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Ed Welch

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  1. I am having a problem loading DXT5 textures. Everything works fine, unless I use a texture which has a height greater than the width and I enable mipmaps (i.e GL_LINEAR_MIPMAP_LINEAR) The textures are created using Compressonator and the code to load the textures is here: https://github.com/paroj/nv_dds/blob/master/nv_dds.cpp
  2. Ed Welch

    MercTactics Demo 0.7 released

    A new demo version of Merc Tactics has being released on Itch: https://ed-welch.itch.io/merc-tactics This version fixes a bug which prevented the game from running on Nvidia GPUs. Also, some features have being improved: The interrupt mechanism has been made less complicated and easier to use. See this post for details: https://ed-welch.itch.io/merc-tactics/devlog/57296/new-interrupt-mechanism The "fast burst" feature has being re-balenced It now shows AP cost of current weapon in main HUD display Mouse wheel zoom control has been reversed, so it's the same as other games Lost of small bugs have being fixed.
  3. Ed Welch

    Improving Interrupts

    Yeah, the Fallout idea of an automatic reaction fire sounds interesting.
  4. Ed Welch

    Improving Interrupts

    Ok, I didn't know that. As a player it seemed random. I never understood why sometimes the interrupt didn't trigger.
  5. Ed Welch

    Dynamic Difficulty

    Typically, at the start of a game you are presented with the game difficulty menu, as above. Players should choose the level according to their experience. The problem with this is that the player really has no idea how easy the "Novice" level really is. I know some games where the easy level is actually quite challenging (it's easy for the game developers, but only because they understand how the AI works). For this reason, a lot of players always choose the easiest level, just to be on the safe side, but then they run the risk of a boring game, because it's not challenging enough. I decided to solve this problem by having no menu at all. Instead, the game automatically adjusts difficulty based on certain statistics. I found out afterwards, that in fact a lot of games do this already (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_game_difficulty_balancing). However, I treat the combat difficulty separate to resource management difficulty. I rate the players proficiency in battle according to a few statistics. I consider a player to be inexperienced if their soldiers are not taking cover and if they aren't getting interrupts. Difficulty mainly affects how the AI behaves. For a player with a high difficulty level more enemy combatants will be smarter - they will take better cover, be more alert and try to flank more often. In Merc Tactics the difficulty level (score) is displayed when the inventory screen is open. This is a number between 0 and 10. I still haven't implemented the resource management difficulty yet. This parameter is based on how well the player spends his money. I.e. a player that wastes money repairing weak weapons gets a lower rating. The Dynamic Difficulty feature is implemented in the latest 0.6 Demo.
  6. Ed Welch

    MercTactics Demo 0.6 released!

    Today we are releasing the 3rd game demo. You can download the Windows installer here: http://www.astronautz.com/MercTactics/MercTacticsSetup0.6.exe MercTactics is a squad-based tactical strategy, similar to games such as Jagged Alliance, or XCOM. The main reason for releasing this demo is to get feedback from players. Specifically, I would like to know how you found the game play and if it was too hard, or too easy and any ideas to improve the game. The game comes with built-in help. As you play the first scene, pop-up windows will explain how everything works. Also there is a feedback form, which you can use to send feedback to our servers. To start the game just select "New Campaign" from the main menu. There's also a "Quick battle" feature, that you can select to just play one battle. This is a beta, although are a lot of minor bugs, it should run fine on any machine. You will notice some minor graphic and UI flaws and some features that are quite not finished yet, but don't worry about those. I hope you like the game and have fun playing. Ed
  7. Ed Welch

    MercTactics Poster graphic

    Yeah, I've being busy making the game production quality. I hope to release the final version this year
  8. Ed Welch

    MercTactics Poster graphic

    I just finished the new poster artwork for MercTactics. I hope you like it. Watch this space, there are a lot of new improvements and I will be posting the new game trailer and beta demo soon!
  9. Ed Welch

    Improving Interrupts

    Any action taken (moving one square, or taking a shot) reduces the counter by one.
  10. Ed Welch

    Improving Interrupts

    Most squad based games have an interrupt feature that works as follows: During your turn you can arrange it that some of your soldiers don't use up all their action points - leaving enough APs for a "reflex shot" and facing them in the direction of the expected enemy assault. Then during the enemy's turn, if an enemy soldier moves within the range of you soldier it may, or may not trigger an "interrupt". If the interrupt triggers, then the enemy's turn is interrupted and it becomes your turn temporally, you can shoot at the enemy, or do any other action until your APs run out, then the enemy's turn continues. The problem with this is that the interrupt only triggers, based on a random throw of the die (that is for the case of the original X-Com game and Jagged Alliance 2). When you position your soldier for the interrupt, you are putting him in a vulnerable position and if the interrupt doesn't happen (because the random die throw), then your soldier is almost certainly going to get pummelled. For that reason when I was playing X-Com, I almost never tried to get interrupts, because I didn't like the idea of my soldier randomly getting shot to pieces based on a die throw that was completely unpredictable. So, for Merc Tactics I have being working on ways of "solving" this problem. This is how it works: There is no die throw, instead there is a "counter" which starts at number depending on the soldiers interrupt skill. During the enemies turn each time an enemy moves within the soldiers arc of fire the counter goes down by one. When the counter reaches "0" the interrupt is triggered. In the screen shot below, for example, you see an arc of fire drawn on the ground with the number "3". 3 is the number of times that the enemy can move within that arc before the interrupt is triggered. Now the interrupt is triggered: Once the soldier shoots or moves the counter goes back to the original setting, otherwise it holds it's value. So, if the counter didn't hit zero in the first turn, you could keep the soldier where he is and try to get the interrupt in the second turn. This scheme removes the random element and provides feedback to the player, so they always know the likelihood of an interrupt occurring.
  11. Ok, thanks for the answer. So that sort of rules kickstarter out of me anyway ;) The Reddit advertising sounds interesting though. If I put the advertising on a forum of a game in the extact same genre as my own then I have the perfect audience. But spending only $100 really gets results? That sounds kind of low.
  12. so, you think it's a good idea to do a kickstarter, even if you don't need the money, just because it creates exposure for your game?
  13. Ed Welch

    Video headaches

    I had really an awful time trying to put together a decent trailer video for the demo that I just released. Apart from all the trouble I had trying to figure out how to use various video editing tools, the quality of the uploaded video on youtube seemed very bad compared to what it should be, so I did some screen captures and compared the result side by side. What I found is that youtube used SD (i.e. low quality) by default, which is very bad. You have to specifically select HD from the embedded youtube video to play HD quality, which few people actually do. But even youtube HD is pretty poor quality. You notice in the image above the colours look washed out. The soldier in the middle looks like he is in black and white. Vimeo has better quality as you can see, unfortunatly vimeo can't be played in full screen mode in these blogs. Still, I'll take it. After spending so much work getting the graphics just right, the last thing I want is youtube crappifying my game trailer.
  14. Ed Welch

    Merc Tactics Beta 0.5

    Hello All, Today I have prepared a special version of Merc Tactics for game play testing. You can download the installation program here: http://astronautz.com/MercTactics/MercTacticsSetup0.5.exe Recapping, Merc tactics is a turn-based squad tactical combat game, similar to games such as Jagged Alliance, Silent Storm and X-Com. Below is a sample video of the game: https://vimeo.com/205212576 I am inviting people on GameDev to try out the game and give me your feedback. Specifically, I'd like to know if you found the game too hard to play, too easy, or too tedious, or if you have any ideas of things that are missing to improve the game play. You can have some fun playing the game and also participate in the development process! The game has two modes: Quick Battle and Campaign. For this test I am only testing Quick Battle. When you launch the game, you will see the main menu, as shown below: Choose the desired battle and select "Launch" to start the battle. You probably want to select one of the easier ones, until you get the hang of it. Also, selecting "Extra Enemy" will mean there is a three way battle with two enemy militia groups, all fighting each other. Selecting "Allies" will include a friendly militia fighting on your side. Online help is available here: http://astronautz.com/MercTactics/help.html. Requirments: This game requires OpenGL version 2.1 or higher, so it should work on most PCs. Notes: This game is more focused on making use of available cover, and close-in fighting, rather than long range sniping. Each scene requires a different approach, depending on how it's laid out, and as all scenes are generated procedurally, that means there is a huge variety of battles. Although this game is inspired by Jagged Alliance it, it does not try to copy it. Notably, I designed the game rules and mechanics with simplicity in mind, so as to be easy to play on tablets and smart phones. My design criterion was to only include features which made the game genuinely fun to play and eliminate features that just add complexity for complexity's sake. That being said, there still is a lot of features that are missing, because I simply did not have the resources to include them in "version 1.0". You can look at "version 1.0" as just the beginning. Version 2 and 3 will add the missing features and greatly expand on this game. This is a beta version, and you may notice some rough edges. Particularly, the user interface and some of the graphics have yet to be finished. Do not worry about these things, because right now I am only testing the game play. In this demo you can in fact play Campaign mode, if you want to. Although it's not finished yet and there is no help documentation for that. :o Update: I had to change the video, because of youtube quality problems.
  15. Ed Welch

    Using perlin noise to generate scenery

    Thanks very much. Unfortunately, I never took a screen shot of the first version :(.
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