Friday Update: Multi-player & Progression

Discussion in 'News' started by Kenzie, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. Kenzie

    Kenzie Administrator
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    It’s been a busy week. The first project was getting multi-player working. It's now possible to have multiple people running through the world, teaming up and destroying bugs together.

    Once multi-player was in it was time to add some progression. This means that:
    • Enemies now drop gold when they're killed
    • The amount of gold dropped increases as you move through the game
    • The enemy difficulty also increases between arenas
    • You can now upgrade your weapon (making you stronger)


    We also took a suggestion from @MiguelDreamer and made it so that the maximum number of enemies increases as you progress through the arenas (10 > 15 > 20 > 25). We still need to play around with how many enemies spawn at time. Initially 5 would spawn, with a new enemy spawning when another one was killed (up until the max). For this week's test we changed it so that all of the enemies spawn at the same time (when you enter the arena). Still not sure what the best solution is for this, but with a bit more testing we'll figure it out.

    Another change from last week is that in addition to the unlimited ammo, the pistol now has an unlimited clip which means no reloading (although I'm still constantly pressing R out of habit).

    All the features that we’re adding are still rough around the edges. We don’t want to focus on fine-tuning anything until we’ve finalized the gameplay. At this point we’re still doing tests so any (or all) of these features could change for the actual game.

    Not 100% sure what the plan is for next week but right now I’m thinking we'll either be working on boss waves or your teammates.
     
  2. JorblikXabasto

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    Everything's looking pretty good so far, not that "everything" is currently a whole lot.

    Bosses seem like they'd be pretty straightforward to me, but have you worked out your plans in regards to how teammates can interact with each other (healing/buffs and the like)? I'm curious about how things like that could be implemented in an incremental game.
     
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  3. miquelfire

    miquelfire Spec Ops

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    For the clip thing, maybe have it so that the more you shoot, the "weaker" (how you do this is something I'm not sure about) the shots are. And when you're not shooting, there's a slow charge up, and hitting r would basically be a boost so that the full power is reached quickly compared to not hitting it. Though the "weak" state might not be too noticeable, just something there for those who want to hit r to reload. And maybe have an overpower mode when you hit r while it's full.
     
  4. MiguelDreamer

    MiguelDreamer Spec Ops

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    Glad that you liked the suggestion! The gameplay looks pretty nice (poor Kenzie, got outnumbered by crawlers :p) This post bring me some suggestions and questions.

    Not a big fan of this. I feel like the unlimited clip will make the game easier with just spamming shoots.

    If you finally add an unlimited clip, I think this is a better idea.

    I'm agree in either case. Abilities would be cool.
    1. How games are composed? 5 arenas (4 enemies, 1 boss)? Or it's infinite? I think having the option to choose the lenght of the game would be really nice if you want to play with your friends and you/they don't have many time to play. For example:
    • Short: 5 arenas (4 waves, 1 boss)
    • Medium: 10 arenas (8 waves, 2 bosses)
    • Large: 15 arenas (12 waves, 3 bosses)

      Being each boss stronger. The difficulty could be related to the lenght of the game (Easy, Normal, Hard)
    1. A survival mode, where you appear in a closed area and enemies endlessly spawn would be really nice too. This could be divided into two categories: time & rounds.
    • Rounds: For each round you complete, more enemies will spawn (again e.g. 10 > 15 > 20 > etc). Also they will have more HP, strength... Bosses can appear every 5/10 rounds, and like enemies, will be stronger.
    • Time: There isn't a fixed quantity of how many enemies will spawn, however, as time passes the enemies spawn more frequently and are stronger.
    1. Also a mode where you have to defend some objective from enemies.
    2. The arenas are randomly generated? Will there be artificially created maps?
    3. The maximum of players in a game are always 4? Will some arenas allow more players?
    I still have a lot of questions, but it's too soon to ask, so I will post them in the future. Keep up the good work!
     
    #4 MiguelDreamer, Oct 28, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  5. Vonbear

    Vonbear Spec Ops

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    That gameplay video is looking so cool already! One question tho, how we ever gonna get to a high wave if kenzie gets already overwelmed by crawlers at wave 4?
     
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  6. polandmatt

    polandmatt Spec Ops

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    Oh my gosh the video looks fresha. the gameplay looks freaken fresh.
     
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  7. Kenzie

    Kenzie Administrator
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    I wasn't really overwhelmed by the crawelers, I just like how they scatter when you die and wanted to show it off. Plus dying isn't too bad right now, since you're stronger you can either 1 shot kill the bugs in the earlier waves or just run right past them :)

    We're designing the game to be like Time Clickers - infinite progression where you're always getting stronger.
    Right now we have it as 4 arenas, mini-boss, 4 arenas, boss, repeat (although this could change at some point). Even though it's an infinite game our goal is to make it so you'll still be able to join up/play with friends even if they don't play that often. This still needs to be put through some testing though :)

    The thought is that we could work some of these ideas into the boss waves. For example you have to defend a point while getting swarmed with enemies, defeat all the enemies to beat the boss and move on to the next arena. We'll know more once we get to testing some of the boss ideas.

    Right now the maps are a combination of manual design and random generation. We map out the general layout of the arena (where the path will be, where mountains should go etc). Then generate the map. We then go through and add additional features like more rock, trees, clovers, etc. The goal is to have the maps randomly generated, however this will only happen if it creates fun maps.

    As we've been developing the editor we've been keeping in mind that there is the possibility we could release it and let players create maps. Not sure if this will happen, but we're keeping it in mind as a possibility.

    We'd love to have lots of players but performance comes first. So for now we're keeping it as 4 players until we get the gameplay features sorted out (number of enemies, visual effects, etc) then we'll see where we're at.
     
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  8. Proton

    Proton Administrator
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    The other thing is that Kenzie didn't have all the upgrades yet. A well timed Artillery Strike would thin out that clump of bugs pretty quickly. We're thinking the first active ability would be an airstrike, so you could use it as often as Rapid Fire in Time Clickers.

    The one problem is that boss battles can be boring. Even Doom 2016 and Shadow Warrior 2 had some of the most boring boss battles. There is just something tedious about constantly shooting 1 giant bullet sponge. We've found that shooting many small enemies is more fun than 1 big one (kinda the theory behind Time Clickers enemies). So the boss may be sort of like the Time Rifters final boss. A big thing that shoots out little enemies as you destroy it, not sure yet.

    We're also not quite sure how teammates will work yet. One idea is they are little flying drones that stick with you, also thought of the idea that you find a vehicle and can add automated mounted weapons too it, but it can only stay on the path and just follows you, or you could get in it and it could auto-drive you (like a Tesla self driving car, but with guns). Not too sure yet.

    Reloading was pretty annoying. In Doom 2016 there is no reloading for most weapons (double barrel shotgun is different, but it was more just to simulate a slow fire rate in an interesting way). Shadow Warrior 2 had traditional reload weapons, but the swords didn't need reload (even the ones that shot projectiles when you swiped). So I almost always used swords.

    The ability to click fire is modeled after Time Clickers, at first we had an SMG as the main weapon and it's fire rate increased as you upgraded it. But holding down fire doesn't give you that same feeling as occasionally clicking really quickly (the videos still say SMG in the progress bar). We did build a concept of 'overheating' for Time Gunners. There was an effect that made smoke come out of your gun (we turned it off for performance reasons). But this could make a comeback to enforce click spamming to be used more tactfully.. If the gun overheats you need to wait until it cools down to continue shooting. It would have to give you plenty of warning as you are getting close to that point.

    One other thing, right now you press '1' to upgrade your Click Weapon, we're thinking that each teammate would get a quick key for upgrading 2-6. But we are finding that pressing 1 to upgrade in the middle of being swarmed is hard to do, so something isn't quite right here yet.

    Keys 1-10 were used for Active Abilities in Time Clickers, but I typically just pressed SPACE to trigger them all. So we are thinking of treating Active Abilities a bit different, like Ultimate in Overwatch (so trigger them with Q & E).
     
    #8 Proton, Oct 28, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
  9. Jersukai

    Jersukai Spec Ops

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    About enemies, I think it would be nice if there would come more enemies or they would be tougher the more players there are.

    You use gold to upgrade your weapons but are there any other uses for gold or is there any reason to upgrade any other than your favourite weapon?

    I see you heal slowly overtime. You friends could come to heal you or maybe you could even heal yourself but this means you are not able to shoot while doing that. How about flying health balls? (like rainbow balls)
     
    #9 Jersukai, Oct 28, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
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  10. Kenzie

    Kenzie Administrator
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    Each player spawns enemies. So for example if the arena normally spawns 10 enemies, if there are 2 people in there 20 enemies will spawn. This is how we currently have it set up but are still experimenting with this.

    We'll be adding more things like teammates & abilities which you'll also need to spend gold on to upgrade.

    Ya we've got some ideas around health & healing that we'll experiment with at some point :)
     
  11. JorblikXabasto

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    You have a point about the boss battles, I still had my mind on the Time Clickers way of doing things.
    The thing about the bosses in DOOM '16 and Shadow Warrior 2 is that regardless of chosen difficulty, they had to be balanced around players with different builds and progression levels, since progression elements were a big part of the experience in both cases. Sticking with a spawner that has an HP bar might be the most optimal for a game like this, but it wouldn't be a particularly engaging fight without more tricks up its sleeve. Then again, none of the "great bosses" games I can think of are first-person shooters, so maybe it's a lost cause to begin with.

    I was referring to other players in the initial post, but I like the drone concept. I can see them being an upgradable way to boost healing capability or automate certain weapons, or even stand-in for players who disconnect mid-game until that player-slot is filled again. Vehicles could just be more beefy, but less-mobile versions of drones or something, but I'd wait until more things are figured out before trying to think of ways to implement them.
     
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  12. Proton

    Proton Administrator
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    I thought this video had a good perspective on FPS boss fights. He did like the fights in Doom 2016 though.


    One feature of incremental bosses is the timer. You only have 30 seconds to defeat the boss, this actually shares more with the tower defense genre. So the waves 1-4, 6-9 are like grinding waves (a consistent amount of enemy HP is always available). Wave 5 & 10 are streamlined tower defense (Over the course of 30 seconds, a certain amount of HP must be destroyed or you fail). There are some interesting ways of structuring this kind of boss battle that we're looking forward to experimenting with.
     
    #12 Proton, Oct 29, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016