brendonsmall

[RELEASED] The Convergence Compulsion

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Posted (edited)

 

Double Update:

Found a game-breaking bug where if you use the hacking tool, then press escape, sometimes you fall out of the level. You need to restart the game to fix it, though just press "continue game" to keep going where you left off! :) I will be fixing this ASAP.

 

Released an new version with some fixes:

-Added "sonic dome" visualization to throwable noise makers to make their effective radius more clear
-Fixed game-breaking "hacking then press escape twice then stop hacking" bug
-Made tool selection menu stay on screen a bit longer when selecting via number keys (does not delay when you can use tool)

 

Update: The game is out: https://itch.io/jam/wizard-jam-7/rate/271712

 

screenshot_00.thumb.jpg.939a820e3cdfbb6709f5034aa289934a.jpg

 

And here's a spoilery youtube video of the game, if you're keen: 

Spoiler

 

 

 

Hi all,


For Wizard Jam 7, I am going with "The Convergence Compulsion" (Important If True Episode 5: https://www.idlethumbs.net/importantiftrue/episodes/the-convergence-compulsion). The game will be some kind of first person walky/puzzly thing involving basic rooms to solve. I chose this episode because 1) Future-Dystopian Robot Garbage and 2) This game idea is sort of a convergence of a lot of games and idea parts into one glued together video game. 

 

My core goal of the jam is to prototype the basic mechanics of the game. By that I mean: Build the tutorial levels and see if this is anything at all. This is a game I want to make into a Real Thing™ in the near future, so this will basically be a 2-week proof of concept. I am hoping for some play testing feedback to validate the design and general feel. I want to decide if this idea is something or is it nothing.

 

I want the game to have:

 

  • Robots and Robotics (because organic things are hard for me to make)
  • Some hacking, bit-jacking, signal-jamming, mainframey hollywood computer stuff
  • Mild stealth elements (distract robots, line of sight basics, etc. Not a full hide in the dark and be quiet Thief system)
  • Smallish, puzzle-driven rooms (get from start to finish in each room, accommodate quick play sessions).
  • Quick Retry (see Hotline Miami, Quadrilateral Cowboy, surely many others)
  • Sliding Scale failure (see https://www.pentadact.com/2015-09-13-things-about-metal-gear-solid-v-spoiler-free/)

 


Sort of like a very lightweight version of Portal (see: Puzzle Rooms) with some Quadrilateral Cowboy-esque quasi-hacking and puzzle solving. With some of the "recon->plan->execute" feel from other games like Far Cries, Ghost Recon, etc.

 

The genesis of this idea is my love for meta-game content in many games such as Far Cry 2 and 3's "Capture the outpost" type stuff, along with some action/tactical/strategy planning feelings from games like Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six. I want to allow the player to look at each room all they want, plan their approach, then try their plan. I want a small amount of RNG/Chaos so that plans can never be absolutely perfect, and have some sliding scale failure modes so that even when your plan goes to hell you might still laugh and have fun. I also want the game to be *just* this stuff. So instead of a 100 hour AAA open world shooter with really great meta game content, I want to just focus on the meta game content. Is this even a real thing? Does it makes sense? I don't know.

 

Some sample intro/tutorial/scenario stuff I've thought about so far:

 

  • You start in a room. You can see the exit ahead. There is a robotic turret between you and the exit, facing away from you. You have one [distraction device]. Throw the device to the left so the turret looks at it. Run past the turret to the exit.
  • You start in a small hallway in a room and there is a turret looking at you, it begins to shoot at you, but hits the bullet proof glass (hey cool, there's bullet proof glass in this game). You learn that 1) Robots will shoot you if they see you 2) They can see you through glass 3) They cannot shoot through the glass. You move behind a solid wall to get into the main part of the room, and the robot stops shooting. You learn that robots won't shoot you if they can't see you.
  • You get a [hacking device]. You approach a turret from the back so it can't see you, and hack into it, locking its aim at another robot. You undock from the turret and alert it to your presence, it starts to fire. It can't turn, so it shoots the other robot.

 

I've been paper prototyping the levels and "guys" on graph paper with some generic board game bits. I hope to have something to show for it at the end of the 2 weeks. It won't be polished, but I hope it's fun. At the very least I want to know if this idea is worth investing more time into. We'll see!

 

 

 

Edited by brendonsmall
Game Released (and patched!)!

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Okay, so I've got my baseline code repo established and have started fiddle with stuff. Hooray for new projects :)

 

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Good luck with this! Will play/playtest for sure :tup:

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So small update: I got a basic "lego brick" turret thing working. This is a simple problem, but one that I wanted to solve in a flexible way. In the gif you can see the turret can be moved and rotated and its "bounds" can also be moved dynamically and it behaves as it should. The good news is that I can use this same thing on patrolling robots, cameras, as well as stationary things. The "bounds" are relative to the object, so it effectively behaves as "+/- N degrees".

 

Turret.gif.b4c466aa390f0202daf1807de0b46e53.gif

 

Also picked up the UCLA Wireframe Shader (https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/vfx/shaders/directx-11/ucla-wireframe-shader-21897) for the "view frustrum" and it's pretty easy and good.

 

 

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Ok, got some basics working


(the turret sees and ignores the soup can, sees the "pink distraction cube" and scans it for a sec, then sees the player and shoots the player)

TurretScanningTest.gif.93aee895a533dcd8b727bbca347f5f96.gif


Frame rate on the gif is terrible, but it captures the idea i think :)

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Made a patrolling robot to join the static turret robot. Now to bridge the gap between "hey neat, robots" and "how do I make this fun".

 

Patrolling.gif.e9b3c21a27cd786ba8dca5077f3901bd.gif

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The example scenario and the last few gifs (in particular the one with the throwable distraction) are really evocative. Can't wait to play this.

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Hey so something is happening with this now. Thanks to travis in the WJ slack for the hot displacement scoops.

 

ThrowArcWorkingIsh.gif.98d3c72264496b70d6f3c51de27fbedd.gif

 

The code is nightmarish at the moment, but I can clean it up tomorrow. Woo!

 

Also maybe some kind of casual cool Techno Disc that can spin and slide, like 

vaultDisc.jpg.ee7c9f4dbbe2ad36bab88841828c22f1.jpg

 

 

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Looking great, it seems like you've got enough systems in there now to start making some neato puzzle rooms to move through. Also love seeing how other people greybox to different extents as they go.

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Some improvements on the "throwing arc" test (apologies for the gif quality):

 

ThrowArcBetter.gif.3bdec0ad43caa71f3334c24e77bb76f8.gif

 

I think the sliding/rolling of objects will help add to the feeling of imperfect in execution. Basically "yes it will land here, but physics wins so deal with your grenade rolling down the hill" or whatever.

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Good work! The throwing arc looks pretty natural to me.

 

A flat plane combined with the default skybox of Unity and gif compression is an aesthetic that I have seen quite a lot lately. I kinda like it. :P

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This looks satisfying! You could make the sliding/physics part of a puzzle so you have to throw the disc somewhere where it slides down to the needed location or something

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14 hours ago, Nappi said:

A flat plane combined with the default skybox of Unity and gif compression is an aesthetic that I have seen quite a lot lately. I kinda like it. :P

 

Haha, yes it's very distinctive. Reminds me of: 

 

 

9 hours ago, fabian said:

This looks satisfying! You could make the sliding/physics part of a puzzle so you have to throw the disc somewhere where it slides down to the needed location or something

 

That's a great idea. Like slide it into a vent or under a surface to set off another action. Or slide it down a vent so it falls into a room you can't get to to distract a robot that you otherwise couldn't pass. Hmmmmm I like this.

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I have a very basic and terrible game loop. You can beat levels. It's no fun yet, but an important step.

 

BasicLevels.gif.43760137ab6f782b1e5fc36db9752b2f.gif

 

Note that the second level turret shoots me (player cannot die yet).

 

Also need to figure out how to hide the "throw arc" once you throw so you don't have to "put away the throw tool" as a secondary step. Maybe some kind of two stage throw (like press and hold to aim, then let go to throw), but also need to support aborting the throw altogether. Hmm.

 

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This is looking quite impressive. You've come a long way already. I'm looking forward to following along more.

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Nothing visually exciting today, but the saved game system is working. You can "beat the game" now in a fully saveable UI-driven way. Now to add some more content between "New Game" and "You Win" :)

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Making a "id software" player death screen. I also want to make the player fall over randomly as part of it. Full "Rigidbody on a bouncy head cam" might be too much though.

 

PlayerDeath.gif.c957dd2e6d89ee8eb0b1f4b3eaefda97.gif

 

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Got some major work done today on Fiddly Bits

 

First, re-worked "Cinematic Hints" system to be a bit more forgiving and delightful (the hint is akin to "hey bub, look at that shiny pink cube over there!"):

 

CinematicHint.gif.75ddf244eb6f4dd80c31d23e543b67b1.gif

 

 

Second, a "Cutscene" helper (note the quality placeholder "[Cutscene]" stencil/stamp):

CutsceneTest.gif.9f3ed85b169bcfbc95b3517f3fce58aa.gif

 

And last, a "Tool Selection" menu that you can use with the mouse wheel. Not sure where the final UI will be, but you can select with keyboard (number keys) or the mouse wheel:

 

ToolSelectionWithMouseWheel.gif.546037fa5b1ec0f883a2ed318532b7a9.gif

 

It wraps (if on Interact and scroll "next", it selects Hack), and hides itself as it selects the chosen tool. Snazzy!

 

 

 

 

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