New to creating games, mainly modders.
Solution: Use Unity.
Only if you have ignored literally every other word in the post.
Jump to content
Posted by JustinS on 05 February 2016 - 08:32 AM
New to creating games, mainly modders.
Solution: Use Unity.
Only if you have ignored literally every other word in the post.
Posted by JustinS on 01 December 2015 - 03:36 AM
This is a turn-based RPG/RTS (EDIT: A friend just asked me one question: "Since it's not a tabletop anymore, why does it have to be turn based?" I couldn't answer that, so now it's not turn-based anymore.) with an isometric viewpoint, with a focus on player choice and consequences, with realistic gameplay, a hostile environment and powers far above the player's ken. The game starts off small, with a number of smaller stories and questlines, which eventually get larger. Eventually you have a number of mutually exclusive faction questlines, choosing from one of four factions that are fighting over the region. These four, I should mention, will refuse to work together or even to not be immediately hostile to one another, even in the face of a mutual enemy they both hate much more than eachother.
The story starts with an attack on the player's hometown. The town's defences crumble quickly, and the player is forced to flee. The player's party (and possibly some NPCs, see "difficulty") flees, and ends up going through a tunnel and ending up in a concealed valley a couple miles away. The trip includes some minor scuffles with a few pests, but nothing serious. The tunnel entrance is collapsed behind them, so there's no way back.The game now instructs them to start work on a home base, with materials available throughout the valley. (Which, as luck would have it, was a lumber farm.) After constructing a small home, the player is allowed to leave.
This first bit is the only part of the story that the player has to go through, and it's used as the game's tutorial, each step teaching the player a different mechanic. The next post will probably be a step by step walkthrough of the first area.
I should note at this point that even the concept is a work in progress, and is open to feedback. It isn't like I plan on starting development tomorrow. Probably more like February.
There's a number of difficulty settings to this game, which are can be turned on or off when you make a new game, and cannot be changed afterwards.
1. No needs.
2. Food only.
3. Food and water.
4. Food, water and sleep. (Default)
2. On. (Default)
2. Dismemberment only.
3. Crippling only.
4. Crippling and dismemberment. (Default)
2. Armour only.
3. Armour and weapons only.
4. All equipment. (Default)
1. Minor illnesses only.
2. No terminal illnesses.
3. All diseases. (Default)
1. None. (Default)
2. Stamina damage. (This means the default stamina damage from attacks cannot be mitigated, though the rest can.)
You are also responsible for creating your party, and it can be as many as eight characters or as few as one, at your discretion.
There's three different systems of currency in-game, which are accepted in different places. These are Royal Marks, Imperial Measures and People's Tokens.
Royal Marks (M) are the standard currency of the elven Crown in the east. They are the most commonly traded currency, accepted everywhere at full value and is the currency you start with. The iron penny (plural pence) is the least valuable currency in the game, and is 0.01M (about $0.10 USD), meant to be used for small purchases and as change. The bronze Mark is the base unit of currency in this system, supposedly equal to the daily needs of a single peasant, but with inflation is really just enough for that peasant to buy a day's worth of food. (Adult villagers at home, conveniently, consume a single Mark each day by default.) The larger units of currency in this system are the silver Nobles, which are the supposed daily "needs" of a single noble and are worth 100M, and is also the ridiculous daily retainer nobles receive from the crown. (Note: These retainers are delivered annually, and in exchange they do any work the crown needs them for. Usually management and government rolls, though many are military officers as well.) The largest, of course, is the gold Royal, the largest unit of currency in the game and 10,000M. This is the amount each member of the royal family gets each day, when any particular member is likely going to do absolutely nothing of value on 90% of them.
Imperial Measures are the standard currency of the troll Empire in the west. They are accepted in the west and in the north, but the east and south will never accept them. There's only one unit here, the Measure, and it's worth 0.1M. Measures are also found in Kilo-Measure notes, which are of course 1,000 measures or 100M. A Measure is a completely arbitrary fiat currency, backed only by the word of the church. As a result, it is worthless in the south and east, and even in the north has only 10% value.
People's Tokens are units of currency used by the Oceanic Republic in the south. Cai pay for all of their citizens' basic needs (water, shitty food and community housing), and these Tokens are received for work and cover any additional, non-standard needs. The only official jobs are government run, and there's always openings available both hourly and by commission. Each token is roughly equal to half of a Mark, and while only accepted at full price in the south, in the north they still retain 50% of their value.
All of these exchange rates are dictated largely by the Free Bank, which sits in the middle of the map, holding over 60% of the wealth of the Republic and nearly 40% of the wealth of the Crown. They trade in all three currencies, and the rate at which they exchange currencies is the reason the north accepts currencies for the given values, as that's how many Marks they're worth at the Free Bank, and the Mark is the dominant currency in the region.
As they are mutually exclusive and the source of most late-game quests, it's important to cover factions now.
Officially the Kingdom of Etmen, the Crown is a kingdom of men and high elves on the east side of the map. The Crown's royal family is made up of stubborn fools, and the current King Etmen is a violent, vicious idiot who punishes dissent with death. The King's Forest, leading up to the capital city, has been cleared to make room for a forest of tens of thousands of the King's impaled enemies. This grisly policy has given the king the title "The Forest King", or outside his kingdom "The Impaler". He was responsible for the current war with the Oceanic Republic, who he invaded because he felt they were too close and too powerful to not be under his rule. It was also news of his forest of impaled enemies that gave the trolls' Holy Empire an excuse to declare war on Etmen. Even his own people don't care for him, though saying so in public could get them killed, and many conspire to assassinate him behind his back. Unfortunately, the rest of his family is more competent than he is, and their tradition that an act against one of them is an act against all of them keeps them from joining the conspiracy, making it unlikely The Forest King will be unseated any time soon without outside intervention. (Note: If you get deep into The Crown's questline, you DO get the option to either assassinate The Forest King or turn in the conspirators. Your choice.)
The Holy Empire is an expansionist nation in the west, comprised primarily of two kinds of people: Trolls and slaves. The trolls have a theocratic government follow strict and barbaric religious law that forbids almost everything good and decent in the world, punishes many crimes with mutilation or death, and strictly forbids free speech and religious freedom. Their list of crimes punishable by death (read this, it is observed in-game) includes murder, treason, apostasy, heresy, blasphemy, dissidence, insubordination, failure to observe religious festivals and fasts (though there are extenuating circumstances), homosexuality, adultery, abortion, consumption of seafood, imbiding any of a list of stimulants and hallucinogens (they have no problem with depressants or alcohol, if consumed after dusk outside of religious festivals), wearing warm colours without church permission, occultism, arcane magic without the express permission of the church, grave robbery, use of crossbows or gunpowder, and desecration of corpses, even of enemies and those who committed capital offences. Their immensely overzealous worship of a series of trollish prophets, many of which never existed to begin with, is widely mocked and there's little evidence their god itself actually exists, unlike the gods of many other religions who make their presence known on a regular basis. What little can be seen of their god is not pleasant, and the "servants" he supposedly sends are violent, xenophobic zealots just like the Emperor himself, with little evidence of the deity supposedly giving them their orders. It is entirely possible these "servants" fabricated the deity entirely, and are the only higher beings in the church. The emperor sees the conflict in the region as being of great importance, as the Free Bank, Oceanic Republic and Kingdom of Etmen are each more powerful than any nation that they've conquered in over a century, and their chaos is this emperor's opportunity to end his empire's 120 year losing streak.
The Oceanic Republic:
The Oceanic Republic is a socialist republic in the south. It is the nanniest nanny state that has ever existed, expressly forbidding many drugs that are "too dangerous" for its people to imbide, outright banning most weapons within cities and some being banned entirely within its borders, hate speech, discrimination, harassment and many other things that are unenforceable and make them look foolish and incompetent when these things happen anyway, laws be damned. Even so, this nation is the second wealthiest in the region without having to be seated right on top of a huge supply of precious metals, has the most powerful navy (it's called the "oceanic" republic for a reason), has a working democracy and by far the highest standard of living in the region, if you can tolerate their laws. And the reason for this is in addition to being a nanny state, they're also a socialist republic. They pay for their people's housing, give them rations and clean water, free medical care and higher education, even basic income. However, what they provide is the barest minimums humanly possible, and having even the smallest luxuries requires work. This means they aren't dependent on their work, but they always want it and it's always available. Which, in the end, actually leads to *higher* productivity, better worker's rights and more money in the hands of the consumers, which is good for the economy. And the government that paid for all that recoups much more than it spends through taxes which would, in other circumstances, be intolerably high. (20-30% for private citizens and 20-40% for businesses.)
The northern section of the island, and the player's homeland, Free Etmen split off from the Crown 15 years ago in a rebellion motivated by a rise in taxation and the ravages of a war with the Oceanic Republic that had started two years prior. This rebellion was successful, but was also what angered The Forest King enough for him to start his policy of impalement. Free Etmen is a loose federation of city-states and neutral villages with no over-arching government. Some settlements are monarchic, theocratic, democratic, oligarchic, anarcho-syndicalist, feudal, tribal or even truly anarchic, the town the player came from being anarcho-syndicalist (all governmental decisions being decided by citizen committee, consisting of whoever could be bothered to show up), and the player's new town being run however the hell they want. The only thing holding Free Etmen together is an alliance between its settlements stating that an attack on any of them is an attack on all of them, and they are all to rush to one another's aid in times of crisis. Which they do rather well, even if they were late to the party in your case. (Though yours *was* a border town with the Empire.) Their freedoms vary, their standards of living vary, and while some of them are wonderful some others are repulsive and they're still bound by treaty to stick together.
In the end, the faction you end up supporting is up to you. And really, it depends on which form of government you personally prefer.
As mentioned, the game is a real-time isometric RPG. If you've played any, you probably have a pretty good idea how the UI is structured. However, it has RTS sections. Your home-building is RTS, as are battles. The differences are almost non-existant, except that you spend a lot of time ordering units, building/reinforcing structures and fighting skirmishes where your party *and* local NPC "units" are on your side. Many of the individuals of a unit type are even very close to being the same, with only minor changes being made to the template every now and then. The units have a high rate of not being the default sex, occasionally they might be younger or more often older than the default age, they will sometimes be a totally different species, they might have a trait that isn't normally common in that unit type, sometimes they have one of their secondary pieces of equipment swapped for something else, but every one of them has something that makes them slightly special and a random name after their unit's title. This is done mostly for immersion, to reinforce the illusion that these units are characters, and does NOT mean that there aren't a lot of unit types, OR that units cannot level. There are, and they can.
For the most part, though, you will be without your units. And that might be for the best, given that you have less control over your units and most of the game doesn't call for extra manpower. But rest assured, if you feel like using brute force, you can bring small army as long as you have a small army to bring and are willing to take them away from whatever they were doing before. Which probably means leaving a settlement less defended than usual. Which is risky, to say the least, as enemies are both more likely to attack and will do more damage when you are understaffed. For the most part, though, bringing infantry is simply too expensive and too risky and you'll have to resolve issues directly with your dedicated party members, or by yourself. Remember, dedicated party members can *always* be sent home, and there's no set leader that you have to keep in the party either and more is NOT always better, so the fact that you can have 8 player-generated characters doesn't mean you should have all 8 of them in the party all the time.
As you progress throughout the game you get a number of rewards, many of which are directly related to the RTS elements of the game. The ability to order new unit types as you earn favour with factions is one common example. Getting a few units for free is another, as is getting resources for your home base. You can also build resources in the background, tasking people in your settlement to gather resources you might need, and can hire units with Marks, though all of them have an upkeep cost. Trained animals, especially dogs, are also common units available. Monsters are also common. Animals generally do exceedingly poorly in combat, your basic infantry units can kill an entire pack of dogs single-handedly, and monsters actually aren't much better, so for the most part you will be relying on sapient, weapon-using NPCs in battle. That does not, however, mean animals are useless. Generally animals are used for their particular skills. Dogs, for instance, are used as lookouts and sentries (with handlers, of course) as well as search and rescue.
In addition to sapient PCs, you can also have animals or even monsters in your party. They usually take up partial party slots, and some of the monsters are pretty strong early in the game, but for the most part they are inferior to an actual party member overall and only used either for the same unique abilities that make you purchase them for your settlements or just because you happen to like them. A dog in the party can help you with its excellent senses, for example.
The gameplay is extremely realistic, and plenty of things that would fly in other games just will not fly here. For example, taking a musket ball through your bare chest isn't something you'll just walk off. Significant injuries cause body damage and can cripple, when seriously injured you will start bleeding and this can be fatal, many wounds have special, debilitating effects, plenty of injuries will seriously impair you either long before they kill you or maybe even without killing you at all, some injuries that don't impair you immediately can kill you if given time, many injuries can have effects long after the fact, with infection being the most common example, and even if an injury is nothing serious, it will stick with you for a long time and small injuries can start adding up pretty quick.
In the end, the main point of this game is to provide hardcore gamers with deep and difficult tactical gameplay, and an immersive world full of characters and stories they'll still be thinking about when the game is turned off. Let me know what you think.
Posted by JustinS on 18 November 2014 - 12:30 PM
This is a bit each of writing and game design, so I don't really know which to place it under. If the mods move it, that's okay. Basically, I've got the synopsis of a game outlined, and the general design of each stage planned out. So here's what I've got, and I'm hoping just for general feedback.
I'm not going too deep into it, so here's a basic summary. Europe has been through a lot. First in 1984 the USSR rolls through the Fulda gap with more tanks than god and takes the whole place over, then they hold Europe for six years, then in spring of 1990 the USA nukes the place to hell and back and invades, then in winter of 1990 the USSR nukes it right back and just leaves it lost. The USSR undergoes a military coup that prevents it from reclaiming Europe, and is now under a new regime, known as the Socialist Republic of Russia. Later, the USA splits apart into the American Republic and the loyalist United States. All three of these parties are involved in a humanitarian operation is Europe, trying to repair the damage they did, for various reasons. The SRR knows it can strengthen its economy and get the faith of the people doing such a "noble" thing, the USA is being forced to do so by the AR and Japan (the latter forcing them to do this being why they split), and the AR is doing it because it is allied with Japan, which wants the damage repaired, and the EU, which is the damaged party. As well as it was going at first it's slowed down massively now and huge sections of Europe are still unlivable (but no so bad as to be impassible), and that looks like it's going to be the state of things forever.
It is now 2015. The SRR has decided since it didn't do most of the damage, did do most of the clean up work, and has had a stronger presence in central Europe for a while now, it's just going to take Germany from the EU. The EU isn't so fond of that idea, and between them, their Japanese and American Republic allies (the loyalist US stayed out of it and just took it as their cue to duck out of the cleaning) they have decided to show Ivan the door. Most of Germany is now a war zone, on top of being a heavily irradiated pseudo post-apocalyptic wasteland with horrible monsters and extreme weather conditions. And guess where you live.
The player character is a custom character, so here's the only consistent things:
1. They are a child. Their exact age, sex and appearance are all up to the player, but they're a child.
2. They live completely alone, in an old house. It seems likely this was always their home, but what happened to any other inhabitants the house may have had is left to the player's imagination or lack thereof.
3. Their resources are quite substantial, and they have the means to collect more. The food in the house alone would last the itty bitty player months (of course, at their size they don't eat much), and the presence of fresh meat and loaded firearms implies they can hunt. Which is totally a mechanic in the game, by the way.
Your house is located in the Black Forest, Germany. The map around your house is one kilometre by one kilometre and is one of very few hand crafted areas in the game. There's a toolshed, a garage with your little dirtbike, a treehouse, slide, swings, monkey bars... If all this is for just one kid you are spoiled rotten, but that may be the case. There's woods out back, and a house a little ways off full of zombies that are likely the source of the meat in your fridge. Don't think too hard on that. Normally, there'd be more outside of this area, but all directions are blocked by snow drifts and it's still snowing.
You can get clothes from your dresser, or if you'd prefer armour there's a tiny motocross outfit in your closet. There's backpacks, coats, weapons of various forms, and of course there's toys. Most notably, a little dirtbike out back just the perfect fit for you.
Sometimes, you may spot a child that looks just like you, staring directly at you and non-verbally expressing an emotion associated with the act, either in the distance or hidden in the scenery. Their appearance means you completed the hidden objective for that act.
Sometimes, you may spot a figure in the distance. He wears a thick black cloak, has large white angelic wings, gripping a sword, with gall dripping from its tip. He can be seen, staring directly at you, either in the distance or hidden in the scenery. His appearance means you failed to complete the hidden objective for that act.
The player wakes up in their bed at 9:00 AM. When you first start off, you have no clothes and no items, so you'll have to collect them from the house as you go. As the loading screen text said, something is different today. It feels... Wrong. Ominous, even. Something bad is going to happen. And indeed, something bad happens. Five times, with increasing severity.
1. First, your player wakes up hungry and thirsty. Easy to take care of, teaches you to handle that part of the game. This actually teaches you that you have needs to manage, how to get food/water, and even shows that crafting (in this case, cooking) is possible.
2. Second, right from the start, a pack of stray dogs comes into their yard and stalk around, attacking the little one if they see them. But hey, more meat for the fridge. Wouldn't want the little one running out would we?
3. Ten minutes after the dogs come through, a stranger, a looter, approaches the house and starts trying to steal the truck. Get them to stop, or let them take the truck. Or just talk to them. They'll reveal they're a father themselves, and while they can't take you in themselves they offer to come back and pick you up later if they can take the truck, and they'll take you to the looter compound where you can get a place to say and don't have to live alone anymore. Sadly, that will never happen.
4. Twenty minutes after the looter comes to steal the truck (thirty minutes from the start of the game), the snow picks up massively and starts snowing you in.
5. Thirty minutes after the snow picks up (an hour from the start of the game) a group of German soldiers come bursting into the house, being chased by Russian soldiers. The gunfight between the two parties becomes really intense really fast, and after a while once all the Russians are dead a roaring noise can be heard coming from the east and getting closer, then passing overhead to the west. The German soldiers panic, running for shelter and scrambling at the snow banks, but never make it over them. A blinding flash erupts over the map and the prologue ends.
While I've changed it so you don't have to make a new file due to any number of deaths later, if you die in the prologue you will still have to completely restart. If you haven't figured out why by the end of this thread, you aren't good at reading subtext.
You wake up in your bed at 10:00 AM, everything looking exactly like the previous day, only the snow drifts to the west are clear. This is the start of the real game. You retain everything you had on you, even though you're in bed. Everything from the previous day is exactly the way it was just before the soldiers arrived, except the western snow drifts are gone and you can now walk west. Heading westward (and up to 45 degrees north or south, from the edges of your square) you pass through procedurally generated areas with randomized events and encounters, as the rest of the game (save act 5's area) will be. In this case, it's all nice, semi-rural areas like your home.
This area represents denial. It's peaceful and all. Enemy encounter rate is pretty low at this point in the game, though it rises the farther out you get. There isn't much of an environmental hazard, you don't get snowed in like yesterday. There's no real danger in this area and nothing special about it. You start this actin perfect health, but every time you die you go back to the last time you rested and start again in worse condition. After five deaths, it's game over and you must completely restart the act, but that's unlikely to actually happen.
This act's main objective is to reach a square ten kilometres dead west from you, which is pre-built. This square looks exactly like your own home, but everything is destroyed, levelled. Your house, the neighbour's house, the shed and garage, the treehouse, all destroyed and on fire. There is a corpse, a small, burnt corpse, in the middle of it. Approach it, and the act ends. This act's hidden objective is to live out a full day without dying.
You are treated to a cutscene, with the perspective of an unknown object. This object is stored in a dark place, with a loud roaring noise on either side of it. A light suddenly comes from below, and it's falling from a great height, through the clouds. You can now see its target, a house with a garage, a shed, a treehouse, another smaller house a little ways off, a slide and a swing set in the back yard. As it gets close enough for the player to realize that's their house, the scene ends in a bright flash.
You wake up in your bed again at noon, in a cold sweat. You're not feeling so well. They get up, still with anything they had on when they went to bed and everything else (within your kilometre) is where you left it. This time, the eastern snow drifts are the only ones gone. Your only option is, obviously, to head east into more procedurally generated terrain. This time, it's trenches, battlements and military outposts, all destroyed and covered in danger and death.
This act represents anger. It is the most combat-oriented chapter. The environment isn't especially damaging and there's few NPCs to talk to, just the most enemies of any act. There's many more spawn points (but the same spawn chance per point) on each square of the map. If you failed to complete the hidden objective of the previous act, you'll start off just as damaged as if you had died once in the previous chapter and thus only have four lives in this one and an overall harder time. Otherwise, you'll be perfectly fresh.
This act's main objective is to reach a square ten kilometres dead east of you, also hand-crafted. Here, you'll find a mansion made of bones and a very bizarre man. A very tall, fat man. He wears a suit woven from the flags of the major world powers, wears a monocle with a watermark of the UN emblem, smokes a cigar rolled out of money, and after each puff blows a smoke ring shaped like a mushroom cloud. He drinks blood out of a wine glass, served to him out of a wine bottle by a blind Russian soldier with a bloody rag covering his eyes. Soldiers from China, Korea, the EU, the AR and Japan tend to his mansion. He sits on a "throne" made of similar soldiers from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Third World Union and the X Empire, on their hands and knees to support his immense weight. The fat man has his soldiers' eyes decorating his rings. At each side of him sits a vicious attack dog. He introduces himself as "War", and orders his minions to kill you. No matter how the fight goes the chapter ends when either you or he is dead. This act's hidden objective is really straightforward. Win the boss fight with War.
You are treated to another cutscene, the previous one, ending with a jump cut after the flash to before the fight, to your character's perspective on the ground, sitting in the truck with the looter as he drives off south, well away from the house.
You wake up in your bed once more, now at 3:00 PM. You get the drill by now. If you succeeded both of the optional objectives from the last two chapters, you'll be in perfect condition all around. Failed one, you start damaged and effectively have four lives. Fail two, damaged more and effectively have three lives. Easy enough. This time, the south snow drifts are the only ones open. And there's, you guessed it, more procedurally generated terrain. This time, semi-abandoned suburbs.
This act represents bargaining. This is a social act, with lots of NPCs to interact with. Normal enemy rates, normal environmental conditions. Your actions in the prologue have a huge effect on this. If you accepted the looter's offer, he'll show up in the truck and offer you a ride, making it easy to get to the act's destination area. If you talked to him but didn't accept, you'll at least have a note that allows you free, unrestricted entry with no hassle. If you attacked him, you'll have nothing but shame. There are a lot of merchants in this act, especially at the looter compound.
The main objective of this act is to reach the looter compound and get a permanent place to stay there, where it's safer and you aren't alone anymore. This is a breather act, it's really just meant to help you replenish after the previous act. Once that's done, all you have to do is leave the compound and the act ends. When you do, you'll find yourself inexplicably back home, right at the south edge of the home square, staring right at your house. When you turn around, the snow banks are back and you can't return to the looter compound even if you were willing to trek 10km back there. Go to bed, and the act ends. The hidden objective is to meet the family of the looter from earlier.
You are treated to another cutscene, it plays the bit from the previous cutscene where you get a perspective from inside the truck as the looter drives south, but then it jump cuts to your character's perspective as they watch him drive off, alone, leaving them behind.
You wake up in your bed at 7:00 PM and... You get the drill. And you can go north this time. The procedurally generated terrain this time is all barren wasteland, where the occasional bit of shelter is ruined and everything around is dead. Radiation everywhere, driving snow, terrible visibility and cold as a witch's tit in a brass bra in the dead of winter in the Antarctic.
This act represents depression. There's really nothing you can do but go north, and you'll find nothing there. Normal resources, normal enemy count, normal NPC count, but the environment is by far more dangerous than normal. It deals much more cold damage than usual, it even deals a little bit of kinetic damage, it restricts your vision and slows your movement, and it's all slightly radioactive to boot. There's also radioactive patches as you travel that should be avoided lest you irradiate yourself and get sick, and the snow is so thick your dirtbike is basically unusable.
Your main objective is to reach a square ten kilometres north, where once again you find your house destroyed. And this time, the fires are all out, it's irradiated, and all covered in snow. Find the little corpse again, and the act will end when you leave the square. The hidden objective is to die in that square, instead of leaving.
This time, the cutscene shows the bit where you watch the looter drive away, and then you go into the back yard, listen to the roar and stare up at the sky until the flash ends the cutscene.
You already know how this act starts, same as all the others, just at midnight. Only now, there's no open snow drifts. This means you're stuck in your starting area, and nothing is procedurally generated. This act, of course, represents acceptance. This one has a series of objectives, instead of a single one.
1. As soon as you stand, an invisible creature starts moving around downstairs. It's blind, but its other senses are strong and it's of decent strength. It mostly sticks to the kitchen, where it is presently looting your fridge. You will have to sneak past it or fight it in order to exit the house. Once you do exit the house, a number of extremely fast skeletal canines arrive and start searching the premises for you. Fight them or avoid them.
2&3. These two can be done in either order.
Check the front, and you'll see the truck drive off without you again, this time without a driver.
Check the balcony upstairs, find the telescope. Peeking through it will show a figure, distant on the horizon. Azrael. Once you see him, he vanishes if you look away. Turning around will reveal he is right behind you, but when you look he vanishes again. Up in the clouds, there is a disturbance, the clouds vanish and the moon is visible, and he can be seen up there. He doesn't leave this spot, but the light of the moon reflects off of him into a beam revealing all in his gaze, which will summon any enemies in the level to you should you enter it.
4. Check the garage to find your dirtbike gone. At this point, several blind, skeletal soldiers rush into the room. They are all blind and cannot see the player, but will open fire on the player if they do spot them. In the mean time, they're distracted by gunfire from another group of blind, skeletal soldiers in the distance.
5. A child looking just like you is now standing at the top of the ladder to your treehouse. Climb up into the treehouse, and they're gone. But your treehouse now has a door it didn't have before, which swings open as you enter and reveals stairs upwards. Behind you, a winged monster comes flying over the horizon. You don't have long to get through the door, because it's moving very, very fast and ends the act with a flash, killing you and forcing you to restart, if you fail to get through the door in time.
6. Once through the door, it vanishes. You go up, to find yourself in the treehouse again. The room is empty, unguarded. Taking a look outside, you find yourself high in the sky as a small mushroom cloud rises below you. The child waves to you, and walks up the stairs.
7. You exit to find your house on fire. This is the same square as the end of Act 1. Except now, with enemies, all the enemies from earlier in this act, except all revived, on fire and radioactive, with even weaker senses than before. Follow the child into the cellar of your destroyed home, either fighting or avoiding the enemies. Collect the attic key, and come back above. The house is now intact again.
8. The child points behind you, down the stairwell to the basement. Azrael is right there. You have to fight him at this point. The child has vanished, and stays gone until Azrael is defeated or trapped. On defeat or entrapment, he'll explode in a bright flash. When you finally defeat him, the child reappears and shuts the door, just as Azrael has manifested again outside and is about to come back in. Follow the child to your bedroom, where they lay down in your bed. The door closes behind you. Azrael is right outside, but all you can do is lay down.
There is no hidden objective in this act.
After step eleven, the final cutscene plays. The last four end of act cutscene segments play, leading right up to the player staring at the sky and into the flash. A child of about your age and sex narrates each, starting just before the first. "I know you'd like to pretend it never happened. I know what happend to you wasn't fair. I know, you feel like you could have gotten out of it. But you didn't, so if you could doesn't matter now." After the final cutscene ends in a flash, in the smoke that follows, death appears. "I understand why you're afraid." Azrael begins advancing towards the player. "But it's going to happen to everyone." Azrael stops advancing, finding itself outside a window. "It happened to you sooner than it should have, but everybody feels that way. I know it feels like you don't have enough time." Azrael begins prying at the window, sliding it open. "But even if you only have a moment, it's yours and you need to make what you can of it." Azrael freezes in place. "And in the end, maybe you don't have to go with him after all." The screen fades to black. "Not yet, anyway." And on that note, the scene ends.
The player awakens, to find themselves back at home in their bed. All the snow drifts are gone. Otherwise, everything is as it was the first day. You can now head in any direction, go through any procedurally generated sections. The ones previously generated will still be present as they were before, and you can no go as far as you want in any direction. The only thing you can't do is revisit any end of act zones. Neither Azrael nor the child ever appear again. Dying now just brings you back here to wake up again, although as usual you lose any items that were on your person when you die and have to re-acquire them when they respawn in their starting locations. Your condition when you awaken after each death is determined by the number of hidden objectives you completed. You do not start in worse health each time you die during the epilogue. It's a bit more difficult than the main game to keep it interesting, but not too difficult. The whole point is to let the player play around on the map, and make the ending ambiguous.
So, that's it. Feedback?
Posted by JustinS on 05 November 2014 - 05:43 PM
For this post I'll refer to the psychological enemies as "fake enemies". I think that the fake enemies would certainly stand out as different types of enemies at some point. I have two questions which depend on your goals:
- Should the player be able to tell the difference immediately, e.g. if a real and fake enemy stand next to each other?
- Is it important that the player figures out quickly that the fake enemies are psychological as opposed to literal monsters/supernatural beings? I know that's not your goal, but some players may initially think this because so many games have such things.
You could also use behavioural differences such as:
You could also do visual stuff such as lacking a shadow, bleeding too much/too little, etc.
- Limited emotional/behavioural range.
- Failing to avoid environmental hazards.
- Lack of pain response.
- Real enemies don't see fake enemies, and may even walk through them.
- Fake enemies may appear in areas they couldn't possibly be, e.g. from a previously viewed dead-end.
Posted by JustinS on 04 November 2014 - 04:30 PM
Posted by JustinS on 03 November 2014 - 02:49 PM
Why, what would he tell me? Having not played the game I read the brief description of the gameplay on wikipedia.
It sounds to me like the primary experience is repeated trial and error to complete a task (which pretty much is the way games used to be before people decided it was necessary to hold the player's hand from beginning to end).
The one difference being an additive "punishment" for failure. I can see how this might create a sense of apprehension within the player or a desire to stay alive but because trial and error is expected with errors frequently resulting in death, the player accepts death as part of the game and it stops meaning as much, even if the game does get harder.
The game certainly sounds difficult but does that directly translate into a player being emotionally invested in the player character and the game world in such a way that at the end of the game the player walks away feeling in some way enriched beyond the satisfaction of completing something difficult?
You're right, I did miss that. Working in presenting stuff for the player to read would be more difficult to do but I stand by my statement that having the player read something is a good way to get into their head.
If you're knee deep in development already I'd say you have an even greater challenge ahead of you. In my experience as a player, I find that it's even harder to develop an emotional connection to the PC or the environment when you can do anything you want.
If you're still in the early planning stages I still suggest sitting down with a good writer, particularly one that has had experience with the sort of psychological drama that you're intending to create. If nothing else maybe you get some inspiration for things to include in your game.
Not to burst your bubble or anything but as soon as the first person completes your game the secret will be out on the internet anyways. You should try to rely on your game's presentation, not the twist.
Posted by JustinS on 03 November 2014 - 11:29 AM
I think that when a player finds himself playing a game where PC death is an expected, regular, or normal then the player is likely to detach himself emotionally from the character. With the lack of connection to the PC the player then asks the question, "so what the heck is it that I'm expected to do here?" If the player thinks that the answer is, "you are expected to die," and the player accepts this, I think it's going to be difficult to invoke emotions within the player because he's already seen through what's going on.
In any case I think the single greatest mechanic that you have available to try and achieve what you're aiming for is simply providing text for the player to read. By reading something, a person is pulling another person's ideas and thoughts into their own head. Assuming that the reader feels compelled to follow you all the way through the experience you intend for him, you'll have formed a connection that is different than the one you can get by only exposing him to sights, sounds, and events. Combine all those things in the right way might give you the sort of result that you're looking for. In any case, I think you're going to need a really good writer for this one.
Posted by JustinS on 03 November 2014 - 04:01 AM
I simply wished to comment that you appear to be seeking to impose the stages of grief upon the player.
Bingo. But have you figured out why the player character is grieving? Because I think that part inparticular is interesting.
This is an interesting concept that I've played with before. However, it is important to note that the 'five stages' Kubler-Ross model has drawn some very valid criticism. Most importantly, not all people experience the same stages nor is the order necessarily consistent. Furthermore, it is quite possible to move back and forth between stages, rather than progress in a linear manner.
I am aware. In fact, that's an issue with *ALL* psychology. It's really not a science, much less an exact one.
This doesn't invalidate presenting the stages sequentially, but it does raise some problems for any attempt to impart those same emotional states onto the player, as the player may react differently to the events of the game than would be predicted by the model. As general recommendations, I would recommend attempting to impart the stages vicariously, rather than by, or in concert with, observation of the character's emotions or by emotive techniques such as music.
I'mma go with "in concert with". I've seen that done before, and it was considerably more successful than doing either alone.
For example... Do you remember Majora's Mask? That game presented the five stages of grief, and was fairly successful doing that alone. Now, for a different example, look at Spec Ops: The Line. That game both presented the stages of grief and created circumstances to specifically evoke each stage, and it hit quite a bit harder despite its shorter length and ham-handedness.
People react very differently to the emotional state of others than they do to direct emotional stimula. As noted, we also cannot necessarily predict a player's reactions to direct emotional stimuli, at least with respect to complex reactions such as the 'stages of grief.' So, I propose two possible solutions. Firstly, attempt to engender in the player a direct connection with the character or, secondly, break down the stages of grief into their components.
People react differently to emotional stimuli because they process that stimuli in different ways. They have different thought processes, memories and learned behaviours that they use in processing stimuli and formulating both an emotional and practical response. One way to overcome these differences is to attempt to standardise them by providing the player direct insight into the character's "emotional pipeline." If you can convey to the player the reasoning behind the character's response, and the factors being considered in concert, then the player will have a lens through which they can respond, and very closely empathise with the character. This can be done using a variety of reasonably simple techniques. Cutscenes and flashbacks, for their flaws, allow the player to construct a narrative and emotional context. Techniques can be more subtle, such as flashed imagery, voice over, momentary audio cues or even as simple as demonstrating changes in expression in response to stimuli. Text, diegetic or otherwise, can be quite effective.
The alternate approach is to break down the response you wish to illicit into its components. Bargaining, for example, requires the player to have accepted the fact of an imminent problem. The player must be emotionally motivated to avoid the consequences of that problem. However, the player must maintain a (tenuous) illusion that this fate is avoidable. In short, the three primary requirements are a belief that, in this case, death is imminent; some frustration at the failure of efforts to change the course of the game; and a belief that there remains some option to pursue. This last point might have significant game-play implications. By attempting to construct the response you desire, rather than provoke it, you can once again somewhat bypass the differences between people. I believe that game-play will have a much larger role in this approach, as the stages of grief require a perceived degradation of agency.
Anyway, my apologies for such a long post with only a handful of actual (obvious) techniques. I hope that it might be somewhat helpful.
Okay, I'm going to respond to each technique individually here.
1. Cutscenes don't really work in a game where so much of the gameplay is randomized and the player is given a sandbox and no direction. (The lack of direction is intentional. For starters, feeling lost or confused is a big part of grieving, and for another, it fits the set-up, especially the part I'm not telling you, perfectly.)
2. Flashbacks, on the other hand, can easily be done. Making the game take and use screenshots and (if possible) recordings of previous events on the player could simulate this effect pretty well.
3. Flashed imagery indeed is something I've considered. I've considered simulating the effects of the player being haunted by things they've seen by taking a screenshot of it, and flashing that screenshot in front of them for a single frame, with high transparency, at choice moments. If you've ever had an unwanted image stuck in your head and started seeing it when you closed your eyes, you know what this looks like.
4. Most of the game's text, all of it outside the menu, is diegetic. Many of them, all using the same font, are from the... Nevermind. Spoilers.
5. Bargaining is a good example.
A. In this case, at least from a gameplay perspective, the imminent death of the player is a combination of a dangerous environment, apparent persecution, an inability to escape, and ever-increasing difficulty. The environment is a dangerous wasteland with a war raging in the background, they appear to be persecuted in that the war follows them wherever they go and there's an entity that frequently appears before it does, they can't escape because no matter how far they travel it never gets less dangerous and instead just gets more and more surreal with distance, and the game gets more difficult each day, every life cycle, every kilometre you travel outside of the central area (which you have to eventually) and every kilometre you presently are from it. All the while the more difficult the game gets the more surreal it becomes. And, of course, healing in this game is very slow and limited so getting worn down is quite likely. To top all that off, the game never ends, and if they die they wake up in the snow again, back where and how they started, having lost all their items but otherwise themselves and the world the same as when they died... Mostly. I'll go into differences later in this post.
B. The player, to do anything in this game, has to stay alive. Naturally, this means getting good at the game and its mechanics. But of course, no matter how they try they'll die eventually, the only thing they'll do is make it take longer. Which may well become their goal in the end: Just survive as long as possible. Eventually, that won't be enough, as after enough deaths their character is erased. Their new goal might become to make their limited lives last as long as possible, but that's ultimately just postponing the inevitable as well. In fact, there's no way to stop it, all you're doing is buying time and making the blow softer when it does come.
Be sure to design the mechanics of the game around what you want the player to feel. If you want them to feel a sense of desperation, you should only give them minimal supplies they needs to search. It should feel like they are about to run out of food/health/ammo before finding something that gives them more. By your games description, it doesn't look like you will have ammo but just replace that with something that will be part of your game.
What do you mean it doesn't look like you'll have ammo? There's ammo. Not much of it, but there's ammo. As for the whole thing here overall, yes, the resources are scarce and don't get any less scarce as the game continues. (And they don't respawn, forcing the player to explore new areas or else run out completely.)
As another example, if you want the player to feel powerless, don't give them a weapon.
1. This doesn't fit the game's design or mechanics at all.
2. I don't want them feeling powerless, at least not at first. The inevitable and unavoidable nature of their death will be quite enough to deliver that feeling when it needs to be delivered.
In a game, the mechanics are just as important as art and music in delivering a specific experience.
I am aware. The concept is mechanics as metaphor, I've actually mentioned it on this site before, though not in this thread.
I am trying to think of a mechanic that conveys unexcapable haunting memories. The best I can think of is something similar to a random encounter in an rpg but it takes place in the players imagination. Each encounter leaves you weaker than before, grinding down on the player.
Not quite. There's a couple ways this is done here.
1. The "stuck image" effect I mentioned to Nathan above.
2. A hidden meter measuring the player's trauma that isn't reset on death and steadily makes things worse for them by adding in interface screws such as the above and special encounters such as monsters that look like dead NPCs and increasing the frequency/severity of such things as it increases. Has no cap, and stacks with the other effects to make the game even more surreal as it progresses.
Also, be sure to communicate clearly when they player is making progress.
Except that ambiguity is a big part of the game design, and progress is relative.
If dying in the game is expected and is part of the progression the player should feel like they have made progress when they die.
It's no secret at this point the five stages of grief are the main point of the game. And the funny thing about grief, is that feeling stuck or trapped is part of it. Not feeling like they've made progress (at least, at first) helps enforce the emotional tone of the game. That's why death happens the way it does, and they find themselves waking up again where they started. But that said, things are definitely off from how they were before. Each time they do so, the game subtly changes tone, the figure that proceeds war appears now closer and closer to them when they're laying there (vanishes when they get up), they wake up to find the snow is now stained with more and more blood and they start off with less health until they eventually start off dead and get the game's only cutscene before their character is erased.
In order to guide the player through the different emotional states you could have something different happen everytime they die. This could even be something simple as some dialogue or text that appears after each death. Another idea is to have the world change slightly after each death to try and direct what the player should do.
Totally a part of it.
Again, the important thing is that the player should feel like they are progressing through the game otherwise they will get frustrated and stop playing.
That totally isn't. But there is one thing they'll find that will help. They'll discover things they can do in the game, totally hidden things, that will slow down their progress towards death and change how the final (and only) cutscene plays out. These are each harder to do that the last, they'll always complete at least one (it's just to live out a life cycle) and eventually they'll manage all five and get the game's best ending. Their character is still erased in the end, but it'll be less painful by then. And that's the whole point of the game. (Again, gold star if you can figure out why.)
Posted by JustinS on 02 November 2014 - 04:37 PM
You start out as a child? Great.
You start out naked? That's fine.
You start out as a naked child? Umm... this makes me uncomfortable, and not in a good way. I may not be alone in this.
There's a big difference between being naked and being nude. You are naked, not nude. You are provided enough coverage that it shouldn't be an issue. Even if you were nude, it would be censored. Of course, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that HUMANS can take such issue with the HUMAN body, so this really shouldn't be an issue anyway. Especially since it's not like it does anybody any harm, and thus nobody has any right to object to it, much less censor it. But whatever. I've already decided to bend to this arbitrary societal bullshit here because my only reason not to is to fight against censorship and in this case I just don't have enough energy. I doubt anybody with an age in the double digits has enough energy. The kid has undergarments, despite that not making any sense for the set-up, for no other reason but to shut people up. Now nothing more about this, please.
Anyway, if there's any music of visual element in this game, you can convey mood with both. From more traditional music, to more environmental work. You can also experiment with lighting and colors to convey what they should be feeling.
There will most certainly be music. I'm doing the music, so that was the first thing I thought of, actually. And as for lighting and colours, I can use filters to simulate that but because so much of this game is procedurally generated I can't tailor the environment to fit the mood and lighting is part of the environment.
Posted by JustinS on 02 November 2014 - 02:35 PM
Posted by JustinS on 30 September 2014 - 01:43 AM
You mention stories about amazing feats people accomplish while mortally wounded. There are stories (true or not) of say, mothers lifting cars off of children after accidents... this is the exception, not the normal "Realistic" result. The same applies to everything else, the stories you mention are so incredible because they are so unusual.
Also, I never said every gun shot was deadly either, I said it makes things much more complicated. Walking/moving on a leg that just got shot is similiar to attempting to walk on a leg that just got broken.
Attempting to fire with an arm with a gun shot is definitey going to effect your aim, these disadvantages are what get you killed, I was under the impression that you wanted gun fights to be more survivable, it wasn't particularly clear that you simply wanted to make the player take longer to die. It's possible, but your not going to be doing jumping jacks or sprinting to cover.
Getting hit in the chest while wearing a vest will still knock you down,
take your wind and possibly break some ribs.
Also, if you got hit, you must not have been in good enough cover... who ever is shooting at you now has a much easier target.
Here, you explicitly state that you think a hit in the heart is the problem EVEN THOUGH it doesn't always kill you instantly... indicating that any other fatal shot that has similiar results (i.e death) would be an issue. You say in your game it should be "rare for a single gunshot wound to kill you", but without the right kind of attention it is not "rare" for a single round to the chest to kill a person.[/background]
A statistic from www.trama.org:
"For penetrating thoracic injury the survival rate is fairly uniform at 18-33%, with stab wounds having a far greater chance of survival than gunshot wounds." http://www.trauma.org/archive/thoracic/EDTrationale.html
The fact that you would prefer a gun shot wound to take a long time to kill you, would generally lead someone to believe that you would attempt to give the player options they could take to avoid getting killed after being shot...
not many game designers look for ways to make more of the time players are playing their game have no "winning moves".
You then say "many enemies in the game also use guns"...enemies that use guns tend to be humanoid... and if guns are common it generally leads one to believe that gun fights will be common.
If gun fights are to be common then the player seems to be expected to be able to survive gun fights commonly. In order to answer this game "realistically" as you seem to have wanted we can only fall upon knowledge of other instances where there are many enemies often carrying guns in real life... which oddly enough is a pretty good description of a war.
I did actually realize that my first post, while I had hoped to be helpful didn't actually address the issue concerning the difficulties of aiming... which is precisely why I added the second post which dealt exclusively with the many variables that affect accuracy. I do actually have experience with weapons, I was combat ops in Iraq for two separate years. I have been trained on the maintenance and use of an array weapons... granted I was a General Issue Joe and not the super star spec ops... I still feel the super human abilities your ascribing to the spec ops guys sounds more like holly wood fantasy then the "do what works" reality.
You should try to control your temper. It's rude to treat people trying to help you the way you do.
Give everyone just 1 HP then
Also note that aiming for the heart is an idiocy from the realism point of view as well. If you have a gun you don't try to hit the heart, just the person Three random bullets in stomach are statisticly equally good as one well aimed bullet in the heart (unless they are a vampire ).
Posted by JustinS on 29 September 2014 - 08:56 PM
You can't make your weapons that realistically damaging and expect to have the same exciting, run-and-gun fights you see in a lot of FPS games.
Most gun fights are either extremely one sided (and over in a matter of seconds),
or extremely long and drawn out, with both sides behind cover waiting for the other guys to run out of ammo, or for the artillery to come down, or for reinforcements to flank them... etc.
I'd say that if you want to keep that level of detail in how weapons work, you need to re-evalutate the pace of the game and the quantity of the enemies to a point where getting shot (pretty much at all) is expected to end the game.
If you are keeping the DOT that makes you bleed out from getting shot in the heart, are you also making it so that getting shot in the leg makes it so hard to concentrate that you pretty much entirely lose all your accuracy? Getting hit in the body armor your wearing stuns you b/c you've had the wind knocked out of you and without someone to drag you off behind cover makes you easy pickings?
Also, it seems that accuracy in your game is not realistic enough if it is that easy to hit the heart every time. A good marksmen might be able to reliably hit a target the size of the heart at a reasonable distance (changes depending on type of gun) from a stable position on a stationary target, but that will only be true for say... the first shot against a sleeping target or something.
So, to it seems to me that this is an issue where one mechanic has a level or realism that is out of place with the rest of the mechanics.
This pretty much echos my opinion. If you're making heart shots death shots, and if they are easy to hit, then you probably have an accuracy issue. FPS can get away with simplified hitscan weapons that are crazy accurate, I suspect your game would not.
But then again, this could be all worrying over nothing, I think this may be a case of premature optimization, at least for enemies being hit by heart shots.
For the player, you may end up wanting a completely different damage model, as it's hard to say without knowing your game, but I suspect that being sometimes instantly killed by enemies and sometimes not will probably not end up being very much fun.
Likewise, I'm not convinced that it's going to prove as easy to achieve heart-shots as you're evaluating it to be, for most players, at least, and if it does prove that easy, then there may well be a disconnect between the level of realism in your damage simulation and the level of realism in your gunplay simulation.
I have to seriously agree with Paragon123 here. With the level of realism you are attributing to hitting an enemy AT ALL, you can't expect it to be "difficult" to kill a person on the battlefield (because modern guns are quite simply highly effective killing tools).
One limitation you can put on players spamming shots to the abdomen (which is the origin of your balancing issue) is to drastically limit the ammo available to them in comparison to the quantity of enemy troops.
If they run out of ammo, they would have to acquire new ammo from a corpse, possibly even an enemy corpse, which means approaching the enemy directly without ammo / an effective defense. This is a risk that players will want to avoid, therefore they will be careful with their aiming in order to conserve ammo.
CoD Tried to make aiming more realistic... and in theory I think the idea is sound... but in their implementation i don't think it really works. When not looking down the scope they have a small circle, and this represents how "off center" your shot ends up.... when you look down the scope the circle gets smaller until it's a pin point. Shooting or moving widens the circle again. The ability to 'no-scope' sniper head shots is pretty decent proof that they must have gotten it very, very wrong (or the players must be cheating).
It requires knowing how the circle actually relates to the shot though to determine how well this actually models realistic aiming. In any case, the way i would do it is something like..
Instead of a circle, it would be more of a cone... of course the cone can be represented by a circle (who knows, perhaps this is what they are doing).
Choose a distance the circle will represent. When a player fires their weapon, choose a random point on the circle, favoring the out side of the circle the smaller the distance. the vector the round will follow will originate from the end of the weapons barrel and pass through this point. So the random point chosen represents the angle offset of the rounds vector rather than the end point offset of the rounds impact. (I.E if the aiming circle represents a 25' cone and you are firing at something 40' away you likely won't even hit anything within the circle). If they player is not in a stable position (Prone for rifles, firmly planted in place for handguns) the circle will move erratically (even in a stable position the circle will move in predictable patterns due to breathing, muscle control, etc). If the trigger isn't pulled directly back, the circle will move upward slightly before the round can even exit the barrel (this could be represented by a characters familiarity with the weapon... you will only be able to pull the trigger directly back if you know the weapon well enough to know how much pressure it takes to release the hammer) Then, when the hammer hits it will push the circle back down (unless you are familiar enough with the weapon to compensate). Being unfamiliar with the weapon and over compensating either action will cause the circle to move in the opposite direction slightly. Also, right handed shooters tend to pull the barrel to the right and left-handed to the left.
In addition, the round will start dropping noticeably even within a weapons "maximum effective range" and you don't need to be firing at a target half a mile away with a sniper rifle for a cross wind to be the difference between a hit and a miss... even an shooter firing an assault rifle at a target 200 meters out may find they need to adjust for wind. For example, if you are trying to pass your marksmen test with an m4 with a wind blowing left to right you want to aim near the left shoulder to make sure you hit somewhere in the torso area.
If you watch a marksmen competition they will take their own good time to aim... at 15-30 seconds min... and after ever trigger pull you have to start over... if you are just pulling the trigger as fast as you can you might as well be firing from the hip. Plus, the "circle" doesn't gradually decrease in circumfrence... you start aiming, it all snaps together and you pull the trigger... if you miss that window things tend to go blurry and you have to start over, its tough to keep your eye that focused and your muscles that still for much longer than an instant.
All that being said, I've never been a particularly good shot myself... I just know everything people kept telling me every time I missed
Oh, and I know i can't stop talking... but generally the larger the caliber of round, the less important the accuracy of the sights... rifles being the weapon where the sights are most likely to be accurate, as generally each person zeroes their own sights... and the quality of the weapon/sights determines how much wear a weapon can take before the sights start getting out of whack and need to be zeroed at a range again... and here familiarity with the weapon helps a shooter maintain accuracy as the sights start needing adjusting.
Oh.. and also, in line with what facehead1992 said, a hand gun doesn't have "30 rounds" it has two magazines of 15 rounds each.. meaning, shooting three times then reloading leaves you with 15 rounds, not 27. Stealing ammo only works if they are using a weapon with a compatible magazine.
That's your core problem You know, you don't have to implement it if you don't want to (I know, I keep forgeting it myself too). Simply don't simulate heart maybe?
I would echo what people have said about expecting realistic results (frequent death) if you do a realistic simulation. Having said that, better body armour would reduce the chances of instant death. Or have the effects of a shot be a bit variable, e.g. the bullet ricocheted off a rib. Or limit the amount of ammo that has that direct punching power, favour ammo that fragments and doesn't penetrate deeply.
Posted by JustinS on 17 September 2014 - 12:08 AM
I think I could make a strong argument here that your version of humanity still comes across as having a clear self-destructive instinct. Thanatos would probably be the appropriate Freudian term. But, part of the reason I want to say that is just that it breaks my suspension of disbelief to consider human factions to be as stupid as you are painting them. It would take colossally bad luck to have the decision-making people in all factions be willing to waste resources continuing to attack each other once it's clear that their own survival is a desperate priority (around the quarantine dome stage).
Ahh, now I see where a big difference is. My interpretation was that based on their shown track record humans would inevitably exterminate themselves; I was expecting the fact that a few made it to the new planet would be a pyrrhic victory. Why? Because the problem all along has been human nature, and they haven't been transformed into post-humans, they haven't (implausibly) learned some big lesson that changes human culture to be no longer self-destructive.
In fact the problem behavior has clearly followed them to their new planet(s) because of the sabotage resulting in the failed ship landing.
And in any situation where there are only children trying to survive in a harsh environment, you're going to have high casualties and basically a Lord of the Flies situation.
I figured that would be part of the third game, I was imagining it would be something like Warcraft III (or a lower graphics version, as indie projects generally are).
You do imply that at the ending of the third game there will be basically the absolute minimum situation for human survival.
Absolute minimum situations like that, IME, are extremely fragile and much more likely to fail in the future than to build back up to a global human civilization.
Posted by JustinS on 15 September 2014 - 08:55 PM
I keep wanting to comment on this thread, cause I'm very interested in themes as related to design. But... I can't think of a comment on this particular series concept that doesn't start with "wow that's depressing".
Then make this comment that starts with "wow that's depressing".
Well, I don't want to say anything insulting or impolite, and I don't know exactly where the line would be. I was speculating to myself about whether depressing concepts are correlated to unhappy team members. Do grumpy people choose negative concepts to work on or do negative concepts cause people working on them to become depressed or grumpy? Both, neither? It's only speculation, because as a person who has always disliked horror and tragedy I've never understood what motivates people to create or admire works of horror or tragedy. My personal feeling is kind of stuck at "Why on earth would anyone want to write or develop the theme, 'Humanity constantly sabotages itself, which is unforgivable, and in this context even the strong survival and rebirth drive of humanity becomes disgusting, and even children don't deserve any kind of happiness.'?"
Alright, see, this is 10000% your failing. Let me run through why.
1. You can't look deep enough into horror to see what a good horror is really about. Any good horror is there to explore a concept or fear, not just to scare the viewer. When done right, it finds a way to discuss the fear in question indirectly and provoke thought on the topic in the viewer. They allow the artist to express their opinions and talk about the subject indirectly, and THAT is what people value.
2. Nothing here qualifies as a tragedy, but even if it did a tragedy is valued for exploring emotion and exploring the minds of the characters, as these inevitably end up being the primary draw of any good tragedy. They also carry morals, and cautionary tales, just like horror does, and when done right these are abundantly clear.
3. You not only completely misinterpret the story at work here, you do so massively in a way directly contradicting stated facts AFTER I've explained it. Let me elaborate.
A. Not only did I never say humanity's self-sabotaging actions were unforgivable, I said they were quite understandable under the circumstances. And the way the actions of the second game are described strongly supports this, as the positive motivation of the factions are emphasized quite a bit.
B. There is absolutely NO basis, AT ALL, for the entire rest of the sentence. All of this is 100% directly contradictory with the material you are supposedly pulling this garbage from. This interpretation is as insane as if you read a newscast that said it was going to be 120 F outside and reading that as "freezing cold, so much so that even ECW gear won't save you and and the world is an impassible ball of ice".
4. You completely ignored that I went into what the themes and morals of this story were, at length, apparently content to ignore everything right up to the title of the thread you were reading in order to claim horror is without value. But then, with an obvious idealist like yourself, completely ignoring everything about everything that ever was in order to claim your pre-existing conclusions and biases are completely accurate and without flaw isn't that terribly rare.
Posted by JustinS on 14 September 2014 - 08:12 AM
So... It's my fault then, for being socially inept? Well, I can't say I disagree with you. I'm going to take some time to think about the suggestions given and keep them in mind next time around.
They're semi-unpaid. They're working for a share, which will be nothing if a game isn't made, plus $1000 each guaranteed pay upon completion. But no, they're not getting paid until the game is up on Steam. Of course, they won't let me use their resources now that they've left, not even concept art, so I have to completely restart. And I just figured the pay checks and shares were sufficient motivation, myself. Maybe that's a problem, I don't know.
GameDev.net™, the GameDev.net logo, and GDNet™ are trademarks of GameDev.net, LLC