Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1390686 Posts in 66771 Topics- by 59509 Members - Latest Member: P0tatoStudioBlog

April 11, 2021, 08:29:39 AM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsConcrete Jungle - A City Planning & Deck-Building Game!
Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Print
Author Topic: Concrete Jungle - A City Planning & Deck-Building Game!  (Read 10486 times)
ColePowered
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« on: October 27, 2014, 12:16:16 PM »



Concrete Jungle is a city planning deck-building game!

Think SimCity meets Dominion meets Tetris.


Successfully funded via kickstarter last year, Concrete Jungle is coming soon to PC & Mac via Steam and itch.io.

I’ve been a slave to designing tiny isometric buildings for the last few months year in an effort to bring you what you see here!

It’s a sequel to my 2011 game MegaCity, but has been greatly expanded upon to the extent it’s practically a whole different game now. The game is being developed for PC but I’ll also be porting to Mac. Mobile ports may be possible in the future.




So how do you play?

You have a deck of selected cards which you can use to place buildings. Each building will affect it's surroundings in different ways. The aim of the game is to clear city blocks by gathering the required number of points from your residents, giving more room to build.

As the city grows, you choose bigger and better new buildings to add to your deck.

As you get opportunities to hone and refine your deck, residents will demand more from you. You'll find yourself inadvertently creating zoning puzzles- playing against your own past planning decisions.







Another unique aspect is the game's competitive mode- this is where 2-4 players or AI city plan competitively each while building their own decks.

Features…

-Over 200 cards available and no micro-transactions!
-8 Playable characters each with their own skill tress, unique cards and play style.
-Hilarious fully voice-acted story mode.
-Competitive city planning featuring challenging AI in ‘Versus’ mode.
-Local competitive/co-op multiplayer for up to 4 players or AI.
-Gorgeous vibrant, detailed isometric graphics and weather effects.
-Rich and atmospheric soundtrack featuring Xerxes, D.P. Kaufman & Mokhov.
-Steam achievements, trading cards & leaderboards
-Support for any resolution, border-less window full-screen and controller support.

Concrete Jungle will be released September 23rd!


You can find/follow the game at:
My twitter | Game's twitter
Website
IndieDB
« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 02:15:18 AM by Colej_uk » Logged


Detective Immersive Sim Shadows of Doubt | City deck building puzzle game Concrete Jungle
@ColeJefferies
ColePowered
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 09:05:36 AM »

I thought I'd go into detail about my process behind making the buildings- from concept through to completion.

It starts off with my great big list of buildings and a loose idea of what effects it could have.



This list is super important so I keep it in poor condition with coffee stains on it to make sure nobody steals it. That's worked so far.

I have a certain amount of cards planned out- but I quickly learnt planning every single building's effects out in complete detail was pointless, as until they are put in-game it's impossible to figure out balancing and how well they work. I think I've changed the effects of the Landfill site about 4 times in the last few weeks for instance.

But although the individual building mechanics may change, the graphics probably won't change a lot, so the main process at the moment is just getting those buildings from my list into the game in a presentable manor so I can balance the effects as the game progresses.

The buildings in the game are a hybrid of 3D rendering and a lot of colouring in Photoshop. I need to get an idea of what I want the building to look like in my head, so to begin with I just look around the internet for pictures of a relevant building for inspiration. This has lead to perhaps one of the dullest google search histories imaginable.

Once I've got a general feel for what I want, it's time to get modelling! When I first started the project, I began by building a collection of simple models I could use as building blocks. Some box-shaped buildings- a shed, a bay window, a chimney, a smoke stack- you get the idea.



Every time I make a new model that could be used elsewhere, it gets added to this library. Due to the sheer number of 3D models needed to create a visually interesting city, I've also used a few stock models from turbosquid along the way. I try and model as much as I can myself though, about 85% of the models used are my own.



Most buildings feature a unique model for the main 'building' part.

UV mapping is a time consuming process, but oddly pleasing- it's like a puzzle game in itself. Texturing is fun. It usually involves a lot of visits to cgtextures.com, possibly the greatest texturing resource known to man. I do a lot of photo editing on the texture though, it's rarely exactly what I'm looking for.



Once I've got the models ready, I arrange them on a template scene I have set up which includes the lighting and the base ground tile (neither of these things I want to vary from building to building). I usually leave making the ground texture until last.



Once everything is arranged pleasingly, it's time to render. I'm using Blender to generate my renders- it's completely free and it's rendering engine is delicious. The scene I'm using has the render camera set up to render isometrically (is that a word?) What's outputted is something that looks like this but bigger:


It looks ok, but it's not as vibrant or colourful as I would like. A CGI pro would be able to make it look like what I end up with inside Blender- but firstly my skillset isn't there yet, and secondly I quite like the semi-painted look. It gives it a certain degree of imperfection which I like. So it's off to Photoshop for the rest!

When I began the project I spent a long time experimenting with different colouring. I settled on something that looks vibrant and saturated but not garish or too cartoony. The secret is to swap out the blacks and greys in the image for deep blues, purples and oranges. This keeps things colourful, even when I'm modelling something like a chemical plant, which is perhaps about as dull a building as you can get.

My methodology inside photoshop involves experimenting a lot with different blending styles. Because I needed some consistency with the buildings in the game, most decisions were made at the start of the project and put into a template. So I load my rendered image into my template photoshop file and get painting.

This is my template/process, which probably won't make too much sense unless you're familiar with photoshop-

-The first layer is the rendered image from Blender (above).



-Then I have a group consisting of decals I've made in Photoshop. Basically details that I've chosen to paint from scratch and not rendered in 3D. The biggest example would be the trees- they just look better painted. Like the 3D models, I build a library of re-usable decals.



-The first thing is to get rid of that dull grey shadow on the isometric right side, so I paint a layer of purple over the shadowed area and set the blending mode to 'soft light'. I've got some custom isometric plane brushes I can use so the painting doesn't clash with the isometric viewpoint.



-Next is to make the opposite highlighted side warmer, so I use a dark yellow to paint over highlights and set that to linear dodge/add.



-After that I've got an additional layer set to linear/dodge add, where I just add miscellaneous highlights the building may need.



-Finally I've got a layer to really add some omph to the shadows. It's a layer where I paint a burnt red onto shadows and burnt orange onto highlights and it's set to colour dodge with 50% opacity. It gives it an extra warmth.

That's all the painted layers, but after that I also have a play around with some colour correction, so I've got a collection of adjustment layers set up on top:



Hue/Saturation- bringing out the reds a little more

vibrance- upping the saturation just a touch

a deep purple -> cream gradient map set to soft light on 75% opacity to up the contrast in a colourful way.

a selective colour config which brings out more red in the shadows (this may not make sense when combined with the above as I just made the shadows more blue and now more red again! I like what I ended up with though so it stayed. If this were code, it would be woe-fully inefficient code, but it's not it's Photoshop- doesn't really matter!)

The last thing is something any Photoshop user will balk at- it's a filter. Filters are the things everybody tries when they first learn photoshop- they load up an image, apply an artistic filter and then think to themselves 'holy crap, I might just be some kind of genius!' It's then uploaded to the internet's collection of identically processed images in some unvisited corner of deviant art.

So while filters are something to avoid generally, I think they do have a use if you use them very subtlety. In this instance I use ink outlines filter to sharpen up the edges. It also increases the brightness somewhat depending on it's settings -something that can be achieved through level adjustment anyway- but it's the edge sharpening effect that I'm interested in here. The brush strokes setting is dialed right down, as is the dark intensity. There are 2 elements to the subtle use- 1) the original image is much bigger (4x) than the final image used in game, so any bold effects are reduced with scaling it down. 2) I use this on a final layer which is copy-merged from everything below and put on 50-75% opacity. In the large image the effect is noticeable and looks a bit off, but when scaled to the in-game size it looks decent- nice and sharp! I would probably avoid this effect if not down-scaling though.


There we go- the final building.



That concludes the first in-depth dev log. There are currently 44 buildings in the preview build, but I have 150 total planned for the final game!
Logged


Detective Immersive Sim Shadows of Doubt | City deck building puzzle game Concrete Jungle
@ColeJefferies
Airbar
Level 0
*



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 09:40:28 AM »

Can't exactly remember where but I saw your game somewhere already this morning. Looks absolutely gorgeous and I was anxious it was going to be iOS/Android. Glad to hear it is coming to PC. Keep up the great work Smiley
Logged
ColePowered
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2014, 09:58:34 AM »

Thanks! Yep, PC first!
Logged


Detective Immersive Sim Shadows of Doubt | City deck building puzzle game Concrete Jungle
@ColeJefferies
Kisguri
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2014, 11:16:23 AM »

Cole again good luck, I have been playing the hell out of the build you sent Clickteam, Max score so far 6,008 I think. This game is going to be brilliant, let us know if you need anything!
Logged

Playaction
Level 0
***


Junkyard Robots


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2014, 11:48:04 AM »

Thanks for sharing that devlog post. That was really interesting.   Hand Thumbs Up Right
Logged

wccrawford
Level 3
***



View Profile
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2014, 10:37:54 AM »

Looks interesting!  I pledged on Kickstarter, but I'm impatient.  Any chance of getting an earlier look at the preview?
Logged
migrafael
Level 3
***


Making games, two at a time


View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2014, 11:36:02 AM »

Immediate YES on greenlight. Looks great. Love the concept. Wanna play it. NOW
Logged

On STEAM »
ColePowered
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 07:23:15 AM »

Thanks for positive responses! Overwhelmed by the success of the campaign and greenlight so sorry if I'm a bit slow to respond. Since the project is already funded, I'm going to be working a little more on the preview build in the next few weeks before it gets rolled out to backers at the end of the kickstarter. People have put a lot of faith in the project so I'm going to make sure the preview build is in tip top shape! I want to include a decent tutorial in it for example (at the moment there's just a how-to-play video).

Thanks to everybody who's voted/backed! More dev stuff to come soon.
Logged


Detective Immersive Sim Shadows of Doubt | City deck building puzzle game Concrete Jungle
@ColeJefferies
ColePowered
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2014, 03:56:05 AM »

I thought I'd share with you the development of Concrete Jungle up until now- it has been through a whole lot of re-working, re-starting, re-imagining, re-everything really.

December 2011- August 2012
The first ideas for a follow-up to my original game MegaCity came in the form of just making everything bigger and better. Mid way through 2012 I took the original game and completely re-coded everything from the ground up. I had learned a lot since first making the game, and I wanted to make it faster, sleeker and just generally improve the quality of the code, UI, sound and graphics. The original idea being I would simply build upon this new code and produce a sequel. What I ended up with by the end of the summer was a much slicker and improved version of the original.


The original MegaCity release compared with the re-worked 2012 version.

All this ended up as a free update for the original game in the form of MegaCity 1.60. It felt like a good idea to reward people for buying MegaCity in the first place, which was a bit rough around the edges.

September 2012 - March 2013
The release of MegaCity 1.60 improved sales and along with the android release kept me ticking over. Months later, I returned to development, but with a whole bunch of new ideas.

I had a whole lot of mechanics to re-work. This wasn't going to be able to just be built ontop of the existing game code like I had originally planned, and instead needed a whole new foundation. Looking back at my proposed concept, I've kept a couple of key mechanics that now exist in Concrete Jungle which we'll get to later...


One of the first sequel prototypes. Look at that silly amount of debug info everywhere!

However, early prototypes were disappointing. Through changing the core mechanics I inadvertently ended up removing a lot of the difficulty and challenge. In this prototype you built a city out from the centre of the screen, and while it looked cool, it really softened one of the core mechanics that made the original fun- space management.


The early prototypes had you build outwards from the centre of the map.

The removal of columns made the building scores next to meaningless- the more buildings you placed the harder and more complicated the game got. It quickly got to a point in the game where there was just too much to analyse to find the best play, and when that happens, the game stops being fun. Although the original MegaCity obviously featured numbers in-game, it was very basic stuff and more about logic and decision making combined with a little luck.



The build list mechanic also needed some TLC. One of the criticisms of the original is that it can be too random at times. Late in the game you are pretty much completely at mercy of RNG. On the other hand having more control over buildings also makes the game too easy. Again, it removes a core component of the challenge- being dumped with a building you don't necessarily want to place but having to find a place for it anyway, without ruining your intended plans. S'all part of the job!

March 2013 - Late 2013

At this point I decided to explore a bolder new direction by making the project more of a traditional city builder/management game- perhaps ditching the MegaCity name.



I made a brand new engine (again) and a brand new prototype (again) which was about 50% MegaCity, and 50% traditional city builder. It sounds great doesn't it? It wasn't. I think some part of me thought by just mashing two good but separate ideas together would create something special. Even though I had worked out all the mechanics in my head, when they actually came together it just never felt much like a game.


For some reason I started making a nice UI for this prototype. It's not completely wasted, I liked the clean white look so I used it in Concrete Jungle.

This prototype was based around a traffic mechanic whereby you could run traffic past commercial buildings to increase their point value, but running it by residential buildings decreased their point value. In my head it would be simcity meets tower defense. It was neither. The game didn't have enough of the management aspect of games like SimCity to make it fun- the numerical mechanics I wanted to keep from MegaCity constrained that too much. While the traffic/point mechanic was again too complicated, requiring the player to make too many calculations before arriving at a considered move.

This prototype tried to straddle the gap between management game and puzzle game like it wasn't there- the two core ideas I wanted to mix together just weren't compatible. It's why management games like SimCity hide their inner workings a bit from the user: Buildings can be placed in a more 'correct' or 'wrong' place, but feedback is never so specific that you find you need to solve complex math equations to play the game (unless you're this guy). You don't need to be the best city builder in order to have fun in SimCity, half the pleasure if just playing around in your own sandbox. MegaCity is about the challenge (and I didn't want to loose that because it's kinda what makes it a bit unique). So it simplifies city planning down to the basics to make it easy to play in order to make that possible. That's where I was going wrong with these prototypes. This really was a case of 'keep it simple stupid'.

Perhaps there is a solution to this problem, and perhaps I'll return to this concept since I would love a simcity/TD mashup game that works- but it's not this project. It was the hardest concept to ditch, even once I'd seen the flaws.

Current
So yet again I went back to the drawing board. Feeling like I had been too ambitious with the last concept, I went back to the original game and tried to preserve exactly what was good about it. The limitations of the building system, and the simple scoring system. These elements had to stay.


This is finally the prototype that worked- and was developed to what you see now!

Now we've arrived at the current build which has progressed in recent months to become 'Concrete Jungle'.



So yeah, I experimented a whole lot only to end up quite close to where I started, albeit with quite a few innovations. The time wasn't wasted though- I have a much better understanding of what works in the game and what doesn't, and I'll never wonder if the game could of been better being something different. It's made me more experienced and confident with the ideas I've got.
Logged


Detective Immersive Sim Shadows of Doubt | City deck building puzzle game Concrete Jungle
@ColeJefferies
TonyManfredonia
Level 6
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2014, 02:35:21 PM »

I love this!  I have to say that perhaps it's a nostalgic factor contributing to my opinion, as I used to love Sim City back in the day, like the early 2000's or late 90's.  That being said, it leads me to my next point: This is HIGHLY reminiscent of Sim City, and that's fantastic!!! Your concepts and artistic direction seems great so far, and I'm really looking forward to seeing more from this project.

Well done so far :D
Logged

Composer | Orchestrator
Website
Twitter

Soundtracks include:
Kharon's Crypt
Call of Saregnar
Playaction
Level 0
***


Junkyard Robots


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2014, 02:55:03 PM »

You make the best devlog posts. And Megacity was actually one of the best iphone games i had, so I have high hopes for Concrete Jungle
Logged

phyerboss
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2014, 05:14:45 PM »

AH! So you're the one responsible for so many daylight hours of mine's being lost while on my 360!^^

Mega City was indeed a very fun game! Cant wait to see what you got in store for this one. Any chance we'll see it on Linux. Or on the 360's Arcade for 1 last time?
Logged

Beta Coming Soon!
ColePowered
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2014, 02:38:47 AM »

Oh cool, MegaCity fans Smiley I'm really glad you enjoyed it, if you did I'm sure you'll like this too!

phyerboss: I would like to do a linux version, but it's something I'll look at after release.
Logged


Detective Immersive Sim Shadows of Doubt | City deck building puzzle game Concrete Jungle
@ColeJefferies
gambrinous
Level 4
****


Indie Game Developer


View Profile WWW
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2014, 06:34:39 AM »

Very nice background info in your posts, keep it up! And congrats on KS funding already for Concrete Jungle  Beer!
Logged

pikkukatti
Level 1
*


Team Lead @AncestoryGame


View Profile WWW
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2014, 07:33:11 AM »

Love the art direction and especially the slightly minimalistic UI (I'm a sucker for those). I skipped on SimCity because of lack of time and I didn't like the always online -aspects, but this looks like a game I'll be picking up and it was no wonder you got greenlit so fast.

And I can't help but to agree with Playaction, your devlog posts are fantastic and so filled with great details!
Logged

ColePowered
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 05:10:31 AM »

Since passing the initial target I have been working a lot on the game itself. I've added a tutorial to the preview build (previously there was just a how-to-play video), I've done some important UI tweaks to make the game easier to understand, and I've also tweaked some cards and added a few more buildings.

-The tutorial is still in early stages, but it should give you a pretty clear idea on how to play the game or at the very least give you enough of a grasp to start exploring the more intricate mechanics. I also wanted to give the player the first taste of the characters- they will be playable in the final game and each one will have access to some unique cards/buildings. I'd love to get some voice actors for the game's dialog, but that's a low priority for now.

-UI changes. It's a little difficult to detail this to anybody who hasn't played the game yet. Some early feedback I had from the first version of the preview build was that some of the colour coding ended up being confusing to people learning how to play the game. Specifically, I had used red and blue for the spacial effects of the buildings and also for the economy/advancement counters.

The reasoning behind my original decision was that blue/red naturally represents good/bad. There's two different types of good/bad in the game and I had used blue/red for both. My desire to keep everything 'neat' was coming at the expense of player confusion- and that's not a good trade off. So I swapped two of the stats for yellow/orange (two colours that aren't broadly used elsewhere).





A quick explanation- the yellow number is how many 'buys' you have, which are spent on adding new cards to your deck. The orange number is the target you have to reach to clear a column and get more space to build- the higher it is, the more difficult the game becomes.

-Building Tweaks. I've been brainstorming a lot recently on card abilities and effects and I've come up with some exciting ones.

Some of the cards in the first preview build could be powerful and fun in the right situations, but weren't really flexible enough to be fun in enough situations. I've been doing a lot of thinking to rectify that and I've expanded some special abilities to allow for some more flexibility when it comes to cards that allow you to discard/delete other cards. Controlling your deck and cycling through it is a critical part of the game, and the expansion of that has improved the preview build a lot. It's something I'm sure I'll continue to tweak and tinker with during further development.

-New Buildings! I've even found some time to add a few new buildings to the preview build. I've got a *lot* of buildings to make during the rest of the project, so I might as well start now, right?


Coal Power Plant. Loosely based on London's old but iconic Battersea power plant.

Oil Power Plant.  I did some research- the overall theme of oil power plants seems to be 'pipes and smokestacks'.

Car Dealership. I may come back to this, I think it may need some more detail.

Strip Mall. The black bars holding the roof signs up look a little odd, I may revisit this too.

That puts the number of buildings in the preview version up to 48. There are 50 cards now in the game total, but 2 are non-buildings.

I plan to keep posting regular updates with the new additions to the game every week or so.
Logged


Detective Immersive Sim Shadows of Doubt | City deck building puzzle game Concrete Jungle
@ColeJefferies
ColePowered
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2014, 05:16:28 AM »

Concrete Jungle is nearing it's final 24 hours on kickstarter. The project has found incredible success, and has been funded to the level where I can pretty much include everything I can think of offering! It's been a crazy journey- when I launched the campaign I was confident the project had a pretty good chance of hitting the goal, but I didn't imagine this level of success. It's great to see Kickstarter is very much alive for the smaller scale developers!

To reiterate what's on the page, the extra funding will largely be going towards expanding the game for free after release. This is to minimize the risk of the game being delayed due to addition of the extra content. +50 more buildings are planned on top of the original target of 150, as well 2 more characters. Night mode will bring an awesome alternate visual style to the game. The soundtrack will be expanded to include some original music, and the story mode will feature voice acting. Lastly, some of the extra money will go towards localization of the game into (at least) French, Spanish & German.

Here's the latest addition to the game- Concrete Jungle's version of the Chrysler building (yet to be named).

Logged


Detective Immersive Sim Shadows of Doubt | City deck building puzzle game Concrete Jungle
@ColeJefferies
gambrinous
Level 4
****


Indie Game Developer


View Profile WWW
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2014, 04:19:57 PM »

Just to say, can you fix the twitter link in your signature? You have mispelled twitter.
Logged

ColePowered
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2014, 11:55:45 AM »

Ahh yes, done!
Logged


Detective Immersive Sim Shadows of Doubt | City deck building puzzle game Concrete Jungle
@ColeJefferies
Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic