Author Topic: Lok Revival: first alpha version  (Read 24420 times)

Vincent

  • SGDK2 Addict
  • Expert
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 610
  • Legacy of Kain: Revival is completed!!!
    • View Profile
    • Chivalrous Games
    • Email
Lok Revival: first alpha version
« on: 2009-11-02, 12:16:30 PM »
Hi everyone!

After a little less than a year in production, I have a first level done in Legacy of Kain: Revival!

The next steps are:
- making the game zoom so can play a bigger version of it
- making the "hit sparks" appear at the right place
- create a mini-map
- Then level 2

No sound or music for the moment, it may be added between lv 2 and 3.

I'm very anxious to hear your comments, suggestions and questions. :)

You can download the game in the repository.

@bluemonkmn: I tried to upload a zip file containing the sgdk2 file, but I keep getting disconnected, but I'm not sure it is the right error message, since I'm not losing any other connection.  Is there a max file size on the repository?  Is there maintenance going on?  Do you see my updates?  Thanks!
Legacy of Kain: Revival completed!
http://lokrevival.webs.com

See also my company website:
http://chivalrousgames.com

bluemonkmn

  • SGDK Author
  • Administrator
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 2748
    • ICQ Messenger - 2678251
    • MSN Messenger - BlueMonkMN@gmail.com
    • View Profile
    • http://sgdk2.sf.net/
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #1 on: 2009-11-02, 05:42:49 PM »
The maximum file size is 15,000 KB (about 15 MB).  Also, the file must be zipped.

Vincent

  • SGDK2 Addict
  • Expert
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 610
  • Legacy of Kain: Revival is completed!!!
    • View Profile
    • Chivalrous Games
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #2 on: 2009-11-02, 08:02:50 PM »
Okay, I tried it again at home and it works fine, no problem.  It was a little glitchy at work.  I'm just waiting for your approval bluemonkmn!

Thanks!!!

Can't wait to hear your comments! :)
Legacy of Kain: Revival completed!
http://lokrevival.webs.com

See also my company website:
http://chivalrousgames.com

bluemonkmn

  • SGDK Author
  • Administrator
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 2748
    • ICQ Messenger - 2678251
    • MSN Messenger - BlueMonkMN@gmail.com
    • View Profile
    • http://sgdk2.sf.net/
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #3 on: 2009-11-02, 09:14:30 PM »
Playing demo now.  Boy, I look forward to when this window can be bigger... perhaps I will look into it myself and see if I come up with any way to stretch the graphics without leaving lines behind.

1) Typos:
   a) First (or second) message in the demo has "Strength" misspelled as "Strenght" or something like that.  (I didn't make a note of it before proceeding)
   b) "Vorador's entensive library" should probably be "Vorador's extensive library"
2) Writing style / grammar:
   a) "Speaking of which..." seems out of character.  How about, "This reminds me..."
   b) When you have parenthetical phrases with instructions, since they appear after a period, the following sentence should be capitalized and end with a period (inside the parentheses when contents of the parentheses is a complete sentence).
   c) Another thought that might be cool, but I don't know how hard it would be: display the instructional piece of the message in a separate differently-colored box without Kain's face.  I believe the messaging functions allow you to have multiple messages visible at once.  But that's just an idea.
   d) "There is not enough place to dodge them" should be "There is not enough room to dodge them."
   e) In the message"Press skill button when activate skill is active", the word "activate" should probably be marked better like: "Press skill button when the [Activate] skill is active"
3) That door is cool! :)
4) Nice touch on explaining "This obstacle could be broken if I were stronger" when I try to attack the wall (which apparently will be breakable later).
5) I notice the first background scrolls horizontally at the same rate as the foreground, but not vertically.  Wouldn't it look more 3D if it scrolled more slowly than the foreground horizontally?  I like the way things look when scrolling vertically.
6) Would it make sense to flip Kain's head horizontally when it appears on the right side of a message?
7) The level of detail is just ... beautiful for an independent game.
8 ) I really admire the amount of text you have put into the game to keep the player informed of what's going on.  I think too many games fall short there.
9) How did you make that switchable floor?  Did you change the map when the switch is pulled or is that piece of the floor just a sprite that the payer can walk on, but not walk through?
10) When I attacked an opponent through a closed door, he jumped to my side of the door, and then back to the other side after a second, and wend back and forth a few times.  I assume that wasn't intentional.
11) What am I supposed to do about the archers shooting be from little ledges above me?  Maybe just avoid them?  Should there be a message about this?
12) I died right before the first save point.  But it made me notice, all the messages are replayed, which is probably unnecessary.  But if it really started the whole game over, I guess it makes sense.
13) On my second time through, when I got to the switch next to multiple blood vases, I started draining blood from both of them at once and got the message "Attempted to execute AlterYVelocity on an inactive sprite".  I guess this would only occur in debug mode, but might be worth noting.  It's in BloodSpriteDef.cs line 222.  After this  I can't seem to drain blood from any of those things even though they're still standing there.  I'm not sure if this is because I already drained part of it and let it spill, or because of the error, or because I had to go back to the beginning when I died.
14)  Argh, died again when I met the guy by the fountain without telekinetic abilities

But this is amazing.  I think the biggest and most important gains on first impressions will come from having sound and having a larger display.  But the graphics alone make a great first impression!

No more time tonight, but I hope to get back to it later.

TheLaw

  • Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #4 on: 2009-11-03, 04:12:58 AM »
 :) 8)  Great work Vince! Your game is looking very impressive.

Apart from what bluemonk has already mentioned, the only complaint that I can come up with is the controls. I know they're easily changeable by the user, but you should consider defaulting them to something a little more user friendly. For me when I'm playing on the keyboard I prefer to use the shift/ctrl/alt/etc on the left side of the board - since the cursor keys are on the right.

And I was really feeling bluemonks comment: "Boy, I look forward to when this window can be bigger". You're graphics are great I just wanna get a little "closer" to them...!

Lastly, and I do not want to dwell on this 'cause it's a work in progress, but your first fight didn't have the sort of SI / action that would be necessary to really sell users on the game.  But, hey, it was a solid effort and you can juice it up later!

...but those are just details. Everything that matters (at this point) is very well done. Keep up the awesome work!

I fought the law and TheLaw won...!

Vincent

  • SGDK2 Addict
  • Expert
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 610
  • Legacy of Kain: Revival is completed!!!
    • View Profile
    • Chivalrous Games
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #5 on: 2009-11-03, 08:33:43 AM »
Thanks a lot guys! :)

I really need your comments and suggestions, because I've been working on this for so long that I take many things for granted and many that I just don't see anymore.  I can't even tell if the game is fun or not (although it might be a little soon to determine that already).

I'll begin working on your suggestions right away.

@bluemonkmn:
1 and 2) Thank you for the text corrections.  I guess I can speak English well enough to be understood but I'm far from being perfectly bilingual.  I guess I'm still thinking in french and then translate into English rather than thinking in English straight away, so it leads to some strange dialogs, such as "There is not enough place to dodge them", "place" being french in that context. :) 
3) I'm glad you like the doors! :D
4) Yup, the wall can be broken later with the right skill.
5) Okay, I will change this! :)
6) Good idea!
7) Thanks!  But...  I can't take too much credit for it.  99% of the graphics come from Castlevania games and other games with a similar design.  I only tweak them to make them fit together, recolor them to suit my needs.  I can't draw that good, unfortunately. :)
8) Oh good!  I was afraid people would think it too much and get bored.  I plan to reduce the amount of "informative" text as the game goes on and the player learns the mechanics.
9) It's a sprite that is basically working like the doors.
10)  Yes...  I'm aware of that.  I keep trying to solve this problem, but it keeps coming back.  :(  I've got an idea that I didn't try yet, I guess I should now!
11) The archers in the library?  I guess you do what you want!  Either kill them and feed on them or dodge the arrows and ignore them.  They are basically there to be annoying. :P
12) Yeah...  When my wife played the game, she got killed a couple of times too before the first save point.  She was getting pissed to pass through the tutorial section each time.  I was thinking to add "checkpoints" before boss fights so that when you die, you reload at the checkpoint rather than the previous save.  I guess I should add a checkpoint after the tutorial too.
13) Oh, this one is a first.  Okay, I'll look into this.
14) Checkpoint coming! :P

Yeah, bigger window would definitely be an asset.  As for sound effects and music, I prefer to delay them as much as possible since the game is already so heavy.  It will get worse with sound.  Probably busting the 15 megs limit in the game repository and then I'm screwed!  :P

Have you seen the elevator puzzle yet?

As for making the game bigger with the zooming...  I was kind of hoping you would want to look into this yourself...  :-[  Not that I want to force your hand or anything!  But I guess it will be much easier for you to achieve that since, well, you made the game engine! :)  But if you don't, well, I'll look into this myself. :)  Thanks!


@TheLaw
What controls would you suggest?  SmartBoy16 pointed this out when he played the first version with the demo room, but I don't know which button mapping would be best as default layout.

Yeah!  Everyone complains about the size of the window! :P  I got used to it, but I would definitely like it bigger too!

About the first fight.  I'm unfamiliar with your expression "SI / action".  What does it mean?  Do you have suggestions to make the first fight better?  Also, keep in mind that it is not meant to be a "boss fight" but simply an introduction to the fighting mechanics.  That being said, if you have any ideas on how to improve it: I'm all ears! :D



Thanks a lot for your time guys!  I really appreciate it! :D
Legacy of Kain: Revival completed!
http://lokrevival.webs.com

See also my company website:
http://chivalrousgames.com

SmartBoy16

  • Contributor
  • Fanatic
  • **
  • Posts: 587
  • Looking for inspiration.....
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #6 on: 2009-11-03, 11:36:49 AM »
Quote
What controls would you suggest?

 i would suggest ASD Space.

Quote
About the first fight.  I'm unfamiliar with your expression "SI / action".  What does it mean?  Do you have suggestions to make the first fight better?  Also, keep in mind that it is not meant to be a "boss fight" but simply an introduction to the fighting mechanics.  That being said, if you have any ideas on how to improve it: I'm all ears!


i think a "statue" would be a good first enemy (or one that doesn't attack very much). at this point, i am still trying to get used to the controls and it's hard to attack something that keeps attacking you (like trying to defeat a level 50 enemy as the very first enemy you see).

Quote
10) When I attacked an opponent through a closed door, he jumped to my side of the door, and then back to the other side after a second, and wend back and forth a few times.  I assume that wasn't intentional.

i think you should have the sword stop if it hits a closed door. it kind of makes sense. ;)
Looking to the skies.....

Vincent

  • SGDK2 Addict
  • Expert
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 610
  • Legacy of Kain: Revival is completed!!!
    • View Profile
    • Chivalrous Games
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #7 on: 2009-11-03, 12:29:30 PM »
@SmartBoy16:
about controls
Allright, ASD space it is then! :)  (So space = jump, d= attack, s=skill, a = select)

about the first enemy
A statue-like enemy...  Okay, I'll keep this in mind! :)  I won't create a new enemy for this purpose right now, but I will do it eventually.

about doors
It does make sense indeed.  I just don't see how I could do this.  Well, to be honest, I see how, but it will be a lot of work.  I'm taking note of this too.

Thanks a lot SmartBoy16! :D
Legacy of Kain: Revival completed!
http://lokrevival.webs.com

See also my company website:
http://chivalrousgames.com

TheLaw

  • Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #8 on: 2009-11-03, 03:27:34 PM »
Hey Vincent:
   
Quote
I'm unfamiliar with your expression "SI / action".

Haha, yeah I  posted kinda on my way out the door this morning. Once I left I was thinking about that.
"SI" is Synthetic Intelligence - which is what I mostly prefer over "AI". I meant to say that the character didn't seem very intelligent and failed to get me on the edge of my seat, mashing keys and sweating! I feel that the games first (few) fight(s) is usually quite important.

P.S, the Wikipedia has a cool little write up on Synthetic Intelligence here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_intelligence

I fought the law and TheLaw won...!

bluemonkmn

  • SGDK Author
  • Administrator
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 2748
    • ICQ Messenger - 2678251
    • MSN Messenger - BlueMonkMN@gmail.com
    • View Profile
    • http://sgdk2.sf.net/
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #9 on: 2009-11-03, 06:24:50 PM »
11) The archers in the library?  I guess you do what you want!  Either kill them and feed on them or dodge the arrows and ignore them.  They are basically there to be annoying. :P

I tried to attack them, but it seems there wasn't enough room on the ledge for me and the archer.  I would jump up there and bounce right back down before I could attack.  So I was wondering if there was supposed to be a way for me to attack them.

Have you seen the elevator puzzle yet?

Ooh, no I haven't, but I look forward to it.

Vincent

  • SGDK2 Addict
  • Expert
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 610
  • Legacy of Kain: Revival is completed!!!
    • View Profile
    • Chivalrous Games
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #10 on: 2009-11-03, 08:45:56 PM »
@bluemonkmn:
About the library archers, you can slash them with the sword while you jump without having to be on the same ledge.  Press jump button (but do not hold it, because you cannot float and attack at the same time), when you are in the air, press the attack button and time it so the reaver blade hits the archers.  The archers are rather waking 2 or 3 slashes should deal with them.


@TheLaw:
Well, for the SI, I'm a little disheartened by your comment: I invested a lot of time in the enemies AI.  Just making them mix their attacks, try to get at proper range and aim their strikes was a lot of work.  Anyway, it was my first attempt at AI, so I guess I would do better if I had to start it over again.  :(

As for the difficulty of the first fight, I think I can't really ramp it up.  As SmartBoy16 pointed out, he was still getting used to the controls and found the fight quite hard.  My wife had a real hard time too (but she does not play video games usually so...).  I want the game to reach as broad an audience as it can (and being the 6th game in a series won't make the storyline easy to grasp for everyone) so I think I won't make the battles too hard.  Seasoned gamers will find it easy enough I guess, but casual gamers should find it rather challenging I think.  (Yeah...  As if my game actually had a chance to reach a broad audience: who am I fooling now! ;)

There is also the fact that my game isn't really an action or fighting game.  The idea is to put the fighting, the puzzle solving, the platforming and the storyline on an equal level.  I don't know if I will be able to balance it out, but I will try.  Usually, metroidvania games are not a big challenge fight-wise.  It gets hard when you try to finish the game in speed-run mode or by taking the fewest power-ups possible.  My game will feature a speed-run mode and will also rate the player on an item-found / objectives completed chart.  That should be challenge enough I think! :)

Anyway, the challenges will be tougher in the other levels.  This being the first level, it is supposed to an introduction and a resting place for the character.  So few enemies, easy puzzles, a couple of hidden items (did you find the hidden magic up and life up? :) ) and save points.

Wow, that's a lot of explanation! 

So, TheLaw, do you have an idea on how I could make the first fight more interesting (hopefully without writing a better AI or making the fight tougher) ?
Legacy of Kain: Revival completed!
http://lokrevival.webs.com

See also my company website:
http://chivalrousgames.com

Vincent

  • SGDK2 Addict
  • Expert
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 610
  • Legacy of Kain: Revival is completed!!!
    • View Profile
    • Chivalrous Games
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #11 on: 2009-11-03, 09:53:07 PM »
Okay, I updated the file on the project repository! 

I added almost all suggestions and corrected some bugs.  I still can't figure out the door problem with the enemies "jumping" on each side.  I had an idea, but it wasn't that.  I guess I will have to dig a little deeper.

I didn't change the first battle for the moment.

Since it does make a lot of changes, can you approve my update bluemonkmn?

Thanks a lot!
Legacy of Kain: Revival completed!
http://lokrevival.webs.com

See also my company website:
http://chivalrousgames.com

TheLaw

  • Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #12 on: 2009-11-04, 05:15:32 AM »
Hey Vincent:
   
Quote
I'm a little disheartened by your comment: I invested a lot of time in the enemies
I wouldn't let my silly little complaint get you down at all. I'm very sure you have put a lot of time and effort into what you have! It shows. Great work!

   
Quote
As if my game actually had a chance to reach a broad audience: who am I fooling now!
That's kinda the only reason I made such a comment. I think you have a great game going for ya. So, if "The only stupid question is the one not asked" (LOL!), then I'm just giving you my opinion. I wasn't treating the game as a toy, I felt it was a serious effort (that could be a big hit!), just the fight was a little "weak?" ...But then...

   
Quote
There is also the fact that my game isn't really an action or fighting game.
That works! I think my original post was not suggesting that you rip your game apart and juice up the SI for the fights right away. You should continue on with the puzzles and make them awesome; I think you have a knack for it. SI is something you can come back to later.

   
Quote
So, TheLaw, do you have an idea on how I could make the first fight more interesting
I guess it's not necessarily the first fight. I just know that designers usually try to give a strong first impression of what the game is capable of on the first level. You don't wanna spread yourself too thin or people will shut it off. You don't wanna give away everything or ...hummm...I guess they'll end up shutting off again! - but a little later!
   So, umm, I'm not sure what to suggest. I guess the "problem" might be that he seemed a little jittery and un-human. Maybe add in a few more animation sequences (jump, duck, a few more attacks,etc) for him and loosen him up a bit by changing his states with a bit more variety of moves. To me your guy seemed a bit too tight and unwilling to let his guard down and make a mistake.
   Actually for me when making "intelligence" for a game I usually refer to it as SS..."Synthetic Stupidity"! (or Artificial Stupidity, if you like). I think of it this way 'cause it's usually easy(?!) to make intelligence for a character so good that he'll never make a mistake and never loose. Computers don't get distracted or tired and never give wrong answers (as long as they're told to compute the right thing!). Not to mention they have far superior reaction speed! So, I make it my mission to write code that's perfectly intelligent and capable of doing everything I need the enemies to do and put every "capability" in a variable so I can control it later and "dumb it down". Then add in a simple FSM on top to control everything and you're good to go!

Anyway Vince, I just wanted to reiterate that I feel you're doing a great job! Keep it up. ...Don't let fools like me slow ya down! Keep doing what you're good at!

*EDIT: Humm, turns out Artificial Stupidity is real! Humm, I thought it was my own dumb idea! LOL. If it interest's you here a link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_stupidity

I kinda like this quote from the page:
Quote
the machine should not attempt to "give the right answers to the arithmetic errors". Instead, deliberate errors should be introduced to the computer's responses.
« Last Edit: 2009-11-04, 05:20:42 AM by TheLaw »
I fought the law and TheLaw won...!

bluemonkmn

  • SGDK Author
  • Administrator
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 2748
    • ICQ Messenger - 2678251
    • MSN Messenger - BlueMonkMN@gmail.com
    • View Profile
    • http://sgdk2.sf.net/
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #13 on: 2009-11-04, 06:36:53 AM »
Okay, I updated the file on the project repository! 
...
Since it does make a lot of changes, can you approve my update bluemonkmn?

I want to respond to much more than just this, but I don't have time for all of it now, so at the moment I'll just say that it is approved.  And I'll mention that I tried jumping and attacking the archers but could not attack in the air.  I must have been floating.  If there's any way to help a player figure that out, that would be nice.  That's why I brought it up.

bluemonkmn

  • SGDK Author
  • Administrator
  • Fanatic
  • *****
  • Posts: 2748
    • ICQ Messenger - 2678251
    • MSN Messenger - BlueMonkMN@gmail.com
    • View Profile
    • http://sgdk2.sf.net/
    • Email
Re: Lok Revival: first alpha version
« Reply #14 on: 2009-11-04, 07:44:24 AM »
Hey Vincent:
  
Quote
I'm a little disheartened by your comment: I invested a lot of time in the enemies
I wouldn't let my silly little complaint get you down at all. I'm very sure you have put a lot of time and effort into what you have! It shows. Great work!

  
Quote
As if my game actually had a chance to reach a broad audience: who am I fooling now!
That's kinda the only reason I made such a comment. I think you have a great game going for ya. So, if "The only stupid question is the one not asked" (LOL!), then I'm just giving you my opinion. I wasn't treating the game as a toy, I felt it was a serious effort (that could be a big hit!), just the fight was a little "weak?" ...But then...

Perhaps the question to ask is this: is there any particular strategy to be used against this enemy, or do you just start hitting the attack key and hope that you kill the enemy before you run out of life?  I think in many games the strategy involves defending until the enemy attacks, then counter-attacking when you know they can't attack or defend quickly enough.  Ideally, it should be possible (although it may be difficult) to defeat enemies without being hurt.  At the early stage of the game maybe there isn't any strategy because you only have a weak sword at your disposal, but further into the game you pick the right "weapon" (spell) for the task, perhaps?  In at least one of the Legacy of Kain games, didn't they start you out with a lot of powers and then take them all away so that you would be enticed by the power you could regain?

But I agree that you should not be disheartened by these comments.  One of the most impressive aspects of what you've done is the variety of enemies and the complexities of their movements.  It's not that your enemies aren't sophisticated enough (they seem very sophisticated).  It's just that with the current patterns, the strategy against these enemies is not always clear.  Like Law said, there isn't a weakness.  For example, I'm not sure exactly how the archers behave, but if they would pause for an extra couple seconds after every 3 arrows they shoot, it might help.  Maybe you already have such patterns built in (I've only seen a couple enemies so far and didn't pay so much attention to patterns -- and I didn't get a chance to review all the enemies in the earlier demo), but I'm not aware of them myself.  Even without these clear strategies, though, the enemies are pretty impressive.
« Last Edit: 2009-11-04, 09:24:33 AM by bluemonkmn »