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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingSplatter - Blood Red Edition - Now also Linux & OSX
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Author Topic: Splatter - Blood Red Edition - Now also Linux & OSX  (Read 13814 times)
Schrompf
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« on: March 27, 2012, 06:10:19 AM »


Update: We're on Steam! http://store.steampowered.com/app/281920
And a new trailer:



Update: Splatter is greenlit! This is a weapons grade YEAH situation! We'll be on Steam in mid May 2014 probably, and with new content to boot. Of course the new stuff will also be free for current players.

Update: It's released! You can buy it now for €9,99 at our website http://www.splattergame.net
Also consider voting for us on Steam Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=154177789 We appreciate any support!

Most recent videos:



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKPSAvBp4js

------------------- old stuff ---------------------
Hey there,

I'm not sure if my game thread fits the forum - it's not finished, so it doesn't fit Announcements, but it also doesn't provide a playable demo to test, so technically it doesn't fit here, too. Where to put it?

Splatter is a top-down shooter coming for Windows and maybe more platforms in summer 2012. (Note from today: HAHAHAHAHAHAaaaa. ha.) At least I hope so :-) You are an inhabitant of a post-modern city which suddenly takes a turn for the apocalypse. Walk around the ~20 maps of the main story, shoot many monsters (at the beginning mostly zombies) with 7 upgradable weapons, fight bosses, play rail shooter parts, drive vehicles, meet other survivors, shoot even more monsters. All embedded into a dark-but-ironic story presented in slightly animated stills made from distorted photos.

The special twist in Splatter is the light/shadow system. It's not only about graphics - the realtime shadows give an illusion of depth to the otherwise flat graphics. It also about shaping the battle grounds around you to your advantage. The player can throw bright flares which instill fear in the enemy creatures, but of course those in the shadows wont be affected... so when the monsters are swarming thick around you, even your own shadow grows to be your enemy. I hope the trailer can illustrate what the game is about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4LCfS1pON8

Here are some screens for your consumption. Click to enlarge.


Currently the code base is set up well and mostly done now. Splatter uses a deferred-style renderer with diffuse, normal, specular, offset, height and direct passes, the shadows are done via an image-space technique losely based on Cryteks Radial Blur. Especially the shadowing system works nicely now, providing even sort-of-correct penumbra regions for volume light sources. Example Everything else is mostly complete, too: fits many screen resolutions, adjusts to a wide range of hardware, supports multiple mice and keyboards in addition to all gamepads and joysticks, is fully localized (english and german, currently) and will have spoken text if we find good speakers in both languages.

When the player completed the main story (around three hours of gameplay, I think), there's more to explore. There will be a freeplay mode where you wander through randomly generated surroundings in search for resources to rebuild a village and further upgrade your weapons. There will be various arcade modes with online leaderboards. And Splatter also supports local multiplayer modes - simple deathmatch, undead rugby, a little coop campaign, survival modes, and so on.

If you like what you saw here, please help us by spreading the word. Splatter is present on its own website (http://www.splattergame.net), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SplatterGame) or on GooglePlus (too long to drop here). There will be a playable demo when we're done, and I still hope to add a DLC-kind of method so that the player can buy the game right from inside the game if he liked it.

Thanks for your attention!

Bye, Thomas
« Last Edit: June 02, 2015, 02:22:43 PM by Schrompf » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 11:20:43 AM »

This very much reminds me of an indie game I used to play in the 90's called Tapan Kaikki (http://jwtiedostot.pp.fi/pelit/kuvat__/tapan_kaikki_4_bloodshed.jpg). I absolutely loved the game and therefore am very interested in this one Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 11:37:10 AM »

I love how the light has gameplay value, and is not just there to make it look fancy. Good stuff!
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 01:37:43 PM »

Everything looks very good, except that life bar. It definetely does not fit the rest of the cool graphics.
And it also looks somewhat like a penis pointing down
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 02:30:34 PM »

Thanks for the comments  Gentleman I'd like to use the light even more, for example by placing static or moving light sources that provide cover for those how move along with it. And there are already the worms in the 4th story map which are immune to your weapons. The only thing you can do is to activate stationary lights or throw flares to force a path through them. A few of the weapons you get later in the game do explosive or fire damage, those can kill the worms then.

And you're right: there's a lot of provisional graphics in there, the HUD being the most visible issue. Some of the cutscenes do still sport stick figures that I quickly put together in GIMP. I'm lucky none of this is publically visible, yet  Smiley

I'll probably ask an admin to move this thread to the devlog section.
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 04:09:57 PM »

The youtube video looks pretty cool.  The screenshots, on the other hand .. I didn't like that everything on the ground looked like it had been hit with a cheap Photoshop bevel filter.  You might want to tone that down.

This is an example of what I'm talking about http://www.splattergame.net/wp-content/gallery/screenshots/1.jpg
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« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2012, 02:40:02 AM »

Oops, missed the last comment. Sorry, Udderdude. I know what you mean, and I think it already has been corrected when I switched to gamma correct lighting. This reduced the stark contrast produced by the bump mapping.

A lot has happened in the meanwhile. The website (http://www.splattergame.net) names a few points, plus two new images. But there's a lot more!

- Entered the AMaze indie game contest - many really cool projects there, so I'm not surprised that Splatter didn't achieve a nomination
- Entered the Intel LevelUp Contest - results still pending
- Entered the IndieCade - same

- new graphics. Building parts such as walls, doors, windows, trees, stones, bushes, plants, various new ground types, and much more. Some of them have been bought from shop.pure3d.de - I hope it's ok that I post a link to them, because I think their stuff is pretty good. Still needs a few corrections here and there, though. For the game these models are rendered to Diffuse, Normal, Height using 3DSMax, then I corrected the alpha borders and generated a specular map using GIMP.

- new content: several new maps, one of them being dialogue-only without any shooting. The player can walk around there, talk to people, spot a few secret places, and accept side missions or simply leave to carry on with the main story. I'm not sure if shooter players will actually like this, but I thought it's a nice element to avoid perma-shooting boredom.

- new decision making in cutscenes, now works well with both mouse or gamepad controls, and looks more clearly
- slow start after loading a saved game or pausing
- path finding! It's actually quite tricky in a destroyable environment, for wanderers of varying size, and respecting the fact that usually dozens or even hundreds of people are searching simultaneously. Takes a LOT of shortcuts for easy paths and moves the complicated tasks to separate CPU cores to avoid hitches.
- new collision checks, new GUI renderer, and much more

It looks like this. Click to enlarge. The first image shows the debug output of the path finding.


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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 12:11:10 AM »

Game is looking really nice, looking forward to seeing more.
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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2012, 05:17:49 PM »

I love the detail in the graphics. The lighting system adds a lot. The shooting seems like fun. The atmosphere really complements the action.
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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2012, 09:10:39 AM »

Hey there! Long time no see! When even the forum software itsself is complaining that this topic is too old, I didn't show anything new for far too long. The reasons for this are manifold, but it boils down to two points:

a) I had to do contract work to survive.
b) When I had time for the project, I preferred to code instead of creating and spreading PR material.

So I actually have things to show and tell. And without further ado, here they are. Click for full size.



So what's new? The first thing is obvious: my artist did wonders to the first few levels. This in combination with the new gamma-correct lighting and a subtle SSAO does improve the appearance notably in my opinion. We also reworked the whole "Gore" part and all the other debris so it's a lot more fun now to blast one's way through the levels.

Another new thing is: the main story line is now at approx. 2/3. The new levels contain, for example: little conveyor belt riddles, an electric spirit chasing you around the course, a boss battle with a zombie-controlled harvester which you can drive for yourself afterwards, swarms of fireflies whose light works to your advantage as long as you're careful around them, and so on. I really hope I got enough variance in there to keep things interesting even though it's "just another zombie stick shooter".

The next thing is the bazillion of usability details that I've fixed/added. Sometimes it's as little as adjusting the focus change sequence when browsing the GUI with an XBox controller, sometimes it's a bit of game mechanics like deleting a light source when the tile under it has been destroyed. I personally believe that getting all the million little details straight is an important task, but I'm yet to be approved.

And finally: new sounds. Sounds for all weapons, all monsters, ambient sounds, doors and all the little ingame events. Those quickly add up, too, but luckily I have an expert who takes care of this.

The new images and a few details are also found on www.splattergame.net. If you'd like to get in touch, have a look at the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SplatterGame or GooglePlus (unmemorizable link). Have a nice day!
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2012, 09:13:03 AM »

I like the new screenshots except for the last one, the colored lights are a bit too clashing.  Especially that dark green one.
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 09:35:27 AM »

Good point. Those posts were supposed to be traffic lights, I even coded a complete cycle for them. But it'll probably go unnoticed, and the colour is just too saturated to fit in.
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 09:36:46 AM »

A better idea: It should only cycle between red and yellow, sometimes going off completely.  And make it a bit less saturated.
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« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2012, 03:23:30 AM »

More moving pictures! Yes, Sir... Pictures! And they're moving!  My Word! This time we're showing some of the graphics effects implemented in Splatter. I'm a sucker for computer generated graphics, and I love playing around with todays GPUs, so probably there will be even more later, but currently the main target is gameplay completion.

Enjoy! Preferably in 720p or 1080p.




[edit]Is there a way to embed youtube videos directly into the post? I've tried a few options, but it always shows up as a simple link.
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2012, 06:12:06 AM »

Looks like it's coming together very well.
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2012, 06:47:58 AM »

Looks good. Can't say I'm a big fan of that music, though.
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2012, 05:05:32 AM »

Well... we keep pushing! I find it really sad that you don't like the song in the last trailer... because I really love it, the game's subtitle "just harder times" is inspired by it, and I intend to use it as a credits song. In case the original author ever answers my messages :-(

A lot of cool things happened to us lately! The first thing: we have been contacted by Good Old Games! I was so excited that I jumped around the room for the whole day. Nothing is settled, yet, but the whole fact that *they* contacted *us* is incredible encouraging. So now we need to push even harder! Gotta make this game the coolest thing I've ever made. Well, hello there!

So what's new? We struggled the last few days to put out a new build for IGF2013. In this build another two levels are touched up and polished, which is a good incentive to show pictures of it! Click for larger size!

The village map: sort of a "quest hub" where you can do side missions and dig up a few little secrets on the side. No shooting in this map, in fact you get your weapons taken away at the beginning and only get them back when you decide to leave. We played alot with small light sources to give the map a "Global Illumination" appearance, and I really like the outcome.




The beetle map: a side mission to explore a cave and find the source of the recent beetle invasion. Meet the beetles! They're blind, but react on ground shakes. That means that your fear-inflicting flares won't bother them! But it also means that, if you're walking slowly and don't do noisy things, you can get past them without a single shot!



I implemented the first Arcade game mode: the classic survival mode with "endless waves of enemies" gameplay, but each map has a special feature that you can exploit for better scores. The final score is then transmitted to online leaderboards. I'm currently building a little framework for this, and I intend to publish it as OpenSource. I'm not that experienced in PHP/MySQL, thus I hope the publishing will improve the security and reliability of the framework. In the end I hope to achieve a framework that everyone can use to host her/his own leaderboards. I'll also add code to handle other service providers such as Steam leaderboards, in case I'll get a chance to try it.

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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2013, 02:56:44 AM »

It's probably too late to turn this into a DevLog, as we're getting really close to release now. The story mode is nearly finished now, I'm halve through the last level, then the final boss battle, then the closing cutscene, then voila. How does this sound?

The new trailer shows some bits of all the new stuff, but mainly concentrates on the various game modes of Splatter. I still don't know how to embed youtube videos here, so a plain link has to do.





But there's so much more new stuff that it's hard for me to keep track of it all. Fortunately, I don't need to, because Subversion does this for me, but it makes it hard to name some new things here. I'll try:

New enemies: a phase shifter that is not entirely present in this dimension. Makes *weird* noises and zooms through the player with a transdimensional bow wave. Looks nifty. Or a cyborg, a large walking badass in which I implanted quite some intelligence so that it bombs you out of cover.

New combo system: makes scoring a bit more interesting, animated smoothly.

New HUD: looks good, tweaked for all resolutions, has a "minimal" layout to get four HUDs displayed in parallel for multiplayer, all animated smoothly.

New subtitles, now showing person images to indicate who's talking. Makes all the talking going on throughout the campaign appear more personal.

New Multiplayer game mode: Coop Survival. It's actually fun to stand your ground with friends against ever-growing hordes of enemies.

A thousand fixes and tweaks: well... what to say... it's really a lot.

I wrote more details on the game's website http://www.splattergame.net What else could I write? Don't know, so I'll stop. See you!
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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2013, 06:36:32 AM »

I finished the last Story level! It doesn't look as nice as it should, yet, but it already got some cool gameplay. Now working on the final boss battle, and that's quite a task. I want the battle to be multistage, ideally it should pose different threats to require the player to use all of his different weapons, and of course it should look cool! And all of it in less than a week, preferably, so that I can send out the test version to GOG. Phew... gotta get back to work!

But in the meantime I'd like to show a little new feature: view blockers. A blocker keeps an area black until a trigger deactives it or the player steps into it. Then the area is gradually revealed. I intended to use it for keeping a building's contents secret until the player actually steps into it, to give the player a sense of exploration. It works nice so far, but I'm not really sure if it's actually a Cool Thing (tm).

A little animation, proudly presented by LICEcap, GIMP and a whole fucking hour of deleting and scaling images.



Whenever I record some footage of the game I get the impression that Splatter is just too dark. I never get that impression when playing the game fullscreen, so I'm worrying a bit that maybe I just got too used to it. Well... let's see what the testers say. I'll hand out this game to anyone with a bit of spare time when the final boss and the closing cutscene is done, and then I'll know for sure.
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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2013, 06:40:14 AM »

Whenever I record some footage of the game I get the impression that Splatter is just too dark. I never get that impression when playing the game fullscreen, so I'm worrying a bit that maybe I just got too used to it.

Add gamma option, problem solved.
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