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Small features + minimap.

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Last month I posted a tech demo for my game. Only a handful of people played it, but the ones who did gave me some useful feedback.
Background music and sound effects is high on the list. I haven't implemented any audio yet.
I'm currently talking to a composer - with a little luck he will be able to create something nice.
If I get around to working with audio before that happens I will be putting in some free or cheap assets to get a feel for the workflow.
The composer pointed me to fmod - it's worth taking a look at.

Audio/Visual feedback:
It wasn't immediately apparent when items dropped, or that you could click on an NPC to talk to them.
I've implemented hover UI for items and mobs. This includes the name of the item/mob and for mobs it also includes a health bar.
This can be expanded upon with more info - colors for item quality, extra info for mobs etc.
I'm not sure if NPC hover should include a health bar - you probably won't be allowed to attack them in the final game anyway.
A dynamic cursor was also implemented to show if you could pick up items, attack mobs, talk to NPCs etc. It does seem a little busy / confusing when the cursor changes so I'm not sure if that's a good idea. Perhaps using the same basic cursor with a sub-icon will make it easier on the eyes.

The first NPC asks you to kill some spiders, but there are no spiders in the game... will do:)  The first area needs some love - a bit of story, better flow and a basic quest line. Quests are not yet implemented but the flow can be simulated with dialogues.

Monsters tend to clump together in one spot, and when you kill them they respawn immediately at their spawn point.
The respawn behaviour is something I will address soon, but fixing the clumping requires quite a bit of work.
Originally I wasn't planning on implementing any sort of monster-blocking or dynamic obstacle avoidance. I'm afraid this simplistic approach won't cut it. Monster blocking is not in itself a must-have, but the clumping must be dealt with.
Implementing dynamic pathfinding / steering behaviour - in particular in a way that will perform well enough to scale to many players - is going to be a bit of a hurdle.

I got started on a minimap. The approach I have used is to visualize the navmesh by extracting the triangulation and turning it into a mesh, which is then rendered by another camera into a RenderTexture and shown on the screen. I need to find or write a good shader to make it look right.
Also I need to visualize enemies, NPCs, portals and other entities on the minimap, and visualize camera and player rotation. (Come to think of it I also need to implement camera rotation...)

One thing I would really love to have is an installer and a launcher application that will be able to auto-update the game files. High on the wish-list is also a code-signing certificate, but due to costs this will have to wait unfortunately. But I really want to have the launcher in place soon.

A new build can be downloaded at: https://treacherousjourneys.com/downloads/journeys.zip. I really appreciate all of the feedback I can get:)



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Looking good! Are you going to consider having an option for scaling up or down the UI? :) 

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2 hours ago, Rutin said:

Looking good! Are you going to consider having an option for scaling up or down the UI? :) 

Thanks:) It's not something I have even considered, maybe I should:) It's not going to be at the top of my list though I think - but perhaps it's worth taking into account when choosing sprite sizes and import settings for the final UI to make sure they will scale well.
Could you give me some examples of how you might choose to scale it?

Not UI - but I want to enable the player to zoom the scene camera in and out so they can look at their pretty character. I think though that most people will want to play zoomed out as much as possible - at least if it gets dangerous.


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30 minutes ago, Polydone said:

Could you give me some examples of how you might choose to scale it?

I would have a pre-set UI scale per resolution then add in an option with a slider that allows the user to scale up or down by (x) points per stop with a preview prior to applying the setting. I normally just take screen shots of the different resolutions in Photoshop, and overlay my UI to see which sizes fit the best then reflect that through code.

If your UI is done with vector graphics then scaling isn't a problem, but if you use raster graphics then you essentially make the largest scaled version first then scale down as needed. You still might have to make different versions depending on quality loss.

WoW and many other games have this feature:

Related image

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Wow (no pun intended:) ) You really took your time to answer that, thanks!
And I never even thought of using vector graphics for that purpose.
Actually I just dabbled in polygon sprites for the first time a couple of hours ago to create icons for the minimap, and although it's not quite vector graphics it still works very well to combat jagged edges for non-rectangular shapes. Textures tend to scale a lot better(within reason) so I'm not too worried about those. 

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