It's hip to be hexagonal

The only place you'll ever hear the truth
Icepick
level5
level5
Posts: 7528
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2001 10:29 pm
Location: Bradford, England

It's hip to be hexagonal

Postby Icepick » Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:53 pm

At some point in the first half of 2008, while I was working on Multiwinia, I was struck out of the blue by inspiration – an almost fully formed idea appeared in my mind (similar to what Chris described here) for a Tactical RPG. I spent the next 30 minutes or so in a typing frenzy, desperately trying to get it all down before it slipped away, and ended up with about 8 pages detailing game-play points, story development and highlights of the world the game would be set in.
Then, as most ideas do, it sat on my hard-drive for over 6 months gathering dust.

2 of the many things that happened during our trip to Tivoli in December were Leander being given the job of getting more members of the team to post on this blog, and myself being filled with a sudden and irresistible urge to make this game a reality. So here we are.

Tactinomicon (a name given to the game about 2 hours after I started work on it, at the request of Chris who needed something to call it in our source control system) is, as I said, a Tactical RPG. If you are familiar with Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what I’m talking about. It uses a turn-based combat system set on a hexagonal grid (because hexagons are far cooler than squares), and tasks you with wiping out a team of enemy characters before they do the same to you.

Of course, while at the time I considered the concept fully formed, in the 2 weeks or so I’ve been working on it I’ve expanded some ideas, refined others and dropped some altogether. Here’s a screenshot.

Image

Behold the glory of my temporary prototype graphics! Since it might not be immediately obvious what’s going on: the circles represent characters on opposing teams. The red dot at the top is casting a Fireball spell (clichés are awesome) at the blue dot; yellow tiles represent the range of the spell and the red tiles mark the area that the Fireball will hit.
Thanks to the established library of tools we have at Introversion, I was able to get this up and running very quickly without having to worry about details like creating application windows and setting up renderers and all those other things that would normally need to be done before you can actually do any of the fun stuff. It has been quite a good learning experience for me too; this is the first time I’ve started any serious project basically from scratch before, and it has been an interesting challenge deciding which part of the game I should work on next. Unfortunately, I’ve already realised that at least 2 of the systems I’ve implemented are going to stop working when I switch the game from the flat 2d view you see in the screenshot to an isometric one, and will have to be re-coded, but that’s all part of the learning experience too – now I know to plan ahead for things like that.

As far as prototypes go, it’s pretty close to being playable. Those characters are able to fight and kill each other (and thanks to it’s turn-based nature, you could even do hot-seat multiplayer), and new abilities and equipment can easily be added via a few lines in a text file, allowing me to quickly increase the range of tactical choices from a melee attack or a ranged spell to something more akin to the selection you would expect from such a game. Once I get some kind of AI in place, the game will basically be at the end of its prototype stage (and it might even be fun to play, too).

The biggest hurdle is going to be getting far enough into the project that I’ve invested enough time and effort to make me want to continue before staring at a grey grid, and the complete lack of artistic assets to make it look more interesting, drive me insane.
I guess only time will tell.
User avatar
Ace Rimmer
level5
level5
Posts: 10803
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 9:46 pm
Location: The Multiverse

Postby Ace Rimmer » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:05 pm

Hmm, could be interesting.

One thought: "Inspiration is the momentary cessation of stupidity." :P

I'd give it a whirl if it ever becomes playable.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast...
User avatar
jelco
level5
level5
Posts: 6018
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:45 am
Location: Cygnus X-1
Contact:

Postby jelco » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:39 pm

The combination of Introversion and RPG seems awkward to me, so that alone gets me interested. The rest only helps it even more. :)

Looking forward to further updates!

Jelco
"The ships hung in the sky much the same way that bricks don't."
- Douglas Adams
Artman40
level1
level1
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:47 am

Postby Artman40 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:12 pm

Hmmm...reminds me a bit of Heroes - Might and Magic series. Who knows, maybe we could integrate this feature into Subversion but have street blocks instead of hexagons?
Rkiver
level5
level5
Posts: 6405
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2002 10:39 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby Rkiver » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:57 pm

You need to include the dull grey mode as an unlock or a skin of some description. It's dull and boring, no one in work would notice/care! Think office mode.

Also oooh, hexagons.
Uplink help: Read the FAQ
User avatar
Xocrates
level5
level5
Posts: 5262
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:34 pm

Postby Xocrates » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:12 pm

Before my brain got to speed I wondered if this had anything to do with the Multiwinia: Board game :P

Which would be awesome simply for the mind screw of IV making a game based on a game based on a game made by IV.

Also, here's the solution to all your graphic problems: Stick Figures!


...


Okay, I jest, yet you would have to admit it would be awesome to see a stick figure wizard send a fireball into a hapless stick guy :P
User avatar
jelco
level5
level5
Posts: 6018
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:45 am
Location: Cygnus X-1
Contact:

Postby jelco » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:22 pm

Xocrates wrote:Also, here's the solution to all your graphic problems: Stick Figures!

All those in favour of a BCE: The Game say aye!

Jelco
Rkiver
level5
level5
Posts: 6405
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2002 10:39 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby Rkiver » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:31 pm

jelco wrote:
Xocrates wrote:Also, here's the solution to all your graphic problems: Stick Figures!

All those in favour of a BCE: The Game say aye!

Jelco


Potential to be awesome: Rising.
Uplink help: Read the FAQ
User avatar
Shwart!!
level5
level5
Posts: 1237
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:36 am

Postby Shwart!! » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:06 am

Aye.

Icepick, if you need any placeholder graphics, I'd love to help.
Actually, screw that; if you want any assistance in general, I'd love to help.

Shwart!!
Romanu
level1
level1
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:15 pm
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom
Contact:

Postby Romanu » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:52 am

Sounds really interesting. I'd definately be willing to give it a whurl.

Probably doesn't help that i have a nostalgic hunger for isometric games that Diablo 3 may quench but only time will tell.

Keep us updated.
User avatar
sfericz
level5
level5
Posts: 1336
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:25 am
Location: USA
Contact:

Postby sfericz » Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:14 am

jelco wrote:The combination of Introversion and RPG seems awkward to me, so that alone gets me interested.

I agree with that statement completely. Keep us updated, If it does become playable I will definitely try it out.
skull13
level3
level3
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:51 pm

Postby skull13 » Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:57 pm

Five games in development now?

Jeez. This is becoming less company and more of a club.
User avatar
Xocrates
level5
level5
Posts: 5262
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:34 pm

Postby Xocrates » Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:10 pm

skull13 wrote:Five games in development now?

I assume Xiotex and Tactinomicon are being developed on Byron's and Icepick's free time. And we don't really know the status of Chronometer and the mystery game.
User avatar
Phelanpt
level5
level5
Posts: 1837
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:20 am
Location: Portugal

Postby Phelanpt » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:08 am

I am also interested. :)
User avatar
Kuth
level4
level4
Posts: 709
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:55 am
Location: Keele Imperium
Contact:

Postby Kuth » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:55 am

I WANTS.

Hexagons + Turn-based warfare = Win.

Like starfleet command scratching the space-sim itch, I'd like something to scratch the need for turn-based strategy games... the only game that came close was Missionforce: Cyberstorm back in the 90's. Hex grids and simple make the prospects even lovelier.

I'd like to see what becomes of this.

Return to “Introversion Blog”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests