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Thread: Decoherence 1: Beyond the Wizardry :)

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    Newbie eugeneloza's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Decoherence 1: Beyond the Wizardry :)

    Hi all! I'm new here I'm a hobbyist game developer since mid-90s.
    For over 4 years by now I'm working on Decoherence 1: Beyond the Wizardry game which originally started as a Wizardry 9 idea.
    The development is still in early stage. Up to this time I was mainly working on game mechanics and scenario (over 500 pages of text by now).
    The game will eventually be Free (as in Free Speech) and OpenSource Playable in Windows, Linux and Android.

    I'm programming in FreePascal using Castle Game Engine.

    The programming work is still in early progress, but the major features I plan are:
    * Phased combat as the main feature of Wizardry series.
    * Very deep combat mechanics (complex and versatile, but easy-to-use).
    * Extensive skills&perks tree and scientific research.
    * Hard sci-fi story with three different paths to choose.
    * The story really reacts to player's actions and consequences might stretch for thousands of years.
    * Some easter eggs from Wizardry Dark Savant's trilogy events.
    * 4 factions to trade and fight with.
    * Random-generated maps including maze-like indoor locations and a huge seamless overworld with multiple biomes.
    * Flexible and easy-to-use game data constructor.

    The game will feature random maps like this one I've made as a demo of the algorithm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKeMQah3sEA

    Short introduction:
    The catastrophic war is over. The surviving civilizations of the Diadem Galaxy formed a Galactic Commonwealth of Bass (leaders), Asek (scientists) and Kerf (engineers). Other civilizations are Vegetos (chemists), Velox (fighters) and 'almost-self-destructed' Thess (biologs). Anticipation of 'Galaxy Golden Age' is soon shadowed by discovery of a strange phenomenon in a nearby galaxy. An unexplained spherical anomaly appears and engulfs most of the stars. There is a narrow 'cone-like' exception with vertex at a star which was named Victoria which obviously "stopped" the collapse. Despite the anomaly being very far away and even at present speed it would reach the Galaxy only in 1500 years several precautions and scientific projects have been started by the Commonwealth in case the collapse reaches the Galaxy or anything similar appears in the proximity. One of the most 'intriguing' project was the first space expedition out of the Galaxy because there were strong evidences that the collapse was stopped by intelligent life. The expedition arrives to the Victoria in about 700 years when the galaxy is completely diminished excluding several stars in 'the cone'. The flight was successful but upon entering the star system the starship unexpectedly enters a non-gravitational field and is dragged to the nearby gas giant. The crew ejects via landing module which crash-lands at one of the moons. Only up to 6 of 21 crew members survive chosen/created by the Player.

    What is ready?
    * Game plot is mostly finished in general ideas. ~70% of dialogues and information messages are sketched.
    * Indoor map generation algorithm is ~70% ready.
    * Game mechanics is almost finished (on the paper).

    What is the current work?
    * Interface design and game mechanics implementation (I hope I can 'launch' character generation, management and the "first combat" this year, maybe even this month ).

    What are the nearest plans?
    * Merge all separate code pieces into a playable pre-alpha of the game (at least one complete location, at least one enemy type, basic actions/skills/perks implemented, combat and travel modes implemented to playable levels, character generation, inventory, level-up mechanics).

    At this moment ~60% of the game texts is made in Russian and so is the development blog... Mostly due to an existing Russian-speaking community of Wizardry 8 fans where the project started. So the basic language priority is Russian at the moment. And later I will eventually translate everything into English. However, this might change if I see interest also from English speaking friends and I will put more efforts in supporting English version at a higher priority.

    How can you help?
    Well... The greatest problem of the development is... because I'm often lazy And while working 'alone' it's sometimes hard to find motivation to do the programming.
    So, just by knowing that others are interested in the development progress is a great buff to my self-motivation
    Relatively soon (as soon as the battles will be implemented) I'll also need test reports to balance the game mechanics.

  2. #2
    Newbie Erkilmarl's Avatar
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    It's so quiet here... but surely many people would be playing the game.
    Not Aelfinn or Eelfinn, but Realfinn

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    Newbie Erkilmarl's Avatar
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    If it were in English, I would help testing it.
    Not Aelfinn or Eelfinn, but Realfinn

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    I have been a long time fan of the entire Wizardry series. You sound like you are off to a great start. I really like the idea of using the phased combat system. For me that is the main drawback for almost all of the current games that are in the RPG genre is that they use a real time combat. For me that becomes boring and takes away from the re-playability. Is there going to be magic in your game? What professions and races are you planning to include? One of the great things about Wizardry 8, was that a player could successfully win the game with any combination of characters.

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    Newbie Erkilmarl's Avatar
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    I am of same opinion about real time combat. I haven't found in any RPG a better combat system than there is in Wizardry. I hope you can reproduce it in your game.
    Not Aelfinn or Eelfinn, but Realfinn

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    Newbie eugeneloza's Avatar
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    Ooops... for some reasons I didn't receive e-mail notifications of new posts
    I haven't found in any RPG a better combat system than there is in Wizardry. I hope you can reproduce it in your game.
    Actually I really hope to make it even better by fixing the following:
    1. Phases will be longer to make planning the phase more strategical.
    Each action will take different % of the phase, some actions might take longer than 1 phase (e.g. WunderWaffer shoot will take 3 phases to charge, but will 100% kill any target unless its agile enough to evade the shot). Excess readiness is not lost and can be used in the next phase.
    Each time character has successfully performed an action he/she can repeat it, make a "standard action" (simple attack or defense) or prepare better for the next phase.
    2. Fighters will have much more variants than just "swing" and "berserk" and will have their unique perk tree.
    3. Moving will be absolutely rebalanced. Everybody (who wants to move) will move simultaneously. E.g. Enemies will not move one-by-one, but the whole group will rush at the party. And if the party tries to run away, monsters will follow it almost instantly.
    4. NPC vs NPC combat. Now guards won't wait until monsters attack the party, but will do their job. And if player wants to he/she can close in and join the battle at any time.
    5. Vehicles combat (I am not sure if I'll be able to implement it, but it's a good idea to try I have a room for at least two of these in the story).
    Is there going to be magic in your game?
    Yes, of course. It's "wizardry" after all
    But magic will be relatively different from the original series.
    It's a science-fiction setting, so most "magical" effects will be provided by thee science schools: biology (healing and buffs ~ cleric), physics (damage ~mage) and chemistry (buffs and debuffs ~alchemist). But during the game there will be a possibility to learn the true magic (metaphysics science) which will change the gameplay, but will be hard to control.

    What professions and races are you planning to include?
    Professions are:
    Engineer ~ fighter - a strong short-range fighter. Good against strong but slow opponents.
    Pilot ~ ninja/monk/samurai - an dexterous short-range fighter. Good against weak and agile opponents. Has multiple attacks per phase.
    Navigator ~ranger - sniper. Good against flying and shooting enemies.
    Chemist ~ alchemist - scientist to add and remove buffs and debuffs.
    Physicist ~ mage - scientist to attack and crowd control.
    Biologist ~ cleric - healer.
    These are "pure" classes with only one "leading" characteristsics. Any race can pick these ones.
    Also 9 hybrid professions are possible. But to be a hybrid class the race must satisfy its requirements (to have at least one of two required stats as leading).
    Recruitable characters will have their unique classes.
    2 universal professions will require three leading stats and the race must satisfy at least two of them.
    There will be no changing of professions, but the character will be able to "learn new professions" if he/she meets the requirements after leveling up (with aim that a solo character can (and must) learn all professions).

    Races and their "best fit professions" are:

    Kerf are insects and have additional armor as chitin shell.
    Kerf donor - engineer
    Kerf acceptor - engineer-physicist
    Kerf incubator - engineer-chemist
    Velox race has additional speed bonus.
    Velox male - Pilot-chemist
    Velox female - Pilot
    Bass have a special leadership ability which positively influences efficiency of other characters.
    Bass male - Navigator-physicist
    Bass female - Navigator-biologist
    Vegetos are plants and can regenerate in sunlight to cure wounds and broken branches.
    Vegetos - chemist
    Asek are small and weak but they learn faster than other races.
    Asek male - Physicist
    Asek female - Pilot-Physicist
    Thess are very weak and cannot survive without life-support system which breaks often and has to be repaired regularly but provides poison and disease immunity, bonus to medical actions, they are also very good at reanimation (~resurrection).
    Thess female - Biologist

    Recruitable characters (these are only plot-related, I think I'll add some non-crucial RPCs mercenaries later):
    OA: Vivi female - mutant
    Tobby: Rabob male - child
    Sanders: Rabob male - magician
    (nonameyet): Rabob male - historian
    (nonameyet) Barrk male - electrician
    Only one RPC can join the party at a time.

    One of the great things about Wizardry 8, was that a player could successfully win the game with any combination of characters.
    I really try to balance the game this way... but at the moment there is a very significant limitations I have - there must be at least 3 characters in the party. This limitation is caused by the plot which requires the characters to speak among themselves. I really hope I'll be able to provide an alternative implementation of cut-scenes to support 1 and 2 characters in the party, but it's quiet a lot of additional work.

    P.S. Right now I'm finalizing interface mechanics. I really hope I'll finish it in a few days.

  7. #7
    the master townltu's Avatar
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    I would also test it if it were in english.
    Cant we just extract the text from all files to pass it to a translator and paste the results back into the game? :D


    btw, will it be easy to mod the game in every aspect?

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    Newbie eugeneloza's Avatar
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    Cant we just extract the text from all files to pass it to a translator and paste the results back into the game?
    Why should you if you have a good interpreter - me
    I see it is a required task, so I'll make the game bilingual from the very first steps.
    Actually that's much easier to translate everything in parallel, than write something once and then have just a month of translating.
    btw, will it be easy to mod the game in every aspect?
    I really hope I'll be able to provide a WYSIWYG game editor which will allow not just to mod the game, but to create a completely new game in the same mechanics.
    And as the game will be FOSS there will be no problem modifying the source code to extend or change the mechanics itself.
    One more yet unimplemented idea I have it to provide multiple scenarios all available at once. E.g. you have a "generic" scenario which contains only general stuff like races, skills, perks, sounds, generic phrases. It will be extended by some "specific" scenarios which will be "children" of this generic scenario and will contain locations, scenario elements, npcs, and so on.
    There will also be two ways of map generation: using random maps generated according to easy-to-tune algorithm and using completely hand-made maps.
    I also hope I'll be able to provide all required tutorials.
    I already have some algorithms and even ready code to do it. But everything like this will be usable a little later, as soon as I'll be in Alpha stage.

    I'm still not sure if it's better to use ready-made scripting (like LUA - you can do almost anything in scripts, but it's complex), my own scripting (I have experience of making such stuff, its easier to tune, but more buggy and has less possibilities) or just some basic node editor (very limited, but very easy to use, bug-free and easy to debug). Create a simple LUA-like scripting language for my "small" purposes is actually easier for me, so I think I'll pick this option, however, I'm still not sure about it.
    Example:
    In basic node editor I will be able to do things like "If character's strength is >20" but not "if character's strength is >20 and character's health is >30%". But it will automatically report that "I don't know what to do if character's strength is lower than 20". If I do scripting it'll be easier to put loops, conditions and etc. But debugging scripts cannot be made automatic. E.g. if I make the second condition "if character's strength is >20 and character's health is >30%" the script might provide response "you are not strong enough" which is false, but the condition failed due to character's low health. Such bugs are relatively hard to track. If I would use LUA, I can make stuff like "increase character4.stamina by 40", however, that won't check if this value might be higher than character's max stamina value - so doing all the checks and bug-hunting cannot be automatic and script-writer will have to care about it. As the matter of facts, sometimes scripts fail even in AAA commercial games, developed by large companies. Maybe it's better to have less possibilities, than to drown in endless hunt of bugs.

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    Newbie Erkilmarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by townltu View Post
    I would also test it if it were in english.
    Cant we just extract the text from all files to pass it to a translator and paste the results back into the game?
    Unfortunately translators require proofreading with a very good understanding of the other language, if we want to avoid incomprehensible text. I've seen some problems eg. in a Russian mod of King's Bounty. Luckily Eugeneloza seems to know English very well.
    Not Aelfinn or Eelfinn, but Realfinn

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    Newbie eugeneloza's Avatar
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    seems to know English very well.
    Thanks. Not perfectly of course, but much better than google-translator
    And sorry for mistakes, I always forget there is no "edit" feature at this forum

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    the master townltu's Avatar
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    Pardon me for late reply and last not least for the confusion,
    my suggestion to use the translator was not really serious.

    Although i was rather sure that i would be immediately recognized as an attempt of a joke,
    i also added the "biggrin" smiley to point it out.


    An editor could be limited to stuff that can not easily be done with external programs
    if there are options to import such data in common format(s)

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    Wafer-thin mint sir? Creosote's Avatar
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    Great news. I would certainly be playing it if it were in English.

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    Newbie eugeneloza's Avatar
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    The work is going on. Finally the interface starts looking as it was meant to be. Work is slow, but eventually the results are good.
    It catches mouse and keyboard events, displays external information on screen, rescales and animates, automatically changes when game mode changes, etc.
    At the moment I'm working on implementing most game screens like travel mode, inventory, battle commands, rest, level-up, character stats and perks.

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    Newbie eugeneloza's Avatar
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    Continuing working on the interface... whoooa... that's a complex stuff...
    Thanks a lot to Saito00 for the cool interface design (and tons of fresh ideas and ergonomics improvements)! It looks much more interesting now!


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    Newbie eugeneloza's Avatar
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    Working with monsters and re-polishing dungeon&overworld generation algorithms...
    I've also started translating almost-daily dev. blog messages into English
    https://decoherencestudio.wordpress.com/
    Slowed down due to "a lot of work at work", but I hope for a playable pre-alpha soon.

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