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About Madvillain

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  1. Dear Gamedev, My development team have decided that the best way to code our current game idea would be to use a combination of prerendered 2d backgrounds and 3d models as in PSX games Resident Evil, Final Fantasy VII and Dino Crisis. When searching the net for information however I could not find any article describing the implementation of such a system. Although I think I have a fairly good idea of how to do this in theory it would be nice to hear from someone who has done it before as there is always a big difference between theory and practice. Seeing how many games have been done this way, especially in the adventure genre, I am surprised noone seems to have written a word about it. Best Regards, Sebastian Jensen
  2. your thoughts on RPG inventory screens

    Look at the way iTunes manages your MP3 files. That's dope.
  3. The Transmigration of Aldous Turns

    "have your protagonist dispell his own insanity by strategically moving parts of his insanity into other characters" Now we're talking! I really love this idea. It's like you are saving people by telling them "reality is not really what you think it is, have you ever thought about that?" ... Man, that'd be so sweet, but how does one incorporate that into gameplay? "why not have these darklings simply be the corporation-fed, materialist "demons" of each individual?" Originally, this was my idea, but I am afraid it will seem a bit cheap if you know what I mean. Also, if I would go with that, I'd probably be better off with a cyberpunk setting, which I feel is rather trite (even if I am a total Gibson/Sterling/Stephenson fanboy). I would like the darklings to embody this whole "will to power" concept: people who become powerhungry become corrupt, forget about Gaia (or mother nature, whatever you call it) and become receptible to this "spiritual disease". But yeah, the people who have darklings lurking around them are probably going to wind up being mindless consumers and CEOS. Do I sound to much like a lysergic acid-fried hippie tryin to make a game, or do you think this is moving toward something that would be worth someones time? The way I see it is: since I am all indie anyway, I have no need to satisfy a market like the big boys. So I can just mess around with it anyway I want. =D -Madvillain
  4. The Transmigration of Aldous Turns

    Oh no, I thought your post was great because it made me push a little harder to get explain myself. I am sorry if my response sounded a wee bit aggressive though, I definitively did not mean for it to sound like that at all. Rereading I realized it sounded like I was defending my point in a debate or something! I want to make the darklings represent somehow the leap our society has gone from the more spiritual world of the archaic shaman. I realize I am probably going to have scrap this idea because it just come from my tendency to antagonize the corporate world we're living in. But politics doesn't really belong in games in my opinion. After all, playing a game is supposed to be an escape from all that, right? On the other hand I do want to make games that actually express ideas the way books and movies often do, employing more literary devices and symbolism than games normally do. Thank you. -Madvillainy.
  5. The Transmigration of Aldous Turns

    "Why a dissapintingly standard kill-the-horde-of-monsters game mechanic?" There isn't really a horde of monsters per-se, in fact there is only one darkling (or whatever I am going to call these things) for each person you are trying to cure. So in this way its gonna be more like Shadow Of The Collosus really. You wont kill a darkling by simply slashing it with a sword or shooting it with a gun, you must solve some kind of puzzle inside of this guys head in order to do this - you need to figure out what it is in this persons psyche that the darkling feeds on. So other than those battles on the astral plane, the game is going to be combat-free. All of the real world work will consist of talking to people, searching for clues etc. So it's like a detective game with a twist. "Why film noir?" I always liked the feel of film noir movies and it is really an enviroment where I can see this bizarre Aldous Turns character step in. He is supposed to be like something out of a Lovecraft novel - a middle aged literature-geek obsessed with the occult donning a moustasche. "Hmm, there seems to be a disconnect between your story concept and your gameplay concept. :/ If the unique thing about the character is that he cures his own madness, to me that suggests strongly that the gameplay should feature him fighting (possibly by solving puzzles rather than literal combat) and defeating his own madness before trying to cure the rest of the world. And the idea of 'curing one's own madness' does not at all match your dream examples, where 'spirits' are doing the actual curing. Instead your examples imply some odd sacrifice, such that your shaman can't be considered quite human after he is cured, which doesn't fit with the idea that curing others keeps him sane, or why and how this is so." Well he is not insane anymore, he is just liable to become insane again unless he keeps on shamanizing. The best analogy I can think of is how vampires need blood. I am sorry I am not that good at expressing ideas in text. Madvillain.
  6. This is a mock-up game proposal I came up with after reading all the great input in my Descent Into Madness thread. I decided to post it in a different thread since the replies I am looking for is different; the Descent into madness thread is a general discussion on the topic of insanity and games, but here I want you to post your thoughts and feedback on this particular idea. Thank you! ----------------------------------------- INTRODUCTION TO SHAMANISM: This game will be based around the idea of a Shaman - a man who has once been insane, but managed to cure himself, and who because of that now has the supernatural ability to cure others. From The Food Of Gods, by Terrence McKenna: "The novice shaman, after a history of psychosomatic ilness or psychological aberration that may be more or less intense, will at last begin to undergo a initiatory sickness and trances; he will lie as though dead or in deep trance for days on end. During this time he is approached in dreams by his helping spirits, and may receive instruction from them. Invariably during this prolonged trance the novice will undergo an episode of mystical death and resurrection; he may see himself reduced to a skeleton and then clothed with new flesh; or he may see himself boilden in a caldron, devoured by the spirits, and then made whole again; or he may imagine himself being operated on by the spirits, his organs removed and replaced with 'magical stones' and then sewn up again." In short, the the shaman is transformed from a profane state of being into a sacred state of being. He is more than merely a sick man, or a madman; he is a sick man who has healed himself, who is cured, and most importantly, must shamanize in order to remain cured. This, in my opinion, makes for a very interesting protagonist in a game. SET AND SETTING: Reading the above you probably thought I was proposing some sort of indian game set in the amazon basin or wild west. Wrong. You are Aldous Turns, a private eye in depression era New York focusing on the occult and paranormal. When your wife and 5-year old son died in a car accident a few years back you turned to junk and alcoholism, and eventually, insanity, but unlike other madmen you were mystically cured and thus became a shaman. Your ability to communicate with the spirit world aid you greatly in your work as a private detective. The game will have a very "film noir" feel to it, picture dusty speakeasy bars, early jazz and piss stained gutter landscapes. At the begining of the game you take a job from a beutiful young lady (what else?) dressed in the clothes of mouring, begging you to track down her lost sister. Her motives for contacting you appear to be much greater however and soon you find yourself battling an army of "darklings" (must come up with a more creative name) who have infected the spiritual plane. THE ACTUAL GAMEPLAY: So Aldous Turns becomes a modern day shaman with the ability to share the subconsious visions of others, to do battle in other peoples minds. In addition he can enter the spiritual realm where he can communicate with spirits to gain important information. The two most important stats for the player is the "stability rating" and the "spiritual stamina". The spiritual stamina is a measure of Aldous shamanic abilities and works somewhat like mana in other games. Being in the spiritual plane drains Aldous Spiritual Stamina, and if he run out of it he will begin to loose hit points. It is in the spiritual plane that Turns will battle the darklings who posses people and poision their spirits. Which brings us to the other stat, the "stability rating," which represents your mental health. If you don't kill darklings on a regular basis, this will drop (remember, a shaman must shamanize in order to remain cured) and if it drops you become vurnable to attacks from the darklings of the spirit world, they will derange you and eventually kill your soul (the mystical equivalent of a frontal lobotomy ;P) So basically you will find people who are infected by darklings (maybe you can see some kind of weird light from their aura or something, i don't know), enter their minds (i don't know how this process will work yet) and finally eliminate the darkling. In doing this you will receive clues that will help you understand your situation, and find the root to this evil which is corrupting the spiritual plane. I guess finally you will eliminate the evil and the credits will roll, heh ;P. -- So what do you think? I haven't got much figured out yet, but I think it is the start of something that has some potential ...
  7. Descent into madness

    Sanitarium looks like a pretty rad game, I'll have to see if I can track down a used copy. As for Max Payne, it's not my type of game so I haven't played it, but now I might. Thank you very much. "Personally, I always thought it would be neat to give your player character an imaginary friend that the other NPCs would think you were nuts if you talked to." That's a brilliant idea. It's like Philip K. Dick in Valis, projecting this Horselover Fat character all the way through the book ... very good surprise factor. Although I guess a lot of people would take it for a Fight Club rip off. I am going to write something up and post it later, see what it's worth. - Madvillainy
  8. Descent into madness

    Perhaps I've watched one to many Cronenberg movies lately, but I've became very interested in madness, insanity and hallucinatory states of psychosis (watch Videodrome or David Aronofskys brilliant Pi, or even better yet, read some Lovecraft) How does it happen that an ordinary man leading an ordinary life all of the sudden starts seeing things and slip into madness? And could this type of development lead to anything interesting in the way of games? American McGees Alice uses madness to create an interesting surreal enviroment allowing for a few whacky (but oh so brilliant) level-designs. An old Amiga game called Dark Seed, which featured some graphics by H.R. Giger (if memory serves me right) was esentially about madness and I remember that it scared the living hell out of me, waaay freakier than any of the Silent Hill or Resident Evil games. So while this is definitively not untapped territory, I believe insanity has much more to give to games. So let us brainstorm a little, flex our creative muscles and see what we can come up with. What kind of ideas does this post spawn? Also please share your experiences with sights and hallucinations, feelings of being insane and phenomena you have witnessed which you could not attribute any kind of reasonable logic. I think this could potentially be a pretty interesting thread. Best regards, Madvillainy
  9. I have an idea...

    Ellis: A MMORPG on 25 grand, eh? I hope those 5 people working for free are gonna stick with you all the way through!
  10. I must say the whole mission-based gameplay doesn't truly intrigue me that much. The way I see it is: if I am the pimp, shouldn't I be the one giving the missions? - Madvillain
  11. I have an idea...

    two houndred and fifty thousand dollars.
  12. I have an idea...

    Well, what's a DJ if he can't scrath? And even more importantly, what's a game designer if he can't code? Learn to code. I've never known a designer who wasn't at some point a programmer. In fact, most of them are still programmers even though they might hand over much of the coding work to other people. It's not that hard. It just takes a lot of patience. - Madvillainy
  13. I have been thinkning more about this game and the actual dynamics of it, how it would really have to work in order to be fun. First of all, set the game in the 60s-70s to conjure the right atmosphere. First of, divide the city into neighborhoods which are in turn divided into blocks. Each block has different types of people livin' in 'em, and hence, different markets. Innitially, what you have to do is to cruise around and research the various blocks so you know where you can profit. As you start your business on a block however, it will change and transform with the way you choose to play it, which in turn, forces you, the player, to adjust for succesfull pimpin. So you will want to play various corners differently - on some corner you may wanna keep it discreet and have luxury hoe professionals, in slum blocks shit wont matter so you just keep runnin as much drugs and hoes as possible (hoes here will be infected, but the costumers wont care since they're allready infected and can't pay much anyway). So a lot of choises are available to the player, keepin' the game content rich, alive and kicking. I say, make a mock-up prototype where you make sure this shit works solidly first, so you have a test bed on which you can try new features and see how they fit in the game balance. This means you will want to make the game design data driven on the technical side; design the engine so it is dependent on scripts (i suggest GameMonkey or Lua, will get you started quickly) and XML (tinyXML is a bliss) ... of course, this has the added bonus of makin' the game moddable, so players can create their own add-ons. Best regards, Madvillain
  14. There is so much you haven't thought about man: -> The Car. Every pimp needs a car. Without his car, the pimp is nothing. The car is his status symbol, it shows who he is and it is his most important weapon in impressing the ladies. Therefore, make sure there are plenty of upgrades for your car. Watch MTV's Gonna Pimp Your Ride with Xzibit for ideas. -> The Clothes. Whats a pimp without an afro? Pimps need to spend serious money getting their rocks and suits right. Fur coats, hats ... it's almost as essential as the rims. -> Crack? You're whack! Crack is an infection in the hood, pimps avoid it like vampires avoid daylight. Cocaine on the other hand, that's a whole different thing. -> Violence. The way your game is lookin' right now, it seems like it doesn't have enough violence. The type of audience this game is geared toward is not going to settle for a bitch choke as sufficient violence. Nah, you're going to have to graphically depict the explicit torture of snitchers, the gang bang firefights and drivebys and whenever you shoot a police make sure you go into slow motion. So you can really see his pig skull fly into pieces. Peace, Madvillain