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September 21, 2018, 08:06:08 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSHOWDOWN: GUNSLINGING ACTION! (PLAYABLE INSIDE!)
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IllustriousChef
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« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2018, 05:04:18 PM »

Dev Log #21

STEADY AIM

Over the weekend I was able to get the controls feeling a lot better even though they are still rough. I was able to accomplish the following:

Improve Hand Speed Feel and Mechanics
The idea here is to steadily move your hand down toward your gun. The controls reinforce this idea. The player can only tilt the Left Analog Stick a small amount to move the hand down. Anything above that amount and the player will lose Speed. There is a buffer however that allows the player to exceed the movement rate while still gaining speed at a reduced rate. If they recover within this window, they will continue to gain speed at the regular rate.

Allow Players to Draw Any Time
Players can draw and holster their weapons at any time. To Draw, flick the Left Analog Stick Up. To Holster, Pull the Left Analog Stick down. You must draw before you are able to fire. I felt these controls were more immersive and representative of drawing a weapon.

Improved Gaining Focus
To gain focus players must keep the cursor on top of the enemy gunfighter. Players cannot gain focus while they move the cursor. If they are not aiming at the enemy they will lose focus. Focus feeds Accuracy which determines where your shots will land.

By far this is the area that will need the most improvement and will have to be tweaked and revisited throughout the course of development.

Overall, I think it is a really great base!

Goals for this week:
  • Doing more research and breaking down more mechanics from CoJ: G
  • Code up a continuous duel mode so the duel just rotates back to back for faster prototyping.


One day closer...

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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2018, 06:07:38 PM »

Dev Log #22

LEFT FOOT RIGHT FOOT

"At some point, everything's gonna go south on you and you're going to say, this is it. This is how I end. Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work. That's all it is. You just begin. You do the math. You solve one problem and you solve the next one, and then the next. And If you solve enough problems, you get to come home."

-Mark Watney-

Infinite Duels!
Last night I was able to get infinite duels working so prototyping changes go a lot quicker now as I don't need to restart the game every time I want to test something. This is mostly to test things like the feel and the timing of things.

Research
Research last night proved to be pretty fruitful. And by research, I mean watching playback of gameplay with a spreadsheet open. I now have a deeper understanding of some of CoJ: G mechanics allowing me to make design decisions and improvements changes where I see fit.

Overall the dev is coming along nicely!

Game Dev Problem Solving
The quote above applies to almost everything I have done in life especially game dev. You go until you hit a wall and then you either get better or you quit. That's it. That's the secret formula. I will tell you most of my game dev goes like this:

  • Have a great idea
  • Start implementing
  • Realize I have no idea how to code this
  • Think it cannot be done
  • Research
  • Focus
  • Do it!
  • Have a great idea...


Goals for this week:
Doing more research and breaking down more mechanics from CoJ: G
Code up a continuous duel mode so the duel just rotates back to back for faster prototyping.

One day closer...

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« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2018, 09:55:07 PM »

DEV Log #23

1000 PLUS

Thanks to everyone who is following this dev log! It is much appreciated! Below is the latest gameplay video of the prototype.

SHOWDOWN Gameplay 0002




The video shows a full duel. I didn't want to make the video overly long so I am only showing one of the 10 or so duels I recorded. Right now the duels last about 30 seconds. I am looking at this and trying to find a good balance in timing as everything from Focus gains and Speed gains will need to be factored in.

The video is pretty rough but you can clearly see the direction and the intent. I wanted the video to showcase the following:

  • The Smoothness of the hand reaching for the gun with the Left Stick.
  • The Focus Cursor friction and fight with the Right Stick.
  • How Speed and Focus are built up.

This is the foundation I have been building for the last few weeks. Also, you will notice no virtual joysticks. I have converted the project, mechanics, and code to a console game. It feels much better and I am having more fun with it!

I have a few more items I want to resolve before I release the first draft of the prototype for feedback. In the coming days, I'll provide more information.

Goals for this week:
Doing more research and breaking down more mechanics from CoJ: G
Code up a continuous duel mode so the duel just rotates back to back for faster prototyping.

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« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2018, 09:24:33 PM »

DEV Log #24

MO' BETTER CAMERAS

Nothing says smooth gameplay like a smooth camera. To that end, last night I fixed some bugs and started working on the camera. While technically not crucial at this point beginning to get the camera controls in early is never a bad thing. From what I have heard, you will be working and tweaking the camera up until release.

The challenge with the camera is that you are controlling the focus cursor and the camera with the Right Analog Stick. Therefore the camera rotations mush feel like a natural extension of the cursor movement. The idea here is for the camera to lag a little behind your movements. This is to give a sense of weight to the focus cursor and provide smooth movements.

Tried to keep it short today. After all, it is the end of the week.

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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2018, 09:35:47 AM »

DEV Log #25

#SCREENSHOTSATURDAY

Instead of a screenshot I decided to deliver a new Gameplay Vid! This one shows the first pass of the camera rotation system.

Camera Rotation (Rough Draft)




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« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2018, 05:33:20 PM »

DEV Log #26

ZOOM & SWAY

The weekend was pretty good! I had some unexpected free time on my hands this weekend so I spent it implementing the Zoom and Sway for the Camera. I am happy to say it feel pretty good! Not perfect but pretty good.

Keep in mind that sway and zoom have to work with each other. This will become especially apparent when enemy targets start moving around.

Camera Zoom

As you gain focus, the camera will zoom in, as you lose focus the camera will zoom out. It creates a really cool feeling of immersion and also grants the gameplay ability to have a larger target to aim at, increasing precision.

Camera Sway

The camera will now rotate based on input from the right stick. Since the Right Stick is used to control the focus cursor it was crucial to make sure the rotation felt smooth and natural. I was able to implement the first draft of this sway type over the weekend.

New Art

I also drew and replaced the character model with a new Black and White character. I like the open hand of the new art and this should be closer to the 3D version when I get to the art.

I realize this is wasted effort as this art won't be used and its 2D for a 3D game but I had fun making it and it looks cool!

To make my point even more here is a new gameplay vid!

SHOWDOWN Gameplay 0004




Future Feature: Precision Mode

If your speed is high enough when you draw, you will enter precision mode. You can see an example of this in CoJ: Gunslinger. The length of this mode will be determined using the below equation:

length of precision mode  = precision mode factor*((enemy draw time + enemy reaction time) - player reaction time)

Goals for the Week
Begin implementing and testing Precision Mode

Great progress overall!

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« Last Edit: July 02, 2018, 09:27:09 PM by IllustriousChef » Logged
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« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2018, 05:32:33 PM »

DEV Log #27

EXTREME CLARITY

Yesterday I began working on Precision Mode, the slow down that happens after you draw your weapon; bullet time. I will admit I over thought it. Instead of using the equation I proposed yesterday, I simply related it to your current Speed.

  • So a Max Speed = Max Slow Down Time. Currently, the max value is at 7 seconds and the minimum is at 0.

This feels much better and is much more intuitive and rewarding.

Cursor Speed during Slowdown
To further the effect, I also had to slow down the player's crosshair and remove any drift that was present. This gives the feel of intense focus and allows the player to place shots more accurately. The gameplay benefit is that now players can disarm their opponent by shooting their hand before landing a headshot. This creates many more gameplay options and more tension after the draw.

Have a look at the gameplay video below:




Next Goal:
Implement a quick and dirty enemy movement model
Begin implementing and testing Precision Mode


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« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 05:41:26 PM by IllustriousChef » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2018, 11:07:34 AM »

DEV Log #28

PROTOTYPE AVAILABLE!

A prototype is used to answer a single question. In this case, that question is; Can a game be built around 1 v 1 old west style duels?

Before I can begin building out the rest of the game I need to start with a strong foundation. That foundation is the mechanics for the duels. I used Call of Juarez Gunslinger as inspiration and a springboard. The goal is for this prototype, and the series that follow is to build the foundation. To this end, I need your help.

I understand this is VERY EARLY and the game can be a little hard to judge. Don't worry about that. Focus on the dueling aspect, the mechanics, the feel of the game and answer honestly. It can only help.

For those who are curious the prototype includes the following:

  • A single duel with a VERY slow gunslinger. He wasn't designed to be fast, he was designed to give testers something to play against.
  • Focus and Speed mechanics similar to CoJ: Gunslinger. Being familiar with that game and its duel mode is a plus.
  • An experimental Draw mechanic.
  • A camera that zooms based on Focus gained.
  • A camera that sways based on direction turned. (Removed from this prototype as I am still testing and working out bugs)
  • Experimental Precision Mode - Time slows down to allow precision shots based on Speed.
  • Infinite duels so the player can just keep playing and playing. The game should reset after each duel so that no one get an unfair advantage.

Now let me tell you what this prototype doesn't include:

  • Art - Don't expect pretty pictures.
  • Animations - There are no animations currently.
  • Polished or Complete Mechanics - All ideas including mechanics are at the experimental stage.
  • Polished or Complete Camera - VERY experimental.
  • Bug-Free - Expect a fair number of bugs.
  • Balance - Don't expect balance here. Winning is not the goal of this prototype it is the testing of the mechanics.

Attached is everything you need to play the prototype and provide feedback:

Steps:

1. Click on and Download the Prototype Build from the link below:

2. Click on the Gameplay Instructions

3. Unzip the file Build_01.zip

4. Open the folder WindowsNoEditor and Double Click Project_Showdown to launch the project.

5. Play and enjoy!

5. Once you have had enough, click on the Feedback Form and submit

How to Duel (Gameplay Instructions)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yHFVMO1Bs1Bkea2WjljXiveLN11fZWq6VughqAlYhr4

Feedback Form
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lQzp1_xa3Lt09CDFkMD9P71ok-2lJ1WXO0Rd6WbwKos

Prototype Build (Download Link)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Qcb1NX-ZcLy5DNOJrrb2TMveAHclRomB

Again thank you all for following this DEV Log. I will update the links as new prototypes become available.

Enjoy!

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« Reply #28 on: July 05, 2018, 03:24:08 PM »

DEV Log #29

EXPERIMENTAL DAY

The prototype of the duel mechanics was released yesterday! If you haven't had a chance to download it, please do and provide feedback! You can see the July 4th post for details.

I have been working on mechanics for the past 3 weeks and I think I am to the point of experimenting with something else. I think it is important to work on something then move to another aspect just to keep the ideas and the dev fresh. You always come back to each thing you are working on because the goal is to finish.

So I will be moving on to experimenting with art and art styles. I have an idea but I need to experiment and prototype.

The posts might get a little sparer over the next few weeks as I begin working on this. I will still try to post at least once a week and possibly a little more frequently.

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« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2018, 04:40:39 PM »

DEV Log #30

SPEED KILLS

After receiving some feedback on the prototype I decided to provide more information on how to gain Speed. So I created a quick graphic in photoshop to help illustrate.

Photo at link
https://photos.app.goo.gl/zAJ4eoKB1xLEyuCm9

If you think of the Left Stick as having values from 0 at idle to -1 as completely down. Then to move your hand, you have to tilt the Left Stick down further than 0.0 BUT no further than about -0.4. So as long as the stick is between -0.0 and -0.4, about halfway down, the hand should move down. But remember to hold this position until it is time to draw.

The idea is to simulate a person remaining cool in a tense situation, by holding a position within a pretty narrow window. I tried to achieve this by requiring the player to hit a precise position with the analog stick and hold that position over time.

The shortcoming with this value is that some of it might be in the dead zone for some controllers. So it may not register. It is possible that I can widen this range to maybe .6 or .7 to push the values of the dead zone while keeping the precision mechanic.

Hope this clarifies things,

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« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2018, 10:33:59 AM »

DEV Log #31

SMOOTH CAMERA

As you know I have made several posts about the camera system and how it should work. Last night I made great strides to that end.

Camera Rotation
Now, the camera will rotate when the crosshair "crosses" a boundary. The idea here is to keep the camera centered on the enemy while trying to aim but also giving the freedom to rotate. I placed a limit on the yaw and pitch rotations so that the cursor doesn't move off screen or out of bounds but still supports rotation. Additionally, I will place a limit on the camera rotation to ensure the player isn't spinning in circles. I coded it so all variables are adjustable to make updates faster and easier. It also allows me to provide different feelings for weapons and weather conditions. More on that later.

Enemy Movement
To test the enemy's movement I needed to get the camera system working. Otherwise, it was possible for the enemy to walk off screen. This also gave an ugly scene composition.

Enemies will be able to move left and right to throw off a player's Focus. Tougher opponents will move more frequently and will be less predictable.

I am toying with the idea of implementing player movement to counter enemy movement and create more tension. 

Next Prototype (Build_02) Content

Camera Movement - Players will be able to swing the camera left and right with the right analog stick
Enemy Movement - Enemies will move to random locations to throw off player Focus.

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback for the game! Help spread the word! If there is anyone you think would be interested in the game please provide them with the links. The more feedback the better!

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« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2018, 05:02:57 PM »

DEV Log #32

PROTOTYPE 02: Camera Rotation and Enemy Movement

Sorry for being away for awhile but I was researching art styles and working on the final set of duel mechanics. If the mechanics are fun in their basic form then polish and refinement will be smoother.

Below is the next prototype for SHOWDOWN! I have listed the following new features. The prototype phase for combat is close to complete so I hope you all enjoy!

NEW and previous features:

  • NEW* Camera Movement - Players will be able to swing the camera left and right with the right analog stick
  • NEW* Enemy Movement - Enemies will move to random locations to throw off player Focus.
  • A single duel with a VERY slow gunslinger. He wasn't designed to be fast, he was designed to give testers something to play against.
  • Focus and Speed mechanics similar to CoJ: Gunslinger. Being familiar with that game and its duel mode is a plus.
  • An experimental Draw mechanic.
  • A camera that zooms based on Focus gained.
  • Experimental Precision Mode - Time slows down to allow precision shots based on Speed.
  • Infinite duels so the player can just keep playing and playing. The game should reset after each duel so that no one get an unfair advantage.

Items this prototype doesn't include:

  • Camera Limits - Currently there are no limits on how far the camera can rotate. I needed to remove this functionality as it wasn't working correctly.
  • Art - Don't expect pretty pictures.
  • Animations - There are no animations currently.
  • Polished or Complete Mechanics - All ideas including mechanics are at the experimental stage.
  • Polished or Complete Camera - VERY experimental.
  • Bug-Free - Expect a fair number of bugs.
  • Balance - Don't expect balance here. Winning is not the goal of this prototype it is the testing of the mechanics.

Attached is everything you need to play the prototype and provide feedback:

Steps:

1. Click on and Download the Prototype Build from the link below:

2. Click on the Gameplay Instructions

3. Unzip the file Build_02.zip

4. Open the folder WindowsNoEditor and Double Click Project_Showdown to launch the project.

5. Play and enjoy!

5. Once you have had enough, click on the Feedback Form and submit

How to Duel (Gameplay Instructions)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1yHFVMO1Bs1Bkea2WjljXiveLN11fZWq6VughqAlYhr4

Feedback Form
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lQzp1_xa3Lt09CDFkMD9P71ok-2lJ1WXO0Rd6WbwKos

Prototype Build_02 (Download Link)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hFVQhgwtj1DAgoLHoN5RKErCYSzovte7

Again thank you all for following this DEV Log! There will be more updates as they become available

Enjoy!

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« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2018, 04:50:49 PM »

DEV Log #33

STORYTELLING

Hope everyone is enjoying the prototype! If you haven't played it you can find the new links in DEV Log #32.

When I first started developing this game I was thinking about what kind of story I wanted to tell. There was a buzz word floating around the industry a few years ago; player agency.

In developing a gunslinger game I first thought about telling the story like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat's single-player mode. Which are you climb a ladder facing increasingly difficult opponents until you reach the boss. But this structure is too linear and never allowed the player to answer "Why?" Storytelling should first and foremost answer the question "Why?". Why does this character want to do a thing? Why do you want to do a thing?

Using Street Fighter II as an example, instead of just moving on to the next match, I wanted the player to decide who they face next. Why does Ryu fight Guile first and then Chun-Li? Cause that is what the random number generator spit out. I wanted more substance. I want to give the player agency. I want the story to emerge from their decisions.

Now how do we do this in a game about gunslingers....

The Three Pillars of Game Writing - Plot, Character, Lore - Extra Credits




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« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2018, 05:26:00 PM »

DEV Log #34

LAYERS

First off, Thanks to everyone who has played the prototype and provided feedback! If you haven't you can find a link to download it here:

Prototype ver 02
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hFVQhgwtj1DAgoLHoN5RKErCYSzovte7

OVERWORLD DESIGN

When I started this game design I know it would have more than one layer. Inspired by games like XCOM I knew I wanted a strategy layer where players had to make decisions. I believe this contributes to the player's narrative; the Why.

Yesterday I began prototyping this Overworld. The goals for the prototype are as follows:

  • Top Down 3/4 Perspective.
  • Player character is capable of moving freely around the map.
  • Enemy Gunslinger will be capable of moving around the map.
  • The game will seamlessly transition from Overworld to Duels


I will talk about each of these pieces at a later date but for now just getting the fundamentals in as quickly as possible is the priority.

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« Reply #34 on: August 13, 2018, 04:52:07 PM »

DEV Log #35

BACK FROM THE DEAD

So while I was away, I prototyped a World Map and strategy layer and immediately trashed it. It didn't feel good and it wasn't playing very well. So, I came up with a new idea and as a result, the entire premise of the game changed!

THE NEW WORLD ORDER
In this new game, The player will take on the role of a gunslinger looking for the seven men who killed his family. One night, on the trail of one of the men, he stops in a local saloon in a backwater town. This layer of the game is played in First Person at an old style poker table. At his table is a mysterious Dealer who asks if you would join him for a game. The Dealer explains the rules as follows:

The game is called FATE and the goal is simple; At the beginning of each turn the Dealer will draw and present you with 3 cards. From those 3 cards, you must pick the correct card, the Chariot. If you pick the Chariot you will be instantly thrust into a duel with one of the killers. Once you have killed all 7 you win and the game is over.

But nothing is that simple. You have 25 bullets with which to kill seven men and the deck is littered with cards that will make your journey much more difficult. In this game, any card could be your last...

PAPER PROTOTYPES
I made a paper prototype of this game mode and played it with some family over the weekend. They found it to be pretty fun! They said that the rules were simple and the gameplay was fast! Good news to me!

So...In the coming weeks, I will be implementing this game mode and creating the various pieces I need to as well. I have need of an animator and a 3D Artist, so if anyone is interested in a collaboration you can send me a privite message!

GOALS
The short term goals are as follows:
1. Create the Bullet Health System
2. Create base Functions to handle Fate Card Selection.

Once step 2 is complete I may release an updated prototype.

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« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2018, 05:37:15 PM »

DEV Log #36

THE BLACK ARTS
Here is the thing about game design. It is kinda like a black art. Sure there are tutorials and stuff but the day to day and the overall changes so often you can't produce a reliable roadmap. Not if you are trying to make anything great.

For me, game development goes in cycles; you try an idea, it fails so you try another one until it succeeds. It is exhausting and invigorating! Recently, I had spent a few weeks between my personal responsibilities, general laziness and lack of inspiration and I designed something that didn't work. For a second I didn't have a direction and wasn't sure where to go next. None of this is new to anyone who has tried to create and neither is the advice I'm about to give.

Go find some more inspiration. There is something out there that will call to you and tell you where to go next. Don't let the fear of a mistake or failure stop the hustle. Get new inspiration and keep going.

FATE MOVES

Last night went well. I was able to prototype the bullet health system. There are still a few things to work out but overall it is done.

Today I will continue with prototyping the various scenarios that the player can find themselves in.

As I was working on this I found a game series called Hand of Fate and Hand of Fate 2. The idea of the player vs the dealer is very similar. Looks like a fun concept! Check it out!

Hand of Fate 2




GOALS
The short-term goals are as follows:
1. Create the Bullet Health System
2. Create base Functions to handle Fate Card Selection.

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« Reply #36 on: August 15, 2018, 05:19:53 PM »

DEV Log #37

SALOON SHOWDOWN
Nothing feels better than making progress and last night was great! First, the player is able to select a card and the game will transition the player to duel mode. This is a major piece of the gameplay so it feels good to have it working! If you win the duel the game will transition you back to the saloon. Also if you lose the duel will keep looping. This is for debugging and development purposes. Another cool feature is when you transition back to the saloon, the game will keep track of your remaining bullets.

This is important because your bullets are your health.

Feels good, man!

DEV PLAN
So I'm thinking I am going to push implementing the gameplay and overall game loop BEFORE I begin arting it up. This serves two purposes.

1. If the game is fun without the art then it can only get better.
2. I want to ensure that the foundation and bones of the game are great before I start adding art.

GOALS
The short-term goals are as follows:
1. Create the Bullet Health System
2. Create base Functions to handle Fate Card Selection.
3. Improve Fate Card selection functionality

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« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2018, 01:23:54 PM »

DEV Log #38

#screenshotsaturday

Working on some prototype animations...

https://twitter.com/firstplayergame/status/1031290222527434752

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