MEGAQUEST - Demo of Darkness

  • thanks a lot guys, im glad you like it! yeah as for now its pretty pointless, everything. I'll post in the future about these and other design dilemmas i'm facing at the moment... im thinking a big sandbox with many missions, some badge system of sorts... well see!

    As for now, no CEO was harmed in the making of the mighty MEGAQÜEST – meaning I didn't spent no money at all in this project. Music and graphics were made with the demo version of FLStudio (which allows you export wave files but no save your projects, which was... interesting) and graphics with an obscure pixel art program calld characterMakerPro, believed freeware. And... yesss, i'm using a free version of C2 too! I know, I know what you gonna say: “if yer serious about game making...”, “its a very affordable price anyway”... Yeah, yeah I know. I'll most likely get me a personal licence sooner than not, but as for now I'm enjoying stretching the possibilities of the 100 events, I guess (after all the whole design is pretty restrictive, I mean colors etc, thus the code restriction feels almost stylish). Remember this is my first game, and even when the price is indeed reasonable, it's still a good fistful of gold... You could say I'm checking if I am indeed “serious into game making”.

    This also means that MEGAQÜEST is absolutely non-commercial at the moment, and the punk in me is alright with that.

    I'm attaching the capx for Mankind to see. [edit - dunno how to do that actually. anyway, is in the arcade: /edit] It combines some things that (I believe) are pretty cunning with others that (I'm conscious) are utterly silly. Needs some rework... Of course, event economy is essential, so I used no global vars (rather put em on the players sprite or somewhere), only one big clumsy eventsheet, no groups, etc. On the cunning side, i'm quite proud of what I did with them monsters (I call'm creeps) and npcs: small devices with local vars and the Dictionary object that allows me to create a theoretically infinite number of (classes of) them both without any use of events – that is, with no special rules, like poisoning or shooting, but different attributes like health, strength or speed; or different random dialogues for each npc class.

    On the silly side, Im not too happy with this system of tileset + invisible platforms – it's arduous and ingrate, and collisions aint as, well, reliable as they should (specially jumpThrus). I made the map with Tiled, but dunno how collisions work there, and as far as I know C2 wont import it anyway. Any idea, anybody?

    Have a look, whoever interested

    Aw yeah, I'm using r206 cos the new splash screen is ugly as f-

  • looks cool!

  • dheart88 Thank you, guitar boy with a frog for a hat!

    How you mortals doing? Me Im quite busy of late with the equinox ceremonies n stuff, and have little time for the mighty MEGAQÜEST at the moment, Im afraid. In some a couple of weeks or so I hope to be back at full speed again.

    So I've received a lot of succulent feedback from Demo Of Darkness; I'm happy and flattered that most people seems to like the game. Several brave individuals though pointed out some issues that will be useful in a near future (and then died screamin over the altar of Moloch). Current online version was rigged a bit in a rush due to this culturegamefest deadline, so I focused mainly in the game mechanics (aesthetics came first), neglecting somewhat deliberately several key aspects. A few things I want to update are a parallax layer, death animations, eventually several different playable characters (if it worked for them creeps and npcs, will work for the pc too) and one final (and only) boss that should serve to close the, er, game experience or whatever they call it. All these things should be hopefully included in this Demo of Darkness iteration (under 100 evs), if I can fit them in.

    But what I really need is a proper gameflow here. By flow I mean several subtle things that makes a game feel coherent as a whole. It includes the conspicuous player's reward, but I think its most important aspect is the structure of the game. Lemme explain. Imagine we have a clone of supermario. No background story, no nothing. So you go through a stage, face a final boss, get some points, make it (or not) to a ranking: a little, simple yet highly effective structure. Another one: yknow this game that you're a little black doll and you run and run, all black and white, jumping over abysses and traps, and you score is the yards you reach before finding a usually gruesome death? That's another, even more simple structure, and it works like clockwork too.

    Compare them now with the mighty MEGAQÜEST, where you go through a stage... and go... and go. The whole sandbox thing also raise its own issues. Pointlessness is sorta its natural state, since there's no start and no end. Size matters too, and the final map should be much bigger than the current one in order to avoid... well, claustrophobia. Even then it may well happen that you have to cross say the Graveyard for the say fifth time, which could become a bit repetitive. Or more than a bit.

    So whattam gonna do about it? I'm most certainly gonna implement some level or experience system. This should hopefully help to give the player some reason to live, but there are deeper reasons. It will gimme some control over the cadence of the game, like “you need more that 999 EP to get into the Town”, “you need to reach Level 5 to open that door”. It may be useful also when it comes to monsterspawning (if you are leve 3 you meet an orc; if you are level 5 you meet a minotaur and so), npc dialogues, etc.

    This get us into the narrative side. Thats gonna have to wait til next post, but basically there will be several small plotlines -- rather than one big story of vengeance and thrill and romance. In Demo of Darkness I sketch one of these plotlines, something dealing with necromancy and a mysterious plague outbreak, that I mean to develop a bit further too...

  • Brave new map

    New (and old) kids in town (some ideas)

  • this look really nice i hope it plays well too

  • KnivetonStudios well hope no more and play it in the arcade!

    (its all over this signature banner thing dammit)

    expect not so many monsters tho

    -- not as yet, not as yet.

  • Loved it very much.

    Pros:

    + It plays and scrolls smoothly

    + Game has very dark and stylish graphics

    + The way the dialogues are presented and the font used

    + Humor and wit

    + Level design is wonderful for a demo

    Cons:

    • Music is great but a little repetitive. More suitable for a menu screen maybe?

    Amazing work! Congrats!

  • Just had tons of fun playing this. It's a perfect showcase of what a limited palette can do and those repetitive music themes, I don't know why, but they are a plus for me!

    I've played a fair bit of retro styled games recently, but for some reason this one really felt like I was 13 again in front of my Speccy. It brought a tear to my eye, you b#stard!

    Great work man!

  • thank you so much for your kind words, guys. all this feedback is really encouraging! the mighty MEGAQÜEST was born as a personal, no-reason-whatever project (or for arts sake if you are like that) and now im even thinking on greenlight n stuff! now two months ago i didnt even know what greenlight was. i discovered (i suspected already) how much i can suck at promotion. i dont know how to set a kicktarter nuthing. dont even know what reddit is. so i'll be posting something in the proper subforum soon but if anybody here kowns some marketing for dummies id be thankful (so i cover as much readers as posible -- see, iv got the basics).

    byondisoft ah, the music! couple of buddies of mine consider it straight unnerving. oh but i like it. in the earliest version music was even more obsessive. due to crap-EQ i'm anyway redoing all the music somewhen soon, but i dont think its gonna change a lot -- not the basic "structure". if any, i may make it even... even... loopier. feedback on the matter is very appreciated tho.

    glad you say about the speech bubbles! i did consider put all speech in the black text box, coz them (bubbles) are tricky to fit in screen, and thus somewhat restrictive in text.length terms... but man theyre just cool, so they stayed. I've to develop some... well, "dialogue sytem"s probabbly too much sayin: just some method for more-thant-one-bubble speeches, maybe some yes/no input n everything. font was lovingly handbaked and it's 8x8 px per character -- tiny enough for pretty long texts. Im planning to release this and other assets for free somewhen somehow (another evil marketing plot to lure people into a potential website or something).

    immortalx hah well cheers bro, always happy to channel that inner child there! thats what its about innit. retroness here came quite naturally, i think about it rather as "lo-def", kind of reductionist philosophy that im trying to apply not only to aesthetiks but also music, controls, etc. no sophisticated blending fx. no particle system mannerisms. even opacity changes other than some discreet fade to black are regarded as effeminate and vain... nearly dogma innit

  • Hey dude I finally had a chance to sit down with this and give it a fair shake. Here's my critique and apologies if I'm repeating what others have said.

    What I Liked

    • Game ran great. No hiccups / jank / lag. Ran in-browser (Chrome).
    • The graphics / artist direction. Really solid and stylized stuff, man. Gives me some serious Sega Genesis vibes with the big and beefy character feel. I LOVE the silhouettes against the color schemed backgrounds.
    • At first I found the music way too short, but thinking back to those old games, that's how it was. The music would set a mood and loop so quickly that it kinda of settled in the background. Definitely a depressing / foreboding feeling. Reminds me of Blighttown from Dark Souls if you've played that.
    • Those speech bubbles! Love 'em. I would be stoked it you explained / showed how you did those. I'm using a more RPG Box dialogue style right now.
    • Controls felt good and made sense. Would love to see gamepad support.

    What I didn't like / bugs

    • I feel like I could spam the enemies. By that I mean, if I just pounded on the space bar, my animation cycle was faster than the enemies could attack and I wouldn't get hit. If this is what you were going for and would ramp up the enemies animation cycle as difficulty, that makes sense. Otherwise I felt like I could avoid getting hit. Except for those slingshot dudes. They were solid. Make them shoot faster tho!
    • After the "Oldtown" sign, I fell and the fall lasted +5 seconds? Seemed a bit long. I imagine because it took me to reach the bottom of the layout. Throw in an invisible death trigger object for me to collide with to make the fall shorter.

    All in all, a great effort! I would definitely pick up a full-version of this game!

  • Hey bclikesyou thanks a lot for the review man.

    Yyyeah i'v noticed the dathfalls tend to funny variations in length... You dont really get out of the layout (which is massive just in case the map expands) nor there's any death trigger (cos i dont completely discard the posibility of an item or something that allows you to actually fly) – instead, theres a variable running += 1 everytick when falling... seems to me like a framerate problem, but that is all a bit arcane as for now, should read me that old tutorial again.

    Combat flow whaccanasay, still needs a lot of work (if you actually just keep the spacebar pressed you dont even have to pound your keyboard) but u see drawing new creeps is funnier...

    Bubbles, they're done like this:

    • each time a npc speak, it calls a string from the dictionary obj, which typically looks like: “Hey dude you alright? | 64 | 32”, or: “text of the speech |width of the bubble | height of the bubble”.
    • the bubble is composed of a tail, two rounded edge sprites, a white background and the text itself (spritefont, plz). All are created on the proper hostpots when the npc speaks.
    • Then the text of the spritefont changes to match the one in the dictionary string, and its dimensions and the dimensions of the white background too are set also according to it. You separate the different values of the string with the tokenat xpression, you may need also int()...
    • the rounded edges are sprites with several animations: 'edge32', 'edge48', 'edge64'. So depending on the height of the bubble, you set this animation or that (again tokenizing).

    (Rewatching the code i discovered all my bubbles are 32px height, so even easier).

    Dossit make any sense? Anyway capx should be uploaded somewhere along with the game, so you can have a look there. The black text boxes you get with statues and potions have a similar base but are (maybe surprinsingly) much more complex – they include no less than four tiledbackgrounds each and nowadays im still not sure how i ever made them work.

  • hi family howre y'all doing! sorry i'm kinda not at all of late. i've been (and arguably am) pretty busy these days which is good, i guess, plus im migrating all my stuff to a new laptop i got me. anyway i've been introducing some changes now n then to the mighty MEGAQÜEST that you can check clicking on the big banner on my signature (or here). nothing too spectacular, mainly some new items, tell me what you think. notice it's very wip, dialogues are yet to be fixed, secret rooms under the graveyard filled with unspeakable horrors, etc.

    more news soon

  • It's impressive, your game has good vibes.

    The art reminds me Heart of Darkness. (the pics is a screenshot from Heart of Darkness)

    Your capx is a goldmine for beginners like me, thanks for making it available.

    There is some little bugs (three enemies attacking me at the same time = crazy sound loop) but the game is enjoyable.

    more news soon

    Good luck with your game, it's been one year since you updated your devlog. (buying construct 2 isn't a bad idea if you can do this with the free version)

  • whoa -- blast from the past, this thread :S

    thanks for your interest n comments, Even if the thread is quite neglected, the game is not! Few months ago I got me a license, been working on it, quietly, since then. One day soon i'll show y'all how its going, but I'd like to polish a few things before -- it's been nearly a year of silence, so it better looks good! (This does not mean its gonna be finished tho. Sometimes I wonder if it's ever gonna be D: )

    True, those black things from Heart of Darkness are very similar to my barbarian... not only the pixels and colours, but the general constitution too! There was a time when these things somewhat trouble me, but not anymore: i'm proud to say MQ's got its own personality Funny thing: never played Heart of Darkness, but J. Conrad's novel (in which I don't think the game is based anyway) is one of my fav novellas ever, and I intend to introduce one mission in MQ (yeah there's gonna be missions! already have some done!) inspired on it.

    Glad the capx was useful for you, but mind that it might, probably will, contain some errors (Im not a great coder).

    Some screenshots. A few changes are evident, most are not... I was planning to wait until i had more spectacular (or innovative, in relation with the currently published version of the game) screens, but this will work as an improvised eyecandy, now that you put me under the spotlight ;P

    hallelluja -- it's raining rain!

    girls wanna have fun too!

    cyclopses are back to MQ!

    more coming soon. and this time, i mean it...

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  • Man, I just love the vibe this game gives me. Can't say much more, just do me a favor - keep this topic updated from time to time. I'm lovin' it.

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