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    Amy
  Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:27 pm
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Yes, I know, but humour me.

These are just mockups but of things I have made before so can work on implementing.

Image

I probably won't have much time to work on this game so I'm intentionally avoiding HYPE.

So the basics, of what I hope to implement:

Interaction
  • Login/register and character creation
  • Character sheets
  • Chat
  • Private messaging
  • In-game forum
  • Player to player trading
  • Global items exchange and economy
  • Globalised shops with modular items lists and prices
  • High-scores/stats tables
  • Global events and variables

Systems
  • QABS for battles including some form of multiplayer element (probably players-versus-monster rather than PvP for now)
  • QMovement for movement, optimised for mobile somehow
  • QSprite for sprite animations, using Pioneer Valley character sets
  • Paperdoll system

The World
The world will be intentionally tiny, to start with. Because I won't have much time to work on this, I'd rather have a little room full of players than an expansive world with no content. I am thinking one map to begin, which will be an outdoor map but with smart interiors that open up as you look inside.

Battles
Battles and character development will be based around skills. There will be no levelable stats, but there will be "levels"; these levels are just a measure of what you've done in the game rather than of your power. Everyone should be as powerful as each other; it's your actions that define what you can do rather than grinding. Grinding just gets you on the high scores for players that do like that.

Builds
I am thinking there will be seven primary skills and one elite skill. You unlock these skills through combat, quests, exploration, items, etc.

Your seven primary skills define your class. As a basic example if you had seven fire skills your class would probably be Pyromancer; in that case your elite skill would be related to pyromancy. The only way to unlock and use that elite skill is to have the right class from the right build. These classes won't be revealed to the player entirely, so there will be some rare and interesting builds, which aren't necessarily logical in their structure, such as Dragon Tamer - you can imagine what such an elite skill would entail!

Skills have no MP value, you can cast any at any time. What they have instead is a recharge value, so using a skill requires you to wait x amount of seconds before you can use it again. So you can spam low-level skills, but not elite ones. Some might have such long rechage times that you can only really use them once per session - such as summoning spells!

Interaction
Give the world will be so small I want everything to have some form of interaction, be it a lamp post, some dung on the floor, or a pile of hay.


Do do. I'm getting ahead of myself.

All I'm working on at the minute is the basic systems.

Just waiting while my old PC transfers its files to my new one, which is taking a while, so in the meantime I am designing GUIs and such, that's why I seem to be wasting time with visuals that aren't working models.


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    Amy
  Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:34 pm
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So the basic Hud...

There are four main windows. The toolbar at the top opens up various menus. This will only show on mobile where you have no keyboard; on desktop there will be no bar.

You have your chat window at the bottom, which can be hidden. On mobile it has a backdrop because I find a vertical screen too distracting. On desktop you can see behind the chat box, and even resize it.

You've got your player Hud, which can be placed anywhere you like. It shows your HP and your prestige level.

You then have your action window, which has any menu you want to use. This will be moveable and resizeable.

Here's how desktop mode could look, bearing in mind it'll all be resizeable.

Image


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    Amy
  Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:24 pm
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Big Dumb Guy
Would you rather:


- The game works out whether you're on a PC or mobile and changes shape accordingly
- The game asks you on first login which mode you'd like


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    Amy
  Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:06 pm
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So then. Trying to piece together bits of what I have made before. Currently looking like this.

Image

Going to get that chat window 100% looking like my drafts and get it looking right on mobile and such before doing anything else.

So basically what we have so far is a blank game with a chat window in, QABS, QMovement and QSprite set up, and a battle Hud that needs to move.


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    Amy
  Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:08 am
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Progress. Close, I think. Sylfaen is a Microsoft font though, switched to a Google one.

Image


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    Amy
  Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:31 pm
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So the reason I never progressed with the above and got bored was the switch between landscape and portrait causing me gib. I couldn't work out a nice way to do it.

Turns out MMOs are better suited to vertical displays anyway because then the chat doesn't take up screen space.

The solution I've come upon looks like this:

Image

That one's a live screenshot - chat working etc. Battle system is QABS. Paperdoll not implemented, but QSprite is, with idle animations and 8 directional movement with 8 frames each direction.

I need to change the chat input box (as you can see it's still the one in the screenshots above).

You can scroll that, you just can't see the scrollbar when you're not hovering over it. Key thing is this looks the same in both mobile and browser; browsers just centre the screen like so:

Random loading screen, Skyrim style (following the theme of ripping off whatever game I happen to be playing at that time).

The horizontal space is replaced with a random image (from a stock library).

Image

So what follows are not live screens but those dreaded mockups.

This is the Action screen where all the Action happens. Can only have one Action open at a time.

Possible inventory:

Image

Possible spellbook:

Image

There will be no MP, only cooldown times. I think those cooldown times may be invoked from selection, maybe. So if you choose a skill with a 300 second cooldown time you can't use it in the first 300 seconds. Is that fair?

QABS has many different abilities with that regard and I'm having fun playing with a few. Area of Effect, that sort of thing.

Possible character sheet, which would be sharable. Don't know what the "skills" would be so not final. Also it kinda looks shit.

Image

Back to live screenshots, this is currently what messages look like:

Image

I still need to find somewhere for health bar to go.


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    Amy
  Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:08 pm
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Big Dumb Guy
I think I like that you can still chat during loading screens but I'll hide the skills bar and fade out the graphics where the chat box is.


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    Amy
  Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:41 pm
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Some quick skill icons to use so I don't keep repeating stuff in screenshots:

Image

Draft login and register scenes.

Image

Image


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    Amy
  Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:00 pm
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Big Dumb Guy
Login implemented.

Image


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    Amy
  Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:52 pm
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So character creation is currently looking like this (everything works but the character image is a static image for now).

Image

There's a lot of theming to do of course. And I can still make the chara overlay the boxes.


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    Amy
  Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:15 pm
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So finished the graphical side of character creation.

I managed to get the huge spritesheets down from their former 9.8mb to 740kb, which is far better - we'll see if that improves on the performance issues I had last time I tried this. Can probably whittle it down even more to be honest by removing redundant sprites, but I don't know exactly which of the sprites I won't be using yet.

So changing the arrow buttons now changes the image shown here.

Image

The image is made up of five variables:

Body Type

I wanted to steer away from gender but the PVGames sprites I'm using are so clearly gendered. While I've avoided naming them Male and Female it's quite clear what they are. So I have gone with "Body Type" as the name for this, which at the moment is a binary choice, but in future I envisage adding other "body types" which could be different races maybe? Or something like that.

Hair Colour

This is the most resource intensive one because a sprite must be made for every hair style and every colour. Maybe in future I can use hues instead for this. For the moment there are five colours to choose from.

Hair Style

Six styles for both male and female, one of which is bald male with beard. Will add more.

Skin Tone

Eight different skin tones for now, but much more to come as this is quite a simple one to add to. At the minute they're in no particular order so switching is quite jarring.

Clothes

Uneditable for now so everybody is the same. This will be based on your equipment.

Which brings me to...


Equipment

I am simplifying equipment in this game. There are only three things you can equip:

- Clothes
- Main hand
- Off-hand

Anything else should be down to skills ideally.

So your clothes are armour, dresses, etc.

Main hand is of course your weapon, spellbook, etc.

Off-hand is your shield or somesuch.


Variations

So currently with the six hair styles, five colours, two genders and 8 skin types there are theoretically 480 variations which should be enough to begin with.


Implementation

The actual account creation is the same as that used in Afar so it's proven and already works.

Difference is that the character creation aspect is done as part of account creation now, rather than a separate scene. This both gets the player into the game quicker, and solves a lot of issues that the old system had.

Theming

Gotta stress that this is all just systems at the moment and there will be a lot of scope for theming and jigging things around later to make them look nice.


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    Amy
  Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:44 pm
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Jason's reading the thread, he's about to slap me for reverting back to horrible stone borders :troll:

So I just compressed my graphics and I've managed to get all of the graphics for the above down to 17mb, when previously one file was 9.8mb. Big change.


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    Amy
  Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:40 pm
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Big Dumb Guy
Have implemented visual equipment now (including hair colour and style, and skin tone).

Have skipped gender selection for now. Might change my mind later. For now all characters use the "female" base, which is quite androgynous anyway. There isn't much difference between the two.

What's next to implement is server-side save and load, including now armour. Unlike Afar, where your equipment was all handled in PHP, in this game it's all going to be done through RPG Maker, so the server will just tell RPG Maker what equipment to give you. That way I can use QABS as my battle system, keeping everything on-map - which will enable me to do multiplayer bosses later on.


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    Xhukari
  Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:11 am
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Generic Townsperson
I've always loved following your projects! :)

The skill system reminds me a bit of Guild Wars 1, did you ever play it?

Are you planning for more of a vertical or horizontal progression?
I really like your idea of the elite skill being determined by the other 7 skills chosen.

A possible idea for health bars... perhaps have it as an outline for the characters / foes? Have the outline off when not in combat / unhurt. Or if not that, for the player themselves, you could have their stone borders deteriorate at HP% milestones? You could even tie that idea into a possible death screen, where like a casket lid slides over the screen, as if the stone borders were the walls of the casket...

Considering a mobile release, the default placement of the skills and their size could cause issues I think? Since at the top of the screen is the furthest point from where they hold a mobile or tablet generally. Whilst the size and proximity to other skills, could lend itself to a misclick issue. And with some lengthy cooldowns, such as an elite at 300 seconds... My inclination would be to put the skills in the lower half of the screen. Maybe bring in the margins of the chat and have 4 on each side vertically? That may cut into chat too much, so placing at the top of chat could work too. Would reduce how much their hands cross over the central part of the screen too! Having it switch back to the classic 1-8 horizontal bar for PC would make sense.

From your description of skill cooldown on selection, it sounds like you can change your skills freely at any point? Maybe restrict skill changes to close proximity of some kind of 'points' scattered around the world (like shrines?). That way they would have to consider the content they're going to tackle, in order to equip themselves best for it. That could work well for the multiplayer-bosses too, as they would have to consider the obstacles they'll face on their way to the boss, as well as the boss itself.

I like your simplified equipment; can definitely see how it would put the focus more onto the skills!


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    Amy
  Sun Feb 02, 2020 2:59 pm
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Server-side load now works - loads your looks, map and position. I just need to work out what to do if you load on a tile that has become impassable since your last login.

Server-side load works too, I just need to work out when and where it is used. Don't want to save half way through an event for example.

I'm getting a slight problem in that RPG Maker is based on tiles but QMovement isn't. So the player thinks it's on an impassable tile but it isn't. I wonder if there's some way to "send player to nearest passable tile".


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    Amy
  Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:20 pm
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Big Dumb Guy
I am thinking that as a quick solution, each map could have a safe spot built in, that you teleport to when you restart the game. That safe spot is then never changed during any updates, and could also be where the player lands when they die. Would that be too jarring? I.e. you're playing, walking around, your connection goes and you restart the game and boom, you teleport to a safe spot...


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    Amy
  Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:58 am
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Currently trying to source some wildlife graphics. Don't want to resort to RPG Maker but they are the only birds I have been able to find...

PBGames limits me to this:

Image

Obviously the spider and rat can be resized which goes some way, but still, I'd like more life to my maps.

Speaking of maps created a basic one that I can use for testing. A bit more to it and it's a nice ring.

Two options for trees:

1. Remos
https://i.imgur.com/fQeEUjr.jpg

2. PVGames
https://i.imgur.com/8pwFOpF.jpg

The Remos trees are nice but do they match the PVGames graphics?

Also water needs a lot of work.



Quote:
Are you planning for more of a vertical or horizontal progression?
I really like your idea of the elite skill being determined by the other 7 skills chosen.

I'm not sure yet. It might be simply that skills are learned by questing and dungeons, rather than any kind of progression.

Yeah I played GW (I'm a big GW2 fan); that's probably why I called them Elite Skills.

Only difference is that the player doesn't choose their elite skill, but the skill chooses them.

Some of them will be a bit of an easter egg, I'll briefly describe what the skill is but you won't know how to get it or what it really does until you find the right build.


Quote:
Considering a mobile release, the default placement of the skills and their size could cause issues I think? Since at the top of the screen is the furthest point from where they hold a mobile or tablet generally. Whilst the size and proximity to other skills, could lend itself to a misclick issue. And with some lengthy cooldowns, such as an elite at 300 seconds... My inclination would be to put the skills in the lower half of the screen. Maybe bring in the margins of the chat and have 4 on each side vertically? That may cut into chat too much, so placing at the top of chat could work too. Would reduce how much their hands cross over the central part of the screen too! Having it switch back to the classic 1-8 horizontal bar for PC would make sense.


Would the position in my first post have been better?

Easily movable.


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    Amy
  Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:38 pm
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So the new question that that then leads to (look, there's a lot going on in my head): could the game handle every one of those trees being an event?

To some extent it would be an easy way of parallax mapping because I wouldn't need to handle a lot of passabilities or layering - events already have handling for that.

But mainly it would enable to me to have some form of woodcutting - so the player could cut down any tree...

Further - reduces graphic size immensely as I just replicate the same trees rather than one huge overlay.

In this Remos art pack I have 13 different trees each rendered in 8 different directions (essentially providing extra trees as I only look in one direction). Playing it, with the size of the trees (may want to make the smaller), you only really see one on the screen at a time so that's probably overkill!

If every tree evokes a parallel process event for it's respawn time that becomes problematic so I may have to think of a better way of handling the respawns. However if cutting down a tree was more substantial than simply clicking it - I'm thinking some kind of minitask (not quite a minigame, but think Skyrim lockpicking) - then there shouldn't be many trees respawning at once.


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    Xhukari
  Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:36 pm
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Widlife
I can't help but feel that some of the wildlife doesn't match the style of the rest? Most of it looks pretty good. But then you got the brown cow, white dog and plain pig that just look... untextured? They got colour and lighting, but compared to the other one-coloured animals, it's a flat colour. On the flipside, the spider feels very busy; seeing it in motion might help alleviate though.

Trees
Nice map! Overall I prefer the trees of the Remos, but the bottom trunks of the PVGames. Their trunks are more 'rooty' and blend into the land more like natural trees. Whilst the Remos just have a sheer stop which makes them look plopped on top. But that might be fixable in photoshop or something. One thing I noticed in the maps, is that all the shadows were different intensities (the building, Remos trees, PVGames trees) I take it that will get standardised in the end?

Woodcutting
I have no experience with RPGMaker or anything MMO, so I won't comment on anything under-the-hood such as the events. But just some thoughts... if you do plan to go forth with woodcutting, are you planning to leave stumps? Or will they just disappear from existence entirely? Mechanically, will all the trees provide the same type of wood? For a possible minigame-esque thing, you could make it so they'll have to input which side they'll cut after each whack, to kinda make it like a puzzle. Maybe different types of trees had different patterns? Depending how well they cut the tree down, would influence the amount of wood they got in return?

Skills
I like the idea of making some like an easter egg! A possible idea for some simpler ones, is have it so the players can buy / find books / scrolls with a 'recipe' in order to get specific Elite Skills? Could tie it into the game world if they were accompanied with some narrative or something, like a journal found on a dead guy, who was studying tribes people from a distance or something.

On the elite skills front; how specific are you thinking to have it? You gave that example of 7 pyromancy skills... What if the majority were AoE or something? Would it become an AoE one instead? Will specifically named skills be required for specific elite skills, or just based on types? What's the plan in terms of broad vs depth for these skill lines?

UI
Yeah I think the placement for the skillbar in your first example works better. I know you'll be able to change the UI personally, but you only get to make a first impression once! I don't think the average mobile player would be too concerned with changing UI around. They'd sooner just drop the game sicne App Stores are flooded.


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    Amy
  Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:57 pm
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Big Dumb Guy
I'm thinking something like this for my woodcutting minitask.

Image

Graphics/theming pending of course.

So the tree flicks between a few states every time you press one of the buttons. If you don't reach the end by x amount of tries it goes straight to the end.

The tree sways to the right -> cut on the left
The tree sways on the left -> cut on the right
There are branches in your way -> use secateurs
The tree looks about to topple! -> use rope


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    Xhukari
  Mon Feb 03, 2020 10:03 pm
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Generic Townsperson
Oh I like that. Should work well!


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    Amy
  Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:11 pm
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So I splurged out and I'm now Patreoning PVGames $20 a month. Gets me a lot of goodies.

New sprites - more wildlife now although they're mostly domesticated. Though we do get wild horses around Birmingham.

Updated graphics (you can just about see the difference)-

Image

Also lots of tilesets.

Never used this style of cliffs before. First attempt -

Image

Hundreds of decals for grass and ground types so even a massive field won't be boring.



Considering purchasing a premade MMO skin, but there's the risk of just becoming an asset flipper.

Something like this:

Image

(But that's graphics ripped from the screenshots for the actual materials as I haven't bought them yet)

Image


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    Xhukari
  Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:09 am
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The new stuff looks good. The tilesets have like a 'painterly' feel to it.
I don't know how I missed that a lot of the old animals have no shadows...

You could grab a skin, it does look quite nice. I don't think you'll have much issue with being an asset flip; you're putting in effort unlike asset flippers!


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    Amy
  Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:14 am
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So I think this water is better than the last one.



Hills need some work; very blocky.


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    Xhukari
  Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:12 pm
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Oh yeah that water looks much nicer! Not sure what those 3 shadowy things are in the water, by the broken bridge? At first I thought they might've be tortoises...

Making hills not look blocking in an isometric view definitely isn't an easy one!


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    Amy
  Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:42 pm
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Yeah they're turtles :p I was experimenting with wildlife.


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    ZenVirZan
  Tue Feb 11, 2020 8:31 am
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Location: land of the snags 'n tracky-dacks
Amy wrote:
So the new question that that then leads to (look, there's a lot going on in my head): could the game handle every one of those trees being an event?
If every tree evokes a parallel process event for it's respawn time that becomes problematic so I may have to think of a better way of handling the respawns. However if cutting down a tree was more substantial than simply clicking it - I'm thinking some kind of minitask (not quite a minigame, but think Skyrim lockpicking) - then there shouldn't be many trees respawning at once.

respawn shouldn't be client side so the tree events should be just dumb placeholders, a script should manage whether they're visible/cut or not

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