Author Topic: Possession 2 - Playable!  (Read 10613 times)

spelk

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2014, 01:38:50 AM »
Really like the idea behind your original game, looking forward to seeing the new version make an appearance. Especially to see the tile version in action.

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2014, 02:56:19 PM »
Thanks everyone! Hopefully sometime soon I can get another development version up. Right now too much is in a half-finished state.

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2014, 07:46:59 PM »
Not only will Possession 2 feature greater variety in its regular levels, but there will also be several "special levels" which you will sometimes visit instead of a regular level. The special levels are themed, featuring special tiles and design, and creatures that fit the theme. More interestingly, they usually feature special tiles, features, effects or layouts. Think Crawl's dungeon branches.

The Tombs are the first special level I've made. They're a series of rooms connected by corridors. Inside, you might be lucky(?) enough to find mummified kings sleeping amongst massive piles of treasure!

Click to Enlarge

Being a ghost, you don't really have much use for gold. But the mummies don't know that, and if you touch their gold, they'll come to life and attack!

There are also cultists scattered throughout the tombs, who wander until they find a mummy, then begin worshipping it. While the cultists aren't very strong (and the mummies themselves are a bit on the weak side, too), if you're not careful you could find yourself being chased by a mob!


Click to Enlarge


There's an upside, though. If you possess a mummy, unaligned cultists may start worshipping and following you instead!


Click to Enlarge


There are other creatures in the tombs, too, such as deadly sphinxes, adventurous archeologists, as well as our old "friends" the tourists:


Click to Enlarge
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 07:50:37 PM by Rickton »

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2014, 06:29:21 PM »
Today's post is about speed! Not only is it the first R-rated movie I ever watched (and haven't seen since), trying to account for it is also a pretty big issue in roguelikes and other turn-based games.


It's much easier to just have everyone move once per turn. Anything else just gets complicated, both from a programming and a gameplay standpoint. But given that the differences between bodies are such a big deal in Possession, I really want there to be some creatures that are weak but fast, and some that are strong and slow. Not to mention the possibilities of spells or obstacles that speed/up slow down creatures, and let the player (or their enemies!) run away or escape more quickly.

At first I tried a simple system where certain creatures either got an extra turn or lost a turn every X number of turns, but implementing it got kind of ugly and annoying. I decided to look into what other people had already done. I found this post, detailing a wide variety of time systems used in roguelikes, and decided to go with an energy-based system, which is apparently what Angband uses, which is somewhat appropriate I guess because even though I don't really like it much now, it was the first roguelike I ever played.

Anyway, the basic way it works is, every creature has a "speed" rating that is added to their "energy" stat every turn. If their energy stat is above 100, they can move, and 100 is subtracted from it. If it's above 200 they can move twice, above 300 three times, etc. Most creatures just have speed 100, meaning they move once a turn.

For example:
CreatureSpeedEnergy, Turn 1Energy, Turn 2Energy, Turn 3
Bat150150 (moves once, reduces to 50)200 (moves twice, reduces to 0)150 (moves once, reduces to 50)
Zombie5050 (doesn't move)100 (moves once, reduces to 0)50 (doesn't move)
Caretaker100100 (moves once, reduces to 0)100 (moves once, reduces to 0)100 (moves once, reduces to 0)
Same goes for the player, of course. If they have above 100 energy, they can move, if not, a turn happens without them. If they have above 200 energy, their move is an "extra" move. They still move, as does any creature with more than 100 energy, but nobody's energy increases that turn.

The ghost moves faster than most creatures, so the player has a chance to run away.
Click to enlarge.

This system worked pretty well as-is, but it does run into a weird problem. I had bats and ghosts both faster than normal, but the ghost was slightly faster than the bat. It got an extra turn every two turns, and the bat got an extra turn every three. This resulted in, one turn, the ghost would move twice and the bat wouldn't move, the next turn the bat would move twice and the ghost wouldn't move. It didn't make much sense.

Player takes extra turns, then bat takes extra turns.
Click to enlarge.


So, to get around that, I made it so that if the player is faster than a creature, the creature saves up enough energy to take an extra turn, it doesn't actually take its extra turn until the player takes their extra turn. That seems to work pretty well so far. Might take some more tweaking as things continue, but we'll see.


Bat now takes extra move when player takes extra move.
Click to enlarge.


The other problem with this system is that all actions take the same amount of time. It's not currently possible to have, for example, a creature who moves slowly but attacks at the same speed. Or a creature that can move 5 spaces per turn but only attack once. I'll have to see if that's something I want to invest the time into making possible.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 06:36:18 PM by Rickton »

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2014, 06:20:01 PM »
I'm working two jobs right now, and the past few weeks have been pretty busy for me. I have managed to continue working on Possession 2, just not as much as I'd like. Today's post isn't really focusing on any one aspect in particular, just highlighting some of the things I've been working on.

I've made some more AI improvements. Smarter creatures now try to avoid dangerous terrain, such as lava and fires, while dumber creatures will just walk straight through.

Dumb Skeleton walks straight through the fire. Click to enlarge.


Smarter caretakers paths around the fire. Click to enlarge.


I've also made spellcasting AI improvements, so that creatures running away can use defensive spells like teleportation, and creatures can also use positive spells (like healing) on their allies.

Content-wise, I've also continued work. Here are shots from a few new special levels. First of all, the ruins of an underground city full of Lovecraftian monsters. It's mostly finished, just needs a little more work on some of the creature powers.

Click to enlarge.


There's also a few areas that are still very much in progress, a nature preserve (full of flammable grass and trees!) and the ruins of a demon city.

Click to enlarge.


Click to enlarge.

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2014, 06:05:43 PM »
Crossposted from my blog
So I apologize for not really having posted anything recently. There's been some work going on, but a lot of it has been kind of behind the scenes (probably worth a post, might be of interest to other game dev people), and honestly, there hasn't been THAT much work done, either. Right now my job situation just makes it hard to put as much time in as I'd like, especially considering I'm still running and working on Pleasantville by Night.

I do still have the energy to do some conceptual work, so once I do get the time to work I have plenty of creatures already planned out. I've also managed to make myself do the sprites for quite a few. Here's a look at some of them:


Click to Enlarge


That's fifteen new creatures. Possession 1 had a total of 31 creatures, not counting the ghost. Only 24 of them were possessable. The creatures in that one image alone is more than half of what the first game had!

Here's some more info on how much bigger Possession 2 will be than Possession 1. Possession 1 was five levels long, and each level had the same group of creatures available each time. Possession 2 will be ten levels long, and eight of those levels will randomly be one of three possible levels and creature groups. If each of the levels has an average of five creatures, that's around 130. That's already a hundred more than the first game had, not counting bosses or summonables. And, of course, there's going to be a wider variety of level designs and level features, not to mention all the new creature abilities.

In about two weeks, my job hours are going to drop to sane levels, so you should be seeing more from me after that point. My priority will be to get a playable version out. It won't be complete (or probably even winnable), but you'll finally get a chance to play around with some of the new stuff.

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2014, 06:46:36 PM »
Crossposted from my site

I'm going to preface this by saying that work on the user interface is probably my least favorite kind of programming. It's tedious and boring, and doesn't feel very productive. But once it's done, it makes a world of difference. Since the first Possession was whipped together in a week, it didn't have that much polish, though I think it was pretty good for being made in only 7 days. I'd like Possession 2 to be much more accessible, better-looking, and playable, though, so I've been doing some work towards that end.

The sidebars used to just be drawn as a simple square. I whipped up a border to use instead, and also made it adjust based on how much information needs to be shown rather than just taking up the entire side of the screen. It also shows you the special abilities you can use in your current body, and you can now press the number listed to use that ability instead of having to go through the spell screen.


Click to enlarge


One thing you can see in that picture is something entirely new: A menu that shows up when you right click on an enemy or square. It lists the abilities you can use on the targeted location, which means that the game can now be played entirely with the mouse, if you want. (Actually, that's not completely true yet, you still have to use the keyboard to go up and down stairs).

Another other thing I've been working on is changing the stat system of the game. In Possession 1, every creature had a "Hit Chance" and a "Dodge Chance. But what made things confusing is that the actual hit chance was the "Hit Chance" of the attacker minus the "Dodge Chance" of the defender, so a 50% hit chance could in reality be, say, a 10% hit chance if the attacker had a high dodge score. This also led to silliness like some creatures having a 120% hit chance. I've gotten rid of that, and just gone to a basic "hit skill" and "dodge skill" system. Since those numbers aren't quite as intuitive as hit chances, the game now shows you the chance of hitting (or being hit by) an enemy when you target them.


Click to enlarge


Here's what the Monsterpedia, which contains information about the monsters you're possessed, looks like now. In the first game, it was just kind of a jumble, the creatures were just listed in there based on which ones you possessed first, but now they're sorted by level, and the list is scrollable. It also tracks your stats with the individual creatures, showing how many times you're possessed a creature type, how many times you've exploded one, as well as how many kills you're made and turns you've played as a creature.


Click to enlarge


I'd like to get some feedback on all these interface changes, which is hard to do without people actually playing with them. Luckily, it actually looks like the game's going to be in a stable enough state (though still nowhere near finished, content-wise) to release a playable dev version soon. And by soon I mean "hopefully this week." So stay tuned for that.

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #22 on: May 03, 2014, 02:28:36 PM »
So I've finally got a playable version up! Still very in progress, obviously. Some things have missing/incomplete graphics, some features aren’t implemented yet, and there’s still a lot of balancing to be done. But you can try it out and see how you like it, and please let me know how you do!

Mac Version

.love file - Works on Linux, Mac or Windows but requires LÖVE Interpreter.

Windows version coming, but I need to get on my girlfriend's computer to test it.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2014, 02:36:43 PM by Rickton »

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2014, 04:23:08 PM »

Zireael

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2014, 01:56:09 PM »
Curiously enough, this link works while the one in Early Dev does not ...

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2014, 01:57:56 PM »
You just happened to click this one right after I'd fixed the links. :)

Vanguard

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2014, 10:49:40 PM »
I played this once and it seems that possessing every enemy is much easier than fighting anything.  It crashed and I knew why it crashed but now I don't remember what the reason was.  Welp, see you later.

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2014, 02:18:56 PM »
I played this once and it seems that possessing every enemy is much easier than fighting anything.  It crashed and I knew why it crashed but now I don't remember what the reason was.  Welp, see you later.
That's certainly true on the lower levels, but possession gets more and more difficult on the later levels. Is it still too easy later on? Is it not risky enough that you leave your current body and move next to the new creature even if you fail?

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2014, 06:11:24 PM »
It's been a while since my last devblog (to put it lightly). Content progress has continued, and I'm sure I'll get into some of that later. But what I've also been doing (continuing somewhat the theme of the last devblog), is working on adding some polish to the game.

Maybe that's a bad idea, maybe you shouldn't polish a game until it's finished. I don't know how you're "supposed" to do things like this. Psychologically, though, it's been helpful for me, because it makes the game look more like an actual game people might play rather than some hacked-together piece of crap. It'll also make for better screenshots, and a more enjoyable dev release, whenever the next one comes.

The fact of the matter is, as inconsequential as some of these types of features might be, they're essential to people wanting to play the game. No matter how good the gameplay is, if it feels and looks off, it's going to turn people off. Little features like these go a long way:

First, and most usefully, abilities with areas of effect now show where the effect is going to be:


Targeting poison gas attack


Poison gas attack result

Not as essential, but probably still useful thing is making damage more visible. The old dev version did have numbers that rose from a creature showing how much damage was done, but now I've also made them flash and get knocked back a bit when they get hit.


Damage knockbacks and flashes

Special damage types also have animations that flash over a creature who's been damaged:


Unholy damage

The game now warns you when you're about to move into a dangerous area (ie lava if you can't fly, or next to a creature if you're a ghost). This should hopefully cut down on annoying accidental deaths caused by running too fast without paying attention.


Never stand next to an elvish environmentalist...that all-natural deodorant doesn't work too well.


I don't see why I wouldn't be sure.

Purely cosmetic, there's a small animation when a walking creature, well, walks:


A leisurely stroll.

And graphics for certain features, such as splashes that show up when they go into the water (or sewage, as the case may be), and making it look like they're actually standing on a bridge instead of on the side of it.


The ratking and ugly vampire have a nice chat while standing in sewage.


The ghost has no friends to chat with in the sewage, and also doesn't make any splashes because it flies.


On the bridge over the river of the dead. Who's that mysterious stranger on the left?

Oh also, corpses finally show up in graphics mode, instead of just as colored % signs.


Before...


...after.

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2014, 06:09:42 PM »
Crossposted from my site

Well, it's been a month since the last post, but the past month has been pretty busy life-wise, first I was out of town, then had people coming in from out of town to stay with me, then out of town again. So that's my excuse.

Anyway, one major piece of news is that the tombs are officially finished, which basically means that I told myself I wasn't allowed to work on them anymore. The tombs tileset has all the graphics done, all its creatures are done, and it has a unique boss. This shot shows him, and a new creature from the tombs that hasn't been shown before, the pyramidologist.


Tombs boss, and Pyramidologist creature.

All of the special levels up until now have just used the regular map gen code, with some special rules applied on top. For the newest special level, the Adventurer's Tavern, I wrote a brand new map generator.


The #s are beds, they just don't have graphics yet.

I'm sure people have done something like this before, but here's a description of how it works, in case it inspires anyone to use something like it.

First, you split the level into a grid of equal-sized squares. Since right now my levels are 50x50 tiles, I'm splitting it into a 5x5 grid of squares each 10x10 tiles.



Then, it picks a random side, and makes all the rooms on that side "barrooms", that will contain the exit. Then, it picks a random room one up from the other side, that'll be a "storeroom" and contain the entrance.


It puts a couple more storerooms in there for good measure, too, but whatever.

Then it puts hallways in all the empty rooms, and puts bedrooms in the empty space, resulting in a final result that looks like this (in ASCII mode to show more of the level):



(Skipping a lot of steps obviously, but if anyone's interested I could go into more detail)

I won't go into full details on all the creatures in the tavern (partially because none of them are fully coded yet) but I will leave this guy here:




Some other creatures I've implemented are:



The blood mage, who I think would make a pretty interesting class in a "normal" roguelike or RPG. He has some powerful spells that let him decrease how much damage he takes and deal a lot of damage to the enemy, but to cast them, he has to sacrifice his own health points.



Kobold protestors, who are weak and scrawny, but throw molotov cocktails, and can blame a nearby creature for their troubles, causing other nearby kobold protestors to attack them.



Unicorns that shoot rainbow death lasers at sasquatches and big game hunters.