Exilian

Exilian Projects => Computer Game Development - The Indie Alley => Pangolin Games => Topic started by: Jubal on January 10, 2019, 10:58:23 PM

Title: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on January 10, 2019, 10:58:23 PM
OK, I'm going to tentatively start punting copies of this to a small group of testers. Please report bugs here, and also shout here if you want in on the betas but don't have a copy yet.


Open Bug Reports
> Apparently cities can vanish in some circumstances. Not been able to replicate this yet.
> Factions can declare war on each other multiple times for some reason.

Open Feature Requests/Plans
> Maybe make "you caught them unawares" more explicit when you fight unarmed fugitive
> Clarify search boost somehow
> Make last message clearer in log?

Closed Reports/Requests
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Versions and Changelog
Current version: 006

Changelogs
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Tusky on January 12, 2019, 05:47:52 PM
I'd be happy to test.

I don't have heaps of spare time but I'm sure I can make a bit.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Tusky on January 13, 2019, 09:52:18 PM
Few initial things, this is me trawling around the tutorial map

Observations

- You really can spam listen for rumors and search city
- I wanted to check my army menu within the city but didn't see a way so had to leave a few times, (accidentally ran a load of turns without realising in the process)
- I fought many times after searching the city - do you only get coin? I was expecting a district to like me more or some such. If they did there was no notification about it
- Hired swords appear to be op here, and destroying anything I encounter (ended up with an xp of 395). I'm no longer bothering with any citizens because I don't need to

Questions

- Is there a way to combine troops of the same type? I had a few citizens one with 2 one with 4 or so. Didn't matter too much since they seem to be cannon fodder but I did wonder

Bug

In the tutorial when I clicked on the bandits the information given was "clicked"

(https://i.imgur.com/UYfqNdk.png)

Nice...

(https://i.imgur.com/vCGIOzN.png)
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on January 13, 2019, 10:58:37 PM
Thankyou!

You shouldn't be able to totally spam search city - after about five searches it should require you to either leave & re-enter or stay in a tavern before you can use it again (it may later drop to 1 attempt before having to do that, but I don't want to go there until I've got more possible results for the searches). The search city feature still doesn't have that many possibilities - eventually I'm hoping to put more sidequests there etc. What you get on that very much depends on what's in the city to start with, it sounds like Harionasis just has one of the combat missions (tunnels or ruins); in other cities, Search City can give you a couple of sidequests, weapon upgrades, or some hiring options. I might accelerate improvements to City Search up the to do list. OTOH I'm OK with rumours being spammable, I think most players will get bored with them fast anyway and info-gathering (especially if you're running up to an election and want detail on all the districts of a five district city) can already be a drag so I didn't want to make it harder on people.

I'm really not sure where I'd put a button that allows you to check army menu whilst in the city - would a hotkey to do it be sufficient? You can check your army easily enough in cities you own (by going Castle -> Garrison -> Your Army) but I just don't know where to put the extra button to allow it in other cities.

Noted on hired swords being OP. They should be pretty decent line infantry that can take on e.g. kinklades, wibulnibs, and be about even to most garrison troops like pikemen, shield guards, etc - maybe they're just too easy to get as an upgrade at the moment and I need the boost to cost more XP. You can't get them straight off as a first tier unit except in the tutorial, they're usually an upgrade for Hired Ruffians.

There isn't a troop combine option, as I don't know how I'd do that without allowing the player to make huge OP super-units (and what I'd do with combining XP tallies, any other bonuses, etc).

Thanks for the tutorial bug, that's easily fixable.

And yep, there's a goodly number of Exilian references in there :)
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: HemingwayGames on January 21, 2019, 01:31:27 PM
Nice work with this game, Jubal.  A few things came to mind while playing the game:

I missed a number of blue messages while travelling. I would often move quickly accross the terrain, and once I noticed the message, it was too late to determine where it occurred. Would it be possible to highlight these events on the map? Leaving behind a question mark icon on the square would allow the player to go back if missed. Another option would be to interrupt the game and showing the quote (with possibly an image). Example: "You hear tell of local rumours that suggest that interesting things may be searched for in this place"

I found I needed to use a number of moves to determine where the end of the map was. I would move over to the edge and test whether I could move across. Even if I couldn't move across, it wasn't clear whether I was blocked by the end or a obstacle on the adjacent page. To confirm, I would then test each cell on the edge. I think it's possible to determine this by the message; for example, "The terrain is impassable" means end of map, whereas "The terrain is high and impassable mountains that way" means otherwise. Is there a way to make the edge of the map more clear, so that the player doesn't need to use up turns?

I ended up failing a quest because I needed to deliver a letter to another city. I didn't know where the city was, so I ended up randomly searching and arriving late. It would have been a nice touch if I received the direction of the city (e.g. East) while listening to rumours in the city.

Also, is it possible to highlight the last message in the text? When doing the tutorial, I found myself skimming backwards through the lines of text to find the start of the message.

A couple of typos in the text:
- In the factions section: They have 1 cities.
- In the tutorial: Now, move away from the city anduse the X key...

Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on January 21, 2019, 01:58:52 PM
Thanks, that's all really useful!

The blue messages aren't super important, and they have an area/time effect so actually last for 2-3 moves rather than being locked to a specific tile - it's basically a search success chance boost. You can get interesting searches regardless (especially if playing as scholars), you just get a much increased chance to do so when the blue message shows. Given that, I can't mark them on the map and I don't want to interrupt for them (I think there'd be too many interruptions). Maybe I could highlight the search button whilst the search boost lasts?

I've been wondering whether to properly mark map edges. I'll have a go at implementing something for that - possibly some differently coloured mountain/sea tiles that are impassable.

City directions are a good point, will look into that.

Highlighting last message sounds difficult but I'll see if there's anything I can do.

Typos I'll get on and have a look at pretty soon! :)
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: justatoady on January 21, 2019, 09:49:43 PM
very fun so far^^
the battles go very quick, which i like, and the old timey designs feel very consistent

random things i noticed:
- when you try and move on a tile with a city's army on it, it gives you the "impossible high terrain" message from mountains

- when the travelling armourer offers you stuff, they always say "an" (see pic)

- when you start a new game you can spawn on a mountain

- i noticed i just ignored the rumors and city searches after a while and focused on the quests for one city,
so far i don't see much progress in our relationship, i did around 10 quests for them, and the leader still nods curtly, but maybe that's just him,
 
- possibly a spoiler, depending on how randomised this stuff is:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

-yes, marking the map borders in some way sounds like a good idea

- semi-related: is there a way to get more chickens (faction related units) other than random overworld encounters?
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: justatoady on January 21, 2019, 09:51:55 PM
oops here are the other pics
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on January 21, 2019, 09:58:08 PM
- when you try and move on a tile with a city's army on it, it gives you the "impossible high terrain" message from mountains
Noted, will look into that.

- when the travelling armourer offers you stuff, they always say "an" (see pic)
Ooh, noted, will look into that.

- when you start a new game you can spawn on a mountain
Yeah, that's a thing. I decided it didn't seem like it was worth changing?

- i noticed i just ignored the rumors and city searches after a while and focused on the quests for one city,
so far i don't see much progress in our relationship, i did around 10 quests for them, and the leader still nods curtly, but maybe that's just him,
Yeah, the leader's attitude to you is always static and based on their personality - your relationship is built up with the city as a whole, not with any one leader. This is currently even true for leaders who are your faction - I may add more depth to this at some point, but it'd be a relatively large task I think.

I think city searches should get more valuable when I add more options/possibilities - or do you think something else is needed there?
 
- possibly a spoiler, depending on how randomised this stuff is:
The idea is that sometimes you catch them unawares for an easy fight. Should I make that more explicit?

-yes, marking the map borders in some way sounds like a good idea
Noted!

- semi-related: is there a way to get more chickens (faction related units) other than random overworld encounters?
Not currently - Scholars and Phoenixes get their faction units by random encounters, Generals and Dragons get theirs via special adventure point upgrade events. Do you think there need to be more ways?
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: justatoady on January 22, 2019, 11:24:00 PM
Yeah, the leader's attitude to you is always static and based on their personality - your relationship is built up with the city as a whole, not with any one leader. This is currently even true for leaders who are your faction - I may add more depth to this at some point, but it'd be a relatively large task I think.
fair, i'm not sure it's necessary. they started doing elections now, and leader/rival personalities might actually distract from the whole city running simulation thing...

think city searches should get more valuable when I add more options/possibilities - or do you think something else is needed there?
i like having options in the city, but at the moment, there doesn't seem to be much incentive for searching, maybe if some quests required you to search or use hints from the rumors

The idea is that sometimes you catch them unawares for an easy fight. Should I make that more explicit?
i don't think you need to. it does explain what's going on, and i like ambushing the murderers, because searching and then fighting very weak enemies feels like a change of pace from normal encounters. there is also always the possibility they'll be serious and tough.
my point was just meant to be that zhia's sprite change felt a bit jarring.

Not currently - Scholars and Phoenixes get their faction units by random encounters, Generals and Dragons get theirs via special adventure point upgrade events. Do you think there need to be more ways?
i guess if the phoenixes are meant to be more like elite units, it's fine not to have too many,
maybe make sure players always have access to some low rank chickens to replace the dead ones or would that be too much of an avantage for the phoenix house. also depends on how common the random encounter is.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on January 22, 2019, 11:52:36 PM
> Leader/rival traits are already factored into elections: most leaders have some sort of viewpoint on society and how it should be run, and that's factored into election results (for example, a wealthy aristocratic ruler will likely do better in a wealthy city).

> Having some quests with city search incentives is definitely a good idea - I made the fugitive quest to do that for the main map searches a bit.

> Yeah, the sprites are a bit random - but since I'm not drawing any of them off my own bat really it makes it hard to get perfect ones.

> The random encounter for chickens is a moderately common search result any time you're in open/plains terrain (pangolins for the scholars are less common and in forest terrain, but pangolins are straight-out decent melee units whereas chickens need training).

I have now got a version of map edge marking working, though I'm not sure it looks right/it may be too obtrusive - I'll try and get screenshots sometime in the next 2-3 days.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on January 31, 2019, 11:41:36 PM
Quite a lot of updates and changes!

A big change to the way the game handles companion characters (that is, named characters who aren't the hero, enemies, or quest NPCs): they now can get wounded much like the hero, and can also gain stat upgrades over time. Also, hero upgrades will now get more expensive in adventuring points if your stats get above a certain level.

Plus - bugfixes, one new city quest, one new companion character type (the sergeant). Plenty more to do, but the 005 update will definitely have some decent additional content in it :)
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: comrade_general on January 31, 2019, 11:46:18 PM
Sounds great you'll have to give me the updated version at some point.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on February 08, 2019, 10:14:59 PM
Updated to show 005 as latest version.

New feature today - the map now has named regions which cover 1-3 screens. I'm not sure how useful this is but thought it might be kinda cool. There are also now deep forest screens which never spawn cities.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Rovine on March 09, 2019, 06:33:10 AM
Hey Jubal, thanks for letting me in on the closed beta test! I just playtested version 006 and collected some problems to report:

1. Things got very weird after my hero went down to 1 hp, after I got the message that I'll die in 10 days if I don't get help. First I was unable to move, then when I press ESC (which triggers the exit message), the screen goes to a seemingly random area on the map without me and my troops in it. If I press N to stay in game, I still can't move.

2. The tutorial doesn't seem to work. I just get this:
(https://i.imgur.com/OvnAi4j.png)

Loving the concept of this game. Reminds me of something like Wasteland where you never know what you'd end up in every step. The discovery is quite addictive.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on March 09, 2019, 04:20:03 PM
Oh dear :/ I've had bugs like that before but I'd thought I fixed them - it's caused by a bug in some major map-level calculation, so the game got stuck doing something in the seemingly random area, and then couldn't move your troops around because it was still looking at the area it'd had a hang-up in. The diplomacy and city warfare scripts are pretty common culprits there. You didn't happen to get a screenshot of the random area by any chance?

The tutorial thing was me being an idiot - I'd made some changes to how cities are stored, and not updated the load file for the tutorial to match. That'll be fixed in the next patch :)
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Rovine on March 10, 2019, 12:51:35 AM
Oh dear :/ I've had bugs like that before but I'd thought I fixed them - it's caused by a bug in some major map-level calculation, so the game got stuck doing something in the seemingly random area, and then couldn't move your troops around because it was still looking at the area it'd had a hang-up in. The diplomacy and city warfare scripts are pretty common culprits there. You didn't happen to get a screenshot of the random area by any chance?

The tutorial thing was me being an idiot - I'd made some changes to how cities are stored, and not updated the load file for the tutorial to match. That'll be fixed in the next patch :)
I'll do another playthrough and try to reproduce it (gave up that bugged playthrough because I was dying anyway lul). If it helps, it was a 5x5 map, and had several inter-city wars happening that I wasn't involved with.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on March 10, 2019, 11:41:27 PM
Yeah, probably triggered by some niche problem with an army placing script. I'll have another look at it, though replicating bugs on that thing is horrible.

I'm glad you're enjoying the discovery aspect, it's something I definitely want to double down on in future improvements - let me know if you think there are particular areas that could do with more depth too, I have improvement idea lists on most bits of the game but help prioritising is very valuable!
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on April 27, 2019, 10:42:09 PM
Finally got a rather pathetic but nonetheless functional amount of work done - adding hotkeys to the city menu and battle screens, and Help (by pressing H) to say what the hotkeys are. I'm not sure if either screen needs a more developed help section than the hotkey overview, advice appreciated.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on April 28, 2019, 11:13:29 PM
Further things today:

> There's now a minimum number of cities equal to the map size - so a 2x2 map has min 2 cities, a 3x3 has min 3, and so on.
> I've started working on character permanence - basically a log of where characters go when they're not "active" (in a party or ruling a city), so you can get the same character back for a different quest later etc. So far this has only been implemented with nobles who you escort between cities - you can now find the same nobles again for escort missions later in the game - but this system will be expanded to various other parts of the game over time.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on April 30, 2019, 11:14:34 PM
The game now limits the number of scholar escort missions you can have at any one time, because it was getting super lucrative to just load up and have about twenty of them following you and run between cities.

I've got two and two half major planned pathways and I don't know what to focus more on:

> Path 1 is character development: making it more possible for characters to switch between roles so you can build up rivalries and watch other characters rise and fall in their fortunes, adding more life and sidequests to companions, etc.
> Path 2 is quest development: adding more and more varied quests as you go through the game, making your storylines more interesting. This would also go with adding more search results and enemy types.
> Path Kinda-3 (because it's a much smaller area) is trade, and getting trading working properly as a bit of a minigame for the player so if you're smart you can make money shuttling stuff around.
> Path Kinda-4 is going back to the manuscripts more and redoubling my efforts to milk stuff out of those, mostly adding extra enemy types, more graphical variation, etc.

I'm not sure which the game is lacking more - feedback very appreciated on which you guys think would be more important!
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on May 08, 2019, 11:01:38 PM
New encounter added - finding a ruined cart in grasslands. There are various possibilities if you search the wreckage. One of these is a new quest, where you find a mysterious parchment and have to go and find someone to decipher it, which may in turn lead to other opportunities...
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on May 09, 2019, 10:58:50 PM
Today's been all about morale - more possibilities to both lose and gain it. You can now get caught in storms which damage morale, and unit wipeouts in battle give specific further morale hits. On the other hand tavern stays can boost morale and can also produce a new "buy the men a drink?" events which can further improve morale. There's now a cap on the morale stat, and if you hit it then all your troops can get an XP bonus or may vote to give you some extra money. :)
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on May 12, 2019, 05:15:04 PM
So, big overhaul this weekend: I implemented most of the character permanence stuff. This doesn't make a huuuuge initial visible difference to the game, but does have several important results:


I'm a bit worried this has been a lot of work for minimal gain, but I'm hoping this will also give me a better basis for any other added complexity in character interactions that I want to give.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Manic Arts on July 29, 2019, 09:28:00 PM
I request a copy of this bad boi PLZ sir!

Don't have much free time, but when I'll do, I'll make sure to put your project through its paces ;)
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on August 10, 2019, 10:56:09 PM
Great - I should fiiiinally be getting a new version out shortly :)

Today I managed the first decent block of work the game has had in a while, mostly on graphics (ironically for a game with so little graphical content) the three different types of companion NPC and two main escort mission units (scholar and noble) now all have a small variety of visual options to make things look a little less samey.

Also, scholars now have character permanence like nobles, the mysterious parchment quest now has an ending, and I've started on putting in some dialogue and things triggered by characters' opinions and traits.  :)
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Ierne on August 17, 2019, 01:19:46 AM
I really like all of these ideas, especially allowing NPCs to change role. I feel that's going to give a good sense of the world developing, and having its own internal logic.

The cart-and-mysterious-parchnent quest sounds really interesting, and trading could be fun too, especially if there's an element of risk, ie to loose more than you make.
There could even be trading based quests, eg to travel to get rare commodities, with the possibility to make city rulers into enemies by getting resources they want (or into allies by trading on their behalf).
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on August 17, 2019, 11:32:23 PM
Today's been a fairly solid day of work on this - lots of small things added/fixed, especially adding more practical effects that result from companion traits. Eventually there will probably be tons of these, but having a few as a start is good. Also a whole new quest has been added, an assassination mission that only gets given to you by city leaders with ruthless, iron fisted, or conniving character traits. :)
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on August 18, 2019, 09:40:29 PM
Another solid day of work and 007 is compiled and ready!

There's now some alternative battle background graphics for different terrains, character traits affect elections, more flavour text added, more character-related boosts, etc.

007 has mostly been a very character heavy update: 008 will either focus on quests primarily, or on adding new unit types, abilities and search results. Not sure which the game needs more. I'm sort of interested in adding a trade sub-game as mentioned above, and in adding a load more options for holding court (allowing you to e.g. invest money in a city), but I'm not sure if the latter would be interesting enough that I should prioritise it. Expect more terrain related effects/tweaks, and a change to the siege system so the game requires you to wait a certain number of weeks before attacking a city, as a way to slow the lategame and force the player to not take on tons more troops than they can manage and just blitz the map before desertions set in.
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Tusky on August 22, 2019, 01:46:07 AM
Hey! Could I get a James Bond version too? I have little bits of time so can have a poke around for you if poss.

Not sure which the game needs more. I'm sort of interested in adding a trade sub-game as mentioned above, and in adding a load more options for holding court (allowing you to e.g. invest money in a city), but I'm not sure if the latter would be interesting enough that I should prioritise it.

My 2 cents are that something like quests will give people something to keep them busy - which is better for people that are starting with the game or more of an idle player.
The holding court mechanic/s sounds like it will add loads of depth but perhaps once the player has played for a little bit and is invested in various things... But trading will definitely be a fun addition, and you can probably tie in the odd quest with it?
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on August 22, 2019, 09:00:21 PM
Hey! Could I get a James Bond version too? I have little bits of time so can have a poke around for you if poss.

Not sure which the game needs more. I'm sort of interested in adding a trade sub-game as mentioned above, and in adding a load more options for holding court (allowing you to e.g. invest money in a city), but I'm not sure if the latter would be interesting enough that I should prioritise it.

My 2 cents are that something like quests will give people something to keep them busy - which is better for people that are starting with the game or more of an idle player.
The holding court mechanic/s sounds like it will add loads of depth but perhaps once the player has played for a little bit and is invested in various things... But trading will definitely be a fun addition, and you can probably tie in the odd quest with it?

Yep - holding court is already in, it's just there's a very small range of possible opportunities from it so it's currently fairly boring, and it's something you're sort of required to do as the lord of a city so just having to go back every few weeks to listen to people telling you that taxes are too high or too low is probably not much fun. Currently it's less of an issue because the late game is usually quite quick, once you're set up to capture cities you can blitz the map pretty fast. However, I'm planning to slow the late-game down a lot, so I think I'm going to need more holding court stuff to balance that out. Of course, maybe some of the holding court petitions could lead to more advanced quests...
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Tusky on August 23, 2019, 08:10:28 PM
Thanks! Things so far...

Coule of Q's


 Bugs / issues I encountered

During tutorial I ran a search on every tile going from the city to the bandit (output below). I got this error during the tutorial, and then saw it again during the normal game

 You find only a single gold coin, discarded by some previous traveller. You find nothing here. Exception in Tkinter callback Traceback (most recent call last): File "tkinter\__init__.py", line 1549, in __call__ File "mainfile.py", line 1773, in handlershipX File "mainfile.py", line 6710, in mineparse File "mainfile.py", line 12242, in searcharea IndexError: list index out of range

 -------------------------------
After doing a search in a forest I encountered a new hero and was asked if I wanted them to join. There was an error, although the only thing in the output was the word "error". I already had a cleric hero in the party, and the new hero did not join

 Nislien Wheyler joins your party.
Error!
-------------------------------
 I accepted an escort mission to take a noble from to a city that was at war with the other, but cannot complete it. This is the only thing in the output:

You are brought before the city's leader, Anna Charvalise.
"Welcome, Clive", says Anna Charvalise. "May your battles be fair and your conduct noble in them."
You set out to complete this new quest.
 Error!
You head out of town.

-------------------------------

Wanted to attack a mustering of lanfynches

UNIT NOT FOUND ERROR Exception in Tkinter callback Traceback (most recent call last): File "tkinter\__init__.py", line 1549, in __call__ File "mainfile.py", line 2158, in handleryes File "mainfile.py", line 10465, in binchoice File "mainfile.py", line 13125, in fightsetup TypeError: 'NoneType' object is not subscriptable

This also happened when I was searching some tunnels in a city

 You find old coins in the chest! You gain 80 silver aspers' worth of treasure. You explore the third level of the vast network of tunnels - and come to a cavern full of enemies! UNIT NOT FOUND ERROR Exception in Tkinter callback Traceback (most recent call last): File "tkinter\__init__.py", line 1549, in __call__ File "mainfile.py", line 2158, in handleryes File "mainfile.py", line 10899, in binchoice File "mainfile.py", line 13125, in fightsetup TypeError: 'NoneType' object is not subscriptable
Title: Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
Post by: Jubal on August 23, 2019, 10:46:19 PM
Oh no, that's a lot of bugs :( And ones I never encountered myself, too... I'll start looking into them soon.

City politics events will start getting offered to you when you reach 50 relation points with a city.

Healing can be done by the Caradilis event in forests, by staying at taverns, naturally over time, or via a random upgrade event where you spend 25 adventuring points. Cara and the advp event give you an automatic heal to full health, the others are gradual. Taverns are likely your best best for healing in an emergency as they're reasonably reliable, albeit not the fastest.



Important question: how many of the above bugs did you encounter during the tutorial, and how many after starting a standard new game?