Skill & tutorial

Ok, another skill with new features for the skill system. This one is the one you should keep for when you run out of stamina in middle of a fight. It increases your defense and allows you to convert the enemies hits into stamina. Hopefully, when the skill ends, you exchanged a few health points against a full stamina bar.
This skill brings two new features to the skill system :
– possibility to trigger events on certain fight events (you’re hit, you dodge, …)
– premature ending of the condition on certain events.

As usual, there are also potions of agility with the same effect.

I started to work on the tutorial. This is not a special level that teach you how to play the game, but tips that appears on screen on certain conditions. They should give you the basic knowledge you need to buy and equip stuff, speak with npc, well… anything you need to survive. The interresting thing with the tips is that they use a new cross fading effect when they appear/disappear over the game screen. This is not a real fading because you can only print one character on the console, so in the middle of the effect, you cannot see both characters overlapping. Instead, this is a two-phases fading. It’s a hack but it brings some more life to the screen.

11 comments so far

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  1. Sounds like GuildWarsRL. Good work 🙂

  2. Wow true color really makes a difference in this RL. Even though it’s kinda hacked, it looks really polished! I wonder how fades and similar effects might improve the game. Combat feedback and spell effects come to mind 🙂 This also reminds me of another subject: will you add mouse-over descriptions to terrain types and objects? It would make the game very intuitive for the newer generations of players.

  3. elsairon :
    In my dreams, it would rather be Dark Messiah of the Guild Wars of Oblivion RL…!

    jotaf :
    Currently, there are no shiny effects during fights. I’m still looking for a good way to encode tiny animations for this. They will become mandatory when I’ll start to add spells. I’m really impatient to create fire balls that cast shadows ! 🙂
    Concerning the mouse, there is currently no support. I’m not sure I will add it. Switching from keyboard to mouse would be rather annoying, and I can hardly imagine a system based only on mouse control with such small map cells.

  4. I’d probably find targeting an exact tile with the keyboard more annoying than momentarily switching to the mouse, but that’s a matter of personal taste. If the keyboard interface is self-sufficient it would be an option left to the user, as I’ve seen in some RLs.

    As to the animations, the way I’m picturing right now is something like a red background fade-in-fade-out for physical damage (for example), and a fireball or particle effect as a color applied with some transparency to the background (in the same way). This would be doable with a unified architecture, but maybe it’s too limiting… Do you think that characters should be used in the animations?

  5. Yeah, the ranged weapon targetting system may be the most delicate part of a keyboard-only interface. We’ll see that… The first version has no ranged weapon.

    Concerning animations, I was also thinking about background color animations (even if it’s also possible to change the foreground color or both). But I need a simple method to encode animations than span several map cells. Maybe using gif animations but the gif format is rather complicated and I don’t like using third party libraries…

  6. I wouldn’t get too hung up on that, you’re going to have an internal representation in memory anyways so animation files could reflect that. Not many people complain that file formats used by games are mostly proprietary… There’s also the question of text file editing vs. specialized editor, if you’re going that route.

  7. I’m currently doing a design document for a small 7dRL in real time. For targeting I came up with the idea to target the first and nearest monster that comes in your fov automatically. The current target is marked with a flickery, faded X. Pressing tab changes the current target to your next enemy. Pressing shift + tab changes targeting to allies only. This way you just have to press f to fire an arrow from your quiver to your nearest target.

    Another thing I thought of was that real time RLs are perfect for tiny animations because they don’t cause any delay during your gameplay. I think most animations can be done using ascii symbols, though I’m not restricting myself to strict console mode, which means I can turn or resize ascii symbols, and draw them at pixel positions rather than row and column positions which makes more animations possible.

    Btw, do you show arrows or do they hit (or miss) immediately? I’m currently seeing the problem that dodging visible arrows could be a bit too easy if they don’t move VERY fast.

    How do you come along? Long time no update (at least when you look at the frequency of your previous entries 🙂 ). Still looking forward to a beta and/or some gameplay videos.

  8. Ranged weapons are not implemented yet and I still don’t know how it will work. I think dodging should be done through stats instead of player interraction (like a dexterity roll). This would allow things like “it’s harder to dodge arrows when you wear an heavy armor”…

    Concerning the beta, it should be imminent. In fact, it’s more an alpha since I will still add features (my developement method forbids me to stop adding features… ;). Also, the beta period could be pretty long depending on the reception.

  9. Christopher, I thought about such free-form ASCII animations but I couldn’t decide whether they would look good or not. Particle systems made of smaller symbols for blood gushes or magic effects would probably be the coolest, but I can’t think of anything else as interesting that would justify all the extra work. And if the rest of the game doesn’t use this feature I’m afraid it would look dull in comparison 🙂

  10. For TCOD, I don’t want to cheat with the console emulator. No ASCII character rotation or per pixel movement, so it really restrict possible ASCII animations. I think most animations will be based on background color in TCOD, because you can use sub-map cell acuracy to do smooth animations. ASCII animations would look jerky because the character would go instantly from one map cell to another (except if you do some sort of motion blur, having the arrow printed in several map cells but I don’t think this would work).

  11. Yeah, it’s a fine line, but I think it’s great that you’re restricting yourself to strict console emulation. This paired with true color makes a really good appeareance and I have to say that it was your screenshots what drew me to this game.

    Jotaf, I’m thinking of some more uses for ASCII effects than only spells and skills, like weather, status conditions (flickering green dots around your char eg, or burning chars), torches and some other stuff. What I’m planning is an arena game anyways so there will be much skill and spell using anyways 😀