Author Topic: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing  (Read 12634 times)

Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #75 on: May 11, 2021, 11:45:03 PM »
Companion quest work continues: tonight I finished a new enemy, the spectre, which tests the unit's spirit and can ignore attacks from insufficiently spirited enemy units. These will appear in one of the cleric companion quest options - clerics are indeed especially useful for taking them on due to their own high starting spirit score (though they may need some improved attack skills before taking on the spectres, which aren't super tough but can fight for a long time so the ideal is to have a high spirit, high damage companion to take them down quick).

One thing that goes with this is that the "bravery" (for units) and "leadership" (player only) stats are now the same and are called "spirit". This stat is now visible in battles, and determines how likely the unit is to break from combat among other things: also, as a mental trait, unlike most combat stats it doesn't drop as the unit gets fatigued.
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Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #76 on: May 14, 2021, 12:28:30 AM »
Finished the other branch of the priest's relic finding quest, where rather than the test of spirit it's a test of speed and agility as the hero's party must scramble through a ruin to reach either a small gryphon or a rostrulet's nest. These are both new enemies: the "Tower Gryphon" is weaker than its usual counterpart, more a mid-game opponent, and the Rostrulets are smaller bipedal winged creatures who attack as a group and have two dangerous special abilities, passing attack which lets them sometimes attack your attack unit rather than your defence unit, and feint which can waste your attacks.

I've also changed the recruitment for priests, so there's now a little vignette that tells you something about the personality of the companion you're recruiting.
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Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #77 on: May 30, 2021, 11:13:34 PM »
It's been a busy week or so! Version ten is now out to testers and I've been getting a lot of great feedback and not as many bugs as I'd feared which is nice.

Also, I've been starting to act on that a bit and also add some of the smaller features that will be in version 11:
  • City leaders can go out with their campaign armies now, and city armies with a leader in will offer you letter delivery and escort missions as long as you're neutral/approving of them.
  • Some quality of life fixes: there's a bit of code that blocks you getting too many of the same quest in a row from cities, and you're more likely to find taverns you need for particular quests.
  • The game's wall background gets a red tint when you're in bleeding out mode, to give a much clearer visual indicator that you're in danger. Considering also doing a music cue?
  • A few minor things - retreating is now easier, the army menu hascost information, the mute button is mentioned properly in the hotkeys list.
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Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #78 on: June 14, 2021, 06:14:50 PM »
Well, I've started messing with some code to add sexualities and thus the possibility of romance as a part of the game. I'm currently just working with it as a flavour thing for the NPCs: I guess player romances are likely but will be added a bit later.

Congratulations should especially go to testing character Penso Trave, who rolled the (actually really quite improbable) set up of being a nonbinary pansexual priestess, for being the first character to have an NPC relationship and then promptly starting the first and possibly only polycule to exist in this game (I could actually code for poly characters at some point in theory but it could get SUPER complex. Even sexualities involve eight different possible flag types.) This was useful as it turned out multiple places my code was broken, since I'd intended not to allow multiple relationships per character and one of Penso's partners, Vianca, shouldn't even have been interested in them according to my notes... much testing still to be done.

I also have quite a lot of notes still on balance and quality of life stuff, but also that's just not as much fun and I'm having a stressful enough time that adding silly extra features is more important right now!
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dubsartur

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #79 on: June 14, 2021, 09:39:28 PM »
Yay for algorithmically generated DRAMA!

I wish I could find the papers published in the early 2000s which listed all the weird and wonderful relationships on Roman funerary inscriptions. 

Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #80 on: June 14, 2021, 09:58:34 PM »
I am now tempted to immortalise Penso as e.g. a popular figure of ribald stories told in taverns in the world of The Exile Princes.
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Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #81 on: June 23, 2021, 11:21:27 PM »
Algorithmic drama continues!

The main new additions are work on the UI for choosing game options: the player can now select their character's gender and the game difficulty. There are three gender options (M/F/Nb as for NPCs), and five difficulty settings, named for medieval fictional exiles and wanderers: John Mandeville (Sandbox mode), Vis (Easy mode), Moriaen (Normal mode), Flea on a Drum (Roguelike Mode), and Silence (Ironman mode). I'm not working out how to implement the difficulty levels in a reasonably simple but effective way.

I'm currently focusing on the hard end. Roguelike mode will be easy - it'll be very similar to the normal game, but with slightly higher player injury chance, and most importantly no saving other than a running autosave/save on exit, with some code to delete the save if the character dies, so you get the true "one shot" feel of a roguelike.

Silence, the ironman mode, is harder to work out: the main thing here is that death will be instant, no injuries. But I'm worried that this ends up training the player to just save constantly. So I'm wondering about restricting saving in some way: I could keep the roguelike settings, but I'd like to make ironman a bit different and more about game challenge. A current musing is to actually make saves come at a cost in some way - if there's a small xp cost to saving then it stops the player just spamming it? And it's meant to be a stupidly hard mode (I think the biggest issue will be "how do I make this hard without encouraging it to be extremely boring or train massive risk aversion").
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bigosaur

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #82 on: June 24, 2021, 11:35:30 AM »

Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #83 on: November 02, 2021, 11:54:33 AM »
Coming close to having the new version done. Some concerns I still have: The difficulty settings still don't feel right. Silence, the hardest mode, is tricksy and a bit brutal, but I just ran a three city game with it and got through without problems playing slightly conservatively. I'm not sure about the "autosaves off, XP cost to save" mechanic, and it's hard to ramp up numerical/mechanical difficulty beyond a point or so without making the game nearly impossible to complete. I could increase difficulty by slowing/reducing progress and reward mechanics, but that just feels frustrating.

On the other hand, I'm not sure if the easy settings are different enough to the standard Moriaen mode either.

All that said - generally the basics of the difficulty settings seem to be working, and I'm now bugfixing other additions I've made.
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Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #84 on: November 30, 2021, 11:43:57 AM »
OK, version 11 is now finally ready for testing :) Main thing in this is the romance mode and difficulty settings. Not sure what the big pushes will be for the next version.

Possibilities include:
  • Some "endgame crisis" events which would add challenge to the late game. Still not sure about this idea.
  • Some more mid to high level regular quests, which would be a bit more scripted/go into more lore and probably mimic some epic/Arthuriana tales.
  • More companion quests: there's still one tied per class which makes them a bit predictable.
  • More interesting and varied dungeon environments and end bosses
  • Events in cities such as feasts and festivals which might give special quests or interactions and make the game world feel a bit more alive
  • Nameable pets
  • More building interactions in cities
  • More character traits: two I think would be fun would be a social trait for someone who's a bit more in the middle and doesn't like the characters with more extreme views, and a "weirdo" core trait for a character with a bit of an odd-gothic vibe (the "yay, spiders" type).
  • Other miscellaneous content: new enemies, new sidequests, a travelling fair

But I'm not yet sure what to focus most on/what's most needed. Looking forward to seeing feedback - shout as ever if you want a copy of the new version :)
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Jubal

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Re: Exile Princes Closed Beta Testing
« Reply #85 on: December 05, 2021, 10:03:53 PM »
So, knocked one thing off on the list by adding a subsystem that allows you to name your pets :) There's only one pet in the game so far, the tame Kinklade, but I guess this will make it easier to add others. Possibly a lanfych minnow -> tame lanfych could happen? Or something regular like a dog? Small pets don't work as well because it feels weird to have them in combat.
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