fashionable sneakers!

Before!


After!
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team_q
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« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2009, 10:43:25 PM »

I love these types of games!
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Angelo
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2009, 12:09:42 AM »

There's more!

Mister Corporate Ladder!


Mister Punk!


Mister Girl!
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Angelo
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« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2009, 06:59:25 AM »

Corrected some arm weirdness in the new sprites!

Also presenting... Mister Emo!


Of course the long-term plan is to let the player/game mix-n-match legs/torso/hair for the character/NPCs. Also the pieces will be recolorable.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2009, 07:23:30 AM by Angelo » Logged

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