Blog

New website

I've made a new website!
http://andreilgame.weebly.com/
It's easier to handle and the page look better.
So I won't post news here anymore.

On the new one, I will try to post every month every month  on "blog" and  "we love"
"We love" is the same as here, but I have much more game or manga to recommend ^^.

I'll try to pass everything that's here on the other website, but it will take a long time (french indy list has nearly 100 elements...)
Thanks for following me on the new website!

UnitMaker is Itch.io!

Even if the kickstarter failed we finished UnitMaker.
New HUD, some graphic improvement...
We only cut the strechgoals.
So you can see the final product here : http://andreilgame.itch.io/unitmaker
Enjoy!

UnitMaker on Kickstarter

The project is going well and we just lanch the kickstarter to improve it further
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/911781409/unitmaker
The demo (without export and with few elements) is here : http://kalcibiade.fr/unitMaker/
 

image

Some changes since last time :

 

- Some elements has been splitted (ear, nose, eyes are distinct elements)
- we have new elements (women body, skirt, lance and buckler...)
- some graphism has been enhanced (more relief to the head).
- the HUD is under a massive improvement  Grin


And here is a version of me made with UnitMaker  ^^
image

UnitMaker

I've searched for years a way to easily make unit for my game.
But never found something easy to use and cheap.
(well, there's charaProject, but it's really rough)
So I've make my own Smiley


A friend joined me, and now we're starting to make a improved version (with something usefull like a real HUD, a save option and things like that... )
For now it's still early in the developpement.


But we plan to expand it more later (import vectorial picture, positionning the elements...)
Feel free to comment or talk about features you'll like to see!

AI in "Little kingdom"

AI are really hard to make, they must:
- Don't be too heavy ("Pioneerz" AI can make the XBOX360 lag sometimes...)
- Don't be silly (a good game with a stupid AI is a waste)
- Don't be too smart (if the AI know the perfect solution, you will always die)
- Don't cheat too much (it's supposed to follow the same rules as you)
AI became complex really quickly, it's really a pain to debug.
And in strategy game, AI is incredibly big.

So what have been done in Little Kingdom?
I haven't aimed for a perfect AI; I've aimed for a realistic one.
It doesn't analyze all the possibilities and don't choose the best solution.
It's a fairly simple AI based on randomness and script. (Pioneerz 2 AI is more complex)

The buildings AI: A random position is selected, and then I launch the "selection script".
It there is something interesting to build here, do it. (In most of the case, nothing is build)
As the AI is launched a lot of time, the building pace is ok.
(it's not too heavy because the script AI don't consume a lot)
In addition, we can't guess what the AI will do.

The trade AI: It takes a look at the resources.
If you have too many of a resources, a trade begun, if not the trade is stopped.

And so the Normal AI has a nearly human behavior.
The easy AI doesn’t trade, don't delete buildings or resource. (=> they miss gathering possibilities and improve at a slower pace)
The hard AI cheats a little when gathering resource. (Nearly impossible to see it but it help the AI to grow quickly)

 

Pioneerz2 Alpha1

The first alpha of Pioneerz 2 is now online!
History : After a coup d'etat, you've fled into the wild and build a small camp.
Now you must protect it and survive.
Hunt, improve your camp, ally with the other lords and do what is needed to retake your throne!

Description : Pioneerz 2 is a sandbox RPG / town management game in a huge living world.
The world is really living, plants grow, monsters do baby and enemy town are growing. You'll never know how the world will evolve.
Play it as an action RPG, fight beast, explore the world, tame beast and fight enemy town.
And when you're in town become the town manager, construct building, recruit villagers, give orders and terraform the world.

So, what's in this alpha?
- Random world generator
- 6 kind of environment with specific monsters.
- Life simulation (plants, monsters, enemy kingdoms...)
- 8 distinct tool (for fighting, building or interacting)
- Battle system (3 kinds of attack, monster behavior, dropping system)
- Basic town system (recruitment, constructions, town evolution)
- Some tutorial

What will come?
- More buildings (5 more)
- More unit (2 fighting unit)
- More action (taming, unit training, crafting...)
- Diplomacy with the other kingdom
- ...

The demo contains all the game, except you can't load ^^.
If you love the demo, save the game , you will be able to load it when you bough the game.

It's a huge project, so every feedback or suggestions are welcome.
(Monster's training has been add thanks to tester's a feedback)
You can leave a comment or mail us at AndreilGame@gmail.com

How we create our game

Here are the distinct phases I nearly always follow when I create a game.

 

Phase 0: Destruction (1% of the time)
I start form one of my old game and I delete everything that won't be useful.
And I correct the thousands of bugs ^^.
It's like launching a tornado in sim city!

Aim:
- The game launch, no crash at all.
- We can navigate in the menu (even if they aren't final)
- When the game is launched, we see a least a map.

In this part, I must rethink of all the existing code and improve it.
It allows me to have a strong base code.

 

Phase 1: Basics (9% of the time)
I add the basic gameplay elements of the game.
(Like the inventory in an RPG or troop selection in an RTS)

Aim:
- Building a strong core for the game, with all the needed elements.
- Having a basic AI able to handle the basic actions.
- Heavily test everything to avoid later problem.
In order to test everything, I add random AI, lots of them.
Even in stupid situation that may not occur in the final game.

It's a part I like because we can imagine our game and we can see his birth.
It's also the part where most of my games are stopped, here’s why:
- We clearly see what the game can be, so if we don't see how to make it fun, it's better to stop.
- We see that the game we want to make is too big for us.
- We see that a game is not as original as we think.

 

Phase 2: Beta (80% of the time)
Most of the game design elements are added and working.

The aim is:
- Having a HUD allowing to do all the implemented elements.
- Having a first version of tutorial / story.
- To be able to play a full game.
- To show the game.
Placeholder graphics and audio remain if they don't block the game.
In this part, we see our dreamed game be true.
It's really an exciting part, even if our design evolve from our dreamed game.

 

Phase 3: Polish (90% of the time)
Everything is improved.

Aim:
- A perfect game that can be sale
- Final graphic and audio
- easy to handle HUD
- Final tutorial and history
- The game is equilibrate
In this part, I ask lots of people to test the game.
Use feedback to improve the game and then ask to someone else.
(Asking several times the same people give less result)

It's the only part I don't like.
The game is nearly finished, and I can see that my game is great.
But I'm the only one... And this phase take lots of times.


Now that the game is 180% done I can start to sell it ^^.
(Polish phase is as long as the first 90% of the game)

Age OF Fantasy 0.5

The new version of my RTS engine, named "Age of Fantasy"
here's the engine:
http://www.box.com/s/7jprvbd31omalkgk41z7
here's the source Code:
http://www.box.com/s/l2tnizeqdlbp7g3ngyll

If you are interest, you can use it freely, and even sell game with.
Conditions:
- add in the credit "original engine from Laurent Goethals (Andreil Game)"
- add me in the graphic part if you use some graphics.
- tell me what you've done!

What the engine have:
- map generator + Mini map (several size and map options)
- fog of war
- Peasant AI (fight + gathering)
- Evolution of the peasant (bowmen / warrior / barbarian)
- Building and evolution of a building.
It's all for now. (No campaign for now)

I'm not sure when I will make a new version, not before months ^^.
As it's a big project, it’s better for me to make a lot of pause.
Like that each time I rework, I improve the engine a little.

Playing with a 'non-player'

To play with a non-player, we must carefully choose the game and the way to play.
There is two ways to play:
- Competitive: We must crush the opponent
- Cooperation: We must help the other to win
A lot of game have the two aspect (Team Fortress 2, Battlefield 1942, Age of Empire).

These two ways unlock distinct way of playing:
- Competitive, you must be the best => new players are slaughtered => not fun for a non-player (and maybe hate for this game)
- Cooperation, the alliance must survive => Good player help the new one, and even train them => non-player level increase.
In short, if you want to play with a non-player, choose a cooperation game.

How to make a cooperation and competitive game more interesting for a non-player?
Example with ‘Battlefield 1942’
- Be in the same alliance
- Increase the bot number => less pressure on the non-player
- Play with him and protect him, even if you lose the game.
It’s also a new way to play for the experienced player, it can be really fun

I try to make my games playable for everybody (you, your mother, your girlfriend…) so they all have:
- A cooperation mode (or alliance setting)
- all public graphics (not bloody, not abstract)
- Easy to take in hand.
I’m really proud when I see players and non-player playing together one of my games.
(Done with ‘Pioneerz’ and ‘Dark Seal’)

Music!

Sound design is an important aspect of a game, but it’s often done in the rush.
When it’s correctly done, it’s possible to make a good and original audio with little work for the programmer.
Example with one my student project:

 

 

‘Aube et crépuscule’ is a strategy game where light and shadow fight. The game is composed of 8 music, there are can be played together. In the game, 4 music are always played.
Without details, the music and their volume are chose based on our type and on the plants surrounding us.

It take me 2 days (out of 6 months) to make it work and to make the sound designer happy.
The result is a procedural music that is never repetitive with a great immersion.
(The sound designer was really good, so the result is great)

If one day I must choose between a great graphic and a great sound designer, I’ll choose the last. As great sound design is rare, the game will more easily be noticed.
Here my youtube channel with some of my favorite video game music.

And you, what’s your favorite game music?

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