Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1297998 Posts in 57725 Topics- by 48793 Members - Latest Member: Lillie Peter

May 29, 2017, 11:20:16 pm

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsA Case of Distrust
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6
Print
Author Topic: A Case of Distrust  (Read 7151 times)
TheWanderingBen
Level 1
*


Making Games Around the Globe


View Profile WWW Email
« on: June 07, 2016, 01:33:00 am »




                                            A Case of Distrust is a 2D story-driven adventure game, set in 1924 San Francisco, playing as a female private investigator. Explore underground speakeasies, smoke-filled billiard halls, classic barber shops, and more. Catch suspects in lies by using your wits, evidence, and statements. Uncover the truth in a mystery full of deception. Intrinsic challenges face our heroine, as she struggles against a pushback on emancipation, leading to many doubts, both internal and external.

                                           




DETAILS

The game requires careful attention to clue details and character statements. Interaction is with objects and text on each screen -- think something between Phoenix Wright and 80 Days.

The art style borrows heavily from the ideas of Saul Bass, Dieter Rams, Olly Moss, and other visual designers. I wanted to go with something that didn't distract from the world, but stayed within the style I wanted.



GAME CREATORS

Ben Wander - Design, Code, Visuals, Writing
@TheWanderingBen
Website
Up until October 2015, somebody else had paid me to make video games (EA for the last few years, at both BioWare and Visceral Games). Then I left because I hate money because I can't get enough of this indie scene! I realized indie games, specifically ones rarely found in a AAA environment, were all I was playing and all I could think about. I'd had this 1920s setting in mind for a long while, and I had always loved narrative games. So, with some savings in pocket, I made the jump.

Oh, also, I'm traveling southeast Asia while making this! It's a fun experiment -- can I travel while making a game? So far, the fusion has been magnificent. We'll see how it goes moving forward! If you'd like to follow along, click on that website link -- I blog every Wednesday about my travels. The traveling was great, but it's over for now! Head down to finish this ASAP!

Mark "Marowi" Wilson - Music/SFX
@MarowiTweets
Website
Mark is making all the audio for this game. Everything you hear in the game and trailers is his work, and it sounds awesome.

I met Mark while working on Dragon Age: Inquisition. He also worked on LA Noire at Team Bondi and is currently working at Riot Games and just quit Riot Games to also follow his indie dreams!



MEDIA

Travel animation (with the old name!):


Promo:


Screenshots:



Old Stuff:

GIF from the ancient demo:

« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 08:34:31 am by TheWanderingBen » Logged

alpha_rats
Level 0
**


mip mip


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2016, 02:08:05 am »

I really like the very illustrative looks of it!
I'm curious about how it will evolve
Logged

bdsowers
Level 3
***



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2016, 06:17:41 am »

I really like the little transitions you have - the screen melt, the magnifying glass, and the door opening. How are you pulling those off? Full-screen masks?
Logged

Greipur
Level 6
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2016, 06:34:04 am »

Just replying so I can follow your dev blog, your tweet the other day made me intrigued. Smiley
Logged

TheWanderingBen
Level 1
*


Making Games Around the Globe


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2016, 07:39:09 am »

Thanks for the interest, gents! I hope to update this thing pretty frequently, so stayed tuned for more info to come.

I really like the little transitions you have - the screen melt, the magnifying glass, and the door opening. How are you pulling those off? Full-screen masks?

Yes, they're all full-screen masks using Unity's GUI system. Most of the animations are generated by creating 3D objects with blender, then rendering an animation to PNGs that run at 30fps. In the demo, those PNGs are fairly large, but since they're just masks, I've played around with their size/quality to significantly bring down their overhead. I'm also just letting Unity dynamically load the mask images when needed, which works (at least so far!), and means I don't need any fancy resource loading.
Logged

aDFP
Level 0
***



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2016, 12:55:10 am »

Yes, they're all full-screen masks using Unity's GUI system. Most of the animations are generated by creating 3D objects with blender, then rendering an animation to PNGs that run at 30fps. In the demo, those PNGs are fairly large, but since they're just masks, I've played around with their size/quality to significantly bring down their overhead. I'm also just letting Unity dynamically load the mask images when needed, which works (at least so far!), and means I don't need any fancy resource loading.

You could probably get a very similar effect, for a fraction of the cost, by using a a texture with a perlin noise (or hand-drawn) mask for the alpha channel, and fading the material with a script that changes the alpha cutoff value over time. If you used multiple layers, with the alpha cutoff offset slightly on each one, you could get the 'burnt edges' effect.

Anyway, very nice work so far. I look forward to seeing more.
Logged
TheWanderingBen
Level 1
*


Making Games Around the Globe


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2016, 06:00:13 am »

You could probably get a very similar effect, for a fraction of the cost, by using a a texture with a perlin noise (or hand-drawn) mask for the alpha channel, and fading the material with a script that changes the alpha cutoff value over time. If you used multiple layers, with the alpha cutoff offset slightly on each one, you could get the 'burnt edges' effect.

Anyway, very nice work so far. I look forward to seeing more.

Good call, I hadn't thought of that solution! Definitely if the images get too expensive/unwieldy, I'll have to change techniques. Thanks for the input, I'm glad you're liking it so far!
Logged

YellowChord
Level 0
**



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 07:24:46 am »

This looks interesting! I love the setting and am excited to see how it progresses.

Troy
Logged

alvarop
Level 8
***


ignorant


View Profile WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2016, 07:44:20 am »

tracking. Looks very interesting.
Logged

TheWanderingBen
Level 1
*


Making Games Around the Globe


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2016, 01:20:38 am »

The real writing begins. What exactly am I going for? Here's a very quick breakdown of the overarching plot, the individual mysteries, the world's style, and the historical elements:

Overarching Plot
The game will feature many mysteries that tie into one another. I've yet to decide if the stories will be linear (you solve one, then you solve the next, etc) or parallel (you can solve all the mysteries whenever) but there will be a tie throughout all of them -- probably something about the main character's past that she's trying to discover. It's something I still need to think about, but I have some ideas already.

Individual Story Structure
The Golden Age Mystery structure is perfect for a game, with the suspects known at an early stage -- important for gameplay, so the mystery itself doesn't seem unfair. With this structure, all the clues, red-herrings, and lies are vital -- everybody has something to hide, but what is it? Murder? The player must break down each suspect to find the truth! Agatha Christie is my main inspiration here.

Style
While I like the Golden Age's structure, its classic settings -- a country town, a secluded mansion, an enclosed train -- feel contrived by modern standards, and far too innocent to explore some themes I want. I need grit in my sandpaper. Jazz singers, mobsters, shady cops, and drug addicts. In that sense, the style will lean hard-boiled -- Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. But I don't want it as bleak as a classic noir film. Instead, think more neo-noir -- films like Chinatown and The Long Goodbye. A cutting humor in a corrupt backdrop.

History
The 1920s were both the pinnacle of glamour and the nadir of crime, contrasting the parties of Jay Gatsby with the shotguns of Al Capone. It was the first automobile age, featured the rise of women (though they'd hit many hard ceilings!), and kick-started consumerism. Jazz took hold (though black artists were still maligned), flappers became the first youthful rebells, and radio and film revolutionized media. Of course, the Volstead Act -- the American prohibition of alcohol -- played maybe the most well-known role of the decade. This was, quite literally, the first electrifying age. While main characters will be my own creations, their backdrops will be absolutely real. It gives me many themes to pull from; themes that I can tie to contemporary discussions -- about race, about drugs, about corruption, about industry, about almost everything. I'm eager to explore it!

I'll break down each element further as I get to it, but that's the basics of everything. Writing is maybe the hardest part of this entire undertaking. But I want to share as much of it as I can (without spoilers!). Wish me luck!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 01:27:18 am by TheWanderingBen » Logged

TheWanderingBen
Level 1
*


Making Games Around the Globe


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2016, 01:29:55 am »

Also, holy crap, thanks for the support! I wasn't sure how much traction this game would generate, but I'm really happy to see others liking the idea. This is my first indie project that I plan to sell, so it makes me feel warm inside seeing your encouragement. From the most honest place in my heart, a warm THANK YOU to everyone!
Logged

Greipur
Level 6
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2016, 01:32:52 am »

The "Golden Age Mystery structure" is fascinating stuff, had a small Wikipedia crawl and read more about it, following such rule structures or tropes is a great way to start off with a game I think. Jesper Juul said in his book Half-Real that board games and digital games are condensed play that over times solidifies into "strict" rules. I think it's similar to storytelling in general as well.

As long as you break some of the structure rules I think you'll be fine, shouldn't be too predictable I mean, if you're not parodying the genre of course.
Logged

Christian
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2016, 07:16:33 pm »

I noticed you mentioned 80 Day's travel as how you maneuver around the city. Will there also be interactive fiction bits and being able to explore different locations like in that game too? (I guess scaled down to different districts/buildings/etc. instead of cities)

Also do you have any plans for mobile versions?
Logged

Visit Indie Game Enthusiast or follow me @IG_Enthusiast to learn about the best new and upcoming indie games!
TheWanderingBen
Level 1
*


Making Games Around the Globe


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 08:46:19 pm »

I noticed you mentioned 80 Day's travel as how you maneuver around the city. Will there also be interactive fiction bits and being able to explore different locations like in that game too? (I guess scaled down to different districts/buildings/etc. instead of cities)

That's the hope! The idea is to make the main story first, then pepper the world with different story-arcs at various locations throughout San Francisco. I swear there's a Gamasutra post somewhere (and I hate myself for not finding it, because lately I've been good about bookmarking articles I like!) where Meg Jayanth talks about writing a node-based narrative in 80 Days; how they had a baseline story but continued to add to it organically -- at any point they could have called it "done", but even in subsequent versions, they added new nodes and storylines. An important influence that I didn't mention is Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, a very cool board game that features a similar story mechanic.

But, I should temper expectations a bit. I'm doing a major rework of the story that I currently have  -- some of the characters might stay, and the world is historical, but everything else is being rewritten with a new style in mind. Super early, so anything could change at this point. It's very possible the first version of this game releases without a ton of side-content.

Also do you have any plans for mobile versions?

Not impossible, but definitely not simultaneous release. I think this type of game could work really well on mobile, but targeting too many platforms too early will cause headaches, especially as a mostly one-man team. I think PC has a more fertile indie scene -- maybe less huge hits, but many smaller success stories. It's also where I play my games, so I think I'm more aware of what players might want.

Thanks for the questions! Gave me a good break from writing backstories Smiley

Logged

Christian
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 08:57:34 pm »

Oh definitely, nothing matches PC in terms of indies, but I kind of prefer interactive fiction on mobile. Suits the platform perfectly.

There are so many cool projects going on in that genre. This, 1935, Sorcery 4, etc.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 04:19:17 am by Christian » Logged

Visit Indie Game Enthusiast or follow me @IG_Enthusiast to learn about the best new and upcoming indie games!
Greipur
Level 6
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2016, 01:02:45 am »

Even as a person who is 99% on desktop rather than mobile I must agree that interactive fiction suits mobile. Last year when I got myself a more powerful Android phone I started buying a few premium games and 80 Days was one of them. Oddly enough I enjoyed playing it the most when I was travelling in meatspace, for example sitting long hours on boat. Since the input is minimal, and you get that kind of book feeling with a phone I agree with Christian that it's a good idea with mobile for that kind of game.

Since 80 Days recently had a desktop launch (which you're probably well aware of) you might want to contact the inkle team and Meg yourself? See if it's a good idea as indie to start on mobile and then go desktop. I've been thinking about this a lot myself for a future project and my own conclusions so far is to start on desktop and then go to mobile, examples being FTL and This War of Mine. But maybe in this instance you should go the other way around?
« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 01:23:48 am by Greipur » Logged

TheWanderingBen
Level 1
*


Making Games Around the Globe


View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2016, 01:35:00 am »

So much mobile passion! Of course, with another platform also come many UX changes (especially some of the travel stuff I've been tinkering with) and definitely some pipeline changes too. I personally enjoy adventure games on desktop (I think in the end this'll skew closer to an adventure game than IF, but now we're just talking semantics Wink), so I'd like to get this on PC first, and then see where to go with future content.

But wow, I'm happy anyone wants to play my game anywhere! Being in the dark with this game for so long, I still smile at every devlog comment Smiley

Mobile is now a strong contender as a stretch goal. Thanks for the input guys!

More updates soon!
Logged

Christian
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2016, 04:25:49 am »

Even as a person who is 99% on desktop rather than mobile I must agree that interactive fiction suits mobile. Last year when I got myself a more powerful Android phone I started buying a few premium games and 80 Days was one of them. Oddly enough I enjoyed playing it the most when I was travelling in meatspace, for example sitting long hours on boat. Since the input is minimal, and you get that kind of book feeling with a phone I agree with Christian that it's a good idea with mobile for that kind of game.

Since 80 Days recently had a desktop launch (which you're probably well aware of) you might want to contact the inkle team and Meg yourself? See if it's a good idea as indie to start on mobile and then go desktop. I've been thinking about this a lot myself for a future project and my own conclusions so far is to start on desktop and then go to mobile, examples being FTL and This War of Mine. But maybe in this instance you should go the other way around?
Oh man, that's a whole nother can of worms. As someone who's firmly entrenched in both PC and mobile gaming, the subject of ports comes up a lot. You have the people who just dislike mobile ports in general, or that the PC versions are more expensive. And devs are certainly aware of this. Games like Death Road To Canada and The Deer God, which had been confirmed for mobile well before their Kickstarters, rarely mention iOS and Android at all on their Kickstarter pages and put the focus on their PC versions
Logged

Visit Indie Game Enthusiast or follow me @IG_Enthusiast to learn about the best new and upcoming indie games!
Greipur
Level 6
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2016, 04:56:48 am »

so I'd like to get this on PC first, and then see where to go with future content.

As an indie dev you will probably face a hard time to market your game anyway, so you might as well be comfortable with how you make it. Smiley At ECS we also focus on desktop, regardless if it's the ultimate business decision or not.


Even as a person who is 99% on desktop rather than mobile I must agree that interactive fiction suits mobile. Last year when I got myself a more powerful Android phone I started buying a few premium games and 80 Days was one of them. Oddly enough I enjoyed playing it the most when I was travelling in meatspace, for example sitting long hours on boat. Since the input is minimal, and you get that kind of book feeling with a phone I agree with Christian that it's a good idea with mobile for that kind of game.

Since 80 Days recently had a desktop launch (which you're probably well aware of) you might want to contact the inkle team and Meg yourself? See if it's a good idea as indie to start on mobile and then go desktop. I've been thinking about this a lot myself for a future project and my own conclusions so far is to start on desktop and then go to mobile, examples being FTL and This War of Mine. But maybe in this instance you should go the other way around?
Oh man, that's a whole nother can of worms. As someone who's firmly entrenched in both PC and mobile gaming, the subject of ports comes up a lot. You have the people who just dislike mobile ports in general, or that the PC versions are more expensive. And devs are certainly aware of this. Games like Death Road To Canada and The Deer God, which had been confirmed for mobile well before their Kickstarters, rarely mention iOS and Android at all on their Kickstarter pages and put the focus on their PC versions

Very true, I think exploitative skinner box free to play games are part of the cause. I'm not saying that all of the f2p variety are like that, but I think us developers are to blame for creating a lot of skepticism in literate gamers (I prefer Chris Bateman's dichotomy rather than hardcore/casual). The other part is probably consolitis, that cross-platform games are percieved to get dumbed down when they have a console launch apart from desktop, at least in the interface, which is inescapable.

And the general expectations on price is also different, as you say. Though, I think we see a trend of premium games cost more. At least when they have an already established following on desktop. The aforementioned games FTL and This War of Mine are pretty pricey for mobile, the first cost 10 dollar and the latter 15 dollars. They seem to be doing alright, I think this is a case of finding a core audience on desktop and bringing those expectations over to the mobile side. That's my speculations at least. Smiley
Logged

Christian
Level 10
*****



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2016, 05:43:50 am »

Actually ironically, I've seen comments going the other way. Annoyed that PC games on mobile are priced differently/cheaper than on PC. Basically, because it's unfair that the PC market had to pay more. (You know, regardless of market differences or that a $20 indie game isn't going to sell on mobile)

But either way, don't want to derail you devlog too much. The resurgence of detective games, from Her Story to The Trace, is pretty exciting. Can't wait to see more of this
Logged

Visit Indie Game Enthusiast or follow me @IG_Enthusiast to learn about the best new and upcoming indie games!
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic