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Update 004 - The Adventurer Update
#1
Greetings ladies and gents, and welcome to Update 4! (Aka. The Adventurer Update)

Preamble

It’s been a while since our last post in the Dev section, and for this we most sincerely apologise.

So much has happened in the last few weeks, and we’ve been working very hard on the game (six days a week to be more precise). Unfortunately, all that work hasn’t translated into much community management, and we feel like we owe you.  After all, we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all our incredible backers, friends and supporters.

We hope to make it up to you with this long update, trying to cover a lot of what’s been happening, as well as by letting you know we’ll try to shift to a more regular weekly formula from now on. After all, these updates are not only a way for us to keep you informed, they’re also a tool to get your most valuable feedback on the progression of the game and the elaboration of its many (manyyyy!!) systems. 


Ps : This update will focus on Adventurer Characters, since there’s so much to say about them! The next one, Update 005 (due at the end of the week – around April 10th) will focus on combat, the world map, navigation, factions, resources and more. 

Foreword – Alpha visuals, stats and systems

Before jumping in, let me take a minute to remind you that everything discussed / shown here is Alpha material. Everything is still subject to change, an no visuals shown here are by any means final. 

As we keep on working on different blocs of the game, we’ll keep on iterating on everything that already exists in order to bring you, our beloved players, the most polished and pleasing experience possible by the time the game ships out.

Also, please keep in mind that the last few months were mostly dedicated to finalizing design elements and programming of the game’s core systems. A lot of art assets are still missing and, as such, this will mostly be a text update. Nevertheless, you can expect them to be posted here weekly in the next updates as they’re integrated in the game.


And now, without further ado, let’s get started! 

System breakdown – Adventurers

First things first, let’s have a look at the following screenshot :

[Image: Update-004---Screenshot-01---Character-Sheet--.png]

This is the most recent of the Adventurer Character Sheet. It is currently separated in 5 sections :

-          A top section representing the Basics Panel.
-          A bottom section which holds all 4 remaining Panels : Statistics, Jobs & Skills, Deployment and Contract.

Character Sheet - The Basics Panel

[Image: Update-004---Screenshot-02---Character-S...sPanel.png]


Let’s take a look at the Basics Panel for our friend Occelot Treegrove. He’s a level 1 Shaman with a fairly high potential. Here’s a breakdown of all the elements represented in the panel : 

Character Portrait : Every Character Sheet holds a visual (and fully animated) reprensentation of the Adventurer. We’ll get back to discussing the Character visuals later on. 

First and Last name : Aside from the unique in-game characters created by our Kickstarter backers (whose names, skintone, hairtype, beardtype, haircolor, and starting class are fixed), every adventurer in the game is procedurally generated!

We currently have dictionnaries of over 250 first names and 250 last names (Fantasy names, to be more precise) that are used when you start a new campaign and are randomly assigned to newly created characters. That’s over 62,500 possible variations!

Status : The Status field is used to quickly let you know the current employment status of any given adventurer. The current possible statuses are : Not in agency (free agent) / Under contract / In party. 

Class, Level, XP : These fields are pretty much self-explanatory. They allow you to see the current class, level and xp values of the selected adventurer.

Basic Stats : Every adventurer holds a plethora of stats. The more basic stats (and, to some extent, the more important ones) are separated into 4 areas of expertise : Combat / Agility / Arcana / Charisma. (More on stats later)


Epicness Rating and Potential : Look Ma’, Stars! It is unfortunate, but not all Adventurers are born equal. Some have an innate Epicness potential that is greater than their counterparts. The Character sheet allows you to quickly gauge a character’s Epicness rating and potential values by looking at the star graph. Filled stars indicate the character’s actual Epicness rating, and outlined ones indicate potential.

The Epicness value of an adventurer is of utmost importance! Indeed, only adventurers with sufficient Epicness are able to continue their level and class progression as they level up. (More on classes and progression later) To give you a quick example, here’s how the system works :


Epicness potential of 1 : Max level = 5 / Max Classes and active skills = 1
Epicness potential of 2 : Max level = 10 / Max Classes and active skills = 2
Epicness potential of 3 : Max level = 15 / Max Classes and active skills = 3
Epicness potential of 4 : Max level = 20 / Max Classes and active skills = 4
Epicness potential of 5 : Max level = 25 / Max Classes and active skills = 5

Furthermore, ONLY adventurers with an epicness Rating/Potential of 5 are able to learn one of the more powerful Prestige Classes.

Items, skills and Traits : The Basic’s Panel bottom bar holds the slots for a character’s Items (Equipment), skills and Traits. Let’s take a minute and breakdown these respective systems. 

Equipment - Basics

When we originally presented Epic Manager to the world during the course of the game’s Kickstarter Campaign, our plan was to have 4 equipment slots for each adventurer (Weapon / Armor / Accessory / Consumable Item). THIS HAS NOW CHANGED! 

Epic Manager is all about hiring adventurers, and lots of them. As such, we felt like having players micromanaging each adventurer’s inventory was a good idea, although not to the extent of having them spend hours equiping characters before sending them on quests. 


Dungeon-Crawling games like Diablo and Path of Exile allow your character to hold around 9 different equipment slots. That’s nice and all, but not if you have control over a changing roster of over 25 characters! As such, we’ve decided to simplify this system to quite an extent! 

A character now holds TWO (2) equipment slots, instead of four. Here’s how the new system works :

Equipment Slot 1 – Kit : Equipment kits now combine both Weapon and armor. Kits are class-specific and can only be equipped by a character of the correct class (for example, a Warrior Kit can only be equipped by an adventurer that is CURRENTLY a Warrior). Kits give boosts to specific stats, depending on their quality and rarity. (More on quality and rarity later)

Equipment Slot 2 – Accessory : Accessories function like Kits (with both quality and rarity variants), although they’re not class-specific. Find a cool Onyx Ring of Fire Protection? Excellent, you’re free to give it to the adventurer of your choice! 

Basic Kits and the dismissing of adventurers: When you hire a new adventurer (or give a new class to an existing one), he or she is already equipped with a basic Kit that corresponds his/her class. This basic Kit does NOT come from your Agency’s Stash and can be replaced with a more powerful one should you choose so.  Should you decide to dismiss an adventurer, his Kit/Accessory automatically go back to your Agency’s stash, so you don’t have to worry about losing equipment.

Death and item loss : We’re still experimenting with the death of adventurers and equipment loss. Down the line, it might be preferable for items to return to a player’s stash if an adventuring party gets wiped out… or maybe not. 
J We’re still comitted to offering an « Iron Man » difficulty mode, and equipment loss could be one of the factors included in this mode to keep players on their toes! 

Consumable Items : While programming the inventory system, we quickly realised that having to equip individual consumable items for each adventurers quickly ended up to be more of a nuisance than a fun strategic element. As such, we’ve decided to make Consumable Items available Agency-wide to ALL your deployed adventurers on the field. This will be covered in a later update when we discuss combat in more details.

Equipment – Quality and Rarity


[Image: Update-004---Screenshot-03---Equipment.png]


Equipment pieces (Kits and Accessories) are broken down into two categories in order to bring more variety to the game. 

Quality : Quality comes into three levels : Bronze / Silver / Gold. The quality level of any given item determines the amount of stat boost given to an adventurer while equiped. 

Rarity : Indicated by Gems, rarity comes in 4 levels : Common / Uncommon / Rare / Legendary + Unique. The rarity of any given equipment items determines how many « special properties ». These special properties cover most of the stats present in the game, like % Fire Damage, % Ice Resistance, % Extra Gold Find, etc.. (more on stats later). Here’s a breakdown of the rarity levels : 


Common : An equipment item with no special properties.
Uncommon : An equipment item with 1 special (random) property.
Rare : An equipment item with 2 special (random) properties.
Legendary : An equipment item with 3 special (random) properties.
Unique : An equipment item with 3 special (fixed) properties.


Just like Adventurers, most Equipment Kits and Accessories in the game are procedurally generated. However, Items created by our Kickstarter backers are Unique and will always roll the same special properties. 

Character Sheet – The Stats Panel


[Image: Update-004---Screenshot-04---Stats.png]

What do management and RPG games hold in common? Stats! Lots of stats!
Without getting too deeply into the game’s countless stats, let’s take a minute to dwelve into the basic Character Stats used in and out of combat.


Basic Stats breakdown : 

Combat : Used to calculate physical damage and resistance, as well as Combat-related skills efficiency. Also used in Combat checks (similar to diceroll checks in D&D).
Agility : Used to calculate Initiative, as well as Agility-related skills efficiency. Also used in Agility checks (similar to diceroll checks in D&D).
Arcana : Used to calculate Arcane damage and resistance, as well as Arcana-related skills efficiency. Also used in Combat checks (similar to diceroll checks in D&D).
Charisma : Used to calculate Charisma-related skills efficiency. Also used in Charisma checks (similar to diceroll checks in D&D), as well as resistance/modifier to certain buffs and debuffs. 


Composite Stats breakdown : (composite stats all derive from basic stats)

Arcane Damage : Used as a baseline to calculate all arcane and elemental damages.
Arcane Resistance : Used as a baseline to calculate all arcane and elemental resistances.
Fire / Ice / Electrical Damage : Used as an additive bonus to Arcane Damage.
Fire / Ice / Electrical Resistance : Used as an additive bonus to Arcane Resistance.


Calculating Stats : 

In order to calculate the « Current » Value of any given stat, we determine it’s baseline and multiply it with the value of its many MODIFIERS. These modifiers currently come from 8 distinct sources.

1)     Passive Skills Mod (From passive skills)
2)     Character Traits Mod(From character traits)
3)     Equipment Kit Mod (From equiped kit)
4)     Accessory Mod (From equiped accessory)
5)     Consumable Mod (From consumable items used in combat)
6)     Blessing Mod (From blessings acquired in temples or altars)
7)     Buff Mod (From in-combat buffs)
8)     Debuff Mod (From in-combat debuffs)


As you can see, a LOT of things can influence the different stat modifiers. The combined value of these mods is called the ModTotal, and is always a value in percentage(%).

To calculate the value of, let’s say, a characters Current Combat, we would use the following formula :
CurrentCombat = BaseCombatValue + (CombatModTotal * BaseCombatValue)

The base value is always derived from basic stats, so characters with naturally high basic stats will almost always be stronger than ones with better bonuses but weaker basic stats. This system is designed so that hiring adventurers and negociating their contracts will hold a great importance in the game, as players will have to keep a lookout for adventurers who present high « natural » stats. 

As characters level up, their Current Class will determine the amount of stats gained in each basic field (Combat, Agility, Arcana, Charisma) for each level acquired. (For example, a Warrior will gain more Combat than a Mage every time he levels up, increasing his HP and Physical Damage / Resistance in greater amounts). 

Character Sheet – The Jobs Panel

[Image: Update-004---Screenshot-05---Jobs.png]

Everybody needs a job! (or 2, or 3, or 4, or…)

In the past, we’ve talked a lot about the class system present in the game, but never in much details. Here’s a complete breakdown of all the features and interesting choices the job system will bring.

Take a look at the previous screenshot (and pardon the lack of icons). For now, let’s focus on the first row and it’s 6 slots (from top to bottom).  

Slot 1 (Octogon) – Class Selection
When  a character levels up to Levels 1/6/11 or 16, and provided he has enough epicness  potential, you get to assign him a new Class (Job) from one of the 16 basic classes. At level 21, however, certain characters will be able to choose from Basic AND Prestige Classes. (More on Prestige Classes in a subsequent update) 

The Class Build of a Character will be important, since an adventurer’s Current Class will determine the amount of each Basic Stat (Combat, Agility, Arcana, Charisma) he will gain upon leveling up, as well as the Active/passive skills he will be able to choose from as he levels up through that class.

Slot 1 (Square) – Skill Selection
When a character takes on a new Class (Job), he also gets to choose 1 Active Skill from the 2 available for that class. Active skills are very important in combat, and a character of level 21-25 will have 5 of them at his disposal!

Slot 2 (Diamond) – Passive Skill #1
At levels 2, 7, 12, 17 and 22, an adventurer will get to choose 1 Passive Skill #1 from the 2 available for his class. These passive skills will modify the behaviour of the Active Skill previously selected for the Current Class. 

Slot 3 (Circle) – Class Expertise Passive
At levels 3, 8, 13, 18 and 23, an adventurer will get to choose 1 Class Expertise Passive stat modifier from the 2 available to his current class. Different Class Expertises will offer boosts to different primary stats. 

Slot 4 (Diamond) – Passive Skill #2
At levels 4, 9, 13, 19 and 24, an adventurer will get to choose 1 Passive skill #2 from the 2 available for his class. These passive skills will further modify the behaviour of the Active Skill previously selected for the Current Class. 

Slot 5 (Circle) – Class Mastery Passive
At levels 5, 10, 14, 20 and 25, an adventurer will get to choose 1 Class Mastery Passive stat modifier from the 2 available to his current class. Different Class Masteries will offer further boosts to different primary stats. 

Interlude – Countless routes of  Character Progression!

If you’ve been mentally calculating while reading the previous section, you might now realise that the game will offer countless variations in character progression! 

Let’s assume you have a level 5 Warrior. Chances are he’s not the same as another level 5 Warrior. Why?

1)     Lvl1 : Choose 1 Active skill from two availble (2)
2)     Lvl2 : Choose 1 Passive#1 from two available (2x2)
3)     Lvl3 : Choose 1 Class Expertise from two available (2x2x2)
4)     Lvl4 : Choose 1 Passive#2 from two available (2x2x2x2)
5)     Lvl5 : Choose 1 Class Mastery from two available (2x2x2x2x2)


In total, that’s over 32 different possible builds for a single Class!! 

Now, let us assume you have a level 25 character (and, for now, let’s leave Prestige Classes out of the equation).

Level 1 : Choose 1 Class from 16 possible basic classes left (16)
Level 6 : Choose 1 Class from 15 possible basic classes left (16x15)
Level 11 : Choose 1 Class from 14 possible basic classes left (16x15x14)
Level 16 : Choose 1 Class from 13 possible basic classes left (16x15x14x13)
Level 21 : Choose 1 Class from 12 possible basic classes left (16x15x14x13x12)

That's…. 524,160 possible Class Builds! 

And now also consider that an adventurer has certains Character Traits that differ from other adventurers, as well as an Equiped Kit and Accessory…well… let’s just say the game will present you with countless ways to make each adventurer unique! (And remember, we’re not even talking about all the Prestige Classes yet!)

Character Traits

We’re still working on figuring out all the available character traits, as well as pinning down the list of their complete in-game effect. Will let you know in a future update, but for now let’s just say that any adventurer will be able to have up to two (2) different Character Traits, and that these will confer both negative and positive bonuses in different situations. 

Traits will be used to give each adventurer an even greater unique personality and feel.
 
Character Sheet – The Deployment Panel

[Image: Update-004---Screenshot-06---Deployment.png]


The Deployment Panel is currently under construction. As of now, it allows you to quickly assign your hired Adventurers to one of 4 active parties. Down the line, we’ll also create a proper Party Sheet that will allow you to browse your different parties, see their status and stats, as well as name them to your choosing and assign them a Party Sigil from the one’s you've acquired. (More on Sigils in a future update)

Character Sheet – Contract Panel

[Image: Update-004---Screenshot-07---Contract.png]


The final element of the Character Sheet we’ll be discussing today is the Contract Panel. This important UI panel is where you’ll be doing most of the Contract Negociation with adventurers.

Determining the « Value » of a Contract

Many things will influence the montly pay demanded by an adventurer, with the main ones being :

The character’s Level : Higher level characters expect to be paid more. Plain and simple.

The character’s Epicness Potential : Adventurers with a higher Epicness Potential will expect significantly more money than others. After all, this same potential determines their ability to reach higher levels, learn more Classes (Jobs) and acquire more skills to use in combat.

The character’s greed : Greed is a terrible sin, and no adventurer is the same. Some adventurer will be naturally more or less greedy than others, and this will affect their desired salary.

The proposed contract duration : The default contract duration is 6 months (24 turns). Shorter contracts will cost less, but they’ll need to be re-negociated more often. Longer contracts will cost more, but they’ll be worth it because signing a Level 1 adventurer for 18 months will mean you’ll be paying him Level 1 wages even if he levels up over time while in your employ! 

Upfront Payments – The benefits of a signing bonus!

If your finances allow for it, you’ll be able to make an upfront payment (also called the Signing Bonus) upon signing any Adventurer Contract. The upside of the Upfront Payment is a nice rebate to the contract total. (ex : give the Adventurer 20% of his contract’s worth right now, and save 10% on the total contract value).

But there’s a catch! Upfront Payments cannot be recuperated, even if the Adventurer dies on the 2[sup]nd[/sup] week (turn) of his 18-month contract! You gave him 60% Upfront on a 1000 gold contract? And he’s dead? That’s too bad…  you should’ve scouted ahead before sending him to face a horde of bloodthirsty Elite Black Orcs alone! 

Negociation Outcomes


So far, three outcomes are possible when making a Contract Offer, and they all come with consequences! Outcomes are based on dicerolls, with a % modifier depending on how much you offered compared to the adventurer’s desired value. 

Negociation Success

Congratulations! The adventurer joins your agency for the duration of his contract, and you also gain Fame based on his current level! 

[Image: Update-004---Screenshot-08---Success.png]

Negociation Failure

Better luck next time! The adventurer refused your offer. You’re free to try again, but his greed factor just went up as a consequence of your less-than-desired proposed salary.

[Image: Update-004---Screenshot-09---Failure.png]

Negociation Critical Failure

OH MY! You’ve really done it this time. There’s always a chance a sub-par offer will result in success, but more often than not, you might just end up insulting an adventurer if you offer him way less than he wanted. In which case, he storms out of the room and you’ve lost the chance to negociate with him in the near future. Furthermore, words of this fiasco will spread amongst the realm, causing you to lose Fame based on the adventurer’s level. 

[Image: Update-004---Screenshot-10---CriticalFailure.png]

Wrapping up – The longest Dev Update Ever.

If you’re still reading this (why wouldn’t you be?), you’re awesome! This update was supposed to cover MUCH MORE, but we feel like more frequent, bite-sized updates will be a lot more digest (and pleasant) in the future.

Please feel free to comment on the above topics and let us know what you think! We’ll leave it here for now, but we’ll be back at the end of the week (around April 10th) with more details on other game systems – there’s so much we’re eager to talk about and show you!


PS – Release Windows

Some people have been asking questions regarding the planned release windows. We’d like to reaffirm our previous commitments to delivering a CLOSED BETA version of the game by the END OF AUGUST (or early September), along with a FULL RELEASE at the end of 2015 (or during the first weeks of Q1, 2016).

Although we’d like to be able to set fixed calendar dates for release, please understand that we first and foremost desire to bring you the most polished and fun game possible. We’re currently working six days a week on the project, and things are right on schedule! If everything remains on track, we’ll be able to bring Epic Manager to life without any delays to our previous commitments. 


Stay tuned, and Stay EPIC!

As always, we’re always more than happy to read your comments and answer your questions here on the Forums, as well as on Facebook and Twitter!
Never hesitate to reach out, and we promise not to keep you waiting too long between further Updates!

See you soon friends,
Best regards from the whole ManaVoid Dev Team!  


[Image: Epic%20Manager%20-%20KickStarter%20Logo.png]
Simon 'OISIN' Girard
ManaVoid Entertainment
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#2
Monday morning, getting up at ten because of Easter holiday stuff thingies, have some coffee, and oh look, my favorite Simon has come up with a treatise about the game I am violently licking my dirty little paws for! Can get things even more Epic?

May I throw in my thoughts? Well, I will anyway.

Quote:First and Last name : Aside from the unique in-game characters created by our Kickstarter backers (whose names, skintone, hairtype, beardtype, haircolor, and starting class are fixed), every adventurer in the game is procedurally generated!

As far as I remember (the campaign has been almost half a year ago and I tend to forget things) the procedural generation part was not certain back then, so I am all happy about this.

Quote:We currently have dictionnaries of over 250 first names and 250 last names (Fantasy names, to be more precise) that are used when you start a new campaign and are randomly assigned to newly created characters. That’s over 62,500 possible variations!

As someone who once had two left-handed pitchers both named Miguel Lopez on his AAA farm team in OOTP Baseball, I will kindly remember you that you can never have enough variation.  Tongue

Quote:Look Ma’, Stars! It is unfortunate, but not all Adventurers are born equal. Some have an innate Epicness potential that is greater than their counterparts.

As a 1-star current / 1-star potential gamer I applaud your strive for realism, which I find appealing and depressing at the same time. Just like real life. Plus swords.

Quote:When we originally presented Epic Manager to the world during the course of the game’s Kickstarter Campaign, our plan was to have 4 equipment slots for each adventurer (Weapon / Armor / Accessory / Consumable Item). THIS HAS NOW CHANGED!  

During the campaign, I would have bemoaned this, but a few things have changed since then. Let’s take a slight detour through Daniel’s world (aka The Horrors). No, it’s basically the fact that I was left with nothing to play but with my horrible baseball team (sixth consecutive losing season, going strong) and after years of being up in arms, finally buckled and got on Steam, blowing about $100 worth on games within minutes.

Included was Darkest Dungeon which I am sure you guys have seen. After going about 40 weeks in that game I can say that even two slots of accessories per character are a giant pain in the buttocks even when you have just 16 or so characters sitting around. It’s so hard to get everybody the best gear, which is partly down to the manifold combinations possible, partly due to Darkest Dungeon doing a terrible job at giving you an overview over what you have. When a game forces you to do external bookkeeping, it’s not sufficiently well designed.

Pooling stuff together is an outrageously good design decision, because we can agree here, you don’t want to spend two hours tinkering with whether Don Dirk or Lance Leicester should get the Magnificent Magma Mace, which gives a combo with the Magnificent Marble Mullet, but the latter doesn’t go well with Lance’s Woolly Teardrop Amulet +2 and - we’re here to slay goblins, ffs!!  Rolleyes

Quote:Death and item loss : We’re still experimenting with the death of adventurers and equipment loss. Down the line, it might be preferable for items to return to a player’s stash if an adventuring party gets wiped out

Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. If the quest is a success, the survivors can bring back the deceased’s junk with the quest loot. If not – oops.

Quote:Rarity : Indicated by Gems, rarity comes in 4 levels : Common / Uncommon / Rare / Legendary + Unique.

I wonder why Legendary and Unique are rolled into one color. So much in this game is built on the number 5. In my head, having Unique red (or whatever) would make sense.

Quote:What do management and RPG games hold in common? Stats! Lots of stats!

My selective OCD resents the damages and resistances for each type of damage not being on the same line. Tongue

Quote:That's…. 524,160 possible Class Builds!  

In other words: play this game for the rest of your life, you still won’t see anything. Yaay!

Quote:The final element of the Character Sheet we’ll be discussing today is the Contract Panel. This important UI panel is where you’ll be doing most of the Contract Negociation with adventurers.

… and I am already digging the “Critical Failure %”  Big Grin

Quote:The proposed contract duration : The default contract duration is 6 months (24 turns). Shorter contracts will cost less, but they’ll need to be re-negociated more often. Longer contracts will cost more, but they’ll be worth it because signing a Level 1 adventurer for 18 months will mean you’ll be paying him Level 1 wages even if he levels up over time while in your employ!  

(a dark grin hushes over Daniel’s face)

Quote:If everything remains on track, we’ll be able to bring Epic Manager to life without any delays to our previous commitments.  

(cue dramatic music)  Big Grin
Win 7 64bit – i7-4700MQ 2.4GHz – 8GB RAM – AMD Radeon HD8970M --- (probably time to shove it off the cliff, I know)
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#3
Hello Daniel! It's been a while!

I, too, have woken up to your comments this morning! Big Grin
It's awesome that you like yesterday's update! (took me a while to write everything down, I admit!)

Quote:I wonder why Legendary and Unique are rolled into one color. So much in this game is built on the number 5. In my head, having Unique red (or whatever) would make sense.

You're right! They're actually 2 different colors. My icons were slightly outdated and i wrote them off as them same because, for now, they carry the same amount of special properties (although the Unique's properties are fixed and each of these items also has a special unique name). Down the line, however, they'll be rolled into their own visual cues so players can easily distinguish them from "simple" Legendary ones.

By the way, we never had time to mention it yet, but we're gonna come up with a special visual cue (icon) that will accompany everything in the game that has been created by KS backers and fans. It's going to be something subtle and it won't be bothersome to look at (I, too, share your OCD for neatly organised things), but it will be there! We find it important that people get due credit for the creative input they're putting into the final product! Big Grin

Quote:My selective OCD resents the damages and resistances for each type of damage not being on the same line. Tongue

Don't worry! All UI elements shown in the update will be iterated upon many (many) times before release. Things should be a bit (way) more visually pleasing and ordered by then! Smile

It's back to this office again this morning! Huzzah! (In fact, I'm currently eagerly posted by the window, waiting for Frank to drive up - because carpooling is Epic in itself!)
We'll work hard all week and I'll make sure to post a new update next Friday/Saturday to let you guys in on what we've accomplished this week! Big Grin

Best regards Daniel, and thanks for all your kind words!
Simon 'OISIN' Girard
ManaVoid Entertainment
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#4
...well, this is pretty epic! You've clearly given this a lot of thought, and I am excited to see the Closed Beta!
I was one of the one thousand, one hundred and fifty seven Kickstarter backers
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#5
I agree with the alignment of the stats.

The easiest solution IMO is to slide all of the "magical" stats at the end (arcane, fire, ice, electric) in both panels.
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#6
Thanks for the update. It is good to see how things are going.

The equipment system sounds nicely compact. I think that having a party able to draw from the agencies entire stock of consumables is a bit much. Possibly you could specify a party specific bag which gets topped off when the opportunity arises.

Will I be able to "re-spec" characters, changing their various skills and passives? Any character development planning tools? Perhaps a fantasy arena so I can test builds, without any rewards but without a cost for a poor selection?

Last, is "Negociation" Canadian English? I suspect you mean "Negotiation" and find the difference a bit jarring?
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#7
(04-08-2015, 02:27 AM)ArchRylen Wrote: Thanks for the update. It is good to see how things are going.

The equipment system sounds nicely compact. I think that having a party able to draw from the agencies entire stock of consumables is a bit much. Possibly you could specify a party specific bag which gets topped off when the opportunity arises.

Will I be able to "re-spec" characters, changing their various skills and passives? Any character development planning tools? Perhaps a fantasy arena so I can test builds, without any rewards but without a cost for a poor selection?

Last, is "Negociation" Canadian English? I suspect you mean "Negotiation" and find the difference a bit jarring?

Hi ArchRylen,

Nice to see you liked the update.

For the consumables, we will need to test our system in its entirety (which should be doable soon) and we'll see. We're not close to the idea of limiting it to a pre-selection of some sort. The major issue would be too much micro-management making the entire game too long and tedious.

For now, you would not be able to "re-spec" a character. If you hire a high level adventurer it comes with it's previous classes and skills and that's it. Perhaps, down the road, a special item that let's you build the character over might be considered. Then again, we don't wish to make all characters be too flexible because players need to feel the weight of their decisions. In any cases, when our close beta is ready we will gladly listen to feedback from you guys based on your experience with the game itself.

Finally, sorry about the "Negociation" thing... it is a simple mistake rooted in the french spelling of the word. Be assured, we will do our best not to have any of these in the final product and should there be some in the beta, we will fix them as soon as they are brought to our attention. Smile

Let's keep in touch guys and thanks again for providing us with feedback, it's a precious source of info for us.

Cheers!
Frank "Lalight" Lalumière
ManaVoid Entertainment Dev Team
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#8
Clever design will go a long way with consumables. Pointing at Darkest Dungeon again (which is technically still in Early Access and not even finished), the design makes not the slightest attempt at helping you stock your characters' two equipment slots.

- you can't look at more than one character sheet at one time
- you can't see at a glance of your roster, which characters have slots open or which don't
- there is no sorting of equipment ("trinkets") in their depository whatsoever; comes in first, is listed first
- trinket symbols offer NO clue whatsoever what they actually do, you have to mouse over to see whether that green skull gives a boost to blight skills (which would be intuitive) or actually does something completely different

You might want to keep that as a checklist how not to do it.

I'm bashing Darkest Dungeon a fair bit here - it's a fun game, however! It just seems that they really focused a lot on graphics and atmosphere (which worked out well), but other things like UI fell off the bandwagon at some point. Roster management is on the light side. Meaningful choices are scarce. Also, balancing. Due to the fact that heroes don't charge a salary (or anything at all at being hired), it is relatively easy to pile up money and never be pressed for coins. Except when you get your best party wiped by a boss, which happened to me on the weekend.

Yes, I cried.

Yes, it was my own fault.
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#9
(04-09-2015, 03:42 PM)DanielHall15 Wrote: Clever design will go a long way with consumables. Pointing at Darkest Dungeon again (which is technically still in Early Access and not even finished), the design makes not the slightest attempt at helping you stock your characters' two equipment slots.

- you can't look at more than one character sheet at one time
- you can't see at a glance of your roster, which characters have slots open or which don't
- there is no sorting of equipment ("trinkets") in their depository whatsoever; comes in first, is listed first
- trinket symbols offer NO clue whatsoever what they actually do, you have to mouse over to see whether that green skull gives a boost to blight skills (which would be intuitive) or actually does something completely different

You might want to keep that as a checklist how not to do it.

I'm bashing Darkest Dungeon a fair bit here - it's a fun game, however! It just seems that they really focused a lot on graphics and atmosphere (which worked out well), but other things like UI fell off the bandwagon at some point. Roster management is on the light side. Meaningful choices are scarce. Also, balancing. Due to the fact that heroes don't charge a salary (or anything at all at being hired), it is relatively easy to pile up money and never be pressed for coins. Except when you get your best party wiped by a boss, which happened to me on the weekend.

Yes, I cried.

Yes, it was my own fault.

Hey Daniel!

Agreed that DD's inventory system was lacking in overall information and UI design. I'd even go so far as to say that the relevance of items in their game is somewhat lacking (a small 5% here and -5% there doesn't change much in a dungeon) and it's definitely an example we are going to keep in mind going forward. Wink I guess that's the beauty of going on Steam Early Access, the community gets to tell the devs where they can change things to make them better. I'm sure they will have smoothed out kinks like their inventory system when full release comes out.

I'm more concerned about the overall long term goals that players are given in the game, there came a point where I was wondering why I was still playing, what was my objective?, and that shouldn't happen. The narrative ambiance and feel is amazing, but I wasn't driven to keep playing the game after a few dungeons, it just became a continuous grind. Going off topic! I get carried away when talking about cool games. Smile

Cheers!
Christopher ''The DM'' Chancey
ManaVoid Entertainment Dev Team
@ManaVoidChancey
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#10
Great update with some of the mechanics you guys are planning on using. It was a lot of information to read at once so I read half of it at one time and after digesting that the other half later Smile I did have a couple of questions/requests though.

1.) Is Epic Potential replacing champion rarity? I like the idea of epic potential a lot more, but was curious if it was replacing it or if you guys are using both now.

2.) Could you switch the colors a little on rarity please? Most of us that play RPG's and trading card games are used to: Common-White, Uncommon-Green, Rare-Blue, Epic-Purple. So it's a little confusing with Uncommon being blue and Rare being green instead!



Also I love how you guys are doing the contracting. It is brilliant that there is a critical failure chance for trying to rip off a champion to save a bunch of gold and is a lot like a game I used to play called Dungeon Assault. In it when you reach the end of a dungeon you come across a sleeping dragon and the more gold you take the higher the chance of the dragon waking up and destroying your team! That kind of a mechanic (like you guys are doing) makes it a lot more fun with high risk high rewards and so forth while allowing the people that want to "play it safe" be able to just pay whatever would end up being a 90-100% success rate!
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#11
I just would like to add, negotiate, negotiations, was very weird seeing the French spelling in there.
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#12
Was lovely to read an update. Would just like to ask though, would I be right in assuming that the chances of finding a hero with a high potential has a correlation with your agencies fame?
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#13
(04-13-2015, 09:55 AM)Ieuan Miller Wrote: Was lovely to read an update. Would just like to ask though, would I be right in assuming that the chances of finding a hero with a high potential has a correlation with your agencies fame?

We are considering a couple of ways to go about it. Testing will determine the final say. Smile
Frank "Lalight" Lalumière
ManaVoid Entertainment Dev Team
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#14
(04-10-2015, 08:31 AM)Bacon Wrote: Great update with some of the mechanics you guys are planning on using.  It was a lot of information to read at once so I read half of it at one time and after digesting that the other half later Smile  I did have a couple of questions/requests though.

1.) Is Epic Potential replacing champion  rarity?  I like the idea of epic potential a lot more, but was curious if it was replacing it or if you guys are using both now.

2.) Could you switch the colors a little on rarity please?  Most of us that play RPG's and trading card games are used to:  Common-White, Uncommon-Green, Rare-Blue, Epic-Purple.  So it's a little confusing with Uncommon being blue and Rare being green instead!



Also I love how you guys are doing the contracting. It is brilliant that there is a critical failure chance for trying to rip off a champion to save a bunch of gold and is a lot like a game I used to play called Dungeon Assault.  In it when you reach the end of a dungeon you come across a sleeping dragon and the more gold you take the higher the chance of the dragon waking up and destroying your team!  That kind of a mechanic (like you guys are doing)  makes it a lot more fun with high risk high rewards and so forth while allowing the people that want to "play it safe" be able to just pay whatever would end up being a 90-100% success rate!

Thanks for taking the time to read the update and come back to us with feedback.

To answer your questions:
1) Honestly, I don't know what you are referring to. Champion rarity? I might be mistaken, but I don't believe we ever used a term like that. In any case, we will reveal more information about recruitment in the next weeks or so. The Epicness is not exactly the same as rarity. It is similar the the potential stat from sports games if you will. Of course, there as to be a limit to the number of very strong characters you can hire.

2) We'll take your comment into account. Different games use different colors (I.E. Diablo vs Path of Exile) In the end, it is but a mere convention and could easily be changed at a later point.

We discussed negotiation of contracts over and over until we had a formula we felt was not tedious, but still deep. We don't wish for players to be able to abuse the system in a way that breaks immersion. Hopefully, this mechanic will prevent this. Overall, the risk/reward balance is a big part of the tension provided by a game like ours.

Again, thanks for giving us your thoughts, it is very helpful. Smile
Frank "Lalight" Lalumière
ManaVoid Entertainment Dev Team
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#15
As long as we're nitpicking your spelling, there should be two L's in "miscellaneous" on the statistics screen. Wink

You know that famous "paradox" where, if you have 25 people in a room, there is more than a 50-50 chance that two of them share the same birthday? Correspondingly, 250 first names and 250 last names is not as much insurance against repetition as you might think. If I'm doing my math right, within twenty names you're more likely than not to hit a duplicate first name and a duplicate last name -- and you'll probably hit a duplicate full name by the time you generate 300 adventurers. You'll need either a much bigger list of names or a safeguard in the code against picking the same name twice. (As a fan of variety, I vote for a combination of both.)

Also, the developer in me wants to check that you are tagging these names for gender as you go. Smile
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#16
(04-14-2015, 03:39 AM)Brian Auriti Wrote: As long as we're nitpicking your spelling, there should be two L's in "miscellaneous" on the statistics screen.  Wink

You know that famous "paradox" where, if you have 25 people in a room, there is more than a 50-50 chance that two of them share the same birthday?  Correspondingly, 250 first names and 250 last names is not as much insurance against repetition as you might think.  If I'm doing my math right, within twenty names you're more likely than not to hit a duplicate first name and a duplicate last name -- and you'll probably hit a duplicate full name by the time you generate 300 adventurers.  You'll need either a much bigger list of names or a safeguard in the code against picking the same name twice.  (As a fan of variety, I vote for a combination of both.)

Also, the developer in me wants to check that you are tagging these names for gender as you go.  Smile

Hey Brian!

There won't be any typos in the final game, promise! As for the names, we currently have 450 first names and 200 last names and we're just getting started. Wink 

Cheers,
Christopher ''The DM'' Chancey
ManaVoid Entertainment Dev Team
@ManaVoidChancey
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#17
Is it possible for you guys to continue to use Kickstarter to push updates out? Most other successful campaigns I've backed continue to use that to email updates out to everyone even past retail (ex: Pillars of Eternity). It's so much more convenient than having to camp a forum.
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#18
(04-22-2015, 02:53 AM)Spectrum Wrote: Is it possible for you guys to continue to use Kickstarter to push updates out? Most other successful campaigns I've backed continue to use that to email updates out to everyone even past retail (ex: Pillars of Eternity). It's so much more convenient than having to camp a forum.

Hi Spectrum,

We will use the KS to send an email to all backers to link all forums update, no problem. Smile

This way people who joined the campaign during or after the KS can see them.
Frank "Lalight" Lalumière
ManaVoid Entertainment Dev Team
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#19
So, how's 005 coming along?^^ Hungry for updates.^^
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#20
(04-25-2015, 08:56 PM)DanielHall15 Wrote: So, how's 005 coming along?^^ Hungry for updates.^^

If all goes well we should have a good chunk of our functionalities done by the end of the week. 
So an update is coming soon Daniel-San! 
Christopher ''The DM'' Chancey
ManaVoid Entertainment Dev Team
@ManaVoidChancey
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