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August 18, 2022, 05:21:32 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBattleJuice Alchemist – RPG with deck-building & bullet time
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #440 on: July 04, 2022, 02:30:29 AM »

I can imagine supporting different control schemes might be a full-time job all by itself, so that doesn't sound surprising. Still, sounds like you made some gradual progress in that direction too!
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vdapps
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« Reply #441 on: July 04, 2022, 08:51:09 AM »

I also would love keyboard-only play as well as controller support, which overlap a lot regarding the work that needs to be done. At the moment, I do not want to make promises, because I am not certain if and when I can squeeze that in. But the changes made for mouse-only play were made especially with controller support in mind.

Nice update! Regarding debate here, I think controller support is a must for this type of game, so good that new changes are designed with that in mind in advance.
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Alain
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« Reply #442 on: July 04, 2022, 10:44:15 PM »

I can imagine supporting different control schemes might be a full-time job all by itself, so that doesn't sound surprising. Still, sounds like you made some gradual progress in that direction too!

Yes, it is a long process, but I'm chipping away tasks bit by bit Wink


I also would love keyboard-only play as well as controller support, which overlap a lot regarding the work that needs to be done. At the moment, I do not want to make promises, because I am not certain if and when I can squeeze that in. But the changes made for mouse-only play were made especially with controller support in mind.

Nice update! Regarding debate here, I think controller support is a must for this type of game, so good that new changes are designed with that in mind in advance.

It is good to hear straight out that controller support is a must for an ARPG. I myself never really played with a controller and I should not fall into the trap of concluding from myself to others.
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oldblood
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« Reply #443 on: July 07, 2022, 04:12:04 AM »

It is good to hear straight out that controller support is a must for an ARPG. I myself never really played with a controller and I should not fall into the trap of concluding from myself to others.

Yeah, its good to get feedback like this. I'm like you in that I dont use a controller for anything, even games that probably should be using a controller. Which also leads to me assuming everyone else plays games the way I do.

Looks like you're getting in a lot of fine-tuning to the mechanics. Great work!
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Alain
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« Reply #444 on: July 08, 2022, 02:31:21 AM »

Yeah, its good to get feedback like this. I'm like you in that I dont use a controller for anything, even games that probably should be using a controller. Which also leads to me assuming everyone else plays games the way I do.

I never understood why I was seemingly the only one who quit Dark Souls after an hour of playing. Then I found out that everybody else wasn't playing it with keyboard+mouse Facepalm
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Alain
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« Reply #445 on: July 15, 2022, 08:12:33 AM »

BATTLEJUICE ALCHEMIST DEVLOG:
UI Accessibility & Item Changes


Hey everyone,

in the last patch I introduced some features that can help playing BattleJuice Alchemist despite difficulties with manual dexterity. Today I pushed patch 0.20401 to the public branch of the Steam playtest and I would like to talk a bit about the features helping out with visual accessibility.

I did not realize it at first and thought everything was fine with my flask UI, one of the most crtitcal UIs in the game.


That was until I checked screenshots with the help of Coblis, an online color blindness simulator. It is a great tool to get an impression of how people with different color vision handicaps perceive images. The most severe deficiency is monochromacy/achromatopsia, which means total color blindness. So let's take a look at that UI again:


Monochromacy and achromatopsia basically make the game unplayable. This also affects items within the inventory, wich you can see by looking at nine different flasks:


To fix this problem I added icons to all flasks and the UI. I categorized flasks into three groups by adding different basic outer icon shapes for resource flasks (drop), defensive flasks (shield) and offensive flasks (spiky circle/explosion) and a unique icon for each flask to unmistakably identify it. Here is the result:



Beside that, I made changes to UI elements in other places and hope the game is more accessible to quite a few people now.

In other news, I fixed bugs, overhauled item's affixes and worked on other mechanics. And to end with an exciting moving image, I overhauled the teleportation affix. I love not having to search for a town's entrance.


Thank you for reading and have a great weekend!

Alain
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oldblood
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« Reply #446 on: July 16, 2022, 11:08:29 AM »

That's great you're spending time thinking about accessibility. This devlog has made me add an item to my trello board to run some things through Coblis. UI in my game is nowhere near as important as in BJA but its definitely something I should be checking. That is pretty crazy when you look at the color flasks and realize its unplayable, I think your solution with the icons not only solves that but will probably also help all players, regardless of visual impairment, with being able to generally identify things faster. Nicely done.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #447 on: July 16, 2022, 01:08:53 PM »

Nice! Grin
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #448 on: July 17, 2022, 12:39:59 AM »

So speaking as someone with protanomaly (green-red colorblindness, not to be confused with the more common deuteranomaly which is red-green colorblindness and yes there is a difference weirdly enough)..

AWWW YEAH, AWESOME DUDE!
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Alain
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« Reply #449 on: July 18, 2022, 12:56:28 AM »

That's great you're spending time thinking about accessibility. This devlog has made me add an item to my trello board to run some things through Coblis. UI in my game is nowhere near as important as in BJA but its definitely something I should be checking.

That's awesome!

That is pretty crazy when you look at the color flasks and realize its unplayable, I think your solution with the icons not only solves that but will probably also help all players, regardless of visual impairment, with being able to generally identify things faster. Nicely done.

That's what I was hoping, too. Giving any player to identify buttons quickly is always a good thing, I guess.


Nice! Grin

Thanks Smiley


So speaking as someone with protanomaly (green-red colorblindness, not to be confused with the more common deuteranomaly which is red-green colorblindness and yes there is a difference weirdly enough)..

AWWW YEAH, AWESOME DUDE!

Glad you and others might profit from the changes! Just for fun, I just checked out an old screenshot from before I implemented the changes and applied a protanomaly filter to see how you might see it.

No filter:



JobLeonard cam:



The difference is not too crazy from my perspective, but flasks 1 and 4 in the UI on the bottom right become almost indistinguishable.

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JobLeonard
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« Reply #450 on: July 18, 2022, 04:42:06 AM »

Oh I've definitely seen worse "offenders" in terms of color coding in games, but this is still a welcome change Smiley
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Alain
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« Reply #451 on: July 29, 2022, 05:10:26 AM »

BATTLEJUICE ALCHEMIST DEVLOG:
UI Accessibility & Item Changes


Hey there,

this week I have a little preview on what is coming with the next patch of the BattleJuice Alchemist alpha playtest.

For quite some time, enemies have been able to cut off your path by sprinting ahead of you. Now you can do the same by using your brand new dash move.


This might not seem too big of a deal, but it actually is one of the bigger changes in player mobility in a while. The dash move was not easy to figure out and might need some more testing. But I am already very happy with how it turned out. I had to decide how to tie it into resource management and level progression as well as the control schemes (for those who already know the game: I ended up with the default being right clicking or pressing the Juicify key).

As always there have been multiple minor changes and bug fixes, but there is one visual change that I would like to quickly show you. I changed the visual effect that determines how objects that occlude the vision onto your character are presented.


In the gif above you see how the camera behaves when you approach a building: it tilts to a steeper angle to make navigation easier. Also, note how when you enter the ground floor of the building, the second and third are not visible and when you move up to the second floor it becomes visible and only the third floor stays invisible. But that does not do us any good when we are not inside the building. That's why I added this circular cut-out effect, which I find pretty neat:


I'd like to hear your thoughts and as always, have a great weekend!

Alain
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #452 on: July 29, 2022, 06:52:42 AM »

That does look really neat but also messes with me somehow, as if it's an actual in-universe physical cut-out of the building instead of a transparency effect. Maybe a softer edge would work better?
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vdapps
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« Reply #453 on: July 29, 2022, 09:01:30 AM »

Nice update, keep grinding! Dashing is cool!

I kinda agree with JobLeonard. I guess this "messing" which JobLeonard mentions is because, "out of circle" geometry changes very rapidly because it's super close to camera (which is natural due to fact that camera goes directly through building). As JobLeonard mentioned, maybe soften edges, plus I add: make circle bigger and maybe make building transparent? You can still keep circle full transparent and rest of building semi-transparent. This should soften this "rapid change of geometry before your eyes" effect.

Case with "inside building" is much better in that regard. Maybe adding some fade when switching floors would be nice? As there's rapid "blink" of added geometry on floor change.

Keep up the good work!

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Ramos
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« Reply #454 on: July 30, 2022, 08:58:22 AM »

Dash is a good addition, I usually use the dash to boost running in games like this, and its usually a pretty satisfying mechanic

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oldblood
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« Reply #455 on: July 30, 2022, 03:46:33 PM »

Love the dash feature, I'm sure thats going to get a lot of use. I'd also like to 2nd (or is it '3rd' at this point?) what JobLeonard said about maybe adding a little softer edge to the cut-out. I love the overall idea instead of fading the building as is common. BUT... I do think a fade between the cut-out and the building would lend a bit to them blending together more. Looks like you're continuing to get a lot of nice features worked in!
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Alain
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« Reply #456 on: August 03, 2022, 12:01:19 AM »

That does look really neat but also messes with me somehow, as if it's an actual in-universe physical cut-out of the building instead of a transparency effect. Maybe a softer edge would work better?

Thank you for the feedback, I will definitely put more work into the effect, I now realize it is not good as it is!


I kinda agree with JobLeonard. I guess this "messing" which JobLeonard mentions is because, "out of circle" geometry changes very rapidly because it's super close to camera (which is natural due to fact that camera goes directly through building). As JobLeonard mentioned, maybe soften edges, plus I add: make circle bigger and maybe make building transparent? You can still keep circle full transparent and rest of building semi-transparent. This should soften this "rapid change of geometry before your eyes" effect.

Case with "inside building" is much better in that regard. Maybe adding some fade when switching floors would be nice? As there's rapid "blink" of added geometry on floor change.

Awesome, thank you for the detailed thought, I will go that route and try it out.


Dash is a good addition, I usually use the dash to boost running in games like this, and its usually a pretty satisfying mechanic

Glad you like it! I also use it to make traversing the wilderness more fun Smiley


Love the dash feature, I'm sure thats going to get a lot of use. I'd also like to 2nd (or is it '3rd' at this point?) what JobLeonard said about maybe adding a little softer edge to the cut-out. I love the overall idea instead of fading the building as is common. BUT... I do think a fade between the cut-out and the building would lend a bit to them blending together more. Looks like you're continuing to get a lot of nice features worked in!

Thanks for the support as always! This is some great food for thought, I'll get cracking right away Smiley
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Alain
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« Reply #457 on: August 12, 2022, 02:27:57 AM »

BATTLEJUICE ALCHEMIST DEVLOG:
Town Overhaul & Thoughts on AI Concept Art


in the last devlog/preview post I already announced that I was working on a dash move. It is now done and you can try it out within the Steam alpha playtest (patch 0.20701)! But this is not what this post here is mainly about. Today I want to give you some visual impressions of our creative process and ramble about Midjourney.

With the help of our art director and concept artist Felix I overhauled our starting town Caribou Creek. In times of AI generated imagery I have regularly seen the discussion come up, whether images from tools like Midjourney can replace a concept artist. Midjourney creates images that look a lot like concept art you see on ArtStation. Am I saying this is not concept art for a flaming octopus dagger?




In my opinion there is a common misconception of what concept artists do: create beautiful images. I'd say their job is to solve design problems. In deed, to communicate their solution they often create images. But if they can solve a design problem without creating a piece of visual art and simply explain to you on a call what the solution is, they perfectly accomplished their task.

So in this post I'd like to show you some concept art as a part of our production pipeline. It is not polished and would not be posted on ArtStation, but it did perfectly do the trick for us.

The first problem was that Caribou Creak missed a unique feeling. Felix decided that we needed crank up the occult vibe. It is a town rebuilt after an alchemical explosion. Not many people live there anymore, so it must be protected against the forces of evil by charms and straw guardians.





The second problem was that our alchemist's workshop, which is built into the former blacksmith's workshop, is the place the player spends most of the time and it was just not well thought out and "alchemical" enough, so Felix redesigned it.



Here is a montage of how things look after their implementation in game.

Charms:


Straw persons:


Alchemists workshop:


One of the reasons why I think Felix did an amazing job is that he took a close look at what assets we already had and he did his redesigns on the basis of that. He created designs that were tailor-made for our production. I am the only one making 3D models for the game at the moment and I could not spend weeks on this overhaul. At the stage where AI is right now, it can't take these production related circumstances into consideration.

I derailed these patch notes a bit, the full list of changes can be found on our Discord as always. I'd appreciate feedback and thoughts, especially thoughts on AI generated art, because I've been thinking about that a lot lately.

Cheers,

Alain
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #458 on: August 12, 2022, 04:15:32 AM »

Quote
In my opinion there is a common misconception of what concept artists do: create beautiful images. I'd say their job is to solve design problems.

Speaking as someone with an arts degree, and probably also speaking for everyone else with an arts degree: hear hear! Hand Clap Waaagh!

All the articles I've seen on programmers trying to use AI to redesign their website logo or whatnot is just making me think "wow, automated programmer art is still programmer art"
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oldblood
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« Reply #459 on: August 13, 2022, 09:20:14 AM »

LOVE how much polish you all have been putting into the game. It's always so cool to see rough concepts and the final pieces. They really do feel like they're more tailor-made to BJA. Nice job and all without you needing to leave the AI work. Side note, finally got around to joining your Discord.
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