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Author Topic: Stealth RL ideas?  (Read 718 times)

Xaron

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Stealth RL ideas?
« on: March 17, 2017, 05:25:32 AM »

Dear all,

I'm currently doing my very first rogue like (did other turn based games before) and would love to get some feedback and ideas.

So the basic idea of my game is that you stranded somehow somewhere (story is not set yet) in kind of a dungeon/cave. You have no lights, the only thing you have is a sonar. You will "see" the world around you using this sonar and can create pings to see more around you. But those pings generate noise (obviously) which can be heard by other creatures/robots (personally I prefer a sci-fi setup).

So give you an idea, I've put together a tiny prototype here: http://www.sonobots.com/game/html5

Basically all you can do there for now is pinging. The "world" is filled with random squares just to have something and test all the sonar occlusion stuff.

So my question is: Could this be fun, is this something you'd consider to play (will probably a free game anyway)? What stealth ideas do you have, what could be added?

I already have an idea for that hunger stuff. You see a battery symbol at the top left which would force you to find battery packs or places where you can recharge your batteries...

Would love to get some feedback on this, thanks! :)
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Kyzrati

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2017, 08:38:39 PM »

Very cool aesthetic choices already!

I think this idea would work really well, balancing the need for information with the desire to remain undetected.

There are likely to going to be a number of design issues you'll need to work through for it to be fun, so next try inserting the main/common challenges the player will face and see how that actually plays. Just a week of work should be able to tell you a lot in that regard! Like what kind of difference there needs to be between the range of your sonar and the distance at which enemies can become aware of you with and without you actively pinging them is going to be really important here, and determine how tense the game is overall. Higher tension and close encounters is probably what you're going for, being a stealth roguelike! I imagine enemies will also be out there pinging as well, and you would see their location via that method? Probably one of the more important considerations is how the player determines who does and doesn't actually know their location, something you probably want to reflect in the UI somehow.

I see you currently have it set to allow facing in any direction--is this going to be a truly turn-based grid-based game?

Having a hunger clock is a good way to push players forward, and batteries sounds like a reasonable solution here. Then on the dev side you'll have some careful balancing to do between the rate of drainage and how realistically the player can restore their energy.
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Xaron

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 04:14:22 AM »

Thanks so much for your answer. :)

Quote
I see you currently have it set to allow facing in any direction--is this going to be a truly turn-based grid-based game?

That's a tough point and good question. Definitely grid based, I know it looks not like that atm, but actually every cell is made up of 8x8 sub cells just to let the sonar look better. About facing in any direction I think it's better than just having it with kind of a spot light. That would work better for real time environments I guess. About turn-based... Hmm. I'm still not 100 % sure. I mean this could work for as well turn-based and real time. I've read your blog post about animations in RLs and I think such a sonar ping would fit into that as well. So a ping would be kind of instant like your shoot animations even though it takes some "time".

Quote
I imagine enemies will also be out there pinging as well, and you would see their location via that method?

Yes. And that would be one way of detecting your enemies before they can "see" you. Plus you will obviously generate noise while walking which would make the nearest environment visible on your sonar as well without pinging!

Currently my biggest headaches is still the decision between roguelike (turn-based) and roguelite (real time). I know that's something you cannot decide for me but do you think out of your experience this could work turn-based and could be fun? Might be a stupid question, I know... I just ask because I often hear that this would quite nicely fit into the real time world but NOT into the turn based one...

Additionally I think about to not only rely on this sonar. There could be rooms where you really can see your environment like in "normal" games too. So you could "overlay" the real world with that sonar image in terms you need it.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 06:47:53 AM by Xaron »
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Kyzrati

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 03:28:08 AM »

Yeah I think you could get away with either real-time or turn-based in terms of style. Which route to take would depend highly on the feeling you want to create--tension mostly through mechanics as with traditional roguelikes, or through twitch play and real-time limitations? The latter is generally more popular/mainstream, if you're mostly thinking of how many people you can get to play and enjoy it.

Definitely not a stupid question, though! I agree with others that this seems more like a mechanic you'd see in real-time games, but that doesn't mean you can't do it turn-based, it'll just require different design considerations. Again, try to do some prototyping with the core mechanic and see what works and what doesn't. That shouldn't take too long and will save you headaches down the road. You could even try both turn-based and real-time versions if you're not sure.

Additionally I think about to not only rely on this sonar. There could be rooms where you really can see your environment like in "normal" games too. So you could "overlay" the real world with that sonar image in terms you need it.
That's a good idea, as one way to mix it up. Hopefully you'll have some good logical reason for doing so, both in terms of theme and mechanics. Is the game just as fun in these visible areas? What kind of trade-offs do they offer? Increased exposure for extra benefits? Maybe that's where the batteries usually are? :)

(By the way, I showed your concept on Twitter and they like it :D)
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Josh Ge, Developer - Dev Blog | @GridSageGames

Xaron

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 03:59:42 AM »

Haha, thanks for that tweet! I will do some prototyping now. Might take some time, I do this part time as all of my other games before. Unfortunately live is quite expensive here in Germany. ;)
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Xaron

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 10:40:53 AM »

Alright, I've uploaded another tiny prototype where you can just walk (creates noise) and ping in that randomized boxes world. Nothing meaningful yet, just want to show a little progress:

http://www.sonobots.com/game/html5

If you prefer an executable: http://www.sonobots.com/game/b002.zip

Use WSAD or cursor keys to move and SPACE to ping.

It's pretty real time at the moment, next steps will be to put in some other bots and test both turn based and real time environment. Thanks!
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Kyzrati

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 09:24:32 PM »

I like it! Actually, it reminds me of using terrain scanners in Cogmind to get a piecemeal picture of the world outside your view.

Can't really tell at the moment that it's real-time since nothing else is happening and it's clearly grid-based.

The "small ping for each space moved" is a pretty neat way to handle local visibility.
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Xaron

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2017, 04:58:01 AM »

Thanks so much for your feedback. At least one seem to be interested and that's even you is fantastic! :)

Yes, I've seen that in Cogmind as well even though it looks better in your game.

I'm going to add some enemies next both for a real time and turn based game and will provide prototypes for that to see what's finally better.

I mean this could be done:
  • turn based
  • real time
  • real time where everything stops when the player stops
  • pausable real time (FTL)
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Draco18s

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2017, 05:23:33 PM »

Look up the game Dark Echo. It isn't a roguelike, but it features some of the same mechanics that you're talking about.
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Xaron

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2017, 01:47:46 AM »

Thanks, yes I've looked it up, what a nice game indeed! :)
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Draco18s

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2017, 07:07:37 AM »

I'm deep into the second half of Dark Echo. Game's fantastic. I swear I've only done three sessions though. Very strong "just one more level" vibe.
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Sindaleho

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Re: Stealth RL ideas?
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2017, 12:16:55 PM »

I do like the prototype that you've built already. Sounds like a great idea. Any updates?
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