Looking For Some Art Help For A New Puzzle Game


skeezix

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yeah yeah, the baby is keeping me _super_ busy, but when she's been fussy all hours of the night and I'm up, I've been coding around :p

I've got a lot of the engine done, just working on some spell logic, screwing around with AI, figuring out what I want to do with gear (if anything at all), figuring out what sorts of classes and spells are needed, and all that stuff. Progress is slow-medium due to aforementioned little person, but I'm getting along :)

Here is a mockup using swiped artwork:
http://www.codejedi.com/battlejewels/artwork/mockup.jpg

(Yes, its sort of like the battles in Puzzle Quest, without the overworld and quests.)

A waki/maki/bejewelled 'style' game that gets you mana, experience and causes direct damage to the enemy(s). Mana is used for casting spells to influence the playfield or cause damage, etc, with spells available varying by class and level.. a little RPGish in the sense your character grows as you win matches :p

Anyway, I swiped all the artwork so far; I need new artwork :) And artwork that goes together, not 10 people doing 10 different pieces, since they wouldn't 'gel'.

Anyone who actually knows how to make decent 2d pixel art want to help out?

jeff

PS: Anyone know what happened to Squidge? I keep hearing he was in hospital, and hes been vanished for awhile...
 

ste_167

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I'd love to help. I'm a graphic designer that has over the years veered more and more towards programming work, so I'm in need out of an outlet!

Would you like to PM me with the details? I'll then work on some examples.
 

skeezix

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A couple of people PMd so we'll see if anythign comes of it :)

The basic 'combat' (puzzle) engine is in place, in that it can be played against a really dumb AI. (ie: So the system knows how to identify what moves are available and the AI picks them, dumbly; need to work on the move rating system and the look-ahead system and all that.) Working on defining character classes, abilities, all that .. pretty open ended there :p

I've so far dodged working on GUI, just using a simple text command line UI so far (whicih I might keep in the game as a cheat/debug-console) .. but very soon I shoudl slap the actual graphics onto it :p

Need to figure out the long term stuff too.. ie: Instead of just level 1 warrior playing against level 1 zombie, need to figure out the experience pts, how much to level, which abilities on which levels and options players choose, and how to make it a fun progression.

Engine is one thing, but balancing and planning it out.. I think is most of the work :p

At least the folks here, when they can actually playh it in their sweaty hands, I'm hoping will help with that stuff.. ideas, balancing, what is liked, hated, etc.

Once I have screenshotrs and a .gpe, people will jump in I bet :)

jeff
 

skeezix

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/me debates ..

Every class shares the same 'skills', just they have different costs to upgrade. ie: Rogue is cheap to upgrade 'dodge', but mage would have it harder.

Spells is what really differentiate classes; mages have fire nukes, say, while warriors have 'shield bash'. That sort of thing.

What I debate now is .. should I make a big pile of spells for each class, and player has to pick some (like a tech tree in RTS or Civ :), or do you just get them by leveling up?

A quesiton of complexity; for a puzzle game with RPG elements (hitpoints, gear) is it too much to make spells pickable instead of eveyrone just having them as the grow up?

hmm..

Got the AI (dumb AI) working; it picks moves based on how beneficial to it they are (though it doesn't count moe than 1 move ahead, nor does it look fo rmoves to screw the player out of his next moves or the like. AI will be work :)

jeff
 

fusion_power

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Nobody wroted anything new yet? ^^"" Now, with the GBAX2007 entry we should reactivate a Battlejewels Thread. :)

Nice Game, much improved I think from the first mockups. But I found some "unmatching" things:

-important first: X and B buttons should be switched! On GP2X B usualy is select and Action, X is cancel. It's really weird in Battlejewels I think, I always push the wrong buttons. (GP2X really need a "standard Button-usage-law" :lol: )

-Bug or feature?: the game dont neutralize same colored Stones like this constellations, Only the vertical ones are neutralized:
O
O
O O O

or

O
O O O
O

-In Shopping menu I miss a display of my current Money, detailed Infos about the stats of each Item could be useful to. :)

-Ingame Speed could be more smooth, when moving Cursor and Selecting Stones everything feels some kind of delayed ^^""


But the game really makes FUN! :)
 

skeezix

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*g* Theres lots to do in Batteljewels yet; levelling up, more classes, more opponents, more gear, more AI types, as well as tweaks. I ended up running out of time in the last two weeks due to personal emergencies, but I hope to beat BJ up more soon!

By design, it eliminates one 'match set' at a time; ie:

o
o
o o o

Thats one match because the first match-set gets yanked, things fall, and then the next set. I might add a multi-match thing sometime for bonuses, but I didn't want it to get too out of control yet :)

For sure, there will be a gold-amount added to the shopping screens. Theres a help info for each item when you press Y, but it does need to have more details. I also need to document the statistics more. I figure more of that will come with levelling up .. ie: Right now, the gear is really level 1 to about level 5 or more in power (so theres some items way more useful than other items, but had to keep it fun).. but once I get levelling up, there needs to be a growth-curve.

Control delay? Hmm.. I'll have to check. I've got a mk1 GP2X so I have to be careful with the diagonals so I do some trickery thetre. Maybe its annoying on Mk2?

I need to get a Mk2, as I really really hate the Mk1's diagonal design flaw :p

Thanks for the feedback; I think BJ rocks, and its going to grow!

jeff
 

fusion_power

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Yes, I have an MK2 and I never had problems with diagonals. :) I play Battlejewels at 200MHz and only my moves (and Animations) seems to be delayed some kind. The AI is always very fast with movement. :lol:
 

skeezix

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During some (few!) of the animations, it might slow down a touch as the music is 'refilling' and the AI is thinking.

ie: The music is full MIDI (not MOD's) and is much higher load to convert to sound data; to keep it from skipping, I'm keeping a few hundred 'buffers' worth of music audio ahead, so that when processing gets heavy it can still have lots of music to feed the OS. During animations its doing both animations, AI, and pre-rendering music, so sometimes bogs down a little.

But music never skips, which is what I wanted :)

jeff
 

greenmikey

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I played this game through a set of batteries last night, it was rock solid.

I really enjoy playing so far. Although there are a few things. The 1 thing I find most annoying is the undead spell. I dont see how a enemy can take so many damned moves in a row so often. I still beat him but it was up to like 500 gold without me trying to match rings and too much stealth for my own good...the worst part was I ran out of batteries in the menu so I didnt get to save my riches.

Upgrading works well through the store but I think there should be a limit to the items you get in a level. The first time I played I got a soulstone and it made things alot easier until I started a new game.

I have a question. It seems chests pop up when you get 5 in a row and at other random intervals? I couldn't seem to tell what else was triggering them.

I havent really seen this crazy mix of games before and its rather cool. Thanks for your efforts, you have a good chance to win! (as far as I see it)
 

skeezix

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Post into the other topic http://www.gp32x.de/board/index.php?showt...37634&st=40 and let them know ;)

The chest pops up when you get a 5 in a row, or when you get a number of clears in a chain; I think its a 3-chain or more. (ie: One clear leads to another clear leads to another clear, that sort of thing.)

The gear will get more normalized when I add levels; right now theres some gear thats intended for higher levels and higher rarities, but I thought folks would want some fun stuff to play with.

Gotta run, but vote me up :)

jeff
 
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pkostrze

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Is there any way for older save games to be opened in the latest version? It's not a big deal but I had some sweet equipment and always hate starting over... although the game is so great that I really don't mind starting over all that much :)
 

skeezix

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If you get a bad-load type error, then it means the older format is incompatible; its fairly sensitive right now (sorry :(, but I hope to make it into XML or somesuch down the road. Just haven't had the time to worry about that, so I went on the 'this is the first official release' defence for save formats :)

jeff
 

fusion_power

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skeezix said:
During some (few!) of the animations, it might slow down a touch as the music is 'refilling' and the AI is thinking.

ie: The music is full MIDI (not MOD's) and is much higher load to convert to sound data; to keep it from skipping, I'm keeping a few hundred 'buffers' worth of music audio ahead, so that when processing gets heavy it can still have lots of music to feed the OS. During animations its doing both animations, AI, and pre-rendering music, so sometimes bogs down a little.

But music never skips, which is what I wanted :)

jeff
I think Music doesn't slow down anything. But I would like to disable the (nice) music. In puzzle games, I can't concentrate that good with music.
Slowdowns are the fading and Animation Effects I think. For example, the fading of the GBAX Splash screen takes over 7 Seconds on my GP2X at standard clockrate. Ingame messages over the playfield faded to slow to this and the cursor delay give a strange feeling of playing. With more fluid speed I think the game will me much more fun. :)

greenmikey said:
I played this game through a set of batteries last night, it was rock solid.

I really enjoy playing so far. Although there are a few things. The 1 thing I find most annoying is the undead spell. I dont see how a enemy can take so many damned moves in a row so often. I still beat him but it was up to like 500 gold without me trying to match rings and too much stealth for my own good...the worst part was I ran out of batteries in the menu so I didnt get to save my riches.
Right! This is one thing, I wanted to mention to. the "Undead-will" spell is so incredible unfair! Enemy gets lifes AND can make a couple of moves. really bad, I never was able to defeat such an enemy. So I usualy skip these guys. because of the many moves he can do, he always have enough time to collect the stones he need (this move don't need much! ) so in my case he was able to do this move nearly every second round and I had no chance to drop his lives because he always can regenerate. :(

...I had 10 fights and I'm still level 1, when is Level up? ^^
 
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skeezix

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The skelly isn't particularly damage causing, but I wanted him to be a different kind of threat.. medium damage, but with the ability to pull turns ou tof his rear to surprise you. ie: hes better to kill outright, than to toy with.. if you're low on life, just finish him off, don't go farming gold (say). It depends on your class too though.

I'm trying to keep the enemies styles a little varied, which will kick in more as gear come sin and such; ie: the gladiator is more all consistent damage (not too much burst like the backstabbing burglar can do), but as he geats better gear he'll have more defences too to reduce damage he takes.. when I get that gear added :)

Druid should do well against the Skelly, since he can pull heals out.

Perhaps theres more balancing needed, as its otugh to balance enemies versus abilities versus luck versus level etc, but I think you need to have some enemies that challenge you.. could just be your playstyle even. Maybe some enemies are hard for you but easy for others?

I'll have to meditate a lot on balance..

ie: One class I hope to add will have all inventory based effects; crafts his own items, but has few direct spells/abilities. Another class will be all damage output (at the cost of his own life), and little defence .. win quick, or die trying. Still, others could be like a Priest with crazy defences and heals..

Tough to balance for sure :)

Levelling up isn't in thie first release; it is _Extremely_ difficult to balance gear, levels and opponents .. it'll take me awhile to figure out how to make the growth curve interesting and satisfying. So you get more pwerful, without getting too much more powerful than enemies, and vice versa..

I hadn't figured it woudl be, but turns out levelling up is probably the hardest part to do 'right', in terms of 'feel' and 'fun'; easy to code, hell to balance :)

jeff

Oh, and the skelly.. I forget, I don't think he had a regen ability. He might have lucked into having a potion or two .. check enemy inventories using the right trigger at the match begin, to spy on them :)
 

fusion_power

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skeezix said:
Oh, and the skelly.. I forget, I don't think he had a regen ability. He might have lucked into having a potion or two .. check enemy inventories using the right trigger at the match begin, to spy on them :)
Yes, the (female XD)skelly have a potion...ONE potion everytime. He regens but then he still has ONE potion in inventory I think. And I can't kill him with my (not so bad) gladiator. (I always try to don't waste time and make a quick end but the skelly is to strong I think.) I have buyed/found the most useful items so far, have 45 lives or so (I should buy this stone thing then i have over 50) hm...well I do a restart when skelly is my enemy. The other Enemies are much easier ones, makes more fun.
By the way, I want such a multi-move skill to! ;)

Oh, for the future, maybe the items in the Shop could be have a information where to equip them. I'm not so good in english language to know, what Item is for which body part :lol: I'm glad, that I know, that a "buckler" is a shield ^^"""
 
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skeezix

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*g* true, mor details need to be shown for sure. Actual effect of itrem, where it goes, etc. "Buckler" is the accurate historical name, but it probably is very English-specific. A good point you make! :)

I will have to check.. when the skelly uses his potion, does it not get consumed? if he has infinite potions, that would be a drag :)

For multiple moves, you can only do it by getting big clears; clearing 4 or more in one shot gets you a free move.

I will be adding weapon effects, so that a big hammer will stun an opponent for a couple turns. It could prove interesting, with lots of stuns abd blinds and poisons and such going off all over the place :)

jeff

Thanks for the feedback .. its what makes us want to keep going :)
 
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