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1302308 Posts in 58045 Topics- by 49118 Members - Latest Member: IndieFan1

June 28, 2017, 11:13:25 am

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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsDECEIVER
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Mark Mayers
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« Reply #120 on: March 31, 2017, 10:40:15 am »

This looks interesting.
Just posting to tag this and follow!
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Desolus
Twitter: @DesolusDev
Website: http://www.desolus.com
DevLog: On TIG!
Messofanego
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« Reply #121 on: April 10, 2017, 12:05:38 pm »

I just came across this through looking at Evan Todd's twitter, and it looks very cool!
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etodd
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« Reply #122 on: April 14, 2017, 10:36:15 am »

Assault mode

Since October 2016, the main focus of the game has been Rush mode, where the attacking team must capture two control points by setting off a timed hacking process.

There were a few problems with this mode:
  • The game is designed for 1v1, possibly 2v2 or 3v3 at the most. Rush games work best with large teams. In a 1v1 Rush game, the players often just take turns capturing one control point, then the other.
  • Sitting still and holding X to hack a control point is not very exciting.
  • The control points don't really interact with any other systems in the game. At best, they encourage you to camp in a single spot and wait.

I'm replacing Rush with Assault to solve these problems. It's simple: attackers must destroy the core. Defenders must hold the attackers back for a certain time, or exhaust their resources.

The core consists of a number of modules which must be individually destroyed:



All turrets must be destroyed before the core becomes vulnerable. Turrets work like this:



I also realized that minions are important enough that they should be a part of every match, rather than being available as an optional ability. So now, they spawn automatically over time.

Where do they spawn from? Well, I wanted to give more reason for players to capture batteries other than just gaining more energy. So now, they also function as spawn points. You can choose to spawn from any battery you own.



This mode takes the game back toward the earlier MOBA experiments, but without some of the failed aspects (large bullet-sponge health bars, last-hitting).

Sniping tweaks

Your shield now goes down while sniping. High risk, high reward!



Active armor tweaks

You can now reflect incoming bolts, increasing their speed and damage. Useful for fighting turrets.



Misc

There are tons of other changes to talk about. One example is the "toggle zoom" option. Instead of holding RMB to zoom in, you can click it to toggle the zoom. I think unsexy accessibility options like this are super important. The new AI system is also still under construction. I'll be showing the game at Vector conference next weekend, so hopefully I'll get a lot of feedback to move forward with.
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etodd
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« Reply #123 on: April 25, 2017, 08:53:01 am »

Vector conf

Had the opportunity to speak and show the game at Vector conference at Eastern Kentucky University. Got some playtesters and some great feedback.



I had the privilege of meeting Nathan Fouts from Mommy's Best Games. His was one of the blogs that convinced me of the viability of going indie back in 2009-2010. He played the game and enjoyed it but listed a lot of stuff he hated, which is exactly the kind of feedback I need. One problem he mentioned has plagued the game for years...

Dash combo

Up until now, I applied a shader that darkened everything behind the surface you're currently attached to, like this:



Notice the sharp line across the structure in the top left. This indicates that you can't shoot yourself anywhere in the darkened area, because you'd have to clip through the surface you're currently attached to. This always confuses everyone. I have to explain it to every new player.

Nathan suggested instead to automatically zip the player to the edge of the surface where the targeting line is clear, then launch them toward the intended target. So I got rid of the darkening shader and implemented his suggestion. Here's how it looks in slow motion:



That battery hangs below the floor level, but the game still lets me hit it by automatically dashing forward to the edge before launching at the target.

It seems asinine and nitpicky, but tweaks like this add up and affect players' subconscious impression of the game.
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etodd
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« Reply #124 on: May 22, 2017, 08:18:12 am »

Rockets and decoys cut

Decoys were never really fun, and sensors accomplish basically the same thing (take aggro off the player). Rockets were really cool but not useful. Then I added grenades, which fill a similar role to rockets since they wait for enemies to approach before exploding.

New core design



Destroying six separate modules turned out to be tedious, so I lowered the number to three. People were also confused why they the core was invulnerable until the turrets were destroyed, so I put a force field around it which disappears once the core becomes vulnerable.

Force field changes

Previously, force fields had a short battery life. You could place one near a battery to increase its life, but it would still last less than a minute. The spherical shield itself was invulnerable, but there was a "generator" object inside the field that could be destroyed. If you happened to be inside the field when it was created, you could easily destroy the generator. Minions could also walk through the field to get inside and destroy the generator.

The problem is, now there are a lot more minions in a typical game, since they spawn automatically. I wanted force fields to be big, expensive, and important, but they don't last long with so many minions around. Plus, making them exclusively vulnerable to minions felt a little too rock-paper-scissory.

Force fields now sport an indefinite lifetime and a large amount of health, second only to the turrets. They can now be worn down from the inside or outside via minions, bolts, sniper bullets, grenades, or plain old drone attacks. And they're much more expensive.

Server optimization

The most CPU-intensive task in the game right now is actually ragdoll simulation. If more than 5 minions die at the same time, framerate drops from 300 to 60 or less. Ragdolls are strictly cosmetic, so I disabled them on the server to avoid CPU spikes. During normal gameplay, the server now puts one CPU core at 20-40% utilization, although AI might drive that number higher.

Project status and future

I decided not to teach this summer and instead subsist on money left over from last year. That means there will have to be a Kickstarter and/or Early Access release sometime around fall.

Audio

This is the biggest thing missing for any kind of release. Jack has been excited to work on this project for years now, but is currently crunching on LawBreakers. I started filling out Wwise audio events and spreadsheets in preparation for him to join the project this summer / fall.
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etodd
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« Reply #125 on: June 03, 2017, 07:48:21 am »

Overworld redesign



Until now, I've been designing each level to function equally well for first-person running/jumping/climbing, and third-person spider bot PvP combat. I realized it would be much better to design separate levels for parkour and PvP, so now the plan is to have 9 parkour levels, each with a PvP map attached to it. While I was revamping the level structure I decided to redesign the overworld a bit as well. Still very WIP.

New tutorial



The PvP game has changed so much recently, and I kept shoehorning the new gameplay into a tutorial map originally designed for a different type of game. Finally I decided to start over from scratch.

Promo art



Someone asked me to design a retro cabinet for the game, so they could put it in their VR arcade. I jumped at the opportunity because I'll be showing the game at a few expos this summer and fall, and I need promotional artwork. The image above is all rendered in-engine, which I now realize is not going to work for a high-resolution physical sign. The new plan is to render something in Blender and trace over it with vector art.

Tweaks





Most of my work is on small details right now. Above is a development stream where I added animation to all the menus in the game, then added a footstep animation to the wallrun tutorial, then moved some blocking IO calls to the AI thread. All important changes that noticeably improve the game, but not exactly revolutionary.
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etodd
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« Reply #126 on: June 09, 2017, 08:42:07 am »

Dot pattern

I had a bug in my AI, so I turned on my nav mesh debug renderer to see what was going on.



Sure enough, there was a bug where faces were not rasterized if they were almost horizontal but not quite. You can see a conspicuous gap in the screenshot above.

After fixing the bug, I thought the nav mesh looked cool enough to stay enabled in release mode. I cleaned it up by adding transparency and antialiasing:



Finally, I wrote a shader to make the dots fade out over distance:



Promo art

Last week I tried to use in-engine screenshots to create high-res promotional artwork. I realized that wasn't going to work, so I set about making Blender imitate my rendering style:



Of course Blender is so amazing that it was pretty easy. Freestyle edge rendering let me choose which edges to highlight, and a halo material worked for the stars.

I imported a few more models from the game, threw in a quick particle system, arranged them into a scene, and slapped the logo on it:



The colors seemed a little garish, so I tried another color scheme:



Everyone on Twitter liked the pink version better, but I really wanted to get rid of the black background behind the logo. I also enabled contour rendering to get a nice silhouette around the main character. Unfortunately, this also added a silhouette around each individual spark particle, which made them too distracting. I ended up putting the sparks on a separate render layer with no freestyle edge rendering, and then compositing the two layers together. Here's my final composite setup including an extremely simple bloom effect:



After a few more hours of posing and tweaking colors, I ended up with this:



Hopefully this will make for a nice banner at IndyPopCon.

Combat tweaks

As usual, I'm making tons of small but significant tweaks. Gameplay has changed a lot in response to a decent amount of playtesting recently. Weapons no longer take energy to fire; only building things incurs an energy cost. Energy also accrues more slowly, and upgrades cost more.

Here's 30 seconds of footage showing what the game is like now:



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io3 creations
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« Reply #127 on: June 11, 2017, 08:26:17 pm »

As a cyber, low poly, neon (i.e. obviously Tron) and a few other categories fan, I really like the visuals!  Smiley

I just skimmed through the pages so don't have much to say about the gameplay but wanted to give some constructive criticism regarding the banner.

Even now that I've seen screenshots from various stages of the game development, the image looks like something from Shadow of the Colossus (i.e. small vs large characters) of a giant woman trying to catch a pinata?  Or like this recent image:  "You look like a giant sprinting through a field"


For reference, here are two banners:
A Case of Distrust     https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=56305.msg1338966#msg1338966


Flotsam      https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=45955.msg1264964#msg1264964


As you can see, it is possible to create perspective but you'd need to show more the background differently.

Maybe it's just me, but there are so many great screenshots that could be used to illustrate the neon/cyber theme of the game







If you start with a dark top or bottom, then the game logo with a dark background can be seamlessly integrated and the contrast would give it a nice pop.  Similarly, I wonder if a similar neon glow for the main character wouldn't look better.

Of course, just my opinion. Wink
« Last Edit: June 11, 2017, 08:33:57 pm by io3 creations » Logged

etodd
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« Reply #128 on: June 15, 2017, 11:46:42 am »

...

Hey thanks for the feedback! I think you were right about the image being too flat with no contrast between foreground and background.

I ended up moving the main character into a separate render layer which allowed me to thicken the edges around her. I also added mist to give a sense of distance to the background, and a barrier in front of the character to give her some grounding. Also messed with the composition. Here's the new version:



New level

In the most recent redesign, I realized it would be prohibitively difficult to design maps that function equally well for both parkour/exploration and PvP drone combat. Now I'm designing different maps for different purposes. This is the first real map I've designed specifically for parkour:





Since I don't have to worry about things like balance and spawn points, I can focus on the spectacle and fun of just running around in the environment. Likewise, I can make smaller and tighter PvP maps without worrying about visuals too much.

New character

This guy has been planned for a long time, and now he finally has a model.



His name is Meursault, and he's a little nuts. I'm going to try animating and scripting the first encounter with him this upcoming week. Excited to see how it turns out.
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etodd
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« Reply #129 on: Today at 07:21:38 am »

WIP Cinematic

Been working on this cinematic where the player gets shot and drugged:



The player's model and Meursault's model are in separate blend files, so I created a "workspace" blend file with all the models linked in, so I can animate them together. Then I save the animations back out to their respective blend files, then line everything up in-game.

Settings menu



Finally fleshed out the settings menu. Almost every graphical effect can be turned off. All keys can be rebound, and the tutorial prompts and UI instantly update to reflect the change. In my last game, there was one menu for both keyboard and gamepad controls; if you plugged in a gamepad, you could only change the gamepad controls. One person was confused because they forgot they had a gamepad plugged in. Anyway, for this game I'm doing two separate menus. The gamepad menu is only visible if you plug in a gamepad. Also, other local players can change their own gamepad settings, but not the keyboard controls or any other settings.

Gameplay tweaks

I made a few changes in an attempt to move away from twitchy Call of Duty-esque gameplay. First, I halved the gamepad acceleration so that it takes 0.4 seconds to reach full speed. Then I slowed down the ADS zoom speed, and the speed at which drones and bolts fly. I also tweaked the energy rewards to encourage players to capture and hold batteries rather than aggressively attack all the time.

Also, it's a minor detail, but I'm experimenting with analog zoom; the degree to which you pull the trigger affects how far the camera zooms in. We'll see if people like it or not. Probably doesn't make too much of a difference.

Indy Popcon

Almost ready for Indy Popcon. Tweaked the promo art a bit more and had it printed out:



Along with this one:



Also put up a quick website: http://deceivergame.com
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