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November 28, 2020, 05:23:16 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThe Webmaster - A 2.5D horror adventure game
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Author Topic: The Webmaster - A 2.5D horror adventure game  (Read 5845 times)
lyoy2
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« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2017, 11:11:40 PM »

Hi there, this is really great !

I was wondering the process for the 2.5D style because I really want to try out for a new project.
- how do you manage depth with colliding elements (table chairs) for example with the main character. Is there are 3d objects with some textures mapped with camera projection  or a simple sprite placed in 3d space ?

King of reminder our 80's area ans the 3d art looks insane Smiley

The game console saver is very cool but you should make an original console (copyright) with the king of 80's plastic robust look.

edit : I just notice that you did that with love 2d so the question up is unapropriate.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2017, 11:17:07 PM by lyoy2 » Logged

propapanda
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« Reply #41 on: July 19, 2017, 07:12:56 AM »

christ your 3D work is good
Thanks!  Smiley

I hope with the name like Fatal Attractions, the game will have gruesome deaths, like good old point & click games / adventure games.  Evil
Not sure about that one yet. I'm kind of partial to the old LucasArts approach where the player couldn't die. But then again that doesn't suit this game's theme very well, now does it...? Was thinking of perhaps allowing the player to "rewind" the game. That way we could have gruesome deaths without the tediousness of having to start off from the last save point over and over again. And of course rewinding would tie in pretty well with all the VHS stuff that's going on.

Not enough flannel!

Great job :D
I love it, your 2.5D approach is genius. It's a bit sad the camera must be static, but oh well it's worth it!

I agree the VHS effect looks nice, but the white lines hurt my eyes and I would turn them off if I could. Maybe use that only at the start of the screen and then just do less intrusive VHS effects, chromatic aberration or these differently colored rectangles... Maybe not flashing but rolling? Dunno.
True, the static camera is a bit of a shame. But anything else would be cost-prohibitive. It is possible to pan the camera, so I guess that's something.

The VHS effects I'll definitely tone down during gameplay. Even during development it gets pretty irritating to stare at a flickering, noisy screen after a while. I'll probably use it more during cutscenes, loading screens and such.

For gruesome point-and-click deaths, you'll definitely have to play the last level of Phantasmagoria for inspiration. (You can skip any chapter IIRC, so you wouldn't have to play the rest, although you could.)
Sounds good! It's on my list.

Hi there, this is really great !

I was wondering the process for the 2.5D style because I really want to try out for a new project.
- how do you manage depth with colliding elements (table chairs) for example with the main character. Is there are 3d objects with some textures mapped with camera projection  or a simple sprite placed in 3d space ?

King of reminder our 80's area ans the 3d art looks insane Smiley

The game console saver is very cool but you should make an original console (copyright) with the king of 80's plastic robust look.

edit : I just notice that you did that with love 2d so the question up is unapropriate.
The 2.5D animations shown above are actually done in Unity. While I generally prefer working in Love2D because of Lua, I find mocking stuff up is usually quicker in Unity thanks to its visual editor.
But the concept is the same in both cases: For colliders you can use simple stand-in geometry (i.e.: boxes) that you simply don't render. That way the collision detection system can do its thing and you don't need to worry about the objects ever showing up in the actual game. Let the depth buffer do the rest.
Or (as I'm doing) simply use a 2D mesh that denotes "walkable" areas. Then the problem is reduced to just path-finding with no need for complex collision detection at all.

Interesting point about the copyright on the GameBoy. Though I'm thinking it would fall under fair use since the logo isn't visible and I didn't actually copy anything but the "likeness" of the console.
I'm actually more concerned about the posters in the kids' rooms. Those are quite obviously based on other artists' work, but kind of necessary to evoke nostalgia in players who might have had some of those same posters hanging in their own room when they were young Smiley
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 07:29:06 AM by fuhehene » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2017, 12:23:33 PM »

This looks really good. Do you have any timeline predictions on when you might have a demo or something playable to show off?
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propapanda
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« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2017, 12:50:56 PM »

This looks really good. Do you have any timeline predictions on when you might have a demo or something playable to show off?
Not really, no. I work on the game whenever I find some spare time. Of course that makes it hard to come up with any solid timelines or plans.

At least this time I've managed to stick to one project for a couple months, even when things start getting boring or repetitive. In the past I'd always be pretty quick to let a project fall to the wayside whenever a new exciting idea popped up.
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Romain Rope
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« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2017, 01:16:42 AM »

Any update ?

Sent you a PM by the way Smiley
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ROMAIN ROPE

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« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2017, 05:22:35 AM »

Please stop this. It makes my projects look like garbage.
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propapanda
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« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2020, 07:44:14 AM »

Oh dear... it's been quite a while since my last post, hasn't it? A lot has happened since then, though I am happy to report that I am in fact still working on this project.

For one, the story has been rewritten from scratch. Along with the story the title has also changed: What was "Fatal Attractions" is now "The Webmaster". With the changed title of course comes a new website under a new URL: http://www.thewebmastergame.com. This explains why you might find some out of date links here and there. Bear with me.

The setting in mid-90s American suburbia remains, as do the characters for the most part.



Aside from rewriting the story and rendering out what feels like a gazillion backgrounds, I've been hard at work ironing out the kinks of the game's engine. I'm still using Unity in combination with Adventure Creator. While it certainly gets the job done, I always felt its visual, mouse-based workflow was never ideal for me.

So I ended up developing a custom integration for the narrative scripting language Ink. This allows me to write the story interactions in a more coder friendly way. For example:

Code:
= tv_examine
- Steve: That's my TV.

= tv_use
- Steve: It won't turn on. The power is out!

More about that later. Anyway, here's a few more screenshots showing the latest progress:











And finally my new year's resolution: Keeping the devlog up to date!
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propapanda
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« Reply #47 on: January 06, 2020, 06:05:35 AM »

A quick update with two new shots:

Turns out adding tons of fog not only makes things look more realistic, it also keeps the render times down! Who'd have thunk?



A wireframe of the shot in all its glory:


Here I'm testing out some character animation, dialogue and the interaction system. Need to come up with some good animation for when the character speaks.
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propapanda
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« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2020, 11:31:10 AM »

Sharing some more progress for Screenshot Saturday:



We'll visit this location several times during the course of the game. To spice things up, the time of day and the weather will change with each visit:




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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2020, 01:25:00 PM »

LOVE the way this looks! Shocked <3
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propapanda
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« Reply #50 on: January 19, 2020, 05:49:37 AM »

The original plan was to never show the characters up close. The reasoning was twofold:

1. The low resolution artwork leaves a little something to the player's imagination. Not having closeups ought to help with the immersion.

2. I wasn't sure I could pull off convincing enough faces and expressions.

Gotta say this young man came out better than I'd hoped for – rather handsome even. Might have to revise my guideline about the closeups!

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propapanda
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« Reply #51 on: January 25, 2020, 06:51:09 AM »

What I've shown of The Webmaster so far has been fairly pedestrian in that it was mostly set in American suburbia. In fact, one might be left wondering why I'd even go through the trouble of rendering everything in 3D instead of just grabbing a camera and taking photos outside.

Considering I have practically no budget to speak of, I think this screenshot goes to show why 3D was the only realistic option. Not gonna find this kind of thing lying around on the street.

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nathy after dark
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« Reply #52 on: January 25, 2020, 11:15:37 AM »

Looking amazing. The UI and text look like it's made in Scumm, and the low-res renders make it look like a classic FMV game. Crazy thing to pull off.

Big love for Ink.
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propapanda
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« Reply #53 on: February 02, 2020, 02:31:53 AM »

Looking amazing. The UI and text look like it's made in Scumm, and the low-res renders make it look like a classic FMV game. Crazy thing to pull off.

Big love for Ink.
Thanks Smiley

The low resolution is actually something I'm starting to regret...  despite what one might think, I find it's actually harder to make low-res renders look good! Simply doubling the resolution would probably save me a lot of time in the long run because there's less mucking about with pixel alignments and whatnot. On the other hand the higher resolution doesn't work that well with animated sprite characters as it severely limits the angles they can be shown at: In low res you can get away with quite a bit before perspective issues become apparent.



Here's a first look at the main villain you'll be dealing with in The Webmaster: Meet the Wendigo.

What is a Wendigo anyway? According to Wikipedia:

Quote
The wendigo (also wetiko) is a mythological man-eating creature or evil spirit from the folklore of the First Nations Algonquian tribes based in the northern forests of Nova Scotia, the East Coast of Canada, and Great Lakes Region of Canada and the United States. The wendigo is described as a monster with some characteristics of a human or as a spirit who has possessed a human being and made them become monstrous. Its influence is said to invoke acts of murder, insatiable greed, cannibalism and the cultural taboos against such behaviors.

So yeah… you do not mess with the Wendigo.


If there's one thing I learned during the pre-production of this game it's that villains are hard to get right! You have no idea how many different concepts I've gone through before finally settling on this guy. Clowns, vampires, evil scientists, random serial killers… you name it. If it's a horror cliché you can be sure I've tried it.

The biggest aspect giving me grief was the expressiveness: No matter what I'd try, my villains would always end up looking retarded rather than genuinely evil. I guess that's what glowing eyes and a face fixed in a frozen snarl will do to people.

Hence my Wendigo wears a mask. Still looks evil, but avoids him having to feel self-conscious about being so gosh darn unphotogenic. Then again, looking around at other villains I think he'll fit right in at the annual super-villain convention:



And with slightly less dramatic lighting to better show off all the nice details:
« Last Edit: February 02, 2020, 02:38:57 AM by propapanda » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: February 02, 2020, 08:22:30 AM »

And another one. I'm on a roll today!

Testing how the Wendigo works in an actual scene:


It's really nice to have so many of the scenes and assets up and ready for rendering. Setting up this shot took just an hour or two, including rendering and post.
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propapanda
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« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2020, 07:49:58 AM »

Another weekend, another update.

Our adventurers spend some time in the library. Sadly the book they're looking for is checked out by a mysterious unknown person. The helpful librarian points the boys to another trove of information on the town's history.


There's a secret passage in the spooky old library? Say it ain't so!


Experimenting with a completely different GUI style here. This is probably going nowhere, but I had a blast playing around in Visual Basic 6 again after all these years.
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propapanda
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« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2020, 10:24:39 AM »

TIL that rendering forests is really, really hard. Not only do you have absolutely insane amounts of geometry, the lighting is also a worst case because of the harsh contrast between the sky and shaded areas.

This screenshot's resolution is twice that of the others I've posted so far. I'm considering increasing the resolution of the game for various reasons.

Some lighting studies:







« Last Edit: February 15, 2020, 01:02:11 PM by propapanda » Logged

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« Reply #57 on: February 29, 2020, 08:14:00 AM »

Kinda pivoting in a different direction here. Towards something less like a traditional adventure game and closer to what you might call a visual novel or even interactive fiction.

Recently I came to understand that I was focusing too much on rendering pretty pictures when pretty pictures just don't make for much of a game. And then it occurred to me… maybe a traditional game isn't really what I want to make. What I really want is to tell a story!



And you know what? You don't need a full-blown game engine to tell a decent story.

With this epiphany, I am no longer shackled to Unity during development and testing. Working in Unity always felt like, well, work… something about it was almost suffocating: This enormous editor designed for AAA games with an insane amount of features, most of which I wouldn't ever use for this kind of game.

Now, by using Ink directly, I can just write freely in a text editor and iterate much more quickly.

Of course I'll still work on rendering backgrounds and illustrations. But there will be less direct interaction with the game and (much) more text to read.

Which is fine by me, as anything that reduces my workload is a win in my book.
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« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2020, 08:43:08 AM »

Great, now I've managed to spook myself: Woke up sweating last night because I dreamt of this lovely whatever it is...


Not sure this will make it into the game, it's really not meant to be that macabre.

Wireframe just to remind myself that it's definitely not real:
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« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2020, 10:09:22 AM »

This looks like such a cool special project!
How it looks and feels really connected with me (that IRC clone threw me back years ago when me and my friends were building scripts on top of mIRC).
Amazing work. I can't wait to see how it will end up playing.
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