Author Topic: Windmill Kings  (Read 1873 times)

bigosaur

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Windmill Kings
« on: September 24, 2019, 01:40:09 PM »
Here's a project I have been working on for some time. It's a real time strategy game for 1 or 2 players focusing on quick battles.


The Story

Once upon a time, there was a king. After a glitched teleport spell created a clone, there were two kings. The evil black wizard betrayed the real king and the clone took over the throne. Help the real king rally the troops and get his castle back.




Single Player Campaign

The game has two modes. In campaign mode, you play as the real king who starts with a small amount of gold and an army of knights. You roam around the map and fight different enemies to convince them to join your forces: Archers, Healers, Ninjas, Champions, etc. You can also conquer windmills to get more gold to finance your army; and mage schools which provide you with useful spells like Meteor Shower, Freeze Enemies, Earthquake and Summon Giants. The campaign ends with an epic battle where you use all your forces and magic to defeat the clone king and recapture the castle.


2-player versus game

In versus mode, two players play a battle with all the units and magic unlocked. You can pick the size of the battle, starting with a small skirmish with just two towers and ending with a total war with two castles on each side. You can also play this mode single player versus computer.


Gameplay

The battles happen in real time. You pick which troops to create and send them to destroy the enemy fortress while defending your own.

The game offers variety of tactics: Send knights and champions to attack the enemies in close combat. Archers are weak, but attack from distance, so you put archers and marksmen behind the knights. Afterwards you can recruit healers and clerics who can fight, but also heal other units. And you can add spies and ninjas who sneak past enemy lines and demolish their buildings. And finally there are giants who are hard to stop, but you can use some magic to make it easier. All units have an upgraded variant, that requires that you construct a building during battle. You can also demolish enemy buildings to prevent them from recruiting upgraded armies.

The computer AI is completely transparent - you can see how much gold and magic points it has and what exactly is it doing. This makes every battle feel fair.

There are two difficulty settings: Easy mode for casual players and kids, and Normal mode for players who are experienced with real time strategy games.

The game is set to release on Nintendo Switch and possibly PC. I have a beta build for Windows, if anyone is interested in trying it out, please send me a message.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2019, 01:45:32 PM by bigosaur »

Jubal

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2019, 03:50:13 PM »
I'll happily have a go with it :)
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bigosaur

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2019, 05:43:49 PM »
I'll happily have a go with it :)

I sent you the link via e-mail.  :)

Jubal

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2019, 03:49:49 PM »
Right, I've played through the campaign on Normal difficulty a couple of times, done a few battles, I feel like I've mostly got the hang of the system.

I had a couple of CTD crashes with no error message from the main menus shortly after loading the game. but these were intermittent and when I booted it up after one it ran fine.

Overall thoughts: it was fine, I played through it happily enough, worked out the tactics, etc. It's as much a reaction game as a tactics game, since generally there's really only about one primary strategy, and your major opponents are similarly kitted out to you, so reacting fast and countering them well is important. In general I think that was the main drawback and the thing which meant there wasn't much replayability: I felt like I really wasn't making many choices, and mostly was just executing the same strategy in every battle which was quite reactive; I it needed I think more variation in graphics and gameplay to make campaign mode fun. I'm not sure the best way to do that.

Some things I think shouldn't be too hard - like, varying the wizard colour schemes to be different according to the spell you get from them should be simple and little touches like that would make it feel more varied. The wizard's army in the final battle might be more fun if it looked a bit different too especially as it's explicitly said to be an invading force. It'd be nice to have more actual options though, like having to choose which second-tier units you get from a wider range (maybe each second-tier place gives you a choice of two units, and you have to defeat whichever the other unit type is to get the support of the one you want), and/or not being able to access every unit in every battle so you're forced to shift tactics a bit. As it is, it doesn't feel like the replay value is huge, but I think some smallish tweaks could change & improve that quite a lot.

A few more specific notes:
> The campaign's big blocking point is the first archer battle, which is really quite hard to beat. I usually had to work my way round the magic posts and go healer -> cold -> fireball -> earthquake -> first windmill then run back round to do the archer battle, and from that point on most of the other battles are comparatively straightforward until the late-game battles and towers where you have to be quite on the ball tactically.
> Giants are *really* powerful to the extent that they do tactically dominate a bit. I was usually ensuring I never spent star-mana-stuff unless I had at least 20 in reserve, because I'd always need frost or to summon my own giant in case the opponent did so.
> It might be good to make it clearer that archers don't stack, I know it says so in their descriptions but it took me time to work out what that meant and I often wasted money on archers who had to stay way out of range.
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bigosaur

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2019, 01:54:32 PM »
As it is, it doesn't feel like the replay value is huge

The game's main focus in PvP. Single player campaign is only added so that players can get a nice tour to learn unit types, magic use, etc. Also, it isn't meant to be a full featured game like Son of a Witch, and it will have a lower price as well to reflect that.

Maybe if the game becomes popular, I would add multiple maps, with more units and/or maybe you having to combine which ones to take with you. However, I don't have any long term plans for this game. It's just a small project I wanted to do because I got the idea and now I'm going back to Son of a Witch.

Quote
The campaign's big blocking point is the first archer battle, which is really quite hard to beat.

I noticed this too. I feel like it's a good thing, so players cannot just steamroll through the game. You can beat the archers with knights+mages+freeze, but it's really hard.

Quote
Giants are *really* powerful to the extent that they do tactically dominate a bit. I was usually ensuring I never spent star-mana-stuff unless I had at least 20 in reserve, because I'd always need frost or to summon my own giant in case the opponent did so.

You can take down a giant with 5 champions, so it balances out (you need low amount of stars, but a lot of gold to pull it off). If you manage to stack champions can add some healers behind, you can kill the giants without having to spend stars on ice. This usually means that you allow the enemy to progress and then meteor the battlefield, get a lot of gold and build champions+healers quickly. Doesn't always work, but it's a valid strategy most of the time.

Alternative tactics is to storm the opponent with ninjas + earthquakes because Giants cannot block "star" earning from ninjas. This works fine for all battles except attack on the castle which takes 10 earthquakes, so you might need to combine it with other tactics as well.

Quote
It might be good to make it clearer that archers don't stack, I know it says so in their descriptions but it took me time to work out what that meant and I often wasted money on archers who had to stay way out of range.

I think you're right about this issue. Maybe I should add some tips on game startup screen similar to SoaW.

Anyway, thanks for testing and great feedback!

Jubal

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2019, 03:41:49 PM »
Mm, fair enough - I've obviously not been able to test the PvP version. I can see how that would make extra full units not really worth effort. I still think it might be worth taking a little time to do a tiny bit more variation in things like wizard colour schemes, just to make the campaign feel a bit more lively.

And yes, I think it's fair enough that the archer battle is a challenge - I just thought I'd flag up that that was the case :)

I rarely find I can beat a giant with champions - the AI tends to have enough healers to make that very difficult. I've once or twice managed it with champions + clerics + marksmen, but I find it's that level of difficulty - I usually need ice or my own giant. Good point re ninjas/vandals.

Yes, startup tips sound sensible :)
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bigosaur

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2019, 05:55:59 PM »


The game will be released on Nintendo Switch on November 1st 2019, and on Steam in January 2020.

The store page is live now:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1180420/Windmill_Kings/

Please wishlist the game on Steam, it helps.


bigosaur

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2019, 08:11:53 PM »
Dark World Update



If you ever felt like the game was too easy, this is for you.

The Dark World is the continuation of the main game story. After you deal with the black wizard and restore the order in the kingdom, you may think that everything is done.

But no. There are more black wizards in the cult and they decided to strike back. They captured all your allies and cast a spell on you that made you forget all the magic spells. Your friends are kept in dungeons and fortresses deep inside the underworld.

Explore the Dark World, rescue your allies and re-learn the secrets of magic before you take on hordes of new enemy types.

The black wizards have somewhat different minions. They are slighly stronger than your army and don't require special buildings to upgrade. The battles in this mode will test every ounce of strategy you can muster.

The Steam version of the game will launch in January 2020 with this update included. Nintendo Switch version will be updated in the meantime, I hope mid-December if all goes well.

Jubal

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2019, 11:31:31 PM »
If you want testing done, do fire a copy my way :)
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bigosaur

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2019, 01:32:54 PM »
If you want testing done, do fire a copy my way :)

Oh, I completely forgot that I sent you a binary build and not a Steam key before. I sent you a Steam key via e-mail now.

For PC version, I have also added support for mouse, so you can play only using the mouse as well.


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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2019, 04:37:02 PM »
So, just downloaded the Steam version: I'm getting a lot of /[UNKNOWN] readouts on various control readouts etc, and also I don't seem to be able to play any way *other* than the mouse any more, which is a problem (not least because it's worse for my wrists than the keyboard).
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bigosaur

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2019, 05:40:33 PM »
So, just downloaded the Steam version: I'm getting a lot of /[UNKNOWN] readouts on various control readouts etc, and also I don't seem to be able to play any way *other* than the mouse any more, which is a problem (not least because it's worse for my wrists than the keyboard).

Oh, it's incompatibility with versions. I forgot about that. If you can, use the mouse to go to "Settings", "Keyboard" and redefine the keys from scratch.

Or, go to game's setting directory and delete the file called settings.storage. It's usually located in

Code: [Select]
C:\Users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\Bigosaur\Kings\

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2019, 07:55:59 PM »
Right, sorted that :)

I'm also now stuck - got two obelisks done, the fire and giant spells, and the healers unlocked, and I can't seem to get anywhere with the four available battles after that. I never get to use the powers because the battles are over so fast, and the pharaoh-soldiers just mow through my ranks super quickly (and then power up their own powers really fast).
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bigosaur

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2019, 06:58:55 AM »
I'm also now stuck - got two obelisks done, the fire and giant spells, and the healers unlocked, and I can't seem to get anywhere with the four available battles after that.

I ran into the exactly same bottleneck while testing. The next one that I did was the fortress that unlocks the upgraded archers. It mostly boils down to timing things right and using buildings to block enemies at right moments. When enemies attack your buildings, you can attack them without getting hurt. Against archers, it means waiting for them to approach and start shooting and then constructing a building right in front of them which provides coverage for your melee troops to come closer.

After a couple of rounds of that, you should be able to make a giant and spam dozens of healers to keep him alive. Using that tactics, I was able to win that battle after about dozen tries  ;D

Once you unlock the archers, you have a high damage support unit and other battles become easier.

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Re: Windmill Kings
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2019, 01:07:41 PM »
Yeah, I eventually broke through the regular archers one once I'd developed similar tactics. Just got the tower and the last battle to go now.
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