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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsWanderer - Lo-fi Sci-fi Adventure RPG
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Author Topic: Wanderer - Lo-fi Sci-fi Adventure RPG  (Read 32939 times)
KaiserCVR
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« on: February 25, 2015, 04:24:50 am »


Our Kickstarter campaign is live!: LINK

And we're on Greenlight: LINK



Wanderer is an episodic 2D, low-res Sci-fi cinematic platformer/adventure game that tells the tale of a man named Rook, a greying convict who wakes from cold sleep aboard an orbital prison facility that's crash landed on the ruins of an Earth that's been abandoned by humanity. With the guidance of a hacker named Jin and the aid of a ragtag group of survivors, Rook must navigate the station and the wilds of Earth, struggling to survive against rioting prisoners and the bizarre extradimensional beasts that haunt the dead planet. Core gameplay merges platforming, pseudo-turn based combat, puzzle solving, and dialogue choice/decision making into a story driven, atmospheric experience.

Well, in theory. Ha! Wanderer is a design project I've been conceptualizing in my free time for close to a year now. It's morphed and evolved a ton since I started, but I'm finally at a point where I'm excited enough with what I've got to share with all you fine folks out there. I'm at a stage where I'd like to proceed with prototyping, but I've got zero programming know-how, so I'm eager to find a programmer to team up with. If you think these are the kinds of things you'd be excited about building, let me know! Until then I'll just keep plugging away at visual assets and playing in theory land! Never mind! Programmer's on board.  Smiley

Major mechanics/game design influences:
- Another World/Out of this World
- Quest for Glory series
- Paper Mario 1&2
- Telltale adventure games
- Mass Effect series
- Valkyrie Profile

Major tonal/conceptual inspirations
- Beyond Good and Evil
- Bioshock
- Cowboy Bebop
- Portal 1&2
- Full Throttle (LucasArts)

Story Overview
- In the fairly distant future, humans have escaped beyond the confines of their native planet after a mysterious, cataclysmic event has left it crawling with bizarre otherworldly ghost-like creatures and turned it a place where time and space have come ever so slightly unraveled. With colonies on Venus, Mars, the moons of Jupiter, and hundreds of massive space stations throughout the solar system, for humanity the Earth has become nothing more than a massive graveyard and a nostaligic memory.

The main character of the game's story, known simply as Rook, is an aged convict aboard an Alcatrez-esque orbital prison station called the VC Harlegand. The Harlegand is stationed in the now isolated corner of the galaxy around Earth, making escape a nearly impossible prospect.

After the prison crash lands on the Earth's surface for unknown reasons, Rook is awoken from a prisoner stasis pod by a friendly hacker and fellow prisoner named Jin who's jacked into his neural implants remotely from a security room in the prison's central tower. Unfortunately, as a death row prisoner who was never intended to be fully resuscitated, upon waking Rook finds himself suffering from fragmented memory, recurring hallucinations, and painful migraines. The prison's medbay can ease his symptoms, but Jin need's Rook's help to reactivate it.

Proposing a plan to escape the planet, she suggests the two work together towards a common goal of survival. The duo embark on a journey to gather what she needs for them to escape, which entails travelling to each of the cell blocks that detached and scattered across the Earth's surface when the prison crash landed. Each block (and the surrounding area) serves as a classic 'dungeon' of sorts, with puzzles to solve and adversaries to overcome.

A supplementary storyline unfolds through optional text logs and entries to the player's codex gained by exploring and interacting with the world. These offer additional detail and flavor to the game's setting for player's who are interesting in it's backstory.


Core Mechanics Overview


- At it's core, Wanderer plays like a cinematic platformer in the vein of Another World or Flashback. Similarly, the world is broken up into screens that you move through one at a time, but unlike those, the scale of each screen is not static (some screens are larger and zoomed out and others are closer and zoomed in). As you advance through the game you'll recruit party members that will accompany you. Party members will contexutually converse with one another and you depending on the current scenario and the combination of members you've brought (you can have two at a time, ala Bioware RPGs).



- As you explore and move through the world you'll find nodes that you can interact with in familiar "point and click" adventure game fashion (look at, talk about/to, use item with, pick-up etc.). These nodes have to be located by "looking" for them with the right analog stick (or mouse). All the HUD/menu elements in the game are represented visually as what's implied to be an in-world form of augmented reality generated by your character's cybernetic eye. Even dialogue is displayed as sort of a real time closed captioning. Due to his unstable mental state, there's a lot of fun to be had in the way these are represented/distorted.

As far as exploration goes, Wanderer takes some influence from the Metroidvania genre. You'll have the ability to openly explore the world, but there will be some areas that are blocked off until certain requirements have been met. You'll generally have a few different routes open to you at any given time, and you can choose which order to explore them in.





- The other major component of Wanderer is the combat. Enemies come in two flavors: the ghostly, seemingly mindless Lovecraft-ian apparitions that infest the Earth, and the assorted factions/gangs of convicts that have taken over the prison, with each gang having it's own characteristic look and personality. As in RPG's like Paper Mario or Valkyrie Profile, enemies are encountered as you move through the world. Both the player and the enemy are capable of striking one another with an attack, and if either one lands a hit, the game smoothly transitions into a turn based battle, with the side who was hit taking damage and going into the fight handicapped. The party members who are with you also join the battle (though I haven't yet decided whether they both join you or you have to swap between them).









- The battle system itself is heavily inspired by the Paper Mario series, in the sense that attacking and defending always have an element of timing and reaction. Wanderer's battle system is however a little bit more demanding, in that the enemy does not have traditional "turns" and does not announce it's attacks, it simply attacks (even as you are making decisions in the menu). You'll have to always keep an eye on the enemy to recognize which attack it's winding up for, and then time a block correctly to mitigate (or reduce) the damage. This makes it more akin to Quest for Glory (or perhaps Swords and Sworcery to be more hip) with a wider selection of actions than to a traditional turn based JRPG.

I'll go into more detail on the complexities of the battle mechanics a bit later, don't want to bog this post down too much. The key thing to take away is Wanderer emphasizes tactical thinking, awareness and reflex. Though each character has unique attributes and a skill tree that allows for some customization, there are no number based stats and no equipment management. The RPG elements are relatively light.



Welp, that's about all I've got to say for the moment. I'll start getting more specific with details and examples of the mechanics in my next posts. Thanks for reading! Hand Thumbs Up Left

Here's some early animation tests to play me out:




« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 10:33:54 pm by KaiserCVR » Logged

Fenrir
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« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2015, 04:41:09 am »

Wow, really nice! Smiley
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 05:24:11 am by Fenrir » Logged

lagdog
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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2015, 05:29:02 am »

this looks lovely, the art is really rad : o
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blekdar
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« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2015, 07:10:57 am »

Holy fuck this is awesome.

Art is fantastic, I really dig the concept. Characters being sassy during combat is very much welcome. The adventuring concept sounds great.

My only real crit is that the combat commands ui bubble...thing... tends to blend into the background (more-so on the battle with the nightmare inducing monster). Needs to be more readable, maybe icons instead?

The lufia series had a command system similar to what your doing, well it sort of did. You may be able to find some inspiration from it:



Basically you use the D-pad to highlight the command and select it. Worked well in my opinion.

Just a thought, the rest is looking great.
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jamesprimate
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2015, 07:24:21 am »

wahhh this looks amazing
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oldblood
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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2015, 07:28:23 am »

Gorgeous. And I don't even like pixel art. Characters have a "Gods Will Be Watching" look with more polish. Lovely aesthetic.
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« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2015, 09:28:23 am »

Wow, love the look and feel of this.  Esp those first two shots under Core Mechanics have so much detail and texture and sense of place to them (not to mention they look incredible).

I was just about to ask if you had high-res versions of these to use as wallpaper, then I right-clicked and "open image in new tab" to realize they're already 1920x1080 (I guess the forum shrinks them to fit).  Nice!  I can't believe the detail!

Good luck finding a programmer, I'd love to see this finished!
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PRDXCL
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2015, 11:17:41 am »

LOOKS GREAT / AMBITOUS
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KaiserCVR
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2015, 05:01:03 am »

Wow, thanks so much for the positive feedback all! I'm especially happy you guys are digging the visuals. I've spent pretty much the last year trying to refine and polish the art style, but I'm lovin' it now. It's so much fun to create things with!  Grin

@blekdar: Thank you! And thanks for pointing that out, I'll definitely check that system out! Since all the HUD stuff is supposed to be projected from your character's eye, I want it to have that slight transparent, holographic look, but that gets tricky in bright situations, so I'll have to figure out a way to deal with that.

Also, good news everyone! Well, maybe just me. Anyway, I've officially got Fenrir on programming, so prototyping can get started a lot sooner than I thought it would. This community is awesome!

Have some character art! These are a handful of factions you'll come across as you explore the prison. Each has their own motivations, and they may be a help or hindrance depending on the choices you make.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 05:16:02 am by KaiserCVR » Logged

Fenrir
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2015, 07:36:46 am »

Quote
I've officially got Fenrir on programming, so prototyping can get started a lot sooner than I thought it would.

I'm really excited to join the project! So you can expect also some technical devlogs from me in a near future! Smiley
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dancing_dead
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« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2015, 08:57:55 am »

art-wise this looks like, excuse my language, sex incarnate Epileptic
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Superb Joe
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2015, 10:59:14 am »

art-wise this looks like, excuse my language, sex incarnate Epileptic
to me, sex is more like sex, and this is more like a video game. but dont mind me, i am a known Troll
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quan
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« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2015, 05:28:46 am »

this looks cool
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2015, 12:53:02 pm »

This looks fantastic folks wow  Waaagh!
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2015, 05:22:39 pm »

Does look beautiful. As an aside, if you want a realistic timeline, I personally think 2081 is at least a few centuries too soon for widespread solar system colonization.
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2015, 10:28:47 pm »

This looks gorgeous! Really digging the art!
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KaiserCVR
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« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2015, 05:40:41 am »

Cheers guys!

Just popping in with some quick updates. First off, we had to make a minor adjustment to the name because there was already a Wander on steam. Not a difficult change to make luckily, hehe!

Early engine prototyping is coming along really nicely! Basic platforming is starting to come together and we're getting close to being ready to pop some art into the engine. Hopefully be able to show some of that off pretty soon.

In the meantime here's some more artwork and a very rough cut of a jump I'm working on:




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Fenrir
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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2015, 09:38:55 am »

I'll talk further about the technical side of the current prototype as soon as I'll have something else than colored rectangles to show! But so far it's pretty fun to work on the cinematic platformer behavior (adding inertia everywhere, decide when the player gets control or is just a spectator, etc...). I'm having quite a hard time with jumps but at least I think it's going somewhere!
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2015, 10:06:54 am »

I would suggest changing title further. Its too boring, forgettable and google-unfriendly.
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KaiserCVR
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2015, 10:45:30 am »

I would suggest changing title further. Its too boring, forgettable and google-unfriendly.

Duly noted! We'll keep thinking on it.  Smiley
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