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Occidental Heroes - mobile roguelike retro RPG

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Guy de Incognito, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. Guy de Incognito Ensit Media Developer

    Guy de Incognito
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    https://occidentalheroes.com

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wlxd.retrorpg.android
    https://apps.apple.com/us/app/occidental-heroes/id1355481701

    One man army here, developing a mobile RPG on no budget. What could possibly go wrong?

    The good:
    • can be played on pretty much any Android 4+ on screens 480x800 and up
    • can be played with one hand (do what you want with the other)
    • has a pretty robust (and mandatory) autosave which means you can quit any time and it will just continue where you left off
    • very likely it's going to be finished because all the technical challenges have been overcome and the money can't run out because there was no money to begin with

    The bad:
    • developed by someone who hates the vast majority of games so it's unlikely to have mass appeal
    • lots of text because... gamers love reading, right?
    • no reloading because... gamers love permadeath, right?
    • no stats or leveling or fiddling with the inventory because they were just getting in the way
    • pixel graphics... most of which will be redrawn by the best pixel artist $50 can buy, which brings us to...

    The ugly:

    Here are some screenshots of how it looks like at the moment. I've organized them so they tell the story of how the game is played and organized. Everything is playable and stable and I'm thinking of publishing it on Google Play just for testing purposes. Will most likely wait a few weeks to finish the quest system and replace some art I've stolen.

    Party generation. There are 3 PC classes and 15 backstories at the moment, each with a special ability and a goal which gives another special ability to that character. The game is pretty vague about the former and secretive about the latter, so it will be a surprise to the player when they reach the goal. The coat of arms has 12 background patterns, 33 logos and 14 colors for various elements
    [​IMG]

    The world map is made out of hexagons. The final map will be 120x40 but on release I'm aiming for 40x40. The player is constrained by supplies his party needs to travel (traveling off roads consumes a lot more supply) so the map feels larger than the numbers suggest. There are forests, hills, rivers, bridges, other types of forests, beaches, mountains, roads, deserts and swamps. Most of these terrain types are reflected on the tactical maps.
    [​IMG]

    The tactical map is 8x9 tiles. Combatants move in a randomly established order and the kind of moves and attacks they can make are determined by their class. There are no stats like strength, endurance, dexterity, rolls and all that - you have only the kind of attacks your class can do and the number of hits you can take before you die. It's kind of like chess with obstacles. The deaths are permanent, unless you happen to have a surgeon in your party and he gets lucky.
    [​IMG]

    Every character background (15 total at the moment) has some kind of special ability that helps either in combat, on the world map or in interactions with other characters. Some abilities are immediately apparent while others have some kind of trigger. For the surgeon, one of your party members has to die for you to be told that a surgeon has or could have revived them. The others... well, part of the fun is finding out.
    [​IMG]

    The interactions in locations and encounters are inspired by the 1994 Microprose's historical CRPG Darklands. That game cost $3 million to make and was a commercial failure, so I thought why not go that route? If you haven't played Darklands, you really should.
    [​IMG]

    Finally we have the ledger, which is the word I like to use for a journal. Once a character dies or retires, an entry about them is added in the Former party members section. Each character will have their own retirement options based on whether they've achieved the goal of their background story and how much money they earned while adventuring. That and buying supplies and pack animals will be the main use for money in this game. I'm sure most people won't even read these entries, but I really like that kind of stuff so there it is.
    [​IMG]


    Well that's it, that's my game so far. Comments are appreciated.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 14, 2019
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  2. pakoito Arcane Patron

    pakoito
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    Looks up my alley, you use flat-top hexagons, the interface is clean as fuck, where is the download link?

    PS: Congrats on the game and the spergs to finish it. I'm officially jealous ;___;
     
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  3. slowdive Bree Arts Developer

    slowdive
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    Looking great so far! Will you be posting it on Google Play in the beta section or just release it into the wild ;-) I went the beta section option for my first Google Play release, but just posted directly to the world (no beta) for my other releases. I'll keep an eye out for it.
     
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  4. Snorkack Arcane Patron

    Snorkack
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    Apart from the occational cringeworthy nerd programmer humor, this looks sweet as fuck! Are you planning to port it on other platforms as well?
     
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  5. Siveon Bot

    Siveon
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    At the risk of repeating myself, is there any chance on you porting to iOS or PC?

    Other than that, it looks great.
     
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  6. vonAchdorf Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    vonAchdorf
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    I'd buy it on iOS, name dropping Darklands sold me. The art style might be simple, but it's coherent, consistent and polished which is important.
     
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  7. Guy de Incognito Ensit Media Developer

    Guy de Incognito
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    Thank you for the comments, this is the first place I've shown my game to anyone so I didn't know what to expect. :)

    It's not nearly finished, even if almost all the programming stuff is done and working properly. Aside from the art I have to finance somehow, I have to write random encounters, quests, enemy types and fill up the map with locations. But I'm hoping I'll have a playable beta out in a couple of weeks and the public release of the game in May.


    I'll probably just post it on Google Play for everyone to download but the app page will look like crap with a bunch of disclaimers so as to discourage random people from downloading. I know the first month is important on Google Play and I know I'll get some bad reviews from people who don't know what beta is so I'll probably unpublish the beta and publish the game as a new app when it's ready for release.


    What cringeworthy humor? In the game? I'm not sure I want anything cringeworthy in the game. Hmm. :) Anyway, the game should be easy to port to iOS but Apple being Apple, they require some kind of Mac (or maybe a Hackintosh?) to publish the game for iOS. There's the $100/yr iOS SDK fee and I'll need at least one iPad and iPhone for testing, so publishing for iOS would probably cost me over $1000 even if I were to buy the cheapest second-hand devices. If the game makes some money on Android, I'll most likely do it (and it shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks to port), otherwise I just can't afford it.
     
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  8. pakoito Arcane Patron

    pakoito
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    Tell us about the tinkering bits, what did you use to create it and why would it just take 2 weeks to port.
     
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  9. Snorkack Arcane Patron

    Snorkack
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    Yeah, nevermind. I was talking about "Farting Ghosts" and "Guy Incognito" but I realized that's user generated stuff. Atleast I hope so.
    To be honest, I had hoped you'd talk about a windows touch port. Or even a BB 10 port. Yeah, ok, forget the latter, just windows.
     
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  10. Guy de Incognito Ensit Media Developer

    Guy de Incognito
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    It's made with Libgdx which can also export to iOS, supposedly without any modifications. So in theory it could take as little as two hours or two minutes to port to iOS, but until I actually try it I'm giving myself a two weeks worth of wiggle room. I have a long experience with seemingly simple things turning out to be insanely complicated.


    Oh that... you were right the first time, that's the game and my cringeworthy sense of humor. The default company name is "A Few Good Men" but when you click on "Suggest name", the game puts an adjective and a noun together from the following:

    String[] company_adjective = {"Black", "White", "Bloody", "Merciful", "Jolly", "Happy", "Golden", "Silver", "Steel", "Stone", "Red", "Bloody", "Splendid", "Dark", "Silent", "Dirty", "Roaming", "Wandering", "Hungry", "Greedy", "Glorious", "Fancy", "Handsome", "Sneaky", "Merciless", "Grim", "Sad", "Iron", "Grumbling", "Singing", "Naughty", "Flaming", "Fiery", "Wise", "Intrepid", "Brave", "Stalwart", "Stout", "Bold", "Merry", "Dancing", "Giggling", "Farting", "Belching", "Screaming", "Stinky", "Fat", "Penniless"};
    static String[] company_noun = {"Blades", "Axes", "Spears", "Bastards", "Band", "Drunkards", "Swords", "Dogs", "Devils", "Demons", "Dragons", "Knives", "Daggers", "Spiders", "Wolves", "Fangs", "Company", "Gang", "Brotherhood", "Vipers", "Fists", "Wraiths", "Ghosts", "Hammers", "Covenant", "Clique", "League", "Crew", "Troop", "Fellowship", "Butchers", "Lions", "Bulls", "Snakes", "Irregulars", "Banners", "Vanguard", "Shields", "Cloaks", "Rogues", "Arrows", "Skulls", "Hawks", "Raptors", "Trio", "Dozen", "Gentlemen", "Stallions", "Eagles", "Foxes"};


    So yeah, I could have kept clicking until it offered something like Stalwart Hammers but I left the first name it made and customized the coat of arms according to the name (all suggested names can be somehow represented by the included icons). Anyway I hope people who play the game will type in names of their own, and I hope I won't get in trouble if some kid types an obscene name and then his mom thinks it's something in the game and not user generated.

    Unfortunately the Libgdx framework that I used doesn't support WP or Metro/Modern UI apps. It can export to Windows desktop, but there is no easy way of distribution plus it's not really a desktop-worthy game. At the very least I'd have to make it landscape. Libgdx does apparently support Blackberry, but I'm not going to get a test device for that, so that's a no-go, especially since BB can run most Android apps with no problems (I've heard).
     
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  11. pakoito Arcane Patron

    pakoito
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    I love libgdx, it's what I use for my unfinished crap but if you stick around I may shott you sopme messages about the GUI APIs because I've only used it in canvas style with Artemis/Ashley ECS. Make sure you make Mario @badlogicgames know when you release it, they love to feature games like yours ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
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  12. pakoito Arcane Patron

    pakoito
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  13. Davaris Australian Game Developers Developer

    Davaris
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    That's a good looking game.
     
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  14. Is there an Android emulator this can be played in?
     
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  15. pakoito Arcane Patron

    pakoito
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    Genymotion is your best bet, and it's still crap. DuOS crashes on my Windows 7, so I can't tell.
     
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  16. Redacted
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2017
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  17. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    This looks fantastic. I'd pay for this - will pay, once it's available.
     
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  18. Guy de Incognito Ensit Media Developer

    Guy de Incognito
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    Thank you for the sprites, but I can't use anything I have to scale by some fractional factor. All the graphics in the game has hard edges, so anything scaled will look fuzzy and out of place (like those hills that I have for example).
     
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  19. Guy de Incognito Ensit Media Developer

    Guy de Incognito
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    Well I said a couple of weeks, but it took me more than four weeks to implement a quest system and make a dozen or so generic quests.

    I have uploaded the beta version of the game to Google Play
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wlxd.retrorpg.android
    so if you're up for it, check it out and give me some feedback. The name is temporary, I'm trying to think of a good one but I'm constrained by app store considerations.

    There's nothing much to do in the game but finish generic quests, travel around, look for trouble, stack shekels and try to give your party members a nice retirement rather than a gruesome death. This could be too hard to do at the moment, though.

    Things left to do:
    • add sparse grassland, badlands, farm, swamp and desert map tiles and tactical maps
    • add ruin location and tactical map
    • finish populating this part of the map and add another part (only 20% of the entire map is currently accessible, it will be 40% when I release the game, rest to be added later)
    • write custom descriptions and names for every tavern, village and town
    • have a pixel artist do graphics for settlements and a few enemies.
    • allow a 4th party member after some reputation threshold is reached
    • allow buying of a war dog. they will be cheap but die really easily because I'm a heartless bastard
    • allow buying of custom armor for the man-at-arms (tank) class to make them more useful
    • make some random encounters that do not involve fighting
    • write unique storyline quests
    • add some free music for battles and party creation
    • and of course any issues that come up in testing which could outweigh all I've listed above, heh
    Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think. The internet permission is there so you can send me your game state from the game, just tap 10 times or so on the shield/coat of arms that represents your party, whether from the world map or the main menu.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
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  20. J1M Arcane

    J1M
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    Have you confirmed that? Phones today have around 500dpi. It is likely that all of your pixels are scaled, and differently on different devices.
     
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  21. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    Watching.
     
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  22. I meant you could use the source code/models to the sprites and re-render them at whatever dimensions you need.
     
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  23. potatojohn Arcane

    potatojohn
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    I liked it. Lost most of my party to some native warriors. I'll play some more when I have nothing to do.

    The writing's pretty good. There's a spelling errors in the fugitive poacher background: misely -> miserly
     
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  24. Guy de Incognito Ensit Media Developer

    Guy de Incognito
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    Yes, they'll be scaled but the scaling has to be done by integer factors (1x, 2x, 3x) or the result will be messed up. See this for example:
    [​IMG]
    The middle two images are at 150% and it looks either all crooked because the pixels are of a different size or fuzzy and loses that retro pixelated style. So any image has to be scaled by whole number factors and that means you can't take just any image and make it the desired size, it has to be drawn at a specific size to begin with.


    The problem with that is pixel art cannot be rendered. I could take a nice 3d model of a character or a tree and render it at say 30 pixels, but it will have antialiasing and clash with the rest of the graphics or it will not have antialiasing and be unrecognizable.

    I wish I knew all this before I got the genius idea to save on art assets by using pixel art. In many ways it has turned out to be more complicated to implement and unlike regular sized art I can't just buy it from a stock image site or render it in Blender. Oh well, live and learn.


    Thanks, corrected.
     
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  25. pakoito Arcane Patron

    pakoito
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    I'm against scaling for this game, you have mentioned the implications and they outweight the benefits. It's not just a case of vector or 3D graphics where you can render at a higher scale, changing the viewport affects all assets negatively.
     
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