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Everything posted by I_smell

  1. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    This week I worked on the level select: ...Yeah I'm using Advance Wars assets, they're placeholder. The other stuff is fairly close to real, though. Today I took a crack at actually implementing Score: Why is there a high-score and a grade on each level? A scary thing about making a linear single-player game is that people are gonna stop playing when they get to the end. This might not work out, because typically you'll design a single-player campaign to be as long as it is fresh. When you've stopped introducing game elements, most people want to start wrapping things up. HOWEVER: Tough nuts like X-Com, Street Fighter, Devil May Cry or Bayonetta have deep systems with more to explore than the sum of their parts. Having an imperfect GRADE lets players know that there's more to find, without letting them know exactly what. It's a call to play more creatively and explore the mechanics or work up the skill ladder. The SCORE determines your grade, but it's much more granular. Which means it's more fit to be compared to other scores. I'm hoping it'll be a nice way to incite competition between friends and strangers without ever engaging in a multiplayer game... Although I hope they do that too! We can also see the world-record tick up point-by-point over time, so we can all get a sense of how the hive-mind community is doing, and where we sit on the grand scale of what's ABSOLUTELY possible in the game. How do I determine SCORE? I'm actually not very experienced with this, but here goes: Points are not rewarded for doing specific tricks in a match, like teammate ricochets or bank shots. That would just encourage skilled players to play in a convoluted way that lines up with my vision for what's cool- and that's a finite, shallow goal. That doesn't encourage creative, exploratory play at all. Instead, I set a WAGER at the start of a match: 10,000 points + (Number of enemy balls x 1,000). Then your SCORE, if you beat the level, is that wager minus Number of Turns You Took x 700. Plus the amount of health you ended the match with x 10 (Maximum health for each ball being 100). Plus the amount of health in your deck, which you decided to keep in your deck, x 12. Choosing only to weight your score based on the beginning and end of a match -HOPEFULLY- means that people will do whatever they can come up with to deal heavy damage in few turns, retaining all health. Your GRADE is basically your final score divided by that original wager. If you kept it at 100% or higher, that's an S rank. 90% is an A. 80% is a B, then C, and anything below 60% is a D. A lot of games rank your skill by giving you 1, 2 or 3 stars at the end of a level; like Angry Birds or Kingdom Rush. The only difference I can come up with between a grade and a number of stars is how people think about them instinctively from experience: Stars are collectibles, and can be stored up and cashed in. Maybe you'll need to spend them later- so it'll be less trouble to scoop them all up while you're here, than to hit a locked door later. A grade is a certificate that you're given. You don't take the test again immediately, you just accept that you passed with a C and move on. Maybe later you'll take another look just to acknowledge that you're improving. I guess what I'm saying is that a grade feels more like a reflection of your intrinsic progress, instead of hoovering up extrinsic trinkets. I'm still not sure if this is good! It seems to work in the early levels. I'd like if an S-rank were achievable on every level in the final game. We'll see.
  2. Game Dev Talks/Lectures

    Here's a GDC talk about the enemy AI in Sunset Overdrive (You'll remember which game that is when ya see it) The game is all about fast traversal, jumping, grinding, zooming around. So it's a challenge to come up with satisfying enemies in an open space that fight intelligently. If you're a fan of Sunset Overdrive, you might be even more interested in this talk that's basically about what the game ALMOST was: It was in-fact almost a much more boring game! This was during the back-half of Insomniac's FUZE development... just in-case that would add any context to Insomniac starting up work on a surprisingly boring game.
  3. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    This post is an accident, I deleted and then un-deleted the one above :x
  4. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    I don't know if anyone's interested in this, so I'm sorry if I'm just spamming, but here's my design process on the level select screen that I worked on today. I closed Unity and opened Flash. This is my preferred drawing software, I've used it since I was 14. I set the aspect ratio to my monitor, and try to only use different shades to denote focus, not get distracted colouring it in. My first idea looks like a snowboarding game, haha! I skewed the menu options up and to the right, because I worked on SpeedRunners for 3 years and old habits die hard. One problem with this layout might be that the list is finite, so what if I have 60 levels? I didn't fit enough game information on this screen, but it is very neatly divided between MENU on the left, and INFO on the right... so that came out well. The character is a person with their arms folded, with a circle made of circles for hair. I do wanna just go with the flow and put a lot of circles in the UI to keep the game's existing identity growing. I went back to making the globe a part of the navigation. Also now we've got characters yelling flavour text, which is something I definitely want. I made the level preview bigger and closer to the navigation, because thumbnails are easier to recognize than flicking through strings of text. Here's what's bad about this layout: Is it a menu? Where's level 1, 2 and 3? Do I go right to advance to the next option, or down? It's nice that the QUIT icon is in the top-right to better reflect the customs of software design, but how do I get there? The globe takes a back seat in this iteration, and I've added a score counter to the level name. I definitely want to track your score on each level and daily challenge. The name pins to the globe-point very well, and brings those to concepts snugly together. We're dividing the screen now between LEVEL INFO on the left, and FLAVOUR TEXT on the right. Even though the characters will give you a good impression of which units your about to face, it's quite loose and really they're just for personality and fun... so are they too big in this iteration? and is that text in the bottom-right supposed to be the charactrer talking, or the designer talking? This is the final iteration I'll make for today. You can progress through these levels by flicking left and right, we can see your progress through them, which ones are optional and which ones are new, the level name, thumbnail, score and flavour text are all neatly tied together... You can see that the most important asset is in the middle of the screen, and pieces get less important as they radiate outward. I think displaying your friends' score and world record in a news-ticker along the bottom helps it feel like it's being updated live. This is something I noticed in iterating on the awesome STREAMING NOW widget on the title screen on SpeedRunners. I hope it's not to distracting- but just distracting enough I could even use this screen for generating a random match, daily challenge and maybe previewing online games in a lobby if I just remove the timeline! We're not navigating a globe any more, or moving around a giant Mario World map, or running around a castle jumping into paintings... but it's very functional, and I can be proud of that. Can this expand to flick through 50+ levels? If I added an expanded level set a month later, would people find it? These are questions I'll tackle next time I have a free afternoon. Also it'd be healthy to just open a blank doc and make something completely different too.
  5. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    Oh thanks!! Sound Effects are something I do myself and always hope I'm doing a good job. I just knew I wanted them to sound like they physically exist, and not be sci-fi slot-machine sounds. They still need a lot more work. The grass is very low fidelity in these videos, it looks a bit better in-game (but still not good enough). It's a black-to-white color ramp of some grass, like this: and I just flow some particles over it telling it where to light up. The flowers are the same, except they also distort a bit and wave. You can see some experimentation with the grass here. I'd love to do , but I guess this is the limit of what I know how to do. Also... I do feel good that my grass is one polygon with a JPEG on it instead of a million. Here's an update: It's the very scary Thief unit!!!! Yes, he'll steal your red team!! I just finally got the AI working on this guy, after a long time, he finally rolls just within the perfect radius to steal you. Very scary. Over-powered? In the hands of a perfect computer, maybe so! You also see here the level select screen I implemented yesterday. I was so happy with the idea of spinning a globe around, and unlocking levels around a fictional, exciting world map-- but now that I've had a chance to sleep on it, maybe it should just be a normal menu instead :I Oh- and many UI changes, all the time, here's an example: The balls used to turn black when they were about to blow up. That meant that you actually couldn't see which team colour was dieing. Very stupid, in hindsight. Now their "face" actually gets smaller before they blow up instead, so you can definitely see which team colour they are.
  6. Very bizarre hearing Chris talk about DevGAMM. We basically share an office with the CEO, so I've heard some news about it every day for 3 years, also listening to Idle Thumbs in that time. It's true, there's a whole scene of talented developers in Russia, Poland, Ukraine... If you're at GDC thinking "Wow, all the developers in the world in one place!" then you're forgetting the hundreds of thousands that were declined a visa, or just can't speak English well enough to communicate with PAX or Gamescom or the Indie Megabooth. I don't have a good explanation for why it's called "DevGAMM", but for identifying it as a game developer's conference in Russia; it does sound right.
  7. The Big VR Thread

    Here's a funny clip of me juggling in the Steam VR demo, and very obviously dropping things. Then I play fetch with a virtual dog. I enjoyed playing the Steam VR example games for a bit. The catapult one is very fun, and has a lot of Portal humor and writing in it. Am I bad at archery, or is this game not calibrated right? I will never know. I was impressed with how well the technology works, but people can still mess with me in real-space. I can still clip a 3D cup through a 3D desk and watch it glitch around when I let go. The space we had to allocate was larger than the available space in any of our living rooms. The stuff is still too damn expensive. The Ikea VR Experience was very promising. There are only a couple choices, to change the colours of my cabinets and walk around, but I was still excited just to do that and judge my virtual kitchen. I think Ikea should definitely put a small team on developing their kitchen viewer app. Seeing this app was also exciting. People who don't know how to use 3D modelling software (which is arguably quite hard) can sketch out levels, prototypes, living rooms in a physical and accurate way. I always think of , but there are probably more relevant examples out there. I wonder if the convenience will ever out-weigh the massive barrier to entry, though.
  8. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    Oh I'd actually forgotten that I had screen shake. Here's an example of the enemy who freezes, just cos I haven't updated in a while.
  9. Game Dev Talks/Lectures

    I'm not a big fan of Extra Credits' video style, but wow this introduction to posing and animation is a great video. I really appreciate the work of breaking it all down. Actually, for those of you looking for something a bit more advanced, This Skull Girls animation talk from GDC was really really good:
  10. [DevLog] Monumental Failure

    As far as comedy physics games, I think you should play or take a look at Poly Bridge, Besieged, Kerbal and Home Improvisation. It might be difficult to come up with something that has real substance as a comedy piece, AND a challenging and interesting building game. Surgeon Simulator doesn't last very long, for example, but Kerbal is funny at first because it's actually SUCH a deep system. Try to find a strong usable identity now, in pre-production
  11. Playscape: Los Angeles - Patrick Miller

    Don't know about anyone else here, but I'm clicking the Download link and the Play button, and it doesn't work. Don't worry though, cos the episode does exist here.
  12. XCOM 2

    I stopped playing this game about 80% of the way through the campaign because my team was just stomping everything. So I felt like I wasn't really getting the intended experience. Actually, now that I type it out, maybe they designed for that? Thinking I would enjoy the end of the game that way? I dunno. I might start again on a harder difficulty or something when I have the time.
  13. [DevLog] Battle Snooker (Working Title)

    Actually what the heck I'll just post the older stuff here too: In this video, you can see a giant donut that whacks all units within it's radius every few seconds. Maybe you want to knock the enemy into there- but can you do it without landing there yourself? You can also see the electric pins that each team has stuck in the ground, and the red and purple teams' defense zones. If your ball is in it's defense zone, it'll take only half damage- so try to roll back there as much as you can! This video was recorded a while ago, and so doesn't have any special art or sound.
  14. Game Dev Talks/Lectures

    Thank you! I've been checking back at the GDC site waiting for stuff to go up. Wow,I was excited about seeing a talk on action games from Platinum, but theirs is very boring. I will definitely check out the ones that you linked instead!
  15. In-case you guys don't know, your "video-gaaaaaaames" bumper happens twice at the beginning of the show, and then once again in the middle of an ad at 31 minutes.
  16. Y'know it's also possible that the Far Cry 4 and the Far Cry Primal map are the same because Ubisoft has built so many open worlds that they're designing them with the same honed, efficient process, and they designed the same shape twice. Or maybe it's one big epic lore.
  17. XCOM 2

    Wow I wrote a short review, and then noticed it was exactly the same as above! I had a consistent crash-to-desktop when I entered a certain mission... but there was a solution on the Steam forums that helped. I had a bit of trouble understanding how the game worked in the first couple hours. Am I spending TIME time right now? Am I earning supplies for this? Is "intel" a resource I should be spending, I don't get it??? In that part of the game, I did screw up my builds to a sad degree and started again. If your good soldiers die, it can be a downward spiral. However, since I figured out the game's mechanics, I've lost missions and bounced back from it a couple times and really enjoyed the game.
  18. "Cars sucks." - A Pixar Thread

    I was just wondering where the whole idea for teleporting doors comes from, and of course it's obvious. That final scramble is the world's most intense Scooby-Doo door chase.
  19. Cartoons!

    On this topic I saw a funny GIF recently: nnnooooooooo! In watching Rick and Morty, I really enjoyed that it was animated like a Disney Channel or Nickelodeon cartoon, and not like other "adult cartoons" that make me sad. It was surprising and fun whenever a character would flip out and do something cool.
  20. "Cars sucks." - A Pixar Thread

    Monsters Inc is, I think, my favourite one of the lot too. It just feels like a brand new idea executed perfectly. Like Ghostbusters, or Star Wars or a Miyazaki film, it's a 90-minute peek into a fully realized, convincing, interesting new world. I think Monsters Inc achieves this the best, and I've grown to appreciate that it's a self-contained movie that just ends, unlike Star Wars. Yea Toy Story 2 is an excellent example of a sequel. The characters have grown up and changed, and we're diving deeper into stuff that was touched on in the first movie. Other-Buzz an Jessie are both cool "what-if" scenarios for Buzz and Woody to think about and respond to.
  21. wrong thread

    There's something not right about this thread...
  22. Plug your shit

    I'm quite happy with some of my recent SpeedRunners artwork. This is my next draft, and I'm looking forward to getting it done: Our game is about super-heroes zipping and swinging around a metropolitan city- I'm not gonna lie about it: sometimes I just use Spider-Man poses.
  23. From what I know about FIrewatch, it seems to be a game where you patrol a national park, track down misbehaving teens and yell at them. I assume it expands to like-- more and more rambunctious teens in the later levels.
  24. Kentucky Route Zero

    Is the next act the last one?
  25. When Chris is talking about the Anno companion app 5 minutes in, every time he uses the word "Energy" I forget that energy is an in-game resource and just think he sounds like a deluded work-slave maximizing the potential of the actual energy in his body.