At the last day of week one I'm happy to say that I've reached a milestone of sorts. A complete level with bookending dialogue sequences (although a HELL of a lot of borrowed Artwork that'll need to be tossed out before this thing is finished). Not really much else to say. The level is extremely simplistic with only one unit on each side, though it's more intended as a tutorial than anything else. I also tweaked the mechanics a little - it no longer finishes a move after firing if you've still got more than half of your movement points left, to make it a little more fair for units optimised for melee attacking.
Play it on my dropbox.
If NaGaDeMo is anything like NaNoWriMo, then it's going to be Week Two where it starts to get really rough. If I can survive that, I should be able to glide through Week Three, and fly through Week Four. Here's hoping I can last through to the end.
Also, Anthony sent me some more rough sketches of his mecha designs, he's taking it in more of a "Super Deformed" aesthetic to match the general look of the game. I don't care what anyone says, this Mecha is GOING IN THE GAME and is going to be a LIGHT SHADE OF PINK and will have it's own NYAN CAT ESQUE theme song.
And now time for something completely different!
It's been awhile since I've posted a non-trivial update, so I decided to lay the groundwork for the Visual Novel engine tonight, and added a few background images. Also the game loops around after a Victory or Defeat. Nothing really else to say at this point. The next couple of days I'll work on actually having a story for the first mission, and maybe look at doing levels 2 or 3 as well.
Josh is also working on a NaGaDeMo game, a first person roguelike infact. Check it out at Tiny Frog Software.
(Disclaimer, pretty much all art in the game is stolen at this point. It won't be "officially" released until all of the stolen assets are swapped out).
Play it on my dropbox.
Time for another update!
First up, I wanted to thank 'Andre La Barre' for giving a +1 almost every one of my Battlesuit posts on Google Plus. Really appreciate it man.
Not a heck of a lot in the way of direct progress on the game, today was the monthly Auckland Game Developer's Meetup so I got an opportunity to evangelise the game there. A couple of really talented Artists expressed interest, so hopefully we'll have some more team members on the project soon.
Most of the changes made on the project tonight were directly in response to feedback from the meeting. First up, Josh pointed out that it wasn't easy to gauge the Mech's attack range (specifically, he couldn't see why he couldn't attack with the SHINOBI unit he had chosen at the start of the game, since it was too far away to target any particular enemy Mech). So I added a simple range circle. It's not pretty but it'll do for now.
Secondly, Jonathan from Grinding Gear Games (someone admittedly much more familiar with the ins-and-outs of turn based strategy than I am!) gave some useful advice, such as making it so that units forfeit the rest of their move points when they fire. I've done that now and I definitely think it adds more of an element of risk to the game (since it's harder to retreat from a failed attack etc).
Finally, I did some tweaking to the percentage mechanics. In particular I made it so that the random "dice rolls" of an attack were based on a variable both from the Mech and Pilot (some of them were Pilot or Mech only, which negated some of the uniqueness of the Unit's Pilot-Mech combo). I think it subjectively feels a bit more "balanced" and a bit more intense, though I think there's still too much chance involved as many of the strikes hover around a 50% hit rate (And it might feel as though you're just flipping a coin).
Amongst other things, I might arbitrarily inflate the percentages (so a 51% would end up being closer to 60%, and a 49% chance would end up being closer to 40% etc) so that gameplay relies more on tactics and less on randomness.
Play it on my dropbox.
Reasonably small update today. I can't seem to bring myself to do work on public holidays for some reason! Still, the breather has been good.
The only visible change on the web version is that I've changed the resolution, finalising it at 800x480. The reason for the change (other than it puts it in Widescreen and unclutters the screen a bit) is because that happens to be the resolution of the Android tablet I'm borrowing (as well as a common Android resolution in general) and I intend to casually show the game at the Game Developer's meetup tomorrow. Hopefully I can get another artist or two on board.
Play it on my dropbox.
Edit - if there's any interest in the APK for any reason, just leave a comment.
The game actually has some gameplay now!
The gameplay is still extremely coarse though. The AI is lobotomized, there's no balance, a lot of mechanics that could make the game more challenging interesting aren't present yet, there's only one scenerio etc etc, but at least it's something that technically meets the criteria of what a 'game' is.
HOW TO PLAY
Each turn, you can move your Units a certain distance and Attack if there are enemies in Range. If you're directly next to an enemy you'll carry out a "melee" attack, otherwise you'll carry out a "ranged" attack. When you're done, click the STOP SIGN to end your turn.
When you've selected a Unit, all of the attackable enemies will state two numbers. The left number is the percentage of a successful hit at that range, the right number is the amount of damage left after the hit if it's successful (the right number will just read 'KILL' if the enemy is damaged enough for one more strike to finish it off).
WHAT THE STATS MEAN
- HP: Health Points a Mecha has left
- Speed: Maximum distance a Mecha can travel
- Range: Maximum distance a Mecha can attack from
- Damage: The amount of damage a successful ranged attack will do
- Melee: The amount of damage a successful melee attack will do
- Aim: Pilot's ability to carry out a ranged attack
- Fencing: Pilot's ability to carry out a melee attack
- Defence: Pilot's ability to defend from a ranged or melee attack
- A Mech's defense is lowered per each time it's attacked per turn (whether or not it was a successful attack).
- Take your unit close enough to attack, fire, and then retreat.
- Certain units, such as the SHINOBI, excel at Melee attacking, so get these ones adjacent to the enemy.
Play it on my dropbox.
You can now move unit pieces around the map. Although the game defaults to the "Play" mode, you can switch to the "Editor" by pressing Shift+E. As always, you can play it on my dropbox.
I think I'll take a break from the "technical" gameplay aspects for a day or two and focus on the GUI, Visual Novel engine etc.
Just a rudimentary Tile Editor to start with, including some temporary rough/stolen tiles. You can actually use this to edit the "level", just not save anything (Pressing S will give you a JSON description of the level though).
Not much more to say. Daily builds of the game will be available on my dropbox.
NaGaDeMo starts in less than four hours. I've spent a bit of time today tweaking the level editor and reformatting some notes. Definitely very psyched, but I'm not sure if I'm going to stay up past midnight to start or just get up really early tomorrow.
Hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll have bit of a tech demo to show.
Only a couple of days left before NaGaDeMo starts! Things are about to get hectic again. I'm not going to give up entirely on entertainment over the month, but I'll make sure what I indulge in is "research" for the project (namely, Giant Robot Animes and Turn Based Strategy games - I've already started playing People's General again), and I will need to cut all other luxuries to a bare minimum. If I'm not doing paid work or anything else that absolutely needs to be done, I should be working on the project.
Starting to organise bit of a local meetup for fellow NaGaDeMo-ers somewhere in central Auckland, so we can have bit of a jam as it rolls around to Midnight, June 1st. Other than that not much to report, I'm still toiling away on the plans etc. Things are starting to come clearer as the start date approaches, I'm glad I had bit of an opportunity to plan things out before diving into it this time.
As stated in my last entry, my NaGaDeMo entry is going to be Battlesuit. Except due to the month-long deadline, I'm tossing out the idea of making it as a First Person Shooter. Instead I'm making it a "light" turn based tactics game along the lines of Advance Wars/Super Robot Wars/Panzer General etc, with levels tied together by a visual novel style narrative. (So only the genre is changing, not the underlying theme, story or characters.)
Other than myself, the other two current members of the Battlesuit team are Anthony and Noah. I'd like to get at least one more Artist on board (for anime character design), and maybe one more general programmer/designer/artist/sound engineer etc. If you're interested, please shout out! And if possible, I'm going to be posting daily web-playable builds to my public dropbox, so you're all invited to be play testers (even if the game is likely to be broken for most of the month!).
My ultimate goal for the month is to produce a 12 level "shareware episode", though at minimum it'd be nice to get a 4 level "demo" done. The plan is to develop the levels in linear order, and hopefully as we go the media and code we develop for each level will lessen the time required to create the following one (kind of a snowball effect). Offering a level editor to the end user would also be a nice bonus.
Although I haven't started direct work on the game content, I have been doing a fair bit of planning, as well as some development of an extremely light-weight tile editor for the game. Stay tuned.