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About justkevin

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  1. I've been working on this game since the beginning of the year and am pretty excited about how it's coming along.    Browser playable version (requires Flash, keyboard and mouse)   90 second gameplay video:     So what's this game like?   The first design principle is "fast to the fun." You can jump in right away with no registration or anything and find out right away if your thing or not. It's a mix of arcade style action with rogue-like elements: Large number of power-ups and boosts from gems, magic items, leveling up, etc. Increasing hordes of monsters and destructible monster generators Mix of procedural and pre-designed levels featuring  bombs, thrones, switches, booby traps, fountains, etc. Hope you like it!  
  2. Play here: Lost Crypts (Beta 1.7.0)    Requires: Flash, keyboard and mouse.   Lost Crypts is a multiplayer coop dungeon runner infusing elements of Roguelikes and the arcade classic "Gauntlet." Up to four players descend through the crypts gathering treasures and battling hordes of monsters and avoiding traps. The game is played in a browser and requires Flash, a keyboard and mouse.   Features:   * Play as one of three classes with different stats and special attacks. * Mix of procedural and designed levels make each play different. * Hundreds of different items including rare special items. * Surivive bats, goblins, sorcerors, evil eyes, bombs, poison gas, and much more.   The game has been in development since the beginning of the year (2013) and is now in Open Beta. While the core game play is not likely to change, there will be changes and new features based on player feedback.   So let me know how I can make the game better! I'm particularly interested in ways to improve player retention (i.e., repeat sessions) but also general feedback is always appreciated.  
  3. When a player is playing the game, they are executing lots of repetitive cycles that form the core mechanic or inner loop. The outer loop is just the cycle of the player coming back to the game again and again.   A player can have a lot of fun playing a game, but when they stop playing they may not come back, or may only come back when something reminds them, "hey that game was fun, I should play that again."   I'm looking for improving that part of the game-- reasons to come back and start another session. Things like having goals long term goals and progress, avoiding progress loss, social elements etc. Trying to get a higher position on the leader board would be an example. 
  4. My project (Lost Crypts) is a coop Flash dungeon runner, mixing elements of Gauntlet and Rogue. Right now, the core loop works. There's always room for improvement, but the general consensus among play testers is that it is fun.   I talked with someone who is an expert in monetization for these kinds of games and his primary concern was retention and player investment. Right now, the "outer game" loop is relatively weak. You can unlock deeper levels and get on the high score list, but apart from that there's not much to make players come back for the next session.   I have a couple ideas for improving this and I'm looking for suggestions on how to improve them or other ideas:   1.) A mechanism for carrying items to the next life. So if you find a good item, you won't automatically lose it when you die. E.g., if you find a "Last Will" in the dungeon, one of your magic items will pass to your next character.   2.) An achievement progress system. Similar to quests or challenges, players will be able to unlock tiers by completing achievements: There will be a set of possible achievements for each tier (e.g., reach level 10, kill 7 monsters in 1 second, etc, find a special item, etc.) If a player completes 7 of them, they unlock the tier. This will give a permanent reward and their character portrait will show a background indicating the highest tier they've reached and they can start working on the next tier. So every time the player plays, they are potentially making progress. The permanent rewards will be in-game useful. For example, the first tier might be the tavern and once unlocked the player always starts with 1 food. Ideas for other outer loop mechanics? Problems or improvements to these ideas?
  5. Thanks for the suggestion.   I'm not sure if that will work for this game (typical latency will be higher than most FPS), but I should be able to test that idea shortly and see if it feels okay.
  6. If you've already gotten some headway with Flash, keep going until you've released a game or two. People who play web games will still have Flash installed on their desktop (assuming it doesn't take you years and years to develop your game).   Re-evaluate in a couple years and you may decide to switch to HTML5, Unity or something else.
  7. This is partially a design question, but it's one driven by the realities of networked play.   I'm developing a Flash, multiplayer coop game, very similar to Gauntlet. One issue that I foresee being a problem is more than one player going for the same object (say a potion).    In order to make the game feel as responsive as possible, players' entities are moved locally on the client instantly, with the server only correcting the player if they did something impossible. Most of the time this isn't an issue, but where it will be an issue is if two players both try to pick up the same potion. The server currently will give the potion to whichever player arrives at the potion first, but from a player's perspective they may see the potion go to another player who seems farther from it.   I expect this will be annoying to the players and look like an unfair bug.   I've thought of one solution: have objects "drop" from an entity (like a chest). Every player will see the object and every player will be allowed to pick up the same object (possibly within a time limit). The object will only disappear from the client's view once they pick it up or the time limit expires.    Anyone have a different suggestion?
  8. justkevin

    Unity Unity crossdomain issue

    Are you trying to run the unity game from the Unity IDE, or from a browser?   Try checking the IIS logs to see if you can see a request for the crossdomain.xml at the time you think Unity should be making the request.
  9. justkevin

    Adding a Twist to Tower Defense

    I recommend playing a bunch of TD games and seeing what makes them fun. I recently enjoyed the Cursed Treasure defense games (you can find them on Kongregate, I forget who made them). I've only written one flash TD-type game, but it was reasonably popular with about 2 million plays to date (http://lab.wx3.com/defender/). Without playing it, it's hard to say what would make yours fun, but I would say the essence of tower defense is the player making a series of choices that help him defend his base against escalating waves of attackers. For the choices to be interesting, there needs to be a trade-off. Typical trade-offs include: defending well against one type of attacker vs. a general purpose defensecreating defenses now vs. creating infrastructure that will make stronger defenses laterchoosing which areas are most important to protect
  10. justkevin

    Resource for top-down art?

    Anyone know of a good resource (or tutorial) for creating art for a top-down 2D game? Usually when creating my programmer art I just google some images for guidance, but images/artwork tend to from a side-on view. I'm especially interested in seeing how biped walk/run animation looks from above. Suggestions?
  11. justkevin

    Flash and C# - Card Game

    Well, binary sockets have less data than xml sockets, so that should be a bit faster, but for a card game I'm really surprised that xml sockets seems slow. What are you seeing for round trip time, from action to response? Also, what's your ping to the server?
  12. I've posted an RFP to our own Help Wanted forum for paid contract work, but I'm looking for other forums to post on (GameDev seems to attract more programmers than designers). So far I've found conceptart.org and game-artist.net. What other forums are popular for 3D artists?
  13. justkevin

    Component-Based Entity Help

    Here's how I'm doing it, which isn't too far away from your method. As always, different games require different approaches. I have just one Component class, but multiple system classes. A component contains a list of systems it installs and a collection of properties that it modifies. So one component (this is a scifi space ship game) might install PhaserSystem and register itself as a modifier for PHASER_FIRE_RATE, PHASER_MAX_CHARGE, etc. As for update ordering, there's not really any notion of dependence. Can you give an example of a component that needs to update before another component? @return0: I know it's considered a code "smell" but I have an EntityManager class as well and see no reason to refactor it, nor can I think of a better name.
  14. I'm currently experimenting with a version Inverse Logit function for accuracy. The way it works is that every attack is determined by summing all modifiers and plugging them into this formula: 2^x / 1 + (2^x) This gives the probability of a hit. So with 0 modifiers, the probability of a hit is 50/50. Example: The attacker is using phasers which have a +4 accuracy modifier. The attacker is very close which gives him a +2 accuracy modifier. The defender is cloaked which gives him a -3 accuracy modifier. The defender is moving slowly relative to the attacker which gives him a -0.5 accuracy modifier. Summing all the modifiers gives a total modifier of +2.5. Plugged into the formula gives a 85% chance of hitting. Obviously, you still have to figure out the balance of what appropriate modifiers are. What are the advantages of this system? 1. It neatly maps all possible inputs onto a range of 0-1. A blind archer firing at a gnat at 100 paces still has a chance to hit. It might be 1 in 1,000,000, but there's still a chance. 2. Simplicity. Just add up all modifiers and plug them into the formula. What are the disadvantages? 1. It doesn't give you a clean stat like "+% to hit." The change in probability to hit of a +3 sword vs. a +2 sword may vary depending on what other modifiers are in effect Something that may be either an advantage or disadvantage depending on your game is the fact that the formula naturally offers diminishing returns-- a +10 swords offers more of an improvement against an enemy with a defensive rating of 10 than one with a defensive rating of 1.
  15. justkevin

    My game needs "help."

    Thanks for the suggestions. I seriously considered reversing it and having the thing that the help is about call the help system. Intuitively, it makes sense but there are a number of problems: Let's say one help scenario is "first time a player comes within 2000 units of an enemy, the help system will explain the basics of combat." That's not a well defined "event" unless every entity is constantly broadcasting distance to player as an event. Also, this game is written in AS3 and already pushes the performance of the engine, so I'd like to avoid any solution that requires extra processing if the help system is "off."
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