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superflat
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« on: September 06, 2010, 05:22:28 AM »

This is the devlog for Lone Survivor, a 2D psychological-survival-horror-adventure.

I've been working on the tools for this pretty much since I finished Soundless Mountain II a couple of [edit: almost four] years ago and decided I wanted to build better software to make these kinds of games easily.

The game is about an 18 year old guy who believes he is the last survivor of a terrible zombie-like disease which has reduced the city to a pile of decrepit rubble.  He isn't totally sure he's alone, or whether the visions he sees of other people are hallucinations... But he has the instinctive feeling there is something out there to discover - that will somehow explain how he came to be in that situation... that perhaps there are even other survivors like himself...

He finds himself at the start of the game holed up in his ruined apartment, out of supplies, hungry and alone.  He'll have to maintain his health by rummaging for food, keep his gun stocked with ammo to defend himself, and fill up his torch with batteries as it consumes them.  He is suffering increasingly vivid hallucinations, causing him to question just how much of his predicament is real, or imagined.























I'll keep you posted with updates as they come.  You can get more information on my blog below.  I'm hoping to have it finished by New Year 2011.  We'll see how that goes!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 10:37:26 AM by Jasper Byrne » Logged

Ant
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 06:05:01 AM »

Ooh this is looking tasty. I really loved the atmosphere in Psychic Prison Break and especially Soundless Mountain so I'll be keeping a beady eye on this one. Grin:handthumbsupR:
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BadgerManufactureInc
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 03:38:25 PM »

This is looking really crisp.  I really like the concept now that you have revealed a bit more.  Keep up the great work!
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deathtotheweird
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2010, 06:32:10 PM »

Glad you decided to keep at it. Would have been sad to see it die.
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jethrolarson
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2010, 06:25:42 PM »

I'm digging the art. I'd love to see how it goes.
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superflat
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2010, 04:25:25 AM »

Why thankyou kind sirs (and madams, if any of you are).

Things progressing well - I plan to release my first trailer this weekend.  I hope it will excite!

I think I'm on course for my January launch.  I'm gonna put everything I can into this game, and if it works, I'll be using it to quit my job and launch an indie career.  I hope it turns out like the game in my head, because that game's quite a good game. 

Coffee
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superflat
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« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2010, 01:04:35 AM »


Just a quick progress update [Version 0.71]

- Bunch of new locations.
- Intro sequence (pictured).
- Got new 'Function' system in HAL, the scripting language this uses.
- Tidied up room transitions.
- Removed all visual signs of interactivity except collectible objects and 'directional' doors (ones you must press a direction to go through).

The last one has really helped - it's made the whole thing more exploratory and mysterious... and definitely more immersive.

I'm getting close to being able to finish up the trailer now...
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superflat
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« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2011, 06:25:29 AM »

Necro-time!

I'm working on Lone Survivor again.

It's progressing steadily.  The adventure aspects are a bit deeper than a regular survival horror, or say, Soundless Mountain II.  I have item puzzles in there and I've made a lot more new locations.  I'd say about 1/4 or maybe 1/5 of the content is complete, and it won't be a quick job.  I'm guessing six months.

It may well be my first paid-for game, but with a large demo, shareware-style, as I have resigned from my job in order to make it.  I'll probably have to release some smaller Flash games to supplement the process though.



Look forward to sharing it with you guys.
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Hangedman
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2011, 06:54:52 AM »

Love your colour/atmospheric effex.

Looking forward to it.

Are you encasing flash or coding it in something else?
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AUST
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« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2011, 07:53:44 AM »

What's with this HAL scripting language? Will it reject my every string of input, claiming that it is chock full of error and that a computer has to enter it in for accuracy?
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knight
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2011, 07:59:57 AM »

According to his blog it looks like his own creation which is interpreted in flash.
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superflat
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2011, 12:57:01 AM »

That's right, it's a language I created that runs in either BlitzMax or Flash,  It's really basic, has only simple branches and integer math.  But the idea is it has pretty much every command you'd need to control the game objects and hotspots within your games, as well as things like graphical trickery and lighting.  It's all based around the concept of a Sprite which has a series of States, each with a script attached.  Sprites can change their own states, or have them changed by other Sprites or Hotspots (scripts attached to rectangular regions on the map.)  Hotspots can trigger when the player enters them, or after showing a prompt the player can interact with.  Besides that most of the functionality of, say, Flixel, is available in some form via HAL.

I'm planning on sharing it with the public in some form soon.  It's still fairly raw, but I can throw together new prototypes very quickly in it now.

Here's an example script in HAL - it's the update script for an enemy who simply homes in on the player:
Code:
FUNCTION Spawn                       // calls the standard spawning function
IPLAY idle                            // play the animation called 'idle' on this sprite
start@                                   // label
HOMEINON [player],2                // home in on the player at speed 2
IFCOLLIDEGROUP [pbullet],hit      // if it hit a bullet, goto the 'hit' label
FACEPLAYER                                // face towards the player
WAIT 0                                          // wait until next frame
GOTO start                                  // repeat the loop
hit@
FUNCTION die                            // calls the standard death function

Anyway, thought I'd share that I'm going all-out for the rest of this month on Lone Survivor, in a hope of entering it into Indiecade.  Wish me luck!
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knight
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2011, 07:11:15 AM »

One question about HAL. Is it interpreted during the programs runtime like Lua or do you have some other means of implementing it?
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superflat
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2011, 02:27:53 AM »

It's interpreted but most of the compilation is done at startup, for scripts it knows it will be using regularly at least, so in practise it runs pretty fast... I can get it to generate particles for example, each with their own script, without slowdown.

Bit of news regarding the game - I've decide to enter a build into indiecade, which gives me about a week to sort out loads of key features.  Let's hope I can get it down without needing to pay the late fee!  I'll put a post up about it on my blog on Saturday.
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moshboy
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2011, 03:21:44 AM »

Good luck with Indiecade Jasper. It's looking really nice so far from the screenshots posted.
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superflat
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2011, 02:54:53 AM »

Thanks man!  It's going well so far - I've just uploaded a new blog post about it and XOR, the other title I'm working on.  I'm a bit concerned I won't make it to the early deadline, and my budget doesn't really stretch to the late entry fee - but we'll see... If I feel it has a chance, I might put in the extra time.

Edit: eye candy



Also, as this is the most official devlog still standing since thegamescollective.org folded a while back, I will list out some specific progress!

- Finalised the title screen and save game system.
- Wrote and remixed a bunch of tunes / ambience tracks, including the big intro music which has about 48 tracks of guitars and pianos and so on.  Tried to do a Silent Hill-esque number (not in style, but in feeling.)  Dying to share this tune, but will have to show restraint!
- Re-did all the sound effects and added about 3x more, puzzles have special sounds and so on.
- Created a new enemy and bunch of new locations, have a final design for the puzzles / rooms in the apartment world (1 of 3 main ones).
- Started damage and exhaustion filters to show the player's condition.
- Added an intro (got rid of the old one.)
- Wrote new 'HQ' grain effect which requires a bit faster machine, but looks great in fullscreen.
- Improved a lot of the backend and general handling of scripts, hotspots and so on.

Still to do in the near future:

- Finish painting the rooms in the apartment and its final section.
- Lay out the rooms in the editor, add their hotspots.
- Script the events in the final sequence and ending.
- Add a couple more puzzles to break up the action.
- Add map system.
- Add flashlight battery system, food / sleep system & GUI / filters.
- Add a game over / retry screen.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 08:49:55 AM by Jasper Byrne » Logged

superflat
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2011, 04:27:22 AM »

Ok small progress update:

- Fixed some small bugs in the parser.
- Added a skip button to cutscenes.
- Added a couple of new puzzles (one of which is so nasty I think I might have to self-censor. Evil)*
- Added two or three new rooms.

Next I'm looking at:

- The survival aspects.
- Game over screen.
- Apartment 1F rooms / cutscenes.

Progress is slower than hoped, so I'm now not sure if I can get it in for Indiecade.

* I'm not going for gore with this game, although it has some.  I'm trying to make it psychological horror, rather than physical.  This is one of the reasons I prefer SHII & 4 to SH & SH3, and also applies to the horror movies I enjoy.  That said, when it comes, it should be shocking and brief, so I'm kinda on the fence here.
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Ichigo Jam
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2011, 05:46:54 AM »

Not really on topic for this thread, but in case you didn't know: there was already a game called XOR on the speccy/C64. (Not that this should stop you calling your game that too if you want to!)
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superflat
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« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2011, 06:02:16 AM »

Hey Ichigo Jam.  Definitely aware of the Speccy game, but I figure that's old enough to not really be an issue (if anything it kinda adds something!)
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superflat
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2011, 09:53:17 AM »

It's getting close, but I'm going to need the extra fortnight I reckon.  If I feel it's strong enough by then, I'll bite the bullet and pay the 75 clams for Indiecade entrance.

Here are some new screenshots for you guys...



Always kinda dig it when you hear the movie / book / game title in a movie / book / game, so here is that moment.



Wait is he not the Lone Survivor?  What's going on?


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