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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsVersus (Moderator: Melly)Silent Business - Victorian Assassins!
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Author Topic: Silent Business - Victorian Assassins!  (Read 11955 times)
ChevyRay
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« on: January 17, 2011, 10:59:11 AM »

Alright, just gonna update so people know kinda what's going on. Here's some info on the game!

  • This is a 4-player online multiplayer Flash game by myself and fidgetwidget. He is doing the graphics, and I am doing the programming.
     
  • The game takes place on a grid with 50x50 pixel cells, so the game graphics, being designed and drawn by fidgetwidget in Flash CS4. Here is what the graphics will actually look like (as you can see, they are quite large):


     
  • I am coding the game in Flex (but not FlashPunk), using FlashDevelop, and importing the assets externally, which are embedded into a SWF. Most of the gameplay interactions and rules are evaluated and handled by the server code, which is written in C#, and powered by the lovely PlayerIO framework.


     
  • Each of the 4 players starts as a random NPC in the map, and is an assassin whose goal is to discover who the other 3 players are, and then dispose of them.
     
  • This game is a turn-based stealth game, and will play similarly to a board game. But instead of taking your turns in some kind of order, all Units in the game all act at once. So you choose your action, submit it to the server, and when the server has deemed all players ready and actions legal, it will evaluate them all at once.
     
  • The game takes place in a procedurally generated town. When the game starts, the map will populate with a bunch of NPCs, which will all be assigned movement and behaviour. They will all have houses which they leave and return to, and there will be several "crowd spots" in the game which NPCs will collect around in their travels. A crowd spot might be a small market/vendor, a fountain/well, or maybe the outside of a church building, for example.
     
  • There are two types of actions in the game: passive and aggressive actions. When the server has received all player input for a turn, it will loop through all Units in the game (including NPCs). First, all aggressive actions will be evaluated (attacking another player, setting a trap, etc.), and then after that, all passive actions will be evaluated (moving, waiting, etc.). This means it is actually possible for two players to attack each other simultaneously.
     
  • Currently, I'm thinking that the goal will be to pickpocket NPCs to save up money, and then using that money to buy items/traps to use against the other players. There won't be too many different items, as I want the design to be fairly focused and the game to be done on time, so I'll start with the few I have in mind first.
     
  • Certain things you can do will cause an alert; when this happens all other players in the game will be given a signal informing them approximately (with a bit of error/range) where you are located. Some idea of actions that will trigger alerts:
     
    • Killing another unit, whether it be an NPC or a player. The remaining players will be informed of the location of the death, not the killer necessarily.
       
    • I'm thinking that using certain beneficial items may also trigger alerts. So the risk of using them must be calculated, but could help gain an advantage.
       
    • Staying in a small area for too many turns arouses suspicion, or being inside an NPCs house when that NPC returns home.
       

So yeah... getting most of the gameplay rules cleared up! Coding the pathfinding and stuff now in C# and getting the grid/map information storing properly so I can check for intersection and place/move units. Once that's all done (I think it might be actually), then I'll code in a quick A* implementation for unit pathfinding.

One thing I think I'll add to the list above is that money is going to be incremental. So every time you pickpocket, you get a coin (NPCs have limited money). BUT, you cannot see how much money you have until you go to a shop! This is because players will actually be able to pickpocket each other as well, so if you've been ripped-off, you won't know until you get to the shop and find a couple coins missing! Smiley

More graphics coming, gonna get all the basic tile/house stuff done, then a placeholder NPC/unit, and then I can pretty much get coding most of the gameplay stuff, and add in more graphics and pretty things as I go.

So excited about this!

BRAINSTORMING



Quote
Current Premise:

2-4 players join in an arena as assassins... the catch? They're all assassins sent from rival parties, and have to deal with each other! Hide amongst the alleys of a dank and stylish Victorian-style city, or in the crowds of innocent bystanders, and use your stealth skills to figure out who the other assassins are and kill them off before they kill you.

I'm thinking that you'll have certain actions you can do that will "alert" the other players (or nearby ones) to your general whereabouts, but also to your advantage. Perhaps every minute or so as well, you are "informed" about the other players a bit, thus increasing the intensity of gameplay.

Win Condition: kill all other players.
Lose Conditions: get killed, or kill an innocent bystander.

I like the idea of being able to set traps, decoys, and taking chances guessing which character in a crowd is one of your rivals.



Quote
Currently, thinking historical. Like lots of dank bricks, lanterns, and top-hats and umbrellas and rain, Victorian-style. Could go with something even more creative though, will see what the artist(s) think!

Also, the notion of day+night could be cool too (less/no NPC traffic at night), but I'm gonna just toss that into the back of my mind for now and concentrate onto the basics, keeping it as deadly simple for now, so I only really add what the game needs as I go along.



Quote
Quote
Robert:  I keep thinking of disintegrating the platforms of the other player in fun ways
for your assassin game
me: haha what do you mean?
Robert: forcing them into corners by eliminating squares
me: :O
fuck
thanks man! that's a great idea!
writing that down...

I love the idea, if it is tile-based, of allowing the players creative ways of "disabling" or setting traps on tiles, which can only affect the other players. Or maybe even just having certain tiles automatically become "alert zones" or something over time. What this will do is prevent players from just all sitting and waiting safely, and narrow down the play field over time, making it easier to watch NPCs and determine who the rival players are.



Quote
I'm thinking that certain activities will be flagged as "suspicious", and send out a kind of wave or something that will "alert" the other players of the general location of the action, so you'll have to duck and hide after doing lots of things.

Suspicious activities (these may or may not be whilst only in NPC-vision, we'll see):

  • Setting traps/disabling tiles
  • Changing disguises (if we in fact use disguises, or some similar mechanic)
  • Killing another player or NPC
  • Staying in one place (or area?) for too long



Quote
Quote
[1:45:23 PM] Matt Thorson: have NPCs with various clothing styles
[1:45:32 PM] Matt Thorson: and the players look like NPCs
[1:45:36 PM] Matt Thorson: then reveal things
[1:45:37 PM] Matt Thorson: like
[1:45:39 PM] Chevy Ray Johnston: yep that's the idea so far
[1:45:45 PM] Matt Thorson: "player one is wearing a green hood"
[1:45:47 PM] Chevy Ray Johnston: ahaha
[1:45:50 PM] Chevy Ray Johnston: that's interesting too
[1:45:52 PM] Chevy Ray Johnston: i kinda like that
[1:45:55 PM] Chevy Ray Johnston: ohhh it narrows it down
[1:45:58 PM] Matt Thorson: yeah
[1:45:58 PM] Chevy Ray Johnston: gonna write that down
[1:46:01 PM] Matt Thorson: like Guess Who

So what he's saying is, with the whole "disguises" idea, have it so the disguises are actually broken down into a set of parts, and all the NPCs are mixes of these parts, as well as all the assassins. Then, certain in-game events (or maybe just time/suspicion) will reveal parts, another way of narrowing down which player is which.

The only thing I'm not too sure I like about that idea is it is incompatible (or at least difficult to merge with) the changing-disguises idea, and that depending on the NPC mix, you could get a rare combination, making it a lot easier for the other players to narrow it down to you. So I'd have to code it properly to make sure that didn't happen.

I think I like the idea of narrowing the playing field down spacially with tiles a bit better, as it sounds more easy to understand and more action/reaction-oriented (less thinking) than using disguises, and helps increase the action and game intensity to a climax. Also requires less art Tongue but I thought I'd drop the idea here anyways to see what people think.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2011, 11:02:24 PM by ChevyRay » Logged
handCraftedRadio
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 11:10:02 AM »

Nice, Chevy, looks and sounds cool so far! Are you thinking it will be turn-based?

I'm looking forward to beating you at your own game.  Cheesy
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ChevyRay
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 11:13:59 AM »

Ahahaha that'll probably be so.

Turn-based: hmm, probably! This would make the networking the least intense as possible, but I'm not dead-set on an idea until I (hopefully) get an artist who wants to help out with this, and some more input and ideas.

If it were turn-based, I'd probably do it so you both take your turns at the same time, as not to have one player "waiting" while the other decides what to do (and probably timers on how long you have to make your turn, or at least a game mode with that option).

Perhaps an offense and defense phase. Every odd turn, one player is offensive and the other is defensive, and every even turn, it's the other way around. Maybe the trick would be trying to predict what your opponent is going to do and then countering that in both phases for maximum excitement + strategy!

... hmm IDEAS! I do definitely like the sound of that, though!
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AccidentalRebel
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 11:36:48 AM »

Hi Chevy!

I was initially planning on doing my own online/networked game for the compo but I'm afraid I'm still a newb to try something that advanced, especially on my current level.

Anyways, if you like I could help you out with the art. I make use of Photoshop and sometimes Illustrator for my artworks (but I mainly use Photoshop). I can do cutesy stuff, gritty ones, and pixel art as well.

Here are just some of my works for your reference, http://www.accidentalrebel.com/artworks/.

As for game ideas, I have some but they're not fully fleshed out yet.

PM me if you're interested!

Cheers!

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ChevyRay
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 11:49:00 AM »

Alright, I've chatted with one artist a bit, and I think we've got a fantastic premise for a game idea in the works! Will update with more info soon Grin

Accidental Rebel: I might message you, we'll see how the current artist feels about the workload, might need someone to help out with some extra bits, special effects, or tilework or something! If you like the game premise, that is Smiley

YAY so excited, this game is going to be fun to make Grin
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 11:50:22 AM »

No problem. Just holler at me. Grin
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ChevyRay
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 12:24:31 PM »

Current Premise:

2-4 players join in an arena as assassins... the catch? They're all assassins sent from rival parties, and have to deal with each other! Hide amongst the alleys of a dank and stylish Victorian-style city, or in the crowds of innocent bystanders, and use your stealth skills to figure out who the other assassins are and kill them off before they kill you.

I'm thinking that you'll have certain actions you can do that will "alert" the other players (or nearby ones) to your general whereabouts, but also to your advantage. Perhaps every minute or so as well, you are "informed" about the other players a bit, thus increasing the intensity of gameplay.

Win Condition: kill all other players.
Lose Conditions: get killed, or kill an innocent bystander.

I like the idea of being able to set traps, decoys, and taking chances guessing which character in a crowd is one of your rivals.

Will see where I go with this. Any ideas/suggestions, people? What think of the idea so far?
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 12:28:00 PM »

Sounds like a great concept. Are you thinking a historical setting or alternate-history (for example, steampunk) setting?
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 12:30:08 PM »

I've never played Assassin's Creed, but I heard from my friend that the multi-player is like this. Maybe check that out?
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ChevyRay
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 12:33:01 PM »

Sounds like a great concept. Are you thinking a historical setting or alternate-history (for example, steampunk) setting?

Currently, thinking historical. Like lots of dank bricks, lanterns, and top-hats and umbrellas and rain, Victorian-style. Could go with something even more creative though, will see what the artist(s) think!

Also, the notion of day+night could be cool too (less/no NPC traffic at night), but I'm gonna just toss that into the back of my mind for now and concentrate onto the basics, keeping it as deadly simple for now, so I only really add what the game needs as I go along.
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 12:40:29 PM »

That day/night thing would be really interesting 'cause it's almost two different games. Stealth and ambush in daytime or more action/arcade at night without the crowds. Good idea to leave extras like that on the back-burner for the time being, though.

Be nice to see a "pure" historical Victorian setting again, haven't played or read anything like that for ages. Best of luck!
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2011, 12:43:04 PM »

I've never played Assassin's Creed, but I heard from my friend that the multi-player is like this. Maybe check that out?

Yeah, the multiplayer in AC:Brotherhood is a lot like this. You have a target, and someone has you as their target. If you're winning, you generally have more than one target on you. They give you a radar that points you toward your victim, though... feels kind of cheesy sometimes because your hunter knows what avatar you are, but it may have been a necessity in order to keep the game flowing. It's quite obvious when players are running across the roof and such. :D

I love games like this, though. Good luck Chevy!
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ChevyRay
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2011, 12:44:51 PM »

Yeah considering it's not 3D and it won't be as live-action as Assassin's Creed, I'm not too concerned about overlap, I'm pretty sure I've already got this funneled down to something original, just need to get some help from peeps ironing out the design.

Gonna work on this like MAD tonight.
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ChevyRay
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 12:49:53 PM »

NOTE: I posted a mockup, which kinda counts as starting early, but since I'm not doing the art and none of this will be used anyways, I'll not post any more mockups/graphics and wait until the official start date (tomorrow), before I progress anymore.

For now, just brainstorming, as the rules allow Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2011, 12:50:50 PM »

Hey, Chevy, I have a question: Will this be in third person? First person? Or top view?

Also, will the game also include the ability to use and change disguises? Let's say you could get some baker clothes and blend in the crowd. That kind of stuff?

Also, we might want to look at the design decisions made on the creation of AC: Brotherhood Online Multiplayer. For example, instead of killing all the other players in the game, they opted to just assign one target for them to kill. There was a good explanation that I've heard before as to why they did this, I forgot where I got it from, unfortunately.

Quote
That day/night thing would be really interesting 'cause it's almost two different games. Stealth and ambush in daytime or more action/arcade at night without the crowds. Good idea to leave extras like that on the back-burner for the time being, though.
I like this idea. By doing it this way, there will be a good mix of action and stealth.

Quote
Currently, thinking historical. Like lots of dank bricks, lanterns, and top-hats and umbrellas and rain, Victorian-style. Could go with something even more creative though, will see what the artist(s) think!
I wonder how the assassins looked like in the Victorian-era. Isn't Sherlock Holmes from the Victorian era?
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ChevyRay
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2011, 12:56:28 PM »

Quote
Hey, Chevy, I have a question: Will this be in third person? First person? Or top view?

I'm quite intent on doing a top-down game, something similar to the perspective in the initial little perspective mockup I posted. I don't know the official name for that perspective, though hurrrr.

Quote
Also, will the game also include the ability to use and change disguises? Let's say you could get some baker clothes and blend in the crowd. That kind of stuff?

Disguises sound kinda neat, but I'm not sure how to actually implement them into a nice gameplay mechanic. Also, they take a lot of art resources to produce, and I don't want to set the scope too high, so for now I'll say that all NPCs will probably look the same or very similar, and the players will look like a randomly selected one or something.

Just keep it simple and do-able for now, so it can be completed.

Quote
I wonder how the assassins looked like in the Victorian-era. Isn't Sherlock Holmes from the Victorian era?

I believe Holmes was set in Victorian times, but somebody correct me if I'm wrong. Also, assassins don't "look" like anybody, I think the general idea of public-scene assassins is they're not supposed to look like anybody, they're supposed to just look like normal people and blend in, but have some kind of concealed weapon or poison to do the deed with.
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2011, 01:03:36 PM »

Quote
I'm quite intent on doing a top-down game, something similar to the perspective in the initial little perspective mockup I posted. I don't know the official name for that perspective, though hurrrr.
Yep, I think that perspective would work fine. I think it's called 3/4 perspective? Haha. I'm not really sure. It's the one that is widely used by old-school JRPGs.

Quote
Just keep it simple and do-able for now, so it can be completed.
I agree. Just spewing out some ideas from the top of my head. :D

Quote
Also, assassins don't "look" like anybody, I think the general idea of public-scene assassins is they're not supposed to look like anybody, they're supposed to just look like normal people and blend in, but have some kind of concealed weapon or poison to do the deed with.
Haha. It was stupid of me to ask such a question. I was just wondering if there were some assassin characters in any literature set in the Victorian Era to draw inspiration from.
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ChevyRay
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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2011, 01:11:51 PM »

Yeah, ideas are great! If I respond sort of dismissively, that doesn't mean I won't use it! I'm just taking care not to let the idea get carried away Smiley but input is helping so much! I'm getting a REALLY solid idea of this game in my head now!

For example, via Robert Lupinek (aka. Darthlupi):

Quote
Robert:  I keep thinking of disintegrating the platforms of the other player in fun ways
for your assassin game
me: haha what do you mean?
Robert: forcing them into corners by eliminating squares
me: :O
fuck
thanks man! that's a great idea!
writing that down...

I love the idea, if it is tile-based, of allowing the players creative ways of "disabling" or setting traps on tiles, which can only affect the other players. Or maybe even just having certain tiles automatically become "alert zones" or something over time. What this will do is prevent players from just all sitting and waiting safely, and narrow down the play field over time, making it easier to watch NPCs and determine who the rival players are.

This is good, this is very good... man this is the best brainstorm I've had in awhile! Thanks everybody for the input so far :D
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AccidentalRebel
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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2011, 01:18:26 PM »

Quote
I love the idea, if it is tile-based, of allowing the players creative ways of "disabling" or setting traps on tiles, which can only affect the other players. Or maybe even just having certain tiles automatically become "alert zones" or something over time. What this will do is prevent players from just all sitting and waiting safely, and narrow down the play field over time, making it easier to watch NPCs and determine who the rival players are.
That's a really cool mechanic!

Also, will setting up traps make you vulnerable to attacks or being spotted by enemies? I'm thinking that this would prevent players from placing stuff all over the place without thinking.
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ChevyRay
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2011, 01:22:13 PM »

Yeah, I'm thinking that certain activities will be flagged as "suspicious", and send out a kind of wave or something that will "alert" the other players of the general location of the action, so you'll have to duck and hide after doing lots of things.

Suspicious activities (these may or may not be whilst only in NPC-vision, we'll see):

  • Setting traps/disabling tiles
  • Changing disguises (if we in fact use disguises, or some similar mechanic)
  • Killing another player or NPC
  • Staying in one place (or area?) for too long
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