SyntaxBomb - Indie Coders

General Category => General Game and Application Development => Topic started by: Matty on March 07, 2020, 08:25:20 PM

Title: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 07, 2020, 08:25:20 PM
One of the competition entries a while ago I entered was 'The Young Prince' (on my website).

I received feedback from this site and others about the game (and it was one of my better entries as well).

I've decided to modify the game into a new version called 'Warlock' which will have the following features:

1. Single character player not four characters.
2. Character begins more powerful and has access to both magic and melee abilities right from the start.
3. Graphical updates - still mostly static graphics but I'm altering the palette used and the drawings.
4. More adventures/quests.
5. More spells.
6. General improvements all around.



Here are some screenshots from what I've done so far (after a few hours work)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc01.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc02.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc03.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc04.jpg)

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 08, 2020, 02:43:43 AM
Graphics modified so far:
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc05.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 08, 2020, 09:08:16 AM
A bit more done after dinner....

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc07.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 08, 2020, 10:19:02 PM
Okay..this morning I did the following:

Added dialog boxes for communication with either a simple 'Yes No' confirm option or an 'Ok' option.

The dialog boxes allows for a picture, text or an avatar to be shown as well.

It is currently used in towns to either purchase new spells or food.

That's the other thing - food has been added. The player's food runs out as they travel over the overland map.

When the food reaches zero they fight less effectively in dungeons (basically all their dice rolls are rerolled and the worst result is chosen of the two).

Here are some images:

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc08.jpg)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc09.jpg)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc10.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 09, 2020, 06:51:56 AM
Gambling and highway robbery added....
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 09, 2020, 06:57:32 AM
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc12.jpg)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc13.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on March 09, 2020, 08:18:41 AM
Really nice :)
with the village it maybe an idea to bring back some form of grid, and possible introduce a fake shadow for characters to prevent them from 'floating'
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on March 09, 2020, 08:46:35 AM
Make sure to have consistent shadows/lighting. So your mountains on the tileset have a "2 or 3 o'clock" light source while the "town" has a "10 or 11 o'clock" light source.

So choose one - or have two of the same for day and night (which is harder for you as you need to paint the same thing twice - without much changes in the shape ---- except you go for "at day it is so ... and at night it is different" way as an interesting gameplay twist).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 09, 2020, 04:13:42 PM
Thanks, good feedback. I'm enjoying updating this game.

Doing one mode at a time....the various modes are:
Character sheet
Village
Overland map
Dungeon

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 09, 2020, 08:28:21 PM
Game progress....

Quest system updated. (multiple quests possible at one time)
Magic spells updated. (more spells, different graphical icons)
Character sheet interface updated. (tool tips on spells plus changed navigation slightly)


(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc14.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 10, 2020, 06:43:44 AM
Game progress....

Added detail to charsheet
Added charges to spell abilities
Upscaled sprites in charsheet and dialog boxes.

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc15.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc16.jpg)


Added interactive elements on overland map.

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc17.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc18.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc19.jpg)


Enough for today.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on March 10, 2020, 06:56:53 AM
"you have 63 gold pieces." ... I think ... there is a better wording for this :D

upscaling: why not just use the original res and scale that down to all the sizes accordingly - would save you that pixelated look.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 10, 2020, 07:09:30 AM
Re upscaling comment...because it is browser based I want to keep the pngs small in size....

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on March 10, 2020, 07:17:45 AM
Think we read about 1-2 Kb per character here - maybe even less. Place them on a tilesheet as requests are more expensive these days than added 100 Kilobytes for a browser game.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 10, 2020, 09:57:29 PM
Query about competition rules as it pertains to my new game:

My newgame is a redo of my previous competition entry.
I did not intend to create this one as a competition entry.
The rules of the current competiton seem to allow my game....with one exception-I began working on it 3 to 4 days before the competition start date.

I am happy for it to be excluded on that basis, but if I finish it before the competition deadline would it be acceptable as an entry?

I didn't want to derail the main competition thread with my question, but...my plan is to make the game and if it is finished before the deadline and is deemed not to be disqualified then I would happily enter it.

Otherwise...work will continue as per normal on the game.


Thanks.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 11, 2020, 03:14:17 AM
Added today:

Wednesday 11th March
Added female company in tavern.
Console changes
Poison and Disease changes
Dice roll changes
Created skeleton warrior graphics and tested them.

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc21.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc22.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: blinkok on March 11, 2020, 04:41:53 AM
That looks very cool! The burred style of the tiles makes the characters pop
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 11, 2020, 05:04:21 AM
Thanks blinkok.

The tiles are painted with a digital paintbrush while the characters are drawn with a digital pencil plus a little bit of digital paint to accentuate the shading...round it off a little.

The tiles are the same as for the young prince game I made but with a changed hue and saturation.  The characters are all new.

I have a base human naked figure which I add clothing and other details to.  I've drawn both male and female human characters.   

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on March 11, 2020, 07:19:12 AM
Regarding your compo question - maybe send a Personal Message to Qube (linking to the post or asking in the message directly + referencing the post here). So it does not stay unseen.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 11, 2020, 02:28:04 PM
Greetings.....

I wanted to test on my tablet device so had to upload an early dev version to my webspace.  If you want to have a muck around with it yourself as well you can.

Still to add:
Lots of monsters.
Music.
More interactive features in the town, on the map, and in the dungeons.
Spell effects.
More spells.
...
And I had an idea which is in the wish list....the player should be able to build their own stronghold or dungeon to store their treasure, and spells, and stock it with monsters that will defend it from other heroes who the game will auto play a hero exploring  your own dungeon...
..
Second part of pipe dream wish list....if I do add the ability to make your own dungeon it should appear on other online players maps as a location to explore.
http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/ (http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc23.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 11, 2020, 09:13:18 PM
A short video of some progress...

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Qube on March 12, 2020, 02:23:45 AM
Query about competition rules as it pertains to my new game:

My newgame is a redo of my previous competition entry.
I did not intend to create this one as a competition entry.
The rules of the current competiton seem to allow my game....with one exception-I began working on it 3 to 4 days before the competition start date.

I am happy for it to be excluded on that basis, but if I finish it before the competition deadline would it be acceptable as an entry?

I didn't want to derail the main competition thread with my question, but...my plan is to make the game and if it is finished before the deadline and is deemed not to be disqualified then I would happily enter it.

Otherwise...work will continue as per normal on the game.


Thanks.
I don't see any issue with that so long as you submit it at least 4 days before the comp finishes. That way everyone has had the same amount of time :)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 12, 2020, 05:23:27 AM
Thanks Qube.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 13, 2020, 04:16:51 AM
Some recent sprites...

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/skeletonsword1.png) (http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/skeletonaxe1.png)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/necromancer0.png)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/necromancer1.png)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/lich0.png)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/imp0.png)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/ogremage0.png)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 13, 2020, 09:52:55 PM
Some in game screenshots taken from my tablet device in chrome browser.

Attached.


There is now a penalty if you leave a dungeon without completing it.  Each time you exit a dungeon without completing it an army of monsters appears on the main map, finds their way to the nearest town, sacks it and then creates another dungeon there.....if you play really badly I suppose the entire island map could have no towns left...makes buying food and spells difficult!
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 16, 2020, 06:39:13 PM
There are now goods caravans that you can decide to protect (and fight off brigands should they arrive)....

As well I have updated the graphics renderer, index and initialisation routines to use the full screen area as much as possible while keeping the aspect ratio as 4:3, black borders on right and left....

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc26.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc27.jpg)

and a showing of most of the graphics I've developed in the last week and a bit for this game...

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc25.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 18, 2020, 06:50:22 AM
There are now 'Dark Emissaries' that appear on the map, corrupting the landscape who teleport about at regular intervals, setting up dungeons and making the world map into a dark place.....

You can fight them and defeat them ...

This adds a semi story line to the game...since after a certain time the game begins sending these dark emissaries onto the map...which you have to deal with.....and they change the nature of the landscape.

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc28.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc29.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 18, 2020, 04:28:16 PM
A sampling of some recently created graphics.

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/orcssword1.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/darkemissary.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/orcsstaff0.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/rottentile0.png)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 19, 2020, 05:41:25 AM
Intro sequence (and outro sequence) built.....

scrolling text over an artwork I developed for the game...

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc30.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on March 19, 2020, 07:41:33 AM
I know I am a bit early with this: but take care of adding polish to the presentation:
- proper fonts (maybe even use a bitmask font for certain elements so they are "more stylized")
- boxes like quests, trading .... they should gain some additonal decoration to make them look a bit more "fantasy"

Stuff like this is a "one time job": do it once and use it everywhere in the game.


PS: thanks for the worklog. Always enjoy reading such stuff.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 19, 2020, 07:55:46 AM
Good points Derron, thank you.  I'll note them down.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 19, 2020, 05:09:48 PM
Thanks Derron, made a start on the ui appearance, a few changes...

Attached.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on March 19, 2020, 08:10:54 PM
UI will contain a lot of _distinguishable_ icons - so attack, defence, intelligence and steps can be iconified with sword/fist, shield, brain/head, footsteps, ... etc.

UI panels in fantasy games tend to have some "ornaments" or other decals making it look "important" and "theme specific" compared to some generic windows.
You do not need to have final GFX for that for now - you just need to be "aware" of it, have it on your "todo". Also you can prepare stuff in your code so you at the end just need to place the gfx and set some configuration stuff.

Nonetheless: do what you want, you should enjoy creating your game rather listening to some dude who does not speak for the others lurking around and awaiting to play your competition entry.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 19, 2020, 11:36:12 PM
Thanks.  That's helpful.
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc31.jpg)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc32.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 20, 2020, 05:03:22 PM
More updates...

Font
Character and town names are generated from syllables not a plain list.
Decals on stuff.
Little things like a border around the progress bar when saving the game.
Bug fixes (final victory was checked wrongly)
Etc etc
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on March 20, 2020, 07:20:48 PM
They might not be the prettiest or most perfect suiting - but do you by yourself judge it as "better than before" already? I think so.

Regarding decals/ornaments ... make sure that boxes you "cover" have an inner "padding" or "text boundary" so that text does not get covered behind it (like "character" in the attachment of your last post). 1-2 pixels overlap is OK ... especially if the decal is drawn as it if grew above everything. If the text is always readable it could look even better to have a veeeery slight overlap/text-covering.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 20, 2020, 08:06:30 PM
Thanks, yes I struggle with some forms of art, simply don't find that kind of neat graphic work that is less like painting and drawing and more like design.

Oh...I have created a learning AI for a bit of fun to test out the demo mode.

I've given the AI a set character, a set dungeon and a goal of 'highest experience points obtained in 90 seconds', while I have breakfast it is playing the game...and hopefully improving.

Should it reach a certain ability I'll use it as the 'demo mode' for when the user sits at the title screen for too long.

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Steve Elliott on March 20, 2020, 08:29:50 PM
Coming along nicely.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 20, 2020, 09:47:24 PM
Thanks Steve,

I've had breakfast and allowed the learning AI to go through about 100 generations....it actually plays for the 90 seconds during that time - although I sped the frame rate up to 300fps from 60fps to allow the 90 seconds to be played 'faster'.....

Here it is after 100 generations on a simple level.....


Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 21, 2020, 05:33:40 AM
A short video of the game so far....

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Kryzon on March 21, 2020, 06:10:21 AM
Hi Matty. Your art practice is paying off. I think your graphics are consistent and have a unique style.
I was going to comment on the fonts of the earlier screenshots but I see now that you changed them. It looks much better now, reminds me of Friz Quadrata (https://www.fonts.com/font/itc/friz-quadrata/regular) (Blizzard used it in Wacraft III and World of Warcraft).
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: blinkok on March 21, 2020, 08:08:09 PM
Looking very polished!
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 21, 2020, 09:49:11 PM
Thanks...yes I'm pleased with it.

Yes Kryzon  - my art hobby has been helping with this...improving my skill at drawing....greatly.

I've just gone through and removed 2,250 lines of code (unecessary/block comments etc) and fixed a few bugs....

I'm thinking of adding some form of help similar to my game 'A Knight's War' with a kind of 'advisor' fellow who pops up at times to tell you what you can do, or at least if you press the 'help' button.....
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on March 21, 2020, 10:42:33 PM
i just skipped through your gameplay video:

- the "quest" giver sign should not be a wide button (give it a "special button skin" - maybe some round thing with the "!"-exclamation mark in it)
- some overdrawing of text regarding buttons/captions
- a "cell by cell" movement animation which should be replace by some "swoooop" animation... so the figure starts moving "slowly", gradually become faster and slow at the end (like a "rubber" which does not want to move first but then "snaps")
- the figure is always in the center: this makes the figure in the outlands move pretty "stop motion like". Maybe allow a certain grid amount to move before camere re-centers. The re-centering could be done gradually too (so "tweening" from old to new position in a smooth movement).

- new font makes a big step already as it does not look too "prototype" then anymore
- tavern owner could offer different stuff ("want a beer and a story for a penny?", "I have this young lady which is keen to join you for a night", ...)

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 21, 2020, 11:15:34 PM
Thanks Derron.

Some of those things (eg tavern options) are already there, but some of your suggestions I will definitely implement.

The smooth motion is not going to happen anytime soon-too big a change to the isometric drawing routine, due to the draw order to prevent overlaps.  I could handle it fine with my newer renderer.js file but this game is based on the code from 2018 which would not easily allow for it without massive changes.

But yes your ideas are good.

Keep them coming, they always carry a little sting hearing the criticisms but the result is it always looks and plays better when I implement them.

I still have the following to add, thought of this morning at breakfast:

1. Dream sequence to prepare player for arrival of bosses in a few turns.
2. Advisor with context sensitive tips and help who can be 'summoned' (eg the game is called Warlock so perhaps you can summon an imp of sorts to give advice at will)
3. Adjust arcade mode: think about refreshing spells at each levelup or each new dungeon level.
4. In options perhaps allow the player to set the rules of arcade mode based on their preference and level of challenge desired.
5. Localstorage, find a way to handle exceptions when the browser localstorage is full-it happens and currently the game doesn't fail gracefully during saving/loading when it occurs (hmm not sure yet if Javascript even has error catch handlng methods)
6.Fix bug with saving 'interactive' elements on the main map-most are saved but supply wagons position is not always handled correctly and likely the main bosses will have an error there too.
7.Animations-more attack animations have been made, but more are needed.  Potentially look into widening the cells by 20pixels on creatures to handle more interesting animations,  currently it is a bit to narrow to really allow what I'd like. But that would require a lot of adjustments to graphic elements to be made.
8. Fix text boundaries, as you say, overlap occurs-note the same font size appears different on different screen sizes for same resolution on tablet, phone and desktop-I might need a way of working out the font size which is appropriate for each given they sometimes don't work right even though resolution is identical.
9.A problem impossible to overcome is that when updates are made to graphic elements and even code, sometimes the browser has cached old data and will not refresh on handheld devices unless you completely clear the cache.  I don't like this feature and is not something I can easily code for.
10. Potentially look into a Web page to exe converter to allow the game to finally be packaged as a desktop executable... wish list, only if it can be done easily with minimal speed hit.
11. Others to come.

Todo list for now.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 22, 2020, 05:08:29 AM
Strikethrough = Done.
1. Dream sequence to prepare player for arrival of bosses in a few turns.
2. Advisor with context sensitive tips and help who can be 'summoned' (eg the game is called Warlock so perhaps you can summon an imp of sorts to give advice at will)
3. Adjust arcade mode: think about refreshing spells at each levelup or each new dungeon level.
4. In options perhaps allow the player to set the rules of arcade mode based on their preference and level of challenge desired.
5. Localstorage, find a way to handle exceptions when the browser localstorage is full-it happens and currently the game doesn't fail gracefully during saving/loading when it occurs (hmm not sure yet if Javascript even has error catch handlng methods)
6.Fix bug with saving 'interactive' elements on the main map-most are saved but supply wagons position is not always handled correctly and likely the main bosses will have an error there too.
7.Animations-more attack animations have been made, but more are needed.  Potentially look into widening the cells by 20pixels on creatures to handle more interesting animations,  currently it is a bit to narrow to really allow what I'd like. But that would require a lot of adjustments to graphic elements to be made.
8. Fix text boundaries, as you say, overlap occurs-note the same font size appears different on different screen sizes for same resolution on tablet, phone and desktop-I might need a way of working out the font size which is appropriate for each given they sometimes don't work right even though resolution is identical.
9.A problem impossible to overcome is that when updates are made to graphic elements and even code, sometimes the browser has cached old data and will not refresh on handheld devices unless you completely clear the cache.  I don't like this feature and is not something I can easily code for.
10. Potentially look into a Web page to exe converter to allow the game to finally be packaged as a desktop executable... wish list, only if it can be done easily with minimal speed hit.
11. Others to come.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on March 22, 2020, 06:33:31 AM
Quote
8. Fix text boundaries, as you say, overlap occurs-note the same font size appears different on different screen sizes for same resolution on tablet, phone and desktop-I might need a way of working out the font size which is appropriate for each given they sometimes don't work right even though resolution is identical.

- do not use "font-size: 10em" but "px". This would remove display-size-based scaling
-
Code: [Select]
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1"> or similar to avoid trouble with iphones or so
- most simple: use bitmap fonts (your language is english - so you only need a handful of letters :D). Also saves hassle if you use a "do not distribute" font and you could add slight shadows, subtle outlines, ...)


Quote
9.A problem impossible to overcome is that when updates are made to graphic elements and even code, sometimes the browser has cached old data and will not refresh on handheld devices unless you completely clear the cache.  I don't like this feature and is not something I can easily code for.

Can't you define a string in your game? append this to all file requests (after the "?"-query sign)
so "versionString=1200" leads to
https://mattiesgames.com/mygame/sprite.png?v=1200

This caches in the browser ...and if you change your versionString to 1201 it will load it properly as the url differs to the cached.

An other idea is to directly tell the browser to
- not cache at all '(website tells to never cache or invalidate immediately)
- mark content changed (server software detects changed content by file datestamps and reports accordingly but browsers could ignore that)


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 22, 2020, 07:48:54 AM
Thanks those points should help.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 22, 2020, 05:13:08 PM
Done..thanks Derron, em fixed it for text(on everything except IE browser...have to find out why that one doesn't like it....)

And the ?v=number part at the end of the img.src code works a treat......

For those who are interested.....my game uses an engine I've been working on for each Javascript game since we began the competitions.

The code has the following modules which I'll describe and link to here:

init.js - handles screen and input configuration and calls the request to load all the relevant resources. Nothing in here needs to be touched most of the time.
http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/init.js (http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/init.js)

audio.js - handles audio processing. Note mobile devices handle audio in browsers different than desktop, they require some additional mucking about as you need to detect screen interaction of some sort before audio will play to prevent autoplay as part of browser design these days.
http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/audio.js (http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/audio.js)

renderer.js - handles all draw calls. It puts all draw calls including text, lines, rectangles, images and animated images into a list which then get displayed in sequence and then flipped from the 'backbuffer' into the front buffer with a flip() command. Thanks blitz languages for this idea.

http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/renderer.js (http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/renderer.js)

guiconfig.js - contains some simple parameters for controlling default gui details, mainly colour, font and other themes. Can be overridden or ignored but is a set of defaults that can help to make things look consistent.
http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/guiconfig.js (http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/guiconfig.js)

codedgui.js - contains basic gui controls which includes buttons, text labels, boxes, and so on.
http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/codedgui.js (http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/codedgui.js)

functions.js - miscellaneous functions such as rand(), abs(), sign() and so on plus some aliases for them (such as both Rand and rand function the same)
http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/functions.js (http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/functions.js)

main.js - final javascript to append to the index.html - this contains the main loop and final initialisation calls.
http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/main.js (http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/main.js)

recorder.js - this is currently not used, it is an attempt to drive screen recording via mouse input from start to finish of the game...with some settings of record, play and stop.
http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/recorder.js (http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/recorder.js)

gamedataonline.js - this is a module I use for each game that is completely customised each time. What you have below is the code to 'Warlock'. If you look at the same file for any other of my Javascript games you will have a different set of code in there.
The functions in the engine version of this are mainly stubs that you fill in with the relevant details for your game.
http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/gamedataonline.js (http://mattiesgames.com/warlock/gamedataonline.js)

That's most of the code...you can of course look inside the index.html to see how it all hangs together....
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 23, 2020, 09:47:23 AM
A series of screenshots.....

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc33.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc34.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc35.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc36.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on March 23, 2020, 11:28:12 AM
(https://imgur.com/7gU7Za5.png)

Similar to the character stats you should have a "space" after the double colons ..
Stat:25
Stat: 25

Or check if you should better have the value right aligned and the label left aligned.


Also visible on the screen: the 3 blue balls/bells/whatever are drawn _below_ the caption.
Do not draw the panel's decoration _before_ the content, but _after_ the content.

Panel.Draw:
- panel.bg.draw <--- the background box
- panel.content.draw  <--- avatar, stats, boxes ...
- panel.overlay.draw  <--- your decoration

After this you can draw your dragged stuff (eg potions you "clicked")



(https://imgur.com/Jg13c3w.png)
The numbers ("amount" ?) are drawn differently:
- font size differs
- position in the "circles" differs (yellow 4,4,4,4 vs yellow 3)
- font face differs (yellow 3 vs teal 3)
- circle position differs (yellow 4,4,4,4 vs yellow 3) -> maybe orient the amount number position to the "grid rect" rather the actually used sprite dimension -> and or center sprites on a virtual "rectangle" (like on a grid based sprite sheet).



(https://imgur.com/cXsaY0a.png)
Do not just "resize" overlays/decoration ... use the same "size" so a leaf stays similar big or small. If another decorative element does not fit there (eg the sword) then leave it out.
Variation (but consistent style) allows to have a similar look while avoiding the "based on the same block" visuals.


PS: You seem to have evolved a lot with this game already - compared to previous games. So please do not just read my posts as critics - see them purely positive (for now :D) as it proofs I am interested in your programming and artistic development/improvements.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 23, 2020, 06:04:10 PM
Thanks Derron.  I don't know why I don't notice these things until you point them out, but they all need doing.

Most of what you've suggested are easy fixes.

I appreciate your criticisms, however I wish my work was good enough to be 'complete'.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 23, 2020, 07:14:37 PM
Wow...I finished playing the game.  I defeated the six emissaries.  It was on easy difficulty, it took me 950 game days and I was level 9 by that time.  The map was pretty well corrupted by evil as the 6 emissaries started around day 300...my character was permanently diseased by the end of the game but I'd gotten used to it.

The emissary battles required bucket loads of magic.

I am pleased.  It was quite fun.

In real time it took me 3 sessions of about a total 3 hours play overall to go from start to finish.

Having my weapon enchanted after winning a quest helped.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 25, 2020, 12:48:45 AM
Attached are documentation and my engine should you wish to play around with any of it....for Javascript...

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 25, 2020, 10:13:48 AM
Recently:
Bug fixes....
A few minor features added.
Some responses to criticisms on other sites - a few changes made as a result.
More animations created for most creatures.
A few more interactive elements on the main overland map.
The advisor has a few more things to say.
Options for dungeon speed and difficulty can now be set within the dungeon itself.
Bound spells bug fixed.
Disease/Poison situation altered.
..

And that's a summary for now....not much to show on the screen however as a result yet....nothing really all that new.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 26, 2020, 07:26:02 AM
Updates....
More map interactions, merchants, paladins, ambushed paladins, wandering mysterious characters.
New items.
Can hear tales at the tavern that tell you about the game world.
New special items.
Bug fixes.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 28, 2020, 07:15:36 AM
Further along with the game....

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 29, 2020, 03:18:53 PM
Smooth movement in dungeon now works.

Thanks Derron for the encouragement to do so...I knew it needed to be done.....same needs to apply to overland map as well...that will be done later...its 1:20am right now....
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 29, 2020, 04:08:10 PM
And overland map movement is smooth too now.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 29, 2020, 08:53:07 PM
Quest shown ....



Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron 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
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on March 30, 2020, 04:39:20 AM
Thanks...I went another route...I animated them...they all walk now....
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 02, 2020, 03:40:04 AM
Icons now instead of text for the character stats.....

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc44.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty 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.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam 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.

:)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty 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.


Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty 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.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty 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.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam 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...


Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty 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.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron 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
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty 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.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam 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'...


Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron 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
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty 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...

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc46.jpg)

Oh...and I played an early version of Candy Crush..I didn't like it....
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 07, 2020, 09:11:59 PM
@ candy crush
You do not need to "like" it ... but it shows what one can do to "please" people visually, auditive and also "introduction to the gameplay/mechanics" wise.

This is what IWasAdam wrote too - you do not have to like these games but try to recognize what they do, how they achieve certain "effects" (not just visual!).


@ fake shadows
For units you could just use the "blob" approach but depending on the feet/grounding you need to scale, rotate/ellipsify... so just create a fake shadow for each unit individually.

For the walls: you need to check the "corners", "crosses" etc and then draw the wall shadows in a single step (like the "ground tiles" before all the "walls/units/...". Also draw the shadows of the decoration, units, ... there (so the shadow of the unit is not drawn on a barrel or so).
As you want to avoid shadows "normally" affecting other items in the game you do these "fake blob shadows" - they stay near the element (unit, item ...) and are not becoming long objects like real character shadows of a low standing sun/lamp.


@ walls
Yes they look better already. Yet I see the walls being "bigger"(wider?) than the ground tiles (front left and front right). Which brought up another little idea: give the ground tiles a bit more "ground" by making them "higher" (eg expose some "earth/rocks" below it)

(http://i.stack.imgur.com/hENdC.jpg)
source: https://gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/32364/isometric-2d-game-without-tiles-is-there-a-solution

(https://assetstorev1-prd-cdn.unity3d.com/key-image/0f727af1-c57f-4300-b228-e4e5e1ede1b2.jpg)
Source: unity asset store

This approach keeps the "clearness" of what adam suggested - but avoids this "floating in nowhere" effect. it "grounds" it


Another thing: the top of the wall is "unsteady" - what is the reason for it? It looks as if some chips broke away or so. Next to resizing you might also make them "thicker" ... you want to emphasize they are "not passable", "standing there forever" ... m-a-s-s-i-v-e.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 07, 2020, 11:13:08 PM
Ahh thanks.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 08, 2020, 12:22:31 AM
Interestingly with adding these features due to overdraw the performance slows on smaller devices.

I will have to crop the various mostly transparent pngs closer to reduce the overdraw a bit more.

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc51.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 08, 2020, 06:31:17 AM
you're starting to get the feel  ;D

things to look out for is the chest - it needs to be isometric.

Next up is the UI - it needs to go. At the moment you have a screen with 3 different UI's:
the left one with the icons - get rid
the bottom one with the stats, etc - get rid

That should leave you with just the main screen with the hearts and coins.

But what about the stuff with the icons and the stats? It's been dumped, it's not needed, you've simplified so it and all the code should be dumped - save it for another project. find out why there is a graphics slowdown and focus on that.

Once that is done you can look at the thickening the walls and REMOVE THE CURSOR  :o
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 08, 2020, 07:00:58 AM
@ IWasAdam
instead of removing the GUI elements "blindly" you should also mention what happens to the "interactions" behind them. How to inform about potions then, about shortcuts spells or whatever the left elements are.

The combat log - I would somewhere "keep" it. Maybe have it like this

Combat Log entry #30  (opacity 20%)
Combat Log entry #31  (opacity 40%)
Combat Log entry #32  (opacity 60%)
Combat Log entry #33  (opacity 80%)
Combat Log entry #34  (opacity 100%)

#34 is current, going over the log allows to scroll up with the mouse or an then visible scrollbar.

Will remove potential cludge.



@ overdraw
Truncating the PNGs is surely not what helps so much. Reduce the amount of draw calls - eg you could precalculate static shadow elements so you do not render all the walls shadows separately each time.
Nonetheless: optimization can come _afterwards_. Maybe it is just a matter of optimizing your render organization at all.


@ walls and newer look
It starts to become better looking.
Why are there "big" and "finer detailed" ground tiles?
Why are some tiles having bright borders? Ensure all the tile graphics occupy the required minimum of the grid size so the "previous" tiles do not look through (except desired).

I would suggest to tone down the left front side of the ground tiles - they are  distractingly bright. Maybe even remove a bit of the vibrance in the colors there (less saturated then).


Next to the chest's perspective you need to ensure not to make them popping out "too much" else it looks like in the older cartoons where you clearly see in the first glance which objects are interactive/overlayed/animated...
.


Light cone of the torches: make them more subtle - these are no 200W LED bulbs. Also they seem to have two "light circles". Once you toned the light effect down it might be possible to only use one "circle" - if you want to make it look "non static" then animate the circle - means have an slightly changed shape of the light.
- either simply scale the image dimensions: width = original_width * sin(time * timeScale) * 0.1  ---- same for height
- or have it animated in a frame animation: draw 3-4 light cones which create a loopable animation. Manipulate the animation to have slightly "random" frame times (so it does not look too "precalculated")

This way you keep them animated but with less draw calls.


Are you already using spritesheets to save on texture switches?


Stuff like "icon + number badge" could be rendered in one one call (you can prepare this image) to save another draw call. Yet I do not think that this is improving much then.
 


I did mention it already - but I repeat myself: it improves (visually is what we can judge here now).


PS: the pinky glove is still there. I assume people do not connect "pink" with "brave heroes" (at least not in current times - purple was a "expensive" colour in the medieval times and earlier ...).

PPS: The barrel seems to have "contact shadows" (to the wall) - while it looks great it requires multiple stuff:
- you need to prepare these shadows for all wall-setups you encounter potentially (half walls, orientation, ...)
- might make "other items" miss this shadow as they only have the "ground shadow"

PPPS: What are these lower spec devices which have issues now?

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 08, 2020, 07:21:31 AM
I have implemented some of the changes just mentioned....Derron just read your post then...

Okay...

Gui -elements have been moved and reduced in quantity....it looks better:

I do need to keep some of the gui elements (console log, and spell icons and healing potion etc).

Re light circles - they are animated...etc....

All your comments are helpful indeed - they've improved it immensely.

If you want to see it in motion....simply go to : http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock  and choose the 'Arcade' option - I'm sure there will be different criticisms once you see it in motion. (some of your comments may be less valid, other new ones may arise).



(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc52.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 08, 2020, 07:37:12 AM
@ try out
(https://imgur.com/nWugdno.png)

There it stops (after animating the "logo" - which is cut off on the left).


@ light cones
If the light cones are "one image" then the falloff between the two visible "circles" is missing - it looks like two different cones/circles.


@ GUI
(https://imgur.com/82BIlO2.png)

There is "unused space" in the interface. An indicator of that you could separate elements (combat log, "spell bar", "action menu"). So bottom left combat log, centered the spell bar and on the right the icons. This would make it a good counterpart to the top HUD.

Next you could indicate the limit in the spell bar by having some kind of "place holders" to indicate the slots. Only required if you intend to draw "empty" slots. If they are always occupied this is not needed.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 08, 2020, 08:00:43 AM
Most likely the 'stop' is because of the cache.....a CTRL-F5 should fix that...I'll get to the other points though...time for dinner.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 08, 2020, 08:04:02 AM
(https://imgur.com/Z0t8sTI.png)

I Ctrl+F5'd before already.


Edit: just prepared German Yeast Dumplings for the kids (dough is growing ...). So lunch time in ~2 hours :)

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 08, 2020, 08:11:26 AM
Ahh your browser blocks my script file I use when running on portals with advertising.  It includes a global variable...and doesn't like it when you can't load the script file.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 08, 2020, 08:25:04 AM
Catch it and mention a "disable your adblocker please if you want to play" - or so.
... or make it work with adblockers too if you want to have these "leechers" playing your game too :)

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 08, 2020, 08:56:50 AM
begins to load - loading, etc
fades, then locks the browser window (crashed?)

I know you 'love it, but DUMP THE CURSOR - in a web browser the user already had their preferred cursor
In a fullscreen APP, you can replace the cursor - but my advice would be to leave it alone. and NEVER have 2 cursors (your one and the system one) It makes the user think you cant program it correctly!

dump the sword and green stuff on the edges of the box - it will look better being cleaner :)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 08, 2020, 09:06:56 AM
dump the sword and green stuff on the edges of the box - it will look better being cleaner :)

He added it when I suggested such stuff for the quest boxes or char panel. So I would tend to keep them there (albeit I would prefer other "ornamentals").
I also wrote that it would not be the wisest solution to have them everywhere (especially "scaled" differently etc).

Maybe they do not suit anymore at the end (after the "cleanup") but I wanted to avoid all boxes look like cheap "panel rectangles".


The bottom HUD elements should use only the space they "need" ... so there is enough space on the left for a proper combat/event log.

spellbar:
(https://imgur.com/QBDKY43.png)

combat/event log on the left:
(https://imgur.com/J6hTWor.png)
sources: google image search for diablo 3 hud

BTW the panels in these games show how to "break up" boring looking panel borders - cracks etc.  So it does not necessarily require a sword and some green florals. So some lighting (to make it look "metal"), dents ...

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 08, 2020, 09:15:31 AM
Disabled my AdBlocker so I could give it a try (worked then - of course).

Torch:
- decrease flametorch light movement (subtle is enough ... so people do not pay too much attention to it)
- randomize animation steps between the torches (they for now move all the same per frame)

When moving the new tiles "pop in"
- maybe there is a way to slightly fade out the corners so that the next tiles are visible already (but only partly)
- or make the tiles animate "in" (like in these "construction videos" in which the parts fly into the scene) ... so from "left up" to "down center" it would alpha-in and move up 10 pixels like in a "stair" - so bottom center finishes animation the last) - maybe it is "too much" already but might as well look interesting (must be a short animation of course!)
- maybe IWasAdam has a more smart solution to the problem of the "pop-in tiles"

When moving the characters:
- only their feet are animated, this looks ... "hilarious" which is maybe not wanted
- maybe best is to make the figures look like "pawns" and give them some basement they are fixed to (might be different according to the "hostility" - player different basement than friendly NPCs or enemy creatures) - would also get rid of the animation need then
- with these basements collectibles might look "different", dunno
- alternatively: proper animate your chars :D

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 08, 2020, 10:49:49 AM
Same crash on iPad. Sound works, but nothing else
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 08, 2020, 12:08:51 PM
Same crash on iPad. Sound works, but nothing else

Maybe it helps Matty if you can narrow it down:
F12 or whatever opens the developer toolbar in your browser - should indicate the javascript error you seem to face.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 08, 2020, 12:23:46 PM
it's an ipad - there's no keyboard and no dev menu - tut tut Derron  :-*

but if we're being uber helpful here is the dev console on safari:
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/screenshot-2020-04-08-at-12.24.37.png)

So it's the same error as you caught: BLOCKGAME
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 08, 2020, 01:51:09 PM
Fixed...ad blocker...as I said.....

I was asleep after dinner for the past four hours...hence no update straight away (I'm not that slow!)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 08, 2020, 01:54:51 PM
I quoted you since your text was on the previous page and I almost missed it....

Quote
Disabled my AdBlocker so I could give it a try (worked then - of course).

Torch:
- decrease flametorch light movement (subtle is enough ... so people do not pay too much attention to it)
- randomize animation steps between the torches (they for now move all the same per frame)

When moving the new tiles "pop in"
- maybe there is a way to slightly fade out the corners so that the next tiles are visible already (but only partly)
- or make the tiles animate "in" (like in these "construction videos" in which the parts fly into the scene) ... so from "left up" to "down center" it would alpha-in and move up 10 pixels like in a "stair" - so bottom center finishes animation the last) - maybe it is "too much" already but might as well look interesting (must be a short animation of course!)
- maybe IWasAdam has a more smart solution to the problem of the "pop-in tiles"

When moving the characters:
- only their feet are animated, this looks ... "hilarious" which is maybe not wanted
- maybe best is to make the figures look like "pawns" and give them some basement they are fixed to (might be different according to the "hostility" - player different basement than friendly NPCs or enemy creatures) - would also get rid of the animation need then
- with these basements collectibles might look "different", dunno
- alternatively: proper animate your chars :D

bye
Ron

Yes....I can see these things too.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 08, 2020, 02:25:29 PM
since I was mentioned with a possible solution...  ;)

first off - I wouldn't bother with the animation of the feet - animation is not a simple thing and difficult to get 'right' - much better to have a nice solid image that looks and feels right :)

tile popping - hmmm, interesting subject. I've been through a few versions and keep coming back to the following version:
1. draw the file 'floor' - this is very quick, nothing complex
2. draw the walls and stuff on top of the tiles

the general process is to look at how you store your data.
Lets assume there is some form of tile[x,y] array
where each 'tile' has something along the lines of:

data:
visited: bool or int - using an int 0 = not visited, > 0 = distance or time last visited
floor tile: int - what is the floor graphic
wall:int - what wall graphics is present
thing:int - some form of dressing, skeleton, light, chest, chair, etc
monster:int - what monster/enemy/you

what you then need to do is sort the (currently viewed tiles - this only needs to be done anytime something has moved) tiles, x first then y. then store a reference to the sort. That way we don't need to do any moves or data, etc. just a single reference to the sorted tiles

lets just assume that we are starting at 0,0 and there are up to 4 tiles per row
sort x first then y on the viewable tiles. the list should look something like:
(first row of x) 0,0  1,0  2,0  3,0  4,0  (second row of x) 0,1  1,1  2,1  3,1  4,1  etc

we now start at the first ref in the list (0,0) and draw the floor tile 0,0, then floor tile 1,0, etc

now we can repeat the process again but with the rest, wall first, then thing then monster on one go.

All the drawing should no be in the correct order (0,0) being the furthest corner and that drawn first




Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 08, 2020, 03:04:52 PM
Thanks Adam....and Derron....

Re pawn base instead of feet animation (yes...I'd hoped people wouldn't find it too silly looking before...)

I'm going to experiment with a look something like this:

EDIT:

Interface tidied more
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc56.jpg)


slightly older picures (by about 20 minutes)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc55.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc53.jpg)
(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc54.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 08, 2020, 04:24:00 PM
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 08, 2020, 04:32:21 PM
I noticed multiple things:
- the "pawn socket/basement" is not of the right perspective (isometric view!)
- maybe make it a bit less tall - not needed to have it that "big"
- the "center" of the pawn basement should be in the center of the tiles (it is offset on Y by some pixels)
- when moving a pawn it should maybe also move like if you do a 1 ... 2 ... 3 fields movement, so move from field to field (with that "accelerate max deaccelerate" movement) not from "start field to end field in one stroke"

As the "pawn" thing is a test bed for now do not delete functions but create variations so you can come back easily.


PS: Bottom HUD already improved quite a lot by these changes.

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 08, 2020, 08:32:54 PM
As an aside....im also browsing title screens...

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 09, 2020, 12:23:26 AM
Hi again..

Did some work this morning before breakfast.

Replaced the spell icons, the potion icon and the character button. Also a few other buttons not visible here.

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc57.jpg)

Now...a question that has risen in my mind is this:

The dungeon environment and gameplay has gotten a lot better than the overland gameplay and interface/graphics and such - given my limited resources - should I perhaps disable the overland map temporarily (it is as simple as hiding the button at the main menu) and make the game purely about the dungeon combat and so on?

Often when I am developing games I reduce the scope as I go, but this would be quite a change, however at this stage I don't know how fun the overland map actually is?
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Steve Elliott on April 09, 2020, 12:39:16 AM
Quote
The dungeon environment and gameplay has gotten a lot better than the overland gameplay, should I perhaps disable the overland map temporarily...and make the game purely about the dungeon combat and so on?

I would say yes.  Concentrate gameplay/graphics on this aspect of the game, rather than having unbalanced quality between overland and dungeon.

The game is looking much better now thanks to help from your advisers Adam and Derron.   ;D  As an example I've attached a couple of pictures you produced - before and after you listened to their helpful advice.

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 09, 2020, 05:46:26 AM
Yes...thank you they have been most helpful and the improvement is significant.

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc58.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 09, 2020, 06:42:31 AM
You missed to thicken the right wall side:
(https://imgur.com/ZS3SFda.png)

Basement of the pawn is still not in the right perspective (dunno if you changed it a bit already - hence the repeteated mention).

The heart shapes look pretty "symmetric" and the hearts look "clean" (and maybe even pixelated?). They do look "better" (if they had a light antiaalias then even better) than the newly introduced "spells" and "potion".
The spell/potion graphics have a sharp rectangle cutout  and in _my_ opinion a not really suiting colour choice:
- the yellow of the "circles" should be (if you really use the yellow) the yellow of the "whack". It must not have a "ball"-gradient and could. Maybe use the same style than "Whack" (so slight outline, and yellowish-orangish mix).
- the number of the potion is _still_ off to the other numbers (yoffset)
- the purple of the spell outline ... it is not used anywhere else. Maybe use the darkish yellow-orange + outline ("gold") use use in the red pawn for now (visually)
- the spells could share a similar style (this "left / right" color change) but if they share the same color then it is harder to distinguish them. So a "health potion" should still have some "red" in it, the magic "blue" ... a fire spell should have some glowy red/orange/yellow and so on. "Neutral icons" like "menu/settings/" could share visuals as they are not so important for interactions in the game


brightness:
- you darkened the map
- units and "overlays" (whack, HP-bar) are rather "bright"
- makes stuff pretty much pop out
- pop out was requested by IWasAdam
- maybe make it a tiny bit darker to fit into the new "mood" of the scenery
- same for the hearts (mayby there you just need to decrease vibrance/saturation a bit ?)

Do not just blindly trust what I say - play a bit with it - create variances and maybe people will then give feedback to posted comparisons.
Might also be that the current vibrance/brightness is good as it is. Maybe it looks better on tablets (with environment lights changing looks anyways)


@ Adam
When I talked about the "popping in level map" (during movement) I asked for how to approach it. Your reply was more of a "how to render better" technical thing. Maybe simply fade them in delayed (so first tile on the left fades in for 40ms, 10 ms after start of the first the next one starts ... and so on. then later maybe combine it with a movement animation from "yoffset 10" to "yOffset 0" ... as if they rise from "nowhere".


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 09, 2020, 07:25:10 AM
@Derron the internal data is always a good place to start ;)
I think you meant something along these lines:
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/mapping.gif)

@Matty Note the graded fade to black at the edges - this focusses your eye to the center
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 09, 2020, 07:37:39 AM
Ps....feedback from an anonymous online user (I don't know them)

"There needs to be some instruction on how to play, but once you figure it out this game is awesome! The graphics aren't great, but they get the job done. It reminds me of an old game, The Immortal. I love the vibe and feel like I could kill an entire day or two of quarantine. Thank you!"
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 09, 2020, 08:00:37 AM
@ Adam
Yes "something" like this - maybe not so much "action" as in your example - makes it less "calm" as needed. Hence the idea of fading in while moving from the "raising from below to target".
More complicated -  I think at least - would be to properly "half fade in" the surrounding map tiles already. This would also mean to expose certain map details which _might_ better be hidden until you moved into that direction.


@ gets the job done
Yes, once you convinced someone to play a game the graphics/presentation etc can have flaws as they then tend to more easily "accept" something. But your goal should be to convince people first - and this is most often "by the looks" or later also "words of mouth".

Would be interesting if he started to play before or after the changes - and/or if he experienced the changes and wondered :D


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 09, 2020, 08:21:03 AM
ok, just had a quick play - much better :)

thoughts:
it needs sound effects, whoosh, bang, clang, etc

thoughts on graphics:
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/screenshot-2020-04-09-at-07.37.18.png)

learn about contrast and levels - they are NOT the same as making stuff darker/lighter

a good suggestion would be to split your tiles into 4, then you can thicken the walls, have an exact place for 'things'

Generally walls are darker towards the bottom - as are things

look at the image above where the top of the wall has a very feignt dark outline to make it stand out from the floor

gradient fade on background

make sure the walls and floor dont just 'merge into one - use colour and levels/brightness/contrast to differentiate between them :)

All that saying: you've taken a big step and are doing very well :)


Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: degac on April 09, 2020, 10:51:39 AM
Compliments, big enhancements in so small time!
Overall 'experience' (graphics, movement, ui coherency) is great.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 09, 2020, 02:09:01 PM
Thanks degac.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 09, 2020, 05:09:10 PM
Tiles now slide and de-alpha from below as they enter view, and slide back down and alpha to 0 as they leave the view....it is a little unusual to watch, but it works....a little more disorienting but it does look better.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 09, 2020, 05:40:20 PM
And applying the same technique to the overworld map brings the details into much sharper focus, and makes the world seem larger as you explore...

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: degac on April 09, 2020, 08:36:31 PM
Nice effects, but sometimes it's 'troublesome' as it is very fast.
Maybe fading without movement has another appeal.
Don't know.

ps: making it as an option to turn on/off would be nice.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 09, 2020, 10:16:37 PM
The animation might have to be faster/quicker to have a more "snappy" feel attached. Faster "fade ins" mean you also only need to "move in" some few pixels.

Dunno if it would be visible at all if you delay the animation for further tiles ... so it does fade in "tile after tile" (with the next tile starting before the first finishes).

Also it might be worth to check out how "far" you could look (so maybe increase radius of visible tiles).


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 10, 2020, 06:24:56 AM
Hi again....

A quick question:

Can you tell me which of these - if either - loads quicker than the other:

http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock0/

http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/

The first packs all the png images into a single javascript file as base64 encoded images. (ie one single call to the server)

The second calls each image separately.....as individual pngs.

I've found it is roughly 15 seconds for both to load (with a clear cache) - although it is kind of nice to be able to carry all the images in a single script file as text...

Just an idea I played around with...
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 10, 2020, 07:30:00 AM
warlock0:
(https://imgur.com/147xGnn.png)

warlock:
(https://imgur.com/m89FBMa.png)


Just ensure to use spritesheets for less asset requests. If your server does proper "cache modified headers" it only transports what has been renewed or never loaded from the client.

Eg. you load "audio on" and "audio off" images, each tile on their own ...
If you put stuff in one file you can:
- save requests
- save some bytes (only one header for the images)
- save on texture switching (only different portions of a texture are drawn instead of binding the different textures when drawing)

keyword for you: texture atlas.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 10, 2020, 08:08:46 AM
things to consider - thicken the walls :)

walls that are away from you shouldn't have torches on them

wall transparency - walls that are x > you and y > you should be drawn transparent (alpha = 0.25 should do it)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 10, 2020, 08:50:49 AM
take a look at Grey Aliens new game: Ancient Enemy
https://www.syntaxbomb.com/index.php/topic,7619.msg347041565/topicseen.html#new (https://www.syntaxbomb.com/index.php/topic,7619.msg347041565/topicseen.html#new)

The graphics are a lesson in how to make everything work together. Some very nice painted backgrounds and superb (simple 2 frame) animation and design. See what you can absorb from this :)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 11, 2020, 03:29:54 PM
Thanks, yes I've been looking at other games.

Oh...here are a few more enemies for one of the monster factions.  Now the three current monster factions have 10 to 11 different creatures each.

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/octomonster.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/eyemonster.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/mouthmonster.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/shambler.png)


And I've been updating the character avatars too...

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/male1.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/male2.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/male3.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/female1.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/female2.png)

(http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock/media/female3.png)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 12, 2020, 03:18:01 AM
Character selection

All characters (not all monsters) have been improved graphically...

https://youtu.be/IVQsYrtoGX8

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 12, 2020, 08:41:46 AM
OK, I'm going to have a go at you now  :o

What's the difference between these 2 images:
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/female1.png)

answer:
the first one has had approx 3 minutes of love applied to it. The edges were cleaned up with all fringing removed, it will sit on any color background and not have fringes. The outline was slightly painted just a shade or 2 darker to further make it stand proper on any background. And finally the image was sharpened up to stop it from becoming too blurry.

The second image is the original that says - Meh!, I really can't be arsed to spend time finishing it.

No I don't know which paint application you use. but my suggestion to you is learn what it does, what an eraser is, what levels are, what sharpen and pixelate does.

These are the basics - without them you're pretty screwed!
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 12, 2020, 09:02:14 AM
and as another look, I took about 5 minutes just to actually edit the character, color it and rescale to better enhance the proportions:
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/female1-1.png)

I also refocussed the light - giving it a direction.

The best way to do any of this editing is to separate everything into layers:
boots
skin
clothing
leather

that way you can do nice edits to each thing without disturbing the rest.

pull it all together and finish
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 12, 2020, 09:45:21 AM
I think the added light is a bit too much (subtle instead of "plastics"). When scaled it might be different though...
But with layers it is only a matter of adjusting the opacity to lower/strengthen an effect...


@ layers
Also correction layers would be good - eg the female have their "chest" skin visible on her left (POV: right) right next to the belt ... whic hlooks ... odd as there the breasts would already be visible somehow - or it would be very uncomfortable for the women to have one breast strapped into that direction by the belt.


bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 13, 2020, 12:16:19 PM
Coding progress.

It was the right time to optimise the slow parts of the code.

Process used:
I put a timestamp around both the renderworld call and the update game stuff separately.

On desktop the game ran mostly okay but on mobile and tablet it huffed and puffed to keep up.

On desktop both rendering and updating was taking a maximum of combined 20 milliseconds at times to perform their steps in total. About half and half each.

I therefore optimised both rendering and updating segments.

Update area:
In the two main for loops by x and y on each map there were calculations performed on cells outside the visible view.  I decided and tested it, to see if the game would suffer if I only calculated changes within the visible view and allowed time to stand still outside this range,  plus a buffer of a few cells.  It was fine.

That reduced update time by a good number of milliseconds.

Render area:
My renderer works as follows: for each draw instruction of any type a command is added to a list(array) of commands each frame, then at renderworld they are executed in sequence and the list is wiped at the end of that.
This was changed as follows: the list is not wiped, and the same commands are simply changed each frame and the list only grows if the maximum size of the list grows from one frame to the next.  Basically I reuse the entire list each frame without creating new objects nor destroying any.   
This took massive amounts of time off the rendering loop.

All in all, after optimisation performed game performance on tablet improved by 40% on average to where it was, and became as smooth and nice as desktop.

The creation and destruction of objects in the renderlist was significantly impacting performance on mobile.

Previously the mobile devices were taking longer than the allocated frame rate most of the time, now they are well under it.

Good work me.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 13, 2020, 10:26:28 PM
I love dressing up my characters...great fun...

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 14, 2020, 11:02:25 PM
A 15 minute video of the beginning stages of the game....as played by me half an hour ago...

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 15, 2020, 08:53:54 AM
my first comment would be DON'T OVERRIDE THE CURSOR.
I don't know how many times I've said this - UNLESS YOU HAVE FULL SCREEN (which in a browser you never do)

DON'T MESS WITH THE SYSTEM CURSOR

You and enemies can walk through stuff like lamps on the ground - do your error checking. if it's on the ground and dressing you can walk through it!

wall transparency - if x > you and y > you then transparent. you seem to be only doing this nearest to you, so wall further away are drawn without transparency

This will probably mean your cade might have to change but... THICKEN the walls - they look like that are made of plaster and will fall down with the slightest push

chests and everything else needs to be in proper isometric - and while we are at it, you should be able to move onto chests - they are things on the floor and you would appear on top of them (dumb), or are they really a flat optical illusion painted onto the floor? the correct way would be to have some form of mouse tracking showing where you could move to/interract. if you are next to a chest it would open

options icon - I always wondered what it was, the text makes it clear. the icon - WTF. OK, either use a proper cog (which would possibly look odd) or better yet the 3 line hamburger icon :)

barrels - you have 2 barrels taking up the space of 1 - are they transcendental?

Did i mention the cursor - DON'T MESS WITH IT - it looks and feels stupid

you have a sound option icon and option that mess with sound - get rid of the sound icon - it also obscures the text

OK. So let's have a look at what you've got and what you potentially have, but focus in on the art.
First find a way to keep it the 'same' but make it more arty and give your art a place to shine. My take on this would be to extend the bottom icons to cards and to bring up mr doom as your protagonist:
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/screenshot-2020-04-15-at-08.40.24.png)

when you hove over a card, it becomes bigger with a glow that matches the card color. a card give you lots of scope for your art to really shine :)

The same for Mr Doom. We can get rid of the quests, the map, and everything else and focus on him. he's not nice and will set you tasks, etc. He's your constant companion who will pop up and make things hard, or easy, or gives you a hint, etc

Notice how everything has got a bit bigger and better focussed?

OK, the same image but with a new concept for you to think over: Layout
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/screenshot-2020-04-15-at-08.40.34-1.png)

See how there is an underlying grid, borders, and everything relates to that grid?
Notice how the eyes line up, things are centered, cards (picked at random) fit with the grid?

You will need some time to absorb and think about this and work out if it was a direction you were interested in :)

Oh yes and I removes the options icon entirely - this would all be accessed on the character page



Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 15, 2020, 11:53:51 AM
Just talking about the overworld/town screen: there the "pawn" looks odd - and why? Because it does not have a "grid/board" on which you move along. Even if you do not need the grid there - add it (as a simple "overlay"). Align your buildings accordingly so they do not look "off". It will have a more consistent look then.


Most important: ALL your sprites on the grid should have a PROPER isometric look. Think look skewed and fake if they are not proper.

To help you know "what is isometric" you should have a isometric cube (or even more complex shapes) next to your paper when drawing. You might even draw in helper lines with a light pencil stroke. Even having the "grid" cell at the 2/3rd bottom of your paper helps when planning with "sizes" (tall, small, big, ...).


@ quests
While an antagonist can be intruiging I think Matty has a certain "vision" in his mind and totally revamping his game idea might lead into loosing motivating or so. So ... maybe delay the idea until the basic flaws (isometric view, overland view, icons/HUD ...) are corrected.


@ Cards
Yes, you could think of increasing the size of your spellbook and even consider making them like "cards" but for now the classic Diablo HUD look should be enough. you can still add higher scaled versions / portraits in a tooltip window if you hovered over a spell for X seconds.
It is more important to make spell icons distinctive and recognizeable. If a "frost mage" is not easily to identify, give him a blueish tainted background (not too strong, subtle but intense enough to assist in identifying).
blue = freezing
green = poison
red = fire
purple = chaos
brown = physical damage
...

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 15, 2020, 06:15:11 PM
Thank you both of you.

Yes I do have a vision for the game, which includes the overland map.

I see Adams advice in his last post as good and worthwhile with the difference that while what he says would look better,it does not fit with where I want the game to go.

There is a second idea that comes to mind.  In the past I've employed an artist to work on one of my games.  No matter how many hours I spent getting something to look nice, their 1 hour's work doing 'x' always looked infinitely better than my 10 hours of effort.  Similarly-for all the many hours work and effort I put in I still carry over my head the fact that as an unknown hobby developer absolutely no one will play it outside of myself long term.  Therefore, the only person who truly needs to be satisfied with the work I do is me.

So, I could spend more hours making it look better but there comes a time when my choice is really:Improve with more and more of my own effort to create something that will sit in obscurity and which I'm already happy with.....or pay an artist to  create my vision which I will also be happy with and also still exist as unknown in obscurity.

I think I have reached a point where I cannot see the benefit in going a lot further in terms of work to improve certain aspects of this game.

If I were employed in the game industry...i'd be a coder, not an artist due to  my skills both presence and lack.

I welcome all your advice and help but with the limitation of my game's reach to any form audience combined with my general happiness with what I've produced so far it's less likely I can be convinced to implement this extra work.

But I do like what you've directed me which has helped massively.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 19, 2020, 02:17:21 AM
Greetings.

A thought.

I may have misjudged the time spent by players of browser games and mobile games in my designs.

I've observed with all my games on handheld or browser devices that even returning players mostly play for bursts of 3 to 6 minutes.

Even those who enjoy and come back for more do so in short bursts.

Therefore if I need to consider that my player base appears to prefer shorter sessions...and therefore increase quality in those shorter sessions.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 20, 2020, 10:46:08 PM
I've setup some graphs of in game metrics ... because my site is http not https it means that I can't get metrics from the various portals due to mixed content rules with browsers.....but at least I can see the users who play it on my own site's stats:

http://mattiesgames.com/warlockmetrics/

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 21, 2020, 05:53:20 AM
Time to do proper https... Google does not really list http  anymore and people will get warnings for non https sooner or later.
LetsEncrypt is free and widely accepted.

Bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 21, 2020, 07:28:14 AM
Thanks Derron, it is done....I simply mentioned it to my webhost and they did it immediately....didn't realise it was so easy...however I had to update all my code to handle https requests instead of http now....
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 21, 2020, 08:43:12 AM
instead of
Code: [Select]
<img src="http://www.myhost.tld/img.jpg" />
just do

Code: [Select]
<img src="//www.myhost.tld/img.jpg" />

and it uses whatever you are calling (http, https, ...)

edit: wrapped it in code blocks as the forum here actually interpreted my img-tag :D

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 21, 2020, 11:19:17 PM
Re the stats....here's some thinking out loud...

Game Progress

Game query....stats versus comments...

Morning folks, there is a danger in relying on numerical figures to tell you whether you have made a worthwhile game.

I'll share some comments made by others and then show some statistical figures that contrast with them.

These are typical comments made since I've improved the quality of the game from various people unknown to me on the internet:

"I am playing a lot of this type of games recently, but seeing one of them in this website?
Dang that's new, and the mind of stuff this page needs; rpg fun games that can be played either on PC or mobile devices (i play it on mobile btw)

Good to say that to you i guess :3" - 5 star rating given

"I like the game but it would be nice if there was a tutorial." - 4 star rating given

"Nice game!
Actually it is way better than those screenshots, they don't tell much...

Nice music by the way & UI :)"

"Really cool, I like it.
It has a lot of content, even if it's a bit confusing because it's doing things it's own way."

"I like the game. Loved the reroll thing. You got talent. Shine on"

"This... Is actually pretty good! It's like a game of D&D, although you're the only player around... The battle system is a little bit clunky, but the exploration and overall feel is great!

I especially love how the characters are figure miniatures, just like in a session of D&D."

Overall quite positive comments albeit often with a hint of 'gee I wasn't expecting it to be good'

However you can certainly feel happy when you read such comments but....when you see the numbers - without knowing the context of what players of browser games behaviour is for other games - you can be quite horrified.

Take a look at the graphs here: attached.  Shows time in minutes spent across the bottom and a column indicating how many users fit in that category.  The other graph shows the percentage of players who played until a result was achieved eg character death out of the total users who loaded the webpage at all.  On the numerical level between 8 and 9 out of 10 users see the splash page and walk away.  And yet....the comments above suggest the game is moderately fun for people.

Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 22, 2020, 04:12:40 AM
New feature...quickly added...it was a debugging feature at first but I've modified it slightly....

You can now see the movements of other players on the main map at the same time as you.....

They are slightly out of sync ie not real time....basically if a player played within the previous hour then you will see them as they move about the map.

Upto 100 player avatars can be visible on the map at any one time....obviously you have to be in the same part of the map to see them....

(https://www.mattiesgames.com/gfx/wc62.jpg)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: degac on April 22, 2020, 08:16:11 AM
Quote
Take a look at the graphs here: attached.  Shows time in minutes spent across the bottom and a column indicating how many users fit in that category.  The other graph shows the percentage of players who played until a result was achieved eg character death out of the total users who loaded the webpage at all.  On the numerical level between 8 and 9 out of 10 users see the splash page and walk away.  And yet....the comments above suggest the game is moderately fun for people.

Well, modern time :-)
People don't spend too much time, they want something to enjoy for a while. It they are happy, you made goal.
8 out 10 users see the splash page and walk away... maybe it's just a robot (I don't know).
If  I watch your sentence from another point of view, I see 1-2 users that stays on the site to play... a higher value than many other situation I suppose.

And if people give you a comment, this means that the game has high potential.
Not bad
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 22, 2020, 08:40:59 AM
Thank you degac.

I think especially after various life events of the past five to seven years my expectations and understanding of the world are all over the place.   Quite likely I have very warped expectations both high and low in so many areas and especially game making.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: degac on April 22, 2020, 09:20:20 AM
Well,
if I just 'watch' this thread (you comment, questions, answers etc) and the progress of the game (there are the screenshot - you could put a section on your site of the evolution of the game maybe!) I see an evolution (in better) of the game (gfx, ui) and overall on the 'focus' of the it, with little details and so on.
It' s something 'live'.
It's something that people can see grow.
Just this is a sign of attention and care of the game and (intentionally or not) of the users/players.
The fact you listen to the critics (positive or negative) is always appreciated, even from the worst user - they remain speechless sometime :-)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: iWasAdam on April 30, 2020, 09:02:05 AM
Hi Matty.
Thanks for uploading the full install of warlock. I've had a very quick look and there is an issue I've found that answers one of your main questions about speed and display.
You have (approx) 200+ individual png images, all of different unrelated sizes. This will cause any display to be slowed down, particularly on lesser cpus such as mobile.

You will need to learn about atlassing plus making sure all graphics are the best size for output.
It's about optimising load times, and GPU hit. GPU's want the least amount of textures and textures that (preferably) conform to hex sizes (definitely even size).

E.G.
Have just a few mega textures of 256x256, 512,256, 512x512 or 1024x1024, etc. And then fit all your graphics into these.

You will probably have to learn how your language accesses atlas textures and how to feed them into your sprite manager, but you will get a HUGE speed boost in display :)

It will also discipline you in how to prepare graphics for games and target sizes better :)

As an example, heres one of the sprite maps I used in one of my games:
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/spectrum8x8_font.png)
Although it is very small, the concept remains the same: everything is packed into a single image giving virtually no overhead. if it was 200+ tiny little images the GPU would begin to have a fit - even though the images would be small. It's the number of thing not the size that counts :)

I've also had a look at the general scales of the sprites and a suggestion here would be the following:
Use a good sprite editor (whichever you feel really happy about) and use a sprite size of 64x64 pixels.
A single tile would be 2x2 sprites = 128x128 pixels for isometric which would fit the size you tend to use.
Here's an example of your sprite with a base template
(https://vjointeractive.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/screenshot-2020-04-30-at-08.59.53.png)

the white being the base the height giving you room to draw, etc (ignore the slight variances in line width and stepping, that was just the app stretching things)
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 30, 2020, 09:23:09 AM
Thanks Adam.  I'm glad you downloaded it.

(A few bug fixes this morning, your version might be missing these).

With the image atlas-I've understood the concept for a long time but when I built my engine I hadn't allowed for it.

I believe the best solution that allows for it but which rwquires minimal change to the game code that calls drawing is to modify the renderer.js so that internally when a draw image command is called it somehow maps the definition provided in my loadimage command to a master atlas image x, y and w, h location.

It is possible because if you look closely you will see I already have support for various shaped animation strips.

In the loadimage and loadanimimage command I need some way of referencing the master image and coordinates and then inside the renderer.js doing the necessary magic.

That way all the many draw commands can basically remain unchanged.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Derron on April 30, 2020, 11:55:44 AM
If you passed
DrawImage("myimage.png")
instead of
DrawImage(myImage)

you could easily use a registry in your DrawImage function which looks up for the sprite "myimage.png" then call the sprite's draw(x,y). It is up to the sprite if it is a virtual image (DrawPoly()) or a single image (drawImage(img)) or .... part of a sprite atlas (atlas.Draw(id, x,y) - or manual a DrawSubImage(atlas, spriteX, spriteY, x,y))

So instead of having a specific "DrawImage(imgObject)" you better pass drawable objects like "imgObject.Draw(x,y)" - that way you define the "image" somewhere and leave it to the object on how it is to draw.

If you have a render manager (sorting stuff for you) then the render manager just chains these image objects and the image objects need to fulfill certain requirements regarding their interface (provide a GetWidth(), GetHeight(), Get...)



PS: I suggested that sprite atlas usage some many posts ago already (when Matty uploaded two variants for initial-loading-time-comparison)

bye
Ron
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on April 30, 2020, 07:15:39 PM
Thanks.  Yes Derron I know you mentioned it before but I wasn't prepared at that time to consider changing the code to handle it.

If I do, it likely will be for a sequel or next game using this code which I thought might be a cyberpunk style game.
Title: Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
Post by: Matty on September 02, 2020, 12:29:10 AM
Greetings folks.....

I felt like adding a simple update to the credits page - it simply shows all the past players' avatars (arcade mode only) at the point they completed the game as a kind of simple 'thank you to the players'...of sorts...

You get an idea of it here:

(https://www.mattiesgames.com/art/warlockcredits.jpg)

And for some fun here are a few random avatars for you:
(https://www.mattiesgames.com/design/avatar.php?r=1)(https://www.mattiesgames.com/design/avatar.php?r=2)(https://www.mattiesgames.com/design/avatar.php?r=3)(https://www.mattiesgames.com/design/avatar.php?r=4)
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