Παρασκευή, 12 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Enter the Naginata

I've added a new weapon into the game, the dreadful Naginata.
A Naginata consists of a wooden shaft with a curved blade on the end, think of it as the European halberd that is as sharp as a Katana. In the right hands this weapon can be deadly, perfect against cavalry it can dismount a rider without much effort, there are even legends of a monk that reflected a hundred arrows by moving the Naginata in a helicopter fashion above his head and cutting them in half. Later during the Edo period as there were not that many battles the Naginata became a symbol of social status for women. As son's would inherit a family sword, daughters often would be granted a Naginata as a wedding gift. The most common images associated with the Naginata are those of Onna-bugeisha (Female warriors) or those of the Hojo monks but it was widely used.

I'm also thinking of changing the name of the game, I'm constantly having videos flagged by youtube's automated system because apparently it thinks that a Japanese word can be copyrighted....

Somehow the basic system of combat mechanics which I've create it, made it so easy for me to add a new weapon, it literally took me half an hour to have it set it up and running both for the player and the enemy. You know what that means right? Tons of weapons! Another cool thing I've added to the Naginata is that when it breaks instead of dropping just broken parts, the blade part of the Naginata can be used as a regular sword, which is actually a legit technique! If you look at videos of Naginatajutsu the participants would regularly grab the Naginata higher up and just under the blade and use it as you would use a Katana. I will showcase this in a later video because there's not really much to it right now.

I've also started thinking adding more the ability to change your sword style in game, after playing with the Naginata and how easy it was to add it would be pretty simple to do it. The only problem with this is that the amount of animations I need just keeps multiplies more, that's not a bad thing but it's a big weight upon our timeline.

Here's a video of the Naginata in action and it's aftermath!

Some pics also

Παρασκευή, 5 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Improving a lame mechanic

We all have played a game which utilizes a counter attack mechanic, the idea is always the same, it's basically a QTE, well how boring that turns out to be? And usually everyone turns out to spam it all the time breaking the immersion of the game.

For games that are primarily stealth (you know which ones I mean) they turn out to be just a power fantasy in the end with no reason to change your tactics, so...

What's my approach to this? Instead of just hitting a button on the keyboard, you have to click the GUI button which spawns randomly around the enemy. Now the size of it depends upon the enemy's skill and familiarity with your moves, but even if you do manage to counter attack that doesn't mean you will get instant kills, the weapon you have and the skill of the enemy play a major role in the outcome of the counter attack but at least you will be sure that you have broken the attack of the opponent. I believe this adds a lot more to our previous talk about "Observation before action" so knowing the level of the enemy will give a significant weight on your decision of your course of action. Although the Counter Attack mechanic is very powerful, you'll have to know when to use it!

But I have to admit, when you are making a stealth game you can be so unapologetic with the combat difficulty :P

It tends to get a little bloody sometimes...

A close up from a counter attack

I've also created a FB page if you are into that sort of thing.I plan to update it with stuff from the game or not that relevant to it, but a lot about the samurai/ninja lore, link below

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/devwithoutacrewst?fref=ts
Twitter; @NVicBoss

Till next week! Sayonara!

Πέμπτη, 28 Αυγούστου 2014

Game Mechanics

I'm giving it extra work on the AI that's why it takes so god damn long, what I'm going for as a game mechanic is that the player won't have a way to show him the level of the enemies, so he would have to figure it out by observing their AI if he doesn't he would be too outmatched in a fight. For every enemy there is a rank and a bravery level, if an enemy bosses other enemies around, he is of higher level, low rank enemies kneel to high ranking enemies, better clothing, the presence of armor, what kind of weapon does he hold, how many swords does he carry etc. But high rank doesn't always mean bravery, so the player would have to watch for signs to also figure out the level of bravery, while high levels of bravery fight harder and won't give up easily, the player should watch for the cowards also, because nothings cuts short a sword fight more than a concealed firearm! This is were the bird's eye view comes to play (among other things). I believe that in stealth games observation is the key mechanic, in contrast to games like AC where every enemy is just an enemy and you know that if he sees you, he would just attack you, here enemies might retreat and call for backup, they might surrender and when you come close attack, they might challenge you without calling for backup and lot's of other stuff. If somebody approached the game without taking the time to observe it, it would seem to him that everything is random but that's not the case, for every enemy there would always be clues for them, you can even make your character give you feedback on them, but every character has a different personality so you would have to know them pretty well, an arrogant character might feel that is superior from another enemy and that could lead to problems.

That's only for combat, for normal behaviours is another big talk :P . I have most of this things working but they need a lot of polish at the moment, on my next dev vlog I would explained all of this in even more detail or at least the parts that I have polished enough till then.

Basically the main idea for it was taken from Monty Pythons quest for the holy grail. When King Arthur passed two villagers and one says to another "He looks like a King" the other one asks why so he replies "Well he doesn't have feces all over him" :P . In every modern game now there's just too much information on the screen, they don't let the player explore the world around him, I remember memorising the map of GTA 3 and Mafia and I always knew exactly where to turn and where to go, just because there was no way of guiding you, now with all that GPS added into them that's a feature missing, it might be more easier now to find your way around but I believe that makes the game more remote from the player and doesn't let him invest so much as they used to.

With the addition of a campaign map in the game where the player would have to face "searching parties" I want him to be at the position where he would say "You know I should retreat to that level because if I'm attacked here the plain terrain won't give me much choices to hide if I can't beat them" kinda like the total war series but without the random levels, so memorising almost everything would be crucial.

I'm also expirimenting more with the cutscenes and their art style so here is a quick scene I've made, tell me what you think!

Τρίτη, 26 Αυγούστου 2014

Experimenting with some cutscenes, I like the manga-esq appeal with this one and the use of sequential panels means I won't have to waste hours animating full cutscenes rather than focus on Key Animations and poses.

Πέμπτη, 21 Αυγούστου 2014

Hi Yo Silver!!

Been busy the last couple of weeks, creating the campaign map, creating a database for all the levels and their stats/states and finally coding the enemy AI (around 3000 lines of code and still growing). So as a break from all this I decided to add even more flair to the game with mounts! Still a work in progress but it turns out pretty good!! Check the videos below

This is an intro scene for the game.
Take it also as an announcement for mounts to the game!

Here you can see them on action, keep in mind they are still WIP

I haven't found out yet how to do the mounted combat, except from ranged combat that is, but I'm working on it. As for the ranged combat on horseback, be prepared to face some tough and mean sobs, unfortunately you won't see them in this update though, they still need some nitpicking...

Other Features added:

1.You can pick up any weapon from the ground and the character would change his style

2.Breakable Items and Weapons

3.Enemy makes morale checks and acts accordingly (currently 5 states of actions for them)

4.Enemy communication and Character responses (Everyone has a response according to their personality)

5.Day/Night time cycle in the campaign map and on certain levels.

I'll be adding and some wallpapers to download soon, so you'll be able to spread the love around!

If all goes well we might be talking about an alpha pretty soon(a couple of months perhaps) I'm working furiously to bring a playable demo that's not bug ridden and it's a good taste of the whole pie till the end of the year.