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Author Topic: Techdemo 2: call for feedback  (Read 5740 times)
b0rland
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« on: March 12, 2010, 10:17:17 AM »

We're moving on past the Techdemo 1. Time to set some new goals.

I've created a draft on wiki of what I think would make sense for a next big milestone (Techdemo 2). http://wiki.parpg.net/Proposal:TechDemo_2. Please give your feedback, make your comments, corrections and additions.
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2010, 10:46:25 AM »

That looks like a great start to me b0rland :-) Good work.

I think you covered the most essential aspects:
1. Extend / fix the quest engine so you can actually play through the 2 quests without using the ingame console. We really depend on feedback from zenbitz in this case though as I've got no solid idea what's missing right now and needs to be added before you can actually play through the quests.

2. Implement simple combat. Combat is pretty essential in the regard that it's often a quite fun aspect of the game and therefore rather motivating for devs to work on and fun for players to test. Furthermore implementing combat early will force us to flesh out character stats and traits. But we'll have to flesh those out in the end anyway, so combat is a great way of testing and tweaking these aspects of the game.

We shouldn't be too worried about the graphical representation of ingame combat. We can start with a really simple graphical representation, e.g. dice throws written to console or damage done displayed above the character that takes the damage. This way we don't depend on the work of the graphics department and can still flesh out the combat. We can always add a fully animated graphical representation of combat if we have the manpower in the department later. If a character dies in combat, we could fade it out and fade in a corpse object. This should look decent for a start and that's a great starting point to implement looting later and make us think about necessary changes to the inventory class to make that happen :-)

3. Set one storyline proposal in stone. Right now I feel that the lack of a general storyline direction is rather irritating to every interested writer who considers to join the project. If we would agree on a rather broad proposal, that leaves room for creativity of new writers, this would help to provide guidance for them. Right now new writers rather prefer to come up with entirely new proposals and that's quite natural. Nevertheless I think it won't get us anywhere before we simply set something in stone and force new writers to be creative within that rather broad frame set by us.

Zenbitz' Encroachment of Ice Age proposal sounds like the perfect choice for me for two main reasons. First and foremost it's rather broad and leaves a lot of room for creativity for any writer who might join the project. It sets a general frame for writers without cramping their creativity.

Furthermore Zenbitz has been around since the early beginnings of the project and has shown a lot of dedication. So it's likely that he'll stick to the project and continue to flesh out the proposal.

How do the others feel about these three points and the other ones lined out by b0rland?
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 10:49:31 AM by mvBarracuda » Logged
Q_x
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2010, 02:23:22 PM »

Nice work!
Few pebbles to the garden:
Add:
Fixing all major bugs (not by the ticket number)
Intro screen

And maybe it will be worth of having some more general things written down in few sentences (not in todo manner, but desscribing what are the goals):

Game should look appealing and be basically playable.

Player should be able to solve a simple quest and have a fight.

Developers of all departments should be able to do their work after the release: writing quests, editing maps, making lots of mechanics, implementing good AI algorithms, making rich base set of inventory items and NPCs (...)
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 02:26:30 PM by Q_x » Logged

mvBarracuda
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2010, 02:43:33 PM »

Intro screen == main menu Q_x?

Something like that?
http://wiki.parpg.net/images/7/74/Mockup.png

I'm just trying to get an idea what's missing graphics and code wise to make it happen. If we split up the mockup and save the buttons (proposed states: pressed, unpressed, hovered) as separate files, it should be rather easy for the programmers to turn into into a working main menu.

Would you like to look into the task of splitting up the mockup into actual button graphics Q_x?
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 02:47:24 PM by mvBarracuda » Logged
Q_x
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2010, 08:33:50 PM »

Yes, this is what I meant. Graphics are ready and waiting for a second month or so now http://parpg-trac.cvsdude.com/parpg/ticket/152
« Last Edit: March 12, 2010, 08:35:33 PM by Q_x » Logged

zenbitz
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2010, 09:22:59 PM »

sounds pretty good.  I have actually been kicking around a "global" game design in my head around the Ice Age idea.  I will write it up and set it in stone so that we can confuse fewer prospective writers who never do anything.

At least it sounds interesting enough for me to work on.

Quote
#  Review and possibly rewrite the quest/dialog engine. Detailed feedback from Zenbitz on the current one is very appreciated (#229,

To recap some other discussions - the reason this is a two part trac ticket is that I think we should patch the current system enough to get the quest working (mostly gameworld-inventory interactions, and "trivial" beer crafting i.e., object transmutation).

We will eventually have to throw it out -- it will be impossible to write large, interactive quests using the current system; you'd go mad debugging them, but it should suffice for simple demos and we can focus on combat/skill interactions.

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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2010, 10:46:58 AM »

Yes, this is what I meant. Graphics are ready and waiting for a second month or so now http://parpg-trac.cvsdude.com/parpg/ticket/152
Didn't spot this. Thanks for the pointer q_x. These kind of situations happen, so it's always appreciated to put important topics back on the agenda because some tasks are easily forgotten.
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qubodup
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 12:11:59 PM »

Fighting should be put into a later milestone, as it requires character stats and inventory to be functional first. Only when we have different weapons and different stats, decent npc behavior can be implemented.

The main focus should be quests, as they will allow some basic gameplay (in combination with a few items).


Attach "In my humble opinion" to everything I say Wink
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zenbitz
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 10:07:48 PM »

well, we obviously have to get the current quests working first.

Also, I think by TechDemo2 _release_ (assuming it's not done until 2011 or so) we should have a real name for the game.
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Q_x
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2010, 09:15:55 AM »

PARPG (Placeholder for A Role Playing Game) is not our real name? Gosh.
Maybe having a release codename would be good too?

I still propose to write down what player experience is expected first, and later to have it separated into fixing and making some particular things. Not only tasks to be done, but also state that once established will make release possible.
This is not for making additional work, but to keep an eye on overall game progress. I think you all have this in mind, so maybe it will be better to write it down.

Something like this (just a sketch, OK?):

Expected features:
Game should be roughly playable.
base for PRG mechanics (BTW: I think we should have something like "mechanics editor" for browsing database of NPCs and items with time, may be a database, may be a kind of XML file)
working quests, at least one longer quest playable, with artwork and maps
quest editor
fights
different NPC behaviors
10+ inventory items
1 feature-rich NPC
skinned "pure-pychan" GUI
main menu and splash screen
sounds in game
(...)
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qubodup
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2010, 11:45:39 AM »

base for PRG mechanics (BTW: I think we should have something like "mechanics editor" for browsing database of NPCs and items with time, may be a database, may be a kind of XML file)
working quests, at least one longer quest playable, with artwork and maps
quest editor
fights
different NPC behaviors
10+ inventory items
1 feature-rich NPC
skinned "pure-pychan" GUI
main menu and splash screen
sounds in game
This sounds like a complete game engine, ready for creating a game. This seems too much for the next release to me.
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Q_x
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2010, 01:38:11 PM »

This is why I wrote "just a sketch". Its not a proposal for the techdemo by any chance, but a suggestion to have some things clarified, like the rough shape of what will be the techdemo, not only list of bugs to fix.
Techdemo document should IMHO answer some questions like:
Will it be playable?
How long I'm expected to play in it?
How much things will I see during playtime?
What features will the techdemo have?
Which departments will have something to do and which not before and after the release?
And which departments will have their tools prepared?

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