Post news RSS Lo of the Dark 0.8.5 - Global Overview

An overview of project state, features already done and soon-to-be added, and other stuff like that.

Posted by on

Good time of day everyone! I was kinda holding back with this - er - message, I guess, - because, (a) I was not sure if the game has enough to offer and (b) my English is what it is... I mean, you'll see. Or saw already :)

Any way, let's begin.

What this game is

This is a roguelike game, inspired by older first person dungeon crawlers like Wizardry. The game has both randomly generated and handmade level modes. It runs on the mighty power of GLScene engine, so it often lacks proper optimisation - this engine was newer supposed to be used the way I use it.

Lighting
In the dungeon

Knowing what I can do and what I can't, I decidet to work off simple basic guidelines:
1) I needed as powerful modding tools as possible, cause I'd die hardcoding everything;
2) I needed as much 2D as possible - I'd die modelling everything; It's already 1,5 GB of content!
3) I needed turn-based combat system that is, again, simple to visualize;

Map Editor UI
Map Editor

Well, this is what Map Editor came out to look like. It allows to tweak basically every aspect of the game: map layout and decoration, monsters, spells, perks, items, texts and scripts.

Each map is represented by a file and a folder; folder contains some additional data and all scripts for this particular map. Technically the map can be up to 100x100 cells, but it is to heavy load for any system (optimization, yes, it's awesome ^^), so sensible maximum size is around 40x40.

Each cell has a set of attributes - wall, floor, ceiling, mesh, passability, event trigger, script, chest, door, location and so on. Also there are additional, 'free', i.e., not attached to a specific cell, objects - light sources, sprites and meshes. Meshes additionally can have behaviours - they can move or rotate, and these actions can be scripted.

Scripting system itself was developed by your humble servant. It's a pretty simple scripting syntax. This is, for example, one of the largest scripts currently present in the game:

CompareFMesh 1,switch01,1;

If &1,=,1;

ChangeFMesh 1,switch01off;
ChangeFMesh 3,darlon_lamp_on;
ChangeFMesh 4,darlon_lamp_on;
ToggleLight 3;
ChangeFMesh 5,darlon_lamp_on;
ToggleLight 4;
ChangeFMesh 6,darlon_lamp_on;
ToggleLight 5;
ChangeFMesh 7,darlon_lamp_on;
ToggleLight 6;
ChangeFMesh 8,darlon_lamp_on;
ToggleLight 7;
ChangeFMesh 9,darlon_lamp_on;
ToggleLight 8;
ChangeFMesh 21,darlon_lamp_on;
ChangeFMesh 22,darlon_lamp_on;
ToggleLight 9;
ToggleLight 10;

FMeshBehaviour 15,2,1,20000,0,0,0,361,0,0;
FMeshBehaviour 16,2,1,20000,0,0,0,361,0,0;
FMeshBehaviour 17,2,1,20000,0,0,0,361,0,0;
FMeshBehaviour 18,2,1,20000,0,0,0,361,0,0;
FMeshBehaviour 19,2,1,20000,0,0,0,361,0,0;
FMeshBehaviour 20,2,1,20000,0,0,0,361,0,0;

EndIf;

Almost everything in the game can be scripted one way or another.

Combat Screen (0.8.5)
Of course there are giant rats!

Roleplaying Mechanics

Your character has 4 attributes and 4 skills. Each attribute governs a specific skill:

Strength -> Sword
Intelligence -> Magic
Speed -> Bow
Endurance -> Armor

Combat system is based around MtG-esque card game. During wandering the dungeon you gain levels and abilities. These abilities are presented by different cards. Each card belongs to specific skill.

Combination of Attribute and Skill define effectiveness of a card.

Also each Attribute allows specific bonuses when pumped properly:
1) Strength additionally increases damage from Sword and Bow
2) Intelligence does the same to Magic and Armor, and also defines Mana Pool
3) Endurance defines health in combination with Level
4) Speed when over 30 allows to Shuffle your cards, trying to get a better set, allows avoid shuffling on each turn, reduces incoming damage with random amount, and increases chances to run away

Combat is the only way to get XP. Each level requires more XP to be achieved, and on each level you get 4 attribute points to spend. Skills grow when cards of those skills are used in combat. Each 4-th level you receive a single perk point.

Perks allow to additionally customize your character. They can increase attributes and provide additional abilities (like damage reduction, secret sighting, lockpicking and stuff), but they also have requirements: some demand specific attributes, or perks, or even race.

As for race - you always start as Living, but you can change your Nature by using special Altars. This action, by the way, cannot be undone.

Races are:
- Living (no bonus);
- Divine (Intelligence bonus);
- Demon (Strength bonus);
- Undead (Endurance bonus);

Some spells have increased or decreased effectiveness against certain races. Almost all Divine spells hit harder when used on Demons, for example.

There is also Element system in addition to race system. Some creatures (including you) can affine to Earth, Air, Water or Fire, and some spells can have appropriate nature. This system works this way:

1. Opposition
Earth opposes Air, Water opposes Fire. Spell of opposed element deals more damage to a target. Spell of same element deals less. Unopposed elements have no effect additional on each other.

2. Empowerment
Creature of element A uses spells of element A more effectively

Elements are taken from Altars as well, but they can be changed at any other altar.

Items and Crafting

Items can be obtained from the dungeon. They fall under 4 categories:
1) Armor
2) "Swords"
3) "Bows"
4) Misc

All elements can provide bonuses or antibonuses, but first three groups must be equipped in order to work, and only equipped item will provide its bonus, while misc items work when simply placed in your inventory.

Some items are "eaten" when using certain spells. Say, most cards of Bow skill require an arrow to work. Same applies to certain potions. At the moment you can craft some items using other items by simple combining them in the inventory UI.

Say, Healing Potion = Healing Plant + Bottle

Certain items can also be used on certain cells. For example, you may need to find a missing gear and place it where it belongs.

Plans?

Currently I am finishing last 8 levels of the game (it has 24 of 32 at the moment) and working on decorating and improving the rest of them. Most features I planned are already in the engine, and there are only additional touches required to increase playability.

So, leave your feedback (pleeeease ^^) and, I hope, enjoy the game =) 'Cause we're closing to the Beta stage!

Comments
agamerguy
agamerguy

Hi Rastrelly,

I played the build you have available for download, and I generally like the direction of the game. I've been wanting to make a first person dungeon crawler for some time now and it's nice to see what others are making as well.

A few notes I have for you after playing:
- Some input quirks I ran into:
- WASD and arrow keys do not act the same, I can hold and continue to move with WASD, where arrow kays appear to only react on release.
- I consistently wanted to use the mouse to interact with the environment, but space and a small ui button in the top left appeared to be my only options.
- I really enjoyed the use of items in the environment. The only example I ran into during my play time was using the hammer to destroy the crumbling wall, but I may have missed other examples. It's something I wish I saw more games use.
- Combat
- Combat felt too random for my tastes, but I should mention I usually do not like TCGs, which I know you mentioned emulating MtG.
- I did not figure out a way to regen mana in combat, which is problematic when only getting cards that require mana. This led to my death which felt unfair.
- I did not find a way to get arrows consistently, which also made many cards useless. Perhaps allow arrows to be picked up after battles, with a random chance they will be broken?
- A possible bug, but I used the sniper card without having enough mana. It still used an arrow without actually allowing the card to be used due to lack of mana.

Overall I like the direction of the game and would be interested in playing a more polished build later on.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Rastrelly Author
Rastrelly

Thank you for feedback ^____^ It's extremely valuable and hard to get nowadays =) Especilly thanks to pointing some things I actually missed out while playtesting.
"WASD and arrow keys do not act the same, I can hold and continue to move with WASD, where arrow kays appear to only react on release."
Indeed. I was delaying fix for this issue for a looong time :(
"I consistently wanted to use the mouse to interact with the environment, but space and a small ui button in the top left appeared to be my only options."
I actually am going to make doubleclick to be "activate cell" button, but, again, constantly delaying this fix :(
"The only example I ran into during my play time was using the hammer to destroy the crumbling wall, but I may have missed other examples. "
On the same level you can pick up a rope and use it to swing across a pit. And there are more puzzles built around this later on =) And there will be even more when the game will be closing to final version.
"- Combat felt too random for my tastes, but I should mention I usually do not like TCGs, which I know you mentioned emulating MtG."
I actually agree. I am working on several ways to make combat flow a bit more predictable. Though, even now you can select cards to be used in combat, you can pick an ever-available card after gaining certain perk (Combat Discipline), and, after pumping Speed up you can control flow of cards in your hand much better.
"- I did not figure out a way to regen mana in combat, which is problematic when only getting cards that require mana. This led to my death which felt unfair."
There are 2 ways to make Mana regenerate:
1) It regenerates over time by [0 .. (Intelligence/10)] every turn with increased chance when you skip turn
2) It can be restored using certain cards (they drain health though)
3) There also are perks to increase mana maximum and mana regeneration rate
I was thinking about increasing basic mana regen rate and making it Difficulty sensitive.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
Rastrelly Author
Rastrelly

"I did not find a way to get arrows consistently, which also made many cards useless. Perhaps allow arrows to be picked up after battles, with a random chance they will be broken?"
This is an AWESOME idea! Thank you. It will be done ASAP ^___^
"A possible bug, but I used the sniper card without having enough mana. It still used an arrow without actually allowing the card to be used due to lack of mana."
This is my mistake. Items are removed from inventory outside actual card casting cycle :( BUUUUGS =(

"Overall I like the direction of the game and would be interested in playing a more polished build later on. "

Thanks a lot =) I hope this game will be at least a tolerable experience when I'll finish it ^^

Reply Good karma+2 votes
agamerguy
agamerguy

Glad you liked my comment. I hope you can get others to play it as well, as I think there's potential in it.

One other suggestion, regarding mana regen. Perhaps you can make the skip button instead a focus button and it always regens mana based on your intelligence?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.