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Topics - javelinrl

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Early Dev / Infojack (browser-based cyberpunk roguelike)
« on: March 18, 2017, 03:46:08 PM »
Hi guys, you may (or may not) know me from Javelin. Even though I should be working on the next Javelin release, which is actually 80% ready but a bit forgotten (and that is certainly my main project), I've recently had an itch that got me thinking of creating a side-project.

Basically, the idea was to create an open-source Decker remake that runs in the browser. For those that don't know Decker, it's a game where you are a hacker and you invade virtual realities to perform missions for fame and fortune.

This has also been a bit of an opportunity for me to study what's new on the web stack and I'm going with a component-based approach (using Polymer) for the view and a Javascript class-based design for the game logic, since browsers now have a pretty great support for the Javascript 6 specification.

I've managed to get a prototype working on the free GitHub working but right now all it does is let you listen to some hackey music  ;D http://tukkek.github.io/infojack

I'm also trying out a new management process where everything is a GitHub issue before making it into the game, which is something I'm planning to use on Javelin. Nothing really special here but I hope to conclude by the end of it that having a little bit of structure in this regard is better than just winging it, which is what I usually do for hobby projects.

So here's what the roadmap looks like for the game:

1.0 release:
  • Advance up to level 10
  • A city-level Web that you can explore at your own leisure (instead of Decker's mission-by-mission approach)
  • Missions set in that city (like in Decker)
  • Lifestyle upgrading (you win the game by reaching the highest tier)
  • Health management (both self-care and in a hospital)
  • Prepare to invade each system by forging credentials, doing perimeter research and more
  • You have your own virtual space and artificial intelligence to help you performing certain actions, like writing your own hacking programs and decrypting valuable stolen files
  • Getting caught and possibly arrested (and the legal costs to get out or lose the game)
  • Defenses on hacker systems goes from 3 types of static ICE to active sysadmins watching over their domains
  • Different types of nodes to interact with during your netrunning, both for fun and profit
  • Shop for software, hardware, cybetwear or build your own
  • Tons of character options as you advance through the game
  • 5 game-world factions, each with independent levels of like or dislike towards you

2.0 release:
  • Advance up to level 20
  • Contacts (useful allies in each Faction)
  • Many cities to visit through a world map
  • More background details for your character
  • More mission types
  • Edge dice to give you a boost on certain actions

3.0 release:
  • Play in a rock band to increase your reputation
  • More combat options
  • Gambling
  • Smart drugs to enhance your performance (warning: not safe)

This may sound like a lot of stuff to work on but actually, compared to a grander-scope game like Javelin, it feels more like a medium-sized project which I should be able to get rolling pretty fast. A huge help has been, again, the d20 system (which I use for Javelin too) - mainly in the form of the OGL Cybernet sourcebook , which has pretty much everything designed for me, making 80% of the work just a matter of selecting and bringing that stuff into code - the other 20% work being creating new systems specific to the game.

Visually, I plan to reuse a lot of art assets from Decker, so the game may end up feeling a lot similar (especially when netrunning), unless an artist decides to come along for the ride to create new images. I plan on using the web stack to create some cool effects as far as the UI is concerned but that is not a priority for the project (and I'm not very good at it either).

So, for now, I plan on spending this weekend totally focused on this project. I can't say what the future will hold and I don't think I'll be doing a rush to get 1.0 ready, unless this weekend shows a lot of promising progress already. This post here is mainly to gauge what the community interest is for a new cyberpunk roguelike-like - so please let me know if you'd like me to post status updates as I go along!

Finally, I'm going to cheat and leave you guys with a Decker screenshot, to be replaced later on with actual screenshots from the game. Since Decker is the main inspiration here, it should at least help people understand, more or less, what Infojack is supposed to feel like:


2
Design / What makes a good strategy game?
« on: November 29, 2016, 05:23:47 PM »
Might seem a bit off topic here since RLs aren't exactly strategy games but bear with me. I am the creator of JavelinRL which is quite a mess of ideas - it is party-based, uses D&D rules (d20 3e) and it differs enough from the rogue-like formula that I often have people asking me why it is called a RL at all... (but hey if even Dwarf Fortress is often called a roguelike I believe mine is one too). So I'm really not pleased with how all the ideas put into the game have turned out so far - I think there is a lot of potential but all of the disparate elements haven't *clicked* well enough together yet.

In this regard I'm working on the next release on-and-off which is going to change a lot of things - it already has mouse support, which makes the game more enjoyable for the non-hardcore crowd out there and right now I'm doing an almost-complete redesign of how the strategy/management layer of the game works. Hence, this post here. I'm trying my best to allow Javelin to be played mostly as a rogue-like/RPG by players who are only interested in combat, exploration and tactics but at the same time I have this whole system for city building, capturing enemy towns, producing units and such that are mostly seen in strategy games. By default a lot of these things are handled automatically unless you decide to take control over them.

So I imagine there's a lot of overlap between roguelike fans and turn-based strategy gamers as well, which is why I've come to you with this topic. I know I am myself a big fan of both genres! Also roguelikes do have their fair share of strategy and making the incorrect long-term decisions will guarantee you'll be dead before reaching your final objective in most games. RLs aren't easy games so you have little chance of winning unless you have good strategic planning and thinking along the way, including but not limited to how to spend character/attribute points, item selection, branches to visit, enemy types to avoid, hero builds...

So this is an open-ended topic that would help me determine if I'm going in the right direction with my current redesign efforts and hopefully raise good ideas and points for the community as well for the sake of discussing the genre. What do you guys think is the place for strategy in roguelikes (traditional ones and others like DF)? What makes a good turn-based strategy game? Over the years, which strategy games have got you glued to your seat turn after turn until 3AM on a work/school night? How did they achieve that? What was your favorite part (or parts) of the experience? Which games (roguelike or othewise) just didn't get strategy right and why did they fail? Any RLs you know that have more strategy elements than your typical dungeon-delving hack-and-slash game?

3
Announcements / Javelin 1.6
« on: July 15, 2016, 07:25:18 PM »


Hello veterans and rookies! Today Javelin 1.6 is being released! It’s a big one so let’s get to it!

For those new to the game you can find out all about it here https://javelinrl.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/hello-world/

You can download your copy of Javelin 1.6 right here https://github.com/tukkek/javelin/releases/download/1.6/javelin.zip

 If you have any sort of problem running the game check the link above for further instructions.

This release brings some changes to the early and late game, while also creating a new well-defined end-goal for each game. Besides a lot of new monsters for low level characters to duel against there are also new starting locations that will help you get the party started: the Adventurers Guild lets you apply starting kits to your units while the Training Hall provides an early challenge that also promises great rewards in a low-danger environment.

You will now find 7 temples scattered throughout the world map: each of them is a persistent, multi-level dungeon and holds a Relic on their deepest levels – each a powerful item on its own and now essential to winning the game, as you need to collect every relic to do so! Hopefully this will make each game feel more like a story while also providing interesting strategic decisions – should you rush towards each temple to reap the benefits from its Relic as soon as possible or level up enough to be able to face them with ease later on? Will your priority be vanquishing the forgotten temples or conquer the entire world map first?

There are new special locations too! The Summoning Circle lets your characters learn powerful summoning spells to bring forth allies during battle and the Pillar of Skulls, a macabre but powerful ally will accept several sorts of sacrifices and grant you fair boons for your trouble!

This release brings the full set of terrains predicted in the d20 rules – and with that also a system of seasons and natural hazards which you’ll discover while exploring the game world. Sail uncharted waters and try to find your way through massive sandstorms! This new system also makes world movement more dynamic and even lets you shape the world with your town workers – Civilization style!

The interface has been improved as well: you can now put your units under the control of the computer, activate quick combat (combat results are calculated automatically), edit your preferences and key settings via in-game screens and take notes with the new journal feature! The save system is faster, more robust and creates backups of your progress every time the game is started. A few bugs have been fixed too so if you had trouble losing progress on earlier versions please give this one a try! The AI now constantly monitors its own performance and suggests fixes if your configuration is less than optimal for the game. If and when an error occurs a lot more information is shown so you can submit it as a bug report.

And these are just a few of the new features! Check out the other highlights here:

    New locations: 7 temples, 11 mage guilds, troves and mines!
    New starting locations: Training Hall and Adventurers Guild!
    New unique locations: Summoning Circle and Pillar of Skulls!
    Around 50 new monsters!
    New end-game goal: bring the 7 Relics to Haxor!
    All game images can now be easily modified! (mod/skin support)
    New damage effects: poison, paralysis, fear
    Burrow movement
    New item type: wands
    New skills: use magic device and heal
    New transport: sailing ship
    More realistic, dynamic land movement
    Seasons, new terrains and terrain features
    Town workers let you build roads, settlements and more
    Player units can now be set to automatic (controlled by AI)
    New party option: strategic combat (skips random encounters)
    Preferences and command keys can now be edited in-game
    In-game journal for taking notes
    More information on errors, for easier bug reporting
    Improved save system, also creates automatic backups
    AI system now monitors thinking speed and corrects itself if slow
    183 monsters
    47 items, 12 artifacts
    63 upgrades, 49 spells, 13 skills
    22 battle maps

Full post with more screenshots and information https://javelinrl.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/javelin-1-6/

4
Announcements / Javelin 1.3
« on: April 29, 2016, 07:47:24 PM »
Javelin is a free open-source single-player role-playing game written in  Java that uses d20 as the rule system – also found in Dungeons and Dragons (versions 3.0 and 3.5) and its successor Pathfinder

Screenshot https://javelinrl.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/overworld2.png

1.3 release features

* 6 independent, opposing factions to play against at every game!
* City-building, automatic or manual!
* Equippable artifacts!
* 6 new location types to explore on the world map!
* 2 new unique locations: mercenary guild and artificer!
* Skill system, featuring 13 different skills!
* New units can now be acquired by spending XP
* The world map now has to be explored
* Dungeon redesign, featuring traps
* 137 monsters
* 28 items, 33 artifacts
* 53 upgrades, 25 spells, 13 skills

More information on release 1.3 here https://javelinrl.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/javelin-1-3/

Game features for those new to Javelin

     True artificial intelligence with easily customizeable thinking time!
    Uses a d20 (D&D) variant rule system, balancing classic hack-and-slash with a more dynamic turn sequence!
    A dynamic game world with locations to explore and 6 independent computer factions!
    Party-based gameplay - control one or more squads, not just a single hero!
    You choose how to level up your team!
    In-game help! Either by pressing h or function keys (F1, F2, F3...)! for the game guides.

More information about the game here https://javelinrl.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/hello-world/

Happy gaming :)

5
Announcements / Javelin 1.1
« on: February 26, 2016, 02:22:35 PM »
Hello RPG fans! Today Javelin 1.1 is officially released, the first update after the game has been made public!

Javelin is a free open-source single-player role-playing game written in Java that uses d20 as the rule system – more widely known as Dungeons and Dragons (versions 3.0 and 3.5) and its successor Pathfinder.

New features of this version are:

    Dungeons!
    Vehicles!
    Portals!
    Tournaments!
    The Tower of Haxor!
    Many new, randomly-generated battle maps!
    Lots of UI and AI improvements!
    Each town now has a unique selection of items and upgrades
    Towns now take a certain amount of time to craft items and train heroes
    In-battle power-ups for special battles
    A total of 136 monsters, 27 items, 57 upgrades and 25 spells

The new version can be downloaded here: https://github.com/tukkek/javelin/releases/download/1.1/javelin.zip

If you need information on how to get the game working or how to start playing or if you want to learn more about the game: https://javelinrl.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/hello-world/

Some computers may experience slow down after a while on long battles. If this happens to you try reducing the thinking time or disabling the cache by editing the file “preferences.properties” with Wordpad, Libre Office, Microsoft Word or other decent text editor. Let us know if you experience this issue and if the problem was solved after changing your preferences :)

Also I’d be happy to hear your opinions about the game so you’re more than welcome to comment here or on our new official forum at reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/javelinrl

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