WIP: Glade Raid

PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

I guess I'll kick off this Category by posting about my little Indie project, Glade Raid!

Glade Raid is a simultaneous-turn-based tactical fantasy RPG wrapped in an FTL-like campaign mode. So, you wander through procedurally generated provinces collecting loot and experience. You have four fixed characters. In battle, each character can issue two orders per turn (plus a target/destination for each order).

What makes Glade Raid interesting?

1) There are no rolls to hit! Instead, each unit has Defenses - mostly Dodge, (shield) Block, and/or Parry. The unit can use each defense once per round (twice if it issues an Order to focus on that type of defense). So a unit takes damage either when it receives more attacks than it has defenses, or when the defenses are circumvented; for instance, you cannot Dodge in mud, some attacks can wreck shields, and you cannot Parry missile weapons. Concentrating attacks is vital.

2) Extensive environment simulation and modification. Just as an example, if you set a fire (by spell or certain weapons), the fire generates smoke and sparks that drift in the ambient wind. Sparks can spread the fire or set new ones, smoke blocks line of sight. You can use spells to direct the wind at your foes, potentially setting them on fire. Once burning, units have a turn or two to get to a water feature before they start taking damage. Fires (terrain and/or unit) can also be extinguished by a variety of ice and water spells. Fires sometimes spontaneously go out, but mostly they burn until their fuel is exhausted, turning grass, bushes, and trees into char and finally ash.

3) Unique spell system plays with the idea that your "hand" of available spells evolves as a battle continues. Each spell has a cooldown of 5 turns, but during those 5 turns it provides an "Animus" resource that can be used to power more advanced spells (if you know them).

You can try out the tutorial and "stub" campaign (basically just random battles) here (I recommend downloading the standalone version):

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52800206/GladeRaid/GladeRaid.html

Comments, suggestions, and constructive criticisms welcome! :)

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Comments

  • nujumkeynujumkey Posts: 284Member
    Will check it out when i can, sounds pretty interesting :)
    You mention an FTL like campaign, do you mean in that there is a lot of choices in areas you access in the game? Or are you moving several interchangeable parts before the end?
    youtube.com/nujumkey
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  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    By "FTL-like campaign" I'm talking about basically the wandering through procedurally generated "sectors" and hitting events (sometimes with choices, sometimes affected by previous choices) that can involve loot, battles, stores (not yet implemented), combat environment, and so on. As you move, you get choices like whether you want to go through a valley, field, hills, and so on, but what you might find there is fairly random. So, if you go into a bog for example, you're more likely to encounter Fell Boars, and any fight you get into will involve lots of small streams, low bushes, and mud. But you might encounter something else, or nothing at all.

    A lot of the campaign features aren't yet implemented or are absent from the demo build (I've been focusing mostly on the battle mode).

  • taps1992taps1992 Posts: 148Member
    I wish I was on a PC! This sounds really interesting btw :) I'll be following the project
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member
    Thanks for the interest! What platform(s) do you use? It's in Unity so it's relatively easy to port.
  • GeneralsTOReGeneralsTORe Posts: 34Member
    Okie dokie, so I gave the game a try last night and played some more this afternoon and I have to say I like what I see! I mean, it's still a WIP, but you've got some good stuff going on here. Now, on to my critique!

    First off, the no randomness combat system works quite well, although there is one slight complaint I have. Dodging. Dodging seems to make combat much more unknowable both offensively and defensively. From what I've gathered, there's very little you can do to guess where your units or the enemy units will dodge. The odds that your unit might dodge into a tile of high brush or deep mud seems to ruin what would have been a speedy advance or attack. What looks like a solid collection of attacks on an enemy can quickly turn into a "how did he get out of that?" While I can understand why you would want dodging to have a random effect thematically and somewhat mechanically (hence why one of the perks some units can get is a "dodge" that doesn't require them to move), it seems to make combat in particular a little too random. Perhaps if dodging wasn't a hard set defense and had to be chosen purposely by the player it would be better, though I don't know how you would implement that on enemies. Maybe dodging doesn't make the user move? The problem with that is I can see where dodging causing the user to move is important, since that makes spells like Bird Swarm or the Vines more versatile. This isn't a complaint I feel super strongly about, but it's one I thought I'd mention in case there might be a way to make the system better.

    Speaking of spells, I really like the Animus system! It reminds me of MtG a bit with the different types of Animus (mana), though it has a lot of potential for interesting strategic choices and synergy in this kind of game. I think I would like to see a game based around the entire Animus system itself (think a traveling group of wizards)! However, while the Druid's spell system is great, this unfortunately makes her seem a bit useless in combat. Not to say that she can't hold her own (I've had her melee a few enemies who have gotten too close), but due to her range of useful spells, and that it takes her two whole rounds to cast just one of them, it makes me hesitant to send her into battle. That may be sort of the point, but this means that sometimes there are turns where I really don't do anything with her, and it seems...wasteful. Perhaps if she could only take one round to cast a spell (or could start readying one and do something else) I would feel like I could get more use out of her. I would still keep her fairly protected, but at least she won't feel like someone who always has to hang back and not do damage.     

    Lastly, my final complaints are mostly technical. First, I don't think the tutorial discussed how movement works very well or that defenses refresh every round. What I mean for the movement part is that it took me awhile to realize that not only are the half-footprints what will occur during the second phase, but that doing another action (or dodging) during that phase will decrease that movement. I think this is due to the fact that a full move order (one that orders the character to move two whole phases) doesn't indicate that you could end your turn there (it still asks if you want to perform an action during the second round) and it doesn't always show how doing an ability during the second round will cut ones movement. In terms of the defenses, it took me awhile to realize that defenses refresh every round, rather than only getting used up for the whole turn. Perhaps I missed/forgot about this fact during the tutorial, but if that isn't covered, it should be. My second complaint is that the game feels a bit slow, mostly due to the fact that I have to scroll up and down the screen to select characters and enemies (I played in the browser. Your direct download link is broken by the way). Even if the game was full screen, a quick pick system like in XCOM would still help greatly. Third and lastly, when a character has changed weapons, I think it should be made more clear on their "character box." At the moment it's a little hard to tell they've changed weapons by their little character icons on the map.

    Overall though, I like what you've made here Pyrian! During my first play-through I wasn't sure I cared for it that much, but after trying it again I realized it was quite enjoyable! I look forward to seeing how you refine and bring it to completion (very nice artwork on the main menu by the way). :) 
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    Thank you very much for trying it out and letting me know your thoughts in depth! This sort of feedback is very valuable.

    Dodging: Yeah, it does add a surprising amount of randomness for such a simple mechanic. Mostly it's been a popular feature, but I agree that adding in some ways to control it better would be a good idea; already there's a number of ways to "give up" Dodge in favor of other bonuses. I experimented with having it be deterministic, but it always seemed to be too exploitable.

    Spells/Druid: I'm glad you like the mechanic! The Druid does easily run out of useful spells at low level; while at higher levels she can be quite a bit better at melee combat in addition to having a wider selection of spells. Maybe I should add more starting spells. Balancing control magic is fundamentally difficult. One major reason why it takes two Orders to cast is that many of the spells would be too powerful otherwise. Note that you CAN split the spell over two turns by starting casting in the second round; this makes spells much easier to aim.

    Tutorial: In truth, the current movement indicators are newer than the tutorial. My friends say tutorials should be done last, but instead I built it early for prototype testing, because the game is basically unplayable without it. Even with it, there's no getting around the fact that the game has a real learning curve. You're right that I should work in some more description of how the defenses work; it's a very core mechanic, so it's critically important that it's clear. I'm also planning on putting in "help file" reference screens for a number of subjects.

    Misc: The standalone does mouse-edge scrolling, which helps with navigation. I'm not sure why you couldn't download it - works for my tests? Weird. Selecting a character twice (by 1-4 or by clicking their face) fast-scrolls to that character just like clicking on enemies in the sidebar; that's another feature that hasn't made it into the tutorial yet, but really needs to be there. You're absolutely right about the weapons-in-hand needing to be more clear; I'm kind of struggling with how to work that into the already-busy character "cards".

    The splash/menu commission art is by the awesome Maximko: http://maximko.deviantart.com/

  • GeneralsTOReGeneralsTORe Posts: 34Member
    edited January 2016
    Happy to do it! I'll just make some quick responses to some of your responses.

    Dodging: I would certainly be interested to see what ideas you have for giving up Dodging for other bonuses, should you take that route of course. :)

    Spells/Druid: Yeah I can see where spell balance and being able to case them in one round could be an issue. Perhaps giving her a small combat spell at the start would be all that's really necessary to make her more interesting. Also, it's good to hear I can start a spell on a second round and cast it the next. I wondered if I could do that, but didn't want to risk trying it initially.

    Misc: For some reason when I click the link above the Unity Web Player for the downloadable PC version, I just get a 404 from Dropbox. I don't think it's anything on my end causing the issue.
    It's good to hear there are ways to fast-select characters.
    Lastly, as to the weapons-in-hand thing, perhaps the best way to indicate it on the character card would be to change the weapon shown near the top? For instance, when the Archer pulls out his dual blades, get rid of the ammo and loaded bow indicators and just replace them with a picture of crossed blades. The Berserker could show a sword and shield, dual axes, etc. depending on what he has out.
    Post edited by GeneralsTORe on
  • taps1992taps1992 Posts: 148Member
    @Pyrian I'm on a Mac laptop. I'll check it out once you port it!
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    @GeneralsTORe : Dodging: As is, you can use the Flurry of Blows or Whirlwind melee Orders to gain extra attacks at the expense of your Dodge; or replace Dodge with Slip; or wear Heavy Armor (+3 health, no Dodge); or even get the Wave Crystal which lets you move normally and dodge on mud and water. What I'd like to add is some sort of Stand-Your-Ground order or perhaps special destination (because I want it to work with various orders). Thanks for the other suggestions, too. :)

    @taps1992 : I can't publish to Mac (or iPad) without having a Mac. Someday...

  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    @GeneralsTORe : I used your suggestion for adding loadout icons where the ammo icon is now. Seems to work pretty well. I've updated DropBox if you want to check it out.

    @taps1992 : Hey, so it turns out I can publish to Mac from my PC! I can't test it in any way... But I put it up in DropBox if you want to give it a try. I think the html-embedded version is supposed to work on Mac, too.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52800206/GladeRaid/GladeRaid.html

  • taps1992taps1992 Posts: 148Member
    @Pyrian the game looks great so far! And for some reason I've been losing at tutorial 1 but winning at tutorial 2 more ._. and I'm not used to this kind of turn based RPG

    I think most of what needs to be said is already done in GeneralsTORe's post. I agree that the directions weren't very clear in the first tutorial run (but that could also be from my inexperience). But you could also indicate how many steps a certain character can take when they're moving from one place to another because that also confused me.
  • GeneralsTOReGeneralsTORe Posts: 34Member
    @Pyrian Those load-out icons do look quite nice! Great job implementing them and thanks for taking my suggestion. :)
    As to your post about Dodging, I assumed by different ideas you had meant a different system entirely, though the "stand your ground" idea does sound pretty good. Perhaps every (or mostly every) class could have that order, and the player has to decide if they want the trade-off of either dodging an attack but potentially having to spend more movement to get back on track, or risk some damage at the benefit of guaranteed movement. The only tricky part that would remain would be dealing with enemies who have Dodge.
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    @taps1992 : Thanks for trying it out! I'm really glad it worked; no way for me to test the Mac version right now. Another bid for more movement tutorial; I'll make sure to do that. I'm a little curious how you died in Tutorial 1; did you cancel the tutorial? Admittedly, the two boars will easily kill the Ranger in a fair fight, but if you leave the tutorial on it's supposed to be impossible to fail because it controls every order you give.

    @GeneralsTORe : I'm a little too attached to the Dodge system to replace it entirely, but there's absolutely no reason I couldn't let the player just turn off dodging for any character in any round. Should I put a little toggle icon on the Order rectangle? As for dealing with Dodging enemies, well, that's part of the fun, I think. Tutorial 2 highlights luring them into mud and water where they cannot Dodge, for example. Thanks again for your input.

  • taps1992taps1992 Posts: 148Member
    Yeah I cancelled the tutorial. My character would've been stuck otherwise. But then again maybe I should try following all the way through when I play it the next time. 
  • GeneralsTOReGeneralsTORe Posts: 34Member
    @Pyrian: I can understand your wanting to keep the dodging system, and your ideas to help get around it sound quite satisfactory. Assuming the "turning dodging off" would be turning off the dodge a character automatically has (such as the Archer), the toggle icon would probably work. And in regards to what you said about the enemies, that's true, I suppose that's another reason even things like the Druid's turning dirt into mud is useful.
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    @GeneralsTORe : Alriiight, I put that into the latest build. It's a bit fiddly, just a little icon at the top left of each Order in the queue where you can toggle dodging on or off. I'm probably going to have to eventually put in a small dialog box that opens when you click an existing order, instead of having three tiny icons to click on. As is, it's definitely not going to be useable on a tablet without a stylus.

    I also put in a separate "Stand your ground" melee order modification. If you have a Melee order and you don't give it a specific target, you can toggle between normal "run up and attack closest" behavior and a "stand your ground" option where they don't move and just attack anything that gets in reach. (They'll still Dodge unless you disable that separately as well.) This'll be useful for sitting at the edge of hazardous or debilitating terrain and attacking units as they come through.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52800206/GladeRaid/GladeRaid.html

  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    Glade Raid is getting nighttime, dynamic lighting, a stealth model, patrols, and so on:

  • taps1992taps1992 Posts: 148Member
    Loving the new lighting builds!
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    Since the lighting seems to be popular, I took a go at putting it in daytime scenes. Here's a video of a cloud passing overhead. ...I feel the movement is a bit too choppy, honestly.

  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    This week I'm "knotting up" some of the interface elements. Here's what the new "Play Turn" button looks like:


    New Play Turn Button photo NewPlayButtonComparison_zpsxmu4rau4png
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member
    edited February 2016

    The typical reaction to the knotwork in the triangle has been more "random squiggle" than "cool sword&shield guy ready to attack", so I've taken another pass at it:

    photo NewPlayButton3_zps27ale913png

    EDIT: Added a border to the triangle so that it's more visible

    Post edited by Pyrian on
  • GeneralsTOReGeneralsTORe Posts: 34Member
    The new button and lighting features look nice! I haven't taken the chance to try the new gameplay features yet but they sound pretty good too.
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    Here I am, trying to record footage for a Steam Greenlight trailer, and screwing it up. I'm annoyed that this footage isn't good, because it was kind of a nailbiter of a battle that looked pretty decent. I especially liked shooting cone spells right by my lines - at one point the Berzerker actually dodges into my own wind blast.

    There are several panning issues, but the real killer is that I lose track of the action at the end! The Fell Ram wanders off the bottom of the screen to attack the archer, and dies before I can scroll down to watch. Oops.

  • MechanoughtMechanought Posts: 92Member
    Looks nice! 

    If you're looking for someone to do some basic foley and sound FX I'd gladly contribute. Just need some credits for game sound design so I wouldn't charge a fee. Like the Irish score as well. Will need to get in some play time before I can offer criticism, but what I've seen looks really good. 
  • MechanoughtMechanought Posts: 92Member
    Okay here goes:

    Bugs: 
    Exiting credits doesn't return to title screen. It leaves the player at an empty background. Reloading the page acts as a workaround. 

    Some of the drag and drop elements require you to fit the drop box exactly, a bigger "hit box" for those would be welcome. 

    Thoughts:

    A very good game! A lot of fun and intuitive enough to pick up fairly quickly. Some of the mechanics get confusing though. Such as being able to walk when another order is active and also walking itself being an order. I had to cancel and reissue more than a few times because I wanted to walk, or I wanted to just do an action. 

    The druid has a similar mechanic to the archer in that you have to "nock" the spell, but you can't select a differnt spell, or nock in anticipation of a spell cooldown being done. Nocking a spell and then being able to cast it as soon as the cooldown is done would be very useful in tight spots. 

    Dodging actually moving the characters to a new hex can be problematic. Such as moving into mud or some other feature. Perhaps dodging could cause the character to remain in the same hex, but be animated as moving half out of the hex and then back in? 

    Is there a way to draw agro? My mage has died a few times because the enemy just ignored my defending berserker. 

    The spear dude feels like the least useful of the bunch. His range isn't much longer than the his ability to move during melee, and the ammo is very scarce. Being able to throw two projectiles is very nice though. I'm think a bit more range might make me more inclined to use his throw ability.

    I'm still not sure how parry works and I don't remember it being explained in the tutorial. Is it simply a block? Is it a block+attack?  

    Just some thoughts I had while playing it. Overall it's very well done though. A little polish on the UI elements would be nice, but the gameplay is there and there's a lot of potential here. Being an audio guy, I definitely would like some more sound fx to help indicate when a menu is closed, or a command selected, etc. Also, a female voice for when the druid is hit. I heard the default guy "augh!" and did a double take.  
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member
    edited March 2016
    @Mechanought : If you're looking for someone to do some basic foley and sound FX I'd gladly contribute. Just need some credits for game sound design so I wouldn't charge a fee.

    That would be very welcome! As you noticed, there are very few sound effects implemented so far; basically just stub sounds for various types of sound calls, when there's anything at all. What do you have in mind for workflow? I mostly just trawl sites like freesound dot org, which is why sound effects are the longest part of my credits despite having very few of them. I can make you a list.

    And thank you very much for trying it out.

    Credits bug: Oops. Never noticed that; only happens when you haven't loaded a level yet. Fixed in dev.

    Drag 'n' drop: Items, right? Yeah, right now the hit box is a circle which can only be so large without overlapping, when it really should be a wide rectangle, and I also need some indicator that you're over a valid drop point. It's on the to-do list.

    Spell "nocking" (preparing): I'm impressed you noticed, most testers never try splitting a spell over two turns (it's a good practice, though, because you get to aim without delay). But yeah, that was never completely implemented, it's been on the to-do list since I built spell selection. It's kind of complicated because I have to take into account not just projected cooldown, but projected animus levels. And then, if someone cancels the first Order the spell might become invalid when it's promoted from second Order to first Order, so I have to test for that condition, too!

    Dodging-to-hex: It's intended to be a problem - a balancing drawback. I don't know, I find it a lot of fun, but if people keep complaining about it, maybe I'll change it. (It's something I love about dwarf fortress.) I recently added a feature that lets you decide to not dodge in a given round (it's not yet released though) so that you can at least control that risk somewhat.

    Draw aggro: I...can't believe I never thought of adding a draw-aggro skill. I think I'll do that. Yeah, enemies sometimes like a squishy target, and Lurkers in particular will usually go after them. One thing that can help a lot is just being outside of their current move distance, which excludes them from most AI priorities.

    The Kern: I expect this guy to be one of those where some players think he's useless and others think he's overpowered, depending on playstyle. I am planning on adding the ability to recover thrown javelins, which will help with the ammo problem a lot. Also of note is that the javelins are "armor piercing" meaning that they basically do two damage to armored targets and wreak most enemies' shields. There are a couple ways to upgrade his range (and they stack).

    Parry: Parry is a defense like shield block and dodge, so a unit can use a parry once per round to stop an attack (you can get extra parries with the parry-defense order or the off-hand-parry skill). It's most notable feature is that it does not work against missile weapons. If you see an enemy whose only defense is a Parry (e.g. Fell Boars and Ogres), consider peppering them with ranged weapons.

    UI: The UI for this game has been very challenging and has already gone through a number of iterations. Splitting the difference between games like Frozen Synapse and, say, Shadowrun Returns, means that there's really nothing else quite like it, as far as I know, which in turn means I'm basically making up a lot of the conventions. I have added a lot of knot-art-work to the UI since the last release (you can see it in the videos), but I totally agree that it desperately needs some more sound effects (just been putting that down the priority list).

    Thanks again. I really appreciate the feedback!

    Post edited by Pyrian on
  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    Here's a first draft of my Greenlight description. Seems a bit wordy, but I'm not sure where to trim.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Glade Raid is a simultaneous-turn-based tactical fantasy RPG, with a dynamic narrative featuring many difficult choices on a journey over a randomized campaign map.

    Combat emphasizes outmaneuvering your opponents; luck and attrition are not as important as they are in most RPG's. Attacks automatically hit, but combatants can automatically block, parry, or dodge incoming attacks a limited number of times per round. Succeed by negating defenses (such as breaking shields to prevent blocking or luring enemies into mud to prevent dodging) or simply piling more attacks on a victim than it can defend against. However, a beleaguered opponent can increase its defense count in lieu of attacking, and enemies are likely to focus their attacks on less defended units, so watch out!

    Environment simulation and modification. For example, if you set a fire (by spell or certain weapons), the fire generates smoke and sparks that drift in the ambient wind. Sparks can spread the fire or set new ones, smoke blocks line of sight. You can use spells to direct the wind at your foes, potentially setting them on fire. Once burning, units have a turn or two to get to a water feature before they start taking damage. Fires (terrain and/or unit) can also be extinguished by a variety of ice and water spells. Fires sometimes spontaneously go out, but mostly they burn until their fuel is exhausted, turning grass, bushes, and trees into char and finally ash.

    Animus spell system turns the usual concept of mana on its head! Instead of consuming mana to cast spells, each spell that has been cast provides spell-powering Animus of one of five types for the duration of its cooldown. This leads to a constantly evolving "hand" of available spells, as each casting both locks itself and unlocks further magic.

    Fixed party of four characters, each with four upgrade paths to choose from as you level up. Find or buy items to further empower your characters, but be careful! Many items have built-in drawbacks as well. Each character's relationship with each other, the world they travel through, and the over-arching narrative, evolves over time based on your choices.

    Glade Raid] is a mostly one-man labor of love to create exciting new game mechanics. Notable inspirations include the tales of iron age Ireland (especially the Táin Bó Cúailnge) and FTL.

  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    Much as I'd like to do what I can to address all the concerns brought up in light of the less-than-stellar Greenlight performance, I've got another deadline to worry about: Indiecade submission deadline is April 1st! Unlike Greenlight, the judges actually play the game, so I'm hoping to have the campaign mode much more fleshed out by then. But before I can flesh it out, I need more skeleton, so that's what I've been doing this week:

    • Fixed foggy levels to remain foggy instead of dissipating
    • Added six new enemies to flesh out difficulty levels and the bandit and Sidhe factions
    • Added mission objectives - loot chests, captives, and escape zones
    • Added respawning enemies for missions that involve escaping
    • Added a pointer/button to find the current objective
    • Added a surrender button to give up on a mission
    • "Too quiet" - increased hearing range when the battle dies down
    • Hooked up all the new mission types to be triggered by events and player choices
    • Events can depend on the occurrence and results of previous events
    • Enemies and events can also depend on how far into the game you've progressed

    Next week I'm hoping to specify reward levels by event results, and add a large number of events and scenarios to flesh out the campaign proper.

  • GeneralsTOReGeneralsTORe Posts: 34Member
    @Pyrian ;Sounds like great improvements! Hope Indiecade goes well for you and that the judges give you good constructive feedback.

  • PyrianPyrian Posts: 267Member

    Submitted to IndieCade! Wish me luck. :) ...I'll need it...

    Finished up the campaign skeleton code and dove into writing the events of the first province.

    • Added rewards (money, items, spells) and markets
    • Finished developing how campaign events are triggered, and what they can cause to happen
    • Wrote up the first province of the main campaign
    • Added a new map and drew up 13 specific missions to use in the campaign

    While I was working on the market, I also improved the drag-drop, both expanding the hit area and having the selection outline appear when you're over the slot, so you can tell if and where it will go.

    Here's the enemy encampment map - can Kahir sneak in and steal that chest unnoticed?

    photo EncampmentAtNight_zps8cymrrespng
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