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Default Underrail, formerly known as Timelapse Vertigo

August 26th, 2012, 22:47
Originally Posted by Styg View Post
Another thing I wanted to briefly touch on is the prospect of the game being crowd-funded. Some may remember that back in June when the demo video was released, and after being pleasantly surprised by the amount of positive feedback it received I said that a crowd-funding campaign is likely to follow the playable demo release. Unfortunately, things got a bit complicated. Because of where I live, a lot of crowd-funding features are not available to me which limits the kind of campaign I'm able to launch.

I'm currently looking into other forms of crowd-funding, such as alpha funding on Desura.

No need to freak out, though, Underrail is still due to be released in the second half of 2013. even if I have to self-fund it all the way. It's just the matter that being able to secure some form of funding at this stage would really help me make the game as big and as diverse as I would like; and I guess that's something that a lot of you would like as well.

In any case, I'll get back to you guys soon to let you know how it all worked out.
I am really sorry to hear that.Is there maybe way to get publisher funding?
How viable is Desura alpha funding(question for any watch member)?
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September 3rd, 2012, 21:08
Steam Greenlight; Bug Fixing

First let me just remind everyone who hasn't seen it yet that Underrail is up on Steam Greenlight now. So if you'd like to see it released on Steam eventually please hop over there and up vote and favorite the game.

These last couple of days I made a number of changes to the game, based on the feedback and my own observations. This is not the definite list of changes, though, but these are all the changes that will eventually get into the updated demo release, whenever that may be. Unless I uncover some critical game breaking bug I won't be updating the demo build beyond this. And of course there will be no additional content added to it. So here are the changes:

Tweaks
  • Buying prices are much higher than selling prices now so you won't be able to get rich quickly anymore; this also make mercantile more useful
  • Ammunition and some other resources are more expensive and scarce now
  • You cannot start combat immediately after transitioning into another area (5 second cooldown added); this should prevent most of the transition exploits
  • Critical hits are better distinguished in the scrolling combat text
  • Batteries now restore more energy, but are also more expensive
  • When attacking a passive object in real time the attack will stop after a single hit (no more auto-attacking)
  • Added more blueprints as static (non-random) merchant inventory
  • Improved some quest text to be more specific (number of outposts, barracks location, shooting practice)
  • Player movement speed slightly increased
  • Grenade damage increased
  • Flashbang duration increased to 2 turns
  • Enemy remains are now visible through walls at all times (don't have to hold down TAB or Z); this should also prevent them from being stuck behind a door or other usables
  • Added inventory sorting (merchant inventories are sorted now as well)
  • Added more item filtering categories
  • Items are unbound from action bar when they are all used up, dropped and such
  • Help option will now blink until you open it (so many people missed it completely)
  • Dragging items/ability off the action bar is made a bit less sensitive now so you shouldn't have that much trouble clicking abilities while the action is unlocked
  • A number of abilities are automatically bound to your action bar at the start of the game
  • When you mouse over an equippable item in your inventory it will highlight the slots in which the item can be equipped (this should help with the special bolts confusion among other things)
  • You can double click items to equip them / put them into the trading window
  • When mousing over an item you wish to purchase it will show the purchase value instead of the nominal value
  • Only currency will be used during auto trading
  • Auto trading will no longer try to trade currency for currency
Bug fixes
  • Saves and user configuration are now stored in Documents\My Games\Underrail so the game will no longer require admin privileges to run
  • Saving while transitioning out of SGS into the caves will no longer get you stuck between the two gates
  • Killing the sentry near the Mushroom Cove will no longer mess up the factions
  • Attacking SGS sentry bots will no longer mess up the faction and turn your own electroshock sledgehammer against you (it was dealing electrical damage on hit to you as well)
  • You no longer remain in stealth after attacking a camera or other passive object
  • Item duplication bug fixed
  • Rathound Alphas should now properly use their Rend ability
  • Lockpicking is no longer instant with Burglar feet, but this feet has been improved to reduce lockpicking and hacking times by 75% (up from 50%)
  • You can now power up outposts in the caves after turning in the quests
  • You can no longer acquire the Sprint ability without picking the feat
  • Reloading from quick reload bar will now load up the weapon with as much ammo as you have regardless of how it's split in the inventory
  • No more blue flashes on saving the game
  • Removed "computer skill" references
  • Path estimation in turn-based combat should now be drawn properly in all cases
  • Minor AI bugs
  • Other minor map bugs

That's it for now. Now I'm going to get back to making some new content.
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September 3rd, 2012, 22:51
Impressive list of updates. I wish I had time to play the alpha.
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September 3rd, 2012, 23:53
This will be a definite purchase for me.


Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
I wish I had time to play the alpha.
You should give it a quick spin. It's not very long, but I think it might surprise you.
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September 14th, 2012, 04:15
Alpha Funding Model

I've hinted earlier that I'm considering alpha funding for Underrail and now I've officially made up my mind. I originally planned on launching a crowd-funding campaign but that turned out to have too many limitations based on where I was located, so I decided alpha funding is a better option.

The game will be available for purchase in its alpha stage on a couple of digital distribution websites, and who ever purchases alpha version will, of course, receive the final game at no additional cost when it's done. Also, I plan on releasing regular content updates throughout the game's development.



I'm currently working on the next major update that will be the first purchasable version of the game. It will include a major new quest hub (sneak peek above), a new "dungeon" area, more weapons, utilities and other items, new character skill, some updated game mechanics, and more.

I'm expecting the update to be ready sometime in October. Stay tuned for more info on the new stuff.

Also, check out this cool Underrail title screen fan alternative by Jason Seow:

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September 14th, 2012, 04:44
Alpha funding is probably a good way to start at least. And depending on how long the development cycle goes for you, and where you are, Kickstarter may very well reach you in time to be useful.
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September 14th, 2012, 04:44
Thanks please tell us what DD sites you will be using so i can buy . I absolutely loved the demo.
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September 28th, 2012, 03:15
Originally Posted by Damian View Post
Thanks please tell us what DD sites you will be using so i can buy . I absolutely loved the demo.
Thanks.

You'll know soon enough.
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September 28th, 2012, 03:16
New Skill: Traps

Originally I planned to add traps to the alpha demo but ended up postponing that to get the demo out earlier. They're in now, though.



There are currently three types of land mines you can rig up: frag, high-explosive and EMP. When they're triggered they have same effects as their grenade counterparts. You can also craft these yourself if you have high enough chemistry/electronics. There will be more traps in the future and not all of them will be mines.

Except rigging up the area before a battle and luring your foolish enemies into minefields, I figure trapping will also be very useful in eliminating patrolling enemies. At least those not skillful enough to spot and/or disarm your traps.

Speaking of NPC behavior, I've also introduced a new concept to the game called zone control.



I was thinking of how the game should handle player criminal behavior such as murdering people through various means. And more specifically, I thought about how NPCs should react to you placing traps everywhere and turning their private quarters into mine fields.

I want to prevent exploits such as carpeting an area with traps and killing off high level non-hostile NPCs in the middle of their home base without triggering hostilities and then promptly looting their kickass gear. But on the other hand I want to sometimes allow player to use traps as an assassination mechanism where it's actually appropriate as I think that can be a lot of fun. Ideally the NPCs would be very smart and once a trap has been set off they'd start an investigation and look for a culprit, etc. However, Underrail is not a simulation game and that kind of AI programming is way out of the scope of the game.

So I went with a simpler solution which is to tag each area with certain control level - full, partial or none, which indicates how safe it is for the player to mess around with traps (and in the future murdering, etc) and how the controlling factions of the area will react to your shenanigans.

The UI shows the zone control indicator in the upper right corner and you can mouse over it to see what sort of action you can get away with and what is too risky in the current area.

As far as traps are concerned:
  • In fully controller areas (such as SGS station) if someone from the controlling faction detects your trap, you'll immediately get in trouble with that faction;
  • In partially controlled areas you'll only get in trouble if someone from the controlling faction sets off your trap
  • In uncontrolled areas you can set traps as much as you like and if someone happens to set it off and get killed, no one will be able to trace this to you
One thing to keep in mind though that regardless of the zone control level, if you try placing traps too close to someone, they will take offense, or at least disarm them if they have appropriate skills.
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September 28th, 2012, 05:40
Thanks for the update; I like your ideas.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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October 11th, 2012, 04:47
Improving Crossbow Play

One of the common complaints in the demo, and one of the things that I personally wasn't very happy with, is how the crossbows were playing out. Using crossbows as primary damage source was practically impossible, so I've taken some steps to bringing the crossbows up to par with firearms and making them a viable alternative.

First of all I've increased base damage of crossbows, so their straight up damage per turn potential is now about the same as 7.62mm pistols (which is another weapon class with 2 attacks per turn). Originally I kept the crossbow damage lower as I wanted to emphasize their special bolt attack strengths, but I went a bit too far there and they ended up being too weak, especially in the early game before the player could pick up any special bolts. Also, because crossbow attacks already incur more of mechanical damage resistance (125%) and have no way of overcoming that in regular attacks (no armor piercing rounds) there is no need to penalize them further by assigning them lower base damage.

The second problem was a lack of multi-target special bolts, so now I've added two of those. They fulfill similar roles but in different ways.
  • Shock Bolts - These bolts inflict additional electrical damage to the primary target, stun it (works on machines as well) and then jump to nearby targets dealing smaller chunks of damage (no stun on secondary targets) in similar fashion as strikes from Shock Sledgehammer.
  • Incendiary Bolts - These bolts deal heat damage to the target and have a chance to set it on fire, dealing more heat damage over next couple of turns (and, of course, panicking the living targets), but the bolt also burns everything it comes near on its flight to the primary target, dealing smaller chunks of heat damage. Keep in mind that this bolt is doubly useful against enemies that fear fire (such as rathounds).

As for the price and drop rate of these bolts, that's something I'll have to fine tune through testing.

Both of these type of bolts can also be crafted if you have enough skill points in electronics or chemistry respectively.

And the last thing I've added is the Special Tactics feat which gives you the ability that you can activate while you're out of combat to make your next special bolt attack cost no action points. The point of this is to give crossbows some burst potential in fights that you initiate.

I hope you guys like these changes and that they'll get more of you trying out crossbows in the future.
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October 25th, 2012, 13:05
Food and Balance Changes

I'm currently mostly working on area designs for the new release. By the end of the week I should have most of it in place (except the new dungeon which I'll tackle later) and then it's time for quests implementation.








* * * * *


I've added food to the game. You can consume different meals to gain (and sometimes also lose) different base stats for 5 minutes. You can only have one type of food buff on your character at any given time. Here are the meals I've prepared so far:
  • Rathound Barbecue: +1 strength
  • Cave Hopper Steak: +2 agility
  • Burrower Burger: +2 constitution
  • Eel Sandwich: +2 dexterity
  • Junkyard Surprise: +(1-3) random stat, -(0-3) random stat

* * * * *


I've also added a couple easy but important changes to game balance and mechanics.

First of all I changed a bit how stealth works. You'll still be detected over time depending on your stealth skill, enemy's detection, lightning and positioning like before, unless your stealth skill is too far behind the enemy's detection in which case you won't be able to hide from them at all. This will be indicated with a silver eye above the detecting character and the true-sight is now represented by a golden eye (previously silver). The problem was that even the non-stealthy characters were using stealth excessively to move around undetected (and have guaranteed combat initiation) and it worked as long as they didn't stay too close too long because of the way the revealing speed is capped. This change should prevent that while not changing how stealth mechanics work for stealthy characters (those who invest in stealth skill and wear light armors).

Also another minor tweak to stealth - I've added a notification when you bump into other characters and fall out of stealth for that reason. Some people were confused as to what was happening, but keep in mind that if they can't see you their pathfinding won't tell them to go around you.

I increased health scaling with levels, for both the player and non-player characters. Previously, the damage from weapons and other sources was far out-scaling the character health as you progressed in levels which ended up in very volatile fights. This change should ease that up a bit while keeping the early game unchanged. Keep in mind, though, that damage is meant to out-scale health to a certain degree because characters also have access to tougher armors and other protective stuff as the game progresses. Because of this change I've also increased the amount of health that hypos and bandages restore.

I've also doubled the psi point pool as well as psi restoration from psi boosters (also psi boosters now require three mindshrooms to make). This will allow the player focusing on psi abilities to have more sustain in combat. Some people felt like psi points need to regenerate over time, but I want it to be a resource you have to manage just like ammo and batteries. I'm considering adding other ways to restore limited amounts of psi outside of using boosters, though. We'll see.

I've significantly increased based damage multiplier of snipe ability so it should now be more powerful than aimed shot in the early game as intended (since it's a one time opening ability requiring stealth). This attack can no longer critically hit, though.

Keep in mind that none of this is set to stone. These are the changes I've arrived at by watching other people play and from hearing the feedback on the forums. Once the new version is released I will continue to keep an eye out and make changes for the sake of fun and balanced gameplay as best as I can.
Last edited by Styg; October 25th, 2012 at 14:16.
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November 10th, 2012, 15:58
More Quests and Feats

I'm almost done with quest implementation for the new areas. There's still a couple smaller ones to go, as well as some support scripting and dialog to do, but that shouldn't take more than couple of days. After that I'm going to start the work on the next 'dungeon' area and that will be the last bit of content for this release.

I do intend to revisit these areas post-release and add more quests, but for now this will do.



I've also added some new weapons and armors:
  • One new model of each firearm type: pistol, SMG, assault and sniper rifle
  • One new crossbow type
  • Knives and sledgehammers made of tungsten steel
  • Tungsteen steel armor
  • Regenerative vest that slowly restores health but consumes energy (can be used in creation of tactical vests or steel armors)
  • Acid resistant leather armor (this will be useful in the upcoming dungeon)

Then there are couple of new feats I got to implement. It's not much because this release I'm more focused on new areas, so expect a lot more in the future updates. I implemented a couple of melee feats because they were sorely missing in the demo:
Pummel - sledgehammer attack that takes the target off balance, negating dodge and evasion for 2 turns
  • Crippling Strike - unarmed or knife attack that deals 125% damage and reduces target's strength by 2 (stacks 3 times).
  • Dirty Kick - Unarmed attack that deals damage and stuns the target for 1 turn (double that if the target is human male)
  • Hit and Run - After you kill an enemy, your movement points are restored to 25 (or your maximum, whichever is lower)
  • Yell - You attempt to reduce offensive skills (guns, corssbows, melee and grenades skills) of all surrounding enemies by 20% of your intimidation skill
  • Shroomhead - You regenerate psi points in presence of mindshrooms when below 35% of your maximum psi
All in all, this version is nearing completion and it will be done by the end of this month for sure. Can't say exactly when it will be release for alpha purchase, as I don't know what the process for that will be, but it can't be far off now.
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November 10th, 2012, 17:09
Great, I'm ready for my alpha playtest
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November 29th, 2012, 14:46
Alpha Release in Testing

Finally it's complete. All the content I wanted to put in for the first commercial alpha release is in and we're now doing last bits of testing (getting our faces melted in the needlessly hard dungeons and toning the stuff down)



If you want to know what's new in this release you can go check out the dev log posts from the last couple of months, but let me just quickly recap the highlights:
  • Huge new urban zone consisting of 8 areas
  • Big new 'dungeon' consisting of 6 areas (twice as much as the last one)
  • A couple of 'mini-dungeons'
  • New quests
  • New feats
  • Traps skill
  • Some updated game mechanics
  • Re-balanced economy
  • Food
  • More weapons and armors
  • Updated crossbows (feats, special bolts, damage boost)
  • Various other smaller stuff
Also very recently I've changed pickpocketing mechanics a bit. It's not quite where I want it to be yet, so I'm going to revisit it sometime after the alpha release for sure, but I think this goes a long way in making it not completely useless. Namely, pickpocketing doesn't require stealth anymore and is just directly checked versus the target's detection. So you don't have to invest into two skills anymore and you won't be always detected because pickpocketing takes so long and stealth works terribly when you're too close to the target. In any case I'll be keeping an eye out for it, so let me know what you guys thought of this change.

Anyway, the testing is underway and after that I'll be sending the build to distributors for publishing and hopefully it won't take too long before it will be available for purchase.
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November 29th, 2012, 19:48
Congrats on reaching alpha! Well done!

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November 29th, 2012, 20:03
Great news! Can't wait for final release.

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December 6th, 2012, 03:09
The game has just been released on Desura!

It costs $10. If you plan on purchasing please use the link from the game's website as I get more money that way.

Incoming to GamersGate soon too.
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December 6th, 2012, 12:35
Nice.I am out of money atm but I will surely get it in next couple of days.
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December 6th, 2012, 16:15
Available now on GamersGate as well:

http://www.gamersgate.com/DD-UR/underrail-alpha
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