Chloe's Game was originally one component of an Alternate Reality Game. The name comes from the overarching plot that the game was supposed to fit into. The game has now taken a life of its own, and the name may change.
At first, I mocked it up in Love2d using a free tileset that I unfortunately have lost the source for (but they're well known, if anyone cares, I'm sure someone here knows where it came from). The elements of spreading evil are in, and you placed stars on the ground to kill the spread of evil. The game wasn't really fun, but it gave me hope that I could make it fun.
After deciding that I was serious about making this game, I contracted with an artist to do some concept work. I really liked the artist, and we made some progress, but eventually he got a real job (boo) and was unable to continue to work with me. This isn't the only piece of art he produced, but it shows off my favorite enemy. I'll have to make the enemy in 3d, but it is likely to still be in the game as one of the weaker enemies. The original game was only going to have three core enemies, and they were going to devolve from less to more evil. I'm now making more enemy types and changing their spawn rate depending on the evilness of the land.
I'm a programmer by trade. I've been programming for around 20 years at this point. I'm no slouch. But 3d stuff has always blown my mind for some reason. I had long since abandoned the ARG/video game, but I managed to get 3d somewhat working one day, and I've been hooked ever since. Immediately I thought about Chloe's Game and making it in 3d! Embedded below is my first working 3d shot. I had started making the heightmap generator thinking that it was going to be another 2d game, which is the only reason that my first 3d shot isn't some cube.
Originally the 2d array was supposed to represent the "evilness" of the land. After seeing it in 3d, I had to make it mountains, and I spent some time tweaking the algorithms to build better mountains. Then I decided that water would slow the spread of evil, and started working on algorithms for having water flow. I wanted it to rain on and off (and the falling water would slightly impede the evil), and for the water to pool (providing passable-with-difficulty barriers to the evil). It was later that I decided to make water a magically castable feature.
My early attempts at flowing water were... bad.
But they got better.
Then I figured out how to make the game first-person instead of floating perspective, and decided that my mountains did not look good. (Note: at this point the mountains were slow to generate and actually drew as they generated. It looked kinda cool, and helped me debug the generation algorithms, but was sloooow. The next screenshot is during generation, which is why it looks so different than the other post-generation shots.)
So I decided to go with 2d perlin noise instead. I may eventually switch to 3d, but 2d for now. I also figured out how to do actual textures (prior shots were colored vertexes, based solely on height/water level).
Now, that looks a LOT like minecraft. The previous shots looked more like normal terrain. I'm actually going for a hybrid style. The flaw I found with the first style is that it's impossible to have things like building walls. They would have to be wider at the base than at the top. No good. So I hit upon the idea of having some areas be "wild" and hilly. Others are "terraformed" and flat with man-made structures in it. The game will build some areas with one rendering style, some with the more minecrafty style. I also technically have a way to have non-cube things in the game. It's NOT voxel based. I unfortunately have not yet built any of the man-made structures, so... you can't see those here. What you can see is the first 3d shot of the hilly type terrain.
Then I switched it to be an "infinite" terrain. It's all sector based now where it can load in new sectors on demand. Unfortunately, something I did during that change broke my normal generation a bit. So the lighting got all screwy. And the water doesn't render right on sector edges. But this is what water looks like from the ground, after I changed it to be player generated and not a random occurance:
The pokey bit is where the water is being summoned. After the player lets go of the key, it'll settle down and flow like the rest of the water.
I turned off the normals completely because they were driving me crazy (entire portions of the map were near-black), and took another shot of the water after it settled more.
Todo (not in order):
* Fix the odd sector bug that's causing so many other bugs.
* Figure out a way to make the water casting not be overwhelming and also be able to create moats without taking 30 minutes to do it.
* Add in basic cube enemy.
* Give player ability to jump.
* Make water a particle instead of summoning 10 units in front of player.
* Make spraying water directly on an enemy hurt them a lot.
* Make an enemy in water take small amounts of damage.
Sorry for the HUGE initial post, but I wanted to provide this info for the curious. Future posts should be MUCH smaller as I'm not trying to explain literally years of history.