Author Topic: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac  (Read 14008 times)

Jubal

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #270 on: July 09, 2017, 12:54:01 AM »
Ahh right, OK. Yes, I think reading "stun" made me expect a bigger effect than just that little momentary knockback, I'd usually associate the word with meaning "knocked unconscious or barely conscious" so was looking for a larger effect than that very momentary pause. I'm not quite sure what else to call it...
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bigosaur

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #271 on: July 09, 2017, 04:41:34 PM »
Ahh right, OK. Yes, I think reading "stun" made me expect a bigger effect than just that little momentary knockback, I'd usually associate the word with meaning "knocked unconscious or barely conscious" so was looking for a larger effect than that very momentary pause. I'm not quite sure what else to call it...

I'm trying to use the standard computer beat'em up game terminology:

  • stun - enemy gets "frozen" for a second or less
  • knockback - enemy gets moved backwards a little
  • knockdown - enemy gets knocked down and has to get up

I guess in tabletop games, stun usually means that enemy loses his poise and is temporarily unconscious. I would imagine a bunch of stars flying circles around his head ;)


Jubal

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #272 on: July 09, 2017, 05:07:52 PM »
Ahh, I didn't know that stun was "short freeze" in beat 'em up games, I was going by common English usage (which is also closer to what's used in tabletop gaming).
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bigosaur

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #273 on: August 10, 2017, 06:20:48 PM »
I'm working on the Catacombs. The boss fight with the Necromancer turned out to be too easy (gamble scroll, freezing, etc.) so I tried with two necromancers and it's great. However, this breaks the story. Tar of Akhal is "goblin" for "Staff of the Dead". It was supposed to be the necromancer staff, a rather unique item. Having two of those makes no sense, and having only one necromancer makes the fight trivial again.

So, I'm changing the story. The Necromancers will be reduced to a reason why Witch was invited into the castle and not play any other part in the story. The main enemy will be the Dragon Rider (one you can see when you complete the game). The Witch Mom will no longer be a playable character as I want the players to meet her in the catacombs to tell you more of the story and give you a reason to pursue the Dragon Rider for two more levels after the catacombs (Ice Mountain and The Desert). She will be locked away by the Dragon Rider who holds a special key to her cell / magic barrier / whatever she's locked in.

Also, having the Necromancers as part of the story means that they will probably always be present. So there will be a mini-boss fight before them that changes every time you play (planned bosses are: Skeleton King, Vampire Lord, Mega Zombie) and Necromancer Twins as the final fight.

So, removing the Witch makes me want to add another female playable character. I'm thinking something like a Female Knight. She would have similar starting skills to The Knight (100/70/30 + 5 hit shield). I'm looking for some cool ideas regarding her class name (Female Knight feels too generic) and maybe some special skill she should have?

She will have a special sword (different graphics that Knight's sword) which could have something special to it. If you have any ideas...shoot?


Jubal

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #274 on: August 10, 2017, 08:37:33 PM »
If you go with a knight, you could have one who starts with a lower base stat (say 80 health and only 90% combat) but gets a mount of some sort from the beginning. That would add a significant uniqueness (and you could then use "Chevalier" or "Cataphract" or some such term for a specifically cavalry trooper).

Alternatively, go for a "Paladin" who gets 10hp auto-heal after every battle as a free ability (should be balanced I think, though quite nice if combo'd with the Giraffe). Or you could have a tank-style character "Champion" or "Defender" with a sword where each kill gives +1 to the shield ability. Or switch to a more damage-focussed character ("Varangian" or "Barbarian") who drops 10% off each of archery and magic and goes down to 80 health in favour of starting at 110% combat and using an axe.

I could probably stick with this all day but those are a few thoughts!



Other feedback from recent playthroughs:
  • I still think that avarice should have a 10 or 12 time limit on it like tracker delusion does. The whole game just grinds into inventory management once it's been triggered, which is a pain.
  • I also think that generosity feels a strange name for a potion that's 100% negative, as being generous usually has good connotations. I think I'd call it "extravagance" instead.
  • The warbreaker hammer getting the +mana ability with each kill makes it awesome, possibly too awesome when combo'd with the retort or the magical chest. It also feels an odd match of ability to name - having a "Wizard's Mace" or something with the mana ability feels like it'd make more sense.
  • It currently feels a bit too hard to keep the boar alive into fourth level unless you're the chanter. This may of course be intentional, but thought you should know.
  • Would it be possible to make the level jumps from 2-3, 3-4, and 4-5 trapdoors, so you walk on it then trigger the trapdoor with W? Tiptoeing around the 2nd level exit trying to gather items blown out of the rocks whilst also trying not to fall in just feels a bit of a pain and I'm not sure it adds much to the game to have occasional times when you fall into the next level early by pure accident.
  • Will the ice dragon start appearing at any point? I've seen it occasionally via gamble scrolls, but it never turns up in game, and it'd add a bit of variety, having to do the hornet queen too many times just gets a bit of a drag.
  • Purely so you know, I've now switched back to my tactic of always doing the level 1 boss fight as soon as I find it - I can now beat the golem with basic weapons pretty reliably.

Also I've started doing some skins themed around some of my actual academic work, I've got a second one coming soon: http://exilian.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=5214.0

Hope all's well! I'm now based in Vienna, so I'll have to take a trip down into the Balkans sometime :)
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

bigosaur

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #275 on: August 11, 2017, 12:11:40 AM »
If you go with a knight, you could have one who starts with a lower base stat (say 80 health and only 90% combat) but gets a mount of some sort from the beginning. That would add a significant uniqueness (and you could then use "Chevalier" or "Cataphract" or some such term for a specifically cavalry trooper).

Ah, that would be so cool. And I guess suitable for a female knight. I love the idea.

BTW, I have plans for more mounts, but bigger ones (horse, elephant, dragon). Those should be available in the last, 7th level, which will be designed with more open space to allow those big animals to move everywhere. Maybe 6th level as well, I haven't decided yet.

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Alternatively, go for a "Paladin" who gets 10hp auto-heal after every battle as a free ability (should be balanced I think, though quite nice if combo'd with the Giraffe). Or you could have a tank-style character "Champion" or "Defender" with a sword where each kill gives +1 to the shield ability. Or switch to a more damage-focussed character ("Varangian" or "Barbarian") who drops 10% off each of archery and magic and goes down to 80 health in favour of starting at 110% combat and using an axe.

Barbarian is already in the character list. He will have faster rage buildup and possibly increased combat and decreased magic skill as you suggest. I also plan to have a couple of special combat animations unique to him, which will make his axe more deadly. He will be unlocked with a set of challenges (stuff like "Beat the game with all bosses coming in duos") you have to complete. However, for that we need to have all levels ready, so he isn't in yet.

I have some plans for Paladins in the future versions of the game, but I don't want to introduce it now.

"Champion" also looks like a good alternative as well. It means I wouldn't have to create a new mount at this point.

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I still think that avarice should have a 10 or 12 time limit on it like tracker delusion does. The whole game just grinds into inventory management once it's been triggered, which is a pain.

Maybe the game should simply lock inventory and you cannot take anything? But that would prevent drinking a potion to remove it.

You can lure the thieves in the dungeon to steal stuff from you. But I guess it still means playing until dungeon.

Maybe I could enhance it with some positive effect. For example, you could have double coins for every coin pickup (and triple/quadruple/etc. if you drink more potions).

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I also think that generosity feels a strange name for a potion that's 100% negative, as being generous usually has good connotations. I think I'd call it "extravagance" instead.

Fixed. Will be in the next version.

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The warbreaker hammer getting the +mana ability with each kill makes it awesome, possibly too awesome when combo'd with the retort or the magical chest. It also feels an odd match of ability to name - having a "Wizard's Mace" or something with the mana ability feels like it'd make more sense.

Initially it was the only weapon that can break shields and stun bosses with a regular attack. "Wizard's Mace" feels too simple. Maybe something like "Enchanted Warbreaker" would be better?

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It currently feels a bit too hard to keep the boar alive into fourth level unless you're the chanter. This may of course be intentional, but thought you should know.

You can use the Life Staff to revive it at a cost of your own health.

Also, a new type of mount, Undead Boar, will sometimes be available in the Catacombs.

And big mounts are planned for the final, seventh level.

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Would it be possible to make the level jumps from 2-3, 3-4, and 4-5 trapdoors, so you walk on it then trigger the trapdoor with W? Tiptoeing around the 2nd level exit trying to gather items blown out of the rocks whilst also trying not to fall in just feels a bit of a pain and I'm not sure it adds much to the game to have occasional times when you fall into the next level early by pure accident.

I'll check. That part of my code is rather complicated because it ties into level transition, so I cannot promise that I will be willing to touch it.

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Will the ice dragon start appearing at any point?

No. There will be an Ice Mountain level, but with different bosses.

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I've seen it occasionally via gamble scrolls, but it never turns up in game, and it'd add a bit of variety, having to do the hornet queen too many times just gets a bit of a drag.

Every level will have 3 bosses, I just haven't got to it yet. The current plan is that 3rd boss on the battlements is "The Four Ninjas". So, actually 4 of them at once. Also, a Cyclops or Minotaur is planned for the first level, and Thief Mastermind and a Giant Slime are planned for the Dungeon (once you beat the Butcher).

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Purely so you know, I've now switched back to my tactic of always doing the level 1 boss fight as soon as I find it - I can now beat the golem with basic weapons pretty reliably.

Yup. Although, I mostly play with Pyromancer and Golem's vunerable to fire, so it's easy.

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Also I've started doing some skins themed around some of my actual academic work, I've got a second one coming soon: http://exilian.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=5214.0

Oh, I completely missed that. There was the whole "site transition" thing and I went to Greece for a couple of weeks, so I didn't come to the website for some time.

It looks awesome!

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Hope all's well! I'm now based in Vienna, so I'll have to take a trip down into the Balkans sometime :)

Actually, it's only a 4.5 hour drive from my city (Subotica) to Vienna, because it's at the very north of my country. I guess I might come visit you some time. My wife and I always wanted to go to Vienna for a weekend but never got a real reason for it. ;)


bigosaur

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #276 on: August 11, 2017, 12:14:13 AM »
BTW, I just got the Necromancer staff logic working. Once you get the necromancer's staff, you can raise your own undead army (costs mana, of course):



This is different than the Royal Scepter because the undead stay on screen when they die, so you can raise them again, but you cannot summon new ones. I plan to allow raising of undead archers and mages as well. We shall see how that pans out.

Jubal

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #277 on: August 11, 2017, 10:35:59 PM »
Necromancer stuff looks good! :)

Further thoughts on your points from the long post, in order:
  • Knight types: If you want another small/forest mount, a goat might work. Good to hear that the barbarian is planned out: and yeah, the champion is the best way I can think of to create more a "tank" character than exists currently, Son of a Witch is actually really quite a hard game to play a tank in as the damage values are quite high.
  • Definitely don't make avarice lock down your inventory entirely, that'd be crippling as it'd make it almost impossible to heal. Having some sort of minor boost to gold gathering (probably not a multiplier, but maybe just make each coin drop +1 in size, so initially 6 instead of 5 then 7, 8, etc) would help make it less frustrating I think and would be nice with the theme.
  • I'd make it "Enchanter's Warbreaker" maybe? Something that indicates "this might be used by the sort of person who wants to gain mana fast" anyway.
  • I do know the life staff trick, it's relatively rare that I have that chance though. I tend to take healing staff in place of life staff if I can as lvl 3 & 4 both have so much poison in.
  • Good to hear about the other planned bosses, I look forward to being killed by them! (At least until I work out a strategy...)
  • Interesting that you usually play pyromancer - I relatively rarely use it, as it's so hard to "safely" test potions early on (too high a chance of ending up with super-low max health). I try and vary character type so I can test all the fighting styles properly. :)

And yes, for the next few weeks I'll still be learning my way around and doing lots of paperwork, but definitely come and visit Vienna sometime, I'm here for the next few years and in a month or so I'll hopefully know a lot more good places to visit and things!
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bigosaur

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #278 on: August 13, 2017, 12:39:11 AM »
Son of a Witch is actually really quite a hard game to play a tank in as
the damage values are quite high.

You're right. I'll try increasing the starting shield bonus for the Knight, maybe to 10 or 20 hits - until the difficulty seems similar to archer/mages.

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Interesting that you usually play pyromancer - I relatively rarely use it, as it's so hard to "safely" test potions early on (too high a chance of ending up with super-low max health). I try and vary character type so I can test all the fighting styles properly. :)

It fits my play-style. Fire does great damage to everyone except the Red Dragon and it's easy to upgrade with kindlings. I usually carry another staff to shoot when I don't have mana to activate the fireballs. And I rarely get hit on early levels (once I kept drinking potions to increase speed and magic and mostly played the first two levels with 1 HP). Unless I'm really unlucky to get both bad potions early AND no red runestones/Iron Flesh potion in the first 2 levels.

Jubal

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #279 on: August 13, 2017, 04:08:09 PM »
I actually find the knight OK at the moment as a start character - I was just commenting on the fact that 99% of the time you're better off dodging than absorbing hits in this game, which isn't a problem it's just a feature of the system. :)

And yeah, I think archer probably tends to be my favoured character type but only slightly. Chanter is very good indeed as well.
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bigosaur

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #280 on: August 17, 2017, 01:22:42 AM »
I need some help!

I'm trying to wrap up the story, so I can develop the game further. There are some important decisions to make which will steer the game development towards the end and I need to decide which story the game should have, so I can make weapons, NPCs, cut-scenes between levels, etc.

Anyway, I have thought about this a lot, and I have narrowed it down to two choices. I'd love to read your opinion on both of those:

STORY VARIANT 1:

  • Necromancer is the main nemesis
  • When you defeat him in the catacombs, you learn that Tar of Ahkal is actually Staff of the Dead, which he uses to raise the undead
  • Mom Witch is either found in the next room after the boss, or locked in a cage somewhere in the level (in that case you find a key after the boss fight and go rescue her)
  • This is the original story I planned at first. But, since I want to have two more levels with Ice and Desert theme, the game will have 3 difficulty modes. Beside the current Casual and Normal mode that end here, it will have a Hard mode where the story will extend for 2 more levels. The plot idea for those is that the key to mom's cage was taken by some of the Necromancer servants into portals leading to levels 6 and 7.
  • BTW, I want the player to be able to play levels 5-7 using the Staff of the Dead to raise undead servants to help him, so it shouldn't be returned to goblins right away
  • The way I see it, the only weak point in this variant is existence of portals.


STORY VARIANT 2:

  • Tar of Akhal isn't a staff, but a powerful artifact that opens portals to other worlds
  • The main nemesis is The Dragon Rider (7th level boss). He steals the artifact from the goblins and opens up a portal. Necromancer comes through and start raising an undead army for him.
  • The Dragon Rider goes through portal to examine the world behind it.
  • After beating the Necromancer, the player(s) find the portal and follow the Dragon Rider until end of the 7th level and the final battle
  • Mom could be found on 7th level after the boss battle or alternatively locked away somewhere in the level with Dragon Rider dropping the required key to rescue her.
  • You also have the motivation to keep going and return the goblin artifact so they stop invading the forest.
  • I could still break up the story for Normal / Hard mode if desired, so no drawback there.
  • This story explains portals fine, but the problem is the relation between the Necromancer and the Dragon Rider. Why would they cooperate? Also, how come the Necromancer comes from a portal leading to an Ice world with no undead.

BTW, if you have any completely different ideas or radical modifications to those above, please tell me. Especially if it includes going from catacombs into ice level without a portal. I really need some brainstorming here  :gandalfgrey:
« Last Edit: August 17, 2017, 01:29:39 AM by bigosaur »

Jubal

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Re: Son of a Witch: Castle Crashers meets Isaac
« Reply #281 on: August 17, 2017, 09:52:46 PM »
Variant 2 I think I like a bit better - if the Tar was simply a necro-staff, why were the goblins keeping it in the first place? I mean sure, undead are tough, but the goblins are already happy to rain meteors down from the heavens on people, so in this world a necromantic staff doesn't seem like it's massively out of the ordinary. I feel like the Tar should be a "raise the stakes" item that the goblins (or anyone else in their right mind) should be extremely scared to use.

Here's a story variant 3, quite close to V2 but might explain the necro/dragon rider connection better:
  • The Tar of Akhall is an epically powerful artefact that, if used with the right rituals, can make the user ascend to become semi-immortal/a god/steal the powers of a god/something like that (I particularly like "steal all the powers from a god", as that one's less cliched I think).
  • The Dragon rider stole the artefact along with the necromancer (both are more or less native to the kingdom in this version, and both intending to ultimately be the sole user and betray the other): one of the three possible sites for the ritual is under the castle, so they sneak down there first and the undead attackers are just there as cover while they prepare the ritual circle etc.
  • Once you defeat the Necromancer, you get a short sequence where the Dragon Rider escapes with the Tar using a super powerful teleport scroll/system, to find another site for the ritual - which turns out to be in the ice kingdom in the far north. Having rescued your mom & returned her staff to her, she can then use her magic for the long-range teleportation, acting instead of a portal or anything as your plot driver (she can also explain the real use of the Tar & why you need to follow the dragon rider).
  • You then get to basically chase the DR for the remaining two levels to stop him completing the ritual: he escapes in the ice level by throwing the ice-level boss in your way, but you finally catch and defeat him in the sand level.
  • At the end, you can return the Tar to the goblin shamans who will take it back to a secret goblin location for safekeeping, and you get to go home to your village.

Might that solve some of the issues?
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...