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  Albion  (Read 17172 times)
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Offline Orangy Tang

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Medals: 56
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« Posted 2010-01-24 19:52:59 »

Albion is a graphical, party-based Roguelike with an emphasis on exploration and tactical combat.




As a bit of an experiment I'm going to embrace the roguelike tradition of "release early, release often", rather than waiting until I've got a finished game before unveiling it. I started this in August, but there's been a few false starts so it's taken a while to get to this point.

At the moment you can explore with your party and attack the numerous imps that are out to get you. Find the stairs in the level to delve deeper into the next dungeon level. Your party consists of a swordsman, an archer and a mage (who can both attack with fireballs and heal allies). Maps are procedurally generated and there's no end - you just keep going until your entire party is dead.

General feedback is welcome, but at the moment I'm particularly interested in technical problems (and framerate), and what people think of the controls.

Thanks. Smiley

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Offline Karmington

Senior Member


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« Reply #1 - Posted 2010-01-24 20:07:22 »

The shield icon is choppy, some draw problem.
Works fine but having to finish off with a look or a defend makes it clumsy to progress.
when not in combat, being forced to move three different chars 4 squares at a time feels slow.
Otherwise movement and combat simple controls seem fine.

Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #2 - Posted 2010-01-24 20:20:08 »

The shield icon is choppy, some draw problem.

Could you get a screenshot? It's just a regular j2d cursor so I'm not sure what could go wrong.

Quote
Works fine but having to finish off with a look or a defend makes it clumsy to progress.
when not in combat, being forced to move three different chars 4 squares at a time feels slow.
Otherwise movement and combat simple controls seem fine.

Yes, I'm a little worried that exploring when there's no monsters around is a little slow. I'm thinking of removing the 'defend' animation so it's an instant way of ending your turn rather than a second delay. Also planned (at some point) is a movement mode where you just move the party leader (and the other characters either follow you automatically or your whole party is considered to be standing on the same tile).

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Offline h3ckboy

JGO Coder


Medals: 5



« Reply #3 - Posted 2010-01-24 20:29:55 »

Also planned (at some point) is a movement mode where you just move the party leader (and the other characters either follow you automatically or your whole party is considered to be standing on the same tile).

you could just do this if there arent any enemies within a certain distance, and when they get in range, switch modes.
Offline slenkar

Senior Newbie





« Reply #4 - Posted 2010-01-24 21:41:53 »

the applet loaded in about 2 seconds, how did you do that?

seems like a good game so far,
very smooth, but needs to have 'party mode' as others have mentioned
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #5 - Posted 2010-01-24 23:45:04 »

the applet loaded in about 2 seconds, how did you do that?
Nothing special, it's just very, very small. A lot of the world graphics (like the walls) are generated on the fly from a very small set of images by splicing together different edges/quaters/etc.

Quote
seems like a good game so far,
very smooth, but needs to have 'party mode' as others have mentioned
Thanks, it does sound like a 'party mode' should be bumped up my priority list.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline strategy

Junior Member


Projects: 1



« Reply #6 - Posted 2010-01-25 00:24:26 »

Nice.

Seems to work nicely enough (62fps). The interface works fine, but I'd focus on adding inventory/loot system soon (IMO, the driving force for all roguelikes :-)).

Offline Bonbon-Chan

JGO Coder


Medals: 12



« Reply #7 - Posted 2010-01-25 14:21:44 »

Darmn, I was expecting AlbionGrin

Works fine for me so far. I don't really like the way command are done but it is mainly because I'm used to other game (mainly with a pad and not a mouse).
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #8 - Posted 2010-01-25 14:45:39 »

Heh, it seems like every name is taken these days.  Grin

One of my main goals is to code a n00b-friendly and accessible roguelike. A big part in this is having the whole game playable with just the mouse alongside with context-sensitive commands so complete beginners can largely click at random. However I'll be adding proper keyboard controls eventually for experienced players so hopefully you'll be able to play entirely with the keyboard once you know the commands.

And yes, an inventory system is probably going to be my next major task, but first I've got to figure out how I want it to work...

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline strategy

Junior Member


Projects: 1



« Reply #9 - Posted 2010-01-25 15:00:13 »

Interesting.

When you have a version of the game that you feel is worthwhile to play (i.e., multiple enemies, et al.), you should consider porting it to Android. The idea of having context sensitive commands, etc., would seem to be a natural fit to a touch based interface.

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Offline JL235

JGO Coder


Medals: 10



« Reply #10 - Posted 2010-02-03 02:18:50 »

I really liked it, but I agree with the comments about moving being slow. But more then that I think you should also cut down the size of your dungeon. I was walking around for about 5 minutes and was about to quit presuming you hadn't added any monsters, before I encountered some.

It's dull walking through large rooms and down corridoors if there is no point to them.

Offline Eli Delventhal

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Medals: 42
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Game Engineer


« Reply #11 - Posted 2010-02-03 16:17:29 »

I definitely think it needs a combat mode and a non-combat mode. When a monster is detected on-screen, it enters combat mode (allowing you to move around and all that tactically), otherwise you just move as a party (one guy in front) and there is no turn-based play.

I quite like the way that Spiderweb Software does it in Nethergate (one of my favorite games ever):
http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/nethergateres/index.html

Basically, you can allow combat mode to be engaged automatically when an enemy appears, or only manually. And, if you don't have combat mode on when an enemy is around, they get an action every time you walk one space. If you walk into them when not in combat mode, you attack them as if you were in it. In this fashion, only the front guy can fight, and you lose out on tons of actions. The advantage to this possibility is that you can move much more quickly when there are weaker enemies that are just wasting your time.

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Offline Orangy Tang

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Medals: 56
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Monkey for a head


« Reply #12 - Posted 2010-02-03 16:35:59 »

I'll happily admit that Spiderweb's RPGs are one of the main inspirations - I played Exile 2 *ages* ago and really enjoyed it, and your description sounds very similar to Exile's grouped movement mode as well. In that the group mode would 'stack' all the characters on one tile and move them around as one unit (with the massive disadvantage that if you were attacked every character would take individual damage).

One of these days I'll find time to actually play some of Spiderweb's more recent stuff. Smiley

Back in Albion, I actually got 'party mode' implemented over the weekend, but it needs properly hooking into the UI. I'll go into more detail when it's playable (hopefully tonight) but it does speed up combat-free movement significantly.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline Eli Delventhal

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Medals: 42
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Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #13 - Posted 2010-02-03 18:50:17 »

I'll happily admit that Spiderweb's RPGs are one of the main inspirations - I played Exile 2 *ages* ago and really enjoyed it, and your description sounds very similar to Exile's grouped movement mode as well. In that the group mode would 'stack' all the characters on one tile and move them around as one unit (with the massive disadvantage that if you were attacked every character would take individual damage).

One of these days I'll find time to actually play some of Spiderweb's more recent stuff. Smiley

Back in Albion, I actually got 'party mode' implemented over the weekend, but it needs properly hooking into the UI. I'll go into more detail when it's playable (hopefully tonight) but it does speed up combat-free movement significantly.
Ah, cool! It's good to find a fellow Spiderweb fan. Nethergate was far and away my favorite game by Spiderweb, and one of my favorite games of all time. It definitely has the best character development and a wicked cool story and setting - I highly recommend. Exile (and its better-looking rebirth, Avernum), have never hooked me as much. A semi-historical tale of Romans versus Celts was always much more interesting to me than a bunch of people stuck in a cave. But, I digress.

I'm looking forward to see what you do with the movement system. Smiley

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
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Monkey for a head


« Reply #14 - Posted 2010-02-04 01:11:40 »

There's a new version up (url here or in original post) with slightly nicer UI and the 'party mode' button top-left. Click to turn it on and everyone follows that character, click again to turn it off again.

Probably some bugs in the party mode still, but seems to be pretty solid.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline Gudradain
« Reply #15 - Posted 2010-02-04 03:26:05 »

Yup a lot better with party mode
Offline Bonbon-Chan

JGO Coder


Medals: 12



« Reply #16 - Posted 2010-02-04 09:06:13 »

Yep, the party mode is a good idea. But some time, I have problem to leave this mode.

I don't know for other people but several time I have clicked on the top portrait to select the one I want to move. I don't like to follow order  Tongue.
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #17 - Posted 2010-02-04 10:52:35 »

Yep, the party mode is a good idea. But some time, I have problem to leave this mode.

Was the party icon greyed out / transparent? I've seen that happen once here but couldn't recreate it. Huh

Quote
I don't know for other people but several time I have clicked on the top portrait to select the one I want to move. I don't like to follow order  Tongue.

At the moment the leader is whoever is active when you enter party mode, so you can choose who goes first like that. Later (much later)  when you create/modify your party you'll be able to rearrange their order so you can have your tanks up front and your vulnerable characters in the back.

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Offline Bonbon-Chan

JGO Coder


Medals: 12



« Reply #18 - Posted 2010-02-04 15:22:38 »

Was the party icon greyed out / transparent? I've seen that happen once here but couldn't recreate it. Huh
The party icon was grey out. I open a door with the party lead. There was a monster so I want to go back to "solo" mode. But it takes me several turn to do so  Sad

At the moment the leader is whoever is active when you enter party mode, so you can choose who goes first like that. Later (much later)  when you create/modify your party you'll be able to rearrange their order so you can have your tanks up front and your vulnerable characters in the back.
For me the order is part of the "strategy", depending of the situation you may want to attack with the mage first then the tank and change the order in the next turn (to kill a mob and place the tank in the best position for the next turn for exemple). But it may be not what you want for the gameplay.
Offline Orangy Tang

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Medals: 56
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Monkey for a head


« Reply #19 - Posted 2010-02-04 19:15:38 »

For me the order is part of the "strategy", depending of the situation you may want to attack with the mage first then the tank and change the order in the next turn (to kill a mob and place the tank in the best position for the next turn for exemple). But it may be not what you want for the gameplay.

This is where the lack of a tutorial sucks.  Smiley Basically there isn't separate "your turn" "enemies turn", every character runs off their own response speed and gets a turn when they're the next highest priority. This isn't obvious at the moment though because every character and action has the same cost. Later, different characters will have different response speeds (so a fast character might get two turns for another characters one) or there might be particularly costly actions that mean you have to wait longer before that character gets another turn.

Part of the strategy you crave may eventually be provided by spells or potions to mess with your response rate (either by speeding up your important characters or slowing down the particularly difficult enemies).

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Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #20 - Posted 2010-02-19 20:15:28 »

Hi Matt,
This looks really good and plays well. It loaded quickly and without incident. The animations work well and the colors are bright and cheerful. On my crappy machine the FPS was only 14-18 but it felt like it was running smoothly. The gradients are nice and the blacking out of the undiscovered terrain works well.

But the combat was a little confusing- i couldn't get any characters besides 'Imoen' to attack. I think that may have been because I had party mode selected but when I tried to deselect it nothing changed.

I think to make it simpler you should always have party mode enabled by default, but then as soon as a critter is found, disable party mode automatically, and let the chartacter control the players.

Also, it was confusing to try and figure out whose turn it was - the current character being controlled should have a big green circle around it or blink or something. And character selection would be more intuitive if you could click the character buttons at the top to change the selection. Also clicking on a character should select him. A few times I tried to do that and another character walked over to where i clicked instead of changing the selection.

Looks very nice so far, great work  Cool
Keith

Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #21 - Posted 2010-03-22 18:58:24 »

After no-one seemed to 'get' the (what I thought was pretty simple) play mechanic I stopped work on this. But after a couple of months off I've decided to pick it up again. Next on my todo list is items and lewt collection.


Hi Matt,
I have no idea who this 'Matt' person is.  Huh But thanks for the feedback anyway.

Quote
But the combat was a little confusing- i couldn't get any characters besides 'Imoen' to attack. I think that may have been because I had party mode selected but when I tried to deselect it nothing changed.
I just recently squished an obscure bug which would cause that, so hopefully you won't see that any more.

Quote
I think to make it simpler you should always have party mode enabled by default, but then as soon as a critter is found, disable party mode automatically, and let the chartacter control the players.
I'm not so sure this would be a good idea, because sometimes you want to remain in party mode to close the distance between you and an enemy. I may add an option for this at a later point though.

Quote
Also, it was confusing to try and figure out whose turn it was - the current character being controlled should have a big green circle around it or blink or something.
The current character already has a cursor around their feet, and their character panel at the top changes to a highlighted state. Did you miss both of these cues? I'm not sure I could make it more obvious without being obnoxiously annoying.

Quote
And character selection would be more intuitive if you could click the character buttons at the top to change the selection. Also clicking on a character should select him. A few times I tried to do that and another character walked over to where i clicked instead of changing the selection.
See previous replies - basically, it doesn't work like that. This is a roguelike game, not an rts.

Thanks for the comments.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #22 - Posted 2010-04-05 02:21:38 »

This isn't quite ready for actual use yet, but Albion now has a working inventory (albeit a crude one):



I've been spending a whole heap of time on the core GUI system, but it's still very early days for the actual UI. I'm hoping to get away from it for a bit and add some more actual gameplay around the new functionality, probably in the form of new items and monsters.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline SimonH
« Reply #23 - Posted 2010-04-05 03:00:03 »

So... what am I doing? Okay, there's three guys with cursors under them & I guess I'm the orange one. All those white squares must be where I can go & I can look outside that - NP. I move to the door. I can open the door. I do it. The camera changes to one of my other guys??? Erk! Why was that? What should I be doing now? I click a bit to get back to door guy & I see a gargoyle - I go for it, the camera clunks back to other guy...

This is how game players think - well, this one anyway! *hic* You need to take a big step back and think: 'how does a casual player see this?'
I really like the style of this, it's an applet, it loads smoothly, looks gorgeous, responds well to input... It's all there, so why did I stop playing?
You've done all the hard work, start in party mode, put in a bit of tutorial stuff then - get creative! Fill it up with plots and side-plots and weird things to find and do! Draw me in!

People make games and games make people
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #24 - Posted 2010-04-05 03:35:09 »

I have no idea who this 'Matt' person is.  Huh But thanks for the feedback anyway.
My apologies! I know someone with your same last name but whose first name is Matt... I should just call you OrangyTang.

I tried the game again but the inventory was blank so I suppose you haven't uploaded the new one yet.

From the screenshot the UI looks fantastic, nice use of gradients and borders. How are you doing it, did you make it yourself? I've seen only one non-swing java2D UI library which was in pulpcore (I assume you're using java2D from the console output).

Offline Gudradain
« Reply #25 - Posted 2010-04-05 04:58:43 »

The game looks gorgeous but it's still missing something

What is the point of the looking feature that you can do at the end of moving a character? All I want to do is move as fast as I can but instead I have to either defend or look somewhere to end the turn.

I just don't understand what the strategy could be in battle. All the character seems to take the same amount of damage so why do we have a ''tank''?

I never play roguelike game but from what I read these game are about exploration and strategy in combat right? So, you might want to make movement as easy as possible (can I remove the looking feature?). Party mode help a lot already, but maybe when you are in it you could just click where you want to go and it get you there (removing the white square limite) I don't know if it would mess up with the turn base idea because of the monster but something that make movement more continuous would help a lot.
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #26 - Posted 2010-04-05 13:14:38 »

This is how game players think - well, this one anyway! *hic* You need to take a big step back and think: 'how does a casual player see this?'
I really like the style of this, it's an applet, it loads smoothly, looks gorgeous, responds well to input... It's all there, so why did I stop playing?
You've done all the hard work, start in party mode, put in a bit of tutorial stuff then - get creative! Fill it up with plots and side-plots and weird things to find and do! Draw me in!

Yeah, all good points. It'll definitely need a proper tutorial, but that's a while off - I'm focusing on the items and combat at the moment, I don't want to have to write the tutorial, then end up having to rewrite it when all the game rules and so on change.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #27 - Posted 2010-04-05 13:17:10 »

I tried the game again but the inventory was blank so I suppose you haven't uploaded the new one yet.

It's still a bit unstable. Hopefully in the next few days when I get some of the more crash-y bugs ironed out.

Quote
From the screenshot the UI looks fantastic, nice use of gradients and borders. How are you doing it, did you make it yourself? I've seen only one non-swing java2D UI library which was in pulpcore (I assume you're using java2D from the console output).

Thanks, it's all straight j2d with a custom UI layer. There does seem to be a lack of Swing replacements, which is odd since there's a whole bunch for LWJGL, and I really didn't want to go with a custom themed Swing as that always feels clunky as a user.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #28 - Posted 2010-04-05 13:24:27 »

What is the point of the looking feature that you can do at the end of moving a character? All I want to do is move as fast as I can but instead I have to either defend or look somewhere to end the turn.

Basically each turn a character gets 3 'move' points and 1 'action' point, and your turn is over when you've spent your action point, which usually means attacking, defending or looking (which basically becomes 'end turn'). I'll admit this isn't very obvious right now. Smiley I'm considering letting you spend your action point as an additional move point (a 'run' action) but that might make movement more confusing.

Quote
I just don't understand what the strategy could be in battle. All the character seems to take the same amount of damage so why do we have a ''tank''?

I never play roguelike game but from what I read these game are about exploration and strategy in combat right? So, you might want to make movement as easy as possible (can I remove the looking feature?). Party mode help a lot already, but maybe when you are in it you could just click where you want to go and it get you there (removing the white square limite) I don't know if it would mess up with the turn base idea because of the monster but something that make movement more continuous would help a lot.

Yeah, the characters aren't very different right now - there's no character classes (which is why everyone has the same skills, hits the same and takes the same damage), and there's no equipment, so you can't give them different weapons and armour. More variety in items (spell wands, healing potions, etc.) will eventually add to the strategy as well.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #29 - Posted 2010-04-08 01:59:20 »

There's a new version of Albion up now, and it's got a new url as well.

The main changes are a working inventory and a few items to pick up and use, including health and mana vials to keep your characters going longer. There's also three different enemies with different stats and behaviours - Imps are weak and skittish, Werewolves like to lurk in the shadows, and sedentary Ogres who pack quite a punch.

Comments and feedback welcome, as always.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
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