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[Dev Log] Person Shaped Thing

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"Person Shaped Thing" (Working Title) is an old school point & click adventure game developed in Adventure Game Studio. A dead guinea pig and its test-subject buddies needs to escape a castle owned by a mad scientist to regain its freedom, but it won't be easy! Point & click your way through a Frankenstein-inspired castle in order to get away from the clutches of the mad scientist and put an end to his evil plans once and for all!

 

The game is being developed by me and CEJ.

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Today is the first day of the project. Me and CEJ mostly discussed what the game will be about and put together an initial game-design document. Due to the limited time-period we want to keep the story simple, so we decided on an escape-scenario where the player is an experiment who needs to break out of a lab owned by a mad scientist and his side-kick.

 

We will do this project very openly and try to describe our entire thought process. Some ideas will likely be scrapped or iterated upon, and it should be said that this is our first time using Adventure Game Studio, so technical mistakes is bound to occur.

 

The theme (idle thumbs episode name) we picked was "A person shaped thing is still a person", and our initial idea was basically "You are a monster who needs to dress like a human to fool another human to let you in somewhere". Right now our game is about a bunch of dead test-subject animals each with their own special ability who needs to cooperate to escape the castle. One of the puzzles is about tricking the mad scientist side-kick to let you out of the lab by dressing all of the animals up as the mad scientist, which is sorta related to the theme.

 

Here's some extracts from our current game design document:

 

Characters:
 

Guinea pig (Guinea five?) - Main character, has arm growing out of back
Evil Scientist - Antagonist, maniac, sadistic
"Igor" - Side kick to antagonist, stupid
Poodle - Depressed, chainsmoker
Cat - Buddy, Emits electricity, zaps itself sometimes

 

Rooms
What rooms are featured in the game?

  • Intro (Picture)
    • Old Frankenstein castle with a pet semetary sign in front of it. Sign in front of castle: “Pet-recycling inc.”
       
  • Animal lab/holding cell
    • Intro, evil scientist threatens to experiment on you, need to escape from cage.
    • Meet cat
       
  • Frankenstein-lab
    • Revive poodle with electric cat
       
  • Igor’s room
    • Trick Igor by dressing up as mad scientist, “Forgot key”!
       
  • Castle Main Hall (Exit)
    • Encounter with the evil scientist. Need to defeat him in order to escape.
       
  • Outro (Picture)
    • Animals escape the castle (That explodes for no reason?)

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Here are some images for reference and inspiration. We are currently talking about having retro graphics for the backgrounds something like Monkey Island.

I want to maybe figure out a color palette for the game too, it probably won't follow old school restriction though.

 

49-somi_1397.gif

Also some inspiration for the animals.

5mHxp8q-wZRYhB212mIN1PbZY8ZQJAIa8X6MoiMWdaSvpio5Q1KRRNnRoqNcQr03qWRFpK1cB7g68BtkUxJ8ZEc0xPP9t6YpwXTyJ-Z2WNkM3305XJ7_e83c2GTmdxYN5UPfiDn1rfkXUpRFKo5C9zvVahCx0YsWSyEaKP0NV-X5H2WHtYvC0yfB3Es_VEIwbPFAlwb9w0hJcvxYowl1IRK7Mg2JujZ1rlP0-wticO7TeCdf8Hn6kivoiwHgOOy6EtCp7uyrNeVs2iY-fsIiMPXK37L4zyQ5x3Wwqqqtu0dXGDRkMsdtKylQiCgObQMF1XE3nF4FYqxH9tnrVjNY1oDiOOHbFWk1mnDTrWJaWqZ242nb3DKsHvdbTFZZIBzZBOl4zWK8QRGYPsP7kM5EM7O_mzNPe4pYVAJioFdJR8WQFeTn5CSzTRADFVEkveqx26Pfzi0M8NvmZB3paaZML-5sm4LZ2JJMeLffersyM6e8LL0ezwD4vWdulLlW9yDD6wXnf_FmcZa23wbDDnTgCcbVXzF7gfWK

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In addition we will go for the Lucasarts-style when it comes to game-mechanics, so we're using the 9-verb MI-style template in AGS. Thanks to Proskrito, Abstauber and the rest of the 9-verb team for the template!

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Hey first bit of original content! I am painting the first room, still pretty rough but it'll get there I think. The player will start imprisoned in this room so the first puzzle is to get out of a cage basically.

dungeon_early_mockup.png.f6c23402c1b5dc3bb9811ce9e662b11d.png

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59347b71e7d01_Catchartest.png.6e65134c4d47630d17f95a4ba961f882.png

 

This is the first character test. I created the "electric cat" who is a fellow escapee. The cat is charged with electricity and you will need to use its electrical powers to solve one or more puzzles. The electricity building up inside the cat makes it discharge and electrocute itself from time to time, but apart from that the cat's a trusty and reliable companion who will help our protagonist throughout the game.

 

I'm planning on giving the cat more electrical features so its powers become more prominent.

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Hello!

 

It's getting a bit late, but here's a status report for the project.

 

Today I've been busy working on concepts for all the main characters in the game while CEJ have been working on lighting our prototype scene.

 

I decided to try out the silhouette-method of designing characters. It's very common in character design these days and is basically about focusing on the basic shapes of the characters before going into any detail.

 

I wanted the characters to be very varied in size, so I started out just drawing blob-versions of the characters to use as guides for when drawing the silhouettes. The idea was for the humans to be fairly large compared to the animals, and the animals should follow the sizes of their real-life counterparts (the dog is larger than the cat, the guinnea-pig is smaller than the cat etc.).

 

Character_sizes.jpg.88e6d66df41baba9b52c8595c8aee6de.jpg

 

After this I started to draw a clear basic shape of each character to make them easily recognizable.. It's nice to just use the pen-tool and the eraser-tool to sort of carve out the shapes, and it makes it easier to create shapes that doesn't "blob together".

 

Character_silhouettes.jpg.bec8a6d264e40e8c5d61903dc10a3130.jpg

 

After that I worked on filling in the shapes to create the colored characters. I also tried to convey the personality of each character since it's easier to explain concepts to others by showing them.

 

Character_color.jpg.6b1dd1cd394f61828f8a7f5ac109cbd3.jpg

 

I still have to work on the colors, but overall I'm pretty satisfied with the end-result.

 

Please feel free to leave any comments or feedback :)

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Loving those characters and the first room. You guys are doing great work!

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Wow! Ultra impressive!

 

I am hyped to play a point & click wizjam game! I can't think of a previous one, and it seems it would be a go-to genre given the Thumbs history, etc.

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9 hours ago, z_bill said:

Wow! Ultra impressive!

 

I am hyped to play a point & click wizjam game! I can't think of a previous one, and it seems it would be a go-to genre given the Thumbs history, etc.

The zombie train beyond earth series is the other PnC that comes to mind. I welcome more!

 

this is looking great!

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Thanks! As a person whom have never made an point and click adventure game it is quite fun.

 

We are still figuring out some stuff with the puzzles and story. We have a pretty good idea of how the game will play, we figured out a start, middle and end sort of arch for the it.

 

We have designed  ~mostly~ three puzzles so far, the last puzzle is still pretty vague, but the concept is pretty strong I think, hopefully we can do the concept justice.

 

This week I got the Surface Pro 4 (i7, 256gb, 8gb ram) so I have been figuring out how to work with that as well, which as been a bit of a time sink, but I think I have got it figured out now. As a person that have only really used a 7 year old wacom bamboo it is quite refreshing to be using this new thing for painting the backgrounds.

 

photowip.png.fc5a8d840528fb09dcbbc945e080c591.png

 

Also painting directly on the screen is dope yo. It would have been nice with some buttons on the thing though Microsoft!

 

 

593dd0e360b9d_Sketch(5).thumb.png.68e0d4a60a784418d4deb3e332a9ccdf.png

 

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18 hours ago, Jake said:

The zombie train beyond earth series is the other PnC that comes to mind. I welcome more!

 

this is looking great!

 

Jesus, @Jake, how about the one I made, which you starred in?

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1 hour ago, Ben X said:

 

Jesus, @Jake, how about the one I made, which you starred in?

That ones fine too I guess. 

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use HANDKERCHIEF on SINGLE ROLLING TEAR

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Thanks for the encouragement, it really helps! Here is just a quick update:

 

594057058ff5e_Sketch(9).thumb.png.1af9ee9712019a0db5ab23a0ca3a06ca.png

 

18 hours ago, phill said:

This looks fantastic! Really nailing those visuals :)

 

On 6/11/2017 at 6:23 PM, Jake said:

The zombie train beyond earth series is the other PnC that comes to mind. I welcome more!

 

this is looking great!

 

On 6/12/2017 at 7:09 AM, brendonsmall said:

This looks really good!

 

On 6/11/2017 at 9:09 AM, z_bill said:

Wow! Ultra impressive!

 

I am hyped to play a point & click wizjam game! I can't think of a previous one, and it seems it would be a go-to genre given the Thumbs history, etc.

 

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Yep, we definitly appreciate the support. Thank you guys! :tup:

 

I've started to add basic stuff to the scene such as walkable areas (with character scaling, meaning they get smaller the "deeper" into the scene they are) and "walk-behinds", which means you can now walk behind objects.

 

Walkable_area.jpg.e55bc67827a2053354ce52a48289fc9e.jpg

Walkable area

 

Walkbehind.jpg.fdbf483e71bbbe92acf0fdd4b9e56e53.jpg

Walk behind

 

Next up: Adding our characters to the scene and script some gameplay. B)

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Good evening! (At least in my case).

 

Really nice castle there CEJ! Very omnious! :devil:

 

Yesterday I used CEJs background to color-correct the characters. they were a bit too bright, so I made them slightly darker. Placing him in the scene I also realized that the professor was too tall, so I shrunk him down a bit.

 

5942f96f5b607_Dungeonandcharacters.jpg.a376ecade103aadbea7ef523496e5f2b.jpg

Character lineup

 

Today I imported the characters into Adventure Game Studio and populated the first room. I also added some initial dialog and a puzzle object (The blue cup to the right of the scene). It's supposed to be a chili, but I wanted to focus on functionality, so for now it's a blue cup. Also, I need to add another mask for the guinnea pig cage so that it's blocked by the iron-bars. Same goes for the cat's cage.

 

So far scripting is going smooth! The only problem I ran into was how to make the main character talk to the professors assistant (Now named Sarah) over a distance. The way AGS works by default is that the player will always walk over to the character it talks to. However, the player is supposed to be locked inside a cage and can't walk over to Sarah, so I solved it by disabling the character and adding a hotspot at her position instead. Works like a charm!

 

Early_gameplay.jpg.8e2ef416a553bd28667e056afc1626a5.jpg

 

Early in-game screenshot

 

Tomorrow I will try to add animations for the characters. For starters I'm going to focus on "idle" and "walk" with a chance of "talk" for each of them.

 

Cheers!

 

Now to get some sleep... :Z

 

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So we will not be able to submit a game for the deadline, buuut we still plan finish the game so here is an update!

 

This is the second room we call the laboratory. In the lab we will find the professor doing his twisted work and also the poodle inprisoned in one of the professors evil machines.

room2_laboratory.thumb.png.8208d552d9e3724c548eb8a2a9a0354a.png

 

Coming up is one more room we call the pet cemetary!

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I've been busy scripting gameplay mostly, but I also created a few animations for the guinea-pig. Here's a sneak peak :)

 

Guinea_pig_idle.gif.fde8d76eee7ffdf811799feeceef893d.gif

Idle

 

Guinea_pig_walk_it1.gif.0c71e86006ac811459a91782e663e0ca.gif

Walk

 

Guinea_pig_talk.gif.06ead31e1650ca44cbcb0ca82a7cf0b1.gif

Talk

 

I'm planning on improving the animations later, but this should work for starters.

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Good evening!

 

Yesterday me and CEJ had a productive discussion regarding the puzzles in the game which went on for a while, but will probably pay off for the game in the end. Creating puzzles for adventure games is no doubt challenging and it takes a while to get into the, uh... whimsical mindset required to design them. After bouncing a few ideas off each other (That grew more bizarre as we went on) we came up with a couple of nice puzzles that are quite off-beat and feels more in line with the logic of old Lucasarts-games. Creating those puzzles will probably add to the developement-time, but we feel it will be worth it.

 

We also decided to make the game less linear structurally. From the start we were going to create a row of rooms you walked through in order, but we decided to merge room 2 and 3 (An evil lab where you save the poodle and the hallway/castle exit which the professor will be blocking). Apart from quickly introducing the player to the main problem after you escape the prison (professor blocking the exit) it also give the world a more "open" feeling.

 

Today I was in a sprite-mood, so I created a sitting sprite for the professor's assistant. Enjoy!

Trainee_sit.png.cb44e03efb6a115c58f7bbc61cfe3a61.png

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Update!

 

I couldn't work this weekend due to the midsummer holiday, but today I created two animations for the trainee in the first room munching on a sandwich. The second animation is work in progress and will be a bit longer. I will finish it up this week at some point.

 

Trainee_eatsandwich02.gif.5046523ed548bc8cedf317cf9133bc79.gif

No time for lunch break. I got work to do!

 

Trainee_eatsandwich_chilifire.gif.20b70e262badacea0d100c71d05977ab.gif

Wait... that isn't a tomato!

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