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dez
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« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2014, 08:17:05 AM »

Been cleaning up code and working on some effects:


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« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2014, 08:43:18 PM »

working on some lighting effects and dropship  Hand Any Key 









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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2014, 07:39:28 AM »

Worked on inventory!!!




On another note...
Last night the first playtest with 6 people occurred!

Not surprisingly, several issues came up, but overall it was a success. 
- It was my biggest fear, but the networking held up perfectly.
- the desired gameplay did arise intermittently (albeit in a very unpolished form).
- after playing for a bit, everyone started trying to trick the person in the robot
- an issue that came up is that buying the drop ship almost never helped the person who bought it, but the next person who took over the robot


One of the most surprising things was that when some people first played, nerd rage came out because they kept losing when they played in the style of 'kill everything that moves'. I purposely put in various disincentives to play this way, and I thought that the lesson would come quickly, but it didn't.  I am not sure how to communicate how to successfully play in this game, it is the most difficult things I am encountering so far is communicating the game. Maybe it is just a side effect of making something that doesn't play like other games, but shares many of the tropes (shooting, inventory, etc)? 
I am planning to make a video about it soon to help.

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« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2014, 07:44:10 AM »

You should try to put it on the WiiU. The console was made for stuff like this.

Awesome concept, sounds really fun.
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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2014, 10:40:27 AM »

Wow, very interesting. Sinister yet adorable.
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« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2014, 12:06:03 PM »

Would love to hear how you go about tackling your issue with communicating the game to the player.

What have you been doing so far and what hasn't worked? Would the video you're talking about be a part of the gameplay flow? Could you give the same information out in some more interactive way?
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dez
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« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2014, 03:26:21 PM »

You should try to put it on the WiiU. The console was made for stuff like this.
I'm planning to do a kickstarter soon... if people want wii U... they will get wii u!  Grin
I'm  using Unity and it supports Wii U so it shouldn't be a horrible nightmare to port... just would need to know there are users on the platform that would want it.


Would love to hear how you go about tackling your issue with communicating the game to the player.

What have you been doing so far and what hasn't worked? Would the video you're talking about be a part of the gameplay flow? Could you give the same information out in some more interactive way?
I can tell you what I have tried: writing things out in forums like this, and making posts.  They have had little effect, I think.  Even though the gameplay is highly unique (imo) people don't like walls of text, hence I don't get asked too much about the gameplay (or also my explanations could be poor, or I am wrong about how interesting the gameplay is).  The video i will make will just be a youtube video, outside the game. Since you are interested I'll post about how it goes.  As far as inside the game, imo one of the best examples of communicating gameplay occurs in Counter Strike where all you have are simple 1 line instructions that show up at relevant times.  When polish time comes I am going to add something like that, as well. We'll see if it's enough.
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« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2014, 03:40:52 PM »



I was at a talk two weekends ago given by Daniel Cook on the narative elements in his newly released game Road Not Taken where he discussed the players not reading anything problem. He came to the conclusion that you could reliably have 7 words on screen before people just stopped paying attention. It certainly makes things challenging if you're trying to use text!

I'd love to hear more about how things go. I'll be posting a project my team and I are working on with a core mechanic we need to teach the player. We have and will be dealing with similar issues to you!

Good luck making it work!
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« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2014, 05:37:24 PM »

Well this seems interesting enough. At first I was skeptical but it looks like you've actually put your time in on this concept so far.

I'd be interested to know more specifics on the playtest and how the different players began to work and strategize. Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2014, 10:05:16 AM »

I'd be interested to know more specifics on the playtest and how the different players began to work and strategize. Smiley
So 6 people came on, including myself.  
Only 1 other player and myself knew about how the game is 'supposed' to be played (the obey/disobey mechanic to keep control).  We played for about 4 hours.
So at first the game was very chaotic,  everyone constantly rushing the robot, and the robot instantly blasting whoever he could spot.  To prevent people camping the door, waiting for someone to come in and then taking over I made it so that whenever anyone reaches the robot everyone gets respawned back to the edge of the map.  This caused everyone to constantly rush since only the first player in counted.  Myself and everyone agreed this was a frustrating mechanic and I have plans to address this.  
The game played like this for about 45 mins, with the robot changing hands quickly among players. in the meantime I had begun to explain the intended mechanic.  Nobody used the obey directives however until I, myself was able to take control and had enough money for a drop ship - which once I did I immediately purchased (to give them a spawn time) and as soon as I spotted people I started giving them orders and told them to obey if they want to live and if not I will kill them (to respawn into the drop ship).  Some didn't listen, I killed them and then they started complaining a lot about having to wait in the drop ship (which was set to 2.5 mins until each drop off).  They were unable to destroy the drop ship so they were very frustrated.  
After playing like this for a bit and a lot of complaining, I restarted the server with 2 changes:
- halfed the drop ship time
- made 2x easier to destroy dropship

One player logged out of the game.
At this point the intended gameplay started to emerge, sporadically.  Some players still thought 'kill everything that moves' was the best strategy.  After about another hour though,  players were regularly destroying the drop ship and using the obey mechanic almost every time they took the robot.  What we started noticing is that the drop ship almost never helped the person who bought it, but the next player to take over.  I have plans to fix this too, we'll see how it works out.  At this point, people started to try to trick the robot... the robot player would say 'load this here'  and they might hide the object in the shadow of the loading area (the grey box in the screenshot above) instead of placing it IN the box,  or they would try to hide in the water,  or wander off while placing a wall.

After about another hour,  pretty much everyone was trying to get each other build walls and load rockets and uranium (uranium is purchased for $20 and can be redeemed for $60 by the robot if he can coerce someone to load it into his loading area).  Uranium was the hardest to get people to load.  At this point the first player who left, came back in (he did not witness the gameplay where people tried to keep control through coersion).  He basically said 'screw this'  and injected again the 'kill everything that moves mechanic'  and if he inherited a drop ship he would immediately spawn kill anyone who it dropped into the map.   This led to him losing his drop ship very quickly and everyone spawning loose again every time he took control, which caused his control to never last long (as intended).   Interestingly, this caused him to become frustrated (he was losing, and the game was behaving unexpectedly to him) as he was very easily being put in the drop ship by the other players.  I see this as a problem because the game was not yet able to communicate to him how to play to win - (and even I am not certain yet that trying to coerce the others is how to play to win).  However, even though this player had the lowest score and things feel like they are going in the general direction I want, a lot more testing has to be done.

Another important takeaway was that players that obeyed were clearly not being rewarded enough.  I hadn't yet added a feature where the robot player can pay the other players to obey,  which I will add before the next play test in the hopes that it will address this issue.   Grin

So things looked pretty good, considering this was the first serious playtest and stress test.  There is a lot of work and refinement to be done, it still was a very 'playtesty' experience to play.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2014, 10:34:56 AM by dez » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2014, 08:20:58 PM »

I added 5 inventory items:

Gonna test them out with some players to see if they are actually needed/do what I think they will do.
mine - robo can see where they were planted, but players can't (let's see how this works out.)
sign - makes a red exclamation point in the level, can let players know there are mines nearby (or as a ruse that there are mines)
collar - robo can always easily see where the collars are in the map (you can tell them by the yellow triangles).  robo can try to get other players to wear them or try to enforce wearing them.
light - planting the light makes it harder to hide nearby
pointer - can be used by bunnies to point out other bunnies in the map to robo (players were doing this in the last playtest over skype, so this is a formal way in the game for them to help them do this if they want)


... added  a  non-placeholder reticle for robo



... AND just got done making posters to decorate the OBEY booth at Boston Festival of Indie Games! :D



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« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2014, 04:45:00 PM »

I just made a video about the gameplay.  This one is a brief summary.


I am going to make another one that explains the gameplay deeper as well.
I know it sounds a bit cheesy with my nerd programmer voice, but do tell me if you find it too distracting, or something else too distracting about it.

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« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2014, 08:47:52 AM »

So on Saturday I showed OBEY off at Boston Festival of Indie Games.
The response was overwhelming, and it gives me hope that I can pull off a kickstarter and finish this project.
A bunch of people told me it was their favorite game in the whole show, including some press guys.
I brought 5 computers and set up a LAN so people can play the game.
All 5 computers were filled practically the entire time with people playing and trying out the game.
About 50 people signed up for our kickstarter emailing list and a bunch of people left and come back to play again after seeing the rest of the show.
For the most part, people played the game using the 'king of the hill' strategy (basically shooting everything that moves)... except for 1 or 2 groups of players that kept playing for a few hours, after a while they started coercing each other.   This is pretty much what I expected to happen, so it also gives me hope too.  Gomez


Tonight I am taking the game to Boston Indies Demo Night and having devs and other indies in the Boston area try it (with some minor bug fixes that were exposed during BostonFIG!)  I'll post about how that goes! Smiley
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« Reply #33 on: October 01, 2014, 07:54:39 PM »



I've been quiet here, but I have been working very hard Smiley
Tons of bug fixes and improvements have been made.
As you can see I have added a flamethrower to the robo.  It's flashy and deadly, but it's main purpose is to have a way to counter players who like to camp near the door.  
After playing with different groups of people, it turns out a recurring strategy is to wait by the door to see if the robo player will buy a dropship for you or some other goodie and then subverting.  The flamethrower can shoot straight down by the door and burn anyone there, if you suspect it.

It can also be used to dislodge bunnies from behind cover,  but this can be dangerous if they are too close to the loading area. This is because using the flamethrower causes killed bunnies to leave charred corpses. If those corpses are loaded into robo by other bunnies it causes a huge $ penalty to the robo player.

Right now I am happy with the way the game is playing.  
I am ready to have press take a look at the game, so hopefully I can get some to try it out and write about it soon.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2014, 08:26:54 PM by dez » Logged

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« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2014, 03:40:32 AM »

I was excepting some reference to They Live :D
Anyway, the game looks cool ! Congrats Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: October 02, 2014, 12:15:04 PM »

I was excepting some reference to They Live :D
Anyway, the game looks cool ! Congrats Smiley
Thank you Smiley
HA!  'They Live' is awesome :D
It's unique too among B-movies for having a message that actually mostly communicates.
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« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2014, 02:13:54 PM »

Hey Guys!  

I just launched the OBEY kickstarter!! :D



Also any feedback on the kickstarter is welcome as well.
Many thanks to any backers.  I could use all the help i can get Smiley
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« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2014, 05:14:30 PM »

OBEY just went live on Greenlight!
Any votes would be helpful.



I am starting to get a little worried about the kickstarter though.  Things are slow and I just started.  I thought I had done enough to get attention but I guess not.  I am going  to keep trying to contact press.
In the meantime if you find the game interesting, check out the Kickstarter and back it! :D
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« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2014, 05:57:46 PM »

The thing I noticed almost immediately about the trailer is that it really failed to show the meat of the gameplay. It looked, contrary to what you want, as a "king of the hill" shoot 'em up.

At any rate, the progress you've made still looks great. Hopefully you can whip up some more buzz over this thing, because the whole idea is just really fantastic.
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« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2014, 06:51:59 PM »

Hey Photon,

thanks for the feedback.   I do agree that the trailer does not touch too much on the 'meat'.  But when we say 'meat' we have to realize that we may not be speaking for everyone.  I struggled a lot with how to show OBEY in a way that made it exciting and flashy  and yet hint at it's depth.  I ended up settling on a trailer that focuses more on it's superficial aspects (the game does also play chaotically as shown),  and then if someone is interested to know more they can watch the full kickstarter video (which goes a little more into detail) or read more about the game to learn about it's depth.

It's been a very tough thing for me to communicate, because the game is really almost two games in one,  depending on how people want to play it.  For example, when kids play they almost never coerce, and are also practically impossible to coerce!  Under 9 years old my experience so far is that they universally use the strategy 'don't kill me! don't kill me! I'm on your team!'  while b-lining to the robot door.  And if they manage to get inside they universally shoot all things moving and non-moving!  They are not influenced by getting killed or waiting spawn times or loss of money points or even other players who may be actively helping them!
On the other hand,  the older players,  especially students and adults (especially gamers) coerce quite a lot and experience a very different game.  OBEY is both of those games, and that is not a mistake.  In fact, I will work to make sure that two ways to play will ship as dynamic, fluid, and balanced states.

and thanks for the compliments!  Since you find it interesting please do tell friends.  Since I am alone it will probably be impossible to generate the needed buzz on my own.  We'll need everyone who likes it to back/tweet/fb/talk about it!  Smiley
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