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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsStacks TNT: a sandbox block building game with destructive physics
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Author Topic: Stacks TNT: a sandbox block building game with destructive physics  (Read 4938 times)
nkm
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« on: August 05, 2015, 12:06:14 PM »



As some of you may have already seen I've recently started posting technology previews of a 2D block building game that I've started working on about two months ago. The plan is to transform the technology demo into an actual game, which is probably going to be called STACKS Smiley There are still many ifs and hows but what's for sure is that the game will be a 2D sandbox block building game with per block physics, running mainly on the GPU. The latter makes it possible to simulate true physics for about a quarter of a million dynamic blocks @60 frames per second (with a reasonably modern graphics card). The physics should allow for a more interesting building experience, aside from the fact that it also enables stuff like huge explosions, collapsing buildings (think towers, bridges) and all kinds of neat ways to trap/kill bad guys.

Here a video showing some of the gameplay concepts presented in the tech demo:



And here is a link to the latest tech demo (v0.1.1): www.funcraft-games.net/stacks_0_1_1_tech_demo.zip

The game currently features two modes: survival and creative:
  • In survival mode the goal is to defend your flag against the incoming waves of bad guys while you try to capture all the other flags in the world. To capture a flag you have to touch it by a block that you've built, e.g. by building a tower towards it. Or by flying a rocket ship that you've built against it. Or you could blast-propel a piece of terrain against it. Etc. Once you've captured all flags and you've found the one and only alien relic you will have to build the Ark (a big space ship) and fly it past the top edge of the world to win the game. Pfew Smiley
  • In creative mode you have an endless supply of all the available resources in your inventory so you just build or experiment at your pleasure.

Blocks are gathered by mining them from the terrain, by manufacturing them through factories or by trading them with the Trade Federation.

Okay, I hope that my explanation was a bit clear. I plan to post regular updates here. Hopefully you guys can provide me with some feedback once and a while for the benefit of the game.

Thanks for your time,
Roy van Ophuizen a.k.a. nkm


« Last Edit: December 21, 2015, 01:25:22 PM by nkm » Logged

nkm
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 10:44:52 PM »

New release: Stacks 0.1.1

Mostly bug fixes, optimizations and better looks:

  • added real-time shadows.
  • big speed improvements.
  • middle mouse button can now be used to pan.
  • fixed white UI graphics.
  • fixed mip-mapping seams.
  • improved Crawler looks.
  • improved various block sprites.
  • fixed a bug that caused a crash when a flag was blown up.

I've updated the link in the first post to the new version. Please let it run on your system, I'm curious about the frame rates Smiley

What's next? Well, I'm thinking about adding a player controlled avatar. Currently you are this god terraforming the world but having a true presence in the world will probably be more exciting. Plus it allows me to add weapons  Wink
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nkm
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2015, 02:06:14 PM »


The next alpha release contains a first glimps of the game's protagonist. He's called Chuck. Here we see him selecting a block gun to shoot holes in a structure he made. Unfortunately he dies during this act.

By actually controlling a hero the player I hope that the player is drawn more into the game world.

The full video (with audio) can be found here:



nkm
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nkm
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 09:08:39 PM »



Created Chuck's walking animation.
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nkm
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« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2015, 07:33:43 AM »


Working on the general game flow. One pillar of the game is building custom structures, attaching rocket engines to it and then radio-control steer them to the other islands of the map. This is how the hero can expand his territory.

The full video clip (with audio) can be found here:



nkm
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 10:51:23 AM by nkm » Logged

nkm
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 09:39:31 AM »


Working on a number of things for the next v0.2.0 alpha release:
  • the atomic bomb. See above Smiley The engine is still struggling a bit with the explosions. I'm happy with the physics though.
  • a help dialog describing the game's goal and controls
  • an improved HUD, now also showing the number of flags gathered and whether or not the relic has been found.
  • the game's website.

Until next time,
nkm
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marcgfx
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 10:43:02 PM »

that explosions looks really cool. is the engine stuttering because of the physics or the visual load? as its all on the gpu, I guess it could be both  Roll Eyes
I'm sure you'll manage to make it nice and smooth, good luck on the project!
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nkm
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2015, 12:33:52 AM »

Thanks for your feedback marcgfx!

I've yet to figure out why the stuttering happens. My guess is that it is due to the chain of reaction that occurs when the atomic bomb causes explosive rock inside the terrain to explode as well etc. Or maybe a sudden pike of memory allocations, or both Smiley
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nkm
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2015, 05:02:20 AM »

Hi guys,

I'm happy to announce that Stacks TNT has been submitted to Steam Greenlight!
If you like the game or the direction it is going then please help me out getting the game greenlit!

Link to the game's page on Greenlight:
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=508742878&tscn=1440929911

Thanks in advance!
nkm
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nkm
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2015, 12:00:50 PM »

It has been three days since I posted Stacks TNT on Steam Greenlight. This is the progress so far:



Not bad I guess, pretty happy with the yes/no ratio at least Smiley The reason to submit to Steam Greenlight is mainly to get some feedback from the audience whether they're actually interested in a game like this or not. If the game doesn't resonate then I will move on to the next prototype (The Lean Startup style: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_startup).

Thanks to everybody here who voted!

For those who didn't vote, here the link to the Steam page (including the trailer) once more: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=508742878

I will post another update in a couple of days for anyone interested.

nkm


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nkm
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2015, 11:34:16 AM »

Hi guys,

Here's the progress after 6 days on Steam Greenlight.



After day 3 the game lost its presence on the front page of the Greenlight site which basically meant a sharp drop in views... It's been really hard to get votes ever since. Not sure what to do about it Cry 

We'll see where it goes! Cheesy

For those who didn't vote yet and want to help me out: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=508742878&tscn=1440929911. Appreciate it!  Gentleman

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Spidi
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2015, 08:31:33 AM »

Stacks looks like the kind of game one would live to toy around with just for the demolishing sensation Evil.
Good luck with your Greenlight campaign. You've got my vote sir Gentleman, and thanks for your vote Beer!!

You are already pretty close to the top100, and if you check a couple of times per day when your statistics does not change much you can see, that the percentage moves around a lot, most probably games being greenlit and new hyped games entering greenlight. Just mentioning it, so that you know, as others tell too it looks like getting greenlit is not in direct relation at all with your way to the top 1...
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nkm
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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2015, 10:25:08 AM »

Thanks Spidi! Appreciate it  Smiley

Yeah, things are really slow on the Steam Greenlight front right now. Being on the front page is extremely important for getting votes as it seems. Ah well Smiley

nkm
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nkm
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« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2015, 12:51:55 PM »

What the heck! Just found out that the game has been greenlit!

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=508742878

Didn't expect this anymore! The game almost reached the top 100 but then totally stagnated...

Cheers to all voters!  Gentleman
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nkm
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2015, 05:58:46 AM »

Just wanted to let you know that the official release date has been set to 2 November, unless Valve decides otherwise. I've also modified the road map a bit. I want to focus all my efforts first at co-op multiplayer since it is probably the biggest hurdle to take tech wise (especially the part about syncing a million dynamic blocks  WTF). I want the main tech of the game to be set in stone asap before adding more gameplay features.

Here's a link to the current road map: http://stackstnt.com/roadmap.html
Also notice the Open sourcing entry. The plan is to release everything (except maybe some core core stuff) to the open source community.

Okay, back to work,
nkm
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nkm
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« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2015, 12:26:19 AM »



The full video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVXta0qy11s&feature=youtu.be
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ViSpear
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« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2015, 12:59:18 AM »

The falling and collapsing is really well done.. I couldn't even imagine coding something like that
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nkm
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« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2015, 08:01:49 AM »

Thanks! Well actually it is not that difficult... each block follows some simple rules but when more are combined complex behavior occurs. It's called emergent behavior.
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Sharif
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« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2015, 08:24:59 AM »

In viewing the greenlight page (as I am currently waiting and hoping to be greenlit as well) I think it also depends a bit on the release date specified. 

Congrats on greenlit!
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nkm
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« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2015, 09:25:14 AM »

Hi Sharif,

Thanks! Your numbers look similar to mine (yes/no ratio) so that might be good. The process of acceptance by Valve is a bit of a mystery but my guess is that the curators play an important part.

nkm

btw. your game looks fun, voted!
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