I have a video of me playing my local action game between Milwaukee and Dallas. There are definitely times when I wish I had those extra frames, but it's mostly really smooth for over an hour.
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I have a video of me playing my local action game between Milwaukee and Dallas. There are definitely times when I wish I had those extra frames, but it's mostly really smooth for over an hour.
Some of you may know that I've been developing The Moon Fields for a bit now. It is currently an action based local multiplayer versus game. And I played it online using a program I found called Parsec. I played for about 5 hours over a few different sessions where I was both the host and the client. I am currently interested in running a few more tests, but it's good enough at this point for me to recommend it to other devs.
For Local Multiplayer games Parsec works on a host/client model. The host and the clients all have to sign up for and install Parsec. Once inside of Parsec, the hosts and friends need to send friend requests --- though AFAIK the clients don't need to be friends with each other. And then once everyone is friended, the host runs the game and the clients hit co-play. At this point the host's computer screen is broadcast to the clients and the client's game controllers are converted to XInput and sent to the host's computer.
On the first attempt, we ran into a hiccup - my friend didn't install the open source controller program that was necessary to get XB360 controllers working across the net. But once that was resolved, we ended up playing The Moon Fields for ~4 hours. There was 1 host and 3 clients, and each client had 1 game controller. I was using an XBox 360 controller; there was a Dualshock 4 and some kind of Logitech at the other stations. For me, the latency was noticeable, but it was still very playable. I'd guess it was 3 frames. The most important part was that it was fairly consistent between Minneapolis and Milwaukee (300+ miles). I tested the Parsec streaming over my LAN, and it felt pretty much the same. I should note the host had 100mb download and 15mb upload speeds.
The next day I tried running this with another friend, on an older computer, and other situations, and I still ran into some hiccups. My old i750 with an HD6950 had a hard time broadcasting to my friend in Madison (to MKE that's <100 miles), but I was able to jack into his computer as a client. I also tried running it on my i5-6440HQ laptop with integrated graphics, and he was telling me it was choppy --- though I'm unsure if that's my computer or my upload speed. My download is ~30mb and upload >5mb. So!
Anyways, I've been gushing about this for a couple days now. It's not perfect, but it's playable. And it's really easy. If ya'll are interested in checking this out, please do. Maybe check back with your experiences.
The armory is currently separated into 11 different item types. Certain groups of item types can be safely grouped together (e.g. Guns and Bows both fit under the category of Ranged), though the specific categorizations are meant to help with builds (e.g. it is easier to swap a Melee in with another Melee than it is to swap with a Large Melee). The categories are: Large Melee, Melee, Magic Melee, Ranged, Gun, Shield, Strafing Shield, Magic Trinket, Trap, Consumable, and Miscellaneous.
Large Melee, Melee, and Magic Melee all have attacks and hitboxes that act similarly. Large Melee will generally "expend Focus" making them difficult for Magic users to use, though they also have high damage and stun, and are more likely to have Power and Armored Attacks. Regular Melee either postpone or have no effect on Focus Point generation. Magic Melee will follow these same rules, but if you have enough Focus Points, you may be able to cast while also attacking (e.g. the Drain Blade will cast Drain on itself and can steal HP on a hit).
Both Ranged and Guns use ammunition. Many of the ranged attacks will have an Aim mode that can be activated from any of the four command types. The Aim mode will lock your direction while allowing you to strafe.
There are regular Shields and Strafing Shields. Strafing Shields are a subset of shields that have flat faces and upon activation lock your direction. The rest of the Shields are curved and have the option of strafing like above or rotating like normal if activated while Tilted. Shields are further separated by other traits: Durability, Side or Back placement, Parry Strength, Walking Speed, Quick Turn, and Weight. Last note: when a Shield loses all Durability, pressing the Shield button will spend a moment to recover the shield instead.
Magic Trinkets and Magic Melee both can consume Focus Points to cast spells. Magic Trinkets will only have actions that are spells (and will sputter out when you don't have enough Focus Points). Magic Melee can do both, and will revert to their melee attack without a spell if you don't have enough FP.
Traps and Consumables both have limited uses. Traps are outwardly projected only e.g. Caltrops or the quickly exploding Drop Bomb. Consumables are generally used on your own person, though they can be thrown for varying effects e.g. the Magic Bottle can be ingested for a quick maxout for MP or it can be thrown for a small amount of splash damage.
The Miscellaneous category has stuff that doesn't fit nicely into categories above. The Goblin Head is like a Ranged Weapon, but it shoots fire. The Hook Chain is also shoots a projectile, but it is more about physics and doesn't do any damage. And the Dash Boots are also a little odd. These guys are the weirdos, and I think it helps keeping them away from the other items because they're so unique.
The "flow" of the game is totally supposed to make you choose between learning how to use certain items better vs. picking different items altogether. I'm curious what kind of items/characters/builds you're happiest with at the moment?
The Sun Stick and Drop Goo have been implemented online already, and I also added a Broadsword that's all about swinging. You can check the devlog for more information regarding those guys.
I've reworked the Pistol and added a new gun called the Dragoon. Dragoons were short range guns that some French Cavalry used after dismounting their horses. The Dragoon does a ton of damage upclose, but also fires a 2 damage Big Bullet for range as well. The Pistol is getting a lot more bullets, both guns retained some of the Explorer's abilities (the Explorer is gone :().
Oh, I also added the Lightning Javelin. Space requirements made me name it the Bolt Javelin, but it's pretty rad. When you're in the air you can spend some FP to throw the Javelin and wherever it lands it casts Lightning. It combos pretty well with Mana Bottles. You can throw the Mana Bottles (for 1 damage) or pop a bottle for some quick FP to throw the Bolt Javelin. It also combos pretty well with Speed Potions (Rain Hat, Broadsword, Bolt Jav, Speed Potion, Shield is gonna be sick).
The next items on deck: still Throwing Stars (maybe pebbles/rocks? 99 pebbles would be funny...), Fire Bow. I'm thinking Turtle Shell, Sai, and Nunchaku to complete the Turtle set....
This GIF about Counter Hits and Weapon Clashes made me want to compile a list of terminology that I use to design the combat in The Moon Fields.
Dash - tapping the A button repeatedly while moving confers a large amount of speed to your movement speed at the cost of being a bit more predictable with your momentum.
Jump - tapping A while not moving hops you up in the air ~2m which is enough to leap over most horizontal attacks. You still have some control of your movement in the air which helps with climbing over the terrain.
High Jump - hold A while moving charges for 12f and then leaps you into the air ~3m and bestows a large amount of horizontal movement. You can combo this with dashing beforehand to get to hard to reach places. Warning: holding the A button will also slow your movement before the Jump.
Tilt Attack - activating an attack while the Analog stick is pushed past its threshold activates the Tilt Attack. In general these are fast and aggressive.
Neutral Attack - activating an attack while the Analog stick is closer to its center activates Neutral Attacks. In general these are trickier attacks meant to defend or take advantage of an indecisive enemy.
Air Attack - these attacks are activated when the player's feet are not on the ground. Most weapons only have one Air Attack, but some technical weapons will have both an Air Tilt and an Air Neutral. The Shortbow's Air Tilt shoots downward at an angle whereas its Air Neutral shoots straight ahead.
Focus Points / Magic Points - players holding magical items generate FP. FP is represented by floating pink cubes around the player. Different amounts of FP are used to cast spells. Some magical weapons will also use FP to gain special abilities. E.g. The Drain Blade uses FP to cast "Drain" to steal the damaged HP for its caster. Heavy actions such as swinging large weapons or running will also deplete FP.
Fire/Explosive/Magical Explosive Damage - the most pertinent information is that this damage can't be blocked. Fire and Explosive damage can also ignite Black Goo.
Black Goo - this sticky stuff slows down any player that comes into contact with it. It can be ignited, so Fire and Explosive damage are very dangerous around Goo. Activating a Jump or High Jump will remove one goo orb at a time.
Quick Turn - this is an amount of degrees that an action turns the player when it is activated. E.g. the bread and butter Knights' Sword Stab has a Quick Turn of 180, so no matter your facing direction, when you activate the attack, you will stab in the exact direction you're pushing your analog stick. On the other side of the spectrum, the mace Black Branch Smash attack has a Quick Turn of 0, so if you miss you have a high chance of being flanked.
Forehand/Counter Clockwise/CCW - these attacks are swings that swing from your right to your left and are generally fast. The directionality is helpful because it tells you the direction you should be moving around an object to utilize that attack. E.g. you want to chase enemies around objects Counter Clockwise so your Battle Axe Forward Swing can wrap around the environment. Conversely, if you're being chased by someone with a Battle Axe, try hugging the environment while moving Clockwise to stuff their Battle Axe's Forward Swing.
Backhand/Clockwise/CW - these attacks are swings that swing from your left to your right. If you and your opponent are facing each other, this will avoid their Shielded Side. A common Backhand attack is the neutral Grand Blade Swing. This is one of the faster CW attacks! You can tell it's coming because you have to stop moving to let it go; so if you're using the Grand Blade on offense, try alternating between walking and standing still.
Shielded Side - in general when I say Shielded Side I mean your character's left side. Holding steadfast against Forehands or turning from Backhands, you can take advantage of sloppily swinging enemies. Against enemies that prefer to stab straight at you, you can attempt to circle your enemy Counter Clockwise. This combos very well with a Back Shield.
Back Shield - a few of the larger Shields are placed on your back. Face to face, these protect against only the most overshot swinging attacks. But circling an enemy will help you block an entire half of swings. CCW movement will protect from Forehands, and CW movement will protect from Backhands. The most important thing about this is that while moving CCW your Backhands can hit your enemy much quicker, and while moving CW your Forehands will also hit your enemies much quicker as well. Back Shields are also great for running away.
Damage - each attack has its own damage. Every one of those attacks will always do the same damage as every other one of those attacks.
Stun - each attack also has its own amount of Stun. Connecting a hit will do both Damage and Stun. Having your hits blocked means the Stun will be returned to you - though some weapons have Returned Stun Multipliers that will modify this number. In general heavy attacks have low RSM while lighter, pokey attacks have higher RSM.
Power Attack - this attack powers through a block without stunning the attacker (after a collision, a Power Attack does not convey any damage). Generally this is for multihit attacks like neutral The Knights' Sword's Flurry.
Armored Attack - this attack is also a Power Attack, but it cannot be Counter Hit.
Counter Hit - hitting an opponent while they are in the middle of activating a normal or Power Attack knocks them out of their attack and confers a bonus 15f stun. This appears as a yellow and orange cloud.
Power Block - the first 15f of block multiplies the Returned Stun by the shield's Power Block Multiplier. The Buckler's multiplier is 4x whereas the Barricade's multiplier is 1.5x. Power Block will also stun a Power Attack (cancelling it and any followup swings for its attack).
Weapon Clash - a large yellow cloud of sparks appears before both attacking players are pushed away. Neither player will be stunned, and both players will finish out their attack animations before being able to attack again.
Dash Cancel - after a Weapon Clash or a successful hit, you can press a direction and the A button to skip the rest of the attack animation and return to idle. You can also Jump Cancel by pressing A without holding a direction. Both let you immediately return to attacking.
Totally not going to break my page design, but I popped in a link to my Youtube channel with a bunch of sample videos. Here's one big chaotic 8p one from M+Dev which is the Wisconsin gamedev conference.
And here's a more technical 1v1 that's (still fast), but explains a lot of the more technical aspects of part of the combat (melee).
Expanding on some ideas:
- Two modes - sheathed sword and unsheathed
- Starts sheathed
- Sheathed (Hammer mode)
- Neutral = Unsheath
- Everything else = Hammersmash
- Unsheathed (Sword mode)
- Tilt = Stab
- Air Tilt = Downstab
- Everything else = Sheath
- Named after Sun Wukong
- Tilt = long stab attack (very much like winged spear), can consume magic to extend the length of the stick
- Neutral = fancy multispin attack (think rotating it around the body) that does high stun but low damage
- Air = overhead hammer attack, can consume magic to fatten stick and increase damage
I'm thinking for the next update it'll be Throwing Stars, Drop Goo, Lightning Javelin, Fire Bow, and one of these above. I'm up for suggestions.
Brainstorming some new item ideas. Please feel free to comment
- Throwing Stars - these would have more generous hitboxes than arrows, but they'd move slightly slower. Bonus idea: add curve (reverse curve on neutral throw)
- Daze Powder - really unsure what this'd do, I just like the idea of throwing up dust into the air and having it affect the battlefield
Drop Goo - like the drop bomb except goo. I can see this going two ways: 1 it's on some kind of timed fire and you only get two or 2 you get a ton and it combos really well with fire skills (Fireaxe, Magic Brand, Fire Book, explosions of all kinds)
- Double Claws - berserker barrage
- Spiked Shield - has a Shield Bash attack, otherwise it's breakable
- Turtle Shell - it's a big backshield....
- Nunchaku - I'd want this to be an annoying item
- Sai - this could be the first 4 attack weapon. Weak. Neutral should be a long startup + short stun that combos into Tilt. Tilt is a fast startup short stun that hits 3x and moves forward. Air Neutral can arms split for wide coverage and Air Tilt would have lots of movement to cover distance
Bo Staff/Sun Stick - lots of wide ranging/high stun/low low damage attacks on the ground, but air attack could be big damage. Also, possibly magic for magic stick style elongation
- Whip - long range high stun low damage. Could functionally be like a version of the chainhook with a shorter throw, more attack types (spin?). I'm unsure, but this is definitely part of the Belmont in-game cosplay gear
- Chain Whip - uhhhh... haha
- Magic Scepter - a simple weapon with a magic spell on it
Lightning Javelin - Ground stab forward (like a shorter winged spear), Air to throw. When it lands it calls down lightning.
- Fire Bow - shoots a slower arrow than the regular shortbow, but that arrow sparks a flame on collision
- Mechanical Bow - 1 damage, mid range stun, relatively fast to repeat. Essentially a compromise between the short bow and the crossbow
- Tar Wheel - a weak shield that can be taken off, lit, and rolled for flame damage
- Smoke Bomb - covers a large area with smoke
- Hammersword - A sword sheathed inside a large hammer (Yooo bloodborne), e.g. a weaker Mountain paired with the stabbiness of a straight sword
- Gunblade/Bladeshot- this would function similarly to the Knights Sword with the Neutral acting as a pistol. It would share ammo with the pistol
- Rocks/Stones/Pebbles - no damage, high stun
- Fireworks - high stun rockets. I don't really know how they could be useful, but it'd definitely be pretty and a hilarious build to make
- Ball & Chain - this would be a weird one. I'm thinking this would have to be really weird in that you press it once start it spinning above your head, then you move very slowly until you press it again, in which case it'll shoot out very much like the Chainhook --- but do massive damage instead. Also, jump attack = overhead for massive damage too
I'm trying to stir up some conversations. Please feel free to post here or join the discord. For here I think it'd be a good start to introduce ourselves and how we got acquainted with The Moon Fields or a memory of the first time you saw the game. I've been bringing this game out on tour, and I've got a ton of great memories of different events (please see PCGamer writeup!), so I'd love to be able to tag faces with itch handles.
Anyways, I'm Raphael Azcueta. I've been making games forever as a hobby. I love old Japanese arcade games, RPGs, action adventures, Quentin Tarantino, Wu-Tang, Double Dragon 2, and all kinds of food. Obviously, I'm the developer of The Moon Fields. I'm actually the only developer (outside of a musician I'm hopefully hiring). TMF is my first game, and initially it was supposed to be a 2D overhead action adventure similar to Zelda, but, obviously, it grew up into something else. I'm from Milwaukee, so I've been touring the game throughout the Midwest, and hopefully other places throughout 2018.
I guess I'll leave you with a GIF of how TMF looked all the way back when it was 2D. :-p
Thanks for the response.
1) Thanks for the email guide. That makes a lot of sense. I'll keep writing to my devlog.
2) Yeah, I'm looking to gather information regarding people playing the game. A lot of interesting tactics and strategies have been emerging at events (especially with repeat players), and I'd like to have a centralized place for people to discuss them. I also like the idea of having feature requests and, because I'm taking my game on tour IRL, tour-location requests. I guess the biggest issue I have is that there.... aren't people on the boards so then it makes it harder to stir the pot? A prompt to seemingly no one is hard, but I guess I should try that.
I don't have any ideas to change itch to make MBs more visible, but I do appreciate the advice. Do you know of any specific multiplayer/competitive boards that are active? Maybe local multiplayer? I have a hard time looking through all of the stuff on itch...
A couple friends of mine do a podcast out of Minneapolis called Nice Games Club and they have a special edition where they talk about intersections between indie and fighting games. In addition to a few minutes devoted to The Moon Fields they get pretty insightful on breadth vs depth and Smash Bros.
Hi guys! I am developing a multiplayer versus game, and I'm wondering what are the best ways to encourage community engagement. I have a few specific questions, but I guess I'll be open for this thread for community engagement in general.
1) What is the proper etiquette for emailing people who have purchased the game? Also, is there a way to have a general "email list" type thing from itch - including purchasers AND non purchasers who opt it?
2) Have any of you other developers had luck getting people talking on your message boards? Are there games with successful message board communities that you've seen that I can just go check out? Any tips/tricks/etc? I'm using the itch.io boards for The Moon Fields
PC Gamer wrote an article about The Moon Fields because it's awesome and cool and really really good and amazing.
In the Madison Indies Slack channel we were discussing ways to replace our Facebook Madison Indies page. Someone was wondering if itch.io could let us curate game makers as well as our games - I don't think this is the case? We were thinking how great it would be if itch let us curate a group of local (or just likeminded) developers.
Anyways, this kind of idea would really help all of us treat itch.io like a community. Being able to be a "Madison Indie" on itch.io would be cool. Having a group log with both public facing posts (e.g. game releases, game jams, public events) and internal posts (secret game meetings, hiring) would be super helpful. It'd be really easy to find "madisonindies.itch.io", and then it'd look a lot better than a FB page.
If people search for "The Moon Fields" or "Local Multiplayer" they end up seeing "The Moon Fields $20". I gave one person the link https://lunarsignals.itch.io/the-moon-fields telling them that there was a demo, and they thought that the demo was $20.
I'm not really good at website design, but I think one of the problems is that the early access has kind of a big leadup with the Exclusive Content header and the outlined section for the particular First Access Key reward. The demo doesn't seem to have much parity? I don't know.
I guess the way I see it is I'm offering two products - one for free and one for $20. I made a similar game before at https://interdimensional.itch.io/combatjr, and it's consistently getting more views and downloads than the demo for The Moon Fields. The idea behind my demo here was to make it Combat Jr obsolete, and the full version was a reason why people would want to buy into The Moon Fields. E.g. people can find value in The Moon Fields as a demo but also give $20 to the development of the final full version.
I would be fine if by searching The Moon Fields people would see that the game was at the lowest price of zero, but also buy more content at $20.
I'm making The Moon Fields, and I've been told by a few people that they see the price and then never bother scrolling down to see that there's a demo. I only find out later when I am mid convo and tell them that "there's also a demo". I don't know what the optimal solution is to get awareness for the demo. I have a link in the description, but I don't think people go that far. Is it better to advertise the free demo in the title image? Or should I be making a separate game page for the demo?