Spirit Hunter Mineko: Demons Reach --- First Info!

Discussion in 'Upcoming iOS Games' started by CommanderData, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
    Patreon Indie


    I'll catch up here in just a bit to discuss this further, but my updated grid based Line of Sight can do pretty much exactly that right now. Problem is the whole concept conflicts with the Shadow-Casting system I created in this recent demo.

    That's why it might be good to give the option to play either way. You might note that the mini-map now correctly updates only as you explore areas, and that areas you have already been remain viewable on it. That will be true no matter which way I end up doing the sight lines and shading. :D
     
  2. dansu

    dansu Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2009
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    I thought about this earlier and it does work but only if the terrain is static. Since Kevin is free to make this game any way he wants, I figure it would be nice to leave the option open of having small changes in the terrain occur while the player is not looking. Maybe a secret passageway opens up momentarily to spit out more monsters or something like that. *shrug*
     
  3. drelbs

    drelbs Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2009
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    Not quite true - if the terrain is dynamic, then it gets drawn just like it would as it enters LOS for the first time. Would it look a little strange? Yes. You'd be disoriented too if you hurried around a corner and all of a sudden it ran left instead of right as you remembered... ;)

    Perhaps changed terrain being drawn could "blank out" a couple of squares around it (stuff that is out of LOS.)
     
  4. I still don't really care for the idea. It's a nice effect, but it partly spoils the exploration aspect, where you not only don't know what's around the corner, you don't even know where the corner is. It's not a big thing, but I think it's an important thing; you shouldn't be able to see that there's a path on the other side of the wall you're snaking along, regardless of whether or not you can see what creatures lurk there.
     
  5. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
    Patreon Indie

    Attempting to catch up with everyone finally!


    Oh yes, a great deal of gaming history to plunder, going all the way back to when arcade and home gaming was born! It's interesting to think about the odd things you can cross to create a fun game. Look at how Space Miner (Asteriods + RPG) turned out!

    I am sure I had your e-mail somewhere but I'll have to PM you since it appears to be lost now. :eek: Looking forward to seeing what you're up to and catching up a bit...

    Agree with the fact that this will be heavily influenced by other roguelikes, more so than it will be by any JRPG (other than the previously mentioned graphical and musical cues taken from them)! My worst fear was that this would become a me-too roguelike. Even if it was full of features I liked, it could seem too much like an existing game to make it worthwhile. Getting outside ideas from my forums, as well as here, is helping me to create something unique :D


    Well said! The discovery and exploration mixes with a sort of "puzzle game" or tactical use of items in your pack to maximize your survival, and this is a powerfully addictive combo. Resource management and clever use of your inventory will continue to be very important to Mineko :D

    I really appreciate the deeper thought you all have been putting into this, the thread has already exceeded my expectations! Updates will continue to pour in, the next several days are a bit rough due to a business trip but I'll be sure to give more info as often as I am able!

    Tomorrow I have some more thoughts to share on dungeon layout, lines of sight, and stuff like that! ;)
     
  6. Space Miner was frickin' brilliant, but what really made it was the overall execution and attention to all the little details. The RPG elements were awesome of course, and the whole idea is great, but it's so highly polished you can't help but sit up and take note.

    But it's not just mashups of classic genres, there's lots of gaming history one could look at with ideas that maybe were obscure or ahead of their time and so didn't catch on at the time but would work great now. My first two planned games are of the obscure variety, suitably modernized and hopefully polished. Or as polished as I can get them with whatever abilities I have by the time I finish them. :) Point being though that it's easy to avoid simply following trends when you've got pretty well three decades of gaming in all manner of genres to sift through for ideas, and you and I have both pretty well played 'em all. :)

    Easy peasy. I'll PM you with my E-Mail so it's easier to yak without the message limits of PMs here.

    Is it possible to do a me-too Roguelike when the most prominent Roguelike you're me-too-ing is your own?

    Really, the one thing that Roguelikes have in common, and the one thing that would make the most massive difference, is the plot. Roguelikes all have you finding a sword. Take that away, give it a full plotline, maybe even with side quests and optional goals, and you turn the whole thing on its ear, keeping what's best about Roguelikes but tailoring it for the hardcore RPG heads who want a little more than one single, aged quest. Add to that the other changes you're making and you get the best of Roguelikes married with the best of full-on RPGs, and that's a pretty awesome combination, something I've really been waiting for to be honest.

    I'd kind of like to do an RPG at some point myself, but the plan I have in mind is probably more ambitious than my skills can cover, sadly. Maybe I'll be able to afford to hire help by then...
     
  7. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
    Patreon Indie

    Development continues at a slower pace this week, received a bunch of new artwork for one of my favorite new monsters. Have also been reading up more on OpenGL and dusting off my math books to better attack the Line Of Sight and shadow casting. The goal is to create a more realistic set of light and shadows with softer edges that fade into the distance.

    Today I'm getting on a plane for a 6 day consulting gig (gotta pay the bills while Mineko is in development you know ;)) so new work will be limited to whatever I can accomplish on my hackintosh laptop at night in the hotel! Going to miss the 24" iMac screen badly. Also missing out on PAX East right here in my own backyard, so it's bad timing all around! :(


    Filling in some details of game layout that people have been wondering about before I go:

    I think it's been stated before, but there WILL be uses for gold this time around, other than simply score! You will be able to shop with it at a key point in the game, maybe several points. The shopkeeper will have reasonable limits though, so no way to buy up 20 food, 5 potions of raise level, and so on! Also he'll have a finite "purse" so if you find some super-expensive trinket you don't need, he may like it but not be able to offer you full value. Economy in any RPG is tough to get right, its very easy to make gold and items basically worthless! Since gold will still be tied to your score, it'll be in your best interest to avoid wasting money with a merchant if you want to make the leaderboard ;)

    Terrain, areas you can visit- The flow of the game has a natural progression from one area to the next. Every region is randomly generated (and made by different rules, so forests feel different from the straight walled castle, which is completely unlike the twisty caves) so you won't be seeing the same level twice! You will be able to explore forests and travel through them, but only as a specific part of the overall journey. For Demon's Reach you have a target destination, and having an unlimited travel map with side dungeons does not make sense. The sequel will probably support this based on the storyline I've written though!

    Even though travel overland and side dungeons are not supported in the main quest, you will have an expansive "post-game" dungeon to play in once the main quest has been completed. This should help improve the long term playability of the game while you're eagerly awaiting the next installment :D

    I'll be checking in throughout the weekend and will answer any and all questions to the best of my ability! Over the next week I'd like to show off some sample floor layouts of the other distinct areas, and come up with a new video tech-demo of improved lighting and shadowing. Wish me luck!

    Mindfield- Got your PM and I'll be addressing you via e-mail sometime today... :D
     
  8. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
    Patreon Indie

    Man, I go away on business for a bit and this thread got severely buried!

    Work on Mineko has been a bit slow due to that trip, but I've had a great couple of days reading up and working on an improved look for the game. Below is a brand new tech-demo video from this afternoon. It's still not exactly what I'd like to see, but I am continually hampered with my limited knowledge of OpenGL. Learning new bits and pieces as I go, but I get the feeling that there would be better ways to achieve even more beautiful effects. Right now this is just brute math and some sleight-of-hand tricks I've thought up :D

    Take a look (no audio, safe for work viewing), and compare this to previous revisions in my Youtube channel. I hope most people will agree that things are heading in the right direction!




    You probably noticed the "analog stick / swipe anywhere" control that I am testing too. A bit clumsy in the simulator, but it feels a lot better on the phone. I have three control methods planned:

    1) Classic Rogue Touch- touching along the outer edges of the screen to move in that direction
    2) D-pad, same visual and feel as the one used in RT
    3) This analog and/or swipe method, which is quite a bit like Fargoal's control. I find this a bit imprecise for a turn based Roguelike such as Mineko, but there are many fans of it ;)

    Any other control methods needed, or will these three options make 99.5% of you happy? Please comment on the look of the caves and shadowing too! I want to make the most impressive roguelike on the iPhone and need your feedback :)
     
  9. K76

    K76 Well-Known Member
    Patreon Silver

    Feb 12, 2010
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    That looks totally SICK!!! I freakin' LOVE it! :D

    Thumbs-up on the control scheme options, as well; those three will more than satisfy me, no question!
     
  10. squarezero

    squarezero Moderator
    Staff Member Patreon Silver

    Looks great. Definitely the right direction.
     
  11. drelbs

    drelbs Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2009
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    I like it - the bright area around you plus the shadows makes for a nice effect.
     
  12. dansu

    dansu Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2009
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    I like the brighter area around the character. Maybe your graphics can show her holding a torch or lantern or something, just to offer a plausible explanation for the brighter illumination.
     
  13. Crazy_Possum

    Crazy_Possum Well-Known Member

    CommanderData, I should be doing my geometry homework right now but I decided to see what the Touchy Arcadians were up to and found BAM! you! carrying with you news of the new world and Mineko. The control scheme looks killer, and the shadows add a pretty cool effect. The graphics remind me of Pokémon, which totally rocks my socks. Any chance of getting this out on exactly April 19th?
     
  14. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
    Patreon Indie

    K76, Squarezero, drelbs, danzu, crazy possum: Thanks for your feedback on the visual direction and control options! Obviously this is still a work-in-progress, but serves to give an idea of the end result.

    The brighter area around the character is sort of a "lantern / torch" effect, and it comes from the look of Shiren the Wanderer on the DS. When exploring dark dungeons they'd show a bright area around you and then dim the rest of the dungeon tiles. Shiren never had the shadows though... maybe too much for the DS hardware. I'm considering having this bright area be variable in size based on what you're carrying, like in Rogue Touch where a flaming or blessed weapon gives you a larger light radius... Maybe the circle would disappear completely if you don't have a torch or lantern?

    Crazy possum- this work I've been doing is like a whole semester of geometry classes. Been quite a refresher for me to work out the mathematics behind the angles of lights and shadows! Still need to alter the calculations and drawing for the shadow "penumbra", which gives a gradient from light to shadowed zone. I would also like to improve the look of the lantern area, and include independent light zones (like the torches on the wall).

    The analog/swipe, d-pad, and classic Rogue Touch controls will all be implemented. Not sure that there is another method of control worth adding, but looking for ideas! Accelerometer is not happening :p

    Sorry, no chance of a release on April 19th I'm afraid, but I will make sure to keep everyone updated with progress. Funny that Pokemon was mentioned because there is a bit of inspriation from there as well as Shiren :D



    For anyone who missed my update on the previous page, here's the embedded video again ;)

     
  15. Crazy_Possum

    Crazy_Possum Well-Known Member

    Holy cowbell! I thought surface area of prisms was tough. I just picked April 19th since that's my birthday.
    By the way, I tried the name Drizzt you mentioned a while back on Rogue Touch. I got to the 22nd floor- the farthest I've ever been! Then your avatar started beatingng the bajeezes out of me, so I used my Wand of Polymorph on it. Then waddy'a know, I had myself a spiffy little dragon to deal with! I died at mach speed.
     
  16. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
    Patreon Indie

    Wow, here we are at the end of the week already... Some amazing gains have been made since Wednesday on visuals for Spirit Hunter Mineko! Before moving forward I had to step back and look at what I had to work with. Played with all the variations of my Line-Of-Sight / Shadow Casting that I've come up with so far on the iPhone and simulator. There were parts of each one that I liked, but none of them was good enough on its own.

    After that the path became more clear. I was able to take good attributes from multiple tech demos that I've coded up and add even more math to the mix, creating the best dark, creepy, cave-dungeon experience yet! Here's the latest video:




    This continues testing of my "analog-anywhere / swipe" controls, but adds so much more visually to things: Not only are the shadows smoothly animated- as a bonus I have multiple light sources now! Still no "penumbra" on them, but I am not sure it'll be necessary. Note that the shadows are ALWAYS drawn from Mineko's perspective, and I'm going to keep it that way. This is not meant to be a perfect simulation, but a demo of a low CPU usage dungeon crawling engine. The shadows are used to create atmosphere and the element of surprise, not photo-realism :)

    The video is a bit odd looking in youtube on my iMac, some of the light edges and fades are uglier than they are live on my iPhone. Chalk that up to compression artifacts and different screen brightnesses I guess. :p


    Final notes:
    This is one un-edited chunk of play-time in the simulator. The analog-anywhere is not as easy to use with a mouse so I apologize for the wonky walk through. Since it's unedited you'll be glad to know that new dungeons are generated in a split second (the instant the screen fades out around 0:30 a new cave floor is made and immediately fades in). It is just as fast on the device, which I'm very happy with!

    The icing on the cake with this re-write is I've cut my CPU usage in HALF now, even though it is looking better than ever! It's never going to be as battery friendly as Rogue Touch (which used almost no CPU when not actively moving around) but it should be pretty darn good.


    Please compare this to my previous tech demos and give me your feedback... musssttt... have... feedback... :D
     
  17. drelbs

    drelbs Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2009
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    Continues to look great! :)
     
  18. brokenplatypus

    brokenplatypus New Member

    Feb 18, 2010
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    looks awesome!
     
  19. medianotzu

    medianotzu Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2009
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    Man...I have been thinking about this game. Was going to bump the thread but I didn't want to be rude. But now that you've added another video, I can tell you to hurry up and get this game out so I can play it! :D

    It looks like it's going to be incredible. Definitely one of my most anticipated games of the year.
     
  20. K76

    K76 Well-Known Member
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    Feb 12, 2010
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    Beautiful!!!

    Muuuuust plaaaaay! :D
     

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