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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsAgainst The Mountain - 1st Person Exploration/Platformer
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #220 on: April 22, 2022, 09:09:26 AM »

Nice update! Seconding the yuuuge treeees reaction. So far it seems like the game is made to make you feel tiny in general (even the name), is that intentional?
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baftis
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« Reply #221 on: April 22, 2022, 03:08:35 PM »

hope you're not getting stressed out by trying to stick too rigidly to any sort of schedule Sad

Hey, Prinsessa. Well, I kind of am, actually =)). I'm stressed out a bit in all directions. I'm trying to work at least a tiny little bit every day, but posting about it on a daily basis didn't turn out great at all lately. Sometimes I work too little to have anything "devlog worthy" on said day. And sometimes the time it takes to write an entry in the devlog takes more time than doing the work in the actual game. Take in the fact that I haven't fixed all the bugs in the game and they are piling up and you have a recipe for burnout. Sometimes I even think I overscoped a bit, but I realize that I don't have much left in accomplishing the vision. Gameplay-wise, anyway. So, there's that.

So far it seems like the game is made to make you feel tiny in general (even the name), is that intentional?

Hi Leonard. This wasn't a conscious design decision, it sort of came about on it's own. And I don't want to fight with it creatively if it wants to come about on it's own. I think it was around the time I started work on the caves when I realized that, for better or worse, the concept of "scale" could actually be a signature design decision (for lack of a better wording). Scale also works hand in hand with some of the mechanics implemented, in the sense that when the player uses these mechanics, one of the main concerns is the player feeling like finishing the level too soon. Scale helps alleviate that and helps with the wow factor.

On the same note, I'm not necessarily following to make the player feel small, I'm looking for the world to feel big. I feel that this is an important distinction that I have to express. It's kind of like when you see a 3D movie and a traditional 2D movie: a wide shot in 3D makes objects feel smaller, while the same shot in the 2D version of the same movie makes the world feel bigger (has proper scale). So on the player character, everything is boosted like 20%: jumps a lot higher, runs faster, etc. just to kind of compensate for the feel of the player character size, even though player character is 1.80 m / 5'9".         
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Against The Mountain - First Person Adventure/Platformer DevLog - https://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=72358.0
baftis
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« Reply #222 on: May 18, 2022, 02:39:19 PM »

Day 79-82

So naturally, I've decided that devlog entries would be a weekly thing, not a per-day entry.

HAHAHAHAHHA...cool joke, man.....overly optimistic Past Baftis is overly optimistic.

Why hello, ladies and gents. Back at it with an update on how the game is going.

So I've been struggling quite a bit with working on the game and actually have a work-life balance thing going on. Clearly one of these didn't work out, but I did manage to work on the game more.

Turns out motivation is a thing and got demotivated in the past few weeks. A vacation (of all things) managed to ease the struggle. Turns out that's what I needed.

So one of the things I've worked on is redesigning the canyon part of the level. There's nothing really wrong with the current version of the canyon, but visualizing the game when falling asleep churns out some pretty inpiring things. One of those inspiring things was the canyon part. Why? I wanted/needed a level where things could get really twitch-y and reflex based and really fast paced. Kind of like Sonic games, but in first person and with jumping. And one of those areas seems to pop up time and again: the canyon.

Now this turned me on big time, and as I started to implement this, I came across what I initially though was a bug. So, I have the jump-pad, right? And whenever you overlap with the jump-pad, the character flings in the air (on the Z axis) and you can go pretty much either way after that. Well, I did try to adapt this jump pad to a monkey bar kinda thing (the pole in DOOM eternal) Where you fling forwards. Well, that monkey bar had a problem: see, the idea is to fling the player forward on the Y-axis of the monkey bar. But lo and behold, the monkey bar does fling you on the Y-axis....of the world!!! So, I though "OK, this is clearly a bug", and went about to fix it.

Turns out that this isn't a bug. By using LaunchCharacter nodes, the script tells the character to jump on the Y axis of the world, so you can't use relative rotation on the LaunchCharacter node. What this also means is that if I want to fling the character in a certain direction, I'll have to manually input the force on the axes I want that character to fling to. And my brain went "UUUUUUUGH!!?!?!?!" So, for every single directional jump pad/monkey bar that I want in the game, I have to make manual adjustments...."UUUUUUUGH!!?!?!?!" Thank God I don't have to do this on the jump pads that just fling you up, otherwise, I think I might've gotten insane.

So yeah, fun times, guys...really fun times.

Anyway. For the time being, work on the Forest level is on hold. I've completely ran out of inspiration for it and will touch it once inspiration hits...or I'll visualize it before sleeping again. I'll leave you with only 2 screenshots, since it took a collosal amount of time to get the sequence right.





That's it for now, ladies and gents. See you in the next post. Buhbye.   
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #223 on: May 19, 2022, 02:04:59 AM »

Don't be too hard on yourself for taking breaks. Those are really important too!

Looking forward to see you do a small playthrough of the level so far, that will probably give us a bit more to work with for feedback too
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vdapps
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« Reply #224 on: May 19, 2022, 02:02:24 PM »

I see this devlog going forward with frantic pace as from the beginning. Lot of work done, lot of work ahead. Keep up the good work! Gentleman
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baftis
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« Reply #225 on: June 21, 2022, 01:51:15 PM »

Hello, hello ladies and gents. hope you are having a great day. As for me, I'm back with an update on the project.

So the reason I haven't updated the devlog is because I kept putting off making it. Yes, it's that mundane. Because behind the scenes, I actually started working on not one, but two new levels. Let's go!

So the first level I'm going to talk about is the Gap level. This one came (like all good things) in my head, while falling asleep. I though that would be cool to have a level that focuses on wall running and the many ways that it could go to. And, while you can only do so much with a wall-run mechanic, it turns out that it works great when combining it with different mechanics (like, duh), especially the paraglider.

Now, the Gap level is, to put it simply, a very very narrow canyon. The player, being almost at the top of the gap, must traverse it via wall-running. Here's how it looks:







It is pretty difficult to capture some screenshots from this level because there is not much space to work with. And because it involves wall running, there's mostly long empty spaces with the occasional small cliff. Oh, but that's not all, there are some Death Traps around this level as well. One of these traps is in the third screenshot, a pendulum axe. The other one is in the BSP brushes, a blade that comes out of the rocks. If any of these traps touch the character, he is dead.

The second level I want to talk about is the Foggy Forest.

This will most likely be the most simple level in the game in terms of implementation. This is because at it's very core, the level is about orienteering: you simply have some markings on trees/rocks and as the player, you have to find and follow said markings to reach the end of the level. That's it. In this level, you would also have a landmark that coincidentally serves as the end of the level. Said landmark is visible from all across the map if you look for it.

Here's how it looks as of now:







Btw, I was getting really sick and tired of just grayboxes in every single level. SO as a test, I used some assets off the marketplace. So we have GRAPHICS for a change, yay!! I don't know how the level is going to look with all post-process effects on (I'm only using a vignette as a post process effect now, fyi), but I'm sure as hell happy with how it looks as of now. Of course, things will get more populated as time goes. And yes, some trees are not upright (ooooh, that's going to be a pain to fix).

Now, what makes this level challenging is 1) the low level of visibility 2) finding the markings (they won't be hidden, but they won't be easy to find either. 3) navigating through the forest: it will most definitely have multiple branching paths with dead ends. As such, it will be frustratingly difficult if you DON'T follow the markings.

Now, there's a fun reason why I made the decision to make a foggy level.

Initially, I wanted it to be sunny in the level. A hot mid-day kind of vibe. But as it was painfully brought to my attention in the form of hands-on experience, baking the lighting for a level that contains a lot of trees takes literally forever. Like in 2 hours, only 5% percent of the lighting was baked. This was a real problem if I was to iterate a lot on this level. Sure, one could argue that you do not have to bake the lighting at every iteration of the level, and one would be right. But it would still take forever + 6 months to bake lighting if this is how baking the lighting behaves with only trees in the scenery: foliage would be a big pain, props would also be a pain to bake.

So, a little bit off on a tangent, that got me thinking about making photos for textures and how I need to have bad weather so that no weird shadows or anything other than flat lighting appear in the texture. And then it hit me: how about I make a level in bad weather? You know, grey clouds, almost thunderstorm skies. In that weather nothing has a shadow and it looks great, very moody. And then it hit me again: oh, how about fog and/or mist? A little bit of that fog on the trees looks absolutely amazing to me. That definitely set the mood right away. And that is how I ended up doing a foggy level.   

Now, this is not the final layout of the forest because I did this as a test. Trees don't have collision, so that is a big no-no. The path to the end of the level, while defined, I'm not really happy with it. But I'm really happy with the results and I'll continue working on these two levels.

That about sums it up for this update, guys. See you in the next post. Buh-bye

P.S. Hope this time around I'll post more often.
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