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KickStarter Monomyth - A first person action RPG/dungeon crawler

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by RatTower, May 7, 2017.

  1. DJOGamer PT Arcane

    DJOGamer PT
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    What made you come to this decision RatTower?
     
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  2. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    Not at the moment. I'm careful about adopting the DMoMM kick mechanic because it was - as you say - pretty almighty.

    Reading various Pen & Paper roleplaying systems. My main concern with skills was always the 1-100% skill progression system that builds up chances against RNG checks (the classic Ultima Online/Arx Fatalis skill system).

    Some of the more generic PnP systems do most of their RNG checks against character stats with skills acting as modifiers (because skills are strongly dependent on the setting - so you can't pull them into the core system). I think that is a more cleaned up way of doing it and I like how it adds to character customization without taking away too much attention from the character system's heart piece.

    So in short: I wanted to spice up character customization without making the core system obsolete.
     
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  3. garren Arcane Patron

    garren
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    The kick wasn't that great if you kicked someone when there wasn't a pit or some spikes behind them, but if there was it was super powerful. If there is a kick in this game I hope the kicking power will be "constant", but maybe modifiable by circumstances. It could be a special ability that you have to gain somehow first so that it isn't available immediately, the power could be modified by stats or some sorta charging time that slows you (preparing to kick hard), and it should be blockable. Unaware/stunned/staggered targets could be more susceptible to it. Light enemies could fly easily but heavy enemies wouldn't even budge. Just some ideas off the top of my head :D.
     
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  4. Valky Arcane Manlet

    Valky
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    I guess to be more serious, if you're taking DMoMaM as inspiration, the aspect from it that would really be great to have in a game is the abundance of environmental traps allowing you to play the game solving conflict through comically placed hazards interactable with in the world.
     
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  5. DJOGamer PT Arcane

    DJOGamer PT
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    There was a variable for that?
    That would explain why some times the enemies would simply flich from my kick and other times they would be projected through the air like they've got hit by a truck.

    I would say a good way to go about the kick would be to tie to physics. So a player kick would do X amount of Force and enemy's reaction to it would depend on their weight and other aspects. Then maybe the player's stats could have some contribution (like increasing Dex would increase accelaration, Str would obviously increase Force, etc...).
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
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  6. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    Hi,

    just quickly letting you know the alpha registration will still be up until the 12th of january.



    Alpha testing will be held on steam. I already received the first batch of keys from valve.
    One alpha stage will last for about two weeks. After that I will take a few days to integrate the feedback and send out the next batch of keys.
    The idea is to increase the amount of people involved in testing with every stage. Once the alpha is over all keys will be locked and the final alpha build will probably become a free and publicly available demo.

    I already uploaded a build to Steam - so technically it's already playable - but I'll replace the build with a more polished one in the coming days.
     
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  7. zwanzig_zwoelf Graverobber Foundation Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    My body is ready. :positive:
     
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  8. DJOGamer PT Arcane

    DJOGamer PT
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    Will we have to register to each stage to get keys?
     
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  9. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    No, the keys will be active throughout the entire alpha phase.
     
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  10. Valky Arcane Manlet

    Valky
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    Suspicious lack of a non steam-exclusive release.
     
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  11. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    I'll look into different stores once I figure out a good way to organize builds so I can keep different platforms up to date with very few work steps.

    But besides that, Steam's currently the focus for two reasons: 1) Obviously the biggest audience is there, but more importantly 2) its content and key management system is actually very, very comfortable when it comes to closed alpha testing.
    I don't think any other distribution platform put the same amount of effort into that. I could definitely see Monomyth releasing on GoG (if they'll have me) but I'll look into that later (not before the beta).
     
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  12. Invictus Arcane The Real Fanboy

    Invictus
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    Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Nintendo Switch version would also be cool
     
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  13. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    Closed alpha starting this week.
    The rest of development will be focused on three things:

    - Content creation
    - NPC/AI refactoring
    - Polish & Testing

    The second being the most critical one. I've been talking about this before (modular NPCs) but it also involves something I've been dodging a bit and that is "crimes against friendly NPCs"
    I'd hope to include this, because it would add a lot of complexity to the game world, but I must also say, if it doesn't work out properly, I'd be ready to drop it in favor of a more polished end product.

    So what's this NPC refactoring:
    Essentially I would like to bring AI respectively my NPC class to a level of abstraction, where the game does no longer differentiate between enemies and friends on the basis of static code. This means there are no creatures in the game that are "coded" as hostile, but base their hostility on faction, reputation meters, player actions etc.
    The architecture for that is basically there. Both friendly and hostile NPCs are all the same class and check their relation to one another once they enter their perception radius. What's currently missing is a more sophisticated implementation behind that architecture. Currently it's a relatively primitive mechanism that determines the hostility of an entity based on a comparison of factions. This comes with one major disadvantage though - as kind of a work around for turbulent combat situations, non-hostile characters cannot damage each other.
    The players being part of a "good guys" faction cannot damage any NPCs, which limits possibilities compared to other games - let's say Arx or Ultima (in general, not just Underworld).
    So what I'd need is an enhancement of the faction/hostility system and a separate "crime system" that can alter the variables in the earlier system. The goal is, to have a game where the player can theoretically go on a rampage and still finish it.

    I'm currently in the process of planning this out in more detail. Basically I see three major crimes the player could commit:

    - taking private property (from the open world or from a container)
    - attacking someone
    - trespassing

    The implementation of an event that says "You have committed a crime" for these is pretty simple. In fact, the first and last can be implemented in about 10 minutes with the current player setup. The question is how the AI perception system should be triggered once that happens. Because on the one hand you require the change to propagate into the faction/hostility system, but then you also need to re-evaluate the players presence in the face of NPCs whose perception system the player already entered. That can (and should) trigger a cascade of re-evaluations that potentially turn a whole portion of NPCs against you. This is kinda tricky, because the consequences to the player actions become highly chaotic - which is, admittedly, part of the fun.

    What's a bigger problem is the game design aspect: What happens if the player kills an "important" NPC? It basically requires you to design every part of the game around the fact, that the player might just go haywire. Luckily, I mostly refrained from hiding critical quest items in the dialogue system of the game (which can spawn items and alter entity states)

    What I need however, is a persistent NPC inventory system that cooperates with NPC spawns (currently NPCs are all dynamically spawned into the world, so you can't hide their static inventory (static = basically everything I decide within the unreal editor) with those spawned character classes, but you have to move it into a separate, persistent data structure that can be accessed by the dynamically spawned instance of an NPC). Why do I need that? Imagine an NPC spawns, alters its inventory, then despawns. If it respawns, the old inventory state would be there again, that is, unless you save it separately.
    Now the inventory system must also include the critical quest items, which are dropped once you kill an NPC or removed from the inventory when you take the item in a dialogue. In the case of killing the NPC, the loot/corpse must be persistent, i.e. it must never despawn or you'll lose quest items.

    Also this kind of separate NPC inventory system (together with the crime system) opens up the possibility for pickpocketing. You'd open up the inventory with a certain player move and as long as it's open your character is sending out "You are committing a crime" events which can then again trigger this cascade of NPC/hostility re-evaluations. But let's forget that for the moment. That just makes things more complicated (also it's polling based, which I'm not too fond of).

    The whole NPC refactoring also requires some additional changes with regards to combat animations, but since I'm eyeballing modular NPCs with a shared animation rig anyway that's not such a big problem (in fact, that's how I should have gone about it from the very beginning, but the blender/ue4 pipeline just wasn't at that point of maturity back in 2017/18).

    Yadda, yadda, yadda, to cut my ramblings short: This is what I'm currently thinking about. Keeping this nice and clean and modular is a whole other challenge. Refactoring is the bane of any slowly growing system - unfortunately the old "keep it King's-Field-simple" formula starts disrupting, especially with regards to NPC AI, once Arx Fatalis and Ultima's features start breaking through more and more.

    Which is basically where we stand. As I said, I'm still cautious about all of this and if this whole thing suddenly blows up the scope of the project in a way that is not manageable I'll drop it.
    But for now: It's a bit of programming, it's a bit of animation work and it's a whole lot of "keeping encounters modular to avoid game/plot breaking design flaws". The good thing is: Even if the crime system doesn't end up in the game, those game design decisions still work on their own, those NPC animations still have their value (since they are done on a generic rig) and the NPC/hostility mechanism can easily be resetted to the current primitive mechanism. So that should be fine. It'd be lost time at worst - which I wanna avoid by now, but if it actually works out Monomyth enters a whole new level of complexity and I think that's worth the "risk".

    So that's basically it from me for the moment.
    See you in the alpha!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
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  14. SophosTheWise Arbiter

    SophosTheWise
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    So, did anyone already get an invite?
     
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  15. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    I'd be surprised if that was the case :D
    The latest build is live but unfortunately I didn't quite manage to register and verify the necessary mail domain (to be more exact, I didn't set up the SMTP credentials yet; The domain's there. Maybe shouldn't have played so much Ultima 6 on the weekend - haha, whoops!)
    Aaaanyway - that's gonna happen today afternoon.

    I'd also need two or three folks to test the whole procedure from receiving the key via mail to successfully starting the game (and obviously telling me whether everything worked afterwards).
    So if you registered for the alpha, feel free to drop me the mail address you used there in a private message on here and I'll pull you into the pre-alpha batch / deployment testing.

    Show Spoiler
    With this thread going on for almost three years now, Codexers must naturally receive privileged treatment :obviously:

    Show Spoiler
    Also I can't really do this with randos.

     
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  16. DJOGamer PT Arcane

    DJOGamer PT
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    As is the natural order of things. +M
     
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  17. PrettyDeadman Victim of C*dex *dministr*tion Patron

    PrettyDeadman
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    Just pm me the key on codex
     
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  18. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    Just letting you know real quick that everything is set up. Mail merging works fine too. So everyone should get their keys at the same time once my domain provider lifts my sending restrictions (these are imposed on all new accounts to prevent spam). That apparently takes one or two days.

    While we are playing the waiting game: You can still send me a pm for deployment testing.
    Hope everything is through till thursday or friday.

    Cheers,
    Rat Tower
     
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  19. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    Actually that was way faster than I expected.

    First alpha invites have been sent.

     
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  20. Viata Arcane

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    I hope you guys have fun.
     
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  21. DJOGamer PT Arcane

    DJOGamer PT
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    [​IMG]

    Show Spoiler
    Won't have time to properly test this until the end of the month...

    :dealwithit:
     
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  22. zwanzig_zwoelf Graverobber Foundation Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    Dis gon b gud. :positive:
     
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  23. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    Just remember this is quite literally the most unfinished and broken version of the game that anyone will ever see (other than me that is).
    I salute you for taking this burden onto your shoulders :salute:
     
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  24. Butter Arcane

    Butter
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    So what you're saying is it's more finished than Underworld Ascendant?
     
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  25. RatTower Arcane Developer

    RatTower
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    I will let others be the judge of that.
    Still a long road to the release version of Monomyth.
     
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