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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Dead Monarchy - Medieval | Turn-Based | Mass-Tactics | Survival-Simulator | RPG

  1. #1
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Dead Monarchy - Medieval | Turn-Based | Mass-Tactics | Survival-Simulator | RPG

    Greetings, fellow gamers.

    Dead Monarchy is my passion project, the closest I can get to my dream game on my own. I have been working on this full-time for a year and a half but it has been in conceptualization since I was 18, I am 24 now.

    As of now, I am still working out the kinks in my combat system, there is a lot of polish that I am still working on implementing but I feel like it's at the stage where I can show it off to at least give you guys some sort of idea of what direction I'm going in. As of now I am concentrating on getting the combat demo done, as I am a one man indie team I have to direct my focus to one thing at a time. That said, I have outsourced some work to a coder and a modeler.

    I have a really old video on youtube which was the first development blog detailing the combat system. A lot has changed so quite a bit of that info is dated. At the end of the day though, my combat system does take a few pages out of Banner Saga's book. I finished the first game and really enjoyed it. The other influences would be Battle Brothers, XCOM, Jagged Alliance and bit of Age of Decadence.

    I'll be using this thread to post updates every week or two

  2. #2
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Another update on the armor progress. Armor is still WIP, materials haven't been properly configured yet and the lighting is flat. Nevertheless, I wanted to show how progress is coming. So far in this build, there are 7 equipment parts. Head, body, legs, feet, shoulders, hands and under-layer. Whether or not I will keep it, is not confirmed as I'm sure other issues will arise. Nevertheless, things are looking quite promising.


  3. #3
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Hello there and welcome to the forums

    Working solo is super hard, I suppose, but then again you have full control over your game. Some guys even managed to reach huge success in that way (Re: Stardew Valley). In any case, we'd be excited to learn about your project.

    Is this your YouTube channel? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0L...H7HQAojkvuKjPA
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Female armor, I've decided to reuse the male base meshes, so no boob armor. I like it this way more realistic


  5. #5
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Thanks for the warm welcome! It is super hard but you are correct I have absolute control. That is indeed my youtube channel, it needs an overhaul as does my website. Once my posts get approved, I should be able to post all my updates so far to this date. I'm getting the most amount of traction of RPGCodex so I post my updates there first then branch out.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    For those with +10 perception, you might have noticed that the majority of my screenshots have no shadows. Unity's take on shadows isn't that great honestly, it is more or less a brute force algorithm that at the minimum, doubles the amount of tris/faces you need to draw. Today I wept tears of joy as I got my shadow proxy method to work in Unity. Before shadows were pretty taxing but I've gained quite a bit of performance by essentially projecting a low poly model in place of the actual model. Given that the camera is drawn out as well you can't really see the difference.

    I'm a little bit more confident now with shadows in Unity and will use them a bit more liberally, I did a lot of model optimization as well and so far I'm pretty happy with the performance of running 50 skinned meshes (models) + shadows. These are still stress tests and nothing is 100% concrete but if I was a player, I'd be salivating at the mouth for being able to field 25 units in a battle. If I do decide to go with this many units, these field/line battles definitely won't come by easily.

    The picture below shows 40 units, will post some more pictures later.


  7. #7
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Did you want padded armor or a padded guy? The character system that I'm working with allows body morphing which means I can create different body shapes. I think it adds a little bit more realism as opposed to everyone having a body sculpted by the gods. Gluttonous trait?


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    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    The latest set is on the left, this will be the last armor progress pic for a while as I am now turning full attention to tidying up the combat demo. You can see how existing pieces from the first set trickle down into other sets of armor. There will no doubt, be plenty of customization options in Dead Monarchy


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    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Well I lied, this one will be the last. To round everything off, an example of armor progression for the first 3 sets in Dead Monarchy. Quite happy with the variety I got from only 3 sets


  10. #10
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    Hello there and welcome to the forums

    Working solo is super hard, I suppose, but then again you have full control over your game. Some guys even managed to reach huge success in that way (Re: Stardew Valley). In any case, we'd be excited to learn about your project.

    Is this your YouTube channel? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0L...H7HQAojkvuKjPA
    Thanks for the warm welcome! It is super hard but you are correct I have absolute control. That is indeed my youtube channel, it needs an overhaul as does my website. Once my posts get approved, I should be able to post all my updates so far to this date. I'm getting the most amount of traction of RPGCodex so I post my updates there first then branch out.

  11. #11
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Just a small update on the interface again. Added some additional headers, change some statistic names and the main thing is I've done the tooltip for the items. Once again some of the stuff, including descriptions, icons (plate icon - lamellar name) and item effects are placeholder. Quite happy with the progress on this interface, to me it is something that can definitely make or break a game.


  12. #12
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Also, another set has come through and I've ready to show it off. The great helms have quite a lot of variation, there will be plain great helms, decorated helms (with rings) and fully decorated (with helmet piece and rings). I haven't settled with the naming convention, but just wanted to point out the modular nature of some of the armor pieces. I've settled with 3 slots for armor, Head, Body and Legs. The reason why I've gone with this is because the armor zones tie directly into gameplay as they are each a stat and that stat represents the durability of each piece.

    More details will come as I come closer to the demo, the other reason why was there was too much clipping with some existing sets and I would of had to rework a lot of the base meshes to avoid clipping. It got to the point where armors looked too similar and lacked striking/prominent features as too much emphasis was placed on not having armors clip. That said, I think there is still enough base variation with 3 slots also the individual pieces like shoulders and wrists will be bundled together with chests, so within base sets there would be progression within it as well. IE chest, chest with gauntlets, chest with gauntlets and shoulders.


  13.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #13
    Community Manager Khatie's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Banner Saga forums - and thank you for sharing this with us! We'll be watching your progress with interest.

  14. #14
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Khatie View Post
    Welcome to the Banner Saga forums - and thank you for sharing this with us! We'll be watching your progress with interest.
    Hi Khatie, once again thanks for the warm welcome! More info will be coming as the weeks progress

  15. #15
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    The equipment interface is near completion. Today I rigged up the model cameras and also did some icons for loot. I'm still deciding on the final style for the loot/equipment icons but I've decided to go with colored icon backgrounds with colors that match the appropriate loot quality. IE purple backgrounds = legendary or epic equipment depending on the naming convention. The backgrounds themselves are a bit more on the artistic side as opposed to just a flat color.

    The icons themselves too, I'm deciding on whether I should have slightly abstracted icons, ie a chest plate represents the entire body piece, or more accurate icons that include all the components of the chest piece. Both have their own issues to deal with, but I think with the amount of equipment in this game, I may have to lean to the second opinion or find a balance in between. IE the same chest plate mesh right now, would be appearing on more than 1 chest armor, so it may get confusing if the same icon is used. For now I'm just using the basic models to give you guys an idea and also to make testing for myself easier. Moving away from the placeholder icons to custom made ones.

    I'm quite happy with the model viewer, I've also thought small touches like that really draw me into the games. Aside from that, a couple more improvements to the skill tree side. Also a note on classes, classes are in but they are loosely assigned. IE a guy who is more proficient with a 2-handed sword could still be a 1 handed duelist but the perks assigned to him would not be utilized as well.

    Also I wanted to mention, the icons will match up with the armor, right now I just wanted to quickly do up some icons from another armor set that I have not yet fully rigged. It should however, give you an idea of the direction that I'd like to go in.

    Last edited by Bantichai; 10-16-2017 at 05:20 AM.

  16. #16
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Hey guys, so have an update today detailing the beginnings of the world map and challenge/tournament mode. Tournaments are an integral part of core gameplay although they only appear mid-game and are used to determine the power structure of the kingdoms and domains. They are mid-game because there are precursor events that lead up to triggering tournaments, so challenge mode just skips the first part of the game and focuses on the tournaments themselves. There will be a tournament ranking ladder (which I've nearly finished) that showcases the participating groups and will update as you progress further up the ladder.

    Each fight in the tournament is more or less a death match between two groups putting everything at stake to have a shot at obtaining lands and wealth. Between each tournament round you will complete tasks to gather intel on your opponent, such as who their leader is, their group strategy and classes. You will also have time in between each fight to train up your mercenaries and explore the map outside the village. You will also have to deal with the day to day struggles of just trying to survive until the tournament fight day, you will be able to receive contracts from various questionable individuals and when interiors are implemented, you will be able to "plunder all sorts of holes", in the ground like caves and dungeons.

    The combat UI has also gone through another update, although it is a small one. Also a note on the world map, the towns are represented on a 1:1 scale, I've decided to go with this route because the overall scope of even the largest cities won't be so large that they are unpractical to portray on the world map. The world in Dead Monarchy is more or less recovering from a crisis which decimated most of the population, so the towns and cities are built around to cater a smaller population. This will help add more detail on the map, because the overall detail will be kept to a minimum. The finer details of the town will be abstracted like roads inside or people, but the layout is the same. There won't be grass on the world map but trees are presents and hopefully rivers in the future. I think this is more or less a nice balance.

    The map is fully nav-meshed and a model will represent the player allowing you to traverse the map. As you traverse the map you will encounter random events and at all times the world clock will keep on ticking. Each day at 12pm, food and gold are deducted and if the requirements are not met, morale will drop. The further morale drops the higher chance members will leave.

    While the clock has been implemented, time of day lighting hasn't yet, nor weather which I hope to implement as well later. Shadows are "disabled" or to put in better words not implemented yet as I am implementing shadows differently to how you would project them in default Unity workflow.
    The demo is shaping up to be:

    1. One town, that hosts the first tier of tournament or tourney. It determines the local champion of that specific town. There are 3 rounds or 3 battles. Tournaments are not to be underestimated, a lot is at stake, like your own life. You can prolong the fight date of your tournament fight by bribing officials.
    2. A small portion of the map surrounding the outlying areas of the town.
    3. A few dungeons and caves to plunder.
    4. 10 armor sets, weapons which are hosted in a shop in town.
    5. Random events on the world map.

    As usual things are subject to change, but at this point this is what it is shaping up to be.




  17. #17
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Just a small tease today, between working on the demo I've been working on a new shader with my modeler. Trying to get the metal to reflect better and well look more like metal, as opposed to plastic. I think the results are quite promising


  18. #18
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Hey there. I finally got some free time and went through your posts. This is progressing real nicely, I ought to say, i.e. your game is in a pretty advanced stage, and your scope is quite high; good things all, as long as you have motivation (and resources!) to keep you on-track of your dream

    Technology- and systems-wise, DM (Dead Monarchy) looks pretty much there. I was wondering if you could provide some context, you know, world-history, lore etc. You mentioned this world just came out of a crisis? Don't underestimate story & context -- it is the glue that binds everything together; a game with great combat system can "fail" if it doesn't feel interesting for the player to dwell in. Maybe irrelevant, but you can grab some tips from Stoic's recent "Master Class":


    Finally, have your started thinking about how you'll handle DM after a successful demo -- e.g., how are you gonna publish your game etc? Developing a game is one thing, but seeing it become successful (=having people discover it, in order to play & enjoy it), takes a totally different skill-set & effort.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Bantichai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    Hey there. I finally got some free time and went through your posts. This is progressing real nicely, I ought to say, i.e. your game is in a pretty advanced stage, and your scope is quite high; good things all, as long as you have motivation (and resources!) to keep you on-track of your dream

    Technology- and systems-wise, DM (Dead Monarchy) looks pretty much there. I was wondering if you could provide some context, you know, world-history, lore etc. You mentioned this world just came out of a crisis? Don't underestimate story & context -- it is the glue that binds everything together; a game with great combat system can "fail" if it doesn't feel interesting for the player to dwell in. Maybe irrelevant, but you can grab some tips from Stoic's recent "Master Class":


    Finally, have your started thinking about how you'll handle DM after a successful demo -- e.g., how are you gonna publish your game etc? Developing a game is one thing, but seeing it become successful (=having people discover it, in order to play & enjoy it), takes a totally different skill-set & effort.
    Really appreciate you taking the time to read my progress updates and giving me some advice! I definitely agree that story is extremely important, however for now seeing as I am one person I really can only focus on one thing at a time. The world in DM is recovering from a crisis as you said however that crisis for now I am keeping under wraps. I'm planning to give a lot more info when the demo trailer hits as I think that is a good time to unveil more about the world as players have a better reference as to what I'm talking about.

    I will be having a look at that video, cheers! As to the plan after the demo, I'll be submitting to steam direct, I doubt I'll go the kickstarter route as this is my first game I feel I need to prove myself first. The demo is shaping up nicely and I'm aiming for it to be quite re-playable, so I'm depending a lot on the feedback I receive when it comes out. Most likely be self publishing and doing youtube let's plays and asking youtube streamers to have a look at the demo. I'll be sure to drop it here as well when it is out. I'll also be releasing it as early access and honestly, I plan to continually develop this for years

    Really appreciate the advice!

  20. #20
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Alright, your plan sounds solid enough. Good luck!

    One last note. It's something that I deem an integral part of development, even though many devs usually neglect it, and try to "glue it" in, after the game is made. It is this: Does your game have a distinctive character? Will people that briefly glimpse it, e.g. while scrolling through their Steam/Twitter/Twitch/YouTube feeds, instantly recognize it and say: "oh, this is DM"? I know that games relying on commercial engines (e.g. Unity) tend to feel "carbon-copied", but there are surely things you can do to imprint something special on all visuals of your game. It doesn't need to be something really special (difficulty-to-make), or really fancy; but it does need to be distinctive/recognizable.

    The Banner Saga is a very example in this aspect. Apart from the visual art style (which is surely hard to do), it's got some more recognizable elements: The long banners, the caravan, the vikings (which weren't so "mainstream" at the time).
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

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