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April 20, 2019, 07:17:38 AM

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etodd
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« Reply #180 on: February 22, 2018, 01:12:26 PM »

Toast Left BIG ANNOUNCEMENT Toast Right

The demo is coming out Feb 27th! Sign up to play it here.

The Kickstarter will launch March 6th!

On Tuesday I sent out Steam keys to 1500 YouTubers, and a couple already promised to make content. Also DigitalOcean just lowered their prices at just the right time, so I'll be able to allocate more servers when the demo launches.

Get hyped! Smiley
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etodd
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« Reply #181 on: February 27, 2018, 08:12:35 AM »

THE DEMO IS OUT NOW HOLY CRAP!! Play here: deceivergame.com

This morning I sent out 1300 demo keys to players. I'm pretty excited.
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etodd
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« Reply #182 on: March 02, 2018, 08:59:42 AM »

The demo is running MOSTLY SMOOTH so far. The upgraded servers are performing with flying colors. This sort of "soft launch" has been great for working out kinks. I had to put out a few patches to address crashes and glitches, and also tweak some balance issues. Given how drastically the game has changed just in the past few weeks, it's pretty shocking how few gameplay tweaks I've had to make.

In fact, things have changed so much in the past month that I had to reshoot half the trailer!





Right, I forgot to talk about the complete visual overhaul in this devlog.

For most of the game's lifetime, it's had two different visual styles. One with pretty colors, and one that's mostly grayscale with red and blue highlights to make combat read more clearly.

Part of that decision was because of the "sensor" mechanic. Way back in the original 2014 prototype, I realized it was difficult to track down enemy players in the large, expansive maps I made. So I let players lay down "alarm sensors" that would alert them to the presence of enemies. Even then, the sensors were difficult to understand and not particularly useful. But for some reason I was convinced they were necessary for the next several years.

Early on I came up with this vague idea of a sort of area control mechanic, since for some reason I thought it would be so important for players to cover the whole map in sensors. I wrote this shader that would, instead of doing deferred shading, overwrite the color in the G buffer. I liked the idea of the whole map starting out grey and slowly turning red and blue as players placed sensors everywhere.



I still didn't realize that sensors did not meaningfully impact gameplay. To make them more important, I changed it so that players became invisible while in view of a friendly sensor. I also changed the batteries--gameplay elements that actually mattered--so that they also functioned as sensors.



I still like the way this looks, but the mechanics never really worked. No one ever understood what the blue and red colors did. The core idea was that if you were in an enemy sensor zone, the enemy could see your location because they were "tracking" you. There was a big "ENEMY TRACKING" indicator when you were being tracked. This only served to confuse people more.

Then I started popping up 3D notification icons whenever an enemy attacked your stuff. This pretty much obviated whatever utility the sensors once offered. So I cut the tracking system.

That left the invisibility mechanic... which I eventually realized was not a good fit for this game. It's action, not stealth. So I cut that too.

That left no reason for the red/blue color effect to exist. So I cut that too.

That meant the whole reason for the black and white color scheme was gone. And the game was mostly grey now, with no red and blue to spice things up.

I wanted to bring in the bright colors from the non-combat parts of the game, but one last thing held me back: accessibility. It's hard enough to come up with different color schemes that all read well, but it's even harder to choose colors that stand out to color-blind people.

Long story short, the black and white mode turned out not to be a total waste. It's now in the game as an accessibility option.



I had to go through and pick new colors for the whole UI and all the maps in the game, but the visual style of the game is finally consistent no matter which mode you're playing in. Here's some screenshots from our latest playtest session:





Internally, I'm calling this patch the "90s Taco Bell Update". I mean just look at this:



Anyway, that's the story behind the visual overhaul.

The Kickstarter is launching in four days. We'll see what happens! Last time I ran a Kickstarter, I did a pretty bad job of it and ultimately failed. But I had enough savings and contract work to tighten the budget and continue. This time is different. This Kickstarter is much better planned, but if it fails, it's the end of the line for me. Either way I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work on this project for so long.
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etodd
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« Reply #183 on: March 05, 2018, 03:18:11 PM »

Today I fixed a server crash caused by someone trying to shoot over 32 minions in the head in one shot.

The Kickstarter launches tomorrow. hold me
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etodd
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« Reply #184 on: March 06, 2018, 09:03:57 AM »

The Kickstarter is live.

Back DECEIVER on Kickstarter!

If you're not ready to pitch in, you can still help spread the word!


Thanks for following along all these years Smiley
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etodd
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« Reply #185 on: March 12, 2018, 11:14:32 AM »

Kickstarter canceled. More info here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/et1337/deceiver-philosophical-shooter/posts/2134868
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etodd
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« Reply #186 on: March 31, 2018, 05:11:21 AM »

Hey everyone. Turns out I can't finish the game as originally intended for several technological and practical reasons.

GOOD NEWS: the multiplayer is basically complete. BAD NEWS: indie multiplayer-only games are a tough sell GOOD NEWS: consequently, I'm planning to release it for free and public domain.

I'm right now polishing up the multiplayer in preparation for release. I'll be getting a "real job" of some sort. I'm still excited about games, but pretty cynical about commercial gamedev at the moment. Looking forward to gamedev as a hobby again. Expect an article soon with a more detailed postmortem!
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tankorsmash
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« Reply #187 on: May 14, 2018, 07:18:14 PM »

Shit man, that sucks to hear, you've been working on it for so long. Maybe instead of public domain, you could release it for free and just sell cosmetics?

Don't know if that's a whole bunch of work you're not going to get back, but at least it opens it up for the possibility. Good luck on whatever comes next man.
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jctwood
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« Reply #188 on: May 17, 2018, 04:57:37 AM »

Good luck with your future endeavors and I hope you find a job that you enjoy. This was a fantastic devlog and I hope you do keep up gamedev as a hobby.
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etodd
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« Reply #189 on: May 26, 2018, 07:59:22 PM »

Thanks guys.

I was lucky enough to score a great job at GDC. I moved to LA and am now working at an early stage startup building a specialized low-latency network for multiplayer games. I'm pretty burned out on commercial gamedev right now, so I'm thankful to have found a job working on game-related code without actually having to work at a game studio. The way it all worked out still amazes me.

BUT! I'm still finishing this dang game!

With singleplayer out of the picture, the game is going through a full rebranding YET AGAIN.



Yes, really.

There will be a full public release soon, after the rebrand is done. I'm putting the finishing touches on the multiplayer now. Going multiplayer-only removed a lot of design constraints, which is making the game a lot more focused.

Today I released a patch that doubled the maximum jump length and added weapon models.



I had a ton of fun animating these Smiley



So yeah. Plan is, finish rebranding, then full release, surely followed by more patches. Smiley

Thanks for following along everyone. You all rock.
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Kris with a K
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« Reply #190 on: February 07, 2019, 09:43:27 PM »

Hey, I know it's a bit of a necro, but I would still love to play Lasercrabs.

Also:

Quote
Internally, I'm calling this patch the "90s Taco Bell Update". I mean just look at this:


What follows is the most Baja Blast screenshot I've ever seen in my life.

EDIT: Didn't realize there was a playable demo out. It's a lot of fun! Controls overall feel very tight and responsive, although there's some difficulty taking the bots around certain corners/edges.

I love the early game where everybody's just throwing themselves at shields and each other. Using your own chassis as a hyper-velocity weapon is really satisfying.

The weapons are also satisfying to use, but the cooldown/ammo management is actually quite slow and frustrating. Everything has the same tempo, from the grenade launcher to launching yourself: blast through your ammo then wait frustratingly long for a reload. Would love to see the weapons differentiated, so some have sustained output but low damage and others are the burst-mode everything seems to use right now.

I only played against bots, so no feedback on the networking, but the AI seems pretty killer. Little confused about how the actual scenario progresses - I lost twice despite topping the scoreboard - but at least the UI is very slick and straightforward.

Again hope this project sees a full, proper release and some player base!
« Last Edit: February 08, 2019, 01:06:58 PM by Kris with a K » Logged

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