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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Quickbar basically finished, plus some lava...

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JTippetts

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Finished the quick-bar functionality, although some of the back-end stuff is still kinda iffy. The bar along the bottom is the quickbar; you can right-click on a button, and a spell-book will pop up (the side-scrolling bar in the second screenshot). You can choose a combat skill from this spellbook to assign to the quickbar button.

Did a little tinkering around with materials and lights, as well. Wanted to see how well it would handle lots of little lights, so I created a lava-type block and assigned a point light to each instance. Surprisingly, my home-computer handles it well. I don't have profiling or debug console output enabled to get real numbers, since I'm not anywhere near the framerate-optimization stage yet, but it "feels" fully playable even zoomed out with lots of lava on-screen. I doubt I would use anywhere near that many actual light blocks in production, so I think that I can probably get away with using lots of point lights like this for the occasional volcanic level.

The material is just the same old gray stone block from the previous screenshots, with a second pass of an additive red texture over the top of it. Nothing special at all, just testing out some techniques.

I'm reconsidering (again) the 2-mode design I've been thinking about. I just don't like multiple mode gameplay. I'm just worried about the pacing. If I have all gameplay take place in the same turn-based mode, then I worry that it will make some things (exploration, travel with multiple companions/party members, etc...) more tedious than it needs to be. The combat most is a fairly basic turn-based system, where each combat-ready unit gets it's turn per round, with a given number of movement points to use. I don't really have any plans to complicate the core loop too much, so if you have multiple minions summoned, then each round you'll have to order them to move. I could go with a much smaller modal system (like the Spiderweb RPG games use, among others) wherein the party is in a party-travel mode when no enemies are in combat range, but that amounts to a complication of the core turn-based loop, so I probably won't do it that way unless it turns out that I just can't get the pacing right.

Maybe I'll need to put together a gameplay test with a party and turn a few select people loose on it for some feedback. I'd hate to get too deep into the combat before I find out that the pacing is just too glacial.

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