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dez
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« on: July 13, 2014, 07:39:04 PM »


Hi all  Smiley

I thought I will start a dev log and announce a game I have been working on: OBEY

We've all played games where you send commands to groups of AI units or team mates.  
In OBEY you are instead positioned to command your enemies (human opponents).  
Players are always free to obey/disobey.
It is up to players to deal with the consequences of their own actions in the game.

Think of OBEY like an RTS… except your units are the other players… and they are all untrustworthy scumbags who will stab you in the back first chance they get.




To win, make more money than any one else by the end of the round.
To make the most money, take command of the giant robot (the robot player makes 10x more than the other players per second)
You take control of it by walking into a door at the base of the robot.
The player in the robot can easily destroy any player he sees trying to approach (IF he sees them).
That's the basics - so superficially, it plays like 'king of the hill'.

However, experienced robot players know that it is not always in their interest to simply kill the approaching players.
Why not? Because he can instead coerce them to do what he wants.
and that's where the game gets interesting...


>>OBEY EARLY ACCESS is now Available via Humble Store! & Steam <<
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 09:59:13 PM by dez » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 07:39:22 PM »

The first screens!







(player model is  a placeholder)


« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 08:47:32 AM by dez » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2014, 03:58:22 AM »

That monkey robot behemoth is awesome. Really love the concept art too. The terrain generation looks very cool. Is it all procedural?

My only criticism is that the lighting in game looks a little dark. Of course, when you are playing the game this might be part of the gameplay, but it's a little difficult to make out some of the details.

Keep on with the awesome work!
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2014, 07:00:21 AM »

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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2014, 07:19:58 AM »

Makes me think of those Gorillaz songs, "Don't get lost in heaven" and "Fire coming out of the monkey's head".

Good job with that  Grin
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2014, 07:14:48 PM »

thanks for the encouragement guys, I really appreciate it!

That monkey robot behemoth is awesome. Really love the concept art too.
Glad you like the robot :D 
It's designed it to have a lot of symbolism related to the game. Actually, I wonder if anyone is interested in this type of thing.  The entire project is an artwork about authoritarian power structures... but if I talked about this do you think anyone would care about this kind of thing?  Would anyone here care?
I am wondering if I should just stick to promoting the shooting and the explosions when I talk about the game.

Quote
The terrain generation looks very cool. Is it all procedural?
The terrain isn't procedural per se, but it is a tiled based terrain.  The idea is to hopefully later allow player generated levels.  As it is, I am able to make the levels using the Tiled map editor.    My hope is to raise enough funding in the kickstarter to spend time to polish the level pipeline to make it easy enough so practically anyone can make maps.  It is possible already though, but there would likely be a bunch of frustrations for players if they did.

Quote
My only criticism is that the lighting in game looks a little dark. Of course, when you are playing the game this might be part of the gameplay, but it's a little difficult to make out some of the details.

This is good feedback.  Different friends of mine have suggested the same.  I am in agreement, I am just not sure exactly how I will tackle it yet since the game does rely on the darkness for gameplay.  I'll figure something out.



Makes me think of those Gorillaz songs, "Don't get lost in heaven" and "Fire coming out of the monkey's head".

Good job with that  Grin
 
Yea I could def see how this made you think of "Fire coming out of the monkey's head"!





LOL  this is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!  hahahaha
the very first fan art!  I will always remember you CrateBoy!!  :D
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2014, 08:25:31 PM »

Reminds me of this poster from Starbound:

http://starbounder.org/mediawiki/images/4/40/Obey_Sign.png
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 12:03:38 AM »

I like the concept, it's definitely interesting.  I do wonder about the money aspect, though - is it used to buy things between or during games?  If not, it seems like an odd metric to use.

Oh, and please please please run with the theme and give the robot players animal heads too!  The monkey's design is great, and I really want to see that sort of character on the players as well.
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2014, 02:24:17 AM »

Quote
Here is the twist:
Experienced robot players will know that it is not always in their best interest to simply kill the approaching players.
Why not? Because he can instead coerce them to do things in his best interest (and against their own interest).
and that's where the game gets really interesting...

this is very intriguing. can you be more specific?
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2014, 09:06:08 PM »

Reminds me of this poster from Starboundhttp://starbounder.org/mediawiki/images/4/40/Obey_Sign.png
neat. I had never seen that.  What is it for in the game?

I like the concept, it's definitely interesting.  I do wonder about the money aspect, though - is it used to buy things between or during games?  If not, it seems like an odd metric to use.
Yes it is for buying things in the game... so the more you buy, the harder it is to win.  But if the thing you bought puts you in the robot longer, then it's worth it.  Ideally I will be able to balance it so that it is always a judgement call whether you should buy something or not.  (keep reading below if you want to know some things I am thinking for the $ game mechanic)

Quote
Oh, and please please please run with the theme and give the robot players animal heads too!  The monkey's design is great, and I really want to see that sort of character on the players as well.
hehe well I actually spent the day today working on the characters they are indeed animals, though I'm not sure if it is what you had in mind :D


The idea is that they are little denizens of the forest (which needs a bunch of work, too.)  and it's them vs. this heartless cold mountain robot beast...  yet they become the beast.

Quote
Here is the twist:
Experienced robot players will know that it is not always in their best interest to simply kill the approaching players.
Why not? Because he can instead coerce them to do things in his best interest (and against their own interest).
and that's where the game gets really interesting...
this is very intriguing. can you be more specific?
 
Sure!  Right now it's actually not terribly hard for the ground players to reach the robot (they probably have about 40% chance of success).  If there are many players against the robot, he won't last terribly long.  The game can be played like this, but there are different things the robot can buy.  If he is to buy anything, he must first buy a 'drop ship'.  Once purchased, it comes intermittently into the map and drops off the respawned players, the function of this is to give them a spawn time penalty. When they die they spawn in the 'purgatory' that is the drop ship, and don't score any money at all while inside.  The other problem for players if they die (and a drop ship exists) is that they will be dropped off right in front of the robot where he will know exactly where they are.  So dying is no benefit at all except for lost money and time.  You might ask why then the robot will not just kill everyone again as soon as they spawn.  There will be a way for players to destroy the drop ship if enough of them are inside of it, and if this happens the game will again revert to the 'superficial' mode (and this is disadvantageous to the robot player, so he doesn't want everyone to be dead at the same time - a good player will want them controlled, not dead).  This is mostly speculative though, I have to do more work to prove this will function as I think it will.  So let's say you are the robot,  you will be able to buy a bunch of stuff that will help you keep your position (and players can buy -cheaper- things for themselves too if they are in the drop ship). The things you buy will not be given to you though, they spawn in the drop ship (that's why you have to buy the ship first), and then implemented in some way by you coercing other players.  For example, among the things you can buy will be a laser wall (shown  below).  To use them you must coerce players to place them for you.  Placed properly, the walls will make it much more difficult to subvert you.  However if you get subverted, the drop ship and anything else you may have bought is inherited by the next player.  Hence another player may comply with the mind that he is simply building it for himself!


You can tell players what to do using something I call 'directives'.  They look like this:




Anyway I am not 100% sure that the drop ship mechanic is what I will go with, but it is the closest thing I can think of to make the game do what I want it to.  Maybe someone can think of a better mechanic?
OH,  and one other thing the robot can do (you can see it in the directives)  is pay players to do stuff!  So he can use his money (if he wants) to help convince other players to do his bidding by keeping them in the game with money/points.  There will be a 1st, 2nd, 3rd place each round so a player may say... man it's too late for me to be 1st, so I am going to get 2nd by screwing the other non-robot players and teaming up with robo.  I am thinking players will also be able to give each other money.  Say you have a player that was in the robot early on, he will have money,  he can maybe use it to convince fellow players into doing something he wants even if he isn't robo!  Or maybe he is on robo's side and getting people to come out into the open with cash lol... anyway I hope you can see the game space has a lot of potential and I hope to mine it all!!   Cheesy

BTW these ideas were inspired by facets of authoritarianism in life:  they mirror the function of secret police, spies, and plain clothed informants etc. that keep the power structure in place with fear and sowing doubt among detractors.  The more i can mine the game in this direction, the better.


« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 08:48:48 AM by dez » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2014, 10:03:02 PM »

The resource management aspects of this are really appealing.
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dez
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2014, 05:18:39 PM »

The resource management aspects of this are really appealing.
  Thanks! I hope I can make it work as well as I plan.

....

In an attempt to start the marketing  Epileptic  I have started a wordpress (with wifey's help!) based on this thread.
Any critique welcome: obeygame.com

My main goal atm is to start gathering emails of interested people so I can have some initial leads when I launch the kickstarter.  (If anyone has any advice on running a kickstarter that would be incredibly helpful, too.   I've been trying to read as much as i can online about it as well.)
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2014, 06:52:45 PM »

Without knowing what Counter Strike Jail Mod or Spy Party is.

I'm instantly reminded of Tediz vs Squirrels from Conker's Bad Fur Day. Perhaps you could put a giant button in the map that could temporarily disable the bot for a moment or eject the current player, but make it hard to get to. Giving players an alternative objective besides just the door.

Giving the player in the robot something to try and protect and somewhere the players are likely going to go besides storming the bot it's self.

Also feel like players should be taller models that would have to like duck behind cover and make use of the shadows. The little gerbils just aren't cutting it for me, with such an epic robot I expected some cool looking monkey spies or something that would be very mobile on the ground.
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2014, 08:23:50 AM »

I'm instantly reminded of Tediz vs Squirrels from Conker's Bad Fur Day. Perhaps you could put a giant button in the map that could temporarily disable the bot for a moment or eject the current player, but make it hard to get to. Giving players an alternative objective besides just the door.

Giving the player in the robot something to try and protect and somewhere the players are likely going to go besides storming the bot it's self.
Bones, thanks for this great feedback, you really got me thinking.  On one hand I do want the ground players to be practically defenseless except for their intelligence/creativity, but on the other of course there is balance.  I thought about what you wrote and decided I am going to try the following:  When the robot buys supplies, the objects drop into the map from the drop ship. For the robot to actually be able to use them though, the robot has to get the bunnies to move the objects into a predetermined 'loading area' that makes the objects useable to the robot. (ie it's another opportunity to get the bunnies to act against their own self interest).   So here is the twist you inspired - when things get burned or bunnies die they leave carcasses or burnt objects behind.  If the bunnies drop THOSE otherwise useless carcasses in the 'loading spot', it causes $ penalty to the robot player.  So he will have to watch out for that, or make them move carcasses to the side.

Also feel like players should be taller models that would have to like duck behind cover and make use of the shadows. The little gerbils just aren't cutting it for me, with such an epic robot I expected some cool looking monkey spies or something that would be very mobile on the ground.
This is great feedback too.  As far as the tallness, you are absolutely right there will have to be a ducking mechanic... and I am not sure either if the bunnies will cut it.  Maybe I can make them sit up on idle, I am not exactly sure yet.  After I decide though, I will change certain terrains to reach right up to the player height so that map designers can intentionally use the ducking mechanic.  As far as players looking like cool spies.... this part i disagree, because I think the player's look should dovetail with their material defenselessness, and also to contrast as much as possible with the robot (basically to be it's antithesis). No?
...and as a bonus, think of the following screen treatment for a trailer:
- cute bunny jumping in forest
- hard cold search beam on bunny
- cu on bunny
- bunny running with light fixed on him
- cu on robot face
- extreme wide shot with both bunny and robot
- ridiculous overkill of bunny... like using a minigun to kill a grasshopper


Please keep in touch with this thread though, I do want you to continue to kick me in the balls.  We have to welcome this kind of thing.
(You're the first critical feedback!)
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 08:42:49 AM by dez » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2014, 09:34:05 AM »

Sounds like a really cool idea.  I like the way your objective is to gain the most money, but money is also used to buy things, so you really have to think about how you spend money.  I'm not sure if you're already doing this, but it would be cool if purchases were involved with the robot as well.  For example, you could spend money to turn on a flash light that would help you spot players and you have to keep spending money to keep it on.  Or, you could just make it so that firing the robot's weapons uses a lot of money.
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« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2014, 05:37:57 PM »

Sounds like a really cool idea.  I like the way your objective is to gain the most money, but money is also used to buy things, so you really have to think about how you spend money.  I'm not sure if you're already doing this, but it would be cool if purchases were involved with the robot as well.  For example, you could spend money to turn on a flash light that would help you spot players and you have to keep spending money to keep it on.  Or, you could just make it so that firing the robot's weapons uses a lot of money.
  Glad you like the idea!  Grin
Yes! the robot will definitely be able to buy different things (already he can buy the laser walls).  But I am planning to have him buy a bunch of stuff:  the drop ship (I explained above), mines, accurate missiles, innacurate missiles, flame thrower fuel (I plan to give the robot a close range flamethrower - all this special ammo stuff will have to be proactively loaded by a bunny for the robot to be able to use it), a flamethrower the bunnies can carry(so they can burn down their own cover - or each other),  light emplacements, collars for the bunnies that the robot can use to always see where they are (but the bunny can drop it and the robot will still see where the collar is).   Anyway that's what im thinking for now.
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« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2014, 08:17:30 PM »

Added a bunch of polish and effects to make it nice and flashy for when it's time to launch the kickstarter!
Took your suggestions and brightened up the game a little bit.  Probably could use more brightening up still.








This week I have been working on mostly the drop ship.

It's not quite ready but it's close.
I thought i could do it in a couple days... but nothing is ever as simple as one thinks.
It's one of those... you know how development can sometimes make you feel like  Evil  
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 08:49:12 AM by dez » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2014, 03:54:20 AM »

Interesting concept! Totally a game Id love to try out, cant wait to see more!
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2014, 04:25:19 AM »

this is a fascinating concept and i am really looking forward to seeing where you go with it.

i have no feedback to add other than i hope you are able to stay true to your intentions. especially with kickstarter, there is very real pressure to bring concepts toward some "expected game format" common denominator (even if just for the sake of more easily communicating a complex idea.) Be stubborn, go with your gut and good luck!
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2014, 08:02:01 AM »

Interesting concept! Totally a game Id love to try out, cant wait to see more!

this is a fascinating concept and i am really looking forward to seeing where you go with it.

i have no feedback to add other than i hope you are able to stay true to your intentions. especially with kickstarter, there is very real pressure to bring concepts toward some "expected game format" common denominator (even if just for the sake of more easily communicating a complex idea.) Be stubborn, go with your gut and good luck!

Thanks guys! I really appreciate your  feedback and encouragement :D
In terms of 'pressure to bring concepts towards an expected format... even if just for the sake of more easily communicating a complex idea.' I got some feedback from the Unity WIP forum regarding this where someone suggested I make a video explaining the gameplay (since it usually takes me a wall of text to lay it out).  I am going to do just that and see what you guys think as well :D
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 08:08:33 AM by dez » Logged

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