A View from the KISS CE Combat Zone

Over the past month I have been working on what I have termed the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) Combat Engine. It is coming along nicely – and its nearly ready to plug back into World Two as a real game mode! The below video is a sample of where things stand right now: operative HUDs, simple combat rules, and turn ordering. The next steps are to build the Cast and Use Menus… and then… I can get onto the fun stuff of combat animations and special effects – the infrastructure of which is already in place but awaiting the menu selections for the player to activate them.

The video and the rest of the blog entry are here:

One by Four by Nine: A View From the KISS CE Combat Zone

And of course, if you are interested in the work leading up to this point, you can check out the rest of the blog!


Hmmm, interesting choice of battle characters… Two adults versus a collection of children… And the children win!  XD

Haha… isn’t that always the way! 

Of course, those “children” (which are actually Little Witches – tho without hats presently) are just the nice low poly “lab” models in place right now as I work on the mechanical stuff under the hood – most of which is not really related to jME except where the game rules/results need a representation in the jME graphical world and how those interface wtih the update/render loop.  It may not look like it, but there’s a hell of a lot of infrasctructure behind that rather simple looking demo, as this combat state (along with tactical and real time versions) will plug back into the “overworld” of the World TwoGS (Lab) “adventure/rpg” as gamestates. 

Yeah, I completely understand that… Once you have the underlying combat engine working, doing the visual representation should not be that hard… I am looking forward to see how this evolves.  :slight_smile:

After a bit of menu and target control reworking, and adding cast functions (such as the all important "heal"), the KISS Combat Engine is starting to feel much more like a game. After a few more steps in the code (adding animations, camera movement, leveling, item equipping process, and a reinit loop to make it work like arena combat so that the player can play for as long as they can endure and win) I plan to release the Demo as either a Java Webstart application or a downloadable package so that others may enjoy this simple pleasure or rip it apart with constructive criticism.

The following video shows menu navigation (and escaping to previous menus), single and multi targeting of spells, and from the player's perspective a "comeback" from what would surely have been certain "death" or "KO". Of course, keep an eye on the HUDs and their now happy disposition of "functioning as designed" ; - )

The video: One by Four by Nine: KISS CE View No. 2

(Ahh yes, and it must be mentioned: the gameplay in the vid only appears to be slow – its a side-effect of the screen capture prog (fraps99).  In realtime, its very snappy and responsive.)

The following video shows the results of the labors of the weekend. The status effects are Zap (the stars – cannot cast magic), Poison (the bubbles – hp drained by a percentage per turn), Sleep (the Z's – player cannot act in any way whatsoever), and Disabled (the circle-slashes – player cannot physically attack). The Day of Integration is nearly at hand!

The video:

Heal & Fire

I took a rain/gwg day off of money-work yesterday to get a jump on abstracting my “sketch” special effects code for the KISS Combat Engine. Indeed, I got bogged down for about six hours trying to figure out one crucial piece to the code-puzzle… but after a fabulous meal of Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Burritos, a few hours of Persona 2 (a thoroughly enjoyable PSOne RPG by Atlus), and a contemplative night of dreamwork, I awoke to the solution this morning – just as the Prophet of Last Night said I would. The following video shows the surface of the beauty of the code below. It’s still nothing spectacular to look at, but the foundation is layed for easy special effects manipulation and rapid attachment to KISS CE events in realtime. O come the Day of Integration!

The rest of it:


And beyond Heal and Fire, there becomes Shock. The following video shows the current progress on this particular effect. Only a few minor mods are needed (particle and trail timing, mostly) to make it worthy of in-game use. And beyond this, there are just a handful of other effects that are needed to make the KISS CE demo come to full fruition. Then, I can plug it into the three-area World Two RPG Demo which all of this is subservient to.

The video and the rest:

Camera Motion

I am on the final steps of creating the necessary special effects for the KISS CE and have brought camera motion online – as the video below demonstrates. The Day (or Week, as the case may be) of Integration is nigh at hand!

The video and the rest:

So will this be released to the community and if so under what license??

(Looks really sharp, and I am starting to wonder if I should scrap the idea creating my own turn based system in favor of using this one :))

Also, will the 'effects' be changable?

basixs said:

So will this be released to the community and if so under what license??

That's a definite MAYBE ; - )  However, it probably won't be anytime soon.  Licenses are the last thing on my mind right now. 

The KISS CE lab/subproject is in service to my World Two (otherwise known as Frank Starman and the Planet of Mysterious RPG Powers) project -- which is a three area (open field, interior dungeon, and grotto/ocean front) demo RPG that proves that "hey, I've learned how to program an RPG system using jME as my graphics engine!" more than anything else.  And of course, that is in service to Great Work Games (http://www.greatworkgames.com), which is the front for this endeavor if it is decided/determined that any money can be made out of a more professional display of the arte.  3Q 2009 should be interesting.

As this project tilts toward completion, there is a good possibility that I'll seek help for the next project (in a professional context), as it will be of a much larger scale and geared toward demo marketing to acquire backing for further work. 

(Looks really sharp, and I am starting to wonder if I should scrap the idea creating my own turn based system in favor of using this one :))

Also, will the 'effects' be changable?

What exactly do you mean by "changeable"? 

If someone was to use that system in their own codebase could they define custom particle animations and/or custom camera movements?

Of course, but presently they would have to monkey with it all at the code level.  Also, there's abstraction at this point only insofar as making the "effect modules" plugable back into the main combat engine so as to be dealt with there in a uniform manner.  Loading the styles and parameters of the effects from an external source (like a script, xml, or custom config file) is something that is on the boards for the KISS CE Version 2 ; - )

Well, if you want a serious project to 'test' it out sometime let me know :wink:

(hopefully I won't have had to implement my own system yet :))

Ahh… please don't mistake my levity about the KISS CE or my silly names for things as signs against my seriousness or the seriousness of my work.  I just prefer to have a bit of pleasure with my business ; - )

I'll keep you in mind if I ever need some help with stress/qa testing, and please feel free to approach me if you want to bounce ideas off of me about implementing a turn based system if you decide to write one yourself.

LOL, gotta love the internet sometimes…

I mean serious not as a slight against you or anyone else, I would consider KISS CE a very serious project; by serious I mean a project that has some sort of continued development happening.  I was just basically alluding to my job, and saying that I have a 'professional' project that could test it out for you.

Thanx for the offers :slight_smile:

Hah… Okay : - )

Well… the Day (or Week) of Integration turned into the Weekend of Integration due to having to spend a lot of brain power on money-work this week. But in the end, it all turned out as planned. The video below demonstrates the special effects that I've been working on integrated into the KISS CE proper. Ahh… I feel better now, and the day of getting back into the overworld game, and the attendant puzzles that will hinder the player's progress, is getting closer and closer.

The video and the rest:

Well, I think it has come a long way… I am liking it a lot. It seems you have most of the game mechanics sorted out by now… I am just curious, how are you representing your spells and effects? Are you coding each one separately or do you have a special spell framework you simple tweak to represent each one?

There's a framework for items, gear, and spells – which can be expanded upon quite a bit.  In short, any of those items can be represented by a brief script line (encapsulated in its object definition) that is evaluated either on the fly during dynamic portions of the game (such as how a spell causes damage and to what) or applied to more static data like augmented player stats due to gear or accessories.

And… argh… I have not had a chance to really get back into it over the past couple of weeks… money-work has been crazy-busy and my internal processor has been waxed by the time I get home… it'll clear up one of these weeks, but damn!