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Armageddon
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« on: August 05, 2015, 10:48:25 pm »



ABOUT:
Obfuscate is a first-person narrative-driven cyberpunk investigation game where you play as Alex Traeger shortly after being relocated to the Praha PD.

GAMEPLAY:
You'll have to solve cases by examining objects in your environment, assessing wounds of murder victims, and interrogating witnesses and suspects.

DEVELOPMENT:
Currently in the middle of making a prototype to see where we want to go with the gameplay. We'll try to update this post weekly.







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jctwood
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« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2015, 06:05:17 am »

Looks stunning although it is giving me PT flashbacks
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 06:07:49 am »

another great game from you i'm going to follow.
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dmcondolora
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 07:24:12 am »

I love the title!
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everythingever
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 12:56:13 pm »

Nice, seems like something I'd definitely play
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Armageddon
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« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2015, 09:55:56 pm »

Thanks for all the kind words guys!

Update #1

So we're just putting in all the interactions and placeholder art assets at the moment. I've also begun writing the dialogue now that we've solidified the case's trajectory/gameplay and all the clue's you'll need to solve it.




Mousing over objects you've already added to your logbook will display their names in grey.




So yeah, I guess we'll try to continue to post our progress and assets and things here. Until next time.
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Armageddon
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2015, 06:13:54 pm »

Update #2

Missed last week, pretty light this week. I was very unhappy with the way the game was going. I dumbed down my original vision because I thought it would be too hard to do and that made me uninterested in making the game. So I've been exploring some other ideas I'd really like to implement.

The main thing is I'd like to display information in a more modern way than writing down text in a book. I remember listening to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo commentary a few years ago and something David Fincher said on it about how Lisbeth takes photos of everything and how processing and storing information is so much more visual. So you're gonna be able to take photos and show them to people and they'll comment on them.


It forces the aspect ratio to 3:2 like most digital cameras, when you are in camera mode.

My original idea for the game was for it to be entirely open world and third person. Third person requires a lot of animations and character models which I don't think is feasible to attempt right now. So I'll keep it first person. As for the open world I'll give it a shot, it might be more sectioned off like Deus Ex than a GTA open world though. Optimization of that level scares me though.

I've been thinking about what happened in Tianjin and maybe setting my game around the aftermath of an accident like that. Exploring a city. I'm not sure though. Having the photo mechanic and such kind of makes me dump my original plot and go for a totally different tone. Which may be for the best.

I'm pretty inspired by my memories of Halo: ODST and walking around New Mombasa. I was thinking when you take photos of certain things it triggers flashback levels that way you can explore the main thing I'm interested in: How an environment changes over time. Just like ODST memory flashbacks. Again I'd really have to rethink how to deliver this story though.

I'd also like some survival elements like crazy looters running around in the night and you have to stealth past them and you can take photos of them as well and show survivors and they'll comment. But AI is difficult so I'll leave this as a note for now. I'm also worried that once you get a catalog of 100+ photos the player will try to show every single one to every single character. I'm not worried about writing all the responses just worried about that breaking immersion. I guess if it's the main mechanic and point of the game players won't mind, they don't even have to do it. But I'm very much a completionist in terms of wanting to see 100% of the games content so it's something I'd do just to read every response.

Who knows I might just shelve this for a bit and make some other game. We'll see. I need to plan stuff out before starting work on a game I think.
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Armageddon
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2015, 11:34:49 pm »

Update #3

Spent the last two weeks programming the photo capturing and getting the player movement how I want so not much to show. Here's some glitch pics. Everyone loves those, right?






I'm gonna be gone most of the next two weeks but after that I'm going to be doing this full time for a bit so I'll have more visual stuff to show after then.

Been planning the city layout on paper as well, not really sure how to go about it though so I guess just try it then playtest. Considering changing city's from Prague, or just making one up.

Also MGSV certainly isn't helping my productivity.
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Armageddon
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2015, 10:03:19 pm »

Update #4

Short update I guess to say I'm still working on this. This picture's a few weeks old though.


I've been thinking more about the city stuff. I'm thinking I'll focus more on single/interior locations instead of trying for an open world. A lot easier that way for a one man developer, plus I don't have to worry about the interior and exterior matching or fitting buildings into a city layout. I'll connect them through this sort of glitch overworld of the city.

I'd really like it to feel kind of like Bernband though where you can just stumble wherever you please and find little things. But also like an MMO game where you can stand in a crowd and watch people with armor and weapons from far corners of the game flood past you and fade out with the draw distance. Like standing in a crowd in a city.

I've also started writing out every scene I'd like in the game and trying to connect them. I'm also adding if-else statements to my dialogue system and saving them to a C# dictionary and implementing the reading and writing of variables and things.
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Armageddon
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2015, 06:27:11 pm »

Update #5

So I'm getting back to working on this. I spent the last weekend writing out the entire story in Twine, you can read it here if you're so inclined. I'd love to hear what you think. It's garbage though so I've decided I'm not going to have any sort of narrative. It's always conflicted with the photography mechanic anyways. Traditional dialogue trees versus showing and talking about photos.

So what am I going to do? I'm gonna aim for something small. I want to focus solely on the exploration aspect, both on foot through the city and the history of the city through showing photos to people. I think it's going to be a little bit like TIMEframe, albeit much more complex and longer. I'm thinking of having little objectives that you can find, quests. Like someone asks you to save their cat and so on, and it'll be added to a list you can peruse at your own leisure.

I've also decided open world isn't the best idea. I'm going to try to do singular interior locations, maybe a few blocked off streets and such. Like Deus Ex: HR hub areas. There'll be a travel system as well to quickly move between places you've already unlocked. So yeah, now that I've transcribed the story in my head and it sucked, let's hope the same won't happen when I translate the locations from my head into the game.


Until next time, hopefully these'll be more frequent from now on.
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Armageddon
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2015, 12:04:24 am »

Update #6 - Electric TVs


Finally posting something technical and fun. From the beginning I had a vision that in this game you could find small bar and cafe nooks in the city and there'd be TVs from the future playing some weird triangular imagery along with ghastly audio. The lore reason for this would be that everyone has eye and ear implants to read these images and sounds, like the Prometheus David androids. I guess you don't have those implants though, huh.

So how does it work?


It's not that interesting I guess. The screen is a subdivided polygon with a render texture applied. I randomize the UV's position every time you change the channel. It can be mirrored vertically, horizontally, or both directions, or none at all. I also flip the scale of the screen polygon mesh vertically and horizontally for additional randomness. The camera with the render texture is created off in space with a short view distance.

Then I made a bunch of position patterns for the triangles to spawn at. One of these patterns is selected and then the tris are spawned accordingly with random scales and translucency based on the pattern. Then the camera movement type is selected. There's currently only three but I'm going to add more, static, rotate, and snap. Rotate will randomly choose the axis and speed to move. Snap will snap the camera 45 or 90 degrees around an axis on a random timer. Static is just random rotation around the pivot as well as changing the arm length from pivot.

I've been wanting to make procedural TVs for awhile now but coincidentally I started programming it today and when I was done with the basics I realized procjam had started so I might finish it quicker than I would've and enter it.

Future additions might be animating the triangles, adding random noise textures to them, making it read from a more unified color palette than just randomly setting the color of each poly, and of course adding sound. I'll probably do a zooming camera as well as a different type of rotating one. Plus with the colors I want to make it so only certain colors can be used with certain backgrounds.


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Armageddon
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2015, 07:36:01 pm »

Update #7 - UI Blues

Oh boy, what a week. So first day I implemented photos saving objects from the environment, worked flawlessly. Next day I updated my dialogue system to read from those photos, again, worked well. So third day, let's add paging to the photo UI so that once you get 1000+ photos you don't also get 1000+ drawcalls in Unity. Well this turned into four days of programming and learning that Unity UI isn't a big fan of dynamically adding content at runtime.

First I tried using the ScrollSnap script from this UI extension project. It didn't support adding pages at runtime and it didn't disable them when you're not looking at them. So I spent way too much time trying to make it fit my needs. I also tried an object pooling script that loaded the content from a List, but finally I just wrote my own script to do it that dumped the ScrollRect which means I don't get pretty scrolling transitions, but that's okay for now.

So after I got pages working I wanted to pretty up the UI a bit. I found a vertex color gradient script I wanted to try for my buttons, it implements a newer version of UnityEngine.UI though so I decided to update my Unity from 5.1.3 to the new 5.3.1. Don't do this, big mistake. Everything in my project is now corrupted, prefabs have lost connection not their scripts. The new MonoDevelop is pretty terrible, etc. Luckily I backed up before updating, as you should, the problem though? My project's only corrupted when you compile a build, runs fine in the editor. So I had fixed and added quite a few things before I even realized I couldn't compile a build of Obfuscate.

And to top it all off the download for 5.1.3 on Unity's website is currently broken/offline. Don't even have the inspiration to write for Obfuscate while waiting. Relying on other people/software/plugins can be pretty frustrating and demotivating, especially after a strong start. I'll get back to it soon enough either way.

Not much to show visually but here's some development pictures you may like:




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Armageddon
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2016, 04:33:20 am »

Update #8 - Get Your Prototype On


Let's Twine it up. So the last post was a bit overdramatic. Everything's fixed now it works great. I'm having a helluva time coming up with locations and how I want to structure this thing. Fully open world is a scary thought, segmented open world is doable but connecting pieces in a realistic way and prototyping/blocking out like that has proved to be a major pain. Drawing a top down view of the spaces isn't really to my taste for this either when I want the world to be so vertical.

So I'm gonna do a little vertical slice. One single "quest", so to speak. I prototyped it in Twine and hey, you can play it if you want right here. I think I'm gonna make it a bit longer though. I stole the drink names from ROM and VA-11 HALL-A. So uh, yeah that's what I'm gonna be working on for the next twoish weeks. We'll see.


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Armageddon
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2016, 05:22:27 pm »

So I'm just going to say this is on hold for now. It's too ambitious for me to do at the moment. Going to try something smaller/more traditional first. Less art intensive.

Here's some final pics.


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Kyle Preston
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« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2016, 09:19:58 pm »

Bummer man, but I totally understand - this game is an intense work load for one person. Looking forward to seeing this, or any other future projects of yours. I still think you've got great ideas in here  Smiley
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