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dez
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« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2014, 12:43:55 PM »

For those keeping up with the project, I just wanted to give the news that the kickstarter failed badly.  
I am working on making a tutorial to so that what has already been done can be released as early access... and go from there.

If you want to see this game finished some day,  please vote for it on Greenlight  Beg

« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 07:50:25 PM by dez » Logged

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« Reply #41 on: January 07, 2015, 07:52:55 PM »

So today OBEY debuts as a published product!

Thanks to the wonderful folks at the Humble Store:
OBEY Early Access!
is now available!

Still thinking about a final price, it's not a simple question esp for a multiplayer-only game.

The main features missing right now is in-game voice chat and sounds.
I'll be working on them very soon!
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 08:50:38 AM by dez » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2015, 09:11:10 AM »

Holy Crap,  someone made the most incredible OBEY fan art...  I was super flattered when I saw this!!

WIP can be found on KOPFSTOFF's bog.

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« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2015, 09:55:51 PM »

So great news .. OBEY has been Greenlit on Steam!   Beer!


...and new fans have put together:
A wiki
New languages
A tourney

I started a steam group for OBEY and in a week it already has over 500 members!!
things are looking up!!! :D
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« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2015, 03:04:49 AM »

congratulations on getting greenlit, glad to see things are looking better. the project looks awesome with a really creative new idea. I always like to see, what other 1-man teams can achieve. I also just had a look at your kickstarter, to me it looks pretty good. do you know what went wrong? not enough media coverage? I'm currently really bad with anything facebook/marketing related, so I don't intend to try a kickstarter by myself.
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« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2015, 08:22:15 AM »

Quote
I'm currently really bad with anything facebook/marketing related
Well,  you are in good company! Smiley   I would def include myself in this camp... and I have been learning (everything the hard way) as I go.

The biggest mistake I think I made in the Kickstarter was that I didn't have a following when I ran it.  This is a chicken-and-egg problem, that I don't really know how to solve.  Kickstarter did get new fans for OBEY, and their interest convinced me to keep going after it failed, but the kickstarter did not gather nearly the amount of fans that would have needed to fund any game. 
An alternative (like you mentioned) would have been to prepare more press coverage for launch day (which i did do), but which I did not do nearly enough. I had Cliqist, indiegamemag, and hardcoregamer agreeing to write articles when I launched, but what was really needed was something like Kotaku and/or RPS (or the now defunct Joystiq) to write something as well. By launch day I had failed to get any big outlet to even reply to me.

Another problem for OBEY is that the gameplay is not easy to communicate.  At it's heart it is a very unique game.  I have become better at talking about it, but it is something that has been a big challenge since the start because there aren't any popular games to compare it to... a problem that will be universal to anyone trying to do something that's actually unique.

Finally, I think the money goal was a problem too.  I have noticed that realistic goals don't tend to do well on Kickstarter.  This is a moral problem, because if you succeed you have an obligation to the backers to achieve what you said you would for the money you asked for, but it's MUCH more difficult to get the money if you budget realistically.  AKA asking for a salary to live while you make the project is a bad idea. Due to the hordes of project creators promising the moon for $10k, many backers simply don't have a clue about how much time and money it takes. One approach to this is to simply use the Kickstarter as a marketing tool (by asking for money that wouldn't make or break the project either way).  However this is disingenuous imo. So I don't really have an answer for this problem other than to be willing to accept kickstarter failure or be willing to lie.

Your goal should be to make a big chunk on day 1,  if on day 1 you don't make at least 20% the kickstarter will probably fail.
Its not the end of the world if it does, but it is A TON of work down the drain because its so much work and so difficult to run one.
Sorry for the doom-and-gloom but (for me) it was a very hard experience. I did learn another important thing too: the big press is not a meritocracy.  In other words: "developer makes really great game" is not a story.  However if you bake a 10ft birthday cake in the image of mario... thats a story! (For example, right this second I will visit Kotaku... and found this. That front page article has nothing to do with games, or anything meaningful. It's just entertainment) So you have to think of something to tell them that they will want to write about... something to ENTERTAIN their readers... there has to be a 'story' behind the making of the game or they will completely ignore you. I haven't been able to craft a story good enough yet I guess...  but I will be trying again when it is time to release on Steam. Smiley
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« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2015, 09:01:16 AM »

Thank you for sharing your experiences with Kickstarter. Hearing your thoughts and your experience of using it is very helpful for other developers considering holding a Kickstarter (such as myself : )

I can totally see how the unconventional ideas behind the game would be hard to communicate - not to mention I imagine a lot of gamers don't have any experience with this kind of meta-gameplay of coercion and might not know they'd enjoy it until they've already played Smiley

If you want advice from the peanut gallery, my personal thought is that you should make every effort to play up the unusual and unconventional nature of your game and turn it into a positive as much as possible - showing places where playing this game the way one might play Call of Duty leads to death, but pretending to cooperate and then making a last-second betrayal leads to victory.

Also, given how hard it is to communicate the gameplay, I think you should focus on producing Let's Play style videos showing some experienced players playing the game 'as intended' as soon as possible. Just like with any other game with simple elements but complex emergent gampeplay, sometimes it's hugely instructive to see people using the simple tools at a high level (i.e. actually coercing people, making agreements, etc.) rather than learning everything through trial and error. If I were you, I'd put a heavy focus on producing a captivating gameplay video that provides examples of play and a narrative, and then working to get exposure for the video.

Just my 2 cents as an outside observer - I know these are probably all things you've considered already and decided against for extremely good reasons that I do not know : )

I wish you great success going forward with OBEY. Good luck!
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« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2015, 01:03:49 PM »

If you want advice from the peanut gallery, my personal thought is that you should make every effort to play up the unusual and unconventional nature of your game and turn it into a positive as much as possible - showing places where playing this game the way one might play Call of Duty leads to death, but pretending to cooperate and then making a last-second betrayal leads to victory.
Well firstly, I definitely DO want your thoughts! :D
and secondly, Yes I have been thinking about the same thing... making a video with the sole purpose of a let's play
There have been a bunch of videos made, some are

and also like you mentioned there do exist various videos with players who know how to play.
I guess I hoped they would be enough, but there isn't ONE I can point to to say 'learn how to play by watching THAT video'. So yes I agree with you, and it is something I have to make. The only thing stopping me is time...
Coffee

Quote
I wish you great success going forward with OBEY. Good luck!
Thank you Low Chance. and from the bottom of my heart: best of luck to you and your kickstarter and project as well Smiley !!
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« Reply #48 on: February 28, 2015, 01:00:50 PM »

Wow, so I just submitted the first version with in-game voice chat for publishing.

OBEY is a Unity game.
Let me tell you a story about what it is like to implement in-game voice chat in Unity... Evil

Step 1) Don't reinvent the wheel.
I started by buying a license to use Daikon Forge's DF Voice plugin.  It converts the microphone data into something you can manage and pass around in the game.  It doesn't care how you pass it or where you send it to, that's for the dev to take care of(as expected).

Step 2) Design an Architecture.
Considering that if players want badly enough to communicate with each other against the spirit of the game (ie cheat by spectating and informing another player) it would be so easy to sidestep any security measure in the game that it would not be worth having security at all. Secondly, since voice data is also not the most vital data in a game, if some packets are lost it is not a big problem and players can repeat themselves regardless.  Therefore I decided that the best way to send voice chat would be to stream it unreliably peer-to-peer among players, and avoid taxing the server at all with voice functionality.  This seemed a pretty obvious approach since I couldn't think of a good reason to not stream or to expend server resources on voice chat.

Step 3) Implement it...
DFvoice comes with some examples using RPC calls to get voice packets from one computer to another. RPC's are verified and would waste bandwidth confirming and re-sending lost packets. So I started building a system that would stream the voice data (not use RPCs). DFVoice gives the voice data as byte[] arrays.  Unity's bitstream.serialize() method does not accept byte[] so that meant I would have to send it in another format, an then convert it back.
I wrote a method that would buffer and split it up and serialize it bit by bit as bools, and another that buffers those and reassembles them.  I thought I had crashed Unity when I first ran it.  But I hadn't.  It was just so slow that it would not even be worth trying to optimize it to get it to work.  After trying a few other things, I realized that there was no way to get it from one machine to another using any form of unreliable streaming because either the method would be too nasty a hack and/or be unreasonably slow because the Unity bit stream class does not accept any form of... well... bit streams.  Sigh.  I could sidestep it by integrating yet another library... or god forbid, torture myself with sockets  Angry .
Instead I rewrote the system again, this time biting the bullet and using RPC's peer-to-peer.  It wouldn't be as fast as it could be, but the voices would be reliable and very clear.  After spending the time I could not get it to work. I also could not find bugs,  my code was good.  What was going on?   Well it turns out Unity has nuked the concept of peer-to-peer (even though it uses Raknet under the hood, which is  fundamentally peer-to-peer networking library).  You can't do ANYTHING peer-to-peer via Unity's native networking paradigm.  I would have to send the data via the server.
So again I bit the bullet... this time really hard, rewriting the entire system YET AGAIN, to utilize RPCs and send them to the server and then via RPCs again to appropriate clients. 
This worked.
But only after trying every logical and (imo) best practice way failed. 
I had to architect it in the EXACT OPPOSITE way that I had wanted, for it to work.
I haven't yet encountered enough problems with it to push me to rewrite it again using another library, but this is word to the wise:

If you ever want to add voice chat to your Unity game, prepare to do it in one of 3 ways:
1) using very nasty hacks
2) using a 3rd party networking library
3) the most ass-backward way from an architecture perspective

I hope this helps someone.
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« Reply #49 on: March 16, 2015, 05:14:51 PM »

To everyone keeping an eye on OBEY… thank you!
Recently the game has hit some big milestones:

  • Voice chat is now integrated into the game. It still has some rough edges like having it’s configuration integrated into a GUI but this is a big step for accessibility and having new players join the community without wrestling with skype or teamspeak.
  • Sounds. For most of the life of OBEY so far it has had no sounds at all. OBEY probably has about 70% of it’s sounds implemented now. Of course there are lots of tweaks and optimizations left to do, but this is a big step.
  • The latest version has smooth transitions between maps so that players are not kicked off the server after every round but are instead smoothly brought in again.  The game feels a lot more polished after this simple change.

Of course there have been many other additions and changes. But there isn’t much left now before it is ready to push for a big influx of new players :D
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« Reply #50 on: March 28, 2015, 07:35:13 PM »

Added some screen effects to the bunny camera...


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« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2015, 07:53:44 AM »

Finally!! This FRIDAY, 22nd OBEY will be available on Steam Early Access!
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« Reply #52 on: July 01, 2015, 01:44:28 PM »

Hi Everyone! :D

Thought I'd post an update... things have been nuts... game launched,  baby born... whoa.
Wish I had more time to post updates like this :D

Recently some holes have been found in the game. I wanted to post about what is planned to address them them.

1) The power plants have added some nice spice to the game (in my view) but don't seem quite finished. Bunnies are too easily able to 'troll' the robot by simply hiding behind it or hide in it's doorway to cause trouble (depending on it's location & orientation). However, bunnies should fear the robot player and fear going anywhere near their power plant.  In the next build, whenever the power plant is turned on, it will emit an 'ignition flame'  that will burn any bunnies hanging out on or near it.  Otherwise, it will function as normal.



2) Right now, things can become quite stalemated if there is no dropship and a player with a collar is able to reach robo's base but does not intend to subvert:  Robo can then neither safely buy a dropship to get fuel, nor burn the collared player.  In the next build this will be addressed. This following will happen on every subverstion:


All players near robo will be killed. Sentries will function as normal.

Therefore two things will change:
- if a player wants to hang out on robo, that is still allowed but they will have no chance of survival if someone else subverts.
- subverting the robot will become more dangerous, as hiding behind items right next to robo or behind it's "legs" with or without a collar will no longer be safe if another player subverts.

There are other changes planned too. As usual, you can see them here.
^_^

And for anyone wondering, I didn't use any prepackaged lightning for the effects. I like to keep things simple.  So it's just UV animation with some sugar on top  ^_^
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« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2015, 09:56:51 PM »

So what's new?
The main thing I have been working on and have been mostly quiet about is ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE BUNNIES
A lot of people ask me how AI for OBEY would work?  OBEY is a psychological game above all, and cpu players probably wouldn't be very... um.. psychological.

Well, the goal with OBEY AI is not to make the cpu bunnies as good as real players but simply to make the AI player-like enough so that players can convincingly pretend to be AI and hide among them. As the more experienced players know, an important strategy is to try to conceal yourself among losing players if you are a winning player.  The AI's, in theory, will serve a similar purpose in providing cover - most impotantly in low player games of 4 and below.

How is this being done?
The first step in making our AI convincing is to make it move like it's not AI (at least as much as possible).  I have done this by making a recording room that records my player movements (the same system will be expanded later to allow recording of matches).  The recordings of my bunny's movements are saved to a file, and when the AI needs to do something, it chooses an appropriate animation to turn or walk or beg, etc.  The movements are mostly indistinguishable from a real player since they are my own movements (with some slight biasing to account for a given target angle).  This way, the AI stitches my own recorded animations together to do whatever it needs to and look like a real player moving around. So far it seems to be working pretty well.

The other thing That has mostly been done is pathfinding.
AI bunnies can find their way around obstacles on the map.  They know they can climb hills, should turn away from walls, hop out of steep areas, and get around mostly sanely although there is still some work to do here. The main things I want to avoid with pathfinding are 1) dumb ai walking straight into a wall to give itself away.  2) having to add custom nodes or areas on maps to make the AI work properly (although I haven't ruled this out yet, I will continue to try to avoid it and leave the AI completely dynamic).


Here you can see an AI casting rays to determine waypoints to get around an obstacle.

Right now I am working on letting the AI know what good places to hide are in a given map: which bushes are suitable for bunnies,  which places can stash items, etc.   This data will be used with the pathfinding to  build simple maneuvers like 'take x thing to box' 'try to subvert while hiding' which will themselves form building blocks for "strategies"  which will be high level logic like how to 'OBEY' and 'disOBEY' and later on, into how to play as robo.

Don't expect AI to take the win very often.. if ever. But my plan is to make them highly configurable to suit a server admin's preferences in number and behavior.

Oh! and the next version will include HOPPING!

Which has already been implemented.
Looking forward to hopping along with you Smiley
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« Reply #54 on: August 10, 2015, 03:37:53 AM »

I must say that it's quite novel to use a sort of in-game performance capture. However, I'd imagine that the human brain could analyse and remember your patterns soon enough. Which doesn't need to be bad of course, since as you said you aim for people to become robots, just as in Spy Party. But I'd reckon it could become a problem that the behaviour become dull and repetitive (from a visual perspective, and not game aesthetics). A possible solution is of course performance capture from other people.

One of the games I've felt that the NPCs feel human is King Arthur's Gold, and I think it chiefly has to do with the timing of emotes. It's not close to your game in any way, but I recommend checking it out both in singleplayer and multiplayer if you haven't just for those small glimpses (especially Save the Princess mode).
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« Reply #55 on: August 10, 2015, 08:57:12 AM »

A possible solution is of course performance capture from other people.
Oh yes that is definitely the plan.  The system doesn't care how many recordings there are for a particular behavior (for example turn left 45 degrees) and just chooses among them randomly.  Before shipping I will definitely have other players record themselves in the "recording room"  and add their animations to the heap to give it some variation :D

Thanks for the King Arthur's Gold recommendation.  I had tried it long ago but couldn't get into it.  I was really looking forward to it too because it was by the same author of Soldat, one of the first indies.  Maybe I will try it again.
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« Reply #56 on: August 10, 2015, 09:16:53 AM »

A possible solution is of course performance capture from other people.
Oh yes that is definitely the plan.  The system doesn't care how many recordings there are for a particular behavior (for example turn left 45 degrees) and just chooses among them randomly.  Before shipping I will definitely have other players record themselves in the "recording room"  and add their animations to the heap to give it some variation :D

Good call. I'd imagine that it would be easy getting people to do something like that for you.
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« Reply #57 on: August 10, 2015, 10:23:07 AM »

Yes, in fact I am leaving it all as txt data so any server admins can even trash my own recordings and do their own so you never know what you will get with the AI movements. 

We'll see what it comes to in practice though Smiley
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« Reply #58 on: August 10, 2015, 11:31:27 AM »

Glad to see this is still coming along! I've been watching this project for a while since the concept seems very interesting. Can't wait to see the final product Smiley.
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