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

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

  1. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the quick feedback guys! With this new Light and Shadow code I think the cave visuals are pretty close to nailed down then... still need to try out this scheme for the other areas of the game. I'm expecting every one of them to have their own special look and feel so it'll take some time to tweak for each area! :)

    Medianotzu, K76, I am wanting to play this myself! Right now, it's a bunch of test programs, classes, and a metric ton of sprites and tiles that I still need to glue together. Today is a small but important victory though, because I can finally move on and focus on another aspect of the game for a bit :D

    Funny enough, I had hoped to release on MY birthday, last month. That date was extremely optimistic when I picked it last fall. Here it's April and I'm still fussing over these presentation details. Thankfully the meat of the game is well thought out already so I can pick up the pace soon!

    Please don't hesitate to bump the thread if you're looking for new info! Sometimes I get caught up in work and don't think anyone is really interested in the little details. If you are, then I am always ready to respond ;)


    And finally, for anyone too lazy to jump back a page, here's the latest tech video embedded again :p

     
  2. LordGek

    LordGek Moderator
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    Happy belated B-Day and, don't worry, take whatever time you need to get it right.
     
  3. dansu

    dansu Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2009
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    It's looking good. There is a slight discrepancy between the mini-map and what we see on the screen (sometimes walls pop up on the mini-map before we see them on the screen and vice-versa) but it is very minor and probably not worth worrying about.

    Keep up the good work!
     
  4. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
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    LordGek, thanks for the belated birthday wishes! I definitely won't rush and/or cut corners now that I missed my original deadline. Have to make sure that Mineko is pretty close to perfection on the first release :)

    Dansu, good eye on the mini-map detail! Part of the problem is the youtube encoding and whatever monitor you're viewing it on (even my iMac makes it look odd). The very dark areas outside the main light radius in the video are much more visible on the iPhone, and that accounts for a majority of the discrepancies! Once you eliminate that, the mini-map is almost always in agreement, except when in mid-move between squares.

    Keep the comments coming, it definitely encourages me to work harder on this project! :D
     
  5. Madgarden

    Madgarden Well-Known Member

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    It's looking nice CommanderData... really looking forward to seeing how your shadow-casting pans out!
     
  6. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
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    Glad to know the other iPhone roguelike "800lb gorilla" is keeping an eye on my progress!

    I like the way Sword of Fargoal handles things too. If you notice my "mini-map" uncovers with rules similar to that of exploring the dungeon in Fargoal... it's just that I don't let you see what's around the corners even if you've been there before. Now, I could simply "hide" the monsters that are not in your field of view like many other games (including Rogue Touch, SoF, Cavern, etc), but I think this will be a fun way to handle it :cool:

    Taking another page from your playbook (as mentioned in DMs) is trying to create a workable analog / swipe movement system since yours was well received. I am still a bit worried about this one being too "floaty" for a turn based game, especially one like this where you can be attacked by many enemies at once. Replaying a bit of Fargoal I think I understand the missing component from my current test... will talk about updated results soon!

    Also have a clever secret door system worked out, hope to implement that in a trial soon too! No more tapping -step-step- and -search-search-search- scheme. Not sure how you'll identify traps without a search button just yet (other than falling into one) but I have a few ideas :D
     
  7. Madgarden

    Madgarden Well-Known Member

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    Heh, more like an 80lb chimp in the whole scheme of things. ;)

    Yeah, I've been toying with some further lighting methods, especially for Legend mode. The way it works with the lighting, I could make the whole map black outside of your light radius (which I have already tested out) and then only the lit area would be visible, fading from light to darkness. Simple, but I like simple!

    Anyway sounds cool, we're really evolving the genre here I think. :)
     
  8. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
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    Your lighting for Legend mode sounds great! Simple and effective, and I would imagine it's easier for you to implement with actual 3D geometry in use for the dungeon. Just add a light source and go... Since I only have tiles, my light and shadows are all manually calculated and drawn. Wins the prize for most wacky math I've done so far this year :D

    I agree that we're starting to push the boundaries of roguelike design here. Too long it's been accepted that these types of games need to have ASCII (or very poor graphics) and horribly complex controls/command sets! Where we go from here, who knows... but I am going to be a part of it :cool:


    On new work today:
    Tweaked light and shadow parameters a bit more, I think that cave representations are finally "good enough" for the moment! Also brainstormed some more ideas on the secret door and trap systems that should blend into my design well.... Really kind of excited to see how this smarter system will be received by everyone.

    Plans for the beginning of this coming week:
    Re-visit the "man-made" dungeon generation systems a bit (castles, rooms, etc), and run lighting tests/tweaks with them. If my artist comes through with new tiles, I'll work on my forest code too! Beyond that, play with the secret door and trap ideas, and start building my "critter animation engine".

    So much left to do, it's almost overwhelming at times! :)
     
  9. Madgarden

    Madgarden Well-Known Member

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    Our lighting is actually also manual... the 3D-ness really doesn't matter, it would look the same in pure 2D. It probably would have been technically easier to go with some form of 3D lighting, but we have a lot of static lighting and such, so the manual way seems the best choice (for now).

    And yeah, for devices like the iPhone etc. it certainly makes sense to go beyond ASCII for these sorts of games , heh. ;)
     
  10. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
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    This is a tech-talk post, for those that enjoy detailed development accounts... Fun started early for me today, had a few good ideas for optimizing the speed of display updates on Spirit Hunter Mineko so I got up at 5:30AM and got right to work!

    If you've been following my progress, you're aware that Rogue Touch uses CALayers and Coregraphics for all on-screen drawing. Mineko is being written with OpenGL and is designed for a balance between beauty, speed, and battery life.

    The work I've done this morning has made a great impact. Visual quality is the same as my previous demo, but I have streamlined a bunch of math and other code, as well as started to make it resolution independent (yes, eventually need to run on the iPad too of course)!

    Results:
    1) Sitting still (contemplating a move, or just enjoying the view):
    Rogue Touch: 0-1% CPU. The winner here, but only because there's no animation at all!
    Mineko: ~10% CPU. Not bad at all, since I have to recalc stuff each OpenGL frame. I may be able to further improve on this with some more work.

    2) Walking (through a dungeon or cave):
    Rogue Touch: 30-35% CPU. Wow, it's surprising how much RT eats up when you are actively moving in the dungeon! Not very efficient at all for the minimal presentation.
    Mineko: ~13% CPU. This is much better, almost no difference from sitting still! Some extra work is done in motion to calculate field of view, and update the mini-map, but overall this result is great!


    What does this mean? Well, if you like to just stare at the game without moving for extended periods of time, Rogue Touch will have better battery life. If you like to keep active, moving, exploring... then you may actually be able to play Mineko *even longer than RT* before needing to recharge :D
     
  11. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
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    Hi guys, I'm sure you've nearly forgotten about Spirit Hunter Mineko already with all the great games in the upcoming forums (The Square-Enix RPG "Chaos Rings" is even on *my* to-buy list ;))... But don't underestimate her, Mineko is alive and well! Many smaller bits of progress were made this week:

    1) Tweaked cave generation a bit more, and improved the handling of wall torches so their light did not leak into adjacent areas where it should not be visible (unless you happened to have x-ray vision that is). I think the base algorithms and visual representation of caves are finished now. Things are looking great here!

    2) Found a stupid bug in my tech demo code that was adding and drawing an extra vertice every frame. This would slowly compound over time until the demo would crash. Good news, it's fixed. Even better news, is the performance of screen updates was unaffected even when thousands of unwanted extra draw commands were being issued by the bug. That means I've got lots of potential for fancy particle effects even after the game logic and AI is running! :cool:

    3) Took my castle & dungeon generation code and threw out most of it, started over fresh. Came up with some new methods that create great man-made layouts, squarish walls, passages and so on. Unlike Rogue Touch (and the original rogue) you will not find "dead end" hallways in Mineko. A hallway will always end in a room of some sort, even if it simply loops back around and connects to the room you came from! Room size and placement is much more varied, no more 3x3 grid of rooms like RT. This algorithm is capable of creating enormous levels, but I am limiting it to a reasonable size for the main game. Maybe the "post-game" bonus dungeons will have some super-sized floors :)

    4) Started working on random Forest and outdoor-world level generation. Already, I am surprised and pleased with the results I am getting! This creates some very interesting terrain, looking like smooth walking paths and openings into fields/meadows. Unfortunately my forest tileset is *FAR* from complete, so I have no close-up shots of what it'll look like, but I have included samples using some generic color-blocks below. In the end, there should be a variety of dirt, grass, trees, flowers, and water mixed in.


    The picture embedded here is a sampling of how the areas are structurally and visually distinct. An area is not just a series of hallways and square or rectangular rooms... each one has its own feel. Each of environments in the game will have little hidden and interactive features to them (some of which I have figured out and some I am still defining).

    For now, enjoy the terrain sample and please feel free to ask if you have any questions :D


    [​IMG]
     
  12. squarezero

    squarezero Moderator
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    No need for "Chaos" envy -- a lot of us are still very much looking forward to this game.
     
  13. medianotzu

    medianotzu Well-Known Member

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    Ooooh and aaaaaah...

    I think I must buy every Roguelike on the iphone, but this is the dream game here...combining the best of every other Roguelike I have, plus more more more...

    A little off-topic, but I just made my longest run ever on Rogue Touch, got to floor 21 where I was gang murdered by a Griffin and Medusa. It came down to a hope and a prayer with my last exta, an unidentified wand...which turned out to be a dud. D'oh!

    Oh the sweet suffering.
     
  14. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
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    Good to know! Sometimes it's a bit disheartening to see my thread get buried 5+ pages back under the landslide of upcoming games. Makes me wonder what sort of reaction the release will finally have :eek:

    I know what you mean... I pick up almost every true RPG on the iPhone, as well as the Roguelikes of course!

    Calling it the "dream game" and a combo of the best of other Roguelikes is very close to the mark though :D

    I am designing Mineko based on my experiences, taking bits that I've liked from many different games, mixed with some new concepts that were thought up just for this. The gameplay and controls will have instant familiarity with them, but also lots of surprises once you get into the game further ;)
     
  15. K76

    K76 Well-Known Member
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    #115 K76, Apr 16, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
    For what it's worth, the recent release of Solomon's Keep, Pocket Legends, Espgaluda II, and IMO, along with my fevered anticipation of other upcoming games such as Revolt, Deliverace, etc., has actually only served to *increase* my anticipation of Spirit Hunter Mineko. The thrill of discovering how each new game will deliver its own uniquely awesome experience is almost too wonderful to describe.
     
  16. scotopia

    scotopia Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2009
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    Looking very sweet so far! This one is definitely on my waiting to purchase list.
     
  17. LordGek

    LordGek Moderator
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    I'm loving it so far and appreciate the many seemingly "Shiren Inspired" bits. That is not even to say the Mystery Dungeon series is the end all ultimate roguelike (I mean, Hell, it is nothing but a Rogue spin-off itself), just that it did have many cool ideas I'd always wished other roguelikes would incorporate!
     
  18. GordonFreeman

    GordonFreeman Well-Known Member

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    Chaos what?!...no..I want a rogue like game. I am waiting for Mineko. Great to see all the improvements!
     
  19. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
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    Well said, K76, and I'm glad that you seem to appreciate the hunt for incredible apps in the store as much as I do :D

    Hey scotopia! Good to see you in here, can't wait to see if you can manhandle the leaderboards like you did in Rogue Touch. I'm going to take what I learned from your tricks and exploits to make it harder to be "really awesome" ;)

    Mineko definitely takes a lot of inspiration from Shiren the Wanderer. I won't give away my other influences just yet, it'll be fun to see if people can guess them as I provide new looks and details of the game! And I agree, Mystery Dungeon is not the ultimate roguelike... but they did do a lot of things right, and are one of the few mainstream gaming platform roguelikes people may have heard of :)

    Thanks for the encouragement! Glad that I can continue to make progress. Some weeks it'll be big leaps and visible coolness, others it's going to be slow and tedious background work, but I will do my best to keep everyone informed :)
     
  20. TheFamousEccles

    TheFamousEccles Well-Known Member

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    It's a good thing 100 Rogues is coming out soon to sate my roguelike need. (Of course, Rogue Touch will be much better than it.)

    Anyway, can't wait. At this point, what day/month is your guess for release?
     

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