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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Lands of Adventure: An Old-School Style CRPG

Default Lands of Adventure: An Old-School Style CRPG

November 3rd, 2013, 00:35
If I remember right, Wizardry 8 had free movement. This game also has that (there's no one-step grid or anything like that), allowing the player to explore tiny nooks and find hidden things. I'm hoping to reward exploration in that way. I've always liked games where the cool things were hidden in places off the beaten track.
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November 7th, 2013, 03:16
I've spent the last few days working on the quest and exploration system. These screenshots show (in order):

a) The party talking to an NPC
b) The party choosing a dialogue option that could lead to a quest
c) The party finding a note buried in the mud that presents yet another quest

(It goes without saying that everything here is a work in progress, especially since I've already noticed at least two grammatical errors in the text in these pictures).
Attached Images
File Type: jpg event1.jpg (120.4 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg event2.jpg (106.0 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg event3.jpg (135.4 KB, 91 views)
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November 7th, 2013, 09:20
Uhm… is it due to WIP or will dialogue come with a static background image? In that case I'd at least leave out other NPC's in the background. Would be kind of weird if you walk around in an empty square and then you get an image of a crowd.

"In Grimwhoah, you can ride on turtles."
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November 7th, 2013, 14:05
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
Uhm… is it due to WIP or will dialogue come with a static background image? In that case I'd at least leave out other NPC's in the background. Would be kind of weird if you walk around in an empty square and then you get an image of a crowd.
You're seeing that event out of context. There's a reason that the crowd is there and a reason why they appear in that picture.

Also, it's not that weird when you look at how old CRPGs, like the Gold-Box games for example, did their events. They often described areas bustling with people (even though those areas were empty when the player walked around in them) and showed pictures with people in the background.

I'm including a few screenshots from the SSI Gold-Box games that used the same technique to show a crowd or a group of people in places that might be empty when the player entered them. I'm hoping you will see what I'm going for.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg example1.jpg (23.6 KB, 88 views)
File Type: jpg example2.jpg (65.9 KB, 86 views)
File Type: jpg example3.jpg (28.8 KB, 17 views)
Last edited by ProphetSword; November 7th, 2013 at 14:25.
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November 7th, 2013, 14:33
Originally Posted by ProphetSword View Post
Also, it's not that weird when you look at how old CRPGs, like the Gold-Box games for example, did their events. They often described areas bustling with people (even though those areas were empty when the player walked around in them) and showed pictures with people in the background.
I know. Same with Bard's Tale/ Dragon Wars. I've always thought it's kind of odd though.

"In Grimwhoah, you can ride on turtles."
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November 7th, 2013, 14:52
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
I know. Same with Bard's Tale/ Dragon Wars. I've always thought it's kind of odd though.
Fair enough. I'm not trying to criticize your feedback so much as explain why I took that approach. As I mentioned above, you were seeing the event screens out of context. So, here are some of the screens leading up to those events that might better illustrate why the crowd is in that picture, and why I've utilized this technique.

Again, I'm willing to hear all feedback. If it doesn't work, I need to know.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Well1.jpg (110.5 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Well2.jpg (119.8 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Well3.jpg (121.3 KB, 23 views)
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November 7th, 2013, 14:57
I'm fine with "flavor crowds" as your screenshots seem to imply. Just don't let me walk into an empty market square when suddenly "a lynch mob appears and howls for your blood!".



edit: by "being fine" I still mean it's unnecessary. You put hordes of NPC's in a game to enhance people's immersion. However, if those hordes weren't visible seconds ago, you're actually breaking people's immersion.

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Last edited by Sacred_Path; November 7th, 2013 at 15:16.
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November 7th, 2013, 15:39
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
I'm fine with "flavor crowds" as your screenshots seem to imply. Just don't let me walk into an empty market square when suddenly "a lynch mob appears and howls for your blood!".



edit: by "being fine" I still mean it's unnecessary. You put hordes of NPC's in a game to enhance people's immersion. However, if those hordes weren't visible seconds ago, you're actually breaking people's immersion.
Interesting. So, how would you do it?
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November 7th, 2013, 15:51
If the point of an encounter is a dialogue between the party and one character, show only that one character (not saying anything against background art like that well). There's no need to put a sprawling city in an indie game, anyway. So don't try to make it look like one.

I realize that this will be at odds with the fact that groups of monsters will pop up in the dungeons/ outdoors. But those can be expected.

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November 9th, 2013, 04:01
Thanks for your feedback. I took a day or so to think about it and tried the approach that you suggested. I have to say, I think you're right. Here's an updated screenshot showing the new way I'll probably do NPC encounters.

Let me know if this seems better.
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November 9th, 2013, 13:11
Looks really very good to me. If I may draw a Wizardry 8 comparison again, having just a few NPC's per settlement doesn't necessarily mean the world seems empty. It can make those few NPC's stand out even more.

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November 9th, 2013, 19:00
The other thing I think that helps is that I decided to also ditch the fuzzy painted effect that I was attempting to pursue. A lot of the development is trial and error, which is why it's good to have outside perspectives. If you compare the two versions, it should be obvious that the elf in the newest screenshots is not only colored better, but is easier to see, which I think is important.

EDIT:
I will also say that the screenshots here on this forum don't always look as crisp as they do on my blog, so I think it's scaling them down somewhat. If you want to see them looking a bit nicer, you should check them out over there.
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November 9th, 2013, 22:28
I think it's good that your overhauled dialogue image looks closer to the in-engine shots. That way the transition is easier on the eyes. Also thx for mentioning me XD

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November 12th, 2013, 03:51
Now that all that's out of the way, here's a screenshot of the Adventuring Journal. It's a work in progress:

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November 12th, 2013, 11:48
I like the font. For a small game it might be advisable to make journal entries less 'spoiler heavy' though. If there's just a handful of NPC's in a settlement, I don't need to be pointed to the right one.

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November 15th, 2013, 00:31
Originally Posted by ProphetSword View Post
Fair enough. I'm not trying to criticize your feedback so much as explain why I took that approach. As I mentioned above, you were seeing the event screens out of context. So, here are some of the screens leading up to those events that might better illustrate why the crowd is in that picture, and why I've utilized this technique.

Again, I'm willing to hear all feedback. If it doesn't work, I need to know.
I like this approach more. I'd rather see the crowd appear. I can use my imagination.
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November 16th, 2013, 05:42
You need to see a crowd appear so you can use your imagination? Hmm…

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November 16th, 2013, 15:37
Back to the story or gameplay question… until very recently, I used to think story was very important. But when I think back to my favorite RPGs, it is rarely the story I remember… it is the gameplay. MM6, 7, 8, Evil Islands, Space Rangers 2, Wiz 8 - these games have great gameplay. Dragon Age: Origins has tons of story, but it has gameplay where, even on hardest difficulty, your characters handle everything for you most of the time. If you can get any sort of MM6-8 feel at all (lots of loot, big world to explore with no scaling, trainers and notes to take), you've got yourself a winner. Best of luck to you!
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November 16th, 2013, 16:40
I'm considering pursuing funding again. Unfortunately, I have no idea what to offer people at different levels of funding at this point…or how much to ask for. I need to keep the funding low enough to be realistic, but high enough to get the job done to enhance the game.

I'm only thinking about this now because I've reached a point where I'm starting to work on the combat system, and there are multiple avenues I can take, but some of them cost money…money I don't have…to pull off effectively. So, I'm kind of stuck trying to figure out what to do.
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December 25th, 2013, 19:57
I think, more so than being realistic, the first thing you do is figure how exactly how much money it will take you to finish the game… Whether it is simply your living expenses so you can work on it full-time, the cost of hiring artists, composers, etc. Then add relevant KS / IndieGogo fees and probably a little extra "just in case something goes wrong" funds. Because you definitely do not want to find yourself in the situation of running a "successful" Kickstarter only to find out you've exhausted your funds and the game is still buggy or unfinished. If you come up with a decent pitch, you may be surprised how many people back it.

Regarding the combat system, you could even set up the more elaborate / expensive combat system as a stretch goal…

Once you know how much money you need and you are prepared (i.e., you have more good screenshots, a good description of your game (esp. mechanics and features that set it apart from every other fantasy RPG out there), , etc. then you may as well go for it. There's no shame in having a failed KS and nothing in their terms that says you can't learn from your mistakes and try it again. Everyone will tell you running a KS is a full-time job though considering all the time you'll devote to updates, answering questions and contacting various gaming sites in the hopes of getting some coverage.

The reality is the vast majority of people who support crowfunding projects just want the game and most people will expect a digitial copy for $15 (or less) since that's been the standard set by most of the big successful KS. Most people aren't going to pledge as much for your game than they did for Wasteland 2, PoE, etc.… (Frankly you should probably offer it for $10 and possibly an early bird tier for even less). Then of course you absolutely should have higher value / limited tiers that offer people the chance to affect the game's development (design a monster / NPC/ quest)… Physical editions are probably not worth the cost unless you get a huge demand for them but there are lots of "creative input" style rewards you could offer people.

From what I've seen so far, I'm potentially interested in supporting your game, but I would expect more info before saying I'd definitely contribute… As I've said, the main question you need to answer is "What will set Lands of Adventure apart from all the other first person, turn-based cRPGs?" What will it do that hasn't been done before or what does it do better? You'd be surprised how many Kickstarters fail to answer this simple, important question.

I wish you luck and I'll keep an eye on this thread.

Edit: I looked up your old Kickstarter page and can tell you one huge thing you did wrong: Do not offer special quests or game features for the higher level tiers… Everyone who pledges at the lowest level should receive a complete copy of the game; if people think they are receiving a "gimped" copy / need to pay micro-transactions to get the whole game, they won't back it. Higher level tiers should be for things like afforementioned creative input, (possibly early alpha / beat access), and possibly digital copies of the soundtrack, digital world map, etc… Also, obviously the pitch video needs to be more attention grabbing / you should tell me in the first 30 seconds why I "need" to play this game as opposed to just getting Might and Magic X.
Last edited by daveyd; December 26th, 2013 at 20:11.
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