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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsJust Act Natural [Claymation Online multiplayer stealth game]
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Author Topic: Just Act Natural [Claymation Online multiplayer stealth game]  (Read 1897 times)
anotherDev
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« on: September 22, 2020, 06:42:11 PM »







An online multiplayer party game of deception and perception for 2-8 players. In it, two teams compete for the highest score.


Sign up for the alpha here:


Latest screenshot of art progress(04/18/21)

 On one side are the Hiders: These players are spawned in the level among dozens of NPCs. To get points, Hiders must be the first to reach and pick up diamonds that spawn around the map. (Eventually, I would like to make a variety of game modes/goals that switch up how these players score points, like racing to a finish line.) Their goal is pretty straight-forward, all they can do is walk around the map and pick up diamonds.

Hider gameplay

Seems simple, but there’s a twist: The Watcher players.

Watcher Gameplay

The Watchers are positioned high above the map, and move in a circular path around it to get different vantage points. THEY get points by spotting and shooting player characters among the crowd of NPCs. They make the Hider’s job a lot harder, for the Hider players must go after the diamonds WITHOUT revealing themselves to be player characters. They must move and act like computer players, but must be quick enough to ensure they get to the diamonds before their fellow hider players.

The game is set up as a series of rounds, each lasting a few minutes before going to the next round. Each round, the Hider and Watcher players are shuffled and the stage is changed. The player with the most points at the end of the round wins.

Early Stage Select Screen. Choose which stages will be shuffled into the round queue

The game features a hand-sculpted clay art style. I sculpt each model in real life and then use photogrammetry to turn those sculptures into 3D models. Right now, I think it looks a little rough, my experience with 3d modeling and animation is limited, but I’m improving rapidly and think in a short time I can have something that looks really spectacular and unique. I’m excited to show some of the other stages I’m in the process of working on!

Each asset comes from a real hand-sculpted clay model

My intention is to have this available to play in Early Access soon. Hopefully by November. With my previous game projects, I made a big mistake with not getting enough player feedback, which impacted the game and myself pretty negatively, so I’m hoping to set this up in such a way so that interested parties(like you!) can help build the game.

I have been programming for several years, but before this project I’ve had little experience with network programming, so I expect some hiccups with that once I get players in. Because of this, the game will likely go into early access as a free game and only once I get something stable will the game cost anything.

If this sounds like something you’d be into, be sure to check back on this post during the next month. I’ll also post smaller updates on my twitter: @conorGarity and instagram: @heyconorgarity. For now, that’s the only way to follow development. I’ll post on here when I get a site up/ make a steam page to wishlist it, if interested.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2021, 06:55:21 AM by anotherDev » Logged

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anotherDev
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« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2020, 09:01:11 AM »

I’ve been working hard on things, I’ve been hesitant to show more until I got the art looking a little better. I think I’ve made some decent improvements in the art style the last few weeks, so I think it’s close to not looking like total garbage enough to start posting on twitter/reddit, etc soon.


Would love to see some feedback on the visuals. They’re improving every week, but would like to see where I’m at thus far with them.


Ideally, I’m trying to emulate the look of Captain Toad/ the colorful, bright Nintendo style, mixed with the clay look that comes naturally from the process in which I’m actually making the art from.

I Use Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker as my art reference

Speaking of which, I thought I’d at least share a bit more on the process of the art since I’m still getting the in-game look down.

I’ve been working with clay since I was, like, eleven.


My Work Desk

In the process of making my previous game:https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=61898.0, I’ve honed this kinda cutesy cartoonish style that I like quite a lot. In that project, I think I successfully managed to port my physical sculptures into a 2D space using photographs and stop motion animation. The process here is very much the same, only now I only need to take a series of photographs once. This is awesome because I know longer need to worry about the sculptures getting dirty or destroyed in the time between taking photos of them, which was a BIG issue with the previous process.

I take a series of photographs from all angles using a cheap turn table.

So I take a lot of photos from all angles of each clay model and put them in Zephyr(Which is a 3D photogrammetry program) which(hopefully!) gets the rough mesh together.

I use photogrammetry software to turn my physical sculptures into meshes

After cleaning things up and texture baking in Blender, I have a game asset I can now animate and put into Unity!

It’s pretty awesome to see my little models turn into actual worlds that you can walk in virtually. It’s something I always imagined doing as a kid, and it’s preeeetty sweet that I finally have the ability to make that into a reality through video games!

That’s it for now, I’ll be back with more info of the gameplay and stuff. Again, once I get the visuals a little more presentable, you can expect updates much more often/ ways to follow the development.

Thanks!
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anotherDev
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2020, 04:14:25 PM »

Hey! Just a quick update:

Got the game's website up and running here:

https://www.inplainsightgame.com/


You can sign up for the free alpha there to get additional updates on the game!

Thanks!
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nickgravelyn
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2020, 05:42:48 PM »

Sounds really cool. And the clay art looks impressively done. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Also FYI there’s already a game with basically the same title that’s also a multiplayer stealthy thing: https://store.steampowered.com/app/303590/Hidden_in_Plain_Sight/. Not that you have to change but you might have a hard time with discoverability being so close in name.
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anotherDev
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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2020, 11:35:16 AM »

Hey!

This week I’ve really been focusing heavily on art and the game’s graphics. I’m trying to get the ball rolling on the “marketing” of the game as quickly as possible to try to build up as much of a following as possible before the game’s early access release. Obviously the trouble with an online multiplayer game as an indie is getting enough players for the game to function properly.

Scanning some clay rocks for a forest stage

So I’ve been working on the stages the game will start with on release, and the beginning animations of the Hider players.

WIP version of the game's 'Forest of Faces' Stage

Putting together the 'Sushi City' stage in Blender

The stages I worked the most on are a forest stage which will likely be called “The Forest of Faces” and a Dotonbori-inspired one called “Sushi City.” I hope to have the game launch with 8 stages to play on, so this coming week I’ll likely be focusing on getting all the art done for those. Obviously this process takes quite a while since I’m hand-sculpting all the models from clay, but I think it’s starting to look quite nice!

I’ve been learning more about baked lighting in unity, which is allowing me to light the scene in a way that makes the assets look and feel a lot more physical and real, which is making it look really nice, I think.

Using baked lighting in Unity for a more realistic look

The intention is to have enough assets in game(and have them look good enough!) to hire someone to do a basic trailer by November 1st. Then I’m probably gonna send it out to publishers to try to delegate some of the marketing, and maybe get some funding, idk.

Also, I made the facebook page for the game today so if you’re interested you can follow/like the page here.


https://www.facebook.com/InPlainSightGame
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anotherDev
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2020, 06:19:08 AM »

Small update, still mostly working on the game's art assets and getting them to run smoothly in game.

I more or less finished up the 'Forest of Faces' stage. Let me know what you think!


I hope to finish up most of the stages that the game will enter early access with by the end of the week and get them running properly in-engine.

I also did the basic animations for the Hider players running around, but it definitely needs some work still.


My idea is to have the running look a lot like the running animation of the Pikmin in those games. I think it's adorable how they run in such a way as it looks like their body is trying to catch up to their legs. That's what I'm aiming for here.
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2020, 08:00:45 AM »


I love this graphics style. Don't change a thing!
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2020, 11:37:18 AM »

@Schrompf: Thanks! Appreciate the support!

Still working on maps, this is the early version of Spooder Town, still tryna get the colors and brightness right, but here's some early shots, it's sorta a mine-themed stage. Every so often The Spooder King pops out of the hole in the middle and gives some of the hider players some cover from the Watchers.



Also just working on implementing the finished stages into Unity.


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anotherDev
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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2020, 07:06:41 AM »

Hey folks!

Just wanted to come back with another small update. I've been finishing up the game's last two stages, one of them is Ice Cream Beach:





Right now it's not very "Ice cream-y" but I think it looks great for now, and will continue to add more details after the game's launch. I'm still hoping to launch in Early Access sometime in November. Not sure if you think that's a bad idea, idk, I just really wanna start to get a pipeline of feedback as soon as I can.

Obviously I won't release it until it has all the gameplay working as it should, but it's not a very complicated game, so it shouldn't take too much longer. I don't think it'll have too much on the polish side, however.

I've been messing with Blender's animator trying to get a better walk animation, and I think I'm starting to get there. Just having some issue actually getting it to work properly once I bring it over to Unity.

Anyway, thanks a lot for the support, guys!
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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2020, 07:44:01 AM »

Very interesting! Love seeing projects where some of the development is outside the digital environment.
Is it heavy to run performance-wise, considering the amount of polys you get from photogrammetry, or do you clean up the topology before putting them in the game? I'm curious about the polycount, since that last walk animation gif looked pretty intensive polycount-wise.

I'm not sure if the assets have some kind of translucency in the materials already, but I think a bit of translucency or subsurface scattering would really help sell the claymation/waxiness. Just a suggestion. Coffee

Also, I think a time-lapse or video of modelling some of the clay models would be cool to see (no pressure)!
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« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2020, 07:45:04 AM »

Woah. Kiss This concept sounds like a lot of fun, and the art is incredibly cool! Have you considered a cuddlier representation of the mechanic than sniping to go with these adorable clay graphics? Cheesy Feels like I should just boop them. Tiger
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« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2020, 09:25:27 AM »

@ andos: Yeah, I DEFINITELY retopo the models after photogrammetry haha. The model the animation is shown on is the high-poly of the characters. The models usually start in the tens of thousands, I get most of them to a few hundred. Still working on the performance though, and getting the balance right between looks and performance! And yeah! I think a time lapse would be cool too! I have so many recordings, actually, but have just been to bad at managing my time to put together a video finally lol. Hopefully soon though!!

@Prinsessa: I haven't actually, but that makes a lot of sense I think...nothing comes to mind though, I'm open to ideas! Maybe some cartoony cannon or something...hmmmm.
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2020, 01:33:35 AM »

 Kiss Kiss Kiss

Also, you're back! Wooo! We missed ya! Smiley
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2020, 01:36:02 AM »

@Prinsessa: I haven't actually, but that makes a lot of sense I think...nothing comes to mind though, I'm open to ideas! Maybe some cartoony cannon or something...hmmmm.
Sling-shot with a waterballoon. Optionally full of paint so characters hit are marked too
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anotherDev
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2020, 08:10:09 AM »

@JobLeonard: Hey! Glad to have you here :D. Yeah, slingshot was the only other thing I could think of. I'm thinking of going with a cannon, like, floating on a cloud or something. I feel like there is more potential there if I wanted to eventually make different

Okay! So as promised, I have a little "Making Of Video" for when I finished up the 'Forest of Faces' Stage. It's a little rough lol, no music or anything, but I felt like I just needed to FINALLY put one together to get the ball rolling.





Would like some feedback: Do you think I'm better off making short Making Of videos like this(albeit with a little more polish and effort) or should I do a weekly recap video of what I did that week? Not sure.

Anyway, I plan on spending the next week working on the first trailer, in the hopes of getting it together in time for potential publisher pitches before the holidays.

I was originally going to delegate and hire someone to make the trailer, but once I drew out what I wanted for the trailer I sorta realized only I could do most of what was required for it. I'm not sure, I told myself when I started this project that I wasn't going to do everything myself if I could avoid it and I was going to make a decent effort to delegate, but, idk, I think I'd need to hire both a video editor AND a 3D Modeler/Animator and have them work together if I was going to delegate properly, but maybe I'm just making excuses not to hand off work to others...idk. I think trying to do everything on your own is one of the bigger mistakes experts say you can make when trying to run a business, but maybe I shouldn't worry about it until I actually have, you know, any budget whatsoever lol.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2020, 09:47:38 AM »

Slingshot could work, yeah!

Really enjoyed that video, very cool seeing the process, and so much fun that you're actually doing things in real clay first. But also filling in with some fully digital models where you can get away with it? Seems like a sensible approach. Grin End result looks very good!

Will you be using elements that aren't clay too but that someone would perhaps use IRL when playing with clay, like real-looking water in that stream?

As for the format, I'd enjoy reading/watching either way, and I'm not sure what works for me is for you, but personally in my own log I went from bigger updates less frequently to smaller updates much more often and it's a lot less stressful to me not having so much pressure to have something substantial done at the end of every month. Shocked
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2020, 12:38:07 PM »

Love the making of video!

I think the benefit of weekly updates can be that you can force yourself to show whatever you have, and not fall in the trap of "I need to have a bit more to show before posting an update" and then having changed SO MUCH that writing the update itself becomes a massive painful task to do.

On top of that developers are the worst at estimating how much they progressed in my experience.

Also, because you'll often be forced to share not-quite-finished processes you'll end up getting more useful feedback - a lot of devs here fall into the trap of feeling like they have to share a finished result. That might be relevant for PR and promotion, but the strength of TigSource is to get feedback from other devs on open questions (well, used to be when this place was more populated, but there's still a small core left).
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anotherDev
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« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2020, 07:28:41 AM »

Hey! Just a quick update:

So I switched the sniper for the watcher player to a cannon, what do you think?



Also, I'm working hard on the first trailer. Super useful to have the knowledge of 3D Modeling and animation now. I'm able to achieve much smoother scenes in way less time than with the pure stop motion I used to do!

« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 07:36:33 AM by anotherDev » Logged

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JobLeonard
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« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2020, 09:15:00 AM »

Nice! This "hybrid" approach seems to work really well, no?
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2020, 11:59:39 AM »

Ohh, I think a cannon can work really well with an exaggerated and cartoony recoil Gomez

Good luck with the trailer Coffee
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