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1026433 Posts in 41144 Topics- by 32748 Members - Latest Member: VashtaNerada

July 24, 2014, 04:27:07 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsFinishedPapers, Please [Available 8/8]
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Author Topic: Papers, Please [Available 8/8]  (Read 165578 times)
spolvid
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2012, 12:55:53 PM »

This looks awesome! I really liked The Republica Times, looking forward to seeing this develop.
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dukope
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« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2012, 04:43:37 AM »

This looks awesome! I really liked The Republica Times, looking forward to seeing this develop.

Thanks spolvid. This game will probably have a similar flavor so I hope you enjoy it too.

Slightly updated layout with taller resolution:


Eigen's suggestion prompted me to keep experimenting with the mockup. With a 3:2 aspect, there's room to rearrange the inspection booth a bit and give the doc inspection area more space. Each document can be maximum 150x215 and 2 documents can be visible at any time. Teletex query results, the audio transcript, and the rule book will behave just like documents. This'll be nice for consistency and having the docs side-by-side makes it easier to find and highlight discrepancies. 150x215 is not a lot of space but my feeling is that the docs shouldn't be too complicated so hopefully it works out.

Closeup:


From left to right there's a clock, scale readout, microphone, computer screen, and notebook. Not sure what to do with the clock just yet but there'll probably be some time component to the gameplay. Scale shows the person's weight, mic will show the audio transcript document when clicked, computer screen will show the teletex document when clicked, and the notebook will show the rule book when clicked.

Rule Book
In order to establish the baseline regulations for which documents and information a traveler must have to enter, there's a rule book. This lists things like "Traveler must have an entry permit", "Traveler must be over 18", etc. If a rule is being broken, it can be highlighted for further options. One example would be the "Traveler must be over 18" rule. If you inspect their passport and calculate their age to be < 18, you can select both their passport birthdate and the age rule. This will highlight the discrepancy and open up a teletex query or a question you can ask the traveler.
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Shine Klevit The Utopian Peasent
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« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2012, 05:01:02 AM »

Looks rather interesting. I'd have to see how it plays first to make a full assessment when it's done, but I certainly have respect for the unique dynamics.
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makerimages
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« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2012, 05:16:00 AM »

That's one helluva clever idea for a game. Really looking forward to it!

I agree!
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Makerimages-Its in the pixel
dukope
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« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2012, 08:06:11 AM »

Looks rather interesting. I'd have to see how it plays first to make a full assessment when it's done, but I certainly have respect for the unique dynamics.

Thanks Shine and makerimages. After reading this I figured it'd be best to prototype the gameplay ASAP. Instead of spending more time on the animations (which I'm pretty sure will work out ok), I've moved ahead to the core mechanics (some doubt here).

First Build!
In the last couple days I've gotten up and running with HaxeNME. You can "play" the first build here:


Drag And Then Drop
I originally intended to have the documents just be clickable on the left; after which they show up in one of 2 fixed-width columns on the right. Nice and simple. Unfortunately that felt a bit lifeless when I prototyped it. There was also the general problem of space; each document would be limited to 150 pixels wide.

Instead there's now full drag-n-drop across the counter and desk. I think this solves the space problem nicely as you can always shuffle things around to see large documents. It also feels a lot cooler IMO. Much more like actually inspecting a pile of papers and a little bit fun in it's own right.

Haxe/NME
I gotta say, HaxeNME is pretty nice. There are a few quirks but for a non-taxing 2D game it's great so far. With MonoDevelop (on OSX) and the HaxeNME extension there's tab-completion, nice error messages, and one-click building for flash/mac/windows/etc. Some stuff doesn't work quite the same on all platforms but it's as close to write-once/run-everywhere as I've seen.

Curiously, one of the trickier things to get right was the double-size pixel rendering. Flixel makes this easy as it blits everything to it's own sprite, then scales that up. You can do something similar in vanilla HaxeNME but it's not really optimal for the native targets. I ended up scaling the root DisplayObject, snapping pixel locations while dragging, and writing custom functions to generate nearest-neighbor rotated bitmaps at half-res. Also, I'm using a bitmap font class (pxBitmapFont) since rendering .ttfs seems to always have some level of anti-aliasing.

Procedural Generation
I really like procedural generation for puzzle/logic games like this. For one, it keeps the game interesting for me personally during development. For another, it makes generating lots of content much easier. In this case, the travelers will be generated randomly from a set of rules. My next steps will probably be fleshing out the game world and working out what these rules are.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 08:24:57 AM by dukope » Logged

dx0ne
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« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2012, 09:05:31 AM »

Helsing's Fire and 6DoS were great so I expect another gem. Looks great so far.

Btw you said you were working with flash previously but now want to do/exportTo native apps. AIR on mobile wasn't performing good enough?
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Panurge
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2012, 09:14:58 AM »

That's a really nice intuitive system. By giving the player control over how they arrange the documents you make it part of the game. As you say, it's kind of fun in its own right.

My inner bureaucrat is itching already...
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Eigen
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2012, 09:41:25 AM »

Dragging documents around was suprisingly fun. Good job. I might look into this whole HaxeNME business, seems cool. I got a couple of questions regarding the game.

* What if I allow everyone into the country? Are there any penalties for doing that? If so, what are they.
* What happens if I don't allow anyone into the country? I mean a total blockade.
* As the player, what is the end goal? I mean, at what point is the game considered completed.
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epcc
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2012, 10:12:03 AM »

It would also be interesting if the player has to decide whether the picture on the passport is of the same person as the one standing in line.
For even more complexity make the passport picture always appear younger and with a different haircut.

It's a lot more work, however.
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dukope
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2012, 11:34:47 AM »

Thanks for the feedback everyone!

* What if I allow everyone into the country? Are there any penalties for doing that? If so, what are they.
* What happens if I don't allow anyone into the country? I mean a total blockade.
* As the player, what is the end goal? I mean, at what point is the game considered completed.

I think the gameplay will probably be divided into days with daily quotas. I'd say your goal is to process people as quickly as possible and not make any mistakes. There'll be a proper narrative and story arc to tie the days together. The low level day-to-day stuff is random within parameters; the story is scripted.

If you don't let anyone through, you'd probably get fired after a few days. If you let everyone through, you'll be responsible for spy/terrorist/smuggler activity. I'm thinking to show performance reports at the end of each day to let you know how you're doing. Some results will be more immediate. For example, a terrorist suicide bomber may detonate onscreen immediately after he passes through your booth. Bad lookin out.

It would also be interesting if the player has to decide whether the picture on the passport is of the same person as the one standing in line.
For even more complexity make the passport picture always appear younger and with a different haircut.

Actually this is exactly what I'm planning. Even with the mockup I found it fun to dart my eyes back and forth at the passport photo and the dude's face. Same person? Possibly... A proper immigration inspector maintains a suspecting, skeptical eye. Changing up the photos with different glasses/hats/clothes/age should keep it interesting. Which leads nicely to...

Wanted Criminals
The computer terminal, when inspected, will display multiple screens that you can flip between. One of these screens will contain a photo list of known spies/terrorists/criminals/smugglers. As you vet each person, don't forget to compare their face against the current bulletin photos. If you find a match, highlight their face and the photo to reveal an "arrest this punk" option.

Some kind of "urgent bulletin" system built on this could create pretty cool Bourne moments too. You may get an urgent bulletin and expect the criminal to show up (in disguise) within the next few minutes or not at all.

Forged Documents
Along with a list of basic regulations, the rule book will also contain samples of many common documents and passport covers from all surrounding countries. It'll be up to you to cross reference these samples to make sure the traveler's documents aren't forgeries. What I like about this is that after a few days, you'll have memorized how the most common docs should look and won't need to waste precious time referencing the rule book.
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makerimages
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« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2012, 03:04:05 AM »

I also threw some documents around, and I personally dont like how the documents move out from "under the desk view" to the open area. Maybe you could do it so that you can drag the closed document to the open area and if you release it there, it opens up?? Meanwhile, I`m really looking forward to this game.
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dukope
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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2012, 07:42:58 AM »

I also threw some documents around, and I personally dont like how the documents move out from "under the desk view" to the open area. Maybe you could do it so that you can drag the closed document to the open area and if you release it there, it opens up?? Meanwhile, I`m really looking forward to this game.

Well damn. That's one of the things I was quite happy with. You don't have to drop the document first before seeing it on the desk. Makes quicklooks easy and enables placing it right the first time if you decide to inspect it. I thought it was kinda cool how it dragged straight across but I concede now that maybe it's a little weird.

You Look Honest
New build:


I've added initial versions of the rulebook, audio transcript, and telex dispatch. I've also hard-coded a traveler so you can poke around in his documents a bit. There's nothing to do except that actually. Haven't gotten to the part where you approve/deny his entry.

This is early days so it's all very rough. There's no story, interesting accouterments, or fun. A lot of stuff is incomplete and confusing which I realize is a bad introduction to the mechanics. The final version will build up gradually and introduce these concepts with glorious clarity. For now, study the rulebook first.

Challenge!
The traveler in this build has 4 errors in his documents. The first person to find and post them here will get a free copy of the game when it's released! Please use a tiny font to avoid spoilers.
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Panurge
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2012, 08:10:33 AM »

-The passport does not have a recognised front cover (unless it's just very worn like mine...).
-The ISS field is invalid (Lorndal instead of Lorndaz).
-The applicant says he wishes to work but is not in possession of a valid work visa.
-The applicant says he wishes to remain forever yet his permit is only for 14 days.

My recommendation is that the applicant be taken immediately to the Bureau for Intercultural Relations where his application can be formally revoked by firing squad.
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dukope
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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2012, 08:30:55 AM »

The correct answer

Aaaaaaaaand DONE.

Nice work Panurge! Fast and precise. I think there may be a spot for you in the Ministry.
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dukope
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« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2012, 06:20:30 AM »

Faces
Drew some more traveler faces:


Even though the colors aren't great and the detail level is inconsistent, this is the general style I'm targeting.

Since I won't be able to draw hundreds of unique faces for an endless supply of travelers I'll need some kind of procedural system to generate variations. Originally I thought I could map the face onto a rough triangle mesh and just push a few of the points around. After looking at the drawings though I don't think that'll look any good or give enough variety.

Instead, I experimented in photoshop and came up with a much simpler technique that divides each face into 3 parts:
1. head & shoulders
2. both eyes
3. mouth & nose
#1 defines roughly where the mouth, nose, and eyes should appear so it's possible to take a random #2 and #3 and place/scale them into the generally correct place.

To get something like this:


Hmm... Bro seems fine but sis looks a little off. And using the entire head&shoulders means the silhouette doesn't have any variety. Maybe splitting the shoulders out or adding some headgear overlays would help. But they do look human; and pretty different from the source.

This technique makes generating "slightly wrong" variations for forged documents really easy. And if I'm able to draw young versions of all the original faces, those pieces could be slotted in the same way for older documents. Could also add metadata to the faces ("HasGlasses", "WearingHat", etc) that would make adding accessories possible.
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