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September 19, 2020, 01:17:30 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMORSE - Change the world in the push of a button.
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Author Topic: MORSE - Change the world in the push of a button.  (Read 9377 times)
AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #80 on: August 27, 2020, 07:56:38 AM »

The gifs look great! And good that you gave yourself a little break, this has been an exhausting year for everyone Coffee
Thanks! Hopefully there'll be some more varied stuff in the pipeline on the GIF front, I'm conscious I've been posting a lot about boats and not much else! The break was absolutely necessary, in general from a health perspective I've been taking my weekends off now and trying to keep myself to 8 hour days.

Recent screenshots look awesome. The gameplay of Morse looks very authentic and you have nailed the retro look (the visual of the ships on radar is very neat). All the best, looking forward to the progress Hand Any Key
Thanks! I'm really looking forward to expanding to the different theatres of war (Land and sea), should hopefully be able to do a lot with a little! Stay tuned, should be a post coming tomorrow!

I love how experimental this game is mechanically. There is a bit of a learning curve, and the level of familiarity with morse code will certainly affect how well someone might adjust to the controls. I never learned morse code before, but this game looks like a fun way to learn! I especially love the black and white visuals on the earlier versions.
Thanks for your kind words! Getting folks over that initial curve of not knowing Morse really is a tricky one (One that proved too much for several publishers I spoke to when I pitched it back in 2015), what is nice about the language though is I can weight the difficulty of letters and figure out the difficulty of words to write, so I can start off with words like LEARN which gives the player a selection of common letters they could use in more complicated words such as, BREAKING, TRENCH or BLANKETS.
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #81 on: August 28, 2020, 08:26:59 AM »

Telegram 2: Meet the Team!
Whilst over the years I've got the knack of wearing many hats in games development, there are areas of games development that it's much more fruitful to outsource. For example, whilst I am good at coming up with concepts and storytelling through mechanics, writing deep written narrative between characters is not my forte!

So without further adue, here's the roster of folks who will be joining me for the project!

Danni White: Writer/Narrative Designer
With the game having a majority cast of women, I thought it wasn't my place to be clumsily writing the narrative. Danni will be responsible for breathing life into the currently paper thin characters in the MORSE demo, structuring the long term plot and researching the era/history of women in technology further so that the game reflects the politics and mood of the era.

Katy Marshall: Illustrator/Installation Designer
To bring Ada and the cast into the game, Katy will be illustrating the various characters, along with advising me on composition, brand and style. She'll also produce assets such as furniture and ornaments in the manor house the game is set within and polish the graphics I've done for the current cinematic sequences. She's also responsible for making the latest version of the Morse arcade cabinet (Though that's currently on hold because of COVID!)

Luke Smith: Sound/Music Production
Currently, the game is still mostly using the soundtrack/audio from the original demo back in 2015, so Luke is responsible for finding a suitable mood for the game, producing a full soundtrack and of course, making a bunch of badass artillery sound effects and other atmospheric audio.

Alex Johansson: Programming and Design
My role in this will be programming the game and building the systems which will be used for content creation! I'll also be managing the project and the team. Another major role in the project will be talked about in the next blog post!

UKGF
Figured some of you might be interested in more information about the UKGF, basically they're a collection of industry veterans who have spent the last 6 years curating and funding various projects based in the UK. They will be making sure we're meeting the deadlines set and supporting the team with various events and workshops throughout the year ahead. If you're interested, they have a podcast that has quite a few former applicants on there and industry veterans, so might be worth giving a listen.

That's all for now, more soon!
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #82 on: August 28, 2020, 02:16:11 PM »

Somehow, the combination of a mono-serif font and "Meet the team" made read the entire post as if the first thirty seconds of this video were looping:



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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #83 on: September 01, 2020, 08:23:13 AM »



A little sneak preview of what we've been working on, a full update coming soon!
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #84 on: September 04, 2020, 03:24:53 AM »

Hey Folks! For a longer demo of the current gameplay, check out this video on Twitter of the first 2 minutes of MORSE!
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 02:01:27 AM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

JobLeonard
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« Reply #85 on: September 04, 2020, 08:52:25 AM »

Nice!
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AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #86 on: September 11, 2020, 05:30:32 AM »

Hey folks!

Here's another monthly update on the project; Apologies for the gap in video updates but as described above, it's been a hectic time!




« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 02:01:42 AM by AlexVsCoding » Logged

AlexVsCoding
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« Reply #87 on: September 16, 2020, 03:11:42 AM »





Hey Folks!

Here's a development update of what we'be been up to! See above our latest gameplay demo featuring a variety of features we'll be discussing below:

+ Narrative elements implemented: Ink has been successfully added to the project with a variety of tags to help enhance the narrative sequences. Once I had Ink implemented in Unity, I was very excited with how quickly we were able to populate the game with the scripts produced. As covered in the previous video, I've also added a variety of tags which give instructions to the game (Adjusting who the camera is focused on, FOV, where to break lines in code) and in time will hopefully be able to inform elements such as the weather, time of day and who is in the conversation from scripts (Rather than set by me).

+ Different rooms and overview: In the old Stencyl project, the game was purely linear (did combat, narrative sequence, combat, narrative sequence etc), whilst now we're giving folks the house to navigate through (Still relatively linear but with the option of additional narrative sections). It's very placeholder at the moment (Just 5 buttons) but in time we'll have something more substantial (Katy made a suggestion of a noticeboard/map with newspaper clippings/notes/easter eggs rather than a dolls house overview).

+ Shooting ships! This is a much smaller accomplishment but we've got ships that fire when units get in range (using raycast), something that wasn't implemented in the original project which should make the units feel a little bit more alive/reactive. I'm particularly excited what we'll be able to do with different unit types (E.g. having units with different shooting formations based on their raycast angle) and in particular what the infantry combat will look like with this system implemented! The combat in general has been further refined to a point where I'm ready to start creating the other settings for combat (Tutorial and landscape).

+ Training/Narrative: I've split the functionality of the game in two; You have the curated narrative sequences with set words and sequences (E.g. CHARGE, ESCORTING, ONSLAUGHT) and "Training", which is effectively randomly generated maps and units which will be available once players have completed the narrative elements (Or are just looking mid-campaign to polish up their skills). I'm hoping these training sessions will substantially increase the replay-ability/engagement time of MORSE in challenging themselves to polish up their knowledge. The Banner Saga did something similar in having the training tent to try out formations and practice abilities and for me that added at least an hour of extra gameplay to each instalment.

+ Project tidy/refinement of code: When I started the project, I was figuring at lot of this stuff out as I went, so a lot of elements became deprecated/bloated. I've since been tidying up my logic and commenting my code to try and make things easier in the long run.

Whilst it is ambitious, we are aiming to have the vertical slice complete by the end of the first week in October (Trying to keep in line with our original project plan). In that time we must make:

- Land Combat: In line with the original Stencyl demo, the two battlefields featured are land and sea. Currently the game build feels a bit silly because there's discussion in the objectives of land combat but only features naval combat! I chose to tackle the sea first as the combat is much more straight forward (horizontally advancing units, no terrain, cover or obstacles). The land battles on the other hand are going to be significantly more tricky. We're going to have trenches for units to run along/hide within, I'm going to be attempting pathfinding behaviours and having units much more reactive to artillery strikes. Thankfully most of the underlying systems are built (Letter/Number array, artillery firing system, unit template) so at the least we won't have to build it from scratch (Just effectively re-designing the shooting range).

- Integrated Tutorial: We implemented the feedback on tutorials in the Stencyl build, we are yet to do so for the Unity build. This will involve adding all the adjustments made and going beyond that to add further narrative context to direct the player (and reduce the jarring nature of explaining instructions to the player). We'll be adding the setting of Ballroom where you'll get to chat to Eliza, one of the main characters who will be helping you throughout the game (And ease you into the game systems).

- Project stability/resolution: I went to my desktop computer to play the game to record some high fidelity footage, but had a variety of unforeseen problems (Resolution being comically high and frame rate discrepancies with both units and the camera). This needs to be ironed out so I'll be spending more time exporting the project/testing on various devices.

- Graphics overhaul for narrative sequences: At the moment, the game has limited graphical assets for the character models and a lot of the furnishings for the house are placeholder. Katy is currently updating the art style for the project and we'll be integrating the new character designs at the least in the coming month. The latest round of concepts she's produced are very exciting, one of the main things we have to balance is how far to go with colour palettes and fidelity: If we update the graphics/colour for the characters, do we need the manor house to match that fidelity and is that within our budget/schedule?

- Audio integration: Luke has produced an array of audio for the project, but because of loading times I've been hesitant to overload the project early on with audio (Reducing the speed at which I can playtest). Having said that, audio is one of the key ways we'll be making up for the limited graphical fidelity, so it has to make it into the vertical slice. I'll be researching methods of audio optimisation, but if push comes to shove we'll just focus on the desktop version for now (The main load times occur on the android build). As one potential solution, I would have loading times in the project but thought of the cute idea of having a mini-game on there of translating intercepted transmissions which would give you an edge in play. This would effectively be a message displayed on the screen in Morse and the player would have to translate it before the loading finished. Whether this is something that is just practice for the player or something integrated in game I'm yet to decide, but I think it'd be a nice way of making folks not resent the loading screens. Luke himself has produced a delicious soundtrack montage which he'll be dividing up into individual sections which can be utilised in various scenes.

- Custom Controller: This may seem a little indulgent, but we've wanted to get something built from the start of the summer and because of the lockdown, we've not been able to make any new updates to the controller! Katy will be at the least be finishing the existing components for the project (E.g. Morse Key, Launch button, Headphones) within the next month so that we can do streams of the game with the full setup!

Stay tuned for more soon!

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JobLeonard
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« Reply #88 on: September 17, 2020, 03:20:07 AM »

Quote
- Custom Controller: This may seem a little indulgent, but we've wanted to get something built from the start of the summer and because of the lockdown, we've not been able to make any new updates to the controller! Katy will be at the least be finishing the existing components for the project (E.g. Morse Key, Launch button, Headphones) within the next month so that we can do streams of the game with the full setup!
Please make this an open hardware project. I'm sure there's plenty of nerds out there who love to tinker this and put it together themselves with their arduinos and whatnot
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