1.0 Release Maps -- Design, Scripting and Events

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1.0 Release Maps -- Design, Scripting and Events

Postby Roots » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:47 am

It's been a long time coming, but the 1.0 release is getting close. The layout design of all the maps (except for one) are mostly complete. The scripted events and dialogues that occur have thus far been done by myself without getting much input or feedback from others. I want to discuss the major flow of events and get feedback on what people think.

Here's the list of maps in the 1.0 Release, in the order that the player encounters them. I put a [%] to indicate an approximation of the completion level of this map.

  • [100%] Opening Scene - Long walk through the desert to the entrance of the underground cavern. Completely scripted
  • [90%] River Access Cave - First dungeon. Mostly linear, with a boss fight at the end.
  • [100%] Returning Scene - Recycled Intro map done in reverse, walking back to the capitol. Completely scripted.
  • [80%] Harrvah Capitol Attacked - Capitol under attack by demonic forces. Player must fight their way to the throne room, defeating a boss there.
  • [65%] Harrvah Capitol Aftermath - Player free to explore capitol and shop, gather information, and encounter scripted scenes.
  • [90%] Harrvah Sand Dock - Small exploration map. The final events of the release occur here.
  • [0%] Harrvah City Outskirts - Optional side quest map. Events/purpose yet to be determined

Here's an image archive of screenshots I took of the Harrvah maps, with a couple examples directly embedded here. Harrvah is the largest and most complex map in this release, or that this project has ever done. The ones that say "Remastered ..." are current designs as of this month. The others found here are older designs or WIPs that have since been replaced.

Harrvah Map Screenshot Gallery

About 1/4 of the castle city. On the right you can see the main road that cuts directly through the town. The town gate is at the south end of that road, while the castle is to the north. On the top right you can see part of the open air market, and toward the bottom right are the inn and item shops.

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The sand dock where the end of this chapter takes place. Not seen is a sand glider craft that will sit to the east of the north dock. Claudius speaks to a handler by the craft that will allow the player to initiate the final sequence of events.

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Re: 1.0 Release Maps -- Design, Scripting and Events

Postby Roots » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:22 am

Harrvah Capitol Attacked
I'm working on the scripting for this map right now. It is largely complete already (just need to get a few bugs worked out), but I want feedback on the layout and events that occur here so I can make changes if there are any parts you guys don't like or feel like they don't belong. So here's what's going on with this map.


Map Summary
Claudius and his two companions arrive at the city to find it under attack by demons. The party is given orders by the commander to locate the king (in the castle throne room) and find out what's going on and relay orders to the knights that have just returned. Access to some roads/paths through the city are blocked off by barricades, debris, or battles that are taking place amongst NPCs and enemies. So the party must wind their way around (getting sort of a tour of the city in the process) to get to the castle, then its a straight shot to the throne and the king.


Map Events
Next, here's the sequence of events that take place as the player progresses through the map. This is what I really want feedback on more than anything else.

1) Initial Scene
The camera starts at the north end of the city and pans down the main road, and the player witnesses all the chaos along the way, including one citizen being chased by a demon. The camera stops just inside the town gate, where the knight commander and various others are engaged in battle. Claudius' party walks in off screen and express verbal exclamation on what's going on. The captain gives the party orders to seek the king. The player then takes control of the party.

2) Demon Emergence
The player is forced to go down a small alley to the west. As they do, they stop and the camera pans above to an enemy that is spawning in. After the enemy spawns in, the camera pans back to the party. The party exclaims at the event, realizing that the demons are invading by emerging from the shadows. The player then resumes control and engages the demon in battle.

(NOTE: I'm going to add a portal animation that the enemies spawn from, to distinguish them from the standard enemy spawns that occurred on the cave map)

3) Citizens Flee
As the party approaches the city market, a young woman and child appear from off-screen and run away from the chaos. They disappear into the door of one of the homes. (Collision is disabled for the two so the player can not block or interact with them in any way).

4) A citizen's life, a moral dilemma
As the party walks by the weapon/armor shop, the camera pans to another citizen that is fleeing, with a demon chasing right behind. The citizen ends up cornered on a side street, before the camera pans back to the player. Now the events diverge a little bit.

4a) Player approaches the citizen
If the player moves toward the citizen to try and help them, the party stops him and says that they don't have time to help him. The player must then choose an option for Claudius: does he help the citizen anyway, or follow his orders? If the player chooses to follow orders, the party moves the other way. (The player can walk toward the citizen again and the same option appears). If Claudius choose to help the citizen, (4b) happens. Otherwise (4c) happens.

4b) Claudius saves the citizen
The party leave Claudius, who must fight the demon attacking the citizen on his own. Once victorious, the citizen thanks him and runs away. Claudius then must catch up with his comrades, who are engaged in a battle near the market. They defeat those demons right as Claudius approaches. Then they rejoin and continue on together.

4c) Claudius ignores the citizen
In this case, the citizen is left for dead. Claudius and his allies engage in a battle with demons that spawned north of the market (the same demons that were observed being defeated in 4b). The party continues on together.

NOTE: I want the effects of this decision to change the outcome of the aftermath events in a noticable way. If Claudius saved the citizen, the citizen can be found in town, and he thanks Claudius again and gives him a small reward (an item or equipment perhaps). However, Claudius gets disciplined by the knight commander in the barracks for disobeying orders and not following his squad leader. (I don't know if there will actually be a penalty, like a reduce in the amount of drunes paid through his salary or something, or if it will just be words). On the other hand, if Claudius left the citizen for dead, their mourning relatives can be found in the town. They will realize that Claudius had the chance to save him and didn't, and they will curse him for it.

(It would also be interesting if there was something like "hero reputation" tracked throughout the game by the player taking different actions, which can pay off different rewards in the late game. Just a thought).

5) Party separated
Right before the throne room, demons spawn in suddenly and separate Claudius from his companions. They instruct him to continue on to the throne room alone while they deal with the demons.

6) Save the king
The king is backed up against a corner in the throne room, encircled by his royal guard fighting off demons. Claudius witnesses a large demon spawn in undetected behind the king. The player must guide Claudius through a narrow opening to save the king from the attack. Claudius then begins battle with the demon boss.

7) Help arrives
Claudius struggles one-on-one with the beast for a while. Lukar and Mark show up mid-battle and help him out. The party defeats the beast together.

8) Retreat
Shortly after the boss is defeated, the remaining demons in the throne room retreat through their portals. A short dialogue occurs ("Is it over?") and the screen fades to black.

9) Transition
Amongst the black screen, text pops up with the words "Several days later...", then fades out. The capital aftermath map now begins, with Claudius alone in his bedroom.



I know that's a lot of text to read through. Is there anything that immediately sticks out as flawed, cliche, boring, etc? Anything that I'm missing that could really enhance the experience? :huh:
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Re: 1.0 Release Maps -- Design, Scripting and Events

Postby rujasu » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:31 am

This all seems fine to me. I should be able to give better feedback once it's scripted and I can actually walk through it, but in general it sounds like a good start.
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Re: 1.0 Release Maps -- Design, Scripting and Events

Postby Roots » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:25 am

Cool. Yeah, reading it is one thing but playing through it will be another. I should have it ready in a couple more days. Although I don't know if we have a good way right now to remove party members and add them back, so the battles where Claudius fights alone for all or part of the time will have all members present. Support for that will come later.
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Re: 1.0 Release Maps -- Design, Scripting and Events

Postby Roots » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:01 am

The sand dock final event sequence is scripted and functional now. It's pretty simple so i didn't really feel the need to get feedback on it. It's a mixture of dialogue with some sprite movement mixed in:

  1. Claudius talks to the "glider handler" NPC at the end of the dock to initiate the final events. The player has to confirm twice that they wish to proceed, and are clearly warned that they cannot return here once they leave.
  2. The glider handler moves down the ladder to prepare the craft. Lukar (from Claudius' party in the cave) comes over to say goodbye. Mark does not accompany him.
  3. Claudius' family then walks into view. Claudius says goodbye to his parents.
  4. Claudius says goodbye to Laila, in an emotional exchange of words. The glider handler finishes his work, and Claudius says a final farewell to everyone, then boards the craft.
  5. Claudius and the glider move off into the distance (camera is still focused on the dock). Everyone but Laila leaves. The camera focuses on Laila as she moves to the end of the dock and stands there in silence.
  6. The screen fades to black and then a "To Be Continued" message appears. The player is then returned to the main boot menu.

The movement of Claudius on his glider still needs to be animated, but pretty much everything else is there. One other thing I want to change in the future is to play around with the music a bit. It plays the "exploration" theme at full blast the entire map, and I thought it might be better to either have it silent or fade away during some of these scenes.
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Re: 1.0 Release Maps -- Design, Scripting and Events

Postby Roots » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:38 am

The next (and final) map design and scripting left to do is the capital map in the aftermath of the attack.

Map Design
This is already 95% done and just needs touch ups and maybe one or two interior rooms furnished. Many of the homes are going to be unable to be entered due to damage, debris, etc. The bottom floor of the right tower needs to be built, and I'm planning to have this floor serve as the knight barracks + training area. The upper floors of the castle towers I'm leaving blocked off for the dev release, and maybe even for the official release as well. I want to build a graveyard in the top right area of town, but might not get around to that for the dev release.

Sprites
This map will probably have more NPCs than any other map. I'm going to pretty much create placeholder dialogue and locations for them and not animate them at all for the dev release. There will be a couple of functional shops with limited items and equipment for purchase. We're missing some sprites such as the king, so I'll just use placeholders for those as well.

Scripting
This is the major work to do here. This is my current thought of all the scripting events.

1) Leaving home
The map begins with Claudius waking up at home in his bed. When he is about to leave the house, he's stopped by his mother asking him where he's going. He says to the barracks because his unit is to be commended by the king. She tells him to say hello to his father/sister if he sees them in town.

(The player is free to explore the town, castle, and sand dock)

2) Meeting the king
Once the player enters the barracks, the next scene begins. Claudius and the other knights form ranks and march to the throne room to receive words of thanks from the king. As they are leaving, the king asks the captain if he can speak to Claudius. Claudius remains in the room.

3) The legend
The king explains the kingdom's current predicament and reveals the legend of the hero to Claudius. The king asks Claudius to take on the mission of seeking out the hero and after agreeing, the king tells Claudius to leave via the sand dock the next day and to talk to his family and get a good night's rest. Claudius then leaves the throne room.

(Player free to explore again)

4) Back home
After arriving back home, Claudius explains everything to his parents and sister. I don't think we'll have a full dialogue here, but more of maybe a third person narration sort of thing while sprite animation is happening in the background.

(Screen fades to black, then Claudius wakes up in his room and the player is free to explore again)

5) The proclamation
A crowd is gathered outside the front of the castle. When the player tries to move to the sand dock, the king emerges on the balcony and gives a speech to the people about the legend and about finding the hero to save them. The screen fades briefly to black, and the crowd dissipates leaving the player to control Claudius once more.


At this point the scripted scenes are finished. The player can proceed to the sand dock map and talk to the glider handler to finish the chapter. Or they can continue exploring around town, shopping, etc. Some NPC dialogue will change at this point. In the future there will also be a side quest (on an additional dungeon map) that can be discovered and completed, but that won't be available in the next dev release.


That's the current plan I have in mind for this map. If there's any issues here or ideas for improvement, the sooner I hear about them the better. Thanks!
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