Climbing, fighting and trees

As there wasn’t a development blog entry last week due to wanting to focus on coding, this week’s has far more than usual, and stands as the longest entry to date. So, without further ado:

‘Look’:

Firstly, the ‘Look’ function – as well as covering objects (weapons, armor, whatever) and creatures now covers terrain, and lists what the terrain is, how high/low it is compared to your position, and whatever features (trees, walls, plants, etc) are on it. Additionally, viewing an item or creature will also tell you how much higher or lower than you that is, and is especially useful for creatures (see the later section in this blog entry about height and combat) – if you view a dragon, for instance, it will tell you what level its feet are on, and also how high it reaches up/down. There are currently a few minor bugs in this system related to assessing total/minimum heights which I’m working out but this will be fully completed within the next few days.

Trees:

A number of species of tree have now been added, rather than just the general ‘tree’ that they were previously spawning as. I originally thought this would be feature bloat, but in order to accurately assess the height and position of trees when climbing (see below in ‘Climbing’ section) and a few other factors, I realized tree variation needed to be implemented now. What trees spawn, and in what density they spawn, is dependent on climate, and will later also be dependent on rainfall, proximity to rivers and water sources, etc. Trees have values to denote their height, their health (which is to say, how easily a large creature can uproot them, or later how easily they can be chopped down), their colour and their species. Color is sometimes down to leaf color and sometimes down to bark color, but is primarily focused around making them all at least reasonably distinct. The key on the right lists the various kinds of trees that currently appear, and their respective colors (note: trees can still have either of the two icons, I’ve just made them consistent for the sake of the key, which will also be available in the in-game manual/help section, which is being worked on!). While some of the colors are similar (after all, there are only so many shades of green), trees with similar shades generally don’t appear in the same biomes or climates. In the future, types of wood will also end up with various properties like tensile strength, porosity, density etc which will affect what uses they can be put to.

Height and Combat:

The height of creatures now affects combat, as in the following examples. a) If you are standing on the same level as a dragon, for instance, you can only hit its legs for everything else is too far above you. If you have a ‘long’ weapon (pike, naginata, whatever) then you can aim higher up creatures. b) If a larger creature is knocked onto the ground you’ll be able to attack all its limbs. When climbing up creatures is implemented – probably a 0.0.2 development goal – then you’ll be able to climb them and attack higher limbs, though obviously the creature in question isn’t going to take kindly to this. c) If you have a creature 12 blocks high that is standing on ground 11 blocks beneath you, then you can only attack its head, and it would only be able to attack your legs. d) If a creature is on ground level and the creature it is attacking is climbing, then it will gradually lose the ability to hit each of its limbs – its head will go out of range first, followed by arms/wings, then torso, then legs. Example of case a):

Climbing:

Well, climbing is now fully implemented, and here are the mechanics. Firstly, the important thing is what tile you are hanging on to; this tile will always be highlighted in these diagrams in grey, while other tiles above you will be in black. Green arrows denote the direction you command your character to move.

Firstly, a normal situation of moving up a cliff, wall, etc. Move forward into the tile you are holding onto, and – assuming there is no other creature above you, blocking you! – you will attempt to climb one tile upwards.

Secondly, moving into any square which isn’t close to a climbable tile will move you down a tile. Any one of these squares will attempt to move your character down a tile (again, assuming your downwards move is not blocked by a creature, tree, etc).

Thirdly, moving across a cliff/wall etc. If you move into a tile which is also above you, or move parallel to your desired tile, then your character will attempt to move into that square. So here, if you move north-east or east, you will move to the east and shift your grip to one to the east.

Fourthly, corners. You cannot climb up a corner square; this move will not achieve anything because there is nothing to hang onto. Instead, you must…

… shift your grip to the tile to your west, in this instance, as shown in the diagram below…

…which will then allow you to move south on the cliff if the cliff expands in that direction. Lastly, if you wish to move around the edge of a cliff, you move into the open square and you will keep your grip on the same tile but move around, as shown below.

With the combination of these moves you can move up, down, around and across any high obstacles – for 0.0.1 these are just cliffs or large inclines, but later will also include walls of structures (and, of course, creatures). Each move you make also carries with it a risk of falling, determined by your climbing skill, which will deal damage to your legs/torso depending on the distance you fall, and what kind of terrain (or object) you fall onto.

Donation:

Well, I’ve added a donation button on the right. Now, before you do ANYTHING with it, or feel I’m selling out, or whatever, please read:

Disclaimer:

This isn’t a kickstarter. Contributing money will not increase the speed of development. I have to focus primarily on my thesis, and while I do spend upwards of 20/30 hours a week at the moment on URR development, this isn’t going to increase. I have put this up because a lot of people have said they’d like to show support (it just amazes me people are interested enough in my game to even consider it, so you all have my thanks!). While it won’t contribute to speed, it will certainly contribute to my sense of well-being, and my belief that URR could turn out to be something pretty unique and I’m on a track people think sounds interesting. However, please do not feel that a lack of donations will mean URR will fizzle out; I’m going to keep developing irrespective of donations. Which is to say, however much or little comes in, I’m still aiming for June 30th for 0.0.1!

Lastly:

A question. In not producing a blog entry last week, I ended up ‘saving up’ a lot of information for this one, which is longer than usual entries. Does anybody have any preference over weekly/fortnightly updates? I was intending to just have a one-week blog entry break to focus on development, but if people prefer this structure, let me know and maybe I’ll switch to fortnightly (I’ve quite enjoyed putting a lot in an entry of this length, rather than the usual shorter updates). Regardless, we’ll be back to weekly updates from here on unless there’s an overwhelming preference for the other.

And here’s a screenshot of how things currently look:

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9 thoughts on “Climbing, fighting and trees

  1. This update was certainly interesting! I’m very much looking forward to the first release, as I’ve been following this for months now.

    As for fortnight over weekly updates; a part of me (the summer-bored, newly graduated, extremely excited gamer) wants updates as often as possible. However, I think overall fortnight updates are definitely more desirable if it means you enjoy writing them more, since that will affect the quality of the updates. Quality > Quantity.

  2. Any thoughts about allowing the climbing on multi-tile high monsters? It would be pretty cool if you could scale a dragon and shove a sword down its throat.

  3. @ inEQUALITY: Thanks! And interesting re: week/fortnight, thanks for letting me know your thoughts on it. I’m leaning towards fortnightly, but I still want to see what everybody says.

    @ Burzmail: yes, I fully intend to allow you to climb monsters, and attack parts that would normally be out of range (and also do attacks you wouldn’t normally be able to do, like the one you describe!).

  4. Cool, though it unless you can ambush a dragon by leaping out of a tree onto the back of its neck, I’m having a hard time imagining a system that is balanced but not horribly frustrating where climbing and stabbing is worthwhile 😉

  5. With regards to height..if you’re above a target, as in the above examples, and you attack with a ranged weapon, e.g. sling or bow, will the projectile do more impact damage due to gravity and the speed it’s moving at.

    Keep up the good work, you’ve progressed loads in a short space of time.

  6. @ Burzmail – I’m also not sure about how I’m going to balance/use climbing up creatures, so I’m leaving it a little bit while I think it over. I think jumping *down* onto creatures will likely end up having far more use than climbing up them, but we’ll see.

    @ Steve – once I implement bows (0.0.2), then the answer should be yes. I’m hoping to put in a proper system for momentum, trajectories, force etc. And thanks a lot : ).

  7. No need to worry, I’m just reminiscing about all the cool special moves that require skill and careful timing to execute, but which allow you to dispatch an opponent with a supreme display of ability instead of say poking them a few times at no risk to your character 😉

    But think, you could be the first one to implement roguelike Quick Time Events.

  8. Will we be able to use melee weapons or possibly wrestling-style moves in combination with jumps down onto enemies who are far enough below the character? I’m thinking something like jumping down from the roof of a manor onto a human guard or something resulting in the fall damage a character would normally suffer being passed on to the guard somewhat. Great stuff so far though!

  9. @ Burzmali – I’d definitely like a variety of special moves in the game, some of which will be related to climbing. Your ability (and the ability of other creatures) to use these will be dependent on their knowledge of the physiology of their foe’s species… but more on this later :). Believe it or not I actually considered having something similar, but I thought it would break with the style of game I’m going after. I’m not entirely sure on how I’m going to balance/implement special moves yet, but I have one particular model in draft form I quite like…

    @ BDR – Yes, definitely, and ‘g’rabbing creatures is something I will very likely stick in 0.0.2. Once you’ve grabbed a creature you can either wrestle, twist, attempt to break a limb, etc, but I’d also like to allow a creature with a free hand and a sword, for instance, to grab someone and then stab them, so a variety of combo attacks for grabbing/traditional combat. Similarly, if you fall onto another creature, that creature will take a lot of damage and the damage you take will be reduced. Thanks : )

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