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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2 (04/30/22)

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Messages - Erick Doe

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Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: June 25, 2022, 08:29:58 AM »

A new gameplay feature, allowing players to access an interactive database, where they can "ask" about certain words/phrases/terminology by actually typing in the querry, without selecting from pre-determined multiple choice options. Similar to MU-TH-UR 6000, the computer from Alien.

Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: June 11, 2022, 07:11:12 AM »
Video showcasing a new opening sequence:

Also includes quality of life improvements, such as the option of skipping the game's starting intro, and several other scenes when starting a new game.

Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: June 08, 2022, 07:47:02 AM »
New gameplay video (sans commentary). I've improved on some of the effects, introduced some new concepts/ graphics/ icons, and rebuild some scripts from scratch (the latter being mostly under-the-hood stuff).

Current voice acting is all temporary and will be replaced eventually.

Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: June 06, 2022, 01:13:47 PM »
Working concept on how certain creature encounters can play out, using some of the concept art I've made earlier.

New version with improved movement script.

Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: May 17, 2022, 05:52:21 AM »
Concept for a creature that may take over submerged objects, such as mooring rigs.

Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: May 09, 2022, 08:07:02 AM »
A compilation of creature concepts I've drawn for this game.

Reducing the bloat. Culling a number of ships. Improving remaining sprites.

Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: February 02, 2022, 11:16:22 AM »
And now for something completely different:

Link to youtube video

At the risk of sounding like a complete madman, I've compiled this video in a rather chaotic order.
I guess its purpose is to get across an idea and a feeling, of what I'd like to do next.
To emphasise, this video does not contain a story. It projects a concept and an idea.

I know, I know. I don't ever finish projects.
But I'd like to think that I'm learning more and more, from every abandoned or postponed project I've done.
This video is a jumble of pictures and voiceclips related to my latest project.
It introduces the abstract but consistent art-style (cartoonish) and the idea of exploration through basic visuals and voice recordings.

There will be puzzle elements, where certain things must be found or retrieved - in order to progress.
For example, a certain plasma shield module must be discovered and installed in order to pass through an asteroid belt.

The story will unveal more and more about the history of the people that came to the system, and (attempted) to settle its worlds.
Exploration will be achieved through the ship's cockpit. Which will have an interactive interface upon the still HUD.
Story elements will largely be introduced through the ship's AI (the more prominent voice in this video).
Planetfall will be possible, upon which the game's cursor that normally interacts with the ship's bridge will be turned into a remote drone, which can be piloted to explore planetary surfaces.
The voiced AI will be able to be interacted with, even questioned. It may be reluctant in giving out information. It may need coercion.

I would love to hear your initial thoughts on my latest (admitedly vague) concept for a game of exploration.

Inspired by media like Fallout (1997), System Shock(1994), Firefly(2002), Dune(1992), Rama(1996), and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis(1992). And of course, Starsector.  ;)

Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: February 02, 2022, 11:07:36 AM »
love the art direction. reminds me of early 2000s

Cheers! Did you try the demo?

I'll work on an updated version soon that introduces a few quality-of-life improvements, according to the feedback I've received so far.

Modding / Re: [0.95.1a] Flags of The New Order
« on: January 08, 2022, 03:40:36 PM »
Moderator message:
Thank you for not including any content with (neo)nazi connotations. Any such content posted on this forum will be deleted and the poster banned. We maintain a strict zero tolerance policy on this subject. Note: this includes stylised swastikas and certain nordic rune combinations. You do not have to respond to this message.

Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: January 07, 2022, 03:39:27 PM »
Oh wow, looks like there's a lot more there than I thought! (Augh, looks like I didn't save the game, so I'll need to start over.)

Re: combat, my initial impression was that it was a strange context switch, so I know what you're saying - but on the other hand, it works totally fine. I think... it's not so much that the combat is jank or out of place, and more that I wasn't expecting the game to have explicit combat like that at all. I don't know how you'd do it dialog-driven, exactly, but if you do manage to, that does seem like it'd fit better.

It's like... it felt like a game I wanted to explore, and not one where I wanted to worry about stats and such. But that's neither here nor there as far as being a suggestion, just, how it felt at the time.

By the way, there's little hidden details everywhere. That initial rat you killed in the cellar? Did you feed it to the cook's cat? You can recruit the cat this way, and have him assist you in clearing out the cellar.

I didn't - didn't occur to me to backtrack that way. I tried to interact with the cat before that but could chase it down.

(simple example: if you kill the cook's cat

Boo! Hiss!

(I did tell the maid to sod off, though - figured it was in character for having a hangover. Also tried to talk to her later about emptying that other guy's chamberpot - just to complete the picture of a total *** - but she didn't want to talk to me, sadly.)

Question: you say the interface was intuitive. Were you also ok with the choice in UI colour/contrast?

Yeah, totally. I never annoyed me or was difficult to read and the overall feeling of it was ... cozy, maybe? Whatever it was, it felt like the right color scheme for the kind of immersion the game is going for.

I have this idea in the back of my head on how I'd like to handle combat, alternatively. It involves more skill checks and dialog options which allows you to avoid direct combat. Or resolve it in some other way.

About combat: I'll have to be careful not to make it too much about combat and stats. I might have introduced too much of it in certain areas, but with the idea that you CAN avoid it if you try. But it might be unintuitive. Hint: if you face certain monsters, and you've got a hard time getting through them, try to literally walk by them. Also, the idea is that you can get higher levels and better gear somewhere else, if you get stuck in a certain area. I did test all combat in the demo, and you can get through it all, regardless of character class. Though, of course I may know more ways to get the most out of the demo. Spoiler: There IS a recruitable NPC in the inn that will make exploring the well a lot more doable.

About saving: It is basically only possible at inns (for a price), at campfires (after learning how to make a fire, and having meat to cook), and at special saving statues (statues to your deity). The statues are placed strategically at intervals throughout the game, but can only be used once. I plan to expand upon this with "holy tokens" that you can buy at temples, and take with you on your adventures. These can be "consumed" in order to save.

About your party: Your party maxes out at four (including familiar, if you're playing mage). But you can use a special token in your inventory to manage your party: it allows you to place characters in reserve, or in your active party. Each recruited party member has its own "party management" token. Except for the mage's familiar.

About exploration: I am turning it into a hybrid, where some areas are completely tile based, and others are based off background images. Example below:

The spider has to walk around the tree

Things like trees and structures are made solid

By the way:
Try giving the chamberpot to the other maid at the inn. She might take it ;)
And the maid you made angry? If you had been extra nice to her, she might have even parted with a free drink. Spoiler: a special healing potion which would make your life a lot easier. But the rewards for being an arse can be pretty sweet as well! Also, gameplay between (especially) the mage and the thief class can be drastically different. Especially when interacting with objects and NPCs.

As for the cozy interface? YES! That's what I was going for!  :)

Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: January 07, 2022, 02:17:48 PM »
Oooh, you had me at "Magic Candle"! I spent so much time playing Magic Candle II - it was just so amazingly deep, so many things you could do in that world.
That's what I'd like to go for. To offer depth in choices and in conversations. Currently I'm trying to realise this through:
-choices based off character class
-choices based off character stats / equipped items
-options based off character reputation
-options and consequences through character actions. (simple example: if you kill the cook's cat, not only will all nearby guards try to arrest you, but throughout the game cats will hate you, and will either run away from your character or act hostile. Which may lead to different outcomes at certain quests - which, silly as it sounds, may depend on cats)
-regardless of the above, character dialog will always have a rough good/neutral/evil selection of choices. The above simply add more options/ opportunities

So, hey, this is very neat! I got through the quest to clear the nest in the cellar, got outside, got the quest about the fountain, and then couldn't find the fountain. This has neat adventure game vibes to it; I'd love to see more little descriptions and such. Feels like, even without any combat, you could have a nice vehicle for a story-driven game there, too - maybe a mystery, or some such.
The well is in the lower right corner of the keep's courtyard. I agree it is a rather simple looking sprite, which may be easy to miss. Might have to make it more recognisable. Also, adding misc descriptions is on the to-do list. Similar to how the starting room has every object be interactive, with an appropriate action or description.
Oh, and I feel that the combat is a little jank. I actually think it feels a little out of place. I might replace the combat system altogether. Perhaps even with dialog-driven combat.

By the way, there's little hidden details everywhere. That initial rat you killed in the cellar? Did you feed it to the cook's cat? You can recruit the cat this way, and have him assist you in clearing out the cellar.

The initial "cutscene"/quotes/etc - those are unskippable, right? I couldn't, anyway, and I'm pretty sure I tried every key. That was truly painful and I almost didn't make it past them.
Oof! Thanks for telling me. Yes, they are unskippable atm. But I didn't realise how big of an issue that was. What I can do for the next version (at least!) is make them progress much faster. I agree, they are too drawn out! Consider it taken care of!

I almost wish the game was tile-based and the speed of the movement just depended on moving from one tile to another so you could cover distance as quickly as you can press wasd. The smoother movement didn't seem like it added to the gameplay  (maybe I'm missing something - I mean, enemies move in real time, but that doesn't seem very key) but it made it feel slow to get anywhere and a bit awkward trying to line up with things. I guess put another way: if there was a way to move somewhere really quickly (maybe when there are no enemies around?) that would be amazing.
That's an excellent and fresh perspective: to move quicker when no enemies are about. See, the game had faster, instantanious tile-based character movement. But I reduced the speed and made travel smoother, because I wanted to add a level of difficulty outside of combat - because in certain situations, outmaneuvering enemies is a valid strategy (quickly going around a monster, before he can catch you!). So, I felt I had to make a choice. But actually having character speed be dependent on context might be the solution! Non-combat instance: quick movement. Combat intance: slower movement, dependent on character class (thief quick, fighter/cleric average, mage slow).

I liked the writing, and the setting (I mean, hard to go wrong with that!), and it felt surprisingly immersive. Also: neat character selection thing! In my mind, my character was sleeping off an epic bender :) Also, I think the interface was intuitive - I didn't have any trouble with it.
Haha! To be honest, I secretly envisaged my character sleeping off a wild night myself! Character selection originally had over double the amount of character class choices. But I limited it to these four (fighter/cleric/thief/mage) until I have these fully realised. Deviations off these character classes will be added later (Ranger/Paladin/Druid/Bard), since these will largely share dialog options with the original four classes, and thus will be easier to implement. Their skills will be vastly different though.

Question: you say the interface was intuitive. Were you also ok with the choice in UI colour/contrast?

Definitely something that's going to be as good as the content that's in it - which it sounds like is what you're going for, so, *thumbs up*. Very nice overall!
Cheers! Your comment makes me want to dive right back in and make a better product. Also, be sure to check out that well! That quest is the meat of the demo really. Also, the outside world is accessible, but doesn't feature a lot of content. Though, I did implement some neat ideas here:
-Moving over the world map isn't any slower, but it does take health away, forcing your party to consume supplies. Travel over the world map moves time along, which can cause your party to be locked outside a nearby location at night, forcing you to find/make camp.
-Encounters will be both fixed and random. Random encounters on the world map happen every so often, and feature creatures native to the (invisible) zone you're in. The further you travel (especially off-road) the more dangerous the creatures. It has long been a pet-peeve of mine in many RPGs that the further you travel from your starting area, the more difficult opponents become. Regardless of how developed/inhabited an area is. I actually want to make travel along roads and near towns safer than travelling the wilds. Regardless of where you are in the world.
-Hunting and foraging are skills you can learn to actually make exploring fun and viable. Hunting is implemented to an extent. You'll have to learn that (and making campfires) off several NPCs in the keep's courtyard. It will allow you to kill and skin/butcher deer, for example.

Thanks for trying the demo, Alex!

Discussions / Re: An RPG project I'm working on
« on: January 06, 2022, 03:49:36 PM »
I know, I know... I start too many projects and I never seem to finish anything. Here's an example of a previous, somewhat related project:  ;D

But at least now I've got a small demo to show for!

Discussions / An RPG project I'm working on
« on: January 06, 2022, 03:32:54 PM »
Vvorynn - The Fate of the Hearthstone

Formerly known as Project Mirrorshade, "Vvorynn" is a small indie gaming project which I started in 2016. Though it didn't really come to fruition till 2020. It is a 2D cRPG set on the Sword Coast, starting out at the Friendly Arm inn.

A screenshot from demo version 1a

I've started playing with the idea of creating a cRPG the likes of Ultima, The Magic Candle, and Baldur's Gate back in 2016. I knew that before I could really pour any creativity and writing into the project, I would have to gather resources to draw from. So I began with photography. After taking pictures of nature, old castles, and things like period appropriate weapons, armour, and furniture, all during my many walks. Having collected a database of images, I started converting those to a usuable tile-based format. I won't bore you with the details, but it allowed me to build up a world, and populate it with peoples, creatures and events. Keep in mind though, that this is a part-time project - a hobby. Development is progressing at a 'casual' pace.

Currently, I've realised just enough content to feel comfortable enough releasing a demo. This demo:

Version 1a notes:
-90% of The Friendly Arm Inn location has been completed, including sublocations, quests and interactions.
-Do not play as cleric. This class has been poorly implemented as of this version.
-The overworld is not yet complete. But you may still leave the Friendly Arm Inn and explore part of the Cloakwood.
-That gambler at the FAI? Yeah, he's not properly functional. But will be in the next version!
-Please excuse the placeholder voice "acting".
(Later releases may be password protected. In case the download is password protected, send me a PM either here on the forum or on Discord.)

My hopes:
I hope that you will be willing to give this demo a go, and perhaps tell me what you think of it. What did you or didn't you like about it? What could be improved upon? What is broken or missing? Fresh ideas, compliments, and sharp critique are all welcome!

My dreams:
I'm trying to realise a platform for story telling. I am rather enamoured with the Sword Coast and the Forgotten Realms. Though, it is possible that I will break away from this copyrighted setting to realise my own fantasy world. In which case a lot of content will need to be changed, but I feel this is still doable.
A lot of my time was taken up by getting things to work. Actually expanding upon game content will be easier and less time consuming now that a lot of the scripting and creation of assets is done!

If you've made it this far, I'd like to thank you for reading through my project's pitch.
Hope you'll enjoy the demo!

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