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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsStranger on the 103rd Floor
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Paul
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« on: November 06, 2014, 12:14:29 pm »

Hi All, I'm working on a side scrolling stealth game, with a large emphasis on gadget customisation. Below is a few gifs of the current state of the game

Gameplay
You play as a thief, infiltrating buildings, avoiding guards and using gadgets to get through areas. Each gadget can be customised using items like timers, sensors, sticky stuff, triggers etc. These add-ons can be found either on enemies or scattered around the levels. The environment is destructable allowing you to drill or blast your way through walls to get to your goal. Adding these elements together should hopefully result in lots of ways for the player to get through each situation.

Development
Unity and scripting in C#

Updated Screenshots




Prototype Gifs
Directional Bombs blast in whatever direction they're attached to


Distration device simply emits a noise to attract guards attention


Finally finished the ropes


Smaller enemies like drones can be taken out more easily


I'll write about the current AI soon and the add some more screenshots. I'm using Node Canvas for Unity to switch between states which has a nice visual tree to keep track of whats happening
« Last Edit: October 21, 2016, 03:03:14 am by Paul » Logged
Paul
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2014, 03:04:30 am »

The current AI patrols, chases the player, investigate noises and can fall or be blown back by a bomb. It's pretty simple at the minute and my method is probably very flawed but it works so here it is

AI Routine
When the enemy first spawns at the start of the level, raycasts are projected out to see if the area around him is walkable (i.e. is there a tile in the way or is there a floor?). A list is created containing the vector coordinates of all the walkable points and the enemy can then move towards each of these points in sequence to form their routine. Another list is also created to get the rest points. Both of these lists are cycled through in parallel so if the rest point is true the enemy will pause for a moment and look around before moving to the next

On of the more awkward challenges is that because the environment is destructable, the routine path for the enemy can change. With the current version, when an enemy falls or leaves his route, upon returning to his path he looks around and does a check to see if anything has changed i.e. are there tiles missing? If there are, then it reassesses the routine path and creates a new list of waypoints and restpoints. If the entire path has been destroyed, then the waypoint and rest point lists will be empty and he'll hover on the spot, looking around him (This will probably change). If he sees a destroyed tile while walking, he will go investigate and then reassess again.

The below screenshot of the game at spawn where the raycasts are projected out to check the path along with the node canvas behaviour tree showing the state

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sidbarnhoorn
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2014, 03:33:09 am »

This looks very cool! Good luck with the development! :-)
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Fenrir
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2014, 04:26:43 am »

Nice, there's never too much stealth games! Smiley
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Paul
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2014, 11:35:57 am »

Nice, there's never too much stealth games! Smiley

I definitely agree!

This looks very cool! Good luck with the development! :-)

Thanks I'll post some more stuff tomorrow around what I've done so far
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Paul
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2014, 03:33:18 am »

Customizing Items
The player can customize items in their inventory with attachments. At the minute it's just a single attachment but I'm planning on adding the option to add more than one and see how it plays (e.g. add a timer and a sensor, where when the timer runs out it activates the sensor). Both the items (Bombs, distraction items etc.) as well as the attachments can be crafted out of stuff the player finds on the level. I'm also thinking of creating a store between levels too where the player can use loot earned to buy stuff for the next level

Any thoughts?

Working on extra items and attachments at the minute. Below is a motion sensor that has a radius around the item, but I'm adding a sound sensor and straight line motion sensor an gonna see how they work out

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eyeliner
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2014, 10:47:07 am »

This is amazing! Great concept, I was convinced with the first gif. I loved it. Don't change a thing.
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Yeah.
wizered67
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2014, 11:47:04 am »

Totally agree! This game looks amazing and in really looking forward to updates.
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Paul
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2014, 06:32:11 am »

eyeliner & wizered67, thanks for the comments!

My updates are all over the place at the minute, I'll try to keep them more consistent. Lately I've been redoing some of the pathfinding, so here are some of the basics behind it

Pathfinding
Instead of using a grid across the level, when each tile is spawned it does a check on it's surroundings and creates a pathfinding node if needed. For example, when a tile is created, if there is no tile to it's left and no tile to the top, a pathfinding node is placed on the top left corner as the enemy will need it to navigate around. Most methods I've been looking at use a grid structure (these were mainly Unity based solutions) but I thought I'd simplify things by using this method instead. When the environment changes, e.g. a bomb blows up a few tiles, all the tiles in the surrounding area do a recheck and place new pathfinding nodes if needed. Below is an idea of how the pathfinder nodes (in green!) are placed in relation to tiles. It's simple, but it works. That said I'm not too familiar with pathfinding solution so if anyone spots any problems or something I should be looking into let me know!



I'm having some problems with performance at the minute, where if there is too many enemies following you at once there is a small bit of slowdown as they all try and recalculate paths together. I'm thinking I could stagger their recalculations so they do it all individually. Another option that I've seen done in some games, is if two or more enemies are close enough together one will be a leader and they will share his path, so only the leader needs to recalculate. However I'd rather they all think for themselves as it might be more interesting and lead to groups of guards splitting to search.

Some things left to do::

  • Smooth out the way they turn corners and just make the movement more natural looking and animated
  • I also want to look into how I can get guards to flank or surround a player when searching, to try and create more interesting situations to escape from
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Paul
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2014, 03:47:24 pm »

Ropes
The last few days I've been working on ropes and thinking about how to integrate them into the game. Since the game is 2D and I want to have as many possible routes through a situation, the player needs to be able to move vertically a lot more and not just rely on pipes, ladders or set pieces in the level like I've been using so far. I thought about wall jumping but ropes would be a limited resource like in Spelunky so might be more interesting. They work in a bit of a weird way at the minute. The player shoots the wall, and then attaches the base of the rope to the ground nearest to him. If anything gets in the way like a tile, the rope bends around it and will break after a certain distance is reached. This means no swinging on the ropes but the levels are pretty tight anyway so I'd rather not have it

They took a while to create but I think they're relatively solid now.. I'll post some gifs once I get the player animations done for the climbing

Attempt #1


Attempt #8


Attempt #8.5

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Savick
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2014, 05:23:05 pm »

I like the graphical style and the UI looks super user friendly. I can only see it needing a story, but maybe not if it's fun as it is? I hope this goes far.
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Paul
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2014, 01:35:54 am »

I can only see it needing a story, but maybe not if it's fun as it is?

Hopefully it doesn't need a story, or even just a simple story will do. Just focusing on getting a demo running first and then things like this can be decided, along with art and music  Smiley
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Paul
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2014, 02:32:15 am »

Update #4
Some gifs of the rope and how it works. Shoot one end and  fix the other to the ground or wall and then it can be climbed! Some limitations though; It has a maximum length, above which it breaks and if any of the tiles it's attached to is destroyed then the rope will be too.



I made a small climbing animation that I'm definitely going to change in the near future because I'm not happy with it. I might make the character hang down rather than wrap around the rope too (All animations will probably be changed or at least improved once I settle on an art style. They're all a bit rough at the minute). Next to do is level generation, after which I'll hopefully have some sort of mini playable demo Smiley I also have to figure out how to make gifs properly :/

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macepoodle
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2014, 09:05:38 am »

Hi Paul,

This is looking fantastic so far. Very much looking forward playing this one in the future. Keep up the great work.
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2014, 10:18:15 am »

Hello Paul

I like the animation and the minimalist aesthetic of your project. It reminds me to N the Way of Ninja in some ways Smiley

The gameplay also looks smooth and full of possibilities!  Wink
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Fenrir
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« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2014, 02:11:30 am »

The rope idea is great! Smiley What about doing some sort of grapple with it? The main concern I have by doing a top down game is not being able to add a grapple, you're so lucky... Smiley
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Collarblind
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« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2014, 08:21:02 pm »

Hey there, this looks very very promising, man! Have you thought about maybe NOT freezing time when the character is assembling those gadgets and traps? I realize this would make the game considerably harder, but think about how much adrenaline it could infuse into gameplay! Of course if  you wanted to do it, you would have to really simplify the attachments, making them as easily and intuitively accessible as possible. You could reduce the gadgets to maybe 4 (preferably less); one for each of the D-pad buttons (assuming you control the main character with the left analog stick), then you either use the gadget or press one of the D-pad buttons again to choose attachments. Kinda hard, but it would force the player to judge a situation as quickly as possible and also make the right decisions as quickly as possible. I don't know how much these concepts would be adequate to a stealth game as they're all about waiting for the right time to act, but hey, here's my two cents anyway!

Watching...  Noir
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« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2014, 08:48:35 pm »

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Paul
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2014, 03:29:26 am »

Thanks for all the comments!

I like the animation and the minimalist aesthetic of your project. It reminds me to N the Way of Ninja in some ways Smiley

I'm actually thinking of changing the look! Smiley The current art is kind of placeholder art, I'd like to add a lot more detail and colour to give each of the levels a different feel

The rope idea is great! Smiley What about doing some sort of grapple with it?

You mean grapple and swing on the rope? The levels are very tight so might not allow much swinging but it's in its early stages yet and would definitly be nice to have. Maybe using an upgraded version of the grapple hook could grab and pull enemies  Undecided

Have you thought about maybe NOT freezing time when the character is assembling those gadgets and traps?

I initially had it so it didn't freeze but it was kind of frustrating. If an enemy was approaching or chasing you and you needed to create an item in order to escape, you had very little time and more often than not would end up losing a lot of health. I like your idea of making the customizing super fast but it limits the amount of possible items and I'd rather have a large array of things you can make rather than just a handful in order to give the player more choice. I'm also adding the possibility to add multiple items on something e.g. You will be able to add a sensor and sticky stuff to a bomb.
I could actually just slow down time to about 1/10th of normal speed Undecided That might be pretty cool  Smiley
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Paul
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2014, 07:32:30 am »

Update #5

Game Types
While working on the level generation I started thinking about possible game modes to include in the game and how they'll be laid out.

Main Game
I want to create a world map a bit like Super Mario World or Shovel Knight where you can unlock more than one level at a time. This should allow the player more choice in how they want to progress through the game. Certain levels will have certain challenges in them, like a type of vault or enemy so giving the player a choice will allow them to avoid something they find difficult or tackle a level according to their inventory at the time (Maybe one vault needs a certain type of bomb to get through so no need to do that level until you can afford that item). You don't need to pass every level to finish the game, just the first and final stage

Secondary Game Mode(s)
The second game mode will be a challenge mode. This will consist of an endless level where the player gets an inventory full of random items and need to use these items to get through. The inventory will be emptied and restocked at certain points throughout the map with the aim being to get as far as possible. It's just an idea at the minute, I'll see how it plays out once I have it made
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