Timewaster's Guide Archive

Departments => Webcomics & Free Stuff => Topic started by: Spriggan on February 08, 2006, 07:35:33 AM

Title: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on February 08, 2006, 07:35:33 AM
I'm getting to the point where I'm almost done with the game I started last November and, it's taken quite a while to get to this point due to school, work and TWG duties but I'm quite happy to finally be here.  The Cave of the Lost is a take on Thesus and the Minotaur game that you can find various versions of around the net, most noticeable Popcap's Mummy Maze, which is a simple puzzle game.  How it works is for every movement you make the monster, in this case a Wrog, takes two movements.  He tries to move left or right first then down or up and is stopped by any walls or blocking objects (i.e. cauldrons, stalagmites).  The goal is to make it to the exit, currently represented by a large black hole-like thing on the walls with a light "beam" shining through, before getting caught.  There are also traps that are represented by black squares (no art done yet) and magic circles that "turn" on and off, the Wrog can walk over them at any time but you can only walk over them when turned off.

The graphics are representative of old 8-16bit tile based RPGs like Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior and everything but the menus, text and the exit's light are pixel based art made in Photoshop.  Not all the graphics are done and some, like the exits, are placeholders.  There are some that I'm going to redo, like the main walls since they are too similar in look to the floor and are hard to see, and I'll probably add more ambient art (like the bones, rocks, and mushrooms you see in some levels).

There are 2 modes of play, Story Mode and Custom Levels.  Story Mode is just that, a series of levels that you progress through with a beginning and end, also you'll notice that the levels have intro text to each of them.  Custom Levels are random designed puzzles that you can choose to play in any order and are separated into categories, when you beat one you'll be taken to back to the Custom Level screen.  Currently all the levels in the game are test levels and aren't intended for the final game, I'm just not good at designing these types of things so I haven't spent too much time, same with the text since I haven't finished the story or progression of the levels yet.  If you want to try some levels on how the game should work I created several levels based off of Popcaps Mummy Maze's levels, these are in the Custom Level's section marked as test3-test8.

Since I'm almost done I'd like any suggestions on what people think about graphics, layouts, game play, etc.  Also report any bugs you find (like the Wrog walking through walls or the game freezing up) in this forum.  So play around with it and let me know what you think.  I'll post here when I release a new build with a change list.

Click here for the game (http://www.legacieslost.com/game.php?id=1)
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on February 08, 2006, 07:37:22 AM
Change Log 6/18/06

New theme.
Added some fancy grpahics to the title page.

Known Issues  6/18/06
white fonts suck on tan backgrounds.


Missing features:
There is no Intro
The player's character does not have a damage animation
In the combat screen no damage is displayed when hit.
There are not animations for death by traps
The Special menu option in combat does not work
There is no Ending (there's a menu as a placeholder)

The Exit graphics are placeholders
The title screen needs a title graphic
the Press key to continue icon needs some work

The main game screen's layout is still in the works so the menus aren't animated.
The Credits screen isn't finalized so it's window isn't completed yet.

Change Log 4/17/06

Created new enemies to add to the game.  Now you're not always being chased by a Wrog-initiate but also by banits, Wrogs and other creatrues.

Made it so traps reset when a level resets.

Change Log 2/27/06

Created new windows for the game
Created new a new "pointer" that shows which menu item is currently selected, this is a sword.
Animated the menus in the game
Created a new icon for the dialog window to show when the user needs to press a key to advance the text.
Created a new trap graphic for when they're on and off, now traps are easier to see when off.
Shaded all the text in the game.
Change Log 2/20/06

Darkened the overall look of the floor and walls.
Created the final look (hopefully) of the walls in the game.
Made it so the walls over lapped if they took up the same space instead of being next to each other.
Created a new exit graphic.
Animated the water.
Redid the trap graphics, though still kind of hard to see when inactive.
Added level complete window.
Removed the Dialog window in custom levels.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on February 09, 2006, 07:45:58 AM
The walls have been update for the next version, which I'll upload once I get more things done, and I think they look much better.  The color and shading have been changed plus I've changed the floor's hue so that the walls stand out more from the floor.

You can see the difference here (http://www.legacieslost.com/graphics/compair.png).

The other big change I'm currently working on are Traps and so I'm opening this up for suggestions on trap types.

Right now I've got:
Stalagmites falling

So feel free to recommend various different traps through out the next week.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Mad Dr Jeffe on February 09, 2006, 09:54:31 AM
Killer rabbits popping out of holes

Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on February 13, 2006, 07:11:55 AM
I thought about this and decided that it wouldn't look good since I have to stick to 30x30 pixels which is basically what the character is standing on to get these to work.  I'd need to use the space out of the tile and more often then not things will get covered up by other tile objects.  So I'm going to go with one giant monster/creature that pops out from underneath (ie like the trap summoned it) and eats the player, think of the sand worms from BeetleJuice.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Mad Dr Jeffe on February 13, 2006, 09:17:58 AM
behind the rabbit, right ? :D
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on February 20, 2006, 09:12:03 AM
New build up.  I've changed the known issues post and added a change log in there too.

I didn't get as much done in the 2 weeks as I had hoped I would, I'm lazy what can I say?  But I did manage to get 2 significant graphical problems fixed.  The first is that I got the in game walls to finally look right, after a few months, I had to first off darken the floor a bit (it looks better anyway) then created something that looked like walls.  Initially I was trying to make them look ruff or natural and it wasn't working out so I decided to just go with something that I could actually represent in a 7 pixel hight or width piece.  I  added pillars at the end so when 2 walls end near each other there isn't a awkward gap in between also the walls overlap now, it wasn't something hard to do but I had been waiting to do it until I finally finished the look of the walls.  I posted a link to a picture in my previous post where you can see a comparison of this.

The exits, well the North Exit at least, are starting to look the way I want it, there's a since of depth now which the previous "black blob" didn't have.  Not sure if I still want the light beam shining out of the exits, I'll have to play around with that some more.  The side and South Exit will probably end up just being indents into the black border instead of what you see now.

Lastly I made some big in roads into getting the trap circles to look right, this is something that has plagued me since I decided to add traps at the start of the year and had about given up until I ran into a Chinese pixel artist's site that had a Full Metal Alchemist animation he had done that had the look I was wanting.  So I used that as a reference to get the right angle to my circle, it's kind of hard to come up with the right perspective since I've got like 5 in this game already, but I like this view very much.  I animated the "on" state with a pulse of energy that's very easy to see, which is what I wanted, but I think I might play around to do something a little smoother (like the energy going in a clock-wise motion instead).  Now my challenge is to come up with patterns inside the circle that are distinguishable when the power in on or off.  I also have to work on getting the "off" state so it's easier to see, the thin dark blue lines don't show up well and I don't really want to make them thicker so I'm going to have to work on it.

Think that's enough of this, the change log explains the rest of the minor changes.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Faster Master St. Pastor on February 20, 2006, 11:47:31 PM
Sprigg, on level three you spelled seem wrong on the intro. And also Wrog got stuck in an alcove on my first move. Same with level four.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on February 21, 2006, 12:54:18 AM
they're supposed to do that, the levels aren't real but test levels instead.

As for the spelling, it's just placeholder text  but thanks for bringing it to my attention.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on February 27, 2006, 03:57:43 AM
New build up, remember that if you might need to delete your browsers cache to see the changes, and the change log post has been updated.

I think the changes made over this month have really gone a long way to making this game feel more professional and complete.  I'm quite happy with the way things are looking, and most of these changes were subtle things compared to the changes I made in January.

This week's update focuses almost solely on the menus and windows in the game.  I created a new window style for the whole game, one that looks more like your standard 16-bit RPG windows with the gradient screen and border.  I'm not making any excuses in my blatantly copying the feel of Final Fantasy and other games so I decided to stick with the blue/black scheme that is so familiar with people.  You can see a comparison of the old version and new version here (http://www.legacieslost.com/graphics/compair2.png).

I also animated the windows, while this isn't as big of an issue as the other changes I've made it took a lot of time and I like the effect.  I've also shadowed the text in the game, this is something I've noticed that is fairly common and it makes the text stand out more against the blue screen.

The other 2 changes are the Icons used in the dialog screen to show when the user needs to press a key when to continue and a sword that points to which menu item you've selected.  I like the look of the sword and it's shadow, I also like how it breaks out of the menu borders sometimes.  However I think the "press a key" button needs some work, its not quite a polished as I want and might be a little too big.

Lastly I've redone the trap graphics again, I thickened the lines a bit and make the icon inside more distinguishable.  To get the inactive graphic to stand out more I added some shading along the bottom, some of which disappears when active.  I also added a few more frames of animation into the active trap graphic.  I hope to add the other trap graphics in the next update, and while the icon inside will be different I'm going to distinguish the different traps by different colors.

One final note:  There are a few menus and windows that have not been redone yet.  In the case of the Credits and Special Attack windows I haven't decided how I'm going to use these or I I'm going to keep the SA menu.  The windows on the main game screen haven't been animated yet, and one window was removed, because I'm still looking at the current layout and might make a few changes.

Also I need to start getting some levels designed, if anyone is interested in helping with this let me know.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on March 06, 2006, 07:23:20 AM
So here's an overview of the story of the game.

Three military scouts for the kingdom of De'Leon spot troops of the Republic of Algare marching toward the border of De'Leon and the City State of Harth.  After following the Algarean troops for several days the three have yet to discover the actual target of the attack, is it a keep on the borderlands or Harth?  Fearing that if they delay warning the possible targets much longer neither the keep or Harth would have enough time to prepare the three split up to warn of the possible attacks.

Kate, the leader, heads off for the border keep while Rolland decides to head for Harth via the mountain pass which the Algarean troops wouldn't try to use due to a recent snowfall.  Marek decides to also head for Harth by route of a cave system through the mountain itself but on the way there gets assaulted by a group of highwaymen lead by a spellcaster (something relatively new to the world) and is robbed of all his possessions.  Not having time to chase after the thieves Marek runs into the cave weaponless.

The limestone caves use to be uninhabited, but not anymore, now foul creatures and their magics inhabit them what they are and where they came from are a mystery.

I'm still playing around with the script for the story mode itself so this might change somewhat, but I'm hoping to get that done by the end of the week.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on March 08, 2006, 07:24:39 AM
Here's a screen shot from the intro

Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on April 17, 2006, 06:41:56 AM
It's been quite a while since I've updated anything on the game, several things have contributed to that sadly.  First off my old flash drive died and I lost some work, mostly things dealing with the intro and the scripts I had written, I'm just lucky that I had backed up the most recent version of the game onto my PC before that happened (during the middle of March, not to long after my last post).  Secondly I've been busy with school and work, Finals are next week and I've still got several projects to do this week and everything in the past month has been quite busy.  Next I got a new job as a web designer and I'm still working my old job at the hotel until the find a replacement so I work 6 days a week with both jobs on Fridays.  That really sucks, but hopefully it won't last long.

But I did manage to sit down to do some work this weekend during breaks from other projects to get some things done.  Most of it was done on the level editor since it was out of date on a lot of things, plus I added a live edit feature into it so someone making a level could edit it while playing.

Though the big change was coding in multiple monster types so there can be different bad-guys on different levels.  The current green monster is a Wrog Initiate and was only intended to be one type of monster.  I plan on adding Wrogs themselves but since they're more frog like I've had some problems coming up with good sprites, but I think I have something that will work so maybe I'll have it next week to show or the week after.  But in the mean time enjoy the other enemy type, the bandit, who will be the first thing that chases you in the game.


And here's an example of a sample Bandit level
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Entsuropi on April 17, 2006, 10:10:26 AM
Where are you planning to release this when it's done? On your site that you showed me back in the day?
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on April 17, 2006, 12:16:26 PM
Ya at my site is where it will be.

I've got a redesign going up now (though it only works in IE6 not IE7 or Firefox, just need to make a few quick CSS changes though).  Though I guess there could be a dual TWG, LL release if there was support for that.

I've all ready got my next two games thought up too, but I don't want to get into details until I get this one done.  I'm hoping to finally finish this by the end of May, I can probably get it done in 10-15 hours worth of work (most of that being graphics) then I'm hoping to get the next two done this year then in 2007 start the actual full blown RPG.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Faster Master St. Pastor on April 17, 2006, 04:35:26 PM
Sweet, I'll be looking forward to it, if you ever actually finish it.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on April 18, 2006, 06:51:41 AM
Well I re-typed out my script for the intro movie, though I'm worried it might take too long (then again it only plays when you click on "Intro" in the main menu) since it comes out to about 4 pages.

Also I was looking at the scale of that picture of the Bandit level and is it just me or do the tables look too tall compared to the people?  I might want to shorten them or change the whole size all togethor.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Entsuropi on April 18, 2006, 07:07:02 AM
I'd reduce the size of the table by about 30%... that would make it shorter and smaller in general. Otherwise just cut off half of the legs, which should make it the right height.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on April 18, 2006, 07:21:28 AM
I knocked it down by 5 px in width and height (from 30px) any more then that and I'd actually have to redraw the sprite at the pixel level which I don't want to do right now.

I also changed the layer order so the walls don't overlap the boxes and such (it was something I was going to do but forgot until just now).  I'll throw up a new version once I get some more things done.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on May 01, 2006, 09:12:33 AM
Ok so after a lot of work, and getting some advice at a pixel art forum, I've got a pic of what the Wrog will look like in the game.

I really like how the front view turned out.

Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on June 18, 2006, 04:49:44 AM


This is the start of my new menus and theme for the games, this is just a test version since I need to go align some of the new text boxes better but I wanted to get some input while I'm fixing things.  I'm still working on getting text I like, I'm going to be switching to a black font instead of the shadowed white I'm using now, and I've got to get a font style I like still.

I also need to redo several of the Icons to fit with the theme, the greyscale sword and buttons don't work, nor do the green/red progress bar.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on June 20, 2006, 12:35:12 AM
I've decided to place up my level editor for people to mess around with.  It's nothing fancy but it works quite well.


Have fun.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on June 22, 2006, 04:59:38 AM

So I redesigned the site and it looks very cool and I'm using the map that you see moving in the current release as the website's background image so I can't keep the moving map in the game because it looks really bad.  You've got the map stationary then the same map moving around in the center of the screen.  There's some DHTML code you can use to give Flash a transparent background which would work great if not for that all the browsers disable key imput in flash when the background is transparent.

So now I have to come up with a new background and for a moment there I thought I had something.  Oh well.
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Miyabi on September 09, 2006, 10:36:46 PM
What language is that in... or am I just tired enough that I couldn't understand it?
Title: Re: Cave of the Lost Beta
Post by: Spriggan on September 09, 2006, 11:21:44 PM
It's Latin Miyabi.  Print and Webdesign use what's called "Lorem Ipsum" to fill in spaces when working on designs and layout since it's very close to English in how the sentence structure is and yet, since you can't read it, doesn't draw the eye away from the actual design.  It's also sometimes called "Greeking".

I should probably switch over to the new design that actually has content but I haven't had time to work on my site due to the other two sites I'm working on plus other things.  One of these days I'll finally finish this thing I guess.