Wow, thank you so much. I am doing another game jam this weekend, so I just might.
Recent community posts
Whoa how did I miss this post? We're usually in the discord: https://discord.gg/rvy92VB . Glad you can be here @rhinox!! Let's answer your questions:
re: Health - player health is indicated by the amount of time spent flashing. The faster you're flashing the closer to death you are. No one flashes at max health, and everyone flashes the same at 1HP and (Max Health - 1) HP. Inbetween is a gradient.
re: Single Player - it's coming! I usually talk about stuff on my twitter or the discord. Single player is going to be like the original NES Legend of Zelda. You'll start with a few characters and items and you'll search a big overworld + dungeons for other characters/items to reequip at basecamps. New items/characters will open up different methods of traversal throughout the world. I'm planning on having random seeds to redistribute characters/items so that you can play it over and over again.
re: Wishes - this is a good list! I will be emphasizing player difference via the stat system, but I do love the idea of earth element stuff. Physicality is really one of my favorite things in the game, and I think a boulder type attack could both mimic and contrast the Book of Barriers really well.
A step by step on how to use Parsec for your first time:
- Download Parsec and make an account
- Connect to your friends' accounts via the Parsec application
- Decide who will be the Host and who will be the Client(s). The Host runs the game and needs high upload speeds
- Using the Play tab, the Client(s) then click Co-Play onto the Host computer.
- Using the Host tab, the Host can manually accept each Client to share the Host screen
- And finally the Host launches The Moon Fields!
In order to play online you will need to
- Have a Parsec Gaming account here
- As a client you will also need a Dualshock 4, XBox 360, or XBox One controller. Please refer to this page for information.
- As a host you will make sure you have installed the proper controller drivers are installed on your system and have your own copy of The Moon Fields and at least a 5mpbs upload speed
- Optionally, you should try to matchmake (or just hang out!) with The Moon Fields' community here.
Currently the Community Nights for online play in The Moon Fields are Monday and Wednesday nights. New builds are generally dropped on Community Nights to try out new and exciting things. The Discord community is a living and breathing thing, though, so people could be looking for games any night of the week. If the official community night changes I'll update this OP.
Super stoked for ya'll to come check me out at any of these things
1) This is the discord we use to chat about playing online: https://discord.gg/hJFsk6H
1b) We've been using Parsec to run matches online. Check it out here https://parsecgaming.com
2) This is the intro thread https://itch.io/t/174122/introduction-thread. Please post about yourself
3) If you're into twitter check me out here https://twitter.com/LUNARSIGNALS. If you want to play online you can ping me here, too
There's always discussion about shields, so I'm gathering my thoughts about them here. For future shields, I am considering having Special Shields. These Shields would do double duty attacking, casting spells, or granting passive bonuses. But before I can discuss those shields, I have to discuss what I have right now:
Shields are key to a lot of winning strategies out here in The Moon Fields. Shields will block from your side or your back. They all have different sizes to block attacks with. In general the side shields are smaller and the back shields are larger. Also, they have a ton of other, more hidden stats.
1) Durability: Shields take damage just like the Player Characters. Some shields are fragile while others are more durable, though they can all break. A broken shield can be recovered by activating it, though it takes time.
2) Turn: like Weapons, Shields have a Turn stat that determines how many degrees you can move when you first activate it. Some shields turn a lot whereas other shields are not very nimble.
3) Movement Percent: You can walk while using any Shield, but the speed at which you move is dependent on the Shield. Some Shields are heavy!
4) Strafing Shield vs. Advancing Shield: Strafing Shields lock your direction and you will continue blocking in that direction until you let your guard down. Advancing Shields add the ability to rotate by activating the shield while the Analog Stick is Neutral. This lets you quickly advance down on an opponent that is throwing projectiles or other types of attacks at you.
5) Weight Multiplier: Some shields let you dig your feet in and push, while others are more frail. Bigger, heavier shields can help you push your enemies to where you want them.
6) Power Block: The first 1/4 second of pulling out a shield lets you block an attack with extra force multiplying the stun returned to the originator of the attack
7) Recovery Speed: When a Shield's durability is broken, it takes a moment to repair the shield. Some shields repair quickly, while others do not.
|Shield Name||Hit Points||First Turn||Move Penalty||Turn Penalty||Weight Multiplier||Stun Return||Fix Speed||(Push Power)||Notes:|
|Side Strafing Shields|
|Leather Shield||5||180||0.75||0||2||1.25||2||1.5||Quick To Recover, Can Block Any Direction, but Low Durability|
|Red & White||5||90||1||0||12||2.5||1||12||Fast, Can Parry, Has a Nice Hitbox!|
|Tall Shield||6||180||0.5||0||16||2.5||1||8||Wide when not in use, Tall when blocking, Can Block in Any Direction|
|Side Advancing Shields|
|Buckler||4||180||1||1||2||5||2||2||Best Power Blocks In The Game, Smallest Hitbox|
|Lion Guard||8||180||0.25||1||6||2.5||1||1.5||Highest Durability Side Shield|
|Kite Shield||6||90||1||1||6||2.5||1||6||Fast and Versatile (though that Turn is low)|
|Back Strafing Shields|
|Barricade||4||0||0.5||0||8||1.25||1||4||Biggest Shield, weak in most other categories|
|Deep Guard||7||180||0.75||0||12||2.5||1||9||Tall on the back, Wide when blocking, Only Backshield that can block in Any Direction, Backshield w Good Power Block|
|Tomb Shield||8||0||0.25||0||64||1.25||1||16||Sturdiest Shield, 2nd biggest, and Pushiest|
|Back Advancing Shields|
|Pavise||7||90||0.75||1||16||1.25||1||12||Only Large Advancing Shield, Pushy, Decent Turn|
First of all, you don't need to do true combos to do well in The Moon Fields. Attacks can stun opponents for a period of time, and a string of attacks that keeps the opponent stunned is called a Combo. But because there is no universal "don't get hit" button, strings of attacks that almost combo can be just as good. The few frames you let up may let your opponent wriggle out of your grasp, but that's OK because unless you miss (which you should never do), you will probably keep your advantage! Obviously letting your opponent control their opponent for 0 Frames is best, but they might not be able to stop your assault if you give them just 1 or 2 or even 5 frames of breathing room.
In general, there are a few attacks that will combo into themselves. The Crossbow's stun is long enough that you can reload and fire off another bolt before your opponent recovers. The Starlight's Forward Stepback Thrust stuns for 30 frames, but only takes 26 frames to enact --- that gives you 4/60 frames of leeway to repeat the attack and score another hit! But these two (and most of the others) come with a high barrier of execution. Hitting an enemy with a Crossbow bolt will stun them, they will slide forward with whatever momentum they had, and the bolt will push them back --- that means, unless your enemy is walking straight towards you (or not moving at all!) to score hits with consecutive Crossbow bolts on a moving enemy is incredibly difficult.
Some attacks that do not combo into themselves may combo into other attacks. Attacks have Startup, Active, and Recovery frames. If an attack's Start Up is long and the Active portion is towards the end of the animation, then it is likely that attack can combo into an attack whose Start Up is quick and the Active portion is towards the beginning of the animation. The Broadsword Neutral Backhand Swing deals damage towards the end of its attack, so it combos fairly well into The Broadsword Tilt Forehand Swing. One of the tricky things about fighting in these 3D spaces, though, is depending on your character's orientation you may deal damage early during active frames or you may deal damage late. Orienting your characters correctly to key to these types of combos.
The last thing you will look for to up your combo game is utilizing Dash/Jump Cancels for offense. The Dash/Jump cancel is a technique for players to quickly get out of a successful attack by either Dashing horizontally or Jumping vertically. After this movement is started, the player can continue their evasion or get right back into the attack. Some of these combos are easier than others, and some are incredibly difficult! Most of these combos can loop into themselves or other combos, but they become unwieldy and difficult to maintain after a couple hits. One of the easiest of these combos is Knights' Sword Forward Stab > Dash Cancel > Knights' Sword Forward Stab and repeat. When creating these combos, consider the Analog Stick's position for the attack, the type of movement you want to chain, and the attack you want to use to follow up. Going from a Forward Attack to a Jump to a Forward Air Attack is doable, but it can be very difficult.
I think improved developer -> player communication is good. Right now, I use refinery to have a small group of players connect to my game, but I use other platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Discord) to actually connect my players. It's very frustrating!
I understand that some players will purchase my game and want to dip out on the community aspect, but the refinery and the limited, early access aspect is really meant to filter out those players and help me connect to the most interested players.
I know I want to boost forum usage and devlog readership, so I'd really like if there was a way for anyone who owns The Moon Fields to get a notification that there is a new forum post or a devlog post for The Moon Fields. It doesn't have to be the same notification bell as the other things, but it'd be a really great way to feel like my posts on the forums or devlogs are doing things.
Edit; I guess the idea is to be able to subscribe to ALL things regarding a particular game, and make opting in easy and part of the game purchasing process?
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