Monday, October 28, 2013

WarLight review

In this post I will do a game review of one strategy, web based game called WarLight.
I played it on kongregate.com because there are achievements.

Some details about the game:

Genre: strategy, tactics, war, RISK alike
Mechanics: turn based
Player mode: single-player, multiplayer
Platforms: web based flash version, mobile, iOS, Android and Kindle Fire
Web page: http://warlight.net/
wiki/help page: http://wiki.warlight.net/index.php/Main_Page

I played about 20 rounds and here are some details I came up with:
  • It has 6 levels and a custom mode for creating your own level. First three levels are learning how to play the game properly. So though you can pass the first 2 easily that doesn't mean you know how to play the game. My recommendation is, play the first 2 levels at least two times until you win before continuing to the third level.You play against 1 enemy in the first and against two in the second level.
  • The third level has more territories to conquer but also more players, 3 to be exact. So you have to change the way you play the game to beat 3 bots. I played this level 3 times because I still didn't know how to propely play the game. Don't make the same mistake as I did.
  • If you have beaten the third level I recommend you replay it again as fourth level gets much more harder. On the fourth level you play on a map of Europe and it has many small territories to conquer which makes it even harder to play. But again this is what makes this game interesting and challenging. If you like this type of games you goind to have ton of fun.
  • Once I finished the Europe level I tried to play the crazy fifth level, and I can say it is really crazy :) You play against six other enemies and only way to beat this level is to be expert on how the game works. I played 4 times and lost. The fifth play was better as I learned some tricks how to push the neighboring enemy back where he belongs. But again other enemy player on the other side of the globe will prevail and soon become very strong to cope with. The fifth play was again loss. I tried sixth and seventh time but again the same scenario  happened. One of the enemy players became too strong. 
During the plays I learned some tricks, tricks you can learn by just playing the game. I didn't read the help just to see how the will guide me trough the levels. So really you can learn how to play by just playing.

The tricks:
  • With the first armies conquer as fast as possible one whole area of several territories, to gain army boost. Next start conquering neighboring territories. If some enemy player appears on enighboring territory, reinforce you territories there and attack the enemy player instead of the neutral player. Leave the enemy to waste his army on the neutral armies. 
  • Always try to conquer enemy territory when it has lower number of armies, for example 1 or 2. I put 4 armies in mine territory and attack the enemy territory where he has 1 or 2 armies. This way you can get advantage over the enemy in gianing more armies or make the enemy spread his army, therefore weakening him.
  • Don't put all your new armies in one territory! Spread them, for example 3 neighboring territories can have 5 armies instead 1, 1 and the third, 13 armies. Don't forget, you can attack same territory from all 3 of yours. Also you can attack 2 territories at the same time which is good feature. I think in RISK board game you were allowed only one at a time. Not sure though.
  • You can also cause trouble to the enemy by just conquering his weak territories. Remember you and the enemy players gain new armies only if you have conquered one whole area. So you can use this trick to prevent the enemy from gaining more armies.
  • Use the zoom tool :) 
  • Conquer Madagaskar as soon as possible :)
  • Destroy the weak enemies as soon as possible. Can be pain in the butt :)
  • Avoid confrontation with big enemy army unless you want or you don't have a choice. Conquer the neighboring weak territory instead.
Some tricks about playing the fourth level (Europe map):
  •  The trick is not to fortify your self in place and wait. Put your new armies on the south England to boost your armies. Attack France and spread your armies trough Europe. Use the tricks above to play this map. Conquer as fast as possible Iberian Peninsula as you can gain boost but also prevent the player to win. I think Spain and Portugal are one of the most parts in this level. I recommend you to place one of the three big armies with your flight card in the center of Iberian Peninsula.
  • Use your three big reinfocement armies  wisely as you can loose them quickly. I think you should place them on Iberian Peninsula, in the middle of Europe and maybe on Scandinavian Peninsula if you like. Or maybe again in middle Europe. 
  • Trough all the game you must do the trick with conquering weak enemy territories as much as possible from any possible place, and there you have it.
  • Split your big armies in two or three parts to spread death and fear across Europe :) Don't collect you armies in one place.
  • Avoid helping your ally because it a waste of armies. Sooner or later he will be destroyed for sure.
  • You can also attack the ally, I recommend you destroy him as soon as posible, because he can survive for as the game lasts. I have images of it.
  • The ally is here to help you survive i.e take the initial payload of the enemy player. 
Tricks  on fifth crazy level:
  •  You play against 6 other players. I think this is a level for experts. I could't beat this level. Follow the above tips to have some progress. I had some but I failed eventually.
These are all the tricks I came so far. I will update this post if I think of something else.

WarLight is very enjoyable game filled with twists and turns. It will make your head spin :)
Though it is in a way hard I really like it. Maybe the big number of territories makes it tough but still it is what makes this game interestng and challenging. If you want to enjoy, replay first 3 levels 2-3 times :) You can gain more Kong points and stars. Next you have a wiki pages to learn from.

Final grade: I would give 5/5 but it is tough so 4.5/5.

Gallery

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Building custom controls in Stencyl - Part 3

I expected to be much more complicated but I achieved pausing functionality with just several clicks :)

Check out this page http://www.stencyl.com/help/view/pausing/

Go to physics tab on the SpaceRanger actor. I set the main character to be independent of gravity, and cannot be rotated. In the advanced tab I just unset can be touched ability for iOS. I leave can be pause abilty on. Here are images of events I set for Scene1:




 Same as in the wiki page above. Save your game and test it. Now when you press P button the space ranger will be freezed and the screen will get dimmed.

You can also play with the focus event i.e pause the game if the focus is lost and unpause the game if the focus is restored. Gaining/loosing focus means if you press on the flash player canvas or if you press away from the canwas. I added two more focus events on Scene1.



You can check this with you mouse when you click on the taskbar and then again on the flash canvas

Building custom controls in Stencyl - Part 2

Next is adding custom controlls to you game. Press the settings button. Tnen press Controls tab.

You can now see controls: up, down, left, right, x, z and enter. Remove x, z and enter controls as we will not use them. Add 4 more controls W, A, S and D. Then add control Pause and set it to button P.
Check the images below



Select Actors Behaviors item in the dashboard. Select "8 Way Movement" behavior, right click and press duplicate behavior. Double click on the copied behavior and press the properties tab. Rename it ArrowsWASDController. The trick is to add the missing keyboard buttons in the code so that when changes applied you can controll the character with both WASD and arrow key sets.

Here is a screenshot of the changes I have made to our copied behavior:

Copied "8 Way Movement" behavior

This is on the updating event. See only the top part. I added simple "or" condition and added corresponding button presses. The next pic is the updating event on the original "8 Way movement" behavior just to show you the differences:

Original "8 Way Movement" behavior   
Once you are finsihed editing of ArrowsWASDController behavior don't forget to press the "Attach to Actor" button. Attach it to SpaceRanger. You may think, we have added another behavior that does roughly the same thing as the first one. Well go to behaviors tab of "Space Ranger" actor and deactivate original "8 Way movement" behavior. You may also remove it if you like.

Note: As a practice you can search the behaviors and find "Cannot exit screen" behavior in Motions section. This will prevent the main character to fall off the screen and disapear.

Ok thats it for this part. Press ctrl-enter to test the game. Don't forget File->Save Game to save the progress.

Building custom controls in Stencyl - Part 1

Hello. In this post I will show you how to build custom keyboard controls to control main character. For example one of my games have controls: arrow keys, up, down, left and right but I would like to add controls like WASD and P for pausing the game. I think adding secondary keys is very useful feature simply because some people are left handed but also it is useful when your right or maybe left arm gets tired so you can switch to other key set.

I have built my own sprite sheet of my main character which I call Space Ranger. Here it is:

Space Ranger sprite sheet

This character has 5 states, 4 of which are flying backward, forward, upward and downward. The fifth state is hovering at some point on the screen. So each of the four above states can go to hovering state by releasing keyboard buttons and also from hovering state you can go to above four by pressing the buttons left/A, right/D, up/W and down/S.
For each of the four states this character has two frames taken from the above spritesheet.

Open Stencyl and create new blank game, call it KeyboardControllerTest. Choose custom size of   640 x 480 and press create. Next create new actor and call it SpaceRanger.


I have taken the above screenshot to show you what's going on in Stencyl. On the left pane there are listed 5 animations which represent the 5 states of the main character. Each of the animations has two frames as stated before.

Next we will add behaviours to the main character. Click on the Behaviours tab in the middle.
Click "add behaviour" button on the left bottom of the screen. From the new window select Controls item and add 8 way movement behaviour. After you add this new behaviour you can edit it like controls, animations, check the screenshots below:




Leave all other settings default. Next is adding the main character on a scene but first we need a scene. Create new scene and call it Scene1. Leave everything default. Go back to SpaceRanger page and press "Add to Scene" button in the upper right corner. Add it to Scene1 and press File-> Save Game to save the current progress.

Note: It seems ctrl-s saves the current progress of the game but not toroughly. So always try File-Save Game option.

Now press test game button in upper right or press ctrl-enter to test you game. Try to move the astronaut with the arrow key.

This completes the first part of this tutorial.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Playing around with Stencyl

Recently I started some development in Stencyl and I managed to publish something on this link:

http://www.stencyl.com/game/play/21785

Its still work in progress.

How I didn't have this tool before. Its really intuitive and really easy to use. It has many tools that ease your delopment process. I built the keyboard controller functionality in just several clicks. I also could animate the main character in just several clicks.

Can't wait to test it all and develop my first game with Stencyl. Wish me luck :)