Wednesday, October 8, 2014

GBF: Ancient Relics - Work in progress Space Combat Camera System


Just want to show you a fast update in the looks of the Dancing Kraken Space Combat system I started scripting this weekend.

This video shows in-action footage of the Space Combat (It's not a cinematic, it's the real combat that allow the player to switch different cameras).


And I'll take the occasion to explain the camera system:

There is three kind of cameras:
1- Tactical view: A free rotation view of your main craft to not miss detail of strategical situation.
2- Allied camera views: Cinematic views from turrets and allied deployables (drones, figthers, deployable turrets) to see the action from their gunners view
3- Enemy camera views: Cinematic views from Fighter squadrons, Enemy turrets, Fighter cockpits, Cruisers launching fighters, Enemy manoeuvre...

The persistent HUD in all views let's you know in all times the state of the battle (Hull/Shield Health, Crew action point generation, and an event messenger that notifies of damaged systems or destroyed ships both in Allied and Enemy side.

In options, you'll be able to select the behaviour of the cam system, and change it to fit your taste.

Manual: No auto-switching of cameras, player use a key to swap between Allied camera views, another key to return to Tactil view, and another to swap between Enemy camera views.

Auto: Starts with Tactical View, and offers a pseudo-cinematic experience switching to other cameras temporarily when an event occurs, to make the player more aware of what is happening in the battlefield (an Enemy Cruiser firing its main weapon, a figther squadron being launched, a turret shoot-view when skirmish starts..). -include manual control-

Total Cinematic: A series of priority events decides what camera see the player, in the most cinematic take the player can have, also representing the confusion of the combat. The Hud and event messenger let you stay aware of all event in the battlefield (except incoming attacks), so a Expert player can almost play in this mode if suits him. In any moment, if the battle get very fiery, can go to manual mode.


Due to the nature of the combat system, an easy combat can be resolved without much player interaction (just change passive modes if the ship needs more repairs, shield generation or may can focus on attack), and some well-minded special action selection, so  even Total Cinematic mode doesn't have to be problematic to win a combat. But Hard combats may require full awareness of the situation and manual mode will better used (Auto can be better for non easily-distracted players, as show dangers when they are produced).

Stay tuned to more updates!

And as always, follow the game most importants updates at indieDB!

7 Years Entertainment

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Govern Limiting Crowfunding - Spain is different ("on deferred basis").


Offensive. The Dear Leader of my country has finally put in motion a "Law of economic progress" for little entrepreneurs that limits the quantity of money they can give away to crowfundings every month, in his very way to lead what this left of this country to be an authentic oligarchic country of goat shepherds.

Normal people will can only give money to crowfunding up to 10.000€/month, and only 3.000€ to a single project. Big companies, on the other hand, can give any money they want ('cause if not they were going to kick Mr.President out of his chair).

What this for?

1) Control money use of normal people
2) Make little entrepreneurs dependant of the banks. Fundraised companies? To the hell with you! Ask for a credit; Wait for the bank to ruin you the next year!

Next thing they'll do is control donations to charity, I'll better hide my paypal donnations buttons before the Liberty Police comes to my house.

This is after they make a law to charge Facebook, Google, etc every time a user links a Spanish newspaper on it. Just after that, My blogspot turn from com to com.es, and I assume it's a slow slope to excommunicate the nation from the rest of the world. Blocking Spanish blogs and webpages visibility from the rest of the internet? Yeah...

I have to speed my *** out to launch any crowfunding I wanted to in this country before we finally cannot be heard in the world, sell a good game/or make enough profit working, and get the hell out here before we return to the glorious Dark Ages of Spain.


7 Years Entertainment

Want to continue supporting little developers?
 Maybe someday this turns like the only sad way:




Sunday, September 28, 2014

GBF: Ancient Relics - Working in the new Space Combat System

While there is a lot of more things to do (already advanced WIPs) like finishing the tutorial level, improving the space chart and ending other important scripts, I began the crafting of the Space Battles system.

My first idea was just translating the ground turn-based tactic combat to space, but, hell, that was boring and very unappealing. In ground is perfect; But I wanted something more... Galactic Battlefare.

So I got this idea, of a dynamic auto-combat with shifting and tilting cameras, and laser beams everywhere in the screen, lookalike modern space fighters dogfighting, or what the hell, Real dogfight of all times in fiction. The thing is that in one afternoon I scripted the essentials of the systems, seen it in Real Action and said, "That's what I want, let's make it great".

Do you remember the Movement Octopus of Doom System? Of course you don't, was the first thing I scripted for the game.... Anyway, Behold THE DANCING KRAKEN OF SPACE COMBAT system!

Space Battle system sketch

The premise of this Combat system, or, better explained, Battle system, is that the player is the Captain of a relatively big ship (a Frigate), so he has his calls, but doesn't have direct control of the ship. He doesn't have a mind-machine connection that allows him move the ship and point every weapon to their objectives (as in most of the games). The function of the Captain is shouting orders; In gameplay, and exactly in Ancient Relics, the player as a Captain will have this 3 functions:

-Energy Flow (passive selection): Where to administrate the big energy output; Shields, Weapons, or disconnect it for emergency repairs.
-Kind of Target Selection: Determine what kind of enemies are the primary objective for the main weapons (the point defence turrets always shoots fighters or the closer enemy, but other big ships usually doesn't get so close).
-Call Special Actions (Didn't decided yet if every action has its own cool down of there is a general cool down for all actions and you may choose one.

In the video you can view a general idea of the system, with only The Ancient Relic (Player's frigate) and a pirate enemy squadron in the dance.




While writing this, I'm scripting and implementing the point defence turrets and preparing the Managers to take in count more figther squadrons and bigger ships.

Until next time!

7 Years Entertainment

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ancient Relics early alpha features promo trailer! yay!

After the snail speed of the holidays, the first real video showing some basic features of GBF: Ancient Relics is here. (Features of this early alpha build).

We don't have an ace of video edit, so we just did our best to craft this little early trailer, so people can just start to understand the kind of game we are doing here.

For all of you, viewers, here it is:

Summary of features (Complementary with the video):

Two planes of gameplay:

a) First Person squad RPG Dungeon-crawling in retro style in colonies, spaceports, space stations, barren worlds, lush alien planets or ancient tombs, among others things, exploring, questing, combating and treasure hunting. You'll meet hundred of NPCs (One of thing we are getting care is with deep dialogues), and you'll can recruit dozens as your squad companions and crew members of your ship.

b)
Travel by Terran Space and a Little Beyond discovering and trading in an interactive economy where selling and buying different kind of cargo (more than 30 kinds of extracted, gathered, manufactured or only adquired trade goods) can change the resource output of the trade hubs. You'll customize your space frigate with parts bought in differents parts of Terran Space to improve Combat, Trade, Stealth, Exploitation capacities... As well you'll recruit different kind of crewmen to potentiate those different factors (regular crewmen, scientist, cargo heavers, belter specialists, agents, marines...)

Main concepts:

-Deep background, outcome of a RPG setting (Galactic Battlefare) elaborated along more than 8 years of work and growing.

-Nor levels, nor quests, nor items are procedurally generated. Everything in the game is hand-designed to meet the highest quality of RPG design we can get. Our premise is to give a complex game, reminiscent of the RPG's of old, but with easy interface and gameplay.

-The customizable main character (every choice in character creation has a direct impact in conversations and quests) is victim of the battlefare, that meaning being part of a losing party of the Civil War that ends of the settlement of the Terran Confederation, and making him an outlaw. In gameplay terms, that means that the player will have total freedom to roam the playable subsectors looking for fortune and allies.

-In consequence, there is no mandatory questlines or heavy limited ways of travel; It's not a singleplayer sandbox (except for the "trading empire" part), has some major quest lines and a lot of minor ones, but player is free to explore and begin where he feels to.

Alpha stage estimated numbers:

-More than 50 multi-planetary systems to travel, with at least 2 ground scenarios (single or multilevel) per system. (Being them "civilized" (colonies, spaceports), barren/vacuum, wildlands, or "dungeons" (derelict ships, alien tombs, facilities...)
-At least 20 companions to find, recruit, know and combat with.
-30 kinds of cargo
-8 kinds of crew
-Literally hundreds of NPCs. (a Benefit of being them 2d sprites).

Objetive of the game?
-For Questers, there are some major questline involving discover ancient alien treasures and techonologies and resolving some major political plots. 
-For Achievers, there are a lot of secrets to discover, time of year based secret events, and a lot of different kind of treasures and techonology to find.
-We are working on giving a easy but appealing turn tactical based squad combat and a decision based space combat that, along with the rest of the game, will be fun for itself.

More news coming along the development of the game, so stay tunned!

GBF:Ancient Relics boarding pirates
 Watch out for pirate boarding parties!

Every feedback is appreciated! (And yes, the quality of the video composition is amateurish and the sequences selected are WIP, but, again, is only a early alpha features promo).

An as usuall, follow the game in IndiDB!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Post-holidays update - Galactic Battlefare and Ancient Relics Inspirational concepts PART I

During holidays, Ancient Relics has been developing in some sort of snail speed, but was time to do a good lot of sketches and idea's gathering for the parts I'm not actually scripting now (Like detailed maps of spaceports and other colonies).

A little (short, more PR-fashioned) but good video about the Space Chart at this alpha stage is coming very shortly (I just need to polish some GUIs and make sure some extravagant event pipelines works top-notch.

But before that, I was thinking I just can throw a match to enlighten the surroundings of Galactic Battlefare Universe; I mean, what are the most inspiring books, tv-shows and games (among other hundreds) that enrich my young life and what flavour you can expect of them in the space opera universe of GBF.

Today I'll start with computer games, 'cause I'm sure that is the reason a lot of you are here today.



GAMES:

Silmarils (1987 - 2001)
French Silmarils. One of a kind.

Amazing french game developer company. Make some of the most niche and hardcore RPG/Simulators/Strategy you can find and with appealing graphics and story. My work in gameplay is very influenced by his games.

Crystals of Arborea/Ishaar trilogy


shar III. Unforgettable.

3d dungeon crawler? yep. Giant free maps, no dungeon passageways exclusive? Yep. Giant metropolis to roam step by step, with real time combats, full of shops, amazing freedom to recruit different people and find hidden quest? YEEEEP.

Never intended in the past 10 years to make a 3d crawler of any Galactic Battlefare game, but now is the time and the baggage is crystal clear; You'll see a lot of Silmaril's crawlers spirit in Ancient Relics, easily seen in city and landscape exploration. (An as intended, number of recruitable companions, well see.) 

 Transartica, 

Oh, god, Transartica.  Story game (better than adventure game) while doing the administration of a Behemoth train in the apocalyptic future of nuclear winter. Buy and sell trade goods, equip your train with wagons to emphasis trade or war (even slave wagons, useful for selling or for doing hard labors). GBF:Ancient Relics is, strangely enough, on the Space-side of the game, a big evolved transartica in the same way a lots of games are; You will upgrade your ship for combat and trade, you will trade and sell, visiting colonies, outposts and big spaceports, and find more than various anomalies to study and adventure on. To this point, lots of games are like Transartica (and Transartica was like others), but when I created the Interface to see your ship, the different parts of it (bridge, cargo, crew quarters, Intelligence service...), It remembers a lot to me to the good old transartica. Things deep in heart are hard to forget, I think. 


Robinson's Requiem/Deus


Insane Health management for a 90's 3d game? YEAH

One of the first sci-fi survival (with insane health management- you could die just constipated or for diving in a lake with a cut in a leg and getting bateriae!)  3d games? Oh ******* yes. to gameplay, I'm not taking much from these splendid Silmarils games, (was more in my temporary on hold game, GBF: Pangaia), but the background of the AWE (Alien World Exploration) and savage worlds as prision for criminals? I bought that concepts, thank you!

Other companys (thanks, jesus, you might say)

D&D Birthright. I bought this game a long time ago without knowing much about the setting, before I go wild dungeon mastering with my friends. Some years later, I begin to port the concept of Birthright to all my custom settings: I mean: 

You can dungeon crawl in Birthright...


Dungeon crawling in special spots along the world, finding personal-size items and treasures for the glory of your adventurers. (GBF: Ancient Relics: Got it. Find places to dungeon crawl and get treasures? Yes, simply explained but yes)

You can go all Crusader Kings in Birthright...

Empire administration and conquest of all a BIG peninsula with lots of micromanagement and exquisite region administration and politics? YES. Galatic Battlefare IRL-RPG is a lot about that, but GBF:Ancient Relics right now, just not. Management of your own colony/planet? Well, I'll want to do that, but we'll ask to our crowfunders ;).

You can go all Heroes of Might and Magic in Birthright...

Army sized battles! Godamm you can do that as well on Birthright!!! Not a feature that you will see in Ancient Relics, again, but a BASIC on Galactic Battlefare (all about factions and races and empires and space and land combats... The IRL-RPG book has a 2mm miniature warfare apendix with to the date 10 army lists and some simple rules.

In future Galactic Battlefare games? Mandatory: If you will be able to control an entire faction as an strategy game full economic simulator or just a band or pirate ships, is up to see the success of GBF: Ancient Relics. Right now in GBF:Ancient Relics, there is tactical turn combat in land and space, but not army-sized. 

MASTER OF ORION SAGA/MASTER OF MAGIC:

The "first 4x" Master of Orion Saga (Master of magic was more like a Heroes of Might & Magic meets Civilization in a Master of Orion Style) inspired my first sketch about galactic empires in a fringe of the known space in the milky way. In fact, the map I draw ten years ago of that little piece of galaxy (8x5 sectors, divided on 4x4 sub-sectors (the minimum spacemap to show) of 10x8 parsecs (the minimun unit to play, a "hexsquared parsec" per system) is still the same map, just better drawn and the races and empires that populate it are a lot more complexes. 

(So, GBF universe condense right now a known space of 51.200 "hexsquare parsecs" in 640 sub-sectors. In GBF: Ancient Relics, you can see 6 sub-sectors (60% of the terran space) and play at least in 4 of them). 

4x Diplomacy! Always a challenge!

In fact, one of the first things I did with my Known Space map was define relations between empires, and even base some empire in some of the achievements of my games (x race with x number of slave races, x kind of militar sstrategy and x kind of use of techonology). It's like Playing Spore to sketch alien appearance (and his buildings and vehicles, why not), a work template. And I'm very proud of enjoying every hour in Master Orion I, II and III and being it my template to create my Galactic Battlefare Universe.

(I mention the Spin-off Master of Magic because the first ideas for some of the basic races (like the Ss'oraks or the Corridhons) come more from Master of Magic than Master of Orion (Draconians as reptilian race and Dark Elves as my perverted Corridhon race...)

But The primordial thing when a player approach GBF is the three faction conflict between the Atlantic Alliance, the Russian Consortium and the Arabic Union, and that is not absolutely coming from MoOs.I'll be better looking in another classic direction....

DUNE

Some years before me being addicted to the Frank Herbert's books, I played this jewel of a game, a fantastic adventure-strategy strange mixture of first Westwood's Dune.


An adventure game with Dungeoncrawling-like movement? (even discovering secret chambers as fantastic plot-twists) Walking square to square in the desert until die of thirst? Travelling with the old ornithopter flying by clues to find new places to control or commerce? Creating a totally inesperated strategy game with a terraforming background (took from the second and third book) and a simple but clever resource management (type of troops + available equipment + player administration + finite resources...)

Hell, Westwood make a hell of a game with the first Dune. And I think the Trinary conflict system comes to my heart since the young Dune II. (the redies, the bluish, and the greenys).. (though if you study a bit you know that the green Ordos were invented (more than 7 books and dozens of houses and the ordos were invented (and my favorite :P), the blue Atreides with a hawk were really red with a bull and the red Harkonen were really blue with a Hawk (Just like in Dune 1... Why the hell the need to rewesternize the colors for good and bad people in Dune II when you  get it well done the first time in Dune!)

Frank Herbert's Dune Saga is something I'll talk more in Part III of inspirational concepts, Books!


I think is enough for today, a fast travel among some of the games mark more my young-hood and make a mark in the way I develop my own games... 

For the old ones that know these games, you'll know that at least some of them are masterworks that need to be count on when you make something. It's very difficult to make something really original, so when you look up to make inspiration, at least let them by good inspiration. 

For the young ones that don't even know this games, and have a like for the old jewels of computer games.. Run and play them all!! You don't regret!

See you in the next post, let it be a small video featuring the graphics improvements and review of features of Galactic Battlefare Ancient Relics, or let it be the second part of this post!.

See you around!