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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSomewhere - an exploration game set in a surreal colonial India.
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Author Topic: Somewhere - an exploration game set in a surreal colonial India.  (Read 19385 times)
Kyzrati
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2014, 01:04:01 AM »

It's been said already, but never hurts to hear it again: Nice style! My first reaction on seeing the initial screenshots was to want to explore the world more, so you've got that going for you. Obviously will need a lot more content to make it more worth exploring aside from the visuals alone, but you're working on that part Wink
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oleomingus
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« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2014, 02:18:26 PM »

# update one and a half


the image below links to a video on our tumblr, demonstrating modifications made to the sneak mode.



A bulk of our recent work has centered around the design and implementation of an interface to the sneak mode. An interface that does not detract from the first person experience, while providing the stream of
ancillary data that a stealth game requires.







we did contemplate, not articulating, the awareness state of the character being sneaked upon. or at least
not overtly suggesting the same. But the foggy condition when a player is uncertain about detection,
made sneaking rather imprecise.





This distinction in character states is, at the moment, rather simply crafted. 
The characters go from detecting the player’s presence. to being suspicious ( and therefore more alert )
and finally being unaware of the player’s presence ( when the character commences walking around )

over subsequent builds we will add, greater complexity to the ai, making sneak harder, with variations
in the character’s behavior during each state.

for example, upon becoming suspicious a character’s range of vision will be extended, and the character will become susceptible to the slightest noise. moreover once detected a character will permanently be aware of your presence in that environment, unless some dialogue convinces the character otherwise.

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oleomingus
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« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2014, 02:43:40 PM »

It's been said already, but never hurts to hear it again: Nice style! My first reaction on seeing the initial screenshots was to want to explore the world more, so you've got that going for you. Obviously will need a lot more content to make it more worth exploring aside from the visuals alone, but you're working on that part Wink
Thank you ! I am glad you like the Gameworld so far.

We are working on a robust narrative framework to build the game upon, and given that Somewhere is primarily an experiment in alternate structures of storytelling in videogames, the storytelling within game will be a predominant component.
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gambrinous
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« Reply #23 on: January 19, 2014, 02:11:51 AM »

Really interesting & arresting style, particularly the use of colour.  Beer!
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oleomingus
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« Reply #24 on: January 19, 2014, 10:52:06 AM »


Quote
Really interesting & arresting style, particularly the use of colour.

Thank you ! gambrinous.
we really went back and forth with the colors. especially for the second environment.














and this is what we now have in the game !



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« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2014, 04:58:02 PM »

Wow. The latest screenshots are what would have resulted if Salvador Dali had heard about procedural rendering.

The universe is absolutely mesmerizing, really pulling you to other frontiers, borders and dimensions. The only thing I find a bit disappointing is the placeholder name but despite this it's a big large quadratic +1 overall.
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« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2014, 05:51:19 PM »


The universe is absolutely mesmerizing, really pulling you to other frontiers, borders and dimensions. The only thing I find a bit disappointing is the placeholder name but despite this it's a big large quadratic +1 overall.

Thank you so much ! really appreciate the kind words.

were you referring to the placeholder name for this build, loopGaloop ? or Somewhere itself ?  Give what the game has developed into, you are quiet right, 'Somewhere' is an almost trivial moniker, but we have been associated with the name for so long now, that changing it at this stage might simply prove cumbersome !
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« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2014, 06:18:41 PM »

I'm in love with the aesthetic myself.  Looking forward to where you take this, and the significance of those giant old timey phones.
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oleomingus
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« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2014, 09:20:17 AM »

I'm in love with the aesthetic myself.  Looking forward to where you take this, and the significance of those giant old timey phones.

Thank you, really glad that you like the art. and those phones do hold some rather bizarre significance  !
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« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2014, 09:35:13 AM »


# Releasing playable build for Somewhere !






fictions, is the first build from Somewhere.
It is auxiliary to the main game, and is in-itself a complete story.


It is also a build, created to test our first draft of the game mechanics.
So we have deliberately curtailed the storytelling and interaction to a linear form (for now).



If everything works as it ought to, we will, over subsequent builds, make several additions to stealth,
and create a Gameworld where you can go bonkers with the character flip !



This build contains numerous allusions to the story, “The Approach to Al-Mu’Tasim” by Luis Borges.
this story can be found in a collection called  Fictions.

Borge’s story is an examination of a fictional book called ” Approach to Al-Mu’Tasim “,
This fictional book was written in Bombay by an imaginary author called Mir Bahadur Ali,
and features an unnamed protagonist who travels through India
in search of a mythical man called Al-Mu’Tasim.

I do recommend that you read it for yourself !



The game uses a standard fps control set : W A S D movement and Space to jump.
There are also additional controls, which are explained as part of a brief tutorial
at the very beaning of the game. - Do go through the tutorial ! -

Included in the build folder is a text document, with a script for the game's dialogues.
If you need help following the narrative, or would like to revisit the same - the script should help.

Also our work on this game has turned us into avid entomologists.
so if you find any bugs lurking in our build somewhere, do let us know !




If you like the game, do help us spread the word !
we would like as many people as possible playing, discussing and critiquing our work.

trailer




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oleomingus
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« Reply #30 on: March 07, 2014, 06:30:06 PM »

# update two





Some very early screens from, color and space experiments, for the new environment.
(for now these are only skeletal volume blocks, without detail )


With this second build, we are prototyping a hypothesis of storytelling, that relies on the distinction between
narration and enactment of a story. Our game worlds are theatrical sets, and we are experimenting with
turning the actors into audiences.




Traditionally stealth games, exist within hostile game worlds, The omniscience of dread, especially in games
meticulously crafted, is very real. In these worlds breaking stealth, often results in violent repercussions.

Game worlds are therefore designed to both reflect this hostility and allow the player to function within it using
a combination of entropic and redundant spaces or in more physical terms, hiding and open spaces.

Distinction of this sort defines clearly, the manner of interaction a player might expect within a particular space.
This predictability makes the hostility of the rest of the game world solvable. For example :
out in the open space the unpredictability of detection is countered by the safety of your vantage point which
allows you to study guard movement patterns.

Creating an environment with a deliberate distinction of spaces, places structural restriction on storytelling.
Spaces here, cannot be inhabited, but have to be navigated. A hiding space is bereft of other characters,
and therefore cannot be used to further stories, while the open space is now hostile !





The architecture isolates the player from people who populate the game world. And the more comfortable a
player becomes in navigating this system of spaces, the more they alienate themselves from ‘people’ who create
and populate the rest of the game world.

For example : the supernatural abilities in Dishonored, or your propensity to crawl through vents in DeusEx
or even simply the ability to crouch in every stealth game, which sets the player apart from other characters.

This distinction of the player character is beneficial to most videogame storytelling. Because most videogame
stories are a ‘hero’s journey’ - the story of a singular person, or at least a tightly knit group of people.








We understand, the advantage of identifying with a singular character. Continuously allowing the player to
distinguish themselves from other people and funneling player agency through the interface of a
sympathetic person with the game, works wonderfully when used in tandem with clearly defined architectural space.

But if you open up the game world, and attempt the narration of a different form of story, then the construction
fails. It is not a construction conducive to telling stories about multiple people, without isolating someone.
It is also a construct that fails without there being narrative repercussions to breaking your role as the character.

So why would we try and narrate a nuanced communal story within a stealth game ?

Our game world is not hostile. In a story tightly knit, a violent repercussion of the slightest form would
reverberate throughout the game, affecting all it’s characters. And in a game where the player can become
every character in the game world, it is a repercussion that we simply cannot sustain !

So again, why would we try and narrate such a story in a stealth game ?

Because for us, Stealth is a way to drag the player into our game world.
Not the player as a particular character, but the player in person. You.

The player can become anybody in the game world. And as that character the player can interact with people,
and navigate the game world with rectitude.

But with any person that you inhabit, you can ‘Sneak’. You can crouch and enter stealth mode, where you can proceed to
enter peoples personal spaces, overhear conversations, lock doors and peek into windows.

Stealth allows you to perform a small set of peculiar activities which ( as the player ) allow an insidious intrusion
into portions of the game world and people’s lives. Access that your character would otherwise not have.

And then upon being detected it is not the player who is endangered through violence, it is the character that
the player inhabits who is endangered through social exclusion.  Because when the other people see you
sneaking and skulking, they recognise you as the character you inhabit - a fellow actor, and they find your
behavior odd. Never realizing that you are also the audience, and that you can just as easily
become another actor and continue the charade.





Our game world is not hostile and our spaces are not traversal binaries. We are trying to create a small but
detailed set of inbetween spaces, courtyards, and passages or alcoves that can be opened into walkways or
closed into rooms.

Spaces where a person might hide and interact at the same time. Where the character that the player embodies
does not distinguish oneself from others, and where sometimes, and in secret, you can enter the world and
unravel the story.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 06:44:56 PM by oleomingus » Logged

 
oleomingus
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« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2014, 01:07:49 PM »



# update two point one







Work in progress. Exploring geometric details with a quick lightmap, and some hastily crafted textures.









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oleomingus
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« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2014, 04:30:33 AM »


# update two point two



Some in process screenshots demonstrating the construction of a portion of the environment.
Both from within Unity and Sketchup.





















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TobiasW
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« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2014, 05:45:57 PM »

Everything about this is absolutely and utterly fantastic. I wish I had time to play your build now - but since I haven't, it'll have to wait for one of the next days. Hopefully tomorrow. Brace for feedback.

there are stranger places than this room,
and this room is not a strangers place,
I leave for places stranger still
though strange enough I find this space.
Kiss
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ARRD-ART
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« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2014, 05:50:56 PM »

Looks great! Those guys look like they'd be very hospitable.
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« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2014, 09:48:18 PM »


Thank you @TobiasW ,Yes that quote is one of the more interesting portions of dialogue from our first build. We are glad you like the game !

I am really looking forward to your feedback, once you have had a chance to play the build.
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oleomingus
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« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2014, 10:04:15 PM »

@ARRD-ART  Thank you !

We are well on our way towards building the second pre-alpha. Where we explore a more complex version of
conversation systems, and the stealth is made more intricate. It will also be a longer build, both in terms of scale of explorable environment and dialogue.






« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 01:26:25 AM by oleomingus » Logged

 
oleomingus
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« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2014, 11:50:28 AM »

# update two point three

A bunch of quick screens, articulating some strange additions to the environment.
Still very much a work in progress of course.















Feedback of any kind is much appreciated !
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« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2014, 02:39:53 PM »

You guys are back! Astounding architecture and level design.  Tears of Joy
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TobiasW
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« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2014, 08:43:29 PM »

Hey oleomingus! I finally got around to playing your game. And since nobody here commented on the build at all (and that's a damn shame), I thought I'd try to make amends for that by giving you

. Sorry if I sound a little emotionsless and tightlipped, I'm tired - and playing and reading and talking at the same time is surprisingly hard, haha. Not sure if the video is any good, it's my first time doing that. Maybe it's useful for you. Maybe a little. Anyway... Giggle

I liked the game a lot, even if that's not coming across in my audio commentary! A short self-contained story featuring it's own author AND how the story came to be? Clever. I mean, your descriptions kind of prepared me for it, but "experiencing" it is a different beast. The architecture is strange and intriguing (albeit at places a little bit too minimalistic for my taste) and the dialogue is lovely. Will there be choices later on? And it's such a pity there likely won't be any voiceover, this being no-budget indie and all.

(And I just checked out your release notes. If I still had the microphone on, you'd hear more laughter :D)

I'm looking forward to the next prototype!
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