July 2018 Update

Here's the place to talk about the features you would like to see in a sequel to KotC.

July 2018 Update

Postby BlueSalamander » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:01 pm

Hello everyone, here is the July update on the development of Knights of the Chalice 2.

In the past weeks, there were many additions and improvements to the game.

* It's been a while since I posted gameplay screenshots, so here are a bunch of them. Click on a picture to enlarge it:

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* Graphics: I have completed the transfer of many art pieces from KotC 1 to KotC 2, greatly expanding the number of available monster tokens in KotC 2. Even though they are not high resolution, KotC 1 sprites actually make fine supplementary tokens and portraits for KotC 2.

* Help entries: I'm very happy to say that that work is 100% complete. As well as information on controls and shortcut keys, the help covers all of the topics found on the website. But the in-game help is more in-depth and more exhaustive and everything is interconnected with hyperlinks. You can right-click almost anything in the character-sheet screens, character-creation screens and level-up screens to obtain specific information about what you clicked on.

* New adventure map: I've worked on a nice castle map that will have an important role in the demo. See the following map-editor images. Click to enlarge. The castle is called Gleegold Keep. I'm also including an image showing what the editor looks like when adding walls, special squares, altitudes and activable zones.

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* Regional map: I've created a regional map, click on the image above to enlarge it. Locations where the party can travel to will be highlighted with a blue glow (or red glow when mousing over them). These locations will appear progressively on the map, as you learn about them in-game. Currently, the background image is a scaled-up version of a small part of my world map. The icon in the bottom-right corner of the regional map is intended to bring up the world map, in case the party needs to travel to another region. The locations / points of interest can be added easily using the editor.

* Soundtracks: I'm happy to say that I've finished adjusting the volume of the 50 soundtracks available in the game. Volumes needed to be adjusted so that one song is not much louder or much quieter than other songs. The KotC 2 soundtracks include new tracks from Manuel, new tracks from Tyson, all the tracks from my past games, plus a small number of ambient/nature tracks. Manuel and Tyson recently contributed new tracks.

* Bardic sound effects: I now have the complete set of bardic music clips from Robert. There will be four musical instrument categories: lute, harp, panflute and bagpipes, each resulting in different sound effects when the party's Bard plays a song. I also have item icons for all four categories. Now I just have to make sure that the bard can equip musical instruments and implement the four sound-effect sets in the game. Robert is also planning to do a Tavern soundtrack.

* Voice effects: I've just started processing the voice effects from voice actress Ariana. First I need to process them and prepare them for the game. Then I need to implement them so that they play at the right times in-game. For example, a random acknowledgement sound will be played when the player clicks to have the party move from point A to point B. Voice effects may also be played through scripts.

* Editor upgrade: I recently completed a massive upgrade of the module and map editor. Now the map editor is like an easy-to-use dungeon painting programme. It can be used to place braziers and pit traps inflicting any of the various energy types. It can also be used to place many adventure-map graphical elements, big and small, easily onto the map. You can place things like pillars, random forests, random barrels, interactive elements such as a lever, and many other things. For example, when you place a random forest, the editor picks one forest image out of a bunch of forest images that were created earlier by Roman, the graphic artist. Once placed, you can move the new forest, delete it or duplicate it.

In addition, the colourful animated butterflies, animated flies and animated bugs from KotC 1 are back. And there will be spatialised sounds for things like torch lights, flies, fountains, damp places, jungle areas, windy corridors and church choirs. Click on the image below to see the editor's fully-expanded menu. I'm also including an image of the Select Saved Game screen.

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* Website update: I've recently added a chart of the weapon proficiencies of each class. Click the link and scroll down to see the chart.

* Public domain images: I'll probably use some images from https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/ as story images, since the site has so many good pictures. See below:

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* New module planned: I've been conducting talks with Tiavals concerning a Middle East-themed module or campaign that he is planning to create, in partnership, using the tools of KotC 2.

* Combat scripts: I have implemented a small number of script commands used to control enemies during combat.

The most important one is 'Tactics cast spell', the command used to cast a spell or manifest a psionic power. If a combat script contains several 'Tactics cast spell' commands, then the AI will try to cast each spell in the script sequentially, for example it will cast Haste in the first round of combat and Fireball in the second round. As well as the name of the spell, a few more things can be specified, such as a metamagic option, a target square or a target allied creature. You can also specify 'Breath Weapon' instead of a spell name, if you want the creature to use its breath weapon on a particular round. You also use this command to let a creature drink a potion or use a magic item.

Next, we have 'Tactics always cast'. This command is used when you want a spellcaster to make sure that someone always benefits from a particular effect. For example, a Cleric might want to cast Death Ward on an allied dragon any time the dragon loses the Death Ward effect. The same thing can be done with Stoneskin, Haste, etc.

Next, we have 'Tactics do not move'. This command is used when enemies should not move for a number of rounds because someone in the group is planning to launch at a particular location an area spell, such as Web, Silence or Darkness.

Next, we have 'Tactics run away'. This command allows the module creator to let a creature run away from combat when between 10% and 90% of its allies have been defeated and/or when a particular creature has been defeated.

Finally, we have 'If combat round number is equal to / above / or below a particular number'. There are two main uses. Firstly, an alarm may be triggered if combat is taking too long. As in KotC 1, this means that all enemies on the map will be ready for the player, so you cannot surprise them. There may also be more enemy groups and enemy patrols. The second use is when you want to have reinforcements join the battle, for example at the beginning of the third round and sixth round of combat. So you check for the combat round number and then you add monsters to the battle.

* What's next: First I need to complete work on voice effects. Then I need to implement equipped musical instruments and Bardic clips. Then I need to implement all the remaining wondrous/magic items that I've been planning to have in the game for a long looong time. I'm also planning to give more feats to a number of classes (as discussed in this forum thread). I also need to complete work on the spells that can be cast automatically after resting. There is also some work needed on certain script commands that I want to improve. For example, there's a script command to add dialogue answers, but I want that command to allow specifying the text colour and whether the answer can be selected by the player. That way, we can have the game display options that are not available to the party because it requires a certain Skill. Then there's some extra work needed on combat spellcasting AI. I also want to review all my notes to see if there's something important I forgot about.

Basically, the above is what I'd like to finish before focusing only on the demo adventure. In the demo, I'm planning to use high experience-point awards so that the party gains levels quickly, just like in the demo of KotC 1. It will feature a number of locations, a good number of combat encounters and several interesting riddles and puzzles, such as a piano riddle for which I recently collected piano sounds and created the following image. Traditionally, each piano key is marked with a letter, so you have to find a sequence of letters somewhere and then play the associated melody on a piano to solve the riddle and unlock something.

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Thank you for reading! Comments are welcome. Farewell and stay tuned for the August update!
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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July 2018 Update

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Re: July 2018 Update

Postby Atoch » Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:16 pm

Music riddles - ah memories, the last time I met one was in an old DOS-game. It was done marvellously.

I like what I see.
The castle background and the map are beautiful. The character-sheets are good looking too, but I miss a bit the information about savings throws and MR.

The dungeon screens are - not beautiful, but they are well done and easy to the eyes (well, dungeons aren't supposed to be pretty, are they?). A lot of informations, and some loveable details, in a clear and lean design - I appreciate it. Only the form (and colour!) of the combat-log is too... industrial(?). It just looks like a development tool. Its content, however, is top!

I hope, the people will give the token-concept a fair chance. Sometimes "quantity" can lead to a change in "quality" and KotC 2 has so many more options and possibilities than any other D&D based game I know of. But these huge numbers of different monster-types, feats and battle-mechanics compel a more abstract level of representation.
After reading, several times, through all the informations about KotC 2 on this website I am sure the tabletop-esque token design is the right choice for this game, even if it is a bold business decision. The token-concept just doesn't constrain the gameplay so much like other graphic-engines would.
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Re: July 2018 Update

Postby Marinx » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:06 pm

Congratulations Blue. This looks awesome. Editor is looking really nice and seems easy to use. It would be great if you could add option to export drawn map to .jpg or .pdf. To use as a battlemap for tabletop roleplaying. Your editor looks way better than programs that are dedicated just for map making :mrgreen:
One thing I noticed that I didn't like is red halo around that magic bow. It reminds me of watermelon :D

Btw if you need nature images, I think that I have several in my library (I shoot them with my phone or photocamera). Just let me know.

Keep up the good work
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Re: July 2018 Update

Postby wedgiey1 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:19 pm

Pretty excited about this! Have some questions.

What Ruleset is KotC2?

What is "AB" in the character creation screen?

6 Total Characters in one party seems like a lot doesn't it?

5% chance to hit on the dragon means he needs a nat 20?

Why is the troll scoring a critical threat vs Kalek when he rolled a 12?

Also why is the trolls damage described as "Slashing" when it says Bludgeoning on the mouseover?

Will the game show reflex rolls vs the breath weapon attack?
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Re: July 2018 Update

Postby Tiavals » Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:02 am

5% chance to hit on the dragon means he needs a nat 20?
It seems so.

Why is the troll scoring a critical threat vs Kalek when he rolled a 12?
Likely something to do with the Skewer ability the troll apparently has.

Also why is the trolls damage described as "Slashing" when it says Bludgeoning on the mouseover?
The mouseover shows what's expected to happen if the selected player character would attack the troll (instead of showing the trolls stats). Meaning, Kalek is armed with a bludgeoning weapon (not the troll), in this case his fists (as can be seen on the upper left side).
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Re: July 2018 Update

Postby BlueSalamander » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:02 am

Thank you so much everyone for your support and expressions of interest! :)

Atoch wrote:I miss a bit the information about savings throws and MR
No worries, these screenshots are the Character Creation and Inventory screens only. You get full character information in the Character Sheet screens.

Atoch wrote:The dungeon screens are - not beautiful
It's not the final version, though. Also, I have nicer-looking dungeon maps but I have yet to process them for use in the game.

Atoch wrote:Only the form (and colour!) of the combat-log is too... industrial(?). It just looks like a development tool
We'll see, maybe I'll create an option to display it with a scroll-parchment style, as in Ultima Underworld.

Marinx wrote:It would be great if you could add option to export drawn map to .jpg or .pdf
It's already implemented :)
If you look at the expanded editor menu, it's on the rightmost side of the menu, under 'Special': 'Export Image to PNG'. Once you have the PNG, you can convert it to JPG or PDF if you want to, and you can use the map in tabletop RPG gaming.

Marinx wrote:if you need nature images, I think that I have several in my library (I shoot them with my phone or photocamera). Just let me know.
Thank you for the offer, I will send you a private message about this.

wedgiey1 wrote:What Ruleset is KotC2?
The ruleset of KotC 2 is based on the OGL 3.5 open game content, which is the foundation of the D&D 3.5 ruleset.

wedgiey1 wrote:What is "AB" in the character creation screen
It's the character's starting melee Attack Bonus, based on the character's Strength and Class. In-game, you can mouse over any element and a tooltip will provide information about it. In addition, you can right-click and the associated help entry will be displayed.

wedgiey1 wrote:6 Total Characters in one party seems like a lot doesn't it?
I expect that the demo and most modules will be tailored for a party comprising between four and six characters. However, it's totally fine to have a party with fewer characters. In that case, each character gains more experience points whenever the party defeats a group of monsters. You should have at least one character who can cast healing spells.

wedgiey1 wrote:5% chance to hit on the dragon means he needs a nat 20?
That's right, 5% chance to hit means you need an attack roll of 20. 10% means 19 or 20. 50% means anything from 11 to 20. 95% means that you fail on a roll of 1 only.

wedgiey1 wrote:Why is the troll scoring a critical threat vs Kalek when he rolled a 12?
As Tiavals said, it's the Skewer ability: You trigger a Critical Hit whenever the attack roll exceeds the target's Armour Class by five or more. You still need to confirm the critical hit. Here, the attack roll was 18 and the target's armour class was 9.

wedgiey1 wrote:Will the game show reflex rolls vs the breath weapon attack?
Absolutely. And if you click on the roll in the combat log, you open a help entry displaying all the modifiers applying to that roll, just as it was in KotC 1.
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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Re: July 2018 Update

Postby Marinx » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:41 am

BlueSalamander wrote:It's already implemented :)
If you look at the expanded editor menu, it's on the rightmost side of the menu, under 'Special': 'Export Image to PNG'. Once you have the PNG, you can convert it to JPG or PDF if you want to, and you can use the map in tabletop RPG gaming.


That is excellent. This will be quite useful 8-)
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Re: July 2018 Update

Postby Novograd » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:17 pm

Keep up the good work Blue, it all seems wonderful! Can't wait!
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Re: July 2018 Update

Postby itsdat » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:28 pm

I can't wait to play this! Finally an old-school turn based D&D RPG. [I hate the RTWP RPGs...]
I have a few questions, if you don't mind.

1. What can we do with the toolset? How powerful will it be? Can we add new gfx [like portraits, tiles etc] for example? Can we change the existing spells or even add new spells for example?
2. I think you should try to improve the regional map. The overland map looks beatufiul, but zoomed in map looks bad. Isn't there a way to reduce the "img quality loss" when we zoom in? Also! I think the locations are looking weird
The "3d" style is just not fitting. Perhaps you should use tokens on the regional map as well. It would be much better imo. :)
3. That dragon on the the screenshot. It made me think. What is the max creature size, which is allowed? Can we have even bigger creature tokens? Also, that dragon for example won't be able to chase the party into small tunnels
hopefully. IE. The size of a creature [token] "interacts" with the map + obstacles properly hopefully. :)
4. I suppose you will upgrade the interface, because for example that green background of the combat log isn't looking good. You should use some textures for stuff like that. The font will be changed btw? Perhaps a "fantasy font"
would be better for a game like this.
I really can't wait to play this. Are you going to sell the game on Steam? Also can we pre-order? Do you have any plans with regard to beta testing?
That is all for now!
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Re: July 2018 Update

Postby BlueSalamander » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:49 am

Thank you very much for your support and encouragement everyone! :)

I can't wait to play this! Finally an old-school turn based D&D RPG. [I hate the RTWP RPGs...]
I also think that turn-based combat is much better in CRPGs, especially D&D party-based RPGs.

1. What can we do with the toolset? How powerful will it be? Can we add new gfx [like portraits, tiles etc] for example? Can we change the existing spells or even add new spells for example?
I will start with what you cannot do. You cannot use the toolset to create new character classes and new feats, and you cannot change the interface.

Now I'll talk about what you can do. You can create new maps, new modules and new campaigns. You can place walls, doors, portcullises, triggers, pillars, pits, ledges and dangerous squares easily. You can place artwork like forests, barrels, crates and many other things easily.

You can create new dialogues and control the storyline easily with the powerful Script Editor. You can use scripts to give quests to the party and award experience points or magic items.

You can create new monsters and NPCs with the Creature Editor and Creature Template Editor. You can modify their AI extensively and give them special abilities. You can give a class and class levels to any monster easily. You can place the monsters and NPCs easily on your map. For example, you can place 10 orcs and set them to behave as a group in just ten seconds. You can create detailed encounters with a starting dialogue, allies, enemy reinforcements during combat, or a special dialogue when the villain is killed.

You can create new items, new weapons and new armour with the Item Editor and Weapon Editor and you can place them easily on the map or in the inventory of any creature. Yes, there is also a Spell Editor allowing you to alter existing spells or add new ones easily.

Yes, you can add new graphics easily for use as creature tokens, portraits, items, weapons, interactive map elements, map backgrounds and story images.

2. I think you should try to improve the regional map. The overland map looks beatufiul, but zoomed in map looks bad. Isn't there a way to reduce the "img quality loss" when we zoom in? Also! I think the locations are looking weird
The "3d" style is just not fitting. Perhaps you should use tokens on the regional map as well. It would be much better imo. :)
Yes, I agree that it would be great to have hand-drawn artwork in the regional map, for both the background and the locations. With a successful Kickstarter, I will take care of that, certainly. As far as I know, zooming in always reduces image quality. It's just an easier way to obtain a regional map. However, the best solution is to have a professional graphic artist draw an entirely new regional map.

What is the max creature size, which is allowed?
Normally, the maximum creature size is 4x4 squares, equal to 256x256 pixels. I guess it may be possible to have bigger creatures, I have not tried it.

that dragon for example won't be able to chase the party into small tunnels hopefully. IE. The size of a creature [token] "interacts" with the map + obstacles properly hopefully.
Large creatures do interact with the map properly.

Usually, large creatures can squeeze through passages that are smaller than them. I think that's a better behaviour than having them get stuck and unable to conduct physical attacks just because the player has retreated into a tunnel that's not exactly the right size for the creature. ;)

I suppose you will upgrade the interface, because for example that green background of the combat log isn't looking good. You should use some textures for stuff like that. The font will be changed btw? Perhaps a "fantasy font"
would be better for a game like this.
I hear you on the combat log and you're the second person to mention that. I have a few ideas as to how to improve it. First, I will try using one of the styles that I'm using for other windows, featuring a textured background and small red gems on the window's border. That might work.

Concerning the font, I think that readability is paramount, so I quite like the current one. No point using a fantasy font if everything becomes harder to read, right?

Are you going to sell the game on Steam?
Yes, I'm planning to sell the game on Steam. I faxed a form to the US IRS a couple of weeks ago in order to get a registration number that I will need for Steam.

Also can we pre-order?
Currently, I have no plans to accept pre-orders.

Do you have any plans with regard to beta testing?
Currently, I have no plans for beta-testing as I prefer to focus on creating a polished demo, and then looking into Kickstarter and Steam.

I hope that answers your questions. Feel free to post again if you want to know more about anything, and please don't forget to try the free Knights of the Chalice demo if you have not already done so. Thank you!!
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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