Those reading may be wondering where more recent updates have been. I've decided to put SETI on hold for now, as I explore smaller projects that I can complete in a shorter amount of time. One of these projects is a short game I made for Ludum Dare 25, called "Shadow Possession". You can play the post-compo release of Shadow Possession here: http://www.laughingleader.com/games/shadow-possession-update/
I'll be taking part in One Game a Month
, and have already started on this month's game. You can view the devblog for that here: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=30758.0
This is my first game ever, titled "SETI: First Contact
", or just "SETI
" for short. Screenshots:
*General Game Overview*
SETI: First Contact
is a desktop action-platformer with some RPG flavoring. The player takes control of a short astronaut tasked with the mission to discover extra-terrestrial life in the galaxy, starting with the location of a mysterious transmission - Planet Akarios.
The player will have to overcome enemies using a variety of equipment, traverse dangerous terrain, and solve the occasional puzzle to progress. When and if the player discovers and alien presence in the game, the way the player chooses to interact with these beings can change the way the game progresses, and inevitably the ending they experience. There won't be a "karma meter" or anything of that sort, but expect that other people won't like it very much if you open fire on them.
The "RPG flavoring" I mentioned earlier comes in the form of collecting various items to enhance/upgrade your equipment. I'm not a big fan of "grinding", whether it be for experience or loot, so most of the RPG elements in SETI are what I enjoy from RPGs - an interesting story, well-written dialogue, and the progression of equipment/items as the player gets through the game.
Side note: I haven't quite decided if Akarios will be the only planet the game takes place in, or if I'll mix it up with some other planets as well. Either way, expect some pretty extreme environment changes, as a majority of the challenge lies in overcoming the terrain. Lack of oxygen will be prevalent in certain levels, and running out will be met with a collection of unfortunate death animations.
Speaking of death animations, in the spirit of games like Heart of Darkness, SETI will contain a large library of death animations to meet an assortment of untimely deaths. Death will most likely be pretty common for the regular player, and there will be quite a few events that can happen to make dying interesting.
Continuing on, the player's first weapon is his trusty Laser Pistol. It sports an unlimited supply of energy, yet is prone to overheating if fired excessively. Overheating the gun past safe levels will result in the gun forcibly cooling down - unless the player chooses to override this safety and face the risks involved with overheating the gun further. The player will be able to upgrade this gun as they progress, and they can tune the gun's "overheat" mode to fit their preference (still a W.I.P., but I'd like there to be different types of "overheat" attacks along the lines of a short-ranged "napalm" explosion, or a medium-ranged flamethrower-type of effect as the gun expels the excess heat).*Developer Ramblings*
I make regular posts/updates for SETI: First Contact on my website
, as most of them have been for the more technical-side of things. Once the visual side of things start rolling out, I'll be making quite a few more videos and screenshots.
*Short "About Me"*
As a former "artsy-fartsy" avoider of programming and math, in recent years I've since "seen the light" that is the creativity within programming. I started programming for a game mod about a year ago, and have been truly creatively programming(from a blank slate) in the last six months. Before I caught the programmer bug, I went through a 2-year online animation school(animationmentor.com), and did some local filmmaking/commercial work for a local company. I've also only been playing guitar for about 2 years.
I've been a gamer since I was little (used to play computer games like Jill of the Jungle and Home Alone). I've always felt an urge to create my own video game, and it's my hope to be able to successfully create games for a living, and possibly find others to work with in the future. As I'm sure many others have experienced, the "Everest" that the journey as an indie dev can be unhealthily isolating, so it's refreshing to have a place like Tigsource with so many other developers active and present. It's nice to see that others have gone through(or are going through) what you are currently.Update - 9/6/2012
Detail-rich Blog PostThe HighlightsPast Updates:
(In order of newest first)Update: 7/22/2012
"Between" Updates:Relevant Blog PostDevLog PostUpdate: 6/14/2012
Pre-Alpha Update 2:
- Death Animation System
- Event System
- Weapon System
- Flag/Equipment System
- Inventory/Item SystemWork-In-Progress:
- Planet Akarios Zone 1
- Dynamic Lighting System
It's hard to believe I've been working on this game for a little over three months. There's still so much to do, and I feel like I've just scratched the surface, considering I barely have any levels done(yet, according to LocMetrics I've went from about 4,000 lines of code to 16,000 since the last update video). I'm starting to design the layout of the levels now that most of the "foundation" of the game is done. It took me longer than I thought it would to get that part done, mainly because I wanted the right setup to be able to pump out a ton of small little details in the game. Things like different walking/jumping/landing sounds depending on what type of surface the player is on, a dynamic death animation system, and having the player be able to customize their gear to a degree(the player is made up of separate parts - the flag, gun arm, gun itself, the player's face, visor, and any external equipment are all separate objects grouped into one). I like to follow the "philosophy of a 1,000 papercuts" - having a lot of smaller details add up to one really big detail(a higher level of quality).
Since a lot of the engine is now done, including a lot of the data-oriented backbone of the game (saving/loading/menus, etc), I've been designing the systems for level-specific and action-specific events. For instance, if the players dies for the very first time, they'll experience the astronaut's "DNA" being pulled out of his dead body and thrown into a Cloning Chamber. After that, they respawn(or get cloned) at a faster rate. As simple as that seems, I hit a few snags on proper camera control and timing everything that happens when the player dies/respawns.
I've also been experimenting with a lighting system. P.O.E.M., the small little robot that hovers over the player's shoulder, provides the player with a source of light in darkness. So far the lighting seems to be working well. I'd like to do some environmental lighting (lights, also perhaps something like having the sun rise), but unfortunately I might shelve the lighting for now though, as NPCs and the dialogue system seem a bit more important.Pre-Alpha Update 1:
| Blog LinkPre-Alpha First Test: