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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsConcrete Jungle - A City Planning & Deck-Building Game!
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Author Topic: Concrete Jungle - A City Planning & Deck-Building Game!  (Read 10562 times)
Photon
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« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2015, 10:20:35 AM »

Wow, this looks slick.
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« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2015, 12:43:11 AM »

Those buildings are insane. How are you making these? Looking forward to this game.
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« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2015, 12:12:55 PM »

Thanks Smiley Buildings are a mix of (fairly low poly) models rendered in Blender, then I take them into photoshop and do some manual colour changing and tweaking. You can read about the process in detail here: http://colepowered.com/concrete-jungle-building-the-buildings/.
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« Reply #43 on: March 09, 2015, 12:17:25 PM »

I've been working non-stop to put together a build ready for EGX Rezzed this week. It's great seeing this game start to come together! In terms of the whole project, I've still got a lot of content to add, but the core elements are now in-place after going back and refining a load of them thanks to feedback from backers.

As well as the gameplay changes I've made in previous weeks, I've updated the UI this week also with ideas from you guys:



There are now (animated) arrows that hover over point collecting buildings when they will be affected by what you're about to place. This is a *great* addition, and you have backer Joel Finch to thank for the idea. It not only makes things clearer but I think it actually helps make the game easier to grasp for new players.



Next up, I've also made the tile brightness change in accordance to it's score. This mainly effects empty tiles- again, it's a visual hint that helps increase awareness.

One final change this week, which is one of those things which I should of implemented right from the start- I should of even put it in MegaCity. It's essentially a finish line. In addition to the endless mode found in the Preview version and MegaCity, there is now also a non-endless mode which is actually winnable. Now finally solo mode is not just an endless survival type mode!


Just placeholder UI art for now, but you get the idea.

It's really simple, if you clear columns up until the designated line then you win the level, if not then you loose. The game has needed more objective game modes for a while now I think. Endless mode will still feature of course, but the addition of this will allow me to have proper levels and make some proper challenges in the story mode also.

I've also started implementing some requested keyboard control with cursor key and wasd scrolling. I want there to be a lot of different control options in the final game, including controllers.

This week I also finished the first iteration of the verses mode AI. There's going to be a huge amount of refining and tweaking it, but it's great to actually get a semi-competent AI in the game to play against for now. I don't think it's ever going to be able to compete with human players once they've started learning the game's more intricate mechanics- there's just too many crafty combos a human player could put together to outfox the AI. It has managed to beat me once as of last night though, and it's come close several times, even though I've not had long to test it! For some reason the AI currently really loves farmhouses.

But wait there's more! There's finally some finished character details to share with you. I figured I'd introduce each playable character as their skill tree is completed. As of this update, the first playable character -Laney, is ready and in-game.

Karl, my character artist has completed all the pieces for the 8 characters and I couldn't be happier with them!



Laney Thompson is the city's Architect. As a result her skill tree focuses around this, and features lots of perks to buff buildings.



The other focus of her skill tree is culture. Laney gets access to buildings such as an Arthouse Cinema, a Ballet School and ulitmately the Opera House. The cultural buildings & skills are based around deck control. They have effects such as increasing your playslots from 2 to 3 and removing unwanted cards from your deck.

Being one of the starting characters, I wanted her skill tree to be simple, straight forward and easy-to-play. She should be able to hold her own in versus mode too.

That's all for this week- I hope to see you at Rezzed, where Concrete Jungle will be part of the Bafta Inside Games Arcade!
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« Reply #44 on: March 16, 2015, 09:09:28 AM »

I just got back from showing the game at EGX Rezzed, which was a great experience! I'll spare you the wall of text as there's not much new in terms of visual content this week, but if you like you can read my write-up here: http://colepowered.com/the-concrete-jungle-weekly-chronicle-march-16th/
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« Reply #45 on: March 21, 2015, 01:59:21 PM »

This week I've been working on the list of changes I put together after Rezzed. I'm really pleased with the changes so far.





Perhaps the most obvious thing this week is the addition of the 'underground'. It's really just a cosmetic addition but I think it really brings depth to the grid and makes it feel like you are viewing a cross section of a city (which was the idea from the beginning).

I've revamped a lot of the UI. Most noticeably the background colour (which will be changeable by the player), and the counter bars. There's been a font switch-around too- I'm using the squarer font ('Aldo The Apache') for some of the UI text, which is the same as I used for the re-rendering of the game's logo from last week.

There's a load of other tweaks which are too numerous to list,and I'm only half way through my list!

I tried to screenshot the game with some of the taller buildings, but the game still needs a bit of balancing as it's still very hard to get to that phase! It didn't help that I got caught up with playing and actually forgot to take as many screenshots as I intended. Once I have a few more features in then balancing can begin.

One last thing- I started work on the new main menu today. It's really early, but here's a quick look at it so far:

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« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2015, 02:19:20 PM »

Really liked the write up. I haven't had a lot of firsthand player feedback up to this point (not surprisingly since a lot of my games are browser-based,) but I remember once getting to watch someone stream a playthrough of one of my games. It was rather thrilling and terrifying at the same time! It can be especially demoralizing when you see them struggle with something "elementary." Thanks for sharing!

And, oh yeah, looking so good this game is.  Hand Shake Left Shocked Hand Shake Right
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« Reply #47 on: March 29, 2015, 09:56:30 AM »

Photon: Yes, definitely. Seeing people play your game with no prior knowledge of it is *so* valuable when it comes to thinking about tutorials and making the game intuitive. Even if it is also terrifying to watch!
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« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2015, 09:58:05 AM »

Another week, another update. I started work on the new game menu at the end of last week, just before the update, and this week I've just been continuing that. Progress on it has been a little slower than I'd hoped, but at the time of writing the character selection screen is working, and also the card-browser/card selection screen.



This screen is what you'll use to choose your starting cards, but you'll also be able to use it to browse through all the other cards in the game too. You'll be able to open a variation of this menu at any point in the game to browse through cards and help plan your deck. The groundwork is done now, so I hope to have that functionality in-game by next update.

The week ahead is going to be busy; here's what I want to get done: 

-Finish the essentials for the new menu system (quick game setup screens, options menu).
-Start implementing a new tutorial system.
-First round of card balancing (based on my notes from rezzed).

When the above are done, I can start thinking about shifting the game into a testing phase. As I mentioned in previous updates, I plan to start with an alpha which will be tested internally with just a few testers. Once things start to take shape more, I'll do a beta which any backers who have access to the preview version can also play.

I think it's about time to unveil the next playable character- mayor Rick Selfridge.



Rick is a middle aged man-child from a privileged background. He's dim and thoughtless but is also a bit of a lovable buffoon. He was really only elected mayor because of this and his rich family's connections.

He's also completely inept at dealing with any kind of financial matter, preferring instead to spend the city's money on entertainment venues such as theme parks, ferris wheels and stautes of himself.

His skill tree is based around this and his class privilege. Aside from the aforementioned entertainment-related cards, Rick also gets access to special abilities that can steal cards from opponents and give him more building placements per turn.
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« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2015, 12:47:07 PM »

A few good additions this week. Firstly, the new main menus are functioning nicely, complete with a more comprehensive options menu. There is still work to be done with polish, but I'm pleased with how they look and feel.

There are some more additions to the gameplay too. First off, there are now little floating numbers that represent additions to the yellow and orange bars after you place a buildings:



This provides some nice feedback. It was previously there in the form of "+/-" text that flashed up by the side of the top right bars, but this is much more obvious and looks and feels way better. It's way more useful for keeping track of your stats too.

The next thing is awesome. I've finally got around to adding in the randomly generated building and block names (or at least I've started that). That means some of the backer names are now in-game!


Btw, the 'Queens Residency' doesn't mean the queen in living there! It's just the name given to the city block. These names equate to the road, area, neighborhood, or in this case the name of the housing development.

This is a really cool little addition, it gives the city you're planning a lot of character. It also makes it easy to see how many spaces left are in city blocks (in the screenshot it's full- 4/4), so it should help with the understanding of the city blocks system too. It's lead me to compulsively click on each building to see what random name the game has given it!



After all that work on the menus, I played a round on versus mode. The AI doesn't mess around! Til next week!
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« Reply #50 on: April 12, 2015, 04:22:31 PM »

Some new buildings this week...



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« Reply #51 on: April 13, 2015, 07:48:36 PM »

Awesome!  Gentleman
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« Reply #52 on: April 19, 2015, 07:08:24 AM »

There's only one thing I've been working on this week- Trains. Trains trains trains. I intended for this to only take a few days maximum, however, some problems arose in it's implementation and it's taken me all week. I think it was worth it though, I'm happy with the results.


The trains in Concrete Jungle take the form of elevated trains like those found in Chicago or New York.

If any of you are fans of MegaCity, you'll remember the 'train station' as being a bit dull- it was just a regular building where the trains went into a tunnel. I wanted to actually make something resembling a proper train system for Concrete Jungle, but there were obstacles to overcome.

First off, the way the game is built means the buildings auto-generate the appropriate road systems around them- there's not really any space for train lines in addition to that. Real cities have similar problems too! The solution was to have the trains be elevated above the road system, so they effectively take up the same space.

One method I thought of was just to have the train lines span an entire column, and effectively just go offscreen. It would of been quite an easy way to handle things- but where's the fun in that?! So I opted for a full route-based train system that auto generates lines between train stations.

Unlike roads, the elevated train line can intersect city blocks if it's not a block of houses. This is because, as you may of noticed, houses can form terraces (I put extra work into making the house graphic variants as it's the most commonly used building). There are actually 16 different graphics for the 'house' structure. When the train lines intersected the house terraces, it looked weird and wrong, so I've made train lines go around these. With all the other buildings, there is enough space between them for the L train to intersect.



In terms of game mechanics, the train station is a fairly advanced card, that once acquired is cycled through in your deck. Every time you place a station, you can link it to another station and a railway route will be drawn linking them. Linking a station to another gives a positive area effect for the whole column at both the destination and origin- so it can be a powerful way of buffing entire columns. Either that or you also have the option to instead choose an economy boost which gives +1 economy for every building placed around the destination's train station. As with all the cards right now, these effects are subject to change when I start to focus on balancing.

It's taken longer than I wanted it to take, and they still need polish, but trains were the last big game system-y thing on the list. In the next few weeks I'm going to be working more on the playable characters and of course the rest of the buildings (including the 3x backer buildings!)
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« Reply #53 on: April 26, 2015, 02:56:17 AM »

Hello everybody!

This is Giles, he's the latest playable character in Concrete Jungle:



Giles is a farmer who enjoys punk music and home made cider! His play style is focused around building large rural blocks and farms. Unlike all the other characters, Giles can quite happily be competitive without leveling up his tech, instead making the most of the rural card buffing abilities. The general tactic with this character is to build your deck around the rural class cards (those farmland cards finally are useful!)

The other half is skill tree is based around Giles' anti-establishment sentiment. These skills are mostly geared towards play in versus mode, and feature various ways to screw over your opponent. Examples include a 'Dive bar' that gives -1 to a random opponent's house, a 'steal points' card and the infamous 'demolition' card.

Being the only British character in the game, he also has access to the skill 'British Weather' that causes all positive area effects to be nullified for the next 10 placements.

To counter all these negative-influence abilities, Giles also gets access to an 'invert score' card which can be used to immediately turn a negative score into a positive one or vice versa.

I hope you enjoy playing the game as Giles- he's very possibly my favourite character so far.


Trying to make huge farms in solo mode is a challenging but rewarding tactic!

I'll leave you with the latest top picks from the building roster.


The mansion- this building has some other visual variants too.

The Farmer's Market- exclusive to Giles, this building helps buff nearby rural blocks.

The Dive Bar mentioned above.

There can't be a character from the British countryside without having an authentic pub in the game!

... And of course some kind of Stone Henge knock-off!
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« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2015, 02:57:01 AM »

Hello!

I've been really busy this week- the backer beta went live and I've been getting some great feedback!

Other than that, it's been back to work on the game's content. I've implemented another character this week- Horrace Murray.



Horrace is a twenty-something sports fan and graphic designer. His mission is to transform the local sports scene, so half of his skill tree is dedicated to that. The other half is based around hipster culture. He gets access to unique buildings such as a Stadium, Ice Rink, Sports Club, Design House and Microbrewery. Many of his skills involve drawing and swapping cards around, which will be fun in versus mode!

I'm pleased to say the pace is picking up with both the character implementation and building creation. Now I have almost all of the game's systems in-place, it's much quicker and easier to create the unique skill trees- as it often involves modifying my existing code rather than writing it from scratch.

In a similar way, I now have a substantial collection of 3D modeled building parts created over the course of the project I can use as a library for building creation. Most buildings require a unique 3D model or two, but having a library of existing parts makes the process a bit like constructing with lego- which is awesome! To finish, here's the latest batch of buildings, mostly unique to Horrace:


A Microbrewery.

A Coffee House.

The Ice Rink.

and Sports Club.
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« Reply #55 on: May 31, 2015, 02:20:54 AM »

Hello folks!

I've done a tonne of character and buildings work this week. The next character to be revealed is 'Yves Laurent':



Yves is a french programmer and conservation enthusiast. What he lacks in fashion sense he makes up for in intelligence! His main strategies involve maintaining a small collection of powerful cards while keeping his column target low. He can achieve this through his variety of character skills which involve cloning cards and sorting his deck. He can also gain the ability to 'decline' 1 card from the card shop every time the 4 choices are drawn in exchange for another, which is super useful.

He also has access to a load of science and conservation focused buildings. You've already seen one of his top-tier buildings, the Launch Pad, many updates ago. But here are some of the others:


The Laboratory

The Radio Telescope

The Recycling Site.

My personal favourite- the Fusion Power plant. Probably because it most resembles a building from Command & Conquer/Red Alert!

In terms of building count, at time of writing there are 165 cards total in-game, and 141 of those are buildings. My target for the full release is 150 buildings with subsequent updates taking that total to 200. I've still got characters to add and yet more buildings to include, so you can safety expect the number of buildings in the full release to be somewhere between 150 and 200 with the later (free) update to bring that to at least 200. That's not including different graphical variations of the same building or cards that aren't buildings!

Those of you playing the beta can play around with a decent chunk of the game's buildings, but once I have them all in place I can start to balance properly through play testing.
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« Reply #56 on: June 07, 2015, 10:42:38 AM »

Progress is going well, as of right now I have 7 character skill trees working- and I'm currently working on the final one. There still needs to be some balancing, but once the characters are all in I can get down to some proper adjustments and enter the final 'phase' of the project!

But here's this week's character; the ass-kicking military industrialist, Marine Vasquez.



Marina's skill tree features unique buildings such as the Military Base, Barracks, Large Factory and Nuclear Power Plant. Basically her play style involves building your economy score rapidly and screwing over opponents in versus with the likes of the Toxic Waste Dump!

My personal favourite of her unique buildings is the intelligence headquarters:



Sure to strike fear into versus mode players everywhere, this building has a special ability that clones the 3 most expensive cards in-play and adds them to your deck. This is obviously really powerful later in the game!

Elsewhere, I've finally started the sound effect overhaul I've had planned since the Preview version. It's coming along well, and the game actually sounds like a city now. There are dozens of different ambient sound effects to accompany the buildings you place, ensuring the sound reflects what you've built.

Some of the other new additions this week:


Nuclear Power Plant

Large Factory

The Foundry

The Quarry!
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« Reply #57 on: June 13, 2015, 04:20:09 PM »

This week I'll share with you the 7th playable character in the game- Miranda Lynch.



Her skill tree involves various capitalist tactics such as building fast food restaurants to fortify her economy score. The best bit about this is that she can also give the fast food restaurant cards to players she is playing against, and once they place them these give *her* economy points.

With the characters in the game I'm trying to keep a good balance between positive/constructive characters that are geared around building up positive scores for themselves, and the negative/destructive characters based around screwing over everybody else! Miranda is firmly in the second camp. I'll reveal the last character next week.

I've begun to focus on polish and balancing this week, starting with sound effects. I'm really pleased with how the game is sounding now. I've added a lot of little details that make the game's interface feel really pleasing- an 'approved' stamp animation & sound when you select a card from the card shop for example.

Give or take a few, all the buildings for the full release are now in game. There are 198 cards, and 166 of them are buildings. Lots of them need tweaking for balance reasons though. I'll finish the update with sharing some of the best from the final batch:


The final backer-requested building, this is a TV tower inspired by the famous one in Riga, Lativa. A very cool suggestion!

I have a bit of an obsession with 50's style american diners, so adding one to Concrete Jungle was inevitable!

There is a lack of swimming pools in the game, so I had to correct that.

Food Processing Plant.
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« Reply #58 on: June 21, 2015, 02:00:47 AM »

Hello all!

It's time to reveal the final playable character for the game! This is Jeon Park, but he's also known as 'Captain Caribou'.



Four years ago, Caribou City government hired a crossing guard superhero mascott to teach kids about road safety. 2 months after, Jeon was fired. But believing "the city needed a hero", Jeon kept Captain Caribou alive. Instead of opting to fight crime like a useful superhero, CC remains committed to not only helping kids cross roads, but making sure everybody gets to work on time. He's perhaps the most unnecessary superhero ever.



Jeon's skill tree is based around public transport and link-based buffs. He gets access to train stations, subway stations and taxi ranks.

Also this week I've continued to polish up the game. Once of the coolest things I've added recently is the building placement animation- before when you placed tiles they just appeared. Now there's a nice animation to accompany that:



What's left to do:

-Playtesting/tweaking on the main campaign mode missions.
-Skill tree icon graphics.
-Finish adding new sound effects (90% done).
-Playtesting AI/tweaking & balancing.
-Final card balancing.
-Stats tracking & achievements screen.
-Improvements to options and card database screen.
-Localization.
-Finalize script then commission some voice acting!

So there's still a bit to go but for the most part it *should* be quite straightforward. The largest part is basically tweaking and polishing various elements of the game. There may be a few update-less weeks ahead as some of the things above are very boring to write & read about in updates. I may move away from a regular weekly update to a 'post when I've got something interesting to share' schedule!

But to end, here's a couple of random buildings from weeks prior that I (don't think) I posted:


Taxi Rank

A Workshop

Investment Bank
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« Reply #59 on: June 21, 2015, 02:06:58 AM »

I love the building animation Smiley

How far is the game in development?
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