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Indie Underlair - roguelike dungeon crawler with optional co-op

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Ularis Badler, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. Rafidur Learned

    Rafidur
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    If you consider weeb shit like SMT4, SMT4A, Strange Journey, Sword City, Covenant of the Dusk, Etrian Odyssey, etc etc... there is a lot more demand for blobbers than also include anime blobs, if you know what I mean.
     
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  2. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    Unless Grimrock 2 has had an extremely long tail, it definitely wasn’t more successful than 1. IIRC Vault Dweller even wrote up his thoughts on why so many sequels were flopping compared to their forbears with Grimrock 2 as his prime example. Being lazy and avoiding googling, but my memory is that 2 sold about 300k units in the time that 1 sold 1million.
     
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  3. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    The relevant metric of commercial success for a game is revenue in terms of a unit of currency, rather than number of copies sold. Although the original Grimrock undoubtedly earned more revenue for the developers than the sequel, the gap between them is probably far lower than implied by the given numbers of copies sold. :M
     
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  4. <3sRichardSimmons Arcane Patron

    <3sRichardSimmons
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    I don’t know that it was an outright bomb, I’m sure it broke even, but the devs stated that it significantly underperformed relative to their expectations, and that their next project(s) would be smaller in scope as a result.
     
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  5. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
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    I'm gonna watch this with interest.
     
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  6. Ularis Badler Arcane Developer

    Ularis Badler
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    With or without co-op, the solo adventure is the foundation of the project. The only thing that really concerns me about co-op, is how players will be represented in the world map, because there is a limited tile space for the 6 character party. I mean, it's doable, but I need to consider some aspects about it. I've just successfully integrating co-op for moving around with a server-client approach. They do "jolt" forward, the same way the first person player does it, because I don't see how else it can be done in a grid system, unless I drastically decrease the walking speed, which will then drastically affect game play pacing. To me, it doesn't bug me at all, but I'm trying to figure out if this can be improved and how people that are following Underlair with interest, will feel about it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2021
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  7. Whisper Arcane Vatnik

    Whisper
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    Why use time on co-op?
    Focus on solo adventure.
     
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  8. Ularis Badler Arcane Developer

    Ularis Badler
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    Other questions could be:
    • Why using procedural generation?
    • Why using First Person View?
    • Why grid based movement?
    • Why 6 characters and not 4 or 8?
    • Why the dark fantasy setting and not sci-fi?
    • Why AAA quality and not low-poly?
    • Why 32 skills and no 24 or 40?
    • Why 8 stats and not just 6?
    • Why 8 magic schools and not only 4?
    Regardless the questions, the answer is the same to all of them: because that's how I want it to be; it's my vision, which is strongly based on my preferences and not about being right or wrong, naturally.
    If I was about to modify the project to accommodate everyone's preferences, the project would cease to exist. I won't allow that. If it fails, it needs to fail based on it's very own premise, otherwise there is no lesson to be learned.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021 at 6:16 PM
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  9. Trojan_generic Magister

    Trojan_generic
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    So, what next? Underwear? Underpriced? Understand?
     
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  10. Ularis Badler Arcane Developer

    Ularis Badler
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    I would say: 'Understand'. You do need first to 'Understand' the 'Underwear' is 'Underpriced'.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021 at 6:17 PM
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  11. Whisper Arcane Vatnik

    Whisper
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    You got very defencive and i didnt even mean to attack you.
    But thank you for educating me on your principles, not that i've asked you for this.

    Was just saying that co-op can take a lot of resources, while deep exploration is best for many people done solo.
     
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  12. Ularis Badler Arcane Developer

    Ularis Badler
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    I understand your concern. It can and will take more resources, and mostly due to the Visual quality I've choose. I can say that, I already have the multiplayer working. The hardest part will be, having models for all the characters and their respective animations. The deep exploration is the core foundation of the game and nothing will get in the way of that. Regardless, it won't please everyone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
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  13. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    RPG Wokedex 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: Kingmaker
    https://underlair.blogspot.com/2021/04/co-op-first-steps.html

     
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  14. Mortmal Arcane

    Mortmal
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    Yes but be carefull, legend of grimrock sold a lot, but not legend of grimrock 2 , while its superior to the first one in every way. It sold a lot because it was cool looking and new, they had luck , there was nothing to buy .Many buyers were probably not really interested in the genre.
     
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  15. Whisper Arcane Vatnik

    Whisper
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    As if there is a lot to buy now.

    I would pay easily 5 times more right now to play Legend of Grimrock 3 or Colony Ship or anything else with such high quality.
     
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  16. Ularis Badler Arcane Developer

    Ularis Badler
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    You are attentive! Yeah, these 2 last weeks were all about learning to use Mirror and grasping the multiplayer concept. I'm quite pleased with the results. Lets see how this turns out.
     
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  17. Ularis Badler Arcane Developer

    Ularis Badler
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    If I'm to be totally honest with you, I don't think Underlair will sell that much. Selling 10k copies would be an incredible achievement for me. Well, even 5k would be awesome.
    Regardless, it will be an incredible learning process, considering I'll still learning to use Unity, learning multiplayer for the first time, and I'm getting around building a community and all that. I will have to invest on publicity later on, but for now, I first want to finish developing Underlair's core mechanics. The combat will be key to showcase its most important features.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
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  18. Darth Canoli Arcane

    Darth Canoli
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    Hi,

    Everything in the quote is what concerns me.

    I don't like procedural generation maps but i can live with it if it's well made.
    Procedural generation quests is garbage though, i can't think of any game that did it right.
    Survival mechanism in a blobber just screams busy work or exploration limitations but i could live with it as well (or cheat/hack it)

    Now, mixed realtime and TB mechanism, i'm hoping you're talking about how Might & Magic VI works, for example and not some JRPG monstrosities with fake TB modes with "turn cooldowns"
     
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  19. Ularis Badler Arcane Developer

    Ularis Badler
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    Hello. Those are genuine concerns. I'll add more info on them:

    Procedural generated in Underlair is a mixture of handcrafted 9x9 tiled size prefabs with random placement. These prefabs will also have mechanics for shifting architecture within themselves and to control events, loot and creature spawning.
    The goal of Underlair is to provide a unique experience each time you play a new game solo or with friends. If you are not a fan of roguelikes, chances are you will probably not enjoy this one. As I said before, Underlair is about exploring, combat strategy, survival and decision making. Forget Underlair if you are after a good story telling.

    I'm not sure what makes a good quest, but there will be no scripted quests for 2 reasons. First, they loose all their replay value and secondly, the world is dynamic so, they could never be fully scripted.
    Although I haven't given them much thought, have made an early sketch for the procedural algorithm to build these quests:

    Step 1: define type.
    1. Fight.
    2. Fetch.
    3. Social interaction.
    4. Save / help.
    5. Find.
    6. Courier
    7. Explore.
    8. Hunt down.
    Step 2: define criteria
    1. How many NPCs will be involved in the quest?
    2. How many check points will be needed to visit?
    3. How many dialog options will be available.
    4. How many failure conditions are there?
    5. Is there a time limit?
    6. Are there necessary items in the inventory?
    7. Will your objective shift location?
    8. What cascade events can follow?
    Step 3: Conclusion
    1. What are the consequences of completing the quest?
    2. What are the consequences of failing the quest?
    3. How will the quest's outcome impact on settlements?
    4. How will the quest's outcome impact on the region?
    5. Will there be an impact on the economy?
    6. Will a particular type of creature go extinct?
    7. Which NPCs will praise or hate your actions?
    I'm not sure what kind of busy work you are referring to but you won't need to manually feed characters - as long you have supplies, you'll be good, you just need to plan ahead before venturing throughout the world. Characters will also have a common inventory which represented by a limited number of slots and maximum carrying, which is the combined power of all characters.

    Survival tips:
    • Make sure your party is fully healed before beginning exploring.
    • Bring enough food (supplies). Some places will put you through 'no turning back' situations.
    • Make sure your equipment is in good shape and bring a second set of gear, because you will need it.
    • Understand the biome you are currently in and check the time of the day. Some nasty critters may be lingering about at that point.
    • Evaluate the situation. Check your party's power and check the difficulty level of a dungeon, you can still pull it off if you plan ahead.
    • Always have a rope, and make sure its length it's still considerable.
    You will also have the option to setup your adventure the way you want, this includes, changing several aspects of the game, including being invulnerable to damage, so you don't need to worry about hacking or cheating at all.
    The closest I can think of are the mechanics of Fallout 2 (real-time movement / exploration with action point turn based combat).
     
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  20. Darth Canoli Arcane

    Darth Canoli
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    That's one good news at least.


    I'm guessing you didn't play Prelude to Darkness, it has one of the best (if not the best) quest design for a CRPG.
    Fallout, Arcanum, the wizardry series have a good quest design, planescape torment too, expeditions vikings...

    One game you should play for sure is Exiled Kingdoms, it combines procedurally generated quests and handcrafted ones, the latter are very well made at that.

    Maybe you can pull off a decent procedural quest design but even then, making the game infinitely re-playable just makes it infinitely boring, no game is infinitely re-playable.

    Really, you should play Exiled Kingdoms and maybe you'll change your mind and add some handcrafted quests along with your procedural system.
    Some quests can have different outcomes, different ways to be solved (Prelude to Darkness did this masterfully), could unlock side quests or interact with other quests, lock some paths, open some others which can make the game replayable but still interesting.

    Some games pulled off some good fetch/delivery quests (the PST box quest comes to mind) but i don't believe one second procedural fetch/delivery quests are worth wasting 5 minutes to complete or code for that matter.
     
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  21. Ularis Badler Arcane Developer

    Ularis Badler
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    I really don't know how quests will turn out. Honestly, this is not a core feature for Underlair and the procedural quest design will barely contribute to the game's replay value making it a low priority atm. And yes, replay value is not about making a game that you will never get tired of, but increasing the replay value before you get bored of it.

    I think Gothic 2 would be a good example of what you describe. Regardless, I think I can respond here with a comment I have stated, not long ago:
    "...I, for instance, I play games for the gameplay; I really don't care much about stories anymore; I prefer sandboxes that just give me "tools" and freedom to do whatever I please: I'll create my own story. If anyone is looking for a game with good story-telling, forget Underlair; this one has another agenda.

    As for RPGs, nowadays, I find myself completely unable to play scripted games, except for good old classic ones (for some reason). God knows how I really tried to play Pillars of Eternity. This game is very well executed, nicely polished and has a great story, and yet I die of boredom whenever I try to play it. This is a type of game I played so much back in the 90's that it just grew old to me, at least this is the most suitable explanation that I can think of, that and the fact I'm getting old. RPGs for me, they are all about crafting and ascending your character, finding loot, explore places, vanquish foes, and challenge yourself to build new tactics to overcome obstacles <- Underlair in a nutshell."


    So, this will get you an idea of where the project is heading. I don't think you will enjoy it if you are expecting a good story and interesting quests.
     
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  22. Darth Canoli Arcane

    Darth Canoli
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    I don't like that much story rich RPG either, the Banner Saga 1 was a good distraction but it's just a glorified Tactical game combined with a visual novel.

    But the core design of a CRPG is good combat (TB, party-based) and a good quest design.
    And it still needs some story eleemnts with scripted events here and there, that's how the best ones were made.

    That said, it's your game, if you want to make a sandbox game passing for a RPG, don't mind me, i'll just not play it.
     
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  23. Ularis Badler Arcane Developer

    Ularis Badler
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    That's perfectly fine. You are not the first and you won't be last one telling me that, not that it will change anything.
    It's just impossible to create something that will please everyone, be it a game, movie, book, film, music, painting and whatnot.
     
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  24. Ularis Badler Arcane Developer

    Ularis Badler
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    Hello everyone. I'm just posting a bunch of screenshots as a follow-up to Underlair's development.
    The UI has been heavily focused on and the mockups below are now being coded into the game.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021 at 10:58 AM
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  25. Whisper Arcane Vatnik

    Whisper
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    It is crazy how 1 person can make such good system. And looking at screenshot system already looks good.

    But i am worried this will take like 5+ years to make this game...
     
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