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Turn-Based Tactics Archrebel: Tactics - A reincarnation of the classic Rebelstar.

Ularis Badler

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252
If you mean the strobing circles, yes its a bit too epileptic imo
I'm not sure what you mean. Are you referring to the subtle pulsating of the collision signature circles? Hardly epileptic, from what I can gather on the issue.
 
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Luka-boy

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Asspain
I'm digging the visuals a lot too.

Here's an idea. Can you offer a setting to use the tileset from previous versions? Both look great, just in different ways.
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
I'm digging the visuals a lot too.

Here's an idea. Can you offer a setting to use the tileset from previous versions? Both look great, just in different ways.
Thanks for the praise. I have to keep it simple from a management point of view since I'm doing everything by myself. The old tileset would contradict the story with the world setting tied to the game, which is set on an alien planet. Also, the new tileset is still far from complete; I plan to add a staggering amount of new GFX, including new biomes. Cheers!
 
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udm

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2,764
Make the Codex Great Again!
Is there height used on the terrain or are the heightmap-esque tiles (like the rock formation in your latest video) just for aesthetics?
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
Is there height used on the terrain or are the heightmap-esque tiles (like the rock formation in your latest video) just for aesthetics?
That was something I pondered for some time before deciding to stay with the flat terrain. I don't think I will consider height maps unless I come up with a story plot that could greatly benefit from it. Nonetheless, I'm exploring the ability to have height layers that could be loaded one at a time, like loading an underground level when going inside a bunker or a cave. It will all come down to how the story will unfold. Cheers.
 

thesheeep

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On average, it takes about 1-4 seconds to process all the damage, which tends to be less time if compared with the XCOM franchise with its cutscenes. Another aspect that this mechanics trigger is the expectation factor when dealing with heavy amounts of damage. You will find yourself wishing for damage to endure for the longest amount of time; you won't just wait but wonder how much damage shots can pull off.

I understand that this may be annoying/weird, especially for a younger generation of people. But the aim of Archrebel is to keep Rebelstar's essence, sending strong nostalgic vibes to all those who love Rebelstar. Cheers.
The worst thing you can do as a developer is to waste your players' time.
Turns that can't be sped up, animations that can't be skipped, unskippable dialogue, long loading times, etc. you get the picture.
It's the cardinal sin of game development to think yourself more important than your players' time - "I made this so you WILL look at it in full length!".

"It's just a few seconds" - seconds that will add up VERY quickly.

No, this doesn't have anything to do with generations.
I get including something like that for nostalgic reasons, that's fine - I actually think it's pretty cool.
But once the nostalgia/novelty (depending on player, heh) effect has worn off, you are just wasting players' time by not at least making stuff like that opt-out.

Why do you think mods like "Stop wasting my time" for XCOM have the highest number of downloads?
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
On average, it takes about 1-4 seconds to process all the damage, which tends to be less time if compared with the XCOM franchise with its cutscenes. Another aspect that this mechanics trigger is the expectation factor when dealing with heavy amounts of damage. You will find yourself wishing for damage to endure for the longest amount of time; you won't just wait but wonder how much damage shots can pull off.

I understand that this may be annoying/weird, especially for a younger generation of people. But the aim of Archrebel is to keep Rebelstar's essence, sending strong nostalgic vibes to all those who love Rebelstar. Cheers.
The worst thing you can do as a developer is to waste your players' time.
Turns that can't be sped up, animations that can't be skipped, unskippable dialogue, long loading times, etc. you get the picture.
It's the cardinal sin of game development to think yourself more important than your players' time - "I made this so you WILL look at it in full length!".

"It's just a few seconds" - seconds that will add up VERY quickly.

No, this doesn't have anything to do with generations.
I get including something like that for nostalgic reasons, that's fine - I actually think it's pretty cool.
But once the nostalgia/novelty (depending on player, heh) effect has worn off, you are just wasting players' time by not at least making stuff like that opt-out.

Why do you think mods like "Stop wasting my time" for XCOM have the highest number of downloads?
You make good points here, but:

"The worst thing you can do as a developer is to waste your players' time."
It can be a problem for sure but I wouldn't rate it as the worse thing. I reckon that there are far worse things that can get in the way of fun, like technical and unbalancing issues, lack of polish and testing, or simply non-time-related bad mechanical decisions. Waiting can also be used as a mechanic as well, depending on the game.

"Turns that can't be sped up, animations that can't be skipped, unskippable dialogue, long loading times, etc. you get the picture."
Yap, some of those things tend to be quite annoying to me.

"It's just a few seconds" - seconds that will add up VERY quickly.
Here's the thing, it would be real a problem for real-time shooting games or turn-based games like action roguelikes. This is not a game you will be firing every single turn with every unit, and you will be saving far MORE time here than in most tactics games where you only get to move one unit at a time.

"No, this doesn't have anything to do with generations."
I have to profoundly disagree here. The younger generation of people is less prone to understand Archrebel's concept and they are the ones that ask questions about units being turned into circles and why damage isn't instantly applied. The older generation of people who played Rebelstar or Laser Squad immediately see what is happening and actually tend to praise it.

I can definitely do something about the long waitings for high-damage shots, but instantly applying damage won't happen for the reasons I already described.
If people aren't able to wait a few seconds as the action unfolds, then this is not a game for them, nor do I think Chess is.

Thanks for providing feedback. Cheers.
 
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thesheeep

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It can be a problem for sure but I wouldn't rate it as the worse thing.
It depends, I'd say.
Sure, there are worse blockers of fun, but what makes wasting players' time so egregious is that it would be extremely easy to solve in almost all cases with only little time investment needed on part of the developer.
While technical / mechanical issues can actually be very difficult to tackle.
Sometimes, technical / time-related issues overlap, though, such as developers not knowing how to utilize multithreading properly.

Here's the thing, it would be real a problem for real-time shooting games or turn-based games like action roguelikes. This is not a game you will be firing every single turn with every unit, and you will be saving far MORE time here than in most tactics games where you only get to move one unit at a time.
Maybe?
I'd have to play to be sure of this. But no matter how common it will be, I can practically guarantee that it'll be one of the most requested features to disable. And for good reason. You're really only showing 2+2+2+2+2+2+.....211 where you could just show one number instead. There is no mechanical influence here, just a "meta" one.
If you want to convey the size of numbers, instead of using time for that I'd just increase the font size. Or show more numbers at once, like shotgun pellets.

I have to profoundly disagree here. The younger generation of people is less prone to understand Archrebel's concept and they are the ones that ask questions about units being turned into circles and why damage isn't instantly applied. The older generation of people who played Rebelstar or Laser Squad immediately see what is happening and actually tend to praise it.
Nah.
The concepts aren't that hard to understand. And even among the older generations, most haven't played rebelstar or laser squad, either.
Anyone who's never seen the unit-circle thing would at least wonder about it, no matter the age.
Doesn't mean that some generation would just automagically "get it" while others don't, it becomes kinda clear on its own IMO.
If anything, older generations are probably more likely to be accepting of a higher level of abstraction due to being more used to it - and they are certainly more likely to actually have played the older games.

But still, the main point of people not liking their time wasted is unrelated to generation.

Also, unless I'm understanding something wrong here, damage IS instantly applied, no? You are merely splitting it apart artificially to show it in a slower manner for nostalgic/design/artistic reasons. There's no mechanical reason the damage couldn't be all shown in one snap, unless there's some kind of interrupt mechanic I'm not aware of?
Again, I'm not saying don't do that, I'm just saying make it optional or allow speeding it up significantly.

Talking about that, I do like the interrupt-on-x-damage-taken idea, it shall go to my ideas folder :lol:
 

oasis789

Arcane
Joined
Oct 9, 2012
Messages
393
just some feedback as someone who plays thousands of hours of tactical games, at some point I just disabled the animations to speed turns up. having some kind of speedup ingame option can be a nice QOL for your hardcore users
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
[Reply to thesheeep]

"I'd have to play to be sure of this. But no matter how common it will be, I can practically guarantee that it'll be one of the most requested features to disable. And for good reason. You're really only showing 2+2+2+2+2+2+.....211 where you could just show one number instead. There is no mechanical influence here, just a "meta" one."
Consider that you will rarely shoot high-damage weapons in the game when contrasted with low-damage output weapons; you might start to do it throughout mid-game, and these shots will hardly go above 100 points. As I mention, the instant damage would conflict with the mechanics I described previously and that I reinforce down below.

"The concepts aren't that hard to understand. "
They aren't, and yet I had to explain them a few times.

"And even among the older generations, most haven't played rebelstar or laser squad, either."
I meant the older generation as they have greater chances of being familiar with these concepts considering how popular these games were back in the day. The younger generation of people will hardly hear about them, hence my reasoning. But, yeah, it doesn't mean that all people my age are familiar with these concepts.

"Also, unless I'm understanding something wrong here, damage IS instantly applied, no? You are merely splitting it apart artificially to show it in a slower manner for nostalgic/design/artistic reasons.
Well, you have the damage total output when the unit is hit, but it is gradually applied and you will see health bars going down accordingly; there's no stopping it once damage starts to take effect and it will stack with further hits.

"Again, I'm not saying don't do that, I'm just saying make it optional or allow speeding it up significantly."
Speeding it up is a matter of decreasing the dividers, so yeah, that can be done for sure. But would only do it for shots that go above a certain damage threshold, otherwise, units would die quickly and let shots go through in case of burst attacks. I don't want this to happen because it would make the units' signatures (collision circles) size less relevant/protective, which is important, mainly for Tank Droids.

"Again, I'm not saying don't do that, I'm just saying make it optional or allow speeding it up significantly."
Oh, it's fine, people often say: "don't do this or that" since I started this project. I listen to the suggestions and see what can work, and I'm sure there will be a ton of feedback once the demo gets released - I'll just have to filter out what makes sense from what doesn't when contrasting it with my goal.
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
just some feedback as someone who plays thousands of hours of tactical games, at some point I just disabled the animations to speed turns up. having some kind of speedup ingame option can be a nice QOL for your hardcore users
Yeah. I think Increasing the dividers for HP can be useful as I described in the post above.
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
Just a small update on the fire mode. I added a grid-like layer that might add a bit of immersion helping connecting the circle signatures to a tactical view. It could also get in the way of visibility; let me know if this is the case. I can always tune it down if needed.

Archrebel.jpg
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
I've been brewing this design for a year now, of how a shuttle would look like in Archrebel. This week was dedicated to this. I hope you enjoy it.
 

mediocrepoet

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This is the 'Bastion' ability that Tank droids come with:

Not sure if this bothers you or not but you've got a typo in one of the first title screens of your video where you talk about "Tank Droinds". At least one other in there like "exagerated" instead of "exaggerated". Imo, type your text into Word or something first and run spellcheck.
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
This is the 'Bastion' ability that Tank droids come with:

Not sure if this bothers you or not but you've got a typo in one of the first title screens of your video where you talk about "Tank Droinds". At least one other in there like "exagerated" instead of "exaggerated". Imo, type your text into Word or something first and run spellcheck.

Yeah... someone else told me about the spellings. I keep forgetting the software I use to make the videos doesn't have a spellcheck feature. Thanks for pointing that out, I really have to put more effort into checking for typos.
 

Darkozric

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Jun 3, 2018
Messages
1,704
Cool aesthetics bro, dunno if you did it deliberately but I dig the level up sound being in tune with the main song. Love small details like this.
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
Cool aesthetics bro, dunno if you did it deliberately but I dig the level up sound being in tune with the main song. Love small details like this.
Thanks for sharing your praise. It's a happy coincidence (serendipity), the game will feature a comprehensive soundtrack which would make it impossible to have a jingle synced with every tune. Cheers.
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
Just posted this on Twitter and I thought you guys would be interested in looking at it. It covers all items that are already included in the game or under development. I would say that items are about 70% complete at this point.

Archrebel_Items.jpg
 

agris

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Here is another update. It revolves around aliens showing their new spitting GFX and the new sprites for their dead bodies.
Usually, I use existing elements to create new sounds, but this one I had to create from scratch, I vocalized the spit itself and used a diet coke for the acid sizzling.

Why is it that when something receives damage it's visualized as dozens of 2s? It's ok in low numbers but you can see it takes a while if something has a lot of health, and it would be more spectacular to blow away a squad or mech in one go I think. Is it a Rebelstar thing?

I very much agree with this assessment. I read your follow-up replies Ularis Badler, and, I don’t mean to be uncharitable, they don’t really address the core concern.

Outside of movement and the world viewport, damage delivery is going to be a core moment-to-moment part of the gameplay loop. Annoyance at the time it takes for these 2s to propagate is going to be perceived with much much greater frequency than more cerebral concerns such as poor balance, mechanics, or adherence to source material’s conventions.

I offer a compromise between your vision and our feedback: a gravity algorithm applied to the rate at which the 2s are rendered. For every “2” displayed, the next “2” is displayed X% faster. Probably on the order of 5%. That means that those large damage hits to high HP mobs take significantly less time to render, while the low HP hits are still close to your original vision.

Kindly consider it.

Edit: I also really like the pseudo-dithering of the item icons in the post above. They look great!
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
252
Here is another update. It revolves around aliens showing their new spitting GFX and the new sprites for their dead bodies.
Usually, I use existing elements to create new sounds, but this one I had to create from scratch, I vocalized the spit itself and used a diet coke for the acid sizzling.

Why is it that when something receives damage it's visualized as dozens of 2s? It's ok in low numbers but you can see it takes a while if something has a lot of health, and it would be more spectacular to blow away a squad or mech in one go I think. Is it a Rebelstar thing?

I very much agree with this assessment. I read your follow-up replies Ularis Badler, and, I don’t mean to be uncharitable, they don’t really address the core concern.

Outside of movement and the world viewport, damage delivery is going to be a core moment-to-moment part of the gameplay loop. Annoyance at the time it takes for these 2s to propagate is going to be perceived with much much greater frequency than more cerebral concerns such as poor balance, mechanics, or adherence to source material’s conventions.

I offer a compromise between your vision and our feedback: a gravity algorithm applied to the rate at which the 2s are rendered. For every “2” displayed, the next “2” is displayed X% faster. Probably on the order of 5%. That means that those large damage hits to high HP mobs take significantly less time to render, while the low HP hits are still close to your original vision.

Kindly consider it.

Edit: I also really like the pseudo-dithering of the item icons in the post above. They look great!

Thanks for adding feedback on the matter. I will have to see how people will react once the demo is out. One thing is looking at a movie and another thing is playing the game and seeing the meaningful consequences of your actions, which can further mitigate the problem apart from increasing/speeding up the damage animation. Once I have the data I can then act accordingly.
As I mentioned before, high-damage shots will be a rare thing. Cheers.
 

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