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Messages - CraigStern

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??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 30, 2016, 03:12:59 PM »
Mousing over a status effect icon in the character screen now produces a pop-up with the name of the status effect and a short description of what it does.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 30, 2016, 12:42:07 PM »
The afterAtk attribute of a character skill ("End Turn", "Can Move", "Use Once" or "Unlimited") now gets applied to the user.

Characters will pop up text that says "Turn is over!" if you try to select them after they use an "End Turn" skill.

A "Use Once" skill that has already been used will become redded out in the Actions Menu, and no longer selectable.

After using a "Can Move" skill, all of that character's skills become redded out in the Actions Menu, and no longer selectable.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 30, 2016, 09:16:53 AM »
Created a clickable pop-up message box class; it's now used within the level-up screen to notify the player when a character gains a new attack, a new mastery, a new counterattack, or a bonus stat proficiency (i.e. anything at all other than your standard-issue stat increases).

The message box can queue up multiple messages, and will proceed through them as the player clicks; when no more messages remain and the player clicks, the message box will vanish.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 29, 2016, 04:11:32 PM »
A "grayed out" effect is now applied to characters after they use a turn-ending attack.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 29, 2016, 03:02:51 PM »
New assassin skill: Hide. (Makes the AI a lot less likely to consider the unit a viable target.)

New spriggat skills: Deep Breath (ends the turn, but boosts the user's psy by 50% until the end of the following turn); and Dive (a powerful claw attack with 1 space of knockback).

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 29, 2016, 01:29:41 PM »
Frozen, Stunned, and Immobilized statuses now prevent units from moving.

Clicking a character who is Frozen or Stunned now produces pop-up text informing you of their status instead of allowing you to select them.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 29, 2016, 11:26:47 AM »
Got the pulling ability working properly.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 29, 2016, 11:01:31 AM »
Characters that are thrown or shoved now send up a little cloud of dust when they land.

Characters can no longer move other, non-flying characters upwards by more than 1 unit of elevation between spaces unless moving them parabolically (i.e. throwing them).

Thrown characters now land on the first available space not blocked by other characters.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 29, 2016, 08:37:38 AM »
Units now move in proper parabolic arcs when thrown.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 28, 2016, 04:22:36 PM »
Bowmen and Spearmen now get access to Pinning Shot and Pinning Thrust, respectively, skills which have a 75% chance to cause Immobilized status when they hit their targets.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 28, 2016, 03:58:05 PM »
Characters (okay: stone golems, specifically) can now throw units over other characters. ;)

Axefighters now get Overhead Chop, and Swordsmen get their own equivalent skill called Overhead Strike.

General Discussion / Re: Ask the developer a question!
« on: December 28, 2016, 02:50:35 PM »
Do you have thoughts on RPG mechanics that make units weaker as they lose health (e.g. injury, vulnerability, loss of morale), how scale (sheer number of units controlled by player, enemy) affects their usefulness/viability, and/or whether, in your experience, they're actually fun?

That's a suuuuuper broad question! I'll start with what I think you're getting at in the first part of it. I know of a few games that make units deal less damage as they lose health (King's Bounty, Heroes of Might and Magic, Advance Wars, and The Banner Saga all come to mind). Characters losing fighting power along with their health tends to produce a positive feedback loop wherein they become less able to fight back, thereby making their eradication more and more likely.

In games where characters are replaceable, like King's Bounty, HoMM, and Advance Wars (in Advance Wars, they're replaceable during the actual battle!), you're really dealing with groups of soldiers in each unit, and the unit's "health" is effectively just the number of soldiers left in the squad. Your ability to maintain a flow of replacement troops is part of these games' loops; it's just part of the macro-level strategy, so I find the mechanic tolerable in these circumstances.

I really quite dislike it in The Banner Saga, though, as TBS is really just a tactics game: your units are all unique and more-or-less irreplaceable. Since you can't easily recruit replacements when you lose soldiers in The Banner Saga, the positive feedback loop that ensues from units weakening as they become more vulnerable has extremely severe consequences without any macro-level upshot to offset it, and I tend not to find it terribly enjoyable.

Morale is an interesting one. I've generally encountered it in two forms: (1) in battle, as a way to take control away from the player right when they need it most (i.e. when they're losing); and (2) outside of battle, as a way to punish the player for failing to pay/feed their troops. The first use I find irritating, as it's another example of a positive feedback loop that hurts the gameplay experience. The second use I tend to see more in strategy games, and it can be implemented well in that context. One new use of morale I've seen is in HoMM7, where it's used as a sort of bonus to grant your units extra turns if you're doing well--it's overpowered in that implementation, but I like the general idea of morale as a bonus to how well your troops perform. It's positive feedback-y, sure, but it's positive feedback-y in the player's favor, which makes it fun. (In my experience, things which are patently unfair when granted to the computer--like critical hits--are enjoyable when granted exclusively to the player).

Scale...that's a really broad topic, and it's hard to make any sweeping statements about it. I've seen both large-scale and small-scale done well, and I've seen both done poorly. In general, I'll just say that the fewer units you have under your control, the greater a variety of tactical options you need to have with each of them to keep things interesting. You can get away with less-versatile units once you get up into the 7+ unit range, I think. In general, I think the usefulness and viability of a given unit has more to do with the game's underlying mechanics than it does with scale on its own.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 28, 2016, 02:10:32 PM »
Created a couple of new golem skills to give them a greater variety of tactics: Backthrow (for stone golems--tosses the target behind the golem) and Rending Arc (for bronze golems--hits 270 degrees around the golem, deals slash damage, and causes Softened status).

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 27, 2016, 10:41:49 AM »
I've reworked the character screen yet again to make better use of space and increase the size of the icons for easier comprehension at a glance.

Instead of just relying upon a stream of pop-up text, when a character levels up, there is now a proper level-up screen that lets you see how a character has improved in the context of their existing stats. (Improved stats show both their 'before' and 'after' values, and the icons for these stats throb to draw the player's eye directly to them.)

In both screens, stat icons now display what stat they represent upon mousing over.

Instead of just blinking into existence, both the character screen and the level-up screen now have a quick little 'zoom in' animation when they appear onscreen.

The game now queues up level-up information for those rare occasions where multiple characters level at the same time, then displays the level-up screens for each character in succession.

Oh, also: the game now does Dodged! and Blocked! pop-ups whenever a character, y'know...dodges or blocks an attack.

??? / Re: A new engine!
« on: December 24, 2016, 10:49:19 AM »
Yup! That is planned for inclusion; just haven't gotten around to it yet. :)

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