The next thing we felt critical to add was an computer player to play against. Both for when there happens to be no one online, or if you want some practice to get used to the game before playing against other people.
We ended up with two AI's, a normal and a hard. On normal the AI does basic country farming and maintains his lands without doing anything special, eventually making an army and slowly working towards capturing other counties. It should be a good match for someone just starting the game and is still learning the ropes.
The hard AI is mostly the same but stronger. It takes over counties faster and has bigger armies. By no means unbeatable but definitely a challenge, this AI is for people with confidence. We were thinking about added a third, even harder AI but decided against it at this time because we believe putting an impossible difficulty would detract at this point. We might add, or tweak AI's in the future.
Another big addition is the music we added to the game. The music is by Kristen Morales (see her profile at Kristenmoralesmusic.tumblr.com ). We have two fantasy tracks that alternate randomly and they really help get you in the mood of the game.
Once again there was a bunch of smaller things we fixed so I'll mention a few: We fixed an anti-cheat mechanism that was over zealous and punished players that weren't cheating.
We made it so you can move unit stacks around in the army to change formation. The top line is the front and the bottom is the back so you can, for example, move your archers to the back to protect them. We also made it so you can split your stacks so you use more strategies.
We decrease the number of people you need in an army you need to burn fields from 200 to 100, because we felt burning fields was never viable.
Lastly (that I can think of anyway for now) we changed the way the castle upgrades affect sieges. Before when you upgraded your castle it would take more seasons and more units to siege. We found that in more case the increase units requirement was annoying rather than helpful so we changed it so that only the number of season increase.
We took a video of the two of us playing against 2 hard AI's.
You can play the updated game at www.empirerising.net
I've done a lot of work on Empire Rising these last couple of months, Ive made various improvements to it but the biggest work was getting the real time combat working. With this all the planned gameplay features are in. What remains is a ton of polishing and fine tuning (and replacing placeholder assets) but this is a big milestone reached.
Here is a video I made while playing a 1v1 game. If you want to try it out you can play it at empirerising.net (I apologize we still do not have a tutorial)
You can also check out empire rising on indiedb at http://www.indiedb.com/games/empire-rising
I've finished a first release of my game 'Empire Rising'. Its a turn based strategy game greatly inspired by Lords of the Realm 2 and to a lesser extent Heroes of Might and Magic. The game is fully browser based. No installation necessary, You can play against other people if you happen to find someone online otherwise you could just try it out by yourself (which has no challenge but lets you see the game nonetheless).
You can play empire rising at empirerising.net
All feedback/discussion greatly appreciated!
Here are 4 screenshots. Some placeholder assets still exist.
First things first. Since S2 brought out their new moba named "Strife" we decided to change our game's name from "Legends of Strife" to "Ash Dawn". For quite a while we chose to keep the name as it was but in the end we thought it best to change it. Aspecialy since we would use "Strife" as short for "Legends of Strife"
Ash Dawn has now reached the point where all the systems we considered critical are in place. It also has 1 big pretty much complete zone and 1 half done zone but with working pvp objectives. A good amount of quests items and npc's can be found and the 4 player classes each have an array of unique spells and abilities.
With this we've reached a milestone where we consider the game feature complete and in Alpha. Just very unpolished and very thin on total content compared to other MMORPG's but fully playable. The amount of content should increase rapidly from here on as we have streamlined the addition of new content to the game and content now becomes our biggest priority.
We have a server up for anyone that wants to try it and we welcome all feedback.
I've created a basic website with a forum for Ash Dawn where you can download the game.
Ive been very busy with my main project (Legends of Strife) Its pretty much ready for an fully playable release. There is still only one zone but it has about 60 quests and 20 spells/abilities and a decent amount of frendly and hostile npc's with unique behavior and lots of items/stats and a working "town siege" system but il save that for another post in the hopefully near future.
I then went ahead and compiled one of the smaller games i made a few years ago and it works very well. For me this is amazing. I used to have a website hosting of couple of games that i created in java + opengl using my engine. But they all ran as java applets wich is basicly blocked everywhere now. Chrome fully blocks java applets regardless of security setting as of about two months ago and other browsers make it so hard it might as well be fully blocked. But even when java applets were still feasible they were annoying since the users had to have java (and a new enough version of java) installed. It also even back then came up with threatening security warnings that detered users and anyone with slightly higher than "normal" security settings could not run it. Making sure the applet ran in linux or mac also needed quite a bit of effort.
Now i can host those games again and have them run in the browser with no security warnings, no plugins and less cross platform issues (Only tested it on windows and linux using chrome though).No changes were needed to the actual game to have it run in the browser. So the exact same game code runs as a desktop app as well as in the browser.
There is one big downside though. It is quite a bit slower. But since its small games thats hardware rendered it doesnt matter too much. And i expect it to only get better with time.
Lastly I found that TeaVM failed to compile some deeply nested loop structures with labelled break or continue statements so I had to do a little more reworking in that regard. But i hope future versions will address that. Its only at version 0.4.0 and seems to be under active development.
I hosted the game here. http://www.distantmelody.net/spheres-of-madness/
I plan on soon putting up my other small games as well
I realized that i haven't made and update in 7 months. Fortunately its not for lack of progress I somehow just never got to writing posts. So here's a quick summary, in the last 7 months I have:
Separated the opengl part of my engine from the rest via an interface and with that created a DirectX equivalent. Since I'm using java I had to create my own directx bindings in C++ and link it in using java's native interface. All of that was a surprisingly large amount of work especially considering that before I started I had no experience with either C++ or directx (or java's native interface for that matter). Soon I want to add an android opengles equivalent as well ^^
Significantly improved the AI system and made it easier to quickly define an NPC's behaviour and abilities.
Server and client now reads all Quest, Entity and Item information from XML. If you're interested here's the current Entity XML file. For two good monster examples check the ForestBoar and the AntleWorker. For two town npc examples check Valice and Auburn. http://distantmelody.net/journal/2015-01-12/entity.xml
Added various spells that can be used by the different player classes and/or npc's and lots of other things (Npc's, Terrain, Terrain Objects, quests, items etc etc.)
Here's a small montage we've made demonstrating some of the new (and some old) spells and abilities followed by some screenshots. For a more detailed breakdown of the new content visit our our other blog on indiedb (link at the bottom).
Implemented the purchase of ingame cosmetic currency (star shards) using bitcoin. Each strife account gets an unique public address to which the player can make payments. If the player is ingame it should take a minute or two for the server to pick up the payment and give the player his star shards. If the player is offline the server will pick up the payment the next time the player logs in. Star shards unlike the normal ingame currency (copper, silver and gold) is shared between all characters on the players account. Star shards will be used to buy various cosmetical things for your characters but in now way will it make them stronger.
As is shown in the below screenshot the player can either copy the bitcoin address from ingame and paste it into his bitcoin client or use a cellphone wallet and scan the QR code.
Your star shards is displayed under your normal currency in the inventory screen.
Other than that I have a couple of screenshots showing some of the recent work done on the terrain. Thnx for reading!
Done a lot of work on the strife world editor. It has reached the point where all world building can be done inside the editor without using Photoshop or a text editor to edit certain aspects of the world.
Here's a short video briefly demonstrating the work done on the editor. Expect much terrain improvement coming soon! My wife has done (and will be doing) all the world building using the editor. I am now going to shift my focus back to game client and server programming.
btw. My wife writes a lot more detailed posts on Legends of Strife over on indiedb (with allot more screenshots). I tend to only state the biggest technical points.
The main feature of strife will be the world pvp. If a zone in strife is contested between 2 factions players will be able to choose sides and kill oposing players and npc's in that zone as a means to gain reputation with their faction. Gaining reputation with the various factions of the world is the main way (or first step) to unlock the best gear in the game.
Eventualy there will be 2 main factions in the world. and most of the world will be the battleground (global conflict). There will be lots of smaller conflicts between smaller factions that only exist in their zones (local conflict). There are also zones with only 1 faction in it and there will be zones with none. You can freely kill anyone or anything but killing youre ally in a contested zone will give you a massive reputation penalty with youre faction in that zone (Except if it was in self defense). Kill a couple of allies and youre reputation will soon drop below 0 and youl find yourself at odds with both factions in that zone. A zone with only one faction (Neutral Zone) generaly disgourages pvp since there are no enemies and killing another player will have the same effect as killing a ally in a contested zone. A Zone with no factions in it is a free for all since theres no factions no reputation gains/losses will occur for killing other players. Even if you and another player is allies with regards to the global conflict you become enemies the moment you step foot into a zone contested by other factions if your on opposing sides in that local conflict.
Most towns (especially those that belong to either of the two main factions) will be destroy able. Once a town is destroyed all quests, vendors and whatever else in that town will be lost to the other faction untill the town gets automaticaly rebuild a couple of hours later. So if you were questing in the area... Tough luck! go find someplace else to quest and defend you're town better next time! NO Im NOT going to make it instanced!!! anyway. heres how it should work in a little more detail. A group of players decide to attack an opposing town. When enough enemy players entered the town or imediate surroundings the server will register it as an "town siege event". (In other words a lone player or small group just trying to mess with with the players in the town from the outskirts will not count as an "town siege event") From this point onwards any player (attacking or defending) that dies within the towns limit will not be able to re enter the town for the duration of the town siege. (or at least they can try but theyl get a 'Lingering Death' debuf that will kill them in seconds if they get too close). This way a town siege cant continue indefenetly. Of course more fresh attackers or defenders can enter the town while the siege is on but eventualy all the attackers or defends would have died (or fled) and the siege will be over. If all attackers within town limits are dead the town was successfully defended. All the players that helped defend the town (even the ones that died) gets a once of reputation and maybe gold reward. Attacking players get nothing. Should all defending players and defedning npc's die during the townsiege the town gets destroyed (basically all building just gets replaced with rubble after maybe spontaneously combusting). All the players that helped attack the town (even the ones that died) gets a once of reputation and maybe gold reward. The defending players get nothing and their town is unavailable to them for a while.
Eventually bigger towns/cities might get defensive structures that makes defending them easier but could be destroyed during the town siege
When you create a new character you are not affiliated with any faction but you'd probably want to join one of the 2 main factions sooner rather than later.
All the above mentioned reputation mechanics are implemented but these 2 main factions with their destructable towns dont exist ingame yet. I have created a much smaller scale conflict in the starting area of Elclease. Elclease itself is a neutral zone for the faction 'Summerwind Village' (starting town) but within elclease there is a small conflict sub zone between 2 rival farmers. You have to choose sides between them and follow the quest chain from the one you choose. The quests generaly involve sabotaging the other farmers land and while doing so youl run into the players that sided with the other farmer (and killing them will help you unlock certian reputation rewards). the farms have other npc's on it like farm hands and guard dogs that will attack oposing players and defend players that sided with their farm. This small conflict zone and quest chain set will serve as an introduction to pvp in Legends of Strife.
Heres a small demonstration video. Me and another player starts in the general area of Elclease (Im a Mage, Other player is a Necromancer with 2 minions). Here we have a neutral standing towards each other (you can see that from the portrait colour). If we kill each other at this point the killer will suffer a significant rep penalty with Summerwind Village. We then run to one of the conflicted subzones and youl notice that the necromancers portrait turns red indicating that were enemies in this zone. The necromancer starts attacking me. Youl notice that the nearby gaurd dog assists me because were fighting on the farm that belongs to the farmer that I allied with. I for the most part run around looking for more frendly npc's to asist me since necromancers are currently pretty unbeatable ^^.
Legends of Strife
Characters now display on the character and character create screens.
you can now choose hair style and colour on character create screen.
Added more inanimate entities with unique on use actions to the world.
Added looting animation.
Here's a video showing the improvements to the character and character create screens.
Here's a video showing Lamp posts (Inanimate Entity) that for some reason offends the nearby turtles.
Legends of Strife
Implemented a flexible npc behaviour system that can be used to define reusable behaviour components. Multiple behaviour components can be given to one npc.
expanded quest system to also allow for custom quest specific objective types (As opposed to just the generic kill X of creature or collect X).
Added spell Bone Cage: Bones pierce out of the ground and encase the target immobilizing it for 4 seconds. Necromancers gain Bone Cage on level 3.
Added a rudimentary background to speech bubbles.
Implemented inanimate entities. (Non moving interactable and/or lootable objects for example chests, herbs).
Here's a video of an escort quest that demonstrates most of the progress made.
Here's a video demonstrating inanimate entities
I've taken the online test server offline for now. I got some valuable feedback from it but for the time being I want to fully focus on development again.
- Implemented quest log. You can now view over all your active quests. Also added the functionality to abandon quests. - Tweaked the cell shading to make it more apparent.
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]You can download legends of strife here [/font][/color]http://www.distantmelody.net/data/legends-of-strife/strife.exe[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]. Or you can run an older version and it should update itself.[/font][/color]
[color=rgb(40,40,40)][font=arial]Here's a video to demonstrate.[/font][/color]
- Implemented quest rewards. Each quest can have set rewards and or rewards that you can choose from. - Quest progress for incomplete quests are now saved. (Before all progress on an incomplete quest was lost when you logged out and only completed quests were saved) - You can now throw items away on the inventory screen - Red text now flashes on the screen when an action fails (For example if you try to cast a spell but don't have enough mana or if you try to loot an item from a slain creature but you don't have enough space in your inventory)
You can download legends of strife here http://www.distantmelody.net/data/legends-of-strife/strife.exe. Or you can run an older version and it should update itself.
Legends of Strife
Implemented currency. Copper, silver and gold can be obtained by looting slain creatures and by selling items to vendors.
Implemented vendors. Any town npc can now be made into a vendor with its own selection of items to sell. A npc can customize its offerings based on the player. For example an npc might only offer a certian item to a player once that player has completed a certian quest.
Implemented usable and consumable items. Added Minor Health Potion, Minor Mana Potion and Tough Bread as consumable items and a Trinket named Wind Sliver as an usable item (On Use it increases your movement speed by 50% for 4 seconds). Items that are usable and equipable can only be used while equipped. Trying to use it while its in the inventory will instead equip it.
Implemented item cooldowns and "shared cooldown groups". Health and Mana Potions have a 2 minute cooldown. Wind Sliver has a 40 seconds cooldown. Visual effect for item cooldowns is the same as for spells.Health and Mana Potions belong to the same "shared cooldown group" meaning that whenever you use a Health or Mana Potion all other Health and Mana potions in your inventory goes on cooldown as well. Should you buy or loot or otherwise obtain another health or mana potion while the health and mana potions in your inventory is on cooldown, the newly acquired potions will have their cooldowns set to match the existing ones.
All the above mentioned logic is implemented server side to minimize the risk of cheating. Even the cooldown remaining is just a client side display thats controlled by the server and doesn't affect anything.
Here's a video followed by some screenshots. To play legends of strife download it here http://www.distantmelody.net/data/legends-of-strife/strife.exe. If you allready have an older version you can just run it and it should patch itself.
Implemented chatting. You can now send messages to other entities standing close to you ("/say") or you can yell to reach entities in a wider radius ("/yell"). Also implemented channels in which you can chat to other players regardless of location. When entering the world all players will automatically join the "El Clease" channel (El Clease is the starting zone and currently the only zone in strife). If you hear an entity say or yell something a speech bubble will appear above it if the entity is loaded on the client. (The speech bubble doesn't have a background yet so calling it a bubble might be a stretch but its there and its functional ^^).
The chat system can be used by all "Entities" in the world meaning npc's and creatures can also say and yell stuff and they also hear other entities which gives the option to make them act when hearing certian things. Only players can use the chat channels since it would make little sense for npc's and creatures to use them, because chat channels are not "part of the world".
To play Legends of Strife download it here http://www.distantmelody.net/data/legends-of-strife/strife.exe. If you already have an older version you can just run it and it should patch itself to the latest.
-Implemented player death and "ghost" mode. Shortly after you die you will see your ghost standing on your corpses location. You will need to find a shrine to resurrect. -Implemented hp and mana regen. Your hp and mana will now slowly restore itself. -Hostile humanoid npc's now properly attack with their equiped weapons
To play Legends of Strife download it here. http://www.distantmelody.net/data/legends-of-strife/strife.exe If you have already downloaded an older version just run it and it should patch itself.
Spend the last week on performance optimisation. Up to now I've never giving it any priority so there was allot to do. I have managed to get the framerate (on my pc) 4 times faster in general. But even so its still running too slow for what its doing but I will get it there eventually. For now I might leave it as it is since it runs acceptably on most pc's I've tested on and instead focus on finishing the game features.
I have also fixed a few bugs that caused crashes. Of course its very likely that some still remain.
All feedback appreciated. Would be especially nice if you could make a necromancer (skull icon) and try to raise some dead creatures. Also you can try its bone shield which it gains at level 2 (You'l have to drag it from the spellbook to your cast bar).
An early test version is now available at http://www.distantmelody.net/legends-of-strife/play.html.
I've written a client patcher that will only update what's necessary (so you will only need to download the whole game once). I am going to try and keep it online as much as possible and continue to patch in the progress as we make it. The game is in serious need of optimization so expect it to be laggy. Note that only the mage and necromancer classes has spells (right two class icons).
Feedback will be very much appreciated!
Quick afterthought. Dont equip worn leather boots (can be dropped by Grey Wolves). It will crash your client ^^
- Server now loads heightmaps and collision meshes. - Creatures now collide with terrain and static objects (Buildings, caves, trees etc). - Creatures now use simple path finding to reach their target. - Creatures will no longer gain aggro on targets that are not in their line of sight. - Some spells (for example Fire Ball), now require line of sight to the target.
Client and Server improvements
- Can now make holes in the terrain to accommodate caves and other underground structures.
Here's a video demonstrating the server side improvements.
Here's a video demonstrating the holes in the terrain.
Added one handed weapons + dual wielding. Different weapon types have different attack animations. If you have two different types of weapons equipped (for example an axe and a dagger) They will each use their own attack animation. When dual wielding the server manages a players two "arms" separately with separate cooldowns and attack speeds. the offhand weapon has a 30% attack speed penalty. When the one "arm" is ready to attack at the same time (or close to) the other "arm" the server will make the one wait a bit but it will make that "arms" next attack come quicker to make up for it.
- Implemented Zones. - Music fades out when you enter a new zone and after a while zone specific music will play. - Extended weapon system. Weapons now rest on characters' back when not in use. Added 4 weapon types: Unarmed, 2 handed swords, 2 handed staves and 2 handed axes. Depending on the weapon type equipped attack stance and strike animations will change.
- Made improvements to the map editor - Character animations can now apply to only the bottom or top half of a character. For example: A character's bottom half can do a run animation while the top half is doing an attack or spell cast animation. - Added Mage spell: Arcane Concentration - Self only instant cast spell that allows the mage to cast any spell while running for 15 seconds (normaly only instant cast spells can be cast while running) - Legends of Strife now also has an indieDB page at http://www.indiedb.com/games/legends-of-strife
Heres two demonstration videos... wow this entry is even more blunt than my usual ones please forgive me.