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Day IV - Show me what you've got!

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Orymus3

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With Day 3 being entirely wasted (power shortage and just general hell on earth scenario), I came in Day 4 strong, knowing everything I wouldn't do would get axed from the final game build.

On Day 2 I had set myself a list of things I wanted addressed for Day 3, and all of them basically rolled over to Day 4.

What I've said I'd do


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While doing other things in Day 2, I also implemented very quickly some fade-in/fade-out mechanic for the character, anticipating the intro I was going for. Given I also wanted to shoot for some UI as early as possible, I think it is time to polish the intro and sequence this a bit. I'm thinking : quick flow with actual contextual text boxes to get started. All of the text will likely be placeholder at this point (particularly if I'm shooting for a written tutorial) but I need to put this system in place (chained dialogue, etc.) as this is still an area of the game I'm quite unsure about. If I can nail a first pass on the full intro sequence, this will be one fewer high-risk feature for the rest of the development, and I can focus on making the game more fun.

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I most definitely did that. While I was expecting to hardcode some hacks in there to build a tutorial, it turns out I managed to create a very decent event vs messaging system (which I'm considering on reusing on my actual projects!). It didn't take too long, and the result is amazing. Let's break it down a bit further:

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- I have a textbox system that plays like the SNES-era RPGs (where each letter appears individually with a "voice" sound.

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- The character comes to life. I'm only missing the ball of light, but everything else seems to work properly.

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- Series of messages (textboxes) can be a condition for the tutorial flow, allowing me to sequence things at will, and almost painlessly.

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- The GPIs (Gameplay Ingredients) in the level were also added to this system so that I can sequence the amount of information the player sees at any given point (I wish the UI would too, so I'll look into this, given it is just a case of .enabled being set to false -> true.

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- The text is no longer placeholder. It is a bit long right now, but it gives both story AND gameplay instructions in 16 chained messages. Not too bad...

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- Overall, I've just lifted a lot of weight from my shoulders right there because the game got to a point where people can understand what to do by just reading the text boxes! That's a huge plus!

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Joystick / Gamepad Controls

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Unity makes it somewhat easy, but I think it best to implement gamepad control as early as possible if it is to be a valid game input (it will insure I get to test both with and without as I keep on devving). It sounds like a painless item to integrate today.

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Which I didn't do. I did change the input keys for the different actions however, as I felt the placeholder ones I had were anything but easy to use. The player now has 3 actions, and they are accessible through 1,2 and 3. Movement is handled by the arrows, which isn't very 21st century, but hey, they are ARROWS afterall, so a kid who has never seen a computer in his life is likely to use them before the W,A,S,D keys...

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Workers

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One of the Ruin evolutions I'd like is a worker which can slowly increase the resources Prometheus acquires and becomes some kind of risk-reward upgrade to add. It is a simple script to implement, so I think it might make it in. Would likely require placeholder art...

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This is the absolute last thing I implemented on that day. No art yet, and it forced me to polish some of my UI scripts, but it was well worth the effort. Though my test "waves" are currently much too hard, it really helped me define the game economy and it works (risking 10 bones to get 1 bone per in-game tick takes 10 ticks to pay for itself, during which it needs to be kept alive, making it a highly desirable option, but likely letting your perimeter defense break as a result).

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UI - Resources

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Currently missing is an overlay that indicates just how many resources I have. I see it in the debug console, but the player won't have that luxury, so the earlier I have it up there, the better. Also goes in-line with nailing down UI for this game. Possibly implement Hero Life?

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The Bones counter HUD element has been added. It worked for a bit, and then I started testing the game as an exec, in various resolutions... and learned a lot about anchors in the process. I'm still not sure I get it, but it seems to work on most conventional resolutions now. Assuming the judges have a 16:9 resolution and a decent monitor, it will work... that being said, might consider sending an early build to make sure that it does!

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I'm on the fence about the Hero Life. On the one hand, I like the idea of not allowing Prometheus to just jump in the fray and kill everything, but on the other, I'm unclear whether a new lose condition is the solution... perhaps a stun? Still need to ponder this...

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QUIT Button

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I got the axe for not providing this before, and apparently people don't like the Alt-F4 option, so I'll be sure to include this one this time around!

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THERE IS A QUIT BUTTON NOW! And I've tested it several times. Hopefully it doesn't break without my noticing before the end of the competition.

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What I also did

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Spawn Ruins

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By using 50 bones, the character can now create ("unearth") ruins using the "2" action key.

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I added this as I felt there were situations where the player could stock up on resources and yet lose some of the distant ruins in an attempt to comfort his position. 50 bones is no small cost compared to the 10 bones used for each evolution (which essentially grant as much life to the ruin) but it can see some use.

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Add new Classes of Ruins

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Up to now, the only things that would spawn were the common Ruins. The way the game works now is that, at the start, two other types of ruins will spawn (and they are finite, so best protect them well!).

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The player gets:

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4 X Temple Ruins

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These are core to the temple and have some of its magic. They have a different evolution tree than the common ruins. So far, they allow the user to raise WORKERS, but I also have plans for another yet un-developed evolution stage.

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1 X Idol

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This represents the center of the temple, and its source of power. The Idol is the vessel through which Zeus raised Prometheus. If broken, Prometheus turns back to stone, and with it, the game ends.

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Though it gives the player another way to lose the game (and one very critical to the game concept), it will also boast the most powerful evolution stages. That being said, I didn't want for it to become the go-to ruin to upgrade and decided to space out the upgrades quite a bit to insure the investment outweighs the benefits.

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Further stages have yet to be developed for this.

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FX

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Would normally have waited 'till the end to implement, but while the code was still fresh in mind, I went ahead and implemented a few FX tweaks:

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- The Bone counter in the HUD animates to a number instead of just displaying it

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- When hurt, Undeads and Ruins will color to red and then return to their normal color.

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AI

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I've added a new AI for the "melee skeleton" which is a bit more vicious. Instead of moving straight from top to bottom (which was annoyingly simple) they now properly move to the closest ruin to destroy them.

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This is important because I plan on having another enemy type which will focus exclusively on unique ruins so that the player is unsure what needs the best kind of protection.

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I have yet to complete the archer's AI as well, which will basically line-up for a shot, but not seek contact to make sure it stands further from the player and emphasize the need for ruin evolutions over moving to enemies. That will however leave me with a problem for the bonepiles...

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Bonepiles despawn

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The bonepiles (left after an undead dies, and which can be picked up for bones) can now despawn over time. This is a very short time at that, which reinforces the need to have Prometheus run from bonepile to bonepile and forces the player to make a choice between tending their Ruins and picking up resources.

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The despawn made me realize that the "collecting" is perhaps too important in the game right now, and likely not the most fun feature. I'm considering having the bones drawn in naturally to the idol, and be collected automatically by it. In this case, the despawn would likely be removed altogether.

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Alternatively, the Temple ruins may be evolved to a state where they have an AoE that naturally draws the bones towards them for collection. The problem I see with this approach is that, so far, I've done relatively well with the evolution system without detailing the "tech tree". Implementing such an important feature through this undocumented flow would likely generate more confusion than it would fun. I should consider making sur each Ruin evolution stage retains all properties from its predecessor, which is not currently the case.

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and... Drumroll???

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After creating the bulk of the SFX for the game (yay!) I also decided to go ahead and record a song... whaaaa-?

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Time was short, so I couldn't get a tic track and the end-result sure suffered (it's not always on tic!!!), but given the limited amount of time I had to do it, I think it turned out ok.

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So there you have it, a fully improvised track made in my basement without most of my recording gig.

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I recorded:

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- Drums

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- Guitars (X7, out of which I kept only 4 tracks)

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Then spent some time mixing and editing. Because I didn't have the proper rig in place, had to spend a lot of time trimming and cleaning noise, but a lot of it remains.

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It's not the best track, and it is very uneven, and even the mixing is quite off, but I reached a personal achievement to have my own song recorded on my own all the while making a game on my own. I can now attest that everything in this game is 100% custom me.

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What's left?

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The short version is: a lot...

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- Main Menu

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- Victory and Defeat screens or dialogue

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- Ball of light for the intro

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- Camshakes!!

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- SHADES (enemy type)

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- Light/Torch mechanic

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- Additionnal Ruin stages

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- A lot of ART

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- FX (particle effects)

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- Gamepad support

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+ whatever I may not have in mind right now...

To day 5!!

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3 Comments


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Wow, it sounds like your last couple days have been intense on a couple different levels.

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You've made a fair bit of progress, it seems! Well done! ^_^
 
I'll confess that I don't like the idea of resources that despawn--as far as I recall, I've generally found the mechanic more annoying than anything when I've encountered it. That said, I'm not sure that I'm part of the core target audience for a game like this, so I don't know how well my preferences line up with the general preferences of said audience.

 

The song is an impressive inclusion! ^_^

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Wow, it sounds like your last couple days have been intense on a couple different levels.

It sure was. But cutting back on features is not something I do well, so sleep it taking a hit as a result (can't stop RL right?).

 

I'll confess that I don't like the idea of resources that despawn--as far as I recall, I've generally found the mechanic more annoying than anything when I've encountered it. That said, I'm not sure that I'm part of the core target audience for a game like this, so I don't know how well my preferences line up with the general preferences of said audience.

I think I'm with you actually. Not that I don't like it per se, but I don't feel it has its place here, as it might work against another mechanic... 

 

The song is an impressive inclusion!

Well, hold that thought. Once you hear it, you might be disappointed :P 

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