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Topics - Xusilak

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Submitted my own run of 36:03 a few hours ago, which you can see here. I was working on a much better run just now (a full 4 minutes faster thanks to better planning and better execution) but I kept getting bad luck on Exiguus and dying to his skeletons before I could pick up the orb. Unfortunately there's not enough time left in the contest to do another run, so I guess that's it for me.

Anyone else have any interesting speed runs to share?

General Discussion / AA suggestions for upcoming release
« on: February 12, 2013, 09:05:30 PM »
Hi, I'm Xusilak. I'm a hobbyist game developer with aspirations of being an indie developer someday. A few people around here may or may not recognize me. I find AA to be pretty enjoyable (I've played it quite a few times over the past decade). I think it's awesome that the game developers are showing an interest in this game again; it's surreal to me seeing it come to life again after around 16 years of inactivity. I think with some fixes and feature additions it could be pretty great, so I've decided to put together a list of suggestions I think are notable. I'll probably add more later as I think of it, but for now I'm just going with the obvious usability improvements.

Note: I am in no way trying to imply the design decisions in the game don't work as-is. I'm merely suggesting things I think would make it more accessible to a modern audience.

Practical things:
  • Projectiles should have their collision checks disabled against the firing player, at least for a few seconds. A mage running forward while firing a few death clouds can quite easily kill himself without warning.
  • Wands should have an enforced cooldown (even if it's only half a second long).
  • It'd be nice if all classes had some way of resisting acid eventually.
  • The invulnerability spells (Death Ward, and the actual one) should probably be severely nerfed or removed. They slightly break the game. EDIT: This also includes the Orb of Defense, as there are ways to acquire it permanently, and it is oh-so-very-broken.
  • Various limits extensions, like being able to go above 300 HP and 300 Mana. This would help keep classes balanced at higher levels.
  • The Q1-L4 library level fix should be rolled into all releases.

  • Central game tracker server and enhanced netplay UI. Something like the old (before Starcraft 2), that acts as a hub with chat channels and gamefinders and maybe even a ladder and such. This would vastly increase the accessibility of the game to a general audience.
  • More robust in-game netcode. It has a tendency of getting a little overwhelmed if latencies are high. A modern client/server netplay model based on UDP would provide a much more stable experience. Another option is a proper peer to peer model that doesn't require absolute synchronization.
  • Direct support for mods, especially add-on quests (but also eventually items and classes and spells and so on; of course this would mean you'd need conflict resolution support), such that you could simply drop them into place and have the game recognize them and provide you with a list of add-on quests to play in a more convenient UI (rather than clicking 'next' through each one in a linear list like now).
  • Mouselook and WSAD (or equivalent) support. I realize this would mean a fair bit of work, and a method for selecting runes that flows well would be needed. EDIT: See the control scheme post for details on the proposed quick rune selection menu. Other suggestions for fast mouse-based rune selection like this are welcome. Another key for toggling mouselook on and off would be needed as well, so you can interact with the UI directly. This would, again, greatly increase the accessibility of the game to a general audience, so even though it's a huge pain, I think it's worth it. EDIT: Also, those using mouselook should not benefit from any kind of auto-aiming. Projectiles should simply go where you're pointing.
  • Streamlined UI option - being able to turn off the background to the current UI and all the clickable/unnecessary bits (mana wave, runes, the array of buttons, etc), replacing it with only minimal data readouts (health/mana/food/water levels mostly), and using primarily hotkeys to access the various interface segments would be another good modernization feature. This should, of course, be up to user discretion, since I'm sure some people like the current UI.
  • General engine improvements - port to Windows (possibly also linux/mac via SDL?), OpenGL, support for higher resolutions and other video mode settings, etc. Perhaps some inspiration for this could be drawn from gzdoom?

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