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Author Topic: Game inspired in part by DoomRL  (Read 14407 times)

lostmekka

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Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« on: October 01, 2016, 07:14 »

Hi,

I have been working on a game called Himmelfahrtskommando, which is in part inspired by DoomRL and Nuclear Throne. It is obviously a top down shooter, but it is not turn based. It currently features a completely destructible environment, some variety of enemies and weapons, XP and skills and procedural level generation.
>>>  free download: http://wwwpub.zih.tu-dresden.de/~s0173474/LMS/HFK/  <<<

I am at a point where I desperately need feedback, because I do not have much time to work on this game and I am struggling to continue development.
The game originally emerged from a holiday game jam and it was not meant to become this big. But over time this project became more complex quickly and now I am at a point where I want to port it to a "proper" game engine to get some nice features that would be too time consuming to write myself. As a bonus, I have thought of a nice network model, that would enable versus and coop modes. (and one special mode that I will keep a secret for now :D)

What do you think, is this something you guys would like to see continued?
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Sereg

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2016, 14:15 »

Looks interesting.

I notice the last entry in the changelog is nearly a year and half ago - has development been on standby since then, or has the changelog stopped receiving updates?
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lostmekka

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 15:51 »

Looks interesting.

I notice the last entry in the changelog is nearly a year and half ago - has development been on standby since then, or has the changelog stopped receiving updates?

Development has never fully stopped, but I found it very hard to get motivation and time to work on the game while having a quite demanding job. I mostly did stuff that is not building on the game directly, like network model prototypes and planning of story, boss fights and architecture concepts for the big port to the new engine. I must admit that this engine change feels very scary to me :D There is so much to do.

Currently I am trying to figure out, whether it is a good idea to work less on my job and work on the game instead...

On the bright side of things, I might have found a capable graphics artist who can help me out. Maybe. Hopefully :D Almost all sprites are placeholders at the moment ^^
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 15:56 by lostmekka »
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Tormuse

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 22:31 »

Hi there!  :)

I decided to give it a try, but I can't figure out how to start the game.  :|  I clicked the button that says ">>> Current version download <<<" and it downloaded a file called HFK.jar which I then extracted into a folder.  There are about 1500 files and none of them are executables.  Is there something I'm missing?  :|
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ZicherCZ

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 00:33 »

The .jar file itself is a Java executable. Don't extract it, just launch it.

Of course, you need to have Java installed on your machine.
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Tormuse

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2016, 06:28 »

Thanks, ZicherCZ!  :)  I had to install the latest Java version and ignore all the warnings that Windows XP doesn't support it, but I got the game working.  :)

First impressions...  I know you said that the graphics are just placeholders for now, but I grew up with 80's video games, so I rather like the retro look.  :D  (Music gets a tad repetitive, though)  :|  Gameplay works well as a top-down shoot-em-up; the player viewpoint working by line-of-sight works well for keeping things tense and interesting and I like the way the AI hunts, tracking your last known location when they lose sight of you.  The "insane" difficulty level provides a good challenge.  (I haven't tried the lower difficulties yet, so I can't comment on them)  ;)

On the downside, I think the game really needs you to be able to redefine the keys, or at least have a key selection that fits the playstyle better.  Since the whole thing is played in realtime and doesn't pause for looking at inventory or stats, it's deadly to have to look down at what keys you're pressing and/or move your hands around.  When I'm playing any kind of realtime game, I want all the keys I use to be reachable from where I place my hands.  Add to that the fact that the inventory screen is a bit finnicky, (it took me some time to figure out how to change weapons; it seems like a bit of a nuisance to have to go into the inventory and manually put it into your equipment slot before the game will let you switch to it, although I guess that's to make the juggler ability more worthwhile, so maybe I just need to play some more to see how it all fits together) and I find myself having to hunt for keys for unloading weapons and/or dropping excess equipment which leads me to my least favourite way to die, inventory management.  :P

So yeah, it's a solidly put together game and I'd like to see more of it, (and play some more)  :)  but personally, I think you should make it a priority to be able to remap the keys, because I'm finding the current keys make gameplay rather frustrating.  (I mean that in the nicest way possible)  :)

EDIT:  Oh yeah, one more thing:  It would be nice if, when you find a chest, there was a button you could push to automatically take everything out of it.  Having to click on each item individually seems unnecessary.  (Of course, again, that could just be because I haven't gotten very far; I might just need to play more)  :)
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 06:32 by Tormuse »
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lostmekka

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2016, 13:47 »

Thanks, ZicherCZ!  :)  I had to install the latest Java version and ignore all the warnings that Windows XP doesn't support it, but I got the game working.  :)

First impressions...  I know you said that the graphics are just placeholders for now, but I grew up with 80's video games, so I rather like the retro look.  :D  (Music gets a tad repetitive, though)  :|  Gameplay works well as a top-down shoot-em-up; the player viewpoint working by line-of-sight works well for keeping things tense and interesting and I like the way the AI hunts, tracking your last known location when they lose sight of you.  The "insane" difficulty level provides a good challenge.  (I haven't tried the lower difficulties yet, so I can't comment on them)  ;)

On the downside, I think the game really needs you to be able to redefine the keys, or at least have a key selection that fits the playstyle better.  Since the whole thing is played in realtime and doesn't pause for looking at inventory or stats, it's deadly to have to look down at what keys you're pressing and/or move your hands around.  When I'm playing any kind of realtime game, I want all the keys I use to be reachable from where I place my hands.  Add to that the fact that the inventory screen is a bit finnicky, (it took me some time to figure out how to change weapons; it seems like a bit of a nuisance to have to go into the inventory and manually put it into your equipment slot before the game will let you switch to it, although I guess that's to make the juggler ability more worthwhile, so maybe I just need to play some more to see how it all fits together) and I find myself having to hunt for keys for unloading weapons and/or dropping excess equipment which leads me to my least favourite way to die, inventory management.  :P

So yeah, it's a solidly put together game and I'd like to see more of it, (and play some more)  :)  but personally, I think you should make it a priority to be able to remap the keys, because I'm finding the current keys make gameplay rather frustrating.  (I mean that in the nicest way possible)  :)

EDIT:  Oh yeah, one more thing:  It would be nice if, when you find a chest, there was a button you could push to automatically take everything out of it.  Having to click on each item individually seems unnecessary.  (Of course, again, that could just be because I haven't gotten very far; I might just need to play more)  :)

Wow thx for the extensive feedback, really appreciate that :)

I also heard from friends, that the input is a big thing. I personally did'nt think so, but that is probably just because I was the one who chose the key mapping :D It would take a while though to make the keys fully configurable, since this requires a more manageable menu. On the bright side this means for me that I have one more incentive to move to the new engine, since this one has decent gui/menu and input mapping support. I have thought of putting a keymap cheat sheet into the current main menu (where the game is paused) in the meantime.

The graphics style will definitely remain retro, so no worries there :) I also had the effect that the music is getting quite annoying. When I test or play for fun, I usually turn it off. Need to come up with a better workflow; at the current rate that I produce music, this game will be in development forever xD And the song also is more like a real song than game music.

Thx again for the feedback, you sir are awesome :)
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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2016, 19:31 »

Do not underestimate UI and UX. It's what got DoomRL to where it is, despite the fact that by current gen games both suck for DoomRL! It still was the most accessible roguelike when it came out though!
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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2016, 21:11 »

Do not underestimate UI and UX. It's what got DoomRL to where it is, despite the fact that by current gen games both suck for DoomRL! It still was the most accessible roguelike when it came out though!
Inasmuch as I hate to admit it, first impressions do count strongly, and the UI/UX is often the first thing people look at before delving into the game mechanics in more details.
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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2016, 15:00 »

So, I've played a few more times, first at hard difficulty, where I was able to get to level 8 before succumbing to one of those big blobby mini-boss things with all the grenades and then I tried easy mode to see how it compares and got much further.  So, good scaling of difficulties there.  :)

I also heard from friends, that the input is a big thing. I personally did'nt think so, but that is probably just because I was the one who chose the key mapping :D

If you're hearing it from multiple people, I suggest you take it seriously.  Honestly, I really quite like the game and the input is the only thing marring that experience.  The biggest culprit is the "G" key for picking stuff up.  If I'm in the middle of a firefight, I'd really like to be able to pick up health and ammo on the run, but because of the distance between G and the WASD movement keys, I have to take my hand off the controls (and stop moving) to pick stuff up and when I'm being shot at, that's a good way to die.  :P  The second biggest culprit is "R" for reload, which at least is closer to the movement keys, but again, I have to take my index finger off the controls to use it, so I can't reload while running to the right.  I would much rather have those controls mapped to buttons that are within reach of my thumb and/or pinky fingers.  (Right now, those fingers don't have anything to do!)  :P  It would improve playability by an order of magnitude for me.

EDIT:  Also, a couple of questions:  Do those little red flying saucer things do anything besides run away?  I notice I get experience for destroying them, so I wondered if they notify other enemies of my location or something.

And what are "super skills?"  I notice that on the skills screen, everything has a listing that says "Super Skill 0/1" but I can't figure out how to earn them.  My first thought was that I have to max out a regular skill to gain access to a super skill, but even when I maxed out several of them, I still couldn't get them.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 01:03 by Tormuse »
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2016, 13:44 »

Looks cool at first glance, but are keybindings in a separate (read "editable without recompiling") file ?
I'm french, so A&Q are inverted, as well as Z&W.
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Tormuse

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2016, 21:50 »

And in case it helps as an incentive, if you make it possible to rebind the keys, I'll make a Let's Play video of it in the style of my DoomRL videos.  :)
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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2016, 01:54 »

despite the fact that by current gen games both suck for DoomRL! It still was the most accessible roguelike when it came out though!

Which modern roguelikes are you thinking of when you say this? Dungeons of Dredmore seems the obvious "polished UI" roguelike, but it commits the [IMO] cardinal sin of ability tooltips that don't actually tell you what the ability does.

Some of the handheld roguelikes (Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, POWDER, Dungeon of Slyn) are more accessible from a UX perspective, but of those only Dungeon of Slyn had a PC release.

There are a few "games with roguelike elements" kicking around too, but I don't think they're really fair comparisons either.
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lostmekka

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2016, 14:09 »

Do not underestimate UI and UX. It's what got DoomRL to where it is, despite the fact that by current gen games both suck for DoomRL! It still was the most accessible roguelike when it came out though!

Hm yea I remember I liked DoomRL because I could just play it without reading the maual first... That actually was a huge plus :)


Also, a couple of questions:  Do those little red flying saucer things do anything besides run away?  I notice I get experience for destroying them, so I wondered if they notify other enemies of my location or something.

Yes, they tell everyone where they have seen you. Some enemies even lay barrages in that direction when they are told where you are. Unfortunately, they don't care yet whether there are walls between you and them, so they might just wreck the scenery :D


And what are "super skills?"  I notice that on the skills screen, everything has a listing that says "Super Skill 0/1" but I can't figure out how to earn them.  My first thought was that I have to max out a regular skill to gain access to a super skill, but even when I maxed out several of them, I still couldn't get them.

Yea, super skills were planned long ago to be some high level skills that require several maxed out basic skills. Its not implemented yet though, so there are no super skills yet. This also may be a good place for some unlockable content... Like when you beat a boss or get to a secret level, one super skill could be unlocked to be learnable in all future playthroughs. (just ideas for now ^^)
EDIT: Should prly state that there are no bosses or secret levels yet either. You know, to prevent disappointing searches :D


Looks cool at first glance, but are keybindings in a separate (read "editable without recompiling") file ?
I'm french, so A&Q are inverted, as well as Z&W.

Oh yes, a config file... why did'nt I think of that earlier? :D Also: Why are french keyboards that different? Would'nt have thought that... So much to learn^^


And in case it helps as an incentive, if you make it possible to rebind the keys, I'll make a Let's Play video of it in the style of my DoomRL videos.  :)

Man that sounds awesome :D
« Last Edit: October 13, 2016, 15:13 by lostmekka »
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lostmekka

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2016, 12:38 »

I have implemented key map configuration file support! The file itself may not be the most beautiful one though^^ It is generated when the game is started the first time. The old engine has no mapping support whatsoever, so I had to hack my way around it.

The release is available directly on GitHub (https://github.com/LostMekka/HFK/releases/tag/0.1.7a), as well as the project page (http://wwwpub.zih.tu-dresden.de/~s0173474/LMS/HFK/)

Thx again for your feedback, without that I probably would have trashed the project ^^


Oh and the Java version required to run the game went up with this release, it is now 1.8. (because NEW LANGUAGE FEATURES!!! omnomnom...)
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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2016, 01:55 »

Very cool!  :D  I'm playing around with the config file to figure out what key combination works best for me.  :)  What's the name for the "backspace" key?  I was thinking of making that my "drop" key.
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lostmekka

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2016, 11:37 »

Backspace is KEY_BACK. The names are sometimes a bit silly or nondescriptive... sorry for that^^ To get this up fast I used the internal key code names of the old engine. They don't even have documentation for the fields, just the autogenerated javadoc (http://slick.ninjacave.com/javadoc/org/newdawn/slick/Input.html). There are key codes of which I have no idea to what key they map. Like KEY_AX. Wtf is AX?? :D

One more reason to move to a proper engine :)

However, I am fully responsible for the action names. They were originally not supposed to be exposed to the user, but now they kinda are^^ If there is anything unclear about them, just let me know and I'll try to help :)
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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2016, 15:25 »

Cool, thanks!  :D

As promised, here's the video of me playing HFK.  :)  I played at Insane difficulty level and, after a couple of false starts, I got to level 8.  :D

I have to go to work shortly, but I'll talk some more about it later.

EDIT:  Back from work!  :)

First off, I want to apologize in advance for how flickery and stuttery it looks;  I don't know for sure if it's my recording software, or something to do with Java, or just the limitations of my computer, but I tried adjusting every setting I could think of to try to fix it and nothing worked.  :|  Everything seems to work fine while I'm playing the game, but visual distortions appear in the video, and unfortunately, it seems to get worse the longer you get into the video.  :|  Hopefully, it isn't too distracting.

Anyway, having keys that are more comfortable for me makes the game a lot more playable and a lot more fun, so thanks again for that.  :)  I think the video mostly speaks for itself, so I'm not sure how else to comment on it.  I hope you find it entertaining/interesting.  :)

A couple more suggestions for the game:  On the skill upgrade screen, it says "right-click to untrack skill," which makes it show your progress toward getting that upgrade on the main screen.  Isn't that backwards?  I mean shouldn't it say "right-click to track skill" for tracking your progress and "right-click to untrack skill" for disabling it?  And while I'm on the subject, it would be nice if, when the progress bar is full, you could click on it to upgrade that skill instead of going to the upgrade screen.  Another thing that would be nice is if the progress bar became a little more eye-catching when it's full like maybe it could change colour? (maybe yellow or white?)  Or maybe it could play a sound?  Something to draw attention to it, since I often forget about it.  :P  (Another possible option is to be able to set it so you automatically get the chosen upgrade when you reach that experience level, but I don't know how popular that idea would be)

Just some suggestions to get discussion going; they're all pretty minor things; like I've said before, it's a pretty solid game, so I don't have any major criticisms.  :)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 22:41 by Tormuse »
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lostmekka

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2016, 17:03 »

After some investigation, it seems like the Vsync of the old engine somehow is not compatible with the way streaming software captures video data... I tried to reproduce the flickering by recording with OBS, but on my machine it was producing a really choppy framerate instead... When I disable Vsync, (its hard-coded right now) the framerate returns to normal. But having much screen shaking (explosions, firing machine guns) without Vsync is not such a good idea, because it will look like the walls are wiggling like crazy :/ Can you try to get your graphics driver to disable Vsync to see if it is indeed causing the flickering?

I suspect that the recording software accasionally grabs the video buffer of a frame when the game is not yet done rendering: The things that are drawn later on (like GUI elements) are more likely to be missing in some frames. Interestingly, this is not only seen in the recorded video, but also in the game screen itself, while recording... I have no clue why this should be the case :D


Btw: Have you tried loot mode? It is activated by holding down the A_LOOT_MODE button and it is really handy to figure out what stuff is lying around, picking up specific items, using items (heal, equip ect.) and even unloading weapons without picking them up first :) The keys for that are A_LOOT_GRAB, A_LOOT_USE and A_LOOT_UNLOAD.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 17:05 by lostmekka »
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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2016, 20:57 »

I looked through all my graphics driver settings and couldn't find any reference to "Vsync."  The closest I found was an option that said "wait for vertical refresh" which says "synchronizes the frame rate of 3D applications to the refresh rate of your display."  Is that the option I want?  (Sorry, I'm no expert in technical stuff and Google didn't help me much either)  In any case, I tried adjusting the slider all the way in both directions and it didn't have any effect.

Btw: Have you tried loot mode? It is activated by holding down the A_LOOT_MODE button and it is really handy to figure out what stuff is lying around, picking up specific items, using items (heal, equip ect.) and even unloading weapons without picking them up first :) The keys for that are A_LOOT_GRAB, A_LOOT_USE and A_LOOT_UNLOAD.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I did not know that was an option, but I'll be sure to check it out.  :)
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2016, 13:31 »

I lacked of time for the moment, but be sure I checked the game now that it got customable input, and am gonna play it at least until I reach the end alive.

It looks pretty cool.
I like the way the character & monsters move, the shooting system...  the traits look quite good too... and I probably forget a lot.

There is room for improvement, of course, but it looks nice already.

The only thing I would try to change is that imo, inventory management, doesn't fit well with the dynamic (real time) gameplay.  I find it quite frustrating that I have to first kill everyone, then bother about getting that stuff on the floor and putting it in some weapon slot after having emptied my previous weapon to get back the ammo... well, I gotta have to press 10 keys for that (and check the controls reminder web page 5 times :p)
Thats why imo, some improvements like autograbbing the ammo when walking on it, or easy unloading of weapons / muting useless items, etc., should be considered among future evolutions.
Just giving my opinion, it may be very subjective :)

Anyway, it's cool.  Gotta continue killing spiders for some time !
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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2016, 12:34 »

and am gonna play it at least until I reach the end alive.
Just to make sure you don't quit out of frustration: There is currently no end. It is play until you die :)
There already is an almost complete story in my head, but the game still has nothing of that in it.

The only thing I would try to change is that imo, inventory management, doesn't fit well with the dynamic (real time) gameplay.  I find it quite frustrating that I have to first kill everyone, then bother about getting that stuff on the floor and putting it in some weapon slot after having emptied my previous weapon to get back the ammo... well, I gotta have to press 10 keys for that (and check the controls reminder web page 5 times :p)
Thats why imo, some improvements like autograbbing the ammo when walking on it, or easy unloading of weapons / muting useless items, etc., should be considered among future evolutions.
I get that autograb suggestion a lot, but this is actually one thing that was clear from the beginning: The game should never do things on its own without explicit input from the player. Imo, this would create more frustration than it would solve. Instead I tried to make item management as smooth as possible by adding the loot mode. (see my previous post for that)

Anyway, it's cool.  Gotta continue killing spiders for some time !
Thx for you feedback <3
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Sylph

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Re: Game inspired in part by DoomRL
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2016, 19:32 »

Reminds me a lot of 'Enter the Gungeon'

https://youtu.be/YSpo2VvN0SM

(Which, incidentally, is an incredible game!)
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