Treacherous Journeys, Online Action RPG

Jesper Nielsen
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Treacherous Journeys, Online Action RPG

Unread post by Jesper Nielsen » 29 Sep 2019, 22:01

I have been working for some years developing an online action RPG - Treacherous Journeys.
For long periods this project has been on the backburner, but now I have chosen to concentrate on the creation of a good demo, to form the basis for funding, possibly a Kickstarter project. I still need to put in a lot of hours though, and also a bit of money for art. So far I've only been spending money on assets and splash and logo art, but I really do want some unique main characters too. the last one is going to cost me I think :)
Right now I have an early tech-demo, and would appreciate feedback, if anyone wants to try it out. Just click "Demo" in the menu: https://treacherousjourneys.com

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Last edited by Jesper Nielsen on 18 Oct 2019, 11:43, edited 1 time in total.

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jonaz.dk
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Re: Treacherous Journeys, Online Action RPG

Unread post by jonaz.dk » 30 Sep 2019, 18:10

Gave it play!
Cute! Very classical ARPG on the generic fantasy side. Cool and all! The formula still just works!
Obviously it's very early days on the project. There is much much more to add. I guess building a team and proper funding should be high on your bucket list. If you >really< want to do the project.

I see the project can very easily balloon into a gigantic project for a solo developer with a bit of external art purchases. And you will just choke on it. So having the proper foundation with a super dedicated team will very likely be required.
Also not quite ready for the Kickstarter just yet.

On the small implementations side of things. Your mobs are clumping very heavily together. Standing inside each other while attacking. Should be a pretty quick fix.

Never found the spiders the guy at the campfire is talking about. I might assume they are not implemented.

Also good luck with the project! :)

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jonaz.dk
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Re: Treacherous Journeys, Online Action RPG

Unread post by jonaz.dk » 30 Sep 2019, 19:11

Oh yeah.. also on Kickstarter. It's not thaaaaat great for digital games any more. Hasn't been for a while.
It might be 'okish' as part of a PR/Community building push. That will cost a whole lot of effort and focus. And should be very carefully considered.
And probably shouldn't be seen a large or main part of development funding.

On Kickstarter you should probably do a board game! Or some fancy hardware gadget.
This says it all!
https://www.kicktraq.com/hotlist/

Jesper Nielsen
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Re: Treacherous Journeys, Online Action RPG

Unread post by Jesper Nielsen » 30 Sep 2019, 21:08

Thanks for trying it out and giving feedback. You even made it to lvl 4 :)
Indeed there is a lot to be done. I'm a little apprehensive about working with a team unless I have funds to hire them. Obviously that won't happen any time soon :) I don't think I would be able to manage working with another coder remotely, but a dedicated level designer / UI / art direction person with at least some Unity experience might work and could really lift the project a lot. I must admit that I'm more of a coder than an artist.
Community management would also be a big help - dealing too much with that would stretch me too thin. Like butter that has been scraped over too much bread - Bilbo Baggins.
3D modelling, concept art, website design etc. is easier to outsource.

You're right this project can grow pretty big if you let it - I try to stay away from the word "MMORPG" because I don't want anything that massive, although I do want to create a game where at least hundreds of players are sharing the same world (with hopefully only tens of people nearby at any time)
Limiting the scope is important - for that reason I decided early on to make a game that's actually 2D for all game-logic. All the server knows is that some objects with 2D coordinates and some attributes and behaviors are moving around on a plane. I also decided to not have local object avoidance / monster blocking. Unfortunately I saw immediately the same behavior emerge that you described - clumping. I'm afraid I'm going to have to reverse that decision and implement some local object avoidance after all - that's going to be pretty costly in terms of performance but I don't think there's any way around it (no pun intended).

You're right Kickstarter might not be what it used to be - I still see some games on different levels succeeding though:)

And yes, the spiders aren't in the game yet - this is just some stand-in text to test the dialogue system.
Oh and the guy is named Rosalind, just haven't found a good model for her yet:)

Jesper Nielsen
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Re: Treacherous Journeys, Online Action RPG

Unread post by Jesper Nielsen » 10 Oct 2019, 13:22

I have received some feedback from a couple of people - thanks jonaz.dk :) - and have implemented some of the points.

The cursor is now dynamic, changing appearance based on the object you hover on - sword for attack, bubble for talk, hand for grab etc.

Also I have implemented hover UI elements for mobs and items on the ground, showing the name, and also healthbar for mobs.

A minimap is being worked on - it needs a good shader to better visualize walkable area, and entities nearby must also be visualized.

With a little luck something might be happening with the audio before long - someone reached out to me who would like to compose some music for the game :)

The new build is live, and a client can be downloaded at https://treacherousjourneys.com/downloads/journeys.zip. Feedback is greatly appreciated as always:) It really motivates me and keeps me on track.

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Jesper Nielsen
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Re: Treacherous Journeys, Online Action RPG

Unread post by Jesper Nielsen » 15 Nov 2019, 01:52

For the last month I've mostly been working on a single "small" feature: Local object avoidance.
I knew I really wanted to combine it with the pathfinding algorithm I was using, but I had no clear idea about how to do it. Finally I've got what I think is a pretty promising hybrid between pathfinding and steering. I'm a little irritated that it took so long to implement but at the same time I'm feeling pretty accomplished, even though there are still some small quirks to work out, and the steering code needs a bit of refactoring to meet my usual standards.
Performance has taken a hit as I knew it would, but there are many places where it can be improved so I'm actually still pretty optimistic that it will be possible to handle a good amount of players on a single server.
A small illustration of the difference between the old clumping behaviour and steering. Notice that the player on the new picture is actually overlapping a goblin - this is because I've only enabled steering for enemies - the player has walked into the goblin.
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I haven't the game on my webpage yet, since I want to include some other changes too.

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Re: Treacherous Journeys, Online Action RPG

Unread post by ZeroHero » 15 Nov 2019, 02:51

I am very impressed with your project.
It is very interesting reading your updates.
Please keep it coming! :)

Jesper Nielsen
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Re: Treacherous Journeys, Online Action RPG

Unread post by Jesper Nielsen » 02 Dec 2019, 02:53

Thanks:) Lately I've mostly been working on leveling up my level-building skills, and changing to Universal Render Pipeline (formerly LWRP) in Unity 2019.3 beta.
I haven't put this in the game yet but I have a feeling we'll be seeing more spiders soon, as Rosalind's dialogue seems to suggest.
With 2019.3 beta the old screen resolution dialog seems to be removed, so now I'm finally forced to implement a graphics settings window myself. I'll be upgrading my ingame UI from programmer art to a modular UI I bought at the Black Friday sale.

A quick pic of the visual style I'm working with now. The spider as well as the spruces are a bit too cartoonish for what I want to achieve but they'll do for now.

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