Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow: Reprise (Roguelike/Endless Mode)

Started by Xanthus, October 30, 2022, 04:16:29 PM

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Xanthus

Over the past couple of months I've been working on a Roguelike/Endless mode for Aria of Sorrow! It's in a fun and completely playable state at the moment, but still under active development with new features on the way. I would love to get some feedback!

Patch (zipped with readme): https://www.mediafire.com/file/rwaxdqjxed3ceun/AoS_Reprise_0_42a.zip/file
Discord: https://discord.gg/PytA9rr6nz

Releases:
0.42a / 0.41a - 12/7/22 Quick fix for a room that got corrupted and took 3 seconds to load.  Fixed a room generation bug where it would get stuck trying to find a different room.
0.4a - 12/7/22 Game is easier on Normal/Easy with starting equipment, added more items to pickup and other room improvements/rebalancing. Other fixes / changes in the changelog.
0.38a - 11/30/22 Entire areas are generated that contain rooms from 2 vanilla areas. 8 Room modifiers that affect the enemies / player. Book of Return item added. New pickups that add max HP and MP. Various fixes / changes.
0.31a - 11/10/22 Fixed a crash that could happen in rare scenarios, couple of other minor fixes.
0.3a - 11/9/22 Randomized shops, new pickups that increase stats permanently, Pickup/Enemy randomization improvements, more tweaks and fixes (changelog in readme)
0.21a - 11/6/2022 Added in Bosses, difficulty based on time, room changes, shop changes, random seeds, and various fixes.
0.1a - 10/31/2022 First alpha release.

Additional gameplay in my twitch vods: https://www.twitch.tv/xanthus1/videos





Main Features:
- Randomized rooms, aside from the intro room and the lobby room. There are currently around 52 heaviliy customized rooms.
   - There are four generated areas (one for each direction from the lobby), each contains rooms from two areas.
   - The room counter only increases if you kill at least one enemy in a room. This is displayed on the lower left of HP bar.
   - Boss rooms occur every 10 rooms, and appear in boss-rush order. When you beat a boss, you can revisit old rooms and pick up items again.
   - When you leave the castle, all areas / rooms are re-randomized.   
   - There are 8 randomized effects (e.g. poisonous enemies, higher knockback, or souls are disabled) when the room counter ends in 4 or 8.   
- Enemies are randomized within a certain range. Areas found later in Aria of Sorrow will have more difficult enemies.
   - There are a few enemies which are locked and won't be randomized.
- Difficulty will increase every 4 minutes, which will decrease your stats and make more difficult enemies spawn.
   - This is the red number displayed to the lower right side of your HP bar.
- Weapons, Armor, and Accessory pickups are spawned in a mostly progressive order with some randomization.
- Soul item pickups are randomized, aside from "progression" souls which are locked and always the same.
- Soul / Item drop chances increased by 2x.
- Selling items gives 25% back instead of 50%.
- New Item: Charon's Obol. After you use this item, the next enemy killed will drop their soul.
- New Item: Book of Return. Use this to teleport back to the lobby room.
- New pickups: Pink and blue soul canisters that permanently increase your stats ( STR, INT, HP, MP, etc.)
- Soul fixes / balancing (details in readme)
- Includes patch authored by FuseCV to allow for Kicker Skeleton without Malphas.

Roadmap/ Wishlist for future features:
- More rooms!
- More soul fixes / balancing / new effects.
- Custom accessories with new effects.
- Store high score
- Ability to view the seed in-game, or load the previous seed next time you start a game.
- Some type of End-game (maybe similar to Metroid Arcade where you can set a goal room limit, or defeat graham, or play endless).
- Shop items influenced based on which weapon/armor/accessory pickup index you're currently on.
- Add souls to the shop.
- Custom entities for more variety
- (Maybe) multiple lobby rooms and a method for traveling between them.
- (Maybe) Some type of randomization within a room (allowing for enemies / items to spawn in different locations)
- (Maybe) update Kicker without Malphas patch so that you can't use kicker to swim underwater before you get Skula

Known Bugs / Issues:
- Rare sprite glitches where an enemy or special object (like a moving platform) will have an all-black sprite, or using armor souls will have glitched sprites.

Alkali Man OG

Man an aria roguelike mode!?? God the replayability potential is insane

tvtoon

I am impressed by this hack remaining not submitted in the database, is there any reason or you just don't want it? Because it is GREAT, it is helluva lotsa funny, and I don't see why, since it even got a GREAT README! People would be surprised how many hacks barely got one.

About the hack itself, there is only one complaint: the stat enhancing soul doesn't seem to work. I played it on hard, but here is my suggestion: instead of those, a better idea would be to just lock the stats on level 1, that would be better than the stat reduction mechanic, because this game is purely "strength based" for most enemies. ;)

Xanthus

Glad you're liking it so far! And its database submission was rejected because I've labelled it as an alpha- it's not yet feature complete to what I'd consider a full release. It's getting close though!

The stat enhancing pickups may have been bugged on the .31a version, but will definitely work for the next release.  I've been adding some new features and still re-working some of the room randomization / navigation currently. Hoping to wrap those up soon!

I want to keep some type of time based mechanic that keeps making the game more difficult. I know what you mean by the game being strength based, but I do like that it makes enemies more difficult to kill (making fighting longer), and doesn't just make you die quicker. I might change it to increase enemies HP instead, which is a little different in that it'll make weaker multi-hit moves not get nerfed as much.

ChrisHighwind

Tried it myself and it's a decent roguelike! My only issue is that when you die, you have to go through a lengthy process to start a new run (the Game Over Screen > Logos and Title Screen > Creating a new file with a new seed > Intro cutscene before you get back into the game), though hopefully with this being an alpha, that issue will eventually get corrected.

Tsukiyomaru0

#5
At last, a rando I can easily get behind. Thank you so much.

Bug: Balore can spawn in tall rooms and... Cause a crash.
Also Juliuses can spawn in some areas but are glitched.

Also, a few suggestions:
• Have it so in Easy and Normal the shop will always have healing items (less options though on Normal)
• Save point via a room above the shop (preferably)
• Place bosses in dedicated boss rooms
• Add an indicator of when the next left-right transition initiates a boss encounter.
• Make it possible to randomizer starting weapon and armor.

Alkali Man OG

Probably an oversight but Excalibur costs literally 0 gold in the shop, so if rngesus spawned it then you can cheese the game easily

Xanthus

Just released a new version with a lot of updates! Lots of great new features, entire areas are generated, there are room modifiers which affect gameplay, a new item that teleports you, along with some other changes listed in the changelog.

Thanks for the feedback! I've fixed the bosses spawning and shop price issues, as well as the stat enhancing pickups. I also added potions to the shop for Easy mode. I've added a note to make jumping into a new game quicker after a game over, I should be able to just send you back to the file select screen.

Saving would be be complicated because there's a lot of data that would need to be saved. I might add it in as an option, it just might mess up where the RNG/seed left off and might lose some information.

I'm looking forward to players trying out the new features! This mod is turning out better than I'd hoped so far :>

Tsukiyomaru0

#8
You might want to tone down the default difficulty some or randomize starting weapon and armor too, because itty bitty knife and bat soul VS minotaur = bad.

And no, playing on Easy Mode changes nothing. First room had a Minotaur.

And Hard mode didn't affect a thing either.

Xanthus

Thanks for the feedback, I added starting equipment to Easy and Normal, as well as changed the areas that they could start with. Should help balance things a bit more, especially in the early game, since just improved stats wasn't enough. I might also look at balancing the enemy randomization for lower difficulties in the future as well.

Released 0.4 with new features and fixes!
   * Normal and Easy start with better equipment.
   * Added more pickups and rebalanced various rooms/areas. Game should be more easy and satisfying overall.
   * Room generation improvements, including less repeated adjacent rooms.
   * Prevent duplicate shop items. Book of Return added as possible shop item.
   * Spikes won't trigger Room modifier effects (like knockback, poison)
   * Soul balance patches:
      * Zombie Officer Soul actually heals you when you jump out of knockback.
      * Succubus only heals 2 HP on hit
      * Final hitbox range of bat soul increased
   * Various small fixes / improvements