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JP
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« on: May 18, 2008, 01:25:19 pm »

Hello indie guys & gals.  I'm taking the plunge and unveiling my precious, soft-skinned little baby of a game here for you.  It's called Purity.

I've set up a site that will have official-ish updates and where I'll promote it to the world at large.  There's a ways to go on development until it's worth showing off there though.  In the meantime, I'll post updates here.  I'm hesitant to release any playable builds yet, but if people are really interested I can do that.

Lots of history behind this game.  It had a previous, failed incarnation from a few years back when I tried to build it using the Unreal Engine Runtime.  I hit a wall for various reasons (bait-and-switch licensing on the UER, lack of programming skill) and put it on the backburner for a year or so.  In the meantime, the Quake 3 engine source code was released, and my programming improved a bit.  Another year, and I began to think about reviving it, with a new name and a different, more distinctive art style.

So what is it?  I still don't have a very succinct answer.  It's a super arcadey first person shooter (closest to Doom or Quake 1), with a highly abstract visual style and (thus) an arthouse sensibility.  There are no characters per se, no demons or robots and no blood or violence.  I've played enough representational, gritty games about fighting to last me a lifetime.  I really love stuff that looks like it tumbled out of some abstract dimension of pure mathematics, so the inspiration role-call is all stuff like Vasily Kandinsky and the architecture of Kasimir Malevich:



Also there's an absolutely gorgeous short film made by some French folks called "90 Degrees" that embodies almost perfectly the style I'm after:



Because this is my arch "commercial suicide" project, it'll be free in every possible way - GPL source code, Creative Commons license for the art and sound, etc.

On the tech side, it's based on ioquake3, the icculus.org branch of the Q3 engine.  I've merged in the FX system from the Tremulous project.  I have a passion for open source tools that democratize the process of making games, so I'm happy to release my source code in exchange for being able to "stand on the shoulders of giants".

Unpacking the game mechanics probably merits its own separate post.  More soon, possibly with some early (ugly!) screenshots.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 01:28:38 pm by JP » Logged
Caio
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2008, 01:40:22 pm »

Sounds like it has a really cool style. I'd definitely like to see what you've got!

What do you mean by "no characters", though?
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 01:54:09 pm »

On the game design side of things:

Purity abstracts many familiar FPS concepts.  There are four Attack types, analogous to archetypal weapons found in many shooters.  They're non-modal (available at all times) and there are no resources like ammo to manage.

Extending ideas like rocket/grenade jumping and plasma climbing in Quake, every Attack in Purity is also a movement tool.  Because Purity gleefully abandons all forms of realism, we don't have to worry about things like self damage, fall damage or low air control.  The key word with movement is expressivity - you leave a flowing line and bursts of color when you move.

Game modes just give you different goals to pursue using these core verbs.  There's one analogous to Rocket Arena, where you duel another player, dealing "damage" with your attacks to reach a scorelimit.  Another times your movement (and possibly an opponent's) from a start point to an end point, so it's like trickjumping or speedrunning.

Some early, early screenshots.  I'm focused on getting everything working first, so these are only a hasty, pitiful stab at what the game is intended to look like (see the art inspiration stuff in the previous post):

using the "Trase" attack to hang in midair:


early environment pre-vis:


climbing a wall with splash forces of the "Puls" attack:
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008, 01:57:25 pm »

What do you mean by "no characters", though?

The players aren't represented as humanoid, or bound by realistic human abilities.  The default avatar model I have in right now looks like the Bit from Tron:



I might add some alternate avatars purely for personalization later, but if any were humanoid they'd be more like Bauhaus marionettes than armored space marines - actually, that shot above of the character from 90 Degrees is close.
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2008, 02:31:03 pm »

Well, I like the look of this quite a lot. Can't wait for a downloadable build.

Personalized abstract avatars = A++.

I don't know if it's a deliberate choice, but could you add post dates to the main running column of news?
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2008, 03:40:34 pm »

I've always liked abstract graphical styles, so this looks great. The idea of combining weapons with movement is cool too. Since you don't have to make anything "realistic" you can pretty much play with any game idea you want.

Also: I'm dumb and can't tell from the screenshots, so is this 1st-person or 3rd-person?
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2008, 03:54:38 pm »

I really like where this seems to be headed.

It would also be interesting if you added something like the ability to alter the environment with your actions. I could see those 'trails' being actual physical entities that other players could interact with.

One thing that crosses my mind is a completely empty level, like an infinite platform in nothingness. As the players move and act they create lines and shapes, and the other players interact and build upon those. That could lead to the player using those changes strategically to best their opponent, or remove all competitive variables and leave a couple of player to bounce around in a carefree ballet, making pretty shapes and colors, or self-imposed goals like "lets build a really high tower".

Yeah I like to talk 'artsy' game design too. Tongue
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 04:03:58 pm by Melly » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2008, 04:19:40 pm »

Recently I saw Tron on a Cinerama screen and the sequence of the light cycles was truly awesome to behold. Purity sounds something like that. Only with weapons. And flying.  :D

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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2008, 04:38:25 pm »

Recently I saw Tron on a Cinerama screen and the sequence of the light cycles was truly awesome to behold. Purity sounds something like that. Only with weapons. And flying.  :D



Tron light cycles so look like what he's going for, only what he's going for is a lot more freedom than light cycles allow. But it's kind of in the same vein.
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« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2008, 07:31:34 pm »

so is this 1st-person or 3rd-person?

First person.  Although you can use Q3's cg_thirdPerson cvar to see your little avatar skimming around, and the game is essentially playable like this.
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2008, 08:07:45 pm »

It would also be interesting if you added something like the ability to alter the environment with your actions. I could see those 'trails' being actual physical entities that other players could interact with.

One thing that crosses my mind is a completely empty level, like an infinite platform in nothingness. As the players move and act they create lines and shapes, and the other players interact and build upon those. That could lead to the player using those changes strategically to best their opponent, or remove all competitive variables and leave a couple of player to bounce around in a carefree ballet, making pretty shapes and colors, or self-imposed goals like "lets build a really high tower".

Cool ideas!  Long term, I want to use Purity as a base for exploring all kinds of new game mechanics - the ones that don't work equally well in 2D, at least - and release new game modes or mods (Q3 engine has a good system for this) for the more successful experiments.

Currently the trail code is entirely client side and has no collision, so it'd be a total nightmare to code, but I'd love to try it out sometime.
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2008, 09:35:22 pm »

Recently I saw Tron on a Cinerama screen and the sequence of the light cycles was truly awesome to behold. Purity sounds something like that. Only with weapons. And flying.  :D

That older failed iteration I mentioned earlier, called "Teraverse", was actually much more Tron-like in its visual style, with glowy neon wireframes and chunky pixels.



Gradually I started drifting away from that, for several reasons.  One was simply that more and more games were using that aesthetic, and it was no longer as distinctive as I wanted it to be.  Another was that it implied a fictional justification for game events (hack the viruses to earn megahertz!) that didn't actually improve the game in any way.

Meanwhile I was getting more and more interested in this sort of "analog" feel, explicitly non-digital stuff like torn paper, pencil trails, paint splatters, etc.

This was a brutal hack I did to get movement trails working in the old Unreal runtime:


That pencil effect was the genesis of Purity's art style.  Replacing digital with analog put the game in a more deliberately abstract realm, so it can better foreground the real ideas of the game.
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2008, 10:54:49 pm »

I am fully behind an abstract expressionist game...that was brought up here at some point in one of the art or game ideas threads as well.

That prototype motion trail effect is really cool btw. For what it's worth I think it gets a lot of its tension from the contrast with the grid in the environment.
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2008, 09:48:02 pm »

I don't know if it's a deliberate choice, but could you add post dates to the main running column of news?

Added... supar-minimalist because that's how we roll.


Dev update for tonight: dabbling with the localEntity struct for doing some client-only effects.  Right now the puls bursts actually send events and create new entities server-side, which is horribly inefficient given that they just sit there with a nice shader until they get destroyed.  Doing same for Bom attack bursts, may need to use ray-sphere intersection for the server sim.
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2008, 10:21:13 am »

I don't know if it's a deliberate choice, but could you add post dates to the main running column of news?

Added... supar-minimalist because that's how we roll.


Dev update for tonight: dabbling with the localEntity struct for doing some client-only effects.  Right now the puls bursts actually send events and create new entities server-side, which is horribly inefficient given that they just sit there with a nice shader until they get destroyed.  Doing same for Bom attack bursts, may need to use ray-sphere intersection for the server sim.

I can never understand you fancy game developers.
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« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2008, 10:32:57 am »

I understood half of that, having made Quake 3 maps before.
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« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2008, 11:23:43 am »

Ah, it's cool that you've revealed this, Jeeps.

I've been looking forward to it for a long time, since our design outlooks intersect very heavily.
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« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2008, 03:16:09 pm »

Dev update for tonight: dabbling with the localEntity struct for doing some client-only effects.  Right now the puls bursts actually send events and create new entities server-side, which is horribly inefficient given that they just sit there with a nice shader until they get destroyed.  Doing same for Bom attack bursts, may need to use ray-sphere intersection for the server sim.

I can never understand you fancy game developers.
Development update for tonight: Changed the way shit works so these bitches, which  were creatin' server side hoes, be rollin' locally instead of on the server, which was fuck'n 'tarded cuz' all they do is pop some blanks so they don't even interact with d'other playa's, using up extra dope on the server's part. Shit be loose with the Bom attacks too. Also, JP here be hooking some weird ray-sphere shit up for the server simulation so his ruca can have some fuckin' spheres rendered, I guess?
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real art looks like the mona lisa or a halo poster and is about being old or having your wife die and sometimes the level goes in reverse
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« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2008, 06:59:19 pm »

Development update for tonight: Changed the way shit works so these bitches, which  were creatin' server side hoes, be rollin' locally instead of on the server, which was fuck'n 'tarded cuz' all they do is pop some blanks so they don't even interact with d'other playa's, using up extra dope on the server's part. Shit be loose with the Bom attacks too. Also, JP here be hooking some weird ray-sphere shit up for the server simulation so his ruca can have some fuckin' spheres rendered, I guess?



(Fun Fact: I'm the original author of this image, made it back in 2001 or so, it seems to have propagated somewhat.  It's the number one GIS result for "w3rd"!)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2008, 10:13:16 pm by JP » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2008, 10:11:09 pm »

Common pattern on this project has been: I expect something to be really difficult and scary, then I just dig in and try to figure it out and it ends up done and more easily than I initially thought.

Turns out LocalEntities are exactly the thing to use for the kind of client only FX (that aren't particles or trails) the puls burst uses, so that's now less torturous and inefficient.  As for the ray-sphere checks, the Q3 built-in library has something called CM_TraceThroughSphere which is way better than whatever buggy slow crap I would have coded up.

Hmm.  It's kind of fun devlogging all the little stuff like this, but I suspect it's not adding much value.  Unless people really love hearing about event parameters and bit packing, I'll stick to design-relevant stuff.

up-to-the-moment changelog for the creepily interested:

svn log https://purityq3.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/purityq3 | more

STOP

NO

DON'T CODE IT LIKE THAT

CALL IT FOO INSTEAD

THAT'S ALWAYS HILARIOUS

g'night
« Last Edit: May 21, 2008, 10:25:15 pm by JP » Logged
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