Lessons from a Game Convention

On July 7th, we made our first public play session of Kraden’s Crypt at the London Anime&Gaming Convention. The knowledge we acquired from this experience ranged from general convention preparation (which we talked on this reddit post) to specific gameplay issues, which is the scope of this post.

The first problem we found was a bug that made the fullscreen resolution have a different aspect ratio of the screen we used. The bad thing about it is that it was introduced by last time changes. We were aware of the potential risks, but we wanted to test some important concepts in that convention (like the bull boss and the random level generation).

Regarding the boss, the most important lesson we learned was that he could get stun locked when he fighting against many players. This led us to change how stunning works in general, so that each weapon has a different stunning power, and certain enemies can be more difficult to stun.

The game isn't easy, but we made sure everyone would get a prize.

Real badges! Yes, we made sure everyone would get a prize.

Not all of our difficulties were unexpected, though. One of them was the learning curve for the gameplay. We didn’t put any tutorials in, since players could join the game at any time, and it was not difficult as other games like Overwatch, were you can get OW guides online to help yourself. Therefore, we let Sam and Peter teach new players as they dropped in. This experience was very valuable, as we learned what were the difficulties that newcomers would face, which we are considering now that we’re designing the tutorial levels.

Another expected issue was the lack of damage feedback — both with monsters and players. It’s not that we just neglected it, it just wasn’t there due to lack of time. Since we already had audio feedback hits, we didn’t prioritize this feature in the last days before the convention. It ended up being a lot more important than I expected, as the sound effects were not very audible due to the convention environment.

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Context sensitive health bar

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Damage display

With all the feedback we gathered, we decided to improve the state machine, add damage feedback and a tutorial level. The resulting build was submitted to the SBGames indie game contest on July 30. Check out our submission trailer below:

Currently, we are making the preparations to a kickstarter campaign, which will go live within a few days. This means that our first alpha demo will be available soon, so make sure to follow us on twitter (@kradenscryptpey) if you want to be the first to get it!

A.I Update!

Hello everyone, Pete here.

Our team has been really busy preparing for our first public build of Kraden’s Crypt. One of the things our coders have been working on is the AI system.

We haven’t really had a chance to show how effective and simple it is to apply the AI, but thanks to the in-built “behavioral state machine”, and recent added functions by our coders, the results have really made a big impact of the feel of the game.

One example we have is how our “Eye-bat” enemy behaves. Before these additions, they would simply fly straight towards a player and were quite predictable. Now they are behaving much more cautiously.


As you can see from the video the Eye-Bat is able to avoid oncoming melee attacks from the hammer.

Another significant change is from the Tikiman, who would previously spam spears like machine gun bullets, making him almost impossible to deal with using certain weapons. Now the Tikiman is much more cautious and behaves much more like he values his life.


Get too close and he will flee from a battle, giving players a chance to strike. With ranged players he poses a much greater threat though as he will chase any players who stray too far from his range.

There are also significant changes to the gauntlet attacks. Previously a gauntlet would continuously charge at you without a chance to easily counter it.



As you can see the gauntlet behaves in a much more clumbsy manner by picking a moment to “charge” rather than constantly following, allowing a player to counter its attacks more easily.  You can also see the new animation behavioral state which helps indicate when he is charging or when he is not
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That’s all for now thanks for reading and please show your support by subscribing to us through Indie-DB.

New armor sets, fireball spell and couch multiplayer

Shortly after our last update, we started finishing the first experimental version of the fireball explosion, which turned out to have some mechanical flaws (as we showed on the bulldozer mage video). Therefore, we changed it to work as a projectile that needs to be released, which brought the fireball spell closer to what we originally had in mind. Furthermore, we also introduced the fireball explosion, which damages and pushes away nearby mobs.

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Another great thing that has happened since our last update is the extended item system, which allowed us to use the huge amount of armors that our artists have made. Although we are seeking a minimalistic inventory design, with each player only being able to carry a limited amount of items around, we also want to encourage some level of character customization. In terms of armors, this means the helm is separate from the body armor, allowing the player to make any combination between those.

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In terms of multiplayer, many improvements were made to allow for local co-op gameplay:

  • Gamepad support for shields, hammers, bows and spells;
  • Room traversal mechanics;
  • Automatic camera re-targeting;
  • Drop-in/drop-out;
  • Tons of multiplayer related bug fixes.

This is excellent news for us, as we intend to host experimental co-op matches in the London Anime & Gaming convention, and our deadline approaches faster than ever.

Curious? Check out Sam & Peter showing these features in action!