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January 18, 2018, 11:06:44 pm

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsA Door to the Mists--First-person traversal, exploration, puzzles and combat
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Author Topic: A Door to the Mists--First-person traversal, exploration, puzzles and combat  (Read 11673 times)
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« Reply #180 on: January 10, 2018, 04:39:17 pm »

Yes, I only have 2 eyes  Blink o Blink.  I'm guessing you have:  Blink Blink Blink   Grin


Three eyes? o_0    

                               Blink
          Blink      Blink                       Blink
 WhY DO you SeLl mE so ShooOrT?    Blink
                Blink         Blink
                                          Blink

Sorry, my bad!  I meant:
Quote
I'm guessing you have at least:  Blink Blink Blink   Grin

*ahem*
I mean, uh three eyes, yes, just like any human! :D

;P
Yes, we all have a mysterious 3rd eye, right between the other 2!  o*o


Based on the length of your blog posts ... I had a "feeling" you'd say that. Grin

I might also add that I have it in mind to include with downloads a (PDF or other e-book) short story written in the setting--albeit that the plot is unconnected. Tongue

(The short story actually came first, funnily enough.)
The downloadable PDF is a good idea if it adds to the same game-world.  If I like the main source, I tend to look for "more".  Since you mentioned that the short story came first, did that influence the game design?

In a game it's somewhat different, since people who like to explore are probably more open to reading  i.e. exploring the game further.  Of course, it's good to communicate that in the trailer and game description so people are not "surprised".  Some tend to prefer listening, but it your budged doesn't allow it, there's not much you can do about it.  Unless you have willing "friends" who could do that. Grin

Also, if there is something important, it's good to make sure that the player "can't miss it".

Good points, all, I think! I should make a point of showing some of the text, of at least both the document and "character thought" types, I think. (Not as opening moments--I currently have it in mind to have a jump for the first shot of the first trailer, I think.)

(As to voicing, I want to do a crowdfunding campaign for overall funding--but even if that does raise some money for voices, it's likely that I'd stick to just adding voice-work to cutscenes and those rare conversations that occur. Documents and "character thoughts" would likely remain unvoiced, simply because there are a lot of them.)
Oh, I see.  If you have all text recorded, then you'd probably end up with a bonus *Audio Book*. Smiley
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« Reply #181 on: January 11, 2018, 11:34:53 am »

Sorry, my bad!  I meant:
Quote
I'm guessing you have at leastBlink Blink Blink   Grin

Much better! Now, was that so hard? Tongue

The downloadable PDF is a good idea if it adds to the same game-world.  If I like the main source, I tend to look for "more".  Since you mentioned that the short story came first, did that influence the game design?

Hmm... The game design itself? I don't think so. It's set in the world of that short story, so it inherits much from that--the animal signs, certain undead, the mist-world that is the focus of the plot, etc.

Come to think of it, there is that commonality between them: they take place in very different places, with very different people, but the mist-world is prominent in both, as are the limitations in accessing it.

Oh, I see.  If you have all text recorded, then you'd probably end up with a bonus *Audio Book*. Smiley

Heh, that would be nice!

Hmm... Alas, while much of the plot is contained in cutscenes or conversations, I suspect that at least some is found in the "character thoughts"--moments in which the protagonist collects an important item, or discovers a significant clue, etc. I suppose that I could consider voicing those, but having only occasional "thoughts" be voiced might feel odd. ^^;
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« Reply #182 on: January 11, 2018, 04:19:49 pm »


Sorry, my bad!  I meant:
Quote
I'm guessing you have at leastBlink Blink Blink   Grin

Much better! Now, was that so hard? Tongue
It's not easy to focus when you're Sleeping With Third Eye Open  Wink


Hmm... Alas, while much of the plot is contained in cutscenes or conversations, I suspect that at least some is found in the "character thoughts"--moments in which the protagonist collects an important item, or discovers a significant clue, etc. I suppose that I could consider voicing those, but having only occasional "thoughts" be voiced might feel odd. ^^;
Yeah, voicing only some of the "character thoughts" would probably not a good idea.  Unless, if those could be combined into some kind of summary or closing monologue at the end. 


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« Reply #183 on: January 11, 2018, 06:29:03 pm »

It's not easy to focus when you're Sleeping With Third Eye Open  Wink

Heh, I saw that, and thought of linking it myself! :D

Yeah, voicing only some of the "character thoughts" would probably not a good idea.  Unless, if those could be combined into some kind of summary or closing monologue at the end.

Perhaps, but it's additional work--and a change to the flow of the cutscenes into which it would presumably introduced--all in aid of a speculative bonus item. ^^;
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« Reply #184 on: January 12, 2018, 03:17:00 pm »

It's not easy to focus when you're Sleeping With Third Eye Open   Wink

Heh, I saw that, and thought of linking it myself! :D
BlinkSmileyBlinkSmileyBlink


Yeah, voicing only some of the "character thoughts" would probably not a good idea.  Unless, if those could be combined into some kind of summary or closing monologue at the end.

Perhaps, but it's additional work--and a change to the flow of the cutscenes into which it would presumably introduced--all in aid of a speculative bonus item. ^^;
Yeah, I agree that the extra work would be only worth it if it was adding something "more/special" to the game.  I was thinking something along the lines of the ending revelation of the Saw movies.  You've seen the bits and pieces before, but now that they are put together, you get the "answer" as to what happened.  If your game's case, it wouldn't have to be the same kind of revelation, but more like a summary that puts certain events together in a way that perhaps other than the more observant people others might miss.  You probably have an idea for the ending, but I just wanted to throw it out there.  Or perhaps you could do something similar for your next game. Wink
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« Reply #185 on: January 15, 2018, 04:32:37 am »

Ah, "once more with clarity", as TV Tropes puts it, I believe. ^_^

It's an interesting idea (and thank you for it!)--although I don't think that it really fits into A Door to the Mists, indeed. It's less a story of mystery than of discovery, I suppose; there is a resolution at the end. In this case a summary would, I imagine, less explicate than, well, summarise. ^^;
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« Reply #186 on: January 15, 2018, 04:32:58 am »

Blog post (15th of January, 2018)
Level Complete!


Summary: In which a level is (pretty much) finished; the fading of forest-sounds is discussed; combat animations are reworked; combat logic is polished; climbing through walls is forbidden; and experiments are made with graphical effects.

Greetings and salutations!

For this week's screenshots, the first level once again:




The week just past was a somewhat varied one! There was work on the first level, on combat, on graphical elements, and more besides!

First of all, perhaps the most salient news this week is that the first level is, I believe, pretty much done! I have a few tweaks that I'll likely want to make, and I should perhaps do a complete run-through to check for issues that might have appeared during work on the level. But those aside, I believe that I have the level--in geometry, level-editing, and logic, all finalised! :D

Doing so in the week just past involved work on a few elements. I removed a troublesome shelf that was blocking a low gap; tweaked the tree-bark colour-texture; removed a planned collectible for which I never found a concept that I liked; and more besides!

One of these changes was that I added in "forest" sounds--the rustle of trees, sounds of twigs snapping, etc.; this was pretty much copied from the prologue.

One minor complication was the question of making it stop when moving into the tomb--let alone when exploring subterranean regions that happened to be near the edge of the surrounding woods!

In the prologue, I achieved this via a simple trigger--but in that case, I had the advantage that the entrance in question was a vertical shaft. With the gentler slope of the barrow-entrance, I wasn't happy with this.

I considered implementing a "sliding trigger" that would set the volume according to how far into it the player stood. I even started implementing this, as I recall--but in the end decided that it didn't seem worth it. (For one thing, I'm not sure that I should be adding new features like that at this point!)

In the end, I did something simpler: since the barrow is underground, I simply reduce the volume of the "forest" sounds as the player-character moves down below "ground-level". In addition to solving the issue for the barrow, this has the advantage of naturally doing the same for a small, sunken side-room to one side of the outdoor area.

With the first level (more or less) complete, I've moved on to work on the end-of-demo "cutscene". This is still a work-in-progress at the moment!

Another section of the game that saw salient work was the combat. I had received some (much appreciated!) feedback on the combat animations shown in one of my YouTube videos, and set out to improve upon said animations. (Well, and to look into why certain animations seemed to not play at all in some cases. I haven't managed to reproduce this, however!)

To that end, I've reworked a number of the player-character's animations to greater or lesser degrees. In addition, I've added a new "stunned" animation that plays when the character has been dealt a staggering blow and finished reeling backwards, but has not yet recovered.

On top of that, I made some tweaks to the combat logic. For one, I found that I could defeat one of the mummies by simply spamming attacks--which is not something that I want! Between limiting the player's ability to spam attacks and some changes to the mummy's AI, I think that I have this largely resolved.

I also made a few miscellaneous changes, including, if I'm not much mistaken, other tweaks to said AI, and a heavier stamina-penalty when stunned.

At some point during the week just past I discovered that it was possible in the prologue level to climb through a certain wall. As you may imagine, this was not a welcome discovery!

In the end, I tracked down the problem to an unexpected normal being reported by the physics engine--in short, I expected said normal to point down, and it was reported as pointing up. I've brought this up on the Panda3D forum.

However, I also decided to implement a minor change that somewhat prevents it from being an issue--in this case, at least: I've added a new ray-cast to the logic of climbing that--roughly speaking--checks whether there's an obstacle between the player and the point to which they would otherwise climb. Such as, say, the wall that was being climbed through. If there is, the climb is cancelled.

I was a little hesitant to do so, as I recall--I'm worried that there will be cases in which this will prevent a valid climb from happening--but thus far it seems to work reliably.

On the graphical side, I experimented with a few visual changes, one of which was ambient occlusion. Panda3D offers this out-of-the box, but trying it I found that it didn't seem to work well for me--possibly because of my custom shaders. I also attempted my own experimental approach using only five samples. This seemed promising, but I didn't manage to get it working properly, and I'm not sure of where I was going wrong. It's possible that it might be made to work with further development, but as things stand I've abandoned it. In any case, in both cases I wasn't happy with the performance impact.

Finally, there were a number of changes, bug-fixes, and experiments undertaken during the week just past that don't seem worth going into in detail here!

That's all for this week then--stay well, and thank you for reading! ^_^
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