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Skybreak

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Re: Skybreak

Postby The0didactus » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:08 pm

I'll just post it like this and see what happens.
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skybreak finished.jpg
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Re: Skybreak

Postby The0didactus » Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:38 pm

yeah that works. You can right click it and open it in a new tab
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Skybreak Screenshots

Postby The0didactus » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:32 pm

I told myself when I broke 500 kb of pure text I would post some more screenshots and explanations of the game. Today I hit that milestone (I fully expect this to be more than 700 kb by the time it gets released for IFCOMP). Rather than post a bunch of pictures here that never come out "sized" the right way, I just make a slide deck.

This link should take you to a slideshow that shows off the main mechanics of the game and some tantalizing screenshots of what is to come...
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Re: Skybreak Screenshots

Postby Denk » Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:38 am

Looks great! And since you are using numbers for choices in this game, no one can complain about the parser :)
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Re: Skybreak Screenshots

Postby The0didactus » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:05 pm

I hate to say that was a major consideration, but it was. After 6SB I thought long and hard about which of my nascient games to take through to development for next year, and I had such a bad experience fighting with the parser that I just decided to go all out with the game that was more choice heavy.

ADRIFT Is actually a remarkably good engine for a CYOA. I've gotten so good at manufacturing these little story encounters that I can do maybe one every 10 minutes.
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Re: Skybreak Screenshots

Postby DazaKiwi » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:45 pm

Looking good. The design comments was almost like a directors commentary. I noticed pass time as one of the many options, what happens when this is chosen? is there a chance of something random happening or is there for another reason?
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Re: Skybreak Screenshots

Postby The0didactus » Tue Apr 23, 2019 11:27 pm

The game is very much a risk/reward balance. Every location has an option called "Pass the time" (or "Drift along" if you're in space). These are not perfectly safe options, but they are always the safest option at a particular location. The encounters associated with passing time/drifting along tend to be much lower stakes, but give less interesting rewards.
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Re: Skybreak

Postby The0didactus » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:08 pm

An in-depth description of the already-finished ship-to-ship combat system, which took me more than a month to make.

Most conflicts in Skybreak are resolved with a simple modified D10 roll, but I knew from the beginning I wanted to make ship combat more involved. Specifically I wanted to make a text-based system that captured the fun of old pencil-and-paper RPGs. The mechanics for space combat walk a fine line between a deliberately complex and swingy system (as befits a zany sci-fi adventure) and something that's easy to learn. I'm not entirely sure I succeeded but whatever.

Here's the main thing you see on every "turn" of the battle:
Capture.PNG
Capture.PNG (86.22 KiB) Viewed 706 times


followed by these options:
Capture2.PNG
Capture2.PNG (92.56 KiB) Viewed 706 times


Broadly then, what you're doing is shooting laser beams at each other. An "attack roll" is computed as follows:
1d10+[your gunnery skill]+[your heading modifier, in this case it's -5, I'm facing roughly away from the enemy]+[the enemy's difficulty modifier]
If this roll "meets or beats" a 5, you hit the enemy, and destroy whatever your firing solution was aiming for.

When your enemy shoots at you, you make a "defense roll" which is computed as follows:
1d10+[your pilot skill]+[your speed modifier, in this case it's -10, they're gaining on me fast]+[the enemy's difficulty modifier]
If this roll "meets or beats" a 5, the enemy does not hit you. Otherwise they do.

You'll notice there are various combat options besides "shoot", you can adjust your speed and heading in order to get into a better position, or velocity relative to the enemy. You can try to escape the combat entirely. You can even pull one of four randomly-presented maneuvers that dramatically alters the battlescape. The outcome of these actions are determined by rolls similar to the one above. This combat even features a special "talent", as this character has the ability to instantly warp away from any space battle so long as he spends an adventure point. This basically replicates Han Solo's ability to escape any battle, no matter the odds.

When the enemy hits you, various things happen:
* If your defensive grid is active, the attack is absorbed by that. Each hit has a 50% chance of deactivating the defensive grid.
Otherwise:
* the attack has a 50% chance of hitting your bow, then your stern, then your hull.
* The attack has a 25% chance of hitting your computronics, then your avionics, then your reactor
* the attack has a 25% chance of hitting your optics, then your photonics, then your reactor.

If your hull or your reactor are destroyed, you're dead. (or, if you have an adventure point, you basically spaceman-spiff it onto an alien planet).
If your avionics is destroyed, you can no longer steer or accelerate
if your optics is destroyed, you can no longer shoot
if your photonics is destroyed, you can no longer escape
This means a battle can go belly-up pretty fast. Luck is a huge part of this.

There are several character talents that can modify combat pretty dramatically:
* the ace can dramatically adjust heading and relative velocity by spending an adventure point
* the officer can spend an adventure point to make the defensive grid almost invincible, yelling "shields up" in a manly-or-womanly fashion first, of course
* the battleship can spend an adventure point to launch cobalt torpedoes, which always hit, and hit 2-5 firing solutions at once
* the spell caster can spend an adventure point to wrack the enemy ship with arcane fire, significantly decreasing their difficulty rating.
* the star skiff, featured above, can escape any space battle at any time. The cost is an adventure point and the fact that you end up basically anywhere in the universe.

most battles take between 3 and 10 turns.
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Re: Skybreak

Postby Kennedy » Wed May 01, 2019 11:31 pm

Will there be opportunities in the game for the player to raise their skills or health and spirit? And will saving your game be allowed?
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Re: Skybreak

Postby The0didactus » Thu May 02, 2019 12:01 am

Unlike most of my games, the manual for this one explicitly encourages saving. A single game runs many, many hours, and is definitely not designed for a single session of play. I would stress though that the central drama of the whole game is trying to pick what to do on a strange alien world with tons of stuff to try (in most locations, you only get "one pick" each time you stop, with no guarantee you'll ever be back there again). I think it would defeat the point of the game to "savescum" at a location and "try everything" just to see what happens...but unlike all my other games, this one isn't a "survival" game.

As for improving skills: your character's initial build matters a great deal, gains made during the game rarely, if ever, overshadow what you start with. There are ways to level up any skill (or spirit or health) but they are rare and often temporary. As some examples:
* The "Tinker" talent allows you to spend an adventure point to create an "invention" that boosts two stats by 1. These inventions break after a modest interval
* two talents allow you to spend an adventure point to boost a large number of skills by "1" for a short interval (Genius gives +1 to Astronomy, biology, technology, acumen, subterfuge, history and occultism) (Soldier gives +1 to Strength, Stealth, Gunnery, Survival, Pilot, perception, and Mining,)
* the "gunslinger" talent allows you to spend an adventure point to boost your gunnery skill by +5 for a single roll. This makes you almost unbeatable
* the "spell caster" talent allows you to spend an adventure point to boost your gunnery and strength skill by your occultism skill for a single roll.
* Several planets allow you to recruit a hero, usually for a cost. Heroes either boost two stats by 1, or one stat 2 and drop 1 stat by one. Heroes stick around but eventually leave your crew
* a small number of encounters will have the option of recruiting a sidekick, which boosts a single stat by 1. Sidekicks last forever but you can only have one.
* The only way to increase your stats permanently are sparsely distributed "pure choose your own adventure" encounters, these encounters have no skill check, success, or failure, the consequences of your choice are that some skill gets boosted. I'd estimate in a typical game you'd have 2 of these, so +1 twice

Because almost all encounters in this game are "meet or beat" checks of 4, 5, or 6 on a 1d10+[skill] roll, even a +1 bonus is a dramatic advantage.
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Re: Skybreak

Postby The0didactus » Wed May 08, 2019 1:26 am

Tomorrow, I will finish all the location-based encounters in Skybreak, opening the game up for its first round of playtesting (testing only by yours truly). The only thing that needs doing after that are the super-unique-extra-special-storyline-type encounters, an undertaking which will take the rest of the summer.

Because I'm starting my full-playthrough testing, I thought I'd share the five characters I will be doing all my testing with. These characters, among other things, will allow me to test all 10 victory conditions.

This is also a great way to introduce the galaxy itself, as well as the main mechanics in their unified form. So, introducing...

Iggy the Earthling
Species: Human
Background: Irthling, Explorer
Talents: Lowlife, Archeologist, Star Skiff
Skill focus: history
Skills: History+3, Subterfuge +2, Survival +2, Acumen +1, Perception+1, Piloting+1,

Iggy is a college dropout from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who until very recently was stuck at a dead-end job in a chemical supply company. One friday evening, he ordered a pepperoni-and-mushroom combo from a local italian eatery, and ate more than a few bad mushrooms. After a psychedelic experience that defies conventional description, he awoke somewhere in the NGC 300 spiral galaxy, with absolutely no idea how he got there or how to get home. Iggy now has a choice: remain here, in a galaxy full of adventure and wonder, or try to make it home by Monday so he doesn't get fired...

Iggy's whole build is about sampling. He is built to wander around, see interesting things, meet interesting people (and aliens), and survive any situations that become hostile. Iggy's build begins with a ton of adventure points, and he easily acquires more...the tradeoff is he's not very "good" at many things. His amateur interest in history, and natural curiosity, are his only really significant advantages. Iggy's Lowlife and Archeologist talents give him many more encounter options than a typical character, and his Star Skiff build allows him to escape virtually any space battle, no matter how great the odds. Iggy will "win" if he can make it back to earth (one of the "longest" victory conditions) or land on every type of planet (one of the "shortest")

Hugo Jentacular
Species: Human
Background: Skybreaker, Adventurer
Talents: Negotiator, Lowlife, Gunslinger
Skill Focus: Stealth
Skills: Acumen +2, Subterfuge +2, stealth +2, survival +1, occultism +1, gunnery +1, (2 health, 3 spirit)

The Skybreakers control the galaxy known on Earth as NGC 300. 500 years ago, they slew the alien gods that ruled this place, and built up a benevolent space empire that is by all accounts the most advanced and powerful civilization in charted space. Most skybreakers occupy their time in devising ever-more-effective strategies to structure society, or pursue great feats of scholarship and heroism...Hugo Jentacular spends his time getting rich. A portly, good-natured, fun-loving fellow, Hugo believes his purpose in life is merely to have as much fun as possible before his arteries clog and he kicks it. He is not to be underestimated though, rumor has it that beneath his fleshy scalp sits one of the most devious criminal minds in the galaxy, and his gun hand, while slightly flabby, is still among the fastest in the galaxy...

Hugo's build turns Skybreak! into a trading game. He is built to milk every possible trading and smuggling opportunity, and, when necessary, to shoot down any rival that tries to come up against him. Hugo doesn't know it, but he's also purpose built to go up against the scariest cr*p in the cosmos and prevail...he will probably, at some point, give up his life of crime and help the skybreakers save the galaxy. Hugo will "win" if he can accumulate a certain amount of gold and luxury goods, or if he can accomplish 10 missions for the Skybreakers.

3rd Degree Learned Observer Gox
Species: Syr
Background: Scientist, Inquisitor
Talents: Tinkerer, Navigator, Science Vessel
Skill Focus: Astronomy
Skills: Astronomy +5, Technology +4, Biology +2, Pilot +1,

The Inquiry of Syr, who live on the far side of the galactic core, have structured their entire civilization around the pursuit of scientific knowledge. The entire civilization is, in effect, one large academy, as cutthroat and pedantic as any on Earth. While many Syr dedicate themselves to personal advancement and the cultivation of prestige, some care only for knowledge itself. Gox is such a Syr, a cosmic drifter whose only desire is to wander the stars, and come to know them. his astronomical knowledge is, in fact, so sophisticated that he was effectively dispatched from the Inquiry by professional rivals who feared his abilities. Will Gox ever return to Inquiry space? What will happen if he does?

Gox is built to study stuff, there's not a whole lot else that he can do. He is a single-purpose, monomaniacal research machine. Gox will win the game if he can gather a ton of research data, or if he can accomplish ten missions for the Inquiry of Syr.

Skyzzakreea
Species: Goblin
Background: starfarer, space hero
Talents: Ace, Officer, Battleship
Skill focus: Strength
Skills:, strength +3, pilot+2, gunnery +2, survival +2, mining +1 Acumen +1 (2 health)

At the farthest edge of the galaxy, the Starfarers dwell, wandering aimlessly from ancient world to ancient world. There is no law here, at the barbarian rim, and no peace either. Countless goblin and human tribes raid one another endlessly, perpetually seeking fleeting power and glory. Into this bloodbath wandered Skyzzakreea, a mighty goblin with a heart of gold, and a hand of iron. Skyzzakrea was exiled from his tribe for following the old ways, ways far more noble and honorable than the current scrum and scrabble...he always swore he would change things...no one believed him...until one day he found a wrecked superdreadnought on an alien world and successfully brought the thing back to life. Now, Skyzzakreea sails the starways aboard one of the mightiest ships in known space.

Skyzzakreea's build primarily exists so I can try out the ship-to-ship combat system endlessly. He is almost invincible in space combat...and land-based hand-to-hand combat as well. Skyzzakreea will win if he can acquire 9 adventure points, and raise his reputation among any galactic power to 9. He will also win if he accomplishes ten missions for the starfarer tribes.

Oomian'roi, the Crown in Shadows
Race: Elfin
Background: Sorcerer, Storyteller
Talents: Soldier, Genius, Spell caster
skill focus: Stealth
Skills: occultism +3, stealth +3, history +2, Acumen +2, Strength +1, Perception +1,

It is widely believed that there are no more elfin kings. The last, it is said, died in the great war to control the galaxy 500 years ago...but the child of one king survived. Raised in the shadows beyond the curved ring of space and time, this child learned the ways of the night, the secrets of black magic and witchcraft. oomian'roi is omni-talented, a peerless soldier and a brilliant tactician, a powerful sorcerer and a notorious assassin...and now he has returned to the Skybreak galaxy to plot his rise to power. He will stop at nothing, continuing his dark machinations until he becomes a king...no...a god!

This is a wacky build which I put together because I wanted to see what would happen. Roi is mostly built to explore the really dark, mysterious places of the cosmos and come out alive. He will win if he can gather up enough stories...or gather up enough forbidden, forgotten, and foretold lore to become a god.
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Re: Skybreak

Postby Lumin » Wed May 08, 2019 5:35 am

hurry up and let me play
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Re: Skybreak

Postby The0didactus » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:09 pm

At long last, I'm finished with the alpha version of Skybreak, to be released and tested by other people next week. This contains the whole game except three "storylines" which the player can play by choosing certain backgrounds for their starting character. I expect these to be about 1/8th of the content in the whole game (but they need to be immaculately written so I saved them for last, and want the game thoroughly debugged and balanced first)

I start playtesting the alpha version of the game for myself tomorrow.

Stats as of this date

Locations: 244
Objects: 2
Tasks: 3149
Characters: 28
Events: 3
Variables: 241

Size: 703.3 Kb
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Re: Skybreak

Postby The0didactus » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:16 pm

Lumin wrote:hurry up and let me play

Lumin finally got a chance to play

Skybreak has now broken 800kb and has finished alpha playtesting with three testers. All the bugs they found have been (hopefully) fixed. It's entirely possible that this will be 1MB when it's finished. We'll see what I can get done in the next month.
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