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Claustrophobia: The Downward Struggle
Claustrophobia Development Log #11
May 24, 2014 - The Indie Forge

Hey everyone! Welcome to the slightly shorter than normal Claustrophobia Dev Log #11! Since most of the last couple of weeks has been spent on polishing and finishing basic combat, turn movement, and world generation, I’m afraid I don’t have as much as normal to discuss. I do, however, still have some good stuff to show off!

Combat Effects

As I said on Twitter earlier this week, I spent a fair amount of time polishing combat animations. Since the new sprite system doesn’t have actual character animations and instead opts for static sprites (which is a decision I made early on with the redesign to save development time), I’ve been trying to come up with different techniques for conveying damage. My main goal was to make every hit feel like it had a nice amount of weight behind it. The outcome was this:

The final animation is comprised of a sprite manipulation to give a bounce effect, a colour tint for a white flash (not sure whether to keep it white or go with the older RPG style of red..?), a slight knockback in the opposite direction of the attacker, and the attack’s particle effect and unit’s individual blood splatter type. What do you think?

Ranged Combat

In addition to combat effects, I spent a lot of time working on ranged combat. This is actually a pretty significant improvement over Claustrophobia V1, which had extremely clunky ranged attacks. The attack would basically happen as soon as you clicked your target, and then the animation would catch up. Unfortunately this normally resulted in enemies moving before attack animations had actually completed, which just looked awful all round. The new version waits for the completion of whatever attack animation is in progress before the the target is actually effected and the attacking unit’s turn is declared complete.

While the gif only shows a normal bow shooting arrows, this system also works with any particle effect I want, which means when it comes to the skill engine, I can have all sorts of flashy spell effects act in the same way. Which is great news, because…

Ability Casting

…I also started work on the skill engine! It’s like I actually plan these things. The system is very basic at the moment, but it allows for various different target-able and cast-able areas, as well as different rules as to what should be hit in the selected area.

In this case we have a 5x5-cell targeting area and a 3x3-cell casting area. Anything inside the casting area would be hit by the spell, which in this case is an extremely cliché and boring Fireball of Testing. Which also hits like a wet kitten.

Once again this is a rather significant improvement over V1, which had a somewhat limited skill engine comprised almost entirely by single target instant cast abilities. Greater engine flexibility means much more room for creative and flashy effects.

Right, that’s about everything I have to show you! As I said earlier, I’ve also made a load of UI improvements and general optimizations, but I don’t want to bore you with that!

As always, thanks for reading, and don’t forget to share and comment!

Until next time,


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Jingseng May 25, 2014 @ 10:30pm 
perhaps flash a color based on "damage type"? like fire, poison, bleeding, i dunno.. whatever you may have in there.
The Indie Forge May 25, 2014 @ 7:19am 
Thanks everyone!
meshuggah12345: No, none of the new build is available anywhere yet. The release date for the new build is currently planned for July 18th.
meshuggah12345 May 24, 2014 @ 8:43pm 
Are the new art assets in the most current build on Desura? I downloaded it not too long ago, and it still had the old graphics...
OkcRanger May 24, 2014 @ 6:40pm 
Love it.
Yavuz May 24, 2014 @ 3:29pm 
GUD :smile:
Sarge May 24, 2014 @ 1:13pm 
These effects look great, and they seem to fit into the rest of the style of the game! I like the white flash for the damage as opposed to the standard red, and think the bounce effect conveys the hits well enough to leave the sprites static. Can't wait to see more of this!
Hyetal May 24, 2014 @ 12:02pm 
The effects lend a very satisfying look to the combat.