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Thesiad - C&C RPG made in GMS 2 (demo available)

Discussion in 'Codex Workshop' started by Agesilaus, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Click here and disable ads!
    Website: https://antiquity-games.itch.io/theseus-journey-to-athens

     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
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  2. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    You should get rid of the typewritery sound when dialogues appear. It's misplaced and distracting.
     
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  3. Wayward Son Fails to keep valuable team members alive

    Wayward Son
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    Congrats on making it to this point. Would love an RPG set in Ancient Greece or pseudo-Greece. Hope for a release soon my man. :salute:
     
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  4. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Do you want a different type of sound, or just silence as it types out?

    I will try to make an options menu so the player can turn the sound off, and if everyone dislikes it I'll default it to off.
     
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  5. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    I don't think any sound is necessary, tbh.
     
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  6. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Any other big Indie sites people like to use? When it's completed I'd like to put it on platforms like Steam if at all possible (don't know if they'd be interested).
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
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  7. Wayward Son Fails to keep valuable team members alive

    Wayward Son
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    GitHub.
    GOG maybe?
    Steam, if you're willing to pay the Steam direct fee.
     
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  8. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Hmm, I hadn't thought of GitHub, thanks.

    In terms of GOG and Steam, I'd like to hold off on them until I actually have a finished product and have revisited my graphics. At some point I plan to update all the pixel art currently in the game, it's just a question of whether it will be me making a more serious effort, or whether I can find someone more competent to lend a helping hand (willing to pay for the service, of course).
     
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  9. CryptRat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    CryptRat
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    Game Jolt is another option.
     
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  10. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Got some strong negative/honest feedback on the graphics, quality of the writing, and amateur feel of the game. I knew the graphics were terrible, but was hopeful the writing and mechanics were passable.

    More work to be done!
    :dealwithit:
     
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  11. Mortmal Arcane

    Mortmal
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    Baking bread, making pies is cool too if you have so much time to spare and cant find a career.
     
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  12. Jazz_ Erudite

    Jazz_
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    Killed by boars and posthumously sung as the inventor of pederasty. :lol:

    I would work on the presentation a bit first and foremost, the writing is fine, enjoyed the few scenarios I went thru.
     
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  13. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    I have a career and am full-time employed, but would rather just read the Classics and work on games with ancient Greek and Chinese themes. I'll keep at it and see if I can improve the base mechanics while finishing up the last two locations. If it's still sub-par, hopefully I will have learnt enough to do a better job of the next.

    Also, baking bread and making pies won't get me a coveted developer badge.

    Presentation is at the top of the list it seems, thanks. Mortmal said the same thing in another thread, and it was my wife's first reaction, too. I have a udemy course on pixel art and will start there for graphics. Maybe I need to kidnap an artistic college kid to help out at some point.


    EDIT: 4chan agrees, too, on the presentation point. Current plan is to finish up the story then as planned in a couple/few months, and then spend at least that much time replacing the graphics and improving the underlying mechanics.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
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  14. Tavernking Educated

    Tavernking
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    Aha I knew I had seen this game somewhere! I'll give a playtest when I get home from work.
     
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  15. Tavernking Educated

    Tavernking
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    The AI was shit, I didn't feel like I was facing 'a family of enraged beasts', they looked like they were peacefully grazing the grass. You'ld be better offditching the real time combat and making it turn based anyway. It feels like a shitty arcade game and this 'cheapened' the gameplay.

    Nobody in the village cared that Connidas died and I had no way to tell them. It was clear this game is heavily inspired by Age of Decadence, perhaps too much. I was also upset that there was no way to save Connidas, giving multiple outcomes to quests that effect the game later on really brings depth to an RPG.

    The writing was good. The Ancient Greece theme is also good, its not a time often explored by games. But don't use single word dialogue options. For example when in the temple of Zeus, I didn't know if Duties referred to his duties or any duties I have to him before clicking the button.

    There is also a bug whereby I got myself stuck by falling out of the south side of the map.

    But, ultimately I have to admit I was dissatisfied that the game ended so abruptly, I was excited to keep on playing to see what would happen next.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  16. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Thanks, that's a lot of good feedback.

    I agree now that the action-combat cheapens the experience. I'm really having trouble figuring out a good, non-complicated battle system, though. I think I will just delete the current system, that being the second system now that I've wholly abandoned, and try creating a simple side-perspective jrpg style combat scene. I found some tutorials that should be helpful.

    If people generally hate that style of combat (I'm not really a big fan of it), then I'll just go back to the original system (the top-down grid combat) and try to make it actually fun/challenging.

    It's also interesting that you point out there's no way to save Connidas. I think I made it that way because I didn't intend to have any party-based mechanics. Maybe having party-members will add a much needed dimension to the combat, though, so I'll make a note to have Connidas be the first recruitable character.

    Making the overworld dialogue choices be more than one word is easy enough. Making the overworld dialogue update depending on events is a lot more time consuming. Still, I think you're right, it's a little weird that your tutor dies and you can't tell anybody.

    Thanks again, glad to hear the writing quality is acceptable and the story interesting. Everytime I load GMS up I seem to tinker with the writing, so it will probably be a little different in the next iteration, but nothing too radical.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
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  17. Tavernking Educated

    Tavernking
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    How's the project going?
     
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  18. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Slowly, to be honest. Work got busy, had to travel for the holidays (and have more trips coming up), and I got into several other games (currently finishing up a Let's Play of Field of Glory II, for example). Excuses, excuses.

    Right now I'm moving forward by finishing the story in the current game engine. Once I've finished up Epidauros (an interesting location with some great source material), I need to do the Isthmus and Athens. I've not decided how extensive the Isthmus should be, but Athens is literally just a lengthy cut-scene where you meet your father and do one final quest/battle in order to conclude the story.

    The real problem isn't writing the game text and making the branching variables consistent, though. The big issues are still the art assets and the game mechanics. So, once the general story framework of the entire game is completed, I will start writing by pen and paper some new mechanics that I've been thinking about. Stuff like switching out the time mechanic for a different town and movement design; perhaps the town will just consist of branching nodes that lead the player to the city gate; you walk from node to node, can't revisit old nodes, and that way you will progress from town to town. The combat similarly needs to be revisited, perhaps I will go back to the very first system I had.

    As for audio and visual assets... my understanding of Spiderweb Software is that Vogel writes the game and does the programming, but then pays someone else to create the various assets. I don't know how expensive that would be, but if I get a lot of positive feedback I'd be willing to pay some money. Of course, that means I need to find someone willing and reliable, which isn't necessarily going to happen. I am not tied to pixel art anymore, though; I don't care what sort of artwork it is, I just want the game to look presentable (and I don't think my skill will rise to that level in a reasonable amount of time).

    So, bit of a mess. I am definitely going to finish it, though, and I have ideas for other games I want to start on.
     
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  19. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Updates:

    - Found an artist, got some promising mock-ups. It is really beautiful seeing your game displayed with art that you could never personally create.

    - Entirely new town-view mechanics are finished; there's no longer a "time" variable that runs down as you do missions, movement is grid-based and mouse-driven, and towns are broken down into a series of small areas.

    - Created locations and objects for every single town-view location in the game. 19 in total. I am tempted to make one more for Gargettus (where the Pallantides waited to ambush Theseus; see Plutarch) so it hits an even 20, but we'll see.

    - The puzzle of what to do re: combat is (hopefully) solved. After looking at old videos of my turn based combat system, I've decided to re-implement it. I've learnt a lot since then, so hopefully it will work out well; the combat will therefore be turn-based as seen in the oldest videos.


    In light of the above, the major tasks for me are to finish the writing, and re-write the old combat system. Separately, the artist will have to produce the assets in the following months. I will ask if the artist minds me posting their work before it's all finished, for now I will hold off because I just have mockups and don't know her wishes. I have a screenshot that's half new art and half shitty programmer art, it actually looks like a normal game rather than an ms-paint trainwreck.
     
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  20. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Turn based combat system has been successfully re-implemented, and it features major improvements from last time. I also got rid of the crippling bugs, too, so the game is actually stable. At this stage, the mechanics are fundamentally finished. I still need to do a lot of writing, and I need to improve the AI so enemies can behave in a variety of different ways, and I need to implement new items/abilities, but all of that is contained within the system that is now in place.

    Art assets continue to trickle in, and the artist has indicated that in the next week or two she can start dedicating more time to the project. I don't have enough assets to make a gameplay video right now, and I'd rather do some more work on the writing and implement party mechanics, but here's a screenshot from Poseidon's watery realm:

    [​IMG]

    People who played the old version might recall that Theseus has the option of taking a boat to Athens. I would advise against it, but if you paid your respects to Poseidon before departing you might find that you're a welcome guest in his watery realm.

    This scene is loosely based on Bacchylides 17, wherein Theseus dives into the ocean and meets Poseidon's wife, Amphitrite, and receives some presents. She is holding a conch shell; there is another ancient fragment which speaks of a conch shell containing an endless supply of salt, so perhaps that is the same one. Although it is not included in the above screenshot, your half-brother Triton is also present. If you wish to imitate Herakles you can try your hand at wrestling him, or else just pay your respects to your step-mother and then let the hippocampoi take you to Epidauros.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
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  21. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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  22. Wayward Son Fails to keep valuable team members alive

    Wayward Son
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    They're hippocampoi
     
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  23. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    fortunately i have an ointment for that
     
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  24. Agesilaus Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Party mechanics are now working in the tactical combat system; it was actually pretty simple because they generally work the same way as the main character. Implementing them in the adventure/story itself requires a lot more work because of the writing involved and all the reaction variables.

    Tavernking mentioned that he was disappointed that there was no way to save Connidas, so now Connidas joins your party when you go out hunting and will survive if you both kill the boars. He can also leave if you upset him by adding other people to your party that he finds disagreeable, or if you make decisions he strongly disagrees with (such as robbing the jeweller's daughter). There's no xp or levelling up; "special abilities" and stat buffs are gained by finding the related items and making the right decisions in the adventure scenes.
     
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  25. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Nice, last time I checked on this it looked terrible now it actually has some charm to the visuals.
     
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