Monday, December 26, 2016

Enemy Buildout

Hey Guys! We have a new build up and ready for people to try out. The main theme of this build is creating a much larger variety of enemy types to fight against. There are a bunch of new enemies in this build but more importantly the framework has been put in to make adding more enemy types much faster in the future. So, we will continue to enrich this over the next few builds. You can try out the build at this link...

Privateers Alpha v0.22

Also, if you want to see me get creamed by the new Demon Boss then here is the let's play :-).

The change list for this build is below...

---- v0.22 ----
- New fire demon enemy type
- New alpha demon enemy type
- New demon boss enemy type
- New ice skeleton enemy type
- New fire skeleton enemy type
- New skeleton lord enemy type
- New poison skeleton enemy type
- New fishman alpha enemy type
- New fishman guru enemy type
- New alpha sea golem enemy type
- New poison skeleyon enemy type
- Improved random variation for caves, crypts and dungeons
- New fire ember weather
- Added syphon life ability
- Added fire blast ability
- Added fire maze ability
- New UI on hovering over enemies

- Tons of bug and balance fixes

Monday, October 24, 2016

Rethinking Everything

Hey everyone! The latest build is up for people to try out. The changes in this build are pretty dramatic because I decided to take a step back and objectively evaluate if the game mechanics were working out we had hoped. After doing this, there were a couple of design choices that I decided to change. You can grab the build at the link below...

Privateers Alpha v0.21

The most major design changes were the following...
  1. We are removing the action controls and only keeping the strategy controls. They were making the game too chaotic and preventing us from really reaching the tactical depth we wanted
  2. We changed items to be procedurally generated instead of hand crafted. The loot game just wasn't interesting enough and this has helped to spice it up.
There are a bunch of other changes involving how abilities work and a ton of new abilities. They are all directed to make the game more tactical and cerebral. Check you the play through that I recorded below or just try it yourself by downloading!

Here is the more complete change list...

---- v0.21 ----
- Reworked controls to remove direct control and focus on the tactical element of the game
- Abilities now have a cast time associate with them which can be interrupted
- Enemy humans now use abilities against you based on their class
- Class abilities are now randomly selected from a small set
- New channeling type of abilities
- Items are now procedurally generated with various rarities
- Tons of bug fixes from playtesting
- Added Summon Fishmen Ability
- Added Rock wall Ability
- Added Wild growth Ability
- Added Heal Ability
- Added Channel Heal Ability
- Added Burst Shot Ability
- Added Cripple Ability
- Added Silence Ability
- Added Mass Silence Ability

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Open Sourced Games

Hey Everyone! This is just a short post to let anyone interested know that I have open sourced all of my previous games (not including Privateers) onto GitHub. This includes Legends of Descent which is one of the most popular RPG games on the Windows Phone platform still today. If you are interested in game development then feel free to go and check them out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dungeon Crawl

Hey Guys! We have a new build ready and this time we are trying something new. Instead of a web build we are putting the PC build up on indieDB. You can check it out here...

Privateers Alpha v0.20 (PC)

We continue to focus on adding fun content to the game with this release. One of the biggest additions is that we have put in a dungeon generator which we are using to create various crypts and tombs which you can take your crew in to explore. They are dangerous places to venture, but the rewards could be great!

Exploring tombs is perfectly safe!
Beyond this, we have put together a bunch of quest chains using the new system from the last release. These give more of a sense of direction while you are playing the game. Stay tuned for us to add a lot more of these in future releases. Another important addition to the event content is that we are working to make reputation have a bigger impact in the game. A example of this is that if you have bad reputation, navy ships will now chase you instead of pirate ships. So, be careful about your choices.

Be careful about running into this guy!

Another thing to look forward to is the new demon enemy type. Kurt recently put this guy together an he looks awesome. They can be pretty hard to handle as well :-).

Demon casting a spell
On a less exciting note, we also had to do a big refactor to change out the plugin we were using for sound effect and music. The one we were using was buggy and we couldn't tolerate it any more. The good news is that with this we add a bunch of new sound effects which really help to crisp up the feel of the game.

As always, enjoy the build and please give us your feedback!

---- v0.20 ----
- New dungeon generator
- Lots of new dungeon events
- Several new quest chains
- Many bug fixes
- New demon enemy type
- Lots of new sound effects
- Navy ships now chase you if you have bad reputation
- Refactoring of event saving to be more stable

- Refactored sound and music to use a new pluggin

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Level Up

After crunching furiously for the past few weeks, we have finally submitted Privateers to the "Level Up" contest put on by Intel. If you are interested, you can check out the contest page here...

The main focus over the past few weeks has been polishing things up and working out as many of the bugs as we can. Also, we added touch controls since that was a focus for the intel contest. However, there was a lot of other work as well including adding a new threat system to the AI as well as completely reworking how quests are written into the game. You can play the build that we submitted for the contest here...

(Best with Internet Explorer)

If you are interested in how quests are now written, I made an instructional video here...

As always, thanks for playing and let us know what you think of the new build!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Attack of the Kraken!

Hey everyone! I am super excited about showing off this new build. There has been a ton of progress in the game over the last month and I think you guys are going to like it. The main focus has been on combat improvements, UI improvements and rendering improvements. You can check out the build here (there are special buttons to try out some of the boss combat mechanics)...

(Best with Internet Explorer)

The most obvious changes are the improvements in the battle mechanics. The enemies now use area of effect attacks which give a warning before they fire. This allows the player take more tactical actions by positioning their crew to reduce the impact of the attacks. Both the Minotaur and the Kraken bosses make heavy use of this. The Kraken also has some new custom AI which allows it to be an interesting fight on your ship as it attacks from different areas.

Another major portion of work was focused on improving the UI. There were several goals that we wanted to achieve with this work...
  1. Create a custom theme which helps tie the games visuals together
  2. Improve usability by adding some additional features for controlling your crew's AI actions and selecting crew effectively
  3. Reduce the amount of chrome on the screen to prevent it from getting into the way.
This work is still in progress, but you can get a feel for the changes in the latest build. We should mostly finalize on it by the next build.

Example of new UI

Lastly but not least, there was a major effort around rendering optimization. This was a bit more technical, but basically what happened is that we were using a custom sprite rendering system due to the large number of sprites on the screen. However, we refactored this to unity sprites which make it much more efficient. Furthermore, we now have much more control over sorting order of the sprites which is great because it allow us to layer the various particle effects in with the sprites which we couldn't do before.

As always, thanks for your support and let us know what you think in the comments!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

More Content!

Hey everyone! Today we are back with a new build which has a bunch of new content in it for you to enjoy. There are two main themes to the work that happened over the last month. The first is putting our new event editor to good use and building a whole bunch of new interesting events. The second is to do a fairly large overhaul of the sailing experience in the game. You can try out the new build here...

(Runs best on Internet Explorer)

With regards to new events there is are a ton of more interesting ones that we are dumping into the game (and will continue to add). You will notice a lot more branching in the event choices then we used to have since it is much easier to manage in the new tools. Furthermore, we put int he basics of a reputation system which adds a new dimension to how events can play out.

Arena fight event (with dev art still)

The other major focus was how sailing takes place in the game. We have changed it from the turn based system that we had to a semi-real time system that is more similiar to how the action gameplay works. Also, there has been a significant improvement in the AI for the various ships and ports. They no longer just wander around aimlessly. Merchants will go from port to port and Pirates will hunt you down. There are also Navy and Fishing ships which have their own AI patterns. We will continue to expand on this to make the island map seem much more alive.

As always, let us know what you think about the new build in the comments!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Event Editor

We are finally back with some new stuff to show. Most of the past few months has been spent recuperating. But, we have now picked the pace back up and have something to show for it, which is our new event editor.

Event in the making

Previously, all of our events were written in a custom XML format which was hard to read and easy to make mistakes in. As a result, I (Sam) was the only person who had ever successfully written one. So, it was clear that we needed to spend the time to make a tool to streamline the process. Below is a video that I made which teaches how to use the new tool if you are interested.

As always, leave your thoughts in the comments below. If you are interested in getting a copy of this tool and creating some events yourself then let me know and I will pass it along to you. Hopefully the next game update will have lots of new content to play around with now that this is ready!