Author Topic: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG  (Read 1771 times)

PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #30 on: September 03, 2019, 11:43:51 PM »
On September 1, Auto Fire was demoed at the Seattle Indies Expo, a companion exhibition to PAX West in Seattle, held just down the street.  It was an exciting time and an exciting place to be, where 25 local game developers showed their stuff in a chill environment where players could interact directly with creators. 



The good news for those of you who didn’t make it out there is that there are a ton of updates that came in to make that demo play well, and you can now check them out for free on Itch.io with Versions 0.6.04!

Fame
  • Made changeover of interactions in the direction of social media to start to push the build-your-following gameplay.
  • Fame is now “likes” and bosses now have their own followers that reflect their level of fame.
  • Dialogue is now flavored as a chat/twitter interface.  More of this to come.
  • A media drone can now follow the player and take shots of their kills for extra fame.  The specific drone loadout slot is coming soon.

Gamepad and Controls
  • Revised gamepad controls!  A button drives, B button brakes, B button enters location.
  • D-Pad will aim vehicle weapons if not in targeting mode.
  • You can now select all squares with the cursor keys or gamepad when the vehicle is aiming diagonally (it had “the bishop’s limitation” before this)
  • Improved the inventory and loadout to better work with keyboard and gamepad.  There still is a bug with the gamepad if you have a lot of items when loading out.
  • Gamepad buttons have cooldowns before auto-repeat.
  • Gamepad move marker now renders through the world if you are controlling next to a wall.

UI and Presentation
  • The speedometer is now centered onscreen, and the boost key is hinted when the player reaches the 40 mph “safe” speed.
  • Resources have been moved to the right side, and the armor is now in the lower-left, making for a less-cluttered interface.
  • Icons now fly to their locations onscreen with some more panache.
  • Easier to buy and sell in the store.
  • Fixed some sounds in the store.
  • Loadout popup is easier to use.
  • Cleaned up the targeting panel somewhat.
  • Gamepad buttons are now prompted, and are put up instead of keyboard tips if the gamepad is currently in use.
  • Tutorial dialogue and loading screen hints now include some gamepad hints.
  • Armor panel now uses an alternate visual
  • Offscreen objective pointer now pulses and shows over more UI elements.
  • New key art is used for the title and loading screen.

Content
  • There is an invisible, harmless barrier behind the exit square on terrain maps.  This keeps players from moving “past”.
  • Loot drops now include a large variety of new drops, including some weapons with modifiers (such as high-density machineguns).
  • New levels of tires, armor, ram plates were all created.
  • The multi-rocket damage was brought down significantly, it was pretty silly.
  • Adjusted the price of repairs (chassis costs twice as much, armor costs half as much) and gas.
  • Large cities (the 5×5 ones) no longer generate in the overworld.  They were cool but just stupidly complicated to get through.
  • Fixed some agent names so that females don’t get stuck with a male surname that looks like a first name (like "Clark", which could be a male first name or a last name).
  • Fixed some bad results from the procedural boss quotes.

Check out the new stuff or take a look at this quick video showing some of the revised gameplay/gamepad experience:


PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2019, 08:47:30 PM »
So thanks to the regular pushing from a developer friend, I finally scraped together the time to add a bit of extra flair to Auto Fire.

One of the challenges of the game for many new players is that they didn't always grok how time progressed:  That is, the fact that time is always paused when the game is waiting for your next move.

Now with the magic of time manipulation, that fact is a lot clearer...  and cooler.


Tzan

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2019, 02:32:16 AM »
Wow nice explosions!

PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2019, 05:32:26 PM »
Thanks!  And hey I just wanted to stop in with the big big big news: It's official!
Thanks to some pitching in by some ✨incredibly✨awesome✨folk, we're all-in to bring Auto Fire to Kickstarter in January! That's just 16 weeks away... gotta get back to work!

BTW you can always follow Auto Fire on Twitter as @autofiregame.


PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #34 on: September 20, 2019, 04:29:21 PM »
We’ve been working on some new special abilities for the vehicles in Auto Fire, including the ​Ram Piston​​​.  ​Different vehicle chassis types can have some crazy maneuvering abilities, although they’ll consume resources such as gas, so make sure to use them wisely!



The foundation of the special moves system was pitched in by developer comrade Jim, created on his Twitch stream where we talked through some of the system updates needed.

The followup was transferring it to on-demand equipment, which didn’t have the ability to be aimed yet. The plan is to get some more moves in like bootleggers, side swipes, and some weirder stuff. Stay tuned!

PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2019, 11:37:56 PM »
It’s been a few weeks since the SIX update, and there’s a lot of meaty gameplay work to show off.  Ammo! Maneuvers! Slo mo visuals! Better ramming!  Check it out today!

Slo Moooooo
  • One of the biggest issues of having a turn-based game with realtime visuals is that a lot of the time people don’t grok that the game is waiting for their next input.
  • As a way to get around this, I added a slowdown when the game is waiting for player input.
  • As a delightful side effect, it looks pretty damn cool.
  • Had to move a number of UI inputs to use unscaled time so it ignores slomo. I might have missed a few, so will be on the lookout.
  • Made a bunch of UI effects use unscaled time so they play at a normal rate even during slowmo.
  • Fixed camera and a bunch of other elements that slowed down inappropriately during slowmo



Special Maneuvers
  • Special maneuvers appear as “equipment” (currently occupying gadget slot 3), but are eventually going to be baked into specific vehicle chassis, which allow you to take special actions in a crisis.
  • This means that different vehicles will help with different playstyles.
  • The first special maneuver is the Ram Piston.
  • This maneuver launches the car forward 2-4 tiles within a set arc and rams an enemy out of the way.
  • You can also use it to get out of a jam by launching to an empty tile.
  • It has a cooldown and also uses gas as its ammo, which you can find out in the field or purchase at a garage.



Resources as Ammo
  • Players have always been able to collect gas, ordnance and parts around the battlefield.  These items are now used as ammunition for some weapons and equipment.
  • Mines and rockets use ordnance
  • Ram piston, flamers and flaming oil takes gas.
  • Many weapons do not require ammo (just a cooldown), so ammo-consuming equipment will be stronger for its limitation.
  • When you highlight a weapon, it should explicitly say the ammo it uses, if any.
  • If you’re out of ammo, hopefully it will be very easy to see and understand.
  • There is a dry-fire sound when out of ammo.
  • All game hints are now moved to middle-screen and important information such as being out of ammo also appears in that space as needed.
  • Now that ordnance and gas are much more needed by players, I added significantly more drops of them to the loot lists.
  • Loot dropped from cars and crates now has a new definition type, so every drop won’t have 5-6 items in them (it was just out of control)

Ramming
  • Ramming something at a high enough speed will now knock it to the side rather than stop you dead.  It’s far more fun.
  • The mass of an opponent or object now matters more. Your speed and your mass is factored against their mass.
  • NOTE:  More will happen with this in the future, since relative speed and resultant velocity aren’t all factored as they should.

Additional Targeting Changes
  • Area-effect weapons such as rockets, shotguns and flamers can now be aimed at the ground if you want to position their blast for maximum effect.
  • Some weapons and abilities now have a minimum range.
  • Rockets have a min range of 2.
  • Multifire rockets have a min range of 3.

User Interface
  • Updated the position of resources in the HUD.
  • Revised frames in HUD to use a superthin frame.
  • Updated skid meter and needle, and repositioned turn pips.
  • Boost hint only appears when at max safe speed now.
  • Cleaned up the UI camera for inventory and garage. It’s not blurry anymore.
  • Fixed broken portrait from game startup.

Audio
  • Revised the collision sound (hated the old one).
  • Added a new wood break and revised rock break sounds.

General
  • Edited the speed lines for movement and ram tile with a new graphic.
  • Fixed some rare crashes
« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 11:40:32 PM by PatrickLipo »

PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #36 on: October 10, 2019, 08:07:42 PM »
It's been a couple weeks since the last build, but a lot has happened due to things that I've wanted to get in for the Rogue Celebration 2019, which I'll talk about in another article.

For Auto Fire, RogueCel primarily meant that I had a lot I wanted to do in proving out playstyles.  This manifests in the player's vehicle chassis selection...  It includes speed perks (passive effects triggered when driving at 60 MPH or higher), and special maneuvers (gas-consuming all-in-one moves that launch the vehicle to a new location and affects everything around it.

As always you can check out the state of development for free on Itch!



General Improvements
  • Line of Sight is more accurate and forgiving now.  You can target around obstructions and along walls effectively.
  • Vehicles now automatically pick up items from the ground adjacent to the vehicle, rather than requiring the radar to be used.  It feels so much better!
  • The player also automatically picks up adjacent items in the overworld!

Gameplay Systems
  • Vehicles now have two new equipment slots (which are not player-editable):  Speed Perk and Special Maneuver.  This equipment will in most cases be baked into the chassis itself when used.
  • Created the ability for equipment to have passive effects when installed, and remove them when uninstalled.  This will allow for special visual or gameplay things to result from triggers such as being hit, losing control, or colliding.
  • A minimum speed also now exists for certain effects, allowing for things like speed perks which trigger whenever the vehicle is traveling 60 MPH or over.
  • The stun condition keeps an AI (or player) from firing or controlling their movement until it wears off.  This means pedestrians stay in place while vehicles will continue forward at their existing speed (or until they hit something).
  • The focus condition increases the subject's ability to hit targets and inflict crits.
  • Turret fire (the F key or the gamepad triggers) now can launch any weapon or special ability.  It also won't attack the ground the way it used to.



Vehicle Upgrades
  • Ram Blast (Stallion):  Speed perk that triggers an explosion whenever the vehicle collides at high speed.
  • Ram Piston (Stallion):  Special maneuver that launches forward and bashes through the selected target, knocking it aside.
  • Advanced Radar (Stallion):  The Stallion has special radar that has a bigger radius than other vehicles.
  • Hyperfocus (Panther):  Speed perk that increases the hit and critical chance when at high speed.
  • Jet Thruster (Panther):  Special maneuver that launches forward and puts the car at max speed, leaving a trail of fire behind.
  • Jet Wash (Cricket):  Speed perk that stuns vehicles and foot soldiers that are passed at high speed.
  • Bootlegger (Cricket):  Special maneuver that launches forward and spins the car around, ending with a large stunning pulse.
  • Note: Special Maneuvers all consume gas!

Visuals
  • Created new shader for the fog of war that moves more dynamically and has interesting edges.  It's an improvement over the previous mushy look because a lot of the screen is usually under some level of this fog.
  • Destroyed vehicles now do not fly into the air as ridiculously far.  It was fun but you often never even saw the vehicle because it flew so high.
  • Adjusted the color of the ordnance and gas can icon and model to be more prominently colored, so they are easier to spot.
  • Added glinty materials to pickups to make them catch the eye better.



Content
  • Adjusted the loadout of starting vehicles to match playstyles.
  • Updated start screen to give more description of cars.
  • Updated some tutorial text to match the new control method.

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed bug with effects such as dropped items. One symptom was smoke and oil overwriting each other. This may also eliminate some of the mysterious crashes I've seen.
  • Fixed a problem with firing while stationary, which remained in slomo during execution.
  • Changed the ragdolls for humans and dogs to move smoothly.

Audio
  • Added audio mixer slowdown when slowing down time.
  • When destroyed vehicles are flung into the air, they now play sounds when falling to the ground.
  • Added a techy burst sound for the bootlegger.

User Interface
  • The (A) button prompt disappears when the player centers the gamepad stick.
  • Targeting squares are more yellow now, rather than green.

PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2019, 09:39:02 PM »
Ohhhh man how could I have missed the Explode-o-Ram?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2019, 09:41:17 PM by PatrickLipo »

PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2019, 09:15:59 PM »
Testing out my new hardware in the run-up to my first stream, I whipped up a quick video blog showing off the most recent changes to the build and its vehicle playstyles.  Enjoy!



And hey, yes!  I did stream for the very first time this week.  I unfortunately didn't know that Twitch didn't default to saving past broadcasts so the first session isn't viewable, but head over to my channel and give me a follow!  I promise to save all future sessions!

PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2019, 07:26:23 AM »
There have been improvements to Auto Fire both big and small! There was a list as long as my arm of bugs and nitpicks that I discovered when showing off the game at the Roguelike Celebration. Quality of life improvements are always crowd-pleasers, and they happen to also be me-pleasers since I’m playing the game everyday.

More importantly, I started setting an eye to a longer play arc than I have now. That includes laying the foundation for loot, health and damage that’s defined by a progression arc. This means that I can balance numbers globally, as well as more easily drop in enemies and items to the game and have the system distribute them more easily.

This may not affect your experiences that much just yet (aside from some new items dropping!) but I’m looking forward to bulking up the content soon.



Gameplay Improvements
  • Rams are more sophisticated in their detection now! They now check relative speeds, and factor in the ram plate only when your front is colliding with the enemy.
  • The relative mass and levels of the vehicle are also factored into the damage that is done.
  • The Cricket’s Bootlegger now executes a stun burst upon completion! (Like it’s supposed to!)

Content

  • Sectors are now set up to control the challenge within them! This gives me the first tools to really smoothly lay in progressively advanced content.
  • There are now tables that control the base amounts of health, damage, fame, item value, vehicle value, and various resource drops.
  • Varying the content from this baseline will help generate new content and help balancing as the content grows.
  • This was waaaaaay harder than it should have been, except it’s because vehicles have a fairly involved way of installing themselves on various vehicle chassis. Players do it differently than enemies, but they all use the same basis.
  • Loot tables now spawn based on the challenge level of a map or opponent as well. Items are now set up to drop in quickly via a spreadsheet, allowing content growth to be much easier!
  • Part of the result of this is that there are some new tires, engines, blast gadgets, and weapons that took a few minutes to whip up. A significant improvement.



Visuals
  • Adjusted the fire trail from exploding barrels and vehicles to be more flamboyant.
  • Added physics objects to destructible entities.
  • Fixed orientation and camera angles of special moves.
  • The overworld vehicle is a tad smaller now, to better fit the other elements within.

User Interface
  • Automap is (finally!!!) closed with the Escape key
  • Objective Pointer improvements!
  • Objective pointers now can point to things that can be killed in the map if there are more than one.
  • When there are multiple objective targets, only show the ones that have been seen so far.
  • Pointer flashes regularly and is pushed slightly further inward for better visibility.
  • Pointer starts in the center and moves out when changed.



Environment
  • Revised the feel of the ground, leaning a little bit in the direction of more detail. I don’t want it to get too busy but it was blandtown.
  • Experimenting with grass, textures, some more boundary variance, and so on.
  • Outposts now have some slightly more interesting walls.
  • There can be breaks on multiple sides, and now the break isn’t always predictably on the south end either.
  • There are some corner variants now, just to mix things up.
  • The walls have a bunch more variance and they are not always rail-straight.
  • Wanted a little more verticality, so I made the guard tower and water tower taller.

Audio
  • Physics objects like exploding cars now have sounds when they collide with the world!
  • Some sounds are no longer affected by slowing down time, because they sounded pretty dumb (like the “clink” of a dropped item)
  • MasterAudio (my sound system) was logging all sounds, spewing into the text log. Turned this off, which could improve performance slightly.

Bug Fixes
  • It turns out I wasn’t reading my data files in an internationally friendly fashion. PC’s with Russian language, for example, would have empty levels and no weapons. Derp. This should be fixed with new parsing improvements. Hopefully Russian computers can run the game better now!
  • When attacking with a ground-only weapon or special move, don’t snap to an enemy.
  • Vehicles now have their special moves and speed perks built-in as vehicle defaults. This makes them not part of the inventory and not removable.
  • Fixed some targeting issues caused by weapons with a minimum range calculating incorrectly.

Other
  • The Steamworks library has been added to the game! It doesn’t do much yet, but it’s a start!
  • The game has been updated to Unity 2019.2.9f, and now uses Unity Plus. This means no more Unity splash screen for extra Pro Points(TM)

As always, you’re welcome to try out the current build at Itch.io!

PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2019, 12:00:22 AM »
I’ve been doing development streaming on Twitch lately, and it’s been pretty enjoyable actually. It’s early afternoon for me, Tuesday at 1PM Pacific, and it’s been fine. I worried about the cats disrupting things but I just embraced the cat break. I worried about boring people with some noodly code problem on camera but there’s always something I can pick up that’s interesting to work on and talk about. I’d like to think that people are learning things about game development as well, which it turns out is part of what it’s about.

I’ve saved some of these streams on Youtube, which has been good since there are sometimes concepts that I want to convey to people that are helping me out… and having a demo of its use is super-handy.

Auto Fire - Development Stream #2

In stream #2 I showed off how patches are created in-game, and punch up some in-game objects. (The first stream was unfortunately lost to the fact that Twitch doesn’t save broadcasts by default). We also got our very first Cat Break with Sammy.

Auto Fire - Development Stream #3

Stream #3 started pretty weird because I had the mic off for a good chunk of the start. In this I actually crack open the very improved Blender after only an hour of watching tutorials and use it to update and break up some models, to improve the physics impact of destruction. Then we cut loose with some rockets...

Auto Fire Dev - Rocket and cannon madness

See you on Tuesday!

PatrickLipo

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #41 on: November 12, 2019, 05:18:08 PM »
Hey all!  I'm working hard on Auto Fire to get it in a state where it can Kickstart at the start of the new year, and you can help.  One way you can help me build awareness is simply by following @autofiregame on Twitter.  Just click the link, it's easy, and would help me out a lot!

In the meantime, one of the new features is the rocket barrage thrown by the watchtowers.  Once they sight you in, you've only got a couple turns to get your car out of the way!

Krice

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Re: Auto Fire: A turn-based roguelike car combat RPG
« Reply #42 on: November 15, 2019, 09:24:19 PM »
Watched stream 2 for a while. I find development stuff interesting, even though that kind of development is not very similar to working with only C++ and a simple graphics library. I have to check out 3, because I've been using Blender for years (long ago I graduated as animator). This game project isn't actually that bad, because it has an interesting theme for sure. You don't see cars in roguelikes that often.