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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogs G̶r̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶R̶o̶b̶b̶e̶r̶s̶ ... Grave Digger Ex
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Author Topic: G̶r̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶R̶o̶b̶b̶e̶r̶s̶ ... Grave Digger Ex  (Read 3575 times)
fuedhq
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« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2019, 07:01:28 AM »

gudammit!!  Hand Shake Left Hand Shake Right




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fuedhq
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« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2019, 07:35:33 AM »

Gotta be joking, but I kind of saw this coming.
As I increased the secondary bounce to 2 blocks, I already suspected a perpetual machine could happen.

See, the reason is that whenever a zombie bounces on another, if this other has both free sides, he will fly a random choice, but if only one side is free, he WILL take that route. This way the player can predict certain situations and use it to help escape with a higher score. It is a technique only those who really want will figure out but it has this drawback.

Now, of course the bounce back code, being the band-aid it is, has presented 2 more troubles above this one.

The first was related to certain zombies ghost-moving about and I got that fixed as I spotted an error on the logic.
A bounced back zombie that can´t fly sideways when hit will be pushed back but the original zombie that bumped on him will bounce back to the floor. So, as I fixed this, the first problem magically disappeared... let´s not ask questions.

The second problem is an old one, whateheck happens when 2 zombies occupy the same block? The coded logic permits that to happen and here I prefer to consider it loose ends of a rope. Best solution is to tie it, should both zombies be at the same place they will bump back towards where they came, like a wave hitting a wall. This should provide some occasional long crowd bumps and they should be a pleasure to watch. I will get to this piece now.

There is still the bit with the perpetual machines. Out of blue, I can think 3 solutions:
- fix the bounce rule and make it random (nooooooooo!).
- add a sort of perpetual detector, but it can be complex if the machine that pops up is bigger than the one on the video.
- brute force, should zombies stay bouncing around for too long, those that are moving instantly hit the ground.

The last choice is tempting as it seems easy to add and it would be something really cool to get to watch. Smiley
Should bring that "I broke the game!" proud feeling to the player.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2019, 10:21:46 AM »

Why don't you introduce a "one bounce per zombie per round" rule?
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fuedhq
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« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2019, 10:35:44 AM »

What? Why waste such a masterfully done bounce back code?  Roll Eyes

Could work, would probably push the game more into the rogue and outside the action.
I do like the real-time action of the bounce back, kind of balance with the turn based movement, speeds the gameplay up a bit.
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Claude_Ruelle
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« Reply #44 on: October 22, 2019, 03:58:07 AM »

gudammit!!  Hand Shake Left Hand Shake Right






Haha, that's something I would never have anticipated. Looking forward to seeing how you'll eventually solve that.
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fuedhq
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« Reply #45 on: October 22, 2019, 04:50:41 PM »

Just got fixed, used a variation of the third solution.

When a zombie is shovel hit, it gets into state(machine) 6 where it goes flying back for 10 pixels.
Half way, he checks next block to calculate what will happen should be a wall or another zombie, etc. If another zombie, it will put him into state 6 too and so forth. Remember a zombie re-bounced back flies 2 blocks and that is what causes the trouble.
So I´m checking the board for zombies into a state 6 and if there is at least 1, then I add to a timer, if none, I reset this timer to zero. This tracks how long zombies are bouncing about before the turn advances, which can only happen if all real-time actions are done.

Let´s say that if after 10 seconds zombies are still bouncing about, something went terribly wrong, such a condition may not form naturally, would be a lottery thing. At this point, play an awkward sound and set all zombies bouncing back to a 1 square force instead of the usual 2. This halts all machines that requires the 2 block force and won´t cause a new one since it will stop halfway a clear working path, or something like that.

On other fronts, I guess I finished everything gameplay wise. There may still be some last-minute fine tune though it already has a shape close to what I envisioned. The bounce back code has now been elevated to "feature" and players should be proud if they can spot its unusual anomalies.

Considering the gameplay sealed, next step would be to mess with in game graphics, animation, music and sounds.
Music is how it is, sound effects will be dealt as I work gfx and animation for something that causes it, it is not priority, will be worked out along the process.
Animation in this case, means when the program moves the sprite, not the actual sprite´s frame change into new gfx.
Most of the moves happen in 10 cycles, some longer, I have to adjust the longer ones into this timescale. Most likely the born/raising animation needs to be shorter, should be simple to set.

And then the graphics, there is little room to improve tech wise, tiles are 10x10 pixels and characters can occupy a 16x16 area though they use less. It is fine as is but I´m getting 2 major situations when people play the game:

1. They don´t get it´s a turn based game, struggle pathetically with the controls till they throw themselves to death, even replays don´t get any better. Well, this is trouble Shocked Some graphical solution could be made to show a more "tabletop" stuff that maybe will relate better, stuff you see on games like Advance Wars, but then that defeats the idea of a pure gameplay scene free of huds. I guess I will leave this unchanged, should help people learn to approach stuff with care. :D

2. A bunch of people can´t tell the top wall tiles from the ground ones. I caught about half players trying to move into those places so something clearly failed here as the map should be obviously depicted. I will try the texture or it´s colors, should be simple.

Last priority gfx change would be that all zombies MUST be different than each other. We have max ~18 zombies, should be some workload but direct to resolve. This will bring a neat face to the game. Smiley
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Claude_Ruelle
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« Reply #46 on: October 23, 2019, 08:32:43 AM »

I really like the idea of having each zombie being different! Maybe integrating a very short tutorial round could help new players with understanding the gameplay mechanics...? I believe that the majority of people will not guess that this is a turn-based game unless it is clearly shown in some way or another.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2019, 09:36:09 AM by Claude_Ruelle » Logged

fuedhq
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« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2019, 06:58:44 AM »

Here is experimenting with a newer gfx set.
Not clean as the first one but I think the texture is welcome to help visualize the map.



I will try to improve the characters and objects now, see if they all can work together.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2019, 07:34:22 AM »

Oooh, the added roughness is nice!
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Claude_Ruelle
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« Reply #49 on: October 25, 2019, 09:20:48 AM »

This is really starting to look amazing.
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fuedhq
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« Reply #50 on: October 26, 2019, 03:49:52 AM »

Top part of the walls are darker and with a pattern, so it should work to fix the bit people were not understanding.
Bricks also help on that front too.

I still haven´t found a solution for the "not getting the game" situation, I suspect something about the control could help as I´m not quite happy with it, though it works. It will most likely be kept that way.

While doing the player gfx, something popped out of my mind.
I didn´t make the player fall on ground, though I did the gfx, because while coding I realized the condition would be a non-fare killer should you be stuck on a corner or something like that, zombies would chew through you and you would not even stand up.
So that was cut, but I was thinking more about the bounce back.
See, if a zombie attacks the player you get pushed back scared, if the area is occupied, you don´t move at all.
I was wondering that I could at least add that the player can bounce a zombie should that be the case, for 1 block (instead or 3 from the bat). This would help de-crowd conditions that happens once in a while, I think it would add to the core gameplay. Might try that, but it will feel strange that you don´t fall on the ground like the zombies, but I think I´m over worrying. Wink

I´m halfway through the new zombies, will add different clothes and decay level other than posing. The original had skeletons so I´m tempted to mix zombies and skeletons for that extra decay level.
 
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fuedhq
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« Reply #51 on: October 29, 2019, 08:17:33 AM »

The skeleton decay did not work out at all unfortunately and it was a lot of trouble to do the 18 zombies.
They are still a bit jumpy on the animation side, but much better.

I´m studying some level of shading for the zombies, first so that it matches a bit more the background and also that maybe it can help with people not getting the gameplay as a rogue or chess. Ye, like pieces are more solid than cut outs at least... a far shot, but I have to try. :D

Here you have flat color, 3 tone handshade, outline and highlight.
 

Here is the last one in game:


It is definently OVERDONE and too dark, but the shade fits.
I´m still to change all zombie clothes too, better do that on the flat color first.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2019, 08:25:04 AM »

Quote
The skeleton decay did not work out at all unfortunately and it was a lot of trouble to do the 18 zombies.
They are still a bit jumpy on the animation side, but much better.
What was the problem?


Quote
I´m studying some level of shading for the zombies
ooh, they have so much more volume now, nice! I don't know if it's too much really, I like how it "pops".
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fuedhq
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« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2019, 09:14:26 AM »

A few problems, they ended up too dirty and unrecognizable.
The amount of pixel space I have would mean that each of the 270 zombie sprites would have to be pixel sculpt and also some sub pixel anim would have to take place. That would mean a very long time working on them even though some automation always pop out (but not as much as non pixel art, so still a long time).

Anyways, I started by adding the skeleton bits to the flat color sets, so far so good, made them all.
It is easy to work with the flat color so I keep it as a base till the end of the game, and it even can be useful if I port the game to lower systems.

So then, I made a color pass with the scenario and, other than being very dirty, it strongly clashed with the iron fences, in a sense that one would have to fully change to be with the other. I also have to add that I had different clothe colors together with it. Shading, outlining and whatnot places a final touch on an unrecognizable spagetthi sprite.

At this point my feeling was:
. does not look good
. takes an hour per sprite to look neat
. have to redraw stuff I already approved
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fuedhq
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« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2019, 01:38:56 PM »

Juuust finished sprites (and a bit more of their animation) and objects. I think all in-game GFX is done.
Different cloth colors also didn´t work.
They almost don´t go well together with the rest, even if dessaturated a bit.
So red shirt, that doubles as shirtless blood, seems to be the best offer.
Same for the blue jeans, if Hulk can get away with that, so can we.

I should probably look into the sound effects now.

Here is the whole family.
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fuedhq
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« Reply #55 on: October 30, 2019, 05:26:03 PM »

I really like the idea of having each zombie being different! Maybe integrating a very short tutorial round could help new players with understanding the gameplay mechanics...? I believe that the majority of people will not guess that this is a turn-based game unless it is clearly shown in some way or another.

I was thinking more towards rewarding a dead player with a tip that doubles as instructions.
Had some long discussions about it yesterday, seems to be the best compromise so far.

I also tested the game with people with prior exposition to square turn based kind of games, they didn´t get it either but within a few plays, they did.
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fuedhq
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« Reply #56 on: November 06, 2019, 11:04:35 AM »

Hmmm, still unsure about the instructions, the skippable-instructions-prior-to-game-start is starting to seem to be the wisest idea. Meanwhile I was looking into preparing gfx changes for the intro, outro and game over.
Here some sketch/layout for the opening, I´m hoping to have a slow paralax pan with flicking fog here and there.
Not quite it and too square, but getting there.


I also tested the game with people that are not ancient and they got the game going in a couple turns, so not thaaat bat.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 03:01:38 PM by fuedhq » Logged
fuedhq
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« Reply #57 on: November 06, 2019, 07:52:05 PM »

Of course this has nothing to do with overdoing anything but some high tier priority stuff. Hand Knife Right
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fuedhq
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« Reply #58 on: December 17, 2019, 07:53:29 PM »

Ops, long time no see Embarrassed

The above art solution for the intro, outro and game over screen kind of didn´t work, mostly because I managed to hurt my right hand playing ping pong (table tennis) and I would really need it good to fix the art. So I will use the current one for now.

Coding is more or less fine and I fixed a bunch of stuff, specially with sound effects, and added a score system and a bit more balanced potion appearance pattern. There is a last and high score on the title screen and I got hid of game mode A, as it felt redundant somehow.

Here i what it looks like:


Turns are just for info, you get points based on objects picked up.
There is a bit more stuff I wanna mix into it but it is pretty much done.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #59 on: December 18, 2019, 02:29:29 AM »

Nice!

BTW, I notice you're using ordered dithering. I recently came up with a simple technique that lets you construct "hybrid" dithers:

https://observablehq.com/@jobleonard/ordered-error-diffusion-dithering

Maybe there's something in there that could work for creating the grainy noise that you want in the levels too? Instead of putting it in the tiles, store the tiles at a higher bit-depth and then dither the screen real-time?
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