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samurai_zane
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« on: November 20, 2017, 03:29:57 PM »








We swim in an endless abyss…
But our eyes see only light.
Darkness pours in from everywhere….
As we chase heaven blinded.



You emerge from the depths of a deep ocean alone and amongst vast mountains
and the quiet, unholy ruins of an age-old civilization. An invisible force
that may or may not be real drives you on a pilgrimage of utmost importance.

 



















For more updates check out:
TWITTER


-Zane

« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 12:57:11 PM by samurai_zane » Logged

ionside
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2017, 03:32:37 PM »

I'm intrigued  Noir
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samurai_zane
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 01:43:09 PM »

Hey everyone! Some new gifs.





« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 12:56:30 PM by samurai_zane » Logged

jg.camarasa
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 01:49:45 PM »

Loving everything about this! Getting strong Hyper Light Drifter vibes.
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Cobralad
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2018, 05:00:39 AM »

hyper light drifter
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Sundrop
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2018, 11:03:40 AM »

The flags look so 'wispy'! Make sure to watch your colour values though, so we know where we can or can't stand! Can't wait to see more!  Beer!

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archgame
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2018, 09:13:37 PM »

Echoing the HLD vibes (which I've recently started playing). I feel like this is taking a more surrealist approach, maybe it's the yellows giving off a Dali atmosphere. Looking forward to a demo <3
« Last Edit: February 22, 2018, 09:19:21 PM by archgame » Logged

samurai_zane
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« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2018, 12:39:39 PM »

Thanks for the feedback guys. It helps a lot!

Currently we are working on water stuff. Some gifs.




« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 12:55:33 PM by samurai_zane » Logged

LewisClark
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2018, 09:35:50 AM »

Hey Everyone!

My name’s Lewis and for the last almost-two years I’ve been doing the programming for Oceans. We’re using GameMaker: Studio 2 for development, just because it’s the software that both myself and Zane felt most comfortable using.


Oceans has changed a lot since the GIFs and Screenshots that have been previously shared, most notably in that it’s now a sidescroller rather than a semi-top-down game. I think we both agree that it was the right decision - for reasons that I’ll let Zane explain if he wants to - and that apart from this change, the core concept and feelings behind the game are the same that they’ve always been.

Oceans still aims to be a cinematic experience set in a beautifully alien world. I’ll leave it there because I’m not sure how much I’m meant to be saying Smiley

Anyway - I thought it might be a good idea to start writing short posts about development every now and then, seeing how this is meant to be a devlog and all.

A short disclaimer: Some of the content in the GIFs below, such as animations and character movement are still a little WIP. Also, the level these GIFs take part in is a super ugly test level I made using some blocky tiles - the actual game’s levels are just as good looking as before (actually, they probably look a bit nicer!).

The past couple of weeks we’ve been working on the game’s climbing system. Zane has been clear since the very beginning of development that our goal is to create a cinematic experience. To that end we’ve done our best to make movement feel weighty - climbing was a nice way to accomplish this whilst also keeping the vertical elements within the levels. The alternative would have been to have more exaggerated jumping that you see in more traditional platformers, but that wasn’t really what we were going for.

You can see an example of the Player scaling a wall below. You just run up to it, hold the interact button and away you go!



In the test level there’s no way to tell what walls are climbable and which walls aren’t, but Zane is working on some visual indicators for the proper levels.

In the code I detect a climbable wall by checking for a certain tile in our zoning tileset. Checking for specific tiles is super easy in GM2, so it seemed like a good way to handle our collision and different level properties. This is especially true when you consider that I don’t ever touch the level design - that’s entirely Zane’s area of expertise - so having an easy way to be able to mark certain sections as climbable, swimmable, solid etc is really nice. It’s great for quickly prototyping new areas too.

Once I’ve detected a climbable surface, it’s just a matter of snapping the player to it and swapping to the climbing state. Once the Player is climbing things get a little trickier, though. The Player’s climbing animations have all of their movement baked in to the animations themselves. This means that when the Player climbs up a ‘rung’ (my just-made-up unit of climbing, it’s about 8 pixels in game), the animation plays and then I have to adjust the Player’s position to match the final position in the animation. This isn’t too difficult, it just takes some time to tweak offsets and make sure everything lines up. For the animations with larger movements, such as the dismount animation (shown below), it’s possible to get flicker when changing sprites. This is because the Player’s sprite changes to that of the next state a frame before his position updates to the top of whatever he’s climbing. This results in a single frame of the Player’s idle animation hovering next to the climbable wall. The solution I’ve found is to just delay the swapping of the sprite by  frame - this gives the Player’s position time to update, eliminating the flicker.




We’ve also added in wall-jumping of sorts. It’s not your traditional wall-jumping, so you can’t rapidly ascend two opposing walls, it’s more of a horizontal leap for reaching distant platforms, or other walls you can climb.



You can see that Zane has had to make two variations of almost every climbing animation, due to the fact that the Player can stop in two different positions, with their left hand leading, or with their right hand leading. You can see an example of this in the GIF above when the Player leans away in preparation for the wall-jump - the lean animation changes depending on the climb position. Lucky for me I just keep a variable that I flick back and forth as the hands swap positions, then I can play the right animations at the right times.

That’s going to be it from me for now! Thank you all for taking the time to read this post, I hope it was at least a little interesting. Hopefully next time I’ll be able to talk about some of the jumps we’ve been working on, and the insane amount of tweaking that’s gone into making them feel good.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: August 01, 2018, 09:47:54 AM by LewisClark » Logged
io3 creations
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« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2018, 04:34:42 PM »

I like the very vibrant colors! Smiley

Interesting choice on moving to a 2d platformer.  Hope it works out.  Will you still be able to swim or is that in the top down version?

The flags look so 'wispy'! Make sure to watch your colour values though, so we know where we can or can't stand! Can't wait to see more!  Beer!
I'd also like to add that I like the horizontal surfaces that have some kind of pattern on them

vs ones that don't


And to have a different pattern for slopes for easy recognition.



Also, regarding the title ... OCEANS sounds a bit "generic", especially since the game isn't about oceans.  Almost like as if Hyper Light Drifter was just called "Drifter".  Having that something "extra" could be more memorable and also better for adding to the mystery/fantasy of the game that players would wonder about.  It might also remind me of the game dev/publisher OCEAN   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_Software
Here are a few based on the gifs and description (as Lewis implied there is more):
Invisible Oceans
Grim Oceans.  (Based on pilgrim.)
Cloud Oceans
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LewisClark
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2018, 03:36:51 AM »

Hey, thanks for the feedback!

The swimming in the old version of the game felt really nice and was a fun thing to just do. I think we'd want to mirror that in the new version. We've prototyped a couple of things but I'm not sure that any have clicked at the moment - so I can't give a definite answer on whether or not it will be in the new version.

I think a big part of what influenced the swap to sidescrolling was some of the clarity and readability issues you mentioned. We had a lot of platforming elements in the top-down version of the game, so we had to come up with a system to handle the depth of all of our layers. It got to the point where it was becoming more and more difficult to just build the levels I think - there were a load of variables you had to consider, what if the Player falls in this gap, what if they walk behind this thing.

Ultimately I think it was decided that having a sidescrolling view meant we could more effectively control the Player's movements and that, most importantly, Zane could build the levels he wanted to build rather than those he was allowed to build by the systems we had in place.

I hope that kind of makes sense. Hopefully you'll be able to take a look at some actual levels soon - my test one isn't really doing the game any justice haha.
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io3 creations
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2018, 01:39:34 PM »

Hey, thanks for the feedback!

The swimming in the old version of the game felt really nice and was a fun thing to just do. I think we'd want to mirror that in the new version. We've prototyped a couple of things but I'm not sure that any have clicked at the moment - so I can't give a definite answer on whether or not it will be in the new version.

I think a big part of what influenced the swap to sidescrolling was some of the clarity and readability issues you mentioned. We had a lot of platforming elements in the top-down version of the game, so we had to come up with a system to handle the depth of all of our layers. It got to the point where it was becoming more and more difficult to just build the levels I think - there were a load of variables you had to consider, what if the Player falls in this gap, what if they walk behind this thing.

Ultimately I think it was decided that having a sidescrolling view meant we could more effectively control the Player's movements and that, most importantly, Zane could build the levels he wanted to build rather than those he was allowed to build by the systems we had in place.

I hope that kind of makes sense. Hopefully you'll be able to take a look at some actual levels soon - my test one isn't really doing the game any justice haha.
Yeah, I know what you mean .  I also had my fair share of various games where I tried to accomplish various 3d features in 2d.  Kind of reminds me of the Life on Mars (Sci-Fi Adventure)devlog there 3d is faked - even has ladders! Grin

That's why I like working with Unity now and thought that it'd be "easier" to create the type of game you were going for - i.e. using 3d environment with certain camera setup.  Just a thought for potential future games. Wink

For 2d platforming, will you have ladders to climb or vines/vegetation at the bottom of platforms to grab onto and move while hanging?

Swimming should still work in a 2d platformer, though might be limited compared to the top-down version.  However, if you use a different layer from the platforms, then you could swim by those.  That could be useful in some cases, e.g. swimming to an island (with perhaps hidden dangers in the water Wink )

Yeah, the test levels have a "testy" feel. Grin  It'll be nice to see it in it's "full glory" with graphics added.  I'm looking forward to playing/testing it! Smiley
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archgame
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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2018, 07:44:40 AM »

Quote
Oceans has changed a lot since the GIFs and Screenshots that have been previously shared, most notably in that it’s now a sidescroller rather than a semi-top-down game. I think we both agree that it was the right decision - for reasons that I’ll let Zane explain if he wants to - and that apart from this change, the core concept and feelings behind the game are the same that they’ve always been.

I'm kind of bummed this will be a sidescroller instead of a top-down, the linear nature of sidescrolling will take away from the explorative aspects of the game (which might not be the game's intention, but was something I was really looking forward to doing in those lush environments that were in the previous gifs!).
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LewisClark
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2018, 08:01:03 AM »

I can appreciate why you'd be pretty bummed. For sure, removing what is essentially a whole dimension from the game will make it seems more linear.

From the development side, this is both mine and Zane's first 'proper' game and after a year and a bit of learning on the job, the old project was a bit of a mess - at least the programming was. A lot of things didn't feel very good due to multiple bugs that would creep in, and having a to deal with the 3D aspects of the world made any job ten times more difficult than it needed to be.

Whilst the game may be a sidescroller now, I think we'll be able to deliver a better and more polished experience than we would had the game remained a top-down game.

With all that said, the environments will be just as lush and hopefully just as fun to explore! Though I completely get why the change could put some people off.

Thanks for your comment Smiley
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archgame
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« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2018, 08:08:12 PM »

Was the previous top-down version mesh modeled or faux-3D, layered environment?  I agree with io3 creations, have you thought about using an engine like Unity and then setting up an orthographic camera to make it faux-2D instead?

Is there a demo release date, still excited to see where this goes! I know gamedeving isn't always the most straight forward process. Now, it sort of reminds me of shinobi iii now, which is one of the few genesis games I still have.

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LewisClark
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2018, 04:17:13 AM »

It was a faux 3D layered system - so basically hell.

Yeah, knowing now what we know about sorting that stuff out we would probably have gone with Unity. I don't think the Faux 3D elements where ever meant to be as prevalent as they eventually became, and at that point we were months in to developing with GM.

No word on a demo yet! Hopefully working on a short teaser to be released soonish Smiley
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