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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Eldritch Zookeeper - Ticket Booths! Benches! Litter Bins!
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Author Topic: The Eldritch Zookeeper - Ticket Booths! Benches! Litter Bins!  (Read 44859 times)
Crabby
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« Reply #160 on: April 05, 2016, 12:25:37 PM »

A different walk cycle could help with what they do next. Maybe some could run right out of the park, causing hysteria and other effects possibly.
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nathy after dark
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« Reply #161 on: April 06, 2016, 10:09:20 AM »

It's been quite a while since I checked in on this! Looks like you've made some great progress. I really like the racial diversity of the crowds, though it would be cool to see more diversity in clothing and other identifiers. Maybe some cultists in robes and other suspicious-type characters--half-fish people like in The Shadow Over Innsmouth? Maybe folks with mysterious jewelry and symbols tattooed on them? Just some ideas for adding Lovecraftian texture to the crowds. I think the emotional expressions look good, although it seems difficult to parse the intersection of multiple emotions through combined facial expressions.

Cultists could even be a special type of visitor that come in and sow chaos by interfering with the monsters.

EDIT: I also adore the backstory writing on the website.
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #162 on: April 07, 2016, 09:05:08 AM »

I really like the racial diversity of the crowds, though it would be cool to see more diversity in clothing and other identifiers.

Thanks, I'm definitely planning to return and add as many clothing/hair variants as I can. Currently there's only one face shape for male and female guests, so I hope to add some of that, too.

Maybe some cultists in robes and other suspicious-type characters--half-fish people like in The Shadow Over Innsmouth? Maybe folks with mysterious jewelry and symbols tattooed on them? Just some ideas for adding Lovecraftian texture to the crowds.

I've been definitely thinking about a lot of these sorts of ideas for a while. I think there's a lot of base game elements still to get into the project and stable before I really start to indulge my imagination, but yeah, I hope to get to some of these!

EDIT: I also adore the backstory writing on the website.

Aww, thanks! I enjoyed writing it, and I think it helped me set the flavour of what the actual in-game writing's tone will be.

A different walk cycle could help with what they do next. Maybe some could run right out of the park, causing hysteria and other effects possibly.

Thanks Crabby, yeah, definitely headed that way!

In fact, here's the first part of this, a new visitor behavioural state, that of being angry:



Grrrr!

When in this angry state, they tend to march around the place, bouncing off things a bit more. I like how the stiff-arms and the clenched fists seal the emotion far better than the facial expression alone does.
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #163 on: April 07, 2016, 04:07:41 PM »

And here's why letting visitors get angry is a bad idea:

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Sir Raptor
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« Reply #164 on: April 11, 2016, 01:41:05 PM »

I'm not gonna pretend I understand the direction your monster design is going, but for a game explicitly about Lovecraftian horrors, with very obvious tentacles in the logo, there seems to be a bit of a dearth of tentacled monsters.

We're all thinking it.
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saluk
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« Reply #165 on: April 11, 2016, 03:06:02 PM »

Great devlog, just read through all of it.

Those angry tourists are almost as scary as the monsters.
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #166 on: April 11, 2016, 05:00:10 PM »

Great devlog, just read through all of it.

Those angry tourists are almost as scary as the monsters.

Hey, thanks for reading all of it! The first four pages are hard to get though, all those checkerboard textures.

And yeah, the zoo visitors are quite dangerous. You want to keep them apart from the monsters, but if either party is unhappy, that's not going to last.

I'm not gonna pretend I understand the direction your monster design is going, but for a game explicitly about Lovecraftian horrors, with very obvious tentacles in the logo, there seems to be a bit of a dearth of tentacled monsters.

What, this isn't tentacle'd enough for you?



Sure, it looks like a collection of untextured cylinders, but inside they're all tentacly.

Yeah, need to finish that. My approach with tentacles in this game is to never really show what they actually attach too, I think that evokes something of the more unpleasant purposes going on in the zoo, as if the hands (sic) doing the puppeteering can be seen, but not the real identity. So the tentacles will emerge from portals, and appear in a few other ways I've got planned.

Or maybe I'll just slap tentacles on everything #lovecraft #horror #horrorgames
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #167 on: April 12, 2016, 03:27:36 PM »



Hiding behind a tree with a hammer.

Working on some environmental aspects of the game... and I don't think I've thought this through. I want to use Unity's procedural tree system, but the big gains that come performance-wise from that tend to be married to Unity's terrain system, they go hand-in-hand.

The behind-the-scenes of Unity's terrain is one of the appallingly documented parts of the engine, and so when I started the project in September I couldn't work out how to procedurally generate the terrain. It turns out it is possible, and so I had a go at swapping my scripted mesh generation out for Unity's terrain and... failed quite poorly.



While I sorted the problem above, I still end up with some horrid stepping, with no smoothness at all. I'm going to leave that for now. Oh well. Not every update can be full of good stuff.
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #168 on: April 13, 2016, 08:06:18 AM »



On level start, the zoo perimeter now emerges from the ground. The same effect is evident when the zoo expands, though I want walls that get destroyed to shudder back into the ground, as if collapsing. Purple particle effects because: it's a cursed zoo.
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Leaghorn
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« Reply #169 on: April 13, 2016, 09:08:47 AM »

Very interesting approach with the 2D Characters in 3D world. Looks great so far.
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #170 on: April 13, 2016, 11:49:38 AM »

Thanks Leaghorn.



Added the same effect when the zoo expands, so the wall appears to crumble. All this a big improvement to walls just appearing and disappearing.
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nathy after dark
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« Reply #171 on: April 15, 2016, 08:05:17 AM »

I love the idea of tentacles emerging from portals and tweaking little things in the zoo. That seems like a great, ambiguous way to represent the "higher-ups" as unknowable and uncontrollable, if the player can never directly interact with them. Smiley Is the talking skeleton mentioned in the flavor text on the website going to feature in the game itself?

The wall expansion also looks great. I think you nailed the whole "shuddering back into the ground" effect. It adds a creepy feeling, especially with the way the walls just kind of... grow, by themselves.

I was just reminded of something I thought about really long ago--or maybe I read someone else talk about it, I can't remember. It was that Jurassic park really should have been adapted into a management simulation game, with constant subtle changes messing with the player's plans to truly capture the book and movies' theme of complex systems going awry in unforeseeable ways. Your game feels like exactly that, but Lovecraftian, and I dig it. And the idea of having the player actually walk around as a small entity inside the zoo, rather than a 3rd-person top-down approach, just adds to the effect of being a tiny mortal reckoning with unknowable forces. Smiley
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #172 on: April 18, 2016, 07:41:09 AM »

Is the talking skeleton mentioned in the flavor text on the website going to feature in the game itself?

Sure is! There's a little concept art back on the very first page. Not close to adding him to the game yet though.


The wall expansion also looks great. I think you nailed the whole "shuddering back into the ground" effect. It adds a creepy feeling, especially with the way the walls just kind of... grow, by themselves.

That's good to hear! Thanks.

It was that Jurassic park really should have been adapted into a management simulation game, with constant subtle changes messing with the player's plans to truly capture the book and movies' theme of complex systems going awry in unforeseeable ways. Your game feels like exactly that, but Lovecraftian, and I dig it. And the idea of having the player actually walk around as a small entity inside the zoo, rather than a 3rd-person top-down approach, just adds to the effect of being a tiny mortal reckoning with unknowable forces. Smiley

Yes! This is a good summary of the driving force behind the game design. I did initially briefly consider a zoo of dinosaurs, but it's too close to Jurassic Park really. Well, it would be Jurassic Park! I didn't really want to appear like I was completely ripping the theme off, so I moved onto other ideas.

Ragdoll update time! Followers of the devlog will know that it's been a bit of a mess for a long time. How much of a mess? This much of a mess:



The issue there is that Unity freaks out with -1 scale applied to colliders, I'm still working on a workaround. Here was one attempt to fix the issue:



This did not fix the issue.

Another problem I had was maintaining velocity along the z axis, in the case the player is running and turns into a ragdoll, we don't want the ragdoll just to stop. Rotation and position-relative-to-the-parent are locked on the z axis or else worse things happen, so the issue of course is to introduce invisible spheres and apply impulses to them. Here are the spheres, in a more visible form:



I did start to get it all under control, starting with properly sized colliders around the body parts (mainly the head and the body):



And some further tweaks so that the visitors body's bend appropriately with the spine, and so that collisions between ragdolls and each other, and the world, are sensible:



One thing you'll notice is that all the ragdolls face right. The total freak-out of left-facing ragdolls is still unsolved. Until I figure that out, I can't apply this work to monsters, which is going to be fun to see.
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GalaethGames
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« Reply #173 on: April 18, 2016, 02:58:42 PM »

Quote






haha that's funny! You should make a hypnosis monster which makes everyone fall to the ground like that!
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #174 on: April 19, 2016, 09:51:08 AM »

Thanks sionco!

Added a perimeter of trees to break up the horizon. Imagine this with some fog.

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Cranktrain
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« Reply #175 on: April 20, 2016, 06:39:04 AM »

Here's something I've been wrestling with for a while. I'd like there to be a limited number of keys for input, which means that the context of what they do will switch depending on what the player is up to. I'm wondering whether displaying keys on-screen is a horrible design decision or not. One possible example of this is mocked up below:



Ignoring the naff Photoshoppery somewhat, I'd like to hear some feedback as to the general approach here. Is having keys on-screen a sign of awful controls? Not enough faith in the player? Or helpful when the context of the keys changes depending on the situation and item?

Not ignoring the naff Photoshoppery, in the mockup above, what keyboard key does what?
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« Reply #176 on: April 20, 2016, 09:14:30 AM »

For keyboard control that looks easy to use, but why not just use the mouse?
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nathy after dark
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« Reply #177 on: April 20, 2016, 02:17:05 PM »

Personally I can't think of a game with modal keyboard controls which doesn't show keys onscreen to help the player remember. I think with a good visual design, that's the best way to go.

As for identifying what the keys do in your example... Clearly Z will complete laying the fence, X will cancel it, and it seems like S is possibly the key which initiated building? The arrow pointing both up and down is very confusing, because if there were visible fences of different heights I would guess S would stretch the fence vertically or something.
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #178 on: April 21, 2016, 04:39:26 AM »

For keyboard control that looks easy to use, but why not just use the mouse?

Mouse controls significantly change the game, and it's less about running away from monsters and more about the sim-nature of the game. The camera wouldn't make sense for mouse movement either.

Personally I can't think of a game with modal keyboard controls which doesn't show keys onscreen to help the player remember. I think with a good visual design, that's the best way to go.

Very interesting! Until your post I think I've been leaning away from what I've posted above. Can you give me some examples of games that you think do a really good job displaying keyboard controls on-screen?

As for identifying what the keys do in your example... Clearly Z will complete laying the fence, X will cancel it, and it seems like S is possibly the key which initiated building? The arrow pointing both up and down is very confusing, because if there were visible fences of different heights I would guess S would stretch the fence vertically or something.

Yep! S stretches the fence vertically, there are two heights for the wooden fence. It's an awful icon, but I'm glad that got across.

Had to take a break from contextual key stuff, because I found this bug:



Blurgh. Fixed it:



That might be the most boring gif I've ever posted, but hey, I'm just happy the laws of physics are still in place.
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« Reply #179 on: April 21, 2016, 09:35:25 AM »

Can you give me some examples of games that you think do a really good job displaying keyboard controls on-screen?

Not keyboard, but the Mario & Luigi rpg games always did a great job with contextual buttons.


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