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Found 418 results

  1. Brandon Sharp

    Machbot 2.0 VS Sweetbot

    This is a project I've been working on for awhile now. I'd save over all going on around a year. I did the Machbot 2.0 all from scratch including the textures. I spent countless hours trying to figure out how to get the models from Twisted Metal. I finally figured out how to manually extract the mesh. But the only problem was it was not UV mapped. So i pretty much had to go back in and remap everything. Which wasn't hard but the assembling of the model itself was a challenge. I did the best I could at placing stuff where it goes I'm sure there are things that are incorrect. All in all it was for this one render. Not sure if my models can be used as game assets but i do want to eventually make this into a fighting game. Both vehicles and bots. Let me know what you think and thank your for checking out my work.
  2. jb-dev

    Let's go to the bank

    From the album: Vaporwave Roguelite

    This is a picture of a yet to be completed bank. The idea is to generate simple geometries to fill the space between the floor and the ceiling. It's done like that because I can set the wall height of the generated level on the fly, so I need something generic and flexible.
  3. I am trying to figure out what to name some of my planned games so I need your ideas on what title to give them. You can give as many names per game as you like. The games are: A 3D platformer involving a rabbit as the main character whose name is this game's title ( What name should I give the character?) A dino killing Sci-fi Fps where the protagonist also fights mutants, hominids and giant insects ( What should be the main character;s name?) A 3D platformer involving a boy genius. What should be his name? A detective/adventure/platforming hybrid. A martial Arts Beat em up action adventure. What should I name the main character who is Asian? And an open world Adventure involving a Family of three/four. What should be the Surname of the family?
  4. It's been almost a week since release, but we manage to do several important updates to the game and ready to give more. So what about updates? there are 4 of them and all of them are small preparatory step to the next big one which is Customization. What we have now that we didn't have at the moment of update: - statistics of victories and defeats of each gamemode and best result in the menu (before you could see only best result at the end of each match) - usability of some menus (such as the ability for the client to close statistics for themselves before it was done by the server, additional information so player will know more about what they are doing, new visual controls and many more) - some improvements in the menu level regarding optimization What next? Now we are at update 1.4, when we make 2.0 it will be customization. Before it there will be several small updates concerning other things.
  5. Today was kind of a slow day too. I've haven't got a lot of sleep lately (thanks little hamster wheel in my head) But at last, I was still able to add (and also fix) some graphical components here and there. In short, I've made the first and last rooms of the level more distinct from every other room. For example, I've added a room flow on these rooms to properly align props and, in the case of the starting room. the spawning rotation. I've also added a little decal-like plane that tells the player what to do (take it as a little tutorial, if you may) The important thing is that this decal is, not unlike my palette shader, dynamic in terms of colours. What I've done is quite simple: I've mapped each channel of a texture to a specific colour. Here's the original texture: After inputting this texture in my shader, it was just a matter of interpolating values and saturating them: Shader "Custom/TriColorMaps" { Properties { _MainTex ("Albedo (RGB)", 2D) = "white" {} _Glossiness ("Smoothness", Range(0,1)) = 0.5 _Metallic ("Metallic", Range(0,1)) = 0.0 _RedMappedColor ("Mapped color (Red channel)", Color) = (1, 0, 0, 1) _GreenMappedColor ("Mapped color (Green channel)", Color) = (0, 1, 0, 1) _BlueMappedColor ("Mapped color (Blue channel)", Color) = (0, 0, 1, 1) } SubShader { Tags { "RenderType"="Transparent" } LOD 200 CGPROGRAM // Physically based Standard lighting model, and enable shadows on all light types #pragma surface surf Standard fullforwardshadows vertex:vert decal:blend // Use shader model 3.0 target, to get nicer looking lighting #pragma target 3.0 sampler2D _MainTex; struct Input { float2 uv_MainTex; }; half _Glossiness; half _Metallic; fixed4 _RedMappedColor; fixed4 _GreenMappedColor; fixed4 _BlueMappedColor; void vert (inout appdata_full v) { v.vertex.y += v.normal.y * 0.0125; } // Add instancing support for this shader. You need to check 'Enable Instancing' on materials that use the shader. // See https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/GPUInstancing.html for more information about instancing. // #pragma instancing_options assumeuniformscaling UNITY_INSTANCING_BUFFER_START(Props) // put more per-instance properties here UNITY_INSTANCING_BUFFER_END(Props) void surf (Input IN, inout SurfaceOutputStandard o) { // Albedo comes from a texture tinted by color fixed4 c = tex2D (_MainTex, IN.uv_MainTex); c.rgb = saturate((lerp(fixed4(0, 0, 0, 0), _RedMappedColor, c.r) + lerp(fixed4(0, 0, 0, 0), _GreenMappedColor, c.g) + lerp(fixed4(0, 0, 0, 0), _BlueMappedColor, c.b))).rgb; o.Albedo = c.rgb; // Metallic and smoothness come from slider variables o.Metallic = _Metallic; o.Smoothness = _Glossiness; o.Alpha = c.a; } ENDCG } FallBack "Diffuse" } Also, note that I've changed the vertices of the model. I needed a way to eliminate the Z-Fighting and just thought of offsetting the vertices by their normals. In conclusion, It's nothing really special, really. But I'm still working hard on this. EDIT: After a little bit of searching, I've seen that you can give a Z-buffer offset in those Unity shaders by using the Offset state. So I've then tried to change a bit my previous shader to use that functionality rather than just offsetting the vertices: SubShader { Tags { "RenderType"="Opaque" "Queue"="Geometry+1" "ForceNoShadowCasting"="True" } LOD 200 Offset -1, -1 CGPROGRAM // Physically based Standard lighting model, and enable shadows on all light types #pragma surface surf Lambert decal:blend // Use shader model 3.0 target, to get nicer looking lighting #pragma target 3.0 sampler2D _MainTex; struct Input { float2 uv_MainTex; }; fixed4 _RedMappedColor; fixed4 _GreenMappedColor; fixed4 _BlueMappedColor; // Add instancing support for this shader. You need to check 'Enable Instancing' on materials that use the shader. // See https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/GPUInstancing.html for more information about instancing. // #pragma instancing_options assumeuniformscaling UNITY_INSTANCING_BUFFER_START(Props) // put more per-instance properties here UNITY_INSTANCING_BUFFER_END(Props) void surf (Input IN, inout SurfaceOutput o) { // Albedo comes from a texture tinted by color fixed4 c = tex2D (_MainTex, IN.uv_MainTex); c.rgb = saturate((lerp(fixed4(0, 0, 0, 0), _RedMappedColor, c.r) + lerp(fixed4(0, 0, 0, 0), _GreenMappedColor, c.g) + lerp(fixed4(0, 0, 0, 0), _BlueMappedColor, c.b))).rgb; o.Albedo = c.rgb; // We keep the alpha: it's supposed to be a decal o.Alpha = c.a; } ENDCG }
  6. I have a brilliant game idea of a Grand Theft Auto style game set in the prehistoric era, or a combination of prehistoric, ancient and medieval eras. more appropriately named. 'Grand Theft Horse'. You may think that this may be dull but, I have Ideas of the 'vehicles' that will be used. Not just horses, but also horse drawn carriages, open cargo carriages or stage coaches(passenger carriages), chariots, oxen, donkeys, camels, elephants, ostriches, (yes, you ride an ostrich). and sea vehicles like canoes, outriggers, boats, triremes, sailboats and pirate ships. You can jack any vessel or vehicle, travel between cities or villages of different cultures, and have weapons and armour of these cultures, swords, spears, bow and arrow. Cultures range from cavemen to medieval . You can commit crimes and get wanted then swordsmen and bowmen run after you. Cities range from villages with grass roof huts, to teepees, to medieval walled towns. There will be missions to do similar to any GTA title. Brilliant Idea no one has thought of yet, isn't it?
  7. jb-dev

    A ragdoll on the floor

    From the album: Vaporwave Roguelite

    This ragdoll is about to be shrunken to nothingness soon enough...
  8. During the past days, lots of shaders were updated and other visual things did too. Firstly, I've added lights effects when the crystals get shattered. There's also a burst of particle emanating from the broken crystal on impact. Also, enemies now leave a ragdoll corpse behind when they die. I love some of the poses those ragdolls make. On another note, I've toyed around with corpse removal and got captivated by the shrinking effect it created. It can sometimes be off-putting, but I'm still captivated. I've also added a nice VHS-like effect from layering two VHS shader together; namely "more AVdistortion" and "VHS pause effect". I've already ported the former and it's already active and the latter was just a matter of porting GLSL shaders to HLSL. No biggie. I did change the code a bit to make the white noises move through time. And there's nothing like trigonometry to help us with that fixed4 frag (v2f i) : SV_Target { fixed4 col = fixed4(0, 0, 0, 0); // get position to sample fixed2 samplePosition = i.vertex.xy / _ScreenParams.xy; float whiteNoise = 9999.0; // Jitter each line left and right samplePosition.x = samplePosition.x + (((rand(float2(_UnscaledTime, i.vertex.y))-0.5)/64.0) * _EffectStrength ); // Jitter the whole picture up and down samplePosition.y = samplePosition.y + (((rand(float2(_UnscaledTime, _UnscaledTime))-0.5)/32.0) * _EffectStrength ); // Slightly add color noise to each line col += (fixed4(-0.5, -0.5, -0.5 , -0.5)+fixed4(rand(float2(i.vertex.y,_UnscaledTime)),rand(float2(i.vertex.y,_UnscaledTime+1.0)),rand(float2(i.vertex.y,_UnscaledTime+2.0)),0))*0.1; // Either sample the texture, or just make the pixel white (to get the staticy-bit at the bottom) whiteNoise = rand(float2(floor(samplePosition.y*80.0),floor(samplePosition.x*50.0))+float2(_UnscaledTime,0)); float t = sin(_UnscaledTime / 2); if (whiteNoise > 11.5-30.0*(samplePosition.y + t) || whiteNoise < 1.5-5.0*(samplePosition.y + t) ) { // Sample the texture. col = lerp(tex2D(_MainTex ,samplePosition) , col + tex2D(_MainTex ,samplePosition), _EffectStrength); } else { // Use white. (I'm adding here so the color noise still applies) col = lerp(tex2D(_MainTex ,samplePosition), fixed4(1, 1, 1,1), _EffectStrength); } return col; } It's nice to have HLSL code, but a video is better:
  9. jb-dev

    A little sign infront of a mall

    From the album: Vaporwave Roguelite

    This little sign is actually placed randomly and at a random angle. There can only be one though. Much like all other models, it follows a colour palette.
  10. Game design document: link.odt (require LibreOffice or compatible) (don't expect anything professional) Rise@Zero is a Apocalypse Arena where a massive number of players cooperate to... well, survive to an apocalypse. Players are expected to collaborate, each time someone die the difficulty scales up to unsolvable situation: I shall leave the GDD itself for all the details. The project itself its currently beyond my league and, anyway, I still don't know if the game would be actually fun: let me explain. This concept is fairly original: its not about shooting, melee fight, asymmetrical horror and overused stuff like that. The core is that player would almost feel the impending need to protect other players: each time a player dies, the earthquake's ratio scale up... possibly ending in a "domino effect". Newbie player would play in similar fashion of the baby in "Who's your daddy" game. Having no empirical background for such kind of game, I simply don't know if this game may be fun or plainly boring: to figure this out at least a prototype is needed, and that's the reason why I am looking for help. The prototype is also detailed in the last chapter (appendix) of the GDD: not all features are mandatory, I can further scale things down if needed. Things I can contribute with is rigging models, build simple/scratchy lowpoly maps, concepts art and contribute with lore that help builds the look&feel (mostly done already in the GDD) I can't provide any founding, but I am open to give the netcode developer the absolute priority on any possible earning from donation/patreon (ie: on Patreon the first tier is yours): the only thing I ask is to not take away this project from me. Code is expected to be released MIT licensed; so no restriction are expected here as well (you can give up anytime, and use the code you did for whatever shooter/melee arena you want: there are many possible applications... I just want the honesty that you will not use it to build your own Apocalypse Arena). Target platform is Linux (with an alternative Windows client for catch more tester possible) and Godot Engine. EDIT: Forgot to add, there's a small draft for a prototype made by me, feel free to take a look, it's a MIT license.. so there are no string attached https://gitlab.com/alexwbc/Rize-at-Zero-prototype Code is basically a mix of godot demo: multiplayer bomberman-like and kinect player.
  11. jb-dev

    Ragdoll removal tests

    From the album: Vaporwave Roguelite

    It's just me trying out ways to remove ragdolls from the world.
  12. Omniscient Games

    Horror Game Development Process?

    I want to create a Horror Game for either PC or Mobile, but I don't know where to start. I have more experience in Unreal Engine than Unity, however, I see a lot of Horror Games created in Unity especially for Mobile. Which engine would be better for developing Horror Games? What is the design process for developing a Horror Game, for example; Planning, Research, Ideas etc?
  13. I've developed a system for sword-fighting games, which is based on renaissance and medieval combat manuscripts, should work with mouse&keyboard, includes everything possible in a real-life sword-fight, should be easy for newbies to use, yet has complexity for master-level play. Haven't seen anything like it in any game I know of. Mount&Blade comes closest, yet is far from the complexity potential of my system. So I ask: Does anybody know any game developers who could be interested? I really wish I could play a game like this. Of course suggestions and critique are also accepted. More info can be found from my blog, a long post showcasing the system, at https://kimripatti.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/sword-fighting-system-for-computer-games/ (For Moderators: sorry if the link to my blog is not acceptable; I can paste it all here, but thought it easier this way)
  14. I love games but I really would like to know if I am or if I am not the only person who does not care for all these new games who put all their focus on ensuring the leaves in the trees look crispy and you can see molecules of water on them. Yes graphics are amazing but they are/should not be the end all be all, at least to me. Am I alone in this belief?
  15. jb-dev

    A small tutorial decal

    From the album: Vaporwave Roguelite

    A small, simple yet comprehensive decal telling what the player needs to do to clear the level, I'm not quite sure of the design, although I think that the content is straightforward.
  16. jb-dev

    No More Internet

    From the album: Vaporwave Roguelite

    When there's no more internet. In order to appease the Internet gods I must sacrifice myself to the bottomless Ethernet port.
  17. White_crow

    Fundamentals of Horror

    What is Horror? Horror is a work that causes a person to feel fear; a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat. But people have greatly evolved and modern people are sometimes more afraid of taxes than real dangers! All horror games can be divided into psychological or non-psychological horror games. This is not an indicator of quality, but only the method of frightening a person. Non-psychological horror games can be very good games, and psychological may well be bad. Let's see what the difference is between them. Non-psychological horror games use our primitive fears such as fear of pain and death. These games frighten the player during the game. This includes survival horror, action horror, stealth horror, simple screamers and much more. In such games for the life of the game character in the game, there is a direct danger. But the problem is that a person has a mental barrier that turns on during the game. The game needs to break through this barrier in order to scare the player. To break through the barrier using three methods: flow, pressure, and payback. Each of the methods greatly affects the gameplay. Flow Flow is one of the reasons why new horror scolds for the fact that the game has more become an action game than a horror. But here it is necessary to understand the developers want to create a good horror game and using this principle is not bad. It's just very difficult to balance it. Developers try to create an endless action in which the boundaries between themselves and the character will blur. To do this, the player is given a huge number of tasks, the player concentrating on these tasks gradually removes the mental barrier, as a result, unexpected events do start to have effects on the player. Good examples: dead by daylight, deceit. Pressure Pressure is one of the reasons why most monsters in new projects are either unrecognizable or unresponsive to any player's actions. The skills of players are growing. Now it's hard to find the level of difficulty for the players. The computer is predictable, and if the monster in the game can be destroyed, then the game becomes easy for a large part of the audience. So the developers went to the trick. Now most of the monsters are immortal, and even if they are still so stupid by the standards of the player, now they really begin to create complexity for the player. If you manage to make the monsters smarter the game will really scare the player. Good examples: Alien: Isolation, SCP. Payback Payback - adds extra weight to our failure. The player begins to fear not death in the game, but the result of death, punishment. The further the player passes and receives more, the greater the weight becomes on the shoulders of the player, and the stronger the player begins to fear defeat. The player can lose all the progress of the game, or lose all his equipment. Good examples: Zombiu, DayZ. Psychological Horror Psychological horror uses our subconscious fears: loneliness, sanity of mind, punishment, correctness of choice. These games lay in the player certain thoughts that start to frighten the player behind in the real world. There are two methods of creating psychological horror: creation and awakening. Awakening is a method during which one of the person's subconscious conflicts will awaken. Because of this method, many games that are basically the usual horror are called psychological. Since this method can be modular and used in just a couple of moments. This method is easy to use. And he bases on a lot of psychological principles, which is the norm for most people. Awakening uses such principles: knowledge and understanding, powerless, uncanny valley, disorientation, fishy, against the mirror. Knowledge and understanding - Part of good horror is a mystery. The player has too little information, or the person is not able to understand this information. Powerless - The main character is weak and insignificant. He is not able to do anything or change anything. Caught in a whirlpool of events, that is much more of a player. The player turns into an involuntary observer in order. Lovecraft loved to use this principle in his works. Uncanny valley – Human consciousness is very stereotyped. So we deceive the player. Breaking these stereotypes and forcing the player to doubt his own sanity. This principle works in two ways: looks and functional. Looks. If there is something with which you are well acquainted, and will be changed a little. If the change is insignificant and it cannot be found unless specifically looked for it. Then the player will have a strange sense of paranoia and fear. After all, although the player deliberately did not notice the difference, subconsciously the mind noticed everything and began to sound the alarm. Functional . If something looks like a mug, then it's a mug, not an alien killer. Until one day you do not fall into an alien killer disguised as a mug. You are used to the fact that bullets do damage to enemies. But that if among the bullets there are blank bullets. Disorientation – Disorientation is based on our standard perception of the world: time, space and gravity. Any manipulation of time, space confuses the perception of the world in the player disorienting and frightening him. The first part of the "Evil within" is almost completely built on this principle. Fishy - This principle works in contrast to the Uncanny valley. The human brain reacts very peculiarly to events, and if events that seem unlikely or impossible to our mind suddenly occur, then our brain starts to believe that something is wrong. Imagine that you were kidnapped. You come to consciousness in a locked warehouse with 30 more people. Everyone starts to communicate and it turns out that everyone in the room is called Larry and only you have a different name. Even if it's just a coincidence, this fact scares you much more than the fact of abduction itself. Against the mirror – The principle in which a player is forced to meet the result of his actions. The player does something that he thinks is right or something that the game asks for. Then he meets with the consequences of his actions. Examples of good games with this principle: spec ops the line, undertale, silent hill. Loneliness – The player is isolated from other people or the outside world. If you simply use these principles without context, then it will lead to nothing. But awakening in good hands can be extremely powerful. Let's look at PT and what it uses. Constant return to the same room. This is the principle of disorientation. At every entry in the room the room changes. Using the Uncanny valley. At some point the radio will ask the player to turn around.. Fishy principle. The game has no background. And the player learns all the information from the environment and the radio. The principle of knowledge and understanding. The player is not able to do anything against the ghost. The principle of powerless. Creation You work from scratch. You do not know what the man is afraid of. But taking as a basis a person who has a specific fear (phobia). Taking his experience, the cause and vision of the world under the influence of this fear. You create this fear for the player from the very beginning. Create a world and experience in which this fear really matters. Examples of phobias and how to turn them into a game: Acrophobia – Imagine a game where the player needs to cross the skyscrapers along the rope. And in case of a fall you will fly to the end down. Apiphobia – Imagine a game where all the bees went crazy and made a real apocalypse. Completely exterminating all people and nurturing the nests everywhere including the bodies of men. And throw the player to survive in this. No worse than a zombie apocalypse. Haptophobia – The game character gets injured in every physical encounter with any person. Now you need to get out of the huge metropolis on foot. All residents go about their business and do not pay attention to you. And only you need to avoid the clash with people.
  18. Game design starts with an idea ... But at the same time I did not find a single course or book where it would be talked about how to generate ideas and how to do it better. I spent some time studying the question, and I identified four techniques that can be used by the game designer in creating ideas. There are, of course, more techniques, but many of them are designed to solve problems than to generate ideas. The techniques are called: Concentration, Brain Storm, Scamper and Ramsey. Concentration This method is the most common and we are all able to use it ourselves, without any training. In fact, you think until you have an idea. But in this case, too, has its own characteristics, which I learned from one biochemist, named Motonari Uesugi, who had a course in biochemistry. He talked about a scientist who developed DNA cloning. The road to the research center, where the scientist worked, was walking along a rocky, winding road running along the shore of the ocean. Every day, on the way to work and from the work of a scientist, a lot of excellent ideas were visited, while at the same time he could not come up with anything at work. He put forward the assumption that thinking in a stationary atmosphere a person will always come to the same ideas, but being in a changing atmosphere a person will generate constantly different ideas. Further research has shown that any changes in the environment affect positively the generation of ideas: To ride an unknown route, take a walk in an unusual time for you and so on. Further it turned out that not only the change of environment influenced the generation of ideas, but also any new information was obtained. Therefore, curious people that are constantly learning something new can generate ideas better. Therefore, for the game designer, curiosity and constant study of something new are vitally important. Brainstorm It is the most common and well-known method in the industry. Many companies use this method and this is the only method that I learned about from the games industry. To perform this method, only people (10-20) and premises are needed. The method is performed in 3 stages. People are divided into two groups: Participants and the Commission. The first stage is "Statement of the task". It is held by the participants. In the case of creating games, the task is issued from the number of resources: the amount of money, the number of team members and their specialization, the amount of time to develop. All the collected information on resources can adequately create an idea of what kind of project the team can create. The second stage is the "Generation of Ideas". It is held by the participants. People simply begin to offer and complement each other's ideas. Any ideas are collected, even the most delusional ideas, for example: a plumber saving a princess or a super fast blue hedgehog. When all the ideas are collected they are transferred to the third stage. The third stage is "Grouping and selection." It is held at the commission. Here already the second group collected ideas evaluates and chooses the best idea. For this method it is important that the group of people for the brainstorming be as diverse as possible. Therefore, many companies also strive to collect a diverse team (different races, nationalities, social status, history, gender). Also, if participants in the assault team are members of the game development team, the idea and concept of the game will be perceived as the result of the collective work of the team. This improves the atmosphere in the team and will increase the motivation of team members. Scamper It is very simple and convenient method. It is especially useful when working with unusual and unloved types of games for you. It is very easy to use and almost always brings results. In fact, this is not one method, but a whole set of methods that the game designer changes in turn, until he finds his idea. Each of the letters is a reference to one of the methods of generating ideas. In this case, it is better to disassemble each of the methods separately. Substitute Replace. You simply replace something in an existing project and see how everything will look now. In the case of games, you need to change the mechanics in the game. Think: What if I replace it? Example: Noitu love 2 In this game there are three game characters that open in their time. The plot game and most levels are the same for all characters. But by including games for different characters, the game begins to be felt completely differently. The reason for this is the different mechanics of each of the characters. Sometimes, it seems that these are different games, although the levels and behavior of the enemies remained the same. I can talk a lot about this topic, but it will be better if you sit down and try it yourself. Combine Combine. You take two genres that already exist and try to mix them together. Think about it. What if you take these two or more genres of games and cross? Example: Borderland. This series of games is a combination of shooter and RPG. From the shooter game got a first-person view and the main combat mechanics. From RPG the game got a level system, experience, pumping, all sorts of equipment with different indicators and special abilities that a player can learn and use in combat. Adapt Adapt. To do this, you take existing old and forgotten mechanics and update them to new technologies and time. Think about it. What old mechanics can I use? Where to use it? And how will this mechanic change? Example: AR and old educational games. We all know the game Pokemon GO. But few people know that the mechanics, on which it is based, was created long before the advent of mobile phones. Eric Klopfer talked about an educational game that used maps and real places for learning. But this mechanics did not find its popularity because of its inconvenience. But over time, there were mobile devices that could use this mechanic without unnecessary problems. Since 2012, this mechanics has returned with the name Augmented Reality. Modify Edit. Here you refer all the games with a change in the aesthetics and level of the objects of the game. Unlike "replace" here the aesthetics of the game changes more than its mechanics. Think about it. What if you make such a game about something bigger or something less, perhaps something else? Examples: The Sims and SimCity. In the first case, we have a simulator for managing the family of people and their dwelling, and in the second, a simulator controlling the city and its inhabitants. The concept of the game has remained the same, it is an economic and spatial simulator. The difference in games is only in the levels of objects: in the first case it is only a house with a small family, and in the second it is a city. Put Apply. You simply take the existing mechanics and find a new application for it. Think about it. How else can you use this mechanics? Example: Undertale. In the case of Undertale there is a system of experience and levels, but it has a completely different meaning than in other games. If in most games these indicators show the power and development of the character during the game, then in this game this mechanics and characteristics is the player's karma. Eliminate Exclude. This method requires the game designer to cut and exclude some mechanics in the already existing type of games. Think about it. What can be cut out of the game and how will it work then? Example: Ultimate Epic Battle We all know the strategists: we collect resources, build the base, build the army, destroy the enemy army, destroy the enemy base and win. But if we exclude everything related to the collection of resources, construction and development base. What's left? And there will be Ultimate Epic Battle, here you just generate armies on the battlefield and watch them fight. Reverse Expand. The games industry is also flexible to the action of stereotypes, like any other information sphere. And sometimes breaking these stereotypes can get very interesting projects. Think about it. What if we do not do here like everyone else? What if we did the opposite? Example: Overlord and dungeon keeper. In most fantasy games, the main character is a positive character saving the world from evil. In the same games you had to play for the villain. What made them much more interesting than most other projects in fantasy style. The Ramsey method. This is the most difficult of the methods. This method was taught to me by psychologists and for this reason it is so complex and heavily populated. But you will need it, too, if you want to become a high-class specialist. What is this method for? One day you will be hired as a game designer and your director will say to create a game on a very specific topic, for example, to create a game about Einstein, fairy tales of the Brothers Grim, or "Alice in Wonderland". And you immediately rested against the wall. Ramsey wrote a theory that, if you take a large amount of information and start looking in it closely and manically, you can find new information or find inconspicuous links. This explains why people with various psychological disorders, like paranoia and schizophrenia, can everywhere find evidence of their rightness and their theories. This theory can also be used in the opposite direction, creating previously unobtrusive concepts at first glance. The essence of this method is that you collect the maximum amount of information on the topic that you need to assemble the games. And then you start to study this information, looking for hidden connotations and imperceptible connections in it until the concept of the game is collected from these pieces. The effectiveness of this method depends only on two factors: the amount of information collected and the effort spent studying this information. Let me give you a couple of examples. The game about Einstein is Brad. Two years after I played the game, I accidentally took the book "Einstein's Easy Lessons". My brain just exploded, many moments, phrases and mechanics were described throughout the book. The game about the Brothers Grimm - American McGee's Grimm. In the beginning, I did not understand why in these games the twisting and dullness of fairy tales. But then I met one person. He told me that the fairy-tale brothers' tales have changed a lot since that time they were in the original. It was darker times and tales, respectively, were much gloomier, but over time, adaptation of fairy tales to a new time was in progress. As a result, after reading the original tales of the brothers' make-up and the current editions, the person will have a vivid sense of contrast. This is shown in the game. This is a sense of contrast between what we know these fairy tales and what they really were written. The game about "Alice in Wonderland" - American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns. In the game you will meet most of the characters from the book, and you will visit Wonderland. The game designer tried to imagine what happened to the main character, so that Wonderland appeared in her head. For the main character, Wonderland is the inner world of her mind. As a result, the story began to consist not only of events in Wonderland, but also the events of real life, which is mirrored in the Wonderland of Alice. As you have noticed, most of such a game plan can be called unusual and sometimes strange, which does not make them bad. So if your director wants to create a game based on his favorite music group or his favorite book, now you know what to use. This is my first article and I hope that it has been useful to you.
  19. On the 6th of January, 2014, I joined IsCool Entertainment as a game developer on the recently released mobile game named Bazoo. It was a long time ago and the project went through a lot of phases. Let me tell you its story… [All illustrations courtesy of IsCool Entertainment.] The genesis The story of Bazoo begins near 2013, when the mobile market was overwhelmed by match 3 games following the successful Candy Crush Saga released the year before. One producer at IsCool rightfully saw in this trend the perfect conditions to create a game out of his younger memories. The man had a lot of fun playing puzzle games with his friends in high school and he wanted to bring back this feeling to today’s players. This was quite a good idea since puzzle game is a popular genre today and the gameplay of some past successful puzzles are not exploited today on mobile. Also, multiplayer mobile gaming is a really hot subject, so it is a match! At its core, the launch of this project can be expressed in few words: let’s do a real-time PvP mobile puzzle game! At the time, the company’s expertise was into developing and publishing its own games mostly for Facebook with some attempts on the mobile market. Some of these games were played asynchronously in multiplayer. In a way, almost everything in the pitch of Bazoo was new for us. Also, most match 3 games worked on the saga mode, and real time PvP gaming was quite new and still had to prove itself in a business point of view. In order to tackle these problems down, we had to remove some constraints from the initial pitch, starting with the most obscure areas: goodbye real-time, goodbye PvP, our first try on mobile gaming will be a saga-like puzzle game. A long way to go. Two thirds of the idea are already out. It was for sure quite far from the initial project’s pitch, hopefully it was a game seemingly reasonable according to our expertise in game development. Actually, I think it is important to emphasize how compromising from the very beginning put us on a path to the game we actually wanted to make. First encounter When I entered the company, the project was already six months in the making. There was a lot of questions about it. Its name has been changed at least once to become Bazoo Block, and its assets were repurposed from another project. The game was quite fun and incredibly beautiful but the team was not exactly thrilled by the product. Actually the subject of online PvP gaming was still present in their minds. The gameplay at the time was mostly a mix of Baku Baku Animals and Puzzle Fighter, plus some nice features of our own. In short, the player had to survive a fight against a computer-controlled opponent where both characters would receive a sequence of blocks from a launcher to assemble and destroy. Depending on the destructions, a varying quantity of extra blocks would fall in the opponent’s game board, making it harder to clear and eventually filling it completely. The game ended when one player could not receive any new block from the launcher. Chained destructions (a.k.a. combos) were rewarded by an increase in the intensity of the resulting attack. The first reader to send me a complete list of things in this capture that have been removed from the initial release of Bazoo wins a t-shirt. As you can see, the core gameplay was very similar to what we have today. From Baku Baku Animals specifically, there was the animals and the foods: four types of animals would destroy their associated food. From Puzzle Fighter there was the super blocks and the patterns of the attacks: grouping similar foods in a rectangular shape would increase their strength in the attacks and the blocks resulting from the attacks would fall in various specific patterns more or less difficult to clean up. On top of this we added some power ups and variations in the gameplay. The game followed the saga models of this time: the player evolved on a map where he would have to solve puzzles of various difficulties in order to access more puzzles. There were levels where he had to fight against an AI and other levels with a single game board and played in a time attack mode where he had to destroy a specified amount of a given food in the alloted time. One of the map on which the player evolved. As the player progressed on the map, its XP gauge was filled. Then every once in a while, when the gauge was full, one of the animals received a level-up, thus making stronger the attacks resulting from the blocks it would destroy. Holiday time Then the summer came and half the staff left in vacations. The project slowed down so… Hey, it’s a good time for R&D! What if we connect two devices over the network and make each one to appear as the opponent of the other? Let’s try and see… And there we had our first real-time online PvP mobile game :) In a few days we went from a classic saga puzzle game to a unique PvP puzzle game. This prototype was a life changer and thus brought a lot of questions. What was the future of the saga mode? Should we throw it, or keep it as an alternate game mode? What if the player has no network? Then went a period of approximately four months during which we maintained the saga in the game until we finally accepted to trash it so we could focus on the game we actually wanted to make. We are in September 2014 and we have a puzzle game that can be played against other players over the network. Ready for the release? Well, not quite… Are we there yet? Let’s get it straight: at least eighty percents of your game is not related to the gameplay. As you may have deduced from the release date of Bazoo and the above paragraphs, we were quite far (like two and a half years) from having a decent game. Here are the subjects we had to work on once the core gameplay was satisfying. Server code First of all, the game now being online, we need a server and thus more developers. From now on consider that each feature will have a server part and a client part. Twice the work and more human synchronization! Tutorial Introducing the game to the players is maybe one of the most difficult parts in the development. When you write a software, everything seems so obvious… Then you run some user tests and all you see is people entering the application with no idea of what to do next, struggling to launch a game during several long minutes. Seriously, do we really have to explain that the rabbit eats the carrots and that the dog eats the bones? No joke. Yes, we must explain it. As a player who skips most tutorials it was quite difficult for me to accept that, but actually several user tests have shown us that we cannot expect a random player to understand the game during its first experience. Every effort put into making it easier for the player to grasp the game is a good move. So we have added a tutorial in the game, where the player had to perform some fixed moves to see the matching in action. After these actions we would let the player finish the fight against an AI. It was better than no tutorial at all but not enough. The main problem was that the player had to understand the game almost immediately during its first launch. Also he could lose this first fight, so we had to force him to do it again. Finally, for the players who understood the game, this unskippable tutorial was frustrating. Eventually we replaced this tutorial with a slideshow explaining the basics of the game. This is the first thing you see when you install the game today. We also force the player to try some fights against an AI before entering the arena and contrary to the previous version of the tutorial he can do it at his own pace. Notifications It is well known on the mobile market that your game cannot have good retention metrics without notifications to bring back your app in the player’s interest, for better and for worse. We initially opted for a tool named Parse to handle our notifications. The service was backed up by Facebook so it seemed quite solid aaaaand it has been discontinued one year later. This, kids, is how you see yourself trashing your perfectly good code. We then went with Firebase for the notifications, let’s hope this one will last. Analytics Once the players are in your game you will want to gather metrics so you can adjust the game both to offer them a better experience and to optimize your revenues. For example, we need to track how long the players wait before finding an opponent and arrange the matchmaking to offer them someone at their level in a short time. Typical analytics tools consist into sending an event via their SDK on the specific actions you want to track as they occur in the game. We initially went with Upsight which eventually upgraded its version and money plan in a way that would not fit our needs anymore. Thus we changed for a brand new tool named Omniata, aaaaaand it was discontinued four months after we added it. We then went with Firebase for the client and a home-made tool for the server. And this, kids, is how you write three times your analytics code. More game We tried several variations in the gameplay before finding something satisfying. There was a time when the player could use some defense and attack items during the game. It was a cool feature that no one ever used. Players were so focused on the combos that they would go to the end of the game without launching a single power up. We also added a minor change in the way the blocks are controlled such that they can stick to the walls when they are rotated, thus allowing some moves that could not be done before. Some power ups the player could use during the fight. Customization There is a huge focus on the customization of the player’s avatar in Bazoo. It is a feature initially implemented with a simple collection of outfits, then it has evolved to become what it is today: an awesome catalog of items that can be individually assigned to various parts of the character. Look at this! Isn’t it awesome? Rankings Since Bazoo is a pure competitive game it could not exist without the ladders. We have added the world-wide ranking by assigning an Elo-like score to each player and the leagues were added soon after. The first implementation was quite overcomplicated with its groups of various sizes and its skins in the prize pool. We had to simplify the whole thing to make it appealing and it resulted in what you can see in the game today. Community What is an online multiplayer game if the players cannot interact before and after they met? Certainly not a game I would like to play. So we added the messages on the versus screens, then we introduced the buddies (i.e. last opponents and Facebook friends) and the chat. On the game modes we had also implemented a matchmaking for players on the same WiFi but unfortunately it was a feature that was almost not used, so we trashed it. Finally the clans where added, allowing the players to team together. Adding the clans in the game was quite an adventure. Another nice feature is found in the Battles, allowing the players to fight with their friends or to organize competitions with other players. The first implementation allowed the players to enter multiple battles at once but there was nothing to win but pride. This was a nice feature, maybe a bit overcomplicated again. So we cleaned it up. For the second version, which you can use in the game today, the player can enter only one battle at once and there is a prize for the top ranked players at the end of the battle. Streaming Bazoo being an highly competitive game it was important for us to provide a way for the players to stream their fights and to be able to watch the fights of others. The first streaming feature was done with the mobile SDK provided by Twitch. Aaaaaand it was removed four months after its integration, when Twitch stopped supporting it (I see some kind of pattern here…). Today’s players can stream with ReplayKit on iOS and with any streaming app on Android. On top of the screen was a drop down chat with the spectators on Twitch. We also provide in-game features to watch games so one can study the skills of others and improve his owns, and also because it is fun to watch. The first one is a replay feature allowing the players to watch their last fights and the last fight of other players. The second one is a live streaming feature, enabled for everyone. Every fight can be watched by the other players, in which case the spectators are able to send cheers to the fighters to show their support. Social Allowing the player to identify with its Facebook account has several advantages both for the player and the developer. First of all it is certainly the easiest way to link the player’s account on several devices. It is also typically associated with an exclusive bonus in the game and provides a way to offer extra resources to the player’s friends via a gifting mechanism, a thing we have added quite soon in the project. On the developer’s side it is a powerful tool for virality. We already had a plugin named EziSocial to handle Facebook in the saga version. It was a good tool for an initial integration but when we needed up-to-date Facebook services we had to change for something more complete. Thus we went with the Facebook plugin of Cocos2D-X. Again we had issues to keep track of the most recent Facebook API so we finally wrote our own C++ bridge to the official Android and iOS Facebook SDKs. Apple’s Game Center and Google Play Games were also added to allow the player to use his account on several devices. Support Being able to keep a dialog and to answer efficiently to the issues encountered by the players is a key point in keeping your community happy. We use Helpshift for this, which provides an nice interface for the user to access a lot of documentation and a great chat interface with our team. We never had to replace it so I guess it is quite a solid tool. Kudos to them! UI By looking at the above captures you may be wondering if they all come from the same game as they are so different from each other. Finding a great UI was a surprising long process. There was the funny one in the saga, then the pirate theme, then another pirate theme, then the flat one, and the modern one. One game, five homes. There was also a landscape version of the game for a short time, developed for the tablets and for the Apple TV (yep, we also added support for the Apple TV before dropping it). The landscape mode was very pleasant to use, unfortunately it made the development in no small way harder since every screen had to be composed and tested for both layouts. We thus had to abandon it and go with the portrait version only. The landscape version made the fights incredibly more intense but was unusable on a smartphone. The key to success Creating a game is a lot of work, creating a good game is an order of magnitude harder, and creating a successful game is even harderer. As you may have read before there is no recipe for success in this industry, that is why studios appear and disappear quite frequently. This is a market where a success is a surprise even for the game’s creator and where the ten top grossing titles take literally all the money. So how does one can make a living in developing video games? Even if there is no recipe for a success there are some keys toward making a great game: do a game you like, keep an eye your metrics, watch the tendencies on the stores and take care of the design to be as good as the bests. Gameplay is important, also are the graphics, also is marketing, and so on. Even if you don’t end with the game of the year, you may still get a nice and working product, commercially speaking. Then there is trial and error. Some developers try several games at once and trash the ones that do not work, others invest on a single game and polish it until it becomes good. As you may have deduced from this article, we are of the “other” kind, pushing as far as possible the projects in which we believe the most, fixing on the way all the inefficient parts we encounter. Will it work? Maybe there is no market for this game, maybe it will explode. There is no way to tell but we are very proud of the product we have created. In my opinion the team did a very good job with Bazoo. Going from the initial saga mode to this awesome online PvP puzzle game was done efficiently by compromising among fast and incomplete integrations, trashing the stuff that did not work, hopefully without having spent too much time on it, and refining the stuff that did work, once its usefulness was backed up by good metrics and user tests. I would for sure do it again! I hope that this view on the developer’s side was worth reading.
  20. Today, I've worked on level exits. When the player arrived at the last room before, nothing awaited him. He was stuck for eternity on the same level. Kinda boring, actually... But today this is no more! Now a big Ethernet port awaits the player at the end of the level. He just needs to jump in it to clear the level. I've had to create two new shaders: one that can fade the screen to black according to the player's y coordinates. I've also needed to modify my main shader to add a new parameter that can create a gradient from the usual colours to pitch black. This way, I can simulate a bottomless pit.
  21. From the album: Vaporwave Roguelite

    I wonder who in their right mind will want to jump down there? Oh, wait. That's how the player finishes a level... Welp, good luck down there 🙃
  22. Doyu

    UI Design Widget Kit for UE4

    Simple UI Design Widget is user interface set for your UE4 projects and created entirely with Blueprint classes. Simple UI Design UMG contains various user Interface styles which consist of common popup, scroll, text input, slide, radio button, drop down box, toggle button, check box. Features: - It is created entirely with Blueprint classes - Full mouse and keyboard key binding - Common popup, scroll, text input, slide, radio button, drop down box, toggle button, check box style UI - Accept, default and cancel button function - Responsive UI design - UI sound effects ( common popup, warning popup, success popup and click ) - More than 40 high resolution images Quick Preview: Marketplace Page : https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/simple-ui-design-widget-umg
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    Fishing Basics for UE4

    Fishing Basics is a simple fishing system for Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). It is created entirely with Blueprint classes and developers can easily customize them. In this project, you can throw a hook and lines into the water at the desired distance and direction and reel the line. AI fish behave in Roam and Chase state. Also, the fishing rods are animated into Idle, Bite and Hook state depending on the situation. Features: - A user can spool a spinning reel which has transform animation - A user can throw a hook and lines into the water at the desired distance and direction - Two AI Fish mode (Roam and Chase) - Three Fishing Rod mode (Idle, Bite, Hook) Quick Preview: Marketplace Page : https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/fishing-basics
  24. Doyu

    UI Design Widget Kit for UE4

    Simple UI Design Widget is user interface set for your UE4 projects and created entirely with Blueprint classes. Simple UI Design UMG contains various user Interface styles which consist of common popup, scroll, text input, slide, radio button, drop down box, toggle button, check box. Features: - It is created entirely with Blueprint classes - Full mouse and keyboard key binding - Common popup, scroll, text input, slide, radio button, drop down box, toggle button, check box style UI - Accept, default and cancel button function - Responsive UI design - UI sound effects ( common popup, warning popup, success popup and click ) - More than 40 high resolution images Quick Preview: Marketplace Page : https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/simple-ui-design-widget-umg View full story
  25. Doyu

    Fishing Basics for UE4

    Fishing Basics is a simple fishing system for Unreal Engine 4 (UE4). It is created entirely with Blueprint classes and developers can easily customize them. In this project, you can throw a hook and lines into the water at the desired distance and direction and reel the line. AI fish behave in Roam and Chase state. Also, the fishing rods are animated into Idle, Bite and Hook state depending on the situation. Features: - A user can spool a spinning reel which has transform animation - A user can throw a hook and lines into the water at the desired distance and direction - Two AI Fish mode (Roam and Chase) - Three Fishing Rod mode (Idle, Bite, Hook) Quick Preview: Marketplace Page : https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/fishing-basics View full story
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