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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsOff Road (new title) - Procedural farming and survival game
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Author Topic: Off Road (new title) - Procedural farming and survival game  (Read 7176 times)
washk
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« on: January 03, 2016, 07:29:49 AM »

"The civilization is collapsing. There are no zombies, no nuclear nukes, no World War III. The economy slowly collapse by waves, unrest and riots happens more and more everywhere, and everybody struggle to survive. It's time to leave your city as food begins to be sparse."

Off Road is a survival and farming game in a infinite1 procedurally generated world. It is developed with Monogame. The game has been in development in my spare time for 2 years. I expect the game to be finished in several years, but now that the first pass on the engine is done, the art is  decent, and gameplay start to be putted in, I want to start to share the development here.



A survival game ? Again ? Why ?


While I love survival and farming games, I have several problems with them :

  • Survival and farming games can become tedious really fast
  • In survival games , there are no reason to explore for too long infinite worlds (more of the same)
  • In survival games, lots of freedom often come with an absence of purpose
  • In farming games, there are a lot of constraints, with energy bar, defined places where you can grow stuff, not a lot of ways you can handle your farm
  • Farming games are often very "childish"



To this problems, I want to try to find and explore solutions, so what's special about "Off Road" ?

  • Survival games often follow the pattern "Survive, thrive, expand", with nothing after "Expand", I want to bring purpose with a continuous story, which brings new challenges as you advance after the "Expand" phase.
  • The world of "Off Road" can be "Terraformed", (you can remove rocks, cut grass, start you field anywhere, dig a hole, fill it with water, ... etc
  • I want the exploration to be a challenge as it is, it should be a challenge to cross a river, get across a mountain or a canyon, ... etc
  • I want the world to be harder to explore, the further you go from your starting point. With special places to discover as you explore
  • I want the player to be free to farm the way he wants, want to specialize in animal farming only fine, want to only grow crops sure, want to build a giant bee farm why not.
  • There is no Energy bar, the only limit to what you can do are your ressources
  • Once you master a part of the game, I want the player to be able to automate tasks, so yes you water your crop with an watering can at the beginning but quickly you are able to irrigate your field, i don't want player to shovel cow poo for half a day on day 100
  • The world of "Off Road" is aimed at a mature audience, even if I will look at the possibility to play the game in "Kid mode" (no story, no "dark background"). I want players to have to make "Walking dead" choices



Concepts and gameplay :

  • Survive in the wilderness as you set up your camp
  • Hunt rabbits, wolfs, bisons, bears, dears, ... etc
  • Build and develop your farm,
  • Sell your crops, animals and products to the crumbling city,
  • Sell manufactured goods and buy new equipment on the black market
  • Explore the world, discover abandoned farms, lost bunkers, ... and more Smiley
  • Face history as the civilisation crumble and refugees start fleeing the city, will you help them ? Or protect yourself from them ?


Additional informations :
  • The game take place in Eastern Europe, somewhere around Poland
  • For now it's a solo project, I expect for now it will stay this way, except for music.
    • It is a single player game, I would love multiplayer, it's just too much work for my first game, content is the main priority.
    • Main target of the game is PC, most important thing as this stage is technical freedom. So no port in sight as it is
    • I use Photoshop, Aseprite for pixel art and Autotilegen for tilesets
    • 1The world in the current engine can be "infinite", at the very least it will be very very large.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2016, 06:18:05 AM by washk » Logged

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GWRZ
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2016, 03:35:20 PM »

So do you have a website or any videos of this?
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washk
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2016, 03:58:48 PM »

I need to work a bit more before a video, I think I will be able to make a first one in 3 to 4 months. Need to work on some animations first.

Twitter and this devlog will be the source of information for now. And I stream sometimes too.
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2016, 04:13:06 PM »

Please show more. I cannot believe that this is all you can (or want to) show from your game which is 1.5 years in the making. Did you release any game before?
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Jalapenosbud
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2016, 05:33:27 PM »

A demo would be cool, indeed Smiley
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washk
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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2016, 06:41:22 AM »

Devlog #Week 1 :

So I heard you guys, and I'm working on the video. For that I want to fix a few things and I made a trello to keep track of progress.

As you can reshape the world by mining, cutting, farming, digging, ... etc, I have full tilesets for every type of "land" tiles like this one :


For water and mountains, I'm adding edges to them



I had to fix mountains edges that had a few bugs. Now it looks kind of good for now :

(Gifcat)

Main things I made/fixed this week
  • I fixed walking up and down animations for character
  • Wolfs can now kill rabbits (they were only chasing them)
  • Reeds and lotus have been put back in the game (they are now in the general tileset)
  • I made a quick first version of the rock collapsing when mining

Next week target is improving forest and general environment. I have bigger version of the trees already drawn that I have to add to the game.
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Pixel Noise
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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2016, 07:38:22 AM »

Well I like the concepts and mechanics you are going for! So how will the story and interactions with NPCs play out? Is everything done in real time?
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2016, 12:10:43 PM »

This looks interesting. I hope the game is fun, because that is why we are here for. Right? Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2016, 10:45:11 PM »

Seeing this gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. This is looking wonderful!
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Cranktrain
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« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2016, 03:04:53 AM »

An ambitious project! I do like farming games, combining Harvest Moon with harsher survival elements sounds fun. If you do manage to answer the "what happens after you've built everything?" question that survival games struggle with, then doubly good.

The animation for shooting a bow looks good, but definitely revisit that swinging-pickaxe/swinging-hoe animation soon. It looks a bit like he's just holding the very end of the item right next to his crotch, there's no swing to the motion.
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washk
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2016, 01:49:20 PM »

Devlog #Week 3 :

Progress has been slow, mainly I have been doing pixel art as I was very busy IRL and had a hard time focusing. Seeing the interest is very motivating, and is really gonna help to go forward. To answer the questions :

@zorg : it is my very first game. Even tho I tried several time to start programming games, but I was tackling too complicated things for me (Coding directly with OpenGL ...). I have thought a lot about it, read a lot about it. I hope to avoid some of the most common hiccups and mistakes of a first game. I work in computing, and project management, so that's a plus to keep things on track and stay realistic.

@Pixel Noise: everything is real time. My idea for now, is has years pass, history and events happens. I want to tackle the farming and survival gameplay first before going too crazy with the story. But yeah at least events happening as time pass.

@DuskedSky: thanks, very motivating comment Smiley Will check your game too, I'm interested to see what you did with farming Smiley

@Cranktrain: it is ambitious, at the same time I want to keep a core gameplay which is not too complicated and fluid. I'm very aware of feature creep. And seeing this week what happened with Midora and Frontiers Kickstarter is a good reminder that you have to keep things simple. I agree with the swinging animation, I wanted to go the Terraria way (poor animation, rotate the item you are using), it's plain ugly with my game, so as I don't have that many tools I think I will do unique animations like for the bow.



(Gyfcat)


I have a hard time going where I want with trees. So my main focus next is farming gameplay.
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2016, 11:28:11 PM »

Absolutely adore the concept. I always enjoyed the 'cosy catastrophe' genre in books. The idea of building/farming/creating post-apocalypse rather than simply run-and-shoot sounds pretty much perfect to me! Will be watching this closely!
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washk
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2016, 04:42:54 PM »

Devlog #Week 4 :

I'm continuing with pixel art, I can see I made progress those last few weeks. I sometimes see flaws that I'm not yet able to correct. But some results are sometimes rewarding. I redrawn my main character, to give him a bit more of personality.



Mainly I went back on my cow and redrawn it too. You can track the process/progress I followed for the cow here : http://wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=19511.0



And the gif to this all of this in action :

(gfycat)
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washk
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2016, 12:36:05 PM »

Devlog #Update 5

I'm working as much as I can on the game.

  • Updated to Monogame 3.5 & Visual Studio 2015
  • Added A* pathfinding for Rabbits looking for food when hungry
  • Added some crops : tomatoes & carrots
  • Added harvest of all crops
  • Added main road to worldgen (crucial in story and gameplay)
  • Reworked assets with outlines



I'm starting to work on the core gameplay so it begins to be interesting. I think in 4 to 6 months I will have a playable build with at least 1-2 hours of good gameplay. I think I will share this playable build as soon as I can. I really want to build the game on feedback while staying true to the vision of the game I have.
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2016, 01:29:11 PM »

Devlog #Update 6

Restarted all my asset from the start. Was not happy with the grass or the overall quality of any asset. It was a lot of work of course, but the results are in, and I think I much closer of the graphical standard I want for my game. Sure as a pixel artist you never stop to get better, and I have a long way to go still.

It's a much better basis I think. Tell me what you think. Be harsh if you need, I can stand it, anything I can work with to improve, I'm interested.



  (Gyfcat looks better)

I'm working on redrawing mountains, once I put back flowers and stuffs I think it will begin to look like a game.
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2016, 09:04:51 AM »

its looking really good, im following this! hope to receive more updates soon
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« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2016, 10:23:10 AM »

This looks really cool. Granted, I've never played farming games, but with what direction you're heading in on this game, I'd definitely like to try this one.  Smiley
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washk
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2016, 06:57:08 AM »

Devlog #Update 7



So as stated previously rocks/mountains as been redone. Now I'm working on redoing the "using tools" animation. Instead of a generic animation, I'm doing a specifics animations for each tool, it's not a game where you can have many tools of each type, so it will look much better than a "terraria" like animation.

I made good progress on the mining and bow animation. At the same time I'm correcting colors for the vegetables which are too bright for the new tilesets.

After that I will be back to gameplay ! It will be time to build the "first hour" of gameplay.
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2016, 07:32:10 AM »

Graphics look much better than before. Can you get on top of the mountain things? Is there any z-axis action?
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washk
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2016, 07:51:19 AM »

@RujiK: thanks for graphics, hard work begins to pay off.

Well I had at first 3 levels of mountains. but as you can remove any block, build holes, fill them with water, remove grass, it raise many problem gameplay wise. It's not very readable too for the player, especially when you have a one tile corridor between moutains.

So I will start like that, I think i will add stairs so you can walk on top, but it has to be balanced with the fact that moutains are blocking your way and you have to move around it to explore. One thing mining shouldn't be too easy and fast.

So for now I think z-axis will be hole (level-1), ground, and mountains (level+1). Moutains should be walkable, holes will not and used for traps, defense and water handling.
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