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Koobazaur

Member Since 03 Apr 2003
Offline Last Active Today, 10:31 AM

#5307651 Feedback on Headliner - shape public opinion, see your life change

Posted by on Yesterday, 11:23 AM

Hello Folks!

I just began working on my third free adventure game and figure I could use some feedback on the design before I sink too deep :)
Link: http://gamejolt.com/games/headliner/181988

 

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In the near future, genetic engineering and dissolution into nation-states led governments to regulate peace via strict media control. You are one of chief curator of the local digipaper. You are the Headliner.

 

Structure
The game spans 10 days, each divided into three stages:

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The Office, single screen with free look from your cubicle approving articles.
  • Each day, 5-10 new articles pile up on your desk you must either approve or disapprove
    The time is ticking with a wall clock.
  • Sticky notes from management or reminders from your wife / husband (like “pick up milk on way home, love, Anna”).
  • Similar interface to Papers, Please or Westpoint Independent
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The Streets, side-scrolling walk home with buildings and shops in background.
  • Denizens walk the streets and comment on latest events as you pass by.
  • Megaphones keep counting down the curfew time, urging you to get home as soon as possible
  • As the situation changes, there may be protestors or even rioters, vandalized buildings etc.
  • Police and armed patrols eventually show up and must be avoided, or face lengthy paper checks
  • The quicker you wrap up Office work, the more time you will have in this stage
Home, single-screen dinner scene with your husband/wife and teenage daughter
  • Short conversation with your family commenting on events and criticizing/apporiving your paper
  • A few choices in the conversation that can impact story (i.e. daughter wanting to attend a protest)
As you approve more extremist pieces:
  • Your boss’s approval increases (i.e. “Great work last night, our ratings are booming!”)
  • Your wife’s approval decreases (i.e. “I cannot believe you work for that tabloid trash!”)
  • Civil Unrest increases leading to more protests, riots and patrols / checkpoints / shorter curfew
Story Outline
You start one week from the 4th anniversary of your nation state becoming the first in the world to have over half of the population genetically modified. This led to tensions, with a lot of non-modified “purists” being discriminated against (think Jim Crow laws or Deus Ex: Human Revolution augmented/non-augmented in reverse).

As the annual “Emancipation Celebration Day” approaches, the public unrest and government concern grows. In response, a foreign diplomat Ferdinand Rath will arrive in two days to assuage the situation.

Based on how you shape the newspaper, the unrest can become more discriminatory and violent against purists. There will be an assassination attempt at diplomat Rath, and whether he lives or dies depends on your influence. The culprit will be captured and their defense and public image will also depend on your articles.

The story reaches climax on the actual celebration day, from a fairly peaceful to spiraling out of control with people throwing bricks and burning cars. You will play for several more days after to watch the fallout.

The whole scenario is heavily based on Kristallnacht, “a pogrom against Jews throughout Nazi Germany on the 9–10 November 1938, carried out by SA paramilitary forces and German civilians.” (Wikipedia)

References and Influences

Blade Runner - for the overall dark aesthetic and moral dilemmas
Papers, Please - one of the core inspirations and an excellent game!
Westport Independent - indie game curating a newspaper, albeit lacking in the emotional payoff. I hope to learn from reading its criticism and reviews.
Jazzpunk - for its use of slapstic humor and in-game newspapers[
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - for the augmented/non-augmented conflict and overall aesthetic, similar to Blade Runner


#5303375 Hunger Mechanic For Minions In A Small Resource Gathering Game?

Posted by on 31 July 2016 - 04:52 PM

Hey Folks,
 
I'm working on a small game about managing 3-8 minions to gather various resources in an open outdoorsy map. You do not control them directly and they just gravitate around you, but over time you learn various words to issue basic commands like pick up or throw a rock. There are also some wild animals that may attack your minions that you can get your children to throw rocks at. 
 
The minions will also get hungry so you need to get them to some food so they can replenish. I'm brainstorming some good repercussions and what I have so far:
* If a minion is satiated, it can take 2 hits from an enemy before dying, if it's hungry it dies in just one hit
* If a minion is hungry, he moves slightly slower
 
Any other ideas how to make it more interesting? Perhaps its better for the minions to take more hits and the hunger is effectively an HP meter? Or maybe the minions should never die just have a "good" and "wounded" state after being attacked  (which slows them down) so you need to feed them to return to full speed? 
 
Any other cool ideas? Here's a few screenshots to get an idea of what the game plays like.



#5276801 New Studio Name, Thoughts?

Posted by on 19 February 2016 - 12:55 AM

Also, if you haven't already, google the names and see who already uses them and how. Do a Trademark and LLC name check as well. I know of another Bishop Games company I met at PAX South, so it may get confusing.


#5267249 Where do you find your artist?

Posted by on 20 December 2015 - 06:01 PM

I found my writer at GDC by going to the IGDA Meeting there. I found my 2D and 3D artists advertising on bunch of sites (reddit r/gamedevclassifieds, tigsource, gamedev, craigslist, facebook Gamedev groups, twitter etc)




#5267248 What about 3d development can be simplified to make it more practical?

Posted by on 20 December 2015 - 06:00 PM

The shader discussion is definitely good for imrpoving the looking. As far as the assets themselves, honestly, Unity Asset Store and OpenGameArt.org
 
It does limit what you can do (unless you're going for generic fantasy / horror / scifi) but it can cut out on the amount of assets needed A LOT, especially if you spend some time researching and make some artistic compromises. 
 
There's also a lot of ways you can creatively cheat and reuse assets. Here's an article from our own game: How we Recreated All Character Models from Scratch in Two Weeks


#5267247 How Is This Pixel Art So Detailed?

Posted by on 20 December 2015 - 05:50 PM

Why not email and ask the GameDevs themselves? Most indies love talking about their work, and I've been eager to give feedback on my own stuff as well whenever people asked. 




#5232061 Tips for Overhauling Indie Game Graphics on Limited Budget

Posted by on 31 May 2015 - 07:58 PM

Hey Guys!

I'm the Lead Developer on "Karaski: What Goes Up..." an open-ended, story-driven investigation onboard a damaged Airship; find the saboteur, or risk becoming suspect! Deus Ex meets Clue with a bit of Telltale.

Over the course of development it became clear the graphics of the game needed to be significantly reworked. My blocky programmer art wouldn't do! But the problem was: while I had budget to create missing assets and do some touch ups, I did not plan to completely overhaul it.

But in the end I found a way to vastly improve the look of the game while still staying within my (slightly increased) budget range. Just wanted to share my recent blog posts with All The Tips and explanations of how we managed it.
Hope this is some useful food for thought for all you other Indie Devs smile.png Lemme know what you think!


#5135450 New challenges in writing meaningful game dialogue while working on my second...

Posted by on 28 February 2014 - 01:48 PM

Hmm, Interesting. I am already planning on adding different "entry points" into the convo that get triggered at different times (i.e. player initiated vs. npc confronting player after spotting him trespassing) which could kind of function as modules...




#5135281 New challenges in writing meaningful game dialogue while working on my second...

Posted by on 27 February 2014 - 10:43 PM

Hey all,

 

I'm working on my second indie game after publishing a very dialogue-heavy Postmortem: one must die, and realizing my old approach won't work as well with a more complex narrative and many more variables affecting the conversations. So I wanted to share my musings and get some feedback:

 

Don't want to re-post the whole thing so here's a link to my devblog post about it. Let me know if you have any valuable thoughts from the writing trenchese :)




#5134188 Postmortem 50% off - play as Death incarnate toying with the fate of a nation...

Posted by on 24 February 2014 - 02:03 PM

Just wanted to let you guys now about a big discount on my current indie game on Steam:


postmortem-twinfinite-ad-header-50off.jp

^ Clicky above ^
 


What Is Postmortem?
Narrative-adventure playing an Agent of Death who must take ONE life that could change the fate of a conflict-torn Nation!

Free form exploration, Rich Dialogue, Meaningful Choices and Unintended consequences!

Think The Walking Dead meets Home and The Last Express, with a dash of To The Moon!

 



postmortem-game-with-info.jpg postmortem-game-1.jpg postmortem-game-2.jpg

Check the Postmortem Homepage, Like on Facebook, Follow on Twitter




#5110370 What "Indoor" environment tools do you use?

Posted by on 18 November 2013 - 10:34 PM

Blender is always a good free choice, especially since they vastly imrpoved the interface a while back.

Game-specific, I think gtkRadiant was used for Quake BSPs, then you got Unreal's own level editor which was neat too and well suited for indoors given it was based on carving rooms out of "solid space" rather than creating walls in "empty space."

AFAIK, most engines nowadays just make 3D models of various spaces and then dump em onto a 3D scene (unity, UDK, Crysis, torque), maybe with some portals and occlusion culling to help.


#5095983 Would this be a good idea? (Episodic release)

Posted by on 22 September 2013 - 12:35 PM

If the content is worth it, you will encounter little problems.

 

If the content is not worth it, you will encounter many problems.

 

Also not getting into legal/licensing/pr/marketing/etc. side of things here. 




#5090611 Tutorial: Designing and Writing branching and meaningful Game Conversations i...

Posted by on 31 August 2013 - 11:27 AM

Here's our approach to writing complex, branching, and meaningful conversations in our indie adventure game Postmortem: one must die,
which has been often complimented for it's intricate dialogue:

... an example of how to write nuanced characters with a reach into complex late-game branching narratives ... which happens little elsewhere in videogameland.
- Cara Ellison, PCgamer.com


... video games can function as a medium for important messages and Postmortem is a prime example of that.
- Cassandra Khaw, USGamer.Net


It took many attempts to figure out a good way so sharing the lessons. We broke the process into following steps:
  • The Editor – setting yourself up right
  • General Concept
  • Distill and Make game-ready
  • Conversation Outline
  • Narrative Beats and Branching Filler
  • Non-essential side branches
  • Test, Refine, Repeat
READ full article HERE!
(note: I wasn't sure if this should go here or in Writing but figured since it covers design aspects of characters and convos as well it would be more useful here. Feel free to move mods smile.png )

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#5085018 Self publishing via online sales - Terms, EULA, Readmes etc. are they even re...

Posted by on 11 August 2013 - 02:43 PM

My game Postmortem is releasing very soon so I am trying to tie up a few loose ends. Since I am using PayPal to sell it online I figured I probably need some sort of "Terms & Policies" as well as EULA to go with the game.

For comparison I checked other small self-published Indie titles like Home, Hotline Miami, Dear Esther or Lone Survivor and was frankly baffled to find they all lacked any form of legal disclaimers! Home doesn't even have a readme, Hotline Miami is just a list of troubleshooting techniques. Nothing on their website, nothing in the game files, nothing ingame.

Am I missing something here?


#5079632 Case for Dumbing Down – because others deserve to enjoy games too

Posted by on 22 July 2013 - 12:20 PM

Bit of a shameless plug, but just wanted to share a story from developing and testing my own game I was just writing about:
 

Item highlight, arrows or contextual controls make “hardcore” gamers rage but developing my game I learned they’re not always about dumbing, but accessibility.

Full Article here
 
TL;DR - I learned that "dumbing down" is sometimes about allowing players with slightly different skillsets but similar gaming tastes to enjoy your game. Other times, it can also be a last-minute solution to a design problem that you simply ran out of time to fix properly by redesign, often a monumental task in itself. 
 
And other times, yes, it's just plain dumb tongue.png




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