Author Topic: Soulblight  (Read 6500 times)

abraksil

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Re: Soulblight
« Reply #75 on: October 17, 2017, 09:22:41 PM »
Soulblight Live on Kickstarter



And so it's finally October 17th. Just a moment ago I clicked the button to activate our Campaining :) Now Soulblight is Live on Kickstarter

Here's the link:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1752350052/soulblight

Keep your fingers crossed everybody! :)

Cya Around,
Kuba

abraksil

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Re: Soulblight
« Reply #76 on: October 22, 2017, 06:37:07 PM »
Hey Everybody!
It's time for our first Kickstarter update. Today I would like to talk in more detail about combat in Soulblight. Before we go any further you need to know one thing about me. I’m a martial art enthusiast :) As a programmer and game designer I spend most of my days in a dark room in front of the screen :P This way of life isn’t too healthy so to balance things out I train Judo. You don't believe me? Here's a gif of me (barely) performing a throw :P

The thing I love the most about fighting is the fact that what matters the most is not the strength but tactics. This is a different kind of tactics than you know from strategy game though. It’s more like thinking about the plan under the pressure of things happening right here and now. This is what I wanted for our combat mechanic to be all about. In my experience tactics in martial arts consists of the following elements:
  • Management of Strength
  • Distance Control
  • Balance Control
Now let’s talk in more detail about those elements and see how they are represented in our game mechanics.

Management of Strength
You have to be careful not to use use all of your strength during the fight. If you do, you will run out of steam very fast and will be easy overwhelmed. The tactics here is about finding the right moment to catch your breath. This element of fighting has been pretty well represented in gaming through the years by the stamina mechanics. I’ve decided for it to be a base of combat in Soulblight


Distance Control
Though stamina management was a relatively obvious thing the same couldn’t be said about the distance control. Video games often do away with clinch combat. This results in removing a lot of tactical depth. Suddenly everything boils down to your attack speed and power. Meanwhile in reality a double handed sword isn’t nearly as useful up close as from afar. When you engage an enemy wielding a heavy weapon he cannot keep swinging while in clinch - he needs to find a way to disengage. To represent this I’ve decided to create a grip mechanic.

During combat each character is surrounded by a circle which represent its position on the battlefield. By pressing the button you can light up a front part of it and activate what we call “the grip”. When your grip touches your opponents circle the characters become engaged in clinch combat. This maneuver, besides linking the characters together, also forces them to use a secondary attack. Depending on the weapon this attack might be less or more powerful than the main one. The one who wields a more cumbersome weapon now will be forced to find a way to disengage. The easiest way to do it is by performing a special “slam” action. But be careful this maneuver burns a lot of stamina.


Balance Control
Ok this part of the mechanics is explicitly linked to the martial art I’m training :). Judo is focusing on the clinch combat and can be translated as “The path of the least resistance”. The idea is that while engaged you need to move in a way to throw your enemy of balance so you can use much less strength to defeat him. How this idea is implemented in Soulblight? - you ask. When engaged you cannot move away from the enemy but you can move around him. By implementing certain level of inertia depending on how well armored your character is we’ve allowed the faster character to be able to outmaneuver the heavier foes. This way you can get on the back of the heavier opponents and gain a massive advantage. Although it isn’t easy it greatly increases your damage as well as prevents the enemy from hitting you with his attacks.

The combat in Soulblight might look a bit Hack & Slashy at first glance but the truth is button mashing won’t get you far. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in a comment section :) And don't forget to visit our kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1752350052/soulblight

Cya around,
Kuba

abraksil

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Re: Soulblight
« Reply #77 on: October 29, 2017, 07:14:11 PM »
After an update on combat it’s time for the one about sneaking. We design stealth in Soulblight to be complementary to fighting. This means that when properly used in combination with fighting it will give you a huge advantage.



Let’s start with how exactly Stealth mode works. By holding a button you enter the sneaking mode. What it does is it lowers your speed of movement making your steps silent and at the same time it enables you to see the enemies cones of vision. Now all you need to do is get behind your enemy and snap its neck.



The challenge starts when you bump into squeaking terrain like old wooden footbridge - here every step will make a noise. To mitigate that you will have to move even slower with gentle use of the analog stick.



To upgrade your sneaking capabilities you can use special equipment that increases your speed or allows you to ignore the loud terrain. There are also the Chrono Inhibitors capable of bending the time itself slowing it down for a moment when you most need it.

That would be all for today - hope you like it.

Cya Around,
Kuba
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 08:34:55 PM by abraksil »

abraksil

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Re: Soulblight
« Reply #78 on: November 05, 2017, 03:50:49 PM »
What we’re often asked is:

“Why did you choose pure top-down perspective instead of for example an isometric view?”

Answer to this question is quite complex :) But here's a short take on the thought process behind our decision:



Creating a game in which you can express states of character psyche requires designing many different interactions and mechanic through which you can do it. To be able to do everything we want in isometric view we basically would have to create everything in 3D. Unfortunately this takes much more time. The level of gameplay depth we strived for would be very hard to achieve in 3D by the small team like ours. We knew it would most likely mean that we have to either simplify the game or compromise the quality of our art.

“If not isometric, then how about side-view”

The problem here was a combat mechanic we’ve chosen for Soulblight. We didn’t want for our game to be about button mashing. What we wanted is for the player to always think one step ahead while fighting. Because battlefield positioning was supposed to be a big part of tactics we felt that “Platformer” view limited a bit too much what we could do.



And so we’ve decided to go with a top-down view. It is the best way to present to player situation on the battlefield. On top of that top-down perspective works well with sneaking mechanic that we wanted to include in the game. This didn’t mean there were no challenges ahead. On a contrary there are reasons why this perspective isn’t a popular choice among the developers. We had a few ideas how to tackle those problems though. What were they and how we solved them? Well... this is a topic for another update :)

Cya Around,
Kuba

P.S Don't forget to visit our kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1752350052/soulblight

abraksil

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Re: Soulblight
« Reply #79 on: November 13, 2017, 04:03:11 PM »
Top-down perspective has multiple advantages. It allows to represent battlefield precisely, players can clearly see obstacles arrangement and distance from enemies. This view emphasizes tactical oriented combat and supports sneaking mechanics.

Despite all that, top-down is rarely used in video games. The reason is a difficulty in presenting the in-game world. There are many objects that don’t look presentable in top-down. Their geometry doesn’t allow to give us much chance to properly display them. In front view a simple wall is like a canvas on which we literally can put an intriguing painting on, but in top-down - it comes out as a line. To make things even more difficult there is also an issue with a lack of depth.

From the very beginning we were dedicated to solving those problems. We didn’t want to give up on all the benefits of top-down just because it was hard. We subconsciously started to design assets with interesting appearance in our perspective. Bridges rather than gates. Pits of pipes in place of columns. Flowery shrubs instead of walls. All of this led us to the unique art style of our game.

There still was a problem with sense of depth thought. We solved it with parallaxing effect you’ve all seen on backgrounds in platform games. Assets are constructed from multiple layers which are slightly displaced depending of the camera position. Combined together they create an illusion of convexity like on the gif below

Hope you enjoyed our update!

Cya Around,
Kuba

abraksil

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Re: Soulblight
« Reply #80 on: November 20, 2017, 09:15:44 PM »
Today we have another extensive topic - Character’s Conditions :) Let’s just jump straight into it :)



One of the early design challenges during the development of Soulblight was creating a context for all the action the player would have to take in order express his characters. To solve that we’ve decided to add a survival aspect to our game. We’ve done it by allowing the character to be a subject of various conditions. To avoid confusion and allow the player to easily compare buffs he receives we’ve created a special state called synergy. What it does is it represents the character’s overall well being (both physical and psychic) and greatly increases damage and resistance. To systemize the mechanics even further we’ve also divided the conditions into 4 categories:

  • Positive Conditions - Simple buffs meant to make you stronger by temporarily increasing the synergy. Example: Rage
  • Negative Conditions -Simple debuffs that won’t kill you but make you weaker by decreasing your synergy. Example: Hunger
  • Injuries - Serious wounds. With every one of these you get closer and closer to death. You can sustain up to 4 Injuries at the same time. Example: Bleeding wound
  • Taints - The personality traits you acquire during your journey besides giving you a passive synergy buff also unlock a new mechanics. Example: Greed

Now the fun part starts when the different conditions start to intertwine. Let’s look at hunger example:



The hunger builds up with the time you play. It starts as a small harmless debuf but can build up to enormous proportion. That’s why It is important to eat regularly especially when you have a concussion injury (it will speed up the healing process). Saving candies for later might be a good idea but their nutritional value isn’t too high. This means that a piece of candy will nullify the hunger just for a short time. It is good thing to have one of these when hunger pins you down before the boss fight. When you run out of food and you’re very hungry you might also consider eating some bad berries. They will give you a food poisoning but sometimes it is better to suffer through it then allow for the hunger to build up even more. If you bump into this dilemma often it might be worth going with Glutton taint. One of it’s secondary mechanics is food poisoning immunity.

As you can see each mechanics condition is pretty simple. Put them tougher though and a deep gameplay full of interesting choices emerges :)

Cya Around,
Kuba
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 09:18:30 PM by abraksil »

abraksil

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Re: Soulblight
« Reply #81 on: November 23, 2017, 09:54:26 PM »


As you know our Kickstarter campaign will be ending this week. As the final gets closer I would like to invite you all to join me on the stream this Saturday. I will be showing freshly baked build of Soulblight and talking with Robert from RCandOP about how we designed the game. If you’d like to chat with us and check out how the game plays right now join us on twitch this Saturday at 23:00 CET ( https://www.twitch.tv/mynextgames )

Cya Around,
Kuba

abraksil

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Re: Soulblight
« Reply #82 on: November 27, 2017, 04:05:26 PM »
So our kickstarter Camping concluded yesterday. It was a close call and It went through just like 40h before the end. Thank you very match for all your support! I already started generating the demo Keys for the backers and will be sending them out as soon as they are ready :)



Also as I mentioned before this Saturday me and RC and OP were running this stream of freshly baked Soulblight build. In case you missed it here's a chunk of it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQQ3na6JM7c

abraksil

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Re: Soulblight
« Reply #83 on: December 03, 2017, 03:40:04 PM »


With the kickstarter campaigning behind us this week we ware able to focus on development again. We've decided to start with adding some new enemies to the game

Also Indie DB has launch it's annual Indie of the year contest this week. if you have a moment drop by our page there and give us a vote: http://www.indiedb.com/games/soulblight
« Last Edit: December 03, 2017, 06:18:44 PM by abraksil »

abraksil

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Re: Soulblight
« Reply #84 on: December 11, 2017, 09:52:10 PM »


This week we've finalized punch cards mechanic. If you find one of thous little plastic plates during your journey bring it back to Quora the Scholar. She will decode them and let you read their content on the camp's floor screen. This way you will uncover Sanctuary's long forgotten secrets. The more you know the more powerful Prying Taint becomes.