Alpha Hopeless Descent - too much to contain in a title!

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DyingSilence

Guest

Origin of the idea:


After finishing a game I was finally free to start something fresh. I was full of ideas that felt excellent, but none had that something that could push me through the process of actual development. Then, my wonderful girlfriend named it loudly: "Make a game you really want to make". And I began to wonder, what is the thing i'd enjoy myself, what do i like, what do i crave?
I've noticed the things i like the most:
  • challenge
  • complexity of interaction
  • lore
  • secrets
Those are the things that were provided to me by games like Dark Souls, Hotline Miami or Dwarf Fortress, but it still doesn't meet my expectations. Then it hit me.

The idea:

Hopeless Descent is hard to describe in a short sentence. The player controls a soul sent to hell, and his/her goal is to get the deepest he/she can. Everytime a soul dies, all of it's possession is lost, and it's sent back to the top of hell. Only Karma persists, and is determined by the deeds of your previous incarnation. It can be used to pay for the equipment used in the current run, but different types of Karma allow you to purchase different things. The catch is, you can have only two items at once, so your choices are extremely important, as items left in the caverns above are gone forever. Every item will have it's own Mana/Stamina meter, which has to be managed carefully if the player is willing to survive longer.

What's exciting about the game:
  • Randomly Generated Content - layout of the caves, patterns on the floor, enemy encounters, loot - everything is going to be randomized, bringing a fresh experience everytime
  • No fillers - every little enemy is going to be unique and challenging, every item's going to do a different, versatile thing
  • Depth of interaction - Every piece of the game is going to have multiple uses, many of them rather unconventional, giving the player some space to experiment. Don't be surprised if you'll be able to befriend a Coal Golem with a charm and then set it on fire with Incineration spell to deal more damage!
  • Elements of roleplay - you'll be able to slaughter everything in your way if you're tough enough, or sneak past the whole game, trying not to harm anyone. This choice indeed is going to matter. Also, interactive NPC's, riddles and more...
  • Easy to learn, hard to master
  • Secrets - like, a lot of them

Screenshots:

From really early alpha:




Secret spoilers:

There will be content dependant on the moon phases. The game will calculate the state of the moon from the real world, and consider it in the generator. Better be prepared if you stumble upon The Avatar of Moonlight, this will be a tough fight!

There will be the Book of the Dead. This item will be useless most of the time, just taking your precious inventory slot. But, if you manage to carry it few caves deeper to the mysterious altar, you'll get to visit a hidden dimmension. But beware, as noone has ever returned from there!

There will be the Coin of Avarice. This will be a risky item, picturing the player's greed. It will have multiple uses:
  • to be thrown at walls, providing noisy distraction
  • to be thrown at enemies, dealing close to no damage, but if it kills the enemy, you get the negative Karma bonus and lesser healing. Otherwise, you'll lose half of your current health
  • to be flipped. One side doubles the damage you deal with the next attack (this effect will stack), the other side takes away half of your current health.
  • to be offered to someone in need

Where to get it:

As it's an early alpha, it's here:
https://altairsonofdarkness.itch.io/hopeless-descent-early-alpha


What do you think of it?
 
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DyingSilence

Guest
I'm a worshiper of a Berlin Interpretation, so it technically won't be a roguelike, the same way Nuclear Throne isn't. But it will carry on the spirit of the classics, mostly NetHack - this game already does what my creation aspires to.
 
C

Cow

Guest
The description is great though I wasn't sold until I read the spoilers; that's cool as ****. I'll give it a go and edit this with my thoughts. =|:^)

e: Yeah, so far so good. Content-light for now but I admire all of the ambition. Personal preferences or random ideas: main character should have a randomized humanoid or animal frame as a bounding box on the effect (just to give it more personality), probably more colour on everything.
 
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DyingSilence

Guest
Thank you for the enthusiasm, the spoiler stuff is also my favourite :)

I just don't speak about the content, but i have many, many ideas.

As for your sugestion, I will leave the soul without personality, as I want it to be in a Buddhist manner - as little personality as it can get.
Don't worry about colors though, there will be a variety of them.
 
F

FROGANUS

Guest
sounds intriguing from the description... so correct me if i'm wrong
it's basically like a top-down spelunky based in hell, with a cumulative currency?
do you play as some.. divinely supported entity with some special goal?
the mission is to sneak into the bottom of hell and assasinate satan?
is this 'karma currency' of sorts a negative karma, if we were trying to descend?
oh yeah and I guess you get that negative karma from administering some violence to enemies?

the graphics in the demo are great! that dark field of vision effect is a great solution to showing semi-3d topdown walls.
the menu too. i like the feel you're going with so far tho its so basic for now.
 
D

DyingSilence

Guest
sounds intriguing from the description... so correct me if i'm wrong
it's basically like a top-down spelunky based in hell, with a cumulative currency?
do you play as some.. divinely supported entity with some special goal?
the mission is to sneak into the bottom of hell and assasinate satan?
is this 'karma currency' of sorts a negative karma, if we were trying to descend?
oh yeah and I guess you get that negative karma from administering some violence to enemies?

the graphics in the demo are great! that dark field of vision effect is a great solution to showing semi-3d topdown walls.
the menu too. i like the feel you're going with so far tho its so basic for now.

You're really close with that guess, Spelunky is a heavy inspiration for this game. It's like mixing up Hotline Miami, Dark Souls and Nethack, there's Spelunky inbetween. The Karma currency is unknown until you are reborn, but yeah.
The character won't be divinely supported until it deserves it. The plot will state it's the same soul, that upon loss is brought back to life on Earth, where it notoriously behaves bad to get back to hell. The game just wants you to get to the Satan, but where the story really goes depends on your behavior. You'll get to fight the Satan, with several possible outcomes, replacing him included. There will be a secret ending for a challenging "ghost" run, in which you have to find the Book of Redemption and cause no harm through the entire game. Then you'll have to defeat the Satan without fighting (tricky enviromental puzzle) and pray for his redemption using the book while he's on the extremely low health. This will free all the souls of hell out of their torment.
No, the direction in which you're going doesn't affect your karma, your deeds do. You will be descending most of the time.
That's correct, being violent is the most obvious way to obtain negative Karma.

I'm really glad that you enjoy it :)
Thank you for some kind words.
I can't wait until the state it's fully playable.
 
U

UDC

Guest
Hello!
I played your game for 10 minutes. I really liked the idea.
When i started the game , I thought the main menu was looking nice but it could be more explaining.
I really liked the look of it. It was dark and slow. Also the sprites are cool.
Room staying the same , only patterns on the ground changing is a good balance i think. You start understanding the room after 5-6 minutes.
Game isn't understandable. I found one of the "markings" and when the circle showed up , i was confused. Maybe when we find it , a text should show up? Saying "Press space to teleport" or something. Because when i found the teleport zone i started pressing random keys on my keyboard until something happened.
This game is not boring. I liked searching.
Some enemies (or turrets even) should be added to make it more interesting. You should be scared, terrified and pumped through the whole game.
Player is slow. Gets boring without music or challenges.
I really wonder how will you add NPC's .
Please inform me when you add items because I think the game will be good.

Thanks for reading it all. I am currently working on a game too. It's a game called Grab&Run. Maybe you could give me some feedback and impressions as well in return?
https://forum.yoyogames.com/index.php?threads/grab-run-alpha-v1-give-feedback-get-feedback.15918/

( Can you explain when or where the Hotline Miami comes in? I couldn't understand. I love that game)
 
D

DyingSilence

Guest
Hello!
I played your game for 10 minutes. I really liked the idea.
When i started the game , I thought the main menu was looking nice but it could be more explaining.
I really liked the look of it. It was dark and slow. Also the sprites are cool.
Room staying the same , only patterns on the ground changing is a good balance i think. You start understanding the room after 5-6 minutes.
Game isn't understandable. I found one of the "markings" and when the circle showed up , i was confused. Maybe when we find it , a text should show up? Saying "Press space to teleport" or something. Because when i found the teleport zone i started pressing random keys on my keyboard until something happened.
This game is not boring. I liked searching.
Some enemies (or turrets even) should be added to make it more interesting. You should be scared, terrified and pumped through the whole game.
Player is slow. Gets boring without music or challenges.
I really wonder how will you add NPC's .
Please inform me when you add items because I think the game will be good.

Thanks for reading it all. I am currently working on a game too. It's a game called Grab&Run. Maybe you could give me some feedback and impressions as well in return?
https://forum.yoyogames.com/index.php?threads/grab-run-alpha-v1-give-feedback-get-feedback.15918/

( Can you explain when or where the Hotline Miami comes in? I couldn't understand. I love that game)
This is an early stage of development, so huge chunks of the game are missing.
The itch.io page had the explanation of controls, as the tutorial isn't there yet.
I will add some basic enemies after i finish the inventory framework. Also, i'll have to program the map generator to put the hazards and items with fair density and power.
As for understandability of the menu, i want it this way. I want the player to feel unsafe and uncertain even in the menus, confronting the unusual names of the options given. Also, the menu is a little bit of the plot.
Well, the NPC's will be generated by a chance as well. I plan for shopkeepers, hermits, oracles and some more.

For the Hotline Miami thing, both games will be plot driven top down shooters, with the difference, that mine has also randomly generated content.

Thanks for your attention, I will surely let you know when the game is playable :)
 
Is there anything to do besides walk around empty mazes finding teleporters? I went down like five floors before I got bored and shut it off. = \
And why is interact middle mouse button?
 
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DyingSilence

Guest
Is there anything to do besides walk around empty mazes finding teleporters? I went down like five floors before I got bored and shut it off. = \
And why is interact middle mouse button?
There isn't yet, so you did the right thing. It's rather a tech demo for now. The point of this post is to hype the idea and show the growth over time.

E and Q will be ocupied by other functionality, maybe i will consider Space being the second "Interact" input.
 
There isn't yet, so you did the right thing. It's rather a tech demo for now. The point of this post is to hype the idea and show the growth over time.

E and Q will be ocupied by other functionality, maybe i will consider Space being the second "Interact" input.
Are the other mouse buttons for attacks, then? That's what I was actually referring to.
As for the shadows...since they're completely opaque, they don't feel like shadows. It reads like it's a 3D projection of pillars/walls instead. Might want to add some penumbra to your shadows to fix that illusion. Feels really weird right now.
 
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DyingSilence

Guest
Are the other mouse buttons for attacks, then? That's what I was actually referring to.
As for the shadows...since they're completely opaque, they don't feel like shadows. It reads like it's a 3D projection of pillars/walls instead. Might want to add some penumbra to your shadows to fix that illusion. Feels really weird right now.
They will be overal item usage, but mostly attacks.

I know, but adding the penumbra will be headachish to do, and i guess it will slow down the game even more on weaker computers.

Thanks for the feedback :)
 
Another option if you don't want to add real penumbra is to just have a gradient circle around the player that cuts into the shadow layer a bit, so the shadows closest to you will be like 90% opaque instead of 100%. Even that will break the illusion that the shadows are walls instead of shadows, and all it'll take is some subtractive blending, probably.
 
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DyingSilence

Guest
Another option if you don't want to add real penumbra is to just have a gradient circle around the player that cuts into the shadow layer a bit, so the shadows closest to you will be like 90% opaque instead of 100%. Even that will break the illusion that the shadows are walls instead of shadows, and all it'll take is some subtractive blending, probably.

That's some good advice right there. I'm going to consider this, but i doubt that i'll do that.

Thanks anyway!
 
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