Beta Valley of Charon - Survival RPG

Current Version: Beta 1.3.3

THIS GAME IS CANCELED. DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT CONTINUE.

Sorry.

Title Screen.jpg

Recent Content:
Baked apples, wisp lantern, structures with loot chests. Bug fixes.

You have at last, after decades of searching, found the legendary Valley of Charon! Stories tell of this place as a place of abundance, peace, and life. You set right to work establishing a home, finding food and resources and beginning your new life away from the corruptions of society. But is everything truly what it seems like?

The goal of this game is to survive, create and explore. Features include: randomly generated terrain, crafting and inventory system, enemies to fight, and many types of weapons and tools.

House.jpg

Desert 2.jpg

Skeleton.jpg

Design and Programming: @Cloaked Games
Art: @JacobV @JellyJake112 @Cloaked Games
Sound Design: Joseph Benedetti


You can download the beta version of the game on Itch.io: https://cloakedgames.itch.io/valley-of-charon.

Controls:
-WASD/Arrows keys to move.
-Mouse to move items in inventory.
-E or right click to interact.
-Space or left click to use item and eat food.
-Escape to open the menu (and pause the game).

Upcoming things, for Beta 2.1.1:
1) Brand new terrain generation.
2) The first parts of the story.
3) More enemies.
4) Other cool stuff I can't talk about yet.

Please help by giving feedback and suggestions. Thanks!

Alpha 1.3.3 - July 3rd, 2017

*Fixed a critical issue that prevented the player from breaking grass and flowers.
This is what I get for assuming two systems were unrelated, and not testing thouroughly.
*Actually bothered to prevent memory leaks.
This is what I get for being self-taught.
*You can now press interact again to close chests and furnaces.
*Furnace and chest GUI depth is now correct. Item name display position adjusted.
*Fixed issue with torches in generated structures.
*Fixed issue where "0 quantity" items would show up in chests and furnaces.
*Fixed an issue where SPACE would not work if the mouse was hovering over an inventory slot.
*Changed distance that cactus can hurt you.
*General bug fixes.

Alpha 1.3.2 - June 22nd, 2017

+Structures can now spawn with loot chests.
+Wisp Lantern: Crafted with 2 tin ingots and 1 wisp of magic.
+Baked Apple: Cook an apple to get baked apple.
+Bone handled tools: You can now use bone wood to create tools with additional durability.
+Light sources will now provide light around the player when held.
+Tools now show a durability bar instead of an item count.
+Damage handling is now different. Includes percent variation on attacks and bonus damage using certain types of weapons

*General bug fixes
*Updated furnace GUI to match the rest
*Fixed player hurt sound
*Improved (practically rewrote) spider AI (Skeleton will be updated 2.1.1)
*The player no longer glows in the dark
*Fixed a few things that wouldn't pause correctly
*Walls now tile correctly. Wall shadows still need fixing
*Birds, bees, butterflies and wisps are no longer hurt by cacti
*Furni have particles and emit light when they are burning something.
*You can no longer destroy items by crafting them when you have a full inventory.

Beta 1.3.1 - April 14th, 2017

+New graphics, art by JacobV and animations by JellyJake112.
>Almost every single sprite has been replaced.
>GUI has been resized and redesigned. (Inventory and healthbar).
>Walls now match the 2.5D angle and provide visual depth.
+Game now saves at the start of each day. You can load your world if you die.
+Scaling changed. Game can now run in windowed mode. More work on this in the future.
+Energy bar removed. Items now work entirely on cooldown (attack speeds).
>Lightning bolt icon shows whether you can swing or not.
+Difficulty options added. Easy, normal and hard. Will effect monster damage, hunger rates and spawn rates.
+Added the desert biome. Generates rarely on the overworld. They are typically large.
>Cacti: Can be placed to be used as traps for enemies or baked and eaten. Gathered with an axe.
>Cactus flower: Collected from cacti and used to grow more cacti. Yay! Baby cacti are so cute!
>Bone piles: Gathered with a pickaxe. Drops bones.
+Grave drops are now randomized, and have more variety of items hidden.
+Added ghosts. These enemies will haunt you if you disturb graves. They drain your food bar until you starve to death.
+Added butterflies! They do nothing but add to the atmosphere, but that's cool right?
+Added clutter, including logs, stumps, and boulders.
+Bees will now fly from flower to flower, like real bees.
+More sounds. (Block placing, inventory clicking, and more)
+More options for creating worlds.
+You can now hold down the mouse or space to repeatably swing axes and pickaxes.

*Massively optimized the game. (Collisions, region loading and world generation).
*Revamped mob spawning system. Should be more consistant and fair.
*Fixed a peculiar issue with frame-rate on Windows 10 machines with certain drivers.
*You no longer move faster when walking diagonally.
*Night now fades in and out, instead of abrupt sudden changes. Not really a bug fix though.
*Changed font used for the inventory. Should improve readibility.
*Small changes to bird AI. You may find you need a bow to hunt them now.
*You can no longer split "stacks" of tools and weapons. That made no sense.
*Magic bomb recipe changed from [8 wisps of magic and 8 bronze ingots] to [1 wisp of magic and 2 bronze ingots]
*Bone wood recipe changed from [8 bones] to [10 bones]
*Flower depth issues improved. (Not completely fixed, but it's less noticable now).
*Realigned placement cursor. It was annoying.

Beta 1.2.2 - January 14th, 2017
[Bug fixes and balance adjustments]

+You can now delete items from the mouse slot by pressing <delete>

*Doors are now way easier to open and close
*Doors and torches can now be broken with axes
*Trees now align properly to the grid
*Increased stack amount of wood, saplings, stone and stone walls (20 to 100)
*Decreased cost of torches (from 1 stick and 2 grass to 1 stick and 1 grass)
*Decreased cost of rope (from 4 string to 2 string)
*Decreased cost of bone wood (from 10 bones to 8 bones)
*Slightly increased drop chances for string and bones
*Slightly increased spawn chances for spiders, skeleton, wisps and birds
*Blasting staff projectile now emits light
*Fixed crash that could occur when breaking chests or furnaces
*Fixed slight issues with the debugging command line

Beta 1.2.1 - January 5th, 2017
[3 new mobs, 20 new items (2 structures), ranged weapons, magical weapons, and armor]

+Tutorial option
+Sounds (Five right now. There will be more later. Sounds made by Joseph Benedetti)
+Wisp, wisp of magic, and magical bombs
+Mundane staff, amber, mundane staff of blasting
+Skeleton, bone, bone wood
+Bird, raw poultry, cooked poultry, and honey glazed poultry
+Death messages
+Cracked animation when breaking stuff
+You now start the game with some basic supplies
+Trees drop saplings which can be places to grow new trees
+Door crafted from wood that can be opened and closed to block entrances
+Improved controls
>> alt left click to select slot
>> left click outside of inventory to attack
>> right click to split stacks in inventory

*Optimized item management and crafting system
*Optimized and adjusted rates of mob spawning
*Better menu system
*Crafting Journal shows graphical list of recipes. This will be better later.
*Increased durability of bronze tools (60 to 80)
*Swords now swing, and can hit multiple foes at a time
*Improved enemy AI (enemies will now be stunned when hit)
*General optimization (collisions, player spawning, and more)
*Grave stones can now be destroyed and drop amber
*Chests and furnaces can now be destroyed and recollected (you will loose items that are in the chests)

Beta 1.1.2:

-Fixed massive scaling issue.

Beta 1.1.1: First Release of the Game
-Crafting and Smelting
-The Overworld
-Copper, Tin, and Bronze Tools
-Movement, controls, etc.
-Bees and Spiders
-Basic Crafting Journal
-Health, Energy and Hunger
-Starvation
-Lighting

Computer Requirements / Recommendations:
-Windows OS
-Screen at least 1024 by 768
 
Last edited:
Updated to Beta 1.1.2.

-Fixed a massive issue with the scaling, that made it not work on almost all computers.
(Because I now know the issue, I was able to test it on my computer by changing a few numbers.)

Note: Minimum screen size to play this game is 1024 by 768. Technically will work on smaller sizes, but at that point the GUI will sometimes be off the edge of the screen.
 
Last edited:
Thanks so much for taking a look at my game. Also, none of your feedback is rude. Here is my responses, in the same order:

1 - Yes, I'm working on the sprites, not super fond of most of them. I'm really bad at art though, so unless I find an artist who will work for me, the quality of the graphics will unfortunately not get much better.
2 - Music is planned for the future. I was going to hire someone, but my piano teacher said "no, you have to make it yourself", so I'm doing it myself. It might take a while, because I'm not super good at composing yet, but definitely will have music at some point soon. As a side note, I have someone working on sounds for me now, so sound effects will be added hopefully by the next update.
3 - Yes, randomly generated.
4 - There will be rare, non-craft-able items in the game, I added one yesterday, of sorts. At some point there will probably be chests too, but not until later parts of the game.
5 - Right now there is only the spider. (The bees will attack back too though). In the next update I will be adding 3 more monsters and 1 or 2 more animals. I have one finished already, which is very explosive.
6 - Working on a tutorial mode now, the biggest thing I noticed was that it's hard to figure out how to play. You can view a book that tells you the crafting recipes now though, which helps.
7 - Thanks.
8 - Thanks. The torches were really fun to make.
9 - You should've seen the glitches I went through getting that to work properly: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111537530262656358649/posts/FS65hPmSvEc?sfc=true
10 - Thanks again. It got a major refit this last week too, way more efficient and easier to add recipes.

Other stuff I'm planning to add / have added:
Armor, ranged weapons, magical staves, more enemies and animals (I programmed a bird today), more food, explosives, hats. In the long term, there are going to be several more worlds you can explore by going down into caves, huge bosses and mini-bosses, structures and dungeons, and much, much more.

Once again, I love the feedback, even just the first impression feedback. Hopefully I'll be able to take all that into consideration, I want the best game I can make. Thanks!
 
T

TheUltimate

Guest
Some feedback for you:
  • Random generation worked well!
  • I see I'm supposed to collect items to craft a pickaxe, but I have no idea how to do it. There was little feedback to tell me if I was doing something right. Interacting with trees and rocks didn't seem to do anything. Somehow I ended up with a stick. Not sure if it was me spamming E beside a tree, if I picked something up off the ground, or if items don't have a 100% drop rate. A small icon saying "+1 wood" would be nice
  • Didn't get to test the inventory and crafting. Might do it later
  • I'd suggest animating the character and adding icons to the HUD
  • Please don't use the same button for opening the crafting menu and quitting the game. Twice I pressed Esc to open the crafting menu, and twice I accidentally quit the game. It should be a different button, or show an Are You Sure? box.
  • Do you have a story for the game? Why do I start off with nothing but the clothes on my back?
  • Neat game, keep going!
 
Thanks for the feedback @TheUltimate
1 - Thanks, I spend a long time on that. Sill some issues I've noticed with where the player spawns that I need to work out though.
2 - Yeah, learning how to play is an issue. I'm currently working on a tutorial mode, and there will be sound effects to give more feedback when collecting items and crafting things and stuff. Wood and stone will spawn randomly near trees and cliffs respectively, walking into the items will add them to your inventory. If you use the wood and stone to make tools, you can use space to break trees and stone. The interact button is used to do things like open furnace or chest GUI's without breaking them. (Think: space is Minecraft left click and E is Minecraft right click. If you play Minecraft).
3 - Okay, good luck.
4 - I spent several hours trying to animate the player to no avail, I'm a terrible artist. The player will be animated before the end of beta, but I'm not really sure when. I like the idea of adding HUD icons, I added that to my list, I'll have to think a bit about how to do that. Most likely won't happen this very next update, but definitely will do that.
5 - Yes, I did that myself several times. New menu system with actual buttons to click instead will be programming before next update.
6 - Check out my blog, the first post has an outline of the story. http://blog.cloakedgames.com/2016/11/valley-of-charon.html Later the story will be told within the game, through a story book that you can collect pages for, and dialogue with sentient foes. I do have a complicated plan for the story, so stay tuned. As for why you start with nothing... good question. Let me think about that, what do you think about starting with some basic tools and food or something?
7 - Thanks a ton, the next update will have a bunch of improvements.

Thanks again for the feedback, this is really helpful.
 
I've done so much work, I couldn't resist. Here's a sneak-peak screenshot of beta-1.2.1

Runner 0213.jpg

As you can see, we have a new sparkly friend in this update. They are wisps and pack a lot of magic power into that tiny glowing orb. In the hotbar, you can also see several of the new items that can be obtained.

I'm on track for this update to be released by January 7th, 2017. I still have a lot of features not shown in this screenshot, and more yet to come, so I'm really looking forward to sharing this game with everyone.

Merry Christmas and or Happy Holidays everyone!
 
Last edited:
I'm ready with a new version, beta 1.2.1! The title post on this thread has been updated accordingly.

This version adds 3 new creatures, 20 different items, a tutorial, sounds (courtesy of Joseph Benedetti), armor, ranged weapons, magic, explosives and a much needed optimization of the code, menu system and some of the graphics. Here is the detailed list of changes from the change-log for this version:

Beta 1.2.1 - January 5th, 2017
[3 new mobs, 20 new items (2 structures), ranged weapons, magical weapons, and armor]

+Tutorial option
+Sounds (5 for now, more coming soon!)
+Wisp, wisp of magic, and magical bombs
+Mundane staff, amber, mundane staff of blasting
+Skeleton, bone, bone wood
+Bird, raw poultry, cooked poultry, and honey glazed poultry
+Death messages
+Cracked animation when breaking stuff
+You now start the game with some basic supplies
+Trees drop saplings which can be places to grow new trees
+Door crafted from wood that can be opened and closed to block entrances
+Improved controls
>> alt left click to select slot
>> left click outside of inventory to attack
>> right click to split stacks in inventory

*Optimized item management and crafting system
*Optimized and adjusted rates of mob spawning
*Better menu system
*Crafting Journal shows graphical list of recipes. This will be better later.
*Increased durability of bronze tools (60 to 80)
*Swords now swing, and can hit multiple foes at a time
*Improved enemy AI (enemies will now be stunned when hit)
*General optimization (collisions, player spawning, and more)
*Grave stones can now be destroyed and drop amber
*Chests and furnaces can now be destroyed and recollected (you will loose items that are in the chests)

If you want more details, be sure to check out my blog where I have a post going over the key changes.

A special thanks to everyone who game me feedback (both on this forum and other places). I made a lot of changes based on the feedback, and I think I ended up with a much better game. I really appreciate this feedback, and hope you will keep providing it as I develop the game.

The next version of the game will most likely not be out until March in 2017. I am extremely busy for the next 2 months with an admit-ably more important project. But I'll be right back to programming when I'm done with that. Thanks again to everyone! Have a nice year!
 
Updated to Beta 1.2.2

This is a bug fix and balance update. Most notably, I increased drop chances for string and bones, increased spawn chances for skeletons, wisps, spiders and birds, decreased the cost of some recipes, and you can now delete items by holding them in the mouse and pressing <delete>.

A complete change log is here:

Beta 1.2.2 - January 14th, 2017
[Bug fixes and balance adjustments]

+You can now delete items from the mouse slot by pressing <delete>

*Doors are now way easier to open and close
*Doors and torches can now be broken with axes
*Trees now align properly to the grid
*Increased stack amount of wood, saplings, stone and stone walls (20 to 100)
*Decreased cost of torches (from 1 stick and 2 grass to 1 stick and 1 grass)
*Decreased cost of rope (from 4 string to 2 string)
*Decreased cost of bone wood (from 10 bones to 8 bones)
*Slightly increased drop chances for string and bones
*Slightly increased spawn chances for spiders, skeleton, wisps and birds
*Blasting staff projectile now emits light
*Fixed crash that could occur when breaking chests or furnaces
*Fixed slight issues with the debugging command line

The next update will be a major content update, planned for sometime in March. In the meantime, I appreciate any feedback you can provide.
 
S

Street Gaming

Guest
Very enjoyable. Honestly, the game play is solid and the crafting is engaging. I might suggest looking into making the game playable without a mouse, but that's just a preference.
Are you planning on adding any kind of story elements, or is it all going to be open exploration?
Also, as has been mentioned, sprucing up the graphics would help. You mentioned you're not much of an artist, but you've already got a decent start and there are some great pixel art tutorials out there that could help you get a slightly cleaner feel.

Great job. Look forward to seeing more.
 
Thanks for the feedback.

Playing without the mouse could be useful, as if you don't have a mouse, you might end up using a scroll pad and those things are really annoying. I'll give that some thought, maybe I can come up with a mouse free control option, and a way to play with a controller.

Yes, there is a story planned. Part of my design goal is to eventually tell an interesting story through environmental story-telling. I have part of that planned, but the story is a long term goal that will probably not be fully realized until the game is released. Actually, some of the story is already there, if you look carefully enough... Over time there are going to be several more areas to explore that go deeper and deeper underground.

I've never really wanted to do art, but I was forced to to make games. I suppose at this point I have the option of actively improving my art skills, so I can do it myself, which is something I'd never considered. I definitely know I'm better than before, when I compare my work to work from 4 years ago.

Thanks again. I'm glad you liked the game! A whole bunch more is planned, this project is going really well.
 
Updated to Beta 1.3.1 -

That was a long time, but we've finally done it. This update features a massive graphical overhaul. @JacobV and @JellyJake112 have joined our team, (making four of us), to make the art and the animations, and they've done a great job. Nearly every single asset in the entire game has been replaced and it's come together amazingly.

In addition, there is saving and loading, a new desert biome, a ghost, butterflies and a whole slew of bug fixes, optimizations and improvements. If you want more details, be sure to check out my blog: blog.cloakedgames.com. You can download the current version of the game at the link at the top of this thread.

Also, a full change-log for this update is listed here:

Beta 1.3.1 - April 14th, 2017

+New graphics, art by JacobV and animations by JellyJake112.
>Almost every single sprite has been replaced.
>GUI has been resized and redesigned. (Inventory and healthbar).
>Walls now match the 2.5D angle and provide visual depth.
+Game now saves at the start of each day. You can load your world if you die.
+Scaling changed. Game can now run in windowed mode. More work on this in the future.
+Energy bar removed. Items now work entirely on cooldown (attack speeds).
>Lightning bolt icon shows whether you can swing or not.
+Difficulty options added. Easy, normal and hard. Will effect monster damage, hunger rates and spawn rates.
+Added the desert biome. Generates rarely on the overworld. They are typically large.
>Cacti: Can be placed to be used as traps for enemies or baked and eaten. Gathered with an axe.
>Cactus flower: Collected from cacti and used to grow more cacti. Yay! Baby cacti are so cute!
>Bone piles: Gathered with a pickaxe. Drops bones.
+Grave drops are now randomized, and have more variety of items hidden.
+Added ghosts. These enemies will haunt you if you disturb graves. They drain your food bar until you starve to death.
+Added butterflies! They do nothing but add to the atmosphere, but that's cool right?
+Added clutter, including logs, stumps, and boulders.
+Bees will now fly from flower to flower, like real bees.
+More sounds. (Block placing, inventory clicking, and more)
+More options for creating worlds.
+You can now hold down the mouse or space to repeatably swing axes and pickaxes.

*Massively optimized the game. (Collisions, region loading and world generation).
*Revamped mob spawning system. Should be more consistant and fair.
*Fixed a peculiar issue with frame-rate on Windows 10 machines with certain drivers.
*You no longer move faster when walking diagonally.
*Night now fades in and out, instead of abrupt sudden changes. Not really a bug fix though.
*Changed font used for the inventory. Should improve readibility.
*Small changes to bird AI. You may find you need a bow to hunt them now.
*You can no longer split "stacks" of tools and weapons. That made no sense.
*Magic bomb recipe changed from [8 wisps of magic and 8 bronze ingots] to [1 wisp of magic and 2 bronze ingots]
*Bone wood recipe changed from [8 bones] to [10 bones]
*Flower depth issues improved. (Not completely fixed, but it's less noticable now).
*Realigned placement cursor. It was annoying.

Thank you for your support on this project. If you have feedback, please comment, I am always looking to make this game better.
 

Misu

The forum's immigrant
Nothing much. Its all good and fun.
I did find the art style mediocre but thats just a subjective matter that you dont need to mind about.
 
Updated to Beta 1.3.2 -

This is mostly a bug fix update. Initially I wasn't planning to release another update until 2.1.1 but I ended up doing just enough while polishing this stuff that I figured I'd release this version since it'll be a while until 2.1.1. This update includes structures with loot chests, bone handled tools, baked apples, and wisp lanterns.

Also, I am now distributing through itch.io. Here is my itch.io page if you want to download Valley of Charon or any of my other games: https://cloakedgames.itch.io/.
 
Updated to Beta 1.3.3 -

This is what I get for not testing properly. The last version was nearly unplayable due to certain issues. I had incorrectly assumed that none of the engine level systems I changed would affect anything else, so I didn't bother to play the game from the beginning. Oops.

Anyways, bugs all fixed. Check the change-log spoiler above if you're curious.
 
It is like a minecraft thingy?... cool mate :)
Thanks! And only sort of. I'd actually compare it more to Terraria, (which is not a crazy difference). Right now it is a pretty standard survival game. But the next update it is going to become its own thing. The goal is to create a procedurally generated RPG game. It will have terrain generation that includes dungeons, boss fights, NPC's, towns, quests, an economy, and a story.
 

John Andrews

Living Enigma
Thanks! And only sort of. I'd actually compare it more to Terraria, (which is not a crazy difference). Right now it is a pretty standard survival game. But the next update it is going to become its own thing. The goal is to create a procedurally generated RPG game. It will have terrain generation that includes dungeons, boss fights, NPC's, towns, quests, an economy, and a story.
Oh! I was about to ask that, so there are going to be towns and stuff? That is really going to boost the game up, if it has a story or something of that sort it can have an incredibly huge potential :D
 

ReidDC

Member
Tried it out, really good job! allot of potential. Only thing that bugged me was the length of the day/night cycle, maybe a bit too fast. Other then that really slick, keep it up!
 
Thanks! Can you give any reasons for feeling like it's too fast?

Unrelated: I'm in the process of making the maximum world size almost 50x larger.
 

ReidDC

Member
Thanks! Can you give any reasons for feeling like it's too fast?

Unrelated: I'm in the process of making the maximum world size almost 50x larger.
Not long enough, as in, not enough time too explore I feel like or get a feel for the area and get supplies.

wow . . . 50 x is crazy big.
 
M

MunchytheFox

Guest
Oh wow, so cool how the final exe is only 2.9mb. Very solid mechanics and coding so far, holding mouse click to mine, mouse scrolling etc. Music would add a lot and I think there's potential to ramp up the horror, I found it awesome that the game said I'll pay for my crimes for destroying a tombstone haha, and was kinda spooked when night fell and thought some monstrosity will come out and one-shot kill me, but I ended up starving to death.

Keep up the good work :p
 
M

MunchytheFox

Guest
Haha ooo, that could be cool! What kind of experience would you want for your overall game btw? It's a crude analogy but since your game is very similar to Minecraft atm, how would you like your game to be set apart from Minecraft?

Would it be a survival crafting game that emphasises horror? Or creating a specific sense of mood from a combination of music, art and mechanics? Or is it about a personal story about a person who wants to get away from their previous life and start fresh trying to live in the wilderness?

Since the terrain of the game is randomly generated, it would be difficult to guide the player through a specific series of events like a more traditional game, but setting up some kind of narrative intrigue could hook players in. Like, are these ghosts related to the protagonist and their past?

Soz so many questions haha
 
since your game is very similar to Minecraft atm, how would you like your game to be set apart from Minecraft?
That, my friend, is a very important question. And I do believe I have a plan to create something brand new, different from any other survival game, and totally awesome. My goal is basically (if I can describe it basically), to create a procedurally generated survival RPG. The final game will hopefully produce a new, living world, each time you start a new save file. There will be towns with backstory, lore, and interesting characters. There will be a single, overarching story (with multiple endings, of course), and smaller stories that build on their own around the characters in the towns. Quests will have their own differences from the traditional style (not planned enough to explain it).

The story I've written is (I hope), impactful, in depth, interesting, and beautiful. It is a story of family, magic, chaos, love, paranoia, revenge, and decisions. I hope to be able to put the player into a world that feels like a new place. A place where when the player logs off, you imagine that the world keeps going on its own. And when you finish the game, and restart, there's a new world to explore, that is merely an echo of a familiar story. But this time, it's a story you've invested in, and you feel determined to have it end up happier than it did last time. (Or worse, depending on what kind of person you are...)

Obviously, I'm a small indie developer, with no budget, no art skills, and only a year to get the project finished (before I go to college). But I've got a good design, a good plan, and a lot of determination. In total, about a 5% chance it'll work out. It won't be because I didn't try though.

But if anybody wants to help out, watch this thread, follow me on itch.io, and give me feedback when I release new updates. Player input is the most important part of this progress. I'm also looking for more artists (who are willing to do pixel art in the same style as the screenshots, for free), and alpha testers (to test versions on short notice a few days before I publish them, or after I've done a massive change). If anybody is interested in doing either of those things, PM me.
 
Weekly Update (10/2) -

Hello everybody! Valley of Charon is planned to release by the end of summer in 2018. That means we have less than a year to finish it all! That's a pretty ambitious goal, though not impossible, so to motivate myself to work on the project (and to keep people interested) I am planning to start releasing screenshots/videos/gifs every Monday from here on out. Each time I post a weekly update, I will also include a goal for what I will show everybody the week following, to keep me on track to finish.

The last few weeks I've been busy porting Valley of Charon from GMS1 to GMS2. It took a quite bit of effort, as I had to completely reprogram several things, including cameras, terrain generation, and reformat a lot of code to read properly. But considering the size of the project, it ported quite easily, so props to yoyo for that. Now that we're using GMS2 I can take advantage of a greatly improved workflow and hopefully be coding faster and more efficiently.

I've started working on the BIG LIST for 2.1.1, which included reformatting the inventory. Now there are more slots that can be viewed outside of the hotbar. Press a key to open the inventory, and you can access all your extra space, crafting, armor, ammo, etc. Using chests or furnaces opens the GUI next to the inventory, so you can access both simultaneously.

New Inventory 2.jpg

You can also see a few new items, bone handled tools/weapons, which are crafted using bone wood instead of regular wood. They have additional durability compared to normal tools. They will be very important for surviving in biomes that don't have trees, like the desert, or tundra. In addition, you might notice a gap in the borderstone at the bottom. Do not worry. That is not a terrain generation glitch.

Next week I will post a screenshot showing new graphic settings and the new desert biome. I've got some awesome things planned for the desert, including revamped skeletons and some entirely new enemies and generated structures. Hold me to it peoples!

As always, you can download Valley of Charon here: https://cloakedgames.itch.io/valley-of-charon
 
S

SarbjitGrewal

Guest
Oh wow, so cool how the final exe is only 2.9mb. Very solid mechanics and coding so far, holding mouse click to mine, mouse scrolling etc. Music would add a lot and I think there's potential to ramp up the horror, I found it awesome that the game said I'll pay for my crimes for destroying a tombstone haha, and was kinda spooked when night fell and thought some monstrosity will come out and one-shot kill me, but I ended up starving to death.

Keep up the good work :p
Agreed with your statement.!
 
Weekly Update (10/9) -

I'm back! We all got a lot of work done, especially because I had a few days off from school. Mostly we worked on the desert biome. Now you may know that there is already a desert biome, but in 2.1.1 we are using a new world map, where the entire world is split into a large grid of rooms with interconnecting pathways. Biomes now take up several rooms and are their own regions, instead of just random blobs within the rest of the map.

In Valley of Charon, each biome will be set-up to allow for its own unique play-style. You can survive in just one biome, but it requires different skills and knowlege of the game to survive in each one, and the benefits and risks of each biome is different than the other biomes. The plains biome will always be in the center, designed as a starter place, that is familiar, with plenty of food and materials. However, you can't tech up much and you will quickly need to adapt to other biomes.

Desert Structure.jpg

The desert biome (which I will show some of today), is for treasure hunters. It is a large barren wasteland, but hidden in the sands are valuable metals and other rare treasure. Ruined pyramids and castles hold incredibly valuable loot but... not everything is safe. The desert is over-run with the skeletal remains of a long defeated army, and the treasure itself is guarded with dangerous traps and enemies. One of these guardians has already been added, but that is going to stay a surprise for later. With sparse food, living in the desert is difficult, but can be very rewarding for those confident enough to make their home where they can explore un-hindered.

Desert Ores.jpg


These screenshots show the sandstone and some of the structures I mentioned before. Also it shows many of the new ores, which include coal, iron, silver and gold, which can be used for many purposes, most notably upgrading your gear higher than is achievable with only copper, tin and bronze. We've been steadily adding new items (we're now over 80 in the game, with more planned for the next week). Next week I will give a more comprehensive look at some of the more interesting items you can look forward to in the future. In addition, I hope to show you a screenshot of our new world map.

As always, you can download Valley of Charon here: https://cloakedgames.itch.io/valley-of-charon Thank you!
 
Weekly Update (10/16) -

I had a lot of homework this last week, so I unfortunately don't have a lot to show you all. However, I did spend my two hours of free time working on the game soundtrack. I've been experimenting with music composition since middle school, when I started taking band classes (I play Alto Saxophone). But, I didn't really know what I was doing until I started taking piano lessons two years ago (around when this project started being serious). I told my teacher I wanted to learn to compose music for video games, and I started learning music theory with the intention of writing a game soundtrack entirely on my own.

The best song I've written so far, and the only one I've published was called "Vast", and it was written for the GMC Jam #3 for my first jam game, Wrath of Stars. It was a science fiction game inspired by Star Wars, and the song I wrote reflected that with a spacey style, and liberal use of synths. Since then I've found it's one of the styles I find I work with the best, and I am considering using that style for Valley of Charon as well. Here is the song I'm am discussing:


I'm looking for feedback before I go too far into writing the music for Valley of Charon. My question is two-fold: first, do you like that song, and that style? Second, do you think it could be used for Valley of Charon? Considering the style of the game (much more medieval and magic), I feel like more traditional instruments may give me a better effect, but I really like the synth heavy style and feel more confident writing with it in general. What do you all think?

Also, I just added Soundcloud to use for sharing my music. Hopefully I'll have a new piece up in the next few days (at least a rough draft): https://soundcloud.com/user-699678262

Next week, I will hopefully show some more Valley of Charon content, including the newest items and maybe the upgraded combat mechanics/effects. If you're interested in playing the game, you can download the game here: https://cloakedgames.itch.io/valley-of-charon. Thanks!
 
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Weekly Update (10/23) -
I have made reasonable progress this week, both with the programming and some of the music. I will hopefully have a new song done in two or three weeks. With the programming I touched up the enemy AI a bit and finished the AI for one of the cool enemies I mentioned earlier, the desert guardians of sorts. It is one of the coolest things I've programmed, and JellyJake112 made some totally awesome sprites for them too. But I'm not going to show those off quite yet. I want them to be a surprise.

What I do have today is a collection of many of the new magic items. I really want magic to be an integral part of the game, mostly because whenever I have the choice I choose magician class, even if it isn't the best way to play. To me, magic is just super fun, so I want lots of great variety in Valley of Charon.

Runner 2017-10-23 17-22-35-056.jpg

Here you can see four rune items: runes of earth, fire, water and air, respectively. They contain the essence of each of those elements and can only be gathered from dangerous foes. Using them, you can create magical staves of each element that have a variety of effects. Their attacks are very powerful, but you've only got a few uses out of them. There is also the bone staff and glowing amber, needed to make a glowing staff that can then be infused with the runes to create the powerful staves.

The only staff programmed so far (but the next three will be programmed tonight or tomorrow), is the earthquake staff. Here it is in action, particle effects not final:

Runner 2017-10-23 17-22-52-201.jpg

The earthquake staff does large AOE damage around the player to ground enemies, and has a chance to stun them. It can also be used for mass mining, but be careful not to break your own house! That's all for today, thanks for reading. If anybody has any cool ideas for spells, please post them, I'd love to have more ideas. I've already got many planned, but I love taking community feedback as well.
 
K

K3TCH_P

Guest
Just played the current version (beta 1.3.3) and it's fun! I really love the pixel art.

Some of my initial feedback from around 10 minutes of game play:
  • Generating the world takes time. Maybe some feedback to the user indicating that is loading would help. E.g Loading screen or even simply "Generating world..." At first I thought maybe the game was glitched.
  • Love the crafting system. Not too complex and straightforward (especially if you've played minecraft). Only feedback was it wasn't initially clear to me how to craft (I didn't move my mouse). This includes graphically as well, although it is intuitive to assume the 'plus' symbol means craft, if I hadn't seen the screenshots in the thread demonstrating crafting I would of struggled to know how or where to craft items.
  • I love the animations for the tools however I think they should be faster. I was spamming space and there is a very long time in between me pressing and getting feedback visually that something is happening.
  • Crafting journal is nice. Escape button could be better looking though
Look forward to playing more and use spells :)
 
Thanks for your feedback! Loading times have been dramatically improved, and have a loading bar now. As for the swinging of tools, you can hold the button and it will auto-swing when it allows you to. Also, better tools have faster swings. It's like using a wooden pickaxe in Minecraft.
 
Weekly (Monthly) Update (12/4) -
It's been a while, partially because of the game jam and partially because of homework and college applications. At any rate, I'm back with a few small updates to help get myself back in the swing of working on this project. I really wanted to release 2.1.1 by the end of the year, and though that might not happen anymore, I still want to make a valiant effort.

One thing I did that didn't take too long is add a Spanish translation for the game. I'll have to continually update it as I add stuff over time, but everything (almost) has been translated so far. There's probably some mistakes, so hopefully people who speak Spanish better than I can will play and tell me what to change.

Runner 2017-12-04 17-01-37-802.jpg

I worked some more on the music also. I decided to upload a few of my unfinished songs as well so that I can hopefully get feedback. I know the instrument quality isn't very good, I'm looking to upgrade my DAW this Christmas. I'm a little uncertain with my songs. Some of them feel too mundane, and some of them feel a little too busy to really fit into the open-world adventure of Valley of Charon. Tell me what you think of these songs, and where you think they might fit into the game, as well as any improvements or changes you could recommend.

All of these are unfinished. I'll take them down once I have finished version I want to put into the game. Read the Soundcloud descriptions for more information on each one.

Unfinished Theme A (Piano): https://soundcloud.com/user-699678262/unfinished-theme-piano

- I don't what this is for. Please suggest something.

Charon's Sorrow: https://soundcloud.com/user-699678262/unfinished-charons-sorrow

- Main theme for the game, and for the villain. There's a story involving the villain, but not sharing that yet.

Whispers in the Sand: https://soundcloud.com/user-699678262/unfinished-whispers-in-the-sand
- Super short beginning to the desert theme. This one is my favorite I think.

I'm noticing that most of theme are a little too quiet. I'm going to make sure my volume settings match between the two computers I use... I also noticed that two of those are the exact same length, which is pretty funny.

Anyways, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy the music, or if you don't, you can give me some suggestions to make it better. Next week I will show more magic staves. I promise! (Okay, that may or may not happen. I still have 50 jam games left to play too.)
 
Weekly Update (12/11) -
I have added another staff (and worked a bit on a third one). I was focusing a lot on the music also. Unfinished Theme A is going to be the desert boss music. Once I have finished the new instrumentation (probably after Christmas) I will upload a new one for you to hear.

The new staff is the glowing flame staff. It creates a burst of flame that damages enemies and burns down flammable materials. It's not quite finished yet, but the goal is for it to catch enemies on fire, doing damage over time, as well as have more utilitarian purposes with melting ice in the tundra (which I will be programming over Christmas break). Here is the flame staff in action:

Runner 2017-12-11 17-12-18-860.jpg

Here is the aftermath: I know, I missed a few of the flowers.

Runner 2017-12-11 17-12-42-375.jpg


Thanks for reading! Next week I will hopefully show the wind-blade staff and maybe the ice-storm staff. I am also going to be working on some optimization of various things and restructuring the code a little bit. I want to finish rooting out all of the compatibility scripts left over from porting to GMS2.
 
Final Update -
Hello again. It's been a long time, and I'm here one last time to say that I am no longer going to be working on Valley of Charon. There are several reasons for this, and I will try to explain here.

Primarily, work on Valley of Charon has been very slow and also not very fun. I understand that making video games takes hard work, but this has more to do with the scope and organization of the project. I had been spending more time rewriting old, broken code, than I was on new things. I've learned so much that I really wanted to start over from scratch. Also, the entire scale of the project was too much, which I had realized. I've been cutting various things from the plan until it was manageable, but the remains weren't something that I wanted to share with anybody. I had been working on VoC out of a sense of obligation at this point, feeling like I had to finish because people expected me to, but I didn't even have something I was willing to put on Steam any time soon. Especially after having to cut some of my favorite things (procedurally generated towns among other things), I realized that I didn't really want to work on VoC at all, and considering this is not a paid job, I'm not going to.

However, I am not done making games. I am simply moving on to new projects. I have one game that I am hoping to finish by the end of 2019, but I am not going to share very much about that until I have a finished product. It is an adventure RPG inspired by Legend of Zelda, similar to
Voyage to the Final Lands, one of the jam games I programmed. It will be called "The Last Librarian". I was craving level design, and removing the procedurally generated part of the project actually allowed me to re-implement a lot of the open-world and story oriented ideas I had for VoC into this new project. I already have a nearly complete engine, and "tutorial" section done, and over the next two weeks I will finish programming all of the items that will be in the game. After that, I will program the final boss, leaving me with the bookends to a project, which I will then fill with content in-between. The reason I'm doing it this way is that by March, I will have an entirely finished game that I could publish right then, I am merely spending extra time adding more things without worrying about system level coding.

Not everything is lost from Valley of Charon however. I will keep the files forever, and I've already copied nearly all of the engine level code from VoC for my new project. In addition, the system I used for procedural generation will be released as a marketplace asset sometime in the Spring (I hope). It is very flexible, allowing for layered/iterative generation, so after a few updates to make it readable, I think people will be able to benefit from using it. In addition, VoC will stay up in its current form for the foreseeable future for free download.

Sorry if you're disappointed. This was not an easy decision to make, working on a project for that long builds a certain attachment. However, now that I have made this decision, I feel much more free and I am truly enjoying developing games again. I will ask to close this thread at some point, but I'll leave it open for now to allow for questions or comments (or complaints). I look forward to showing my new project, it has already developed so far (almost past the point where VoC was) and I think it is going to be really cool.
 
No worries. If you don't feel like working on it anymore, it's time to move on. Simple as that! Maybe you can take a break and just work on your base skillsets (art, music, sound, programming) for awhile before working on the next one in earnest; then the next one will go smoother and be more fun to work on. When you're putting all your effort into a game, it's hard to focus on practicing the basics, which I find is a problem sometimes; I'd love to take a few months off from my game to practice drawing and music, and plan on doing so soon. Now that this project is on hold, you have a perfect opportunity to do just that!

Anyway, don't worry about starting a new game. Good luck on the next one!
 
Actually, the new project is already started, I worked on it over Christmas break, and got a lot of work done. I have also been taking some time to practice my skills as well though. Thanks for the encouragement.
 

JacobV

Member
Sorry to hear things didn't work out. It was pretty fun starting with this as my very first pixelart project, and it's too bad to see it go. Good luck with your next game, though! I'm sure you can use what you've learned here to make that one something special.
 
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