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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsTinyKeep - Escape the Dungeon (Steam release!)
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jgrams
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« Reply #60 on: February 26, 2014, 05:02:00 AM »

Modular Wood

For a while now I've been using a set of modular wooden "scaffolding" pieces to create some of my environments. It's amazing how you can create so many different things from just a simple set of beams, planks and supports.

What else can I do with them?

Hmm...you already have some furniture. How about some bodged up wooden shelves or open face cabinet/closet/wardrobe sort of things? Dunno if you have any little pieces you could put in there; mugs, dishes, maybe some unused (broken?) weapons or armor leaning up in them?

Outhouse seats? If anyone living is working in this dungeon, you need some of those somewhere... Smiley

Maybe even some rough wooden bed frames?

Corn cribs? Smiley

I guess you don't normally see those sorts of things in games, but those are what come to mind when I think of things built out of rough lumber...

--Josh
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« Reply #61 on: February 26, 2014, 05:06:54 AM »

Outhouses? Did you not see the bucket and brown/green slop on the floor there? Just kidding - love the idea and it would be a fun addition to have guards scream in horror as you catch them in the number two act.

Perhaps not corn cribs - though I did have to Google that one, we don't have these in the UK Tongue

Bed frames are another good one, guards need somewhere to sleep!
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« Reply #62 on: February 26, 2014, 06:31:06 AM »

Well, we don't exactly have them in the US anymore either. But yeah, it's probably too wet in the UK to dry corn in a corn crib. Wink

I went outside to work and my mind threw up another couple ideas...

Following up on the food thing, you might have animals brought in and kept somewhere until they could be slaughtered, so you could partition off the end of a room into stalls? Well, maybe not.

But that got me thinking about farm and barn doors and stall gates...those are often built out of rough wood. I think you're not doing doors in your game, but they could be non-moving and permanently swung open (or slid open) and just there as decoration. I took a quick bunch of pictures from around our place: http://www.arestlessmind.org/2014/02/26/

Also you sometimes see rough ladders or steps, and I included one picture of a slanted board thing that I believe was a cow feeder -- they have to twist their heads a little to get them in there, so you put the food on the other side and it keeps them from fighting over it.

And then of course any sort of railing, or a rough stage or dais, or pulpit/lectern sort of things -- old churches/meeting-houses/court-houses often have areas that are cordoned off or raised up and those could be constructed out of wood.

OK, I'm really done now. Smiley I don't know if any of those fit your vision, but maybe they'll spark something for you.

--Josh
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« Reply #63 on: February 26, 2014, 06:36:00 AM »

We do have doors... but only when generating "medium" sized dungeons. They are used to hide certain optional secret areas.



But your pictures are a great reference for future modelling. Thanks for putting in the effort of taking them! Your ideas are certainly sparking some inspiration...
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« Reply #64 on: March 08, 2014, 04:08:54 AM »

A two week update from me today...

Week 26

Back in September last year, a small Indie Games Publishing company from the states sent us an e-mail asking if we would be interested in their services. At the time I wasn't really sure whether to sign up, as I wanted to remain independent. But still we kept in regular contact, after all it is always a good idea to have friends and networks in the industry. Well - after several months of friendly conversation and hard negotiation, I'd like to announce that TinyKeep is now officially signed to Digital Tribe Games, and I couldn't be happier!



Part of the deal with DTG is that they will handle distribution of the game across a variety of platforms and online store fronts. So only a couple of weeks ago the game concept and early demo was pitched to the people at Valve, and I'm pleased to announce that TinyKeep has now been successfully accepted to be sold on Steam!

This as you can imagine, is absolutely huge for us. Steam is undoubtedly the #1 online games purchasing platform, especially for independent titles. We are so so proud of getting over this giant hurdle, and we couldn't have done it without the help of DTG.

I'd also like to announce that we will be showcasing TinyKeep live at Eurogamer's Rezzed Expo 2014 at the Birmingham NEC!



Arguably one of the largest gaming events in the UK with a footfall of over 25,000 attendees, this is going to be an absolutely massive chance for us to showcase TinyKeep to the wider public and gaming media. We are so proud, honoured and humbled to be shown amongst the likes of Alien Isolation, Broforce, Fez, Hotline Miami 2, Octodad, Prison Architect, Worms Battlegrounds and many others, not to mention the fantastic games in the Leftfield Collection.

The event is spanning across the entire weekend of March 28th (Friday) to 30th (Sunday). Tickets are quickly running out, so if you are in the UK and are interested in PC, console and Indie games, I strongly urge you to take a look. If you are already coming to the event, make sure you stop by our stall and say hi!

Week 27

Last week I spent mostly getting all the features ready for Rezzed this month. Yesterday morning I implemented a new feature: Spike Traps!

Luring Skeletons into spikes made me laugh so I thought I'd make a little looping GIF out of it, ready for today's Screenshot Saturday Smiley



Also a couple of promotional screenshots I put together last week:





Next thing on the list - prison guards, and a mechanic that lets the player release some crazed prisoner NPCs...
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« Reply #65 on: March 14, 2014, 07:30:31 PM »

Week 28

Argh, under 2 weeks to go until Rezzed!

Most of this week I spent completely rewriting the AI system for the monsters, replacing the test spaghetti code with a proper behaviour tree implementation that I had lying around from last year's prototype. I couldn't afford the Behave plugin, so I used my own code instead.

Most behaviour tree libraries for Unity include some sort of graphical node editor. However I figured since it's actually a tree and not a graph, it would be fine to just use the scene hierarchy instead.



You can see it's still pretty easy to create new behaviour nodes and edit their parameters in the Inspector View. The beauty of behaviour trees is reusability of nodes, and also it is a lot easier to see how each behaviour is dependent on others. To share data between nodes and iterations, I'm using a simple blackboard system. Pretty much just a key value store, one per monster. Some behaviours allow monsters to look up other blackboards as well. With this system I should be able to start fleshing out some pretty complex monsters. The above screen shows a really small part of the Skeleton behaviour, the bit that makes it chase the player around the dungeon.

Most of TinyKeep is based on reactive AI - so for chasing, monsters can take advantage of player breadcrumbs instead of pathfinding. Steering behaviour is also used to avoid walls, strafe around corners and that sort of thing. However, for other behaviours such as patrolling and fleeing, I really needed some sort of rudimentary pathfinding system. Unity does come with a really nice navigational mesh feature, unfortunately this is unavailable to me as I am using procedurally generated content. Unless I'm seriously mistaken, Unity NavMeshes must be baked at editor time. So I spent most of today adding dynamic waypoints to the generated dungeon for use with A*.





Calls to the A* pathfinding system occurs very rarely, normally only when the monster has nothing to chase or follow. An average mob probably executes pathfinding once every 5 seconds or so. Used in conjunction with the breadcrumbs, steering behaviours and the decisions made by the behaviour tree - it's turning out to be quite a nice little system to play with.

We shall see next week what happens with the mobs now!
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« Reply #66 on: March 15, 2014, 09:48:25 AM »

Some more images showing the entire procedural dungeon with the waypoint graph applied:





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« Reply #67 on: March 22, 2014, 06:58:42 AM »

Week 29

Too busy getting the build ready for Rezzed next week so I'll just leave this here! Anyone coming to any of these? Come by our stall if so!


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« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2014, 05:06:52 PM »

Quick Screenshot Saturday, the player is about to get absolutely punctured

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« Reply #69 on: March 26, 2014, 09:52:29 AM »

I see we're both going to be in the Indie Zone at Insomnia next month  Gentleman
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« Reply #70 on: March 26, 2014, 09:56:05 AM »

Awesome congrast Smiley
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« Reply #71 on: April 07, 2014, 07:40:56 AM »

Week 30 - Rezzed!!!!

Week 31 - Rest, relaxation and recovering from Rezzed Smiley


It's been about a week since I've come back from the EGX Rezzed Expo and I still feel like I'm recovering from both the excitement and the ordeal of it all! Today I've finally had a chance to sit down and write a proper long overdue update on how it all went.

TinyKeep at Rezzed!

Rezzed was absolutely amazing - it was the first time I've ever been to a gaming event as a consumer let alone exhibiting our own games. As you can imagine I was extremely nervous but the demo had a great reception and it turned out that TinyKeep was especially good for spectators - people seemed to love watching the game being played. I think it was something to do with the camera angles, the many ways to die, and the excitement and tension of the waves of skeleton hordes.

Myself, Ben and Jey attended the entire weekend - and Will our composer made a special appearance on the Saturday.



I ran a simple competition over the 3 days of the event: the first person to complete the demo unscathed was awarded with free drinks for the entire weekend and a chance to meet other game developers at the after parties, and the 5 runners up would get official TinyKeep mugs. As you can imagine, the competition attracted a lot of press and attention - after all who doesn't like free stuff? To make it especially challenging, we took a prototype of the first level and ramped up the difficulty to insane. Out of the 210 attempts to beat the level, only 16 managed to walk free.



I've posted some videos on our YouTube channel showing some of the latest gameplay footage and the reactions of some of the people who played the game at the expo.





Skeleton invasion:





Alex Rose, Ludum Dare Innovation Winner and developer of Super Rude Bear Resurrection tries TinyKeep for the first time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BI4CHxY1kXA

Alex Johansson, developer of the indie title Narcissus struggles with some seriously bad luck:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTYq4AZPqcg

Connor Doran gives us his thoughts about the game and the AI:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqK0rN5Fh4I

A few other highlights:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySrvuxVMJ44

Here's a great article by the guys at TPReview on their first impressions of the game at the event:

http://www.tpreview.co.uk/blog/2014/04/06/tiny-keep-hands-on-preview/
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« Reply #72 on: April 08, 2014, 01:47:12 AM »

Just sent the first alpha build out to all our pre-orderers/backers. Nervous but excited for all the feedback!
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« Reply #73 on: April 16, 2014, 03:42:10 AM »

Week 32

Last week I've been mainly prepping for Update, a brand new gaming event showcasing the best of indie titles from the North West of the UK. I'd like to give thanks to Andrew Bennison (our host) and his team at Prospect Games for putting on an amazing event. So many great talks and games to play, very much looking forward to the next one!

Apart from that, I've also been working on a new game mechanic that will help dispatch multiple enemies at once...



With this basic system in place, we're starting to think about letting the player set fire to crates, barrels, bombs, fire swords, fire breathing (?) - you didn't think there was only one way to kill the horde did you? We're not THAT cruel.
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« Reply #74 on: May 08, 2014, 01:41:35 AM »

Week 33

What an absolutely crazy month it's been for myself and the team. Most of March and April was spent on crunching an ungodly amount of man hours getting the build ready for the three big events that we attended: EGX Rezzed, Update and Insomnia 51. But now it's time to settle down and get back into the full swing of development again - there's a huge amount of content still left to add in the next four months.

Insomnia

Multiplay's Insomnia Gaming Festival was a blast, very different to the consumer focused Rezzed as it was more about playing games and having fun rather than selling and announcing stuff. We managed to set up two machines this time and actually got over three hundred people to play the demo. As usual we gave out some of our lovely Kickstarter mugs to those determined punters who actually managed to beat the first level!





I also managed to get the guys running the event to let me have 15 minutes or so on the Expo stage showing off and explaining the game on the big screen. Hopefully a few people managed to steal themselves away from all the Minecraft stuff and catch a glimpse of TinyKeep in action!



Roguelike?

Since the slight shift of focus towards more roguelike/permadeath gameplay elements I've so far been getting mostly positive feedback from the pre-alpha and pre-order testers, gaming press and from people attending the live events. However there have been a handful of people who have messaged me their concerns, in particular the level of difficulty in the current build and also whether I'd still be including more relaxed modes of gameplay focusing on character progression. The following are a list of points I had to make to my Kickstarter backers to clarify a number of things:

- The extreme level of difficulty for the current pre-alpha version was intentional as it was part of a live challenge we set up for the events we attended in April. However, the full version of the game will include a tutorial and a much gentler difficulty curve to ease you into the experience. As with most games of this genre, completing the game will still require a lot of practice but we definitely do not want to drop the player into the deep end right at the very beginning!

- Someone asked me if I could include a more "relaxed" mode that would allow the player to explore the dungeon at a more sedate pace. While the current build obviously does not represent what the game will eventually feel like, I will still be adding a sandbox/practice mode to allow the player to choose the dungeon seed as well as set a number of environment and monster spawning parameters. So you will be able to set up a custom scenario to best match your playing styles.

- Procedurally generated swords from this old post - yep this is still planned!

- Character progression and inventory. Okay, this one is a biggie. Traditional roguelikes of course focus on permadeath, which means if you die you lose everything, and I understand why this would be a major concern for some of our backers. However with TinyKeep we have always wanted to blur the lines between roguelikes and RPGs. So we will be including a few elements of permanence in the form of unlocking legendary swords (see the procedurally generated swords post above). I don't want to give too much away at this point as it is basically our unique selling point that Ben and I have been discussing for years, but essentially you'll be able to save some of your items from the inventory between games, even between roguelike and sandbox/practice modes. It's a solution that I hope will strike a balance between tense permadeath and classic RPG progression, without including any elements of tedious grinding. I know it's a little vague right now but I ask you all to please trust us in our vision to make TinyKeep different from the so many other similar themed games out there!

That's it for now! Time to get my head down and continue working on the game...

Week 34-35

Not much to report - lots of code refactoring and resting/recovering from the expos. Also Ludum Dare 29. Next week, tutorial levels!
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« Reply #75 on: May 08, 2014, 07:34:43 AM »

Apart from that, I've also been working on a new game mechanic that will help dispatch multiple enemies at once...



With this basic system in place, we're starting to think about letting the player set fire to crates, barrels, bombs, fire swords, fire breathing (?) - you didn't think there was only one way to kill the horde did you? We're not THAT cruel.

Looking forward to this, it's great when games let you use the environment to your advantage.
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« Reply #76 on: June 02, 2014, 01:56:51 AM »

Hey guys, sorry I've been pretty bad at keeping this damn DevLog up to date. Last week I safely arrived back from Sweden where I attended the Nordic Game Conference to do a talk on dungeon generation in Unity. This officially marks the end of the live events that I'll be doing this year, at least until EGX London where we will finally launch the TinyKeep for real. Hopefully this means I'll be able to keep up with this now that I'm back to full swing development.

Week 36-37, Ludum Dare 29
I took a couple of weeks off from TinyKeep to focus on the 72hour Ludum Dare and it's subsequent promotion. After the couple of weeks judging we managed to nab joint 21st place in the Jam, out of over a thousand other entries. I won't go into any detail here, but we're pretty pleased with the result and Luke (our lead dev) is considering turning it into a fully fledged commercial project. We shall see what happens...


Post mortem: http://phidinh.com/content-sublevelzero.html

Week 38, Nordic Game Conference
Highlights were hanging with Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone, Volume), Peter Pashley (Monument Valley), Sylvain Cornillon (Surgeon Simulator) for the whole week while shitting bricks for my procedural generation talk. I also got to briefly meet David Braben the legend himself. My talk will be online soon so I'll post up more details of the event when that is ready.

Week 39, planning
Most of last week was spent planning the 5 or so different environments (prison, overgrown, hell, labyrinth and lair, sorry cryptic I know!) which I will begin implementing all of June. So expect some lovely screenshots to come over the next few weeks! I have also been working on the tutorial which I felt was needed after watching a few people struggle with the controls over the duration of the live events.

TONIGHT (2nd June 2014)
IndieDB have handpicked 4 games to stream tonight on their regular Monday Night Indie sessions and TinyKeep is going to be one of them! Pop by on Twitch at 8pm PST (4am GMT) to see the game being played live by IndieDB/Desura staff. I'll be joining to answer any questions live as well!




Link: http://www.indiedb.com/features/monday-night-indie-kickoff
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« Reply #77 on: June 05, 2014, 10:14:45 PM »

Week 40

Rediscovering the magic of gifs. Activating the skeleton invasion in TinyKeep:



And some more here: http://tinykeep.tumblr.com/post/87972179119/so-ive-rediscovered-the-magic-of-animated-gifs
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« Reply #78 on: June 15, 2014, 02:13:35 AM »

Week 41

Another week has passed and I was supposed to have got the overgrown/jungle/ruin area done but instead I ended up finishing some prison area stuff in time for Radius Festival next week.














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« Reply #79 on: June 15, 2014, 05:23:17 AM »

This looks great. Better and better every time I wander in.
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