Author Topic: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG  (Read 668 times)

PatrickLipo

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Game development vet in title, indie in spirit
    • View Profile
    • Vertigames
    • Email
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2019, 11:44:01 PM »
Funny thing about the voice...  I had the trailer all ready to go when a friend said "This trailer would be far better with a real pro-tier voiceover."  I said "Haha sure I guess, but I have to get this trailer out by tomorrow."  He then (should have) said "Hold my beer..."  He found an actual pro voice actor who was willing to turn around a recording within 24 hours and... there you have it.

Tzan

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 183
    • View Profile
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2019, 08:12:54 PM »
Wow nice friend. You can really tell its a pro voice which is why I was surprised :)

PatrickLipo

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Game development vet in title, indie in spirit
    • View Profile
    • Vertigames
    • Email
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2019, 08:33:10 PM »
Auto Fire v0.5.14 inbound!



I’ve made some pretty good progress on Auto Fire, finally steering to towards a new phase of its development...  The prestige and reputation systems. These are more important than you might have originally thought to the future of the game.

You see, the world of Auto Fire is not the dreary low-tech wasteland that it appears to be so far...  Yes, the world did undergo a dreadful catastrophe, but that was many years ago.  Life goes on.  The corporate citadels around the badlands are packed with people living out their lives in relative monotonous comfort... Wages slaves in a company town.



It’s dangerous for the average person to travel and gas is extremely scarce, so few people ever leave the shelter of the city they grew up in.  Meeting new people is a rare delight.  Entertainment is limited to whatever the can find within the walls or by watching vids.

Life is pretty boring in the citadels.

By contrast, things are pretty rough out in the badlands, but it’s a lot more interesting.  City folk are eager for any tales from the outland.  Drivers are their reality stars, and sometimes even their heroes.  As a driver, your reputation is everything, so you’ll have to do whatever you can to build it.



Some other changes:
  • Weapons have been rebalanced to make one-turn cooldowns the norm.  This helps people get a better feel for turns, and hey it's more fun.
  • Enemy movement and weapon recharges happen on turn boundaries.  If you are moving at 20MPH, you get one move per turn, at 40MPH you get two moves per turn, and so on.
  • Finally, Fame is being tracked on the player. Leveling up your prestige ranks will get you access to new missions, vehicles and equipment.


PatrickLipo

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Game development vet in title, indie in spirit
    • View Profile
    • Vertigames
    • Email
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2019, 11:43:03 PM »
v0.6.00: A Smooth Startup

It’s arrived... a big update, worthy of a full point!  Auto Fire has had a lot of work put into it over the last month, not the least of it being the revised onboarding (that’s fancy-pants dev talk for what a new player experiences).  A lot of players’ first experience with Auto Fire was tough, because there were some really dangerous enemies out there in the badlands, and you were just as likely to meet them while you were still trying out your training wheels as any other time.

In the spirit of making the game more playable and easier to understand, there’s now an intro that eases you into things a bit... and sets up the conflict against your (generated) rival down the road!  Clear out those bandits and get back to civilization!



The game also tailors that early experience when you’re stuck with a couple of junkthrowers and not a lot else, so that you are less likely to encounter enemies that want to come punch you in the fun bits right away. This way you can pick up some loot, head to the garage, and upgrade away!

In addition, the player can now customize their character more fully upon startup.  You can choose your portrait, and the dialogue (even the procedurally-generated stuff) will adjust for male, female, etc.



There are a ton of changes that came in, but a lot of it is nerdy stuff that only I care about... Oh, hey, here’s some cool stuff you might actually notice!

Campaign:

  • There’s a new encounter system that extends the random encounters in the game previously.  You now can see your opponent, they can call you by name, and choose a course of action.
  • The game starts with some intro encounters that help give you a sense of what you’re doing there and what to do next.
  • Character customization has been extended to support player portraits as well as choosing gender.
  • Both enemies, players and any NPC can now be male or female.  Dialogue is set to use the correct language to address them as it comes up.
  • You now have a (soon to be) publicity agent and a rival that are generated on campaign start.  These are referenced and used throughout the game.
  • Agents are now handled outside of factions.  Thus agents (any NPC) can join you, an opposing faction, or be an independent operator like the player.
  • A story manager presents basic encounters that drive the initial experience forward.  This will hook in as more cause-effect things happen with the player.
  • Naming has been adjusted to better fit categories of civilians, punks, drivers and corporate suits.
  • Female names have also been added since we can generate those NPC’s now.




Gameplay:

  • Chests now break open when moved onto in the overworld.
  • Weapons now start with a higher amount of damage (junkthrower starting around 10) but don’t increase as drastically (the maximum is about 250% of the minimum, rather than the former 1000%)
  • Weapons have less of a randomized spread in their damages (used to be 70-130%, now is 80-120%)
  • Armor for the player’s vehicles have correspondingly been increased, from 100 per side to 150.
  • Armor repair kits now repair 15 per side rather than 10.
  • When the player is ambushed into a battleground, they start in the middle of the map rather than near the entrance.

Gameplay:

  • There’s a new intro cutscene that sets the situation when the campaign is started.  Because I know dying would be a chore and you'd murder me if you couldn't, these can be skipped.
  • Encounter text also has a teletype-style reveal, which again can be skipped if the player is impatient.
  • Portraits can show or not show in encounters, and can even show as a transmission.
  • The loading screen shows hints and has a spinner so you know if the game is live.
  • The cursor keys have been remapped to work properly within menus.  Key navigation of menus still needs improvement, but it should be better than it was.
  • Fame/Prestige is displayed properly on character and city menus.
  • Adjusted a bunch of buttons to be more visually interesting.



Visuals:

  • Cars now don’t kick up much dust when travelling on roads.
  • The gas can in the world is now red, matching the icon(!)
  • There is a quick stint of slow-motion when cars are destroyed, and the same effect is back when the player died.

Audio:
  • Revised some of the stingers when entering maps.
  • The turn-end sound was revised to be less in-yo-face.
  • Button presses have more audio feedback in more cases.



This coming month will be all about adding variety and continuing to improve the interface.  If I demonstrate the game at a show, what will draw players in? What will it take for them to understand what’s going on? What last flourishes or abilities would really sell the whole package?

Tzan

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 183
    • View Profile
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2019, 12:37:27 AM »
If the combat system is mostly set, the only other thing is demonstrating a quest chain.
If you'll have them. Doesnt need to be too complicated, like the way Borderlands does it.
Do A, B, then the Boss.
I assuming you dont have have a lot of them yet but you just need one for now.
Not sure how many scripted quests you wanted to do. Maybe its supposed to be 100% procedural?

When you feel ready let me know and I'll poke Nook again, if you dont feel comfortable doing it yourself.

PatrickLipo

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Game development vet in title, indie in spirit
    • View Profile
    • Vertigames
    • Email
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #20 on: July 26, 2019, 01:34:00 AM »
My story manager is coming along.  It's just a cause-effect chain that fires off an encounter and/or combat.  I use it for the intro already...  I also have a QuestManager with a tracker that lets you know what quests you have, the rewards, and so on.
The main challenge is that I have to enhance those systems to work with my procgen stuff...  If I want to create a quest to go to a nearby outpost and kill some fire-oriented bandits, I have to find some of that sort of gang in the existing overworld, or populate a nearby location with that particular location and boss.  If I can't do so, for some reason, I need the system to fail and draw another quest.  It's just a bit of a logistics hassle that I haven't quite had time for.

PatrickLipo

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Game development vet in title, indie in spirit
    • View Profile
    • Vertigames
    • Email
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2019, 12:31:54 AM »
One day on the heels of v0.6.00 comes v0.6.01!  And it includes OBJECTIVE POINTERS...  It was needed!!!



https://vertigames.itch.io/auto-fire/devlog/91828/auto-fire-v0601-objective-pointers

Tzan

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 183
    • View Profile
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #22 on: July 27, 2019, 03:38:04 PM »
A way to find objective locations is important.

PatrickLipo

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Game development vet in title, indie in spirit
    • View Profile
    • Vertigames
    • Email
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2019, 05:17:55 PM »
​We've finally launched a new Discord server to help relay information about Auto Fire.  It will hopefully also be a home for other types of vehicle combat enthusiasts, because we want to learn from fans of Car Wars, Gaslands, Mad Max, and so on. 

Join in and help us understand what makes car combat special to you?  Is it about the sheer attraction of powerful vehicles?  The weapons and electronics hardware?  Maintaining high speed?  Special maneuvers like the bootlegger reverse?  Building up your ride and skills?   You may just help us decide what features are next!  Click below to join in!​

« Last Edit: August 01, 2019, 08:30:40 PM by PatrickLipo »

PatrickLipo

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Game development vet in title, indie in spirit
    • View Profile
    • Vertigames
    • Email
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2019, 11:32:40 PM »
I am rolling off of a bunch of updates by the first coder to touch Auto Fire outside of me... My friend Jim streamed his work this past Saturday and Sunday and helped get some cool functionality in that I hadn’t done before.

Along the way he also added some Quality of Life improvements to some of the code, for his convenience but of course it will be helping me even more. Friends are nice to have!

In particular, I’m looking to snarf some of that ram functionality to wrap it up into a couple vehicle gadgets: A Ram Piston and… a Bootlegger somethingorother. Plus it lays the foundation for me to knock enemies around as the result of player action… something that ramming desperately needs.

For the time being, the new build has some fancy new features:

Critical Hits

Weaponry now has a critical hit functionality when fired…  By default a weapon has a 5% of delivering a critical hit, with a crit dealing 2.5x damage.  You can improve that crit chance by 25% by painting your targets with radar (the 1 key) before attacking.  Sustained fire does still improve your chance of hitting (as does radar painting) but only radar enhances crits.

Critical hits are a core method with which I want to handle skill improvements, electronic warfare, and general hit bonuses. Improvements to hit chances are also in there somewhere, but I don’t want to have a lot of shots missing in the game… that can be frustrating. Hopefully this will be a whole new angle by which players can decide what to do next.



Revised repair functionality

While gas and ordnance still cost cash to purchase, repairs to your car now need precious parts to fix up.  You can refill your resources and make repairs in 10-unit portions now, rather than in an all-or-nothing fix.

Resources will become all-important as time goes on, an cash will mainly be focused on acquiring new gear, doing deals, making bribes, and so on.

Improved smoke screens

Smoke screens are a staple of car combat, but to date it hasn’t really been effective at getting anyone off your tail. I already had wide smoke screens but decided that it should be the norm… you should feel good about spending your action using one if you are in trouble. These wide smoke screens will nearly fill a roadway, to help you make an emergency escape… It really can deliver the goods.



...and other stuff

Gas now informs you if you are full and can’t pick up any more.
Some improvements to UI and feedback
Menu/UI Usability improvements.
Links to the help page and Discord from within the game.
A few additional bugs fixed.

Tzan

  • Bishop
  • ***
  • Posts: 183
    • View Profile
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2019, 05:59:14 PM »
You might consider putting the Discord link on the top post here and also on the Itch page.

PatrickLipo

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Game development vet in title, indie in spirit
    • View Profile
    • Vertigames
    • Email
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2019, 08:36:49 PM »
Done!  A fine couple suggestions, my friend.

PatrickLipo

  • Acolyte
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Game development vet in title, indie in spirit
    • View Profile
    • Vertigames
    • Email
Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2019, 05:21:41 AM »
Auto Fire has been going through a lot of work focusing on making the game more approachable for someone that might want to sit down and play.  This is specifically useful in preparation for the SIX show in Seattle on September 1.



In particular, I put a fair amount of work into adding Gamepad Support to the game. Yeah it’s still turn-based, but driving with the stick feels pretty good.  Here’s the quick rundown, assuming you have an Xbox-style stick:

  • Hold the Left Stick in a direction, and you’ll get a preview of the result:
  • Up/Down:  Acceleration/Deceleration
  • Up-Left/Up-Right:  Swerve Left/Right
  • Left/Right:  Turn Left/Right
  • Down-Left/Down-Right:  Hard corner Left/Right
  • Centered:  Coast (if moving) or wait.
  • The Left Trigger will commit the move and advance the turn.
  • If you hold the left trigger you can move multiple times in a row.
  • The Left Shoulder will Boost your vehicle, allowing acceleration over 40 MPH.
  • Tap the Right Stick in a direction and you will target the nearest enemy that uses that weapon.
  • The Right Trigger will fire any available weapon at the nearest target, or the targeted enemy if one is already being targeted.
  • The Directional Pad can adjust your aim target.

Additional functions:

  • The A Button will Activate an entrance.
  • The B Button will Brake.
  • The X Button activates the radar.
  • The Y Button brings up the Character screen.
  • The Right Shoulder and A/B/Y will use the appropriate Equipment slot
  • The Start button brings up the settings menu.
  • The Back button brings up the Automap.

The game is still the same at its heart, but holding a controller just immerses you just that much more, plus you’re not stretching your fingers over the keyboard.  I’d be thrilled to take any feedback you might have on it.



In addition, there should be a lot more information in the game about speed and what direction everyone is travelling in.  As is natural, a common player instinct is that if a vehicle isn’t moving onscreen (while the simulation is waiting for you to make your next move) that it is not currently moving at speed.  The wheel motion, dust from the tires and indication of speed changes should help you digest what the simulation is up to!

As always, there’s another grab bag worth of things that happened along the way:

  • The HUD adjusts the key prompts based on whether the player is using the keyboard or gamepad.
  • Radar now uses the R key (and resides in vehicle equipment slot 4).  It has a separate spot on the UI.
  • Enemies now do not shoot every possible chance they get (rather than move).  They are just as likely to try maneuvering than shooting.
  • Improved AI will not try to move directly in front of your vehicle anymore.  This was really frustrating because they’d keep forcing you to maneuver around them to keep from colliding, rather than shoot them.
  • Enemy cars are more likely to get moving rather than sit-n-spin.
  • Fixed issues with auto-targeting with specific weapon sides.
  • Adjusted some female surnames so I avoid generating women named “Scott” or “Howard”
  • Control remap interface is temporarily disabled until it can be properly revised.

I hope you can check it out!

Download on Itch.io!