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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBallast Blow (was: Das Boot [working tittle])
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Author Topic: Ballast Blow (was: Das Boot [working tittle])  (Read 3917 times)
johnhackworth
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« on: November 23, 2014, 09:16:32 am »

Hi everyone! This is my first post on TIGsource! I have been a lurker for quite some time now, and I finally have decided to start my own devlog for the game I'm currently working on  Smiley

Das Boot (I need a new title, for sure) is a strategy/uboat combat/alternate WWII simulator

The gameplay is very influenced from FTL: You command a ship (a submarine), manage a crew and you explore a map doing missions and encountering with different foes. But where the FTL centers on improving your ship and getting more firepower, I want to make Das Boot much more based on crew stats & dynamics.

Each crew member has stats that affects how good he is doing different tasks in your sub. They can be improved with experience, and, between missions, you can also enlist new sailors to work with you (using the fame you have earned in your missions as currency). Some of the sailors with have special perks that allows them to do tasks that regular sailors can't do (for example: "Doctor" perk that will allow him to heal other sailors).

Also, each sailor will have some 'personality' stats, that will make your actions affect to his morale. For example: when you sink a enemy ship, there's a chance that it can throw lifeboats full of survivors, that can reach your sub (if you're surfaced) and ask for your help. You will get the choice of getting the enemy sailors as prisoners or let them stranded at the sea. Both options will affect the morale of your own sailors, depeding on how much compassionate they are.

Also, I plan to have a 'story telling engine' to create an alternate WWII. The game will start in 1934, after the german communist party starts a civil war against the nazis. You will start as a submarine captain of the german red army... And depending on your actions, and what happens with several random events (something similar to what Paradox games usually have), the international situation will change. For example, if you mistakenly (or not) sink a french merchant, you will probably get that France declares war to germany, etc etc.

In top of that, when you start a new game, you will be asked about the 'weirdness' level you want. This level would affect the kind of events you get. In the level 0, you will get all plain WWII type of events & technologies. On the level 5, you could get some mad-scientist type of weapons when the game progress (laser cannons on a submarine? why not!) . On the level 10, you could end defending the world against Cthulhu after R'lyeh surfaces in the middle of the atlantic (And that's totally a line of events I plan to add)

A sunny day in north atlantic:


Getting shelled by a battleship:


Shooting the deck gun!


Torpedo!


Being boarded by enemy commandos:


Map screen (it's horrid right now, I know)


Sailor's stats


I suck at making gifs (you can see it better on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/embed/928EzkWAMBA ):


The game is being done by me, all alone, and it's all HTML5 (webGL), but the idea is to export it to a desktop app with node-webkit. All you can see right now is placeholder art, of course ... Right now, I have a prototype of the combat stage and the map screen where you choose where to go. I keep adding funcionality and refining what I already have step by step. Next things to add:

- Assauls by enemy commands (right now they board your sub and follow and stalk your sailors, but they don't really do anything)
- Aerial attacks
- Crew management screen
- Event system
- etc



 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 12:20:06 am by johnhackworth » Logged

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dukope
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2014, 09:47:10 am »

This looks great. Just tons of potential. I especially like the how naturally the split screen view works for this setup.. And the weirdness level is a great idea too.

Keep at it. You're gonna have an awesome game on your hands. Smiley

(Change the title soon!)
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johnhackworth
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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2014, 10:17:47 pm »

Thanks a lot! I'm trying to think a better name, "dasBoot" is just the name of my repository and has 0 chances to be the final one (If anyone has any suggestion, they are more than welcome!  Grin).

(by the way, what you are doing with "Return of the Obra Dinn" is stunning!)
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bornander
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2014, 02:19:32 am »

I think this looks cool, both the art-style but also what I imagine the game-mechanics would be like. It seems to be Silent Service for the NES, except you've added the stuff I was missing in that game (as in more managing of your sub).

Keep it up and keep us posted on the progress.



 
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« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2014, 05:46:21 am »

...(If anyone has any suggestion, they are more than welcome!  Grin)...

Some random quick ideas:

Submersive

Death At Any Depth

Death Tube


Variations: Submersion, Death At Depth, Death Hull

I'm sure there's a lot of cool submarine-related terminology that you could pull a good title out of. My one piece of advice is to avoid the temptation to use a term or phrase as-is since this will bury you in search results (like "Das Boot" would). So, for example, "Torpenator" instead of just "Torpedo".

Good luck!
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johnhackworth
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« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2014, 01:34:07 pm »

I've been sharpening a little my skills as gif creator, here's a detail of the central part of the submarine & animations:

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johnhackworth
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« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2014, 01:57:01 pm »


I'm sure there's a lot of cool submarine-related terminology that you could pull a good title out of. My one piece of advice is to avoid the temptation to use a term or phrase as-is since this will bury you in search results (like "Das Boot" would). So, for example, "Torpenator" instead of just "Torpedo".

Yeah, that's a good way to find a good name, for sure! Smiley

Some of the first potential names that comes to my mind after checking a little around the wikipedia submarine's section could be:

· Wilhemshaven (Wilhemshvn? probably not very seo-friendly to call the game as a german city)
· Ballast Blow (as in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_main_ballast_tank_blow)
· Rudeltaktik (german for "wolf pack" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfpack_(naval_tactic)

« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 02:31:21 pm by johnhackworth » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2014, 06:04:31 pm »

For title suggestions, what about "SUW" (Slowly Under Water) :p?

Joke aside, I really like the idea, and those gifs looks damn cool! Smiley
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johnhackworth
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2015, 01:35:04 pm »

Well... tons of work have been done since the last time I posted... Now you can recruit your crew and there's a random event system. And well, I finally picked a non-default name! I'm not 100% sure about it, but sounds better than "das boot", of course.

I need to write a propper post about the new features, but here's a small video of two minutes of play of the last build! Smiley




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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2015, 01:36:36 am »

I need to write a propper post about the new features, but here's a small video of two minutes of play of the last build! Smiley

Looking good!
Loading the torpedo tube is painfully slow, it got me all stressed up. Which is what you were going for I guess, so well done.
I am looking forward to trying this game out.
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johnhackworth
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« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2015, 06:35:51 am »

thank you bornander!

hehe, yeah, you're right. I'm not looking very much at the game balance yet, I still writing the bare minimum features to be able to have a early version of the most important parts of the game, and then begin to see how it behaves and begin to tweak things up Smiley

anyway, in the video, only one sailor was loading the torpedoes: that needs to be slow! you can have up to 4 guys down there doing that task, and since I was using the deck gun to fire to the enemy ships,  I wasn't paying a lot of attention to the torpedoes. Also, I didn't even checked the stats of the guy before sending him there, he probably had a crappy 'artillery / guns knowledge" stat and thats why it was SO slow! (I probably need to add some kind of quick-check indicators to see what each character is good at before checking the whole stats, that would come in handy)
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bornander
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 05:09:13 am »

anyway, in the video, only one sailor was loading the torpedoes: that needs to be slow! you can have up to 4 guys down there doing that task, and since I was using the deck gun to fire to the enemy ships,  I wasn't paying a lot of attention to the torpedoes. Also, I didn't even checked the stats of the guy before sending him there, he probably had a crappy 'artillery / guns knowledge" stat and thats why it was SO slow! (I probably need to add some kind of quick-check indicators to see what each character is good at before checking the whole stats, that would come in handy)

I didn't mean it like I thought it was too slow, I thought it worked well. For a game like this I think actions like single handedly loading a torpedo tube should be slow. It gave me the same feeling of suspense and stress as a good movie.
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johnhackworth
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2015, 12:38:52 pm »

I didn't mean it like I thought it was too slow, I thought it worked well. For a game like this I think actions like single handedly loading a torpedo tube should be slow. It gave me the same feeling of suspense and stress as a good movie.

Well, that sound like the kind of feeling I'm looking for!! Thank you! Smiley
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johnhackworth
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2015, 10:16:01 pm »

I'm tinkering with the character sheet screen and I can't decide which is better. The idea is to have some kind of paper sheet, like the kind of file you would expected from an army back in the 30's. I'm not doing anything very fancy, just a paper texture background and some filters over the character face module I already have. But I'm not sure about the kind of filter I like more.

I have this three options:








any opinions?
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2015, 02:14:53 pm »

The third one has the coolest overall look IMHO, but I'm afraid it'll make it hard to differentiate between team members when you a huge crew. So I'll vote for the second one - nice look, and easy to read.
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johnhackworth
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« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2015, 12:19:36 am »

I have been wanting to write a proper update for weeks! But lots of stuff happening in my daily job is making all the game related work going quite slow   Waaagh!

Ok, since my last (and only) big update I have done some things:

- Name! As I said, the game is now called Ballast Blow
- Crew recruitment: You can now recruit your crew. For recruiting you need to employ reputation points... Each new sailor 'costs' an amount of this points, depending on their stats. And you get this reputation points sinking enemy ships and completing missions (when they are implemented).
- Each character now have a full character sheet with several attributes and perks. This attributes&perks affects how they do each task in the sub, but also which random events can get and how they interact with their colleagues. For example, if you have a salir with the perk 'alcoholic' you can get some nasty random events, or if you have a sailor with the homophobic perk and another one with a high kinsey stat, you probably get some conflicts between both.
- Nation relations: Each nation has a diplomatic stance with each other. At the begining of the game, you (Revolutionary Germany) begin at war with Nazi Germany (alt-history time! the game begins after a leftist uprising  after being alerted of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_of_the_Long_Knives, and that evolves into a full german civil war between both germanies). Player's action will affect the relations of the country (if you decide to attack a neutral ship, its country probably will end declaring war on you, for example), but also there's going to be random events and scripted event-chains that affect who is at war with who.
- Lots of small performance & visual improvements
- In-sub fighting and enemy assaults. If you are near enemy's coast and they have located you, you can get an enemy commandoes squad assaulting your sub.

Some captures:



Sailor character sheet





Nation relations (horrible early version):



Shelling a nazi destroyer at night:







Character sheet at the combat screen:


After battle report (well, pretty small report yet):


Random event available only for characters with 'paramedic' perk:


Enemy Assault (with a pretty bad sea storm):


Sunny day at northern sea:


The map screen:



Well, still lot things to do, of course, but this is begining to look like a game! Smiley







« Last Edit: February 03, 2015, 03:43:48 am by johnhackworth » Logged

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johnhackworth
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« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2015, 05:55:27 am »

Also, a small video showing the animations in the map screen:



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johnhackworth
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2015, 02:02:36 am »

A couple of gifs:

rain effect:



captain log pages turn-passing animation:


edit: a log (== crappy quality) combat gif!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 04:40:46 pm by johnhackworth » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2015, 04:25:11 am »

Hey there, I'm the programmer on Seaworthy Seaworthygame.com

You're game is so cool! I'm making seaworthy because I wanted more of this type of gameplay and I'm super excited now that I'll hopefully get to play something that is roughly close to what I was shooting for but not made by me.

I love the setting, can't wait to see how it turns out. Let me know if you ever need a playtester.
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« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2015, 11:11:44 am »

I agree, this game probably will be awesome experience. Also - Seaworthy! Looks good!
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