Game Info

Basic Combat in GuildKnights

Previously, our combat system only involved resolving an attacking unit’s damage versus a defending unit’s passive defense stat. This led to flat combat encounters without a lot of variance. We’ve made a couple of minor changes that helped to make combat more dynamic and interesting.

 

Skill-Based Defense

First, defense is no longer a passive stat value that subtracts damage from an attack. Instead, damage and effect mitigation is handled by passively activated defense Skills. What makes defense via Skills more interesting is the fact that we can easily add lots of variance to the way that defense is used versus incoming attacks. We can alter the rules of the defense evaluation based on things like the type of incoming attack, the defender or attacker’s current status, or the current state of the dungeon map. We can even add supplementary effects like repositioning or status changes to the execution of defense Skills.

Counterattacks

The second thing that was added is the ability for units to be assigned a counterattack Skill. When a unit that has a counterattack Skill survives an offensive action from an enemy unit, they will retaliate. Adding this simple reactive step to combat instantly made combat engagements more interesting since there is now action being taken by both the attacker and defender. It also adds an element of risk to offense that gives the player more to consider when making an attack.

The basic flow of combat now is Attack -> Defense -> Counterattack.

 

Enhanced Defending

Another added feature is the ability to boost the effectiveness of Defense Skills using the new Defend action. Taking the Defend action will immediately end the acting unit’s turn, but will boost the effectiveness of its Defense Skills until the next turn. The defense boost received is relative to the number of Action Points the unit had when it defended.

When an Offense Skill is used against a target that has one or more passive Defense Skills, one of the target’s available Defense Skills will be randomly selected and used to determine whether or not the damage and / or effects from the incoming attack will be mitigated. Some Defense Skill types are naturally more or less effective against specific Offense Skill types. The option to forego movement or offense in favor of improved defense is another simple choice that adds a bit more depth to the tactical options available to the player during their turn.

 

This covers the most basic combat interactions, but we have plans to build out more as development continues.  In addition to the Skills that the units can use, we’re hoping to be able to add some context-sensitive actions based on things like items on the map or the current state of an enemy.  We’ll have more of this to show as we continue to build out our game systems and work on implementing our various class Skills.
Next post, I’ll show off some of the abilities that our new Feyspark enemy has and talk about some of the interesting combat scenarios that I think it’s behaviors can enable.  Until then, back to work~!
2017-02-26T02:51:36+00:00August 23rd, 2016|GuildKnights|

GuildKnight Skill Progression

One of our next development targets is to add some new abilities for player characters to use while exploring the dungeon map. The actual progression that determines when and which Skills a player has access to won’t be implemented for quite some time, but it still informs our choices in which Skills to build first.

Basic Skill development for a GuildKnight is split into three tiers. At each Skill tier, there is a maximum number of Skills that must be learned before the Skills in the next sequential tier are made available. After creating a new character, the player will have the ability to choose a single Skill from Tier I immediately. After that, further Skill selection opportunities are earned by having a GuildKnight actively use their known class Skills.

In general, each of the Skills in a tier belong to one of three class “disciplines” that determine the play style that the Skill supports. These disciplines currently just exist to help drive design decisions for the class and ultimately may not even be exposed to the player. There are no restrictions on Skill selection for a character’s current Skill tier and any Skill within the current Skill tier can be learned.

Tier I

This tier will include the most fundamental Skills for each class. Currently we’re planning for there to be nine total Skills to choose from at this tier. Once a GuildKnight has learned three of the Skills at this level, they will be able to master one of their previously learned Skills the next time they gain a Skill advancement opportunity.

A mastered Skill will have its effects greatly enhanced beyond its standard capabilities. Our hope is that Skill mastery will help players to reinforce their desired play style while also allowing for more character diversity with a relatively smaller Skill pool.

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Tier II

At this tier the Skills learned will have more dramatic effects and will often supplement the abilities learned at Tier I. Currently, we’re working towards having a total of six abilities at Tier II. The player will be able to choose two of these then will again have the opportunity to master one of them.

Tier III

At this, the ultimate Skill tier, the most powerful class Skills are learned. A GuildKnight may only choose one of three available Skills from Tier III. While the Skills at this tier can’t be mastered, the idea is that their effects should be powerful and game-changing enough as to still make for a satisfying final Skill choice.

After we finish development on our next new enemy type we’re going to start building out the first set of Tier I abilities. As we get closer to getting this done, we’ll share some details on what our first planned classes are and what kinds of abilities they’ll have.

Until then, it’s back to work~!

2016-12-19T03:58:34+00:00August 10th, 2015|GuildKnights|

Ludum Dare 27 – Game Complete!

Hey hey,

It’s been a crazy weekend, but we finally made it!  Our Ludum Dare 27 Game Jam project “Unseen” is now finished!  You can check it out over on the Ludum Dare website online project management tools.  We have OSX, Windows and Web versions available for play:

(http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-27/?action=preview&q=Unseen)

It’s a super-simple idea that we tried to build a lot of atmosphere around.  We tried to use 3D sound positioning and audio cues to create a constant, ominous feeling.  This really shines if the game is played while wearing headphones.

It was a long road and I’m sure a bug or two probably slipped by, but overall I’m really proud of what we were able to put together in just three days.  Everyone here is going to retire for some well-deserved rest, but I’ll try to throw a full post-mortem on the project on the site by the end of the week.

Thanks a ton to anyone who took the time to follow our progress and please feel free to leave comments on what you think about the game!

2017-02-13T05:08:25+00:00August 26th, 2013|Ludum Dare 27|

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|