Monthly Archives: June 2007

TOD: skills

TOD skills screen

Took a break from the map, and finished the skills screen. As you can see, there are plenty of skills to choose from πŸ™‚ You can re-roll the starting values, then fine-tune the skills you are more interested in, by spending the skill points available (this process will be identic also in the game everytime you level up).

You’ll add skill clicking on the + icons next to the values. Notice some skills are in red: this because the class I’ve choose in that screenshot (healer) is forbidden from learning some skills (like Dual Wield, or Black Magic!).

I’ll go back on the editor now. Will take quite some time. For sure making an editor will delay the game release after Christmas. But, on the other hand, will make me able to release episode 2-3 much faster than without it, and most importantly people will be able to modify in practice almost everything in the game.

Going to make the spells editor now πŸ˜€

TOD: map done

I finally managed to make the map work! Everything seems to work fine. Zoom, pathfinding, fog of war. You can see a development screenshot below:

TOD map

you can see the fog of war in action. The icon in the center of the screen represent your party. Ok the rest is just walls and the floor, and on bottom you can spot a door πŸ™‚ Not much else, the room is a bit empty now but I haven’t implemented items and monsters yet. I need first to make an editor for them and will take a while!!

Now that I have “visualized” the map, I’m going to resume and finish the character creation, and in particular the spells system. I don’t think I can have 180 different spells, so I’m probably going to:

1 – have some “common” spells between the various deities, and a few “special” ones that are reserved for each deity.

2 – reduce the number of spells you get each level. Now I reduced the maximum reachable level for episode 1 to level 5, so in theory I should have a new spell for each magic school (six) for each level (five) for a total of 30 spells for each deity, so 180 different spells total. I could reduce so that you get a new spells at level 1-3-5 so I would cut down the total number of spells toΓ‚ 108 (not that is easy anyway to come up with 108 unique spells!!).

I’m thinking to use method 1. I never seen a rpg with 108 spells anyway, and also as I previously saisd, I don’t want to just rename the spells but recycle old effects. Fewer spells but really different, this is the way I want to go πŸ™‚

TOD: map problems

So I’ve finally a working prototype of map. I’m proud of it, it has zoom in/out, pathfinding (with unpassable walls and doors), and fog of war (so as you discover it, some zones clear out). But – I have some serious bugs πŸ˜€

First performance problem – had to use batch to blit all the various tiles, since there are 4 layers… background, terrain, moveable objects (party and monsters) and fog all over it. Now with batch, I have some problems with zooming since I can’t now just use one single function to zoom in/out… 😐

Well I guess that was too good to be true to have such a system ready in only 2 days of part-time work. I’ll have to spend more time on it. Anyway, I’m also wondering if is better to have big maps with realtime movement , or smaller ones with turn based movement.

The pathfinding algorithm works fine – so that’s not a problem. It is mostly about playability, not sure if exploration should be such an important part of my game, or just focus on combat (after all, in Magic Stones you go straight to the battles and people seems really to love it…!). With realtime, to make a level last some minutes, I would have to make a bigger map. With turn-based, would be more a matter of avoiding monsters or even using sneak attacks, and so on. Actually I was even wondering if to discard the first person view and use only the topdown even for the combat…
I’ll have to think carefully about this aspect since it would influence all the game.

TOD: map decisions

I had a bit of troubles recently, can’t make my mind on what system to use for the map and in general for the game. I want to avoid long walking, as I already said. But at same time I don’t want just a series of icon connected with passages, each one representing a room in the game. That would mean the game would be very short.

Instead I finally came up with what I think a good idea. A topdown map, in which you’ll see an icon representing your party moving on it, and the monsters as well. I’m thinking of making it real-time, with possibility to pause it. The combat instead will be turnbased, unless I change my mind at last moment. In any case, even if it will be real-time, I’ll add the possibility to pause the game any moment.

What would be cool with the map made this way, is that you could see where the monsters are positioned, and so try to avoid them. I want also to implement a sort of line of sight, variable for each monster, so if there are monster particularly blind you can move just behind them. Or if there are others too slow, you can outrun them. Then once you are near (on same cell of the map), the view zooms in and you start the first-person combat with the view I showed you in the previous post.

I’m making the map editor right now – since I plan to make a trilogy of this game, better build up proper tools, which probably will be released to the public after the 3rd episode so people can make mods.

TOD: encounter!

I’ve taken a break from the spells – because I need first to “visualize” the game. I made a topview map, which went out quite good I think. The problem now is, how to display the main view? the first person view? I made another mockup with photoshop using a background and some sprites that should be in the game, and looks like this:

tower of destiny encounter

I don’t think is bad: but I’m not sure if is clear, when playing. The graphic is a bit dark, but is obvious since is a dungeon. I hope that the visual is fine. The first line of monster is clearly visible, I think the problem is only in the 2nd line. In the other “dungeon crawler” games usually you have only one line of monsters so there isn’t that problem. I could do the same but I really liked the idea of having more “depth” in the battle, with close-combat first line and long-range 2nd line, similarly to what happens in Magic Stones.

Time to do some tests with this configuration now…!