Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1402808 Posts in 68129 Topics- by 61758 Members - Latest Member: ranum

October 01, 2022, 05:39:22 AM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsZpellCatz - Action RPG with Magical Cats
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Author Topic: ZpellCatz - Action RPG with Magical Cats  (Read 7689 times)
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2021, 02:51:55 AM »

Hm... I wonder how ZpellCatz could look like on a Steam Deck. Maybe something like this?



 Grin
Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2021, 07:48:02 AM »

Shaman exploring the Crystal Cave dungeon in our upcoming ARPG ZpellCatz.
Beware of yellow dogs!

Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2021, 09:15:09 AM »

Hey there. Today I want to announce ZpellCatz: Pumpkin Prologue. Smiley
It's a free singleplayer campaign with a story set preceding the events of the main game.





You are a young Shaman Cat on its travels that arrives in a mysterious village. It's autumn. Pumpkins are ready for harvest - and so are the souls of the villagers!
This is the prologue of ZpellCatz, a magical Action RPG set in a colorful fantasy world.

ZpellCatz: Pumpkin Prologue will be released on October 14, 2021.
It's available for Windows and Linux.

You can download it for free on Steam or itch.io.
Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2021, 11:20:40 PM »

Currently working a lot on the free prologue for ZpellCatz.

It's called "Pumpkin Prologue" for a good reason:



Pumpkin Crop will be good this year, huh? Want to know why? ZpellCatz: Pumpkin Prologue will be available for free in October.  Smiley
Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Rogod
Level 2
**



View Profile WWW
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2021, 12:28:05 AM »

Yay pumpkins :D Gomez
Logged

Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2021, 11:20:16 PM »

DevRecap June - Oct '21

Hey there, fellow catz! A lot has happened in the past few months and I made some nice progress with ZpellCatz. Lets have a look.

Pumpkin Prologue

In case you missed the announcement, ZpellCatz: Pumpkin Prologue will be released next week (Oct 14, 17:00 CEST). It's a free singleplayer campaign with a story set preceding the events of the main game.



As you can imagine, creating a prologue with its own overworld, dungeons and story required most of the working time since June, but I'm super happy with the result. :-)

Input System

I finished working on the input system that we already covered in our last DevRecap.
There is an article available here ( https://www.indiedb.com/games/zpellcatz/features/how-to-control-a-cat ) for further info.



New Cover Art

A very talented freelancer created the new cover art for ZpellCatz. In my opinion he did a really great job here. What do you think? Check it out:



Music & Sound Design

In order to be able to release the Pumpkin Prologue, ZpellCatz needed sound and music.

- Composed songs: "Main Menu", "Overworld", "Village", "Temple Ruins", "Boss"
- Lots of sound effects for combat, UI, etc



Quality of Life Improvements

Some of my former gamedev colleagues tested the early builds of the Pumpkin Prologue and allowed me to watch silently (big thanks to Ingo, Alex, Robi & Daniel). This way, we found lots of hard-to-use features and design flaws. Here are some of the things that worked a lot better after small adjustments:

- Bags now show what kind of item you just collected
- Items in the inventory now follow the mouse to reduce confusion
- Teleporters are now animated to indicate that they are no usual floor plate
- Enemy stat balance (yes the first testers had to play in "developer hard"... :-D )
- Input polishing







Backend Server

We now have a backend server that we can use for highscores, speedrunning times and of course to detect further design / balance issues. Be assured, that we don't collect any personal data.

That's it for today. Thanks for reading. If you want to receive development update more regularly, feel free to join our discord.
Have a nice day!
Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #26 on: October 14, 2021, 06:58:08 AM »

ZpellCatz: Pumpkin Prologue has just been released. Yay!

Play for free on Steam
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1679590/

If you're unsure of what to expect, here are some more screenshots:









Have fun playing!
Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Alain
Level 9
****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2021, 08:05:28 AM »

I really like the new cover art!
Logged

mtorc1
Level 0
**


View Profile
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2021, 10:12:29 AM »

Hey Sima,

first of all: as a huge fan of the Diablo franchise, ZpellCatz in my opinion is a very interesting and promising project. I am following your devlog since I first discovered it here at TIGSource. I played the demo, although I haven't found time to finish it, yet.

There are a few things, I would like to feedback.
  • The game allows you to play either with gamepad, keyboard+mouse or keyboard alone. I noticed that by using mouse, the player can shoot in every possible direction instead of being limited to only 8 directions. Since enemies have one attack (mostly firing horizontally/vertically) this circumstance gives keyboard players a huge disadvantage.
  • Of course, this is not the final game yet but I think the movement system needs some tuning. It somehow does not feel right not to be able to shoot and walk at the same time. But that is just my opinion. I know that many games (including Diablo itself) do so either. However, I think at least reducing the "cooldown" time after attacking may let the gameplay feel more responsive
  • The walking animations only move the legs without affecting the upper body parts. This makes movement feel like hovering like a ghost. I think, more refined animations would be a great benefit.

I can see clearly, that you're developing ZpellCatz with passion and, as I said, it is very promising. Keep going. I am looking forward for the next demo.

Greetings
Logged
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2021, 10:12:40 PM »

I really like the new cover art!

Great to hear that. Yeah, the artist did a really good job.  Smiley
Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2021, 10:25:18 PM »

Hey mtorc1,

thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it.  Smiley

- Regarding 360° movement vs. 8 direction: You are right, there is a slight advantage for mouse and analogue stick (360°) players. But I'm not sure how to fix this issue to be honest. Removing keyboard-only controls? Would be a sad solution. I play keyboard-only most of the time myself. This issue might be less noticeable if keyboard-only players activate the "aim assistent" for all input types in the options. Also, later enemies have more variance in attack directions and patterns. Maybe this is not a big issue in the late game. But I totally see your point here.

- Yeah, multiple people gave feedback about the game being too slow and not responsive enough. There will be a patch available in the upcoming days that speeds up the cast animation (as well as base movement speed). I'm not sure if this will suffice, but it will be a first step. I'll update this blog once the new version is available. It would be super nice to hear if it still feels unresponsive after these changes. Smiley

- Hm... The walking animation does move the upper body parts, but it might be too subtle at the moment. I'll try to fix the "floating Ghost" problem. ^^

Again, thanks for your feedback. Being a solo developer it's sometimes hard to judge one's own creation. So other people's opinions are golden!

Hey Sima,

first of all: as a huge fan of the Diablo franchise, ZpellCatz in my opinion is a very interesting and promising project. I am following your devlog since I first discovered it here at TIGSource. I played the demo, although I haven't found time to finish it, yet.

There are a few things, I would like to feedback.
  • The game allows you to play either with gamepad, keyboard+mouse or keyboard alone. I noticed that by using mouse, the player can shoot in every possible direction instead of being limited to only 8 directions. Since enemies have one attack (mostly firing horizontally/vertically) this circumstance gives keyboard players a huge disadvantage.
  • Of course, this is not the final game yet but I think the movement system needs some tuning. It somehow does not feel right not to be able to shoot and walk at the same time. But that is just my opinion. I know that many games (including Diablo itself) do so either. However, I think at least reducing the "cooldown" time after attacking may let the gameplay feel more responsive
  • The walking animations only move the legs without affecting the upper body parts. This makes movement feel like hovering like a ghost. I think, more refined animations would be a great benefit.

I can see clearly, that you're developing ZpellCatz with passion and, as I said, it is very promising. Keep going. I am looking forward for the next demo.

Greetings
Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
mtorc1
Level 0
**


View Profile
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2021, 08:44:38 AM »

- Regarding 360° movement vs. 8 direction: You are right, there is a slight advantage for mouse and analogue stick (360°) players. But I'm not sure how to fix this issue to be honest. Removing keyboard-only controls? Would be a sad solution. I play keyboard-only most of the time myself. This issue might be less noticeable if keyboard-only players activate the "aim assistent" for all input types in the options. Also, later enemies have more variance in attack directions and patterns. Maybe this is not a big issue in the late game. But I totally see your point here.
Yes, that's a hard decision. My concern is that some players might not notice the difference between playing with keyboard+mouse vs. keyboard alone. I only noticed by accident.

- Yeah, multiple people gave feedback about the game being too slow and not responsive enough. There will be a patch available in the upcoming days that speeds up the cast animation (as well as base movement speed). I'm not sure if this will suffice, but it will be a first step. I'll update this blog once the new version is available. It would be super nice to hear if it still feels unresponsive after these changes. Smiley
Well, I am looking forward for the next demo Smiley

Again, thanks for your feedback. Being a solo developer it's sometimes hard to judge one's own creation. So other people's opinions are golden!
You're welcome. I think extern feedback is vital for an one-man project. Keep going!
Logged
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #32 on: October 20, 2021, 10:21:01 AM »

The first patch for the Pumpkin Prologue is live now.

I really hope that these changes will help with the slow and unresponsive feel. I'd be happy to hear when you got a chance to play it @mtorc1.  Smiley

----------------------------------

"Maneuverability" Update ( 0.91.8 ) Oct '21

*** Maneuverability ***
- Increased base movement, animation and shot speed (100% -> 115%)
- Improved walking animation to fix the "floating ghost" problem
- Added animation cancelling for heroes

*** Resolution ***
- Added more windowed resolution entries for high res
- Fixed full screen streching bug for non 16:9 displays

*** UI ***
- Added a loading bar when starting the game

*** Pumpkin Prologue ***
- Fixed one of Quela's dialogue entries
- Slightly increased enemy damage in the early areas (~ 5%)
- Slightly increased boss damage (~ 5%)
- Slightly increased boss hp (~ 10%)

Full changelog
Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #33 on: January 08, 2022, 12:52:37 AM »

Currently working on tooltips for ZpellCatz (here: compare inventory item with the equipped one).

More info coming soon.

Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2022, 04:54:32 AM »

A new type of room is coming soon to ZpellCatz: "Friendly Rooms". No enemies, just goodies!

:-)

Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2022, 10:27:03 PM »

ZpellCatz "Tool and the Tip" Update 0.92.0 has just been released. Read more here:

https://www.simagames.com/news/2022-02-17-zpellcatz-update.html

Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2022, 11:23:18 PM »

Hm... Apparently all RPGs on Steam have flat colored fonts in their logo. So, I updated the capsule art for ZpellCatz to match the current trend.



The Pumpkin Prologue received a proper capsule image as well this time (very close to the full game's one).

Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Alain
Level 9
****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2022, 01:30:28 AM »

I think the plain white logo works well!
Logged

Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #38 on: April 02, 2022, 12:24:50 AM »

The beach in ZpellCatz now has animated lowpoly water, proper cliffs and polished palm trees & rocks.

Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Sima
Level 0
***


Indie Gamedev


View Profile WWW
« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2022, 04:29:13 AM »

Hey there, fellow catz! After some technical system adjustments earlier this year, I was able to make some progress with the story of ZpellCatz in the last months. Want to know more? Read on.

Chapter 1 Progress

The story of ZpellCatz will be told via the mandatory main quests. Finishing main quests or clearing main quest related dungeons will reveal some small parts of the story. In addition to this, NPCs have a personality with a distinct welcome dialogue. So talking to them also gives some info on the Isle of Mana (the island where ZpellCatz is played).



In terms of workload, chapter 1 is clearly the most extensive one. But I managed to write all welcome dialogues and default dialogues of NPCs that exist to this day. In addition to this, the early quests now have proper dialogue and we have the first two cinematics / flashbacks finished. Progress!

Dialogue with Colors

When I was working on chapter 1, I noticed that the dialogues looked a bit dull (visually ^^ ). So, I added colored text functionality to dialogues in order to let the NPCs emphasize certain words.



Now you might wonder why colored text is worth mentioning at all... Well, I already used colored text to slowly reveal the NPCs dialogue over time. The revealed text has the default color while the hidden text has color "invisible".

Example, 4 steps:
- The first part is revealed <color=invisible>the rest is hidden.</color>
- The first part is revealed t<color=invisible>he rest is hidden.</color>
- The first part is revealed th<color=invisible>e rest is hidden.</color>
- The first part is revealed the<color=invisible> rest is hidden.</color>

So, if we just add a new tag for emphasize color (e.g. <color=green>), we might get in trouble. Lets have a look at another example.

Example with emphasize color:
- Hey <color=green>you</color>! // full text
- H<color=invisible>ey <color=green>you</color>!</color> // start, only one character shown
- He<color=invisible>y <color=green>you</color>!</color>
- Hey<color=invisible> <color=green>you</color>!</color>
- Hey <color=invisible><color=green>you</color>!</color>
- Hey <<color=invisible>color=green>you</color>!</color> // boom! unparsable text

The solution was to tell the reveal dialogue system how to handle other rich text control characters (e.g. <b>, <i>, </color>). I won't go into implementation details at this point. If you're interested in the code, please write a comment. :-)

Overworld Overhaul

Although the player will spend most of the time in dungeons while playing ZpellCatz, the overworld is still an important part of the game. As a first step to polish the game for one of the upcoming Steam Next Fests, I overhauled the overworld elements. Have a look.

Hills:



Beach:



Graveyard:



Unity 2021 Upgrade

I started working on ZpellCatz a long time ago. Back then, the scriptable render pipelines (LWRP) used to be slowish, so I decided to use the built-in render pipeline of Unity. I created tons of materials with custom shaders in the meantime, so there's no way back - haha.

With Unity 2021, we finally get shader graph for the built-in render pipeline, yay! I have some very basic understanding of HLSL, but the option to try around different parameters in a GUI will definitively speed up the shader writing process. Lets see if I'm able to enhance the hero spells' visuals in the upcoming weeks.

Steam Deck Polish

My Steam Deck finally arrived. I started up Legends of Pixelia and was surprised that everything works out of the box. When I ran ZpellCatz: Pumpkin Prologue, I noticed a lot of issues. So I spent some time in the last couple of weeks to polish the game for Steam Deck usage. It's nearly finished, you can expect a new version of the Pumpkin Prologue in the upcoming days that runs ultra smooth on the Deck.

That's it for today. Thanks for reading. What do you think about the changes? Are you interested in more hands-on technical stuff like C# code? Leave a reply here or join our discord.
Have a nice day!
Logged

Currently working on

Join our Discord to follow the development: https://discord.gg/D6CkrUu
Pages: 1 [2] 3
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic