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« on: January 22, 2011, 01:48:12 PM »

Colorful, dynamic, mulit-faceted, boisterous, there's not one Casbah, but hundreds. Thousands. And this teeming maze is what Pépé calls home.
-- Pépé le Moko


Casbah

Download v1.1 for Windows (most recent)
Download v1.0 for Windows (competition release)


(Click for full size.)

How To Play:

Pick up coins.
Put coins in stash.
ATTACK opponents' stashes.
ATTACK to pickup items.
ATTACK + DROP to drop items.


Other Tips and Notes:

* DROP coins to gain speed.

* Watch out for traps! Traps look like hearts, but spin in the wrong direction. How devious. Attack traps to disarm them.

* Right click on the moon for extra silly options. Mix and match your favorites!

* I wouldn't recommend going less than 1024x768 resolution. You might lose some buttons!

* For gamepads and joysticks, setup your buttons in the startup dialog under "Input." Then select the proper gamepad under the "Controls" screen in game. I never really tested this. Good luck!

* If you don't have any joysticks, try using two keyboards.

Check the readme for full item documentation.


Thanks for playing!



----

Original Post:

Hi everyone! I'm a little late to the party and I've never finished a game before but I was really attracted by the spirit of the competition so I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring -- mostly as a personal challenge to try and actually complete a game.

I'd guess I've only done about 10% of what goes into a finished game so it will definitely be a challenge! I'm hoping to learn a lot, meet some new people and just generally have a rollicking grand adventure.

The Project

Tentative title: Thief vs. Thief

I'm planning on keeping it as simple as I can to maximize the probability I can finish it! The idea started as a kind of real-time Wiz-War meets

. But after reducing that as much as possible I'm now envisioning more of a Pac-Man style gameplay.

Currently the concept is like this: 2-4 players compete in a mad dash to grab as much randomly placed treasure as possible. However, players can only hold so much at a time and have to return frequently to their stash to drop off their loot. But watch out! Other players can raid your stash. And, if they're feeling aggressive, try to rob your very person! Idealy, there would also be random boxes containing placeable traps, weapons, or treasure, but I'm not sure I'll get that far. Effects of traps and weapons could include: prevent player from moving, prevent player from carrying anything, or hurt the player (will there be life and death? Unknown). Game modes could include time limit or first to X amount of treasure.

I'm imagining four A Link to the Past forest thieves all going at it in a closed space.

Will it work? I have no idea!

I've tried networking before and found it to be a huge time sink (read: learning experience) so I'm going to stick with the dreaded cozy idea of 4 people 1 keyboard. (Maybe 2 keyboards 2 people each? Maybe just 2 people 1 keyboard?) I'd love to add networking after the duration of the competition -- if I make it that far!

Current State

Here's the current progress. I've been messing around with Unity lately so I am going to try and develop in that. Right now you can move each player and bounce into each other and the walls.


Everything is actually 3D but I'll probably stick with the top down orthogonal so I can try to get away with extra simple 3d models.



(The player models are unfinished models from a previous unfinished project.)


Major Worries
Anticipated Challenges

  • Music. I don't even know where to start on this one!
  • Sound effects! Things are starting to get scary!
  • Visuals. Can I avoid a Tron aesthetic?
  • Jiggly bits. Bouncing boxes, splattering blood, dust from footsteps. All the stuff that adds life to the game. Never done it.
  • Staying interested. The greatest challenge of all?!


Goals (Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Deadline)
  • End of this weekend: Randomly place 3 kinds of treasure (Zelda rupees?) one in each square and be able to gather loot with each player and see how much each has picked up.
  • This Friday: All the basic mechanics in place to allow for play testing that weekend.
  • February 27th, Midnight: A finished game!

Just what will define this game as finished? I'm not sure yet. I'm going to try and get most of the basic/essential mechanics in place by this Friday in order to leave plenty of time for all the anticipated challenges, playtesting, other polish (Goldeneye-style awards? "Most gold collected" / "Never hit another player" etc?) and anything else I can't anticipate (there is sure to be a lot!).

Assuming the basics don't drastically change (anything is up in the air at this point).
By Friday I'd like to have:
  • Pick up loot and drop it in your stash.
  • Steal from other players.
  • Steal from other player's stashes.
  • Basic HUD including amount each player is carrying and total amount collected.
  • Some victory condition (time limit?) and a "Rounds Won" counter.

Any advice, suggestions, thoughts, ideas, feedback, encouragement, warnings, passing glances will be cherished with the love of a thousand suns. I'm loving this competition and I'm excited to be a part of it!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 05:55:41 PM by Fluff » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2011, 09:50:01 AM »

Not sure if you've come across it, but SFXR is a great sound effect generator for placeholder stuff at least. I've used it a few times before, it produces really nice sounds.

I love the idea. It sounds quite fast-paced. A nice array of powerups would be great.
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2011, 02:15:00 PM »

Hey thanks for the feedback! I just tried out sfxr earlier today (someone mentioned it in irc) and it works great! I've already got some initial sounds in!

Progress Report #1

Today was very productive. I passed my weekend goal of picking up loot and counting it. And I learned a lot of important lessons already! The first of which is:

Important Lesson #1: Always keep a backup!!

I had a scare this morning when my project crashed and I couldn't open it again. Luckily I was able to salvage what I had (although that wasn't much) by removing the most recently added script. I'm lucky to have learned this early and without major damage!

Adding loot pickups went pretty fast so I started working on the stash functionality. Behold! I modeled my first treasure chest! (It actually looks more like a mailbox: especially when blue).



Unfortunately when viewed top down with orthogonal perspective it just looks like a square!



That leads me to Important Lession #2: 3D assets take a long time to make! Especially for an inexperienced fellow such as myself. It would have been quite a bit quicker to simply draw a square.


You can see the progress from that screenshot. Unfortunately the visuals are giving off a strong there's-been-a-horrible-christmas-decorating-accident vibe. Well, my first priority is to get the mechanics down.

Speaking of which, you should now be able to test out the current prototype!

If you're feeling brave: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/19403257/ThiefvsThief%20test1.zip

Let me know if it works or if you run into any problems.

It might be hard to judge the gameplay at this early of a stage but I'm starting to have some doubts about the viability of the mechanics. I think players might need more motivation to interact and venture further from their home base. Hopefully we'll have a better idea when stealing is implemented. Random crate powerups might start looking more and more essential.

Still on the docket for Friday:
  • Steal from other players.
  • Steal from other players' stashes.
  • Victory condition.
  • Hopefully more!
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2011, 02:46:45 PM »

Perhaps, to fix the 'christmas' vibe, you could make the colors more pastel? Or make the green purple?
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2011, 02:50:44 PM »

Yeah, good suggestion. Right now all the colors are max/min'd (255,0,0), (0,255,0), etc... I'll definitely need to brainstorm some color schemes. It's such a subtle art!
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2011, 07:23:48 PM »

Progress miniupdate:

Still making progress. Today I added player attacking / getting attacked. I should be right on schedule for my Friday goals.

Other thoughts:

Title brainstorming:
Madcap Money Grab
Mercurial Money Madness
Not sure how I got stuck on M...

Inevitable keyboard problems lurking.

Go with 2D art eventually? Likely easier to produce, harder to animate? Something to keep in mind.

Weapon Ideas:
Fish
Umbrella
Hammer

Traps Ideas:
Bomb
Ball and Chain

Design:
Brainstorming ideas about a rock-paper-scissor core. Right now there is no counter to ATTACK. Add a stealth/invisible kind of HIDE? HIDE from ATTACK, ATTACK those STEALING your treasure and STEAL treasure to draw someone out of HIDING? Except: Can't go invisable if everyone is looking at the same screen!
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 03:17:03 PM »

Progress Report #2

Ok! It's not pretty. Actually it's pretty hideous. But it works! (sort of)

Try the lastest here:

Web Player
Windows Executable


Let's see how we did on the FRIDAY GOALS:

  • Pick up loot and drop it in your stash.
  • Steal from other players.
  • Steal from other player's stashes.
  • Basic HUD including amount each player is carrying and total amount collected.
  • Some victory condition (time limit?) ad a "Rounds Won" counter.

Not bad! But, there are some bugs I didn't anticipate. At least:

  • You can attack players through walls.
  • Loot can get stuck in the walls (there's no collision detection on them (yet?).
  • You can reduce an enemy's score to zero with one punch to their stash, easily taking down a player at the final moments.


Well it's January 28. That means there are only...

30 DAYS LEFT!!

This weekend is going to be mostly research. I'm hoping to get a lot of play testing in to see if there is anything salvageable from what I have so far. Also I've got to research tools and techniques for music, sound, and art. And it wouldn't hurt to do some code refactoring either. Unfortunately I don't have any concrete goals for the end of the weekend (yet?).

It's been a lot of fun so far. This is probably the farthest I've come towards completing a game. But there's a long way to go!
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2011, 06:15:04 PM »


Alright, my initial impressions:

1. Wiz-war is awesome
2. Movement and attacking seemed pretty smooth to me.
3. Hitting another guy makes him/her drop stuff, but it's hard to grab the "coins" and run off since he'll just punch you.  Maybe add a stun or knockback or something?
4. Like you said, traps or other abilities would make the player-player interactions more interesting
5. Can you finagle gamepad support?  I figured the default unity input setup would allow it, but my gamepad didn't work.
6. Needs a 10-second and 5-second warning for timed games, and something similar for score-based rounds.

You've got polish and testing, and a few features that you haven't implemented yet, but in many ways it seems like the game is mostly finished.  Of course, we all know that the last 10% of the game takes 90% of the time  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2011, 03:43:16 PM »

Thanks for the great comments! I'll see what I can do about gamepad support -- I don't have one in order to test it but I know it's possible in Unity. You're right about a stunlock or something to make encounters not just spam fests. Maybe some kind of block ability. Or separate attack into attack and steal -- an attack/block/steal kind of RPS?


Progress Report #3

I got a lot of great information from playtesting over the weekend (read: showing the game to my siblings). We identified some major problems and came up with some things to try. But, I don't really have a clear direction on where to go, design-wise, from here. I've been focusing mostly on game production and feeling pretty good about that. But game design is a little harder. Maybe I'm over-thinking it.

I'm still trying to find what this game is all about. I feel like there might be something fun here somewhere, but I not sure what it is. My design process at this point seems to be try everything and hope some combination results in goodness. I've been experimenting with taking things out/adding things/setting up variables to adjust and tweak. Here's an experiment with no walls/tilted camera/one type of loot.



I kind of like the oblique camera angle. But looking at that screenshot I'm seeing more we could try going without. The chests? (Maybe the loot could be a sonic style life system.) What about loot itself? (It could be just be a straight up deathmatch.)

On the flip side, what could we add to make it more interesting? Traps/defenses? Weapons? Larger bases? Capture-the-flag flags? Maybe four colors and four sizes of loot and you have to get four of a kind to win?

Anyway...

Updates:
Players now slow down the more they're carrying.
Added a stun after getting attacked.
Added a countdown before round starts.
You can no longer empty your own stash.
Variable amount emptied from enemies stashes.
A bunch of little cosmetic changes.

Friday Goals:
Support for at least one gamepad.
After X amount of hits, you respawn somewhere in your base.
Different types of attacks (one that stuns, one that damages, one that steals, etc.) maybe attached to different weapons?

Also on the list to add/try eventually:
An ability to block.
Fix loot getting stuck in walls.
A kind of deathmatch mode.
Variable arena sizes and geometry.
Random crate spawning.
Be able to drop the loot you're carrying?
A bunch of other stuff...

Play in Browser
Download Windows Executable
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2011, 04:23:59 PM »

Progress Report #4

It's Friday already! I ended up getting a little sidetracked implementing straight-up deathmatch fighting and leaving gamepad support unfinished. Actually deathmatch mode is unfinished too. (Hence no updated playable version). Also I played around with some hit effects with Unity's particle system, and I'm pretty happy with how those turned out (for a first time!) although they still need work.

Goals In Review:
  • Support for at least one gamepad. FAILED
  • After X amount of hits, you respawn somewhere in your base.
  • Different types of attacks.

I'm just now starting to understand some of the results of last weekend's playtesting. I think some of the most fun moments were during direct player interaction, but the earlier game version discouraged that in a few ways:

  • If you're gathering loot, you're not interacting with other players.
  • If you're carrying loot, you want to actively avoid other players.
  • If you're protecting you're stash, you're waiting for others to come to you but hoping (if you want to win) that they don't, because you can't gain anything from it.
  • With free loot lying around, there's no incentive to steal from other players. Player-player interaction only happened after all the loot had been gathered.
  • Walls increase the time and distance to interact with other players.

So, essentially: the loot, the stash, and the walls were all discouraging player interaction.

Actually the whole idea of collecting items is inherently a solo act. It's only a competition in the sense that it's a race. Your interaction with others revolves around slowing them down in the race but your main focus is maximizing your own advantage. That puts the focus for each player on themselves and perfecting their own performance.

To address some of these issues, I tried taking out all the superfluous elements and ended up with a pretty simple fighting game.



There's already less visual clutter, which I think is good. But part of me also can't help but think I'm progressing, somewhat, sideways (if not backwards). I'm not sure if this is typical in game development or these types of competitions (it's my first venture into both), but it seems a little late to be making major gameplay modifications. I think I should try to settle on a pretty solid idea of the gameplay pretty soon (only 3 weeks left to do everything else).

All that on one side. But on the other, I also have an idea that might solve all those previous gameplay issues and retain the collection aspect of the game. A PIÑATA.

This keeps all the players in one area, with one common focus, and it continuously delivers rewards (a solution to the finite loot problem). This might be more in line with the original spirit of the game (rather than converting it to a fighting game), but it's a lot of work. Plus, I'm not sure if it will be as fun as I imagine (is anything ever?). SO, not sure if it'll happen. BUT, just don't be surprised if the next version is called something like, uh, "Piñata Wars: I Want Candy!" only not as lame.
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 03:13:45 PM »

Progress Report #5

Ok! We had some great playtests over the weekend. I showed it to a new group and got exactly the opposite reaction I was expecting. Shows what I know! The players preferred steal mode over deathmatch and liked walls over no walls. Overall I think they had a lot of fun and we got a lot of great ideas!

I'm starting to learn that playtesting and extracting valuable information from it is very much a skill and one that's well worth nurturing.

I think I learned some more important lessons.

#1: I can't predict what will be fun! Playtesting is essential, even more so for a multi-player game. The best I can do is give the players options to see what is more fun.

#2: Different people find different things fun! This shows the importance of numerous and varied playtesters. The more the better.

So, I'm definitely feeling back on track now. There's a lot of loose ends flying around, so the plan is to tie them all down and try to get this thing to come together. There's a few features to add, a lot of polish and then some balancing to do and that will be it. Which, indecently, is exactly what Izzimach said over a week ago! I should have listened to you in the first place!

Major Updates!
  • Gamepad support! If anyone could test this, I would really appreciate it! I have no idea if it will work.
  • Drop loot! This leads to an Osmos type chase mechanic where players drop a trail of money to gain speed causing the player behind them to pick up the treasure and slow down.
  • Healthpacks.
  • A very early item system with one weapon.
  • Crate system that spawns random crates that break open to reveal: health, money, or a weapon.

There are now two buttons, ATTACK and DROP. Attacking a player hurts them. Attacking a stash, raids it. Attacking a crate, opens it. Attacking an item, picks it up. DROP alone will drop a treasure. DROP and ATTACK will drop a weapon, if you have one.

There were originally 3 weapon types: one that hurts, one that steals, and one that stuns. No one bothered with the one that steals because players drop everything when they die, anyway. To avoid never ending spam fests, it seems necessary to give players an ability to do damage at the start. So right now hurt is default, (when you're not carrying a weapon) and that left only stun as a usable weapon right now.

Item brainstorming:
  • Something to increase the treasure you can carry.
  • Something that steals AND hurts players (maybe also increases stash raid %)
  • Something with huge knockback?
  • Life stealing?
  • Projectiles (wands?)
  • Shield?
  • Traps placeable in the level.

Goal for Friday is to implement as many items as possible with a system to pick and choose which ones to use each round. What would be really interesting is making all the items interact in interesting ways, but that's probably a past-the-deadline type feature.

I've also been struggling with designing a HUD. Somehow the player needs to know:
1. How much their carrying.
2. How much they have in their stash. (the "score")
3. How much life they have.
4. How much kills they have (Maybe not necessary).
5. What item they're carrying.

Additionally, I'd like to add a "who is winning" type tracking system to see at-a-glance who is winning and by how much. I'm imagining colored progress bars at the top.
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2011, 02:30:32 PM »

Progress Report #6

THE END IS IN SIGHT!

We're down to two weeks left! There's still a lot to bring together.

I added some items (5) but not near what I was hoping (10). So in addition to what we had:
  • Dagger - default, does damage.
  • Umbrella - stun, no damage.

We now also have:
  • Feather - always move at max speed.
  • Bag - carry twice the amount of treasure.
  • Fish - make players drop their treasure AND does damage.
  • Shield - hold attack to block players from the front.
  • Hammer - knocks players back AND does damage.

Although they all have placeholder models now. (So good luck figuring out what is what!)

I feel like it's time to stop adding new features and polish what we have. Sounds / effects / graphics could all use an overhaul. Not to mention menus / HUD. (I'd still like to squeeze in traps and another level though.)

A friend from last weekend's playtests wants to help out on the models which is great news. With so much else to do, I don't think the art would get another pass without his help. Hopefully between us we can scrape together something that doesn't make eyes bleed.

We've been brainstorming an art direction to go in & I've spent a little time on concept art. I am liking a sort of jawa + little red riding hood look for the thieves.

Some more title brainstorming:
  • Money! Money! Money! Money!
  • Mad Dash Money Grab
  • Mommy, What Does Daddy Do For A Living?
  • Little Thieves (maybe in another language)
  • Trust Me, I'm a Thief
  • Wall Street
  • Honor Among Thieves
  • Thick As Thieves
  • The Jewel Thieves

I'm looking forward to more playtests this weekend. I'm not sure how best to approach it. I feel like I should go in with a set of goals, but I'm not sure what they might be other than:

"What items work?"
"What items don't work?
"What other ideas do you have?" (Even though there isn't time to really add anything non-essential).

The Burgeoning List of Anticipated Final Cuts:
  • Music
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2011, 04:18:07 PM »

Progress Report #7

Ok! We're approaching the final stretch now. It's time for all the stuff I've been putting off! This is the stuff that absolutely 100% must get done by the end:
  • Customizable controls
  • HUD
  • Menu system & title screen
  • End of round scoreboard (1st, 2nd, etc.)

I'm going to try to have half the list done by Friday and the rest done Sunday. That will leave a full week for any art touch-ups, minor tweaking, finalizations, and anything else that comes up.

I spent Saturday mostly on concepts and menu design. We came up with a bunch of ideas for setting (shipping yard, courtyard hedge maze, museum, casbah) but ultimately we'll have to keep it pretty simple. More than likely, it'll end up in a boring nondescript dungeon or an indistinguishable abstract arena. That night, I watched Le Doulos and tried to think of a way to rip off the title sequence, but I couldn't come up with anything.

Sunday, I spent a while messing around in Blender. At first I tried making a hat inspired by a childhood toy.



But you couldn't tell what it was in game. So I ended up doing another simple character model.



Then, exploring the Casbah theme, I blocked out a rough level.



Which could work, but then I could not get any texturing or coloring to turn out.



So, in the end, I might not use any of the fruits of Sunday's labors. But it was good practice. I finally learned how to do multiple materials on one object and texture a model. Pretty basic stuff, although I'm still a little hazy on how they are related to each other.

Maybe when this competition is over I'll take on a project to jumpstart my artistic abilities. One game mockup per day for two weeks? Sounds like a challenge!
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« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2011, 05:53:43 PM »

Progress Report #8

I was the most worried about custom controls so I start with that. It ended up going pretty fast using this method of detecting what key was pressed.

For the player HUD, there's four essential pieces of information players need immediate access to:
  • score
  • life
  • item
  • money "in pocket"

Now, according to the TF2-in-game-developer-commentary-school-of-thought, the less information you have to communicate through a HUD the better. You want to maximize the amount of things that can be communicated "in game." For example, a natural way to show the weapon each person has is by what their avatar is carrying (or other modifications to their avatar -- adding a hat, for example). But, the characters here are pretty small on the screen so the weapons would have to be almost the size of the character and be clearly distinguishable from each other to make it work.

Displaying life "in game" is not nearly as obvious as weapons. The first idea was to tie it to player color, somehow. Having a player become more and more red, for example. But that would be a continuous scale and life here is discrete (and only goes up to 3). The perfect solution would be something like Mario Kart's Balloons. Maybe having rings around the player, or hearts floating around them. But here, we end up with the same problems as weapons. The characters are small enough to make this kind of thing difficult. Not to mention the added time of implementing something like this vs. an easy HUD.

If each player had their own screen, with their own avatar taking up most of the screen space, these solutions would be much more viable (though still more time-consuming to implement). You could, for example, have each player carry a Santa-Clause-style sack on their back that expands to bulbous proportions as more coins are added.

Given how much easier it is to just put this information on the HUD, that's what I ended up doing.

I went with the cliche iconic health representation.


But it seemed like these hearts were pretty stale/static -- no life to them. What if they "pulsed" with a kind of heartbeat?

So I threw together a simple script:

Code:
float currentScale = Mathf.Sin(Time.time * speed);
transform.localScale = Vector3.Slerp(minSize, maxSize, currentScale);

But this wasn't working quite right. Half the time, the stayed the same size. Yeah, of course, because sin gives us values from -1 to 1 but slerp only takes a value of 0 to 1. So all the negative values were being clamped up to 0. So in my usual try-something-without-thinking-about-it style of coding, I tried using the absolute value of sin.

Code:
float currentScale = Mathf.Abs(Mathf.Sin(Time.time * speed));

But that wasn't quite right either. Now the hearts would change gradually over time except at their smallest size. When they reached their smallest size, they abruptly changed directions and started growing immediately.

That's because the graph if abs(sin(x)) looks like this.


Ok, so what I really needed to do was move the basic sin(x) up 1 and make it half as tall.

Code:
float currentScale = (Mathf.Sin(Time.time * speed)+1)/2;

Bingo. That's what I was going for. The whole process from concept-of-pulsing-hearts to finished-script only took 5-10 minutes so I was pretty happy. I ended up adding some other movable bits: rotating coins, growing score text, an animated chest.

I had all the basics for the HUD down so I added an ugly sort of border. I still had time, so I tried experimenting with player colors...



Yeah. I didn't want to admit this, guys. But the truth is. I'm colorblind. For years I denied it. "I can tell the difference between stoplights, I'm not colorblind." But I think this cinches it. There's no hope. A color sensitive person simply could not create this.

Up Next!
Scoreboard
Menus
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« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2011, 08:40:05 PM »

Oh my, I can't believe I haven't posted since that one time, at the very start!

This game is looking great, and seems like it could be pretty fun.

I actually really like the simple aesthetic, too; flat colors are a big thing for me, for some reason.

Keep up the nice work, man!
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« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2011, 04:04:11 PM »

Thanks for the encouragement! I fiddled with the player colors some more and I came up with something I'm pretty happy with. I still have to work on the level/item colors, though. I am thinking dark floors and light-colored walls and items to help them stand out. One problem I've finding is everything is just so small, it can hard to read. Especially with four people looking at one monitor.




Progress Report #9

Dispite having just 2D HUD things to work on, I tried at first to put a mockup together in blender for the final scoreboard. I soon realized that wasn't going to work very well. So I gave that up and went to GIMP for the 2D stuff.

The first thing I tried was making a decal for the scoreboard. I had an idea for a "MOST KILLS" kind of award every round. So I looked up reference images. Ok, how would I make that in GIMP? I had about 4 hours total experience in GIMP. So I found some tutorials. I was almost done with this one (wondering why all the buttons got moved) before I realized it was for photoshop, not GIMP.

So, I ended up with this.

That was a good warm up, but I wasn't very happy with it so I tried the same technique again.

Ok, that felt better. But here I am working on the details before starting anything else. No sense adding bumper stickers before the plane can fly. So I put together a mockup of the scoreboard.




Something like that will work. So I went to look for some free fonts to use. Looking for reference images of the Casbah last week, I also found a lot of images with "Casbah" in different typefaces. So I had an idea of what I was looking for. First I found this:



Which was really good but what else could we find? Then I got really lucky and found slugfest on 1001fonts's "Font of the Moment."



This looked great, but would it work in the game? I plugged it in and found it really transformed look. It's amazing the difference a font can make! I ended up changing all the menu buttons and adding more buttons and menus just to show off the font. Before I knew it, I had a first draft of the new main menu.



But I still had to do the scoreboard. So I put together another mockup using the new beautiful font.



In order to keep the look consistent with the rest of the menus, and because I thought it would be easier, I implemented the scoreboard using Unity's GUI system. Once you get GUIStyles and GUISkins down, it's pretty simple.



It still needs some tweaking. Maybe moving the coin further left or to where it was in the first mockup. But I'm pretty happy with how things turned out. Overall it was a lot of fun working on the GUI system -- fiddling with the layout, adding little things like confirmations and submenus.


For the last week:
Proper item models.
Finalize level model.
In-game instructions / How To Play.
Revamp effects system.
Secret stuff.

There's not many people in the world with the time and interest in giving a thoughtful critic to a stranger's incomplete student-film-quality video game, but if anyone has advice on finding and encouraging these exceptional creatures, let me know!

Only one progress report left.. and then RELEASE! See you there.
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davidp
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2011, 01:59:21 AM »

this looks like a very nice game judging by screenshots and what you wrote about it Smiley
can't wait to try it Smiley
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Inanimate
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2011, 03:44:29 PM »

I think using that font for the menus might be a bit... cluttered, as it undermines the 'style' of the title. Stick to a simpler font for the menus, perhaps?

Also, that title screen is stylin'.
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DrOctapu
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« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2011, 04:59:57 PM »

You might wanna stick the image at the top of the topic under Current State. People might think it's a mockup.
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« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2011, 06:39:54 PM »

Haha, ok, I took your suggestion DrOctapu.

Thanks for all the feedback guys!!

I threw together some variations on the title screen for comparison. I tried the same font on the buttons (as the title) -- better/worse?

(Click for full size)

A


B


C


D


E


Maybe it's just initial exposure bias, but I kind of like the heavier slugfest for the menu buttons. Do the buttons seem too heavy, too crowded? Or do they just conflict with the title?

Maybe if the title is larger to balance the weight (see screenshot E)? I really appreciate your input Inanimate, keep me updated on your impressions!

I've been playing with different titles, but I think I like the simple "Casbah."




While I'm here I may as well show you the current progress on the items. I think the umbrella needs the most work.





Also, I may as well share the resources I've been going through in my research since the last progress report. It might be helpful to someone.

Doing GUI stuff was a good excuse to read up on basic design principles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_elements_and_principles

This one got me thinking about different possibilities for the title screen.
http://www.graphics.com/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=832

Some good advice as typeface applies to video games.
http://kotiro.petermichaud.com/visual/studies/text-font/

Interesting paper on TF2 visual design.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=6&ved=0CEIQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fciteseerx.ist.psu.edu%2Fviewdoc%2Fdownload%3Fdoi%3D10.1.1.140.8640%26rep%3Drep1%26type%3Dpdf&ei=N3BkTYSCA8OB8gaFkaW7Bg&usg=AFQjCNFHCJwDoseeK_fRsxp-gRoLQLxNDA

Haven't read this one yet but I really admire the TF2 design so it's on the TO READ list.
http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=4338&page=3
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