PC/Console/Web game recommendations

Discussion in 'Games (and Other Interactive Entertainment)' started by Nachtfischer, May 21, 2013.

  1. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    For the last year and a half one of my day-jobs has been working on the pixel art/animation for this game. All of the pixely characters were done by me. (Backgrounds, big drawings, etc were someone else.) I don't know that much about the game itself.

    Kdansky likes this.
  2. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    I think you kept a bit too much red in the princess's hair.


    The first thing I noticed of the gameplay itself were the 3 and 4-digit damage numbers.

    "Progression is handled solely by finding and applying items to your characters" is a good fix for one of the usual RPG problems (excessive grindability) if they stuck to it... and didn't make some of the items random drops. The tradeoff would be rewarding compulsive exploration, which is a step up but not my cup of tea.

    Also, there are some hints in the teaser that the game was designed for a good speedrunning experience, but no actual mention of such.
  3. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    The red in her hair is a headband.
  4. Waterd

    Waterd Well-Known Member

    It seems to pack everything that is wrong with rpgs. ridiculous micromanagement, fixed solutions, pointless actions and brainless fights.

    I can't tell if it has grinding, but based ont he rest, it probably has.

    Technically the game sees AAA material, sadly it seems so it's the gameplay....
  5. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I saw the developer said there isn't grinding, but that's something that RPG developers and fans always kinda say about every new RPG that comes out. I remember I had one friend, a smart guy, who was trying to tell me that the newer Pokemon games don't have grinding.
  6. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    The concept art makes that clear.
  7. Kdansky

    Kdansky Well-Known Member

    I like the sprites, though I find anthropomorphs always creepy. They always hit the uncanny valley for me.
  8. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I didn't design any of the characters. They basically had high res drawings of all the characters and a big (I mean huge) spreadsheet of all the animations they needed. The amount of pixel art animation I did for this game is in-sane. There's so many that it's hard to calculate but my estimate would be that I drew about 7-900 pixel art images for this project.
  9. cuc

    cuc Member

    I'm recently looking into the design offsprings of The Settlers (Die Siedler) series of city builder/RTS. Other than its own sequels, people who worked on the first two titles, especially the best-selling The Settlers II branched out and made the following games carrying its design DNA:

    Joymania: Knights & Merchants
    Funatics: Cultures series
    Phenomic: SpellForce

    Funatics is still around and making similar titles. The SpellForce series sells itself as a RPG+RTS hybrid, but the first game actually bears a strong The Settlers resemblance; Phenomic would be acquired and closed down by EA, while the IP owner is still churning out reputedly low-quality SpellForce sequels.

    The core of The Settlers design, what differentiates it from dedicated city builders (such as Caesar III's walker model and Tropico/Children of the Nile's almost 1:1 citizen simulation), is the simulation of discrete, autonomous workers carrying discrete chunks of resources between buildings, each building home to a specialized worker, and the resources forming multistage supply chains. Much of the enjoyment is meant to come from observing the lives of virtual citizens, which tend to be lovingly rendered with gorgeous animations. From this starting point, a number of design knobs can be tweaked to produce different effects.

    The first two Die Siedler games use a road network system and in-between carriers to limit player expansion, but do not have much thought behind facilitating goal-oriented play. As a result, victory generally requires beating other players through rather rudimentary combat. While official The Settlers sequels are either retreads or fully conventional RTS, and SpellForce moved the focus elsewhere, both K&M and Cultures marked the original creators' attempt to grow the format, and the results are frankly bizarre.

    K&M wanted to make combat deeper with direct control military units (who must have food delivered to them by workers!), but also made the basic roads cost resources - which significantly prolongs the time needed to build up your base, because again, every block of rock must be carried to the construction site. Each person occupies a full tile with zero wiggle room in-between, meaning they are constantly shuffling around to make way for each other. It's quite a unplayable mess to behold.

    Cultures meanwhile finally ceded the direct control of all citizens to players. But they worried about players abusing their control power so much, they added a "getting lost" system - unless there is a signpost nearby (which must be placed by Scouts), most workers cannot walk one screen's distance without losing their way. They also tried to emphasize the individuality of citizens, so instead of each citizen belonging to one occupation, the men all have separately tracked experience points in all occupations, and must grind experience by doing basic resource collection before graduating to craftsmanship. By the way, crafting better stuff requires not only more experienced craftsmen, but also upgrading their buildings. What about the women? Well, they exist to be married to the men and give birth to babies, who take several minutes to grow up into adults, unlike in other games where villagers are simply spawned. Making the society theoretically classless also means citizens are distinguished by their individual looks, not by job-specific sprites. You can probably see where this is going - indeed, "individual looks" don't work when there are only 4 or 5 sprite permutations.

    The most sane attempt to use this design to support more systematic gameplay is probably found in games people don't often associate with The Settlers, but actually share the same economic core: Firefly's Stronghold series, which shifted the emphasis to castle-building and siege warfare. With the last mile of the supply chain simplified away (structures are built instantly, soldiers are immediately trained, and food is automatically consumed rather than delivered to citizens), their economic game becomes about managing morale and "fear factor", the former through tax, ration and religion, and the second through area-effect terror buildings that make workers more effective.

    I still need to see how things are done in The Settlers: Rise of an Empire, said to feature considerable streamlining, and the Alien Nations (Die Völker) series, which if nothing else has very charming artwork and music.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  10. Kdansky

    Kdansky Well-Known Member

    It was on sale a while ago: Hyper Light Drifter

    Since they fixed the 30Hz limit, it's a big recommendation from me. Imagine a 2D Zelda where the combat is actually fun and challenging. Similar to Ori, the protagonist is insanely overpowered. You get high walk speed, quick and powerful attacks, and most importantly: A dash with a ridiculous number of iFrames. You also get multiple guns, can reflect bullets with your sword, absorb them by dashing through them for a free reload, and a couple more broken moves. In exchange, you have six HP, with many enemies dealing 2-4 damage per hit.

    Point is: If you're good at it, you can wreck a screen of a dozen elite enemies in ten seconds flat. If you're bad, you die even quicker. Since you respawn close by and have a walk-speed that's measured in "percent of light-speed", you can retry immediately. It is primarily an action game, but it scratches the same itch like Bloodline Champions / Battlerites where you want to think one step ahead at all times, like a good fighting game.

    It has a cool art-style, no bullshit story and tutorial boringness, and the joy of hundreds of secrets to find which are often cleverly (but not impossibly) hidden. I think the only text is in the settings menu. Not even your inventory has text, it's all communicated in pictures. The only time that tripped me up for five minutes was when i bought the multi-dash move, and didn't understand that you need to time your dashes properly to get the effect.

    Basically Zelda: LttP with good combat and stylish looks. I'm sad that I will probably complete it today, after like 5-10 hours total.

    Edit: Yep, completed it very shortly after, with no difficulty at all. Then I tried NG+ and threw the towel immediately. 2 HP maximum is brutal.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  11. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    I think i wrote a fairly big review on now dead sirlin forums when it came out, but I absolutely recommend Hyper Light Drifter. It's only flaw is that you can see what it could have been/tried to be, and fell short on, but it's still VERY good in that state.
  12. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

  13. BrickRoadDX

    BrickRoadDX Well-Known Member

    Don't give up yet KB. They're still Green-lighting a few existing games in batches till Steam Direct launches :).
  14. Kdansky

    Kdansky Well-Known Member

    I think that's a good move by Steam. Greenlight produced so much garbage and so little of value, it was a failed experiment.

    $100 is a tiny amount of money to submit a game to Steam. It's just there to dissuade people from spamming low-quality garbage at them.

    Side-note: Imagine if every e-mail sent would cost you a hundredth of a cent. Every ten thousand e-mails you send is $1. It would impact absolutely nobody, not even big businesses (who pay much much much more for Mailchimp or similar services), but it would shut down e-mail spam instantly. This is the same idea.
  15. Kdansky

    Kdansky Well-Known Member

    I have two keys for Battlerite "light", before they launch their F2P scheme. That key includes 6 characters. Anyone interested?
  16. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Equivoque just came out on Steam. It's Jenny's short visual novel, and I did the soundtrack to it.
  17. Laukku

    Laukku Well-Known Member

    The Steam page for the English release of Subarashiki Hibi is up, and it releases later this month. It's a highly acclaimed visual novel that discusses philosophical concepts by Ludwig Wittgenstein. There is also a kickstarter for a physical release.

    It also has a weird Steam release strategy: apparently 90% of it violates Steam's content policies, so what you get from Steam is practically the introduction chapter and you download the rest as a free patch.

    EDIT: Here's a review by a person who is well-read in the Western literary canon.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  18. Kdansky

    Kdansky Well-Known Member

    Because of pornographic content? Seems like a move that won't fly if Valve finds out.
  19. Ryan1729

    Ryan1729 Well-Known Member

    Fidel Dungeon Rescue was recently released on steam. The matches are quick and despite the fact that it's tagged RPG, that's just because of the theme. It's entirely about you becoming better at the game.
  20. RyanRothweiler

    RyanRothweiler Well-Known Member

    It's an interesting game, and maybe worth playing. It's not very strategic though. I've improved at the game primarily by memorizing the room layouts. But you can certainly see how it could have been a dinofarm-style-match-based-strategy game.

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