[DRAFT] Java Compo Entry - TAZS

game
strategy
puzzle

#1

So I couldn’t getting fun from my previous entry ([DRAFT][CANCELLED] Ze Launch (Java Comp)) so I’m cancelling it.

Instead I’m starting some sort of battle / war game, quite inspired from Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, a game I’ve fallen in love for its clanky physics and derpy characters. That makes it some kind of weird mix between a strategy, an action and a puzzle game.

Actually the name will be “Totally Accurate Zombie Simulator”, as a homage.

The Story

You’re a powerful Lych or Sorcerer. Somehow you ran out of coffee, and those greedy humans don’t want to give some to you, instead gifting you with useless decaffeinated instant coffee and keeping the actual coffee in their hands.

Fortunately your magic powers are still there! But they’re weak, since you need coffee to power them.

Now is the time to visit those pesky humans and ask for donations with some more convincing arguments!

Gameplay

The core gameplay is done in 2 phases:

  • Preparation - you’re lining up units, using the limited resources you got, against an already lined-up army.
  • Battle - you watch the chaos of your units derpily going against the enemy’s ones.
    • There will be a way to control a single unit of your army, and that probably will be the most intelligent one.

It’ll feature several units, including:

  • Brawler - Mostly punchers, the cheapest units.
  • Swords - They hit with swords, strongest melee units.
  • Archers - They will rain arrows on their enemies.
  • Shields - They will absorb a lot of damage, especially from the front.

Unfortunately, you’re not able to summon puppies and kittens so the bulk of your army will be made of Zombies and Skeletons, with a few other joyous things.

Depending on the time I got left, it’ll feature:

  • Challenge mode
    • You’ll have to line up units against an army with a limited choice and resources.
    • You can retry a challenge as much as you want.
  • Sandbox mode
    • You can line-up an army on both side to tests how things turns out.
  • Two other modes

Advancement (2019-10-01)

I’ve only started since a few days, so for now it looks like a Happy Reunion Simulator, but it won’t be that way for too long :stuck_out_tongue:

2019-09-30%20-%20Hugging%20Party%20-%20x2

It’s an ambitious game for sure. If my vision comes correct, it should be fun to at least watch.

This thread will mostly provide the (hopefully) regular advancement for the core gameplay.

Timeline & Demos


#2

I am SO excited to see where this goes!


#3

That looks neat, I like the dozens of little dudes all over the place


#4

On the one hand I’m not entirely sure what the game is supposed to look like because I’ve never seen much of TABS beyond it ending up in my Steam queue, but I get the feeling this might be a bit too ambitious for a month’s work depending on how much physics you want.


#5

It is ambitious for sure haha I don’t deny it - and I did remove a lot of things I wanted to initially do.

That’s why I want to focus on the core stuff and get it done as soon as possible for now and accrete the rest of the game around it.

Obviously, the physics aren’t going to be as advanced as the actual game’s, but they should be fun enough to watch :stuck_out_tongue: it is a chaos-based with a hint of strategy game, after all!


#6

Advancement (2019-10-01 +1)

Now able to add and remove Units.
Note that the Units are currently moving; that won’t happen when I’ll properly separate the Preparation from the Battle Phases. Or at least not in the normal gameplay.

2019-10-01%20-%20Adding%20and%20Removing%20Brawlers%20-%20x2

The following things are the missing Core Features and will be done soon enough:

  • Splitting the Preparation Phase and the Battle Phase
  • Units seeking the closest Enemy Units for some … hu, “intimate moments”
  • Brawlers using their Fist to harm a close enough Enemy
  • Brawlers dying after being “hugged” a bit too much
  • Resetting the scene to its Preparation Phase with the Unit’s original Positions and Roles.

I will release a preliminary demo when those Core Features are up!

Stay tuned!


#7

You might not want to make them seek out the closest unit otherwise you could end up with half the team converging on a single unit, and eventually all units will smush together into one big blob because they’ll all be targeting roughly the same area.

Instead you should probably simulate the units’ sight lines and make each unit attack the first enemy they see.
Ideally the sight lines should be conical or trapezial for better realism,
but failing that there’s probably a couple of cheap alternatives you can do.


#8

The big blob is part of the silliness and chaos tho :stuck_out_tongue: in TABS, they do try to reach the closest unit available and that usually ends up in a big blob of units focusing on the same units.

This also got some tactical “advantages” because you can use special units to capture their attention, but most importantly it’s the simplest way of doing stuff - I do have a lot of things to do, and I’m not going for the smartest guys anyway. The more silly, primitive they look the best it is! Most likely, my Units will refresh their target if it gets too far for too long too.

Also realism would make the line of sight more significant, but also consider immediate surrounding because of the noise some of enemy would emit too. On another project, I do use 2 cones, one of 60° with a weight of 1 and one of 180° with a weight of 3; those weights are then multiplied by the actual distances before the smallest one is searched. Those values are quite arbitrary of course, but after testing them they felt nice enough


#9

Advancement (2019-10-02)

Today I implemented more UI-related things:

  • The Preparation Phase is now separated from the Battle Phase.
  • A Menu was added in order to extend the features provided by the C button.
    • Accessing it will draw an overlay on the whole screen.
    • Options are chosen by keeping the corresponding Arrow Button pressed for a set amount of time.
    • In the Preparation Phase, it serves to exit and to launch the Battle Phase - provided the Allied Side got at least one Unit.
    • Later, it’ll be also used to Exit and Retry a Battle.

2019-10-02%20-%20Game%20Menu%20and%20Launching%20Battle%20-%20x2

Tomorrow will be about the following:

  • Units Seeking Enemy Units
  • (Maybe) Units Punching Enemy Units
  • (Maybe) Units Dying

#10

Advancement (2019-10-03)

At last something a bit like more war!

Today:

  • Brawlers seeking out the closest enemy units.
  • Brawlers punching their enemies.
  • Brawlers discovering that their enemies can also punch back.
  • Brawlers collapsing under the fist of their way too numerous enemies.

Also, this make very nice movements:

2019-10-03%20-%20Two%20Columns%20-%202x

Which ends up with bodies and chaotic ending formations nonetheless.

I’m only missing the Result screen + retry command to have the core demo ready! That should be ready tomorrow.

Advancement (2019-10-04)

Today I’ve implemented the basic loops:

  • Results screen that tells you if you won or loss.
  • This screen can also show you basic stats if you maintain B.
  • Every time the game is launch, a new configuration of opponents is found, in both number and position.
  • There is also an option to relaunch the game, which simply “reset” it, leading to what will be the Title screen.

2019-10-04%20-%20Result%20Screen%20-%20x2

Also, there is now an early demo of the game at the first post of this thread!
It’s missing a lot of stuff, but the core is here.

Advancement 2019-10-07

Today I’ve implemented a Menu for the Title Screen, and the Sandbox Mode.

  • The Title Screen allows the Player to choose from the Quick Battle (Same Randomized Enemies as before) and Sandbox mode.
    • It beeps and features a nice zombie hand.
    • Related GIF below.
  • The Sandbox Mode allows the Player to deploy whatever Units they want on both sides.
    • It’s great for testing things and as such it’ll also help me creating the Battle Plans for the future Challenge and Campaign modes.
    • Unfortunately the position aren’t retained yet after a battle, so it’s not that useful right now.
  • A new No Man’s Land forbids the Player to place Units too close from the Enemy’s side.

2019-10-07%20-%20Title%20Menu%20Cursor%20-%20x2

Next feature:

  • Slapper Unit - Slaps tangentially units instead of pushing them back.

Advancement 2019-10-08

Today, I’ve added the Slapper and some UI.

  • The Slapper is a new Unit that will push back to the left their target - this can provide them some tactical superiority depending on the context.
    • Also they’ve got a nice hat.
  • I also added counting, both in number of units and cost, for each side. This is quite helpful to balance the game later.

2019-10-08%20-%20Slappers%20-%20x2
Slappers in action

SlapperBodyASprite
A Slapper dying.

Next Features:

  • Adding a unit of our choice (which is, right now, between a Brawler and a Slapper).
  • Rendering a limit between the two Areas in the Preparation.
  • Challenge Mode (the mechanic, not all the challenges themselves)

Advancement 2019-10-09

Today, it was dedicated mostly to the Battle Preparation Phase:

  • The Pad Menu was revised in order to work as a Hold-C+Press-Direction.
  • The Pad Menu can now change the Current Unit.
  • The Unit that is going to be added is now shown on the Bottom Right, with its cost.
  • The Brawler’s Cost was set to 20$
  • The Slapper’s Cost was set to 25$
  • The Result Screen was updated with the actual cost of both armies.

2019-10-09%20-%20Choosing%20Unit%20And%20Costs%20-%20x2
Me demonstrating my poor tactical choices.

Next Features:

  • Challenge Mode (Main Menu Entry, Challenge List, Cost Restrictions, and 2-3 simple Challenges, No Save of any sort).
  • Rendering a limit between the two Areas in the Preparation.

Advancement 2019-10-10

Today was about implementing the mechanics of the Challenges:

  • The List of Challenges is available from the Title Screen, as a new Menu Entry.
  • It provides all the available Challenges.
  • A Challenge is about fighting a fixed Army with limited resources.
  • It doesn’t feature Unit Type Restrictions yet as I only have two for the moment.
  • The 4 challenges aren’t very elaborated yet.
  • I refactored the Preparation and Battle code in order to provide more ways to customize it.
  • Also, each challenge provide a few flavor texts.
  • No record is made about solving them or not at this time.

2019-10-10%20-%20Challenge%20Mode%20-%20x2
Navigating through the new List and solving a rather simple challenge.

Next Features:

  • Retrying a Challenge/Battle with the last positions. (Going to make thing muuuch smoother)
  • Visible Areas of Placement. (Convenient and cheap to implement)