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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignThe Unfinished Game/Demo Dump
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DrDerekDoctors
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« on: October 03, 2007, 03:35:19 am »

After seeing Stwelin's thread on his uber-list of unfinished projects, I thought it'd be nice to start a thread to go a little more in-depth with that idea and encourage people to share nuggets of stuff which they abandoned, as well as sharing the reasons for their abandonment and their thoughts about those ideas or bits of code, in the hope that we can all learn something from them.

So, in the spirit of fairness I shall kick off the proceedings by allowing you into my closet o' shame and telling you about the PC compatible bric-a-brac you'll find within...

Boulder Dash engine - I've always loved the Boulderdash genre, even if I've also always been crap at it, but my mate James is a genius at level design for them so I thought I'd have a go at writing an engine for it as it's an interesting programming exercise given the quirky physics in the game. I also wanted to make it so that actual movement in the game is pixel-based without changing the gameplay, which believe it or not actually caused me to scratch my head for a while before I realised how bloody obvious the solution was.
Use cursors to scroll, left mouse to place tile, right mouse to grab tile and mouse scroll wheel to change selected tile.
http://www.drderekdoctors.com/bdash.rar

Cannon Fodder testbed - Ah, another abandoned game. I got it into my head that I really wanted to remake Cannon Fodder but set it in a fictional version of the second world war much like the one that Return To Castle Wolfenstein occupied. This was partly because I loves me some zombies and also because I wanted to call the game Cannon Fuhrer and I'm a sucker for a good title. Anyway, this testbed just shows the simple click to move interface and was written to test out doing a highmap within a 2D tileset properly rather than in the fake Zelda fashion, and to even fold a little inertia into it to allow cool vehicle jumping rather than the very canned version you see in Cannon Fodder.
Click the mouse to attract the pixel to it, just done to show velocity and stuff and tile heightmap.
http://www.drderekdoctors.com/cannonfodder.rar

Kitty Hawk test demo - Back in the old days of using Blitz BASIC I started on the long-delayed project of Kitty Hawk (which - now that I've just finished Wizball - will be my next project) using a horribly proprietary and bespoke editor to script the enemy waves and behaviours. This is the result of those early tests. It will give you the fear! Wink
NB. It's really not indicative of the design and quality of the genuine Kitty Hawk game.
Use cursors to move, CTRL to fire, 1-5 to select weapon power and F1-F4 to select weapon. Hectic and crap.
http://www.drderekdoctors.com/kh005.rar

Munchies Maze Logic Demo - This is a Pacman path-finding logic demo I wrote to demonstrate to a friend how to do Pacman-style path-finding without actually doing any real pathfinding.
use the mouse to move the point to which the Ghost will home.
http://www.drderekdoctors.com/munchies_logic_demo.rar

Split Personalities Demo - Spit Personalities is just about one of my favourite games ever on the ZX Spectrum and it's one that I've always wanted to remake but it's always fallen at the first hurdle due to the need for the honkingly massive graphics which form the levels. But over the years I've started the project about 3 times, and this is the last one back from the Blitz BASIC days and it translates the original keyboard control to the mouse very nicely and in fact plays a pretty decent game.
Mouse to move, left click and then drag-off of a tile to throw it. Click on the box at the top left to spew tiles into the rink.
http://www.drderekdoctors.com/splitpersonalities.rar

Tumbleblock test - This was a test bit of code in order to see if you could deal with massive amounts of collisions between solid objects without exponentially chugging the crap out of your engine. As such it uses a tilemap, except each tile also contains an offset value on both axis of between 0 and tilesize-1, which localises the collisions massively. Effectively it's like a bucket-sort and it was an interesting programming exercise.
Use left-click to drop a block, middle-mouse to cause "explosion", right-click to delete a block.
http://www.drderekdoctors.com/tumbleblock.rar

The Ultimate Platform Engine - Except it's not. It's actually a fairly crappy collision system except it allowed for slopes and was the genesis of how I do tile collisions these days. One "nice" thing is that it was the start of my trend towards data-driven engines.
Controls are QZOPS if I recall.
http://www.drderekdoctors.com/upe.rar

Verlet Physics demonstration - This just shows a basic verlet integration physics demo using balls. Left-click to make a ball, right click to start/end a new line. Middle mouse to continue a line you've started and delete to delete the last created line. It's not totally unstable and was the beginnings of the below Vector Tile program.
Left-click to make a ball, right click to start/end a new line. Middle mouse to continue a line and delete to delete the last created line.
http://www.drderekdoctors.com/verlet3.rar

Vector Tile - This is the precursor to Retrengine before I realised that physics and platformers don't mix in the way I wanted, as it was all a bit too spongy for my tastes. The engine is totally data driven and the physics was pretty stable by this juncture, even if it was very primitive in it's abilities.
SHIFT-leftclick to spawn a man at the cursor and just left-click to spawn barrels. QZOP controls I think. The camera will follow first entity created.
http://www.drderekdoctors.com/vectortile.rar
« Last Edit: October 03, 2007, 04:40:02 am by DrDerekDoctors » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2007, 04:18:57 am »

This is an awesomely frightening idea. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2007, 06:52:37 am »

Here's one for you:

For PoV: Smiley


CounterBalance - I made this as one of my first game projects in Blitz+ a few years back. I canned it because my code was a mess and it didn't really 'feel' right. It's basically Collapse Plus with balancing scales and some other funky blocks. I also thought this was enough of a twist on the normal match-3 clone to make it actually alright, but there are some serious gameplay issues which need to be sorted out to make it worthwhile (and actually fun to play). I replanned it with various challenges that followed a storyline but never got around to remaking it so it's still in this state of lots of game modes. I also had a two-player battle version in mind, but never got my head around it.

http://www.jrnetwork.co.uk/downloads/CBNew.zip
« Last Edit: October 04, 2007, 12:03:35 am by Jimbob » Logged

Last release: sync::routine
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2007, 07:44:28 am »

These aren't so much unfinished games as programming experiments, but whatever Smiley They're a couple of raycasters I made between five and seven years ago at this stage, from back when I was in secondary school. I'll post some other stuff later - maybe an abandoned RPG or two or three :D

I took a really serious interest in raycasters for a while. I have Joe King’s excellent QB Tutorials to thank for showing me how it’s done - it’s pretty straightforward in principal. You just take a point on a regular 2D map, you “cast a ray” in every direction in front of your player until it hits a wall on that map, and you invert and scale the distances you get so that your result is a 3D wall size for the wall segment at that angle. I got a buggy engine up and running, but never really explored the idea of making a game with it:


QBasic Raycasters

About a year or so later, I got a copy of Blitzbasic, and made another raycaster. Then I started learning a bit more about it, and made a version that had tiled ceilings and floors!


Blitzbasic Raycasters

(Unfortunately, all my Blitzbasic stuff seems to run very slowly on Windows XP. Maybe I’ve got a very old version of the compiler or something.)

From there, I made a voxel engine - but it's not a real voxel engine. It's just a floormapper with sections raised at various heights. And unfortunately, it's unplayably slow Sad


Blitzbasic Voxel engine

I was going to use the voxel engine to create a world map for an RPG I was working on, but I never got that said RPG far enough to get any use out of this.

In summary: It was a fun thing to learn about. I regret nothing!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2007, 08:04:00 am by Terry » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2007, 09:02:53 am »

White Note Factory

My failed experiment in expressive systems and music gamedom.  It was a cute idea, and I wanted to have lots of sound sets available to users - synthy, percussion, guitar, etc.

Unfortunately I have no history in music theory, and the result bears that out.  The game is an awful mess.  You can actually manage to create some interesting stuff with it if you know what you're doing, but unfortunately even the best stuff is only 4-5 seconds long.
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DrDerekDoctors
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2007, 10:39:36 am »

Ooh, nice stuff so far!

I agree that Counterbalance didn't really offer enough new over the usual formula to exist, it simply feels like playing two games of it at once.

Raycasters are something which I've never looked into meself as I assumed they were a black art and dead complex and I'd rather make something 2D anyway thankyouverymuch. The voxel thing is interesting as it definitely reminds me visually of a voxel system even if it's actually a heightmap thing. Makes me wanna' make a dungeon crawl again...

And the white note thing looks like the seed of something very interesting (and slightly reminds me of a hideously complex game on the Spectrum called Destrux). I reckon there's something worth pursuing there for sure, even if it's no more than an interactive toy of some kind which makes nice plinky tunes. Maybe there could be a game in giving the player a sample tune and challenging them to use the given pieces to replicate it on a fixed-size board with some peices fixed in there maybe to give them an idea, and others moveable? Worth a think, I'd say.

I'll dig out a few more of my own "gems" tonight.
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2007, 02:02:55 pm »

damn this is a good idea .. i need to find and package them all up Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2007, 07:41:07 pm »

Dude, Doc, screenshots man.  That goes for everybody.  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2007, 02:09:05 am »


GRENADE BOY

What started out as a friendly platformer ended up like something that would get banned in Australia, like most of my games :D

Link: http://64digits.com/games/index.php?cmd=view_game&id=593#


CRITICAL

A Platform shooter, with bots and AI and stuff. Not the latest demo, but still has pretty much everything that was in it.

Link: http://64digits.com/users/Radnom_Games/CRITICAL_demo1.zip


MechBot

Top down shooter/Real Time Strategy

Only a couple of levels

Link: http://www.64digits.com/games/index.php?cmd=view_game&id=3404&download=1



Not too sure about the stability of the links. Should be controls and stuff in F1.
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2007, 07:57:03 am »

Gah, stupid forum software ate my post.

Okay, all of my failed games are on my gameography wiki (make yourself one today!), but I'll also write a bit and offer up screenshots.

Sequence 13
Fairly mature action/RPG -- most of the gameplay ideas that I ended up with in Glow started here. I did about four revs of this thing. Wiki link



Soccer Mom
Like GTA except you're a soccer mom. Wiki link (with feature list)



Felon
Eventually Soccer Mom became Felon after I tore out the code that actually worked and replaced it.

In Felon, you were some sort of criminal, recently bailed from prison, and forced to do assignments for the crime syndicate which bailed you out.

The primary features that stick out in my mind is that you could steal a helicopter and fly around. If you bailed out of the helicopter, it would spiral to the ground and explode, lighting nearby objects on fire before they, too, explode. I spent a lot of time on that helicopter -- the AI can even pilot it realistically. Wiki Link (with way more cool information).

« Last Edit: October 04, 2007, 07:59:34 am by ravuya » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2007, 07:59:46 am »

Second part...

Four Elements 4
Diablo-esque dungeon crawler with a lot of neat graphical effects. I gave up on it. Wiki link



Ferp
First-person Engine Role Playing. Trying to make a 3D Ultima Underworld-style game, but didn't get too far because it turned out I knew nothing at all about OpenGL. Wiki link


Even the Doom marine came to visit:


Sunrise
2D space trading game with 3D graphics. Like Flatspace, but with no original cohesive thought of its own except for a fun asteroid-mining minigame. Wiki link



So there you have most of my fascinating failures as a game developer.
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2007, 02:55:14 pm »

Assuming this 'Flickr' thing works, here are some screenshots from the original prototype of The Curious Misadventures of M. Duchamp, which was originally going to be a B Game entry before I got excellent ideas for it and it turned into a real project:



The title screen! I had some delightful French piano music playing over this as the text was revealed slowly from the left. It was very soothing.



Here was my little Duchamp graphic, in the middle of his walk cycle (his feet went up and down and his arms waved in some simple harmonic motion). The weird aliasing artifacts are on account of the terrible 3rd party graphics library I used, which I am never touching again. Yes, his body is a bicycle wheel.



Here is the main screen of the game. The backgrounds were just various black and white photos I nabbed off Google images. In the final version, the backgrounds will be all kinds of neat cut paper pieces with fancy 3D effects.

The interface selection and the text box were kind of neat, anyway.
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« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2007, 03:07:15 am »

I wanna play Soccer Mom!  =)

Ok, here's one of my first games, which has been on my heap of prototypes for years now. I never "abandon" anything, but the code is a mess, as is the game design, so it's unlikely to be resurrected.

It's called Anti-Gravity Circus Ninjas.  It was supposed to be Cirque du Soleil meets The Matrix meets Circus Atari.  It has bullet time, blindfolded juggling monkeys, and balloons that explode like fireworks.  Oh, and clowns.

You control it with just the mouse.  You move the spotlight and the clowns run after it with the trampoline.  You can press the mouse button to change direction or hold it down to use your Slo-Mo Mojo.






And here's my very first game, almost certainly abandoned.  It's called Space Gopher Super Nova

You have to collect the space gophers from the asteroids, who only pop out occasionally, and then feed them to the star to make it go super nova. 

I tried 10 different controls schemes and they were all frustrating.  The latest has you dragging your ship around on an elastic tether.  The neatest part was the  Vibro-Shaker, which let you shake the asteroids to try and flush the buggers out.

The find-a-gopher mechanic was based on the Mountain Wampus from MULE.  I'm not sure trying to make an entire game around that was a good idea.

The biggest problem, like Circus Ninjas, is that it tries to be so clever with everything all at once.





Oh, here's one that is definitely abandoned.  It's A Most Dangerous Crosswalk.  You can actually play it here. (1 MB)

It's a one-key game where you switch the Walk/Don't Walk sign on and off to coax people into oncoming cars.  You use the "clues" around you to predict when cars will arrive.

I started on a version with better graphics, but then I realized what a waste of time it'd be to continue.








« Last Edit: October 14, 2007, 04:41:49 am by frosty » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2007, 06:20:53 pm »

Hehe, love the street crossing game.

Here are some of my own.

Umbra. A black and white adventure game that was to feature brutal murders and inane puzzles. Like getting people to hail taxis so that no taxis come and splash water from puddles onto you (which prevents you from getting into posh hotels where said murders take place). This puzzle was obviously based on the common knowledge that when someone is looking for a taxi there are none to be found.
Flash mock-up here: http://www.willhostforfood.com/files/130181/Umbra Layout Test 01.swf
Instructions: Point-n-click-n-read. Just one room with nothing to do.

Wall Climber. A platform/action game based on the premise that you are being chased by a huge monster impossible to defeat. The ideas was that you had to scale a building that was being attacked by a monster like those found in Rampage. It was going to alternate each level from outside scenes (where you avoid the monster and scale the building) to inside scenes where you combat other humans (and avoid the windows or other places the monster can reach in). Basically I wanted to create a feeling that you always had to keep moving and never rest (music would have been important for this feeling).
Flash mock-up-ish-thing here: http://www.willhostforfood.com/files/32700/Wall Climber 02.swf
Instructions: Arrows to run, up to jump. Get to the broken window to get inside (nothing will happen though).

Finally, there is this... thing. I'll refer to it as Pubert, since that is what my partner affectionately nick-named it. It represents my 1st ever attempt at game coding (besides making mods for Quake etc.). The Flash file is so broken I don't know why I bother to post it, but I still think it has the seeds of some really cool game play. You play as a recently unfrozen human (this explains the lack of clothes and the nick-name) in some kind of rundown and zombie infested installation. You are completely weaponless but you have two cool moves. First, if you are going fast enough when you hit a zombie and press a key you just flip over his lumbering bulk, avoiding all injury. Second, when the ceiling is close enough and you are at speed you can run on it for a short distance. They can be combo'ed together by flipping off a zombie and onto the ceiling. Thus, the zombies become the key to many of the puzzles etc. you face. This might sound great, but my 1st stab at it is really, really inadequate.
File here: http://www.willhostforfood.com/files/5258/Game2.swf
Instructions: Arrows to run, up to flip or ceiling run when appropriate. The door can be opened with an invisible switch on the platform to the left. The zombies cannot actually hurt you. Nor can anything else. After a few 'rooms' there is nothing and the game will just slow down/crash/stop working/or fail some other way.
What this did become is: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/309955 A similar and very short game, but one that is 'done'.
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2007, 12:08:09 pm »

Okay some of my best cancelled stuff:

Revengerman



Revengerman was and is pretty awesome. The idea, style, and story are pure slordigness. Too bad I did not manage to make the combat a lot of fun, and everybody (except for me) found it way too hard.  Cry

Caveman

A pretty cool exploration game, but the engine was crappy and the level designing was too time-consuming.



Smallness
A really tiny point and click adventure.

Wasted
A mech game with crappy code but nice backgrounds and effects.


CAPTAIN KICKASS
An arena shooter that is not 100% finished but very playable. Too bored to continue it.



 Shocked
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2007, 12:40:44 pm »

I remember playing Captain Kickass.

Tis fun for a bit.
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2007, 08:41:09 am »

After my experience with 'Too Many Ninjas', I learnt that good titles are important. I had this idea for a sailing game called 'Blue Yonder' which is about trying to get your sailboat to go as fast as possible, for as long as possible.



But I can't get the physics to work in a compelling way. I still haven't put any controls in other than space to jump, and I'm thinking now that maybe the concept can't be executed in a cool enough way.

You can see it in motion (and hear the cool music):
http://www.cutcopy.net/temp/Corac.html
/edit Oh I should make a disclaimer: the instructions on the title screen tout non-working features!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 08:47:59 am by Benzido » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2007, 05:38:36 am »

Should I post

here? Or did I already wear out my welcome on that one?
* Bezzy thinks

I could even post the source and docs if pushed, not that it works on XP anymore... plus it was my first real attempt at C++ so it's probably ugly as hell.

Actually it'll have to wait until I have decent upload speeds.

Bleh. Sorry for the non post. I'll edit this one when I have something to show.
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« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2007, 10:53:12 am »

Should I post

here? Or did I already wear out my welcome on that one?
* Bezzy thinks

I could even post the source and docs if pushed, not that it works on XP anymore... plus it was my first real attempt at C++ so it's probably ugly as hell.

Actually it'll have to wait until I have decent upload speeds.

Bleh. Sorry for the non post. I'll edit this one when I have something to show.

Please, it would be interesting to read some considered thoughts on K and its development Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2007, 11:35:06 am »

Should I post

here? Or did I already wear out my welcome on that one?
* Bezzy thinks

I could even post the source and docs if pushed, not that it works on XP anymore... plus it was my first real attempt at C++ so it's probably ugly as hell.

Actually it'll have to wait until I have decent upload speeds.

Bleh. Sorry for the non post. I'll edit this one when I have something to show.
Hey, you were the one who made that? I remember seeing it on Youtube and thinking it was awesome.

By all means, post more about it.
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