October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

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October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

Postby BlueSalamander » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:39 pm

Hello everyone, here is a new update on the development of Knights of the Chalice 2, as it's been a while since the last update. I am also posting the latest screenshots below (please click on a picture to enlarge it).

First of all, development is on track. However, I have had to spend a lot of time fixing combat bugs. Here is a good example:

1) Ghorda the Samurai uses her Whirlwind Attack against a Scarlet Frog and other enemies. (Scarlet Frogs are Giant Frogs with several abilities, including Swallow Whole and Death Throes Fire Damage.)
2) The Whirlwind Attack kills the Scarlet Frog. (Whirlwind Attack allows you to conduct one melee attack against all enemies within melee range.)
3) The Scarlet Frog activates its Fire Death Throes ability. (The Death Throes ability is an explosion that is automatically triggered when a monster is killed.)
4) The Fire Death Throes triggers a Fire effect on existing Web squares. (The Web spell creates sticky strands that prevent movement; these strands can be set on fire by any fire effect.)
5) The game applies fire damage due to the burning web to all characters in the area of the Web - this is normal game behaviour.
6) Following this interruption, the game forgets to remove the dead Scarlet Frog from the battlefield - this is a bug.
7) The game forgets to finish applying the Death Throes damage to characters within range of the Death Throes explosion - this is a bug.
8) The game forgets to give Ghorda her remaining Whirlwind Attacks against the other enemies within melee range of Ghorda - this is a bug.

Not to worry though, I have fixed it already. How? By recording in a special place the list of opponents that you are using your Whirlwind Attack against, and then recovering that list once every effect (Death Throes and burning webs) has taken place.

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It's always my priority to fix bugs before I add new content. So far, there's enough content for a party of five characters to reach level 7. There is one recruitable companion.

There are two places where the party is split up temporarily. When this happens, the player chooses one or two characters who go forward without the rest of the party. Each of the two sub-groups may then face battle encounters without help from characters in the other sub-group.

There are various reasons for why a party has to split up. Maybe there is a ladder to climb and the ladder can support the weight of two people only. Or maybe you can dive and follow a narrow underwater passage and there will be enemies who attack as soon as they see the first few characters arrive, not giving enough time for the party to regroup.

Concerning puzzles and riddles, I am now providing a [Hints] dialogue option. This is because I don't want players to get blocked by such obstacles. I also don't want players to miss optional content or rewards just because of a puzzle or riddle that may not be as straightforward as I thought initially.

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Most recently, I've been working on an unusual encounter. Depending on player choice, there can be more than 50 combatants. As a result, I have had to create an accelerated-AI mode designed specifically for that kind of battle. That mode is switched on by a script command. Having the AI review each combatant thoroughly is fine for small battles but it slows the game down too much when there are many combatants.

Also I did some work to accelerate the loading of saved games. Now it's quite fast. Totally not like CRPGs where you have to wait for a minute or more to load a game, I hate that.

A part of all loading time comes from loading the background image. To address this, KotC 2 keeps the last few background images in memory. That way, if you reload or if the party moves back and forth between two maps, the game does not need to reload the required background image constantly, because it is already in the memory.

I would like to do a Screenshots webpage and a Features webpage in coming days. Probably, I will use the same screenshots as above and below.

The prologue adventure, Augury of Chaos, will include four main maps: the Chapel of Chaos, Low Sewers, High Sewers, and Castle Gleegold. It will also include several tiny maps: the Water Shrine, the Oubliette and the Fire Shrine Special Level. I've already completed the Chapel of Chaos and the three tiny maps. In the Low Sewers, I need to add about three encounters and it's finished. After that, I will work on the High Sewers map. Initially, I was thinking to also have the village map and the regional map in the Prologue Adventure, but I will not have enough time for them so I'm cutting them out of this module for now.

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In any case, I'm going to need a bit more time for content production. I would really like to add some more content to the prologue adventure before the launch on Kickstarter and Steam. So the KS is likely to be in December rather than November.

My sincere apologies for the delay. Really, it's the nature of game development. It can be very unpredictable. You find a new bug and then you have to spend a whole day identifying it and fixing it, because it would make the game look so bad if you did not fix it. And then the next day you find another bug. Things like that.

But you can rest assured that the game is very enjoyable! Most of the combat encounters are very tough. More so than in KotC 1, you need to strategise every aspect of the game, including your battle tactics, your dialogue choices, what you spend your gold on, the way you develop your characters when you select feats and spells for them, and how and when you use your magic scrolls and consumable items.

Thank you for reading and feel free to post comments! Until next time!
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

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Re: October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

Postby screeg » Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:31 pm

I love me some difficult strategy and that's how I intend to play, but I suggest you incorporate an "Easy" mode (and actually call it "Normal"), even it's something as straightforward as an XP multiplier and some better starting gear.

Also suggest advertising up front on Steam and KS that the tileset can easily be swapped out.
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Re: October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

Postby itsdat » Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:36 pm

Wow, this looks better and better! 8-) Any chance for a short combat video in the next month?

BlueSalamander wrote: I was thinking to also have the village map and the regional map in the Prologue Adventure, but I will not have enough time for them so I'm cutting them out of this module for now.

Damn. :(
BlueSalamander wrote:So the KS is likely to be in December rather than November.

Damn #2. :D
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Re: October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

Postby Endarire » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:41 pm

I'm eager to get KotC on Steam or/and GOG so I can buy it for friends who have been much more dedicated to those platforms.

It's also good to know the sequel's fights use the expanded options to good effect.
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Re: October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

Postby getter77 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:29 pm

December will be trickier on the KS front on account of the holidays, though the magnitude of this should vary somewhat depending on if closer to the end of the month or the beginning. Rough break on the cut maps(maybe at least the Village can be salvaged since I'd imagine a regional one would be more prone to change as it is?) for the time being, but well done on the forward progress regardless.
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Re: October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

Postby itsdat » Wed Oct 24, 2018 1:18 pm

getter77 wrote:December will be trickier on the KS front on account of the holidays, though the magnitude of this should vary somewhat depending on if closer to the end of the month or the beginning.


Why do you think so? This is an oldschool rpg. This genre has a specific audience, and I am pretty sure that these fans will back a project like this in any month of the year. Games like these are "rare gems" afterall. 8-)

PS.
The Realms Beyond [another oldschool rpg] KS is now at 52.5k/100k. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ceresgames/realms-beyond-ashes-of-the-fallen
22 days to go. I hope that they will make it. [Btw they should advertise the project more.]
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Re: October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

Postby screeg » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:05 pm

itsdat wrote:[Btw they should advertise the project more.]

Advertise it how? The games market is so saturated now that games sites won't even talk to you about a Kickstarter project until it's funded, and possibly not even then.
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Re: October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

Postby Cantello » Sun Oct 28, 2018 8:21 pm

itsdat wrote:The Realms Beyond [another oldschool rpg] KS is now at 52.5k/100k. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ceresgames/realms-beyond-ashes-of-the-fallen
22 days to go. I hope that they will make it. [Btw they should advertise the project more.]


Thanks for this, missed and backed it at once. :-)
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Re: October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

Postby itsdat » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:33 pm

Cantello wrote:
itsdat wrote:The Realms Beyond [another oldschool rpg] KS is now at 52.5k/100k. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ceresgames/realms-beyond-ashes-of-the-fallen
22 days to go. I hope that they will make it. [Btw they should advertise the project more.]


Thanks for this, missed and backed it at once. :-)


You are welcome. :)
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Re: October 2018 Update, the War on Bugs!

Postby BlueSalamander » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:33 am

Hi all, thank you for the feedback.
screeg wrote:I suggest you incorporate an "Easy" mode
There is an Easy Difficulty mode. In this mode, your characters deal 25% more damage and enemies deal 25% less damage. Combat experience awards are reduced by 20% in Easy mode and increased by 10% in Ironman mode. When playing an Ironman game, you cannot switch the game to Easy Difficulty.

Any chance for a short combat video in the next month?
I will have to make videos for Kickstarter and Steam in any case, so you can expect that at some point.

December will be trickier on the KS front on account of the holidays
There is no joy for me in delaying the KS yet again. After all, it means that I have to keep living with extremely little money for a longer period of time. But it does seem to be best for me to delay it to 15 January 2019. The period from 15 January to 19 February seems best, for the following reasons:

1) It gives me two months to complete the prologue adventure Augury of Chaos, make the video(s), the KS page and required web pages.

2) It avoids the 'dead zone' of Christmas and New Year, when many people spend time offline with their family and friends rather than online looking for projects to back on KS.

3) Tuesday is the best day to start a KS and the 15th of every month is a pay day for many people. Tuesday is also a good day to end a KS.
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