Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Game News Colony Ship RPG Update #9: Locations Overview

Infinitron

I post news
Staff Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
97,700
Codex Year of the Donut Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
Tags: Colony Ship RPG; Iron Tower Studios; Vault Dweller

With Dungeon Rats out of the way, it looks like Iron Tower have returned to their monthly schedule for Colony Ship RPG updates. This month's update is a brief overview of the game's locations:

Now that DR is out, we return to our regularly scheduled program. So locations...

- 16 locations. Thematically, we can split them into 5 groups: engine (more than one area), "wasteland" (completely destroyed decks, including areas with zero gravity), cargo holds, residential, bridge.

- Most locations will be 'revisitable', i.e. you will have reasons (new objectives) to go back, which will boost reactivity when you get shot in the face.

- Each location is designed to support 3 main paths through the game: brute force, diplomacy, infiltration. Most locations are populated by various small groups and factions, so killing everyone will limit your endgame options, which is fitting.

- Many locations will have multiple levels and the "vertical element". We played with it in DR a bit. For those who didn't play the game, you're looking at the previously visited areas from a higher point you couldn't reach directly.

In the CSG, for example, you would be able to take a safe way through a certain area via the walkways (a toll road) and see the area below (and go down if you see something shiny) or if you're too cheap to pay make your way through the debris below and brave the dangers undoubtedly awaiting the unprepared.

- Most locations are interconnected in logical ways (i.e. not isolated areas), which will create many interesting opportunities for the explorers as well as occasional quest solutions for the gadgeteers.

In the past updates I've briefly introduced the Pit (the Freemen's Camp), the Hydroponics, the Armory, and the Shuttle Bay. The final "cargo hold" location is the Factory - a large industrial complex that was designed to teach the new generation various engineering skills and provide simulated environments to practice them. Today it's an abandoned and thus somewhat dangerous area connecting the Pit with the City. It's been stripped clean from the 'big ticket' items but there's plenty of junk left for the scavengers willing to risk their lives for a few coins.


The full update has two additional concept images of the Pit, which use a style similar to this one. Apparently, Iron Tower have chosen a new art direction for the game, as they're quite different from the Pit concept we saw back in April.
 

Goral

Arcane
Patron
The Real Fanboy
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
3,556
Location
Poland
Looks gay.
clear.png


:troll:
 

Klarion

Arcane
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
1,864,550
Location
Stonekeep
is this gonna be built in the same engine as AOD?

Dis gaem gonna be yuge anyway...

A real sci-fi RPG finally.
 
Self-Ejected

Lurker King

Self-Ejected
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
1,865,419
Guys, they will use Unreal engine 4 for this game, but the game will not look like the concept art. Don't get your hopes up. They are choosing Unreal because it is a more functional engine, not because it has a graphic card in it, because it doesn't. They hired one more artist, but that is it. Expecting that the gameplay will be like the concept art is like expecting that the gameplay of AoD would look like its concept art.
 
Self-Ejected

Lurker King

Self-Ejected
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
1,865,419
ITS is taking cRPGs to a whole new level. The writing and C&C will be like AoD, which already beat FO and other classics, and the combat system will knock JA2 out of the park.

Back to the systems. Now that you have a good idea of our workload, let's talk about two key systems: combat and stealth. I'll do my best to organize my thoughts and present them in a semi-coherent fashion, so bear with me.

Melee-based combat makes a lot of things simple in 3 key areas:
Melee attack can be dodged or blocked (or parried or deflected), thus you easily miss even if you’re standing next to the guy you’re trying to kill. The famous duel in Rob Roy would have been very different if both duelists had SMGs.
Damage dealt can be modified by effort (i.e. fast or power attacks).
Combatants can just stand there and trade blows all day.

So, logically, combat with guns should have higher THC in general, higher mobility, no dodging bullets, no damage modifiers, which means that fast attacks, normal attacks, and aimed attacks will do exactly the same damage, which means the player would want to use the fastest attack unless there’s a strong penalty, but we’ve just decided to keep THC relatively high.

The obvious conclusion is that we need grazing, cover, and a wide range of attack types:
Let’s start with grazing. I wanted to implement it in AoD but we were out of time and the fast attacks were basically grazing attacks, doing a lot less damage. The ranged combat is perfect for it.

Let’s say you have 80% THC (to-hit chance). You roll the dice and as luck would have it, you’re 1 point short but the binary miss-hit system doesn’t reward your near excellence and treats it as you weren’t even close. So, we’ll change that and go with 4 roll 'ranges': miss, graze, hit, critical hit. This will give us some flexibility with damage ranges and allow you to trade damage for THC.

Cover is another way to lower your THC without raising eyebrows and explain why the combatants take 4-5 turns to kill each other. We don’t want to place cover objects everywhere, so we’ll go with energy shields you can place in front of your character (i.e. you throw a 'gadget', it generates an energy shield in front of you (not around you) which absorbs X amount of damage and makes it harder to hit you while you’re hiding behind it).

Naturally, once you decide to go with gadgets, why stop with one? Why not have gadgets modifying every available battlefield stat?
Depletable energy shield (absorbs x damage)
Reality distortion field (THC penalty against you)
Optical illusion a-la Total Recall (chance that enemies will target the illusion)
Cloaking field aka Stealth Boy
Stasis field (holds enemy, no damage can be dealt)
Brainwave Disruptor (don’t leave your home without Psychic Nullifier)

As mentioned previously, expect 10-12 gadgets with 3-4 upgrade levels. Earlier I was toying with the idea of energy armor but the energy shield idea is better as it ties you down, creating tactical opportunities for your enemies. Then you’ll have upgradable synthetic armor offering different degree of protection against melee, projectile, and energy attacks.

Attack types
Three basic attacks are Fast aka unaimed (increases your Graze roll range and cuts the Hit roll range in half), Normal, and Aimed Attack (doubles the Hit roll range, cuts in half the Graze range). You can use these attacks with any weapons.

Class- and weapon-specific attacks like Short, Long, and Wide Burst for SMGs (some SMGs would be more suitable for wide bursts whereas others would be more suitable for long burst; however, these attacks would be available to all SMGs) and certain shotguns; Fanning for revolvers, Double Shot or Full Broadside for multi-barrel weapons.

"Tactical" attacks like Suppressive Fire and various Interrupt, Attacks of Opportunity Reaction Shots
Another thing worth mentioning is that firearms, unlike fairly straightforward melee weapons, have very different designs, so each category (Pistols, Shotguns, SMGs) will have 3 subcategories. For example, Shotguns will have One-Handed Shotguns (sawed off and ‘Mare’s Leg’ style shotguns), long, heavy-barrel shotguns, and shotguns with revolving cylinders. So even if you choose to specialize with a single weapon class, you will have plenty of tactical options within this class.

Last but not the least is the focus on mobility. In AoD we didn’t want a melee opponent chasing you all over the map, so your movement rate was slow (2AP per square). In the CSG we want mobility play a large role, allowing the enemies (and encouraging the player) to move around, flank and flush you out.
 

Klarion

Arcane
Joined
Oct 10, 2014
Messages
1,864,550
Location
Stonekeep
ITS is taking cRPGs to a whole new level. The writing and C&C will be like AoD, which already beat FO and other classics, and the combat system will knock JA2 out of the park.

Back to the systems. Now that you have a good idea of our workload, let's talk about two key systems: combat and stealth. I'll do my best to organize my thoughts and present them in a semi-coherent fashion, so bear with me.

Melee-based combat makes a lot of things simple in 3 key areas:
Melee attack can be dodged or blocked (or parried or deflected), thus you easily miss even if you’re standing next to the guy you’re trying to kill. The famous duel in Rob Roy would have been very different if both duelists had SMGs.
Damage dealt can be modified by effort (i.e. fast or power attacks).
Combatants can just stand there and trade blows all day.

So, logically, combat with guns should have higher THC in general, higher mobility, no dodging bullets, no damage modifiers, which means that fast attacks, normal attacks, and aimed attacks will do exactly the same damage, which means the player would want to use the fastest attack unless there’s a strong penalty, but we’ve just decided to keep THC relatively high.

The obvious conclusion is that we need grazing, cover, and a wide range of attack types:
Let’s start with grazing. I wanted to implement it in AoD but we were out of time and the fast attacks were basically grazing attacks, doing a lot less damage. The ranged combat is perfect for it.

Let’s say you have 80% THC (to-hit chance). You roll the dice and as luck would have it, you’re 1 point short but the binary miss-hit system doesn’t reward your near excellence and treats it as you weren’t even close. So, we’ll change that and go with 4 roll 'ranges': miss, graze, hit, critical hit. This will give us some flexibility with damage ranges and allow you to trade damage for THC.

Cover is another way to lower your THC without raising eyebrows and explain why the combatants take 4-5 turns to kill each other. We don’t want to place cover objects everywhere, so we’ll go with energy shields you can place in front of your character (i.e. you throw a 'gadget', it generates an energy shield in front of you (not around you) which absorbs X amount of damage and makes it harder to hit you while you’re hiding behind it).

Naturally, once you decide to go with gadgets, why stop with one? Why not have gadgets modifying every available battlefield stat?
Depletable energy shield (absorbs x damage)
Reality distortion field (THC penalty against you)
Optical illusion a-la Total Recall (chance that enemies will target the illusion)
Cloaking field aka Stealth Boy
Stasis field (holds enemy, no damage can be dealt)
Brainwave Disruptor (don’t leave your home without Psychic Nullifier)

As mentioned previously, expect 10-12 gadgets with 3-4 upgrade levels. Earlier I was toying with the idea of energy armor but the energy shield idea is better as it ties you down, creating tactical opportunities for your enemies. Then you’ll have upgradable synthetic armor offering different degree of protection against melee, projectile, and energy attacks.

Attack types
Three basic attacks are Fast aka unaimed (increases your Graze roll range and cuts the Hit roll range in half), Normal, and Aimed Attack (doubles the Hit roll range, cuts in half the Graze range). You can use these attacks with any weapons.

Class- and weapon-specific attacks like Short, Long, and Wide Burst for SMGs (some SMGs would be more suitable for wide bursts whereas others would be more suitable for long burst; however, these attacks would be available to all SMGs) and certain shotguns; Fanning for revolvers, Double Shot or Full Broadside for multi-barrel weapons.

"Tactical" attacks like Suppressive Fire and various Interrupt, Attacks of Opportunity Reaction Shots
Another thing worth mentioning is that firearms, unlike fairly straightforward melee weapons, have very different designs, so each category (Pistols, Shotguns, SMGs) will have 3 subcategories. For example, Shotguns will have One-Handed Shotguns (sawed off and ‘Mare’s Leg’ style shotguns), long, heavy-barrel shotguns, and shotguns with revolving cylinders. So even if you choose to specialize with a single weapon class, you will have plenty of tactical options within this class.

Last but not the least is the focus on mobility. In AoD we didn’t want a melee opponent chasing you all over the map, so your movement rate was slow (2AP per square). In the CSG we want mobility play a large role, allowing the enemies (and encouraging the player) to move around, flank and flush you out.

Yes, and best of all, it's gonna be Sci-Fi... a genre which is very lacking in real(hard-core) CRPGs. I don't remember being so pumped up about CRPG.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Guys, they will use Unreal engine 4 for this game, but the game will not look like the concept art. Don't get your hopes up. They are choosing Unreal because it is a more functional engine, not because it has a graphic card in it, because it doesn't. They hired one more artist, but that is it. Expecting that the gameplay will be like the concept art is like expecting that the gameplay of AoD would look like its concept art.
We're aiming to do much better in the visual department. With AoD we had to compromise a lot and go with 'generic' most of the time. We didn't have proper concept art, proper references, manpower, etc. Almost everything you see in AoD that's not animated was done by Oscar who also handled quest scripting, which is a massive task in itself. So essentially we had half an artist, which isn't a lot.

Now we have Mazin (he joined us too late to make a strong impact on the art direction, other than the portraits, the interface, and uniqiue icons, his main contribution was the tower and it shows), so he will oversee each area. Now we have a good concept artist who understands what we're trying to do. Now we have Joao (he's doing guns now and it's a top notch work, never seen better). If we're lucky, we might get a good texturer to free up Oscar's time but that's down the road.

So basically, here is our process now. First I do a level in Excel, figure out what we need and what it should look like. Then I pass it to the concept artist along with the references. Once we have all the concept art and Joao is done with the weapons, he'll make the models we need to ensure that the in-game locations look as close to the concepts as possible. Then we put it together. It doesn't mean that it will look exactly like the concepts but you should definitely expect more than AoD level of visuals.
 
Last edited:
Self-Ejected

Lurker King

Self-Ejected
The Real Fanboy
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
1,865,419
We're aiming to do much better in the visual department. With AoD we had to compromise a lot and go with 'generic' most of the time. We didn't have proper concept art, proper references, manpower, etc. Almost everything you see in AoD that's not animated was done by Oscar who also handled quest scripting, which is a massive task in itself.

I remember that he was involved in everything, but I didn't know it was to such an extent. Kudos to you, Elhoim! While I think it is important to improve the looks, I also think it would be unwise to make too much sacrifices in that departament. I have the impression that Aterdux spent a fortune improving the looks of LoE, but the sales didn't pay off. It seems that you need the whole package (looks + lack of challenge) in order to attract more players.
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
At the same time LoE sold pretty good for an unknown indie (same as AoD) - 62k copies according to SteamSpy. There are many indie strategy games that did a LOT worse and failed to hit even 10k copies sold. These days 60k copies isn't something that can be taken for granted.
 
Self-Ejected

Davaris

Self-Ejected
Developer
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
6,547
Location
Idiocracy
First I do a level in Excel, figure out what we need and what it should look like.

So you don't use anything like Articy by the sounds of it. An article documenting your process with pictures would be a very interesting read. Or perhaps do what all the cool kids are doing and use Twitch. :D
 

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
I don't even know what Twitch is (some social network faggotry, no doubt), so that's a no. After a certain age, you just draw the line and start ignoring all tech/cool new shit above that line.
 
Self-Ejected

Davaris

Self-Ejected
Developer
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
6,547
Location
Idiocracy
I don't even know what Twitch is (some social network faggotry, no doubt), so that's a no. After a certain age, you just draw the line and start ignoring all tech/cool new shit above that line.

Twitch is just live streaming, so you can have your own live TV show. I've been watching a show on Youtube called Handmande Hero where teaches old school programming and promotes and raises money for his game at the same time. He broadcasts it live on Twitch, then archives the old shows on Youtube, Far better than any course I took at Uni.
 

Kev Inkline

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Messages
5,156
A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Twitch is just live streaming, so you can have your own live TV show. I've been watching a show on Youtube called Handmande Hero where teaches old school programming and promotes and raises money for his game at the same time. He broadcasts it live on Twitch, then archives the old shows on Youtube, Far better than any course I took at Uni.
Anyone with a moniker Handmade Hero sounds an awfully lonely, but at least he meets his own needs, if you know what I mean. *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*
 
Self-Ejected

Davaris

Self-Ejected
Developer
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Messages
6,547
Location
Idiocracy
Twitch is just live streaming, so you can have your own live TV show. I've been watching a show on Youtube called Handmande Hero where teaches old school programming and promotes and raises money for his game at the same time. He broadcasts it live on Twitch, then archives the old shows on Youtube, Far better than any course I took at Uni.
Anyone with a moniker Handmade Hero sounds an awfully lonely, but at least he meets his own needs, if you know what I mean. *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*

It's not his moniker, its the name of his game and the course. He is Casey Muratori formerly of RAD Game Tools. The handmade part is where he makes a game live, using no engines or libraries,like they did back in Ye Olden Days. https://hero.handmade.network/episodes The cool part is his game and course has spawned a community of programmers, who are making their own projects using the handmade ideal.

I saw another indie dev named Cliffski of Positech say that blogging isn't working for him anymore when it comes to promotion, so he's using video more. That's why I suggested Twitch to VD. Get RPG devs to meet on it and start discussing whatever, then do a QA at the end with the audience. It would be more interesting than the garbage that is on TV.
 

Fenix

Arcane
Vatnik
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Messages
6,458
Location
Russia atchoum!
It's not his moniker, its the name of his game and the course. He is Casey Muratori formerly of RAD Game Tools. The handmade part is where he makes a game live, using no engines or libraries,like they did back in Ye Olden Days. https://hero.handmade.network/episodes The cool part is his game and course has spawned a community of programmers, who are making their own projects using the handmade ideal.
Sounds cool but as humanitarian type I vaguely can imagine why "old programming" better or interesting then conditional "modern".
Can you clarify?
 

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Back
Top Bottom