Dark Dragonkin

curato

Member
Dark Dragonkin is a RPG adventure in which the player alternates control a party of characters, guiding each of them one at a time (though control may be swapped from character to character at any point) to the portal to exit the level. Every level is designed such that each party member must contribute unique skills to help the party through to the portal. All three characters must reach the exit portal to complete the level. Each party member has hit points which they can lose by getting hurt by enemies or obstacles in the dungeon. Should any party member run out of hit points, they die; game-play will then continue with any remaining members, if the member can not be resurrected, the level will have to be restarted and try again. However, the game offers unlimited continues.

Each party member offers a unique set of skills:
  • Rose: The tank of the party. By far the most durable. She has more health and takes less damage than the others. When using her shield she becomes nearly invincible. When charging forward she can stun enemies and move heavy objects.
  • Dante: He is melee DPS. He can dispatch most enemies when he can attack from behind. Stealth is his ally. He also specializes in jumping great distances to avoid obstacles and get in the right position for the kill.
  • Nova: He is a ranged caster. He can dispatch many foes with a fireball at range. He also can dispel magical wards as they descend into the depths of the dungeon.
  • Evelina: No party is complete without a healer. If a party member falls to the dangers of the dungeon, no worries, because Evelina can bring them back. She can also change into a fairy to sneak through all the tiny cracks in the dungeon.
Demo Download! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DfHzCOUaRU9Dch0FkKCmI0uELIsX9s1l/view?usp=sharing
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curato

Member
I am trying to polish up a demo to show but here are a few more screen shots to hold you over.
screen2.png
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curato

Member
Working on building out a few levels that will be the basic introduction to mechanics and so forth. In the mean time, I will leave you with this.
theparty.gif
 
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Sounds interesting and is looking pretty good. The sprite work is nice, but I'm not a fan of the floor and wall art. I don't think the perspective style used here for the walls works with the style and orientation of the sprites.
 

pixeltroid

Member
sprites look very nice. but the floor needs some detail imo. the drop shadow effect on the walls look a little off.
 

curato

Member
Thanks for the feed back! I was trying to go with a more old Zelda like perspective mostly so that you can see all the walls so they could be used for puzzle parts. I do have some floor tiles that help break up the floor a little bit for larger areas in the current version. on the shadow effect, I know what you mean it nips a little bit on the outside corners. I need to put a fix in for that.

I am getting pretty close on a demo. I hope to get some new screens shots and a demo up before too long.
 

curato

Member
Sorry, for the delay in getting a demo up. I got side tracked. I had to build out a few level and make changes as a went and then play test to fix the bugs that cropped up from the changes... good times... Anyways, let me know what you think of the progress.
 

curato

Member
Updated the leading screen shot to show some minor graphic improvements. I looked at how the drop shadows looked and tweaked them a little and there some tiles to make the floor look less even. I still make another detail pass on things.
 

Yrbiax

Member
Hey, i tried your demo.

I expected it to be standard turn based rpg, but it turned out to be puzzle game of sorts.
(didnt read opening post too carefully :D)

In first level i tried to sneak to second room, but i got stopped by dialogue and enemy continued attacking me.
Perhaps you could stop enemys movement when you are in dialogue.

Small corriors could be smaller so it would be more obvious that normal characters cant fit through it.
Now it looks like any character could fit through it.

partyStuck.png
Got stuck into this spike fence here.

partyTrap.png
Hit boxes for characters seem to be too big. This lizard wasnt even close to this trap and it died.

I pressed X on accident when i meant to press level restart.
Didnt feel like playing through same levels again so i stopped there.
It would be good to have level selection in menu.
 

curato

Member
Thanks for the feedback!

Dialog isn't a huge part of the game, the first level is a little dialog heavy just because I wanted to make sure everyone understood the mechanics. I will definitely check to make the explanations more injury free.

I will consider your thoughts on the small corridors. I did try to hit that in the level one dialog but I will think about if there is a way to make it more visual.

I will check on the collisions. Due to this not being a super combat game the collision detection is basically one box versus another. I had noted in some cases it looked slightly off, but I never saw one as off as your screen shot. That is a really good trap there lol.

Actually, you are correct. This game is designed for a level select menu. All of the heavy lifting is done as far as keeping track of completed levels and stars and loot earned. The next demo you will definitely have a level select screen. The back end autosaving of your progress is already in this demo. If you download the next demo you should be able to pick up where you left off!

Thanks again for the feedback!
 

curato

Member
I got a new demo up. A few bug fixes and I compressed the audio for a smaller download (that probably should be the default option imho). I rounded out the first ten levels and put in the level selection menu. That is what I originally meant to do for a proof of concept/tutorial levels to ease you into the game. My plan from here it to push into different themed levels like a fire, ice, wind, and earth themed and I was thinking to more elite levels like and astral dragon that you unlock by getting all the stars and a treasure themed dragon that you unlock by getting all the loot and that would unlock a final bad guy.
 

curato

Member
I am working on pushing past the basic demo. I did want to show a little gif of a fire breathing baddie
firebreath.gif
 
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curato

Member
Working on getting the first big boss fight done. It is going well. I have to get it tuned well though. You need a little forgiveness when you are controlling 4 characters.
fireboss1 0.pngfireboss2 2.png
 

curato

Member
I been a little slack on updates but I did a round on pitchyagame on twitter with a trailer.
I also just put out a video with some sample game footage of the intro level
 
Looking like an interesting game!
I feel like the animations all look a bit too slow. They are very good animations, but just too slow in my opinion. I'd consider upping the animation speed 1.5-2x and seeing how that looks.
 

curato

Member
Still pushing forward on my game. I am changing the name from The Party to Dark Dragonkin mostly for SEO purposes. I am doing a rebuild of the demo to to accommodate some new are then I am going to do a major push to get most of the levels done.
If you want to wishlist the coming soon page is up(I am still in the process of changing the name and doing the art update): https://store.steampowered.com/app/1435440/The_Party/

New title screen art I am considering doing some some game swag with it as well:

Title.jpg

And a new screen:
screen.jpg
 

curato

Member
Thanks, I basically stopped production to change the tileset. I just feel like it needed more. My fault really that original tileset was my spec. Not 100% on the floor still that may get a tile swap yet but I really think the look it just about there now.
 

curato

Member
Updated the top post with the new game description I been working on and a new screenshot and link to the new alpha demo build for anyone that is interested.
I actually opted Dark Dragonkin into the spring Steam Festival. So, I worked pretty hard to get this new build back in shape and polished and to get the marketing descriptions and stuff on point.
 

curato

Member
I watched someone play my game from scratch and it was painful to see them learn the mechanics. So, I went back and redid the entire tutorial level to better shape that first five minutes of game play.

 

pixeltroid

Member
hey, I was just looking at the screens/videos you posted on your twitter profile. IMO, the tile set for the levels could use a layer of detail, in the form of props (statues, pillars, pipeworks and so on). Right now, the walls consist only of bricks and torches and feels extremely repetitive.

Take a look at the game "Chaos Engine".

chaos_Engine.jpg

chaos_Engine2.jpg
 

curato

Member
As part of the Steam spring festival, there will be a broadcasted live stream as part of the event at 8PM today. Also take a change to download and play the demo as well as Wishlist the game. The numbers as a bit better than I expected. Not as good as the big boys likely, but still I am happy I got some traction during the event.

Broadcast: Steam Community :: Twintertainment :: Broadcast
Demo or Wishlist: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1435440/Dark_Dragonkin/

Did a little trailer for the announcement
 

Zizka

Member
I figured you'd like feedback and therefore:
hey, I was just looking at the screens/videos you posted on your twitter profile. IMO, the tile set for the levels could use a layer of detail, in the form of props (statues, pillars, pipeworks and so on).
I echo the sentiment. I think your environments are holding your game back in terms of diversity. I think it'd be worthwhile to add a bit more there.
 

curato

Member
It is in the art hopper already. The will be some dragon engravings and wall banners and such for the longer stretches of wall. I have my artist working on the end game art already. It will just take a while for that to delivered.
 

Zizka

Member
Hmm I don't mean wall ornaments, I mean things to put on the floor:
CrownTrick_01.jpg
Crates, barrels, rubble, etc...

Just my two cents!
 

curato

Member
I will take that into consideration. I am somewhat limited by design of what can be done to the floor. The movable space on the levels is very specific for puzzle design. any floor decoration needs to be passable. I have some cracks in the floor and misc. bones and such. I had thought about bricking the floor but then the wall would get lost in the shuffle.
 
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curato

Member
I did a much shorter recap video for people that missed the live stream. Talked a little about each character in the party and design and strategy for solving the puzzles. Much less spoilerific than the live stream as well. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the festival. I am really happy with the reception it has received so far.

 

curato

Member
I wanted to show the animation of how a Earth Dragonkin dies. They basically turn into a boulder that blocks you path even after death.

 

Zizka

Member
Some feedback (I don’t know what is still temporary):
  • The game is pixel art while the icons in the upper right aren’t. It clashes with the rest.
  • The perspective is off which could be alleviated with some shadows under the characters to improve their integration with the background.
  • The character animation doesn’t have an idle frame, you use a frame from the movement animation instead and it looks odd to me. Idle frames don’t take long to create and would fix this.
  • The font has AA which also clashes with the pixel art aesthetics.
  • Same thing with the gradient with the text box at the bottom.
  • In the text box at the bottom, the text overlaps the gradient.
  • The pixel art for the icons in the bottom left isn’t up to par with the rest to be honest and look amateurish. I can’t read what the second power is supposed to be. The fire ball logo’s composition isn’t very appealing with a lot of empty space and non-convincing fire.
I don’t know if this is helpful to you or not. I personally find feedback which provides sticking points to be the most important/useful as opposed to “likes” and “it looks great!” which don’t essentially fix anything. If I were you I’d want to know but I realise other people just want to be told they’re doing great regardless of the result so I’m more hesitant to provide feedback as it often ends up being ignored and basically a waste of time. If it’s not useful, I’ll stop providing feedback altogether and wish you Godspeed!
 

curato

Member
No it is fine. Any feedback is welcome. I will likely do a high pass on some of those things before release. The perspective is intentional. I played with that a lot. It is the best compromise to make the cracks in the wall visible as they are a key mechanic. That second icon is dispel or a counter spell. It is by far my least favorite icon. I am just not sure what to change it to as I don't know what dispel is supposed to look like really.

Edit: this is the spell description
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Zizka

Member
I didn’t mean the cracks in the wall, I meant the characters.

Another thing: white text on light color background makes the text difficult to read, contrast is key here.
Dispel is hard to represent, agreed.
 

curato

Member
Yeah I did that on purpose to see if you would say that. I took the AA off the font and it make the text blend into the background
 

Zizka

Member
Yeah I did that on purpose to see if you would say that.
I don't understand your intention.

No you misunderstand contrast, it has nothing to do with AA. Compare the examples below:

Your current textbox (without AA:)
Xf78R1BmGS.png
What helps reading here is the black outline which is present at the bottom of the letters (but not on the top). That's because there's great contrast between pure white and black.

Text box without the black outline (with AA)
Ex1.png
It's hard to read because the outline is gone and there's less contrast. The impact of AA vs no AA has very little importance.

Keep in mind that some fonts are pixelized fonts:
Ex2.png

Notice how #3 and #4 are a lot easier to read than #1 or #2? That's what contrast does. It's not like I invented it either...:
1614006388881.png
 

Attachments

curato

Member
I am just going to give more insight into my design plans than I would normally but just so you know where I am with your suggestions. I feel like you feel I am ignoring your suggestion when I really hate to argue something when I agree with it:

Some things may take a while as I am doing this myself and I have to prioritize. Just because you make a suggestion and don't see it in the next screen doesn't mean I am not listening or that I it isn't already on my list.


The game is pixel art while the icons in the upper right aren’t. It clashes with the rest.
I will definitely look at those. They are pixel are except for that wood pattern. I might redo the wood pattern I have a in few spot prior to release. This will likely happen when primary development is done and I switch to art mode and see what art I can adjust myself and if I want to contract it out or not.
The perspective is off which could be alleviated with some shadows under the characters to improve their integration with the background.
There isn't much I can do with the perspective. I know what you mean I have work it out and this is the best compromise for game play looks that there is. This will not be changing.
The character animation doesn’t have an idle frame, you use a frame from the movement animation instead and it looks odd to me. Idle frames don’t take long to create and would fix this.
Again what I said about art above. I shuffled the animations to get the best effect I could get, but I am not a character animator and these are contracted out. I will have to see if I can make a frame to fix this or contract it out on a tail end polish commission.
The font has AA which also clashes with the pixel art aesthetics.
It is actually in the plan to drop the shadow on the font and go with a dark font on the tan background. This will wait until just before I do my next QA round for the next build. I am doing levels now but I have a few code related changes I want to make before I QA the levels for the next build that way they get tested before anyone sees them.
Same thing with the gradient with the text box at the bottom.
I actually fixed that right after you mentioned it. It was bugging me too so I just pulled the trigger on it. No more gradient.
In the text box at the bottom, the text overlaps the gradient.
Gradient is all gone and good riddance.
The pixel art for the icons in the bottom left isn’t up to par with the rest to be honest and look amateurish. I can’t read what the second power is supposed to be. The fire ball logo’s composition isn’t very appealing with a lot of empty space and non-convincing fire.
Honestly, the artist I have contracted for this project is an awesome character artist, but some of the GUI things have been somewhat lacking IMHO. No offense to him, but I just don't think it is his specialty. I may well contract another artist for some of the GUI stuff on a tail end polish round on the back end.

Anyways, I hope that clears the air a bit. It isn't that I disagree or that I haven't already planned for some of the things you suggest, but this is a big project I am doing by myself. I can't turn on a dime on everything I have to keep myself focused and moving forward.
 
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curato

Member
I wanted to share this just because I like the mechanic. The lightening attacks from the Lightening Dragonking and resurrect a fallen earth dragonkin. This gives a lot of options for puzzle interactions.
 

curato

Member
I thought i would seek in with an updated trailer. This is for the current available build either as a Demo or a more complete play through for testers, influencers, streamer etc.
 
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