Posts Tagged ‘tiny epic’

A Tiny Moment Of Realisation

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Saturday, April 21st, 2012 2:05 pm

Learning lots of lessons. Stuff that is obvious when you’re spectating – as it was to me last time I watching an LD happen – but once you get in there temptation overrides logic and you start doing stupid stuff. I just spent an hour trying to get Slick2D’s AbstractComponent stuff working. I told myself this would speed up the UI stuff, but in reality all it was doing was gobbling up precious minutes. So I ditched it in favour of keyboard input, which worked first time.

It’s so stupidly obvious to the observer – you don’t have time to learn anything right now. But when you’re say there coding, you think “I really want this to go fast, so let’s use this nice, neat method…”

Onwards and upwards. We won’t finish the mechanics today but we’re not far off for tomorrow. Party members now have abilities that can be applied to dice rolls. These affect the outcome of combat. Losing combat causes you to lose a die, which makes future combats harder.

A Tiny Bit Tired

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Saturday, April 21st, 2012 9:37 am

Had a mechanical overhaul courtesy of Mike Prescott (also reminded me that we are hitting the Jam probably, with the Compo’s deadline – I want the pressure, but I can’t compose music and Mike is helping with a lot of the mechanical design). The game is now a lot uglier, and I’m beginning to hate it a bit, which might indicate it’s time for a break.

The combat is now dice-based, which allows us to work in party-based mechanics whereby the player can reroll, adjust or swap dice according to the abilities their party members give. To make this feel strategic rather than random, encounters are fixed on the world map and visible to the player throughout. Most encounters don’t offer much reward, and are roughly even-matched. However, story-based events and the black-tile dungeons offer bigger rewards, with harder encounters inside them.

It seems achievable, implementation-wise, but it looks like a dog’s breakfast right now. I’m hoping that if the mechanics are in place today, the polish can come tomorrow. In practice though, I think we all know how this is going to end!

A Tiny Idea

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Saturday, April 21st, 2012 6:13 am

The focus for Tiny Epic was always going to be ‘compact RPG’, but how compact can we get? I’ve been listening to Kevin Macleod’s superb music over at Incompetech, and I’m wondering if we could design Tiny Epic such that it plays out in the time it takes to listen to one of Kevin’s songs. Five Armies is two minutes and thirty-three seconds long, which is surely too short for a meaningful game to be played out! But I wonder how close I can get to it?

This code didn't actually compile due to a missed typo!

Adding in objectives now. A Tiny Epic is a series of objectives sequenced together. In the full game, the idea would be to bolt on some procedural generation to this. I’m not sure how possible that will be, but first let’s get a static one down. I’m in a Final Fantasy IX mood thanks to some excellent SomethingAwful Let’s Play threads, so our first objective will be to find a ship!

I’ve contacted the incisive Mike Prescott for input on the combat system (which sucks hard right now) and I’m doing back-of-a-daydream calculations for how much of this stuff I can procedurally generate. My day job involves writing content generation systems (more here) but they’re not general enough to hook right in! I’ll have to do my best tomorrow, assuming we can get a core done today.

Tiny Steps

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Saturday, April 21st, 2012 5:30 am

You can see a bunch of things in the screenshots that I cropped out of previous ones. It’s mostly crappy UI, everyone’s favourite coding job. UI boilerplate should be a prerequisite for future LD entries I think! The important thing here is the core conceit of the game – in order to speed the narrative along, you get to make large jumps in story periodically whenever the world’s difficulty level raises itself (this might be for narrative reasons, random increase over time, and so on).

The world encounters get naturally more difficult as time goes on, and my hope is that this provides momentum for the player to progress. At the same time, these ‘fate points’ give the player a chance to gain a temporary (or slow-burning) boost to their situation, speeding them along towards the game’s conclusion.

Tiny Problems

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Saturday, April 21st, 2012 3:23 am

The original idea involved a lot of procedural generation (in fact, it was the staple of the game’s design) but I don’t have time to implement these systems so I’ll be slashing and burning a lot as I go. The idea is to produce a static game as fast as possible, and then spend any extra minutes left grafting in generative methods for bits of the game that would benefit most from it.

The idea is to be able to play out an entire RPG narrative in a few minutes, with a sweeping plot, lots of numbers going up, betrayal, death and love. We have the latest in cutting-edge graphics:

And maybe six hours of coding time left. It has a game over state, technically, but no gameplay. So time to push onwards. Doing my best not to waste time, but the Valve Handbook release distracted me for a good half an hour…

LD23 – It’s A Tiny World After All

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Saturday, April 21st, 2012 2:28 am


I don’t have much time for this year’s LD, but I was determined not to let another pass me by. So it’s Tiny World, and I’m prototyping a game based on an idea I’ve been batting around with a friend for a few months now, as it fitted perfectly with the theme. It won’t get finished. Here’s to an optimistic 48 hours!

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