combat

A week’s progress

So this week has been what I’d gladly call a busy week. Lots of different & somewhat exciting updates made to the game. It’s slowly starting to represent a game in some form.

 

Let’s get right on it.

At the beginning of the week, I began to smoothen the combat and sword usage. I made a little change to the way input is handled and so far I’ve liked the results, even if it’s still not quite at where I want it to be. 

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To explain it further, I added in a timer that counts down from the moment you last attacked. If it takes you too long to execute an attack, the combo is reset. Now that I have a few more attacks beside the 2 old ones, it felt really weird keeping the combo infinitely. This just makes sure you are hacking and slashing in a timed fashion and surely is not a groundbreaking innovation. But an important addition none-the-less. I also added a little flavor alternate Idle animations to actually tell the player when the combo is reseted.

 

Mid-week monster madness

Midway through the week, I started planning the first set of monsters to actually reasonably fight back. This required me to rework the old “chase and die” crappy AI that I had. I replaced it with a more sophisticated behavior system that makes actual decisions when&when not to engage the target and how they move around the map and perform actions. It proved to be a good start, but will need a lot of tweaks. (This was my first time programming a more complicated system that allows for different types of AI, so that the ranged, chargers and other melee monsters behave differently)

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Besides programming, I have been drawing a lot of monsters too. As of writing this thing I have prepared 2 monsters with the needed animations to make them fully functionable, you can question the quality of these animations right now, but I will be adding and reworking existing frames in the future. 

Here’s a little glimpse of the work file (just a small portion of it)

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There’s a few of the monsters that aren’t yet complete but I will be drawing the remaining frames later this weekend.

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The Knight Brothers, the axe thrower on the right is in-game and functioning. Hoping to have the throwing axe & the shield from the red cloaked knight as sub-items for Waldir’s use in the future.

 

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A very early try on the first (and probably only) NPC. The shopkeeper, no animation frames have yet been drawn for this guy as I’m not sure of the direction I want to go with.

 

Now for the end of the week, mainly yesterday and today. I’ve been tweaking little things in the AI, making it function properly. I also coded some new systems to allow the throwing of projectiles. As a little gameplay test I added in the function to deflect the projectiles back with your sword. It proved to be really fun, still have to tweak it a little bit though. It seems to make the ranged enemy rather easy to deal with.

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It’s probably hard to see from the gif, but I added a new ability for Waldir today. If you successfully combo you perform a small charge with your sword. I really like it but as of right now, it reminds too much like the dash visually. It’s really hard to tell the two apart from each other.

 

Now that it’s friday, I’ll take a short break and continue development on Sunday. What I will work on come sunday? Probably doing the rest of the particle engine, I would really like to have a lot more blood on the screen, for some reason. I will also slowly work on new monsters and the remaining ones too. 

What I would like to achieve next week though, is to add in the Item system. Picking up active sub-items from monsters, getting the currency (hearts) from monsters/chests/barrels and of course getting passive buff items from chests and shops.

This was just this week’s progress, so I really am seeing a lot of bright light in the future of the project! Thing’s have been going so smoothly I have legitimately been surprised. I hope to have the first level of Inferno fully playable for player feedback by the end of the month, so let’s keep our fingers crossed!

 

I have received enormous amounts of lovely feedback from all over the community, and for that I thank each and every one of you! Much love, Jani 

 

 

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Be the Idea-Guy! Combat

I really need to work on the combat of the game a lot.. Including actually adventuring a dungeon, combat is the single most important aspect of Waldir. I need to make it so it actually feels good to hit stuff and more importantly, to sometimes get hit. Getting hit and dying should be in a sense, satisfying. Well you shouldn’t be happy about it, but it shouldn’t drive you away from the game either. A good sign of bad design (thihi) is if losing a battle doesn’t make you want to beat it more. If you have no idea why you died or what you could’ve done better, is a sign of bad design.

So, what would I like to get done ? Well, let’s start off with what is in the game at the moment.

Right now, Waldir has two moves he can perform. Attacking and “dash/dodge”. Both currently feel great even without sound effects. They also look pretty compelling, right?

Well. Aside from sound effects, I really need to add a few more attack animations in to the ordinary attack. Doing a 2-attack combo constantly will get tiring.

As far as Combos go, I’d really like to end up with a two type system. Where 1 button performs this current ‘light’ attack and the secondary button performs a heavier attack that requires energy. Energy could be refilled by attacking with the lighter attack once in a while. Comboing these off of each other could create more interesting gameplay, still a lot of programming/drawing to do but we’ll see.

There’s also a problem I haven’t addressed yet, attacking requires the current attack to be over. It’s hard to explain, but if you’re mashing the attack button really really fast, he sometimes stops because you pressed the key on the last frame of the last attack, so you need to press it again. This wastes everyones time and is annoying.

To fix this, I need to program in an Action buffer, basically if I smash the action button while an attack is finishing up, it will queue another action and perform it when you are free to do so. It should smoothen out the attacking by a ton if tinkered to the right time intervals.

Old gif but it’ll do (love the old enemy-sprite’s death animation)

As you can see the enemy AI is a bit short on the intelligence. It starts attacking immediately when it’s in range and is also completely stunned when you attack him back. So basically they are chasing target dummies. That’s not fun at all. It does feel great for the first few times you kill enemies but get’s old really quickly because there’s no strategy involved. I shouldalso add in a little screenshake to shake things up a bit.

So, the AI needs a lot of work. I also would like to program in a system where the light attacks from both parties can ‘parry’ eachother. So you have to vary up your attacks a bit. And make some heavier attacks impossible to parry, so you have to dodge too.

Praise the sun!

There’s also a problem with my new monster, it’s that his death animation has no great feedback. It whimpers off and dies slowly. It needs to be instant from the last sword slash. Blood spurting everywhere and lightning strikes coming through the ceiling. Yeah, that would be great.

He also has that shitty looking hammer on him and I would like to turn it in to a sub-weapon for Waldir. So when you kill off one of these dudes, they drop the hammer down and you can pick it up. I’m not entirely sure on the details of sub-weapons and how you’ll end up utilizing them in the meta-game, but it’s something I’m constantly trying to come up ideas with. Maybe it has a super slow attack but hits the ground so hard it stuns enemies for a short while? Dunno.

This is all fun and games, it’s easy being the idea guy, but when you’re the one who has to program all this stuff too it can be a bit daunting. Well, I’ll be back to tell the tale (hopefully)! See you next time