Author Topic: Kali's Ladder  (Read 6244 times)

Benjamin Soulé

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Kali's Ladder
« on: April 08, 2013, 09:45:01 AM »
This is my first Roguelike, I made it at 7DRL 2013.
Now I have spent more time on it and I would need some test.

Kali's Ladder is inspired by Lost Labyrinth but intend to make much shorter games.
One game should be around 5-10 minutes.

You have 12 destiny points to buy your skills and build whatever class you want with them.
You can unlock more skills at the Kali's Altar, so after few plays, you will be able to create a lot of differents character classes.



Your goal is to complete the 10 rungs of the Kali's Ladder. On the 10th floor, Kali herself is waiting for you.
On each new rung, you can increase one of the 6 basic caracteristics ( Strength, Dexterity, Speed, Stamina, Perception and Intelligence )

You can play on the game website

What I need now, is some basic testing for game balance. I played hundreds of games with differents characters but I really feel like I would need more. And I must also spend time on programming it, so any help is welcome :)
You can post your comments here, or contact me on twitter @benjamin_soule_

I added the Kali's Altar and the Hall of Fame, so testing would be more fun. I hope you will enjoy the game.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 06:04:08 AM by Benjamin Soulé »

Nymphaea

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 11:58:27 AM »
Fun little game, few things though:
1) Usable items have a typo, the menu has "[DU] Drop [] Use"
2) What are the movement controls? I used arrows (on a netbook) but considering monsters could, I'm guessing diagonals are possible? You should add an alternate input method for us people without numpads.
3) Seeing as how Use and Drop are in the inventory screen, I don't see why equip couldn't be in the same screen, saves a key binding and is more convenient.

Benjamin Soulé

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2013, 06:23:50 AM »
Thank you for playing :)
I modified the inventory screen so you can use, equip and drop on the same screen.

If you hold the shift key, the arrow key input "turn" for 45° and the character can move on diagonals.
It's only a trick I use because I'm working myself on a netbook.
I can't find any better solution but I added the "wood_leg" skill you can be paid for not having a numpad with more destiny points  ;D

Kali's Ladder now have awebsite with a much needed help page.
I also added Wands, Scrolls, Spellbooks and new skills.

Jo

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 08:11:29 AM »
Wait...you attempted to solve the 'laptop no numpad' issue by saying the character has a 'peg leg', and so gives the character more points?

That's brilliant.
Klingon RL, Gunfist 7DRL, Cardlike 7DRL, Cardlike: Quest for the Goat Horn, Sun Crusher 7DRL, The Littlest Princess 7DRL and dozens of board and card games.

Nymphaea

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 11:23:56 AM »
Haha I agree, I used the wooden leg skill just so I could squeeze more abilities into my character, though now that I know the shift trick diagonals aren't too bad. Slight bug though, wood leg prevents attacking diagonally too, not just walking. Also, the inventory screen doesn't seem to allow equiping like you said.

Also, found one of my favourite items in my last run. "Candle hat". If only I could find that on the first floor each run :P

zasvid

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 12:18:59 PM »
This is a pretty cool game.

I've noticed a bug: I had a wand (with 1 charge) in hand but when trying to fire it got "No missile or wand to fire!" (or something like that) message.

Also, I recommend adding some quick start character builds so people can start playing immediately. A big list of character options to choose from before you even see the game is a bit intimidating, so an option to start with something prebuilt would be great. Doesn't have to be much, but an example Warrior, Archer, Thief, Mage would be swell.

Still, it's just small things in an otherwise very nice game. I applaud!

Nymphaea

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2013, 01:23:02 PM »
Not a bug, just not documented I guess (or you missed it, haven't looked much at the new site yet)

Firing weapons require you to equip them, pretty sure there's a penalty if they are in your offhand, as when using a bow while holding a sword I missed every shot :P

And other than "quick builds", the ability to save builds for future use would be nice, especially if you could save partial builds. Save the basics of a warrior (Combat Training, Sword, Leather Armor, Shield) and then just pick other skills before each game instead of the whole thing.

soundlust

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2013, 04:00:27 AM »
Been playing since I saw it in the 7drl updates, and you've added quiet a bit since then!

I feel like I'm terrible, I can't get a mage/caster to work at all. Are spells only learned from scrolls?

zasvid

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2013, 11:12:05 AM »
Not a bug, just not documented I guess (or you missed it, haven't looked much at the new site yet)

Firing weapons require you to equip them, pretty sure there's a penalty if they are in your offhand, as when using a bow while holding a sword I missed every shot :P

Had it equipped, tried offhand, mainhand, only holding the wand... nothing worked.

Benjamin Soulé

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 05:03:23 AM »
Hello, Thank you all for test !

zasvid > The wand is available from the cast menu, I changed my mind a lot of time about the wand use, and that's why the game is not coherent about it.
I hope adding the wand spell in the cast menu will resolve it.

Nymphaea > There's no penalty for holding your bow in offhand, infact the shortbow is the only bow that can be held with one hand only.
I needed it this way because I wand the archers to be able to use torch on first levels, before is perception level is high enough.
The pre-build is a great idea, and it's available now in the 1.3 version.
Working on them really helped me to tweak some skills and create new ones.

soundlust > Spells are not learned from scroll ( Copycat skill only do that ). You gain new spell when you improve your wisdom.
The most easy way to do this is to incresase intelligence on level up. Of course you also need to possess some magic skills ( Fire, Air, Earth, Water and soon more :) )

The 1.3 version is online, the inventory is now accessible only on "i" key and all actions are available from the item panel
I had no time to add tips on prebuild class so here's an important one : Dont use the torch with stealth classes like assassin and thief...

I will now leave for 3 boat days, and will link with 48h ludumdare if I arrive in time.
So no new versions for one week, I hope I didn't forgot a gamekiller bug  :-\

PS : I have unlocked all skills to make testing more efficient. So no use for the kali's altar  on this version.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 05:22:08 AM by Benjamin Soulé »

sorio

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2013, 02:35:44 PM »
Lovely game!  Some feedback: 

Bugs
when standing in a doorway, trying to close one next to it: find the other one.  currently stops at "something in the way"
when toggling a door, next to a broken one: find the unbroken one, don't end turn
when spells must be recalled for mem: make this much more obvious (not just a color shift!)
arrows: have these stack properly. (now: if you have 7 and pick up 6, you get 7+1=8)
charge into a rooted plant: should stop at the plant.  (currently you get roots cast on you N times for each cell it is pushed back)
if you cancel a spell before casting, it shouldn't cost men
for some custom characters, using an altar does nothing despite skill (vishnu)

Feature requests
locks on doors: make slightly more visible
locks: if you try sth locked but have no key, lose 1 move, not 1 turn.
doors: if you try to close a door, and none is nearby, lose 1 move, not 1 turn.  (lose 0 moves if you can close doors for free)
light sources currently alert monsters across walls (or at least secret doors).  should not.
Simplify 'Detect': make it apply to both secret doors and traps. Make the 2 'Detect' destinies stack.
Simplify Encumbrance + Backpack: just have one.  (Just encumbrance would make light items and armor-fighting more useful.)

Balance: mem and magic
books about a creature-type: only 1 mem
manual of men: increase mem by 1 immediately.
add confirm screen when using men to cast spell?

Balance: weakness
str should increase pois resist; dodge fire resist.
fire should last a bit longer; poison should stack less.
cure poison, ailments on descending a level
when paralyzed: don't allow charging.

Balance: aging and time
eqp time: reduce by half, round up
knives should not disappear when thrown (or rarely: degrade)
allow repeated trap disarming.  any trap should be disarmable w enough time
heal: regen 1/20 trns

Balance: altars, spells, abilities
altars should have a minor default use: rest a few hp + repair random armor by a few pts. in addition to any special use.
If you keep a spellbook that you know in inv when descending, gain +1 use of the spell/lvl
Basic heal spell: +1-2

Balance: Inv + Dur
kali-gems: don't have these take up inv
inv: dont include items worn on body in the inv count, at least for armor-fighters
armor dur: check first if it does dmg, only reduce if yes
in combat, boots and hats should rarely lose dur
wall traps should only affect body armor, ceiling traps hats, &c
detect: make 10% to start (traps & doors)
weap: increase dur by 100%, but have degrade when it hits 50%

Docs
help-page: note diagonal-arrow trick (shift)
dur: show this for all items, even at 100%
player: show Wisdom

Benjamin Soulé

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2013, 10:20:30 PM »
Thank you for the in-depth review !

I'm currently working on another project but I still have plan for Kali's ladder.
I would like to keep the core of the game and the GFX but change the interface, I can't bear it anymore :-/

I will post here as soon I have a new version !


sorio

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Re: Kali's Ladder
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2014, 03:39:29 PM »
Necroing this thread to say:

Benjamin, I really hope you do return to this !! 

Kali's Ladder still has the most creative build possibilities of any recent roguelike I've seen; beautiful design and capture of cramped space and time pressure.  It certainly deserves much wider attention and discussion. 

I came back to it because I needed to explain it to someone else, and couldn't help playing a handful of games...
You may not be reading this anymore (fie) but I have no other place to leave this, so here are a some more bug reports and thoughts:

= More bugs =
- It sometimes glitches when dashing: An attempt to dash while confused ended up bouncing back and forth forever across a three-block area:  [xSx]
- It sometimes hangs after waiting: after breath refills but before moves refill.  (happend 2x in 12 plays, around floors 3-4)

= More requests =
To increase fun and speed:
- Check for the longest pathlength between any two locations on a rung.  If it is too long, add a door
- Increase average corridor size.  Fewer single-file corridors
- Give every character a deity (don't use destiny points)
- Give every character +4 inv slots.  inv management is no fun
- Start with 1 more move point
- Make autopickup default

Inventory balance:
- Some items have effect durations.  Start counting from after inventory closes, not before.
- Don't requiring equipping something to throw it (this makes missiles useless)

Moves and time:
- Don't let creatures attack after they've exhausted all move points.  (just like the character)  This would also allow the third eye to be useful in melee.
- Most effects tend to be a bit too short to really notice them

Rung balance:
- The first few rungs feel balanced.  Around R5 it slows down: few new items or room types, just longer, slower levels.  By R7 it is hard to proceed without luck. 
- More items or keys might help, especially starting on the mid levels.  Enough scrolls & potions to let players detecting them by using them find more than one of a kind.
- A wizard mode would help with testing a lot.  (let players explore the levels without dying)

Docs:
- Make it clear that all magic items recharge on each floor, not just wands.

* Thanks again for your great work on this :D
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 03:46:49 PM by sorio »