October 21, 2020, 02:53:14 AM

Author Topic: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'  (Read 6641 times)

Offline Derron

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #60 on: March 30, 2020, 12:01:47 AM »
Regarding smooth movement:
Your figures are (for now?) not  having a movement animation. So they are like pawns in a board game. I think it would look better if the movement was
Accelerate - max speed - deaccelerate.
As written earlier I would suggest one of these interpolation formulas (cubeInOut or so).

Maybe give it a whirl and then judge of n your own.


Bye
Ron

Online Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #61 on: March 30, 2020, 04:39:20 AM »
Thanks...I went another route...I animated them...they all walk now....

Online Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #62 on: April 02, 2020, 03:40:04 AM »
Icons now instead of text for the character stats.....


Online Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #63 on: April 02, 2020, 04:02:03 AM »

I now know who my audience is, the type of people suited to my games:

Older male ex role players or those who occasionally dabble in reading fantasy fiction who are simply after a fix of some simple rather mindless Game play after a day at work.

So....my audience:
Is not the young male who likes AAA style games.
Nor is it the child who likes casual cartoony games.
Nor is it the female who wants to play candy crush saga.
..
It is the relaxed older male who simply wants to kill some time with moving a character about an environment and doing some stuff that can be set aside easily and picked up again when they're free, without caring too much whether they achieved all the goals in the game.

..
A relaxed casual gamer of the older male variety.

That's my target audience.

Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #64 on: April 02, 2020, 06:26:30 AM »
Be very careful on the last point about targets and audience.

You may think you know who is playing it, but the truth is usually something else. and even then you are taking a risk in what you think you know.

for example. Moving from text to icons. your stats are now:
hearts = health
swords = attack
shields = defence
boots = big feet? speed? walking distance? foot fetish rating?
book = intelligence? magic? recipes? librarian status? how many books carrying?
dice? dreidel? dice? = random something?

your assumptions about who the game is 'not for' is 'very' flawed and shows some potential discrimination in your thinking:
Quote
So....my audience:
Is not the young male who likes AAA style games.
Nor is it the child who likes casual cartoony games.
Nor is it the female who wants to play candy crush saga.
* All ages of people like AAA style games from 10 to 90
* all ages of people like casual cartoony games
* ALL kinds of people (not just 'females') play Candy Crush.

You might see the above as negative, but it isn't.
Don't limit yourself and never believe you 'know' something.

I'm not sure how you get feedback. but I can tell you that your delivery via the web will not give you the best results as you can't get feedback from people who are playing your game - These have to be people other than your family - They have to be people who have come across your game and played it and continue to play it.

Consider itch.io or another platform where you can get proper feedback and stats. This would also give you more interesting results as to where people came from (on the web) and would give you feedback on where marketing was or wasn't working.

:)

Online Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #65 on: April 03, 2020, 05:21:13 AM »
Thanks re Feedback...yes been looking into ways of acquiring this (I neither have feedback from 'friends' nor 'family').

However..I've released it across the web in a few locations (as well as itch.io)...and have acquired what appears to be positive feedback (likes versus dislikes) on some websites specifically designed for browser games, and negative feedback (but not entirely constructive) on forums (not this one) where the users are more familiar with big name title rpgs....hence...probably well below what they expect when they hear 'rpg released'.....

I look at it like this:

There are tiers of games/developers:

AAA 100 million dollar titles.
sub AAA big company 10 million dollar titles.
Big Indie Team 1 million dollar titles.
small company 1 million dollar titles.
Little indie Team 100k titles.
Tiny team / Big Browser game company 10k titles.
Individuals with excellent solo skill 1k - 5k titles.
Hobby developers <1k titles.
Asset flippers.....$10.



Online Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #66 on: April 07, 2020, 12:37:42 AM »
There are now decorative elements in both the dungeons and on the world map.

Including flying birds overhead and boats.

My Dad inspired me with the birds as he likes to put flying birds into his paintings often.

Online Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #67 on: April 07, 2020, 02:13:45 AM »
Feature list as I can recall..

1. There is an overworld map with different interactive elements such as dungeons, towns, wandering wraiths, deer, birds, wizards, paladins, caravans, boss creatures, merchant tents, brigands, shrines, and such.

2. There are different equipment items, a detailed character sheet with randomly generated storylines, an advisor who you can go to for help and who even rates the randomly generated characters giving advice as to their suitability in the game,.

3. There are taverns where you can gamble, buy food, hear the story, and towns that give quests to fulfil.

4. There are plenty of magical spells, there are amulets that protect against disease and poison and supply other bonuses.  There are magic weapons that cast spells on their own, and can carry more than one effect.

5. There are outdoor combats and indoor combats.

6. There are decorative elements which are non interactive.


7. There is an arcade mode for playing just the dungeons to see how deep you can go.

8. There are traps in the dungeon and a number of different monsters and monster themes.

9.  There a companions at the tavern should you have sufficient cash that could be either good or bad for you if you agree to their desires.

10. There are skills such as gold panning, fishing and others for building income on the outer map.


I also had a thought that the many boats that sit at port around the map could be used as a way of regenerating an entirely new map, enter a boat, sail away and land at a fresh new coastline, a way of restarting the map without losing your character.  And other boats could simply be a way to seek passage from one edge of coast to an opposite edge of coast.

Anyway, enjoy the images below.

Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #68 on: April 07, 2020, 08:13:19 AM »
My returning feature list  :o

ooh, lots of code and complexity. things to do, lots to do, place to see and visit, creatures to meet and eat. now with added kitchen sick and plunger quest...

And then you see one picture - doesn't matter which one, any one - and.... All bets are off! And if they get as far as trying to play and see one frame of 'figity feet - I'm dancin'. Once they have stopped laughing your reputation is... let's just say not good!

I'm being a bit harsh because someone has to be realistic.

I like the graphics - there is something in them. But you are just shouting louder and louder AND LOUDER "its great, you'll have fun, look at this". And when they do they just see - well you know what they see.

You want advice and you get lots of advice and you ignore it - "look at this, LOUDER"

You request advice, but it's the wrong kind of advice, not what you want to hear. "LOOK AT MY NEW KITCHEN SINK"

I and others can say 'this works, this doesn't work, maybe try this, have you thought, etc"

No one is trying to be unpleasant - but you have to be (that word again) brutal and honest with yourself.

And the image above with the ship - boy does that have the makings of some sort of pirate game...



Online Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #69 on: April 07, 2020, 08:29:27 AM »
Thanks.

I think you will find almost every piece of advice Derron has given has been implemented in some way or another, and yours are pending until I work out how to do them.

So a slightly inaccurate verbose statement of yours.

Offline Derron

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #70 on: April 07, 2020, 09:19:18 AM »
I assume Adam wrote:
- concentrate on the basics of the game first
- extend with new ideas once it is working

With "floating" he was referencing the "fake drop shadow" you put below the human on the screenshot - look at it and now tell us the feet are "grounded" ... no they are floating.
This is what people WILL recognize. So do not think of such things being able to be added within a "click" in your drawing program.

He suggested to you, to make objects a bit better proportioned - so THICK walls to make them "massive", taller walls, to make them not "climbable" - your small walls looked like a "garden fence".
Now you added ships - maybe a nice idea (dunno, did not play) but they are sooo small ... they are twice as big as a seagull/bird. It does not make them look "serious". Small ships would work when used as some kind of "icon/symbol" for a pickup-item or so.
They might also work when part of another symbol (eg a "harbour"). But they are not working as "unit". Then they cannot be much smaller than a normal figure/unit/creature.


Also I mentioned the scaling down: it might work for your style but most of the time you _will_ have to go over the scaled images to paint in "gone missing" details, remove "odd" pixels (eg a hair strain looks "off" then). As said use your drawings as "basis" not as "final result". For "final result" they miss a lot of stuff required to be properly useable as "small scale" game asset (not to talk about portraits in dialogues - which make obvious what "finishing steps" were not done yet in the paintings).

Creating proper looking assets is what most of us avoid like fire avoids water. It is _time_consuming_. Most of us even have problems to achieve what you create (so "from empty sheet of paper" to "having drawn a character meeting the criterias we set"). Yet it requires more steps in addition: creating constant lighting, maintain constant level of details (you cannot have one character with kind of outlines, visible eyes - and then one blurry-faced-contour-less one). You improved on this the last years but for now it seems as if you are not keen to explore the next necessary steps in asset creation (most of us did not go as far as you did for now - which is why we need the help of external artists in many cases, or do other "styles" to avoid all this burden).



Aside of the graphics: it is cool how _fast_ you add new game elements. This can be handy in many cases - we just for now "concentrated" on the visual stuff (also as you brought this up when comparing to other "similar" games).
So this is why I asked you to learn the other steps in asset creation too. I somehow think you would then shape off some time in your "initial drawing steps" which then can be used in the now missing ones (lighting, details, ...). Maybe you try too much to bring your "analog painting" into the "painted game asset" workflow. I on myself think it slightly differs. Lighting could be done "non-destructive" (layers!) and so can other. It allows you to change your mood later on ("I need the same character again - now in night-light conditions").
Having a "non lit" drawn character (so shape + base colours) allows to just add a different set of lighting (blueish moon light) without _much_ hassle.


Gameplay wise most stuff you need to ensure is "convienance". Stuff should require only a few clicks, information should be understandable easily. So as IWasAdam suggested: some icons were a bit ambiguous. So maybe add "tooltips" there with more elaborative explanations. Once people learned what a symbol means, they do not need the tooltips anymore. Lengthy texts are then effectively purged from the interface.
Nonetheless you could still use
Health:
Movement:
... but then visually separate them a bit from the value (by having a tinted background or "panel" look or ... whatever suits best).
Short words are similar to "symbols", people grasp them in milliseconds (if naming is concise!) and once they learn the "position" of values they wont read the texts at all and just scan the numbers.

Colours are also useable. So if you have different "defense" values, then tint the values slightly:
- magic defence, physical defence, mental defence ...


All of these suggestions we make are pretty "generic" and not directly targeting your isometric RPG. So once you tried out stuff, found it useful (or not) you will improve all your upcoming projects as you take all of the stuff passively into consideration.


PS: scaling images down might make them look "more suiting" but if you want a painted look you cannot have all this "crisp" differences between units and background - it should blend. If you now think of just doing some "cubic interpolation" scale (to have anti alias on the edge) it will also antialias the inners of the units (will look "smudged"). I assume this is why some older games used the "antialiased" blackish outlines to have some consistent "look" of all entities in the world. I suggested some "25% opacity multiply layer" so stuff just gains darker outlines. It wont work for thin elements though ... the outline would kill the "details". This is all stuff you need to take into consideration when creating assets. Hence I wrote about necessary steps next to the basic work. So sometimes you need to "emphasize" elements. There is a reason why the Blizzard game units were like "cartoons" as it eases keeping the important details in low resolutions without relying too much on anti-aliased inners and the brain to "de-blur" the details.



I am kind of sorry that our posts sound so harsh and there is only a few "encouragement" in it. You have some talent and most important: you are having "energy". You should use it to improve your quality not just to widen your portfolio (albeit this is some kind of "training excercise") or create more complexity in the game (by just doing again what you already know - just in a different fashion). If you already knew in advance how you would code the "ships" and "birds" than it is something you could do when a bit tired/boozed - but else you should try to encourage yourself to get _better_. to IMPROVE.

You can for now draw creatures - maybe even without reference. So you learned this "step". But imagine you were now able to draw more accurate lines, a better nose, attractive cleavages, fluid looking hair... all small steps which would make _each_ later drawn image look better. So repeating to draw on the same level only trains what you already know - it might help in certain areas (you become more "save") but it also makes your muscle memory learn some wrong stuff. This is why we sometimes need to force us to _learn_ something new.
 

This is what we try you to convince of. Get better once and benefit from it forever.

PS: And PLEASE be aware of this fact: we write so much text for you. We do not do this for everyone. We have interest in making you a better artist (programmer and drawing wise). So I hope you do not get pissed off by our posts. There will be times in which more soft words will be posted than critics :D


bye
Ron

Online Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #71 on: April 07, 2020, 10:07:10 AM »
I understand your points.

I find your criticisms useful.

It is possible I do not improve at the rate you would hope for.

Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #72 on: April 07, 2020, 10:28:09 AM »
it's very easy for people to just say something is bad, etc without clarification and possible suggestions on how to improve.

It's also easy just to ignore suggestions because you don't like what they are saying.

I'm going to pick up a little on what you mentioned about 'female' games and 'candy 'crush' and being negative about the concept.

Have you actually played 'candy crush'? Have you seen how it has changed over the years? Can you learn something from it? I would say 'yes'... 'candy crush' is the perfect example of something that has a solid simple core and expands on it. It uses brilliant animation effects to reinforce stuff, has audible feedback with its sound effects - everything fits together perfectly.

An example is the 'fish'. They come from one or both sides of the screen and reach a target. But the don't follow a straight line, they follow a curve. and they aren't static they rotate up and down giving a wavy look to their movement. add a suitable wavy sound and it all comes together into a single thing that just works.

The graphics are also being constantly tweaked to give a better feel, everything is just brilliantly done and says 'quality'. You can get that instantly from any single static screenshot, but when it all moves, there's particles flying around, you go 'WOW'.

So can you learn something from Candy Crush - bloody well right you can - any of us can. Even if it makes you think of using a curve instead of a straight line, or a wavy sound instead of that boring 'blip'

You have an android tablet? Download some games, and see what makes them good. What makes you go 'oooh' and 'ahhhh' and see if you can integrate a bit of 'that secret sauce' into your projects. You don't have to like the game, or even want to play it for long. but see if you can find something that might spark something in you :)

it could be the look, the layout, or even just how a font or logo feels right, or sounds right. or the colors are great together, or it's minimal design shouts 'hey i'm great'...



Offline Derron

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #73 on: April 07, 2020, 02:00:23 PM »
> It is possible I do not improve at the rate you would hope for.

True, maybe you are slow learning - but I very much doubt that. You seem to be an above average intelligent (except for your "reality issues" :D) man - interested in many things and surely reading a lot of stuff. So you can soak up wisdom, knowledge, ...  but when it comes to drawing, you are more or less sticking to a self positioned limit. From here on not further.

I asked you (not demand!) some stuff way more than a year ago - but the only thing of it which you tried was drawing on your graphical tablet. So it is over a year of a maybe missed chance - a year you used to train what you already knew - maybe get better at it but surely also manifesting stuff you did wrong then and are now doing "wrong as usual".

Think one of the main issues you have is "clear line strokes" - this requires practices. So you enjoy painting all this stuff: maybe concentrate on getting more fluent with your strokes. You can learn this a lot (I think) when you do the "sketching" part before actually drawing the final outlines. Sketching does not require exact hit line endings and allows for these smooth curved lines you see in so many drawings.



@ Candy Crush
Never played it - but I am always envy on all these soooo great looking casual games in the game portals. Game mechanics are often easy to copy but the assets... gorgeous. Stuff just not being created in two weekends. And often they are able to reuse "layer effects" or "workflow knowledge" from prior stuff.

Next to assets the ux handling ("convenience") is also something you have to put a lot efforts in - but once done you can copy paste a lot into the next projects.


bye
Ron

Online Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #74 on: April 07, 2020, 08:30:45 PM »
Thanks again...

It looks better yet again...

Still have to figure out how to do the shadows...I'm thinking it might be nice to do something real time with the shadows if possible even if there is a lot of fakery going on....but the shading on the corner of the floor and the wall I haven't worked out how to do properly yet.

The torches are animated.

Thanks for the feedback. There's still work to do...



Oh...and I played an early version of Candy Crush..I didn't like it....

 

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