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Dwelvers Journal 2014.04.07 - Rally Flags
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Rasmus Offline
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Post: #1
2014.04.07 - Rally Flags
Hi all


I can honestly say that there were some things I was hoping to get finished by now, but it took a little longer than expected, so they will not be presented until next week. But even so, the groundwork has been laid out and now I am starting to see the next release closing in finally Smile

Upgraded rally flags


So there have been a lot of discussion on this forum about that it is very annoying for the player that he only can send out all creatures or no creatures into battle, my first approce to solve this can be seen in this screenshot:

[IMG]replace_photbucket_link/RallyFlags.png[/IMG]

I started by adding all the creature types that the player own in small little squares in the bottom right, as seen they all have a little yellow flag as a background, this means that a rally flag has been put out for these creatures.

When the player left-click these icons he is able to zoom in on his creatures location one by one very easily. But when he right clicks on the icon the player gets this creature types rally flag to put out somewhere. As the screenshot shows I have put out one rally flag for each creature type, the main reason I wanted to show you a screenshot of all the creatures is because it shows how easy it will be for the player to see what flag attracts what creature. And yes, if the player right-click an creature icon where the rally flag has already been put out then the rally flag will disappear, just like the ordinary rally flag.

In the future I have planned for the player to create and assign creatures to squads, these squads will also have their own rally flags for the player to put out. We have had a rather long discussion about this over here: http://forum.dwelvers.com/showthread.php?tid=782

Updated message-system


While I was thinking out a location to put the creature icons on I get very annoyed with the currently implemented message system. How it worked was that I had a menu where the player could go in and check all the messages and if he had any, and also there were these quick message icons on the left that just piled up on top of each other so that the player easily could see the last message without having to enter the menu.

What made me annoyed about this is that it looked very un-organized on the screen, and the player was forced to enter the message menu non the less if to many messages started piling up.

So what I did was to remove the message menu from the game and instead have 3 icons on the top right that always is visible and shows if a message has come into that category. So in the top right in the screenshot above you can see "battle messages", "creature messages" and "production messages", the first two are in grayscale as there are no messages there, but there are 2 messages pending in the "production message" category. When holding the mouse over the icon this "frame" will come up:

[IMG]replace_photbucket_link/Message.png[/IMG]

I figured that if the player are able to toggle between the messages and be able to trash the message or zoom in on the event there are no need for a message menu, because everything can be done from here much more smoothly.

The message menu haven't been trashed yet, it is just disabled, but as long as everything can be managed from these icons I see no reason to enable it again..

For those of you that don't know how it looked before can take a look here: http://forum.dwelvers.com/showthread.php?tid=601

Updated items menu


As new weapons and armours have started pouring into the game it is time to start getting the production for these organized.

[IMG]replace_photbucket_link/ItemDescription.png[/IMG]

Here we have the updated items menu, I have made some changes to it as you all can see.

Firstly, the info window that comes up when the hand hovers an item has been greatly optimized. Now we see a clear headline, a image of the item, what it is for, in this case what damage it does and finally a little description. Later on when more stats are given to the items these will stats will be shown right below the image where the description text is now and the description text will be moved down below these stats.

The items menu has also gotten some sub-categories, that is "Misc", "Hydraulics", "Consumables", "Weapons" and "Armour". This will make it a lot easier for the player to find the item he or she wants to check out.

The idea I probably will be presenting with the next release is that not all weapons and armours will be visible at first, at first we will have the club and the wooden shield to construct, and to gain knowledge on how to construct other items the player will have to find these either in chests or from enemies that drops them, once the imps has carried these new items to the storage room the player will know how to produce them in the future.

With the new redesign of the items menu I have left some room in the top right where the description text were before. Here the player will be able to control how many weapons or armours of a certain type he wants to construct.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot Tongue
The hydraulics category in the items menu are reserved for items only used by the hydraulics. Right now I have a Cannonball there, to avoid spamming the cannon against enemies the cannon will only have a limited supply of cannonballs to shoot out. But the good thing here is that once a cannon ball has been shoot out the imps can pick it up and deliver it back to the cannon. One thing I really like about this is that I can probably keep the player being able to click the pressure pads manually if he wants too, but we will see Smile

Tutorial / Objective menu


In earlier news I presented the tutorial menu, it looks like this:

[IMG]replace_photbucket_link/Objectives.png[/IMG]

In the screenshots above you can see that it is positioned in the top left, and that it can be minimized. I have decided to take this menu one step further, instead of just having tutorials in it I can have mission objectives working in the same way.

These mission objectives will be attached to the level the player is playing, so if the player wants to play the tutorial level he will get the current tutorial objectives, if the player wants to play in sandbox mode he will not be given any mission objectives, and if he wants to play campaign, then the objectives will be endless Smile

Right now I have a friend that I went to school with that will take a look into creating a level editor. This is a pretty simple task to start with because it can be externally made and don't have to have any direct connection with the current game engine. The only thing the level editor is supposed to do is to be able to generate levels and replace blocks and finally save the level. Once that is done we will start to look into making it more advanced and that is will be able to support event handling.

What's left?


It have been a while since the last release, and I am very grateful that you all have been so patience with me Smile There have been so much to do, so many minor things here and there that is hardly visible for the player but that plays a big role in the game-play. The modding possibility is almost complete, and adding items and weapons into the game is really easy (according to BurningPet Tongue), so I really hope this feature will take of and that people will be interested in adding their own made content.

So what is left to do before the next release:
  • New Dark Mother look (Will only take a day or two to implement once I get the new model).
  • The Group / Squad system.
  • All the buildings in the blacksmith and make them produce items (This one can take up to a week to complete if I work really hard).
  • The evil meter (This one will go rather fast to implement, maybe a day or two).
  • Checking for bugs.
  • Some other minor things.

This list is on top of my head and it is really hard for me to set a certain date for when everything will be finished, there is always a lot of stuff hiding behind the curtains, but I hope I will have it all done before the end of this month.

With the next news I will create a more definite list on what is left to do and start checking it off.



That was all the news for this week, so now it is back to work for me Smile
(This post was last modified: 07-04-2014 09:38 PM by Rasmus.)
07-04-2014 09:35 PM
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Seriously Unserious Offline
The Ninja Dinosaur

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Post: #2
RE: 2014.04.07 - Rally Flags
Quote:So there have been a lot of discussion on this forum about that it is very annoying for the player that he only can send out all creatures or no creatures into battle, my first approce to solve this can be seen in this screenshot:
I agree. Of course, I am one of the ones being annoyed by the all or none system. Tongue Still, having the ability to send all to a rally point does have it's uses, such as if the DM is under attack or at risk and you need a general rally of all troops to fend off the threat, or you want to make an "Armageddon" type of battle with an enemy -- in other words, win or die.

Quote:Updated message-system
This does look like it could be better, but I'd need to try playing the game with both options to know for sure, could you maybe try a release with both systems available so we can test them both and give you some informed feedback on what your customers prefer?

Quote:Updated items menu
This is definitely a HUGE improvement in the items menu. Organizing it into categories will definitely make it much easier to find specific items and keep track of supplies.

Quote:Tutorial / Objective menu
This will be very helpful, both in learning how to play the game, and knowing what you're doing when there's scenarios active.

Do you have any plans to have any random objectives that could pop up from time to time both in campaign game and optionally in sandbox games? That would add an interesting wrinkle to the games if such random scenarios could be possible.

Quote:What's left?


It have been a while since the last release, and I am very grateful that you all have been so patience with me Smile There have been so much to do, so many minor things here and there that is hardly visible for the player but that plays a big role in the game-play. The modding possibility is almost complete, and adding items and weapons into the game is really easy (according to BurningPet Tongue), so I really hope this feature will take of and that people will be interested in adding their own made content.

So what is left to do before the next release:

New Dark Mother look (Will only take a day or two to implement once I get the new model).
The Group / Squad system.
All the buildings in the blacksmith and make them produce items (This one can take up to a week to complete if I work really hard).
The evil meter (This one will go rather fast to implement, maybe a day or two).
Checking for bugs.
Some other minor things.


This list is on top of my head and it is really hard for me to set a certain date for when everything will be finished, there is always a lot of stuff hiding behind the curtains, but I hope I will have it all done before the end of this month.

With the next news I will create a more definite list on what is left to do and start checking it off.
This is awesome, I can't wait to try the new version and all those features you have yet to add to it! Big Grin

Quote:That was all the news for this week, so now it is back to work for me
Yes, that would be a very good idea. Rememver, the clock is ticking...



Tongue
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08-04-2014 04:23 AM
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Mello Tonin Offline
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Post: #3
RE: 2014.04.07 - Rally Flags
(07-04-2014 09:35 PM)Rasmus Wrote:  ...to avoid spamming the cannon against enemies the cannon will only have a limited supply of cannonballs to shoot out. But the good thing here is that once a cannon ball has been shoot out the imps can pick it up and deliver it back to the cannon.

Aw, I feel like I may be somewhat responsible for this. So I guess no more repeater cannons unless those cannons can hold a sizable amount of ammo. It's ok though, I will find other ways to have fun with cannons. My one concern about this however is that Imps reloading the cannons are going to get slaughtered especially if the pressure pad gets rebuilt first. It generally takes 2-3 shots before they hit the dirt, yes I've target practiced on my Imps, that makes me a good Dungeon Lord; not a bad person. LOL

I know that can be addressed after the next release. Like I said before, that will be my main focus at that point since this is one of my favorite features and has a lot to be expanded upon. Otherwise good stuff, can't wait to get the next version to toy with, especially if a basic level editor is available soon after or in tandem.
08-04-2014 03:16 PM
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Rasmus Offline
Main developer of Dwelvers
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Post: #4
RE: 2014.04.07 - Rally Flags
(08-04-2014 04:23 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote:  I agree. Of course, I am one of the ones being annoyed by the all or none system. Tongue Still, having the ability to send all to a rally point does have it's uses, such as if the DM is under attack or at risk and you need a general rally of all troops to fend off the threat, or you want to make an "Armageddon" type of battle with an enemy -- in other words, win or die.

True, I will still keep the old rally flag for emergences Wink

(08-04-2014 04:23 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote:  This does look like it could be better, but I'd need to try playing the game with both options to know for sure, could you maybe try a release with both systems available so we can test them both and give you some informed feedback on what your customers prefer?

The thing is that I don't think it is necessary, everything that could be done in the previous "message menu" (which I know you guys haven't tried out, sorry about that Sad) can now be done without having to enter the menu, which makes it a lot more easy for the player to check out messages. If we want a more complicated message system in the future I will probably have to restore it, but for now this is much easier to work with for both me and the player.

(08-04-2014 04:23 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote:  This is definitely a HUGE improvement in the items menu. Organizing it into categories will definitely make it much easier to find specific items and keep track of supplies.

Yeah, it was getting way out of hand when I started adding more items, it is very hard to find them just by looking at their pictures.

(08-04-2014 04:23 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote:  This will be very helpful, both in learning how to play the game, and knowing what you're doing when there's scenarios active.

I was thinking that not that much text is needed, just some simple objectives and maybe something flashing on the map showing the location to do the action on.

(08-04-2014 04:23 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote:  Do you have any plans to have any random objectives that could pop up from time to time both in campaign game and optionally in sandbox games? That would add an interesting wrinkle to the games if such random scenarios could be possible.

Not at this moment, but I would have no problem introducing something like that in the future Smile

(08-04-2014 03:16 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote:  Aw, I feel like I may be somewhat responsible for this. So I guess no more repeater cannons unless those cannons can hold a sizable amount of ammo. It's ok though, I will find other ways to have fun with cannons. My one concern about this however is that Imps reloading the cannons are going to get slaughtered especially if the pressure pad gets rebuilt first. It generally takes 2-3 shots before they hit the dirt, yes I've target practiced on my Imps, that makes me a good Dungeon Lord; not a bad person. LOL

I know that can be addressed after the next release. Like I said before, that will be my main focus at that point since this is one of my favorite features and has a lot to be expanded upon. Otherwise good stuff, can't wait to get the next version to toy with, especially if a basic level editor is available soon after or in tandem.

No worries Wink More people than you have complained about this issue with just being able to spam the cannons, I was aware of the problem when releasing the 0.6 version, but as it still is an alpha I did let that one slide.

I agree with you, the imps can be very eager in doing their jobs even if it costs them their lives. There is two solutions for this, either that my creatures don't take damage of my cannons (which is the direction I am going in), or just make the imps a little smarter than the rest so that they always wait a little while after the cannon have been fired before they start taking jobs in the area.

I will probably start with just having it so that my creatures don't take any damage, this is because it is very annoying when the cannons do more harm than good just because a couple of my creatures decides to attack the incoming enemies who stepped on a pressure plate.

I will make sure that I will take a couple of days just focusing on the hydraulics before the release Wink I know there are some stuff that really needs improving and needs to be added upon.
08-04-2014 08:38 PM
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Mello Tonin Offline
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Post: #5
RE: 2014.04.07 - Rally Flags
Yeah man, I have some ideas I'm holding back on until the next release on hydraulics. Wouldn't want you to get sidetracked. Tongue
08-04-2014 10:07 PM
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Seriously Unserious Offline
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Post: #6
RE: 2014.04.07 - Rally Flags
Rasmus Wrote:Not at this moment, but I would have no problem introducing something like that in the future
Awesome! Big Grin I'll have to make a formal suggestion so it can be added to the list, that way there won't be any risk of you forgetting... Wink
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08-04-2014 11:04 PM
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TacticBlack Offline
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Post: #7
RE: 2014.04.07 - Rally Flags
Big Grin oh yeah!!!!
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14-04-2014 12:49 AM
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