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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsProject Killer [for now] Murder mystery with a twist!
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Author Topic: Project Killer [for now] Murder mystery with a twist!  (Read 24624 times)
wizered67
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« Reply #100 on: March 12, 2016, 07:39:05 PM »

Looks good! I like it! My only suggestion, and this is kind of random, would be to display the full "Check mate" when caught the second time. I know it shows the full word eventually but just seeing the word "Mate" seems a little strange imo. That's just my take though!
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gimymblert
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« Reply #101 on: March 12, 2016, 08:33:20 PM »

Haha being with blood can be turn to your adventage too "it's horrible, there was an accident I was trying to reanimate him, go look for help!" but that would be overkill seriously
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Joh
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« Reply #102 on: March 12, 2016, 11:22:26 PM »

Looks good! I like it! My only suggestion, and this is kind of random, would be to display the full "Check mate" when caught the second time. I know it shows the full word eventually but just seeing the word "Mate" seems a little strange imo. That's just my take though!
I always thought Mate was a "short" for checkmate. not a chess player so what would I know. The idea was that it would most likely shortly follow the Check; It being fresh in player mind and on top of the screen. I do agree with Mate alone being weird though, thats why i bothered with the whole animation thing.Ill def check how it looks as a single word. As always, thanks for the feedback it always appreciated! and the random stuff is cool too, its the kind of thing I might not notice myself so all good!

Haha being with blood can be turn to your adventage too "it's horrible, there was an accident I was trying to reanimate him, go look for help!" but that would be overkill seriously

overkill...uh. well can't say its something that I didn't think of before... Hell I was toying with the idea in the shower today. I mean interrogating you Is already one reaction the Ai can have to seeing you suspicious.(not implemented)
(casually holding a knife)

So i'll just say it's already in consideration.

Will see how thing go! Thanks for feedback and support.
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Joh
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« Reply #103 on: March 18, 2016, 02:07:53 PM »

-Entry 31-
Reactions

I brought them up in the last entry, made them a bit more functional and in gif form!
When others see you in a suspicious situation, (such as carrying a weapon) they can react in many ways.

First of, reaction is not immediate, you could take a weapon and put it in your pocket before someone else notices you. theres a slight variable delay for others to "notice" you. You can use that time to rush in surprise or simply hid it in you pocket and go away.

When the other does notice you, they can react in multiple ways. So far it is random, but im thinking of giving specific characters specific behavior or at least tendencies.

The simplest is to ignore it. (In reality its getting cautious)

They can run away. they leave the room from closest exit as fast as possible. Right now they stay in whichever room they escaped to. Im thinking of making them aim for closest "Locked room" (If I make some) or their own room.


They can rush and attack you. its 50/50 right now, intend to have stats come in play.
Its another way to get gameover.


They can call for help. calling for help can go with other behaviors; people close enough to hear the call will rush to your current room. Since being caught by more than one person is dangerous, and each new individual will have their own reaction (potentially attack too), its quite a dangerous reaction.



They can also question you, your answers would influence the way they react. but since this is more talking stuff, I havent really delved into it.

Any feedback or suggestion would be appreciated.
Getting back to the trial! came to the realization that the statement structure was inappropriate, so will work on changing that. already got my plan and I hope it all goes well!
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Joh
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« Reply #104 on: March 25, 2016, 02:47:44 PM »

Just broke 10 follows on tumblr, thought i'd share the artwork I made for it.
Always fun to take a small break and draw something!

Small start but its something, looking foward to next the milestone.
tumblr

Back to work now!
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Joh
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« Reply #105 on: April 30, 2016, 07:13:19 PM »

It's good to be back!
Always hard to get back to dev after a "long" hiatus. (funny, because I couldnt wait to get back to this)


-Entry 32-
Textbox & narrative

Since I was so lost as to what to do next, I just jumped somewhere, Textboxes.
A while ago a buddy helped along with the basics and recently (well, now) I got creative and added a couple features!
I do expect the game to be quite narative heavy so having a flexible textbox system seems handy.
colored text, shaking text,small text
skipping talk (well fastfowarding the typing)
adding/removing people
fading to black, adding background


What im looking into is
Flags (giving "stats, info or opening conversations/responses)
Changing rooms, doubt it will be hard
Prompt (like a star poping up, or question marks over a head)
Emotion/reaction; I somehow kind of forgot about that, even though I implemented it in the trial.

maybe smooth entrance and leaving of characters, does that seem worth the effort?
Also is does the one talking stand out enough?

Speaking of textbox and narrative,
I was thinking of building my own story builder for the game.
make whole conversations & path in a more visualizable way. I guess kind of like a visual novel builder
but tailored for the game.
I kind of dread the idea, I do see hardcoding narative or using basic text editors are potentially very inefficient. but building another tool seems like a big task in itself.

Does tool building tend to be worth it?
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gimymblert
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« Reply #106 on: April 30, 2016, 09:46:18 PM »

Tool building is always worth the effort, but you should have the main system down because it became a headless race of
1. updating the game system to see what works,
2. then updating the tools to the update of the game
3. goto 1

Tools are essential if there is an additional programmer and other members that need to integrate their parts.

Alone they are still cool booster to get the integration part but no so much when things need to be tested and in flux.

So the solution is to keep it minimal and unfancy, or/and use tools or editor that are external and make building the tools easy.

For example there is no qualm to using excel to set up stuff and test them there then import the data back by parsing the xls or using a easily read format (csv) ...

Can your story builder fit within excel or twine or renpy etc Huh?
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Joh
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« Reply #107 on: May 03, 2016, 01:35:04 PM »

I feel im a much more visual person so a web like twine is what im looking for but its not quite there.
I like to think what I want to build wont be too hard, at first I was thinking of making a java program, but I lack experience, I dont feel like learning a new language (well, new sides of it).
I think i'll just use game maker, simple powerful i'm quite familiar with it and I made something similar before.
I just hope it doesn't take too long. I'll try do dual dev the game and storybuilder.

For the game, I'm having this little boost of productivity!

-Entry 33-
Stats

Although they don’t have a function yet, I’ve instaured the stats,
  • Strength
  • Int
  • Charm
  • Speed
While I was thinking of having them contribute to a gradual relative level (say if your strength is higher than someone else, you can beat them) Im thinking of having levels have flat effects such as strength level1: can lift a body; level 2: equal match to the average person etc.
maybe a some of both.

I'll keep the actual effect/ability of each level secret.

When you get stat “xp” theres a nice little prompt showing your current progress and level!

Now I just need to add the action that give those stats :/
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Joh
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« Reply #108 on: May 05, 2016, 04:50:57 PM »

Its my birthday!
and on this very special day...
more coding.

Seems like I really got trapped with the storybuilder,
Its both progressing quite fast and kind of creeping up in investment.

To be fair, I started with a full plan, so im not scared of feature creep (hell im feature cutting), but it's feeling like something that could stand on its own and yet, is of no use to anyone but myself.
Part of me feels like maybe I should have settled for something text based and use some jump system.
as a visual person, im pretty sure a chart system would be a better fit. So I went for something more like twine.

among main features are choices

connecting boxes with lines on which conditions(flag requirements) can be added.
Box themselves can set off flags. (flags are essentially variables)



You can create persons and flags (still have events & reactions to do)
they come with shortcut, a written string that will auto set current box.
reference a string that will be turned to the flag value/person name.
export: not yet detailed, but how it will be transformed when outputed.



After 2 days on this it feels like its getting somewhere, the core is done. The big thing I have to do is saving and export, so I can start using it. (But there is a lot more stuff for it to feel complete)

While it may seem a bit overboard, I am trying to keep things future proof and independent. (to avoid changing its coding along with the game's)

Since this is a creatively refreshing experience, i'd love to discuss it, so feel free to ask about it.
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Joh
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« Reply #109 on: May 10, 2016, 05:21:02 PM »

Switching between game and story builder is pretty hard.
Did saving, couple more detail functionality , but export is really intimidating, expecially in a flexible way. I think I might just Hardcode an exporter specific for my game, and think of "generalising it" later if the needs come.

-Entry 34-
Doing actions

Well, part 2 wasn’t that far behind, now reaching to appropriate object can prompt an activity.
Said activity will take some time from the day (1/3rd of current day period)
Thus accounting for travel time, its 2 activities per day period, 6 per day.

Do notice the Time spend indicator! Well, even I think its not visible enough... different color or scaled bar?


Im looking into some limitation to prevent just always doing activities, such as energy.
Also some interesting way to encourage variety such as the Others doing their own activities and joining them providing a synergistic effect.

With that I think It's time to revisit the trial side of things and Iron things out. As I started building a story tool, I do think the core gameplay mechanics are coming toghether and a big milestone is close!
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Joh
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« Reply #110 on: May 18, 2016, 11:36:51 AM »

-Entry 35-
Slowly progressing

This is getting harsh, progress is slow and not very visible and everything super complicated.
I mostly try to tackle one major element a day with a lot of “btw lets fix that”. So yeah snail pace. Which is very frustrating with how I thought I was close to a milestone (again).

Well my Storyteller made quite some progress, I made a better save that now allows saving file wherever you want.
I also made the export that turns the graph into a formatted text file. That actually went really well for the most part.
I did end up going for a semi hardcoded approach. That is the exported file is tailored for my game.
I’m mostly happy with the way it breaks down the graph, obviously “Jumps” are needed for picking a path at a fork, but the way I went about it makes it so only “needed” jumps appear, straight paths are packed into “groups”. Not sure it has any use, but I just wanted to avoid jumping all the time.

meh update I guess. I hope to have something better soon!
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Joh
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« Reply #111 on: May 21, 2016, 11:06:52 AM »

-Entry 36-
Small trial progress

I revisited the trial, had been a while.

Made a lie system, still not perfect but, it makes the Others state a location “they were in”(even if they weren’t). It makes use of what the others have said, basically for now it just tries to pick a location no one else was at. But it uses information said, that includes Others lies.

Obviously it won't stay like that, it's just for me to have better idea of what's going on.
'not' is the actual location, while Actually is the lie. (the only one that will be shown)



I plan on making it a bit more complex, accounting for “risk of having been there” from the hypothetical travel path, and some other secret sauce.

Added auto “My statement” as it will be in the game. So when it’s player turn to talk, The answer menu automatically show up. (I still keep it off though)
And I also added the ability to change your statements… Thank god it wasn’t hard.
Will be needed if you get objected to or you want to move the trial in another direction.

Also added 2 more skills, nothing too fancy and still of the “Trial flow control” kind. I should have some more active ones later on.

Next i'll work on text importing and choices. Well, that's what im on right now, so shouldn't be too long.

As always, feedback, suggestion & comments are appreciated!
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gimymblert
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« Reply #112 on: May 21, 2016, 02:32:39 PM »

sounds great
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wizered67
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« Reply #113 on: May 22, 2016, 01:31:15 PM »

Keep up the great work Smiley
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Joh
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« Reply #114 on: May 23, 2016, 05:35:04 PM »

 My Word! My Word!
Thanks guys!
Actuallly performed better then expected! Must be the power of your cheers!

-Entry 37-
Importing text & Choice

So I made the exporter a while ago, well, those file better be readable by the game!
Even though the files were made for the game, It was still quite a task. The format was fine and worked, the problem was jumping, which was quite simple and conditional jumping which was quite a pain.
The thing is, it is all text (string) conditional stuff require condition checking, variable versus value. Well string can’t be variables, <>= don’t work as strings so the whole statement has to be converted into ton more of conditionals, string splitting and conversions.
And also erasing all the functions from the text string.

I made the choice system, It's pretty cool. Each choice can lead to one next statement. (it doesn't have to) Or trigger a flag. But the choice Itself can be optional! if the Line OUT of that choice has a condition, that condition itself has to be cleared in order for the choice to be available.

two same point, but one has a choice, while the other doesn't. Difference cause by having 1 str in the second screen.

tree from which the above came.

I've also made the event box, event box take in "Events" created like persons & flags. they have two categories, event itself and subchoices those all have their export and shortcut.
For exemple Set background would have for subchoices the different locations.
But you don't need to pick a select any event, text can simply be written too. if a shortcut or a valid entry it will be understood. Otherwise it will be outputed as is.

I made the Titles and chapter work as bookmarks, one problem was while the exporter took care of everything, having a way to specifically start from a point didn't exist. You could always make use of the outputted address of text, but those would vary based on input. Well now title and chapter and title work as fixed string referencing to the variable ouptut adress.
gives the ability to go : start_talk("Title") and it starts from that point.


So that's pretty much done, only a bit more "convenience" stuff left, but the core of the Storyteller is done.
Setting flags, right now its only boolean set to true, check if true. want to be able to set to specific values.
Editing, persons, flag and events. shouldn't be too hard
Deleting… I kind of made the whole thing without deleting ability. I’m sure it will come handy someday though.

After all this, I feel a bit lost, I don't know where to jump next. Most features seem to be there and functional.
Things are looking good!
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Joh
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« Reply #115 on: May 28, 2016, 03:58:53 PM »

-Entry 38-
Update

I started to work on a little narrative in an attempt to get a playable demo (not demo "demo" something like alpha or proof of concept) I want to see all the parts come together (finally) although still in a very early state; not full cast, not all locations, not all items and possibilities, just enough to make sure it all works.

One thing I still need though is more locations because the limited number of locations restrict lies and possibilities too much.

Thus I present (will double as my Screenshot saturday)
The entrance! (still very WIP)

I just changed it, it used to be beige, but I thought it would be a bit weird The whole thing happening in a glowy beautiful villa. I feel gray, is a bit darker (obviously) and should help the tone.

Still WIP have to do brick and floor work and suddenly I miss the old awful artstyle this is soo time consuming!
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Joh
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« Reply #116 on: July 07, 2016, 05:47:06 PM »

Hi, It has been a really long time! After more than a year working on this and still not having something complete, I kind of got discouraged and wanted to try something else. I also revisited some of my previous projects, in short I took a break.
It seems to have helped as I'm back feeling motivated!


-Entry 39-
The return
Fairly harsh return, my storyteller wasn't as "flawless" as I thought, actually had to rework it a bit (bit in term of scale, Lot in terms of time).
Anyway now it seems to be working with a more realistic scenario so things are looking up.

One thing, for main character I'm having a hard time letting him talk, so far all his speech are through choice input. I can see it becoming a drag for me and the player. but at the same time forcing a personality/life on the player might offput players if they can't connect. I'd like input on self-insert vs following a character if anyone has an opinion on it. I'm curious what people think.

Another thing I did realize is the way characters add up in discussions. When more people add up It kind of gets crowded.

So I'm wondering what's the best way to go about talking?
here is the current everyone(that participates) shows up, talker subtly highlighted


1 against 1


or simply only show the current talker


or really any other suggestion would be appreciated.

good to be back! Grin Toast Right
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gimymblert
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« Reply #117 on: July 07, 2016, 06:48:33 PM »

About showing character, I think you need both:
- establishing shot that introduce the player to the participant
- focus shot that only highlight participants in the current "thread"
- establishing shot between thread to manage transition to another speakers
- establishing shot to highlight changes in the composition of overall participants (ie leaving or entering the group.
- use of direction to connect where the attention is and transition to thread.

With:
- establishing shot being teh group shot you showed above
- focus shot being people talking to each other in a thread (1 vs 1 or more)
- character focus shot (current talker) when needed
- inward direction (ie toward center of the screen) for establishing focus on subject of the scene
- outward direction (away from the center) to signal out of scene focus
- direction toward a character to make him a focus in establishing shot (useful before transition)
- distance between character to signal grouping, opposition etc...

Changing those parameter in a script will help make the scene more dynamics and legible, move some writing to the visual, increasing the expressiveness without increasing the actual assets cost. Bonus point if there is a slight bunce animation to signal who talk.

For example here is a scene
- map: character is on the balcony look into the distance scene, player mve to talk to him
- Talking sequence 1 (seq1): Judd character on the right, facing outward, player on the left facing inward (judd is giving him his back)
"Hey! judd how it goes?"
- seq2: judd is now facing inward, face the player character
"mmm ... I don't know, I was thinking about what just happen in the kitchen"
- seq3: no visual change
player say "yeah! that revelation was massively awkward, I think everyone need time to process what happen"
- seq4: no visual change
scream from outside the scene "Oh sh***t, someone's dead!"
- seq5: player is facing outward, judd facing inward (they both look in the same direction to the left)
"wait, WHAT?"
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Joh
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« Reply #118 on: July 08, 2016, 03:49:15 PM »

Wow! thanks a lot for the feedback!

It covers some stuff I didn't even think about.

after thinking things through, I think i'll use something similar to the trial talk.
when theres only one person talking, it will be simple focus

when 2 people talk they will be face to face

when theres 3 or more,
everyone would be spread apart and the current talker would get centered, kind of like in trial with everyone moving.

all this with some flexibility for direction and spread for clever dynamic purposes.

So thanks it was quite helpful. It's also always nice to know what others think. Smiley
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gimymblert
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« Reply #119 on: July 08, 2016, 04:38:51 PM »

Tips, establish a line of "sight" height ie to make it like character look at each other eyes, if the sight connect it feels more natural, some character you have  don't follow that implicit rule.
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