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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsCockpit CompetitionEmoticubes [cancelled]
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mirosurabu
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« on: March 14, 2009, 04:18:20 AM »

I freed myself from some duties and scrapped some personal projects I've been working on, which means I should be able to enter this competition. Smiley (getting rid of overload feels good, by the way)

Emoticubes is supposed to be a game which uses cockpit-like interface, but requires no spatial reasoning whatsoever, which renders it as somewhat inappropriate for the compo theme. (but hopefully you won't mind that, would you?)

I'm thinking about a game based around interaction with emoticubes - emotional cubes. It would consist of several levels each representing unique social situation, which is made of one or more emoticubes which can interact with you using specialized language. Your goal would be then to drive each situation to desired state.

I should be able to do it in under 2 weeks, hopefully.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 01:23:44 PM by Miroslav Malešević » Logged
fiber optic asparagus
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2009, 10:47:27 AM »

quite an interesting concept you got going for yourself there.
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 11:59:18 PM »

Yes indeed Gentleman

But I think you'll have to put a cockpit in there somehow...
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mirosurabu
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2009, 06:38:28 AM »

Would panel with few buttons on it do the thing? Might look for some cockpit design ideas later.. to see if I can make my panel look a bit more cockpit-y.

Currently I'm focused on interaction and most importantly AI (for which I'm going to use a lot of code from my MICA project).
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Günter
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2009, 08:36:51 AM »

The Enrichment Center reminds you that the weighted companion cube will never threaten to stab you and, in fact, cannot speak.




That is all.
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mirosurabu
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2009, 12:08:10 PM »

I can't design levels. Lips Sealed The limitations are not technical, however.

For example:

SITUATION:
You know that Tim broke the glass. But he won't admit that.
GOAL:
He must admit he's guilty.

First step: choices
Second step: drama management

CHOICES

I tried to come up with some choices for player..

GUILTY CATEGORY:
----------------
> You broke the glass!
> Did you break the glass, Tim?
> Who broke the glass, Tim?
> KID DID YOU BREAK THE GLASS!???
> Kid, you broke the glass, right?

FEELINGS CATEGORY:
------------------
> I'm fine with that. But was it you tell me?
> I'm not really angry about the situation.
> I won't punish you Tom if you did.
> I'll beat hell out of the person who broke that glass!

ACCUSE CATEGORY:
----------------
> Are you lying to me?
> You are LIAR!
> Stop lying, Tim.
> What will it take for you to admit the guilty?

REALLY a CATEGORY:
------------------
> Really?

INSULT CATEGORY:
----------------
> Stupid kid.
> These days kids are so stupid.
> You're fucking nuts kid.
> What a dumb kid.

SCARE CATEGORY:
---------------
> God can see everything.
> You'll burn in hell. (MUAHAHAHA)

I am not satisfied with these choices. How would I make proper drama management with this kind of set of choices? Have no idea. So, how would one lead the situation to desired state? When Tim will admit he's guilty?

I think the problem is that the situation I try to design is very abstract. Some important details are left and are not taken into account. Your relationship with Tim is unknown. You know nothing about Tim's fears and Tim's personality in general. You do not take concrete role.

I'll have to think harder. Any ideas?
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increpare
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2009, 03:23:53 PM »

i like the idea.

you should consider having one level where you're told that time broke the glass, and you have to get him to admit, and later found out that he didn't.

hmm.

maybe you're a parent, only a really emotionally-distant one, who uses these cube-flashcard things to teach his kids how to be upstanding citizens.  that might allow for some continuity.  maybe sometimes you are asked to discipline them unnecessarily harshly...like, say you have to get them to admit to masturbating and make them promise to never do it again ...

the guilty category entries seem like they should be in the 'accuse' section.

when I think of 'guilty', I  would think of things more along the lines of

'my mother gave me that glass; it was a family heirloom'
'that glass cost me hundreds of units of currency; I will never be able to afford a new one'
'that glass was my favourite glass'
'my brother broke something once, and never admitted it; he didn't have a moment's happiness until he admitted it to the rest of us'
'my brother broke a glass once, and I got the blame for it; it took me years to forgive him'

one problem with this is direction/causality; how do you imagine a player being able to judge which decision is the 'right' one to take in any given situation?
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Fuzz
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2009, 05:35:45 PM »

time broke the glass
That would certainly be interesting. Tim did not break the glass, the culprit was time!

hmm.

maybe you're a parent, only a really emotionally-distant one, who uses these cube-flashcard things to teach his kids how to be upstanding citizens.  that might allow for some continuity.  maybe sometimes you are asked to discipline them unnecessarily harshly...like, say you have to get them to admit to masturbating and make them promise to never do it again ...
What's wrong with masturbating? Or is that just a strict parent?

the guilty category entries seem like they should be in the 'accuse' section.

when I think of 'guilty', I  would think of things more along the lines of

'my mother gave me that glass; it was a family heirloom'
'that glass cost me hundreds of units of currency; I will never be able to afford a new one'
'that glass was my favourite glass'
'my brother broke something once, and never admitted it; he didn't have a moment's happiness until he admitted it to the rest of us'
'my brother broke a glass once, and I got the blame for it; it took me years to forgive him'

one problem with this is direction/causality; how do you imagine a player being able to judge which decision is the 'right' one to take in any given situation?
I agree with this.
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increpare
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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2009, 05:47:08 PM »

What's wrong with masturbating?
I have no gripes with it.  I expect few people who would play the game would.  Which might make quite effective the idea of having players enforcing things that the player might think of as being incorrect/unfair.
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Fuzz
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2009, 06:01:16 PM »

What's wrong with masturbating?
I have no gripes with it.  I expect few people who would play the game would.  Which might make quite effective the idea of having players enforcing things that the player might think of as being incorrect/unfair.
Yes, I imagine that could be interesting.
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mirosurabu
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2009, 08:31:41 AM »

maybe you're a parent, only a really emotionally-distant one, who uses these cube-flashcard things to teach his kids how to be upstanding citizens.  that might allow for some continuity.  maybe sometimes you are asked to discipline them unnecessarily harshly...like, say you have to get them to admit to masturbating and make them promise to never do it again ...

I think this is great idea; it opens the door to so many possible actions and dramatic scenes. I'm pretty sure I'm going to make one level with this kind of dramatic setting.

Quote from: S
one problem with this is direction/causality; how do you imagine a player being able to judge which decision is the 'right' one to take in any given situation?

Yes, this really is a problem. I have no idea. I think I am going to leave that to their intuition and expect them to complete levels by toying around and testing their own beliefs.

As I see it at the moment, most of levels are going to be relatively easy to complete. Perhaps levels which involve background life of actors will require a bit more thought, but I am still not sure I am going to make that kind of levels for compo version.
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mirosurabu
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 03:32:20 AM »

Today TODO - artwork, interface functionality and bone animation
..and maybe tutorial

I've done some artwork already.



Emoticubes won't look like that, though. I'll be using bone animation for facial expression.
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agj
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2009, 01:32:40 PM »

Your idea sounds very interesting, and I hope you manage to make a game out of it. I can't really picture the gameplay right now, though.
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mirosurabu
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 03:29:54 PM »

Done: Artwork and interface functionality
Will try to do now: Bone animation
Not done: Tutorial, oh well

Your idea sounds very interesting, and I hope you manage to make a game out of it. I can't really picture the gameplay right now, though.

Nothing really groundbreaking, though.

Each level is like a visual novel. You're given list of choices for interaction. You use these to direct the story. The story has multiple endings. The goal is to reach the right ending. Unlike visual novels, stories are about strange, uncomfortable or just unusual social situations. Stephen's masturbation scenario example is pretty much the kind of strange situations I want for this game.
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mirosurabu
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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2009, 09:43:04 AM »

Soooo.. not much progress. Because designing one level is like writing ten novels. I realize I've been trying to do something I am not good enough at yet. So, I decided to abandon original idea of "massive-choice-list high-agency novel". (yes, I fell in love with the idea, but I am terrible at screenwriting so I had to let this idea go)

Instead, I am going for something else. Still based around social interaction, but this time I'll try with lesser choice-list and lower level of agency.

I am thinking about "emotional machine". This machine would consist of conscious mind and subconscious mind. You are taking the control of conscious mind (using the cockpit of course), while leaving subconscious to machine. Each level would put you in different kind of emotional machine. Some machines would be shy, some retarded, some would suffer from phobias and so on.

Wish me a luck.
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Reecer6
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2009, 03:59:19 PM »

How could any subconscious afford a cockpit, then?
Anyhow, GL.
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mirosurabu
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« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2009, 03:15:03 AM »

Very lame demo:
Direct
Mediafire mirror

SITUATION: Tom broke the glass. You saw him.
GOAL: He must admit he's guilty.

Notice that only phrases Tom can understand in this lame demo are:

Code:
Yes
No
NOOO!
Did you break the glass?
DID YOU BREAK THE FUCKING GLASS?
Do you know who broke the glass?

Eventually you'll come to a point when Tom will stop reacting to whatever you say. At this point press ALT+F4 and start again.

If you replay it several times and try different things (variations, no interaction, repetitions) you'll see how Tom's behavior shape. But at the end there's nothing you can see there other than basic idea behind the game.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 03:18:29 AM by Miroslav Malešević » Logged
increpare
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2009, 11:03:07 AM »

i like what you came up with here, dude.  i think it could be pretty effective, if you got it up and functional.  i felt some guilt as to all the things i was saying (this is before i read that only a couple made a difference).  and in general, i got really in-character.
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agj
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« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2009, 09:54:00 PM »

Hmm, the interface is confusing. I don't understand the logic behind the grouping. I think my grouping would first divide between questions and assertions, and then further from there, possibly making both main groups symmetrical ('Do you know who did it?' in questions, and 'I know who did it' in assertions). I also don't think that you need this many options, as many are redundant or are just not applicable to the situation, so I'd make only a few choices that have the same general meaning available, but the actual text would change depending on the context. The problem with your current system is that programming all the possible reactions would be a nearly endless task.

What would the use be of the buttons along the top, that speed up or down the animations, in the finished game? Also, will the cube's expression change?

The idea seems promising enough. I hope you manage.
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mirosurabu
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« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2009, 07:14:55 AM »

The speed buttons located at the top control the speed of both animation and storytelling. My primary intent was to allow new players to stop or slow down the storytelling in order to get familiar with the interface.

There are probably better ways to group options. The grouping style you seem to talk about (I call it Z-depth grouping) is the grouping style I used in MICA. But, for several reasons, I thought it was too complex for both me as a player and me as a programmer and designer. So, I went with the flat one.

Regarding number of options - you may be right. I had so many design goals I wanted to achieve with this one prototype. One of them was to demonstrate how simple variations can give different results in communication. Another one was to experiment with unfiltered multiple-choice lists. Then there was that need for punctuated continuity rather than quantized time. Far too many design goals for a single prototype.

Now when I think about it, time-sensitive dialogue multiple-choice systems such as ones used in Indigo Prophecy and Mass Effect could do the same thing.

Thanks for the comments, in any case.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 07:19:06 AM by Miroslav Malešević » Logged
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