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Old 29 March 2019, 03:44   #281
Tsak
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Moving on to more exciting stuff. I think it's time to showcase what we're up to lately and share some screenshots and details about our new plan.

One of the stickiest points with this project (right from the start) was the actual hero. The general feedback we got was that his design felt quite unusual. In hindsight I have to agree with that. The old design did promote the fast paced gameplay we had in mind but it didn't have much appeal or charisma.

Following this point, several months ago, the talented pixel artist Koyott (you may know him from his excellent work with R3D project), came forward with a proposal for a character update. This was something that was actually planned already but wasn't done yet. After a brief exchange of ideas, designs and pixelwork between me and him, we had a new candidate.


Zoidy v3: the angry, badass elemental!

I think it's obvious, right off the bat, that this new design is a clear step forwards. However the bulkier shape and hands meant that he was less fit for quick, fast moving and maneuvering. Plus the new hero felt more like a 'villain' now. So this got us into thinking about the gameplay implications of such a change. After this brief work, Koyott had to attend to his other projects, so we kinda left it there.

In the mean time and working on the details of the new, featured story mode, we had long discussions with Erik about stuff we liked and stuff we didn't and how the character would fit in with what we had planned. After many proposals, turns and twists (one of which is the released, aforementioned prototype) it became more apparent that the optimal story mode formula would gravitate more towards a traditional RPG (something I was actually keen on doing from the Chaos Guns era).

Fast forwards to today, the complete Alarcity engine had been reworked into a faster, better and more featured version, allowing us to do stuff we couldn't do before. At the same time we had another, super skilled, professional pixel artist joining our ranks (a more detailed introduction about him is coming later, as he is also involved in other amazing Pixelglass projects to be announced). One of the first things we did was to decide the main hero's fate. It didn't took much to settle down to a more "down to earth" approach. Surely, a convensional choice, but -boy- so much more appealing! I think the new, draft result speaks for itself:


Unnamed, handsome human hero!

So that's one big change there. Inevitably this shift also has drastic implications on gameplay. While we plan to maintain the fast paced action, the new hero isn't gonna be as super agile as old Zoidy was. But he is likely to recieve new abilities like fast dashing and deadly melee attacks which will compensate for the lack of normal moving speed. In regards to the shoot'em'up part, the weapons(spells), god powers, elements and upgrading has also been reworked and refined to make better sense within the new context and story.
Speaking of which, another big change (or rather say addition) are the new RPG features. What Erik and I are currently working on is to expand the engine and include actual dialogue, interactions, npcs and in-game cutscenes. These are all still in a very early stage (so I cannot promise anything) but we're making progress and it's coming along nicely.

Before closing this post, here are a couple extra screenshots to see how the new characters (human hero and possible new enemy) fit with the existing artwork. I'll leave the rest to your imagination until further notice


Old screen, new characters!


New tile-work in the making!
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Old 29 March 2019, 06:56   #282
MickGyver
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Originally Posted by Tsak View Post
Moving on to more exciting stuff. I think it's time to showcase what we're up to lately and share some screenshots and details about our new plan.
Sounds good! The screenshots and images are not visible (at least for me), I would love to see them. Maybe Google Drive links can't be used like that?
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Old 29 March 2019, 07:02   #283
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Mm, strange. Did you try to download those? Anyone else having this issue?
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Old 29 March 2019, 07:22   #284
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Looks awesome I like old art style, fire ball and jelly blocks were quite good for fast action type of game with cute arcade graphics style. I spend some good time with survival demo, have lot of fun juggling weapon types and elements.
I also understood change You made and I think it will work better. You know it is just my opinion, and other users might have their own different from my own on design. I accept first fireball design because it was good enough and I do not see a good reason to waste more time on main hero while You could work on finishing Your game.
Sometimes it is better to accept stuff as their are and move on (think of Duke Nukem Forever case, a game that spent too much time in development).

Anyway, now I see there is high quality improvement. I only hope all those RPG elements will not be that hard to implement and will not be too deep. You know human form hero might have some kind of rage mode that will transform him into fireball with hands for short amount of time I believe in You and Your vision for that game.
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Old 29 March 2019, 07:34   #285
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Thanks!

Yes, we've went into that thought, transform him into an elemental. But we already have a similar god power, which transformed old zoidy into an unstoppable, fast moving blaze.
I guess we'll see.
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Old 29 March 2019, 08:19   #286
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This is AWESOME!
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Old 29 March 2019, 08:37   #287
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Mm, strange. Did you try to download those? Anyone else having this issue?
I was using my iPad at the moment, using my Windows PC now it works fine! The new hero looks good!

All the new ideas etc. sound good but you have to keep scope in mind, think about the core mechanic of the game and do stuff that makes that aspect stronger. When we (my team) were working on Thy Sword, we didn't really have a clear vision what kind of game we really wanted to make, so we kept on adding stuff and then later removing a lot of it (like levelling up etc.).

This is a really good quote I think:
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Just wanted to give you my thoughts, I'm sure the game will be great!

Last edited by MickGyver; 29 March 2019 at 08:49.
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Old 29 March 2019, 11:36   #288
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Purely my opinion, but I preferred the fast pace and the look of the game as it was - I thought the old hero and enemies had a lot of character and cuteness to them that made the game stand apart from all the 90's scrollers, a lot like Putty Squad had a unique feel to it.

Will obviously have to see where this goes since we haven't seen any gameplay yet.
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Old 29 March 2019, 11:39   #289
DamienD
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Originally Posted by MartinW View Post
Purely my opinion, but I preferred the fast pace and the look of the game as it was - I thought the old hero and enemies had a lot of character and cuteness to them that made the game stand apart from all the 90's scrollers, a lot like Putty Squad had a unique feel to it.
I tend to agree, not sure about "RPG features"... but as you say, let's see where this goes...
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Old 29 March 2019, 20:47   #290
Tsak
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Originally Posted by MickGyver View Post
All the new ideas etc. sound good but you have to keep scope in mind, think about the core mechanic of the game and do stuff that makes that aspect stronger. When we (my team) were working on Thy Sword, we didn't really have a clear vision what kind of game we really wanted to make, so we kept on adding stuff and then later removing a lot of it (like levelling up etc.).
Thanks! Good points overal. The thing with scope and core mechanics is that unless you cave a clear picture or design document from the very start, based on something you've worked before or a well proven recipe, you will inevitably fiddle with stuff and experiment, changing things along the way and settling with what works for you, removing ones that don't. This is a normal part of the gamemaking process.

For example, with Worthy I had a perfectly clear vision of the game, even before the very first line of code was put to the test. And as we went into production few things changed, while the new features added were minimal.

With Alarcity on the other hand we really wanted to go wild and experiment. Hense the general scope was a mixed bag and the development has proven full of twists and turns. Anyways, things change, as you spend time on development you are in a better position to evaluate what's done and hopefully learn from your mistakes.

Btw, cool indie you've made there! Well done!

Last edited by Tsak; 30 March 2019 at 02:00.
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Old 03 April 2019, 09:59   #291
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I definitely like the new hero look more than the old one. I do like the old one, but I like the new one more. :-)

RPG is nice, but I hope it won't get too complex. Most time I cannot play that much so I prefer games where I don't have too remember too much mechanics, because often I can play a game just once in a month.

But we'll see. Still really looking forward to AlairCity. And I am excited about the new artist and new games in the pipeline! Keep up the good work!
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Old 03 April 2019, 16:59   #292
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Old 03 April 2019, 19:55   #293
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Can I have my input on this matter? First I have couple of questions to ask to clear it off my mind.

I paid for full pre-ordered this game a year ago and some...and I do not regret doing that because I love supporting new Amiga games. First question I would like to ask, can the dialog and interaction between NPC and player be rich? I do not like the JRPG style dialog. I prefer it much like the way in Ultima 7 (I am unsure if you have heard of that game):

Here is an example of a dialog in action (if it fails to play it that time..please skip to 15:15)

[ Show youtube player ]

Can we have it like that? You can upset an NPC and he does not want to talk to you or he asks you to do a question for him and when you return back (and you have the item in your inventory) it will open a new conversation.

Can we have the interface of inventory similar to secret of mana or paper doll similar to ultima 7?

[ Show youtube player ]

Or the one you are using now but have the rich interactive style of manipulating items and ways of exchanging items between players who joined the party!

Will you be adding people to join you in your adventure? If so, how many can join you in total? Can we have the choice when the NPC as if they are willing to join us to click on join in the dialog box and then the NPC are you sure we get to select yes or no and if yes and we are full they will say something you are full? If NPC join me can I talk to them in my party? Can they be interactive with me in the world as well. Like if something disgusting happens one of them will comment, they will share their adventure with me and express their feeling or opinion on events or give me advice or warn me in certain situations or even one of them wants to join them to seek revenge in part of the main quest and later I can talk to them to further the story after certain events later in the game?

Can you have special abilities to morph the player into a creature of those special powers and after certain time you return back to normal?

Will you give us mana point where we need to sleep or heal it with potion in order to use that for special ability?

Can you give us a bedroll in our inventory and when we use it (and if it is safe and there is space to open the bedroom) the hero sleeps on it and if you have someone in that team asks you are you sure you wish to sleep and when you say yes they ask how many hours to sleep and based on that it heals you?

Will there be day and night, weather effect and based on day and night stores will sell you or not, events occur at that time or NPCs will be sleeping?

Can you make it when we enter homes instead of teleporting ot new map it makes the roof disappear to show you inside that house and when you leave the roof re-appears?

Will you be supporting an online? It would be cool to play the campaign version and the ability to play online like MMORPG with other people in my Amiga - grin -?

Finally AND THIS IS LIKE SUPER serious question....will there be plan to make a full fledge construction set editor application in workbench (MUI) that allows the person to make their own game using this engine and can compile it as standalone to distribute it to be played with other people?

Last edited by xboxown; 03 April 2019 at 20:02.
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Old 04 April 2019, 07:38   #294
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Okay, and: will there be a mmorph section? Will we be able to ride dragons, preferably red and multi-headed? Will one of the creatures name be Fred? Will there... OMG.
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Old 04 April 2019, 07:42   #295
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I'd also advise you to nail down where you want to go with this game, since I worry about scope creep here..

Switching from an fast paced action game to an RPG (which is tons more complicated) seems like an unusual choice.
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Old 04 April 2019, 08:18   #296
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I'm a big fan of Ultima 7 myself, but that's well outside of what we can realistically achieve with our tiny team. A more serious RPG could be in PixelGlass' future, though (IIRC) there's more than one serious RPG being developed by other people for Amiga right now that may be worth looking into.


The game is, was, and will always be a Lite-RPG. A few dungeons, a few upgrade choices, a little bit of story and dialogue but the focus is on killer gameplay more than character building. Along the lines of say, Zelda or Shantae or Wonderboy The Dragon's Trap.
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Old 04 April 2019, 13:15   #297
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Originally Posted by MartinW View Post
Purely my opinion, but I preferred the fast pace and the look of the game as it was - I thought the old hero and enemies had a lot of character and cuteness to them that made the game stand apart from all the 90's scrollers, a lot like Putty Squad had a unique feel to it.
I totally agree. If it had looked like this from the beginning I wouldn't have placed my pre-order. Thinking of asking a refund now...
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Old 04 April 2019, 15:47   #298
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A few words, just to clear the air.

1) We don't plan to change the core gameplay into something radically different than what was shown before. It's still gonna be a fast paced action game with an emphasis on dodging, shooting and blasting enemies. So, other than the main character redesign and some planned tweaks, we are practically talking about the same game here.

2) We are not planning to go full scale rpg, with tons of npcs, branching dialogue, quests, towns, companions, items and rpg combat mechanics. That would be a completely different project.

3) The lite rpg elements we are talking about has been actually teased and planned from the very beginning (though I admit, not properly communicated or explained). This is the so called 'Story mode'. When I said that "the story mode formula will gravitate towards a more traditional rpg" I was reffering to the new additions we haven't been able to show in our previous survival mode demo (which was all about combat). These include some dialogue and cutscenes, limited interactions and a few npcs. Other than that, the main gameplay loop will be fully action based just like it was before.

Hope this explains better our intentions. Apologies for the miscommunication.
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Old 04 April 2019, 16:23   #299
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A few words, just to clear the air.

1) We don't plan to change the core gameplay into something radically different than what was shown before. It's still gonna be a fast paced action game with an emphasis on dodging, shooting and blasting enemies. So, other than the main character redesign and some planned tweaks, we are practically talking about the same game here.

2) We are not planning to go full scale rpg, with tons of npcs, branching dialogue, quests, towns, companions, items and rpg combat mechanics. That would be a completely different project.

3) The lite rpg elements we are talking about has been actually teased and planned from the very beginning (though I admit, not properly communicated or explained). This is the so called 'Story mode'. When I said that "the story mode formula will gravitate towards a more traditional rpg" I was reffering to the new additions we haven't been able to show in our previous survival mode demo (which was all about combat). These include some dialogue and cutscenes, limited interactions and a few npcs. Other than that, the main gameplay loop will be fully action based just like it was before.

Hope this explains better our intentions. Apologies for the miscommunication.

Hehehehheheh That is ok! Having your roller eyes compensate for the miscommunication - grin -
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Old 05 April 2019, 04:28   #300
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[ Show youtube player ]

Per-Ola Eriksson did a longplay of the dungeon prototype. It takes him 20 minutes to get to the end, the remaining 10 minutes of the video is spent raiding the treasure room.
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