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1065770 Posts in 43487 Topics- by 35505 Members - Latest Member: Bambuman

November 23, 2014, 04:09:31 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsFinishedPapers, Please [Available 8/8]
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Author Topic: Papers, Please [Available 8/8]  (Read 194413 times)
Games Inquirer
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« Reply #60 on: December 06, 2012, 01:25:30 AM »

Love the shutters.
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Sergi
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« Reply #61 on: December 06, 2012, 02:21:42 AM »

I'm gonna try to fit the full 4-digit year in there and possibly choose the format based on locale so you'd get either DD.MM.YYYY, MM.DD.YYYY, or YYYY.MM.DD depending on your location.

If you get the 4-digit year there, then probably YMD would be the less confusing one, wouldn't it? I mean, even in places where you have the year in the end, if you see it in the start, you assume it's YMD right?
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Disasterpeace
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« Reply #62 on: December 06, 2012, 02:36:07 AM »

This is a wonderful idea. Just playing with the early build I get a good sense of how this will develop. Really looking to playing this down the line!  Gomez
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dukope
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« Reply #63 on: December 08, 2012, 07:32:20 AM »

This is a wonderful idea. Just playing with the early build I get a good sense of how this will develop. Really looking to playing this down the line!  Gomez

Thanks!

Discrepancy Detected

There's a small problem with your documentation Ms. Jensen. If that is your real name. Which it isn't.



I don't want to strip search you ma'am but it's the only way to be sure about this typo on your entry permit.

Inspect Mode
Clicking the bottom-right button puts you in "inspect" mode. Highlight any two pieces of information and if there's a discrepancy you'll get more options. I like the setup here because every kind of error can be pointed out using this simple interface. For example, if the immigrant is missing an entry permit you can:
- Highlight the empty counter where there should be an entry permit
- Highlight the rulebook line that states "All travelers must have a valid entry permit"
Those two facts signify a discrepancy and you'll be able to ask them wtf they're thinking trying to pull this nonsense when you're on duty this is serious business c'mon be serious.

Forgeries
Along with invalid data, documents themselves can be forged and I spent some time working on a system for this. Initially I thought to vary the document layouts slightly if they're forged. Since the rulebook contains example photos of how certain documents should look, the player would have to visually compare them to detect forgeries. I couldn't really figure out what kinds of layout changes made sense though. If someone goes through the trouble to forge a document, they're gonna get the basic layout right. And at that point I can either make the layout errors very subtle or figure something else out.

Something Else That Was Figured Out (Seals)
Looking to the real world, official documents are often validated with seals, watermarks, holograms, emblems, and other security devices. Copying the structure and layout is easy but getting the right seal is much harder. So all official documents in Papers, Please will have an accompanying seal. Accepted seals are listed in the rulebook:



And must appear on official documents:


There's some nice potential for an arms race here. As the game progresses, more and more complicated seals will be introduced as the criminals catch up. Gotta stay one step ahead. The potential is also there for special infrared seals that must be viewed under a special light in order to verify them.
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makerimages
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« Reply #64 on: December 08, 2012, 07:44:46 AM »

need new build!
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FinalSin
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« Reply #65 on: December 08, 2012, 08:00:03 AM »

This looks so great, the concept is brilliant but the art is what really sold me. Good luck with it!
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Zaratustra
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« Reply #66 on: December 08, 2012, 08:06:47 AM »

Suggestions of things that could happen (dunno if any of these have been made)

- Paper watermarks (forged documents have a slightly different one)
- Signatures
- Different name transliterations (Chekov / Tzechov in two different documents)
- Typing mistakes by the actual authority
- Exit ticket (commonly required)
- Reccomendation letters
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spolvid
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« Reply #67 on: December 08, 2012, 06:14:08 PM »

I don't know if this has been addressed already, but what's to stop someone from just pressing on every single combination of information until they find something?
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DustyDrake
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« Reply #68 on: December 08, 2012, 06:30:38 PM »

A quota or time limit perhaps?
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Gimym JIMBERT
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« Reply #69 on: December 08, 2012, 06:39:08 PM »

this game is brillant!
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ILLOGICAL, random guy on internet, do not trust (lelebĉcülo dum borobürükiss)
dukope
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« Reply #70 on: December 08, 2012, 07:35:30 PM »

@makerimages: Coupla days still.

@FinalSin & Gimmy TILBERT: Super thanks!

Suggestions of things that could happen (dunno if any of these have been made)...

These are all good ideas.

I don't know if this has been addressed already, but what's to stop someone from just pressing on every single combination of information until they find something?

Nothing except the inefficiency of it. On those traveling light (traveler with passport, entry permit, responses, appearance, and your rulebook) there are about 35 unique pieces of information. That's almost 600 unique fact pairs so it's gonna take some time to even click them all. And since not all facts are visible at once you'd need to periodically rearrange the documents.

Much easier to just scan the documents visually and highlight where you think there's an error.
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ClayB
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« Reply #71 on: December 08, 2012, 08:44:16 PM »

this is such a good idea! love the graphical style too, keep it up!
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Lynx
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« Reply #72 on: December 10, 2012, 05:31:14 PM »

Suggestion: "in-game" time passes only when you click on two fields to compare them.  In other words, you can walk off to get a cup of coffee in RL if you want.  Your score is based on how much in-game time passed for each examination, as well as how many correct and incorrect guesses you made on legitimacy.
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« Reply #73 on: December 10, 2012, 06:23:02 PM »

Possibly add a combo system for processing (subtle, not like "MEGA COMBO 46x MAXIMIZER!") You could possibly get pay raises as your rank goes up which is directly affected by your ability to get high combos. You can use that currency to purchase better equipment or more ways to question people. You could even give the NPCs the potential to lie when you question them, and your ability to decide if they are lying or truly unaware about the mistake on their passport will come down to your real skill and the skills you upgraded within the game.

And obviously, mistakes made while processing passengers will kill your combo and make it harder to process sneakier passengers in the future.

May I be so daring to say you should include an online leaderboard? You can gain (and loose) ranks depending on how quickly and thoroughly you can verify, interrogate, and process passengers. This could act as an incentive to boost performance, but may not be worth the time to implement.

But look at me, making a simple, intriguing game into a complicated mess. Corny Laugh
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DustyDrake
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« Reply #74 on: December 10, 2012, 06:27:43 PM »

The leaderboard could be the "employee of the month" type thing.
Heh.
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dukope
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« Reply #75 on: December 10, 2012, 10:29:34 PM »

Your score is based on how much in-game time passed for each examination, as well as how many correct and incorrect guesses you made on legitimacy...
Possibly add a combo system for processing (subtle, not like "MEGA COMBO 46x MAXIMIZER!")...

TBH, I hadn't even considered a score system. There are some cool ideas here, but I personally don't pay attention to scores in games. I could see it making sense with a leaderboard though. For that case a separate score mode would probably work best so the story progression doesn't get in the way. Similarly, Helsing's Fire has a "Bounty Mode" that lets you play online puzzles outside the story arc that works pretty well.

I like the upgrades suggestion. I have some vague ideas about upgrades but I'm waiting to have the basic daily gameplay working before trying to figure out what works best. New equipment and interrogation questions sound promising.

Time
For in-game time, I prefer it to be realtime. You'll be able to pause (blacking out the screen?) to take a break. But all the little rigamarole of clicking things and arranging documents is part of the job and should be on the clock. The faster you can do that stuff, the better you'll be. And just like real life, you'll have to decide if it's worth flipping through the rulebook looking for a specific rule, or sending a slow telex query to check a name. This keeps things simple too; no need for a special hud or an explanation of what does or doesn't cost time. >> TIME COSTS TIME <<
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Panurge
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« Reply #76 on: December 10, 2012, 11:16:03 PM »

I also think this has a lot of scope for moral dimensions not often seen in games. For example, a lot of the illegal immigrants you are catching might simply be poor labourers from a war-torn region hoping to blag their way in and send money back to their families, yet the punishments for these will be just as severe as for other, more criminal, immigrants. Imagine someone with a crudely faked passport who breaks down under questioning and admits that she just wants to support her children. You might be tempted to let her through... Or how about political refugees who will be shot if you send them back? Then again, if you go easy on everyone you will likely end up in trouble yourself or let someone through who turns out to be a terrorist bomber.

I loved how you handled this sort of thing in 'The Republia Times' - I really felt the moral dilemma there - and wonder if you are planning something similar for this...
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dukope
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« Reply #77 on: December 12, 2012, 09:07:37 AM »

I loved how you handled this sort of thing in 'The Republia Times' - I really felt the moral dilemma there - and wonder if you are planning something similar for this...

Thank you and yes :D One of my motivations for making this game is to exploit the player's morals and give them tough choices. I think there's more potential for hard choices here than in Republia Times. Actually the examples you mention are spot on.

A Few Faces
One of the nice things about doing both programming and art is that I can take a break from one and focus on the other. Perfect for when I get burnt out on something. I spent a few hours yesterday just drawing faces. Two new sheets:

Click the picture to see a time-lapse of the drawing. Not that exciting really.

You can see I'm running out of ideas for the clothes and they're getting a little crazy.

Lemme Just Stamp This
So you've checked someone's documents and it's all in order. How do you approve their entry and send them through? In the real world the inspector puts a sticker on your passport and stamps it with some time information. My original plan was to put some stamps on the counter (red = deny, green = approve):


To stamp a document, drag it from the counter and over to the desk. Same drag/drop interface as the papers:


It's easy to position, but how do you actually stamp it? With drag/drop, you grab the object on mouse-down and drop it on mouse-up. If you don't drag, it's easy to detect a mouse-up with no movement and apply a click. So that'd work here too. Drag the stamp into place, drop it, then click it to apply. Unfortunately this feels lame. Applying the stamp on mouse release just doesn't have the satisfaction. What you want is a nice solid THUNK when pressing the mouse down, not when you let go.

So I switched gears and am now experimenting with a stamp "bar" that pulls out over the desk. In this case, the stamps are immovable and you have to arrange the documents beneath them before stamping. Feels much better:


Once you stamp the passport and hand all the documentation back they'll grab everything and walk out to the right.

Haxe/NME
I've spent enough time with Haxe now to have both good and bad impressions.

Bad
  • A 'meta-language' with no home
    Haxe is translated into other languages (flash, js, c++, etc) and has no compiler. It supports a lot of target languages and although it doesn't take a lowest-common-denominator approach, it does sacrifice some features. The big one for me is proper class member scoping. There's no concept of true "private" members like you'd see in C# or C++. This makes it hard to build robust inheritance classes without stepping all over your base class's members. I generally keep my class hierarchies as shallow as possible so this is less of a problem but it has come up a few times. The usual way around it is to use adapter or helper classes instead of inheritance.
  • NME has some missing features
    Although the NME build process is fantastic, the C++/js/flash APIs all have little differences that need to be worked around. So far the biggest missing pieces are in the BitmapData class. For now I can handle the necessary tweaks.

Good
  • Modern syntax and features
    Coming from C, C++ (and even C#), Haxe is refreshingly modern. The type system is good and the reflection API is simple to use and powerful.
  • First-class functions
    Having first-class functions that can be passed around as variables is great and can simplify a lot of normally difficult tasks. Love it. As an example, using reflection and first-class functions I was able to create a simple state machine class that handles all the animation and state changes for game objects. Not possible in C++ without pains.
  • Succinct
    I think a good way to gauge the value of a language is to look at how much code is required to perform common tasks. The less code required, the better the language. Haxe scores well here.
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Lynx
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« Reply #78 on: December 12, 2012, 03:45:00 PM »

You're right, that looks like it'd be a lot more satisfying.  Ka-THUMP!

I'd have thought the same as your first thing, moving the stamp over, but you're going the extra mile here. Smiley
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dukope
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« Reply #79 on: December 13, 2012, 09:19:11 AM »

Stampage
Today was productive. Got the stamping system and in-booth flow working.



Pretty tired at the moment but I'm hoping to upload a build late tomorrow.
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