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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsLemma: first-person parkour
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Author Topic: Lemma: first-person parkour  (Read 37203 times)
etodd
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« Reply #80 on: April 13, 2013, 01:11:56 PM »

Progress on the latest level:



I'm at 4 solid levels right now. A couple more and I think it's time for another alpha in a few weeks!
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ThetaGames
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« Reply #81 on: April 13, 2013, 06:20:36 PM »

Looks great!  Just wondering - why is it called "Lemma?"  Are you going to use the game to prove some theorem later?  Smiley
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etodd
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« Reply #82 on: April 14, 2013, 08:04:46 AM »

Looks great!  Just wondering - why is it called "Lemma?"  Are you going to use the game to prove some theorem later?  Smiley

Thanks! The name was originally related to the story, but it's changed since. Mostly I just like the word. Smiley
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etodd
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« Reply #83 on: April 25, 2013, 06:41:17 PM »

Experimenting with lighting... I always was a sucker for FEAR's super dramatic lighting. Smiley

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ThunderMare
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« Reply #84 on: April 26, 2013, 03:38:53 AM »

I like how the game progressed so far. Just saw the latest screenshots. I must say that it looks really nice.
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etodd
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« Reply #85 on: April 30, 2013, 06:54:46 PM »

Note to self: real 3D assets take a lot longer than voxels. Even when half of them come from blendswap.com.

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Trystin
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« Reply #86 on: May 01, 2013, 01:43:54 AM »

This is really looking cool! The movement and physics look really swell. Can't wait for more.  Smiley
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etodd
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« Reply #87 on: May 06, 2013, 03:18:07 AM »

Alpha 3 Ready to Play




After seven months of hard work, Alpha 3 is ready to play!

Some interesting statistics:

  • 28,000+ lines of code
  • 29 MB of compressed voxel data
  • 63 MB of sounds and music
  • 38 animations
  • 60+ textures and normal maps
  • 220+ revisions since Alpha 1

Incidentally, most of that is open source! If you're a developer, check it out on GitHub.

This version includes the first five maps. There are still some unfinished bits (the opening sequence is not yet textured) but it's come a long way in the past year.

Please play this because this release will report invaluable analytics back to me so I know what parts are frustrating. The most important thing the game needs right now is play-testing! Please let me know what you think as well, all the feedback from past releases has been incredibly useful and encouraging. You guys are awesome!

Future Plans

It's difficult to judge release dates, but I foresee at least another year and a half of development in order to make the game say everything I need to say. My goal is to save enough money in the next year to take some time off and dedicate myself full-time to finishing Lemma. For the first time, I have a vision for the whole game experience that is actually feasible for one person to complete. The engine is done and from here on out it's basically all level design.

Thanks for reading and playing. See you in a few alpha releases. Smiley

Mirrored on my blog
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DISHTY
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« Reply #88 on: May 06, 2013, 06:39:37 AM »

Not entirely sure why, but I can't get any of the alphas to run on my PC. Downloaded fine, but when going to run it just can't start the game up. And I've definitely got all of the required software etc
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etodd
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« Reply #89 on: May 06, 2013, 06:43:23 AM »

Not entirely sure why, but I can't get any of the alphas to run on my PC. Downloaded fine, but when going to run it just can't start the game up. And I've definitely got all of the required software etc

This is weird. There was another guy on reddit that had issues, he said he got it working by going into the "bin" folder and running Lemma.exe instead of using either of the other two executables. Maybe try that. Still trying to track that issue down, but it's got me completely baffled. It should at least give a helpful error message, but it's not even doing that. Shrug
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DISHTY
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« Reply #90 on: May 06, 2013, 08:10:42 AM »

Okay cool, that actually worked. That's pretty odd though. Enjoyed what I played Smiley
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« Reply #91 on: May 06, 2013, 02:57:48 PM »

I just played your alpha a bit, and I uploaded the session as requested. Here's what I think of it.

Woke up in some strange room. The lighting looks impressive... don't say it's realtime, isn't it? I wasn't able to move anything in there, so it's probably some sort of light mapping. Looks nice!

The woman looks a bit oversized on her breasts... for some reason that put me off. I was expecting some realistic proportions. But I've never been a woman looking down on my body, so I can't tell if it's actually correct or not.

I left the room. And getting out of the room and seeing this strange world for the first time is truly amazing! You captured that experience very well with music and lighting. The voxelized landscapes look realy cool at first, but the popping shadows and the blocky shadow filter reduce that impression a bit. The glow is also nice to look at! The first jumps are well done, but I'd like to have the "decoration" fragments pushed away from the "official" path. I tried to jump over a few times before I realized that they're just decoration.

The movement is... ok. In its current rough state I already got a nice feeling of Mirror's Edge, but I'd want it to be more forgiving, to be honest. I often happened to jump at some well, only to collide with it at view height, and the character did not manage to use her hands to grab that ledge. Thus I fell into the emptyness and needed to respawn. The "press crouch to avoid falling damage" was also quite tight, and there apparently is some sort of stamina meter that limits my movement, but it was invisible. And then I got touched by that bright sphere and had some other meter of sorts. One that slowly reduces while moving around. I'd remove that. The jumping and running is already frustrating enough without a respawn limitation.

Also: If you want to encourage a flow of movement, you need a clear path to execute. Maybe add some hidden/difficult side tracks that hold some collectible, to encourage the player to look around your mostly beautiful world, but I think those should be dead ends so that the player returns to the level path afterwards. I also think that points that I already collected should still be gone after respawn. The abundance of ever-returning white points somehow devalued them so that I pretty soon just tried to continue to see more of the game. But then I failed a few times at this room in the second level, ended up in the pit below where the voxel walls prevented me from climbing up again. So I always needed to return to the previous pit, climb up there somewhere, only to get back to the room I failed and retry there. Is that really necessary? I think this kind of difficulty is unnecessary.

Overall, this game is promising and surely awe-inspiring, but its core movement mechanics need to communicate really clearly what its potential and limitations are. And movement errors should be more forgiving. Avoid the useless back tracking, make failure and retry immediately. And settle to some sort of common unit for all moves so that the player can learn what points of the levels are in reach and how. Currently my impression was that I missed some places that looked interesting to me by only a small margin, and I was never able to tell if another retry would have gotten me there or not.
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SolarLune
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« Reply #92 on: May 06, 2013, 03:49:17 PM »

Yo! I got around to playing it recently, and it was pretty fun. It's pretty sweet to get a flow going. I think I agree with Schrompf - the movement and figuring out just where you can go is already pretty tough. Having a time limit on it makes it even more difficult.

I actually rage-quitted after getting to the rocky area after the rotating 'base' in the first level after the tutorials. Once I got to the rocky area and walked through a respawn point, the character started to wobble because of lack of stamina. I walked off the edge to die, and I respawned at the beginning of the level, rather than the second spawn point at the top of the base.

Anyway, it's pretty fun so far! Great work on it!
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etodd
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« Reply #93 on: August 01, 2013, 03:29:17 PM »

Thanks to everyone who played Alpha 3! I know I've been quiet here, but I took almost every single piece of feedback to heart, both from Reddit and the lovely people here.

Here's some changes I made in direct response to feedback:

  • Re-designed the logo (before/after)
  • Trashed the pistol. Everyone hated it, and I realized it didn't make sense at all, as it really requires you to stop and aim, throwing off the flow of parkour.
  • Trashed the stamina / power up system. Again, people complained and it didn't make sense in the context of this game specifically.
  • Trashed the spawn points. They made the game annoying and repetitive. There's a shiny new auto-respawn system now!
  • Slowed down the player, but added some detail to the animations so that she actually feels faster.

Partially inspired by this insightful Gamasutra article, I also took a step back and made some major changes to the level design. In fact, I threw out most of the levels. They were brutal, especially after the tutorial. My analytics showed a lot of people struggling and rage-quitting. Those who made it all the way through endured a lot of pain and suffering. No more!

I did keep the majority of the tutorial, but with some big changes. Here's a small example (before/after):


This is like the second thing the player sees. In the old level, I'm already telling her how to avoid fall damage, when she hasn't even had time to experience fall damage.

The new version just has a simple jumping sequence followed by a chance for the player practice wall-climbing (which she just learned in the previous section). Much better.

New Stuff™:

  • New level designs
  • Bouncy blocks ala N
  • Subtle environment mapping for moar prettier pixels
  • New mechanics (enemies and environmental stuff, not new player abilities. More details soon)

Soooo, just trucking along still. Slow but steady. Thanks for reading!
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etodd
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« Reply #94 on: August 02, 2013, 08:02:21 PM »

I'm in the middle of a four-day weekend, so I'm getting tons of stuff done!

If you watched the livestream yesterday, you'll recognize these explodey enemies:


Here's an enemy that rips out pieces of the environment and throws them at you.


This one isn't a new feature but the first time I think I've shown it. You can wall-run off the edge of a wall, and it will build a continuation of the wall for you.

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eigenbom
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« Reply #95 on: August 02, 2013, 08:50:57 PM »

looking great dude Smiley
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Franklin's Ghost
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« Reply #96 on: August 03, 2013, 05:53:58 PM »

Great new additions and really like the enemy who rips out objects from the environment and throws it at you, think he looks interesting. Impressed at how polished this all feels.
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etodd
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« Reply #97 on: September 14, 2013, 08:28:06 AM »

I finally got my lip-sync system working!



I have a neat little UI that lets me trigger mouth shapes at different times, and I can associate animation clips with sound files. The video shows the UI on the left. Very simple so far, but functional.

Unfortunately that's all I've been able to accomplish lately other than some level design. It's not that lip-syncing was such a huge project, it's just that I've been too busy. Sad face.
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etodd
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« Reply #98 on: December 14, 2013, 06:13:02 AM »

I emerge once again from radio silence! Here's what I've been working on:

  • A new turret enemy which is quite deadly. As part of this update, I added a new level of "destructibility". The player can only smash through the most fragile materials, while the turret and other explosives can blast through tougher materials.
  • A new mechanic which should make for an intense sort of "chase" scene. Basically when you cross a certain threshold, these grey blocks start turning toxic red. You have to out-race them to progress.
  • I continued polishing the first few levels.
  • The third level now introduces the explosive orb enemy.

Thanks for reading!
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etodd
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« Reply #99 on: December 21, 2013, 10:56:43 AM »

More level design this week. I threw out the old ending to the first level and replaced it with this "leap of faith" thing:



I also completely threw out a level that never really saw the light of day, so here's a nice screenshot to remember it by before I say goodbye forever:



In its place? A completely new map (debug textures for now):



I'm going to try introducing some more of the game's main features earlier on. Even people who have played the alphas have yet to see the core differentiating features of the game.

I also redesigned the website (minimalism for the win!). Let me know whatcha think.

Thanks for reading!
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