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Cyborg

A topic by hypnotic created Mar 03, 2019 Views: 364 Replies: 20
Viewing posts 1 to 20
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Cyborg is a sci-fi, rogue-like, survival game containing grid-based movement, turn-based combat and perma-death. 

Fly the 'Gryphon' starship into hostile space. Warp to star systems and explore a procedural generated galaxy.

Drive the Cyclops (ATV) and traverse planet/moon surfaces to discover their secrets.
Infiltrate hostile stations and bases as Cynthia, a heavily augmented cyborg killer with a personal agenda...

End a desperate, corporate war in a dystopian future.

Core Mechanic:

The game explores the question: 'Skills/Stats' versus 'Items', which is more important?
You start with high skills (due to permanent augmentations), but can one compensate their (augmentations) loss via better items (or other means) and survive to the end in a game that progressively gets harder?

Level  design:

Proc-gen galaxy contains x amount of star systems you can warp between,  each with the following level types:

  • Star System (You fly in the Gryphon and see a star and some planets, moons and stations)
    • Planet surface (Cellular automata - large)
      • Base (Rooms/Corridors algorithm)
    • Moon surface (Cellular automata - small)
      • Base (Rooms/Corridors algorithm)
    • Station (Rooms/Corridors algorithm)
    • Gryphon and other key levels are static tiled levels

The game concept has been explored as a failed  2d action game a few years ago that I have since parked.

I'd like to revisit it as a pure rogue-like with a traditional ASCII tileset where I can focus on the core game-play mechanic instead of aesthetics like in the past. 

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That was then...

This is now:


Progress! :D

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Progress indeed. Good luck!

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I've added a basic UI that is navigated using the mouse wheel. The idea is one recycles items into "Haze", a universal currency. Haze is life. Basic tiled level, FOV and movement implemented.

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I really really like that font. What is it?

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The tileset is Simple Mood 16x16 Tileset by Rogue Yun.  The font is kenvector_future_thin2.

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Looks really clean and sounds ambitious. I'm liking it so far. Good luck!

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Space. It's full of stars... very symmetrical stars, but stars nonetheless... 


I've found a really cool way to create random names for everything from a very old online article. I'm using it to create names for everything from star systems to planets and will give  enemies a unique flavour with it.

The method is called "Grammars" and can be found at the bottom of this article: http://www.godpatterns.com/2005/09/name-generators-for-npcs-to-populate.html

It might result in an accidental swear word or two, but hey, such is life :D

I'm going to try and add turn-based combat next. I've done something similar in a previous game, but that was a simple, "you get a turn, i get a turn" thing. I want to add an action point system that allows for more variance. If you carry heavy weapons and armour, they might do more damage/ provide more defence, but will impact your speed negatively and result in fewer action points (reflex) per turn. I will stick to a very basic damage algorithm for this game as time is running out and I still need to add those planet and base levels. Tik tok...

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Although story is not all that important, it should provide a bit more insight into where this is going. So here it is... Please let me know if you spot any spellung mistakes:

The year 2339, a dystopian future. Corporations compete for resources in an escalating space race.
Their cyborg armies fight it out in far flung galaxies, distant star systems, planets, moons and inside well defended bases. The ambitions of man knows no limit as the hunt for the rarest resources reaches its climax.

Jakes has managed to find employment with one such corporation, but after years of service he has regrets. 
Even after many missions under his belt, a declining bank balance keeps him enslaved as a corporate servant. 
He is paired with a ruthless cyborg killer to meet the expectations of the powers that be.

Jakes: My Life has become routine. Work demands travelling deep inside enemy territory.
I never leave the confines of this star ship, 'The Gryphon'.
Cynthia, my cybernetic colleague certainly can. We are a team in the loosest sense of the word.

I track her movement on the monitor, zooming the remote drone-cam in for a closer look.
Her blue hair parts briefly, revealing a cold, emotionless stare. How many has she killed?

Damn. There's that delay again. *punches the console* 
Lately it's almost as if she can sense her actions are not her own, but surely that is not possible?
  
An encrypted signal is sent vast distances directly to receptors in her brain. Controlling her every action.
Here from this safe, remote command centre. This orbiting star ship... Me.

Then after yesterday's mission, she dropped a bombshell. 'I want to be human again Jakes', she said. 
'Blasphemy!', I blurted in shock. 'Cyborgs are corporate slaves for a reason!'. 
She retreated to the hold after my outburst.
  
I didn't sleep last night just thinking about it. After all these years I don't even know her, 
but I know that I need her...

I want to see an end to this damn war so that I can go home. She wants to be 'human' again.

Impossible! To do so we would have to take on the most dangerous mission of our lives!
I could easily hack the med-bay to remove her augmentations in exchange for her help. 
One at a time only, until I get what I want.
   
The corp would spare no expense and go to the ends of the galaxy to find me, if they ever found out.
I'll tell her about the plan when we arrive in the next star system.

We must be insane..."

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Update: Planet/moon surface levels using Cellular Automata. Player is driving the Cyclops ATV. Can traverse back to space via the landing site.

The FOV is off here, there is a performance thing I need to look into. Corridor/rooms algo for bases will work nicely when one drives onto the base tile.

Will dive into the combat system tomorrow. There is still a lot to get done... 


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Bases. The Feng Shui design prevents clutter and allows for easier cleaning... :) I'll be looking at turn-based combat and loot drops going into the weekend.


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The next focus is on LOOT. It will also help with testing the combat system better since it should be possible to swap out different armor and weapons to see how it affects combat  . I am now in more familiar territory according to my project plan.  For loot I will use source code I wrote in December last year for ENTER, a zombie action game prototype. That game has a drag and drop loot system using weighted loot tables which worked really well there. Dragging and dropping items obviously doesn't work in a retro ASCII rogue-like game, but the RNG loot drops should still work well enough here. Just need to hook it up to a UI that works for this. I have some thoughts on that so that is the focus tonight. Tomorrow is combat day if there's no stoppages I should hit the weekend to start focus on progression and polish.

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It all looks pretty impressive already, but after reading your posts, I'm still not sure what's the core of this game. What is (or will be), in your opinion, most important mechanics of Cyborg?

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The core mechanic is 'Skills/Stats' versus 'Items', which is more important? The player starts early game with augmentations that will boost their stats when they are still learning early game-play. The augmentations will be removed as the game progresses. Meaning they will be getting WEAKER from a 'free' stats perspective, so will need to rely more on items and the core resource 'Haze' to survive. Most RPGs work in reverse where you become ever-more powerful. A machine of destruction. You build towards incrementally more powerful base stats and then a game is no longer fun IMHO. This game hopes to explore that aspect. It is an experiment. It ties directly to what is balance in a game?

Regardless, this is procedural. You could end up in your first base unfairly outnumbered. it is up to the RNGods... then all stats and items go out the window :D

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To describe a typical play session that I am aiming for. Player travels a galaxy. One star system at a time. Exploring. Searching. The goal is to survive the exploration and encounters along the way and to find a faction leader and exterminate them and gain their system access card for the current system. This unlocks the next star system to warp to. Each time a faction leader is killed by Cynthia, Jakes gets closer to his goal of ending the war. So does Cynthia... because as promised, Jakes removes an augmentation and she gets closer to being human again, but she is weakened every time... The game end goal is to survive, explore and exterminate all faction leaders against all odds (ever increasing weakness, RNG etc). There are 5 augmentations so therefore there are 5 faction leaders to neutralise. One in each star system. You need to explore to find them.

That is my best explanation for what I am attempting to achieve here :)

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It's both nice and thoroughful (does this word even exists?) explanation :)

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Loot is in. There's 6 base items. Weapon (short, medium, long range) and Armor (light, medium, heavy). I wanted to add a passive item (module), but I am cutting scope. I want to enrich these 6 items with faction specific modifiers and names, but I think I am going to run out of time for that too. Items are found in the world. A loot container is a simple list. When you take an item it is placed in another list, your storage. You cannot place items back into containers and you cannot drop them on the ground. To manage inventory space they can be recycled/disintegrated into a compact form of matter called Haze. The items you decide to equip will affect your combat stats. (Attack, Defence and Speed).

 

Pathfinding and Combat is up next. For pathfinding I plan to use a free asset called arongranberg. I have implemented basic turn-based combat in a game jam (Sep 2018). That was very basic and I want to reiterate it to take an action point system (Reflex) into account.  

I'm still busy with combat. I have run into a bug where if an enemy can't find a path it prevents their turn from ending. Very awkward for all combatants. I will park that and move on to something else then come back to it. 

Combat UI uses a similar list as items/loot to show threats. Combat uses round->turn->actions loop until your reflex (AP) is consumed. Fastest goes first. All attacks hit. Currently you can heal when its not your turn, which might make things too easy. You cannot loot during combat for the simple reason that the right area of the screen is being used to show combatants as well as loot. Who loots during combat anyways? Mmmh, this could be interesting to allow in future. Rummage through loot containers while people shoot at you... Going to need to wrap this up before zero hour. 30-40 hours left...  Win/loose condition, galaxy map, game menu, some sounds, polish and bug fixes.

A base is in sight on a planet surface. Cynthia is driving the Cyclops ATV. Cannot warp to another system from here... need to go back to landing site and enter space before warp is allowed. In space, the galaxy map allows selection of star systems using [ ] keys. System access is required to be able to warp.

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Done. Game submitted... Cyborg page on itch.

I was aiming for noon today (Sat). There are a lot of things I would have liked to add/fix:

  • More, varied faction items and enemies
  • Save/Resume
  • Bug fixes
  •  etc etc...

Good luck all, hope to play your entries in the coming weeks. Now for some sleep...