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Offline VladOfWallachia

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Re: Carpathian Night - Demo now available!
« Reply #105 on: September 04, 2019, 02:40:47 PM »
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Those are some good points, we will keep them in mind as development continues.

The challenge for us then will be to get the contrast right between the human Dracula at the beginning of the story, and what he becomes, the lord of the vampires. As a human, he held a close relationship with the two heroes, Dorin and Irina, so he does need to be somewhat relatable as a normal person. But I will remember to make the transition more stark and more clear for when Dracula turns to his iconic vampire self.

Offline X

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Re: Carpathian Night - Demo now available!
« Reply #106 on: September 04, 2019, 07:20:12 PM »
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Search your thoughts, try to understand why you dont think it meshes well, then let me know. A lot of thought has gone into our design of Dracula, but there may be something we are not seeing or considering. Or maybe it will come together more once you see him in the game.

Got my thoughts together since this morning. Hopefully it'll clear up what I mean.

I think his vampire look doesn't mesh well as he's just a bit too pretty-looking. The real Dracula wasn't very attractive; that luxury goes to his brother; Radu the Handsome. I know that vampires are supposed to have that ethereal beauty-thing (although that was actually a Victorian era invention for their vampires), but for Dracula I feel it is a bit too much. Also his hair is way too curly rather then the natural wavy hair we see depicted on his infamous portrait. The look makes him more western European then Eastern European (like he came out of Spain or something). Granted this is a game and not directly following real life so in the end it's not up to me. I just feel that Dracula -both human and vampire- needs to have that imposing look to them and that's not exactly something that can be done with a pretty face.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 07:22:29 PM by X »
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Offline VladOfWallachia

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Re: Carpathian Night - Demo now available!
« Reply #107 on: September 05, 2019, 08:30:15 AM »
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Those are all good points, and there is still much work left to do on the game so that commentary will definitely help shape our version of Dracula.

That being said, I don't completely agree with the notion that pretty faces are not a good fit for intimidating villains. I feel like whats on the inside is what really determines the effectiveness of a villain. For example, characters like Joffrey Baratheon, Ramsay Bolton, and Cersei Lannister are some of the most vile and frightening villains I've seen in recent memory, and none of that evil is portrayed through their outward appearance. Another example I'm personally a fan of is Freiza from Dragon Ball Z. He very convincingly carries himself as the most powerful and evil being in the universe (at that time in the canon anyways) but his outward appearance is that of a small, androgynous alien. I like how Toriyama often reverses the outward appearance with the actual strength of the character, Nappa and Vegeta being another example of this.

But moving towards a more specific example, I'm highly influence by several Dracula movies, including some of the less popular ones. One that has influenced our own Dracula is the Frank Langella version. Sexuality played a much bigger role in this version, and that actually made Dracula a more convincing villain in my opinion. In this film, we see Dracula employ centuries worth of wisdom as a weapon, and he is able to easily seduce and manipulate others, all while having a "pretty" outward appearance. In fact, that attractive outward appearance just makes it easier for him to get what he wants, including prey. Compare this to a more popular version of Dracula, like Bela Lugosi. In that film, there is a scene where Dracula simply walks up to a random woman on the street and almost immediately starts attacking her. Although Bela is more outwardly villainous, his actions often aren't as convincing and thus less intimidating to me overall.

I could talk about all the other influences later, but another big factor as to why our Dracula is young and attractive is because again, he will be a playable character, the hero of his own game (Carpathain Night Prologue/2) so we need to make him appear more relatable, at least during his pre-lord of the vampires days. A big part of the reason we want a young Dracula and his origin story is also simply because we wanted our Dracula to be different from the one in Castlevania. That version varies a lot too, but he often looks like the ancient being we are all more familiar with. Carpathian Night is a tribute game, but we want to breath life into the Classicvania genre with our own interpretation of the characters, and that includes how to portray Dracula.

But don't take the long response as a rebuttal to your commentary, it has a lot of weight because the examples I gave are all from works that have much more room for character development than a video game, so I will use your critique to ensure the vampire lord version of our Dracula is sufficiently different and outwardly intimidating compared to his playable form. That being said, the story is definitely taking place during Dracula's youth, so his more traditional outward appearance will have to wait until future games, and hopefully this game series will become successful enough to make that a reality one day.

Edit:
Another point about Dracula not looking sufficiently eastern-european. That's also a good point, and you are actually on target. Another big influence to me personally is Hideo Kojima. One thing that designer has always done is base the outward appearance of his characters on a movie actor. We are doing something similar for many of the characters in Carpathian Night, including Dracula... however, the person we picked is not eastern-european so you hit the mark on that one. I'll keep that commentary in mind and forward it to our character artist. Thanks. 
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 08:36:39 AM by VladOfWallachia »

Offline X

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Re: Carpathian Night - Demo now available!
« Reply #108 on: September 05, 2019, 09:23:29 AM »
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But don't take the long response as a rebuttal to your commentary

No worries there dude. The conversation's been professional which is how I like 'em.

I just checked out the Frank Langella version of Dracula via screen shots. The actor isn't all that handsome either. I think in the end it'll be the dark magics of Dracula's Magnetism/hypnotism that'll draw in victims rather then his straight-up looks. I also think that with regards to art (the villains you've mentioned though looking pretty) are more defined by their words and their actions. I have seen my fair share of pretty boys in anime but their looks just don't do the villainy and due justice. Instead it is all succeeded by their personality and actions. That's not to say one can never achieve a successful look for their villains. But it is a rare thing to come by/create. I wish you luck  ;)
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 09:35:13 AM by X »
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Offline VladOfWallachia

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Re: Carpathian Night - Demo now available!
« Reply #109 on: October 09, 2019, 02:11:06 PM »
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Update:



I am feeling confident that the new demo will be ready for release by Halloween week. This demo will also be free and will contain all new content, including a complete graphical overhaul.

We will also be announcing an Early Access build soon, scheduled to launch early 2020, which will have much more content than either demo.

I'm excited to show what we have been working on very soon, so stay tuned!

« Last Edit: October 09, 2019, 04:22:16 PM by VladOfWallachia »

Offline VladOfWallachia

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Re: Carpathian Night - Demo now available!
« Reply #110 on: October 27, 2019, 07:48:07 AM »
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Updates

We showcased the latest build at Retropalooza in Arlington, Texas last weekend, and it was a huge success! It was quite popular and the booth was always busy.

(click to show/hide)

However, during the show we found several bugs that have delayed the release of the demo. If we don't finish fixing all the bugs soon, I'll release what we have in time for Halloween, then just release an updated version in November or December. Some things to know about the demo:

  • Only Dorin will be playable for now. Irina will be included in the next update.
  • This build will only have keyboard controls. We are currently working on a new input system that's not going to be finished in time. For those who really want to play with a gamepad, JoyToKey is a good option until we update the demo.
  • We are aware of several bugs we may not have the time to fix by Halloween.

So no matter how unfinished the demo is by Halloween, it will be available to download, with bug fixes, gamepad support, and playable Irina coming in the form of an update over the next moth or so.

Horrified Board Game
Unrelated to the demo, I saw this game while browsing my local gaming store yesterday:

As soon as I saw it I had to buy it. I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but the reviews on Board Game Geek seem fairly good. From what I understand, this is a Co-Op game and the victory conditions change based on which of the iconic Universal Monsters you are trying to defeat. For example, if Dracula is in the game, your task is to find and destroy all of his coffins. The tasks for defeating any of the other monsters is completely different, so each monster should provide a unique experience.

I'll try to find the time to play it on Halloween and give further thoughts.

Son of the Dragon
(click to show/hide)
Zydalc brought this new comic to my attention, and I picked up a copy when it released earlier this week. I haven't finished it yet, but it's very interesting so far. It's more similar to my original Wallachian Night story than anything else I've seen, including the Brother's Dracul comic I mentioned earlier in this thread. I'll try to find the time to give a full review, but at least for now, I would recommend it to Vania fans.

Steam, Early Access, and Kickstarter
Last of all, sorry for the long delays, but making games is hard. Thank you for your patience. We will not make the fans wait so long for updates in the future. Once the Halloween demo is released, we will continue to update it until it's feature complete. Once the demo is bug free, has playable Irina, and gamepad support, we will move from Itch.io over to Steam. We hope to have the new Carpathian Night demo up on Steam before the end of the year.

Early next year (around March or April) we will have an Early Access/Kickstarter build with a minimum of three complete levels, and hopefully a few optional secret levels. Those who support us by purchasing a build will continue to receive updates and new content often throughout the development of Carpathian Night. We haven't finalized a price, but it will most likely be $10 for the Early Access/Kickstarter build as well as the full game.

The delays have been long and updates infrequent, but I assure you we have been quite busy trying to make CN the best game it can possibly be.

As always, stay tuned!

« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 10:25:12 AM by VladOfWallachia »

Offline VladOfWallachia

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Re: Carpathian Night - Demo now available!
« Reply #111 on: October 30, 2019, 07:10:46 PM »
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN! The new Carpathian Night demo is now available for download! Follow the link and let us know what you think!

https://carpathiannight.itch.io/carpathian-night

Offline Scarlet starlet

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Re: Carpathian Night - Halloween 2019 Demo now available!
« Reply #112 on: October 31, 2019, 10:27:42 AM »
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The core gameplay is definitely there but there are some things I think should be reworked/improved
- Make environments a bit smaller (sometimes it feels like a country walk, action should feel tighter)
- Zombies should move faster to account for the big environments. They should notice the presence of the player character and chase after him; right now they're just standing there, expecting to be hopelessly slain. You already have gems for the "role" of stationary enemies.
^Coincidentally the best part of the demo is the boss fight, where you are locked in a small space with a relatively fast-moving and fast-attacking enemy
Also:
- Enhance the boss' sprites
- Candles should give +5 hp instead of +10 (maybe this was intentional since it's a demo, but damn that's a lot of health)
- Lock the player in place when the satyr/goatman/whatever it is plays the flute (minor thing)

Overall it has great potential. Looking forward to play the final version.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 08:55:15 AM by Scarlet starlet »

Offline VladOfWallachia

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Re: Carpathian Night - Halloween 2019 Demo now available!
« Reply #113 on: November 04, 2019, 11:05:48 AM »
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Thanks for the feedback Scarlet. I can assure you the enemy behavior will grow more complex as the game progresses. I'll also take note of the comment on the compactness of the levels.

Thanks to everyone else that gave it a shot, we will be releasing updates much more frequently now. Next up, big fixes, special moves, and Irina in the next update.

Offline X

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Re: Carpathian Night - Halloween 2019 Demo now available!
« Reply #114 on: November 04, 2019, 06:14:32 PM »
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I gave this demo a try as well. My only issue here is the controls. Sometimes they fail to execute on command. I've noticed that attacking diagonally I will have to attack a second time before the command actually registers. Other times I've noticed that the character will not move depending on the attack I just executed. It's tough to explain this without an actual hands-on demonstration.
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Offline VladOfWallachia

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Re: Carpathian Night - Halloween 2019 Demo now available!
« Reply #115 on: November 05, 2019, 04:37:00 AM »
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X, those are known bugs. I have to refactor our character state machine to fix that, which is currently in the works. It should fix both problems. If you see any other issues let us know so we can fix those as well. Thanks for the feedback.


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Re: Carpathian Night - Halloween 2019 Demo now available!
« Reply #116 on: November 05, 2019, 09:25:38 AM »
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So far those were the only issues that I noticed.
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Offline VladOfWallachia

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Re: Carpathian Night - Halloween 2019 Demo now available!
« Reply #117 on: November 05, 2019, 01:06:37 PM »
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Prince Dracula- Seasoned veteran, master alchemist, graduate of Scholomance, and Lord of the Vampires.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 04:14:37 PM by VladOfWallachia »

Offline X

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Re: Carpathian Night - Halloween 2019 Demo now available!
« Reply #118 on: November 05, 2019, 07:08:19 PM »
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That's lookin' good  :)
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Offline golpebaixo

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Re: Carpathian Night - Demo now available!
« Reply #119 on: November 09, 2019, 06:16:22 AM »
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN! The new Carpathian Night demo is now available for download! Follow the link and let us know what you think!

https://carpathiannight.itch.io/carpathian-night
it doesn't support gamepads? why?

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