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Everything posted by lerno

  1. Our game (War Arcana https://www.facebook.com/war.arcana/) we have some rather minor UI effects: level up a skill and there's a small particle flash to celebrate it, enter the magician and there are some ambient "particles" floating around in the background and so on. We don't have any huge ambitions in regards to the particle designs - we're making do with whatever we're able to quickly sketch out in a tool (like this one: http://onebyonedesign.com/flash/particleeditor/) Since the game itself is a turn-based 2D strategy, effects are not essential but still would be nice to have. Working on this we got to thinking that maybe there are people out there who both a) like playing around with particle effects (and VFX) b) would like to get credited in a game – and would do it for free. If you would like to contribute particle effects/VFX to the game, get in touch with us at info@aegik.com. You should be able to find your way around a particle editor (or similar) without help, other than that we have no requirements. If you like - and are able to - you could suggest and design other visual effects to enhance the game as well.
  2. lerno

    Ways to visualise battle results?

    Winning the battle possibly captures the opponent, or the opponent simply loses the army and escapes. It's used to kill other player's characters. There is also a battle against border armies and strongholds. These also simply annihilate the defense allowing you to pass through the area or take the stronghold. Note that this is a separate action though. You might simply defeat the castle army and choose *not* to seize it.
  3. Our game has a very simple combat resolution. Roughly, attacking with an army of X against an army of Y units and being victorious you'll lose Y units (and if the opponent is stronger, the enemy will lose X). (e.g. attack with 320 against an army of 50 and you'll loose 50 units) – So by design combat is extremely predictable and straightforward. At the same time, combat is a rather rare occurrence and is something that should feel "special". So the question is how to visualise it. Looking at other games there's the "Animated armies battling it out" style, and "Card game style" (with "cards" alternating taking damage). "Animated armies" feels a bit wrong for our game, since you mostly only have a single army type (and honestly it needs to look very good not to feel corny). I tried the "card game" approach, with the army "card" taking damage, but it was rather boring - again because each side usually has a single army type. There's the original "Pirates!" approach where the amounts for each side is slowly ticking down until one side defeated, but I don't know if that is interesting enough. What possibilities am I overlooking? Adding too complex a screen will be a bit weird as the battle is straightforward. But I don't just want to throw up the popup with the result.
  4. lerno

    Ways to visualise battle results?

    Here is the "buy army" screen...
  5. lerno

    Ways to visualise battle results?

    That is similar to what I tried, but it doesn't appear to work very well visually with (mostly) a single army type on each side.
  6. lerno

    Ways to visualise battle results?

    In what sense? It's a fantasy RPG/Strategy if that helps?
  7. I don't know if this is the appropriate forum, so please ignore if it isn't. My question is: is there somewhere a list of reliable/recommended art studios to work with? Right now, it feels like half of the work is tracking art studios and individual artists to evaluate. Then follows an extended period where you try to make sure that the person/company is reliable and actually has the skills / experience to do what you want. As a very small indie company we still need AAA quality art, but it's actually rather hard to track down art studios. Pointers, links etc are all very appreciated.
  8. lerno

    Ways to visualise battle results?

    No, the battle is extremely predictable (which is a fundamental game decision in the game) and you know all about your opponent. There is a tiny variance in efficiency from battle to battle, but it is hardly noticeable. Do you have a video link to those automated battles in C&C3? I could not find anything.
  9.   Since it is your own character who does the questing, death is actually off the table. Without going too much into details, a player should be awarded for being first in investigating a cave/ruin. The resources are mainly actions turns, army and possibly one's own health. To elaborate a bit, I'll use the Dragon Caves as an example that already is balanced: - A player may attack a Dragon with their army. There are then two possible outcomes: a) The dragon is stronger than the army: in this case, around 20% of the army is decimated, but they steal away with parts of the treasure, at around 80% of the value of the dead warriors. There is a slight chance to get an item or a spell, which is larger if a larger army is used. b) The army is stronger than the dragon. In this case the dragon will die and a large part of the army will die. The reward is 80-150% of the lost army in terms of gold + a chance for a magical item or spell. For dragon caves, each "try" will lose you around 4% of your army's value, plus the cost in action turns to make the attempt. Collecting a sufficiently large army will defeat the dragon, but will often cost more than the gold gained. However, there is the chance at a magical item, or that the dragon horde might actually be larger than the armies lost. (There are other things to do in a dragon cave, but they're not relevant for the discussion) A ruin/quest is similar: you try to defeat the monster to get an award of a magical item or spell. However, it differs from the dragon in two very significant ways: a) It is intended that a weak character should be able to win against the weakest monsters b) The army should not be used for questing. It's especially b) which makes it difficult, and yet it's also this that makes it different from the dragon cave.
  10. I have a strategy game where I decided to add ruins and caves that originally were intended to work like the quest locations in Warlords 2. For a quick review, this was basically a random encounter against a hero's strength (only heroes could enter) and a bit of randomness. What you could uncover if successful was some sort of magic item. If failed, then the hero died. A quest-location could only be "defeated" once, after which it was empty for the rest of the game. Now in my case you actually have the player's "character" walking around with the army, so it's that character who will enter the quest. For obvious reasons it's not very welcome to have a random chance of a player losing the game because their character died in a quest (that's more or less only intended to add atmosphere).   Another issue is that the number of players will vastly outnumber the amount of ruins and caves. I've implemented various variants (more or less complicated), but none has felt "right", so now I'm looking to see if there are some other games that has similar features that I could use for inspiration.   Recommendations?
  11. Maybe I should have clarified that this is a vastly different game from Warlords 2. Typically 100+ players running on a map that is 80x80 tiles. Yes, that is how it works currently, but it's not ideal for several reasons. It's a bit hard to explain why without going into the details of the game - which is hard to do as it doesn't quite fit into an existing genre. Best summary would be "Trade Wars 2002 in a fantasy world" :) That's why I'm more interested in references than solutions.
  12. We were evaluating several artists, and finally (thought) we had settled for this one artist who had done pretty solid stuff. So I personally initiated discussion with him over Skype, and at some point he must have misunderstood my questions - aimed at getting payment & delivery details into the contract - as stringing him along. And from that point on he started to get very disrespectful and boorish. I explained the situation, which he at first did not understood, but continued to talk in a very impolite manner, then finally it became clear to him that he might have made a mistake. But that sort of behaviour is not something I feel I can work with and trust. So I wrote him a letter, and this is what happened (my e-mail at the bottom and his last response at top):   http://i.imgur.com/AN9yXs4.png   Anyone else who ran into similar unpleasantness? How do you deal with it?
  13. This is actually something that predatory studios do, and artists have to keep their guard up to protect themselves from it. This guy has probably dealt with that situation before, and for whatever reason, apparently your correspondence triggered his pattern detector and got his guard up.   Yeah as above it could be lost-in-translation issues, but in future, I'd be very upfront about what the outcomes of an art-test will be, and what the time-frames are for those outcomes. If you ever move these goal posts, or fail to define them in the first place, you could easily scare people like this guy has been scared. I like to think that I was very upfront about that test, which I also deliberately tried to make minimal in scope / effort to avoid wasting his time unnecessarily. And ironically, he lashed out at me when I wanted to award the project to him on strength of that art test.  :(
  14. Thank you for all comments, it has been helpful and great food for thought.
  15. Luckily this was before signing any agreements. I can understand the communication issues, since I deal with people that aren't always good at english, that is a risk. But what usually happens (what I expect) is that they voice their concerns, not trying to mock and openly provoke. This is not the first time I've run into people who were "less than professional". They're not the majority, but enough that you start thinking that maybe there is a reason that they are freelancing rather than having a job at some game company. Ideas how to deal with them (and perhaps how to notice them early)?
  16. lerno

    Reliable art studios?

      I'm all too aware of the cost  :) but the scope for us is rather narrow (a 2D map tile set), so high cost is not a major problem if they deliver things to the quality we want. The problem is that this type of art is not that commonly produced anymore. Most engines are 3D. This appears to mean that some studios will promise they can deliver the style, even though they don't have someone with deep experience making tiles. Having a general concept artist doing map tiles for the first time is not a very efficient use of time and money...   <_<
  17. lerno

    Reliable art studios?

      I must have missed that one. That's excellent!
  18. Any suggestion for the optimal engine of a turn-based roguelike to allow deploy on as many platforms as possible without extensive work?   The game would be strictly 2D. Each step taken would obviously be animated & may trigger animated effects.   Initially I'd like Linux/MacOSX/PC support, but the more possibilities the better.
  19. I'm sketching on a game and I'm looking for some references to take a look at.   At the surface, it's a random adventure: you do actions, random events occur depending on action and your previous actions. Although much more formal, games like Princess Maker is also roughly in this category.   The original idea was basically to have a few one-shot events, but then fill the game with a lot of chained events with preconditions. So if you randomly encountered X at some previous time, then some other storyline might start if you choose A at some point, but if you never saw X, then B is the right one to launch a story. Etc etc.   Still, such a game (with randomized but pre-created chains of events) will end up being predictable and perhaps not very deep.   What I'm going for is a sort of a pen-and-paper RPG feeling, where it's more the journey and the story of your character that counts. I also want the different possible paths to be widely different.   Anyway, an idea is to incorporate multiplayer. I'm not a big fan of internet based multiplayer: it's difficult to sync people up and most people act as a******s online. In most cases all you get in a multiplayer game is the ability to perhaps challenge others and compete in ranks. Which is fairly boring.   My take on this is therefore a bit different. What about letting other people work as anonymized feedback generators to each other's stories. That is, not only does your actions count, but the [anonymized] actions of other people playing the game will be used as feedback to generate events in your particular "universe". The worlds of the players are both independent and coupled. There is no direct "action" between the worlds - if A kills the big boss in his instance, B won't automatically see that the boss was killed in her world. On the other hand, A's slaying of the boss might trigger a different event that cause this boss to disappear in the near future in B's world etc.   This is all very loosely thought out yet, and I'm very curious if anyone knows of games that actually works this way.
  20. Orymus - definitely. A game is only worth doing if you're able to add some value to it that differentiate it from other offerings.   Can you see if you can find out the name of that game perhaps?
  21. Some background: I helped doing a remake of a mobile game called "Jamaican Discsta". That game in itself was a Drug Wars derivative.   Aside from the trade mechanics, there is a random event generator creating high probability events, medium, low and finally "chained" events. The possible events would vary by location and your "cool" statistic.   The interesting part is the "chained" events. Basically this would be an event X that had as a precondition that a previous event in the series was responded to in a particular manner. For example, you meet a girl and have (in the first chain even) the possibility to flirt with her. If you don't, then the story ends there. If you do, then there are is a second event that may occur. If the correct choice is made, then this unlocks the possibility for a third chain event which lands you a special kind of record.   This was all very simple and the "one shot" random events would dominate. However, interpolating one could essentially turn most events into chain events. For example, in the third step of the chain, then the outcome of that will be affected by the outcome of another chain - one outcome if it happened but "failed", another if it "succeeded", and yet another if it never happened. By lifting conditions into "types of events" rather than particular events, the interaction between chains may display far more combinations than coded for.   That's the background.   So going past that, the idea is to allow the selection of chained events to be triggered by other players instead of randomness. A way to do this is to allow the game to run over multiple days. The actions from the previous day are then used to determine the (no longer) "random" events of your day.   For instance, consider an event where a criminal has gone on rampage downtown. The maffia boss will ask you to do something about it. This event will be triggered not by randomness but by one of the following possibilities:   a) a chain event in which another player's character goes on a rampage as result b) a chain event in which another player's character causes someone to go on a rampage c) another player exceeds a certain % in notoriety for their actions for the day. d) some other player does a nefarious deed similar to going on a rampage   (these are just a few possibilities how to implement the feedback system - there are other ways as well)   In case of (a), (c) or (d) we can even use that particular player's character as the basis for who to beat.   The important thing here is that other players can generate a certain "human"-like behaviour to NPCs.   The question is how to make this translation from actions to feedback for other players. On one hand we could try for a 1:1 mapping: the players' actions appear directly into the games of the other players (within constraints - for example some actions might deliberately be omitted, such as A killing (in their universe) the player played by B will not translate into B dying in their own world, but the death might occur in the universes of A, C and D), or they're simply used as sort of randomness which still has a certain consistency, in that the actions of A, C and D will determine what events will be launched for B. However, those actions do not need to correspond to the actual actions of those players.
  22. I'm on the fence regarding the graphics engine of my current game and hope for some advice. This is an UI heavy strategy/rpg. Although the game is played on a (simple) 2D map, it is largely turn based and only vrey rudimentary animations occur. Interaction mostly occurs by selecting actions on secondary screens. The UI isn't very complex in itself but comprise a large number of screens. Due to the largely static gameplay I hope to add a bit of animation an particle effects to updates and other changes. It is common to add lots of decoration to the UI for this type of games, but I have avoided that for a cleaner look. Previously my games have been smaller and fairly simple. In these cases, the standard UI lib - with a few tweaks - have been enough, and for this project I also know that it's quite possible to use the normal UI lib to implement the game. However, my fear is that in choosing a standard UI lib the types and amounts of effects will be affected, so that the UI ends upp avoiding the more extravagant features that I would not think twice before adding had I used a 2D graphics engine for games. On the other hand, sticking to the UI framework would minimize power consumtion, and provide a lot of nice text components. On the other hand, the game is fairly power hungry for other reasons, and there is minimal text input. For the first version here it's for iOS - so UIKit vs Cocos2D/SpriteKit.
  23. I'm currently rewriting the client for a strategy game. The clients are for iOS, so the normal UI framework already has fairly good support for simpler animations and effects. I've experience successfully leveraging it for two game titles already. The advantage is low battery consumption compared to an animation lib (for iOS Cocos2D and SpriteKit), as well as excellent text and input handling. It's also easy to get a rough UI up and running. Since I have yet to run a full-fledged project with an animation lib, it's hard to evaluate the downsides, but I believe that I might not be as generous with animations as I would with a animation lib / normal game engine. The game itself is very static, it doesn't need more animations than you'd need implementing chess. This is why I'm on the fence here: standard UI framework or an animation lib as basis for the game? It's not clear to what's best. I'm hoping to add a few tasteful animations to prevent it from feeling to static, but hardly sufficient to motivate using an animation based framework. On the other hand, I'm extensively modifying button rendering, view transitions etc, so at places the UI framework isn't much of a help. What would you recommend and why?
  24. I've been trying to gather requirements for an UDP network protocol with virtual connections in a client-server scenario.    This is what I got so far Glenn Fiedler's series: Use a protocol prefix to filter packets without the prefix (no real motivation given) Quake 3: Handle the case where the player's port may randomly change due to NAT behaviour. I asked on serverfault.com and heard that this may happen in other cases than with old NATs. I notice this is in Enet as well. Packet sequencing (obvious) Acks (implicit or explicit), some protocols use timeouts as well. Some sort of bandwidth / congestion handling (most implementations have this) Fragment large packets What's missing?
  25. lerno

    Benchmarking servers

    Write bots, have them play. See what happens.
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