Author Topic: Demon: A monster collection roguelike 3/31!  (Read 89274 times)

Vanguard

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #45 on: January 22, 2015, 06:11:43 PM »
Actually, my real favorite thing is the interesting tactical options that come from the recruiting system.

"Sure mister dog, I'll race you, let's go!"  Then he returns a few minutes later and says "Why didn't you come?"  But then he sees that all of his friends are dead and he is alone.

My least favorite thing is how everything misses all the time and all of my attacks feel weak.

Ferret

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #46 on: January 23, 2015, 05:13:08 PM »
More feedback is yay. :) From the top:

1) Yep, basic attack damage is based on Strength.

2) I understand what you mean about fights being isolated. The full rest bit is largely by current design: the encounters are balanced assuming you get to do that (but of course, you don't always: sometimes monsters wander up to you, other times you're under a capture clock, and that's when things get extra interesting.) A food clock is the usual way of dealing with these issues, but I'm noodling a bit to see if I can think of any alternatives. I don't have any major objection to food clock mechanics, I just want to see if I can come up with any other interesting options. :D There are other answers that can work on an occasional basis, such as DCSS' timed portals, but I'm curious to see if there are other game-wide options as opposed to 'only when they come up' ideas.

3) I'm glad you're enjoying the capture mechanics. :D And yes, it's definitely meant to provide an alternative way to deal with combat. :) It might be a little TOO good at that in some cases... I've got it on my list of things to think about and address if needed. (That's a crowded list though.)

4) Base hit rate is going to be adjusted in the next build. I recently largely factored out level from the equation, which had been disguising the fact that the 70% base rate isn't all that great. I'm going to try 85% next and see how that goes. :)

5) The low damage bit is a bit trickier. Combat in Demon involves a larger number of combatants, and they use fairly good AI (including an instinct to focus fire, aim for low HP targets, etc.) The result of that is if attacks could 2-4 shot targets, there would be a fair amount of insta-gibbing going on. So, combat is balanced more towards 6-8 hits to kill a target: this is so that even if you run into a full pack of 4 or 5 enemies and they all manage to have a way to nail you on Turn 1, you're still alive on Turn 2 to have at least one chance to react. That one chance is important: one turn insta-gibs of the player or his buddies pretty much shouldn't happen ever (and I tend to get grumpy when they do in other roguelikes, looking at you ToME.)

The other way you could theoretically address this is by having enemies have less HP so that at least the player can 3-4 shot things even if enemies can't... but, in Demon, your enemies are also your allies. I'd have to tweak them when you recruit them in order to prevent them from in turn being 2-4 shot by enemies. But, at that point, your party has a pretty strong advantage over enemies: they're balanced to be 2-4 shot, you're balanced to be 6-8 shot.

Anyway, all of that aside, it's certainly possible that the numbers need to be adjusted: 6-8 may not be the right number to use, but I figured why I should explain why I may not have a lot of room to move on this one in Demon.


Thanks for giving Demon a try and providing feedback, I appreciate it. :D

jim

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2015, 07:59:26 PM »

P.S. One thing that I love about SMT is that you really get to know your team. You appreciate their strengths and weaknesses, you know who does what, and you know what to do in a given scenario. I don't feel this yet from Demon. It feels like it moves too fast for that, and your demons are very disposable. In general, my strategy is "strong guys first, and if one is about to die, replace it with the next best guy." If that were my strategy with SMT: Strange Journey, I'd be all kinds of dead.


Can you give me any info on how the game feels too fast in this regard?

Well...

You'll stick with a group that has synergy for a very long time in SMT. Monsters unlock new high-level abilities that you only see after sticking with them for 5-10 XL level gains. You become acutely aware of their elemental affinities and weaknesses, because a lack of awareness there results in a very quick death. You'll plan out demon fusion candidates several levels ahead of time; you might even recruit a monster for the sole purpose of fusing it. All of those decisions are important and irreversible.

In Demon, while I might frown a little when they kill my Tudak, I know it's not a very big deal. He's not particularly different from any other bruiser for most practical purposes, and since I have no control over him, what differences exist I don't always notice - or need to notice.

Point being, in SMT, if I brought my skeleton knight [WEAK: IMPACT] into the floor full of club-wielding ogres, I'd just lose, and I'd lose for as long as I continued with this bad strategy. Affinities, weaknesses, and synergies are immensely pronounced. This gives every decision huge weight and has the effect of slowing down the player, making them think. The other main difference is that a slog through an SMT floor/maze/trapfest/M.C. Escher dungeon is so protracted and so very much about *attrition* that you can't help but learn the cruel logic of the game. With Demon, you don't really have to learn yet, and you don't have to know your allies. So, it's literally a quicker game, and emotionally... has less impact?

Ferret

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2015, 05:09:17 AM »
Thanks for the extra info. :)

Gaining abilities with levels is something I'm looking into: it wasn't an option early on when the ability pool was small, but it is becoming more feasible as the ability pool grows and lessens the size of the pool of abilities I'd need to implement to hand out as evolution bonuses. I agree that it's a good way to add value to demons as individuals (I always was a little grumpy with Strange Journey for not really doing it, other than through the D-Source mechanic), and I also think it would give me way to help players have a few extra chances to secure "key" abilities (Cleanse, for example.) It also allows me introduce abilities *without* having to first put them in the hands of an enemy.

I've been a little gentle with how resistances/weaknesses work up to this point, mostly because the player always has one weakness and I don't want to turn into ToME or anything in terms of insta-death. On the other hand, as I was discussing with Vanguard, there's a definite (and not small) possibility I don't have the balance right yet on damage and health in general. It's almost certain I don't in at least some areas: the "team melee monsters" strategy is by far the most commonly successful at the moment. I'm going to take some steps to hopefully correct some of this in the next build, but the following content build will probably be where the larger part of that happens.

Thanks again! :D

Ferret

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2015, 04:37:59 AM »
The 2/1 build is up and ready for play. :) PC, Mac, and Linux versions available here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-sx_4eW-B5hWnhNZlRPclZLeUU&usp=drive_web

Lots of changes in this one, so let me just hit the highlights here:

* The new art style is in for the Tower. :D
* Fire attacks now sometimes cause Ignite, a brief damage over time effect.
* The base hit rate for damaging abilities has been increased, from 70 to 85%.
* Damage and healing (from direct effects such as Healing Charm, Mending, etc.) have been increased.
* Passive healing (Regen, Flesheater, etc.) has been toned down a bit.
* HP differences between demons have been smoothed out a bit. Demons used to vary as much as n to 4n in HP, now it's more like n to 2n. This was accomplished both by bringing up the lower end of the spectrum as well as toning down the upper end, so the result should be more "viable" ally choices and less reliance on HP-loaded "beef steak" monsters.
* Resistances and Weaknesses now have a bigger impact on the effectiveness of an ability. (Be very careful fighting enemies who can hit your main character's Weakness!)
* SP costs related to damage and range have been reduced.
* Several small UI and usability improvements, most of which will be self-evident, but of special note is the new Examine hotkey, which finally allows a keyboard-only way to get character sheets for enemy characters.

I would consider this about the halfway point of addressing the excellent gameplay and balance-related feedback I've received from folks here playing the 1/4 build. (In essence, it was the half I felt I could add into this build without delaying its release overly much.) The other half of things will be a bit more work to get done, but I'm okay with that, gives me a chance to see if these changes are headed in the right direction or not. :) *I* think they are, but I'm in that odd position where I suspect other people may be better at my game than I am. so we'll see. :D

Tradition more or less demands I post a screenshot, so here's one showing off the new dungeon art, some of the UI changes, and a couple of Gandayah learning about the new Ignite effect Fire magic can cause. :)



Next up, a content and balance push. :) See you around, and good luck in the Tower. :)

getter77

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #50 on: February 02, 2015, 01:26:08 PM »
Nicely assorted heap of progress there---2015 definitely looking up for this project at this rate as you tinker away at it.   8)
Brian Emre Jeffears
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Ferret

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #51 on: February 05, 2015, 04:30:16 AM »
Nicely assorted heap of progress there---2015 definitely looking up for this project at this rate as you tinker away at it.   8)

Thanks. :D

Speaking of progress, I just updated the build at the links to the 2/4 version: nothing tooooo exciting, just fixes a couple of minor to moderate bugs and balance issues identified by players since 2/1's release. :D Didn't want these to have to wait for the next build since it was still in the design phase, so I went ahead and knocked them out now. :)

Ferret

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #52 on: February 13, 2015, 10:55:58 PM »
A new set of PC, Mac, and Linux builds are out with a few more bug fixes and bits of clean up before I hide in a hole to do the artwork for 19 new demons and their abilities. :) Here's the link: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-sx_4eW-B5hWnhNZlRPclZLeUU&usp=drive_web

Speaking of the new demons, the demons and their abilities have been chosen in part to address some of the balance issues discussed up-thread regarding melee vs. ranged/magic, in fact, all 19 of them are being added to the existing 17 floor tower. In particular, look for Fire, Ice, Electricity, Mind, Light, Body, and Dark to have significantly expanded options, both in terms of available abilities, and demons well-suited to using them. For anyone curious, here's the list of the incoming new demons:

T 1: Remora (Ice)
T 1: Will o' Wisp (Pierce/Dark)
T 2: Huo Shu (Fire)
T 2: Raicho (Electricity)
T 3: Zar (Slash/Mind)
T 4: Acheri (Body/Dark)
T 5: Bmola (Ice)
T 6: Lilim (Mind)
T 7: Demas (Fire)
T 8: Chindi (Body/Debuff)
T 9: Akateko (Dark)
T10: Eloko (Mind/physical)
T11: Shisa (Light)
T12: Oni (physical)
T13: Banshee (Mind/Heal)
T14: Vishap (Electric)
T15: Unicorn (Heal)
T16: Wendigo (Ice/physical)
T17: Ruler (Light/Buff)

Early reports suggest the 2/4 build did a fair bit to improve balance, feel, and pace of things, so I'm very excited to see where I end up after this next build. :)



Ferret

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #53 on: February 22, 2015, 07:02:17 AM »
Ten pieces of character art for the next content push have been completed. :) Here's an Imgur album with a peek at these new friends/foes:

http://imgur.com/a/6WSoa#0

I haven't mastered everything in them yet by any stretch, but the pixel art tutorials koiwai linked earlier are helping a fair bit. :D Thanks again koiwai. :D

Once I finish the remaining nine pieces, the main tasks left will be ability icon art, implementation of the new demons, and adding them into the encounter tables :D A fair bit of work still to go, but I think this build will close much of the remaining distance on tightening up the gameplay balance.

Ferret

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #54 on: March 02, 2015, 04:23:28 AM »
And here's the other nine characters, also with accompanying Imgur album. :D

http://imgur.com/a/tdNyY#0

The Yeti might be the best piece I've ever done. :D Little less happy with Lilim, Eloko, and Vishap, but I'm still new to wings, different humanoid poses, and "pudgy" humanoids so I expected those to be a bit twitchy.

On to the ability icons!

3ProngProductions

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #55 on: March 09, 2015, 10:49:07 PM »
I love the way this game looks! It's retro and awesome :D Keep up the great work. Are you planning on getting this on Steam?

Ferret

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #56 on: March 10, 2015, 01:04:15 AM »
Thanks! Steam would be great... :D But, I feel like I have a long way to go yet before I can consider that. :D

koiwai

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #57 on: March 14, 2015, 04:35:15 AM »
Yeah, looks super awesome!

Ferret

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #58 on: March 20, 2015, 12:13:00 AM »
:D Thanks!

I just finished the new ability icons for the *50* new abilities coming in this content push. Now at long last, I can finally get to implementation of all the goodies. :D



I'm working to get this build ready as quickly as possible: even took a fair chunk of PTO from work this coming week to free up some extra cycles. :D I'll be back to announce the build is ready ASAP. :)

Ferret

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Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« Reply #59 on: April 07, 2015, 02:49:05 AM »
Hey there. :) Sorry for the extra long delay between posts, but it has been for a good cause: the next build of Demon is ability complete. :D All of the new abilities (50 of them), as well as tweaks to existing abilities, required for the new content have been completed. This also means that the build is nearly monster complete: only thing left for them is setting up their capture conditions.

After that, the two steps remaining will be coming up with new spawn tables that include the new monster roster (and account for changes in first appearance position for some older monsters), and some testing to make sure it's all working reasonably well. Then, finally, at long last, this monster of an update will be ready to release. :)

Hang in there, it won't be long now! :)