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April 16, 2021, 06:17:02 AM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsRTG - The Ray-Traced Game (Puzzle / Platformer)
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Author Topic: RTG - The Ray-Traced Game (Puzzle / Platformer)  (Read 6636 times)
vdapps
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« Reply #100 on: March 09, 2021, 03:21:18 PM »


-= Devlog #13 =-

Levels, levels

Hi All!

For a long time no update. I was working on RTG, albeit with a little bit slower pace.

My main focus is now on creating actual levels. That's also partial reason for my radio silence. In prototyping stage, there was always something new to show, in actual levels design, I'm just reusing/combining already existing game mechanics to create gameplay/puzzles, so I felt like there's not much new to show.

To recap current progress, the game has now 14 levels, combining following game/puzzle mechanics:

- switch --> turn on/off light
- switch --> open/close doors
- switch --> move movable wall (between 2 positions)
- moving platforms (between 2 points in infinite loop, for a bit of arcading)
- elevators (controlled by player)

As player is progressing through the game, new game mechanics are introduced at certain points of game, in "mechanics introduction" levels. "Mechanics introduction" level, is simple level where given game mechanics is mandatory to use by player in no-puzzle, just to pass the level, so player will learn what it's doing, this way avoiding text tutorials. In later levels this mechanics will be used in actual puzzles.

Apart of fore-mentioned 5 mechanics, I brainstormed 10 other ones, and whole game is planned to be spanned to around 70-80 levels. I will introduce other mechanics in next devlogs step-by-step as they'll be implemented, so no spoiling now. Smiley

As always attaching few animations from actual levels, with my comments.

Smiley


Short loop from the first "bit more" complicated level:


Level with a bit of reflection on the floor (just as deco):


Short walk around most recent level implemented (L014):


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Alain
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« Reply #101 on: March 10, 2021, 12:09:29 AM »

Nice progress! While staring at the first gif I realized that RTG tickles the Prince of Persia part of my brain somehow. It might mainly be the colors and perspective, since your focus is way more on puzzles than on platforming.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #102 on: March 10, 2021, 12:26:03 AM »

Now that Alain mentioned it I cannot unsee the resemblance either! Well, that means you're in good game company, vdapps :D
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vdapps
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« Reply #103 on: March 10, 2021, 08:30:47 AM »

Thanks @Alain, @JobLeonard! Probably those doors, end level portal and scale of things (you were able to see similar portion (2-3 floors) in PoP. It was great game, so yes, very good company. Gomez 
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assemblerbot
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« Reply #104 on: March 10, 2021, 11:59:05 PM »

I like how those switches on the walls are not just a red texture but they work as a light source. Also those white lights just above the floor. Old FPS games with lightmaps used to have these. Very stylish Wink

It's hard to judge the colors due to video compression but I have just one suggestion - try to avoid programmer colors (pure red 0xff0000, green 0x00ff00, etc..), even very subtle shifts in the hue channel can make a big difference in overall feeling.
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vdapps
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« Reply #105 on: March 11, 2021, 09:39:48 AM »

Thanks @assemblerbot. You are right in both your notes. Yes, elevator or switcher lights are also light sources, with strong intensity but also strong attenuation (so they shine, but not through whole level). On the opposite, lamps have lower intensity but weak attenuation, so they cast shadows also at long distances.

And yes, I'm using "programmer colors" a lot, you're right. I'll tweak it. Even player is pure blue I think. It's seen as darker blue only because of general ambient. Maybe I can give actor a name: Oxff, hehe. :D
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vdapps
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« Reply #106 on: March 29, 2021, 07:14:20 AM »


-= Devlog #14 =-

More levels

Hi All!

Not much to update, did 2 more levels (so current number of levels is 16), started giving versions to builds (version string is displayed in main menu). Tweaked colors a bit to not use 'programmer' colors, as suggested by @assemblerbot. So no more pure red (255, 0, 0), pure green (0, 255, 0) etc.. Next step in my plan are 'carriable boxes'. Hand Metal Left Hand Metal Right

As always showing animation from one new level, just for fun. Not solving anything just playing with switches.

Cheers. Smiley

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JobLeonard
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« Reply #107 on: March 29, 2021, 07:20:55 AM »

Nice! What did you base your new lighting palette off?
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vdapps
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« Reply #108 on: March 29, 2021, 07:29:02 AM »

Thx @JobLeonard! No base just blind shooting, I still have to use green for ON, red for OFF etc. just hue is shifted a bit by other components to not have those 'programmers' colors. It's really blind shooting from my side, as I'm no artist. Maybe I will allow tweaking of visual palette of final game through some script, and who knows, maybe some modder will make it color feast for eyes. Smiley
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Alain
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« Reply #109 on: March 30, 2021, 11:41:12 PM »

This switch puzzle looks interesting and carrying boxes sounds promising, too!
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #110 on: March 31, 2021, 05:56:38 AM »

Nice progress! Getting those mechanics in there. Gomez
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vdapps
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« Reply #111 on: April 02, 2021, 09:35:38 AM »

Thank you two!

Now, I'm on those carriable boxes, today I finished programming them. Gomez

Pain to program, because they're part of collision world, but when you carry them around, they're also subjects to animations, but still must be "collision aware" of environment.

However, they open lot of puzzle possibilities so it's a must! Hopefully, when making actual levels I don't find any new glitches.
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vdapps
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« Reply #112 on: April 06, 2021, 08:40:03 AM »

Hi All! Coffee

Implemented very important thing which will open up lot of puzzle possibilities: carriable boxes. It was harder than anticipated. Even if my collision system is simple (2D, axis aligned bounding boxes), a box which player is carrying around should also collide and interact with environment. And because of that, there's lot of "if-s":

  • What if player will fall but box which player carry will stuck on some ledge?
  • What if player is in elevator but box will stuck on environment while elevator is moving?
  • Or player is standing with box but elevator / moving platform will hit the box (from above or from below)?
  • When turning around, box is animated, but what if box will collide in the middle of animation, or what if there's not enough place on the other side of player?
  • etc, etc..

Hopefully, I solved all of "if-s" which I need to create good, bugs and glitches-free, puzzle levels with carriable boxes. I didn't want to solve all of edge cases just by dropping box out of player hands, so I implemented some thresholds. E.g. if moving platform will hit and move box in your hands just a little, you still keep it, if it's too much, it will fall of your hands. So it should have more "natural" feeling.

Providing small visual output, which is showing some of edge cases in small test level, how carriable box interacts with environment. Of course, the look of boxes is not final, it's subject to change. "Collisions" involved are important.

Cheers! Smiley

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JobLeonard
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« Reply #113 on: April 07, 2021, 03:17:31 AM »

Quote
Hopefully, I solved all of "if-s"
Finger's crossed!

The result looks great so far!
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #114 on: April 07, 2021, 03:31:35 AM »

Agree! Looks very smooth with the threshold.
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vdapps
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« Reply #115 on: April 07, 2021, 08:27:29 AM »

Thanks you two! Kiss

Agree! Looks very smooth with the threshold.

In first version, I knocked box out of player's hands immediately on every such collision (e.g. moving platform hitting box in player hands). But it looked like that player is some sort of oaf, not able to carry a box firmly. :D This threshold did the trick!
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Alain
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« Reply #116 on: April 07, 2021, 11:43:06 PM »

Okay, this really opens up a LOT of possibilites for cool puzzles. I feel like in combination with the moving platforms and the switches, the carriable boxes could already be enough to fill the whole game with!
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marcgfx
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« Reply #117 on: April 08, 2021, 04:32:14 AM »

I think most games don't care too much about physics if you are carrying a box, but it's cool you do care Smiley
Are the boxes all the same size or is there no limit? A big foam "box" to be used as a trampoline could be nice Cheesy
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #118 on: April 08, 2021, 05:28:14 AM »

Breaking news: RTG was secretly a ray-traced remake of Thomas Was Alone all along! Tongue



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vdapps
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« Reply #119 on: April 08, 2021, 09:40:45 AM »

Okay, this really opens up a LOT of possibilites for cool puzzles. I feel like in combination with the moving platforms and the switches, the carriable boxes could already be enough to fill the whole game with!

Yeah, I was already struggling to invent new puzzles, just with lights, doors and elevators. With carriable boxes I have lot of new ideas. Gomez Anyway, I have brainstormed around 5 another gameplay mechanics, so I should be ok to fill all levels without lot of repetition.

Breaking news: RTG was secretly a ray-traced remake of Thomas Was Alone all along! Tongue





Nice point! I know that game, but I learned about that game after start of RTG development, I not knew it before. The fact that this game is quite successful, even if minimalistic, fills me with a bit of promise. Gomez Of course, I have still to keep with gameplay quality, because gameplay quality is where Thomas Was Alone is excelling.
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