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Auto Fire

An auto combat Roguelike... call it a Roadlike CarPG. · By Vertigames

Version 0.5's first baby steps

A topic by Vertigames created Oct 05, 2018 Views: 63 Replies: 3
Viewing posts 1 to 2
Developer

So after 2.5 years, the first "public" work in progress release of Auto Fire is out there.  I'd been putting so much effort into core systems, feedback and feel that I didn't feel comfortable in people trying it.

There's very limited content right now, and I'm mainly getting a lay of the land if people can handle the control of both a car and roguelike combat.  Some things not yet done:

  • There is a very limited progression arc.  You can fight vehicles and soldiers and get loot, but there's no real balance as of yet.
  • Very limited set of weapons, equipment and enemies.
  • Encounters on the overworld map are not fully operational (cargo, combat, faction changes)
  • Boss fights that clear out a hostile area when defeated.
  • The citadels aren't really a destination yet.  This is where you will have weapon stores, cargo missions, arena duels, and a bar for rumors.
  • The home base isn't really a place to go either.  This map may go away and get streamlined.
  • No fame and skill progression tracking, or media coverage of select combats.
  • No proper handling of target painting, sustained fire, and other uses of radar (except for picking up items).

Please let me know what you think!

(+1)

Hey Vertigames.  I've been following this project since the first release of the 7DRL build and was ecstatic to see this new build released after so long. I'm not sure what bugs you've noticed or what design ideas, besides the list you provided, are in the works, but I did notice a few odd and fantastic things while playing for an hour or so. The first thing is how satisfying the combat is in its current state. When I read the blog posts about touching up the graphics and effects a part of me said "No, no no! That's not important! Focus on these fantastic systems!" A lot of your work paid off, though. The spontaneous flaming pop of enemy cars and even soldiers is very fun to witness and watching the loot fly is quite satisfying. The wooshing effect when moving at high speed is a nice touch. It makes me appropriately invigorated and nervous because of the handling system. The handling is just as fun as it was in the simplistic 7DRL build. Sliding sideways to pop off a shot from your front canon while your side weapon reloads feels great and really shows off the benefit of car combat games in this vein (of which, sadly, this may be the only true one currently). Similarly, I can't overstate how great it is that this game implements 4-way weaponry. Actually being able to drive by an enemy like a wheeled man-o-war and pelt them with gunfire is a grossly underrated experience in much any game. The movement system in the old build was quite fun, but you made some smart upgrades. Holding ctrl for hard turns is smooth and the addition of swerving is freeing. With all that said, this build does have its share of flaws that I didn't see mentioned. The biggest problems with the core gameplay are the current difficulty and picking up loot. The enemy vehicles, even when ambushing, barely scratched me and really made all my wasteland forays into cake walks. I'm assuming this is part of your note about lack of balance, but it especially struck me once I got over enjoying the systems. One of the only things that could be described as frustrating is how buggy the grid system is when aiming weapons.  When shooting a side weapon, the game refused to fire on an in-range enemy multiple times because the grid became turned 45 degrees and made it impossible to select the tile an enemy was on. I would then have to turn or move in some way to re-arrange the grid in a way that allowed me to fire. Picking up loot is currently a chore. I certainly like the idea of having to ditch items in order to escape enemies and maintain handling, but the current encounters I've experienced are frequently isolated and give plenty of time to pick up everything acquired if one has enough patience. This is the only part of the gameplay I really noticed drag. The other issues such as buggy movement in city areas and inability to buy or sell merchandise I'm assuming are known. One particular issue with shops, though, is that whenever I tried to buy or sell an item, I would be redirected to the inventory screen at some point in the process and couldn't see how to avoid it.

I plan to play this release many times in the future and I look forward to more updates.

Developer

Thanks for the feedback! i'm glad to hear that my conversion to 3D was not a slap in the face to every roguelike fan!  :-)  

I know that the fancy stuff isn't what it's all about, and I'm eager to dig back into creating a satisfying game loop.  I must admit that 3D does slow down development quite a bit... slapping together some pixel art is one thing, but finding competent models and materials is really tough since I'm not an artist.

That said, a ton of my time has been spent on getting the feel of driving, and I do believe that 3D is paying off in that respect.  My biggest challenges is to remind the player when they are at speed and what exactly is going down when they start to skid.  That will probably be tweaked for quite a while in the future.

It sounds like you are playing with the cursor keys, which I added for laptop support.  Glad to hear it works.  One of the weirdnesses of orienting a grid diagonally is that you can't use 4-directional movement and hit every square...  I have some strategies for that in the long run.  For now, if you hold shift it will rotate the arrow movement when you press the cursor keys (I didn't have time in this release to show shift-diagonal feedback onscreen).  Also, the keypad and the 9-key cluster around JKL/UIO/M,. will work on all 8 directions.  Thank god for Rewired, it's pretty easy to add new setups.

It is my lament that I didn't set up enough of a content loop to allow you to acquire/sell/upgrade items for this update!   My focus was really to show a proof of concept to a bunch of people and provide hooks into the rest of the system.  The more I play myself, the more I want to shift focus onto the content loop...  luckily I set up a lot of equipment, enemy and quest infrastructure that I think I can make some good progress in coming months.

Again, thanks for giving it a spin!  It's been a bit nerve-wracking getting something I'm comfortable with out in the wild.  As you can see, I can only see "To do" stickys all over the place. :-)

Developer

Oh hey I forgot to mention:  Yeah picking up loot is a slog but you can pick up all loot in adjacent squares with the radar equipment (pressing the [1] key).  That'll make it a bit more palatable. :-)