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KickStarter Prometheus Wept - turn-based RPG from Vigilantes developer - Demo Available

Dickie

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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
My favorite feature from Vigilantes was probably how characters got debuffs from having low HP. It's the thing I miss most when playing other games. Will that be returning? I like how it wasn't a catastrophic failure to leave a guy at 1 HP after an attack, since it did at least reduce fighting prowess.
 

Infinitron

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OK that's good. Vigilantes-style weekly videos would have killed me.
 
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Timeslip

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My favorite feature from Vigilantes was probably how characters got debuffs from having low HP. It's the thing I miss most when playing other games. Will that be returning? I like how it wasn't a catastrophic failure to leave a guy at 1 HP after an attack, since it did at least reduce fighting prowess.
Debuffs may differ, but the feature will remain.
 

Timeslip

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A bit of extra information based on some questions received:

How much can you customize the main character?

Visually, the intention is to have multiple character models (m/f) whose skin tone can be modified, and for major equipment, like armour to change on the character model. The character can be named. In terms of stats, the MC has a set of special abilities, but you don't necessarily need to build the character for this role.

Any base building planned? That was a bit of a thing in Vigilantes, your previous game.

Probably not in the way it was implemented in Vigilantes, but hopefully. This is quite a bit away from being implemented, so it's far from guaranteed, but the intention for act 2 is that it will revolve around defending a group of scavengers. This base won't be yours, but you'll be responsible for defending it, and this will hopefully involve buildings and defenses.

I feel a strong Fallout influence with this one, can you go to most places when you want to?

Fallout is definitely an influence, though the intention is to not to remake it, but push in a different direction. It's unclear how many extra locations there will be at the minute - this is on the "nice to have" list and I'm currently working through the "you don't have a game until this is implemented" list :) There will be a world map to facilitate movement between locations. Gut feeling is that there won't be much exploration, though there will be side quests which can be completed when desired. I'm the only person working full time on the game (handling code, design, story, production), so I'm focusing on making a relatively short game, which values quality over quantity.
 

Taka-Haradin puolipeikko

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https://store.steampowered.com/newshub/app/1208110/view/2749962854609277179

Prometheus Wept Dev Log 2: Moving On From Vigilantes Part II

The first development log covered a number of areas which Prometheus Wept will improve on Vigilantes: deeper combat, strong consequences for player choice, more emphasis on storytelling. This follow-up covers the remaining improvements, with one notable exception, which will be covered at a later date.

Note: The content in the video is the same as below.

A More Intricate Crafting System
Vigilantes' crafting system allows for the creation of upgradable armour, medical supplies, explosives and a fairly large selection of equipment. Most weapons can't be crafted from scratch, but can be upgraded. Weapons are mostly linear upgrades with variations in damage, accuracy and AP cost, so higher tier weapons of the same type are usually more effective.

Prometheus Wept will offer a more intricate crafting system. There are two crafting skills: Mechanics (armour, weapons and equipment) and Chemistry (explosives, healing items and buffs). There are two basic crafting resources. Raw materials can be found and harvested (metals, cloth, fuel, plastic, and chemicals) and weapon components, the unassembled parts of weapons, can be crafted or found at multiple quality levels.
  • A knife is composed of a grip and blade. Component quality and the type of metal used in the blade determine chance-to-hit, damage, critical chance, chance to cause bleeding etc.
  • Firearms are created from a frame, barrel and grip, which affect damage, range, accuracy and capacity.
  • There will be two basic suits of armour (light/heavy) and likely two unique, crafted, high level armours. The type of raw material used will affect damage mitigation, but heavier armour also reduces the chance of evading attacks.
  • Prometheus Wept has buffs in the form of combat stimulants with colourful street names like Reaper, Armadillo, Stallion and Rook.
  • An increased skill level in mechanics allows better weapon components to be crafted, and grants bonuses to crafted items.
  • The intention is to have less weapons than Vigilantes, but to make them more different from one another, and possible to craft at multiple quality levels, to provide a greater collection of viable weapons throughout the game.

A Deeper Character System
Given Vigilantes' focus on combat, characters which focused heavily on non combat skills weren't really viable. So broadly, the choice is a ranged or melee character, or some combination thereof. Different weapon types, especially ranged weapons, affect how the character is most efficiently utilised. There are also a very large number of perks and each ally has a unique perk, which only they can own. Skill points are gained from using skills, and after a certain number of skill gains, the character levels up, granting perk, stat or skill points.

In Prometheus Wept, characters will require some combat proficiency, but there will be scope for viable, less combat-focused characters. Social, trade and other skills can allow combat to be avoided, but for the most part, they will create advantages to make combat easier. The addition of an evasion stat along with light and heavy armour will create options for light (evasion) and heavy (tank), ranged and close combat builds.

Instead of having one unique perk per character, the intention is that each ally will have one or more sets of unique perks. These perks provide passive bonuses and high impact activated abilities, to further differentiate how each character plays. The resource used for activated abilities will be resolve points (RP) which are generated every turn, based on the character's resolve stat. This, in turn, allows for the creation of offensive, support and defensive casters.

Like Vigilantes, skill points are gained through use, though completing objectives will also provide skill points. Once a certain number of skill points have been earned, the character will level up. Stat points will be rewarded less frequently than in Vigilantes, but more perk points will be provided, to allow players more freedom to adopt the perks in each character's unique set, and to choose from general perks.

Greatly Improved Gameplay Variety
Gameplay in Vigilantes is focused on combat. The gameplay loop is based around fight → upgrade characters/weapons/base facilities → fight.

Note: The majority of additions discussed until now have been implemented to some degree. What follows will likely be present, but no work has been carried out, so there is a lower degree of certainty.

The tactics skill will provide active and passive skills which are used in combat, and also options to substantially change a combat encounter. Ideas being considered include:
  • Luring enemies into an area with more favourable characteristics, such as more cover for the player team and less for the enemy.
  • Interacting with the environment to create an advantage in combat: for example, damaging a water tower to flood an area occupied by melee enemies, in order to slow them down and make them more vulnerable to electric attacks.
  • Ambushes and creating distractions to temporarily remove some enemies from combat.
I've always thought that gameplay variety is a good part of the reason why Half Life 2 and Starcraft 2's (particularly the Terran campaign) are such amazing games. The basic building blocks of gameplay are well executed, and remain the same throughout, but consistent novelty added through new game mechanics elevated the experience of playing these games for me.

In Half Life 2, in one section you drive a buggy, while in the next you fight zombies with only a gravity gun. Later you lead resistance troops or ant lions against the Combine. In Starcraft 2, objectives change from stopping escaping trains, to pushing forward through enemy lines driven by the destruction of the map behind you by a sun going supernova, to harvesting minerals from a planet which periodically spews lava, destroying anything on the low ground, to raiding an enemy prison with reverse tower defence mechanics.

I'd like to take a similar approach to gameplay variety in Prometheus Wept. The intention is to structure the game into three acts, with each act introducing new gameplay elements and factions, along with a substantial shift in tone. The additional resources required will result in a shorter game, but I believe players will be better served by a shorter, quality experience than a lengthy bland one.

For example, in Act 1, the player will have the choice to overthrow or consolidate the position of the oligarchy which control the rising city-state of Sunny Pines. You'll have the option to work overtly for the oligarchy or the rebels, or try to undermine the other faction from within, for as long as they trust you. While the outcome will be decided by combat, there will be opportunities along the way to recruit allies, neutralise enemies or enemy supplies, or potentially purchase equipment to better equip your faction.

The tone of Act 2 will shift to horror, and gameplay will focus on managing the resources and defenders of a makeshift settlement beset by two very different, but equally deadly groups of enemies. A stretch goal here will be to add upgradable base facilities and the ability to place defences.

That's all for now. You can expect another development log in the next 4-6 weeks. If you have any question or feedback, fire away! Have a good day.
 
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Timeslip

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Had forgotten about this video. It's a mock up of the main location in act 2 which was used for the creative europe grant application. Any thoughts on whether this should be used instead of the existing video on the Steam page?

 

Nortar

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I think this video is a bit better than the one available on steam.
It showcases visual capabilities of game engine just as well, but without minor jarring bits, such as a corpse lying on water like on solid ground, or a lighthouse acting as a searchlight. :)
 

Timeslip

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jMfbm9m.jpg


An early look at the character selection screen. The intention here is to have multiple models for M/F and for it to be possible to change the skin tone.

Working on getting from the splash screen to completing character creation at present. Next stop, allocating initial stat and skill points.
 

deuxhero

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Had forgotten about this video. It's a mock up of the main location in act 2 which was used for the creative europe grant application. Any thoughts on whether this should be used instead of the existing video on the Steam page?



It looks nice, but having roofs always been hidden when rain is going on is really jarring.
 

Timeslip

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Better shorten those monkey arms. Dude looks like an Olympic swimmer.

Arms aren't too long - legs are too short. 8 heads!

This and his arms should be closer to his body, he has a muscle-head stance but without the upper body that goes with it, because of this and slightly too short legs, he looks like a chimpanzee.

Will take all this into consideration. This guy is a lighter build than intended - the final models will be beefier. Trying to avoid issues with 2H ranged weapons clipping through armour/torso, which arm length and stance can help with. It's likely a better balance can be found though.
 

Timeslip

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Had forgotten about this video. It's a mock up of the main location in act 2 which was used for the creative europe grant application. Any thoughts on whether this should be used instead of the existing video on the Steam page?



It looks nice, but having roofs always been hidden when rain is going on is really jarring.


The roofs are an easy fix, for a change :)
 

Zombra

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Better shorten those monkey arms. Dude looks like an Olympic swimmer.
Arms aren't too long - legs are too short. 8 heads!
This and his arms should be closer to his body, he has a muscle-head stance but without the upper body that goes with it, because of this and slightly too short legs, he looks like a chimpanzee.
Will take all this into consideration.
In that case I'll throw in one more thing - I don't actually care about photorealistic proportions. I only weighed in because if we are super concerned about correct proportions, the legs are a bigger problem than the arms. Frankly I much prefer if you use whatever art style you want, focus resources on gameplay first, and decide for yourself how important anatomical realism is to the project.
 

SerratedBiz

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Will take all this into consideration.

Please don't. Do your thing and your game and steer clear from the petty concerns of anonymous individuals who know nothing of game design. We liked the game before they weighed in, chances are we think your vision is appealing.
 

udm

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Really looking forward to this. Vigilantes was one of my favourite indie games last year. I'm really glad you have your priorities right while still having a solid vision for what constitutes to a good game.
 

Darth Canoli

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Will take all this into consideration. This guy is a lighter build than intended - the final models will be beefier. Trying to avoid issues with 2H ranged weapons clipping through armour/torso, which arm length and stance can help with. It's likely a better balance can be found though.

Please don't. Do your thing and your game and steer clear from the petty concerns of anonymous individuals who know nothing of game design. We liked the game before they weighed in, chances are we think your vision is appealing.

I don't care about this "issue" i was just pointing out what i thought was the "problem".

I disagree with serratedbiz though.
My real petty concerns being about fog/light effects from Vigilantes you could be tempted to recycle, some of them slow the game a lot, it'd be great if you added some options to disable them.
 

Timeslip

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My real petty concerns being about fog/light effects from Vigilantes you could be tempted to recycle, some of them slow the game a lot, it'd be great if you added some options to disable them.

Hey Darth Canoli - I can't see any of the visual options being removed. It's more likely that extra options will be added. Haven't tested the game for performance yet, but with bigger and more detailed environments, the requirements will be higher. How much so is difficult to say, but there will be options to disable resource hungry visuals. Stuff like the volumetric lights, as you noted and shadows which massively reduce performance.

I suspect if you took a PC of similar cost to the one you played Vigilantes on, but 4-5 years more modern (the interval between the games), it will run at least as well, or better.
 
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Darth Canoli

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Hey Darth Canoli - I can't see any of the visual options being removed. It's more likely that extra options will be added. Haven't tested the game for performance yet, but with bigger and more detailed environments, the requirements will be higher. How much so is difficult to say, but there will be options to disable resource hungry visuals. Stuff like the volumetric lights, as you noted and shadows which massively reduce performance.

I suspect if you took a PC of similar cost to the one you played Vigilantes on, but 4-5 years more modern (the interval between the games), it will run at least as well, or better.

I remember fog and the huge animated fountain being the other culprits.
Detailed environments aren't the problem, useless animated objects, on the other hand ...

Somehow, it reminds me of Lords of Xulima, you had to wait for each battle to load (even if it wasn't that long) because the enemies were all Parkinson's.
Did it make Xulima a better game ?
Just the opposite because not only it didn't bring anything useful or remotely positive gameplay or visually wise but the resources for having them "dancing" around could have been used to make non copy pasted cities and quests instead.

You can't compete with AAA shit visually wise.
In my opinion, it's a good idea not to try too hard on that front and use your resources where they can make a difference for a richer gameplay.
 
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