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December 03, 2021, 03:13:16 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBattleJuice Alchemist – Action RPG with deck-building mechanics
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Author Topic: BattleJuice Alchemist – Action RPG with deck-building mechanics  (Read 20131 times)
Ramos
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« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2021, 09:32:39 AM »

So each AI got his own pattern that is good, will they always have that pattern or the behaviour will be random?
Random behaviour may cause new elements but also fustration I think while fixed behaviour may not bring new stuff but when the player learns the patterns and counter-attacks them he will have satisfaction I suspect.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2021, 01:35:40 PM »

How will you handle the possibility of "lose more" situations where the player loses and then has an ever harder time to battle the enemy?

Also, since the demons grow stronger when they defeat the player, is there an story explanation for how the player can come back after being defeated?
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vdapps
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« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2021, 03:05:51 PM »

Nice! Perfect elaboration regarding AI again. IMHO, AI is weak part of many games even today in 2021, so nice to see such focus on it in your game. Gentleman
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Alain
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« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2021, 12:41:59 AM »

So each AI got his own pattern that is good, will they always have that pattern or the behaviour will be random?
Random behaviour may cause new elements but also fustration I think while fixed behaviour may not bring new stuff but when the player learns the patterns and counter-attacks them he will have satisfaction I suspect.

You bring up a very good point. In my game, different enemy types have very similar behavior but a different set of skills at their disposal. For example, turtles can't sprint or farmers are "loners" and do not alarm other enemies nearby. So I hope the player will figure that out and be able to predict enemies' behavior, which is fun, I hope.



How will you handle the possibility of "lose more" situations where the player loses and then has an ever harder time to battle the enemy?

The "lose more" downward spiral could become a problem, yes. I hope this is countered by a mechanic I added earlier: In every level, there is an altar hidden somewhere. When the player finds that altar and activates it, the power of all demons is reduced. Also, if a player really wants to kill a specific enemy like a demon, they can buff themself up by sacrificing a couple of materials and get a big advantage for a period of time (long enough to take out that enemy, I hope). One last thing that can always be done by the player is to leave the level and then start it again. The killed (non-quest related) enemies and state whether they are a demon or not is not saved between play sessions. This can be compared to Diablo II, where killed enemies also were not saved and in case you really maneuvered yourself into a situation where you could not retrieve your body (and equipment) after dying, you could leave and rejoin the game and found your body in town at your chest. Not the most elegant thing, but it worked, I guess. But it will need a lot more testing, until I have it ironed out for my game, I guess.



Also, since the demons grow stronger when they defeat the player, is there an story explanation for how the player can come back after being defeated?

I do not address the death of the player story-wise. I love when this is done like explaining it with different time-lines (Into the Breach) or that the player just passed out and was saved by an NPC (Stardew Valley). I am currently not planning to include something like that. Would you say it would be way cooler to have a story explanation, JobLeonard?


Nice! Perfect elaboration regarding AI again. IMHO, AI is weak part of many games even today in 2021, so nice to see such focus on it in your game. Gentleman

I am happy at least I appear focussed Wink But in fact I often feel like really wanting to work on something but force myself to improve another more urgent thing. Then again, as solo devs we have to keep it fun for ourselve to not get burned out. A little texture-overhaul is next for me and I am really looking forward to that.


Thanks to you three again. I have not been a member of this forum for a very long time, but it is so cool that people like you take the time to think about other members' projects and give such valuable feedback and criticism.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #44 on: January 18, 2021, 07:01:30 AM »

Quote
Would you say it would be way cooler to have a story explanation, JobLeonard?
Well, it could, but it could also be really awkward "lampshading" if handled poorly.

It really depends on what kind of (supernatural) powers exist in the world
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Alain
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« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2021, 12:25:42 AM »

Well, it could, but it could also be really awkward "lampshading" if handled poorly.

It really depends on what kind of (supernatural) powers exist in the world

Very true. Maybe I could have a vague explanation somewhere in a dialogue. Nothing too serious, just a side note. But at the moment I am leaning towards leaving it out completely.
To avoid that awkward lampshading you mention, I guess the whole premise of the game has to be build around that mechanic in a way, as in Hades for example.
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Alain
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« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2021, 02:30:17 PM »

BATTLEJUICE ALCHEMIST DEVLOG:
Visual Overhaul



click GIF to watch on YouTube ↑

I finally got around facing my wost enemy: the unreadable textures in my game. The feedback for the overall look and style of my game has always been positive, but I heard a couple of times that especially the top-down view caused some sort of sensory overload. I did some reading and YouTube-watching about primary, secondary and tertiary shapes and I feel like things are under control now. I recreated an old screenshot, so here is a before and after comparison.


BEFORE:



AFTER:

It might not seem that much and mainly a change of the grass texture. But I also went over the brightness of all textures, the lighting in general and the level of detail of objects. For example, the planks of a barrel, which can be interacted with, can have a lot of details, but the planks you walk on need less to not become distracting.

My biggest fear was to lose the quite unique look that I was going for since I started out, which included having a lot of grittiness, details and sharp contrast. Any feedback is very welcome, even if you think I made things worse.

The little teacher inside of me got the best of me, so I made a video to share what I learned over the course of this visual overhaul. I also added a little section about creating color palettes and how I manage mine between programs. I am sure many of you already know the concepts I talk about in the video, but I hope you enjoy watching anyway.

Thanks for reading and watching and have a great weekend everyone!

Alain
« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 03:11:55 AM by Alain » Logged

Prinsessa
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« Reply #47 on: January 31, 2021, 04:37:53 AM »

Good update! Interesting video that's given me something to think about too, and I do think the changes you made were improvements. Was already mentioned in a comment, but the barrel is a great example as it almost disappeared into the wooden platform before but is very visible now. c:
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Alain
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« Reply #48 on: January 31, 2021, 07:33:24 AM »

Thanks Prinsessa! Actually, the barrel in the Before screenshot and the one in the After screenshot are two different types: in the second one it is an explosive barrel and in the first one it is a non-explosive one. There are these small differences, because the tiles that make up the town as well as the props inside it are subject to RNGesus. But still, I think the barrel illustrates the fact that interactive wooden objects get lost a little less when placed on the wooden floor planks.

I'm glad you think the changes are improvements and that you liked the video!
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #49 on: February 01, 2021, 04:28:44 AM »

Yes, even without the orange details the difference in colour on the wood between the two things really improves the contrast and makes it a lot more visible! c:
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Ramos
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« Reply #50 on: February 01, 2021, 03:11:19 PM »

Are you Cronos, how do you find time to also make videos on youtube?
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Alain
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« Reply #51 on: February 01, 2021, 11:34:55 PM »

Are you Cronos, how do you find time to also make videos on youtube?

I wish I was Wink To be completely honest, at the moment I am struggling with exactly that: balancing the distribution of my time between making videos and developing the game. Making such a video takes a full week of my time and I have been posting a video every other week for a couple of month. I think I'll have to change the frequency to one video every three weeks. I have the fear that not many people will play my game, because it is so hard to be seen. This is why I put so much time into these videos and hope this will provide visibility if I keep doing it. The YouTube algorithm rewards consistency, which I am usually quite good at, but this also adds some pressure. But I guess this is basically the struggle of balancing development and marketing that all of us have to deal with.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #52 on: February 02, 2021, 12:31:18 AM »

At least you don't have to worry about wanting to eat your kids and then being killed by them in revenge Tongue
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RealScaniX
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« Reply #53 on: February 02, 2021, 01:32:45 AM »

Weird, how could I miss this? I think this devlog started in my "pause" from gamedev. ^^
 
Your game looks amazing in artstyle, models and effects. It looks really fun, too.
 
I also love the cinematic trailer with the popout book. That looks fantastic! Smiley
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Ramos
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« Reply #54 on: February 02, 2021, 01:52:34 PM »

At least you don't have to worry about wanting to eat your kids and then being killed by them in revenge Tongue


Hahahahaha, I see what you did there!

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Alain
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« Reply #55 on: February 02, 2021, 11:47:42 PM »

At least you don't have to worry about wanting to eat your kids and then being killed by them in revenge Tongue

Hahaha, I had to pause for a moment to get your post. Very nice Gentleman


Weird, how could I miss this? I think this devlog started in my "pause" from gamedev. ^^
 
Your game looks amazing in artstyle, models and effects. It looks really fun, too.
 
I also love the cinematic trailer with the popout book. That looks fantastic! Smiley


Thank you, that's really kind and I'm glad you found this thread. The cinematic trailer is something I worked quite hard on but it went a bit under, because I released it at the same time as the gameplay trailer. But that's fine, I guess, because it does double duty as the intro cinematic for the game itself.
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Phodex Games
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« Reply #56 on: February 18, 2021, 01:26:53 AM »

To be completely honest, at the moment I am struggling with exactly that: balancing the distribution of my time between making videos and developing the game. Making such a video takes a full week of my time and I have been posting a video every other week for a couple of months. I think I'll have to change the frequency to one video every three weeks. I have the fear that not many people will play my game because it is so hard to be seen. This is why I put so much time into these videos and hope this will provide visibility if I keep doing it. The YouTube algorithm rewards consistency, which I am usually quite good at, but this also adds some pressure. But I guess this is basically the struggle of balancing development and marketing that all of us have to deal with.

I have exactly the same problem haha. I also changed my upload schedule over the years. When I started I even made two videos a week for quite a while, then just one and now one every two weeks. That has a bunch of reasons, but one being I want to focus on making the actual game. Man, I spend the last 3 freaking months only doing marketing stuff. Website, video redesign, actual video production, screenshots, trailer, etc. I struggle with it, to be honest. I wanna make a game not be a marketing agency  Cheesy.

But as you stated it's so hard to get seen. I am active on YouTube for nearly two years, usually with 1-2 videos a week, and haven't got too far. It has become extremely hard on YouTube to be seen and it's honestly become a pretty screwed place. As a creator below 1000 subs, you are already screwed because you have no critical mass, but you also get punished, because you can't run ads and YouTube prefers videos that have ads. It's like a double K.O. I mean you always can be lucky, but that's nothing you can control.

I was a bit shocked to read that one of your videos takes a whole week. Maybe you should work on improving your workflow. I usually work a week or two to prepare my Devlog design, with the requirement to provide me with a frame I can reuse for upcoming Devlogs. I also plan my workflow and try to make sure actual video production goes as smoothly as possible. Then when I do videos it's always the same set of tasks and it only takes 1-2 days to complete. It takes some time to prepare, but you save time and energy in the long run. It's such a relief to have a nice structured workflow.

Maybe some of us smaller devs should unite to multiply our audiences. I know quite a few who have cool games but don't get much attention. Currently, I am too busy to make myself many thoughts about it, but maybe we can work something out in the long run.
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Alain
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« Reply #57 on: February 19, 2021, 12:22:59 AM »

Man, I spend the last 3 freaking months only doing marketing stuff. Website, video redesign, actual video production, screenshots, trailer, etc. I struggle with it, to be honest. I wanna make a game not be a marketing agency  Cheesy.

That's how I feel sometimes, too. Although I love making videos, many other tasks related to marketing can be tedious. The weeks where I just work on the game itself are something I always look forward to. I will post a new video today, so the next weeks will be such dev-only weeks, yeay Smiley

I was a bit shocked to read that one of your videos takes a whole week. Maybe you should work on improving your workflow.
I fear, this is difficult in my case, I might be wrong though. I switched to a video style that requires a lot of editing and motion design. The feedback is good but it can take hours to get a minute of video edited in a snappy way. I think I am quite fast doing these tasks, because editing and motion design were my dayjob for many years. But I feel like some tasks, especially where creativity is involved, just take the time they take. In case you are interested in a breakdown of what time roughly goes where when I make a (~6-8 min) video, here is a little breakdown. Maybe we can compare notes get some insight from that Wink

3h Concept & script
2h Setting up lights, camera etc. and disassemble again
1h Recording
2h Voice recording & editing
2h-4h Gameplay/screen recording
7h-12h Editing / motion design
1h-2h Fine cut / corrections
1h Rendering / exporting (different, versions, making a GIF)
1h Thumbnail
2h Uploading & posting on social media
____________
22-30h total

Maybe some of us smaller devs should unite to multiply our audiences. I know quite a few who have cool games but don't get much attention. Currently, I am too busy to make myself many thoughts about it, but maybe we can work something out in the long run.

It's funny you are saying this: the video I'll post later today is an interview/talk with Marek Smagala, a video game music composer who saw this thread here and got in touch with me. I'm looking forward to hear what you think about it. Such a talk/podcast format takes a lot less time to make. I can imagine to do more of these now and then and I hope them to be a chance to spice things up on the one and even save a bit of time on the other. I guess it could be interesting to have a couple of devs talk to each other as well, we can keep that in mind for the future Wink
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RealScaniX
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« Reply #58 on: February 19, 2021, 03:22:26 AM »

Wow! There's some serious amount of energy flowing into that. I couldn't do that.
Like for many indie devs, marketing is hard for me. The idea of some group helping each other out, seems great. Although... if all of them only need marketing... ^^
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #59 on: February 19, 2021, 04:28:00 AM »

Only a few more steps before you form your own cooperative distributor
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