Author Topic: Combat Alpha - Gameplay Video

HobGoblin42

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#267 June 19, 2018, Tuesday, 02:43 pm
Finally, we completed the first iteration of the combat system and recorded a HD video to demonstrate it to you.



If YouTube starts the video in low, blurry quality, please change the resolution manually to 1080p60 or 720p60.

Please be aware, due to the nature of alpha versions, the user interface (especially placeholder icons) and other elements such as sounds, camera, FXs and animations are still work in progress and therefore not final.

If you wonder about the Wizard's overcrowded spellbook: We made every spell available (according to his 9th level) for testing purposes. Under real circumstances, he wouldn't had so many spells already unlocked.

We appreciate hearing your feedback and suggestions for improvements related to the combat system.

Also, based on your feedback to previously published screenshots, we reworked the ground terrain textures and the level itself to improve the readability of the scene.

Old:
Combat Alpha - Morning Mist

New:
Combat Alpha - Reworked

Combat Alpha - Reworked

Goto Blog Post

Mtl.Inq

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#269 June 20, 2018, Wednesday, 09:47 am
effective range of spell is sometimes almost invisible for existing effects.
i think its better have additional outline when casting to make clear inside and outside.
if possible, on top layer of hex grids.

HobGoblin42

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#270 June 20, 2018, Wednesday, 10:22 am
effective range of spell is sometimes almost invisible for existing effects.
i think its better have additional outline when casting to make clear inside and outside.
if possible, on top layer of hex grids.

Yes, that's a good point. I put that on our combat related to-do list. We'll reduce the inner fields at little bit and add a strong outline to the affected area.

ss7877

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#271 June 20, 2018, Wednesday, 11:32 am
Good but too slow. We need 2x combat speed/animations, minimum.

HobGoblin42

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#272 June 20, 2018, Wednesday, 11:40 am
Good but too slow. We need 2x combat speed/animations, minimum.

We already have a x5 speed multiplier implemented easily triggered by pressing <SPACE>. Unfortunately, I didn't activate it during the capturing  :roll:

Mtl.Inq

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#273 June 20, 2018, Wednesday, 01:20 pm
acceleration of combat scene has already been implemented ?
that sounds nice.  8)

The Old Farmer

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#274 June 20, 2018, Wednesday, 10:28 pm
In these random encounters do your "NPC's" have random weapons generated?  As well these orcs seem very durable taking several rounds for this high level party to kill off. Will there be some indication of the opponents HP/level in the final pass or will the player have to guestimate  how close they are to beating  their enemy or even if they have no chance of winning and need to run away?
I really like what I am seeing here so far.

HobGoblin42

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#277 June 24, 2018, Sunday, 08:07 pm
In these random encounters do your "NPC's" have random weapons generated?  As well these orcs seem very durable taking several rounds for this high level party to kill off. Will there be some indication of the opponents HP/level in the final pass or will the player have to guestimate  how close they are to beating  their enemy or even if they have no chance of winning and need to run away?
I really like what I am seeing here so far.

Every encounter/monster type has a few predefined sets of weapons and the game chooses one of them randomly for this particular instance in the game.

If you spot roaming monsters on the world map, you may be able to estimate their strength and the number of enemies in this horde if one of your character has the specific skill to do so (e.g. tracking). Otherwise, you'll get vague information like "Between 3 and 6 creatures, strongest is a Troll".

Every player character can try to escape by moving towards the border of the combat area.
Depending on their intelligence and other criterias, enemies can also decide to escape from the battlefield and if you don't stop them before, you either get experience nor loot for those.
Last edited: June 24, 2018, Sunday, 08:09 pm by HobGoblin42

Andronius The Druid

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#289 July 02, 2018, Monday, 01:09 am
Thanks for sharing this wonderful video, which only makes me want to play the game even more! (Can't wait for the Editor, I think of nothing else and I'm obsessed with RB)

I’ve been watching the vid over and over again, for the past 3 days, pausing almost every second, to appreciate each detail in the models' clothing, read each spell description, look at each spell icon, and contemplate each flower and mushroom and grass plant on the map (to think these will all be actual in-game items to play with in the Map Editor fills me with such joy! Wonderful, just wonderful!).

Just a couple of ideas though, since you welcome constructive feedback: I agree with @Mtl.Inq about adding a much stronger outline to the spells area of effect (prior to casting), to really see what the hell are we doing. I loved the “atmospheric” background sounds, if that’s the phrase (the sounds of the forest and the birds). I also liked very much the character’s groans and whines when hit, the spells SFx and VFx, and the sounds of armors and crossbows (and I’m glad to read they’re all being improved much, much more).

As for the music… eh, I’ll comment on that in a moment.

I really do appreciate (and I believe all people with glasses and eye problems as myself will appreciate too) the possibility to Zoom-In really close, and the color options you spoke about elsewhere, also for color-blind people.

On that regard, and since Camera, FXs and animations are still work in progress, I’d really like to strongly suggest the possibility to make the camera angle just a tad more “lateral”, meaning to “lower” the angle a bit, if at all possible. Or at least let the camera remain in its current angle when completely Zoomed-Out, but gradually change to a more horizontal angle as we Zoom-In, to at least something similar to this angle:

This little camera changes would add great dynamism and quality of life to the whole gameplay experience. Would also let us appreciate much more the nice, detailed character models, and their clothes and accessories, and everything.

I wouldn't mind to see a bit (i.e. much more) character movement while they're waiting their turn (standinfg/waiting animations). I don't know, perhaps the orcs could randomly roar, give the finger to the heroes, raise their fists threateningly, do something! The same for heroes. Just some random flavor texts (either voiced or just on pop-up text balloons or speech bubbles) saying something like "Die, foul beasts!" or "Look out, we're surrounded!" or anything, together with at least some character movements/gestures while everyone's waiting for their turn, would really add so much dynamism, immersion, energy and the sensation of "speed/excitement" to fights, without even having to accelerate anything.
 
Regarding battle pace or speed, I must agree with @ss7877: it does feel somewhat slow. I wouldn’t go as far as some people on the YouTube comments saying it’s utterly boring, but it does feel somewhat sluggish and lethargic. I watched and watched again several dozen times to see what was causing this problem, and I finally realized it doesn’t have to do so much with combat acceleration, animation speed, or the x5 speed multiplier (which is awesome to have btw). It’s the bloody music!

Of course! It was the music, together with the lack of "standing" animations, what was making me almost fall sleep! I’m guessing this is just a random sample track, and I don’t know the exact context of this encounter (perhaps it was meant to be a very sad, disheartening and depressive encounter, after those orcs killed the 6th companion missing -the Druid and his Animal). But if I’m outnumbered, with only 5 party members, and surrounded by highly armored bloodthirsty orcs (including a Chieftain and a Shaman), and on top of everything a Cave Troll, I expect to hear something like this! 8) https://youtu.be/EjIvnm0GBH8?t=34s or this :o https://youtu.be/uOIduwXTb78

Took me days to realize, but now I see it clearly: music has that effect directly on our subconscious, and the track on this video (with those low-quality midi strings playing such long, languishing notes, occasional dissonances and thin textures, together with that weakening, fainting little drum) is just soporific. A much livelier, epic, resonant, thick-textured, dramatic soundtrack for such encounters can really make a huge psychological difference regarding how we “feel” the speed/pace of a battle.
Last edited: July 06, 2018, Friday, 11:37 pm by Andronius The Druid

Andronius The Druid

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#292 July 02, 2018, Monday, 11:55 pm
Greetings everyone! :hug: Yesterday I shared some general (though fundamental) feedback, and some improvement suggestions for  the combat system, SFx, VFx, animations, camera angles, zooming-in possibilities, combat reactions, music, battle speed or pace, and the general “feel” or “atmosphere”, and how everything it’s linked with the music, because indeed “attention to music matters” ( https://www.realms-beyond.com/forum/index.php?topic=68.msg153#msg153 ).

Today I’d like to share something from my notes: some less general, much more specific feedback, together with some important life-quality suggestions for improvement, as well as some questions and doubts that emerged watching the the first iteration of the combat system (“details are indeed everything” https://www.realms-beyond.com/forum/index.php?topic=35.msg64#msg64 ).
 
Oh, and I also took the time to make a screenshot, to perhaps explain better what I meant by "camera angle" and "zoom-in", in case it was not clear.
 :salute: Cheers!

=================================
[ 1:57 ] When Sieglinde the Cleric successfully casts “Bless” on all the party, it would have been nice to see some sort of little reaction besides the “Blessed” pop-up text, like a little movement animation, or some sort of voice reaction when they receive buffs.

[ 2:22 ] Didn’t understand why Kharzain couldn’t attack the orc in the first row, after moving in front of him (say’s “Full Attack, INVALID ACTION”).

[ 2:55 ] Exciting moment when Magnus the Wizard successfully casts “Web” on the large area. It’s a game changer. But same as with Sieglinde’s “Bless” AOE: would’ve been nice to see some sort of reaction from the Orcs besides the “Stuck/Entangled” pop-up text.

[ 3:18 ] When the Orc Archer shoots Kharzain the barbarian dwarf and misses, Kharzain laughs at him! BRAVO DEV TEAM! This is what I’m talking about. Can we please get more of this reactions like ALWAYS? Not only for missed or eluded attacks, but also when characters get conditions, buffs, debuffs, fizzles, etc.

[ 3:53 ] The Orc Shaman casts “Heal” on the Orc Warrior: camera shows this, but the casting ACTION of this spell as such didn’t appear in the battle-log (i.e. it didn’t record “Orc Shaman casts X spell on Orc Warrior”. Don’t know if this was meant like that). Battle-log only showed the EFFECT of this action: “Orc Warrior got Healed by 7 Hit Point(s)”. Something to think about for the future, when more exotic enemy units cast less straight-forward spells, with less obvious effects, and the player doesn’t know exactly what specific spell or action the enemy has performed. I’d personally like to know everything: who used the spell, what exact spell did he use, and what was the effect.   

[ 4:12 ] When Sieglinde the Cleric casts “Bane” on all enemies, it would have been nice to see some sort of little reaction besides the “Cursed/Avoided” pop-up text, like a little movement animation, or some sort of voice reaction when they receive the curse. As in the previous case, the battle-log didn’t show Sieglinde’s ACTION (“Segliende casts Bane”), just the effects (“Orc chieftain is cursed now”, etc).

[ 4:43 ] Kharzain the barbarian dwarf performs a DOUBLE-attack and misses BOTH times, however the “evasion” animation was triggered only ONCE (i.e. what we SEE is the orc eluded the first attack, but received the second one, because the second evasion animation didn’t happen). There’s many other situations like this during the whole fight.

[ 4:48 ] Almost immediately after, there’s something very odd: there’s either a sound bug, or something’s happening off camera with some weapon sounds. Either way, it’s unclear and confusing. For almost 10 seconds [ 4:48 – 4:59 aprox.] we’re hearing many noises, like a “throwing” or “weapon” sound, perhaps an “evasion” sound, but it’s unclear what they are, where are they coming from, or to what action/character/animation they correspond. If the noises correspond to the web spell effects shown in the battle-log in [ 5:03 “Orc Archer managed to avoid the effects of the web partially, Orc Archer is hit by Web, Reflex Roll”, etc] the camera should have focused on each of these events (so we can actually see the Orc Archer partially avoiding the web, etc), and show us the corresponding animation so we can VISUALLY understand what is happening exactly in the battlefield.

[ 5:14 ] Another exciting moment from Magnus the Wizard, casting “Stinking Cloud”. VFx and SFx-wise is the best looking/sounding spell we’ve seen so far in the battle. It’s just the best looking spell so far. In [ 5:26 ] I believe Magnus makes a satisfaction sound (“He!”) when seeing his spell is successfully hitting the orc. Bravo Devs! Character Reactions! However, it would have been nice to see some sort of reaction from the orcs besides the “Nauseated/Avoided” pop-up text, like a little movement animation, or some sort of voice reaction when that Orc gets hit by the spell, and the other three avoid it.

[ 5:34 ] Cave Troll attacks Kharzain the barbarian dwarf. Similarly as above: Cave Troll performs 2 double attacks, I clearly see him launching 4 hits (one hit with each arm, twice). However I only see Kharzain evading once, and getting hit once. It’s a bit odd: there’s 4 actions from the Cave Troll, but only 2 reactions from the dwarf. Yes, I read the battle-log: each of this “double attacks” from the Cave Troll are really just a single attack (although we’re shown 2 attacks per action). I’m just pointing out the visual inconsistency so devs can think about it and fix it.

[ 5:53 ] Orc Chieftain attacks Aewoyn twice. First hit is successful, and we’re shown her taking the damage (animation). Second hit misses, but we are not shown when she evades the hit. (I know there’s a difference between a “failed attack” and an “evaded or dodged attack”; doesn’t change the fact that both should be clear visually). 

[ 5:59 ] The “SOUND BUG” again (see above [ 4:48 ] ). Unclear where is it coming from.

[ 6:07 ] Waldo the Halfling shoots Orc but misses. Waldo REACTS with a “Hmm!” sound. BRAVO DEV TEAM! Character Reactions! Can we please get more reactions ALWAYS and TO EVERYTHING? Thanks, makes things so much ALIVE!

[ 7:12 ] Kharzain, the barbarian dwarf, valiantly kills a distracted Orc. Kharzain REACTS with a “HAAAHAHAHA!” sound, celebrating his kill. Good! Character Reactions! MORE! Everywhere!

[ 7:56 ] Another exciting moment from Magnus the Wizard, casting “Summon Monster V”. Beautiful casting animation, nice spell effect. Nice sounds coming from the summoned demon, kudos for those. But wait... What’s that shiny glowing thing on the demon’s back? It’s like purple and black. Is it a magic symbol that keeps him subjected to Magnus’ will? I can’t see it, camera’s too far, and I can't f***g ZOOM!! This I why I insist so much with the possibility to ZOOM IN REALLY CLOSE, and change camera angle to a more horizontal angle, so I can see each enemy in the battlefield as I see my characters on the “Party Screen – User Interface Still Under Construction” [ 1:28 ]. THAT’S how much I want to zoom-in, and how much I want to lower camera angle when fully zoomed-in, to be able to see each character and enemy on the battlefield (and that summoned demon with the strange glowing thing on the back) exactly like we see Sieglinde in that party screen, that big, that precise camera angle. (… I think I’ll just post a pic, I don’t feel I managed to convey properly what I mean by “lower camera angle when zooming in” :/ )

[ 9:50 ]  Magnus the Wizard plans to cast “Acid Arrow”, but Fizzles! Magnus makes a disappointment sound. Wonderful, Kudos for that! More character reactions please!

[ 10:14 ] Orc Chieftain attacks Aewoyn twice. He hit’s twice! Aewoyn model moves twice when receiving the hit, as it should be! Thank you! Would you please consider adding the corresponding movement to EVERY reaction, either if it’s receiving a hit or dodging and everything for as many times it happens? (i.e. if character dodges a triple attack, for instance, that should be visually clear and clearly shown exactly as it happens: 3 dodging movements, even if it’s the same animation, please let it play 3 times or make new ones but SHOW us what's happening).

[ 10:34 ]  Sieglinde the Cleric casts “Cure Moderate Wounds” on Aewoyn, but this ACTION is not reflected on the battle-log, just the EFFECT (“Aewoyn got Healed by 12 Hit Points”). Nice casting animation, VFx and SFx for this spell btw, it’s the second best looking spell after “Stinking Cloud”. Again, to some it might sound redundant, unnecessary, absurd or ridiculous to have these actions recorded on the battle-log, but when it’s not a so obvious, straightforward thing as a healing spell, but a more exotic spell from an enemy with a more complex or less obvious effect, it’s nice and necessary to have everything recorded in the battle-log, also for cases in which the player wants to review something that happened earlier.

[ 11:30 ] Magnus the Wizard casts “Heroism” on Kharzain the barbarian dwarf, but this ACTION is not reflected on the battle-log, just the EFFECT (“Kharzain feels Heroic now”). Gorgeous casting animation, VFx and SFx for this spell btw, now It’s my favorite looking spell after “Stinking Cloud”.

[ 15:00 ] Magnus the Wizard casts the “Crushing Despair” AOE spell, “a cone of despair that causes great sadness in the subjects”. Two orc warriors and cave troll are hit, and now “feel great sadness”, while Aewoyn and Kharzain avoided the spell (this was not reflected on the battle-log). However, there were NO VISUAL NOR SOUND REACTIONS whatsoever to this spell. It would have been nice to see some sort of reaction from everyone besides the “Despaired/Avoided” pop-up text, in particular allies that avoided should have reacted with the DODGE animation, while affected orcs should have played the HIT animation (the same animation they play when hit), all together with the roaring sound they play when hit. Just saying, not everything needs new animations and sounds, it’s OK to sometimes use the same ones to maximize time/budget. Point is a visual/sound reaction is needed.

[ 15:27 ] Summoned Demon portrait looks beautiful, it really reflects the model. Love how the demon walks and the sounds it makes… I wonder why the demon “dies” [ 23:25 ] and its corpse remains there when the spell ends (he was full HP 55/55), instead of teleporting back into hell (just play the same teleport animation that you use for summoning him but make him disappear, to show the spell ends and the summoned demon went back to the abyss)… to see him die there, without having taken any damage whatsoever, and leave his corpse on the material plane makes no sense at all! I also wonder why the lower level demon (Summon Monster III) summoned later [ 25:20 ] looks exactly the same as the higher level demon (Summon Monster V). Shouldn’t they look perhaps a bit (i.e. much) different? Just asking.
Last edited: July 06, 2018, Friday, 11:36 pm by Andronius The Druid

The Old Farmer

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#294 July 03, 2018, Tuesday, 03:50 am
I think the answer for the 2:22 full attack is a D&D 3.5 rules thing you only get a single attack after a move action.                                                 

HobGoblin42

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#295 July 03, 2018, Tuesday, 11:36 am
<list>

You just delivered a detailed QA bug report just by watching the video  :salute:

Excellent observations and many of your points are actually already on our internal to-do list.  We were aware most of those problems/missing features, but as developer, at some point you need to let the alpha version go (polishing and 100% bugfixes is part of later development stages).
I  tried hard to fix the annoying sound bug at [4:48] but couldn't find it at oncec and time was running out.

We planned to add much more character/monster reactions but those features require, beside the coding part, additional voice over sounds and animations for every set. Probably, we'll try to license  already existing audio libraries for that purpose.

During playtesting, I also noticed some missing information in the combat log (spells, undocumented kills/hits, etc.) but, don't worry, we won't ever stop adding more text output to accurately describe the ongoing events.

Indeed, the summoned demon must disappear from this plane after being killed/defeated in combat. We simply haven't considered that special state yet.
Last edited: July 03, 2018, Tuesday, 11:40 am by HobGoblin42

StoneAgeArtisan

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#298 July 03, 2018, Tuesday, 06:07 pm
I would take all the negative (non-contructive) commentary on the YouTube videos witjh a major grain of salt. These people are looking for a different kind of game, and frankly their opinion doesn't matter because they won't ever buy a single-player, party-based, turn-based RPG. They just want to more of what's already been served up to them and they don't want developers making anything else. I liken them to the people who complain loudly about what's on a particular channel on DISH or DirecTV instead of just changing the channel.

Know your audience and target them. To heck with all the rest.

HobGoblin42

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#302 July 03, 2018, Tuesday, 06:55 pm
I would take all the negative (non-contructive) commentary on the YouTube videos witjh a major grain of salt. These people are looking for a different kind of game, and frankly their opinion doesn't matter because they won't ever buy a single-player, party-based, turn-based RPG.

Yeah, we only want to reach people who enjoys turn-based combat anyway.
Creating a slightly modernized and more polished version of Pool of Radiance, Temple Of Elemental Evil and Knights of the Chalice is all we want to achieve when it comes to the combat.

Andronius The Druid

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#308 July 03, 2018, Tuesday, 10:02 pm
You just delivered a detailed QA bug report just by watching the video  :salute: Excellent observations and many of your points are actually already on our internal to-do list. [...] Indeed, the summoned demon must disappear from this plane after being killed/defeated in combat. We simply haven't considered that special state yet.

Glad to be of service :salute: just here to help, 'cause I want this to be succesfull. Will you please consider the music thing though?

I'm not saying that track is too bad; would be OK for let's say, a very depressive cut-scene (e.g. little Timmy's burial under the rain, because the plague/curse took him), or an utterly disheartening event (the beloved Druid's companion got lost), or a stealth-mission in an Orc camp (i.e. out-side combat, where you want to cause this kind of tension, stress, nervous strain, great psychological discomfort and nuisance feeling in the player). But for combat as such, I'd really like to emphasize the need for better battle/encounter soundtracks, that actually encourage the party (and player) to fight and continue playing the game, and enhance that adrenaline rush, that heroic, fervent, whole-hearted, epic feeling of fantasy combat and D&D. Even our old beloved 8-bit and 16-bit cRPGs strived for this.

Man... I really wish I was a good enough composer to send you some tracks and show you what I mean (just went to conservatory for 12 years, but didn't major in composition). I do have Sibellius 7 though, as I'm guessing everyone else out there: it has a very good sound-library, if you want better percussion, strings and wind  sounds, so you can create much better melodies, percussive rythms and background harmonies. I'm sure there must be many good software options out there. Nowadays you don't need AAA budget nor hire a professional orchestra and choir to get happy results. I totally dig the idea of drums and a "tribal", "masculine", "agressive" sound for Orc encounters, but then what about something like this? :o https://youtu.be/ZagsLrNzg3I?t=9m13s or this https://youtu.be/uOIduwXTb78