Possession (formerly Possession 2) - Beta almost ready!

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bakpakin
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Re: Possession 2 - A Roguelike made in LÖVE

Post by bakpakin » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:52 pm

I just stumbled upon this and I really want to check it out. Are there any download links yet, or is it still a WIP so no downloads? Also, will the final project be free or not?
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Rickton
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Re: Possession 2 - A Roguelike made in LÖVE

Post by Rickton » Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:08 pm

bakpakin wrote:I just stumbled upon this and I really want to check it out. Are there any download links yet, or is it still a WIP so no downloads? Also, will the final project be free or not?
Not yet, but you can play Possession, this game's predecessor. I've set myself a goal to get the game up on Greenlight by the time I move next Saturday, so there'll be a playable preview version by then (although folks on the mailing list will get it before then!)

The final game will not be free.
Possession - Escape from the Nether Regions, my roguelike made in LÖVE for the 2013 7-Day Roguelike Challenge
And its sequel, simply called Possession , which now has a Steam Page!

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Re: Possession 2 - A Roguelike made in LÖVE

Post by Rickton » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:28 pm

There's now a preview build of the game! Three complete levels from the final version are playable!

We're also on Steam Greenlight, so any Steam users check it out and give us a vote!
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[url=steam://url/CommunityFilePage/492138692]Open in Steam[/url]
Last edited by Rickton on Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Possession - Escape from the Nether Regions, my roguelike made in LÖVE for the 2013 7-Day Roguelike Challenge
And its sequel, simply called Possession , which now has a Steam Page!

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Kasperelo
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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!

Post by Kasperelo » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:48 pm

Cool

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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!

Post by Rickton » Tue Oct 13, 2015 4:57 pm

Crossposted from weirdfellows.com

Putting Possession 2 up on Greenlight was a bit nerve-wracking. It's the first time that the game was going to be exposed to the general public. Luckily, comments seem to be mostly positive (at least the ones I could understand), and the negatives have mainly focused on the graphics, which I expected.

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I'm not sure what to make of any of these, but I'm hoping the Russian ones at least make sense in Russian...

We've still got a ways to go, though, so if you're on Steam, help us out by giving us a vote!

Open Possession 2 Greenlight in Browser
Open Possession 2 Greenlight in Steam

Someone's actually made a video of himself trying it. I'd link to it, but for some reason he's taken it down. If you make games -- or any other kind of program or app -- I cannot stress how helpful it is seeing someone who's never seen it before play it and try to figure it out, especially if they describe what they're thinking as they do it! When you've been working on something for a long time, you take a lot about how it works for granted, and forget that things might not be very obvious.

Most of the feedback I got from this video was interface-related (as well as noticing a few bugs that had slipped by). This particular person clicked through to the game immediately, skipping the how-to-play (which I expect most people will do). They also only used the mouse, not the keyboard, but still actually managed to do pretty OK, considering. Obviously I need to put in some kind of in-game instruction or tutorial mode, which I haven't done yet, but I did add the possession ability to the sidebar (the guy who made the video only possessed stuff by clicking on them when he was next to them). I've also added ability buttons to the sidebar, to make it easier to play with just the mouse.

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He also didn't realize that you could change the name on the new game screen, and had trouble getting off the screen, so I made that a little more obvious too, and added an actual "begin" button:

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Gender options aren't in that shot, but they're sill available. They're just hidden until you move the cursor to the gender section.

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You might notice a new section on the new game screen, the seed. This is the seed used in the random number generator to generate the levels (and only used to generate the levels). Putting in the same seed will cause the levels to generate identically, although any randomness that happens during the course of the game will be different. This will let people run challenges to see who can get through the same levels faster, or whatever. It also makes it easier for me to test bugs and changes in the level generation code by generating the same level after changing the code. I honestly should have done this a while ago when I was doing more work on the level generator, but oh well.

On a gameplay front, the main feedback I've gotten is that possession is too easy. It's generally the best option in any situation, rather than fighting, just possess all the enemies and blow them up. While I don't want it to be too hard, to prevent people getting stuck as a ghost and dying because they failed to possess something a dozen times, I also don't want it to be the obvious best option. There's no point to having such a wide variety of monsters and abilities if there's never a real reason to use them.

I've got some ideas on how to fix this, but that's a topic for later.

If you haven't played the preview build yet, check it out on Mac, Windows, or .love file.
Possession - Escape from the Nether Regions, my roguelike made in LÖVE for the 2013 7-Day Roguelike Challenge
And its sequel, simply called Possession , which now has a Steam Page!

Rickton
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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!

Post by Rickton » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:47 pm

Crossposted from weirdfellows.com

Wow, I knew it had been a while since the last post, but I didn't realize it had been a year. Hold on, this is gonna be a long one.



For a while, I wasn't really doing much work on Possession 2 at all. Actually, going by my notes, from May until August I didn't do any work on it at all. Going from working at night to a "normal" 9-5 job left me worn out and feeling like I didn't have the energy to really do anything after work. That's been getting better (partially due to other reasons), so I've been getting more work done. Sometimes taking a break for something and coming back to it gives you a lot more motivation to work on it; I'm finding working on the game much more enjoyable than I did a few months ago.

Another big event happened as well, which I think is also a big help with motivation to focus on the game:

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Possession 2 got greenlit!

For those who don't know, that refers to Steam Greenlight, the process by which you get on Steam, which is the largest platform for PC game distribution. In a nutshell, you post up screenshots and description of your game, and people vote if they want to buy it or not. Eventually, if you get enough votes (or something, it's kind of an opaque process), you get "greenlit" and are allowed to sell the game on Steam (after filling out a bunch of paperwork and stuff first, of course). Honestly, I'm not sure how it happened, because I was nowhere near the top 100 games on Greenlight, which is what general consensus says is where the games that move on are chosen from, but whatever, I'll take it.

So what else has happened in the past 12 months?

One big feature that's in the game now that I'd been putting off for a while because I thought it would be a pain in the ass (but ended up being really easy) was saving. And unlike the first game, you can have multiple saves! That is, multiple characters saved at once, not multiple saves per character. It's still a permadeath game. I'm not entirely sure if you'd necessarily need to have multiple characters saved at the same time, but why not.

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I've also tweaked possession itself some. Possessing other creatures is generally much harder, especially if they've noticed you. However, if you try and fail to possess something, it weakens their resistance to it, so if you keep plugging away you'll eventually get them (unless they're unpossessable entirely, but the game will let you know about that).

The possession ability now also has a cool down if you're not in ghost form. Every time you possess another body, it increases by one. And, when you possess a new body, you'll have to spend a few turns adjusting to your new body. The number of turns increases the more bodies you possess as well. Combined, these changes make it a lot less optimal (or possible!) to just hop from body to body in combat. You actually have to fight now.

Making things harder to possesss also adds more risk to the player, so I've also added warnings that let you know if a possession you're about to try could put you in a dangerous position if you fail.

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Another minor quality of life change, creatures that haven't noticed you have their colors muted, so you can tell at a glance who is paying attention to you. This is in both the graphical and ASCII versions:

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Speaking of graphics, I'm currently in the middle of a pretty large project involving the creature graphics. The way I make the graphics is I first draw them in a 16x16 pixel sized image, then blow it up to 32x32 pixels, which gives it the chunky pixellated look. The program I was using at the time (Pixelmator) automatically anti-aliased the graphics when they were resized. At the time, I liked it, because it gave a little texture to them, and I didn't mind the blurriness because I thought it made it look kinda old-school, like sprites on a CRT TV or something. But over time (and seeing it on higher-resolution screens), I realized the blurriness is not great, so I'm redoing the graphics in a new version of the program that lets me resize them without anti-aliasing:

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The good news is, most of the files I saved in the 16x16 format, so I don't need to redraw most of the graphics, just resave them. I'm not sure if it's going to be worth it to redo all the level graphics or just the creature ones.

But, because I like making more work for myself, I'm also adding animations to all the creatures. The screenshot jumps a little because not all the animations loop at the same time, but it covers the general gist of the idea.

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I think it'll make the game world look a little more interesting and alive, but I'm adding in an option to disable them if the player disagrees. These animations also will obviously only appear if graphics are enabled, not in the ASCII version.

I've also added other so-called "tweening" animations, like smooth movement, and health bars:

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And exploding a creature is a little more dramatic now...although unfortunately my screen record software's framerate is too low to really show it off. You'll see what I mean soon.

I've also added (optional) tutorial messages that show up as you play the game.

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In addition to UI stuff and graphics stuff, gameplay and content work has of course continued...including on the three levels that were in the demo. There will be some changes to the Eldritch City level including "open" rooms, differently shaped rooms (which I may talk about in a later post), lights and decorations:

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I've also tweaked a lot of the enemies' powers and behavior on all three levels, so things might play a little bit different from last time.

Last but not least, music! Originally, I was in talks with someone to make music for the game, but that's fallen through, so I've been playing around making some cheesy tracks on my own. I don't know if they'll be ready for the next preview build or not, though.



Speaking of, when is the next preview build? Since it's October, I'm hoping to aim for a spoooooooky release date of Halloween. That's less than a week away, though, so we'll see.

With this preview release, I'm hoping to almost all the interface and backend stuff done (aside from changes that might come up through feedback from player testing, of course). Pretty much everything left to do will be content/art/music (knock on wood), and most of the rest of the levels and creatures are at least partially-implemented.

As for when everything will be finished? All I'm prepared to say for certain is "not this year." Beyond that, I'd like to make a promise or even a guess, but given my history on working (or, more accurately, NOT working) on this game I don't think that's smart. After all, I originally planned on finishing the game in a year, and we can see how well that turned out. I'll just say that at this point, I really do feel like finishing it is actually achievable, which, if I'm being honest with myself, is not always something I've believed to be true over the past year or so.
Possession - Escape from the Nether Regions, my roguelike made in LÖVE for the 2013 7-Day Roguelike Challenge
And its sequel, simply called Possession , which now has a Steam Page!

davisdude
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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!

Post by davisdude » Fri Oct 28, 2016 3:08 am

Looking nice, and congrats on the greenlight! As for the 16x16 images, could you not just scale them up with the scale parameter of love.graphics.draw or by using love.graphics.scale instead of redrawing them all?
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Rickton
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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!

Post by Rickton » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:54 pm

Thanks! That might be a possibility, but I do want to do some work on them anyway to add animations. Resizing them is the easy part.
Possession - Escape from the Nether Regions, my roguelike made in LÖVE for the 2013 7-Day Roguelike Challenge
And its sequel, simply called Possession , which now has a Steam Page!

Rickton
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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!

Post by Rickton » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:17 pm

So, there's not a new build ready today. Some bugs popped up (plus it's Halloween, I dunno how I realistically expected to get work done tonight). But should be ready some time this week.
Possession - Escape from the Nether Regions, my roguelike made in LÖVE for the 2013 7-Day Roguelike Challenge
And its sequel, simply called Possession , which now has a Steam Page!

Rickton
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Re: Possession 2 - Playable! And on Greenlight!

Post by Rickton » Sun Nov 06, 2016 1:33 pm

Sunday still counts as "this week," right? There's a new preview build of Possession 2 available.Download it!

This build features the same levels from the last release, though there's been a lot of interface improvements, a tutorial's been added, and creature graphics are now animated. It also includes the ability to save your game!

Content-wise, there's been some additions and tweaks to many of the creatures on the levels, as well as in some cases the levels themselves. I've also made some changes to the way possession works. Now, possession has a cooldown that increases the more bodies you possess, as well as an "adjusting to body" period where you don't fight as effectively, that also increases the more times you possess things.

Check it out, and please feel free to let me know what you think. I'm especially curious as to how people think the changes to possessing work.
Possession - Escape from the Nether Regions, my roguelike made in LÖVE for the 2013 7-Day Roguelike Challenge
And its sequel, simply called Possession , which now has a Steam Page!

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