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Monomyth - A first person action RPG/dungeon crawler

Discussion in 'Codex Workshop' started by RatTower, May 7, 2017.

  1. Chaotic_Heretic Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Chaotic_Heretic
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    Click here and disable ads!
    Any chance you can make a Turn based Blobber?
     
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  2. SophosTheWise Arbiter

    SophosTheWise
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    Great to hear you're including climbing. There's far too few games who do climbing, even though it adds a whole damn lot, think of the 'grad' button in Dragon's Dogma. How about swinging Indiana-Jones-style?
     
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  3. RatTower Learned

    RatTower
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    Grappling hooks never hurt any game, but for the moment I think I'm gonna keep it simple.

    Still experimenting with the item combination system a bit.
    Made some assets so Monomyth can take over Ultima's/Arx Fatalis' most important feature:

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. RatTower Learned

    RatTower
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    A quick summary of what happened over the last 2-3 weeks:

    Made a fireplace for baking/possibly cooking:


    Created quite a few tavern-related assets (not pictured here: beds; might make those interactive too)


    Designed a new part of the underground - a thief's hideout:


    Also, it is my firm believe that there has never been a game made worse by the addition of shovels:
     
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  5. RatTower Learned

    RatTower
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    Another weekend, another bit of progress.
    I pretty much finished the thief's hideout.



    Gameplay wise it was lacking one tiny puzzle that required the player to lift & carry an object. So I also implemented that.
    And while we're on it I experimented with throwing stuff as well. The heavier the more dangerous for those who get hit (think: Dark Messiah of Might and Magic)



    It still requires some testing but as it is, the mechanic can be used to damage enemies, respectively anything with a health bar (i.e. also doors, the player, etc).
    I thought about using this for traps and maybe introduce a strength check before you can lift heavy objects.
     
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  6. RatTower Learned

    RatTower
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    It's been a while so here's a little update on what's currently going on:
    December's been full of deadlines so progress was a bit sluggish. Nevertheless there's one thing that made a major difference. I switched from Unreal 4.16 to Unreal 4.18, which sounds like a minor thing, but has an immense effect on development.

    The thing is: Up until 4.17/4.18 Unreal's FBX importer didn't fully support the FBX outputs created by Blender. You could import 3D models and you could import animations but there was one thing that hindered the workflow enormously: Whenever you'd re-import a single animation from an FBX file holding several animations, the importer would overwrite all animations from the same file with a chopped off version of the reimported one.
    So there was a workaround but essentially it required keeping separate import folders/replacing reference/constantly updating animation classes/etc.
    It was a lot of work for something that could have been done in one click. And now it can be. So that means I can now easily go back and forth between UE and blender to adjust animations.
    Which means I could finally start improving combat+animations, which was the major point of criticism in last years greenlight campaign:



    That also means it makes sense to think about two-handed weapons now. Something that's been on my TODO list for quite a while:



    I also briefly mentioned in the game's description that - while most of it is set underground - there'll be some exterior areas.
    This was just an asset test, but it roughly illustrates the atmospheric direction for those areas.



    Another small detail I added are cookable fishes:



    Also took a couple of screenshots (you probably know most of them already though)



    And that's pretty much what happened over the last month.
    The next few weeks will mostly be reserved for combat/animation improvements to get that aspect of the game into a presentable state.
     
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  7. Pretty Liturgist Patron

    Pretty
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    Give me the game.
     
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  8. Wayward Son Fails to keep valuable team members alive

    Wayward Son
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    I like that atmosphere on those exterior shots. Dark and gloomy without being edgy about it.
     
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  9. Punch Literate Patron

    Punch
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Inspired by King's Field?

    :brodex:
     
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  10. Jack Dandy Arcane

    Jack Dandy
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    I find that a lot of first-person melee games have this big problem with combat being any fun. (That M&M game doesn't count , it was a kicking simulator)

    How are ya meaning to address that, RatTower ?
     
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  11. RatTower Learned

    RatTower
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    Just addressing melee combat itself, without juicing it up through additional mechanics (like kicking or throwing stuff):

    I think a lot of the frustration with first person melee combat comes from a bad balance between proper feedback and the player actually controlling the situation.

    If I click the mouse / hit the attack button in Skyrim for example, I get a lot of feedback. You might remember the swings in that game felt really "heavy". The character slows down, the camera pans with the swing, the animation takes a good while. If I remember correctly some strikes even make you dash forward a bit. Now that's nice for making your input feel meaningful, but the problem that comes with this is that you take control away from the player. It takes you out of combat, often makes you stay in places where you don't wanna be, you are open to incoming attacks you could dodge etc etc So that can be frustrating.

    On the other hand, if you keep such feedback at a minimum - always leaving the controls with the character - you might risk making your attacks feel like they don't really connect. Which doesn't feel nice either. Best example are DMoMM's light attacks. Those essentially felt useless, even disregarding the actual damage they dealt (which was next to nothing - that also added to the effect).

    I believe balancing those two aspect out properly is the key to solid first person melee combat (plus meaningful background mechanics of course).

    And then you have the icing on the cake like proper animation blending - which adds a ton to combat actually feeling fluid - proper sound effects, particle effects, camera shakes etc.
    One more thing that is also important (and plays into the feedback part, but is unrelated to controls) are proper enemy reactions/animations on inflicted damage (i.e. painstuns). This was for example almost completely absent in Skyrim but very present in DMoMM, so when you hit someone there the enemy would actually stumble or bend left/right depending on where you hit them.

    I think it's really a lot of subtle stuff that makes first person melee combat enjoyable. Just from the looks I think Hellraid would have done it well. Unfortunately that project was canceled.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  12. zwanzig_zwoelf NOT FRIENDRY PERSON Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    As long as the combat works and feels even slightly better than KF US combat that'll be fine by me. I'm more interested in exploring complex dungeons, getting killed by traps and uncovering various secrets. :positive:
    Hopefully this project won't crash under its own weight, this feels too good to pass on and too good to be true at the same time.
     
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  13. Jack Dandy Arcane

    Jack Dandy
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    It sounds like you have the proper ideas in mind, mr. Dev.
    I can only pray you'll be able to implement them - because goddamn I'd like to play this.

    Best of luck!
     
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  14. MuscleSpark Savant Patron

    MuscleSpark
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    Speaking of control, is there a way to control whether your attacks are stabs/slashes/bashes as in Ultima Underworld? That was one of my favorite mechanics (for a few reasons), and why I think a lot of first person hack and slashers pale in comparison (since you can't control whether you're hacking or slashing).
     
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  15. Wayward Son Fails to keep valuable team members alive

    Wayward Son
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    Correct me if I'm wrong as I've never played it, but isn't the control mechanism what direction you move your mouse?
     
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  16. MuscleSpark Savant Patron

    MuscleSpark
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    It depends on where you click on the screen, top of the screen is an overhead bash, middle of the screen is a sideways slash, bottom of the screen is a forward stab. Also holding down the mouse button increases the power of your attack. UUW didn't have mouse-look, so it's obviously a different beast.
    Arx Fatalis, though, did it based on the direction you were moving in when you started holding down the attack button.
     
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  17. RatTower Learned

    RatTower
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    There is.
    Currently regular clicks result in slashes, holding the mouse button down results in overhead bashes and holding down plus moving backwards are stabs.
    The latter two can be held back like a charged attack, while the slashes can have fast follow up attacks as seen in the video above.

    It is probably the closest to DMoMM at the moment.

    Additionally there is a slash/stab/bash percentage on weapon stats. This is coming from the King's Field side.
    I'm still testing this out, but my idea is to marry the background mechanics of King's Field (which btw are still used in Dark Souls) with the attack controls of DMoMM and similar games.

    This essentially means that certain weapons only develop their full potential if you perform the right attack with them.
    At the same time - and this is why the background mechanics in King's Field were so engaging and fun - enemies have defense values based on the three attack types.

    So certain enemies were very vulnerable to bashes (e.g. skeletons), wheras others would simply shrug those off (e.g. living statues, golems or fully armored enemies iirc)

    Now in Monomyth you have this dynamic of King's Field going on, where you'd equip certain weapons to defeat certain enemies, but additionally you'll have to perform the correct attack to actually pull the whole thing off.
    If I equip a spear to pierce some armor, but then just use slashes even the best spear wont help me.

    My only fear is that if people preferably equip weapons that are heavily focused on one trait, combat may be too onesided (e.g. someone equips a spear with 90% damage on stabs, so they'll constantly trigger the same attack - at least for a certain enemy).
    But that is probably also a balancing issue. Combat could further be diversified if I'd add special attack bonuses to certain combat situations, like stabs from the back always causing critical damage - or critical damage having different multipliers for different attack types, so e.g. you have a dagger with SL/ST/B = 10/50/40 but the tip is partly broken so crit multipliers are 2/1.5/2 - so if I have a crit reliant build attacking with bashes might make more sense since that would be 80 instead of 75 points of damage.

    There are lots of ways to make this interesting. But as I said that is all still experimental.
    Just thinking aloud.
     
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  18. RatTower Learned

    RatTower
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    Quick update:
    Currently reworking a lot of core components. Cleaning up some code in the process. Should make AI integration a lot easier.
    Also improved the UI, which is no longer just UE4 default boxes, so i can finally show more UI related content (e.g. item combinations)
     
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  19. RatTower Learned

    RatTower
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    Tiny update:
    Code rework is almost done. Status effects still need to be integrated in the new character code.
    Character audibility / visibility is probably another thing I'll still tackle before moving on to the AI rework.
    I will start designing some enemy behaviour this week though.

    Also adding small details on the way...


    ...and making new assets every now and then.


     
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  20. Ash Arcane

    Ash
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    WTF? You're working solo on this? Either absolutely insane or a game dev wizard.

    Pretty impressive stuff man.
     
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  21. zwanzig_zwoelf NOT FRIENDRY PERSON Developer

    zwanzig_zwoelf
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    I'm cautiously fapping to the thought that someday this guy will go crazy enough and make a Shadow Tower Abyss-inspired RPG.
    Hoo boy, now I really hope this game pans out nicely and the dev will get tons of $$$.
     
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  22. Zep Zepo Titties and Beer Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Zep Zepo
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    This looks great! Simply amazing for a 1 person team!

    Almost makes me want to give up on the game I'm making.

    Almost... :)

    Zep--
     
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  23. RatTower Learned

    RatTower
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    Thanks!

    Quick update: Status Effects are back in. Just took the old system, made a couple of adjustments and re-used it in the new code.
    With this I'm about to wrap up the code rework. Still gotta implement player audibility/visibility. The rest of the month & march will mostly be AI programming + animation then.
    Speaking of animation: I also set up an additional interface for weapon animations. This will come in handy once I finally add bows.




    [​IMG]
     
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  24. RatTower Learned

    RatTower
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    Another small update:

    Code rework is done. That means the old character code is now completely replaced by new, more generic code. And that pretty much means that (for now) most coding will either be AI related (Behaviour Tree Tasks, AI Controller classes, etc) or part of the animation section. I.e. it won't touch the core code unless I need to fix something and most of it will be easily replaceable. The core code is not entirely feature complete yet (magic is still in the works, i haven't added all kinds of movement, etc) but it's a good basis for now.

    This also means that - at the moment - from my side it feels more like writing a simulation rather than an RPG. Which is good, because the player can then - thanks to the generic code - be dropped into that simulation and is treated just like anything else by the AI (this way of setting up your character classes also nicely allows for enemy infighting by the way). For the moment I'm mostly stress testing:



    Also taking advantage of Unreal's simulation mode (debugging without a player present - in the old code this for example would have caused problems)



    Speaking of AI perception: I added surface types and hooked them into Unreal's internal AI perception system, meaning that the AI Actors can currently hear anyone's footsteps based on the ground's material.
    Visualized this looks kinda like this (you can also see it in the simulation above, however without the color coding: Next to the yellow spheres there is a tag called "Hearing" with a number describing the percentage of the characters hearing range at which they'd hear that noise)



    In short: It's kinda like Thief's audibility system. I'll see how far I'll go with stealth, since that is mostly up to the level design, but in any case it's working.
    My wish would be that the player can ghost the entire game but that might clash with the rest of the game's design.

    Also added decals to the lightning staff:

     
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  25. d1nolore Educated

    d1nolore
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    Wow dude that's super impressive, those graphics are A+++. :salute:
     
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