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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMASOCHISIA | The Long-Tail (Fall, Christmas & Lunar Sale Stats)
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Zizka
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« Reply #80 on: February 25, 2015, 12:31:40 PM »

Last character is pretty wicked, favorite so far. I like those insane characters, I hope the next ones are all kind of crazy like this one. Reminds me of a character you'd find in Twister Metal Black. Unique stuff. The idea of eating his own face is really out there too.  Hand Thumbs Up Right

Quote from: oldblood
To clarify, I never said there would be "cutting". Although I did say there would be some form of "self-mutilation"

I jumped to conclusion, I figured self-mutilation would refer to the most common type thereof.

Quote from: oldblood
I'm not attempting to push an envelope deliberately here.

That's not what I meant, I mean deliberately. I think this project is too personal for you to push the envelope on purpose.

Quote from: oldblood
(1.) This is based on a true story. I won't sugar coat the reality behind this game. Likely, this will be detrimental to people's reaction to it...

That'd be a pretty interesting debate to have but I'd be derailing your topic too much. Maybe some other time.

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(3.) I have no real expectations for this game as a commercial product so it's hard to be nervous about its features negatively impacting consumers. Will I try to put it on Greenlight? Likely. Why not? Do I anticipate a commercial release? I'm not sure. There is no Kickstarter, this is all being funded myself because I no one else would fund it...

I was referring to:

Quote from: olblood
I could very easily be wasting (what will be) months of my life and thousands of dollars developing out a game that no one will "play" but me.

I was getting the impression from that quote that you there was a risk involve as you were saying "possible waste" but I misunderstood. Now I better understand that this really is a personal project where you're letting anything in your way to express your creativity. That's pretty awesome.  Hand Thumbs Up Right

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The whole thing is a big risk on my part and it could all blow up in my face (1), but doing what we want to do is the whole point of being an "indie developer" right? Let's push some boundaries...

(1) How so? It's a personal project and you have no commercial expectations, the way I see it there's risk that anything will blow up in your face. You'll just get your project done and that's it, it'll be a great creative experience.

(2) I wouldn't say that's the point of being an indie developer (not for me) but I understand that it can be for some people.

Looking forward to the next NPC.
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oldblood
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« Reply #81 on: February 27, 2015, 06:22:22 AM »

You're definitely not failing to set a very specific mood with these characters, that's for sure.

Thanks. And thanks for the tips on pacing. Lots of peaks and valleys in game dev...

Last character is pretty wicked, favorite so far. I like those insane characters, I hope the next ones are all kind of crazy like this one. Reminds me of a character you'd find in Twister Metal Black. Unique stuff. The idea of eating his own face is really out there too.  Hand Thumbs Up Right

Well, good news. Pretty much all of the characters left fall into the "hallucination" category so most of them are going to be "out there".

I appreciate the detailed response too. Some of the statements I made came across as a bit "universal" to indie game dev and that is incorrect. So when I say things like "that's the whole point of being an indie dev", obviously I can only speak for myself. I know there are MANY reasons why we each are here right now.

***

DEVLOG 22.

Keeping this one short. Working on a couple fronts at the moment:

Public Alpha: Was originally due to go out this weekend. That isn't happening. Maybe mid-March? Maybe end of March? I hope not. Been setting aggressive goals for myself but need to be realistic too. What I will be sharing will a rough WIP. I know this. But at the same time-- I'd like to minimize just how shitty it is.

Rooms: Working on some new rooms. Currently have about 8-10 rooms that I need to complete for the Alpha. So that's a lot. It's probably the biggest obstacle to hurdle. But, I will get a few more completed this weekend and about 6(ish) to churn out over the next couple weeks. Slowly but surely.

Dialogue: As much as I ramble on here, you would think my dialogue roughdrafts would be flowing but they're not. Writing dialogue drafts has been tiring and tediously slow. I have the functionality in place, I just need to get the dialogue in. Expect a video or devlog showing more details on dialouge very soon.

Animation Updates: Spent the last couple evenings getting in "first pass" animations to all the new NPC's that have been added over the last week. Also been going back through to refine previous animations:

Some improvements: Subtle mouth movement and blinking.
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metagrue
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« Reply #82 on: February 28, 2015, 11:30:57 PM »

I just read the whole devlog and all I can say is I am truly fascinated.

Subbed and looking forward to more.  Grin
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oldblood
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« Reply #83 on: March 02, 2015, 06:44:56 AM »

I just read the whole devlog and all I can say is I am truly fascinated.

I almost feel bad that you read the whole devlog. I'm so sorry. But thanks for following!

***

DEVLOG 23.

Cranked out a few more rooms over the weekend. This is the area leading up to your home (front and backyard). Don't have much to say here. You meet the "Family" inside the house and maybe you meet some other people in the vicinity...



The front of the home. The house is modeled after old Victorian style homes. Wanted the house to feel like it used to be quite lovely, but not for a very long time...



The back of the home. Added some creepy elements back here. A statue that follows some of the "shadowy" character done previously. Some numbers are scratched into a tree. Perhaps they mean something?
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« Reply #84 on: March 04, 2015, 03:59:05 AM »

Getting even more interesting.
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oldblood
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« Reply #85 on: March 05, 2015, 06:51:46 AM »

DEVLOG 24.

A cloud is lifting from my head and I'm beginning to understand what I'm creating this game. I'm beginning to realize "why" I'm making this. I need this out of my system, like a virus from my body.

And I've just come to realize: This is all just a test! It's just a "game". It's just a experiment.

***

There will be subliminal messages.

Or at least, a form of it.

I talked to my doctor about this, and he told me he felt that adding this to the game would be-- "irresponsible”. If we’re very honest though, we can safely assume that various forms of subliminal messaging, priming or stimulus have been incorporated into games for some time. We know it’s in the marketing, it would only make sense for it to be in the game as well. I’m making a devlog here. And I’m being transparent about every step of the development process, so I’m talking about this as well.

At their essence, “subliminal messages” are words, pictures or sounds inserted into media to appeal to our subconscious without us even being aware. Achieving this is known as the crossing the Absolute Threshold. Or, the point where something is obvious enough for an organism (or say, your conscious) to become aware of it’s existence even if you haven’t.

Jon, what do these messages say?

Well, that's the experiment isn't it?

In 1961, psychological tests were conducted to determine if Nazi soldiers were accountable as "war criminals" or simply ordinary men doing what they were ordered to do. The results of these tests were surprising. At some level, this "game" is based on these tests.

But how do I know the story behind this story?

Because I will tell you. But I wont tell with words and I wont tell you with pictures. At least, not words or pictures that you will be able to immediately understand. But then you will realize: It's a code. And then, you will break the code. And when you break the code, its all plain as English.

And when you've broken the code and you read the true story, you will learn that: Reality is far more horrifying than anything I could ever put into a game...
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« Reply #86 on: March 05, 2015, 10:41:30 AM »

follow follow follow
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« Reply #87 on: March 06, 2015, 09:32:30 PM »

I had wondered what the numbers mean...

I'm not much of a codebreaker unfortunately. WTF
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #88 on: March 07, 2015, 03:02:17 AM »

Still one of the more intriguing devlogs in progress right now, the old tv effect in particular sets the game apart in its look-and-feel. Quite interested in how the deeper aspects of the gameplay, beyond moving around, will work.

Have you any thoughts about drawing too narrow a line between mental illness and violence? In films it's certainly a tired trope, "oh no insane person is dangerous", and the mental health professionals I know are particularly uncharitable towards it, as people suffering mental illness (even the ones who can have tendencies towards violence) are significantly more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators in abuse.

I suppose what I'm asking is whether it's unhelpful to portray these men and women as "the bad guy", and perpetuate the taboo of mental illness? Hmm, yes, that does seem a bit like a loaded question, but I am genuinely curious as to your thoughts on this. One of the 'intriguing' aspects of this devblog is that no one can be quite sure if your style of writing from the perspective of a deeply-troubled artist (monospaced font and all) is accurate, or just a character you are playing.
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oldblood
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« Reply #89 on: March 07, 2015, 09:17:20 AM »

follow follow follow

Thanks!

I'm not much of a codebreaker unfortunately.

Yes, it's a fine line between heavy-handed and subtle. Breaking the code won't be too challenging, determining if you want to then find out what it all means will (I assume) be based solely on how interested you are in seeing what everything says...

Have you any thoughts about drawing too narrow a line between mental illness and violence?

Thanks for reading and complimenting. It's always encouraging to get feedback, particularly when I'm working on something that tends to be draining. These are great questions you're asking... albeit ones that are challenging to answer.

The fact you're asking this very question means that hopefully I'm already on the right track. I want people who play this "game" to ask questions. I'm lacing a lot into this game and I know that most of it will never be caught or expounded on, but at the very least-- if people are asking questions then I will be happy. Yes, there is a VERY fine line. It is worth reiterating though that the violence in this game is all based on a true story. If anything-- I'm removing a lot of the violence because, I just can't push all of it without appearing as if I'm trying to just create SHOCK for the sake of SHOCK. And that is simply not the case and really, it would detract from what I'm trying to accomplish. As I said, reality is far more horrifying than anything I can or would put into this "game". Perhaps an over-simplification but violent mental illness is typically: (1.) Hereditary (2.) Conditioned (traditionally via abuse).

I suppose what I'm asking is whether it's unhelpful to portray these men and women as "the bad guy", and perpetuate the taboo of mental illness? Hmm, yes, that does seem a bit like a loaded question, but I am genuinely curious as to your thoughts on this.

I don't mean to answer questions with questions but that's kind of the point. I'm asking myself similar questions.

● Will the Player be violent because I tell them to be violent?
● Can you view someone who does deplorable things with sympathy?
● Should you view someone who does deplorable things with sympathy?
● Who is the victim? The sadist or the recipient?
● If you knew you would become truly evil, would you change?
● Can you really change what you can't control?
● Should I view the Player quitting my "game" as something positive?

That probably doesn't answer your question. I think in essence, some will view what I'm doing as furthering the taboo of violence and mental illness. Others may think I'm combating it. Maybe they're both right? But if they have to ask, then I'm doing what I set out to do.

One of the 'intriguing' aspects of this devblog is that no one can be quite sure if your style of writing from the perspective of a deeply-troubled artist (monospaced font and all) is accurate, or just a character you are playing.

Ah, I can see how that would be a question.

Not to be vague-- but can I good at playing a troubled character without being troubled in actuality? So I suppose determining if I'm deeply troubled or just playing a character will come down to how good you think I'm doing?
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« Reply #90 on: March 07, 2015, 10:37:16 AM »

Thanks for your thoughts, I think that all makes sense. Having said that, the "I'm just asking questions" 'defence' (not that you have to defend anything) sounds thoughtful at first inspection, the issue of course is that one can place that after saying anything, including things we would all declare as horrific. "But I'm just asking questions about racism!" etc etc.

There's an English comedian named Stewart Lee who observes that you can say anything offensive, and if you follow it with a questioning/unsure facial expression then you are immediately and completely absolved, that that's "the same as having thought about it". It's quite an amusing indictment against people who, as you say, shock for shocks own sake.

Of course, it would be a terrible act of pre-judgement to make up one's mind about any of this with your game being only 20% done. Especially when there are so many actually finished and released films/games/tv-shows where people with mental illnesses are portrayed so poorly and thoughtlessly. If I were to have a hope for this particular game, and I suppose I do, because it does seem so interesting, is that by the time the game is available for everyone to experience, you will have made up your mind on a number of those questions and let those answers influence the design. The last thing I know we would both want is for someone playing the game to take a side-long glance at their packet of prescription medication and conclude that they're the bad guy.
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oldblood
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« Reply #91 on: March 08, 2015, 08:22:31 AM »

...Having said that, the "I'm just asking questions" 'defence' (not that you have to defend anything) sounds thoughtful at first inspection, the issue of course is that one can place that after saying anything, including things we would all declare as horrific. "But I'm just asking questions about racism!" etc etc.

I understand the point you're making. While I'm not disagreeing, it's worth mentioning that not every question has an answer. I don't think I can answer all of the questions in my head, honestly- most of them probably have multiple answers. Me attempting to answer them forces my opinion on you and usually comes across heavy-handed (and possibly wrong). This is why it's a great tactic, it can be used as an evasion-- but sometimes it's asking questions it doesn't know the answer to that maybe there should be discourse around...

The last thing I know we would both want is for someone playing the game to take a side-long glance at their packet of prescription medication and conclude that they're the bad guy.

I think that is an excellent take-away for me.

***

DEVLOG 25.

Symbolically-- this would be my "silver" update. Which is ironic as today I'd like to introduce you to a gray creature known as "THE WOLF".

CASE 01.

You face a variety of hallucinations throughout the game. Each one is a physical representation of a part of who YOU are. All of the traits of the "villain" you will become are manifested within these hallucinations. From the Boogeyman, to the Wolf. The most dangerous of the hallucinations, the Wolf was designed to be a physical cross between a wolf (of course) and an old man...


A rough first-pass of animation. Blinking occurs on a separate animation layer which I blend over the other animations using RNG to make the blinking occur at random points, so it isn't visible on this single animation here- but will be visible when actually in-game.
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oldblood
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« Reply #92 on: March 10, 2015, 05:45:56 AM »

DEVLOG 26.

Nothing too exciting to show here at the moment. A lot of work occurring behind the scenes, will post future devlogs to cover each of these items in a bit more detail:

● More room/environment art in progress (House interior)
● More characters in progress. Have about 5 characters left to reveal
● Work on getting some SFX into the game
● A friend is initiating work on the music

At this exact moment however, my focus is on the Progression & Dialogue.

The progression FSM continues to grow (as I knew it would). It will get dramatically larger than this but, its nice to see events falling in line:

Progression Finite-State Machine

Currently a lot of these events fire when the proper trigger is hit but mostly, they're all in a very unpolished state so while you can now progress through a variety of events- its all pretty cut and dry at the moment.

I'm also getting the first dialogue trees written and into place.

WIP Discourse. A conversation splinters off a single question...

And no, clearly I'm not very OCD on the dialogue tree layout. But bear in mind, this is mostly placeholder at this stage...

Both progression and dialogue are processes that are all about iteration. Reiterating and improving the same thing over and over again. The biggest challenge is my self-imposed time constraints. How much time should I spend polishing when my main objective is to work as fast as possible? Right now, my focus is on getting the functionality and placeholder dialogue in place, will refine once more is in place. But its all still very much work-in-progress...
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« Reply #93 on: March 10, 2015, 09:36:55 AM »

That dialogue tree looks awesome, I would of never thought of something like that Shocked
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oldblood
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« Reply #94 on: March 10, 2015, 11:23:26 AM »

That dialogue tree looks awesome, I would of never thought of something like that Shocked

Yeah, if you plan on having anything more than some simple text pop-ups, it's hugely beneficial to have some sort of visual node-based editor for managing the trees. If creating your own tools isn't one of your strong points, there are a variety of tools available to make it easier for you. Ranging from very simplistic to incredibly advanced.

Right now I'm just building out the skeletons of the trees. Will probably go back through to re-write them as I go. Attempted to roughdraft in standard word or excel type formats but its just not very efficient when I can roughdraft directly into the game itself and refine later. Much easier to organize and grow the options directly in the editor.
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oldblood
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« Reply #95 on: March 12, 2015, 07:57:10 AM »

DEVLOG 27.

Grace. That's all that needs to be said.

Who is Grace?

You wouldn't understand. Grace, she is... the sweetest thing I've ever known. She is innocence. Purity. Childhood. She is everything beautiful that I could never be.

Innocent, perfect, Grace.

What does Grace do for you?

Grace is the maybe the only person in Masochisia who is truly good. When my sanity is slipping and the darkness is enveloping me and I see the Monsters coming-- I call for Grace. And she will always save me.

How do you call for Grace?

The Angel. He once gave me--

What angel?

Michael. I told you about him in the very beginning of this story. He once gave me a handful of needles. Not just any needles, magic needles. If ever I needed to be saved, whenever things were at their darkest- I could push this needle into my hand, and Grace would come. She always comes.

And when Grace is with me, all of my demons flee.

I feel the needle point on the skin. It pushes against me sharply. Pressure. So very sharp. Then a pop as it punctures. The pressure gives way as the needle glides in deeper. It meets no resistance till it touches the very nerves within my hand. The pain surges like lightning in my bones. And then, I smile-- because I know salvation is near...
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« Reply #96 on: March 16, 2015, 06:18:23 AM »

DEVLOG 28.

The longer I work on this game, the more I realize the term "horror" is setting up this game for failure. This is not a horror game. This is a game about horrible things. This is not to say the game won't try to scare you from time to time, but generally speaking- it's not about being afraid...

After all, you're the scariest monster in the whole game...

***

I'm starting to become acutely aware of how impossible my time-lines have been thus far. Do not misunderstand this to mean that I'm dissatisfied with the progress that has been made on this game. I've just hit 2.5 months of development and I think the game has developed a lot of features and content during that time.

If I'm being very honest with myself, this game has progressed farther in 2.5 months than any other title I've worked on. That being said, I'm still disappointed I've missed all of my own deadlines to date. This forces me to re-evaluate my existing time-lines and makes me question whether I can meet the 6 month deadline? I'm almost half-way through my schedule and have yet to release even a demo. There is a very fine line here as this game will very likely NOT sit well with consumers so how much time I invest into it is... risky. At the same time, releasing something I'm not happy with won't do me any good either. Fine lines to be walked here.

I think the first 25% and final 10% of a game are probably (for me) the two most challenging aspects of developments. You're trying to get so much functionality in place in the beginning and then tying up so many loose ends at the very end of development... If I can just push through, the rest of development will start falling in line quickly. At least, until the end...

***

Music. This is challenging for me. I'm not a musician...

Luckily for me-- I have friends who are. We've been in discussion for several weeks now, trying to nail down what the music should (or should not) sound like. With the unique looks and colors of the game, it would make sense that the music would also be either experimental or unique from traditional "horror".

Here is some test music based around a "softer" theme. Music would vary from soft to aggressive depending on the circumstances:
https://db.tt/SaCM2nyX

I'd be interested in any feedback that you may have. Does this work? Does it not? Should it be more ambient? Should there be vocals? How will it blend with the sound effects in the game? There is a lot of discussion to work through and I'm sure I will share more tracks here as we progress deeper into discussions.

***

What have I been doing? This is a good question.

Dialogue. I've drafted a first pass of all of the demo dialogue into the game. It all needs some spit and polish and there are some issues with the dialogue trees that I need to sort out, but this was a big part of the last few days.
Environment Art. The "rooms" throughout the House are well into development. Been going at these rooms for about 2 weeks now but I think you will find that they're quite good. It's different to shift between the outdoor areas and then move to confined spaces in doors. I hope to have these all wrapped up and into the game this week. Getting all of the "House Rooms" into the game is one of the key pieces to finishing the demo.
Character Art. We're getting down to the last characters in the game. This is one area were I'm ahead of schedule. Most of the characters in progress at this point wont even be in the demo (including the Wolf, Grace, the Guardian) and others. I've completed 2 other characters that I'm a bit hesitant to share at this stage, and there are just 2 left that I still need to begin.
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oldblood
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« Reply #97 on: March 18, 2015, 06:05:03 AM »

DEVLOG 28.1

Another music test, this one is testing music for when sanity has dropped below its proper threshold. This test utilizes the insanity SFX I shared a few pages back and adding some musical elements to them.

Short snippet, but think it's working on setting the mood. Thoughts?

https://db.tt/Wg3xycxJ
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« Reply #98 on: March 20, 2015, 05:10:08 AM »

DEVLOG 29.

Still working on the home environments. Almost all of the characters in the game have been completed though, which is a big deal and way ahead of schedule. You can expect more updates on new characters soon, although these updates may contain "spoilers", but I've been very transparent with this devlog so I won't hold too much much and frankly speaking...

...I've alluded to a lot of dark shit that I haven't actually talked about in detail. So I'm not too worried about killing the experience.

***

Got a fully-functioning menu with basic options & controls/keybinding. The icons, cursor and all that are placeholder. Not sure on the background, but I thought it was a cool scene so its what's there currently. Important thing is that the menu is there, can spruce it up as we go...

Low-res WIP.

***

A lot of parts of this game have evolved over the last 2.5 months. One aspect that has evolved dramatically is the role of a NARRATOR:

● Initially, I was planning on bringing in a voice actor to be the "Narrator". In a later reveal, you would discover the narrator is actually you, but from a different time in your life. I've used voice actors in other games, and a great actor can really add a lot to a project. But (1.) I wasn't sold on this idea. (2.) The game was moving more towards being "text heavy" (3.) Everyone would need to be voiced in the Narrator was (4.) Concerns over if the voice actor would be comfortable actually saying the shit he would need to (5.) Budgetary concerns.

● Because of these concerns, the narration evolved to a "Conscience System" which would be a text-based system where the player would be questioned by their conscience. I don't think this was a bad idea, but this quickly evolved to another iteration.

● Hearing voices is a key part of this story. It would make sense that you should actually "hear" the voices in your head in the game. Even if its a text-based game with no actual voice. The challenge being, how would you differentiate normal dialogue with characters verses voices in your head? I decided to add some effects to the text to increase the feeling of "insanity" and also blurred up the background to attempt and recreate the "fog" that is often associated with hearing voices and losing sight of everything else...

First Pass of talking to the "Voice in your Head".

Personally, it's a bit hard on the eyes-- but I don't know that this is a bad thing. Just how comfortable are you when you're hearing voices in your head? In my experience, not very. What do you think?
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« Reply #99 on: March 20, 2015, 06:47:23 AM »

I like the idea of the girl being faceless. That's something which has always freaked me out, characters without a face, it's not so much horror but it makes me feel uneasy. The face feels a bit flat at the moment though.

I prefer characters which trigger unease (like the guy in the straight jacket) than actual "monsters" like the wolf, which I like the least. It's like comparing Lynch to other horror directors. Lynch made you feel bad with simple things. I find the wolf is too stereotypical compared to the rest of the crew. It's still nice though, just feel like it's sticking out not in a good way.

As for the rest, looks cool as usual. Keep at it!
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