Author Topic: Possession (formerly Possession 2) - Steam page up!  (Read 13933 times)

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2
« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2015, 02:56:00 PM »
Really interesting series of post, thank you about sharing!

About world simulation: seems boring to find a room full of dead bodies (a joke for a ghost with possession power ? :P lol), but could be a great plot twist for player. Wait forever and everyone will die eventually! To me seems a good enough motivation to keep exploring and make choices.

For example explore a maze in a certain order could resolve in a different encounters because in other part of the same maze all creatures are dead  :o
Thanks for reading!
Yeah, something like that could be interesting if it was designed that way on purpose, rather than just being a side effect.
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
Currently working on a sequel, simply titled Possession

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2
« Reply #46 on: August 13, 2015, 03:01:45 PM »
There's now a preview build of the game! Three complete levels from the final version are playable!

We're also on Steam Greenlight, so any Steam users, please check it out and give us a vote!
Open in Browser
Open in Steam
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 03:07:04 PM by Rickton »
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
Currently working on a sequel, simply titled Possession

getter77

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Re: Possession 2
« Reply #47 on: August 13, 2015, 08:38:25 PM »
Congrats!   Definitely feel free to make a topic in the Announcements board with the rest.   8)
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akeley

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #48 on: August 13, 2015, 09:27:57 PM »
I played this once and it seems that possessing every enemy is much easier than fighting anything.

This still holds - I just went through the entire demo only possessing/exploding everybody and my sole fight was the boss. And the possessions work almost always. I really think the game should be harder, even on these early levels (3 out of 10 is nearly a third of the entire game...)

Without rebalancing there doesn`t seem a point in using all these fun systems you devised - I really like all the crazy happenings, characters, abilities...

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #49 on: August 15, 2015, 02:26:55 PM »
I played this once and it seems that possessing every enemy is much easier than fighting anything.

This still holds - I just went through the entire demo only possessing/exploding everybody and my sole fight was the boss. And the possessions work almost always. I really think the game should be harder, even on these early levels (3 out of 10 is nearly a third of the entire game...)

Without rebalancing there doesn`t seem a point in using all these fun systems you devised - I really like all the crazy happenings, characters, abilities...
Thanks for checking it out, and I think you're right. I didn't want possession to be too hard, because trying to possess someone causes you to leave your body even if you fail, and I didn't want someone to get stuck as a ghost and killed they weren't able to possess someone because of the RNG. But I've been thinking it over, and I've come up with some solutions that might work (failing to possess someone increases the chance of success every time you do it, or maybe the longer you spend as a ghost, the higher your chances of possessing someone get).
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
Currently working on a sequel, simply titled Possession

akeley

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Re: Possession 2: Return to the Nether Regions
« Reply #50 on: August 16, 2015, 03:57:02 PM »
failing to possess someone increases the chance of success every time you do it, or maybe the longer you spend as a ghost, the higher your chances of possessing someone get

Something like that would help I suppose. Also maybe make some enemies immune or v.difficult to take over, so the player sometimes is forced to use possessed critter`s strengths and abilities.

Personally I like RLs that are brutal from the start and also don`t mind RNG "unfairness" (it ain`t really that), as long as it`s not being ridiculous. But sure, I understand why devs might want the "easier" approach. It`s just, if the easy stage is too long it becomes a chore eventually...after all we restart a lot in RLs. Ah...the joys of balancing ;)

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!
« Reply #51 on: October 13, 2015, 05:22:21 PM »
Crossposted from weirdfellows.com

Putting Possession 2 up on Greenlight was a bit nerve-wracking. It's the first time that the game was going to be exposed to the general public. Luckily, comments seem to be mostly positive (at least the ones I could understand), and the negatives have mainly focused on the graphics, which I expected.


I'm not sure what to make of any of these, but I'm hoping the Russian ones at least make sense in Russian...

We've still got a ways to go, though, so if you're on Steam, help us out by giving us a vote!

Open Possession 2 Greenlight in Browser
Open Possession 2 Greenlight in Steam

Someone's actually made a video of himself trying it. I'd link to it, but for some reason he's taken it down. If you make games -- or any other kind of program or app -- I cannot stress how helpful it is seeing someone who's never seen it before play it and try to figure it out, especially if they describe what they're thinking as they do it! When you've been working on something for a long time, you take a lot about how it works for granted, and forget that things might not be very obvious.

Most of the feedback I got from this video was interface-related (as well as noticing a few bugs that had slipped by). This particular person clicked through to the game immediately, skipping the how-to-play (which I expect most people will do). They also only used the mouse, not the keyboard, but still actually managed to do pretty OK, considering. Obviously I need to put in some kind of in-game instruction or tutorial mode, which I haven't done yet, but I did add the possession ability to the sidebar (the guy who made the video only possessed stuff by clicking on them when he was next to them). I've also added ability buttons to the sidebar, to make it easier to play with just the mouse.



He also didn't realize that you could change the name on the new game screen, and had trouble getting off the screen, so I made that a little more obvious too, and added an actual "begin" button:



Gender options aren't in that shot, but they're sill available. They're just hidden until you move the cursor to the gender section.



You might notice a new section on the new game screen, the seed. This is the seed used in the random number generator to generate the levels (and only used to generate the levels). Putting in the same seed will cause the levels to generate identically, although any randomness that happens during the course of the game will be different. This will let people run challenges to see who can get through the same levels faster, or whatever. It also makes it easier for me to test bugs and changes in the level generation code by generating the same level after changing the code. I honestly should have done this a while ago when I was doing more work on the level generator, but oh well.

On a gameplay front, the main feedback I've gotten is that possession is too easy. It's generally the best option in any situation, rather than fighting, just possess all the enemies and blow them up. While I don't want it to be too hard, to prevent people getting stuck as a ghost and dying because they failed to possess something a dozen times, I also don't want it to be the obvious best option. There's no point to having such a wide variety of monsters and abilities if there's never a real reason to use them.

I've got some ideas on how to fix this, but that's a topic for later.

If you haven't played the preview build yet, check it out on Mac, Windows, or Linux.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2015, 02:01:53 PM by Rickton »
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
Currently working on a sequel, simply titled Possession

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!
« Reply #52 on: October 25, 2016, 11:48:36 PM »
Crossposted from weirdfellows.com

Wow, I knew it had been a while since the last post, but I didn't realize it had been a year. Hold on, this is gonna be a long one.



For a while, I wasn't really doing much work on Possession 2 at all. Actually, going by my notes, from May until August I didn't do any work on it at all. Going from working at night to a "normal" 9-5 job left me worn out and feeling like I didn't have the energy to really do anything after work. That's been getting better (partially due to other reasons), so I've been getting more work done. Sometimes taking a break for something and coming back to it gives you a lot more motivation to work on it; I'm finding working on the game much more enjoyable than I did a few months ago.

Another big event happened as well, which I think is also a big help with motivation to focus on the game:



Possession 2 got greenlit!

For those who don't know, that refers to Steam Greenlight, the process by which you get on Steam, which is the largest platform for PC game distribution. In a nutshell, you post up screenshots and description of your game, and people vote if they want to buy it or not. Eventually, if you get enough votes (or something, it's kind of an opaque process), you get "greenlit" and are allowed to sell the game on Steam (after filling out a bunch of paperwork and stuff first, of course). Honestly, I'm not sure how it happened, because I was nowhere near the top 100 games on Greenlight, which is what general consensus says is where the games that move on are chosen from, but whatever, I'll take it.

So what else has happened in the past 12 months?

One big feature that's in the game now that I'd been putting off for a while because I thought it would be a pain in the ass (but ended up being really easy) was saving. And unlike the first game, you can have multiple saves! That is, multiple characters saved at once, not multiple saves per character. It's still a permadeath game. I'm not entirely sure if you'd necessarily need to have multiple characters saved at the same time, but why not.



I've also tweaked possession itself some. Possessing other creatures is generally much harder, especially if they've noticed you. However, if you try and fail to possess something, it weakens their resistance to it, so if you keep plugging away you'll eventually get them (unless they're unpossessable entirely, but the game will let you know about that).

The possession ability now also has a cool down if you're not in ghost form. Every time you possess another body, it increases by one. And, when you possess a new body, you'll have to spend a few turns adjusting to your new body. The number of turns increases the more bodies you possess as well. Combined, these changes make it a lot less optimal (or possible!) to just hop from body to body in combat. You actually have to fight now.

Making things harder to possesss also adds more risk to the player, so I've also added warnings that let you know if a possession you're about to try could put you in a dangerous position if you fail.



Another minor quality of life change, creatures that haven't noticed you have their colors muted, so you can tell at a glance who is paying attention to you. This is in both the graphical and ASCII versions:



Speaking of graphics, I'm currently in the middle of a pretty large project involving the creature graphics. The way I make the graphics is I first draw them in a 16x16 pixel sized image, then blow it up to 32x32 pixels, which gives it the chunky pixellated look. The program I was using at the time (Pixelmator) automatically anti-aliased the graphics when they were resized. At the time, I liked it, because it gave a little texture to them, and I didn't mind the blurriness because I thought it made it look kinda old-school, like sprites on a CRT TV or something. But over time (and seeing it on higher-resolution screens), I realized the blurriness is not great, so I'm redoing the graphics in a new version of the program that lets me resize them without anti-aliasing:



The good news is, most of the files I saved in the 16x16 format, so I don't need to redraw most of the graphics, just resave them. I'm not sure if it's going to be worth it to redo all the level graphics or just the creature ones.

But, because I like making more work for myself, I'm also adding animations to all the creatures. The screenshot jumps a little because not all the animations loop at the same time, but it covers the general gist of the idea.



I think it'll make the game world look a little more interesting and alive, but I'm adding in an option to disable them if the player disagrees. These animations also will obviously only appear if graphics are enabled, not in the ASCII version.

I've also added other so-called "tweening" animations, like smooth movement, and health bars:



And exploding a creature is a little more dramatic now...although unfortunately my screen record software's framerate is too low to really show it off. You'll see what I mean soon.

I've also added (optional) tutorial messages that show up as you play the game.



In addition to UI stuff and graphics stuff, gameplay and content work has of course continued...including on the three levels that were in the demo. There will be some changes to the Eldritch City level including "open" rooms, differently shaped rooms (which I may talk about in a later post), lights and decorations:



I've also tweaked a lot of the enemies' powers and behavior on all three levels, so things might play a little bit different from last time.

Last but not least, music! Originally, I was in talks with someone to make music for the game, but that's fallen through, so I've been playing around making some cheesy tracks on my own. I don't know if they'll be ready for the next preview build or not, though.



Speaking of, when is the next preview build? Since it's October, I'm hoping to aim for a spoooooooky release date of Halloween. That's less than a week away, though, so we'll see.

With this preview release, I'm hoping to almost all the interface and backend stuff done (aside from changes that might come up through feedback from player testing, of course). Pretty much everything left to do will be content/art/music (knock on wood), and most of the rest of the levels and creatures are at least partially-implemented.

As for when everything will be finished? All I'm prepared to say for certain is "not this year." Beyond that, I'd like to make a promise or even a guess, but given my history on working (or, more accurately, NOT working) on this game I don't think that's smart. After all, I originally planned on finishing the game in a year, and we can see how well that turned out. I'll just say that at this point, I really do feel like finishing it is actually achievable, which, if I'm being honest with myself, is not always something I've believed to be true over the past year or so.
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
Currently working on a sequel, simply titled Possession

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!
« Reply #53 on: October 31, 2016, 11:20:56 PM »
So, there's not a new build ready today. Some bugs popped up (plus it's Halloween, I dunno how I realistically expected to get work done tonight). But should be ready some time this week.
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
Currently working on a sequel, simply titled Possession

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!
« Reply #54 on: November 06, 2016, 01:32:15 PM »
Sunday still counts as "this week," right? There's a new preview build of Possession 2 available. Download it!

This build features the same levels from the last release, though there's been a lot of interface improvements, a tutorial has been added, and creature graphics are now animated. It also includes the ability to save your game!

Content-wise, there's been some additions and tweaks to many of the creatures on the levels, as well as in some cases the levels themselves. I've also made some changes to the way possession works. Now, possession has a cooldown that increases the more bodies you possess, as well as an "adjusting to body" period where you don't fight as effectively, that also increases the more times you possess things.

Check it out, and please feel free to let me know what you think. I'm especially curious as to how people think the changes to possessing work.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2016, 06:16:48 PM by Rickton »
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
Currently working on a sequel, simply titled Possession

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!
« Reply #55 on: February 28, 2017, 10:52:59 PM »
Crossposted from weirdfellows.com

These past few weeks have actually been very productive, last week especially. In fact, this past Sunday I actually worked pretty much a full 8-hour workday, which I don't even know if I've ever done before on a personal project. Definitely not since I've been keeping track.

I've completed animated and non-blurry images for the majority of the creatures who already had images, helped in large part due to switching over to Pyxel Edit, which is a program made for animated pixel art. It's helped with that workflow tremendously over the last program I was using, Pixelmator, which is also a great program but more of a photoshop-lite than a pixel art and animation tool.



It's a really nice program. It's still in beta, but it works great. I swear I'm not being paid by them, but if you're interested in making sprites, I'd recommend checking it out.

One big thing I was putting off for a long time was working on the final level and the final boss fight. No spoilers here, but the final boss requires special AI code unique from all other creatures. It seems to be a rule that whatever you put off because you think it's going to be really hard and time-consuming, ends up not being that big a deal once you actually get down to it (the downside is things you think are going to be quick and easy sometimes end up being hard and time consuming). Writing the boss's AI was actually pretty simple and only took about an hour. Of course, it might need to be changed due to testing, but we'll see.


What happened here?!

So the game is *this close* to being actually winnable. Which I'm sure would be a huge psychological boost for me because it'd make it feel that much closer to being done. On that note, I've been doing a lot of interface "juiciness" work, as well, and everything I do on that front feels great too, because it makes the game seem more and more finished. I'm sure someone else has said this before years ago, but UI work seems like exercise or meditation: it kind of sucks while you're doing it, but really does make things feel better in general.


You can highlight and target creatures on the sidebar now.

Now, there's still quite a bit of work to do, a lot of the levels need polishing (some more than others; the tavern for example is probably going to stay pretty much as it's been). But these days every step seems like it puts the game closer to being finished, unlike before where sometimes adding things seemed like it was just adding more work to do.
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
Currently working on a sequel, simply titled Possession

Rickton

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Re: Possession 2 - Playable!
« Reply #56 on: March 28, 2017, 09:21:35 PM »
Crossposted from weirdfellows.com

A while back, I was cautioned (by Darren Grey, actually) about naming the game Possession 2, since the first game was just a quick project I made for the 7-day roguelike challenge that I never really spread around after the challenge, and almost nobody has played it or heard of it.

As we get closer to a point where releasing this game actually looks like a thing that might happen, I've been thinking about it, and I kind of agree. This game's going to have enough against it with the programmer art graphics and my total inexperience with marketing, I don't want anyone who might be interested passing it up because they'd never heard of the first one, or because it seems like a shovelware sequel to some crappy shovelware game.

The name of the original game was Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions, which I could potentially use for this one since the premise is the same, but they're different enough I'd like the original to stand as its own thing. I'm considering Possessor: Escape from the Nether Regions, but that might be too close as well.

I'd like to keep something along the lines of "Escape/Return from the Nether Regions" in there, because

1) Escaping from the Nether Regions is literally what you're doing

2) I think a tagline is more interesting than just a single-word name

3) It's weird, so hopefully it'll grab attention for at least a second or two

4) It shows that the game's tone is not 100% serious

But I could be misguided on that, too, because maybe that would turn people away, maybe they'd think it's nothing but sex jokes or something.

Anyway, I'm probably overthinking this, but I'd be interested to hear others' thoughts. Hell, if you have some other name suggestion unrelated to anything, I'm open to hear that too. Any and all thoughts welcome!


Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
Currently working on a sequel, simply titled Possession

Rickton

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Re: Possession (formerly Possession 2) - Steam page up!
« Reply #57 on: July 13, 2017, 11:39:05 PM »
A couple of announcements.
First of all, I've finally decided to just call the new game Possession, for reasons detailed in my earlier post.

Second, and more exciting, the Steam page for Possession is live! If you're a Steam user and you're interested, go ahead and wishlist or follow it to be notified when it comes out!
On the "when it comes out" note, on the page I've put down a tentative November release date. I'd like to actually get it out in October, but I'm also getting married at the beginning of October so I'd basically have to to have the game done in September to release in October as soon as I get back from my honeymoon, and I'm not sure that'll happen. Things are coming along, but I have no idea how long testing will take.

Although I haven't been posting here much, I am posting about Possession more regularly on twitter and the Weirdfellows Facebook page, so give those a follow for more regular, shorter progress notes.
Creator of the 7DRL Possession: Escape from the Nether Regions
Currently working on a sequel, simply titled Possession