Combat, a demo (Avolition)

One of my creations… again. The music is by Matthew Pablo

DOWNLOAD (.p3d in zip ~40MB):

W-S-A-D - movement
Q, E - camera rotation
Mouse Wheel - camera zoom
Mouse 1 - Attack (hold to ‘power up’)
Mouse 3 or Space - Block

There’s a config.txt packed with the p3d, it’s just like a prc file - if you need some configuration, then look there for options or add your own.

In this demo you are trapped in a small dungeon arena with a lot of monsters - and the bad news is more and more keeps coming, but the worse new is - they keep getting tougher and faster. Your mission - survive if you can - 1 in 10 killed monsters will drop a healing potion, that should help.

There are some bugs - like synchronization and monsters moving to check out a corner over and over again, transparency issues… but it should be playable.

I’m looking for feedback:
-is the combat interesting?
-is it too easy or too hard?
-are the controls acceptable?
-is the silly gui style ok?
-was it any fun?
-is the overall look ok?
-what monster sucks the most (big green or small blackish)?
-do all zombies look the same? (tip: there are six kind)
…and for the brave - does it crash when you enable threading?

Video (not very good quality): …

Nobody? C’mon!

There’s an interesting monster AI that prevents creatures to “stack” without checking for collisions between them. There are 15 monsters, goblins, a mechanoid on one wheel with flails or arms, 6 types of earth elemental/rock golem, zombies and strange monster-like monsters. There are fake particle effects when monsters are hit, they all have move, attack and die animations, most with sound.

The light moves with the mouse cursor and cast soft shadows, everything has normal maps, some monsters have glow maps - it looks not bad, really!

The combat should be interesting. You can make a fast attack or keep the mouse pressed to increase damage. You can avoid attack by moving away from a monster when he starts to attack or block with your shield. The longer you fight the tougher the monsters.

I made sure the walls don’t come in the way, so in all cases when a wall is between the camera and the hero a hole is made in the wall so you can see what’s going on.

C’mon guys give it a try, it won’t explode… just run it to see the warriors cool haircut.

Would you perhaps be willing to make a self-contained installer or a web-build? I wouldn’t mind giving it a shot, but I sincerely doubt that my development machine is likely to run it, and I don’t want to install Panda on my testing machine…

Sure, on what OS do you want it?

Windows if available, please.

I found the combat to be a bit frustrating. I think mainly because every monster hit interrupts my attack. I think this would be fine for the odd monster, but it just meant I couldn’t attack at all on occasions when the monsters were stacked.

The lack of attack cooldown meant I was attacking really quickly, but I don’t think I was doing any damage. Additionally the lack of feedback when hitting a monster meant I wasn’t sure what I was doing, and which monster I was damaging (although I assume a monster health bar + highlighting system is something thats on your roadmap?).

Not sure if it was my fault, and I should be timing things better, like the witcher. (I did get a bit further by focusing on my timing)

I had about 5-6 tries and found it too hard for my liking. I also didn’t get any potion drops :frowning:

Hmm, not sure about the movement controls. I was a bit disorientated at times, but that might be me :stuck_out_tongue:

Its ok, but I think if you’re going for a semi-realistic aesthetic, the interface should match it. :slight_smile:

Hmm, it was ok. I can see it becoming fun with some more polish around the gameplay.

Graphically wise, it looks really good - I love the lighting effects, and the way you solved walls getting in the way of the camera is quite cool. I’d love to see what you do with lighting as you progress with the game. The specular off the armour looks great as well. (Although the guys skin was a bit too specular, he looks a bit plastic :stuck_out_tongue:)

Well the zombies and orcs guys were ok, but the steampunk enemy was pretty hard.

The bigger guys wern’t too hard, because you could time blocks with their slow attacks.

Yes, but after another look there seems to bit of a colour shift. (Is there a difference in their models?)

Not immediately, but after a while, yes. (It might be when monsters start to be loaded in?) (Edit: No - thats wrong, it seems random )

Very impressive though, a good amount of content already like you said, looking forward to see where you take it next :slight_smile:

The main idea withe the combat is that if you try to tank - you will die. You have to block or dodge all the time and keep a good position where only one monster is attacking you.

If you keep the mouse button pressed your attack will be more powerful (x15), and you can still move while charging up your attack, so the best way to win is to hold the button down, wait for a monster to come, release the mouse button to attack him and then move back as soon as he starts to attack. Some monsters - like the mechanic golem- attack really fast and sometimes move fast as well so instead of moving back you can block his attack with the shield and hit him when he stops.

The only feedback is a hit visual and sound effect, I’m thinking about some sort of health-bars, but I’m not sure if I really want them - looking back at Diablo 1 (the model H&S for me) there where no healthbars there. I think a floating number above a monsters head, showing how much damage you did is something I’ll add soon.

The zombies have different textures - it’s not just the color, but they have the same model (one is missing an arm, but apart from that, they are the same). Unfortunately in-game they look about the same. Here’s a pview screen on how they look in normal light:
(zombie picture warning, don’t click if you don’t want to see zombies! )

Here’s a self-contained windows version (rared, installed directory, unpack and run ~61MB).

Oh wow, had to double check that and you’re right. How the hell did I play diablo without knowing how far I was off killing an enemy. Something I probably take for granted these days :slight_smile: Its actually an interesting idea not having health bars - makes it a bit more of a challenge.

Ah, right. Yes theres plainly a difference there. I didn’t try zooming in before, but could see more detail after doing that. I’d say at the default zoom level its hard to see the detail difference, as you’ve alluded to.

I’m downloading now, I believe, and will hopefully get back to you either today or tomorrow. :slight_smile:

[edit] Okay, I’ve downloaded and un-rar’ed the folder, but it crashes on running, producing an error that informs me that “p3dpythonw has encoutered a problem” (or something to that effect).

Looking at the folder, I take it that you built a self-contained exe, rather than a self-contained installer; going by the manual page, there may be some dependencies that I’m missing (which seems odd, since I’ve used installer-based versions on that computer, as I recall, so I’m surprised that dependencies might be missing – but perhaps your project has different dependenices to the project that I had previously installed) – it seems that the “exe” version doesn’t include such dependencies, while the “installer” version does. I’m sorry to be a bother, but would you mind building an installer? That should include whatever dependencies are called for, I believe.

Sorry, missed your edit.

I made an installer and then rar-ed the directory produced by that installer… wanted to make it simpler, and well looks like I broke it :frowning:

Here’s the installer:

And here’s a video of some progress made - a new character:

I’ll have to contact Matthew Pablo (autor of the music) before I post any more demos.

Ah, I see – no, I think that Panda installs elements (dlls, I imagine) into various places outside of the installation folder, so just packaging the folder is likely to break it, I’m afraid. :confused:

However, I’ve downloaded and installed this new version, and I have both good news and bad news:

The good news is that it installs and runs.

The bad news is that it crashes at the “Avolition” screen. As previously, it says “p3dpythonw.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close”, I believe. The problem appears to relate to “atioglx2.dll”. I think that I’ve seen this problem before on this computer, but I’m afraid that I’m not at all sure of what causes it, or how to fix it. Sorry. :confused:

A new version of the demo is available!
Download Link:

For now only as a p3d, but I hope to make a download for a self-contained installer within a day or two.

What’s new:
-Game loader/configuration utility
-Character selection/creation
-New character (Witch)
-New camera zoom
-New monster (skeleton)
-Some light and shadow tweaks
-Matthew Pablo blessing to use his music (he even send me a track I haven’t hear before and made some remixes)
-Gui face-lift
-Tons of invisible improvements

Screens (they have unneeded alpha, so they may seem odd):


Known bugs:
-F12 should make a screenshot - not working
-Screenshots have unneeded alpha, but since You can’t make them…

-Press Escape to open and close the in-game menu (or click on the gear in the top right corner - to close it also click that gear).
-If you watch closely, you may notice that the skeleton uses something like “Strutting Leo” (haters-gonna-hate-walk) :mrgreen:

Hi, this ran flawlessly for me (didn’t try with threads); just some random points:

  • looked very smooth and polished, lighting and graphics are excellent and look professional; sounds and music were good overall, the music suited the game though I found it a bit repetitive after awhile, though I understand this is just a demo.
  • the movement/combat system was slightly disorienting at first but with some practice I got the hang of it; I think that’s the key though, getting people past that first hump; I would recommend that you make early levels fairly easy with few monsters so people can get a chance to practice things. Even for this demo I would start off with less (though I understand you want people to see the models); the skeleton guys and zombies would have been good practice but the big rock/golem guys wouldn’t give me a chance.
  • I think there should definitely be some feedback on either the damage you are doing and/or the health of enemies. Your combat system makes it so that you have to employ some strategy to win and not just mash the hit button, which is good, but I think the strategy side of the game would come out more if you could see the health of the monsters. You would know when to go in for quick strike and finish someone off or whether to pass them by and avoid the risk (especially if you have a horde behind you.)
  • Overall there is definitely potential for a fun game, you would obviously need a variety of levels and settings and so on, but the enemy collection is already fairly impressive; maybe also a way to dash or run (unless I missed it). Also I couldn’t figure out how to use/collect the health potions which probably would have helped my cause.

I only encountered one glitch which was this guy getting stuck in a wall.

Thanks, that’s very useful feedback!

I already have a new version where the camera is trying to move behind the character so that left and right are where you expect them to be, a small change but it makes a big difference.

I’m working with Matthew Pablo (The Music Guy :mrgreen:) and there will be 3 different tracks each in 2 versions, maybe more. I’m also thinking about adding this song: … al-version . There also will be a tiny music player, with next, previous track buttons and an option to play one track in a loop (thanks to Matthew they loop seamless) or to shuffle the tracks.

Health or damage display:
I’m working on it. But so far I’m not happy with any of the things I tried.

There might be a character class that has a skill like that (ninja?) Not sure about that.

Monster stuck in wall:
I see that from time to time. The AI doesn’t run every frame but once every 0.6 second, in some cases that’s enough for the monsters to walk out of my ‘nav-mesh’ and get lost. It’s not a big problem if it happens, but they should be able to recover from a situation like that.

Click on the icon when you are close to it, that should do it.

I’m really sorry that I haven’t provided feedback yet; I did manage to get it running, but kept forgetting or not getting around to actually posting in the thread. My feedback may be coming in a bit late, but I’ll post it nevertheless on the off-chance that it’s still useful. ^^;;;

Graphically, it does look rather good (although I’m inclined to feel that the bloom is a little over-done). If I may ask, how did you produce the shadows? For some reason it seems tha tthe shadow samples that come with Panda don’t properly for me, while your soft shadows do.

As to the game itself, I think that it has some good ideas, but overall didn’t seem to really mesh well with me. More specifically:

(Note that when I refer to the “up” key I mean “w”, or whatever the equivalent is bound to, treating w,s,a and d as a second set of arrow keys.)

  • I found the controls to be somewhat off-putting; having the direction that the “up” key moves my character relative to my view-point change as I move the mouse disoriented me somewhat, resulting in all too much running in entirely the wrong direction. Note, however, that I may very well be in the minority on this; I’ll add that I’ve long had a dislike for similar control methods found in some console games.

If you do want to change the control mechanics, I’m inclined to suggest either having the camera turn with the mouse, leaving “up” always mapping to “forwards”, or simply eight-directional movement relative to the current view direction, with “up” always mapping to “‘into’ the screen” and the character’s attack direction being independant of their movement direction.

  • At the moment it seems that attacking or defending (after any charging has been done) roots the character to the spot. To me this leaves the character feeling a little unresponsive and makes defensive manoeuvring feel very awkward; this seems to be especially a problem for the mage, who has little health and no defensive ability, making avoidance of enemies seem important.

  • It appears that attacks are directed at a point specified on a plane just above floor height; I think that it might be more intuitive if clicking on a monster caused the character to attack in the direction of that monster. Again, I found this to be especially a problem for the mage, with whom I had some difficulty accurately hitting enemies at times.

  • When playing as the warrior, clicking rapidly doesn’t seem to result in an attack being made. This may be intentional, given the focus on charging attacks; I’ll confess that I didn’t manage to get the hang of charging the warrior’s attacks while in melee range with an enemy without being hit.

  • Looking at the character customisation “trait” bars, how meaningful are points other than the far left and right, and perhaps the centre? Is there much advantage to choosing a point one-third or two-eighths of the way along the bar? I’m inclined to wonder whether these traits might not work better as discrete options rather than sliders–although I’ll confess that I haven’t done the maths on them.

  • I’d like to see the results of selecting a point on a slider without having to actually select that point, then move to one of the ends of the slider; perhaps have the relevant stats always displayed beside the sliders so the effect is immediately visible.

There’s a new (and final) version of the demo.

It will be here: … atform-p3d
As I’m writing this post it still needs to be authorized by the people at indieDB, so check the link tomorrow :mrgreen:

I hope that the full version will hit the shop within a week :wink:

Downloaded to be tried out later, I believe. :slight_smile:

Right, I’ve spent a little time playing it, and have a few thoughts:

First of all, I think that it’s rather improved over the previous version that I played; in particular, the controls feel much more intuitive to me. I’ll confess that I did still occasionally have trouble going in the direction that I wanted when the camera ended up turned away from my character’s “forward” direction (which was especially a problem when playing as a warrior), but that may be more a matter of my facility with this sort of control mechanism than with the controls themselves.

I really liked the new mouse-controlled camera rotation; my only real issue there was that I might like it to turn a little more quickly.

One thing that I didn’t like in the controls was that at times–when I charged an attack with the mouse near the side of the screen, I think–the camera would suddenly and very rapidly swing around so that my target was centred on the screen. While I very much like the idea, I found that the camera moved so quickly, and the effect triggered so sporadically, that I tended to become disoriented and miss; I think that I tended to move my mouse to “compensate” for the sudden movement. Perhaps it might be better to have the camera turn more slowly in that feature, and perhaps have it trigger more often (in fact, for myself I think that I might like to try the game with it always triggering, causing me to always face my target).

I like the new classes! The new mage class seems like it would likely be very difficult to play; a class for experts. Personally, my favourite is probably the archer: I liked being able to attack from afar and yet still (with some care) dash out of harm’s way.

One thing that I’ll note about the archer class is that it seemed to me that there’s at least one build that seemed somewhat underpowered–I think that I set the character’s sliders to full “slowdown” (and thus no “damage-over-time”) and full “finesse” (and thus much reduced damage; I was hoping for more criticals to keep enemies off of me); I forget what I set the third slider to.

On the other hand, my second attempt at an archer character seemed much more powerful: full “damage-over-time” and full “power”; again, I’m afraid that I seem to have forgotten my setting for the third slider. ^^;

I still have qualms about the character-customisation sliders, as noted in my previous post.

Finally, it might be a good idea to have a bit of tutorial text: it took me several guesses before I figured out how to get the potions. Similarly, I wasn’t sure of how to progress–guessing that it might have been a matter of number of enemies killed, I ended up just standing there shooting things until a key popped out of one.

However, don’t take all of my critique to indicate that I disliked it; overall, well done, I think. :slight_smile: