[SHELVED] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC)

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XCVG
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[SHELVED] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC)

Post by XCVG »

This project has been shelved indefinitely. See this post.

Image

CURRENT VERSION (RELEASED): Bastille Day Beta
CURRENT VERSION (DEVELOPMENT): 20140723_1823

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: ascensionrevolution.com



Project Dysprosium (tentatively titled Ascension: Revolution) is a sequel to Ascension, my programming class text adventure RPG (yes, that's what I call it). It takes place in the 'magical' land of Rynn- a land plunged into turmoil by the sudden revelation of aliens and advanced technology. Less dramatically, it was a stereotypical fantasy world until the Terrans (as opposed to Rynn humans) showed up and introduced a lot of new ideas. Initially, the player is put into the shoes of the RPG fantasy hero, a pure and good type, but the tables shift after the title sequence. I'd say the strongest themes are the relativity of morality and the inevitability of change.

Gameplay-wise, Dysprosium will (hopefully) be like (a really, really ghetto version of) Skyrim, with some (horribly mutilated) Mass Effect thrown in. In other words, hybrid RPG. The player will have to complete quests to advance the storyline, delivered through static cutscenes, dynamic cutscenes, and gameplay. There will be a leveling system and an inventory and all that RPG stuff, though it will not be heavily emphasized. The actions of the player will directly affect the outcome of the story. To put it another way, the emphasis is on storytelling rather than shooting things or leveling up.

I started seriously considering doing a sequel or spinoff to Ascension when I cleaned it up for distribution back in July. The natural choice would be to hack something together with RPG Maker, but I was hesitant to do so for several reasons. My work wouldn't really distinguish itself, I didn't like the combat system, and it's $60. Still, it would have been the logical choice for this project. Me being me, I dusted off SLADE and Doom Builder and got to work.

It goes without saying that this is one hell of an ambitious project and that there's no way I can do it alone. I'm terrible with any sort of art and worse with music, and I'm only so-so at coding. In the coming months, I will be putting out various requests here and elsewhere. For the time being, though, expect a lot of placeholder assets.

Licensing is tentatively CC BY-NC-SA, with the story itself CC BY-SA and the code under its own license (ZDoom’s licensing is... complex). It will be open source and derivatives will be allowed. I don’t believe in shrouding the development process in a veil of secrecy, and in fact you can already download development builds. It will never be a commercial game and it will always be free.
Spoiler: Planned Features
Spoiler: Current Features
MEDIA/DOWNLOADS

Ascension PCTARPG: Download

Design Document: Draft
Halogen Canon Documents: pre5

Vision Trailer: Video

dev20130830 Demonstration: Video
Followers Demonstration: Video
Powers Demonstration: Video
Standalone Demonstration: Video
dev20131201 Demonstration: Video
Oldschool Demonstration: Video
Arsalz Gameplay: Video

Development Builds: Repository
Release 0.1R: Download
Release 0.2R: Download
Release MS1: Download
Release Alpha 1: Download
Last edited by XCVG on Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:24 pm, edited 39 times in total.
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC)

Post by XCVG »

Setting

Ascension and by extension Revolution really takes place in a setting within a setting. Either the pseudomagical land of Rynn or the science-fiction Milky Way could be a complete verse in its own right. However, the two are combined and interconnected. The ancestors of the elves on Rynn are the ancestors of the space elves or Salveli. The mysterious race that brought humans to Rynn still occasionally visits. Both the Alliance (humans) and Salveli Republic have a presence on Rynn after first contact.

Specifically, Revolution takes place in a region of Rynn called Egaloch. It’s a mixture of Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and French in a relatively small nation (about the size of Belgium but smaller ingame due to technical limitations). The Kingdom of Egaloch is not part of the overarching Empire (which is now in some serious hot water) although it is closely connected to it- thing intermarriage interconnected. It’s a standard absolute monarchy, with a lovely feudal system to match. Technology is mid to late Middle Ages, but mixed with magic, and with much more advanced technology being smuggled in.

Times are changing. The introduction of enlightened ideas has sent shockwaves through the academic community, through the military command, and through politics. Dissent is spreading. People are beginning to question the status quo. Modern technology is being put to use alongside magic, legitimately obtained or otherwise. Egaloch is relatively backwards compared to some other regions, but even it is not immune to the events unfolding across the world.

Plot

For years, an evil man and his army of minions terrorized the land. They attacked the King’s men, subverted the peasants, and generally caused as much destruction and chaos as possible. In the destruction, a great hero rose up, leading the armies of good to destroy those of evil. Finally, with his army crushed and most of his resources spent, the evildoer gambled and used the last of his forces to kidnap the Princess of Egaloch. The hero raced to save her and crush the villain once and for all. He succeeded, and the villain was arrested, stood trial and was imprisoned for his crimes.

That’s what they would like you to believe. History is written by the victor. The villain is the loser and the loser is the villain.

One year later, that villain gets up in his cell to begin his daily routine of eating slop and reading the few books they still allow him to have. Suddenly, the alarm goes off, and the guards go to full alert. There are several gunshots, and the guards drop like flies. An armoured figure strides in and hands you a gun. You follow them out, fighting your way out of the prison, releasing the other prisoners, and escape to a safehouse kept just in case.

It’s a second chance to start over. But is this about power, revenge, or are you actually trying to make the world a better place? Are you going to try again? The King’s men are willing to murder an entire town to find you, and you refuse to let that happen. A few short but intense minutes later, they lie dead at your feet, and suddenly, to the townspeople, you aren’t the villain anymore.

You’re the hero.
Spoiler: Characters
Spoiler: Locations
Spoiler: Items
Last edited by XCVG on Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:28 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC)

Post by XCVG »

Okay, looking for some input and ideas. My usual sources are unusually quiet.

Leveling: This is what the skills set looks like right now:
1 - ???
2 - ???
3 - Companion Enhancement (passive) - makes your companions better
4 - Negotiation (passive) - gives the ability to convince people
5 - Combat Mastery (passive) - increases weapon strength and max health

Obviously, I'm looking to fill in the missing gaps. No idea what abilities to mix in, since the "villain" isn't meant to have any special powers.

Characters: There will be companions that are sources of exposition and key to the plot as well as teammates in battle. So far, I only have one conceptualized. Some spoilers.
Spoiler: The Rebel
I'm thinking one of the others will be in it for revenge, but that's all I've got right now. Characters are my weak point.

Weapons: List is tentative, but basically complete, if that makes any sense at all.
Spoiler: Weapons List
If I'm missing anything, by all means point it out. Still not sure how I'm going to do all those - I do not want this to be a ripfest.

Setting: To give you an idea of what this world looks like, here's a section from the design document. Possibly minor spoilers, but probably not. Major spoilers for the original Ascension though.
Spoiler: Setting
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by XCVG »

Building some maps. This is the castle prison level. Architecture is about 90% done, but that's the easy part. It's all the scripting to bring the level to life that's the challenge. I'm using some textures from Blasphemer- the eventual goal is to use only free or original textures.
Spoiler: Screenshots
I haven't even started on the outside yet. I'm doing this Bethesda-style, using either separate maps or teleports to completely divorce the interior and exterior sections. The upside is that I don't have to worry about how interior and exterior architecture interact- I can do whatever with either. The downside, of course, is that you can't see or interact with the outside work from within a building. I know ZDoom isn't Creation, but I guess they are similarly limited in this regard.
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twinkieman93
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by twinkieman93 »

While I understand this is a story driven experience, it's kind of lame if you choose to kill her when she reveals her true alignment and then you get instagibbed. You should be able to actually kill her.
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by XCVG »

twinkieman93 wrote:While I understand this is a story driven experience, it's kind of lame if you choose to kill her when she reveals her true alignment and then you get instagibbed. You should be able to actually kill her.
In truth, I'm undecided on this. I'm seesawing internally on whether she should be killable, kills you, or something else, and whether it will apply to others or not. But it's not until quite far into the game, so I don't have to worry about it yet. :P

On a related note, I've kind of settled on four main Lieutenants, each with their own specialty and quest arc. They are Intelligence, Influence, Supplies, and Action- names definitely subject to change. Not sure where I want to slot Garcia into or if I want to keep her separate, since she is the first follower you get.
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by XCVG »

I've mostly finished the architecture of the Prison levels. I still have to do all the scripting- that's the hard part- but I threw some monsters in and made it into a playable wad as a bit of a teaser.
Spoiler:
You can download it here: http://www.mediafire.com/download/y2bdm ... astle1.zip
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by Sgt. Shivers »

Those jail stages pretty cool! I like the battle with the cyber demon.
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by XCVG »

I've added a showcase section, although there's not much to put in it right now. There's also a new dev build. JAIL01 and JAIL02 aren't accessible conventionally, you have to use console commands. They're basically the same as the castle01.wad versions, but without monsters.
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by XCVG »

First draft of the design document is up. You can view it here. Warning: Serious spoilers. If you want to avoid spoilers, here are some (mostly) spoiler-free excerpts.
Spoiler: Setting
Spoiler: Characters
Spoiler: Recruitment Missions
Spoiler: Technical
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by XCVG »

Drew some really bad concept art.

Slot 2 Weapons: http://imageshack.com/scaled/large/843/5hov.png
Slot 3 Weapons (real): http://imageshack.us/a/img594/1272/9iz7.png
Slot 3 Weapons (drawn): http://imageshack.us/a/img844/7259/z3yc.png

I hate the designs of all the swords, basically. The longsword and normal sword are too plain, the mithril sword and Force Sword are oddly proportioned. The P92 and energy pistol I'm reasonably happy with. The S7 Tempest I'm not; it looks like someone tried to draw an MP7 but failed at it.

I am not looking forward to trying to draw the characters.
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by XCVG »

Demonstration video is now up.



There's not much to see at this point. The demonstration map works, showing off some of the functionality in the earliest stages of implementation, the prologue sequence is ugly but playable, and a few maps are in, but incomplete and empty.

On a side note, I've been trying to figure out how to do the overworld without introducing ridiculous slowdowns or running into hard limits. I plan on dividing Egaloch into regions or districts, with several fixed border checkpoints to cross between them. I'm not sure how it will work out story-wise, but gameplay-wise it also adds a sense of progression as more regions are unlocked. Thoughts?
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by XCVG »

I know it probably seems like I haven't been doing anything, but rest assured Ascension Revolution is still being worked on. I've got the followers in now, and they mostly work, although they are of course missing proper sprites.

Image

I wanted to offer more control over followers, but unfortunately my script-fu is far too weak for that. I can't even figure out how to make followers revivable. I wanted to do it like Saints Row did- move next to them and help them up. Now, I'm not sure if I want to make them invulnerable (kind of unbalanced) or provide either an inventory item or go back to your headquarters to get your followers back. I'm not happy with either of the latter solutions- the first isn't lore friendly and the second is kind of lame gameplay wise. But on the other hand, invulnerable followers would be ludicrously strong.

And before you suggest it, permadeath for followers would present severe storyline issues.

EDIT: Short demonstration video.

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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by TheMightyHeracross »

[caleb]Ooh, this promises to be fun![/caleb]
EDIT: OK what is this?
There's some Hexen-looking guys mixed with railgun zombies that actually act like normal zombies, they all say "Stop" in an awkward voice on sight, the Hexen guy makes a strange yell on death and has Strife pain sounds, the Zombie falls down, then explodes into gibs on death, the mod doesn't seem to want to make up its mind whether it is medieval or modern, and I got killed during one of the cutscenes.
I really don't understand this mod. :?
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XCVG
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Re: [WIP] Ascension Revolution (RPG TC) [playable pre-alpha]

Post by XCVG »

TheMightyHeracross wrote:[caleb]Ooh, this promises to be fun![/caleb]
EDIT: OK what is this?
There's some Hexen-looking guys mixed with railgun zombies that actually act like normal zombies, they all say "Stop" in an awkward voice on sight, the Hexen guy makes a strange yell on death and has Strife pain sounds, the Zombie falls down, then explodes into gibs on death, the mod doesn't seem to want to make up its mind whether it is medieval or modern, and I got killed during one of the cutscenes.
I really don't understand this mod. :?
Before you slam it, RTFM. Awkward sprites and sound effects are placeholders for eventual custom assets. In the earliest builds, those Hexen-looking guys were just Imps with a different attack, but I found them just too atrocious. Medieval or modern is actually explained in the lore- it *was* a nice medieval fantasy land before some asshole crashed their spaceship on it. Now it's a mess where new and old ways of thinking are clashing and futuristic technology exists alongside ancient tech... and magic.

Getting killed during the cutscenes, THAT is odd. Could you explain that in more detail? Exactly which cutscene, circumstances, what engine and IWAD you're using, that sort of thing?

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