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BobbyTwoHands

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A member registered 198 days ago · View creator page →

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Hey, sorry for the slow reply. I became very busy with real-world stuff, so this game project has been delayed a bit. Thanks for playing the game and taking the time to comment, though. Appreciate it.

Your bug seems to be related to the loyalty-detection system in the dark forces. That was a messy piece of code which I had issues with. I never really got a good structure for it, so it's no surprise it behaves unpredictably. Luckily, my new game version is going to redo all that code, so hopefully the bug will completely disappear.

The new version intends to be the same as the old one, but better in every way. It features both the lords you're using now (city-enthralled) and units you can control on the world map, who sneak around and try to avoid being caught (agent-enthralled). The version available for download right now only has a single agent-enthralled, to test that system, but when I release the full v20 version it will have both.

As to your offer of art, I'll need to get back to you. After the end of October I'll have a much better idea of what kind of free time I've got to dedicate to this project, so will be able to plan better. Thanks for the offer, in any case.

See for yourself: I've uploaded the work-in-progress version. Loads of stuff still to do before it's complete, but it's now playable. Massive changes from previous versions have lead to the removal of most features, but they'll be back, and better.

I'll have to re-install Stellaris to check these new mechanics out. Not played it for a few months, nor tried any of the DLC.

This city bug again. Irritating. I've been unable to replicate it. Are you on Linux? Did you save/load?

I agree the buildings in cities are a bit poorly handled. For the next version I was thinking of removing them completely and just having an option to turn your city into a fishman city. It would then be able to be levelled up by you spending gold on it, each level gaining a new power it can deploy. A simpler mechanic, but the individual building slots never really worked out how I wanted, and it would let me tailor the powers unlocked a bit better, if they've got a proper progression to them.

Exploits of non-enthralled lords: Honestly your suggestion sounds pretty decent, and not too hard to implement. If they had a series of "events" they could trigger, based on their personalities. Maybe giving you a few options to exploit this, but mostly there for flavour. I'll have to look into it.

UI is being overhauled in the new version, so maybe the bits you dislike will be fixed. Scrolling menus are completely redone, because they were very bad, and most of the rest got a bit of fixing.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback and support.

Thanks for the links. I'll have to check them out. The game is partially based on Crusader Kings II, but I've not played EU4, so will have to read about how it does diplomacy. There's no shame in learning from the best, and I'm told EU4 is the best at what it does.

Don't worry too much about the results of this experiment. I'm keeping only a few bits of it, and working on a new direction. I'm prepared to accept it didn't work how I wanted, and my new approach is showing far more promise. I should have stuff to show in a couple of weeks at most. Already got some good stuff, but want a bit more before I do a post and maybe release an early playable version.

I've not encountered that problem before, and it seems to download and uncompress fine for me. V13 was compressed in .zip format for Windows, so I've uploaded it as a .rar, so you can try downloading that version to see if that works any better. Hope that fixes it.

Yes, sorry, been a bit busy. Had to do some uni stuff of my own (applying for possible PhD). Will reply properly soonish.

Okay, I'm afraid I literally can't reproduce the bug. I can play fine for an arbitrary number of turns with no issues at all. Maybe it is something to do with your version of Ubuntu. I'll look around a bit more, but this might be a Unity thing which is beyond my control.

I don't yet have anything, but I'm getting there. I should, hopefully, get something testable in the next couple of weeks. It'll just be the politics/intrigue part, not the world map, so you can have a look at it and comment, so it can be improved and polished before the world map is connected up.

Oh, neat, if you did stuff for More Events, I might have already seen some of your work.

I don't know about any Itch.io PM system. Maybe there is, but I've not seen one. Try fallen.oak.games@gmail.com

The wine version doesn't really work, if memory serves (I seem to remember it didn't load fonts so no text appeared). I'll throw together a testing build and try to track down this issue tonight.

I wasn't currently, but there are some parts which a writer might be helpful for. Certain screens of the game have "flavour text" which I thought of like the quotes in the civilisation series, not gameplay dialogue but flavourful bits of text to improve the player's immersion in the world and flesh out some of the backstory. For example when a fishman raid concludes you can get a short piece of text from the perspective of a captain of the guard whose town was raided by the fishmen.

If that's the kind of stuff you were interested in we could discuss further. It was designed so more text could be easily added in, so it shouldn't be too much hassle.

You're entirely right about your worries, and I genuinely do feel there's a decent chance this approach to the game won't be fun, or won't be playable due to the information load required. I consider this new direction to be an experiment. I can't tell what it'll play like, it's too different from what I've seen or tried before for me to judge. On the other hand, it may succeed, and could be great if it does. I had a bunch of ideas which came about from Shadows, so wanted to try them out to see how they played.

If it succeeds I'll continue, and move over stuff from the older approach to this one, to create a better whole. If it fails I'll take the ideas which seemed to work from the experiment and continue with the previous version.

As to the UI, I assure you I don't deliberately ignore the UI aspect. In fact, I'd say that at least 75% of the current experimental build has been UI work. The AI and internal systems were relatively easy to design and implement and were done a couple of weeks ago, while the UI is still being assembled. The issue may simply be that I'm not a very good UI designer, and that this project is difficult to design UI for. That said, the Shadows UI has slowly been improved over time, as I realised issues with it from testing gameplay and fixed them, so there's still hope even if the first version is a bit difficult to use.

I'm afraid I can't seem to narrow down your bug. From what you say it would seem that the city's stopped performing its update per turn, but I couldn't find anywhere in the code paths which would allow that to happen without crashing the entire program. It's probably not to do with Ubuntu, but I'll admit I've only tested it on Linux Mint, so that might be the cause(but it seems near impossible to be the real reason). I'll do some more digging,  see if I can't find anything before the next version.

Thanks for the report, though.

Thanks, nice to hear it's appreciated.

I'll post a bit about the sequel some time soon, once I've got some idea of exactly what it'll be like and how its gameplay with handle.

Ah yes, of course. The people's republic is default allied with rebels and the game has no "rebelled against the rebels themselves" faction. Thanks for spotting it, I'll look into fixing this for the next version.

I've realised there's an issue, in that I'm using the Unity package Graph Maker, and it's not open source, so you wouldn't be able to compile and run the code.

If you want, I can send the code (without Graph Maker) in an E-mail, or I'll just include it in the next released version. That said, bear in mind that this is literally my first Unity project, so it may not be the industry-recommended way of doing stuff.

Thanks, glad you enjoyed it.

Don't worry about the kickstarter. It was for buying graphics, and the game can still be continued without professional level art, it'll just be in my somewhat crude art style for the moment, till I can find a better solution. As for preseverence, I've been working on a new thing which I might be able to show shortly (or possibly not so shortly, depending on how it turns out. It's rather experimental and untested right now)

You're probably right. I've changed it a bit so the Lord of the Broken gains evidence whenever they invade another nation, 10% per other lord they break, and only break half the nation's lords, so there's still opposition. Hopefully that'll fix things. These changes will be in the next version, which should be out soon-ish.

Yeah, the Kickstarter's probably sunk. It's my fault, I'm terrible at marketing.

Assuming the kickstarter fails, I intend to roughly continue as usual, just with no artwork. I've been working on this part-time, mostly, so there's no major reason for me to change. What this means mostly is that the game will be in the same art-style it's always been in. I don't see any reason it can't be completed to the level described in the design aims document, though.

Once that's done (probably around October), I'll see what's what. Maybe start a new game, maybe write a new design document and do more work on this one. Might open-source this game, if anyone wants to continue development, or investigate if it's possible to make mods work in the way Rimworld and Kerbal Space Program do, with loading .dlls which execute Unity MonoBehaviours.

It is a good idea. I want to get the peasants to be a bit more interesting, so will be looking to add a set of buildings based around manipulating them. Peasants actually have their own politics and stuff, which can be spread from city to city, but it's very under-developed for now, so needs working on.

Having them escape from civilisation to set up brand new cities could indeed be neat. I like the idea of you inviting the peasants into your lands to offer them safety, in order to allow them to grow and build into a stronger and more capable fighting force. Maybe you could provide them with weapons and stuff, to make them stronger (currently they're only 25% as strong as a normal army, per person). I'll look into it, to see what works and what can be done.

Just in time. Added a fix to the new version which is out now.

Wow, thanks for the offer. As of yet, though, I'm not current taking money from any non-kickstarter sources, because I was fiddling around with some legal stuff (maybe setting up a company to process kickstarter funds to avoid income taxes). At some point I'll change the Itch.io game to accept donations.

You're right, thanks. Fixed for the next version.

(Actually the Corpseheart WAS being removed, but it was being replaced with a new identical one instantly, due to a typo in my code.)

Popup bug: Fixed

I was thinking maybe allowing the kingdom of light, and only the kingdom of light itself, to activate a "Doom Clock". For every city they had it would tick up by one, and you'd lose on reaching full. That would mean that you could have a direct enemy, and anything you could do to remove even a single city from the kingdom of light is helpful. Would definitely cement them as the primary enemy. Should work in both game modes.

One solution could be to allow investigators to discover they were wrong, and that a given target isn't enthralled after all. Should be easy enough to implement the mechanics, but getting the UI to work could be trickier. Lots of different information can be carried by messengers, and it all needs to be easily spotted from the map view without selecting individual units.

That makes sense. Might change it so it's not a necropolis, if it's automatic, make it more natural-like, such as having the corpseweeds grow over the entire city. Would prefer to avoid it connecting to the corpseweed network, though, to make it a more distinct type of resource.

Deconverting corpsehearts can be added, no problem there.

I prefer keeping units separate, to make it more "undead hoard"-like, and less organised. I'll just add in a small random factor.

Dislike allies gains 25 dislike to everyone in their social circle. It might just be underpowered. All you need for a civil war is more military to be controlled by lords who dislike the societal leader than by those still loyal + the leader themselves.

As to your other message:

There actually IS an entourage ability which causes peasant uprisings. It works by making the peasant politics oppose the lord's, thus increasing unhappiness. Peasant politics is something I really want to get working, because it's neat and spreads from city to caravan to city and adds a global dynamic to the political landscape, but for now it's very invisible and few things work with it.

I've got a friend who has assured me that "Wheel of Time" is the greatest literary achievement of mankind. I'll have to give it a look.

I like the idea of entourage acting as defenses for particular lords, preventing certain actions or increasing their costs. I'll have to see what works and what doesn't, and add in the inverse, some lords being particularly weak due to have ineffective entourages. Some of these bonuses would probably then pass over to the player, for example if a captain of the guard were effective they would slow the rate of population uprisings, provided they were still loyal to the lord.

Adding buildings which increase power regen at the cost of world evidence would probably also be a good idea. Those certainly shouldn't be too hard to implement. Might make one which is ritual based, so you can choose when you're okay with gaining some suspicion/evidence/world-evidence and when you feel the heat's on and you gotta lie low for a while.

In regards to some of the other stuff:

Back in the day, in the very first concepts I did in late January over the course of a week or so, the game was very different. All lords could plot at all times, not just the player. Every action available to the player was available to everyone else. To add to this you could only interact with people you had a direct connection to, but could persuade others to become loyal to you, so use them as gateways to others. For example you could try to gain access to the king by first convincing the queen's chambermaid to support you, then use the chambermaid to convince the queen, then the queen to convince the king. The reason the game is so radically different from this idea is due to the insane amount of chaos it produced. It was almost impossible to keep track of anything, with many plots ending every single turn, which would mean that your own plot was now completely useless or impossible, and the giant network of people was a nightmare to get on the screen.

As a result, I'm unsure I want to try making all other NPCs have their own plots, or have a "discovery" mechanic for information. I've no doubt it would make for a good game if it were implemented, but I'm personally not sure I know how to do so successfully. I've actually got a document for "ideas for a sequel" which are ideas which I don't think I can risk spending the time on, in case they completely don't work and just harm the project as a whole. I'll add the infiltration and discovery mechanics to the list, and maybe someday they'll see the light.

Making some kind of core to the undead empire could be a useful addition. Currently the issue is that the undead are incredibly unbalanced, due to their nature. At first they're incredibly weak, because there aren't enough bodies, then they reach a point where they can make headway and suddenly there are unlimited dead bodies to form new armies, and you win almost instantly in an exponential zombie cascade.

Having a core would give something for the lightbringers to attack, like you said, and give a reason to slow down the undead spawning, perhaps tying the max undead to the size of your empire's construction. I'll have to play around with it to see.

Oh, okay, that's different then.

It's done in three steps, from the voting screen. You could just start up a tiny map and grab a country with a single city, so you control the full vote, just to quickly get to grips with it, all steps are "propose vote" to change the desired thing, then when the vote pops up, voting for the desired option.

Step 1: Get your nation's military posture to "offensive", this is required for declaring war.

Step 2: Set an offensive target. You can pick any of your neighbouring kingdoms. The popup should give you some rough idea of military strengths. I'll admit that bit needs a bit more UI work.

Step 3: You can now propose "declare war". Do so, and if it succeeds you'll start a war to conquer the target kingdom.

Hmm, you may be right.

The current situation is due to a different set of desires and aims. I wanted you to repeatedly have to try to stop messages from getting out, so you have to pay attention and invest in messenger-assassination techniques. For some situations it works great. The fog I think is roughly balanced how I wanted it, but this means that the fishmen now have no solution to messengers on land.

Dark enthralled can transmit shadow at improved rates, so they're the best way to cheaply get rid of entourage, since they'll become broken within a certain number of turns.

I'll have to look into it a bit more, see if I can't balance things a bit better, maybe introduce a few new options. At the very least, I could make assassinations cheaper for entourage members, although that's not an ideal solution.

Okay, I'll try to answer as much of this as I can, but you'll have to forgive me if I miss something.


1) Characters, actions and politics

It used to be, back before the first released version, that enthralled could only take one action per day. I removed it because I personally found it very irritating to play. I had to constantly click "next turn" which was annoying, and if there were two enthralled you'd have to keep switching between the two. This meant that if you were doing a lot of political work you had to keep two plans in mind, and switch between them constantly, rather than just accumulate a bunch of power then do all your political actions in one go. I guess it's personal taste, but that was my experience.

Having ordinary characters do stuff would be interesting. I like the idea, especially about interfering with individual plans. My feature roadmap includes something at least somewhat like this, with "political subcomittees", which handle various things. They'd be tiny political battlegrounds, where you trade reputation, favours and liking and in return the society gets bonuses or disadvantages. It would let you sabotage societies from within a bit more easily, and have a bit more stuff to muck around with. Was planning on making it a game option, in case some people don't want to deal with it, or don't feel it's important for the gameplan they wanted to try out.

2) Traits

You're right. You make a good point about needing more traits, and I've added it to my roadmap. Bunch of different traits could be added, and would make the game much better, and definitely add some flavour to the characters. 

As an aside, they actually have five values, actually, but two of them are hidden. There's "suspiciousness" which affects how quickly they gain suspicion, and "dark vulnerability" which affects how quickly the shadow spreads to them. They were introduced in v10, because I disliked how easily shadow would spread down an entire society if you because king. Now at least some will resist. I'll make those values visible to the player, probably.

3) UI work

There's a bunch of UI stuff which needs fixing. I'll add "make the voting a bit more transparent" to the list. My plan was to have alerts have a "Dismiss and don't show messages like this again for the duration of this game" button. So if one of your enthralled doesn't care about votes about Open Gates it'll never display those as alerts for that character, or if you're bored of "world evidence spotted" messages you can tell those to shut up. Should help message spam a bit, making important messages easier to spot.


Hope this clears things up, thanks for taking the time to comment. It's nice to know what needs a bit of fixing, so I can plan for that before starting the next phase of design work.

I think forcing you to share evidence with your entourage is a good idea, because it means you have to first find someone you like in your entourage then betray them. Its problem is just that it's a bit weak. It might be good if it removed all evidence, or even forced everyone world-wide to stop suspecting you and start suspecting them. Similar for the other action, blame peer. Renaming it to "blame ally" sounds good, though, it makes it more obvious what it does.

There are a couple of other populace actions, which are a tiny bit stronger. I like them, in that they have major cost and requirements associated with them, but they might be a bit weak. I've also noticed that spending power is often the best choice, rather than use those other actions. I'll need to look into balancing it.

Early in development is best for suggestions, since it's easier to adapt a plan than it is to adapt an already-implemented code base.


There are some good ideas here, and one of the next stages was adding a load of new buildings and rituals, so I'll throw all these ideas in the main "ideas.txt" file, so I can sort and group them together and see what can be implemented when the time comes.

It was supposed to be started by now, but I ran into delays. Maybe the 1st of June? Some time around then seems likely.

These are good suggestions.

Version 10.1 is now downloadable. Has "dark empire" where you have to build the dark beacon, cast the ritual, then all enthralled can join their societies together. Dark one enthralled are now the default, their darkness doesn't increase naturally but they do spread it down to their entourage, so those become broken faster, to make them better able to manage their city.

I'll look into the whole "make your society gain military power through ritual rather than the normal way" in a bit, but I'll need to think about that.

Not a dumb question at all, just an inbalanced feature. I did notice that lords of the broken were a good choice, but hoped that the advantages of the others would at least somewhat compensate. The dark ones generate shadow passively, so save you a very small amount of power. Vampires are more likable and the cheap one is cheaper. I'll look into making the others a bit more competitive in the next version.

Okay. So. Many points to answer, I'll do my best. I'm assuming from you mentioning the mist you're on V10. It's unfinished but none of those issue are related to its unfinished-ness so they're all still valid.

Repeated clicking in politics: This is an issue, although it's possible it's an issue with me communicating the mechanics. It can often be faster to impassion a dude, making him a better spokesperson for his views, then use him to spread them, than to repeatedly have him spread them at low levels. That's why impassion is so cheap, at only 3 power, to make it realistic to use instead of just spread views repeatedly.

Enthralling in a single action: I'm not opposed to the idea of a system to replace "just spend power" but I can't think of anything which wouldn't just be an artificial tacked on bit, with no connection to the rest. Plus, you don't have much to do with your turns without an enthralled or two, so it would just be dead time.

Character creation/Pre-game planning: Definitely something I want. A variety of things are possible. My basic idea is you'd see the board to begin with, then get to pick which tools you want to deploy. It may be a kickstarter stretch goal, though, if I run out of time, since I'd want to do it properly and test it for balance a whole bunch.

Buildings: They're not perfect, but I'm okay with buildings as they stand. Having just a single building slot and upgrading would be pretty similar to how they are now, but would prevent you from mixing and matching. For instance you could decide to have a fog+fish person build, if you only want a couple of powers out of each. I think it'll make more sense with more buildings being introduced, but we'll have to see how it works out.

Military: You're explicitly not supposed to be able to command any unit. This is a design feature, not an oversight or a feature coming later. I simply don't have the time to design and build a tactical AI system able to respond to what the player could do with full unit control. The player would have an unbeatable advantage as a result. It's not that I don't want tactical combat, it's that I don't think I can implement tactical combat. Firaxis have been trying to get hex-tile turn-based combat working since Civ 5, and it's like eight years later and they still don't have it. I've no reason to believe I can do better, so I simply avoid the issue, despite the loss of gameplay that causes.


Hope this clears things up a bit. Thanks for the feedback, though, definitely useful to know what needs another look at.

From what I can tell, this is an issue with Unity itself. An input device (RI stands for "Raw Input"), such as a gamepad or joystick, isn't being processed by Unity properly. I'm afraid I don't know of any way to fix it, it seems to be a common problem to Unity which occasionally turns up. If you had something new plugged in that might be causing it. Alternatively, it might be present all the time, but only development mode throws an error. If so, just wait for the next version and I'll release it as non-development, and that might fix things.

I 100% recognise the game isn't the easiest to understand and that the documentation is old and/or missing. That's one of the major reasons this is marked as an unfinished release. I didn't want to do documentation before the suspicion/investigation thing was in because it would have rendered all previous "how-to-play" obsolete.

Now that the core mechanics of investigation are in I will be working on giving the players a proper introduction to the whole thing.

Don't worry, these changes are going to take ages. I'm pulling the entire game apart and rebuilding it, so no new version in a while.