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Messages - javelinrl

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Early Dev / Re: An early modern sociopolitical simulation
« on: April 19, 2017, 11:45:58 PM »
> I found it worthwhile to answer most of them, well, in some way. Somehow it gave me more motivation, so thank you for this.

That's exactly what I wrote them for, glad it helped! I know some people would've thought of them as weird/hostile/whatever but they're absolutely not, they're just a honest assessment of the big picture here!

> I just think it makes the map feel more real

Doesn't look real at all. Take a look at medieval france. Your map gives the impression there's easily between 5 to 20 more villages in the same amount of space

> these villages and provinces have also a strategic meaning in my game, since each one of them can be conquered, occupied, hold as a land property

It's going to become a chore after the 10 or 20 first conquests. It's also impossible to balance any game as to make capturing all of them give the player a sensible reward. You'll either have to make the reward very small (near worthless) or, if the bonus is bigger, the game is going to be unbalanced (the game is "won" prematurely after a certain number of villages is conquered).

Such achievements as conquering a city need to be more rare to be meaningful. Conquering one city in 20 is a big achievement - both for the player and on gameplay terms. Conquering one city in a hundred, like your map shows, is meaningless and probably more a chore than anything else.

> I don't frame it as a potential Kickstarter

In all honesty, I doubt it'll ever be. KS is not the "dreamland" it was on the early years, the hype is gone. Now even very mature, professional projects pushed by industry veterans are failing to get funded and I think your game is very much a niche thing done by a nobody (sorry, but in the game's industry, you are).

> I don't think the risks are high

It's not a matter of losing a bet. It's a matter of "what is the best way to go around achieving my goals".

> I'm interested to see how the things (read: the simulation) will work in terms of hardware usage

I really doubt you'll be pushing any hardware limits in 2017 unless you're going for a model where you're simulating every single citizen in your villages all the time - which really you shouldn't, with what you want to accomplish. Premature optimization is one of the worst things a programmer can do and you seem very eager to do exactly that

> It's mostly integrating global maps into the voxeljs

You mean this is a 3D game?! As if it wasn't ambitious enough  ::)

> I should install that Wine sometime, I guess (to run it on Linux).

I've talked to the creator a couple of times. Linux support is on the way.

> exploratory programming where I'm able to build and debug and change/refactor things very quickly

Go with Python then? I think it's got plenty of mature tools for math and statistics, probably much more and better than CLisp. It also the third most used language on GitHub, meaning it wil be a lot easier for people to join the effort later on. I doubt CLisp is even in the top 50, to be honest.

> CL lets me actually mix paradigms

You may like that but to most people this makes the code unreadable. Most amateur programmers don't even realize there is more than one paradigm, let alone work with multiple in a single project.

Having more than one language and having a "spec" implementation are terrible ideas, even more so for the sheer size of your ambitions. Unless, of course you do it smart (like having a core engine and a scripting language).

Look man, I'm going to be honest with you. I would doubt anyone could pull this all through, even a great programmer but reading your entire reply just makes me think you're waaaay, waaaay too green and naive for all of this. This was already a huge project and now you're suddenly talking about 3D and multiplayer like it's no big deal. You're talking about using voxeljs as your client even though it has no built-in networking layer.

If that is really your passion, great, go for it, but I'm disengaging from this conversation because I don't want to incentivize you to do something I don't think you're anywhere close to being ready to tackle. If you're going for it, get an alpha version or demo ready, come back and show people what you've done. It's going to take you a many months of hard work to even get there, maybe even a year or two before there's anything playable and I'm not sure you understand it.

My advice to you: instead of going for something that is, for all intents and purposes, bigger than Minecraft or similar in scope to Dwarf Fortress (except multiplayer 3D  ::)), why don't you put this aside for later and start with a smaller game? Maybe something like a lesser Daggerfall? Just a couple cities, a handful of dungeons. Once you got some actual experience to your name and you fully understand the amount of work you're talking about, you can consider coming back to all of this with renewed strength and actually put some work into it.

I am not in a position to judge if you're ready or not to pull off this huge project, I don't know you. What I can guarantee you though, is that if you're not ready, and you try to, you will fail. I guarantee it. Do yourself a favor and if you really love this idea so much, consider doing something (much) smaller as a first public project before moving on to something even the greatest programmers and game devs would have serious reservations about ever starting on their own.

Early Dev / Re: An early modern sociopolitical simulation
« on: April 19, 2017, 05:14:27 PM »
This looks amazing and I love the concept and the sheer scale of your ambition. I'd like to approach this from two methods though:

First, about the map themselves: they're great, even looking at them already gives the sheer scale of all the complexity you're talking about. However, I have 2 issues: one is that I agree with the comment made on the link itself (the maps do feel very similar to each other) and secondly, in my own opinion, there are way way way way way too many cities. When you have too much of one thing, in a game, it's just like have nothing as well because you can find it everywhere in abundance - for example, what the point of having gold if you're getting a million gold for every quest you complete? In that sense, you would do well to remove all minor towns and keeping only 20% to 10% of what you have there.

The second approach I'd like to try here is to play devil's advocate and act like a possible investor if you were trying to sell me this (as a publisher or on kickstarter, whatever). I hope you understand I mean nothing ill towards your project and I don't want to take any control over anything, it's just a way to help you think.

  • What sort of planning do you have in place to get this done? You cannot pull out something this big by just feeling your way through it.
  • Why should I play your finished game and not other complex simulations like Ultima Regum, Dwarf Fortress or even strategy games like EU, Civilization...?
  • What approach are you going to utilize to make sure that you don't need to work for 5 years to get an alpha done? What will the 5 first releases feature?
  • You mention you want team work but you plan to use CLisp, not only a rarely used language, but also a rarely used paradigm. Help is hard to find even with C# or Java. How will you find voluntary help that is both skilled in CLisp, expert enough to write a complex program like yours and willing to do voluntary work?
  • Why are you dead-set on using CLisp and not other more modern, accessible languages, or some other more modern Lisp dialect like Clojure?
  • In games, Lisp is usually known to be used for stateless software like MUD servers and so on. What tools and established examples are you going to use to make sure a very big CLisp project like this is maintainable once it grows very big and complex, as are your goals?
  • What kind of schedule and project management philosophy are you going to hold yourself to for all the years you're looking forward to work on this?
  • Can you give an architectural overview of how you're looking to implement some of the concepts you described in here: legal systems, reactive societies, speech, different play styles...?
  • What other successful game projects of yours can we look at to determine you're capable of handling something this big, complex and ambitious?
  • Do you think your game will have enough of a player-base to justify all the work put into it? Give me examples of existing similar games with many players.
  • From each of the games you've listed as influences, describe one thing you like about them, how it relates to your project and how they'll work together.
  • Why is this game a roguelike? Being procedurally generated doesn't make it a roguelike. How many elements of the Berlin Interpretation will you have?
  • What is your core gameplay loop? Also, how would you define your game in a single sentence?
  • What sort of testing (unit and systemic) approach are you going to use to make sure this huge thing doesn't break as you develop it further?
  • What sort of communities and support can you go to for your technical problems? Does CLisp have a strong community on forums, Stack Overflow, etc?
  • What third-party libraries and game engines are you going to use to reduce your own work load in writing custom code?

Honestly, I could go on for twice the size, probably - I'm reading your text to come up with those and I still haven't gotten to the second section. I haven't even touched on distribution. If you want me to, I'd be glad to do it, this can be a seriously good exercise and self-assessment (for your benefit, not mine, of course).

I will be happy to help you test your releases and see this project grow but, honestly, if you don't immediately have a solid, good answer for even one of these questions, you should seriously sit back and consider if you're really ready to start something this big right now. As an investor or kickstarter backer, I wouldn't put a red cent on your project if I wasn't satisfied with every single answer, because you're currently a one-man team and you're proposing to accomplish something many professional teams would shudder to even consider, much less on a budget of exactly zero moneys to get it done from start to finish.

Anyway, I hope this helps you in some way - either to make you feel you're ready, or not ready, or at least consider something you hadn't thought about up to now! If you want me to put up more questions, I can probably squeeze a few more, let me know.

Design / Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« on: March 20, 2017, 08:17:51 PM »
If you've settled on multi-player I guess real time is the way to go, then? I can't really imagine a turn-based multiplayer stealth game :P also, there's definitely ways to enable you to play the game without other players connected, even more so in roguelikes... Think of Dark Souls: the game is fine even if you're connected to the web but having players there provide extra help for you (or enemies to worry against).

Design / Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« on: March 20, 2017, 12:03:23 AM »
That's easier said than done, though it would indeed be a cool mechanic. I see this more as a player-versus-player thing so if you're going to multiplayer it's a good thing to think about and have planned early on. Sure, you can try doing the same for the singleplayer monster AI but I think that would be very hard to pull of and not make it exploitable, predictable or just overall weak... I mean, even in multiplayer it would be tricky to get right but at least then you'd have human intelligence on both (or all) sides to use the mechanic well, counter-use it and play mind games, like in poker  :P

Early Dev / Re: Infojack (browser-based cyberpunk roguelike)
« on: March 19, 2017, 11:53:50 PM »
I did some progress yesterday but mostly tinkering around with all the plumbing (including getting everything to load fine on the hosting server, which wasn't easy). So not much in the way of actual progress but getting all the framework stuff done right so I have a clear path of moving forward with actual content, which in itself is a pretty good advance but doesn't produce anything material, so to speak.

Unfortunately, as I reached the end of the day yesterday, I realized Polymer, despite being pretty cool, was going to be more and more of a hassle as the project grew bigger. I was only beginning and already feeling this would be the case. - especially when it came to communication between components (which, as it turns out, is pretty important on component-driven development). I spent the last hours of the day looking for an alternative and decided for Aurelia.

Today, I woke up with a mild fever and spent the entire morning in bed before feeling better, which obviously has eaten away a large portion of the day. In the afternoon, I managed to convert everything done so far into Aurelia and I'm very excited and satisfied with it. It scales very well, is more organized, produces lesser boilerplate code and is much more compatible with the actual web standards. It was actually fun moving everything to the new framework, learning the differences and seeing the code get more beautiful and less verbose as I did it! Consider this was 100% rework of what I did before, I think it being fun is a good tell I made the right choice in migrating! Again: I've put a lot of effort into figuring out the plumbing so from now on all work should be pretty 100% feature-oriented.

Unfortunately, as I've said on my OP, this weekend was more or less of a gauge at how fast I could get things done, and due to all obstacles, even if I'm happy with the final outcome, I can't say I've honestly got a good feel of how fast this project could evolve, so I'm probably putting it on the backburner for the short term. I'll try to work on it on the weekends, at least, but can't make any promises.

Design / Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« on: March 19, 2017, 02:53:37 PM »
Multi-player is a big step, especially considering server costs and all, for a free game. To be done right you need to recreate your entire game logic server-side to prevent cheaters, etc (and there will be cheaters and grievers if it gets big enough). I'd say, keep the possibility open while you code but don't make it a goal - yes, this means writing a "local client-server" architecture from day 1 if you want to make this a reality later on...

As for money, nowadays you can always aim for a Patreon later on down the road to get your art expenditures back... It's not a sure thing, by no means, but worth a shot, anyway, if your game ever gets a following :)

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

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:

Design / Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« on: March 18, 2017, 02:38:39 PM »
Your new link works here! The fullscreen looks pretty good too  ;D

If you ask me, I still like the idea of this being real-time (roguelite), playing it in a browser and spamming spacebar to scan the environment (sure, not all the time but maybe as a bigger sonar pass that extends your passive sonar perception and uses some of your resources).

Anyway, I'll sure keep an eye on your thread, as long as you're still planning on releasing the game for free in some capacity! I'm also starting a new roguelike and reading your reply made me wonder if I should start a thread here too so I think I might be going for it this time :D thanks!

Design / Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« on: March 17, 2017, 05:39:38 PM »
Tried opening it again with Firefox and it's a no-go. Me:

Code: [Select]
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/45.0
Anyway, keep the idea of making a roguelite close to heart: I think it would serve you well from what I've seen on the prototype. It's also more of a sure way to distinguish yourself from all the "traditional" orguelikes out there. From the top of my head I can think of ThiefRL, there are bound to be other stealth-based titles out there too, even it they're not as innovative as what you're trying to do

Design / Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« on: March 17, 2017, 02:42:13 PM »
Double post but just wanted to add that I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it in the roguelike / roguelite community, especially as a core mechanic. You certainly got the "innovation" factor going for you   ;D

Design / Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« on: March 17, 2017, 02:41:05 PM »
I think that is an interesting idea, sure. Would I play it? It really depends. Your demo really looks promising but you may not want to compete with major roguelikes - maybe think of a smaller game and grow from there? That being said, I think this idea would fit really well in a real-time game (not turn based like most roguelikes) - I'm not sure which you're planning to do.

My and Cynapse were discussing a light-and-darkness themed roguelike idea, if you think some of the mechanics would be interesting for your game, let me know and I'll forward you something I've written. Currently you're not thinking of light sources but of a completely dark gameplay, so it's probably not going to be useful to you.

As far as stealth goes I've discussed that briefly with Infra Arcana's creator, you may find some of the concepts we threw around interesting

Finally, your prototype only seems to run in Chrome, just so you know  :) good luck moving forward with your prototype!

7DRLs / Re: Space Station Plunder [Success]
« on: March 16, 2017, 05:21:37 PM »
Oh, I should have tried my gamepad then  :D as I said it was pretty fun for a few minutes until I realized "that was all". Good luck with improvements and I'll give the gamepad a go if we ever see a new release!

I mentioned the game being easy earlier on, just to clarify: if you mine a few asteroids and then just wander around until you find a merchant ship that can repair you, then you can just start some battles in the adjacent sectors and come back for repairs. Once the repair is depleted you do the same thing again, looking for a new "repair station". This way you can quickly grow rich without really being in any danger at any step of the way.

No need to be sorry pal  :D my reply may have sounded like a big ol' rant but it was more of a detailed dissection of there being a performance problem - which, if I didn't elaborate on, you and others might fairly assume it was just me having an outdated JVM, or terribly slow computer, etc . Others here have had no problem with the game so I think you're OK but I find it hard to believe I'm the only one too  :P Anyway I was mostly writing just so you know there's room for improvement, as I appreciate when others do the same for me. I wasn't expecting a fix at all - even though I've been trying to give feedback on many 7DRLs here, I understand they mostly come out in an "as-is" state!

Thanks for the follow up and reply, good luck with the work on your main branch!

7DRLs / Re: Space Station Plunder [Success]
« on: March 15, 2017, 06:33:36 PM »
The new build works fine but you really should figure this dependency thing out or even the new build will become obsolete pretty fast. Maybe you could compile those in statically? I think the SDL libs are fine as is because they don't seem to change as much...

The game is neat but I can't really call it a complete entry. There isn't an end game or sense of progression at all. There are some things I'd improve upon (like asking for confirmation when using ESC or always extracting minerals from asteroids) but my overall critique is that a game needs to have a beginning, middle and end, which yours doesn't. When a game fails to meet these criteria it is often called a simulation but that's not the case here either, there's not much simulation going on or stuff to enjoy while playing.

I'd say you got a good base here (even though everything is too easy at the moment) that you could turn into a full game. More of a technical preview than anything else really, I wouldn't consider this even an alpha release.

That being said, I enjoy the graphics, the minimalistic aspect of the gameplay with things evolving from quadrant to quadrant and the fact that you only use 2 buttons to play, which is pretty neat. If you ever turn this into more of a game it would be pretty cool to play with a gamepad. It would certainly remind me of those Master System games of old, which you only had 2 buttons to use, very simple graphics but even then I spent countless hours enjoying them  :)

I was wondering why I managed to download your last year entry (Cult) instead of the right one the first time I went to your site. Now I realized why: following your link in the OP send me to a page where Cult is listed! You should probably fix that!

Cult is a neat little game though! It's like a single-player MOBA roguelike, very interesting. Did you design it with that in mind? Or did you just create your own design from scratch without thinking about MOBAs at all?

Cyan Security looks great and for the little time I played it feels pretty solid too! The problem though is that I'm getting something like 2 frames per second here and every move takes 1 second to update the screen. It's playable for a few minutes but as soon as you need to exit a building it becomes a 30-second-long task (30 steps). Hey, I'm all for slow gameplay, we're talking roguelikes here but this is too much, even for me - also the rain effect looks terrible as it varies between 1 and 2 frames per second.

Don't get me wrong, the game art is at a professional level for pixel art, it's awesome but the frame rate makes it unplayable and unenjoyable. My current setup is a 2.5GHz quad-core, 3GB RAM, up-to-date Java 8 (updated today). I suppose my biggest weakness is my graphics card, which is an integrated (onboard) chip from 2009 - but even then it's hard to believe that it cannot reach even 3 or 4fps, when it runs much more demanding games well enough.

Just idling the game at the first room (not even using half of the screen) is enough to keep a consistent 50% CPU usage. That's extremely heavy for a simple 2D game, even if it's one that has nice graphics! I happen to be a Java developer too and this seems pretty unreasonable to me... as I said before, I know I have a shitty graphics card but even then Cyan Security doesn't look like the type of game that should need a latest-generation graphics card or a last-year AlienWare computer to run at 30fps...

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