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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThrenody From Machine [surreal narrative-driven life simulation]
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mystic_swamp
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« on: May 30, 2019, 08:29:39 AM »



Threnody From Machine is a surreal narrative driven life simulation game with a layer of resource management.

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the game is controlled with three buttons, Z, X, and C.

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you are attempting to get through your daily life and dream world using your resources to further your understanding of     w h a t    is happening.

s o m e t h i n g    is happening in your dreams that seems to be manifesting itself into reality.
you have ten days to discover what's going on.

When you fail, the days will reset.

each playthrough is different.

there is only one ending.


this is a way for me to say goodbye to my dad.






« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 04:30:07 PM by mystic_swamp » Logged

nathy after dark
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 10:27:41 AM »

This looks cool!
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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 05:51:07 AM »

This looks cool!

Thank you! <3
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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2019, 05:53:01 AM »



Here is a look at one of the Acts you can do, feeding and spending time with your cat : )
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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 09:01:41 AM »



working on some visuals today in addition to creating an optional tutorial located in the quit/save/load menu

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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2019, 09:50:12 AM »

In older versions the way in which the environment was interacted with was done by pressing the z, x, or c keys.

 I've brought this back after disliking how the individual icons for each action looked too cluttered and nonhomogeneous.

Now when you press either the z,x, or c key it will display the name of the interaction and you can tap the key again to initiate the action.

I've also been working on the way characters look. I was not satisfied with how as just a silhouette characters blended into darkness, especially when outside, so I made characters completely white with a dark outlines, to match the look of other objects throughout the game. The problem with this was that characters blended in with objects. I settled on the original black silhouette with a white outline.

At first I leaned away from this before I even saw it because I thought that it wouldn't match the rest of the game. There was nothing else that was black with a white outline, then I realized that as long as it looked fine, that was a huge benefit–having characters appear different than any other things is what I wanted in the first place.

Here are some screens of the new (old) mechanism for interaction and the new appearance for characters:







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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2019, 11:22:35 AM »



doing some designing and polishing.



here have some cool sounds as well, to chill your nerves:




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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2019, 05:37:30 AM »

I've been working on finalizing a visual language / overall feel that I really love.







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« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2019, 07:47:24 AM »

Really loving the art direction here, posting to follow. I'm interested in learning more about the gameplay.
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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2019, 01:03:46 PM »

Really loving the art direction here, posting to follow. I'm interested in learning more about the gameplay.

Hopfully I can describe this in an interesting and comprehensible way. Ive got a lot going on in my head for this project so bear with me. WTF

Gameplay breaks down into two juxtaposed sequences and two action breaking sequences.

There is a day sequence and a night sequence, and an outside sequence and a dream sequence.

The day sequence is a chore / life simulator with a psuedo-hidden resource management system.

You have three hearts which are supposed to represent your wellbeing which is a combination of typical human needs that can be met via different chores / actions such as: working, eating, showering, doing laundry, petting your cat, etc. You need to maintain a balance of these activities in order to maintain your wellbeing.

Each room in your house has two unique acts/chores assigned to them as the z and x buttons in addition to the ability to open the map with the c button to change which room you're in.

Each act costs one act point, of which you have three. Some acts cost other resources in addition that are psuedo-hidden, such as money obtained from working.

The acts / chores themselves are small sequences that require ordered button presses to progress through a task.

An example would be the laundry chore:

There is a transition and we see our z x c buttons shift to the bottom of the screen.

Our chore icon is displayed in the upper left and the first action is written along side it ( or possibly right below the z x c buttons): "WASHER"

We also saw a small washer/dryer unit slide in from our right into our view.

A pulsing star/sparkle slides over to hover above our z key.

We press and hold the z key until we see the square around it fill up with color. When we release the button the washer's lid will pop on up!

The text dissolves and resolves as "DETERGENT".
Our little star slides over to our x key. We press and hold and release:
 
a little detergent bottle slides into view.
 
Next, the same happens and now our text says "OPEN" and when we hold and release the little cap pops off of the detergent bottle.

Next our text changes to "CLOTHES". As it does this a  laundry basket slides into veiw from our left.

Our little star slides back over to z.

We press and hold and release. A pair of socks, or maybe a shirt or pants, lift out of the basket and gets placed into the washer.
We continue on like this for pouring the detergent, closing and starting the wash, and continue, methodically, to dry our clothes as Well.

It's about the process of ordinary tasks.

Some acts are shorter, and some are different all together. For example, in the bathroom there is a mirror action. This consists of one sequence of z x c. This tells us elements of our psuedo-hidden status: such as money balance, hunger, thirst, need to shower, amount of clean clothes, feelings.

Or the phone act which is just a phone that you can dial numbers on like your boss, friends, or parents.

Once all act points are consumed for the day sequence you can no longer complete acts, instead you have to go outside of your house (in the game).

Once you are outside you have free movement with z x c keys' used like to wasd with no s. Outside you've got some plants, a mailbox, and a neighbor, and well....somthing else soon arrives (involving the namesake). You can have a very simple chat with your neighbor about your day or just smell the flowers.

Once you're done you can head inside.
Now starts the nighttime sequence.
The game color changes from a pink / magenta to a deep purple.
This is the same as the day sequence but your act points are refreshed to three.
You can do all the same things as before, but this time once you are out of act points instead you have to go to sleep.

This begins the dream sequence.
Dreams are generated but also based upon elements of your day aswell as your wellbeing. Inside of dreams you have free movement just as you do outside.
Dreams are basically side scrolling exploration simulators. Sometimes there are entities to talk to or things to read, sometimes events will trigger certain diolouge from an unknown source.
They are meant to be all strange and different but follow one interlinking arc that well help reveal to you the key to success: which is making sure you are at maximum wellbeing on the 7th day of repeating the loop of: day, outside, night, dream. This is in addition to having completed certain tasks while outside of the dream.

That's all I will say right now because otherwise it starts to get spoilery.

Thanks for taking interest in this project. I've been working very hard to make it everything that it should be.   Grin

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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2019, 07:49:55 AM »

happy with how the icons for acts are looking : )

« Last Edit: September 04, 2019, 07:20:13 PM by mystic_swamp » Logged

QOG
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« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2019, 07:56:07 AM »

Thanks for explaining your goals. It sounds like the game is shaping up well, transitioning between the different sequences seems like an interesting way to break things up.
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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2019, 01:14:31 PM »

Thanks for explaining your goals. It sounds like the game is shaping up well, transitioning between the different sequences seems like an interesting way to break things up.

Again, thank you for taking an interest in my project : )
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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2019, 01:16:50 PM »

Here is a layout of all rooms, day and night, as well as the actions associated with each.


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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2019, 09:11:21 AM »

I am very excited to show off my new player animation. My technical skill has come a long way.

Believe it or not this player sprite was made in 2015 and it has remained basically unedited since then:


Now, here is my new player animation:
 

I'm really happy with it. Let me know what you think!

I wanna give a shout out to David Capello the creator of Aseprite. It's such a good application.
https://www.aseprite.org
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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2019, 08:05:32 AM »


I've been going through and cleaning up my project file, deleting unused assets, code, etc. It's so tedious, but generally relaxing...until something I thought wasn't in use was somehow integral to something functioning properly.

In addition to the necessary tedium, I've been sleeping poorly and am constantly tired... r i p Tired
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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2019, 09:24:58 AM »

 Hand Joystick GIFs Hand Joystick






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mystic_swamp
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« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2019, 05:09:58 PM »

I've updated the title page a bit.

I've been working hard on figuring out GLSL ES and how to use it effectively in Game Maker 1.4.
I've also been working on setting some concrete goals in terms of what to implement and not to implement to shrink the games scope to better suit what I can do alone without getting completely burnt out.
 
Right now I'm on vacation and hope to have a productive one.

Here is a preview of my shader that creates a simple chromatic aberration effect that is shifted by screen shakes:



The intent is for it to be subtle with the hope to create a pseudo digital corruption vibe, while maintaining any moments readability/game language.
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« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2019, 10:14:07 AM »

I absolutely adore your art style! I really like the dithering on the backgrounds.
Your UI layouts seem really thought out as well, and everything looks clean.
Interested to see where this goes.  Kiss
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« Reply #19 on: December 26, 2019, 07:28:26 AM »

I absolutely adore your art style! I really like the dithering on the backgrounds.
Your UI layouts seem really thought out as well, and everything looks clean.
Interested to see where this goes.  Kiss

Oh my gosh thank you so much! Kiss
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