[Challenge/Scenic/Epic Length - KS+] Dragon Myth

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Offline Talps

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[Challenge/Scenic/Epic Length - KS+] Dragon Myth
« on: July 12, 2010, 21:40:13 »
Please note that more up-to-date information on this level can be found starting at my really big post further down this page.

"I have lived all my life in Muen Village, between Knytt Castle in the west, where the King lives, and the grey mountains in the east... Where the dragon lives.

My mother told me that the dragon used to attack the village; it would come in the night and destroy houses, kill livestock and carry away people to devour them in its lair. The last time it came I was a little girl, barely old enough to remember hiding under the bed in my mother's arms, weeping in terror and praying it wouldn't come for us.

After that night, it went back to its lair and slept for more than a decade.

Then, last night, it woke up."


Not content with cowering in her house, waiting for the dragon to come for her, Juni sets out to go to its lair and meet it face to face. Unfortunately, nothing is ever easy and on her quest to face the dragon, Juni will first have to overcome an unyielding king, rescue a princess, discover a mythical city and face down a less-than-sociable witch.

Inspired in part by classic fantasy console games and partly by Nifflas' KS level, 'Gustav's Daughter', 'Dragon Myth' follows the tradition of my previous level, 'Eurydice', in focussing on telling a good story as much as being a fun level. The level has a large, seven-screen map that allows quick travel between areas and a large number of my own custom tilesets, plus a number of cutscenes to tell parts of the story.
It's currently about half-finished and it's getting worked on a few days each week.

The level's world map (linked because it's very wide, and slightly spoiler-y)

Also, screenshots!

1. Knytt Castle Dungeon
2. Darksome Woods
3. Witch Jotunn's Cave
4. Setna Village (Trust the guy to turn around just as I take the photo *grumble*)
« Last Edit: June 26, 2015, 23:47:14 by Talps »

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Offline egomassive

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Re: [Hard, Challenge] Dragon Myth
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2010, 07:43:29 »
Sounds/looks like something I'll want to play. I wonder why more levels don't use a map. I just played Eurydice last week. It had a great story and a great look, but the game play suffered from requiring the player to constantly travel back to the opposite side of the world. Obviously that won't be an issue here.

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Offline Talps

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Re: [Hard, Challenge] Dragon Myth
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2010, 13:58:59 »
Yeah, I'm trying to avoid as much backtracking as possible in this. You have to pass through some 'locations' to get across the map, but most 'bridging locations' are quite small, like one, two or three screens. Right now there's one 'action location' you have to revisit, but only a small section of it.

I just noticed I got the layers of the bushes messed up on the Darksome Woods screen; I'll sort that out when I get home.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 14:26:19 by Talps »

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Offline egomassive

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Re: [Hard, Challenge] Dragon Myth
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2010, 15:26:59 »
I noticed that some bushes have grass in front of them and some don't. I just figured it was an early screenshot, something that would be fixed in the final version.

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Offline Hmpf

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Re: [Hard, Challenge] Dragon Myth
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2010, 20:37:56 »
Looks pretty great. Shame it's hard (though sometimes I do manage hard levels; really depends on what the level creator really meant by 'hard'.) I'll definitely give this a try.

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Offline yohji

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Re: [Hard, Challenge] Dragon Myth
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2010, 20:53:49 »
I too felt a bit frustrated by all the backtracking in Eurydice, so I'm happy to hear you're trying to avoid that effect  ;) This level looks very interesting.

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Offline Talps

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Re: [Hard, Challenge] Dragon Myth
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2010, 00:50:20 »
I used a flag! 8D (Flag 1 to be precise) Now I've worked out how they work, I can see just how useful they are! Hopefully I'll find room to use them more, if not in 'Dragon Myth' then in any levels I make in the distant future. Now if I can just work out a CO (even a very simple one) I'll be satisfied with the technical advancements I've made for 'Dragon Myth'.

I've decided that when I've finished designing the level (I'd say it's about two thirds through now, though I've had a bit of a slump in interest in this recently) I'm going to ask for beta-testers to try it out; I can see this removing a lot of the problems from 'Eurydice', as well as hopefully letting people who might have different iterations of KS test out a clever little thing I've found which I hope will work for lots of computers other than mine!

One of the things I tried in 'Eurydice' was to first depict the valley where the game starts (that waaaaay too long valley) on a rainy night, then later show it in the daytime(ish). 'Dragon Myth' has given me a chance to expand upon that, as the story takes place over several days with areas being occasionally revisited, either optionally or as part of the story. There are a couple of screenshots exampling this below. I've been able to expand the thing I did in 'Eurydice' to a wider selection of weathers and terrains, so I'm happy with that :P

Re: [Hard, Challenge] Dragon Myth
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2010, 03:35:16 »
Don'tcha think the houses should get darker at night too?
Lurk more.

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Offline Talps

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Re: [Hard, Challenge] Dragon Myth
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2010, 13:15:44 »
I had thought about it, but I think they look ok when the screens aren't right next to each other; It's something I'm still debating with myself (one of many little things). The trees and grass don't really get that much darker, just turn bluer.

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Offline Talps

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Re: [Hard/Challenge, Scenic/Epic] Dragon Myth
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 01:15:13 »
Well, it's been nearly two years since I stopped working on this. Not sure anyone really noticed at the time, however.

Still, I've made a lot of levels since then, developed a tasty reputation of a sorts, and have extended my skills considerably. This died for a few reasons; because my skills shifted quite a lot as I was working on it and I realised that a lot of the early screens were pretty bad and were gonna require major changes to graphics and challenges; because moving into and out of the map screen is irreparably buggy; because this thread got no attention; because I lost faith in the high ratio of story to game-play; because I came up with 'I Dreamed' and it didn't have any of the above problems; because programming all the shifts and warps in this and copy and pasting so many screens because of the complex story and use of the map screen was painfully dull... really, I could keep thinking of and adding things to this list all evening.

But I'd rather announce that I'm gonna try and put this back in development and try and address some of the biggest problems.
Any screens/tilesets that desperately need fixing will be fixed; others may be left as they are because I don't want stressing about such things to stop me making this; as long as it's playable, I'm fairly content.
I will also not make too much effort to fix the bugs in the map, but warn people that it's potentially buggy and if they want to break it then that's their problem. You can only really bug if you force it and, again, I don't want finding solutions and rerouting dozens of shifts to put me off working on this. Break the game if you will but don't come crying to me about it.
And I'm letting people know now that this level is story-heavy and there are sequences where story heavily outweighs challenges. So Ortolson will hate it. But I'm happy despite not being a fan of scenic levels, and hopefully other people will be, too. The plot of 'I Dreamed' went down well with those with a taste for such things, so I'm not so worried about it now.

I made a lot of this level before stopping, and there are some really brilliant screens, and some moments of story that take my breath away - I'm really proud of some of it, and I can't let them gather dust forever. Some of the areas may not be up to my more recent standards but I'm smoothing out the challenges throughout and scrubbing up the tilesets where necessary. Everything will be playable and hopefully it'll all work out well. Need to relearn how all the shifts work, dig out all my graphics and work out what fonts I was using and so on. I might also ask later for some artistic assistance as certain sequences in this level are going to be beyond my normal practice of making cutscenes from screenshots, and sadly I can't draw to save my life (my great weakness!). I might also choose to adapt this to Ego's mod; I'd quite like to change Juni's sprite slightly near the end and I'm just considering if it's worth it or not - see if I can spot any other excuses to use it; tints might be nice, and titles could be fun, if not particularly necessary (I downloaded for the first time today and little motes of inspiration are bouncing around inside my head).

Mostly I hope reviving this topic will give me some motivation, and get people interested. I'd tentatively say that this is already half to two thirds done, not counting things I have to change, though I need to come up with some creative ideas for later areas and challenges. And work out what the plot was for the secret ending 'cus I've completely forgotten and didn't ever have the presence of mind to write it down.
Tentatively I'd say I'd like to release this before the end of the epic competition, which I think closes next February. Well, it won't be easy but it's good to have something to aim for anyway.
I'll post some screenshots when I have more new screens.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 01:18:59 by Talps »

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Offline ixMarcel

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Re: [Hard/Challenge, Scenic/Epic] Dragon Myth
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 19:06:05 »
Great news!  8D

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Offline Headgrinder

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Re: [Hard/Challenge, Scenic/Epic] Dragon Myth
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2012, 12:39:21 »
There is not enough levels that use maps, though I personally haven't had a level idea that would work well with one.  Perhaps all epic sized levels would be better off to eventually grant you access to a map/warp like effect.  That is the main reason I don't play epic: epic back tracks. 

I like the day/night screen shots a lot.  I can't believe it never occurred to me that those two tilesets could be day/night reversals of each other.

Re: [Hard/Challenge, Scenic/Epic] Dragon Myth
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2012, 00:26:39 »
I've really enjoyed all your levels that I've played. I will look forward with great anticipation to this next one!!

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Offline Talps

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Re: [Hard/Challenge, Scenic/Epic] Dragon Myth
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2013, 03:26:20 »
Well, I may have fallen a little short of the epic competition deadline...

Actually over the last couple of days I've seriously worked on continuing this for the first time in over 2 years, largely with the design of new tilesets (see screenshot for what I've been up to). The area I've picked up work on is now nearly finished, apart from a few bits of eye-candy. Then I've gotta make two cutscenes to link things together. But all in all, I'm just happy to be working on this again! I played through it last week and just felt I have to finish it; I like it too much to let it rot!

Thinking about it, there are only a few areas left to make for this; apart from some action sequences, most of the infrastructure of the level exists already. Barring major block, I can see this being ready for testing some time in the next few months.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 02:44:54 by Talps »

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Offline Polana

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Re: [Hard/Challenge, Scenic/Epic] Dragon Myth
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2013, 16:03:58 »
Nice  houses. And I finally know how to use Dark mountain lake tileset.  :)