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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:47 am 
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This is getting ready for commentary.

First, a few notes:

-Everything *will* be offset +8 pixels on the y-axis to save the status bar
-No scrolling.
-The row of 'roof' tiles between the screens won't be visible or even present. That's just a temporary spacer.
-Gif runs at 60fps. You browser may or may not display it correctly.
-the stream animation is a bit sparse but i hope to expand it a little. It is made of sprites and will, if implemented, mostly be used where it doesn't interfere too much; lowest possible priority.

Features:
-Zeldaesque topdowner
-Gothic theme
-Multiple depth levels in any room. The game really only sees one depth. Depth is defined optically for the player by position relative to the outer walls, and regulated by unidirectional solids


We hope to enter the compo with this (Rahsennor's doing the coding). Separate compo thread for the project is due when it has matured.

Let me know if you have any suggestions, comments, or critique. Thanks!

click for pixel-perfect view/animation


Attachments:
Topdown.gif
Topdown.gif [ 19.01 KiB | Viewed 1126 times ]

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Last edited by FrankenGraphics on Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:09 am 
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I do want to play this. I'm getting a Gauntlet vibe (the new pc/ps3 version of Gauntlet). Congrats!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:14 am 
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Looks good, have you considered the player having a whip?
How would that play out (no pun) in a top down game?

Would the extended hit range work in favor or against?

Image

Because I always wanted a castlevaniasque action rpg!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:26 am 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
-Gif runs at 60fps. You browser may or may not display it correctly.
Very unimportant, and giving in to pedantry: 50Hz, not 60. But that's just as well, because GIF animations only support frame intervals that are multiples of 10ms, so you can't get an even 60Hz anyway.

But actually about the gameplay merits...

For some reason my brain is having a hard time parsing some of the walls... basically I'm parsing the shadows correctly, but the thin edges (such as the ochre floor in the lower left corner of the lower screen, which is higher than the teal walkway center-left) just don't feel obvious to me.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:57 am 
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nesrocks wrote:
I do want to play this. I'm getting a Gauntlet vibe (the new pc/ps3 version of Gauntlet)

I've regrettably never played that version (it looks fantastic), but Gauntlet II was and still is one of my favourite games for the NES. I got tengen Gauntlet for the NES as an adult and to my surprise it was even better in some regards. Both of them aren't exactly lookers but they prove fun can be had anyway.

It's quite possible that i've been subconsciously influenced by Gauntlet. Rahsennors' decision to overlap rooms on the world map layout in the third dimension (a bit like solstice) plays an important role, too. I thought we then needed a way to explain most overlaps (except the possibility of supernatural mazes); hence: stairs, multi-leveled entryways, depth, pits.

maseter wrote:
have you considered the player having a whip?
That might be cool! Thanks for suggesting it. It also reminded me that a whip was considered for the model design from which i carried over some design aspects. In that particular isomeric setting, weapons like spears and whips would cause sprite overflow less often than in a platformer.

I'll think about it another round. I'm positive there will be a range of items (true to the zeldaesque formula) with which you can fight enemies and interact with the world with. But it's a bit too early to make promises on what those items will be. Those sewer grates in the OP picture are a hint at one item...

At any rate, i think this design fills the hammer horror/castlevania atmospehre<-->action adventure/action rpg gap rather well. :)

Quote:
Would the extended hit range work in favor or against?

Hard to say at this point. Take tloz: Your stab is short-range but your max-health stab is devastating. But then again, maybe zeldas' open world + dungeon layout weren't so sensitive to the impact of differing weapon ranges.

A game in the same genre i played extensively in the back of the car was robin hood: prince of thieves for the Game Boy. Weapons had quite differing properties. There was a deadly knife but with a regrettably risky reach. You standard longsword. A quarterstaff which you could both stab with and do an overhead swing with; pretty good when getting swarmed. Bow (and crossbow iirc) for shooting.

lidnariq wrote:
50Hz, not 60

Ah, so that's why PS defaults to 0.02s when trying to enter in ~0.017s! I've wondered if this was just a rounding in the interface or an actual rounding. Anyway, that means i definitely need to slow down the animations, considering they're already super quick in PAL. Thanks for the headsup!

Quote:
For some reason my brain is having a hard time parsing some of the walls... basically I'm parsing the shadows correctly, but the thin edges (such as the ochre floor in the lower left corner of the lower screen, which is higher than the teal walkway center-left) just don't feel obvious to me.
I'll take note of that, thanks!!
One reason might be that the upper left and right plateau aren't elevated. Even though they're supposed to be higher than the walkway. That means they look lower than the lower-left platform. I thought this was okay (explained as an in-between level, also evidenced by the moderate elevation via the stairs), but i'll think a few more rounds on how to make this clearer.

Edit: Or rather, it might be because it's on the "wrong" side of the threshold line/ruler i've used to determine if something warrants an 8px wall showing or not. 16px below, the pit is on the "right" side of the threshold. This is an unfortunate seam. I might do well avoiding placing ledges on the seam itself if this is percieved as confusing.

Another solution is thickening the shadow by some in a light-direction/depth perception compromise. I'm told we're using chr-ram so i could squeeze that in for multi-leveled rooms specifically.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:54 am 
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Those fast-spinning (jump?) tiles at the bottom are painful to look at in side vision. I suggest either making them slower or less contrasting.

The lamps do not have that effect due to the low contrast, even though their speed is the same.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:57 am 
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Thanks! Yeah, the water stream placeholders are basically twice their intended speed... that'll get corrected.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:06 pm 
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Like the artwork, can't wait to see something in action!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:29 am 
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Is this easier to parse?

Related changes:
-Added a strip of shadow to the bottom of the gangway where platform and walls are supposed to "loom".
-Shortened the shadow of the wall on top of the bottom-left plateau
-Also shortened the wall because i thought it looked nice.

Stairs and the waterway got a bit more shadows too, as a side result.


Attachments:
walkway.png
walkway.png [ 29.17 KiB | Viewed 916 times ]

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:30 am 
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One thing that might help but might totally be too difficult to manage (amount of tiles / available palettes) is to have the lower floors use a darker ground and the higher floors a lighter one.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:50 am 
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True! :o Each room is already supposed to have a header containing various info. There might be room for subpalette LUT entry pickers, too. There won't be any red carpets in this area. It could work something like this:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:04 am 
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Yeah, I find it this a little easier to parse.

It's harder to reevaluate, because I've been primed.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:13 pm 
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I think the color palette and the room border walls look awesome.

I still find it slightly hard to visually parse the different levels, BUT I imagine after just a few minutes of play, it would become more obvious.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:25 am 
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I still can't tell if the floors are low or high. They keep alternating, like those optical illusions that are both a woman and a jar.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:04 am 
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That kind of illustion could be used to some great effect (see attachment 2), but i'd better reserve such intentional tricks for a metaphysical laboratory, rather than the sewage system. :P

I don't think i'm going to dramatically change the way the character set is, but it is good to know that it can still be confusing. I should design rooms accordingly.

Rules of the thumb:
-Explaining a 'complex' room with material reason takes precedence over full freedom of platform design.
-Introduce the multileveled physics piecemeal so the player will learn by doing in safe environs; and/or observe and compare, concept for concept. You wouldn't want that room to be the first to introduce the concept of multileveled rooms.

Example of the first rule:
Pieces of two platforms have been cut away to show a wall at an angle. There's still plenty minor things that don't make sense when examined. I introduced one more such minor thing in hopes it would stop the vase/face popping you experience.
Attachment:
walkway.png
walkway.png [ 29.83 KiB | Viewed 679 times ]


Attachment:
sanct.jpg
sanct.jpg [ 68.98 KiB | Viewed 679 times ]

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