Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1055846 Posts in 42877 Topics- by 34813 Members - Latest Member: ben_a_adams

October 22, 2014, 04:10:31 AM
TIGSource ForumsCommunityCompetitionsOld CompetitionsProcedural GenerationApophenia [Complete]
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Author Topic: Apophenia [Complete]  (Read 17786 times)
Noyb
Level 9
****


Klik & Play Masochist


View Profile WWW
« on: May 11, 2008, 11:51:41 AM »

Apophenia



DOWNLOAD (5 mb)

Apophenia is the human mind's ability to see connections and patterns out of random noise, so I figured it would be a good title for a game in which I'm trying to make both the appearance and the rules as random as possible.

Each game is generated by a seed title, covering the appearance, soundscape, and behavior of the player, an NPC, and a swarm. You control the player with only the mouse, potentially leading, pushing, or controlling it. Each game ends when either the player or the NPC shrink into nothingness. If you have trouble understanding the symbolic value of each game, a "pretentious mode" is provided to explain the concept behind each variation.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 10:11:47 PM by Noyb » Logged

Noyb
Level 9
****


Klik & Play Masochist


View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 11:00:45 PM »

Got the main elements of the movement going. Giving the game a seed word currently generates appearance and movement behavior for the three different types of "characters," the player, the NPC, and a swarm.

Once I implement the gameplay logic, each character will affect each other (through overlap) in different ways. In one instance you may have to collect members of the swarm, another might find you trying to protect the NPC from the swarm, while in another a stationary NPC might fire deadly swarm bullets at you. Apart from some checking to prevent goal-less games, it probably won't be too bad to implement using the same system I'm using for generating the appearance and movements.

I'm crazy busy the next few days, but then again that hasn't stopped me from throwing this engine together. Let me know what you think! (download in first post)
Logged

William Broom
Level 10
*****


formerly chutup


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 11:09:08 PM »

Looking nice so far. There seems to be a lot of possibilities once you create the objectives and such.
Logged

Noyb
Level 9
****


Klik & Play Masochist


View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 06:25:04 PM »

Finally got some time to add in vaguely game-like elements. The player and the NPC can grow or shrink on collision with the other characters, and the game ends when either shrinks down to nothing. I'm thinking of adding in other effects (maybe changing transparency or color brightness), but they'd all follow the same basic pattern of give and take. I'm still not sure whether I want to keep in some of the less interesting combinations (namely ones where shrinking either is a matter of player choice, not an inevitability. ones where the NPC is slow/stationary and the swarm poses no threat to either.)

Some of the more interesting seeds (case matters):
"apophenia": the swarm grows the player and shrinks the NPC. Touching the NPC shrinks the player but grows the NPC. So it becomes a cool balancing act.
"unfun": Everything shrinks you. Everything grows the NPC.
"craptastic": just for the hilariously appropriate player sprite
"Plus": stationary turret shoots out swarm that circles you. turret gets larger every time it shoots. You get larger and shrink the turret when you touch it.
"Seed": Protect the NPC by eating the swarm before they touch it, without touching the NPC yourself.
"wikipedia": like seed, except the NPC avoids you and you grow much larger over time

Download link in first post.

Edit: Umm... has anyone tried it yet? I'd appreciate comments/criticism.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 02:31:59 PM by Noyb » Logged

FARTRON
Level 4
****


the last man in space


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008, 05:54:56 PM »

It'd be useful to have some small amount of feedback about what the goal is (should I protect or kill the NPC) and also if I have succeeded in it once the match ends.
Logged

Everything that was once directly lived has receded into a representation. - debord
Noyb
Level 9
****


Klik & Play Masochist


View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2008, 07:15:37 PM »

Right now, the goal is to keep both the player and the NPC alive, and the game unceremoniously dumps you back to the seed entry when either dies. It might be interesting to have another goal be to kill the NPC, which would probably require some instruction to the player as you pointed out.
Logged

Noyb
Level 9
****


Klik & Play Masochist


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2008, 10:20:46 PM »

After a bit of experimentation and fiddling around with Audacity, I've got the basis for a procedural music system in here. Essentially, it plays random instruments on scales where random improvisation sounds decent, tied to the interaction between the various characters. It changes around the feel of the game, although it bloated the filesize like crazy. Gameplay is essentially unchanged from the previous build.

[old link removed]
« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 10:35:04 PM by Noyb » Logged

Crackerblocks
Level 1
*


jus_10s@yahoo.ca
View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2008, 11:28:52 PM »

Would be nice if that piano scale was a little less common. Sounds like Philip Glass on Meth.

Overall though, it's pretty cool. I spent 20 mins exploring all the weird possible combinations. Even if only a fraction of them offer interesting gameplay.

Might be interesting to add some feedback effects.. so for example, the bigger you get, the more attractive the npc is to the swarm. ie. morph the rules as the game progresses.
Logged
William Broom
Level 10
*****


formerly chutup


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2008, 01:02:29 AM »

It's very fun. The only thing I can say is to make a way for each game to end, and limit the number of swarm that can appear. 'apophenia' is great fun until the whole screen fills up with swarm.
Logged

Metroid48
Level 0
**



View Profile Email
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2008, 08:03:45 PM »

Judging by the examples below, I hope it's clear I spent approx. 20 minutes just experimenting and finding interesting words. It's rare that a game will actually capture my attention, when it simply involves typing in a lot of different words, then playing for 20 seconds (or more if it was a good one).

I'd say that it's really neat already. The only thing it's really lacking is depth (and better music creation, though that is based on the game elements in play sooo...). The game has too few things in it right now to last that long.

You've got a good start though - go for it!

EDIT: Oh yeah, I never got a single swarming behavior for anything but my main character. Not sure if it's intended to work otherwise.


--------------------------------
Examples


Wow. Type WassupDog as the seed (case sensitive, of course) and graphics stretch a bit, you can't absorb the swarm things, the bg sounds are neat, and it's impossible for the npc to die xD

The name itself, Apophenia, results in balancing the sizes of an eye (you) and a floating pentagram, via taking size away from the pentagram by touching, and shrinking yourself by hitting bouncing rectangles (the pentagram grows with rect collisions).

apophenia (lower case) results in a game similar to the properly capitalized version, it just has swarming enemies and different graphics.

The word Enter results in a moderate game; purple angry things swarm at you, if they touch you or the npc you shrink, either shrinks is game over. You can outwit it easily with circles though.

The word enter results in a horrible game. You're a slow balloon which shrinks on contact with anything. Non swarming enemies, just bounce.

seed (lower case) results in a game with an npc red arrow firing homing purple blocks at you - that increase the size of you and the npc! The only way to lose is by touching the npc, to make it shrink.

phobia results in a game similar to seed, only with a stationary NPC.
Logged
Soulliard
Level 10
*****


The artist formerly known as Nightshade


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 09:03:04 AM »

I love it!

My favorite seed was "watermelon". Enemies hurt you, but heal the NPC, so you need to guide them into the NPC. Hitting the NPC transfers its health to you. It's a fun balancing act.

"WATERMELON" was good as well. You need to protect the NPC from the enemies. Hitting an enemies bounces it back and heals you, and you can transfer your health to the NPC. 
Logged

Noyb
Level 9
****


Klik & Play Masochist


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2008, 07:58:02 PM »

Just finished a big chunk of RL stuff that was preventing me from working on the game. In short, since this base concept seems to be working well and further work on this game would just involve adding in more random variations which would possibly change how a seed plays from build to build, I think I won't publicly release the future builds until it's in a near-final form. Glad to see that people enjoyed it so far!

Oh, and if anyone's interested in having a sprite be in the game, feel free to send me one. I'm using 32x32 sprites with three colors: black, white, and red (where the first two stay constant, and the red is the color that's randomly changed).

Might be interesting to add some feedback effects.. so for example, the bigger you get, the more attractive the npc is to the swarm. ie. morph the rules as the game progresses.
I think I might just keep it with simple, static interactions for now.

It's very fun. The only thing I can say is to make a way for each game to end, and limit the number of swarm that can appear. 'apophenia' is great fun until the whole screen fills up with swarm.
I'll have to do some thinking about how much influence to impose over the random results. I guess the biggest problem are the instances where ending the game is a conscious choice of the player; like seeds where the swarm grows everything, and the NPC is either stationary or too slow to threaten you/itself. Maybe increasing the NPCs speed over time along with the swarm speed could help. I'm also a bit concerned with short/impossible games, like ones where you cannot grow an NPC that shrinks every time it fires a swarm bullet.

Limiting the swarm size is a good idea, since I put a cap on the max tempo the swarm can affect you anyway. On a related note, one of my testers found the seed "nowa", where the swarm grows you and doesn't die by touching you. It also stops registering all collisions after the swarm grows over 60ish members overlapping you for a reason I can't quite determine yet. Embarrassed

I never got a single swarming behavior for anything but my main character. Not sure if it's intended to work otherwise.
Good idea. Right now the swarm only moves based on the player, but randomly choosing either you or the NPC as the focus could make some more interesting gameplay. Hmm... not sure whether it should be additive (both affect swarm) or exclusive (only one affects swarm). Since this'll change what gameplay the already discovered seeds have, I'll hold off on uploading new versions until I get things like this in a firmer state.

My favorite seed was "watermelon". Enemies hurt you, but heal the NPC, so you need to guide them into the NPC. Hitting the NPC transfers its health to you. It's a fun balancing act.
Ooh, that's a fun one.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 08:05:50 PM by Noyb » Logged

Noyb
Level 9
****


Klik & Play Masochist


View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2008, 05:58:29 PM »

Spent some time polishing up the game a bit. Added some new instruments and sprites. Also added in some spiffy randomly-generated Rorschach inkblot diagram backgrounds. The demo is *not* updated, since I want some of it to remain a surprise for the final version, and the gameplay hasn't been changed significantly. I think I'm going to keep the swarm's movement just linked to the player and not the NPC in order to preserve the already-discovered seeds. New gameplay screens below:


You can kinda trick yourself into seeing an owl, huh?


My God, it's full of stars.


Cave Story sprites courtesy of Annabelle Kennedy. I'm still open to adding more sprites if anyone wants to contribute (32x32 pixels. black, white, and a single mutable color only.)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2008, 09:02:07 PM by Noyb » Logged

Noyb
Level 9
****


Klik & Play Masochist


View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2008, 10:18:20 PM »

Essentially finished, although I may touch up some of the gameplay at some future point. Download link is in the first post. Enjoy!
Logged

Melly
Level 10
*****


This is how being from "da hood" is like, right?


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2008, 11:07:27 PM »

Pretentious mode is awesome.
Logged

Feel free to disregard the above.
Games: Minus / Action Escape Kitty
xerus
Vice President of Marketing, Romeo Pie Software
Level 10
*


kpulv

Storm+X+MH
View Profile WWW
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2008, 01:30:51 AM »

I really have no idea whats happening, but I'll keep playing...
Logged

Dacke
Level 10
*****


I have never been to Woodstock


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2008, 07:12:18 AM »

I play but I fail. Cry
What am I doing, will I ever "win"?
Logged

programming veganism feminism free software
Noyb
Level 9
****


Klik & Play Masochist


View Profile WWW
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2008, 04:39:10 AM »

Each game ends when either the player or the NPC shrink into nothing. Some games are impossible/difficult to end and can be quit with Esc. (I kept it this way on the off chance the music is fun to play with.) As for winning and losing, that's a matter of personal interpretation. If you need more explicit help understanding your goal in each game, you can activate pretentious mode for further clarification.
Logged

mewse
Level 5
*****



View Profile WWW
« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2008, 04:50:47 AM »

If you need more explicit help understanding your goal in each game, you can activate pretentious mode for further clarification.

I've spent several minutes trying to find words which will express just how awesome this is, and I can't do it.   Kiss
Logged
Pacian
Text Heavy
Level 4
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2008, 11:28:52 AM »

Some of these scenarios are quite challenging and addictive.

(Not this one though:)

Quote
fuckalicious

In this oblique mystery you are inexplicably a heavily-armed supersoldier, hopelessly trying to eat happiness.

Sounds like a typical FPS to me.  Wink
Logged

(\ /)
(O.o) - Achtung, baby!
(> <)
Pages: [1] 2
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic