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KickStarter Vigilantes: neo-noir, turn based tactical RPG

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Timeslip, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    Thanks for the feedback. It will likely push it out a little, but not by a huge amount. Since Kickstarter, I've spent most of my time on level design and the combat system. There are enough maps for EA now, and the combat system is mostly there, so I can spend much more time working on the campaign going forward. In version 14, there's already been a shift in focus. There are hardly any of the 20+ dialogue based encounters added, so I worked on adding 3 of them. One of these involves interrupting a group of drug addled Church of The Final Exodus members who are busy robbing graves. That one was fun to write... Also needed to be able to have more outcomes, so added code to allow multiple effects to be applied to enemies (and now players) and the ability to damage or KO enemies, and guarantee tactical repositioning as a result of dialogue choices. Also added code to allow rewards from these encounters to make them more meaningful, and enemies are removed from their respective tiles when they are killed now, so you can actually reduce the crime and danger level in tiles now.
     
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  2. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

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    Cheers for the feedback. That's reassuring. You've hit on the key issue: not biting off more than I can chew. Don't worry, not suddenly going to announce that Vigilantes will have co-op, or be released as an MMO :) Increasing complexity is definitely a concern, and there is going to be a limit on a level of complexity that can reasonably be handled. Feel that am getting pretty close in that regard concerning the combat system, and it's moving into diminishing returns. The focus would be on other areas: building up the RPG elements, expanding the diversity of gameplay. Two ideas I really want to tackle are adding non combat encounters and interrogating gang members for information on things like troop strength, equipment level, identifying leadership and facility locations. Before, was looking at allowing you to discover gang leaders/facilities by simply having enough intel on the tile they are hiding in - I'd like to experiment with the idea of not being able to find them at all until you have learned certain information, such as name, appearance, habits, and have gotten a general idea of where they are located.
     
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  3. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    These might be good analogues for the "interrogate alien leader/commander" -researches from original X-com.
    Those could be some things your team should achieve before your team can go into "Cydonia or Bust" equivalent ending missions.

    So you have to capture under bosses before you can go after the Commander in Chief of Survivalists, Prophet of the Church and Mamma Mia of the Mafia.
     
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  4. ArchAngel Arcane

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    This is a good idea. Make missions where you need to just capture certain enemies and not kill them so can get useful info from them. Maybe they could also have their private cash for rainy days you can get them to give you.
     
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  5. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

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    Yeah that's a fair analogue. That's pretty much the way I'd imagine it, taking down regular gang members to find the lieutenants and facilities, and then getting the info on the big boss of each gang by taking down the lieutenants.
     
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  6. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

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    I like this idea, and it's not coming across as huge amount of work. Improving mission variety would be another thing Vigilantes would benefit from, and this would help. Have a couple of other ideas on this front too. Cheers for the idea.
     
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  7. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    Isn't it a happy coincidence that you already have a system for non-lethal takedowns already in place.

    One thing that most of x-com wannabes don't take into account is that the original had 3 systems for taking enemies (and your troops) down; hitpoints, stamina and morale.
    Battle Brothers has that; though they all lead to unit fleeing or being chopped down.

    edit. You have almost 2/3 of that with non-lethal ko's . And a bit of the morale checks with those intimidation checks. Though I wonder if enemies can intimidate players units.
     
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  8. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

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    Yeah, it's a leg up on it. Enemy Fleeing is a thing as of V14. The triggers are a bit simple at the minute, primarily HP % and a status effect (traumatised) which can be inflicted if you using the shotgun with a particular perk. I'll work on a more complex model over time, perhaps factoring in character class, level, number of gang members eliminated, whether incapacitated or killed, and perhaps a coward trait. Fleeing is double edged in Vigilantes, it takes away an immediate threat and replaces it with a larger future threat. Have tested with it in play for a couple of days and tweaked the triggers a little. I'm not sure about mass retreats, if enemies break too easily, it will kill the combat challenge.
     
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  9. Alienman Arcane Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
    They attacked with normal and terror troops. But yeah, Crysilids was probably one of the worst creatures to fight when under attack in base. Tight corridors, high TU unit which turn your allies against you and can take a serious punishment - that spells nightmare scenario! (In a good way).

    And I have nothing against a game taking time in development to become really good or deep, but then again the Age of Decadence took 11 years and Underrail 7 years (or something like that) :).
     
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  10. ArchAngel Arcane

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    To make fleeing a bit more nuanced introduce command units for enemies. Give them improved combat skill but when players kill them they affect chance for others to flee a lot more. Make their influence of flee chance different based on what faction you are fighting against (the religious freaks would probably care less if their field leader is down since they religious freaks but standard gangs would probably see you taking down the toughest among them as a sign to run for their lives)
     
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  11. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    That's good to know. We'd be looking at extra months rather than years. I can add a lot of smaller features which enhance the game in a relatively short amount of time. I don't know if I could spend 11 years on a game without going insane, and have the utmost respect for developers who can!

    Have you been hacking into my computer again? :) There will be command troops: survivalist officer, mafia made man and church fanatic, though their roles haven't really been defined yet. They will almost certainly factor into fleeing as you suggested. Killing the command unit would probably give a +% chance to flee, with fleeing not evening being considered until the % goes over a certain threshold.
     
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  12. ArchAngel Arcane

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    Also put in multiple levels of enemy officer units. And when you kill one, another one takes its place and you get a message from your contacts about it. It would be kind of cool reactivity feature that would mean a lot to players. It would be kind of similar to that Nemesis system from that LotR AAA game.
    Also please don't make officer units just have more health and better aim, give them some attack/ability that their normal units don't have. Also it would be cool if you have 2 or 3 of those abilities and each officer gets a random one when he is promoted so players get surprised as well instead always knowing 100% what they can expect.
     
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  13. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

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    The basic officers are the ones I've mentioned, these are promoted from the basic recruits. If a gang lieutenant is present, they will be in charge. I'm with you on that, about making the different enemy types more distinct. Differentiating enemy troops is another area that will get some attention. One thing I'll look at is a pool of perks/abilities which gang members can acquire on levelling up, depending on their class.
     
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  14. Drowed Arcane

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    A lot of things said here would be *really* great in the game, but I dont know if it's realistic for just onde guy do all that in the game. Some things looks small, but they add up, and then even 12+ years isn't enough time to do all that.

    Because let's be realistic: putting a feature in the game isn't so simple - implement the programming, correct bugs, see how it interacts with others things in the game, if it's not insignificant or maybe too strong/useful, put enough variations so that it's not something shallow... It's a huge job. It's not by chance that many games end up abandoning some of its mechanics throughout its production.
     
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  15. ArchAngel Arcane

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    Well he has 24h in a day. He can sleep and eat when the game is done :D
     
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  16. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

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    Yep, no way I can do it all. Pretty much all of the features talked about would offer something to the game, so it's going to come down to picking the ones that add the most in relation to the time it takes to implement them. This month's update has been pretty good for features with multiple melee attack modes, ability to control temporary allies, enemy fleeing, wounded statuses, additional effects from dialogue choices and dialogue rewards. Implementation time varies, enemy fleeing took the longest, taking about 4 days (since it interacts with the enemy AI module, which is pretty complex, it took a while to get all the bugs under control). I think the multiple melee attacks took 2 days, pretty good for what it adds, and the wounded status effects about half a day, again a decent return for the time spent. It makes healing much more important as a skill.

    Ha, I think today was the first Saturday this year I wasn't working on Vigilantes. Slacking off :)
    Edit: No longer technically true, have guilt tripped myself into editing dialogue encounters.
     
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  17. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

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    Just a small snippet from an upcoming encounter, a bit of cheerful bedtime reading. In this encounter, you turn a corner, walk straight into an enforcer. He takes out a sturdy telescopic baton, and in a show of strength, bends it into a horseshoe. If you are strong enough, you can bend it back, which demoralises the enemy group. If you are fast enough, there's a second option:

    You measure your adversary and distance. He's too bulky to be fast and relishing the prospect of your failure too much to be alert to other possibilities. You bend to pick up the baton, fake a stumble. The enforcer laughs. You use the forward momentum to quickly get into striking distance and cold cock the fucker. Your fist sinks into his nose with a sound like a handful of dry spaghetti being snapped in half.
     
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  18. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    And if you are much stronger, you take out a crowbar, and bend it, and then unbend both on the enforcer's arse.
     
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  19. Skittles He ruins the fun.

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    Is the enforcer's name Grimsby Roylott?
     
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  20. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

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    :)

    It's probably around 15-20 years since I read the Speckled Band, had to google the name, but well spotted, that's almost certainly where the basic idea came from.
     
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  21. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    Here's the most recent development video, covering the changes made in the second half of the version 14 update, which is one of the largest to date. Comments welcome!

     
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  22. Abu Antar Tweet, tweet Patron

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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I like your sexy accent.

    Can we get grids? it's a preference of mine.

    It felt to me like melee was more effective than guns. Enemies missed a lot.

    Will any temporary allies be available to recruit later in the game?

    I like the idea of accuracy and dodge penalties when your character gets wounded.
     
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  23. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    Well, if the game development doesn't work out, I can always fall back on setting up a radio station which plays bossa nova and jazz with frequent brogue laden segways :)

    Grids are no problem. There's already one in there which is used for laying out levels. I'll bind it to G in this update.

    Balancing may be required, but my feeling is that Melee Vs Firearms is mostly situational. I lost a level during testing against the survivalists, when I sent 2 tanky melee characters to take down 3 guys with pistols. The shooters just chipped away health until they were suffering from wounds and eventually took them down. My two ranged characters where still in play at this point. Melee probably outputs more damage, more reliably, but if you have a lot of enemies with firearms, it can be risky covering the ground to them. If you are up against a skilled melee fighter, you'll likely have a better CTH from firearms.

    No plans to allow for the recruiting of temporary allies. There will be at least 3 more recruitable characters in the game though.

    Cheers, there will probably be injuries also, which are carried between levels.
     
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  24. anus_pounder Arcane

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    Game is looking great, mang. And you already know this, but better 10 great ideas well polished and implemented than 50 half assed ones. :salute:
     
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  25. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
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    Thanks anus_pounder! I agree and we won't be spreading ourselves too thin. Here's a video discussing some of the potential ideas:



    Since making the video I've added code to support non combat encounters (now just need to write a dozen or so more of them - easy!) and missions where your objective is to prevent enemies leaving the map (such as survivalists escaping from a bank robbery) is looking pretty close to definite. If you have any comments, questions or observations on the video, or any feature suggestions, fire away!
     
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