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Vapourware [WiP]Zodiac Legion, a medieval fantasy take on X-COM

Discussion in 'Codex Workshop' started by Galdred, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Homunculus could probably do with pants.
     
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  2. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    - Most of the underlying work is done (display, UI elements, animations, paperdolling). What remains to be done is dynamic lighting.
    - The core gameplay tactical elements are in place too (moving, attacking, getting hit, killing stuff).
    - Strategic map gameplay is 0% done
    - The level building tools are halfway done (building levels now is almost painless, while it used to be horribly pedestrian before), but there is no good way to add game logic elements to it yet.
    - Content creations is currently 0% done (well, the core rules are in place, but we have like 1 level, 0 perks and special powers. Many of the characters, factions don't have their stats set yet).
    - AI is 1% done
    - Art is 80% done (at least, until further funding, as my money to throw at the project is running dry, so it will be a combination of KS, French videogame subventions, and early access).
    So I'd say we are about halfway done(at least the developing part), but it is hard to tell, as AI is quite an important part (and content creation does not depend on me).
    The plan would be to apply for videogame subventions soon (Summerish), to have a KS in October (or not at all, if it is too much a PITA to get a subsidiary company up in a KS country), then to launch EA in one year.

    Given that I already put lots of work (1 year to make small test projects in various frameworks, teach myself specific game development techniques, as I used to do much lower level programming before, build some early prototypes and throw them away, 1 year of real development on the game), and money there, I'm pot commited as they say in poker (meaning that I have to go all in regardless of my cards and whatever happens on the board because of all the money I have already thrown at the pot).

    I don't have a composer yet. What I am looking for would be something in the vein of Chaos Gate:obviously:, which might not be very reasonnable given my budget.
     
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  3. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    He already wears a loincloth! but he can be equipped with all the existing pieces of armor anyway. This one is only running around naked because his creators were stingy.
     
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  4. Nice. But your soundtrack expectations are truly somewhat overestimated, unless the composer has the resources to do it.
     
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  5. Modron Arcane

    Modron
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    We have the technology, we can rebuild him...but we don't want to spend a lot of money.
     
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  6. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    There is a good reason for that actually :
    Arms manufacturer : "We can reinforce your sentinels with sentient homonculus for 100 gold pieces each + 10000 GP for R&D. They will be a bit limited, but they won't feel pain."
    Minister of war : "When can they be ready?"
    Arms manufacturer : "They should be ready 2 years"
    Minister of war : "good, proceed with the project then. We will pre order 500 of them".

    2 years later :
    Arms manufacturer : "There have been some unexpected complications, they have 50% of the projected strength, and the cost is now 200 GP each. But we will equip them with our proprietary state of the art alchemical armor to make up for it at the added cost of 100 GP each. We will also need 1 more year to develop them. We will also need 15000 more GP for R&D, as the project requires more complex technology than what is available at this time."

    2 years later :
    Arms manufacturer : "The first homonculus phalanxes are ready. Due to unforeseen additional expenses, we could only produce 100 of them instead of the planned 500, and reduce their protection to a lioncloth, but I assure you, the next batch will be much cheaper, and more effective as it will be a more mature technology".
     
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  7. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    Some human factions now, which explain the new title :

    Order of Libra
    [​IMG]
    Order of Ophiuchus
    [​IMG]
    Order of Taurus
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    libra masterrace o/
     
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  9. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    As I said earlier, they can be equipped with whatever armor pieces available for humanoids :
    With a hat and leather greaves and poison warhammer for instance
    [​IMG]
    Or in plate armor.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
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  10. Merlkir Arcane Developer

    Merlkir
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    If you're still looking for a composer on a budget, my friend Vladan Zivanovic might be worth considering:

    http://www.darkrunecreations.com.au/#!__vlad

    He has experience with game-style soundtracks (mostly does indie movie stuff, but also worked on our LOTR mod original soundtrack, which I like a lot)

    Here's a track for the dwarves of Lonely Mountain:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rf5haq5uKJw

    And my favourite, a very moody track for the main menu: (A Tale Untold):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0S8WRMYK0Y

    (there are some more of the tracks on my YT channel, or you can try the demo reel on his website, which I would agree is a bit unwieldy, unfortunately.)
     
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  11. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    His demo reel is not very convenient indeed. A soundcloud account would be easier to listen to. I will redonwload TLD for Warband then.
     
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  12. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    The planned setting (it is still a work in progress) :

    A few generations ago, the secrets of the stars were unlocked by the sages of the small city state of Aleria (I know, it is the name of a real location on Earth, but that will do for now), allowing them to empower people with strong affinities with one of the 13 constellations of the Zodiac, granting them magic powers or supernatural abilities. The 13 orders of the Zodiac were formed, and their might allowd Aleria to crush the neighbouring city states and kingdoms, leading to the creation of the Empire.
    Their task has remained to protect and expand the Empire since then.
    The order of Ophiuchus has been banished for using forbidden powers, and had to seek refuge in another dimension.
    But now that the Emperor is dead, without a legitimate successor, the mission of the zodiac orders has become blurry.
    The order of Libra, guardian order of the city of Aleria, has proclaimed that the child Aurelius, grandson of the Emperor via his mother, was the rightful heir to the throne, but Marcus, nephew of the Emperor via his father, refused to abandon his claim to the throne, and promised the Order of Ophiuchus pardon, and the return of their privileges in exchange for their support.

    You will play as either the master of order of Libr, or the master of the order of ophiuchus, and your task is to rally the other orders to your cause, or recruit non human allies and mercenaries, and make your puppet emperor the rightful heir to the Imperial Throne prevail.
    Libra will have a stronger starting position, and access to a lots of grunts, while ophiuchus will have greater strategic mobility, thanks to their ability to twist dimensions.
     
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  13. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    I am working on Line of Sight right now, but I wondered what you found the more intuitive :
    using tiles as the basis for LoS obstacles, or using the objects inside the tiles?
    For instance, a wall corner only takes 25% of the tile (it is still blocking for movement).
    What do you think would make the most sense for the player?
    1) Have the tile blocks LoS entirely?
    2) Or just have the parts of the tile that are actually filled with a wallbase block LoS?

    2) works a bit better with fences, windows and murderholes, but would make the LoS harder to count "manually" (as in a boardgame), even though it would be visually more intuitive (because sight would only be blocked by the actual wall, and not the whole tile the wall is in).
    1) would make better use of the grid (as it would be the basis for both sight and movement, regardless of the way things are represented on the grid).
    [​IMG]
    It comes down to : Should A be able to see B or not?
    Note that only the base of the wall would be blocking (and LoS be considered from the ground).
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
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  14. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    I think you'll be met with some serious frustration if that sight line is blocked because the whole hex is blocked.
     
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  15. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    Ok, I will do it the hard way then :)

    Here are some more in game outdoor screenshots :
    ford crossing battle
    [​IMG]
    Woodland promenade
    [​IMG]
    We need brighter trees, and UI elements

    I still have a lot of assets to integrate(many armor parts, magical weapon effects, new races, alternate color schemes, props...), and I need to finish develop tools to build to edit game content faster. Then we'll focus on AI, and content (perks, skills, maps).

    The maps will be handmade, but there will be several sets of setup and objectives for each map, and weather will make some terrain behave differently (dirt will get muddy during or after rainy weather, while paved roads won't be affected for instance), so that should give some variety for each map.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
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  16. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    My first try at drawing my own strategic map. I will probably not make it an island. I am using Campaign Cartographer 3. I don't know why there are a few coastline border artifacts.
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    My first thought- "Spider splatted on pavement".My next thought- pretty cool.
     
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  18. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    A funny thing I just noticed (it was not especially intended) :
    [​IMG]
    Tje attack animation of the 2 hander still seems to work with a shield in the other hand, se we could have our Laughin Buldars.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Cosmo Arcane

    Cosmo
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    Really nice, but the characters seem to be floating and the trees need to stand out more (YOU NEED SHADOWS !!).
    What's more i like the palette, but this map seems to have a case of green overload (a bluer river maybe ?). Other than that, the rocky bedside and floor tiles are absolutely perfect.
     
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  20. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    Yes, I need to implement dynamic shadows to ground the characters indeed . That will be quite some work, though, but not as much as creating shadow sprites for each armor part and weapon.
    Speaking of lighting, I found an awesome tool for generating normal maps automatically just from the sprites.
    It is called SpriteIlluminator :



    I will put some rocks and dirt to break the monotony of these maps. I just have to sort the layering mess it is right now :)
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
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  21. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    I sorted out the layer z sorting (more or less, there are still clipping issues with the characters behind walls), so now, the dirtpath can be displayed on top of the ground, which would sort of break the repetition of green (and I can alsouse dirt as a terrain to alternate with grassland).
    [​IMG]
     
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  22. Cosmo Arcane

    Cosmo
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    Wow, awesome, i thought you'd just add static shadows to the sprites !
    The pathes look organic too, your artist is good, no question about it.
    The trees also are a lot better, and like them i think the forest tiles could have a little more contrast (the dark parts especially), even if the trees casting shadows could even things out eventually...
     
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  23. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    Concerning forest, gameplay wise, do you think that it would be ok for trees to block sight, and prevent characters from stopping in the hex (because there is not enough room for both!), but to allow a character to pass through (I mean, we already have walls and cliffs for impassable barriers, trees would be redundant+ it is very rare not to be able to force your way between 2 pine trees in a real forest, let alone if you happen to have a sword or axe)?

    I want to avoid forests turning into labyrinths, mostly, so I would need to either allow passing through trees, or limit tree density, but I am afraid it would be counter intuitive.

    The other solutions would be to put trees in a corner of hexes, so that they do not block the hex, but just block LoS :

    Without transparency : hide and seek with trees not blocking a hex
    [​IMG]

    Another hide and seek scene with transparency set to 40%

    [​IMG]

    We will provide the following options to avoid the battlefield being too messy :
    - transparency for all walls and vertical objects
    - vertical objects cut to their bases
    - "normal" display (but that would only be useful for screenshots).

    Having trees in the middle of the hex and blocking it won't prevent the transparency problem, as walls will still mess with what is behind.
    In this scenario (trees don't take whole hex), they would hamper LoS and movement (exemple: if the hex you are moving from and to have 1 tree in common, you spend 1 more MP to get there, and 2 more MP if they have 2 trees in common).
    LoS would not be a problem, as it won't be tile based anyway (because walls don't take a whole tile either).
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
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  24. Niektory one of some Patron

    Niektory
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    In a real forest trees don't generally grow right next to each other, so I think limiting tree density is the way to go. This way they won't be a big pain to navigate, but still can be used as obstacles limiting movement in battles.
     
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  25. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    Those trees don't look big enough (depending on what you're going for)
     
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