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Author Topic: Jupiter Hell: What Happens When Two Games Love Each Other Very Much  (Read 6207 times)

LuckyDee

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Right, squeaky clean board - time for some action.

As you will have seen by now, both by the changes in the ChaosForge Team (among which I am fortunate enough to count myself) and by the teaser that was launched this weekend, stuff is happening behind the scenes. Although I want to leave it to Kornel to start presenting you with proper details, I at least want to inform you that up until this point close to 700 posts have been devoted to plotting Jupiter Hell, with a lot of really exciting stuff being put on display. A lot of the content is still being invented and discussed, but this discussion takes place in an arena founded on a well thought out concept and an equally well formulated vision, all courtesy of the big man behind the scenes.

Jupiter Hell has gotten the informal subtitle 'spiritual successor to DoomRL', and it will be just that: in some significant ways it will be different than the DoomRL you've come to know and love, but the essence of the game will be the same. In general terms it would be fair to say that the mechanics will be based on the same principles that make DoomRL a great game, and that the story and background are an homage to Doom itself. There will of course be more to Jupiter Hell than just these two factors, but since these will strike a chord with every single of you, I'd like you to step up to the mic and have your say about them.

What is it that makes DoomRL that leaves you begging for more even though you get slaughtered at least every other game? What would you definitely like to see in its younger brother? What could be improved, or added? And about the background of the original Doom; what features made it shine? What enemies made you drop your jaw when you first saw them, and for what reason?
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ZicherCZ

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OK, LD. I'm sending you a Fallen London pack of live rodents right now for teasing me like this. Just you wait till I draw the card.

Anyway, to answer your question - DoomRL is a roguelike, and I like pretty much all that makes this genre distinctive - huge replayabality and the need to actually care about my character due to permadeath (this is why I also always try to one-credit arcade beat-em-ups). DoomRL then has its distinctive point at being quick and dirty, with loads of action from the very first shot to the victory. This pretty much sums it up for me, and I believe all of Chaosforge will do their best to make Jupiter Hell something to remember.

Good luck with that.
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Jupiter Hell: Inner Circle - first tech build reached and working

2birds1stone

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Answering as a relative newbie to the game and the board:

DoomRL's strongest feature is the way the game punishes every mistake and rewards good play. I realized, after my nth bad spawn, that bad spawns don't (or very rarely) kill players; it's a lack of preparation for them which does it. Sufficiently bad screw-ups can kill the player immediately, or be punished by the RNG, but in the vanilla game, the RNG almost never hands out anything a skillfully prepared player can't deal with.

Every other innovative and cool feature (challenge games, sound cues) really pale in comparison to the degree the game is balanced to, mechanically speaking.
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Eyro

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I liked how some mechanic abuse felt more engaging than in typical rougelikes. Corner shooting feels way more tactical, than say, crowding mobs through one door so you only have to deal with them one at a time. It works, it's effective, but it doesn't have that engaging feeling to me. The dodge and movement mechanics in this game also feels more engaging than just turn by turn.
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Aki

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I liked how some mechanic abuse felt more engaging than in typical rougelikes. Corner shooting feels way more tactical, than say, crowding mobs through one door so you only have to deal with them one at a time. It works, it's effective, but it doesn't have that engaging feeling to me. The dodge and movement mechanics in this game also feels more engaging than just turn by turn.

This.

The level of strategy involved with DoomRL, while quick and dirty as put in a previous post, means that there's so many options and so many variation in achievements and gameplay styles rather then just "Tank it out with healing packs and take enemies on one at a time". That's not really fun at all. DoomRL accounts for both skill as a player and "Player skills (traits and modded weapons and stuff)", so there's always room to get better and it doesn't leave you up to the mercy of "Oh, there's X hp of healing there, I can kill Y enemies before I need to grab it and GTFO".
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Juice

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DoomRL has really good learning curve. It starts off easy(ish), but the depth of the game is huge and at the same time, achievable. It gradually leads the player to improve with various challenges and it motivates with unlocking more stuff and also those shiny badges :)

Second major asset is the RNG, it surprises even after days of playtime, there is a LOT of stuff to discover (oh, it's DS again...)

Thirdly, it's the community, I doubt I'd spent so much time with DoomRL if it wasn't for the forums.

And lastly, losing is FUN :-)
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LuckyDee

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Thirdly, it's the community, I doubt I'd spent so much time with DoomRL if it wasn't for the forums.

You're telling me - my last game was in June, I believe, and I still check in multiple times a day (did so even before I got promoted to team member) :)

In the meantime, most of you will have read the interview on IndieStatik, in which the background of the project are clarified. The reference - tribute, if you will - to the original Doom is unmistakeable, although Jupiter Hell will definitely have more meat on its bones, especially in the interaction between the player and the game's other features.
It'll all have to start on a solid base, though, which depends not only on a good set of mechanics, but on a compelling and immersing setting as well. Who can dig deep enough to reach back to their first encounter with Doom? It'll probably mean wading through nearly 20 (!) years of mostly beautiful yet useless tidbits for a fair share of you, but let's hear some stories. Where were you, and with who? What struck you most?
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raekuul

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All I have is one question.

Will we be able to use custom music like we can with DoomRL?
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siranen

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Normally you could ask : When will Kickstarter start ;)

Maybe it's a bigger project then only a Game - http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/37719india%E2%80%99s-first-mission-to-mars-poised-for-launch :)

Waiting for the big lunch.
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Sir Anen Von Sulęcin

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Wishlist? Aight.

*Better map generator. Current DoomRL maps tend to look very artificial, would like to see more organic dungeon layout (not every level being a perfect rectangle consisting of square rooms with 1-tile walls etc). I'm a big fan of how Brogue does this (randomized enviroments together with heavily scripted key vaults/traps scattered about) - having, say, premade alcoves opening up to reveal monsters as the player approaches would be very doomish and neat. As would implementing keycards and switches changing the dungeon layout that the player would need to find in order to proceed.

*Cover system, eg standing behind a piece of furniture or at a corner would give bonus armor versus ballistic attacks from the obvious directions. Clear visual cues showing the player which monsters he's currently in cover from.

*Mutual LOS. Yeah, not that big a fan of cornershooting. Also functionally infinite LOS range but for blocking terrain and terrain features. If the LOS range is artificially reduced, there needs to be a proper explanation for this, eg smokescreens or local light conditions.

*Slow projectile weapons to compensate for the lack of cornershooting, meaning plasmaballs behave as charging lost souls do currently. Obviously the map generator would need to take this into account in order to spawn enough enemies and wide enough spaces in order to make dodging everything difficult to impossible. Also would require enemies utilizing these kind of weapons to downright refuse to charge the player single file down corridors. To compensate, projectile weapons would ignore (and sometimes destroy) cover. This would mean the player has the dual compunctions of seeking cover to shield himself from ballistic weapons and staying mobile to dodge projectiles. Add keeping distance from melee enemies and that's quite a lot of priorities for the player to juggle right there.

*Better AI. I mean it doesn't need to be at Smart Kobolds level but even little things like staying in cover relative the player, (sometimes) sidestepping projectiles and avoiding bottlenecks would at least require us to find new exploits.

*Renaming damage cathegories. I mean Plasma contains more thermal energy than fire by definition, and it isn't like missiles destroys stuff by setting them aflame. One could probably also collapse the current fire (or concussive/explosive/whateveryoucallit), melee and ballistic damage into one type since they all boil down to kinetic force. Corrosive damage still work as a unique type I suppose, as do radiation sources and electricity (granted they eventually boil down to thermal energy as well, but the mode of delivery is still unique).

*Player progression and later enemies being defined by new abilities rather than bigger numbers.

*Non-directional audio cues. being able to deduce direction of sound on the X-axis is weird and immersion-breaking to me, and knowing that something is close by but not where is scarier anyhow.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and just so that I don't only rehash my gripes with DoomRL, what about replacing any potential food system with the main character being addicted to combat drugs? The player has to keep him above a minimum threshold or face lower performance out of his hellguy, and eventually go into abstinence (not killing the character outright, but crippling his stats across the board and inducing hallucinations and epileptic fits). Willfully overdosing the drugs would also be an option, temporarily raising stats at the cost of washing the excess drugs out of the system faster.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 05:20 by Infinitum »
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Salivanth

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Newbie perspective. (Literally got my first win yesterday)

Really, what it all comes down to is depth, for me.

DoomRL has an incredible depth of skill, but isn't forbiddingly hard to get into. A newbie can get the Hell Arena bronze badge within hours of downloading the game. At the same time, we have the best players in the world struggling to achieve Angelic Badges. I can look at the road ahead of me, and see how wonderfully long it is, but it's a hill, not a cliff.

This depth of skill comes from two things; the wide array of difficulties and challenges and badges, and the mechanical depth of the game.

The game needs to be mechanically deep enough to allow for this depth of skill. If tactics were simple, there wouldn't be enough of a skill gap to allow for this depth. There needs to be enough mechanical depth so that we have this spectrum of Beginner to Average to Good to Great to Expert to Tormuse and 2Dev.

So that's what I want. I want a game that I can pick up and attempt to win, but a game that is deep enough that I can continue to steadily improve for months or years without hitting a peak. The Angelic Badges are one of the best parts of the game to me, despite my knowing I'll never reach them. I like knowing there's a near-impossible challenge, a skill ceiling that is impossible to attain. Speaking of badges, for the love of god, keep the badges. Crawl is a fantastic roguelike, but after I won a few times, I didn't really feel the urge to keep playing. If it had an achievement system I'd still be playing it to this day.
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I agree with Salivanth. The amount of tactical variation and depth, not to mention the gentle-but-large learning curve, is one of DoomRL's strongest assets given how uniquely the game does it, and I'd ask you guys to design Jupiter Hell around these aspects if I weren't already sure you were. Which I am. I'm also reasonably sure you guys are going to include a nice, varied amount of level varieties, weapons, monsters and items to round this concept out. I'd love to see custom soundtrack support as well, not to mention mod support!

I also think the varied difficulty levels from DoomRL are important in that they provide a variety of challenge levels, which is something JH would do well to mirror. Going from ITYTD to N! is what I'm talking about here.

I'm...not sure about the prospect of adding drugs. All I can really say about this is that they should be optional.

I also have something to say about the length of the game. If you're going to try and make it 'short but sweet', I think DoomRL's game length is an appropriate target for comparison. I'd be fine with it being a bit shorter than DoomRL, since I know the lost length will be made up for with rich gameplay.

No matter what, though, I'm confident this is going to be one Hell of a game. I'll probably even contribute to the Kickstarter, that's how much faith I have.
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