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Default Subterranea - 3D, Turn-based, Fantasy CRPG

February 12th, 2014, 21:21
Thanks daveyd, appreciated! I'll keep posting regular updates and will let the Watch know when a Subterranea crowdfunding campaign is in the works…
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February 16th, 2014, 16:27
Hi all,

New post on the site:

http://cloudninegames.net/path-less-taken/

This screenshot is from a turn-based battle scene in the upcoming Teaser Trailer #1 for the Steam Greenlight campaign. The Drow Wizard has won the initiative round, and has started to flee up the stairs and out the door. The party’s Rogue is next, and is considering a Sneak Attack on the fleeing Wizard. However, the path that she must take to execute the attack will go through a Drow Warrior’s Threatened Area and will therefore provoke an Attack of Opportunity. She is weighing up whether to risk this by attempting a tumble through the Threatened Area, or another action…

You’ll be able to see the indicators working in real-time in the video. The green path indicators will show you how far you can move while still taking a Standard Action and how far you can move with a Double Move Action. The red Threatened Area indicators will pop up if your path will take you through a Threatened Area, thus provoking an Attack of Opportunity.

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February 21st, 2014, 09:02
Quick post about puzzles and riddles. Getting ready for a joint Greenlight/modest Kickstarter campaign at the moment…

http://cloudninegames.net/puzzles-riddles/



A number of puzzles and riddles in a dungeon can provide welcome fun as an alternative to combat. The challenge is introducing puzzles and riddles with solutions that aren’t already known by the player, or that can be instantly Googled.

You might recognize the puzzle above, it’s a supposedly ancient puzzle that needs a bit of brainpower to solve!
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February 23rd, 2014, 07:34
Originally Posted by JMab View Post

A number of puzzles and riddles in a dungeon can provide welcome fun as an alternative to combat. The challenge is introducing puzzles and riddles with solutions that aren’t already known by the player, or that can be instantly Googled.

You might recognize the puzzle above, it’s a supposedly ancient puzzle that needs a bit of brainpower to solve!
I enjoy some good puzzles in games… However, one of the issues I often have with them is in cases where the puzzle is one that can be solved through trial and error. If you can attempt a puzzle as many times as you like, then it kind of just becomes tedious as there's no incentive to really think it through when you can just guess … Perhaps one way to solve this would be to somehow punish the player for each incorrect answer: perhaps by inflicting damage, status effects or curses on the character or reducing the reward… If solving the puzzle / riddle is optional (i.e., only to unlock a treasure) then maybe you could even make it so you only get one shot.

Now in the case of puzzles / riddles that must be answered in order to advance in a dungeon… That can be rather frustrating if you just can't figure it out, which makes looking up the answer too tempting. In those cases, I'd say it would be good to offer hints in the game so that the player isn't forced to google the answer if he can't solve them. For example, perhaps there's an NPC in the area who will provide hints in exchange for gold. You still have an incentive to solve it on your own, but then at least the player has a way to receive help without either going mad or cheating.

Of course, whether or not any of this would apply depends on the situation…
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February 23rd, 2014, 13:17
Hi daveyd,

I know what you mean about trial and error puzzles. In the puzzle in the screenshot, if you make a wrong move, the fireball bouncing between the spheres at the top shoots down and give you a good singe, so I think I've covered trial and error for this particular one!

Good point about puzzles that stop advancement that would prompt Googling. For the types of puzzles I'm implementing, I hadn't made the distinction between treasure rewards vs. advancement rewards before - it's a useful one to keep in mind when gauging difficulty.

It might be a bit of contrivance, but to keep the game moving and being entertaining, it might be worth auto-prompting the player somehow if they are stuck on the same advancement puzzle for a set period of time. Though it should only be done in a non-immersion-breaking way, like an NPC that appears fortuitously.

This is making me rethink what I've designed and implemented so far. The first "puzzle" you'll encounter in the game is at the end of the first megadungeon level, where you'll need to resolve 3 different scenarios in order to open the access the second level. Sounds a bit cheesy when it's described like that, but I think it fits in and makes sense within the game.

Puzzle difficulty is hard to get right - I might not realise puzzles are too hard (or too easy) until I get into the alpha and beta testing.

In terms of "environmental puzzles" I'm thinking of how to navigate across chasms, abseiling down cliffs, and other "spelunking" type challenges. I think they may make a welcome underground adventuring-type activity…
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March 1st, 2014, 00:37
OK, Kickstarter is live:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects…e-playing-game

and Steam Greenlight:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile…/?id=230462188
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March 4th, 2014, 10:56
Hi daveyd, saw your comment on http://indierpgs.com/2014/03/subterr…nced/#comments.

You're awesome! I've seen round the 'net how supportive you are of Subterranea and other indie CRPGs like Zaharia. I can't speak for those guys, but for me, apart from building the game I'd love to play, I just want to build something hugely entertaining for people like you to play. Really appreciate your support, and your support of other indie devs!
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March 5th, 2014, 17:43
Hey JMab,

No problem. Unfortunately I don't have a lot of spare cash to contribute to the RPG projects I like, but I do have a bit of free time, so I do what I can to spread the word.

I have a few questions about Subterranea, too that I don't think have been answered on the KS or your site:

(1) Do enemies respawn at all in certain areas? Is it possible to "clear" a level of the megadungeon?

(2) I think you've said the game supports advancement up to lvl 20. Can we realistically expect our characters to reach about lvl 20 after completing all the quests or would that require serious grinding?

(3) Is there a possibility of permadeath / how is character death handled? (i.e., can you always go to a Temple and have dead characters revived?)

(4) Whether or not characters can permanently die, will it be possible to replace them by hiring pregenerated characters or otherwise creating new party members if you decide one of your characters just decide one of them isn't useful in your party?

(5) Assuming the game is successful, would you be interested in possibly creating an expansion for Subterranea?
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March 5th, 2014, 21:19
Hi daveyd,

1) I'm aiming for a similar sense of progression that was had in Pool of Radiance when clearing the slums, so you're not going to see randomly-spawning mobs in the areas you clear. The danger then is that it becomes boring to traverse through the cleared areas repeatedly - this will be offset in two ways:

a) There will be quicker ways that you can unlock to get down to the lower levels, like pits to abseil down, alternate staircases, etc.

b) There will be scripted re-populations of certain cleared areas based on whether particular events happen in the game. The appearance of re-populating monsters will make sense in the context of the game's plot.

2) No, it's unlikely that you would get anywhere near level 20, unless you spend a huge amount of time grinding in the swamp. Depending on the number of side quests you complete, and how thorough you are in clearing out the megadungeon, you can expect getting your characters to level 8-12 will be sufficient to be able to defeat the main villain and complete the game.

3) Subterranea supports "save anywhere", so I'm sure that reloading will be an option taken by many. For those who like to deal with whatever the game throws at them, you will either need your own Cleric to be powerful enough to cast Raise Dead, or you'll need to use a Raise Dead scroll, or you'll need to visit a temple for one of their powerful Clerics to cast it for a hefty price!

4) You will be able to create additional PCs to add to your Character Pool at any time, and when in-game, travel to the tavern in Gimlet Town to "recruit" them. The Character Pool will initially come populated with a number of pre-generated PCs - these should be thought more of "PCs you didn't create", rather than NPCs you would normally see in other CRPGs, with their own dialogue and plot lines.

Any PCs added in-game will start at Level 1, with 0 experience though, so if you make a mistake when constructing your party, it will be best to fix this early.

5) I would love to keep developing Subterranea into a series! Out of necessity for a first time indie CRPG title, the scope of the environments is set to what is achievable in a realistic timeframe. If Subterranea is received well, development on Subterranea 2 will commence immediately. The ruleset used will remain the same, the gameplay systems will evolve based on feedback and the content will be greatly-expanded. I'd hope to have multiple towns, many villages, an overland environment teeming with points of interest, and of course multiple megadungeons to explore.
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March 5th, 2014, 21:23
Thanks daveyd, I've added those Q and A's to the Kickstarter Project FAQ section…

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects…e-playing-game
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