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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsYear 2112
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thersus
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« on: January 20, 2013, 06:42:56 PM »

Update 03/02/13 - Video! (see post below for more details)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8ui7ZIlVa4

Hello people!

I am here to show my project that is currently on early development, with focus on conceptual design an little prototype programming. I am making it all by myself on spare time, so it may evolute slowly, but better than nothing!

Year 2112 is an sci-fi game that is inspired by some songs by the band Rush and other progressive rock bands, which often presents themes like interplanetary voyages, conflicts among separate forces, and so on. This game will not be a direct translation of the song 2112 or any other song, but expect light references from these songs -the story is going to be short, with some player motivation and some events, with world and characters primarily based on said musics. I want to make a narrative that is very simple, so I can work well on details. Also, I don't want to interrupt the game flow with storytelling if it is not strictly necessary, so an intro, an ending and collectible story material gained in game and accessible through menus is probably all this game would need.

The game itself will be some mix of run and jump games, like Canabalt, with horizontal shooters, like Gradius, with crawling and looting action games, lke Borderlands, with... photography!?!?
Well, I don't think this explains much, so I'll go into details:

The gameplay will change between running and flying - when the character, called Yunji, is on ground, she's on a stealth state where many enemies have difficulties seeing her, so she may go around unnoticed. When running, she has a limited set of actions, like jumping, photographing, and melee attacking close enemies she passes by. Of course, some actions like attacking my show her position to enemies.
After jumping, Yunji can start her jetpack and start flying around. This usually ends her stealth, but allows her hack and slash freely, moving around the entire screen and shooting her weapons. When the player stops controlling the flying Yunji, she will enter a short moment of stability on air, and then will fall back to the running state.

To enhance the character's abilities, there will be to main things, common in the RPG world - items and skills.
My item system is going to be simple: there are some equipment that can be changed, like shields or weapons, some fixed equipments that can be only tweaked or upgraded, and there are parts that can be used to assemble new items. The main difference here is how the items are obtained - the best ones will be available by assembly, and to make these items you'll need some kind of blueprint that tells you how to make them. And how can you acquire these blueprints? Well, just find an enemy who has this item and photograph it to see how the item was made. Why is it like this? Because I think we need more photography in games lol.

My skill system is based on the common skill trees, which everyone knows from a myriad of commercial and independent games out there. But, in my case, instead of 3 separate trees, I have 4, forming a circle, so every two holds a set of shared skills. I'm calling this the Skill Circle (very creative name, don't you think?). Most of the skills have to be unlocked using the classical points gained on level up, but then, they are upgrade by use - the more you use this skill, the better it gets.
The four sides of the Skill Circle holds the main skill categories for Yunji, each with subcategories: North is Mobility, with skills that define both how well she flies (maneuvering) and how well she acts on stealth; West is Combat, with enhancements for gunfire, melee fight and elemental attributes; South is Body, which manages the character's weaponry and gear (which ones can she use, at which level, how effective they are, and so on); the last side, the East, is the Expertise, where skills define Yunji's training in photography, engineering (creating and upgrading items) and hacking (affecting and changing things in environment).
The Skill Circle is definitely the thing I am mostly working on, and it will change a lot, specially with feedback from people here (when I work a little more on it and share the details). The most important things here, for me, is make the circle well balanced, without dominating builds that make all others useless, and giving the player different play styles - I will only be happy if the game is balanced enough to give the possibility to a player to have fun using only flying, only stealth, great photography skills with poor combat, and other crazy builds like that.

Another thing I am working on is the world traversing (not ure how I should call this) - the way the stages go one after another, and how they will be connected and inserted in a world. I'm trying to give the stages a feel of metroidvania and dungeoncrawlers, with both the chance to explore the world through forking paths, and the good old randomly generated lands to wander on. This is something that I'll probably post separately later, but yes, I have thought on ways of doing that in a game where you constantly move forward :D

Well, for each one of these "features" I described, I'll probably spend a lot of time trying to make things integrate better and smoother, for a nice gaming experience. I don't want it to be the best game ever, don't want to become rich with it, I just want to take some crazy ideas out of my mind and turn them to something concrete the best possible way :D

I started making a prototype in Cocos2d-x HTML5, but then I noticed it was very slow on mobile devices, so I ported it to the C++ version of the engine. If you want to play with it, click here, but remember, it is very early in development, so many of the mechanics aren't implemented, and graphics are all Megaman placeholders xD - controls are classic WASD, to start flying just "double jump" with W. Plus, you can use the javascript console and play with everything you can find in the GameManager variable.

Thank you, I will try to keep everything up to date here! Would love to see some feedback too :D
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 05:08:02 AM by thersus » Logged

eigenbom
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2013, 09:51:44 PM »

good luck, canabalt meets gradius sounds fun. Smiley
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thersus
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 08:08:09 PM »

Hey, thanks!

Development (or should I say design?) has been slow, but steady.
To help myself visualizing how the skills will work (and I'll do this for items and stuff like that too), I've been prototyping things with paper made cards and tiles - it turns out to be faster and more entertaining to do than with computers.
This time I'm posting some pics of my mess so you can see how I do my things (even though you will not understand what everything here means) :D
I also did find a notebook with a grid layout, so I can sketch some world/maps metroidvania style  Grin


« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 10:49:35 PM by thersus » Logged

thersus
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2013, 08:53:07 PM »

Hello again!

As I may have said before, I am slowly developing this, but it doesn't mean things have stopped. Last week I decided to buy Game Maker Studio Professional, because coding everything using cocos2d is too much of a time leecher, and for the type of game I want, this tool is powerfull enough - and it runs on both pcs and mobile, which was one of my main goals.

In this video below, you can see what I did in the last week - less with conceptual designs, more with practical development. I ported the little things I already had in C++, and added some stuff. Here you can see (in a smaller resolution and chopped fps) how the main gameplay goes - changing from on foot action to flying. That purple bar is the "Stealth Area", flying under that will allow the player to keep on the stealth state. When the stealth state ends, either by flying above the area or crashing boxes (making noises), enemies enter in an alert mode, shooting at you and spawning in groups.

I think my next steps are try to make better enemy behaviors, and make my own graphics to the game... For now, things look very bland, and the stealth doesn't make much sense (you can just fly and kill everyone), but as the game takes shape, things will make more sense, gameplay wise at least.

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thersus
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2013, 10:48:13 PM »

Just a gif to show the feature I added today: photo taking. You have limited storage of photos, but everytime you take a new pic, the oldest one is deleted, so you can keep photographing at will.
There are a lot of things to polish, but it works visually - I still need to implement the real feature of the game, which is to get things from the enemies and objects photographed.
On the Android, the photo is taken using a pinch gesture.

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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2013, 11:07:34 PM »

Just a gif to show the feature I added today: photo taking. You have limited storage of photos, but everytime you take a new pic, the oldest one is deleted, so you can keep photographing at will.
There are a lot of things to polish, but it works visually - I still need to implement the real feature of the game, which is to get things from the enemies and objects photographed.
On the Android, the photo is taken using a pinch gesture.
Just don't try to pull the data from the actual image itself, that'd be silly.
I'd assume you'd save the data of entities inside of it when the photo is taken.
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thersus
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2013, 11:14:05 PM »

Haha of course, I am not that crazy!
 There will be two things - the image capture, which is just to show something to the player(but is useless to the game mechanics), and some data structure holding the references to objects that were on the area captured. Every once in a while, the player will be able to "analyze" the photos she stored, which will be like calculating the enemy drops late.
Also, I plan to use the photography in things like damaging all the enemies captured, bullet canceling, and so on.
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2013, 10:40:10 PM »

Hello you all!

Last two weeks have been more conceptual - after I did the photography mechanics and started working on the slow motion for some skills, I took a break to think about the world system and the weapon system.

For the weapons, I think I'll go with a mix of Borderlands with God Eater Burst: the Borderlands influnce is on the weapon itself, which is an assembly of many parts, each one contaning attributes and modifiers that alter the overall effect of the weapon; the GEB influence is on the bullets. For those who didn't play GEB, it has a bullet system were you can build the behaviour of the bullets linking conditions, effects and things like that. I will use a similar philosophy to build the bullets for the game, but will keep the system closed, so players will not actually make their own bullets.

And for the world system, I want to give the player some sort of exploration feel, but it is a little hard to think of this kind of freedom, given that the main aspect of the game is beeing constantly on the move forward. So I thought of borrowing the map system from Odin Sphere, where each "room" is looped, so if you keep running forward, eventually you will come back to where you started. The world will be generated semi-randomly.

I made some mockups to show how I imagine that. First, one showing just the current room on the corner of the screen:



And another with an example map:



Here, each circle is a "room", in which you constantly moves clockwise as the character walks forward. The bigger the circle, the longer you have to walk to complete the loop. The room filled in light blue is the room where the player currently is, and the little blue ball shows where in the room he is. The purple balls are connections to the other rooms, which will be something that appears on the scene and the player has to collide to "enter", like a portal or something.
The links with a triangle on the other side are one way paths, and the colored locks are paths that can only be opened when a key of the same color is found. The green K on the map is the green key, the yellow key is not present because it would be further in the game.
The S room is the starting room, the B is a boss, the T is a teleport (like those on Castlevania), the $ is a shop, and the Cs are checkpoints (where the player can restore full health, analyze the photos taken, and do some other things). The checkpoints are going to be some kind of save room, where you save some of the itens you found, but will not be a character save because the game is most likely going to have permadeath.

Well, that's it for now... Would love to hear some feedback, as it is hard to know you you're doing well or not without people telling if your projects are good or bad. Thank you!  Coffee
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