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Post by gold on Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:19 pm

Zibo wrote:Nobody reads help! Very Happy
Of course. Do you, usually? Fuck tutorials!

Zibo wrote:Yep, that's all the `Unit stats in popup` in v1.1 from news page.
Magic Sword - Page 6 632772

The upgrade panel should be a lot more noticeable. Right now it looks like an extended menu button and I didn't discover it until very late in the game.
I think i havent even found it yet, need to look again...

Smaller maps are zoomed in to fill the screen. I would keep the grid same size, but just have the map smaller instead.
I noticed that, too. Now really neat would be a ZOOM feature. Like you have i. e. 3 sizes that you can change with a button on the screen. If a big map goes out of bounds, then just apply scrolling bars to the browser window.

I think that some very discrete background textures even for passable floor tiles would be good - so getting rid of all that depressing black. They should, however, be less prominent then blocking tiles. I might be able to provide (legal) GFX, i am also an okay photoshopper... That could also implement various terrain types! That is something that i really missed and that brings in strategic depth. Like you have SWAMP, FOREST, GRASS, DEAD, HILL, ROAD terrain that affects the movement of different units differently. Very Happy
Tiles could even change when certain spells are casted upon them.

Another rewarding feature i like that would maybe not be hard to implement would be that units level up as they kill stuff.

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Post by Zibo on Wed Jul 29, 2020 4:43 pm

I don't have an idea how to make upgrade panel easier accessible, so let me know your ideas, I need to fix it then. Interactive tutorial unfortunately is out of context - it's extremely hard thing to make in web-based environment. Sad Maybe I could put help pages into first missions so they are in popups, but that sounds bad - too much text, big screens and most people would skip it anyway.

As for tiles for regular fields - trust me, I though about this. I tried several different things and they simply don't work with current graphics system. Unit simply blends with the background and it looks horrible.

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Post by Doppelganger on Wed Jul 29, 2020 5:08 pm

Zibo wrote:

Interesting. Haven't noticed that yet. I rather saw that they overproduce units and don't have AP for upgrades. But I suspect in your case, while enemy was in battle, was spending all AP on attacking and moving towards battlefront and not balancing it with upgrades/training/building.

It is possible that it produced units initially, then focused on upgrades. I think there was "build" animation in the graveyard type building in the last few turns. So the AI might have thought it had produced enough units for to focus on upgrades for a while, but in reality I had already killed them all (with a solo Paladin).

Zibo wrote:
Any suggestion?

Even replacing the arrow with the word "upgrades" would make it clearer. Either make it vertical or rotate 90 degrees.

Zibo wrote:
Hm, I personally liked the bigger zoom on units that's why board always fits to the screen. Currently max reasonable board is 20x20, I don't think bigger are needed. While that works on desktops, it would be massive issue on mobiles, probably some kind of scrolling would need to be in place.

Didn't think of cross platform so that might be an issue. I quickly jumped into a 20x20 skirmish and this seemed reasonable to me.

Not exactly a bug, but a possible point of abuse is that the enemy AI always focuses new buildings. So I could always occupy 1 enemy by starting a cheap building (fence/tower) and it would waste its turn attacking it.

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Post by Zibo on Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:15 pm

Not exactly a bug, but a possible point of abuse is that the enemy AI always focuses new buildings. So I could always occupy 1 enemy by starting a cheap building (fence/tower) and it would waste its turn attacking it.

Yeah, it's tough thing on how to make AI to have right judgement on this one. You consume 1 AP on placing the building so that's always a drawback for you. If he won't attack it, it will keep increasing HP and later will need even more hits. If it will, you both lose 1 AP. I don't remember how it is now, but I guess using the weakest unit in range to do deadly damage is most reasonable.

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Post by gold on Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:51 pm

Zibo wrote:
As for tiles for regular fields - trust me, I though about this. I tried several different things and they simply don't work with current graphics system. Unit simply blends with the background and it looks horrible.
Well like this it looks really dull. And i think there is an easy solution to this: Make each unit sprite cast a "shadow". So that way the tile they stand on will darken a little.
And you still have graphics. cheers
You could even integrate the shadows into the sprite directly but just cloning a (slightly sideways rotated?) image of the GFX, make it totally black and glue it behind the unit.

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Post by Zibo on Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:51 pm

I remember I tried it like that, but it was long time ago. Sometime soon I will maybe try again. Problems might be with units that are already black, like Necromancer or Grim Reaper.

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Post by gold on Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:41 pm

Give them all a slight outline. Wink

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Post by gold on Thu Jul 30, 2020 7:56 pm

Played the campaign a little further... the Duelist is pretty fun! Very Happy

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Post by Zibo on Thu Jul 30, 2020 8:50 pm

Gogo! On 10th mission you can build all possible units (or skirmish, but not sure you can get that far with current AI difficulty). Eternal Warrior and Ranun are even funnier.

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Post by gold on Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:11 pm

I feel like the build time for top tier units takes way too long. Given the prior investment of AP and time you´ve made they still take forever to be build after all that. I would argue that in the current state of the game (and with the small maps) a rushing strat with lvl 1 and lvl 2 tier units max will always be played and tier 3 is never viable at all. :s
Also the buildings are simply way too large compared to the map size.

Apparently the AI also just gives up at some point. I wanted to see the eternal warrior in action somehow but the AI simply didnt wanna build anything anymore with their last building. Sad

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Post by Zibo on Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:51 pm

Hmm. You think that demigod units (I called top tier 3 this way) should be perhaps nerfed and train time decreased? Because in current state they are fucking monsters. Eternal Warrior for example is probably capable of wiping whole armies of unupgraded tier 1/2 units, not to mention leader units (Ranun and Axaroth), so I guess the cost and time is appropriate. I wanted them to be this way though, their trivia also corresponds (Eternal Warrior - slayer of thousands, Archmaster High Mage - won the war single-hendedly).
Or maybe to make it easier I'll make them as tier 4 and introduce new line of tier 3 units. Very Happy

Those smallish maps I guess were never intended to be played long enough to even place lvl 3 buildings, so I guess it's fine if they stay even for Skirmish. If there is a problem to place those buildings on medium+ maps, then it is an issue. Although I felt that 6 fields should be easily achievable, especially after destroying a part of forest.

About AI - sure, give me some time. I'm aware of the issues and I'm going to address them first. I suspect it will be an easy fix to unblock him, because he probably starts researching long-lasting upgrade and doesn't pause it when needed.

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Post by gold on Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:04 am

I vote for introducing XL maps then. Especially since many buildings are so large - they really are huge compared to any of the map sizes.
As for the current top tier: Yea i got it and i think it´s awesome that there is a game where you can build uber units, i second that sentiment! Very Happy
Still, there is maybe too little chance to get to them - or well yes, maybe a bit a lack of diversity.

I really think that terrain types would take this to another level for they would allow for much more tactical depth.

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Post by Doppelganger on Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:48 am

What happens when you change the background color from black to (very) dark grey instead? Black is an unique color and makes the game gloomy.

I need to complete the first campaign to test out the other faction, but right now it seems the "humans" are much more powerful (or its simply my tactical genius).

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Post by Zibo on Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:45 pm

The background isn't true black. It is a bit lighter than that. A will try some lighter color and some tile for regular field and make screenshots of how it looks like (in case it doesn't fit to be deployed).

No idea about the balance yet to be honest. Priests for sure are big advantage of humans, and in v1.1 I plan them to have much better upgradable abilities (heal will be AoE and last more than 1 turn, regular attack triggering healing wave, and having one more buff). Vampires in turn are probably best lvl 2 units. And of course fully buffed Eternal Warrior is the strongest unit in game. Perhaps Archmaster Mage is a bit too powerful, I think he still stuns any unit on hit. Demigods should be immune to that.

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Post by Doppelganger on Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:32 pm

I haven't reached the higher tiers yet so can't comment. Paladin for now seems pretty good.

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Post by Zibo on Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:40 pm

Game is now available also through

http://www.magicsword.org

Magic Sword - Page 6 16757


If you had progress in your campaign and you switch to this URL it won't be visible. Progress is held in cookies, so when you press F12 and go to Application/Data -> Cookies there'll be 'CAMPAIGN_PROGRESS'. You can just copy it from previous URL to current domain you will have your progress back.

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Post by Zibo on Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:07 pm

Regular fields background proposals are deployed. They are not visible by default, you need to use dev tools to cycle them.

On most browsers press CTRL+SHIFT+C (or go through F12) and select any field on the board. Element Inspector should jump to the HTML tag as on screenshot below. On the right you have URL for the background image, 'regular0.png'. There are samples up to 'regular13.png', so you can try them out. On Chrome you can also just select this URL and press arrow up and down to cycle between images automatically.

screenshot

I also found a way for units to cast shadow, so that should be also working.

That being said, I didn't find any of those samples better than current dark background. Each of them makes the units less visible, so no clue what would be the appropriate combination.

If you think you know better tile images, you can also put absolute URL in that CSS there and it will render on your page, so you will see how it looks like. If you want to make it darker, you can add 'opacity: 0.5' attribute for example underneath background style.

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Post by Doppelganger on Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:30 pm

Well personally I already prefer these textures (regular1.png seems to be the best) to the solid color. Gives it a more polished look. Or even a lighter color. I don't see the problem of units not being visible. It also gives you an easy way to give a different feel to maps. Greenish for forest battles, grey for cave/dungeon, etc.

Or a tavern brawl Magic Sword - Page 6 2341281608

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Post by gold on Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:49 pm

Cool stuff, Zibo (and doppel). I am tempted to try on textures myself but atm a bit low on time. But i am still tempted so let´s see soon (tm)... Very Happy

EDIT: Here some very lazy texture examples for grass, swamp, dirt. I tried to keep them dark to preserve the general tone of the game. This was a 15 minutes work so nothing worth a final product but a w. i. p. maybe? "High res" can be reduced in size, obviously.

https://abload.de/img/dirt38kz0.jpg
https://abload.de/img/grassjmkal.jpg
https://abload.de/img/swamp0vjsu.jpg

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Post by Zibo on Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:06 am

v0.9b released

  • Empty field replaced with dirt tile
  • Upgrades panel button remade
  • Board centered on the screen
  • Field borders removed
  • AI improvements
    • Upgrades pausing/resuming
    • Bugfix: multiple upgrades researching in the same time





So I used `regular1.png` sample. Colourised it a bit so it looks like dirt. In future versions I will think about adding grass, sand, stone etc. I like it, I hope you do too.
I spent quite some time on AI today. It should pause upgrades and unit training now whenever it has units to move during fights, but has not enough AP. I just noticed that I didn't consider checking max AP when it does that, so that will be fixed later. Also I found a major bug where AI could start multiple upgrades at the same time. Try it out - I hope it plays a better now.

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Post by gold on Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:17 pm

Definitely a visual improvement. Now i hope we´ll get diverse terrain types or at least diverse textures. You will have to redo the "blocking" textures once in a while, too, but for now they are okay as a placeholder. Yup, GFX rule! rabbit

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Post by Zibo on Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:56 pm

Uh, I saw new tile broke attacking multifield units - only upperleft field is clickable. -,- (EDIT: fixed!)
Neverending story with adding one thing and breaking another.

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Post by gold on Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:49 pm

Well, good job on the updating cycle for a busy one man team.
However, to make this a game i would actually kinda seriously play it would need:
- music (i. e. from free sources) and/or
- sounds (i. e. from freesound.org , soundbible.com or other free sources)
- have nicer ground textures (it´s still boring af)
- slightly improved interface (upgrades, notifications)

Also great would be imho to do the following:
- implement server side saving of battle outcome/stats
- implement a high score list (Wins/Losses/# of units killed/# games on either faction)
- implement MEGA MAP Magic Sword - Page 6 2098617921 as "persistent multiplayer" feature:
Both factions start with an equal share of land taken. A faction player can select any adjacent hostile terrain (as in Dune 2) to attack. A standard skirmish will be played out there vs the AI - or - if a human decides to match in, against a human.
The side that wins takes the enemy territory and advances (or keeps at least, if attacked first). If several players play the same map, results will be applied chronologically (means: last one to win decides new state). This would be fun. To further explain MEGA MAP Magic Sword - Page 6 2098617921 here an image:
Magic Sword - Page 6 Megamapk4kjh
Once a MEGA MAP is fully taken by one side, scores get recorded for eternity and a new "season" starts. Maybe on a new MEGA MAP. Magic Sword - Page 6 2341281608
Reference:
Magic Sword - Page 6 4url

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Post by Zibo on Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:25 pm

I thought about some kind of ranking system, but rather per player basis, not faction. Not sure if there would be any bigger prestige for a faction to have better win/lose ratio, since players can choose their faction with every game. If factions were final (which doesn't make sense in this game), then ranking for those sounds good.

To have some server-side perstistable data, I need an actual database. I wanted to introduce it in later versions, when I know I want to continue the project, because AWS DB generates some costs already, and I don't want to be paying 50$ every months right from start. Razz
But sure, when time comes, having DB gives more possibilities for mechanics like player accounts or rankings.

For rankings I thought about things like:
- some kind of medals/ranks (bronze, silver, gold), indicating players win/lose ratio
- special indicators like: being undefeated in X battles or being exceptionally successful with particular faction only

As for sounds:
- sound effects should be easily achievable, I would do those for sure when I get core of the game working fine
- I will look into that free music too, but probably a bit later

Any suggestions what can be improved with upgrades? I'm not sure with whom I spoke about notifications, but I'm aware that player might miss following things: upgrade/unit/building production completion. Cool thing about web interface is that I can probably quite easily implement desktop notifications, so player would get popups, whenever the game is not focused, for e.g. player turn starting, battle invitation received, game finish.


BTW: MagicSword has been indexed by Google crawler. And it doesn't have any description on search results, ffs. Magic Sword - Page 6 341279411

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