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New Roguelike - alpha testers wanted

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4 APR 2020 - Version [a.2.0]:
  -Text screens no longer attempt to redraw themselves unless a meaningful change has taken place.
  -User profile now remembers last session's display settings (e.g. fullscreen and graphical modes)
  -Player now moves before all monsters.
  -Messages now display with the player message on top, and only attempt to display since last player action.
  -Message overflow indicates that more messages are available, which appear as before in Message Recall.
  -Floor bosses may no longer spawn on floor 1 of the Dark Grove.
  -Improved player HP and Soul at all levels.
  -Library now supports basic upgrades.
  -Text items may now be found in the dungeon and researched in the player estate(with required upgrade).
  -Languages added and tracked across games.

Hello again everyone,

After quite a long time, I've finally got a new roguelike game ready for play testing. This is the third project I've started since Viridian Abyss, and the first since then to reach a state where I felt ready to release it to a wider audience than just myself(the other two had a lot of good features but not the overall quality I was working towards, and much of their content and code ended up in the current project).

I've developed a completely new display scheme from the one I used in VA, and I'm interested to see how well that ends up working on other computers, resolutions, monitors, and graphical environments than the ones I have immediately available for testing.

The game itself takes place in the same world as Viridian Abyss, although the time setting is significantly earlier - for those of you who played VA and remember the nations of Atlantis and Lemuria, this setting takes place in the very distant past of those nations - which were themselves very ancient history in the setting of Viridian Abyss.

My goal from a storytelling perspective is to expand on the world and lore I started to reveal in VA, while my goal from a game development perspective is to improve on the experience of VA. As far as that goes, the engine execution, event flow, display layout, etc., of the new project are already superior to what I had in VA. There's currently a *lot* less content - I only have a rudimentary implementation of items, and the dungeon itself is smaller and probably much easier to complete than the one in VA. However, the potential for expansion is far greater because the underlying systems are much better, and I have a lot of content I want to add in future releases, including some of the stuff from VA that's missing in the current release, such as languages and magic, a post mortem autopsy system, and more interesting dungeon generation.

As before, I welcome any feedback on any aspect of the game, whether it be gameplay, design, storytelling, or any other feature you feel could be improved.  Prospective alpha testers can find the zipped folder here. It contains a graphics folder(which currently only serves the purpose of supplying the icon for windowed mode - my display scheme does support tile based graphics, and my implementation requires paths for such tiles, but I don't make use of them at this time), a document folder containing a manual text file(which is currently empty, although all currently available commands can be found in the ingame help menu, accessible via '?') and a changelog text file(which is also currently empty, since this is the first release), and the executable jar, which as before requires an installed Java Runtime Environment to run.

I do have error logging implemented, and in the event of a fatal crash, a debug log *should* be written inside the main directory. If this happens, please send me the log at the provided e-mail address. If it does not happen, I'd also like to know about it, as well as all the information about what you were doing and the state of the game when the crash occurred as you're able to gather.

Thanks for reading, thanks again to those of you who play tested Viridian Abyss for me, and thanks in advance to any who will help me out that way with this new project.

Was awaiting this with a bated breath, Sereg:P

And the first two things :
1) text is too small for big screen, and no ability to make it ... well more readable. At least, it was until i discovered that simply enlarging window does nothing, only fullscreen mode dose. also, if you enlarge window, your hud all ends up somewhere in one corner, while map is in center:D

2)if you try ctrl and scroll on the text screen, you get a funny effect:D
3)when you attack something, the log is like in viridian abyss made funny, so it shows your action, while whatever your enemy did is below and greyed out, making it a little confusing as to why my health is lowering
4) i gained no experience, so far, at least i guess it is due to the unfinished state. meeting a bear with nothing but starting weapon and armor was not...very survivable tho:D

Thanks for the feedback. I'll address it as I can:

1) The GUI I built, while in my opinion a significant improvement over the old one, is still pretty simplistic - I only support two tile sizes, 16x16 and 32x32(text and graphical tiles have different widths - text width is narrower for better readability, but it's constant and to scale). I don't have any capability to support resizing the window, so fullscreen(or changing your monitor resolution - this will shrink the available display area but each individual tile will appear larger) is your best option for correcting that.

2) This is because the screen is refreshing itself when you provide input. It might be better to skip the update when the input doesn't change anything - I'll take another look at the way I handle input, but that should be pretty simple to get rid of.

3) I've done that deliberately - I have it set up now so that the most recent message reflects the results of the last action the player took. Previous messages are available for review by checking the message recall. I originally had the player message first, and messages generated by enemy actions would appear last, and I found that to be more confusing. It's also worth noting that multiple enemies can generate messages for each action by the player, and the order of those depends on the rate of actor energy generation, not the effect they've had on the player(it might be possible to collect and deliberately order them this way, but it would require a lot of additional manipulation and even then might not be any more clear). I think I'll hold off on any immediate changes on this one and wait for more feedback to see if I can get a better sense of the general opinion on this.

I will point out that you can adjust message verbosity, filtering how much information you receive for each interaction. Combat tends to offer a lot of information, which can spam out the on-screen message window, but at lower verbosity settings, only the more important details will come through with each message, and this might help you get a better picture of the entire last round of combat.

4) Experience is awarded only when you leave a floor - the manual should have better information on the details of this with the current release, but the general idea is that if you move down to the next floor, you're awarded a small percentage of what you've earned in the dungeon so far(and the rest is saved for when you leave the dungeon itself), while if you exit by the entry staircase, you gain about 40% of your earned rewards and forfeit the rest, and if you leave by the exit staircase, you gain full rewards.

Note that gaining levels doesn't do all that much for you just yet(although it does have an effect even now), nor are the enemies balanced, since I am holding off on that until I have more features implemented. Bears are definitely a high threat right now(and there are worse things you might find if you are unlucky enough, or visit the deeper floors!), but once you can find better gear and change your equipment setup, as well as being able to use consumable items like the healing items from VA, they should become less of a challenge.

Thanks for checking it out. Let me know if you're not satisfied with any of my explanations, and of course if you find any other issues that seem noteworthy.

I'm working on adding additional content for the a.2.0 update right now, and I'll throw the screen refresh fix in there(as I don't currently have a separate release branch - I'll be sure to maintain one for releases going forward, though). Edit: This was very quick to handle and will be in the next release. Thanks for pointing it out.

Well ,since you asked - the game is a bit... chugging on each action. It feels much less fluid than VA was, or most roguelikes really, like it spends a lot of time calculating the move.
As with VA - i d like to see what i died from, not just the screen YOU DIED:D all of a sudden.
I also would like it if i could have the game memorize what setting i used last - i really do not like tiles graphics in general, so i d prefer to have always console view in start

Do you mind posting your computer specs? I've been developing on a reasonably decent gaming laptop, so it's possible that I'm being inefficient in ways that haven't impacted my own testing yet. As a roguelike, I definitely want it to be playable on almost any computer.

Is there anything specific you're doing when it slows down like that? Combat, movement, level transitions? I know that saving and loading can take a bit longer, but I haven't noticed any particular slowdowns in normal gameplay.

As far as the death screen, that's just a placeholder for now. It will definitely be much more informative in future releases, complete with autopsy files like VA, as well as high scores and other useful features.

Edit: At your edit, I can certainly make the user profile remember display settings - this will be live in the next release as well.


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