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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsTen Days To War - Now with open beta!
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ZeroByter
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« on: July 02, 2019, 11:37:41 PM »




In Ten Days To War, you assume the role of a spy team leader placed behind enemy lines. You and your team are disguised as civilians, and must carry out orders which you receive every morning.

However, war is approaching! As the situation in the region escalates, partly due to your team's actions, war looks to be inevitable in a few days' time (ten days to be exact, hence the title of the game). If you can successfully avoid starting a war between your country and the one you are stationed in you win the game. In any other ending you will lose.

Steam page | website

If all goes well, Ten Days to War is planned to release at the 1630th of September, and so if you are able to help playtest the game, head over here!

Thank you all!
« Last Edit: October 20, 2019, 12:42:48 AM by ZeroByter » Logged
Xnite
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2019, 02:23:11 AM »

This sounds great. I've just started listening to the Espionage podcast and have a real craving for some spy based games.

The game concept here sounds unique. At least I have not heard of a similar concept in a spy game.

Best of luck to you here. I'm keen to see this get finished.
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ZeroByter
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« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2019, 02:31:19 AM »

I worked some more on the UI:


In addition, I really don't like how the characters look... They look too bland and out of place. They are definitely missing something, I think shadows maybe? I will have to experiment with this, I definitely don't intend to have them stay the way they are. If anyone has any ideas how to improve the characters that would be much appreciated Smiley.

In addition to this, I plan on starting to work on the story and player choices.
As soon as I have more, I will post here! :D
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ZeroByter
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2019, 03:56:48 AM »

Got this done today, took a little inspiration from Papers, Please.
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Superb Joe
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2019, 10:21:46 AM »

this looks cool. i like that it captures the dreary "little grey man" existence of real spies. have you seen "bridge of spies"?
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ZeroByter
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« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2019, 11:00:09 AM »

I have, cool movie Smiley
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Superb Joe
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« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2019, 11:49:50 AM »

bad ass
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ZeroByter
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2019, 01:10:05 AM »

Since I am terrible with pixelart, I got my friend on board to do the pixelart instead. The apartment got a remodeling and it looks fantastic!



I am definitely going to do something about all that dead space around the apartment, but so far I am really happy with how it's looking.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 01:20:16 AM by ZeroByter » Logged
ZeroByter
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2019, 04:28:15 AM »

Just started working on adding the mission planning mechanics. Here is the transition from viewing the apartment to viewing the 'mission planning blackboard'.

The player will be able to select which location to target, and he will have to assign agents to do all sorts of tasks during the mission, such as be a lookout, kill the enemy, etc.



It's a little weird how the paper stuff on screen doesn't move, but for the time being it's not too bad and later in the game's development it will get fixed.
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ZeroByter
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2019, 07:07:54 AM »

Just wrapped up the UI design for planning missions, although it still doesn't actually mean anything.



What do you guys think so far? I have been going through mid-development hell lately but I am still pushing through strong! Smiley
« Last Edit: July 13, 2019, 09:52:44 AM by ZeroByter » Logged
ZeroByter
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2019, 04:03:29 AM »

Hello! Just wanted to post a quick, small update about the game's progress.
I don't have any pictures to show since all of what I have been working lately has to do with bug fixes/the story/and integrating various essential game mechanics.

My friend, who is helping to develop the art/fine details of the game is creating the dialogues the player will have with each individual agent through out the game. Our plan is for each agent to have his own personality, and each agent will react differently to things as they happen (or don't happen) in the game.

Meanwhile, I am working on the player being able to plan/execute covert missions as well as figuring out what they will mean for the story of the game, and how they will shape the story as the story itself develops.

I am hoping to soon have a functioning beta so that I could post about it here (and other forums) in order to get critical feedback from you guys. I plan on doing this open-beta just as soon as the game will become in some sort of playable state.

Thanks for checking out my game! I'm looking forward to post more updates about this cool project soon!
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2019, 03:17:08 PM »

You hooked me on your original idea. Really sounds cool. I like how the missions have pre-arranged "jobs" and you assign agents to those roles.

Does this mean that agents will have specific skill sets that you would want to utilise? Does this mean that they may fail if you don't assign them well? Is intentionally ham-stringing your team so that they fail a mission an option to avoid enraging the host country while still obeying orders?
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ZeroByter
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2019, 02:52:18 AM »

Thank you for your questions! I'm happy to hear someone is interested in the game Smiley

Does this mean that agents will have specific skill sets that you would want to utilise?

Yes, each agent is specialized in a specific skill-set. For example, Agent Charles is good at healing/supporting other agents, while Special Agent Gregory is very good at being a lookout and warning the team of any threats during the mission.
You can see this at the bottom of each agent's 'sticky note':


Does this mean that they may fail if you don't assign them well?

In general, each agent can do every job. But if an agent is forced to do a job he wasn't meant/trained to do, he will suffer a serious penalty and the mission could fail. The more agents doing jobs they are not trained to do, the higher the chance the mission will fail.

Is intentionally ham-stringing your team so that they fail a mission an option to avoid enraging the host country while still obeying orders?

As of now in the game (meaning it's not too late to change game mechanics to improve the game), this is not a very effective option since whether you fail or not is irrelevant, the host country will always get a little angry when you conduct missions successfully without getting caught, and will be much more angry if you're fail and are caught, since then they will have direct evidence that your team is responsible for conducting the mission.

This strategy is especially risky since anytime a mission fails, there is a chance some of the agents will be killed and/or captured alive. Any agent that is captured alive further increases the risk that the rest of the team will get exposed (since that captured agent will be thoroughly interrogated).
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Deckhead
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2019, 05:18:36 PM »

Quote
Thank you for your questions! I'm happy to hear someone is interested in the game Smiley

Hey, no worries. I remember when someone first showed interest in my game, it really helped motivate me to continue. There's a few games on here that I've been interested in over time and I regret not having told the developer that I was. I think too many people here read about a game, come back to the thread to hear more, but never tell the developer. I think it's really important that you tell someone you're keeping an eye on the game.

Anyway.

How will you make it so that there's some sort of trade-off on who you're assigning to what missions? (I'm assuming the mechanic would be something like that). Will it be like the agent is tired (or injured), so can't or shouldn't be assigned to missions right now, or is it more about balancing agents among the several missions you have?

Another thing that comes to mind, rather than just assigning agents into pre-arranged jobs in missions; have you thought about giving the player some options to plan the mission? For example, there could be several ways to complete the mission, and assigning agents in some roles and not in others changes how the mission gets played out. It would probably take a bit more effort to work out success/failure, for example, if you assign an agent as a sniper to kill a target, and assign another as a guy who is going to sneak into the guys house and kill him, which agent actually succeeds?
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ZeroByter
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2019, 11:31:13 PM »

For each target in the game, the player must first plan and conduct a 'reconnaissance' mission to surveil the scene and the target.
After the player conducts the reconnaissance mission, he would plan and execute the 'assassination' mission. So each target in the game effectively has two parts in order to deal with him.

Agent's energy/morale
Agents' morale continuously lowers with each turn of the game, and it lowers more when they take part in assassination missions (since, you know, killing people takes a toll)
Agents' morale can however be improved by giving them vacations. In addition to the morale each agent also has a an energy/'tiredness' level. This energy level is improved by the agent simply resting at the apartment, but will be lowered every time he takes part in a mission.
Of course, the more tired & lower morale the agent has, the more chance he will have of screwing up at the field and possibly failing the mission.
All this means the agent probably shouldn't take part in too many missions too closely together.

Mission planning
How I have the mission planning setup at the moment is that the player can pick one out of three predefined planning positions, but is forced to use a single predefined layout if his strategist agent is missing.
In each layout, each position contains a list of agents' jobs that would be best suited for that position, meaning you probably shouldn't put an agent with a rifle right next to the target since the agent is best suited for far-ranges fights, but assigning an agent with a rifle or a poison syringe would be better.
Oh, and there is only one killer job per layout, however if the killer himself fails to do the job (maybe due to morale/energy issues), there is a chance one of the other agents on the mission could complete the job before they would complete their getaway, or not.

Playtesting
I definitely expect to change a lot of gameplay mechanics according to feedback I will get from playtesting. Mission planning would probably also get changed too if people say it can/should be different. As soon as I have a build of the game you can actually play & complete, I'll post it here Smiley
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ZeroByter
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2019, 08:49:44 AM »

Hey guys, I got a new idea which I could implement in the game, but since I think it would change the game by quite a lot I want to hear your guys' feedback.
I'm pretty excited about this, here goes:

As Deckhead mentioned, the mission-planning mechanic could use some work, so naturally, I got the idea to completely erase it from the game and replace it with something better.

Instead of planning the mission before hand and simply waiting for the team of agents to come back from the mission, the player could select which agents to send to a mission, wait one turn for the agents to arrive at their destination, and then, the game would temporarily transition to a 'real-time strategy' mode where the player has to command each agent on what to do as the mission unfolds.

The player would be able to command each agent directly, like telling him where to go or do, possible actions could be 'attack', 'blend in', 'escape' or other actions.
During this mode, the player would also be time-restricted and will have only one in-game hour (three minutes in real life) to successfully complete the mission, making this mode both exciting and stressful for the player.

This new idea would solve a few game-design problems I'm currently having with the general design of the game. For instance, instead of the player getting bored while waiting for the mission to end, the player could now be directly involved with how the mission will execute.

Here is a quickly drawn rough draft of this mode:

Obviously as this is a rough-draft, everything in the image will be changed/improved once I do implement it.
Grey people represent civilians/passersby.
Red person is obviously the target.
Blue people are the player's agents.

Once the mission will end, the player would be brought back to the 'apartment' and will have to wait one more turn for the agents to return from their destination.

What do you guys think?
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Deckhead
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2019, 05:49:08 PM »

Hey guys, I got a new idea which I could implement in the game, but since I think it would change the game by quite a lot I want to hear your guys' feedback.
I'm pretty excited about this, here goes:

One of the things I think is important to a "management" game is that it isn't time restricted. Consider myself, I'm old and slow, so I love management and strategy games (Grand Strategy, not real-time strategy so much). By putting in a time-limit, you've changed the kind of game you're making.

Not to say that you shouldn't change it, just pointing out that you are.

For the mechanic you're talking about; I think I'd need to play it to know whether it's good. I think you could change it from a countdown to instead by sort of puzzle-related with a few varying options. I can't really articulate it well, but the idea is that you need to string together the right sequence of actions in order to fulfill the mission; but there has to be a trade-off for the sequence of actions. Many sequences will result in a win-situation.

Think of the original Hitman. There's a few different ways you can accomplish the missions, and for the most part, it's about completing a series of actions rather than any game-play skill (jumping, aiming etc). In fact, one of the games I have in the back of my mind is a turn-based Hitman clone (in 2D). By shooting your target outright, you'll get injured when they come after you, but by planting a bomb, you run a risk of discovery.

I think if you did something like that, without the time-constraint, would match better with what I thought your original idea was. It could also be done from the apartment, without the need to add to development with an additional game-mode. And even then, during missions they could radio back in asking for instructions if things change (think of scenes from Clear and Present Danger when Willem Dafoe is in an apartment talking to the spec-ops team).

Keep in mind, that's just my interpretation of your game, with my own similar game idea in the back of my head.
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2019, 07:15:02 PM »

I love the concept but I fail to grasp some of the core gameplay. Can you go into more details as to what a mission would consist of?
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ZeroByter
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« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2019, 11:30:13 PM »

What I had in mind for this new mode is a sort of combination of how most RTS games handle the mechanics of giving orders to units, but with how the XCOM series handles tactics/strategy.

Take the rough-draft picture I showed earlier:, your mission is to kill the person marked in red, you could get one of your guys to shoot him from a distance, but you might miss and hit a few civilians since your also aiming from a further distance.
Alternatively, you could get another agent to come in close to the target and try to inject lethal poison, but that would risk you getting detected if the agent is not well-rested/skilled enough.

And at the end of mission, all the agents would have to come together to a single spot in order to be able to return to home. Any agents that have not done that will be left behind to get captured.



Alternatively, I could indeed implement what Deckhead suggested: something else where the team radios in once every turn while the mission is ongoing and ask what to do. They could describe the situation, and the player would have a choice of 3-4 actions to reply.

The latter might be better suited for the game rather than the idea I originally thought of. I will begin implementing something along the lines of what Deckhead mentioned and I'll get back to you all Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: July 31, 2019, 01:43:26 AM »


Alternatively, I could indeed implement what Deckhead suggested: something else where the team radios in once every turn while the mission is ongoing and ask what to do. They could describe the situation, and the player would have a choice of 3-4 actions to reply.

The latter might be better suited for the game rather than the idea I originally thought of. I will begin implementing something along the lines of what Deckhead mentioned and I'll get back to you all Smiley

You might be able to utilize the mission planning assets to display the mission in progress part. So while they are radioing in and reporting on what they see, it's shown to the player visually rather than just text. That would help the player make good decisions, IMO.
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