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October 01, 2022, 06:29:57 AM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsZpellCatz - Action RPG with Magical Cats
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Sima
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« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2022, 09:10:59 PM »

"Great on Deck" Update (0.93.0) April '22

*** General ***
- Added more epic items
- Friendly rooms are allowed to spawn closer to the dungeon entrance now
- Advanced blacksmith services are now cheaper when the base item is of normal quality
    - This change makes normal items worth being picked up in midgame / lategame (e.g. to craft epic items)
- Treasure rooms and boss rooms now drop at least one item of quality special or higher
- Added an option to change cursor speed when playing with a gamepad
- Reworked main menu scene
- Small bug fixes

*** World ***
- Greatly improved water / ocean mesh and added a wave animation
- Wall and doodad meshes have been improved
- Crystal cave (pumpkin prologue) walls now have crystals in them

*** UI ***
- Dialogue box now supports colored text
- Adjusted quest item info icon position
- Added new logo graphic
- Name box of the new game screen is now on top to better work with on screen keyboard (Deck)
- "Box" gamepad layout now has proper button images for "start" and "select"
- Added "Deck" gamepad layout
- Minor UI fixes

*** SAVE STATE ***
- Audio & video settings are now saved locally only
    - There is no reason to share these settings between multiple devices (e.g. main PC and Deck)
    - Breaking change: Your previous audio & video settings will be overwritten by default values

*** Engine ***
- Game engine update: Unity 2021
- Library updates

Full Changelog

Do you own a Steam Deck? If yes, you should definitively try ZpellCatz: Pumpkin Prologue for free on Steam:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1679590/ZpellCatz_Pumpkin_Prologue/
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« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2022, 03:49:06 AM »

Hey there. I polished the spell effects and the environment over the last weeks. Check out the updated trailer and screenshots:





















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« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2022, 09:42:39 PM »

Updated the gifs for the main page.







What do you think?
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« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2022, 01:06:29 AM »

Hey there. Spell effects have greatly been improved and there is a new version of the Pumpkin Prologue available to give them a try.
But first, let's check out the updated trailer:

https://www.indiedb.com/games/zpellcatz/videos/pumpkin-prologue-trailer-june-2022

Here are the patch notes for the current version:

"Dark Harvest" Update (0.94.0) June '22

*** General ***
- Improved spell visuals effects
- Mountains now have a slightly different color for each height level
- Improved destructable death animation
- Steam Cloud now correctly works for cross-platform (Windows / Linux)

*** Shaman ***
- Increased "Ice Missiles" shot speed by 50%
- Updated "Ice Missiles" description

*** Pumpkin Prologue ***
- The epic item "Dark Harvest" is now a guaranteed drop (one time only)
- Slightly adjusted the base resistances of Traulicht
- Fixed a bug that occasionally caused a black screen when entering a room

Full Changelog

A guaranteed epic item drop? Yep! The later parts of the prologue needed something interesting, so I decided to add this guaranteed epic. I really like playing around with the totem refresh mechanic. Have a look:



Want to try the new spell visuals, the "Dark Harvest" or the sped up Ice Missiles?
Play the Pumpkin Prologue for free on Steam:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1679590/ZpellCatz_Pumpkin_Prologue/
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« Reply #44 on: July 06, 2022, 09:22:27 AM »

Prepared a Kickstarter page in the last couple of days.

The campaign will go live later this year, you can pre-register now if you want to. :-)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sima/zpellcatz-magical-action-rpg-with-cats
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« Reply #45 on: September 06, 2022, 09:33:23 PM »

Hey there. A new version of the Pumpkin Prologue is ready to be played. It's in a good shape now for the upcoming Kickstarter campaign.

Here are the patch notes for the current version:

"Kick and Start" Update (0.95.2) September '22
*** UI ***
- Quest finished dialogue looks nicer now
- Replaced the discord box with a SimaGames info box
- Small UI bug fixes

*** System ***
- Added resilience to corrupted save files

*** Engine ***
- Game engine update
- Library updates

Full Changelog

ZpellCatz goes Kickstarter

The Kickstarter campaign for ZpellCatz will go live on September 16th 2022. That's about 1.5 weeks from today. If you haven't already, click here to get notified on campaign launch:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sima/zpellcatz-magical-action-rpg-with-cats

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« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2022, 09:31:32 PM »

As a solo developer it's always great feedback watching people play / comment your game. Luckily, LateToTheGame made a video about the ZpellCatz demo (same content as the prologue). Check it out here:



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« Reply #47 on: September 09, 2022, 02:36:29 AM »

It's great to get some feedback on the game, as well as some publicity on YouTube! Seems like he enjoyed what you've made so far, and it looks like a really solid project from what I can tell - I look forward to seeing more!
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« Reply #48 on: September 10, 2022, 09:32:07 AM »

It's great to get some feedback on the game, as well as some publicity on YouTube! Seems like he enjoyed what you've made so far, and it looks like a really solid project from what I can tell [...]

I totally agree. It's hard to get other people to play, stream and / or share videos of your game. I also tried writing e-mails to streamers but no a single one produced a video. I still got some helpful feedback, so at least one e-mail actually made someone play the prologue.

That's why I'm super happy that LateToTheGate found ZpellCatz on Steam and made that video. Smiley

[...] - I look forward to seeing more!

There will be more interesting stuff soon. The Kickstarter will start next Friday! During the 30 days of the campaign, I will share more info on possible end game builds, items, NPCs, etc. ^^
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« Reply #49 on: September 16, 2022, 02:57:19 AM »

The Kickstarter campaign for ZpellCatz is live now.

Time to grab your early bird tiers.
:-)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sima/zpellcatz-magical-action-rpg-with-cats

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« Reply #50 on: September 16, 2022, 06:51:12 AM »

Cool, good luck for the Kickstarter! 277 EUR is a very humble goal Wink
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« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2022, 09:59:26 AM »

Cool, good luck for the Kickstarter! 277 EUR is a very humble goal Wink

Thanks! Yeah, 277 might look humble, but also possible. It's super hard to reach folks as a solo dev. ^^

BTW: 14% funded after 33 hours. Woohoo!
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« Reply #52 on: September 18, 2022, 11:57:19 PM »

Cool, good luck for the Kickstarter! 277 EUR is a very humble goal Wink

Thanks! Yeah, 277 might look humble, but also possible. It's super hard to reach folks as a solo dev. ^^

Agreed, it is in deed hard to reach people and I understand you want to use the campaign to get eyes on your game. But to be completely honest, it also gives me a strange feeling putting myself into the position of a potential player. Yes, the goal is reachable, but reading that you will put the Kickstarter money into polish feels... weird... because the full budget could only buy a single digit number of workhours of a freelance artist.

On the Kickstarter page you are quoting this article, saying you chose the amount, because it is reachable. But in my opinion you are doing exactly what is criticised in the article: You are giving people the wrong idea what it really costs to make (or polish) a game, just like the Bloodstained 500k Kickstarter campaign did on a bigger scope.

I don't want to sound to sound overly critical and would like to hear your point of view. Maybe I got your thoughts or the article wrong.

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« Reply #53 on: September 19, 2022, 10:03:16 PM »

Agreed, it is in deed hard to reach people and I understand you want to use the campaign to get eyes on your game.

Yep. And it seems to be working. At the moment I'm actually surprised about the traffic provided by Kickstarter itself. Smiley

But to be completely honest, it also gives me a strange feeling putting myself into the position of a potential player. Yes, the goal is reachable, but reading that you will put the Kickstarter money into polish feels... weird... because the full budget could only buy a single digit number of workhours of a freelance artist.

That's true. I can't hire a freelancer for 300-ish Euros. But there are other ways to polish the game even with that small amount. Regarding additional 3D assets (for environment e.g.), there are a lot of options in the common asset stores. I know there's the "asset flip" discussion, but using an asset store asset here and there should be no problem if the game itself is interesting and the overall art style is coherent (which is easy with ZpellCatz' low poly + flat color style).

Also, there's Fiverr. For key 2D art assets, like the Steam game capsule, Fiverr is actually quite good. A very talented artist created the capsule art for ZpellCatz and it was cheaper than 300 Euros. Whether it's good or bad to use Fiverr is also a matter of controversy, but it's an affordable option.

On the Kickstarter page you are quoting this article, saying you chose the amount, because it is reachable. But in my opinion you are doing exactly what is criticised in the article: You are giving people the wrong idea what it really costs to make (or polish) a game, just like the Bloodstained 500k Kickstarter campaign did on a bigger scope.

Hm... I guess you're right here. I don't think it's cool that people get wrong impressions about indie game development costs. But since the wrong impression is already there (the article has been published in 2015), things are the way they are now.
To be honest, I wouldn't have a chance to get 1% funded if I'd create a campaign that also includes the hundreds of hours of my development time ^^ .

I don't want to sound to sound overly critical and would like to hear your point of view. Maybe I got your thoughts or the article wrong.

You don't sound too critical. Your points are valid. It's just so hard to reach players, that I want to give everything a try that might work out. I tried mailing streamers, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, etc... I don't say that I'm good at social media stuff, but nobody cared. at. all.
With the current Kickstarter campaign, I'm actually able to reach people and they are willing to help me developing ZpellCatz. I am very grateful for their support. Would they backed ZpellCatz if the goal was 30,000 Euro? I'm not so sure...

So, all in all I'm happy with the campaign. I'm already curious about the results of the upcoming Steam Next Fest.
Smiley
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« Reply #54 on: September 20, 2022, 01:14:46 AM »

Thanks for taking my questions in so constructively, I understand your position better now.

I would not worry about "asset flipping". If licensed assets give your game the polish you need and you yourself can focus on the areas where your expertise lies and you can bring the most to the table, I'd say go for it. And as you say, a few hundred bucks can buy quite a few things in asset stores.

I am happy for you that the Kickstarter campaign gave you visibility! Fingers crossed you will reach your goal and also the best of luck for the Steam Next Fest!
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« Reply #55 on: September 21, 2022, 10:55:50 AM »

Thanks for taking my questions in so constructively, I understand your position better now.

I would not worry about "asset flipping". If licensed assets give your game the polish you need and you yourself can focus on the areas where your expertise lies and you can bring the most to the table, I'd say go for it. And as you say, a few hundred bucks can buy quite a few things in asset stores.

I am happy for you that the Kickstarter campaign gave you visibility! Fingers crossed you will reach your goal and also the best of luck for the Steam Next Fest!

Thanks! Smiley
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« Reply #56 on: September 25, 2022, 09:52:59 PM »

Hey there, fellow Catz! Today I want to talk about one of the NPCs in ZpellCatz: The Merchant.

You will find lots of items and Thalers when looting dungeons in ZpellCatz. Most of your equipment will be self found, but when RNG is working against you, there are NPCs to help out.

I talked a lot about the itemization in ZpellCatz in April '21 (a long time ago, but the article still provides correct info). This time, lets focus on the Merchant.

Offer Pages

The Merchant starts with a small selection of items. Then, whenever you finish a main quest relevant task, a new offer page unlocks.



Fixed Items

Most of the equipment items sold are of special quality (fix stats + some bonus stats). The cool thing? The stats and their values are fixed, meaning they are always the same. One of the design pillars of ZpellCatz is "Randomization vs. Reliability". Since most of your looted items are completely random, you have a source of reliably rolled items.



Gems & Sockets

But the Merchant has a lot more to offer than special quality items, if you have saved up some Thalers... One of the more powerful stuff sold are gems and sockets. We'll talk about gems and the Jeweler NPC soon, but some short info here: Gems are quite powerful and you can put them in sockets (that are independent of your items) to receive their bonuses.





Currencies

The Merchant is also the place for changing currencies. You have too much Emerald Dust and Sapphire Dust but you're short on Ruby Dust? Merchants are happy to help you with a cutthroat 3:1 exchange (well, that's how capitalism works, amirite? :-D ).



Respec

Not satisfied with your allocated skill points? The Merchant has a respec scroll, but it's very, very expensive. So, it is possible to respec, but don't expect to do that oftentimes.



Randomly Rolled Items

Okay everything mentioned so far supports the reliability side of the "Randomization vs. Reliability" design pillar. In contrast, there's one kind of product that's purely random: Buying randomly rolled items.



That's pretty much everything the Merchant has to offer. But there are other important NPCs that we'll look at in the future (Blacksmith & Jeweler). Want to get notified when new articles are released? Join my Discord!

Note: All info here is in development content and subject to change.

Kickstarter

There is a Kickstarter campaign currently running for ZpellCatz. Check it out to grab the last remaining Early Bird Tiers here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sima/zpellcatz-magical-action-rpg-with-cats

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« Reply #57 on: September 29, 2022, 09:38:25 PM »

Hey there, fellow Catz! Today I want to talk about one of many possible late game builds in ZpellCatz: A Fury Shaman that is focused on "Lightning Totem".

Since the playable demo / prologue features some early gameplay, I thought it might be a good idea to show how late game builds could look like in ZpellCatz. We'll start with a Fury Shaman because it's the class combination that's playable in the demo / prologue.

Skills

In this build, we want to focus on the skill "Lightning Totem". Lets make it super strong! :-D

So, lets put some points in "Lightning Totem" (our main skill), "Frost Totem" (cold base damage), "Charged Soul" (storm damage%) and "Thunder Claw" (storm damage%, pierce storm).



We choose "Master of Totems" as the ultimate skill because it's a perfect match for our build. Ultimate skills provide some really great bonuses, but you can only select one of three (two based on the hero class and one based on the selected path). The three skills at the bottom of the skill window with an orange border around the icon, those are the ultimates.



Although the following abilities don't directly support our totem, we put points in "Chill" ("Ice Missiles" slows and weakens enemies), "Shock Nova" (active skill) and "Ring of Flames" (fire base damage to "Shock Nova"). We'll see in a moment why they are great for this build. In addition, I like to distribute 1 skill point in every skill in order to receive skill point bonuses from items / gems.



Items & Gems

A nice mix of tier 2 and tier 3 epic items is waiting for us. Lets start with the weapon: "Moonlight of Agony" (tier 2, not craftable). It grants lots of bonuses that directly support our build, especially the "Lightning Totem" cooldown reduction and the epic effect that increases the number of shots from 5 to 7.



For the boots slot, we choose "Stormy Havoc". It's a powerful tier 3 item desined for Fury Shamans that combines the skills "Lightning Totem" and "Shock Nova". Remember that we've put points in the skill "Shock Nova"? With this item, our totems also cast it when they expire. Very helpful!



Our build is focused on offensive totem combat, but we don't want to create a glass cannon here. So lets pick 2 items that form a good symbiosis: "Cold Warden" (tier 2 helm, craftable) and "Guardian of Aeons" (tier 3 body armor). "Cold Warden" helps spreading the effect of "Chill" with our totems, so more enemies are slowed and weakened. In addition to this, "Guardian of Aeons" provides damage reduction based on the number of enemies cursed by "Chill". Also, both items provide nice healing stats and skill bonuses.



Now it's time for conversion gloves! The item "Thunder Grip" (tier 3 gloves) converts cold and fire damage to storm damage. Since cold, fire and storm are the only possible damage types for a Fury Shaman, all of our damage dealt is now storm damage. This is great, because it's very easy for Fury Shamans to increase storm damage. The drawback, however, is that enemies with very high storm resistance (max. is 95%) can be hard to kill. Luckily, we have a lot "pierce storm" provided by our skills and items. This stat reduces enemies' resistances before dealing damage. So with about 30% pierce storm, enemies with high storm resistance will take some more hits, but they shouldn't be a problem anymore.



For the offhand slot we choose "Elemental Discharge" (tier 2 book, craftable). The item increases storm damage a lot, but reduces all resistances and all non-storm damage dealt. This might be a bad choice for other builds, but it is a really great item for this one. Since we only deal storm damage thanks to "Thunder Grip", we receive a 40% total damage bonus.

Our items are offensive enough, lets take some resistance boosting rings for the jewelry slots. You wonder why we take rare rings instead of epic ones? The answer is simple: there is no epic jewelry (rings, amulets) in ZpellCatz. I talked about that some time ago in an article about itemization.



We pick gems that help us survive (boost all res or single resistances that we're lacking) or ones that directly support our build (storm damage, skill bonuses). I won't describe each gem in detail, but here are some examples of gems that I found useful for this build:



So, with all items and gems equipped, our final builds looks like this:



All important skills are level 10-14 and we've got 260% storm damage. The cooldown of our totem has been reduced from 7 seconds to 3.5 seconds, it deals 5k - 12k damage per shot and it releases a nova (with 50% power) that deals 7k - 18k aoe damage. You don't need damage numbers that high for the normal story content, but there will be challenging late game dungeons in ZpellCatz for those of you who really like to max out every apsect of a build.

But just for the fun of it, lets watch a totem clear a room in one of the later story content dungeons... :-D



I hope you enjoy this build as much as I do. I'll share more builds for other class combinations soon to give you further impressions of how the late game of ZpellCatz could look like.

Note: All info here is in development content and subject to change.

Kickstarter

There is a Kickstarter campaign currently running for ZpellCatz. Check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sima/zpellcatz-magical-action-rpg-with-cats

« Last Edit: September 30, 2022, 01:48:48 AM by Sima » Logged

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« Reply #58 on: September 29, 2022, 10:15:02 PM »

I love how elaborate itemization and builds are in your game, really impressive!  Gentleman
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