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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Understory (previously "Spectre Shock")
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Author Topic: The Understory (previously "Spectre Shock")  (Read 31624 times)
J. Kyle Pittman
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« on: May 08, 2011, 01:53:59 pm »

I'm gonna try something different here. Taking a cue from the "Release Early, Release Often" methodology, I'm going to document my progress on a new game with actual playable releases. Historically this would've been difficult since I use Direct3D, and in order to guarantee compatibility, I would have had to build an installer for every release.

Since I recently implemented a patching solution, though, I can provide updates at runtime without requiring a fresh install, so long as I don't change D3D versions. My initial goal with this solution was to be able to patch games post-release, but then it occurred to me that I could also push out pre-release updates and get more immediate feedback. So that's what I'm doing, starting right now.

Base Release: Understory_Install_2011-08-04_01-06.exe (4.17 MB)
(Further updates applied automatically at run time.)

« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 10:17:05 am by Pirate Hearts » Logged

J. Kyle Pittman
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2011, 05:20:36 pm »

Saturday, May 14, 8:15 PM:
Finally done with engine improvements and bug fixes and on to making a game. For starters, I've hacked out a quick demo of level geometry generation.

If you've downloaded a previous version, you'll need to reset your controls, which you can do from the options menu or just by deleting your Config\ControlBindings.bnd file.

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Pemanent
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2011, 06:44:44 pm »

Man I just love the look and feel of that. Nice work. Can't wait for some real content!
Best of luck to you!
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2011, 01:19:17 am »

wow digging the look! I thought you had taken pictures of it running on an old CRT for a moment.

I really like the auto/check for updates, it is great and I wish more download-only-games did this during development.  Also very nice that you got the menu in and working this early, very solid.
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J. Kyle Pittman
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2011, 11:02:26 am »

Thanks! I'm trying to reuse as much old tech as possible; a lot of the core menu code goes all the way back to 2008 (though most of the existing functionality is only a few months old), and the CRT simulation is from my ABGIC entry last year, except now I'm rendering 3D geometry to it.
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J. Kyle Pittman
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 10:07:22 pm »

Saturday, May 21, 1:00 AM:
New patch uploaded. Implemented collision. Feels pretty good. Collision/physics has always been a weak point for me, but I think I'm getting better at it.
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J. Kyle Pittman
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2011, 01:08:44 pm »

Sunday, May 22, 4:00 PM:
Added a prototype of a map overlay. Eventually it will fill in as you explore, but for now, it just displays the whole map.

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Inanimate
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2011, 01:29:57 pm »

I am absolutely loving the visual style of this. It's so chunky-good!

What's the idea for the gameplay? All I can imagine is delicious real-time action-RPG dungeon-crawling...
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2011, 02:00:08 pm »

Lovely, this looks amazing. Well done simulation!
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J. Kyle Pittman
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2011, 02:40:19 pm »

What's the idea for the gameplay? All I can imagine is delicious real-time action-RPG dungeon-crawling...

Yep, that's pretty much the plan. Procedurally-generated first-person action-RPG, incorporating whatever elements of rogue-likes and "Shock-likes" (System Shock, Bioshock, etc.) make sense.

I'm interested in finding the right balance between a lo-fi presentation and compelling mechanics. By limiting the screen space to a small virtual resolution (256x192), I can't rely too heavily on text, which means I can't have much narrative.

Ideally, I'd like the moment-to-moment gameplay to be fairly minimal and uninhibited...I want the primary emphasis to be on exploration and combat, so the vast majority of the game should just involve moving and attacking. But under the hood, there should be more complex simulations driving the game experience in ways which are abstracted but not completely hidden, such that they are learnable but don't interfere with the core gameplay or detract from initial accessibility.
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Inanimate
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2011, 02:59:55 pm »

Addicted

GODSPEED, MY GOOD SIR.

I've always loved your games, but you've just forged yourself a permanent place in my heart.
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cullinaire
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2011, 06:23:49 pm »

Pretty awesome look, works perfectly on my machine.
Can't wait to see more.
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J. Kyle Pittman
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 10:56:35 pm »

Monday, May 23, 2:00 AM:
Stubbed out an enemy and weapon sprite. No AI or gameplay yet, the snake just moves in a circle through walls and that's it. Not super happy about the attack animation; it feels a little too "Colin's Bear" to me. But it's better than nothing.

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Oddball
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2011, 01:49:19 am »

I'm a sucker for those quirky retro visuals. I'm guessing as you are using Direct3D there is no chance of a Mac port?
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2011, 01:55:51 am »

Looks fantastic!  I wish there could be a Mac port too...
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J. Kyle Pittman
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2011, 07:31:48 am »

Probably no hope for a Mac port, unfortunately...Windows and D3D are both pretty deeply entrenched in my engine.
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J. Kyle Pittman
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2011, 08:39:02 pm »

Been working on dungeon generation. Pretty simple algorithm, just splits regions along an axis, adds a door somewhere along the edge, and recurses down each side until it can't go any further or decides the room is small enough. Probably going to add some further refinements to make it look a little more irregular, but I'm pretty happy with how this has turned out so far.

Practical in-game example:


Ridiculous huge test case just to see what would happen:
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« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2011, 08:47:33 pm »

The only thing that looks weird is that you can see some huge walls intersecting through everything; other than that, good work! Smiley
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Lizardheim
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« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2011, 02:22:56 am »

Oh man, this is just awesome!
Looking forwards to a more complete version.
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moshboy
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2011, 02:39:30 am »

Looks sweet. That visual style is absolutely awesome.
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