DRODLike, working towards demo release


#21

Don’t listen to Glam!

That grass is great! All your tiles are great, actually. That dirt is especially great.


#22

Oh I’m fully aware of the way the grass looks. I’m trying a few different styles, I do think the individual blades stand out too much atm. I think they’re perfectly readable in the context that I’ve got right now but there’s some serious problems with the contrast and how they appear to ‘pop out’ compared to what your mind would expect. So it looks like grass but it also looks… wrong, because the depth is incorrect.

I made a few realizations about color/contrast late late last night I’m going to be thinking about as I start working on the transitions; I don’t think any of this commentary is wrong, for the right perspectives, tbh. Learning as I go.

Once I get transitions in I’m shoving it into the engine. That’s going to be a fair bit of work though, because, let’s see.

  • For grass > dirt I’ll need four edges and 8 corner pieces (inner + outer)… times two, because of the alternating checkerboard pattern. It’s not as much as it sounds, but it’ll be some effort.
  • For dirt > pits I’ll need the same 4 edges and 8 corner pieces, but only one of each is fine.
  • When I add water, I’ll need to consider another set of the same that basically replaces pits and can also transition -to- pits(waterfalls?) which is more than I’m going to do right now.

I’m actually not at all sure how the stone tiles work into this quite yet…


#23

oh my god has it really been since august that i last banged on this

a whole lot of stuff came up and i’m finishing up some work soon, getting the burden back down to manageable levels, so unless world war 3 starts i should be good to go on this again soon

this project was originally intended for me to be a ‘full stack’ learning experience for game dev. do the code, the art, possibly the sound/music, and learn about the whole process from every perspective. this is because a certain previous project faceplanted into the ground because i could only code. code really well, mind you, but you can’t solve everything with more code, as i learned.

so i’d really like to get back to the asset production side of things for this soon!


#24

Working on proportions for new assets, so I did a Touhou.

I had a preliminary version of this the other day which I got yelled at about, this version’s a bit more squat to better fit with not impeding visibility, and clearer shading.

I’m probably going to have to add a key to make objects less visible so you can see the floor better.


#25

spin, for everlasting dizziness

the diagonals are the worst ones.


#26

much better in general. the only frame that stands out is down-right because, well, it’s a stance change and also her head moves a pixel. I’m not sure how best to fix that but this is probably close to ‘final’ for this.

next I want to reinstate the glowy extended part since that’s part of the gameplay…

the idea here, gameplay-wise:

  • you will not always have the ‘long’ sword
  • you have free movement when you have only the short sword, able to move and attack in any direction
  • the short sword will only stun, not kill, a number of enemy types
  • the idea is that the ‘longer’ sword is not a physical blade but something that sort of dispels magical entities, allowing you to kill undead/etc
  • also it’s incredibly heavy comparatively, as a Lore explanation that I don’t really care about
  • puzzles can have these on or off by default or settings.

so I want to be able to have a base sprite for just the sword, and then overlay a flashy glowy thing for the ‘extended’ blade. which, conveniently, can be drawn on the top render layer because it is translucent and then i don’t have to worry about draw order for a weapon that can go through walls!


#27

not 100% sure how i feel about this at the moment but i feel like it’s a good start. probably going to adjust the tile internals at some point

i’m considering just offsetting all tiles by one half of a tile so that all the transitions are aligned nicely


#28

oh, I think I just realized a whole bunch of stuff wrt color and how to use it properly that’s going to take some time to digest but feeling WAY better about this now.

also would you guys prefer me just doing these Learning To Draw posts and changing the title when there’s an actual game update or should i dump that elsewhere


#29

Unless you feel a need to separate the two out for some reason I feel like they’re both relevant to the game’s development and don’t see why they can’t both be in the thread.


#30

I actually haven’t forgotten this but have been in a mess of ‘learning to draw’ and kind of lost steam at that.

Also kind of considering switching the game to a hexagonal map? Might try it out at some point.


#32

Been thinking about the design of this again since I’ve been doodling things and trying to solidify just what it is I’m trying to do with this when I am not busier with other projects.

Also apparently the web version doesn’t run anymore and my local version is hacked up waiting for New Content at the moment, I’m not rolling back to figure out why the old one didn’t work. So please wait until I’m done with dungeon game stuff and feel like working on this again.

So some observations, and goals:

  • I’m trying to be simpler/more accessible while not sacrificing depth.
  • I’m aiming for smaller, more compact maps with better usage of space.
  • Every single person I’ve ever pointed this game, or DROD itself, at has been confused by the diagonal movement.

And I’ve been chewing on this off and on for months and months, trying to figure out how I want to implement that without sacrificing depth. And here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • Switch to four-way movement, keep eight-way motion.
    • Rationale: Easier to understand, easier to build UI for. You lose some of the more complicated combat motions, but those don’t add to the puzzles a whole lot I feel.
    • Also rationale: This gives a somewhat better usage of space you can move in.
    • I’ve been playing a lot of Necrodancer okay
  • Add a button to toggle the ‘drod sword’ on and off. I’ll refer to these as ‘Light Sword’ and ‘Heavy Sword’ here until I get a better name.
    • Rationale: Well, the lost complexity has to go somewhere, and I’m doubling down on this.
  • Heavy Sword is DROD standard. Spin it around, hit enemies to kill them. Thematically, sticking with the idea that it’s some kind of ‘dispelling blade’ that destroys magical/supernatural entities on contact.
  • Light Sword requires no spin, you can just bump enemies to hit them. Can still defeat some enemy types, but enemies that are classified as ‘magical’ can’t be defeated that way. (eg, undead are Magically Reanimated for purposes of theme and require Heavy Sword)
  • But, bumping them with the Light Sword can stun (most of) them for X turns. I am leaning towards 2 turns here, because it’s not supposed to be a viable strategy for dealing with swarms.
  • Enemies will be slightly color coded for what kind of type they are. Probably some sort of Green thing for magical, Red or Blue for whatever I call the thing that lets you attack with the light sword.
    • Rationale: I want you to be able to read the screen easier.

Maybes:

  • Obviously some gimmick to lock you into one or the other.
  • When in Light Sword mode, passing a turn lets you parry one attack from any direction.
    • Rationale: Should I have enemies that move diagonally, which I think I will, you’ll want some way to deal with them that isn’t just hitting them.
  • Similarly, you can ‘parry’ non-enemies by bumping them in Light Sword mode. e.g., an enemy with a big sword of their own.
  • Undecided on if you can spin in light sword mode; if so it won’t require a turn. This would primarily be used for setting what direction Big Sword is in when you turn it on.

So the idea here is to get some complexity in what the player can do and allowing more complicated situations even though, again, it’s a puzzle game and everything is one-hit-kill.

Asset-wise I’ve been improving but not satisfied yet. I want to work on the char designs for the characters too soon…


#33

fully aware nobody but me cares until i get better assets in there


#34

I care, Mauve. If you throw down a video of something in action it’ll be easier to imagine the gameplay you’re writing about. Or not. Either way this is a good thread.


#35

yeah, once i get some better assets in i’ll probably put up some clips of what I mean.

especially since I know how to get SB to not delete my video clips, whee


#36

Pondering this. Does this mean switching to light sword for a turn to change the rotation before switching back to the heavy one would allow you to turn the heavy sword more than 90 degrees faster than plain regular rotation, or are there additional steps I am not accounting for? It could work either way, I’m just trying to visualize.


#37

Right. Turn it off (1 turn) spin (free) turn it back on (1 turn), do a 180 in two turns. Main reason I’m kind of not really decided on it, I’d have to playtest it to see if it’s interesting enough.


#38

If you wanted to keep it but lessen how dramatic its effect could be you could make the light sword spin cost 1 turn. It would only save you one turn on a full 180 degree rotation, making it a more specialized thing.

I actually pondered further and wondered about a system where you could burn a turn to set the rotation of the heavy sword to any orientation, and in the following turn the sword would rotate to that direction and swipe through every space it crosses and count as a hit. I don’t think it’d actually work out as a mechanic as it’d be hard to balance things around. In complete honesty I worry the same about the proposed system anyways, but I’ve never had to try to build or balance a game so I could be completely mistaken.

If you wanted to keep the turns balanced while keeping the light sword a bit more dynamic you could allow it to rotate twice in any given turn. It lessens the possibility of gaming the system in terms of switching back and forth between the two to get extra rotations (at most you’d save one turn on a full 180 degree spin) while maintaining some of its extra maneuverability, but that may end up being so minor of a difference between the two to really be worth much.

Or the system you laid out may simply be the best one! It was interesting enough to get me thinking about various variants of it after all, and I’m only looking at one aspect of one mechanic in isolation.


#39

Yeah. No guarantees I’ll keep all this. I might even chuck it out. I’ll have to playtest but I’m going to focus on assets now. I think the engine feature set is basically set at this point so it’ll all be playing around with gameplay.

I’ve had a history of, like, trying to get people to play DROD but they get bored and don’t bother. Either they don’t like the art style (ugly Beethro!) or they don’t ‘get’ the 8-way movement or the big maps are just too large and too tedious or etc etc. One of the things I’ve wanted to do here is try to make it a bit more accessible; even if that means a little gimmickier.

But I want to differentiate myself and I want to listen to suggestions people came up with. I’m also adamant about not having Block Pushing.

Fun fact: Early concept notes had stuff for like… Special moves you could do from certain pickups or special meters. eg, the old Clone would be a pickup you could toss in a straight line with a special attack. Or maybe like, a whirly thing that hits all neighboring tiles. I ended up tossing that but it isn’t without potential.


#40

God bless :pray:

I never really spent much if any time pondering how to make DROD more appealing beyond making it look more “modern”. I think a degree of unapproachability might be baked in as I had to try and write up an easy to understand intro once or twice (fun fact: gifs help!) and it is just a rather complicated beast.

I think shrinking the size is a good notion, it will inevitably result in the puzzles not being able to get as “grand” as some in DROD itself but it lets you focus on one linchpin while having them be less visually intimidating.


#41

realized a few things about making tiles and i think i can work with these (3x size, prob 2x size in game)