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1059162 Posts in 43053 Topics- by 34996 Members - Latest Member: kshankin

October 30, 2014, 07:59:17 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsOffice Management 101 (A business sim game)
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Author Topic: Office Management 101 (A business sim game)  (Read 11400 times)
Cino
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« on: December 27, 2013, 02:53:08 AM »



Hello good people!

Fow a while now I've been working on an isometric pixel-art style business sim/tycoon game called Office Management 101, that draws inspiration from such classics as Theme Hospital, Pizza Tycoon and Kairosoft games, but also Dilbert, the movie Office Space content-wise.

The game will put you in the shoes of a regional branch manager of a consumer electronics company and you will be responsible for designing and building the office, hiring the staff and starting different projects that will go through the cycle of research, development, design, testing and marketing to be put on sale on market. The game will feature weird and humorous characters, corny jokes and some unexpected unlikely events happening while you're playing. In addition to the staff that works on products, there will also be supporting staff like managers, human resources, accountants, lawyers, janitors etc. that might not be required, but still strongly suggested to keep the office working smoothly.

Office Management 101 will have a free-play mode and a story mode that will take from office to office in different countries, while each country has different laws, culture and economy. As the story mode progresses, more and more options will become available also, but at the same time you'll have more problems to tackle.

The plan for now is to get an alpha version done and tested first, then try to balance the gameplay a bit and put the alpha out to play for free. I will decide my next move depending on how well it does. Of course the alpha won't have a lot of the features mentioned previously, it would be just a simplified bare bones version of the full game.

The game is targeted to PC's first, but everything so far has also been tested on several Android devices. Further platforms will depend on the reception of the game.

Of course the game is still in very early development stage, so everything you see is subject to change and improvement. So far I've been mostly working on the engine and there's a lot of work still ahead, so right now I can't really give any deadlines, but I am working on it full time every day and it's steadily progressing. I'll try update this thread periodically to get both feedback and criticism, so I'd be very thankful if you left your input.


Thanks for taking a look,
Riho





Some animated images as well:
* Office creation
* Furniture placement

Older screenshots:
* 2013-12-27 offices
* 2013-12-27 hiring

« Last Edit: August 14, 2014, 01:02:58 PM by Cino » Logged

der_r
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2013, 03:54:38 AM »

I love that user interface and the pixel font.

Tech Industry CEO has a sterile 3D look, so your game might target a slightly different niche than the competition.
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Eigen
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 04:03:36 AM »

I can totally feel Theme Hospital in the room placement and in overall style! I like that. Looks good so far but I fear lo-res isn't doing this game much good. I think it'd look much better cleaner and sleeker (but not complitely clean like Game Dev Tycoon etc.). Hi-res pixelart basically (if doable). Or maybe it's the wooden furniture that doesn't give me that office feel. Too medieval and dungeony. But for development this is all very fine, of course.

I wouldn't worry about Painters Guild. It looks similar but tackles a very different subject in quite a different manner and probably caters to whole different bunch of players in the end.

I think humor is definitely the way to go. Office life gives a lot of room for puns and silly situations. Was your hiree fired from their last position due to office romance? Are they *too* affectionate towards coffee machines? Gossip? Is this Vern Plescia dude watching too much UNude at work hours (fire him!)? Did someone just photocopy their butt and send it in internal mailing list?

I would take a look at Tech Industry CEO but the steamcommunity site is down. Is it a serious or a silly game?

edit: Ok, it's a serious simulation. Then yeah, humor would be the way to go I think. TH was enjoyable because of the sillyness.


P.S. - A fellow Estonian. Yay!
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Cino
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 05:59:30 AM »

Thanks for the comments so far.

I guess the brick wall sort of gives a dungeony look as well, but maybe that's not a big deal considering the somewhat silly overall setting. Of course I still have different types of furniture and wallpapers planned, including modernistic. As for low-res, it was definitely a conscious choice for several reasons - first of all I'm a big fan of large pixels and secondly that's the only style I can pull off myself with reasonable time. It's just not in my budget to hire an artist at this point. Actually I've even taken it as far to make sure that everything fits on screen with the classic 320x200 resolution.

I've got some early character doodles to add too, hopefully demonstrating which direction I'm taking with the absurdities:
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 06:44:31 AM »

Yeah, put the IT department in the basement dungeon. Smiley

I understand your artistic choice. It's the same reason I'm doing chunky pixels.
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Cino
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 06:58:41 AM »

Because of some unexpected health problems the development of the game effectively slowed downed to a halt, but I've managed to work a little bit on some new things on better days.

I created a job class and added a dropdown to pick a job to the hiring dialog. It doesn't actually affect anything yet though, so I didn't add all the occupations I've had in mind. I'll start adding more as soon as the selection actually means anything.



Also added a sitting pose (still missing animation) and a work progress meter. The speed of the progress meter will depend on the stats of the employee and the equipment he's using and once it completes, it will add one point to the project he's working on.



The gif also shows new hallway wall tiles and laptops.
There's some more minor additions, but I'll show the other stuff in a future post.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 07:38:56 AM by Cino » Logged

der_r
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 08:50:05 AM »

I already want to play it. It looks lovable.

Also, for some reason I want to place fart cushions on the seats to see what will happen.  Corny Laugh
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Cino
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 01:55:20 PM »

Fart cushions is such an interesting idea that I'm now thinking of putting office pranks in the game at some point, either as a limited use way to cheer people up or a form of interraction between employees. Pranks certainly happen in a real world office, but I have no idea why I didn't realize that myself, so thanks for the tip Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2014, 04:44:30 PM »

I want to play this as well! Smiley  Definite Bullfrog vibe (Theme Hospital, Dungeon Keeper), looking forward to seeing how this develops.

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Cino
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 08:57:24 AM »

Thanks for taking interest in the game guys, it really helps to keep the motivation up Smiley

I started working on the date/time/money UI and those ended up a bit more colorful than the other green buttons, so I changed those too, which eventually escalated into recoloring of the whole UI so far.



What do you think, is it better or worse now?

There's still some nitpicking left that I have in mind. I'm also thinking of making the buttons on the bottom smaller the way I did the button on the top and leave the bigger icons for smaller touchscreens only.

I've also had some advancements on the gameplay part and I hope demonstrate some of it next week.
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Cino
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2014, 11:50:19 AM »

Still working on the game with a steady pace. The biggest changes this week have been to the rendering engine to support background tiles making the office actually resemble a floor in a building.

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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2014, 12:06:38 PM »

I do hope you'll have a few floaters or sectoids guest starring.

Maybe when a worker goes postal they can act like they are under alien mind control.
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Cino
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2014, 02:27:16 PM »

Haha, I'll think about it. In a form of an easter egg maybe.

But the original xcom's are in my opinion one of the best looking low res isometric games ever made, so no doubt they have influenced my art style a lot. It probably is even more apparent after adding the additional floors to the building. I'm hoping that's a good thing though Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2014, 09:22:06 AM »

Nice to see this here too! Seems abs. incredible! Do want!
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2014, 03:22:43 PM »

Wow i love games with this style, this like kairosoft games!
I will surely buy it when released!
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Cino
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2014, 07:30:13 AM »

Hey, I've been somewhat neglecting this devlog, since I haven't had the time to actually develop the game due to some unexpected problems, but I've written some in-depth articles on IndieDB over the weeks. Check out the news section if you're interested in finding out more about the game: http://www.indiedb.com/games/office-management-101/news.

Also the awesome staff at Indie Game Mag were kind enough to feature Office Management 101 in their Weekly Screenshot article http://www.indiegamemag.com/screenshot-weekly-lost-space-melon-chop-2014-office-management-101/.


Anyway, I'm picking up the pace again starting next week and I'll be sure to update this thread more often as well.
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« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2014, 09:37:45 AM »

Reminds me of Theme Hospital.... Can only be good although I'm a bit concerned regarding the risk of having an exciting and balanced game design because a business is basically a quite large concept. That's a big challenge here! Smiley
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Cino
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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2014, 03:03:42 PM »

The concerns regarding balancing are justified and is something that has been on worrying me since the beginning, but I hope to address that with a lot of testing by a team of enthusiasts that have promised to help me out. I'll try not to cut corners in that area.

So this week went by fast again, but I managed to do some bug fixing and started working on some UI elements that I had planned ages ago. First of all I added pause and speed up buttons, but the speed up functionality still needs some fixing so it doesn't depend on FPS (that's what I get for not planning forward enough).

Another addition is a popup menu that lets you pick up furniture or edit rooms, to move them around. Still needs some tinkering, but the basics are pretty much done.

Here's a gif demonstrating all that:
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Cino
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2014, 01:01:38 PM »

This week I redid the the whole building/map. First I was just gonna make a better grass tile, but then changed the pavement tile and since I was bored of the old one, I finally went for the whole house as well. I still plan on adding some tiles like bushes and flowers, maybe a parking lot, etc. I feel like those would add a lot to the atmosphere even if they don't affect the gameplay.


After that I started working on the save game system. Still got a lot left to do for that, but I hope it will make testing things a lot easier and faster when it's done. After that's wrapped up, I plan on getting back to the "researching products" feature that I put on hold ages ago.
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2014, 04:00:04 AM »

looks nice so any updates so far?
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