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November 23, 2014, 05:07:04 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsSave Our Bacon - 3 Little Pigs in the London Blitz
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Author Topic: Save Our Bacon - 3 Little Pigs in the London Blitz  (Read 1153 times)
AlexVsCoding
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« on: January 03, 2013, 01:38:11 PM »


Hello! We are a group of Students from the University of Huddersfield and this is the Development Log for our project – Save Our Bacon.

The Team: Dino, Matt, Alex, Tom, Chris, Keiran and Adam

This first post in the Devlog will briefly summarize the different elements of the game, our plans with the project and a selection of media. We hope to keep this Devlog updated as frequently as possible since we’re producing piles of assets per week that we might as well be letting you all feast your eyes on.

SCREENSHOTS AND MEDIA

For the project, to make the most of the time that the programmers are building the game, the use of the software Stencylworks has been used by the design team to create gameplay mockups to refine the mechanics as the programmers are constructing the game, preventing us from reaching the end of the project and realizing that the gameplay is broken or not fun. Here are some screenshots and videos of prototypes, giving you an insight into what to expect at this early stage.


PROTOTYPE 1
The first prototype was created to get a physical understanding of the game mechanic whilst we were initially assembling the game idea. This had low visual quality with simple pixel art, but allowed us to test the original idea.


PROTOTYPE 2
The second prototype was visually focused to test the aesthetic in a gaming environment. From running this test we realized that we had to apply the threshold filter to the assets to prevent lower opacity sections of images appearing as white or grey lines. The prototype features the character animations split between the torso and the legs.


PROTOTYPE 3
Features basic gameplay mechanics fleshed out with incoming enemies and ability to shoot down bombers. Enemies drop bombs and ground collapses upon bomb impact, resulting in death. Managed to get the mechanics of three pigs jumping simultaneously.


PROTOTYPE 4
Early build of final boss battle mechanics and additional levels fleshed out.


PROTOTYPE 5 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7fa88iZKzw)
Machine gun and bazooka functionality added, parallax scrolling added.

NARRATIVE
 
The basic structure of the narrative is the story of the 3 Little Pigs twisted into the theme of World War 2 during the London Blitz. Having checked online, the copyright for the story of the 3 Little Pigs has long expired so use of the story for our adaption is legal.

The basic plot structure consists of the pigs being the occupants of the City of London and the wolves being the incoming German air force, arriving with the intention of “Blowing the houses down”. You as the 1st pig must run between the different factories in the city and band together with other survivors to turn the battle.

AESTHETIC
 
We researched the posters from around the time; many featured anthropomorphic beings to depict important messages. This was also reflected in the comic book Maus, which featured human bodies with the heads of animals to represent the different cultures and countries of the time.

The visual technique for creating the game style is digitally painting in black, and then layered in between coloured screens to give a sense of depth and scale to the game environment. Rich reds and oranges are used to create a city illuminated by fire and destruction. Here is an example of how the artwork for the project is layered up, click the image to follow a link to a video to the same piece being drawn.


Aurally, we wanted to create an orchestral piece to accompany the project, compositions such as Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” or Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” to give the experience of running from an approaching storm. For this aspect of the project, we have acquired the assistance of several sound designers and music production students to assist us.

TECHNOLOGY

For the project, to ensure the programmers were working at their most efficient levels, we chose the Clanlib engine to allow them to work comfortably with an engine they understood, allowing us to get started building rather than learning a new language, along with the technical constraints of building for specific platforms. The final product will be built to run on PC, if enough interest is drawn to the project we will look to expanding this to further platforms.

GAMEPLAY

Saving Our Bacon combines the single button platforming with a shooting gallery environment. The player controls their pigs in the foreground whilst shooting into the background at incoming enemies on multiple layers. These enemies will attempt to impede your progress by dropping bombs, obscuring your vision of just by plainly blowing you up. By focusing on shooting down incoming bombers, the player is able to decrease the difficulty of jumping since less of the terrain is being destroyed beneath the feet of the player.

As they unlock more pigs, the ability to cycle the weapons they each hold allows for the player to mix and match their destruction based on availability and enemy facing. The pigs run in single file, resulting in staggered jump when they clear gaps, which is especially amusing to watch upon all 3 falling into a hole one after the other.

Controls are mouse and keyboard based – space for jump, left mouse for shoot, mouse movement to move the crosshair and right click for weapon cycle.

For the project, we have pitched the project to be completed by the end of the academic year, around the end of April. For this, sticking to the standard 3 Little Pigs structure, the story will be split into 7 levels; 3 interior based, 3 exterior based and a boss battle. We wanted to keep the project finite so that we could build it to a quality finish – something to be proud of building. The date of release will become clearer as the months proceed. The devlog progress marker is based on time - we have reached 50% since we have reached week 12 out of 24.

CONCEPT ART

Below we have a selection of different pieces of artwork for the different characters, environments and enemies to be featured in Saving Our Bacon. Enjoy!




YOUR INPUT

On behalf of the team, thank you for looking through the Devlog and that feedback on all areas is greatly appreciated, as this will drive the team forward to a final product for all of you to enjoy. We will be releasing demos in the coming weeks (we have an alpha presentation approaching) so we will try as best as we can to get this demo online for you to sample!

Thanks again and stay tuned!
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 03:50:04 AM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 08:43:31 AM »

Hello Everybody!

Quick Update - Character animations for each one of the pigs has been fleshed out - enjoy the eye candy!



Pig 1 - Munitions Factory Worker
Pig 2 - Air Raid Warden
Pig 3 - Anti Air Soldier

Here is a Gif showing the background layers for the level has been divided up into its separate layers so that a sense of depth and distance is achieved.



The soundtrack for the project has been produced - plan being to compile the latest version of the project in a short video to show some gameplay as soon as the sound effects are finished.

Stay tuned for more updates!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 12:50:34 PM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2013, 02:37:33 PM »

Hello Everybody!

Update to the game - have created a short video showing the first gameplay footage, which can be found here!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7fa88iZKzw

The sound effects for the project are completed and music is going to be completed by next tuesday.

The other members of the team will be adding posts in the coming weeks, so keep a sharp eye on the devlog for incoming information!

SCREENSHOTS






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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 03:42:21 PM »

The aesthetic is really amazing. Looks great in motion.

But it seems to me like perhaps the wolf bomber's motion isn't fitting to the art style. Maybe it's a bit to fast? and why are they rising out of the ground?
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2013, 04:04:09 PM »

The aesthetic is really amazing. Looks great in motion.

But it seems to me like perhaps the wolf bomber's motion isn't fitting to the art style. Maybe it's a bit to fast? and why are they rising out of the ground?

Thank you very much for the feedback! The reason the wolves appear to come out of the ground is just the video quality that doesn't show  the wolves arc downwards from the sky - if you look closely they fly in from the top of the screen at a low transparency then rise back up at a closer range to drop bombs on the players. This gives the player 2 opportunities to shoot the wolves before they drop their bomb. The speeds and frequencies of the bombers is going to take some tweaking to get those variables correct. Its also worth mentioning that a lot of the artwork is placeholder at the moment so the wolves should hopefully be a little bit more animated when approaching the screen e.g. opening mouth and extending claws. Hope this clears things up!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 04:39:46 PM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 02:53:35 PM »

Hello!

Apologies for the lack of updates on this project, along with the work for the team, other projects have required my attention. Hopefully this update should compensate.

UPDATE OF EARLIER POST

I've returned to the earlier sections of the devlog and revamped the visuals with additional concept art, so please do check out the new images.

Another factor to add would be the progress at which the project is moving (suggested at 70% on the message icon). This is down to the time we have available to work on the project and the deadlines we've been set, so dependant on how long we can keep the team together after University finishes will determine how much each of us can continue working on the project; its a tightly knit team so I have my hopes!

VIDEO WITH SOUND!

Latest footage of build with some of the sound effects and an early equivalent of the musical score - having a meeting with the audio folk this coming weekend to dust off the effects. Click away below to watch and listen!


LEVEL EDITOR

At the moment, our current process with the project is taking the early game templates you’ve seen in these demos (courtesy of Stencylworks) and building it in a level editor with the features we need (to then be loaded into a game engine afterwards). Now that slicing up the images that make up parallax layers is nearly done, we will be assembling the levels in the coming week. I will post up screenshots (and maybe footage) of the level editor and its features during our crunch later then.

Thanks again for reading and stay tuned!
« Last Edit: February 24, 2013, 07:29:05 AM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2013, 09:07:11 AM »

LEVEL EDITOR FEATURES

For the project, we asked Dino to make his job easier by giving the designers and artists of the project the tools to create levels with so that the implementation of the visuals didn’t fall down to him and Matt to execute on top of the many things that took priority.

Click on the images for screenshots of the level editor, the numbers associated with these can be matched with the text below.

              1                             2                             3                             4                             5



1.   Enemy Placement – Enemies have settable proximity sensors to determine when to appear dependant (Seen here in red) and the motion that follows (seen in yellow). A variety of different transitions between the movement points are possible (990) but only a certain number are usable, so this number may be refined down with experimentation.
2.   A zoomed out view of the level – The visuals themselves do not contain any varied opacities (either 100% or 0) due to the .png images with transparency creating bizarre colours. Despite this, later testing found that semi transparent images worked fine in the game engine (if anyone knows why this occurs or could shed some light on the matter we would appreciate it, though we can work around it ^^).
3.   Parallax layer addition – We have a basic background construction system with which images are split up over layers and set to different parallax speeds, along with different methods of visually determining between different layers.
4.   The level can then be run to determine how it looks whilst moving, whether enemy paths activate and whether how they move looks correct.
5.   Whilst before the player was only able to move at one chosen speed at the beginning of the project, Dino added in the feature of velocity markers to allow us to alter the speed of the player for factors such as in game cut scenes or differently paced sections to levels. The addition of sound markers has also been added so that additional sounds can be used if necessary.

In the coming week, with the final alterations to the level editor done, we are planning to blast out the majority of the levels for the game. I’ll pop up previews of how the levels look around the time.

Thanks for showing an interest in the project; any thoughts or feedback would be a great help.
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2013, 07:18:28 AM »

Hello!

Thursdays crunch day went well and we've built 3 levels ready to be loaded into the level editor. Tom is in the process of creating the layers of artwork for the final level, so shouldn't be too long before we have all levels ready to load into the game engine and test. Click on the screenshots for a closer look!




When Dino loads the levels we've built into the engine, I'll post up some new videos of gameplay! James is currently in the process of enhancing the current soundtrack by using a higher quality collection of orchestral samples, so I'll include those in the video if I get those back before Dino gets the levels loaded.

Cheers for reading!
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