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Himeko Sutori, tactical turn-based JRPG, armies of hundreds of unique characters

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    #16
    Thanks so much Kee Hoon Ahn. I think it's improving too. In fact, I put together a side-by-side comparison of some of the art I was using just to see the difference:

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    In 2014 I made my first sprite, on the left, which was terrible for many reasons. The sprite on the right was the one I used in my embarrassingly bad Steam Greenlight video. In 2016 I was most recently working on the two sprites at the bottom, showing the paladin and ranger armor, with some layers turned on and off to show the different armor tiers. I think they're a big improvement.

    And I just now put this together:

    animated gif
    (It's too bad we can't actually show animated gifs in our posts here.)

    That's showing my start on the vendor system. I'm still trying to decide on how to determine item prices and was thinking about these systems:

    1. Set price for buy, half price for buyback: This is probably the most common in Japanese RPGs. It might also be the easiest to implement. It might work best here because that's just what players would probably expect.
    2. Calculated price based on stat boost, small percentage for buyback: This is the system at work in a lot of MMOs, making sure that item prices are balanced. Throw in a lot of loot after a battle, and you have an exact copy of World of Warcraft's vendor-trash economy.
    3. Supply-demand economy: This is definitely the hardest to simulate, and it might be the most interesting, but it could also just be unappreciated effort. For every item there's a base price, and then based on the availability of that item in a given city, adjust that price up or down. So with every item you offer back to the vendor, he'll offer you a lower price. This is the system at work in Mount and Blade, one of my favorite RPGs.

    By the way, the items in your inventory are listed individually, and not stacked. The reasons for this are varied, but one reason is that I want to include weapon level-ups at some point. Basically you can enchant your items, but only after you've leveled them up through use in battle, and different enchantments requiring different stats (including one powerful enchantment that will require at least one previous wielder to have died). There will be a popup window that appears on mouseover to show you an item's stats, so you know not to sell that sword that's about ready for a new enchantment.

    But that's all pretty far down the road still. For now I just have to decide on how to calculate the prices. If any of you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear it. Or if you have any thoughts on the look of the UI, I'd love to hear that too.
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    Check out Himeko Sutori, the upcoming tactical RPG where you control armies of over 100 unique characters.

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      #17
      December update: menu sounds, equipment info on mouseover, and vendors.
      Check out Himeko Sutori, the upcoming tactical RPG where you control armies of over 100 unique characters.

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        #18
        UI is better than before.^^

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          #19
          Here is a major update, showing off the world map, a day/night cycle, resting and eating, and a bunch of other scope creep that I'm glad to include for you.

          Check out Himeko Sutori, the upcoming tactical RPG where you control armies of over 100 unique characters.

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            #20
            Fantastic Job man!!!!

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              #21
              Thanks very much udkultimate and Kee Hoon Ahn. I'm slowly getting this game to where I want it to be, one line of code at a time.

              Here's the official February update:


              In there we have the world map, enemy armies, transition to combat and back again, plus background music. I think the mix got messed up because I set the music to higher processing priority, and so the music probably got ahead of the timer during a performance hiccup.

              In the video I also mention that I had the game spawning around 5,000 pawns, which was slowing down the game. Each character is only a square that adds two triangles to the scene. 10,000 additional triangles shouldn't make a difference. I used Unreal's profiler to find out what exactly was slowing down my game, and discovered that most of the problem was with ticking the pawns' controllers. So I only give controllers to the enemy pawns when they enter combat. The next biggest slowdown was a deproject that I perform on every character to find out where on the screen it is so that I can tilt the 2D character sprites to counteract the camera's perspective. Somewhere around here I have a long explanation for how I draw the sprites and why I do it that way. Anyway, point is, it involves a deproject and doing it 5,000 times per tick is pretty costly. So I changed that to update only while the character is onscreen. After some other optimizations, the game runs just fine, even with up to 5,000 characters in the game.

              At this point the game engine is pretty much finished and I'm going to focus on making a playable campaign.
              Check out Himeko Sutori, the upcoming tactical RPG where you control armies of over 100 unique characters.

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                #22
                Nice to watch it all coming together Nathaniel3W...

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                  #23
                  Keeping up with the monthly video updates, here's what I have to sum up March 2017:



                  For the UDK enthusiasts who want to know more about how it works...
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                  The list of available campaigns, along with the campaign name and description, and the level to load in order to start your campaign, are all pulled from an ini. If you want to add a campaign, you just have to add a line to the configuration file.

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                  Constantly learning more about Flash, and I can tell I still have a lot to learn about presenting an attractive UI. It's coming along though.

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                  Here's a randomly generated hero who just happens to be old. We now have some more variation in the character portraits with the addition of facial hair, balding, and wrinkles. Most of the heroes will be young, but now the world won't be populated entirely by shiny anime youth.

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                  I brought down the saturation on the character sprites by about 15. Now the screen is a bit easier to look at. That change was probably the quickest and easiest improvement I made this month. All I had to do was select all of the offending textures, right click, bring up their properties, and reduce the saturation across the whole selections. Also, I got rid of the character shadows. Some SSAO did a pretty good job I think of replacing those shadows.

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                  Cel shading and toon lines (finely tuned now, instead of the solid black smear I had before) help unite the look of the world, making the 3D environment a little more cartoony to match the characters. Still, if you don't like toon lines, you can turn them off in the options. I finally got around to figuring out how to access the world properties' postprocessing chain in code, and I apply a MaterialInstanceConstant to tune the Sobel edge material.

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                  Usually your characters will level up on the battlefield, but here we're using a cheat code to level a character outside combat. The messages used to be displayed on a mesh in the game world. I was never quite content with how that worked, so instead I have various messages (such as damage, level-ups, and some other notifications) drawn in a GFxMovie that renders to a RenderTexture that gets put into an array in the HUD, that the HUD sorts according to distance (so that "closer" textures draw on top), and then finally draws on the screen. I'm going to use the same technique to add combat banter. It'll be simple now that I know how to do it and now that the system is already in place.

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                  And we finally implemented level-up cards. I seriously made about 100 of these. Seriously. There's one card for each of your characters' 18 primary skills, attributes, and elements. Then there are the secondary skills like dodge, block, and critical hit. And now you'll start the game with just two character classes, and I made 18 cards for each of the other character classes that you can unlock. And then there are leadership skills, crafting skills... maybe that was all. And each card has some lore written in the description. The cards have a texture variable so they each can have unique pictures, but I just haven't made the cards' faces yet.

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                  And here's a preview of crafting in Himeko Sutori. It's not working yet, but we're making progress.

                  We're getting close to finished. We're finishing up all of the little details now. I think we can realistically hope to have a simple playable test campaign in a couple more months.
                  Check out Himeko Sutori, the upcoming tactical RPG where you control armies of over 100 unique characters.

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                    #24
                    wow your game is really coming along there. I couldn't get the drift at first.
                    Excellent little textures there. The trees and landscape add an interesting depth.
                    @Snipe34 Please try to stay focused. TKBS

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                      #25
                      Another month, another update. Gamedev sure is a lot of work. Anyway, here's the latest video showing off crafting, more dynamic combat, and a naked fairy:

                      Check out Himeko Sutori, the upcoming tactical RPG where you control armies of over 100 unique characters.

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                        #26
                        Like the town...

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                          #27
                          Update video for the month:

                          Interactive NPCs, combat, level-ups, new map, new music, new equipment, new bugs.

                          We're calling this campaign an alpha test. Assuming we can put together a functional campaign, we'll change the name to "Beta" and release it to the Kickstarter backers. Depending on how things go there, we will either launch into Steam Early Access, or keep working and do the full release down the road.
                          Check out Himeko Sutori, the upcoming tactical RPG where you control armies of over 100 unique characters.

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                            #28
                            wow hey it's great to watch your concepts coming together so well into a viable playable game!

                            But you say new this, new that and 'new bugs' lol. Oh the 'joys' of making a game XD
                            @Snipe34 Please try to stay focused. TKBS

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                              #29
                              It's been a while since I've posted an update here. I'm making a bunch of new battle maps because the old ones were a bit boring. This new batch of maps has more stuff hand-placed instead of dropped in using the foliage tool. They give you more to look at and more tactical decisions to make. I still need to build lighting. I also have some new forest maps to show off, but I need to build the lighting on those. They look really strange without shadows.

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                              Edit: Also, for anyone interested, on the city map, I placed the central buildings by hand. The background buildings I placed using the foliage tool. I turned off random yaw, set the placement density to something really low, like 0.5, and let the foliage tool place maybe 3 different meshes for me. I think those background buildings turned out pretty well. I was considering trying the proc building volume, but this worked just fine for my needs.
                              Last edited by Nathaniel3W; 08-19-2017, 08:47 AM.
                              Check out Himeko Sutori, the upcoming tactical RPG where you control armies of over 100 unique characters.

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                                #30
                                How did you do the " Blocked ! " " Damage 50 ", texts thing is it scaleform?
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