Shiny Weapons

Here you can see a Computer controlled wizard casting Dark Power on an enemy Golden Dragon..

Screenshot for Chaos Groove, with magic attacks and powered up wizards

Notice also the wizards running about with spangly, shiny, super-weapons! Yes, I have put in the code and the new gfx to let you cast Magic Shield, Magic Armour, Magic Knife, Magic Sword, Magic Wings & Magic Bow. 🙂

I had to add a bit more shading detail to Magic Armour as it was looking too flat otherwise, and it is one of my favourite gfx in Chaos. I would love to do all the gfx with this amount of detail or more, but I’m afraid I’m not a good enough artist to do on the creatures..

To implement the new spells.. first of all I added a spell option to enable a spell to change a target piece’s gfx to another one in the list of pieces available. This lets me change the wizard gfx, but it could also be used to disguise a strong piece with a weaker creature’s image (thinking of evil spells here!). With this in place I was able to add more spell options to change individual stats like combat, defence, movement, etc.. Like the originals, the combat and defence options refer back to the original pieces values to stop you casting two magic knifes and getting a +4 combat advantage.

All these wizard spells also let the wizard attack undeads, although that side of the code in terms of creature attacking is not in there yet. I’ve made the magic bow arrow gfx appear white with a slight glow to separate it from the normal arrows.

The AI can now also use these new wizard spells, although I might have to tweak the values used after analysing more games. At the moment though, the AI will be more likely to cast spells like shield, armour, wings or bow if it is under threat. Similarly, it is more likely to cast knife, sword, wings or bow if feeling strong. I think this does reflect how human players would play and hopefully will feel more natural. The AI will also not cast a spell like knife when it already has sword.. Oh, and having the same spell more than once will make it more likely to be cast (more chance of getting one to work).

I had to do a bit of work to get the AI wizards to shoot properly when moving around, mounting and firing, or standing still and firing from the ground or when riding a creature. This part of the code wasn’t there at all before, and it took a while, but it seems to be working ok. Now, they are just totally evil with their new weapons.

What else? Oh, I’ve made the wizards be more likely to ride pieces when under threat rather than trying to hide in the open. I think I’ve fixed the spell information bug Kreezer mentioned and I fixed a couple of other rare bugs in there too.

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Great balls of fire..

Somewhere in the middle of this raging inferno is a wizard who is about to die!

Screenshot for Chaos Groove, with fire effect in place.

Yes, I’ve been improving and adding new particle effects (and they look much better in motion!) Firstly, there is an improved exploding effect (such as when casting magic bolt). I’ve also added a proper flame effect (see above), for when a dragon’s fire hits something. I still need to do proper missile particle effects.. Also in place is a new magic attack effect (which looks pretty cool), and this also means that I’ve added the 4 magic attack spells: Justice, Decree, Dark Power & Vengence. Not only that, but the AI will actually use them as well. 🙂

The AI won’t cast them on a wizard that is not riding another creature (or tree, castle), because for the moment I have not put in the code where a wizard loses all his creatures. This will be optional in the game with a few variations, I always felt it was too unbalanced personally.. but it will be in there if people want to enable it.

Once I’ve got the AI to use raise dead properly, I’ll be moving onto spells like magic shield, etc.. There is more drawing for the wizard gfx for those, so it will take a bit longer.

More creature gfx done

I’ve been hard at work again today on doing some more new creature gfx for the Groove gfx set. Today I have done new work for these creatures :

Dire Wolf, Crocodile,Vampire (recoloured), Lion (improved), Elf, Orc, Gorilla, Skeleton, Eagle, Giant and Zombie.

I’ve still got a few to do, but most of them are done now which is good news! 🙂

More sprite work..

I’ve added another 4 redrawn creatures to the new Chaos Groove pack: Faun, Unicorn, Centaur and Pegasus.
Because the last 3 of those are based on the horse gfx it didn’t take so long to redraw them.

I’ve still got a few creatures to go through however… groan!

More bits & pieces

I’ve been working a little more on the AI today. I’ve made the computer players try to keep away from the corners and being directly against a border unless they feel threatened by a creature being too close, or if a powerful creature is cast like a dragon. It took a while to get the balance right, but it now seems to be working ok which helps the movement feel a little bit more intelligent than in Funk where wizards used to run straight into corners.

Also today I’ve let the right mouse button cancel movement and/or firing as in Chaos Funk. Little UI shortcuts like this do help to make things flow quicker.

Finally I’ve been working on the gfx, including the 8 basic wizard designs as well as a few more creatures. I still wish I had the help of a proper gfx artist, but at least the new Groove pack doesn’t look so sharp edged as the Funk pack.

Here’s a screenshot showing some examples of this:

Screenshot

Graphical update

I’m currently working on both the programming and tidying up the existing scaled up Chaos Funk gfx for a new Chaos Groove gfx set. Since I am not really an artist this is difficult and quite tedious.

After experimenting a little, I’ve decided that I’m going to make things simpler by keeping the existing ‘flat’ style, but smoothing the curved edges, improving and fixing errors in the scaling and using a more dynamic colour scheme.

Here is an example of the new lion gfx (with a mane at last!)

Lion

And here is the new Ogre (with a more dynamic colour scheme)

Ogre

Notice the smoother curves on both graphics while still retaining the flat minimal style which does work for Chaos and makes it easier to do graphics.