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November 23, 2014, 10:43:55 AM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsThe Curious Expedition
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Author Topic: The Curious Expedition  (Read 89704 times)
jO
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« on: November 28, 2012, 04:25:29 PM »


The Curious Expedition is a roguelike expedition simulation set in the late 19th century.
Venture on unprecedented expeditions to regions never explored before.
Adventure awaits!






} - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -== What we want to achieve ==- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - {

Indiana Jones meets Charles Darwin in a roguelike.

A game in which the exploration of a lush, mysterious world is the core; we want you to feel like a real explorer. New secrets await every time you venture out, no matter how many times youíve played.

The game is very difficult, and every move counts. If youíre not thoughtful, your trek will fail horribly and youíll face certain death. Losing is fun!

As you explore and interact with the world, your actions will cause the region to gradually go out of balance, until the trail of chaos you left catches up and forces you to run for your life.

Youíll be confronted with the everyday racism of the late 19th century. Will you fall into the same mentality as so many explorers of those days, or will you treat the land and its natives with respect?


} - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -== Gameplay ==- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - {

Explore procedurally generated worlds with many different biomes, each with its own distinctive set of challenges for the ambitious explorer.

Plan and equip your trek with gear, weapons, scientists, porters, pack animals and much more. A good explorer is prepared for any eventuality.

Manage your resources to keep your trek alive and morale high. Balance your need for food and water with the desire to carry all that precious treasure back home.

Visit and interact with the landís natives. Enter villages, trade and communicate with local tribes and civilizations that are unknown to mankind.

Loot mysterious temple ruins to gain fame and treasures, but watch out for deadly traps and curses that will compromise your men and the whole world around you.

Equip and utilize miraculous treasures to gain advantages, but be wary of unforeseeable side effects.

Fight and defend your trek against a wide range of wild animals, mystical creatures, zombies and even dinosaurs.


} - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -== Characters ==- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - {


} - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -== Inspiration ==- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - {




} - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -== Business stuff ==- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - {

Target platform: PC, Tablet devices
Planned release: 2014
Teamsize: 2

} - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -== Press ==- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - {

"The Curious Expedition has all the marks of a particularly fine undertaking. Itís a procedurally generated sort of thing, with overland exploration of varied biomes, and battles against mystical creatures, dinosaurs, cannibals and other such unpleasantries."
rockpapershotgun.com

"The gameís hook is undeniable: explorers will set out across a randomly generated continent in search of treasure and knowledge, and the slightest misstep will result in a dead or insane expedition party and a failed excursion. This is a game where Nikola Tesla might shoot an energy gun at a giant crab or a hired hand will go insane and steal precious supplies on his way out of camp."
pcgamer.com

"Curious Expedition has a massive amount of promise. From the sharp pixel art visuals to the staggering difficulty level to the constant surprises, this could end up being very special indeed."
pocketgamer.co.uk

"Curious Expedition has that precise cocktail of danger and beauty, of greed in the face of scarcity, of risk and randomness, that makes for a good roguelike. As its wild frontiers slowly reveal themselves, I felt at times cheerful, at other times afraid, but always compelled for one more push into the mountains in search of a cold spring, or toward the village where I knew my animal pelts would be prized."
gamasutra.com


Thank you for your interest.

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« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 03:38:39 AM by jO » Logged

johnki
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2012, 04:26:34 PM »

This looks pretty cool. I like the mix of settings. How far along is it so far?
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Paul Jeffries
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2012, 05:00:23 PM »

Heh, you stole my working title! Only kidding, of course - although the main reason I just went with 'Incognita' and only as a working title is because there are a couple of other games already out there called 'Terra Incognita'.  Maybe not a problem, but something you should perhaps be aware of.

Looks pretty awesome, anyway.  I like the style of the graphics, particularly the title screen and character portraits.  Also, more games should include Nikola Tesla as a playable character.
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2012, 05:00:40 PM »

Looks really cool Cool good luck with this project!
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jO
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2012, 12:45:37 AM »

This looks pretty cool. I like the mix of settings. How far along is it so far?

It's kinda hard to tell. 20% ?  Smiley
We're working very iterative on it currently, so the game still changes a lot.
We have a playable prototype which is not yet ready for public testing, but we're pretty happy already with the core gameplay. From a pure feature perspective we almost have everything in what we want.

Heh, you stole my working title! Only kidding, of course - although the main reason I just went with 'Incognita' and only as a working title is because there are a couple of other games already out there called 'Terra Incognita'.  Maybe not a problem, but something you should perhaps be aware of.

We've had the title for quite a long time now, basically right from the start when we began working on the game.
We know that the name is quite popular and also already taken by other games, so it's kinda also a working title for us. Still, the pure definition of that it means fits so perfectly with the vision we have for our game. We'll have to see  Gentleman


Thank you very much!
Looks really cool Cool good luck with this project!
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johnki
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 12:50:22 AM »

It's kinda hard to tell. 20% ?  Smiley
We're working very iterative on it currently, so the game still changes a lot.
We have a playable prototype which is not yet ready for public testing, but we're pretty happy already with the core gameplay. From a pure feature perspective we almost have everything in what we want.
Awesome. I'll be watching for when that is ready.

Could you elaborate a little on the differences between the characters, other than staples of each character, like Nikola Tesla having a Tesla cannon? Or would you rather wait on that?
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jO
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 12:55:45 AM »

Could you elaborate a little on the differences between the characters, other than staples of each character, like Nikola Tesla having a Tesla cannon? Or would you rather wait on that?

The "Specialists" as we call them for now will feature different abilities that will allow you to play the game in different ways. In a sense, you could see each of them as different skill-lines in a traditional RPG sense.

You'll be able to select which ones you take with you when equipping your trek at the beginning of an expedition, but you'll also be able to pick some up during your journey. Also, even though much less likely than with the porters, they are able to die.
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Eigen
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 01:34:02 AM »

Wow, I like the sound of it! And the way it looks, though the tilework is probably WIP? Very Civ-ish Hand Thumbs Up Left
I really like the inclusion of real world characters.

Our games seem very similar in certain aspects but I like your combat solution better. How does the tribal communication work in this?

Looking forward to this very much.
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jO
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 04:23:06 AM »

Wow, I like the sound of it! And the way it looks, though the tilework is probably WIP? Very Civ-ish Hand Thumbs Up Left
I really like the inclusion of real world characters.

Our games seem very similar in certain aspects but I like your combat solution better. How does the tribal communication work in this?

Looking forward to this very much.

Yeah, all the map tile art is very basic. We did not invest any work in transition tiles or any other fancy stuff that would improve the look of it. Right now it is all about pure readability and being able to prototype very fast.

And yes, we've been following your work very closely, you are right that we are very similar in certain aspects. I especially love how much you restrict yourself on the colors, I think your game has a great feeling to it.  Gentleman

Tribal communication right now is pretty much depending on whether you are able to understand their language or not, something an Anthropologist can help with, for example. We do not intend to do something that would go into a dialogue system direction, but instead make it all more or less actions-based (trading, recruiting, asking for hints about the region etc.)
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 04:39:23 AM »

Really cool concept. I'm especially interested to see how disruptiong the balance plays out gameplay-wise. Is it possible to not disrupt anything at all? Can you still win if you purposefully disrupt things? Or is disrupting the balance something that happens no matter what you do? 
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jO
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2012, 08:05:23 AM »

Really cool concept. I'm especially interested to see how disruptiong the balance plays out gameplay-wise. Is it possible to not disrupt anything at all? Can you still win if you purposefully disrupt things? Or is disrupting the balance something that happens no matter what you do? 

It's gonna be pretty tough to not cause all kind of chaos while you are trying to reach your goals  Cheesy

Especially when looting temple ruins you'll more than often run into large scale events that are caused by defiling the temple and angering the "gods". An example for this are volcano eruptions, that cause lava to spill over the lands and set jungles on fire, that will again spread over large regions.
Other examples are curses like the "30 days of night" where basically our daytime system is locked into night, with all kinds of monstrosities spawning in the darkness.  Epileptic

Chaos can also emerge from the usage of magical artifacts. For example, it might be handy to create a spring at your position to fill up your water reserves, but the spring won't stop, so it's gonna create a river that will move through the land, potentially drowning native villages or in general make it harder for you to travel.

As of now we're still exploring the whole concept of the "leaving a trail of chaos", but since it is one of our main focuses you can expect it to play an important role in our game.
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antoniodamala
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2012, 03:17:13 PM »

Is the combat going to be like that or that's just a mockup? To me is such a waste to be in a rogue-like system where movement widens the combat so much, and just use classical dragon quest battle (unless you have some inovation to it).

Anyway waiting for it.
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jO
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2012, 01:06:39 PM »

Is the combat going to be like that or that's just a mockup? To me is such a waste to be in a rogue-like system where movement widens the combat so much, and just use classical dragon quest battle (unless you have some inovation to it).

We indeed plan to separate our combat from the rest of the game, which is, I have to admit, very untypical for a roguelike.
However, even though combat plays a very important role in our gameplay, it is nowhere as central as in the typical roguelike. That's why we want to keep it rather simple and do something similar to a JRPG combat setup. Still, we have some ideas on how to adjust that setup to make it special and fit to our game (those adjustments could be called "innovations" by people that like this word  Smiley)

Besides the importance of combat, we thought the typical roguelike combat does not fit to what we want to achieve. One reason for that is that our scale is much different; you're spending 1 day of traveling when moving ~6 fields, which makes entities very very small in relation to a single field on the map.

If you'd want to find a direct comparison to what combat means in a typical roguelike for out game, it would be the way how you have to adjust your movement, planning and resource consumption in relation to the different types of fields and biomes you are encountering. There's even pattern recognition that you'll have to do on the different types of fields, if you want to achieve certain things.

In a sense, the most dominant "combat" in our game is that between your trek and the world around you; fighting the monsters of the world is definitely an important aspect, but certainly not as important as overcoming the challenges that emerge out of the world itself.

I hope this makes some sense and that we'll soon be able to give some more concrete examples of what this all means  Who, Me?
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 03:18:28 PM »

Absolutely love the idea.
It's like Oregon Trail meets Rogue, but cheats on "her" with JRPGs lol.
Sounds like a winner.

 Grin

Only thing that turns me down in this preview is this mixture of fine
pixels (small tiles reminding me a lot of excellent Thomas Whetnall's
work) with all this lighting and lightning being rendered in a "modern"
way. Hopefully the buttons and font are placeholders and will get some
nice pixeley version too. Resolution clash is such common error today.
 Shrug
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 01:34:25 PM »

We've been tossing around the idea of moving to a hex-based grid a couple of times, so I decided to make a quick mock-up of how it would look like right now. I tried to stay as close as possible to the original shot in the beginning of this post for a good comparison.

We are aware of the fact that the move to a hex-based grid would have a lot of consequences on gameplay, and think most of them would be rather beneficial. However, we are also interested in how this influences the general look of the game.
We know it's hard to judge with all the tile graphics still being very rough (we did not spend any time yet on tiles-transitions or even tile-variations to make things look nicer; right now it's all about rapid prototyping and readability).

Still, we'd be very interested in the opinions of you guys, what do you prefer, the square or hex grid?


"old" square grid:


hex grid:
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« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2012, 01:48:10 PM »

Hexes ALWAYS win.
I really like those mockups, especially the fight screen Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2012, 01:52:07 PM »

good luck with this project.

They both work: the square mockup screams roguelike/zeldalike, but the hex one screams civilisation. Input is important though, do you control with the keypad? If so, hex won't work. If you click with a mouse then hex will probably be more intuitive as the paths between pairs of points are shorter. Aesthetically: I prefer the square grid, especially with the chunky pixel style where the pixel edges align with the grid edges.
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« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2012, 02:06:11 PM »

The hex grid looks way better to me.
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« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2012, 02:12:34 PM »

Visually I like the hex more though it might create an association for some players that this is a serious strategy game as hex games often are. But with Tesla cannons in it I don't think it is Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2012, 02:32:09 PM »

I prefer the squares
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