Light & Shadow - Go Implementation Go!

Cervator

Project Lead and Community Wizard
Contributor
Design
Logistics
SpecOps
#1
We've been playing with this concept game mode for some time now and have a ton of artwork, which you might have seen around. It also is our most solid and achievable actual playable content, which has admittedly been lacking for quite a while :)

The stars and moons appear to have aligned to make implementation of this doable over the next few months. We have another new batch of contributors, code is hitting GitHub faster than ever (TeraOVR and Launcher too), and multiplayer is tantalizingly close.

While we can get this implemented at the current rate, we can do it faster with more contributors! Now is the perfect time to get set up, with high activity and frequent discussions on IRC, guides being prepared, and a slew of content issues filed on GitHub to help track who is doing what.

I'm trying to sort stuff on GitHub a little differently, with an initial milestone holding just the minimum needed for implementation plus another for extras, sort of like a backlog. We'll be focusing on the next phase milestone while anything in the extras bucket would be great with some additional help with.

Any time you can also check out just Contributor Friendly issues on GitHub. There are quite a few and more will be coming! Plus there is always discussing the suggestions and providing feedback (on GitHub or in the forum). If you volunteer for something be sure to post on the issue on GitHub so it can be assigned to you and we avoid duplicate work.

The more resources we can throw at this the sooner we can all be riding waves of creepy chess piece NPCs into combat for the greater glory of the Red Queen! Or for the Black Pawn. Or the Red Fool. And so on :D
 

Marcin Sciesinski

Code ALL the Ages!
Contributor
World
Architecture
#2
Can we plan some smaller intermediate (alpha) milestones as well. Each of those iterations (agile term) would end up producing something that can be actually picked up by people and played with and actually enjoyed (providing a goal, apart from running around and exploring).

As an example - first milestone requirements could be:
- generate simple map with gatherable resources, and two structures (one per player) - lairs, that when destroyed, that player loses this match,
- crafting of blocks from gathered resources,
- area of control concept - area around your lair of defined radius (disregarding vertical axis) that player is considered to control,
- allow building one type of structure - "pawn spawner" within your area of control, this will be a multi-block structure that spawns a wave of pawns every configured amount of time,
- pawns render and AI (LoL style AI) - go toward opposing lair and attack it, if opposing player in range - attack it, if opposing structure in range - attack it, if opposing mob in range - attack it (priority of these actions to be defined/configured - not by player).

This is the smallest deliverable I could think of, that actually delivers a playable product and gives an idea of the direction this game mode is going to go.

From there, we can iterate over new structures added, new NPC types, expanding area of control with different structure types, structures with weapons ("tower defense" like) and so on.

The current planned milestone seems like a very large piece of cake to bite in one go (i.e. multiple NPC types, flowers/trees - really needed for first release?). I think it's much more preferable to plan smaller milestones as we will be delivering new stuff more often, and also get users/players comments much earlier on what they liked/disliked about it and will be able to incorporate their comments/ideas earlier during the development. This will create better user experience early and save us time on scrapping parts of code that turned out to be deemed "horrible" by the players.
 

Skaldarnar

Badges badges badges badges mushroom mushroom!
Contributor
Art
World
SpecOps
#3
No nice buttons here, so I have to agree to Marcin's statement textually ;) We should refine the github milestones a bit, getting some sense of achievement faster ;)
Moreover, I would like to use the Incubator only for determined decisions towards gameplay and the art thread for any other discussion/suggestions. Are you fine with that?
 

UberWaffe

Member
Contributor
Design
#4
I have no objections. Though my opinion is probably the least important here.;)
I will move the current requirement discussions to Art & Media L&S thread. I'll make another distinction between first playable alpha and first full release.
 

Cervator

Project Lead and Community Wizard
Contributor
Design
Logistics
SpecOps
#5
All sounds fine to me and we talked some on IRC as well. Not sure why the fancy XF rating buttons don't show up on announcements and why they look different in general :)

We can take some of the art assets out of milestone 1, I thought of them as fairly easy and flexible in pushing them back ("Coulds" ) - if we get them, cool, if not then complete milestone early and move on #2. Think of them as low priority entries.

The two big unknowns right now:
  • Stability in multiplayer branch to just start working there instead of develop (sounds like from Immortius that we could do that soon, within a week or two)
  • Combat system (even if far less than the system aherber had prepared) to actually allow the two sides to fight each other. Definitely depends on the prior bullet point - doing that in develop would need major rewrite for multi