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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperDesignThe Unfinished Game/Demo Dump
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Author Topic: The Unfinished Game/Demo Dump  (Read 223446 times)
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« Reply #40 on: April 08, 2008, 05:53:16 PM »

Man, you're awesome guys   Shocked

As I'm new on this forum I guess I'll complete my short introduction (i read the rules!) with my own abandonned works. I added lot of images so mods feel free to convert them to links if it's too much, i'm a noob here and i'm not sure where to stop exactly.

I'll skip my Basic and VB games, they were not verry interesting...

So, with a school friend we started to make a game 5 or 6 years from now that we called NetRush. The game was an enhanced version of "Hacker Pro", a VB game we made in wich you had a grid with two goals on each side, one for each player. You had to play with two computers with a specific shared document accessible on LAN. Yes we did'nt know anything about network code so we made it work with what we already knew : there was a file accessible on the "host" player computer that hold all the data about the game. It was quick and dirty but it worked!...Well only if you made a game that was not real time. So we as we wanted it real time we made it half-real-time-half-turn-based.
The game showed the grid, and a text entry. The grid showed the state of the "network", with Viruses (they were your basic units) and ennemy Viruses that you could see if they were near yours or on you territory. Each square was a symbolic for a server machine.
That's the interesting part : you had to type commands in the text entry to give orders...
So you typed "create virus killer" and next "move virus killer up" or something like that. This way, all the orders were saved but executed only each 30 seconds, all in the same time! And the refresh of the state of the game was made only each 15 seconds! (the game was reading at the shared game state file...)


Ok so it was a quick and dirty hardcore geek game but we had a lot of fun. (the music was verry good as it was the music of the Angel Attack in the 3 Computers in N.G.Evangelion, in the early episodes).

(nothing to show for this one as i don't have the code and exe anymore :/ )

Then, we started to look at C++ and DirectX  to see if we could make something bigger...

Then the idea of NetRush went in our head : it would play like a classic RTS game but was all about the hacking stuff. You see, the core idea of the game (as in Hacker Pro) was to break the control of the other player by sending him special Viruses called "bombs" or "ghost" that would have a special effect on the ennemy player UI directly!

So we made it, with an made-in editor. It works, we played until 4 players, but we had no time to really finish it and no time to make more than test maps (one is scripted).

Take you sunglasses, here are some young game programmer wanabe arts, most made with defaults PaintShopPro patterrns, in less than 10 minutes at the time (the intro menu was first a benchmark for the engine):

You can try it if you want BUT i warn you that it will burn your eyes and the text is in french AND most french players don't understand what's happening if i don't explain myself just before.

The other thing is that the main feature of the game, the Viruses that attack player's UI, are not easily reacheable with the version i provide. It would be interesting to make a specific map to show that (like the BlueScreen virus XD) but the editor is not really not usable enough to make it fast so i guess you'll have to wait the new version (see farther in this text).

Here is the link  Smiley NetRush

Ok so it was a pretty good start technically, but on the design side (and graphic side) there were identifiable problems that we had time to analyze while having lot of exams.

The "game engine" (if you can call that like this) that we made for NetRush was our first and we had to learn Dx and C++ at the same time.
So we called it "PainEngine" as it was painfull to write. Smiley

After NetRush i worked on a full 3D engine and one of the main feature i wanted was to have paged landscape like in Morrowind at the time.
I called it "XPainEngine" : Extended Pain Engine. I guess you know why Smiley

So i made some useful code (the paging system worked and was scalable enough) but not a full engine. (note : those codes are not such useful now so i don't make them public, but if you ask i can provide it)
We had ideas about making a RPG at the time, but not a classical one. I created it's design as deep as exotic i could because we didn't want to be classical.
That game would have used the paging landscape system but i planned to make a specific module based engine for this one.
As the game system was inspired by Aurora (NeverWinter Nights), i called it...

... Twilight!

The goal at that time was to have a powerful editor like them, but with lot less features because the game rules were really simpler than AD&D and were focused on the fact that those ruled would only run on a computer. (RPG on computer, IMOA, should be though with the computer helping, not against it)

The game background was named "Terres De Glace" that you could translate by "Grounds of Ice" or "Frozen Grounds" or "Lands of Ice" i think.
It was localized on a banquise covered planet so almost all the ground was only ice.
In this world, there was no humans, only Hentydes. They were like humans but with no face and 4 eyes. They all wear masks, painted and having double expressions.
And there was "classes" that were like re-factored Hentydes.

The game itself, with the scenario, was called "Dragon de Neden" that you would translate to "Neden's Dragon" , Neden being the name of the known world, and Dragon was the an unknown word for all the Hentydes... as the hero was having dreams about someone asking him to find the Dragon, it was an intersting start i think because there was no "Dragon" nor any aproaching word or concept for Dragon for all the Hentydes. All....but some of them having the same dream...

You can find all the artworks and other schems in this big (50Mo) rar file.

Here are some raw pictures I made at the time. (Note : In the file, some folders have the name of the other artists that joined the project, the rough and dirty artworks were mine. Please, take a look at what Icaras did, it was amazing).

That project was really complex.
It was a big project but i had too much problems to manage the team and work at the same time on design and programmation so i had to stop the project 9 months after we started gathering people. :/ :/ TT__TT

I guess i'll get back to this project one day as it was not only deep and exotic, but not equaled to this day in the specific subtile images that i wanted to express in it (like the double expressions on the masks, the fact that everybody wears a mask, the depressing mood of the whole that i wanted, etc). That, my friends, was a complex but sublime expression of my own perception of society (and other things). You could call it art if it was finished.

The code was not enough to make it play but it's somewhere in a backup. Don't think it's useful so i don't make it public but you can ask if you want it.

After that, I didn't do anything for months (ok i did just one fanzine comic sold in festivals called Life Turtle, currently in french but translation will comme soon if you're interested...).

Now, more than 2 years ago i worked on my programming skills a lot and later i started to work on a new version of NetRush. That version will have for goals to make the game playable by anyone, fix the design problems from the first version, rewrite the code as clean as i can to make it easy to work with on the long term (the original code was made by C/C++ aprentices...not reusable), and the main goal : make it sellable!
I think there is a verry good potential for this game (as far as i keep the direction of totally fantasy view of virtual network and as far as the background of the game is as "really broad geek culture" and open to the world (eclectic) as i can express it).

I'm currently working on it and hope to provide a basic core game playable version for the next IGF. So no "game" screen for instance, but i'll talk about it more later i guess Smiley Ok i stop here with early adverts XD

Now that i showed my shameful uncompleted games, it's time to finish (to the really end) one Smiley

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« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2008, 08:57:48 PM »

Woa superflat, that adventure game looks really cool. Hope you find artists to help you finish it.  Cool

There have always been interactive experiences that go beyond entertainment.  For example, if mafia games are too fun for you, then you can always join the mafia.
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« Reply #42 on: April 30, 2008, 11:56:07 AM »

So i tried out Super Neko World, and sure it veers towards the casual side in terms of presentation, but I still think the game is solidly fun and worth finishing, releasing properly, and charging some money for.

Don't abandon!

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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2008, 02:15:13 PM »

Thanks guys, nice of you to say so.

I've been thinking about looking for an artist officially, definitely interested in an anime-ish style... so if you know anyone, please let me know!


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« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2008, 10:42:28 AM »

hey this thread is not so depressing after all :-)
hard to admit my project is now dead - but it is.

It's not really a game, rather a set of intentions. If I had to sum it up, i'd say : organic.

The page is in french, but there are some videos :

Edit : BTW this is my first post, so hello world !
« Last Edit: May 06, 2008, 10:45:17 AM by raytaller » Logged
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« Reply #45 on: May 06, 2008, 10:20:01 PM »

Wow, some incredible work in this thread. It's such a shame to see the projects labelled as canned.

I've not got much to show from recent times, lots of small projects started and shelved before getting to the stage where a screenshot is worthwhile. Most of my work has been in porting games like Quake to various homebrew platforms.

Anyway, on with the rose tinted glasses. This one was a platform game, written in Blitz Basic for the Amiga. The source code (one big sprawling file) and art assets are long gone after a hard drive disaster years ago.

The main character. I'm not sure what he was supposed to be, maybe a spaceman or a little alien or something like that.

The idea was that you would jump on baddies heads (how original!), and they would leave behind these little critters which you would have to collect to fill your quota for that level.

I have some more old project assets around, but I think I have something in my eye...  Cry
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« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2008, 03:50:00 AM »

A cross between Mario and Sonic?  Smiley  I never played Sonic and awful lot, but I seem to remember cute critters appearing when you killed enemies..
« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2008, 01:07:29 AM »

Those were rings. They weren't very cute, just sort of shiny.
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« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2008, 02:32:47 AM »

Oh, it was in Sonic Advance 2...

"Now as with most Sonic titles, Sonic is pitted against his bitter arch-nemesis, the evil Dr. Robotnik. Again, Dr. Robotnik has devised a plan to take over the world by capturing all of the animals, and making them in to robotic drones of mass destruction. Also, Dr. Robotnik has captured Sonic's dear friends Knuckles, Tails, Amy and Cream; and it is up to Sonic to rescue his friends and to free the captured animals."
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« Reply #49 on: May 11, 2008, 03:08:00 AM »

You shed rings when YOU get hit and imprisoned animals are used as the batteries for enemy robots. It's been like that since the very first game.

I'm shocked and disappointed by you guys.
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« Reply #50 on: May 11, 2008, 05:14:52 AM »

This one was a platform game, written in Blitz Basic for the Amiga.
Holy crap! The artwork is very nice, but the gradients on those background mountains used up nearly a third of your 32 colour palette! How come you didn't use copper scrolls?
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« Reply #51 on: May 11, 2008, 05:24:28 AM »

If I remember right (it's been a while), the foreground and background were separate independently scrolling layers, each with their own 16 colour palette. It was an AGA only game, so there wasn't a shortage of colours for the background.

To be honest, the background was put together very quickly and I was never really that happy with it.

Edit: I think "dual playfield" was the name of the mode/technique.

There were probably a multitude of better ways to do it, but I was young and not really well versed in the Amiga graphics setup.

Thanks for the compliment on the artwork. I loved your ROM CHECK FAIL!
« Last Edit: May 11, 2008, 05:33:23 AM by PeterM » Logged
« Reply #52 on: May 13, 2008, 10:16:45 AM »

See that picture on the left, there? That is what it looks like when someone is too cool for Sonic.
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« Reply #53 on: May 13, 2008, 11:13:17 AM »

Not sure if I ever introduced myself in the appropriate thread, but I did take part in some discussions here a few years ago. This post is probably as good an introduction as anything.

Many months ago, this thread sparked an impulse in me to gather up screenshots and info about all my old game stuff, going back to the very roots, and putting it all into some kind of list.
After lots of emulating and compositing it's finally done, and I warn you that this is indeed about quantity over quality. A few of these were actually finished and some aren't even games, so they're not all a perfect match for this thread. By far though, most are abandoned games which were sparkling ambitions at one point while turning to old dust the next day or week or month.

The games listed span from 1995 to 2008, which I guess corresponds to half my life (born 1982)

Here's a squishy thumbnail showing what to expect:

(there are 116 screenshots in that image)

...and here's a monstrous 2.44 MB JPEG with each screenshot given a space of 320x256 pixels (for a total of 3200x3072):

If you can't quite handle that, have this one which is smaller at 627 kB and half the resolution:

To make it a bit more comprehensive, I wrote an indexed shorthand description for all of them (and then some):

Here's hoping I can improve my success rate with future games Wink
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« Reply #54 on: May 13, 2008, 01:36:40 PM »

I would download and play all these semi finished games Tongue

subsystems   subsystems   subsystems
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« Reply #55 on: May 13, 2008, 02:02:51 PM »

Haha, awesome.

We should totally make one big TIGSource unfinished game pack consisting of one from every member. Or they could be put together into one large (finished) game, with each unfinished game being one level.

Now that I typed it out it seems like a pretty stupid idea, but it was a fun thought. :D

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« Reply #56 on: May 15, 2008, 07:40:36 PM »

(First post, so: I'm the author of the Chromatron games and Lost in the Static. I'm also a "ringer", as I worked on some commercial games in the latter half of the 90s.)


This was a simple gameplay idea that I tested and couldn't make go anywhere: you slide the rows or columns horizontally or vertically, but you can't slide one if it's got a multi-row "brick" crossing to another row--or it forces both rows to move together (which then may cascade through other bricks). I couldn't find any good gameplay out of the idea.

I wrote Chromatron 1 two months later.


This was not a Chromatron sequel, but was intended to "continue the line" of those games -- it was another puzzle game with a color theme and name. You build these "abstract paintings" and then a "critic" "rates" them; it's actually basically just Zendo; the biggest problem was how to prove that you knew a judge's rule. Multiple testers suggested a big collection of combo boxes where you spell out your guess, but I didn't like the idea of giving people a hint about what the range of things it worked with were. Instead, when you thought you had "solved" a critic, you could take a test, in which you were shown ten "paintings" and had to predict which way you thought he'd choose. If you got all of them right, the game assumed you solved it. If not, it showed you the right answer to one of the paintings you tested wrong on, corresponding to the Zendo 'construct a counterexample' rule. And when you retook the test you'd get a different set of paintings, and more of them (i.e. 12 the 2nd time, 14 the 3rd time, etc., to discourage brute force guessing).

The intent was that there'd be 30-40 critics, and then some "boss levels" where you had to make paintings that would make multiple critics happy simultaneously.

Besides dissatisfaction with the testing mechanic, another thing that made me unhappy about this is that you would tend to create really simple, trivial things for the "experiment" paintings (as seen above), despite the fact that the system would let you make much nicer-looking, more sophisticated things -- I made a ton of these for the tests, but there was really no way to make the user make them more interesting (except maybe by adding some sort of budget and a demand that you spend a certain minimum or something, but it seemed awkward).

But also after stopping, I later never went back to it because I decided intellectual puzzle games just wasn't a very satisfying niche to target.


This was a puzzle game sort of inspired by Four Crystals of Traziere. Here you would collect cards and then create spells with them by combining various aspects. For example in the screenshot the player has built a four-way destruction spell and is about to cast it to destroy the four diagonal pillbox barriers.

I wasn't able to make the puzzly aspect of this interesting enough; I couldn't get any emergent gameplay like in Chromatron, because I had to construct everything very carefully to avoid you getting too stuck. And the mechanic really cries out for emergent insanity, not carefully constructed puzzles. Kinda obvious in hindsight.

2005-09-17: This was a technology test for doing a 2D scrolling game with 3D hardware, mainly testing getting gamma-correct antialiasing for everything (without pixel shaders). The stars are parallaxing point sprites, not one big texture.

2006-02-16: This was a UI test for the UI for a 4X galaxy game.


This was a technology test for an idea for doing a 3D Descent game with random levels (i.e. a 3D roguelike). This is a "random level" made with CSG (with an arbitrary texture thrown on it and random lights). Because of my experience with CSG numeric-stability issues in a real shipped game, since this would generate random levels and designers couldn't tweak to fix it, it would only use axis-aligned surfaces.


This was a game I worked on after Lost in the Static, starting with the same engine, but now I was doing weird colored animation. I never found any compelling gameplay for it (you could switch your guy between red and green, and invert gravity, and there was room for some interesting platforming using those ideas, but it didn't have any oomph, no real hook that would make people want to play). Yes, that's what the avatar in LitS really looks like.


This is a bullet-hell shooter where you control the bullets (indirectly) in a Desktop-Tower-Defense-like way, and the bullet-dodgers are the enemies. I wrote very awesome bullet-dodging AI for the enemies, and the graphics, and a few turret types, enough to test the AI. The gameplay doesn't have the maze-construction aspect of DTD games, so there'd need to be something else to fill in for it--I was leaning towards having "support" systems you could build, which could e.g. synchronize all adjacent turrets, or make them fire faster, or etc. But despite being excited by watching the bullet dodging (they're much more sophisticated than human players--the collision "box" is the actual ship, and you can throw crazy patterns at them that humans could never possibly navigate, like mixtures of very different speeds--which means it's very different than it would be to have a computer player playing a regular human-playable bullet-hell game), I've never found the will to actually try building out the rest of the game, much less figured out if there's anything fun there. (No, it never actually reached 'beta', I have no idea why I added that so prematurely.)

I didn't actually intend the art to be DTD-ish, I just drew turret placeholder art that happened to look a little that way.
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« Reply #57 on: May 16, 2008, 01:54:17 AM »

Wow! The frontpage picture from DrPetter hit me real hard. I'm not nearly as prolific as him (he had a 2 year headstart though, I was born in 1984 Tongue) but is this ever the thread for me! Here's my load of unfinishedness (click for huge size):

It's worth mentioning lot's of this stuff was made with my brother and usually I sticked to more graphics side while he coded. This has shifted slowly to me doing more and more coding to the point of today when I do everything myself.

Also, everything except 8 bits of spacewar is written in Visual Basic (4-6, later .NET) the 3D stuff running on managed DirectX with Artificial Engines, written by my brother. I've since switched to XNA.

Thanks to others in this thread for inspiration. You are awesome!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2008, 02:26:39 AM by Retro » Logged

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« Reply #58 on: May 16, 2008, 02:57:36 AM »

I love this thread Smiley The recent posts have been great too - some of those games could have been really interesting... I'm seriously impressed with 116 projects DrPetter - I'm pretty sure I've only ever worked on a fraction of that Shocked

Since everyone else is doing it (and because I've been meaning to post some stuff here for ages), I put together a little mosaic of unfinished projects of my own. It's not comprehensive or anything, just some of the more interesting ones.

Bigger version here, if you want! (over 2 megs, mind)

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« Reply #59 on: May 16, 2008, 06:08:41 AM »

Petter, from all the pinball machines in here, I think you might be interested in "Visual Pinball", a really nice (albeit very quirky in some places) and free pinball machine construction set.
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