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About ShadowTiger

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  1. I plan on adding a mod so that same-sex couples can still have kids... through magic! That may require a bit of re-balancing of whatever benefits you normally get from pairing up heroes. Another idea I had was to make monsters change depending on the corruption level of the territory. Basically territories slowly get more and more corrupted over time, especially if you lose a battle or choose not to fight. That changes the terrain to be different. So at certain thresholds the monsters get powered up and become tougher and gain new abilities, possibly with new glowy effects or just palette swaps. I really don't think it will be easy or even possible to make such an in-depth mod though. I don't really think new classes/monsters is necessary, but creating new abilities, maybe from powerful items/demon upgrades/genetic traits would give some extra variety. That is a cool idea: Passive and Active traits that get transmitted to your kids. I would set up a system like eye color where different combinations have different probabilities of being passed on, with a maximum of 1 passive and 1 active ability for each new character.
  2. I have written tactical AI in a grid-based video game before. I never got a chance to really polish it up or teach it all the rules, but it is pretty easy to make an AI that is fun to play against. Scripting individual behaviors is a great shortcut to use if you are short on time, but ideally you code the AI to understand the mechanics. I prefer to allow the AI to adjust its own sliders for what is important and what is a threat. Then it can look at all the tools it has and figure what is an effective action to take, not necessarily going through all the possible actions and picking the best one. For example, lets say the player has a healer unit. The AI can see that and decide its high priority to avoid healing. It can focus fire on low-hp units and try to kill them outright. It can use forced movement abilities to get a target out of range of the healer, or perhaps to pull the healer out of LOS. It can try to stun the healer or kill the healer first. Just putting a little pressure on the healer, through damage over time, might be good enough. So as long as the AI is programmed to look at each game mechanic and evaluate it, the AI should behave in an interesting way. Throw in a bit of randomness so it doesn't always choose the same action in the same situation, and it should spice things up even across multiple play-throughs. The point I am trying to make is that like you say, most games don't have the best tactical AI. I think that it is possible, and not too difficult to make an AI that a) doesn't make stupid mistakes b) is fun to play against c) provides a moderate challenge without cheating/asymmetry However, even if you have really well designed monsters, bad AI will detract from the game. Conversely, even with really bland monsters, having well done AI will make the combat fun and interesting. One more key consideration regarding the AI: Will it be omniscient, like 2 players playing chess, or will it be realistic, with each creature having its own set of knowledge and making decisions based on its personality tendencies? I think its still a little too early to start complaining/worrying about this stuff, lets see what the enemies actually can do first. Also rules like flanking, cover bonuses, aim variation for AOE attacks could all be just as important.
  3. I don't think the game needs to have lots of enemy types. If you look at the original x-com, most of those enemies functioned in a very similar manner. Sure there are some unique abilities like flying, mind control, exploding on death, but snakemen vs sectoids vs mutons... not a big difference except accuracy and hp. In the new x-com, each enemy has 1 unique ability, which is not that special. If massive chalice can give each enemy 2-3 unique abilities, then I think it will be just as good if not better in terms of tactical variety. I personally suggest giving each enemy type one extra ability that only activates in certain conditions. This could be when it kills someone, when it eats a corpse, when it hides behind terrain, when it goes below 50% health, etc. These transition points make the battle dynamic, and if you trigger them accidentally then you might end up taking losses from a berserk monster or a sniper monster that had a chance to set up. So basically, more monsters != better, intricate monsters = awesome.
  4. In regards to the practicality of potions attatched to your shield... yes... it is dangerous. I think my idea is that you can choose to either take full damage from enemy attacks and not trigger any potions, or you can go into defensive stance and reduce enemy accuracy/damage in exchange for a potion getting triggered when you get hit. If you could choose which potion gets triggered... it adds a large amount of strategy. You could block with a healing potion, which would heal your enemies and also nearby allies... but maybe thats a good trade off against fully healed enemies. If it triggered after the attack damage is resolved, then it could potentially heal all the damage you just took. Another strategy that emerges is if you are out of position and swarmed by enemies, your alchemist can defend himself with an explosive potion and try to damage or kill as many enemies as possible. I guess the real issue is simply how overwatch/defensive stance works. Until that is nailed down it is hard to say for sure whether my proposition makes sense. Finally I have another idea for the 5th class, a spear wielder. At first I thought it would be kind of bland and generic, but if you added in a pole vault ability it could be pretty cool. You could also put a noose at one end of the spear, and that would allow for grappling and control type of abilities. If you do go with a spear type class, I think an overwatch ability where you brace for a charge, basically allowing a powerful attack against any enemies that move into an adjacent square (probably a 90' arc). Another option, which would work with the chain fighter, is to have a trip overwatch that knocks down enemies who enter adjacent squares. The main issue with trip is you have to add prone animations, so I think in most games it is not worth the cost of implimentation.
  5. I am just catching up now on the livestream. I had a few suggestions... maybe you haven't thought of them yet. First of all the first time I saw Arbalist and saw that shape for the character, I thought Arborist... as in trees. It might be cool to tie in a forest ranger type of theme, which has been done 1000 times but if you made the weapons and gear all be 100% plant based it might be interesting and original. The second suggestion I have is if you wanted to experiment with a long sniper type crossbow, but also wanted it to be heavy duty and fearsome... what about a javelin launcher? It is pretty unique and would warrant the longer shape and also be pretty bad ass. You could still get away with stealthy as well for an analogue to a modern sniper. The vanguard tuning fork idea really interests me. I think the whistle sword works pretty well, but it requires you to make music on your turn only. The tuning fork can keep vibrating on the enemy's turn... making persistent buffs more intuitive. You could do interesting things like an ability that blocks an attack, and based on the type of attack it makes different vibrations, and therefore different effects. A different direction you could go is to try and make the sword itself an instrument that makes noises when it hits. I am thinking more like bells embedded in the center tip of the blade, maybe more like wind chimes than dinner bells. The reason this idea is appealing is because if your fencer type warrior is going to do a flurry of blows with each attack, it could make a little melody with each swing having a different note. I am picturing attack A having a horizontal slash, a thrust, and then a flourish, which would share musical notes but be a different pattern/tempo to attack B, having a flourish, then a vertical shop and then a thrust. I think it would be cool if every "captain" ability also did some damage, even if it is inferior to a normal attack or to the attacks of the other classes. I have another suggestion for the Alchemist. You said you wanted to have the alchemist go into a defensive stance and when he gets hit, a random potion gets triggered. What if instead of a basket in his/her left hand, it is a shield with potions on the outside. So then you could get into a defensive stance with your shield out front, and hitting the shield would cause a potion to explode. You could have the shield be slung on the back or a shoulder as well... to give you the top down look you are going for when the defensive mode is de-activated. Another alternative for the alchemist is to have the potions on the back of a cloak/cape and swing around the cape to shield your face, similar to batman... but that has been done many times before. For the 5th class, I got inspired by the whip and the falcon ideas... maybe a beastmaster? I think its nice because it is an intimidating character, sort of the flip-side of the vanguard. He could perhaps have a battle roar that startles enemies, and he could whip allies or summoned creatures into a frenzy. The whip allows the medium range attack, but is also part of his motif, as in a lion tamer from a circus. The main issue would be whether his minions would be summoned or whether they would be part of his geometry. Is there room say to have a panther or a wolf standing beside him? I think a good solution is that rather than the beasts being separate creatures that can die, they just do hit and run attacks and return to the beastmaster's side. Another idea for the 5th class might be a character that uses a chain that can attach to other objects or creatures. You could use it as a leash to control an enemy creature's position. You could use it to anchor a character to the ground, or to anchor two characters together so they can't be separated. Another function might be to create a wall or a trip wire between the character and a tree or other terrain object, perhaps also between two characters. You might be able to create a tightrope bridge to cross over water, lava, demon sludge, or other terrain obstacles (spike pits anyone?). I guess Just Cause 2 comes to mind but I first experienced that type of game mechanic with Rocket Jockey. Oh yeah... also Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. In terms of deploying the chain... a grapple gun comes to mind but that is too similar to the arbalist (though it could be an ability for that class). Instead... maybe a boomerang or a frisbee with a chain attached... which isn't exactly aerodynamic but could reinforce the idea that you can curve or even have it return to you. Well... I hope some of these ideas help you along... good luck!
  6. I am one of those player who doesn't like their characters aging or dying. I also like reloading and playing each battle perfect. So my suggestion is that after reaching peak age (Maybe 1/2, maybe 2/3 towards retirement), after every battle your older warriors will randomly get ailments such as a bad back, a stiff knee, a blown shoulder, etc. Maybe it just increased the chance of an injury every time they take damage, maybe it is only caused by age. The point is... your warriors get weaker over time, thus making you feel less bad about them dying and giving you a good reason to retire them. However, if you feel desperate like you might not make it to the next generation, or if you think you can sacrifice them to save a promising new hero, you may field all your weakened and hobbled warriors in order to pave way for the future generation. I think it is a cool dynamic that would solve most of my issues with aging, permadeath, and stuff like that. That being said, older veterans will probably have awesome things they can do that young novices cant, yet they may end up with very specific weakness such has 1/2 movement speed or it takes them an extra turn to stand up after being knocked down. I guess it will be situational whether you want to keep one around or whether you are ready to let them go. If you set up the system like how I described I think it would make the game flow better from one generation to the next.
  7. Yeah I ran into this bug too... simply restart! luckily its a short game once you know what you are doing.
  8. I had the same issue. I was running around the dream area playing the repair song but couldn't see any obvious place to target. I will probably play through one more time to try and finish now that I know there are 3 places I am looking for.
  9. Hey, I really enjoyed playing the prototype, but I had a negative experience. I figured out that the Q button to use your usb cord doesn't work after trying it a few dozen times and nothing happened. I figured it either gets unlocked later or is not working yet. I was wondering the whole time... when do I get to hack things? I ended up walking right passed the glitch & the subsequent lamp the first play through, then after restarting I walked right up to it but didn't realize that the lamp was an intractable object. I just noticed a weird invisible wall halfway through the jail cell. Similarly, the first play through I walked right passed the hourglass but found it the second time AFTER going back through the fire. I did manage to get past the fireballs without the hourglass no problem, especially with the laptop. I would say I have about a 80% success rate as long as you don't start so far over that you run into the wall and miss the opening. The trick is to just run diagonally. I went through every single room in the library feeling as if I was missing an important item that I needed to solve the puzzle. After going through all the rooms I gave up, especially since I couldn't read any of the garbled text. I just watched you play through the game briefly in the video for day 9 so that pointed out the important thing that I missed, but you really need to make that stuff stand out a little bit more. I probably would have figured it out if I kept trying but it was frustrating and boring. I guess the other feedback I had was it is a little too easy to navigate the guards in the main room of the castle. If I went slowly I could fail to predict the guard pattern and get caught, but if I just run through and rely on instinct and peripheral vision I usually manage just fine. I think that every time you should have to sit and wait at least once for a patrol to move to its next spot. Now to go play the game properly. I am a programmer btw... Okay... just went back and finished the 2nd half of the game, it was much more enjoyable when I actually knew what I was doing. I like the simplified hacking interface. It would be nice if I could manually enter in the numbers with the numpad or something. The library was really easy to solve, as were most of the puzzles. The 2nd fireball room was a little challenging though luckily friendly damage seems to have life saving boolean properties and isn't a pure damage bonus. I would have liked more ways to bypass puzzles without killing the enemies. I blinded or immobilized some of the guards just for fun, but you can't blind the guards that don't move (which is a bug I assume). Overall great game!
  10. If you have ever played a visual novel game, you will often encounter multiple endings. It definetly isn't a smooth system, you end up being on "tracks" and it can be very arbitrary to move from one track to the other. However, it does encourage you to replay the game multiple times, and if it is done well it can be a dramatically different experience each time. One playthrough you might fight and defeat a person in combat. The next playthrough you get defeated and captured. Then you learn about the enemy's motives, about their plans, about their backstory. Suddenly it expands the world for you in a wonderful way. The tricky part is making the player aware of the important choices so they don't feel like they are lost in a maze of dialogue options. If they simply add multiple endings that only change the last 5 minutes of the game, then it is totally a waste of time and effort. If you really want to add depth to the game, you need to have the player make game-changing decisions as early as 25% completion and have chain reactions ripple through the game. This is obviously a massive design decision that changes the whole development process. There is certainly a trade off between a long linear game that always plays the same, and a shorter non-linear game that you can replay over and over and discover new things each time. I think a real important point for developers is the question "is it really worth spending X hours/dollars making feature Y if only 10% of the players will actually experience it?" I think its funny that so many people complain about the ending of Mass Effect 3 when only 50% of players actually completed Mass Effect 1, and I am sure that number is about the same for 2 & 3. Is it really worth spending time and money on the ending if that many people wont even experience it? Shouldn't they spend more time on the first half of the game... maybe increasing chance people will actually play the whole game? Also, the game is still just beginning... I realize that some design decisions will only work if they are present from the start of development, but lets worry about the ending later on...
  11. The first video is great. I am not sure if these videos are going to be the final "documentary series" or if these are just updates cut from the same pool of footage. I am sure its been explained elsewhere but I couldn't find it after a quick search.
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