Alpha gameplay video including multiplayer is UP! Please comment and don't be afraid to ask questions. silvergoblet.tumblr.com
[size=16pt]Silver Goblet Games (Flashy photoshopped banner pending!)
A bit of background on our project, code named LeadCrystal, that will hopefully provide a summary of where we're going. We're a semi-official indie "company" called Silver Goblet Games, comprised at the moment of two experienced Java programmers and a designer. We've spent the better part of the past year developing a 2D action RPG engine for the purpose of unleashing our creative needs in the form of a game that will mesh several well-liked genres. As this thread evolves with our project, you'll see the typical RPG character biographies and menu screenshots, but since this forum caters to the overall project, we'll also use the thread to preview our engine features and game design concepts.
The following are our newest demo video, along with brief descriptions of the major paradigms that we are working towards with this project, as well as its current status. Please try to appreciate the satire http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTF3uYpEu3o&context=C39b7990ADOEgsToPDskIpdyszcfB0_lnrO8LszX-9Sprite credit for our test sandbox level goes to: Cobalt, Maple Story, Metal Slug. We claim no ownership of said materials, and are working on finding a full time artist.
Welcome to World of Metroidvaniablocraft (name tentative). We’re working to combine elements from games like Super Metroid, Diablo II, and Borderlands to create a unique blend of 2D side scrollin’, loot whorin’, character buildin’ action. Combat will have a heavy emphasis (since you’ll be doing a lot of it); we’re working towards engaging, satisfying combat that rewards skill and ingenuity. Enemies are being built to be challenging, employing situational tactics and fighting together to bring you down. By introducing artificial intelligence typically not seen in Platformer enemies, you'll have fighters shouting for a heal, enemies radioing one another for backup, and mob mentality. Exploration will also play an important role, as trailblazing is rewarded with items and upgrades that you won’t find routing through the carcasses of your enemies. There will be areas that can’t be accessed until you find the right skill or item, so you’ll want to make a mental note of suspicious-looking places. And don’t forget about the loot. Naturally, loot is randomly generated, and we’re working to include enough random properties to encourage interesting choices.
Due to a lot of the systems requiring deep customizability and our desire to learn, we're writing what amounts to our own "engine" in Java, with the JOGL OpenGL bindings, and the phys2D engine for collision and physics. We're also developing the level editor and script interpreter that we will use to govern game events. Currently, the engine is more or less complete, sans some important game systems that we have recently decided to implement. "Completed" aspects of the engine to date (Some more than others):
- Scenes, entity management
- Netcode, joining and leaving with a character on your local machine, uses UDP (Kryonet), includes client side prediction, UDP reliability/packet loss handling
- Map Editor
- Scripting system for "coding" entity behavior at run time
- API for images and graphical effects on images over time
- AI Finite State Machine framework for enemies
- Skills, inventory, and drop system
- Quests and story progression
- Combat effects on mobs and players over time
Four Diverse Classes!
We’ve not trying to reinvent the wheel, so we’ve gone ahead and covered all the bases - melee, ranged, caster, and lazy.
Justicar - The only people in the galaxy crazy enough to use swords, the Justicar thrive in melee combat where they can chain together combo attacks to unleash devastatingly powerful finishers.
Bounty Hunter - Badass cowboy-meets-Boba Fett gunslinger who also uses plenty of explosives and crazy gadgets. And yes: he has a jetpack.
Psion - Built for those who prefer mass destruction, psions possess the means of controlling and obliterating many opponents at once. Even better: the more frequently they unleash their psionic abilities, the more powerful, albeit more vulnerable, they become.
Engineer - Specifically designed for lazy people who don’t feel like fighting (not really), the Engineer instead molds the battlefield as he sees fit; building and commanding robots, constructing turrets and sentries, and deploying other fantastically wacky devices.
[size=12pt]Actual Resource Systems!
Our game will feature a never-before-conceived method of resource management. Each copy will ship with a USB foot pedal wired directly to your mana potion button for maximum mindless spamming and enhanced pointlessness. This system wil- what? Oh, sorry, I’ve just been informed that we cannot ship foot pedals to everyone who buys our game. Instead, we’ll give each class a unique, compelling resource system that encourages experimenting with different playstyles and rewards smart play. Sorry to disappoint.
Speaking of potion spamming, sloshing down gallons of the red stuff isn’t going to bring you back from being impaled in the chest, either. Health will be difficult to recover and recovery items are designed to be used sparingly. However, we don’t want getting hit to feel so punishing that it creates a frustrating experience, so there will be a shield mechanic that recovers when you aren’t taking damage.
Justicar - Energy and finishing moves. Use energy, a fast-refilling resource, to perform combo attacks and build Fury. When your Fury is full, unleash devastation with your blade.
Bounty Hunter - Heat. Defensive abilities cool down the Omnicore, while offensive abilities heat it up. Pushing the gauge too far to either side will have some negative (but some beneficial!) consequences.
Psion - Focus. Rather than mindlessly spamming fireball and depleting mana, a focus bar will fill slowly as you use abilities. Get your focus up to high levels and experience boosts to your power as well as some detrimental effects. Reach the sweet spot between 90 and 100% focus to add devastation to your next cast, but be careful not to reach 100!
Engineer - Battery power. Creating turrets and robots costs battery power, as does maintaining them and using abilities to augment them. Gives the player a choice between amassing a small army, or using most of his power to beef up a particularly tough minion.
Triumphantly you deliver the final deathblow and emerge victorious after a grueling marathon with a boss. Suddenly, golden rays of light errupt from your body and you fist pump in almighty ecstasy as you realize the power of leveling up. You drop another skill point into Spambolt and increase its damage by 1.6%. Worth it.
Then you wake up in a cold sweat and realized you were having a horrible nightmare about games with customization options so pitiful that they make leveling up feel like finding an old pair of socks you could probably get away with wearing another day.
We think leveling up should be a big deal and we want investing those hard-earned talent points to feel meaningful. Additionally, skill upgrades will be found through exploration and will change how the skill works in noticeable ways, providing new gameplay opportunities and opening up tremendous options for customization.
Once you’ve tricked out your character just the way you want, the game ends. Tireless hours of loot-whoring and build-planning and you only get to be a badass on the final boss. Nay, says I, for we are planning on having a number of options for continuing your adventure once your character is nice and beefy. New Game Plus, where the enemies actually have new abilities and tactics instead of an enhanced spreadsheet, side quests in randomly generated areas make grinding for loot a little less monotonous, and the Arena, where you are tasked with holding off waves and waves of enemies - these endgame options all provide ways to keep playing.
[size=12pt]Engine Screenshots (Warning: possibly severely outdated, read the captions!)
Disclaimer: We claim NO ownership rights to the images from Metal Slug, FFIII, etc. that we are using to test our engine.
Early version of the map editor.
Current version of the bloom effect (on the enemy under the light)
Trying out different forms of tone mapping.
A particle emitter. This one does smoke!
First test of dynamic shadows (before we fixed penumbra shading)
Smoother edges on light cones and shadows.
While this isn't a typical progression thread for a project, I hope you'll find the contents of the blog and youtube channel interesting and ripe for criticism. We're developing this engine and game for a community of gamers like ourselves, and hopefully a lack of a convenient webstart demo doesn't dissuade you from posting or asking questions. Sharing is caring.
As progress continues, we'll have updates available via our blog at http://silvergoblet.tumblr.com
, which contains a link to our youtube channel, where I discuss our latest programming challenges and feebly attempt to guide our viewership away from some of the same troubles we found.