Autofire Small Update

I hate that when you fail to move forward a square you ram things and take damage.  So, I improved the vehicle motion when ramming or colliding with a wall.  I also fixed some issues with trying to ram things diagonally…  that was irritating.  Finally you could previously take a lot of damage when ramming something inconsequential, but now you cannot take more damage than it takes to kill the opponent (and in the current configuration you only take half that damage… this will ultimately be adjustable based on your equipment).

As usual, check out the AutoFire page for the update.

AutoFire page
AutoFire page

AutoFire v0.2 Point Release

I had a few core things I wanted to refine and adjust from the original, particularly in the feedback department…  Since the controls for AutoFire are similar yet different from a typical roguelike, creating an experience that is easy for beginners is a continual work in progress.

In terms of driving, I simplified the grip meter to make it easier to do the “drift racing” style actions that people wanted to do, and then added new cues to help people understand their current speed.  For combat, there was a lack of understanding of when damage was being done, so I improved damage and attack feedback as well as gave users more information on the HUD about the weapons they were using.  World generation got a slight improvement, and the difficulty was increased from the admittedly easy 7DRL release as well.

car_player
AutoFire page

Changelist for v0.2:

  • UI: Grip meter no longer has two halves.
  • UI: Highlight weapon that would be fired when targeting enemy
  • UI: Display stats in the target panel of the weapon that would be fired
  • UI: Display ghost cars in quantity matching speed.  3 moves/second shows 3 ghosts.
  • UI: Improved display quality and sorting of damage text.
  • Graphics: Skids now show smoke where the player was.
  • Graphics: Changed world tiles from crates to buildings.
  • Graphics: Projectiles now visibly move from source to target.
  • Graphics: Dropped loot now slides from source to its resting point.
  • Gameplay: Added line of sight checks for player and enemy weapons.
  • Gameplay: Grip no longer goes below zero, and will start to recharge if the player faces in the move direction.
  • Gameplay: Barrels explode and damage/destroy things nearby.
  • Gameplay: Repair values of wrenches and armor patches were halved.

Autofire: 7DRL Aftermath

It’s been a little under a week since the conclusion of the 7DRL and I’ve been excited that people have been pretty receptive to my entry, AutoFire.  I had a lot of fun making it and people seem to be having fun with it too:

PC Gamer – Free Games of the Week

car100000In the past week I’ve gotten some good feedback, some of which I’ve been able to act on.  The first bit is that folks are excited about drifting and controlled skids in the game, and I realized that by allowing players to drop below zero grip (into the red) is really punishing…  It’s very hard to regain traction without crashing.  I updated the game to not allow the grip to drop below zero, so a moment of control will allow players to get control back…  This makes it a little more about deliberately losing control and then regaining, Ridge Racer style.  This is something I want to continuously refine, and supplement with skid marks and other speed feedback.

car50000I also added a “preview” in the grip meter of how much grip you’d lose if you do a maneuver at that moment.  It’s difficult to figure out the right type of feedback for a keyboard-driven game like a Roguelike.  I wanted to keep the “one input, one turn advances” feel of a typical Roguelike, so it’s hard to give much information about what your next action will result in (without mouseover or two-step advancement) .

People also still have a little difficulty understanding the four weapon mounts and their individual cooldowns.  I added a bit of information about the weapon that would be fired when showing a viable target.  I will probably also show a prediction of the damage to be done and more on-map indications of the weapon to be fired… perhaps a change in the crosshair or displaying the weapon sprite.

car150000Some others suggested that the game was too easy, which I won’t deny.  I was pretty stingy with the drops early in development, but for the 7DRL release I worried that all the work on weapon upgrades I did wouldn’t be noticed, so it ended up pretty generous. The goal eventually is to create situations where you have to drive fast to get the extra attacks and stay alive, so it’s definitely a goal to balance things better. Once I get enemies obeying line-of-sight (haha) and reduce their hit chance firing at a high-speed target you’ll have more tools at your disposal and I can crank up the difficulty.

Some additional things to come:

  • World tiles that aren’t cobbled together from a number of sprite libraries (they were so damn ugly)
  • Competent world generation that feels like a place to drive.
  • Loot improvements such as armor patches that must be mounted on a single side, improved tires (grip) and improved engines (speed).
  • Enemy vehicles (At last! This was a painful cut for 7DRL but I ran out of time)

Not to mention an actual adventuring environment with areas to advance through, assassination contracts, vehicle gangs, and so on. So much to do!

AutoFire: 7DRL Victorious!

Welp, the 7-Day Roguelike Challenge ended in a photo finish… Not only was I putting in stuff up to the very end, but I uploaded a build to my website and not a minute later I hear an EXPLOSION outside and the power goes out. There’s a transformer out on one side of us and a power line down in the other, so no more power today.

Luckily I have a nerd-huge phone and managed to use it to update my website and finish my entry into the challenge’s website. A few minutes later and all the hard work this week would have ended in a major disappointment. Instead I’m pretty happy with the results!

For 2016 I wanted to stray from the comfortable gameplay I did for my inaugural 7DRL with Huge. There were some systems for turn-based car combat that I’ve been tossing around for a while… But applied to the Roguelike mold.

Check out the game’s page here.

 

AUTO RL – 7DRL DAY 5

7DRL2016_Day5Day 5 of the 7-Day Roguelike Challenge has completed now and I’ve finally got smooth vehicle movement in my Auto RL.  I put some time into an improved UI that hopefully starts to convey the concept of “you get more actions when you go fast”.  With this is the implementation of Grip, which drains from manuevers at high speeds so you can lose control  It has hints of greatness but is hard to deliver satisfyingly on a grid in 7 days.

My remaining work on weapon pickups and types, some improved world generation and a weapon pickup inventory, and hopefully an opponent you’re stalking (I’m starting to regret throwing out my boss code from last year!)

Since I don’t have time for you to get out of the car and salvage, you just run over the equipment and I’ll prompt you to choose which of the four weapons you want to replace (or discard it).

My one regret is spending as much time as I did on the basic sprites on Sunday.  Last year I was reasonably good about keeping the scale of Oryx’s sprites so that 24×24 was a standard tile, but this year I had to bring in graphics from a number of sources that varied from 16×16 to a car I found that was some weird rez like 56×108.  Plus, I reduced the size of Oryx’s character sprites which implies a resolution of 32×32.  In a way it probably would have been better in this case to stay representational and not cobble together a vague swipe at pretty, but it inspires me to work in an environment with visual flavor.

Check it out below…  I apologize for the atrocious 20-minute sound hookup.  2 days left, wish me luck!

Auto RL – 7DRL Day 3.5

So I’m halfway through the week and making okay progress on my Auto RL.  In the last 3-plus days I’ve replaced the fantasy graphics from last year’s RL, ripped out all the sword-swinging and put in a vehicle system with multiple mounted weapons and variable actions per turn based on your vehicle’s speed.  Forward and back accelerate your vehicle and left and right will turn and advance…  but I wanted to keep the feel of “one result per action” of typical Roguelikes.

So, if the player gets, say, 5 actions per turn (100 MPH), they have to choose each action whether they turn, shoot (which forces them to move straight that turn), change speed or wait (which will also result in moving forward).  However, since each weapon has a fixed-duration cooldown, you have to switch to weapons on different sides of the vehicle if you want to attack multiple times a turn.  Why exactly do you get more attacks when you’re driving at higher speeds…?  Adrenaline!

I had to start doing some cutting if I want to be done Sunday morning.  I don’t think I can do getting out of the car or vehicular enemies and my world generation quality may take a hit, but I know now that I’ve got a lot of work to do on UI and selling the movement of the car.  My major improvement will be to hook up the “Grip” system, which will force players to balance speed with control and allow for skids.  I’m excited so far!

Auto RL – 7DRL Day 1

This year is my second 7DRL, and this time I wanted to push some systems I’ve been tossing around in my head for years.  The plan is to get the player driving an armored car through a post-apocalyptic wasteland, battling bandits and 7DRL2016_Day1salvaging gear while hunting down bounty contracts.  I chose to strip down last year’s entry Huge and use it as a starting point, focusing on significant core mechanical improvements that will hopefully set it apart from that entry.

Day 1 was a busy one, ripping out the fantasy graphics and putting in sci-fi themed ones from Oryx and other sources.  I added facing and vehicle functionality to my entity system, with a variable turn-length based on speed.  I also roughed in an ugly HUD with the various systems I wanted to track. Unity makes a lot of the early stuff fairly simple, but now I actually have to make this stuff work and hopefully fun!

7DRL 2016: Impending!

7drlThe 2016 7-Day Roguelike Challenge starts this weekend!  Here’s the deal:

  • Participants will labor to make a Roguelike start to finish during a 168-hour period between March 5 and March 13 (that is, you can work Saturday to Saturday, or Sunday to Sunday, or whatever you can schedule).
  • You can use some existing base code as a starting point, as long as you are up-front about it (in my case, I’m going to use some of the stuff I wrote for the 2015 Roguelike Challenge to kick it off)
  • A “Roguelike” is a pretty flexible definition, but typically means procedural or randomized content, turn-based game flow, and permadeath.  Some folks go full-on old-school text-based complete with an @ player, while others have created things as awesome and varied as turn-based bullet hell shooters and dice-based FTL-style adventures.
  • You register your project on the 7DRL website and at the end, you get reviewed.  The reviews take into account things like innovation, aesthetics, fun and faithfulness to the Roguelike theme.

My plan is to move beyond my fairly bare-bones (but relatively pretty now that I go back to it) Roguelike HUGE from last year and turn it into a vehicular combat adventure.  Lots to do!  Gonna be a fun week!