A Wizard's Day

#1
Hey everyone, I've been teaching myself Unity and trying to make a game. I've already posted about it over at NegativeWorld, since they had an indie game thread, so I want to get your opinions as well.
It's a platform/adventure game. I'm going to be making a Kickstarter soon so hopefully I'll get funding to finish it. I'm putting final touches on a demo that gives you a good idea of what it's all about. I have most of it planned out but I still have a butt load of work to do if all goes well. Right now it's just me so it's pretty time consuming. Here's some pics of the most recent build.

These are from an older build but show off a different area.


 
#3
Thanks mattavelle1 and yeah, it's been a while :p I didn't know where I should post a thread like this until I saw this sub forum. Pretty cool! Hopefully more will take a look since I don't know how often this board gets attention from users.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#4
It gets plenty of attention. We have had a good amount of indie devs stopping by, and also having the top threads in this forum on the default page now helps a lot. On the default you should see the top 5 threads in every catogory of the forums.

Check out the other indie threads we have around you might find your not alone here :p
 
#5
Well that's good to hear. I'd like to post in the "Meet the developers" forum but I need to become a verified developer... someday soon I hope ~O)
 
#10
Hey everyone, thanks for the warm reception of the look of the game! So I made a video walk through of the first area. I don't have a whole lot of experience with this stuff so I hope it's not too bad.
First really quick look. The other vids will be up tomorrow. I had to keep them below 20MB so sorry for the quality.
 
#15
Woah.. now I'm in the big boy room :-S Wondered where my thread went! A little update here. I'm making much better videos and my own YouTube channel so I won't be posting those other vids. They're so crappy looking and short anyways. When I get everything together, I'll be posting a much better look at the game. As far as Wii U, yes, I would really like to have that happen. The game pad would be really nice to integrate into the game. I definitely have a couple ideas for it. I need to get a hold of Nintendo and get official dev status but one thing at a time. PC and Wii U are my original goals, then maybe PS4 if all goes super well.
I'm a little surprised by the Mario RPG vibes. That game never came to mind when designing this. In fact the game it is inspired by is an old NES game called "Solstice". Once I get these current vids made and uploaded I'll make a few of the older build since that really shows the games roots as well as a new area theme.
Speaking of new themes, I guess I'll show some concept stuff of an area I have yet to make. These are from a few or so years ago but they're pretty much the feel I will be going for if you can imagine that type of look in the game. I've always wanted to do this environment in a real time setting so now is my chance.
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#18
What stuck out most to me about the game (which looks great) is the isometric view. I assume that's what people mean by Mario RPG but I may be wrong. In any case, the visuals look very unique and wonderful. Keep up the good work and keep us updated!
 
#25
So is this your first project? I assume since you mentioned that you just learned Unity.
Yeah, pretty much. I'm basically putting myself through Unity school with this game :-B Thankfully it has an amazing community and lot's of online tutorials and help when I need it.
 

nerdman

pig's gotta fly
#27
You're a talented artist Pablo. The game has a very charming look to it.
Here are some thoughts on the design based off those videos.
1. I think it would be better to introduce the collapsing platforms in a safe way before putting them above bottomless pits. This could lead to less frustration.
2. Traveling all the way to one area just to find out you don't have the right item can be annoying to the player. Take a page from Zelda, and have the player push some log or something down the exit path. That way when the player comes back, he or she can just jump up on the log to reach the area with the item to save time.
3. Make those enemies die with one fire ball. The player just earned a new power-up, and killing those basic enemies in one hit will make them feel more powerful than killing them with two fireballs. This will increase the player's sense of accomplishment.
 
#28
You did all the assets yourself?

Everything but the music and FX. Got those off the interwebs. Music I got from a free program called FamiTracker (came with a bunch of songs which a number of them fit my game pretty damn well) and the sounds I got from various places. I've tried to get into learning FamiTracker so I could make the music (have the tunes in my head) but damn it's tough. I'm no musician so it's quite a bit of work to go and learn that. At some point I'll need to have original music and FX that'll complement the game better. You're a talented artist Pablo. The game has a very charming look to it.
Here are some thoughts on the design based off those videos.
1. I think it would be better to introduce the collapsing platforms in a safe way before putting them above bottomless pits. This could lead to less frustration.
2. Traveling all the way to one area just to find out you don't have the right item can be annoying to the player. Take a page from Zelda, and have the player push some log or something down the exit path. That way when the player comes back, he or she can just jump up on the log to reach the area with the item to save time.
3. Make those enemies die with one fire ball. The player just earned a new power-up, and killing those basic enemies in one hit will make them feel more powerful than killing them with two fireballs. This will increase the player's sense of accomplishment.
Thanks nerdman :)
1. There is an area if you go west where the path splits that has those collapsing platforms in a very safe setting. The others are indeed over a chasm but if you fall you'll just respawn at the start and be able to try again. Falling into these chasms do not take any life away so you're free to try again with out the worry of anything harsh happening. From what I've seen from others who've played, this area isn't to much trouble and is usually quite rewarding when they make it. It's not overly difficult to do but I want to give the player a sense of danger. Seeing someone nervous about doing this part just to see them succeed and be excited that they did is pretty cool. Sure they might fall 1 or 2 times but in the end they do make it over without to much trouble. However I do have a design fix in mind. I'll give it some thought.
2. That's a good idea. I do have a shortcut path there but it's just for getting back (a one way deal) to the lost whistle area if you don't have the item. I can just have a raft that you activate and can take you back to the Shrine when you get the item needed. I'm really glad you mentioned that, it'll help the design a lot.
3. Well, you are able to shoot now so having the means to kill an enemy, even if it takes 2 hits, should already give a sense of power :p But yeah, originally I had the purple guys die with one hit and the orange/red ones take two. I don't know what changed along the way but it did. I have a number of different enemies planned but the blobs are the easiest things to get working with animation, pathfinding and AI. I just didn't have the time to really go much further with enemies so that stuff will definitely see change and tweaking. Hell I just might give the player that power in the beginning but have it be pretty weak and have the purple guys take 3 or 4 hits and the red ones 6 or 7 or something. You are supposed to be in a weak condition after all. Then when they get that scroll, it powers up your attack and adds the additional power of burning bushes.
Thanks for the critique, any other comments/suggestions are welcome!
 
#29
You're an inspiration man. So far, I only know how to do semi-complex animations, music design, level design, and some coding, but as far as rendered assets goes, I'm useless. I'd learn to make my own, and I will in due time, but as of now, I'm employing the services of my friend who's a really good digital sculptor (uses Sculptris).
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#30
You want to know what's crazy? This is one of my most anticipated games. And I'm being serious! I love the look of it, from the isometric view, to the art design, to the platform/rpg/exploration mechanics all taking place in an isometric perspective.
Would you like some assistance in becoming a licensed Wii U dev or do you have that front covered?
 
#31
You're an inspiration man. So far, I only know how to do semi-complex animations, music design, level design, and some coding, but as far as rendered assets goes, I'm useless. I'd learn to make my own, and I will in due time, but as of now, I'm employing the services of my friend who's a really good digital sculptor (uses Sculptris).
Nah, just some dude in a basement ~O) Besides, I'd could use some of that music design right now. Wish one of my friends was musically inclined :(

You want to know what's crazy? This is one of my most anticipated games. And I'm being serious! I love the look of it, from the isometric view, to the art design, to the platform/rpg/exploration mechanics all taking place in an isometric perspective.Would you like some assistance in becoming a licensed Wii U dev or do you have that front covered?
Wow, never thought anything I'd be making would be one of someones most anticipated games! No pressure for me now is there :p I'm glad you dig the look and the perspective, it's certainly something I wanted to get working well and stick with. As for the licensed dev thing, that'd be great to have some help with that. Right now I've only looked into how to go about doing that. These are some links I've found in regards to becoming licensed. Nintendo/Unity & GDC/Indies.
I want to be sure that what I have (demo wise) is as good as can be though so I want to get that finished. The feedback I've been getting has been really helpful. I should have a new look at some of the changes Monday, if not earlier.
Also, thank you guys for subscribing to my YouTube channel! Your support has been great and I'm more driven than ever to make this a reality and have it release so you all can give it a try.
 

mattavelle1

IT’S GOT A DEATH RAY!
Moderator
#32
@Menashe ^

Also @running_in_jam out friend Pablo here is needing / wondering about game music in the post above^. Any tips or pointers since you work in the industry on the music side of things?
 

running_in_jam

Videogame Sound Designer and Composer
#33
Hey PabloXl5! :) I work as a sound designer for games at a studio in the UK. I do freelance work on the side (music & sound design) but I also know a whole bunch of other sound designers and composers who might have more time to help you out, or perhaps have a more suitable skillset/style. I manage projects as well to maintain direction & quality in regards to audio (and other things).
If you aren't looking for anything bespoke then I can point you towards some resources for music and sound effects, although I would say you're going to end up with a pretty bad sounding game if you don't design it or craft a good direction for it.
Anyhow if you want to have a chat then you can send me an email via my website
Good luck! :) (and thanks @mattavelle1 for the mention!)
 
#34
Made some changes based on some feedback.
Thanks @running_in_jam. While I'll be looking into getting original sound design for my game, It's certainly not a top priority right now. Mainly due to the fact I can't pay anyone anything (hopefully that'll change). I do have music that goes well with it for now and sound effects. I probably won't get into the sound design for a bit, though there's definitely a direction I have in mind for it. When I'm ready I'll let you all know. There's obviously talent and help around here so I'll be glad to get any assistance I can when the time does come.
 

nerdman

pig's gotta fly
#36
I think all the changes you made are excellent. Your solution for the player not having to retread the same area was pretty clever. You were able to do it without making any new assets.
As for the collapsing blocks, it wasn't so much that they were too threatening. The punishment for falling was minimal, so it wouldn't likely be a big deal. However, when you introduce a new mechanic, I think it's always best to do in a safe way so the player can understand what is going on without there being too much pressure on them. Now when the player comes across the blocks again, they will know what's up, and you are free to make platforming more challenging.
Seeing as platforming is a big part of your game, have you considered falling off pits reducing health? I think you had the right idea by not making a fall an instant death, but having the player only reset his position may be too easy. It's something I would playtest if I were you.
Good stuff Pablo. Keep us updated.
 
#37
@nerdman I'd like to have a few difficulty levels to chose from but the normal one would have you losing a quarter heart for falling into a chasm and whatnot. I decided to have it not do any damage for the demo because people tended to get frustrated when they'd lose their life because they kept falling off things. Since the health system is incomplete, there's really no way to restore your hearts after losing health and I just wanted players to make it through to the end. I thought enemies being able to hurt you was good enough.
So I'm going to be starting my Kickstarter here soon, have any of you actually done this or know any one who has? Any tips would be appreciated. The biggest thing is just how much I should ask for and what type of funds I need for out sourcing work like music or additional programming help. I need to figure out a ballpark figure here. For any programmers here that have knowledge with Unity scripting (Javascripting preferred since that's what I'm using), please let me know if you'd be interested in helping if and when I get going.
@Menashe What should I expect when trying to become a licensed dev?
 

nerdman

pig's gotta fly
#38
Losing 1 heart on Normal mode sounds good to me.
Before you start brainstorming for a kickstarter, you need to come up with a very objective list of what you need to complete the game. This includes building game assets, marketing, and possible fees involved in putting your game on whatever platform you're aiming for. Once you have the list, you will tally up the costs and then add 50% to it because game development is unpredictable.
 
#39
Indeed, I have much to consider. I'm wearing many hats on my head right now... this is kinda crazy for me. In the mean time though, I've made a little trailer.
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#41
I've coached a ton of devs through Kickstarters. For starters you can read my article on how not to fail: http://nintendoenthusiast.com/feature-articles/kickstarter-feature-part-1-why-kickstarters-fail-and-how-to-avoid-it/15245/
 
#42
Wow, great article Menashe! Thank you for linking that so I could read, it's very helpful. You hit upon some major points I'm concerned about and I feel I'm on the right track.
 
#43
I've coached a ton of devs through Kickstarters. For starters you can read my article on how not to fail: http://nintendoenthusiast.com/feature-articles/kickstarter-feature-part-1-why-kickstarters-fail-and-how-to-avoid-it/15245/
Converted it for ya ;)
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#44
If you can provide an actual demo to play as part of your Kickstarter, you'll already be miles ahead of most other Kickstarter campaigns.
 
#47
I'm a fan of the isometric view too. My little feedback is concerning the character's animation. Are there plans to change that up at all? The current one looks a bit slow and mundane and given that's what players will be looking at 99% of the time I'd say it would set the tone of the overall game.

Can you make his movement a tad bit faster (or add a run button?) and spice up the animation a bit? Just my 2 cents. Keep up the good work :)
 
#48
The Wizard is probably one of the oldest assets in the game. The system in there now for the animation doesn't work quite right and is old now so yes, I definitely plan to revamp the character and animations. He already has a new model and animations are planned but I had to move on to other areas of the game. As for a run button, probably not. People tend to expect to jump further when running and since I had no plans to have a run button, it would really change my level design for everything. I'll consider an overall speed change if more people find the movement a little to slow. Thanks for your input :)
Edit: I think I'll have you go a bit faster if you hold down the arrow key for a certain period of time. I've been tinkering with the speed and have found a pretty suitable setting that will give you an increase but won't affect the jump distance too much. At least not enough to mess up any level design I already have. This way you'll be able to go faster while traveling through those longer stretches but still be able to have better control while platforming or in less spacious sections. I'm happy with the change, now the player will have a little more variety of movement. Thanks for bringing it up @ModernSamuraiJay.
Edit #2: One thing I just don't know what to do about is the reward thing that KickStarter has for certain donation amounts. The only thing I can really give is a free copy of the game. It's not like I can just make some cool figurine or some other type of reward.
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#49
What about free music album, t-shirts, naming an NPC after them, concept artwork, having a phone call with you, having a thank you credits section in game with names of backers, etc. There's a lot of intangibles you can do that don't cost much money.
Also, I'd like to post news on the site about A Wizard's World, so I just want to confirm that you do have interest in finding a way to release on Wii U if possible. Can you confirm?
 
#50
@Menashe Thanks for the suggestions :) Funny enough I was thinking about a T-shirt as a reward while trying to sleep last night. It's certainly something I can do since I actually have friends and family who can help me with that. The credits thing is an interesting reward as well. Maybe I can combine the two with a 2-tier reward system. Donate x-amount and get a shirt, donate a set greater amount and get your name in the credits as well as a shirt. I don't know, either way a T-Shirt is a great idea and one I can accomplish. And yes, I have a lot of interest in getting my game to the eShop. As a Nintendo fan it's something I just need to do! Right now it's PC with Wii U release in mind but I wouldn't dismiss the notion of it being an exclusive to the eShop, since it might be easier for me to make a game for a closed system. We'll see how everything goes.
Also, I don't know what this "A Wizard's World" is you speak of :-? Actually if this all works out, I have a sequel in mind that would be called "A Wizard's World". Thanks for wanting to post news on your site about it, that's pretty cool. You'll definitely have the inside scoop on future updates of the game since I'll probably post about them on your message board here :p
 
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