First Successful Pathfinding Test

This screenshot shows the generated path from each of the enemies on the map to one of the player characters.  We still need to add updates to the path with respect to each unit’s movement capabilities (e.g. not crossing enemy units), but the better part of the work on this is done now.

2016-12-19T03:58:35+00:00March 2nd, 2014|GuildKnights|

Enemy AI: Phase I

We’ve finished up all of our basic menu systems for the dungeon game state and it’s currently possible to progress from the top floor of a generated dungeon all the way to the bottom!

We can now recognize when a unit is next to a stairway tile and present the Exit action.

A basic placeholder stage clear menu tracks turn count and surviving party members.

Now we’re ready to start building the foundations for interactions between the player GuildKnights and the monsters that roam the dungeons.

GuildKnights is a turn-based game where each distinct “group” in the current dungeon is allowed to execute all of the actions for its members before the turn shifts over to the next available group.  Under normal circumstances, group turns flow in the following order:

  1. Player Party
  2. Dungeon Enemy Groups
  3. Player Ally Groups

AI Units on the dungeon map all belong to special AIGroups.  Each AIGroup has a behavior tree that governs turn order and, potentially, specific unit actions for the group’s members.  While Enemy AIGroups with active units remain, the Dungeon Manager will randomly select one of the groups to be the acting group during the Dungeon Enemy Groups phase.

An AIGroup behavior serves as the core for cooperative interactions between enemies within the same group.  In its simplest form, it will randomly select one of a group’s units and allow it to act on its own.  At the highest level, it can facilitate coordinated attacks where units with debilitating techniques can weaken opponents before the high-damage units attack.

Initially, we’ll be focusing on getting the basic AIGroup structure and random action order set up.  After that, we’ll be working on a simple AI behavior that will allow an enemy to path-find its way to a nearby player character.  Once that’s finished, I’ll be back to go into more detail on individual enemy AI as we dive into work on Idling, Tracking, and Fighting behavior trees.

Here’s wishing everyone a prosperous and productive new year!

2017-12-05T04:38:36+00:00December 29th, 2013|GuildKnights|

Action Menu Design Update

Finally got back working on GuildKnights and finished implementing the new Action Menu design.  Hit the jump to check out the animations.

Next, I’ll be working on adding the ability to have context-sensitive map actions based on where a unit is standing.  The GuildKnights should finally be able to exit the dungeon soon!

2016-12-19T03:58:35+00:00September 18th, 2013|GuildKnights|

Map Generation and Navigation: Complete!

Work on basic map generation and navigation is complete so I wanted to make a quick post to highlight what progress was made and where we’ll be focusing next.

I did some testing on moving around the generated dungeons using our current input system browse around these guys.  Move actions are taken by clicking on one of your GuildKnights then dragging a path.  Units were originally limited to taking one move action at a time, but this proved to make moving around a party of four a bit of a chore.  I changed the system for managing move actions to dynamically allow a unit to use all of their remaining actions in a single move.  This doubles the distance that a unit can be moved with a single click-and-drag action and makes things move along a lot faster.

In these placeholder assets the arrows represent points along the move path where a unit will use an action point.

In these placeholder assets the arrows represent points along the move path where a unit will use an action point.

Now that a lot of the basic navigation functionality is working, I’d like to take some time to spruce things up a bit.  Right now, all of the art assets in the game are placeholders and I’d like to start working towards the final desired style for the game.  For the next big task, I’m planning to implement updated UI assets.  Here’s what the basic map UI looks like now:

In the final version of the UI, the character info cards that are in the corners here will be moved to the bottom center of the screen so you don't have to look all over your screen for stat info.

In the final version of the UI, the character info cards that are in the corners here will be moved to the bottom center of the screen so you don’t have to look all over the place for stat info.

Now, here are a couple of mock-ups for the updated player character card and the action window styles:

The updated player data card makes it easy to check a unit's stats with a glance. The updated action menu will display action category headers and energy costs.

The updated player data card makes it easy to check a unit’s stats with a glance.
The updated action menu will display action category headers and energy costs.

The initial release of GuildKnights will include a Japanese localization in addition to English, so I’ll probably go ahead and set up a system for managing the language swap as well since a handful of new menu strings will be getting added with these updates.  Once all of this interface work is done, it’ll be on to monster AI!

2017-02-13T05:08:25+00:00July 24th, 2013|GuildKnights|

Map Exploration Basics

Exploration gameplay in GuildKnights runs in a cycle of player and enemy turns.  Each of the player’s GuildKnights has a fixed number of actions that they can take each round (usually two by default). Once all of the player’s characters have taken their turns, the map’s enemies take their turns and any updating environment effects (spreading fire, moving floors, etc.) will update.  After this step is finished, control swings around to the player party again and starts the cycle anew.

The actions that a GuildKnight can take fall into one of three categories:

Move Action
Any time the player moves one of their characters across the map.  Each GuildKnight has a Speed stat that determines how many tiles they can move in a single action task manager app.

Technique Action
A GuildKnight’s active abilities. Learned through class advancement and increased weapon proficiency.

Map Action
Context-sensitive actions that can be taken based on elements encountered while exploring (e.g. opening a door, examining a discovered trap, etc.).

Move and Technique actions generally cost a single action.  Most Map actions can be performed for free, but some specific ones (like disarming traps) cost one action as well.  The player is free to have their characters perform their actions in any order they like until all available actions have been taken.

The game’s basic gameplay setup creates some interesting challenges.  Since each of your GuildKnights can move and act independently, they can be scattered across different sections of the map.  We need a good way to enable the player to keep track of everyone and bounce between them as needed.  Also, the fact that movement is turn-based stands to make the navigation of large areas somewhat tedious…

I’ve got a few ideas about how to handle these and once I’ve tried a few out and have found some success (or fallen flat on my face) I’ll report back with an update!

2017-02-13T05:08:25+00:00July 12th, 2013|GuildKnights|

What is GuildKnights?

GuildKnights is Neo-Blue’s first game and I wanted to take some time to share a little info on the basic concept for the project.

GuildKnights is a turn-based strategy role-playing game.  In it, you’ll create your own Guild and recruit a collection of GuildKnights that you can send out on adventures to various locations.  As your Guild gains notoriety, you’ll gain access to far off and exotic locations where even greater peril and fortune await.

Each GuildKnight is a customizable player-created character.  You’ll be able to set the name, race, gender and basic appearance, and colors for each of your recruited GuildKnights.  In addition to this, you’ll be able to select personality traits that will affect how your GuildKnights interact with one another as well as NPCs during story events.

Gameplay centers around sending a party of four GuildKnights to explore a given location.  There’s a strong focus on risk versus reward and every danger your party encounters increases their chances of finding more and better treasure.  The maps that your party will explore will be randomly generated in order to create unique layouts on repeat visits.  The goal of each stage is to navigate your party to the stage’s exit.  Along the way, your party will encounter various monsters, traps, treasures and character events.

Upon reaching the map exit you’ll have the option to leave with what you’ve found or press onward depths of the zone.  The deeper your party goes, the more lucrative the fruits of their exploits will be but defeated party members forfeit all of their collected treasures!  The deepest depths of each locale hide fantastic riches, unimaginable dangers and dark secrets.  Only the most stalwart GuildKnights will be able forge a path of discovery and return to tell the tale…

The project is currently in pre-alpha and we’ll be able to share more details on the setting, story, and gameplay systems as development moves forward.  We’ll have more to share soon!

2016-12-19T03:58:35+00:00June 28th, 2013|GuildKnights|