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October 14, 2019, 08:58:02 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSnake World - temp name - multiplayer snake with added biology
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Author Topic: Snake World - temp name - multiplayer snake with added biology  (Read 248 times)
Schrompf
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« on: September 11, 2019, 02:11:55 AM »

Hi,

my current project is a Snake game: move around, eat stuff to grow longer, do not hit obstacles. Main course is open pvp multiplayer, although there will be a singleplayer / coop mode for feeding on the biology alone or with friends.

History:
I found https://slither.io one day, enjoyed it quite a bit, even got it for my phone. But its performance is really off-putting. It stutters or even pauses for a second even on potent gaming rigs. So a few friends from a small German IRC channel and me offhandedly decided to redo it "properly". And we wanted to add a lot of other game elements, too, so that it gets more laid-back and even allows to play alone / cooperatively. Then, one by one, they bailed from the project, so at the moment I'm doing it alone again.

Concept:
I know that slither.io has the comfortable advantage of being a browser game. I can't compete with that, but I can sure try to make it easily accessible by
a) using the Steam friends infrastructure
b) making it small to download, quick to install, quick to start playing

First aim is to provide an open multiplayer game like slither.io. I'll later add collectibles and cosmetics to be found in the game by which you can customize your snake. And if the game gets some traction, I'll also implement the Steam workshop stuff to allow people to add their own creations.

My current plan is to make the basic multiplayer game free to play on public servers. Then I'll try to earn a buck by a) selling the "personal" version which allows you to play alone and host private games for your friends and b) by selling special cosmetics.

Technology:
Of course if I complain about the drawbacks of web games, I better do deliver on the performance side. I'm using C++17/20 without an engine, based on my custom framework which grew with me over the last decades. Rendering is DirectX9 on Windows or OpenGL on Linux/OSX, sound is currently FModEx although I'm looking to replace it by something simpler and more license-friendly, plus Boost, AngelScript, freetype, GLFW, SNIIS, TinyXML, zlib, curl.

Current state:
I have a job and a family, so progress is moderate. Overall I invested maybe 50h of work over the course of 6 months. Basic gameplay is implemented and working, but unbalanced. You can run a dedicated server on Windows or Linux or localhost, join a server, spawn, move around, eat stuff and grow, sprint and spawn food, hit things, hurt/die and spawn food, respawn, chat, leave. Graphics are provisional upto now.

Images - click for full size





Graphics:
I have to admit that I really tried my best to do "real" graphics from the start. But even after all those years I'm terrible at doing gfx. I'll sure look out for an artist when the gameplay is round and fun.

As for an artstyle I'm aiming for a "microorganism life through a microscope" look. First was the PostProcessing seen above: vignette, blur, chromatic aberration in the corners. Next I put some tens of thousand of particles in the play field which get pushed around by any gameplay element. It doesn't exactly transport the "dirty water" feel I was aiming for, yet, but I'll surely revisit that later. I drew a test snake gfx, the zebra pattern makes it easier to spot mapping / shader errors. I also drew food bites, I was aiming for a "cell" look like a blob of water with a border, but failed miserably. So it's just colourful blobs for now.

next steps:

I'currently implementing walls. Nearly done with the collision part, next is a suitable look and then populating them with thousands of tiny plants that sway in the currents and if someone moves next to it. Then I'll probably go for the background which is too uniform right now. It needs some heavily blurred large scale elements slowly moving in the background to give the impression as if it's out of focus.

Timeline:

Nothing's planned out exactly, of course. After all this is just an hobby for now. I intend to have a private alpha on Steam at the end of the year so I can nail all the details in the Steam friend interactions. I hope to have some NPC content up then, too, but proper customization with some options to choose from will propably have to wait for next year.

Thanks for reading.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2019, 02:43:14 AM »

Looks cute! I haven't played slither.io but it brings back memories of playing Zatacka (AKA "Achtung, die Kurwe!") with classmates during recess.

Love the idea of making it look microscopic! Kiss If you're not aware of this relatively new YouTube channel, here's inspiration fodder galore:



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Schrompf
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2019, 03:18:36 AM »

Oh, great! I'm still collecting art style references and occasionally get lost in them because there's such a lot of cool stuff wiggling around underwater. Thanks a lot!
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