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Found 204 results

  1. Hello there, I am a former player in the small, but dedicated community for the long dead MMO game Wind Slayer.I have been looking to play the game for 7 years, and just assumed that someone else would come along and create a private server. Since I've been waiting about 4 years since the last time I heard any discussion about a private server, I figured I'd have to do this myself.I have all of the game's files, I am looking for a team who would be willing to develop a private server. Already checked on the status of the game's IP and the developer (Hamelin) is a dead company, also; none of the former publishers (Outspark, and Ignited) exist either. So copyright concerns won't be an issue since the game isn't owned by any companies as of today.Link to the game's files for anyone who's interested: http://download.cnet.com/Windslayer/3000-7540_4-10857324.html (@Mods, I accidentally posted this before in the wrong section. Which is the reason for the double post. My apologies)
  2. Hi guys I'm trying to design a Boss which has a special mechanism based on a 2.5D ARPG. In some cases,it can generate a lot of fog,then the players only have a limited view. This situation has a feature: Players don't know where the Boss is and the surrouding situation,I want to make sth interesting based on this. on this occasion,I have several ideas: 1. Boss have different ability in the fog,like being much more powerful,it is hard for players to avoid the skills. 2. Players can destroy or build sth to clear away the fog,then it is easier to fight the Boss. I wonder is there any other things Boss can do based on the limited view of players?The ideas above are not special enough I think. Do u guys have any suggestion?
  3. Design Prioritisation

    The design team initially proposed that we use the spaceship as the central HUB world for the player to return to after a mission’s closure, with this decision unanimous, we began to work chronologically into the game. On the contrary to regular practice and due to inexperience, we began working on the players introduction to the game and tutorial first, before turning our attention to the roguelike elements required, as per the brief. Much of the design work that the team and I worked on was based around the level design of the HUB world and the narrative that could be construed through onboarding. Due to the focus in this area, the main game suffered inattention. Systematically speaking, once the scripts were working in the HUB world, they were supposed to translate smoothly into the level generation there after. Unfortunately this did not go as planned and by the time our attentions had turned to the procedural generation, serious system issues began to highlight themselves. I believe that if we had have worked solely on the procedural generation first to meet the brief requirements and then worked backwards, creating the HUB world then the tutorial, we would have a product that is much more compatible with the brief. As I venture into other projects, this lesson learned in prioritising, I feel is the most important one that I will carry with me to ensure this issue is not repeated in future endeavors.
  4. Grids Pro Asset Offset

    Colony 7 relies on a grid system for assets to snap together, this is so that when an asset is in the way of the player, the player is unable to move to that space. At the beginning of the project the team were unfamiliar with Magicavoxel and how it worked, what we hadn’t originally taken into consideration is: If I create a floor piece that is one unit deep on the Y axis; Then I make a toolbox to sit atop of the floor, on importing into Unity, the tool box would be sitting one unit inside it. However, if when I created the toolbox, I had started it one unit higher to count for height of the floor, this could have been avoided. With a ‘two birds, one stone’ approach, fixing my problem and fulfilling my programming learning outcome, I created an offset script for the assets so that they would still sit correctly on the grid for functionality. Essentially the script adjusts the transform of a child in the Y axis whereas the parent object sits on the grid. This script is able to be applied to any object that needs a slight adjustment rather than having to account for the unit height of asset placement inside of Unity when building the level. This script also made changing the design of the level easier as the assets could be placed anywhere using this script, while still fitting on the grid.
  5. Scope

    After getting the green light on the Colony 7 pitch, we entered pre production with a grand scheme that was very large in scope, but seemed achievable at the time. As production went on, hurdles were encountered with various technical aspects of the games functionality which slowed down the production itself. While technical hurdles are mostly common in all projects, it soon became a realisation that the team had not taken into consideration the potential for these hurdles to arise when defining the scope against deadlines. The effect this had on production was that with each hurdle encountered, that may have taken a day or possibly two to fix, we were losing time to implement the various other systems. In the weeks leading up to the feature complete deadline, to resolve this issue, we had to make extreme cuts to content that we had run out of time to implement. This meant that we had to cut our first level, which caused disappointment among the team. On the back of this, when weekly sprints were consistently not being met, it allowed for deflation to seep within the ranks as there was seemingly a lack of progress. Moving forward, I’ve learnt that setting an achievable scope is highly important so that the team are being given realistic goals, this not only avoids disappointment but it also avoids loss of motivation within the team. The process of making a game can be turned into one itself by setting smaller, more achievable goals for designers and programmers to hit and be rewarded with the fun and positivity we look to install in our players.
  6. Colour Pallets

    In the early stages of design the team failed to outline a clear and concise colour palette to work within. Essentially this allowed for each member of the design team to interpret the in game environments however they wished, it also meant that during the phase of asset creation, the assets were inconsistent and often contrasting. It was only when the assets had come together that this was realised and the team addressed it immediately, focusing on steel greys for the structure of the HUB world with touches of blue to compliment the Colonists uniform. At this point however, it meant creating new renditions of the assets that work in unison of each other. Mainly it was minor issues that were easily fixable such as panel details or table top colours, however one area in particular was quite problematic. When I designed the Volcanic environment, I had a significantly different idea to the other designers, this resulted in spending several hours editing the colour schemes instead of focusing on other work that had to be done at that time. Luckily not too much backtracking had to be done as the problem was identified early enough due to constant asset implementation and testing. Looking back at the plans whilst in pre-production, the colour palette was an obvious and high priority specification that just became lost in translation during the design prep. This particular problem has taught me how crucial it is to outline this early on to ensure designers are working towards a shared vision at all times, it also allows constant re-visitation during the project for guidelines.
  7. Modular Asset Kits

    Having never dived into the world of modular asset creation before, I decided to do some research into how artists and level designers work within this area. The GDC Vault has a great talk on this topic called ‘Fallout 4’s Modular Level Design’ (Linked below), it definitely helped navigate me towards the right direction, albeit there were mistakes I had to uncover for myself to truly know what the benefits of going modular were. Within the first round of assets that I had created, the problems started to highlight themselves. I had created a door asset that suggested it lead to the bridge, except the bridge was going to remain locked. When the level design was updated and we needed the bridge, it meant the doors were unusable because they needed to be able to open. Ultimately this meant redesigning the asset to animate and fit on the pro grid correctly. Original Door: Updated Door: The issue that this highlighted for my work practice, was that when layout changes were made for functionality reasons, the models I was making were inflexible, they were not singular enough to be manipulated to compliment the change and thus they quickly became redundant. At first I had to spend a considerable amount of time chasing my own tail, so to speak, correcting and editing the assets to fit into the updates. Nevertheless once they were updated and snapped together without clipping issues, it was understandable that if I had made them as singular units from the very start, I would not have wasted precious development hours. Moving forward, with asset creation and level design, I know that the more modular the assets are, the more malleable and reusable they are with unforeseen design changes. You can find the very informative GDC talk, surrounding modular level kits, by clicking this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBAM27YbKZg
  8. (you can find the original article here) You've done it. You made the jump. You've gone from "just working on a project," to identifying yourself as a real-life game designer. You've got a solid game design document, a (mostly) working prototype, and have even started to deal with the incredulous looks of bewilderment and disbelief when you tell people you're "making a game". As you consider your wild fantasy of a design, the gravity of what you've signed yourself up for BEGINS TO DAWN ON YOU: "What have am I doing?" "Is this even possible?" "Am I crazy?" These are among the frantic questions that race around your mind. Every time you find yourself thinking about letting your hopes of making your game die, you remember: You are a game designer, and this game deserves to exist. I put together this list to share how I've coped with the affliction of being a game designer. As Renaissance Man Kanye West put it, "this shit was hard to do, man!". Everyone has a unique environment, circumstance, and perspective when it comes to creating art--video games are no different. Even though these suggestions won't work for everyone, I've tried to think of things that can apply to every indie designer, regardless of who they are and what game they are designing. You should also know that I've broken every one of these rules at some point during development myself. So, don't beat yourself up -- with these suggestions, starting late is much better than never! 1) Keep going It seems insurmountable. First, there's thinking of a way to craft your game that doesn't feel the same as everything else in the genre. That's before coding billions of mirco-conductors to manifest the wild fantasy of you've envisioned. After that, you have to make sure it's good--even something as simple as moving a character around a 2D plane may need dozens of iterations to be balanced properly. As a designer, you don't ship with your game. Early in the process, you have to consider if the player can actually figure out what they're doing without you hawking over their shoulder. This issue is addressed through the use of designer-player communication tools like the GUI, prompts, and message windows. The fact is, as an indie designer there will always be a million things to do. A lot of times at least half of them are going to seem impossible. A great game design professor once told my class that the "design never ends," despite the fact that the game has to ship at some point. What defines an indie game designer is the willingness to face these odds through failure, disappointment, and ridicule. Just remember: keep going! In my experience, indie development works great in combination with "tunnel vision," or the ability to ignore and look past distractions and other exterior actors and concentrate on the goal or task at hand. Remember why you chose to do what you do in the first place. Remember how you've already come as far as you have, and consider why the world needs your game. 2) Make lists During my university career, I was once told that "humans are monkey-minded". The notion has stuck with me. I remember the lecturer explaining how our mind naturally skips from thoughts, to memories, images, and everything in-between. A primary role of our self-conscious is in mediating and ordering this "monkey-mind" so that we can do things like have conversations and file our taxes. Not to too get super Dalai-Lama here, but both creativity and the path to a state of peace and contentment are empowered by giving freedom to the monkey-mind. Of course, there are times where the monkey really should be paying attention, but even if you have to wrangle it in, it's only kind to be gentle, right? To get to the point--lists are a great way of allowing yourself to be creative. And remember, the lists don't have to be exhaustive--you can always make another one! Make a list for your tasks for the next month, the next day, the next build, or the current character you're making. As I stated before, there's a lot going on when you are developing games--especially on a small team or by yourself. It creates a lot of baggage -- you can be constantly trying to recall details of bugs you need to fix, or details of an art asset that needs to be changed. Committing the things you need to do to paper allows you to release those thoughts so that they don't have to take up space in your mind. That way you've got much more room for your monkey to wander and gather the fruits of creativity! Also, give yourself the satisfaction of checking, crossing off, making a blood oath, or whatever it is you want to do to the list to communicate to yourself that a task is done. No matter how big or small of a task, use it as an opportunity to celebrate. It was on list, and now it's done. You fucking did it! You are a little bit closer to bringing your game into reality. (Please don't actually do a blood oath, it's unsanitary.) 3) Take breaks Remember the "fun meter" from the Sims? It's a real thing! Respect your fun meter. Sometimes that might mean giving yourself a night off to decompress after banging your head against a wall for hours trying to fix that collision bug--maybe by switching to something like writing blog posts or by watching "Indie Game: The Movie" or an episode of Double-Fine Adventure. Do what you can to get yourself back into the zone. If you can work in a positive state of mind, both your work and efficiency will benefit as a result! Good games take sacrifices of relationships, money, and perhaps most importantly--your time! So make sure you are managing your energy and putting some time into maintaining your physical and mental well-being. After all, if you're unwell it's harder to make a game! 4) Use Naming Conventions Anyone who’s been hundreds of files deep into development and managed to lose that crucial asset that they've worked on for hours will stress how important this point is. Proper use of naming conventions will save you a world of time and frustration. Your method doesn’t have to be too elaborate as far as “professional” conventions" go, but your main considerations should be consistency, clarity, and convenience. Whatever system you decide to use, make sure it’s logical and predictive for you. If someone else were to make an asset for your game using your naming conventions, you should be able to tell what kind of asset it is in your game, and where it belongs. It can be very simple, but must be enough to make your assets distinguishable. It’s also important to carry this relationship with naming conventions across your whole project! For me, this includes art assets, scripts, and even the images I use for blogging. They might change from subject to subject, but the main thing is to make sure you know, and understand it, while finding your system efficient. 5) Talk to people Developing Class Rules has been one of the most isolating experiences of my life. Making a game is itself a profession that is already at odds with society's "norms" and expectations of what constitutes wage labour and otherwise normative ways of life. Further, the actual day-to-day process of developing games is alien to the vast majority of people. Attempting to explain the minutia of "the awesome new script" you're working on, current hiccups in the coding process, or the labours of trying to balance a level often results in a glazed expression of confusion and apathy. But, it's not their fault! What did you expect? You're a game developer! How long have you listened to the minor details of what other people do during their day at work? And really, why should you care so much? There is no way to know everything, and most people will not have the tools or to communicate with you about the in-depth details of your work. The point I'm trying to make is: don't let game development's complexity discourage you from trying to talk to people about your game. Yes, a lot times you'll get friends and loved ones putting you down, disbelief in game mechanics you think are awesome, Han Solo shaking his head, and blunt disinterest in what you dedicate much of your time to. But at the same time, you can be faced with the exact opposite: great new ideas spawned from situations and conversations , songs to listen to, movies to watch, renewed fervour and faith in your project, or in short -- creativity. Take criticism as an opportunity to review your reasons for doing what you do the way do. Take yourself through the uncomfortable process of challenging your assumptions. Make the reasons why your target market deserves your game evident within your work. 6) Set Deadlines Setting deadlines is huge! It's a little related to making lists, but I think it deserves some more attention. When working by/for yourself it becomes very easy to let things slide. Pressure -- even if it's completely of your own fabrication -- is a great motivator. But, be realistic when setting deadlines for your schedule. This is especially true for the pre-design and prototyping phases of the project. In my experience, development times start to become a little more predictable as you become more attuned to the specific systems of producing parts of your game. Deadlines can be set for a lot of reasons -- contest or festival entries, grant submissions, presentations, and your aunt's wedding are all valid reasons to make a stable build for your game. This is also something you can at the end of every week or two weeks to make sure you have a current and accessible version of the game ready to go just in case. 7) Show your game Take the opportunities that you can to show your game to your peers and public. I think the most important thing going into any environment where you will have the chance to playtest and learn about your game is to know what it is you hope to answer during the playtest. Watch how your new section plays, or how players react to the dialogue. Try to have an idea of what you want to learn and take away from the play test! That way you can optimize the structure the session to get the most out of the feedback. Also, be mindful about where you enter your game and make sure you're ready! 8) Make it count Game design is an art. Your work has meaning. The power that the messages behind your game can mean for other people should not be underestimated. You have the opportunity to do something that matters for others, so do it! I touched on the importance of making the effort to consider why your game deserves to exist earlier in this piece. Ask yourself why your game deserves to be made. Perhaps more importantly, why does it matter? As a designer, I think you should be repeatedly asking yourself these questions throughout the entire development process. In 1809 when Napoleon led his armies to victory over the Prussians in Jena, German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Frederick Hegel claimed it was the "end of history". It ensured that the ideal "liberté, égalité, fraternité" would be pursued by all peoples of the world. The marriage between Napoleon's actions, and Hegel's thoughts are an example of a powerful dialectic representing the real political action that comes as part of some great artistic or literary works. Videogames, as with all other forms of art, can be used as an agent of political change. If your game contributes to a message, or was designed to communicate something about a particular topic, you will have a much easier time motivating yourself to see your project through. And as indie, aren't you here to make unique games that wouldn't be considered by AAA studios anyways?
  9. LEVEL DESIGNER REQUIRED Compensation: This is a hobby project. Responsibilities: The level designer will make levels with assets in the engine and solid platforms. Engine used: Game Maker Studio 2. Knowledge: You don't actually need programming knowledge for Game Maker Studio 2. All you need to do is put on beautiful background layers and tilesets on several different rooms. Website: www.beupe.net E-mail: support@beupe.net Discord: https://discord.gg/ywbHtdr
  10. Writing the story for Spellbound

    Spellbound is intended to be a story driven game. I feel that's the only thing which can make the game interesting on its own. The story of Spellbound has gone through a lot of evolutionary changes throughout the development process. When I initially conceived of the game, I just had a game concept: "Throw fireballs at zombies in VR, using your hands". As a game premise, that's mildly interesting but it would quickly lose its novelty and appeal. How do I make it interesting? I needed a story. Initially, my writing approach was to ask hard questions about the world: Why are there zombies? Where did they come from? Why is the wizard in a zombie infested graveyard? What's going through the wizards mind? What was his life like? What was his past? So, I tried to find answers which made sense, given that you're just some red cloaked dude in a wizard hat, slinging fireballs at zombies. The first version of the game and story was embarrassingly bad. The synopsis of the story: "You were a wizard whose wife had died, and you were searching for a way to bring her back to life because you missed her. So, you casted a spell promising to bring her back to life via resurrection, but instead, it just reanimated her and turned her into a zombie. The spell worked so well, that it also brought all of the corpses in the nearby graveyard to life as well! Your undead wife flees to the graveyard, so you have to defeat infinite waves of undead zombies. After a while, you face a big boss monster who was behind it all!" As far as stories go, that was pretty pathetic but also short. I'm a half decent writer with imagination, I know I can do better if I just spent some time to work something out. I needed to ship something playable to people, quickly. I thought that the main map would be my main game play, but it wasn't completed yet and ready for public consumption (it didn't satisfy my quality standards). So, I created an early "prelude" level. I also needed a main menu in VR, and since this is needs to be a seamless experience between game world and game menu, the menu itself can't be a static 2D screen like you'd have in traditional 2D games -- the menu itself had to be a level which you interact with. I was ruminating on story in the back of my mind for a while at this point, and I decided that I eventually wanted to have five wizards, each from a different school and theme of magic, each with unique story lines. My game universe was growing in complexity. But, I can't focus on developing the story. I need to ship as soon as possible to get something playable out there! I had chosen the "Red Wizard" as the first school of magic and theme to focus on. I didn't know what the story would really be, but I had written a really rough outline which served as a rough map on where I wanted to go with the plot. I would come back to the story much later and flesh it out, but for now, I just needed to create the prelude story and introduce players to the game universe and introduce a character or two. I wrote the prelude story in a day, polished the dialogue, and kept it somewhat vague, but also left a cliff hanger as a lead in for the main story. Then I shipped it. Currently, you can still only play the prelude and experience that story, and its short at best, but it shows the story telling model I'm using for VR: 1. I introduce an illustrated storybook and a narrator reads the first six pages. This serves as an establishing shot / context, and also establishes the narrator. 2. I fade to black, load the game world, fade in, and the story resumes from the first person perspective. The wizard talks to himself as a way to guide the player on what to do (a bit weird), and the narrator adds story as well, sort of like how a dungeon master would. 3. At the end of the VR experience, we fade to black and return to the library menu, and resume reading 1-2 illustrated pages as sort of an "epilogue", which can serve as a seamless lead-in for the next story. This month, I decided that I was a bit too aimless with my development and I needed to get more focused on shipping the next set of content. Okay, where do I begin? I don't have a level made, no story, barely any functioning spells, no crafting system, etc. What have I been wasting my time on?? Oh right, an AI system with machine learning. I realized that the pragmatic thing to do is stop everything else and focus on fleshing out the story for the red wizard. Once I have the story complete, I'll have a much better idea on the scope of the project, what scenes need to be built, what's important and what's not important, and I can start focusing on actually building my game around the story. This seems like an obviously good idea in hindsight. The story is like my game design document, and if the scope is too big, I can change the story until its achievable. So... I just have to write the story. The problem is, I just had a really rough outline on what I think the story should be about. Despite the outline, I actually don't know what the story is. Okay, so how do I figure that out? I just have to start writing. But, I can't just start writing blindly! I need to spend some time crafting the world, the characters, the history, the lore, etc! My approach to writing my story is to write out the very best first draft that I can, as completely as I can. The point is not to have a story ready for production, but to just figure out what the story is. What story am I trying to tell? Why is it interesting? What captures the readers attention and holds it? What can the audience get out of the story? What makes the story emotional? What creates a sense of wonder and amazement? What are the high points and low points of the story? Who are the protagonists? Who are the antagonists? Who are the supporting characters? What is every characters motive? Every character needs to have a flaw to be interesting, so what are the character flaws? How do those flaws get revealed? How does the character flaw play into the story? How does the story begin? What's the problem the characters are trying to solve? What's the struggle? How do the characters overcome the problem? How does the character need to grow in order to overcome the problem? How does the problem get resolved? How does the character feel about the resolution(s)? How does the audience feel about the resolution? How do we set ourselves up for introducing the next episode? Oh, and by the way, all of this has to be done in VR so we have to assume that the protagonist has total agency over decisions made, so story has to account for that. It's a bit of an overwhelming puzzle to work out. It's extremely important to note that since my game is going to be story driven, where the story either makes or breaks the final result, I cannot afford to half heartedly write a mediocre story. I have to write the greatest story I'm capable of writing. My game depends on it. The future of my one man company depends on it. My income depends on it. The story is the backbone. It's my secret sauce. My secret weapon. It's going to be what makes it a "must have" for every VR gamers library. And it can't just be a story which was shoved into a VR game, it has to be a story built from the ground up, specifically for VR, to make use of the unique story telling capabilities VR offers. So, I cannot just write out a first draft, call it good, and move forward with production. If it takes two weeks or two months to get the story perfect, then so be it. So, I'm thinking that I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to story writing. I have never published a novel. Never wrote a screen play. Never wrote a story for a game. At best, I've written a few short stories for a community college class. But, I have good story ideas, damnit! That's my stubbornness and ego peeking through, insisting that despite my lack of experience, I'm more qualified than anyone else to be the one who writes the story. How do I account for my lack of experience with "officially" not being published? I say, "It doesn't matter, I don't care, fuck it, I will just have to write 20 drafts to be on par with a professional." I think that's the right intuition though: Write 20 drafts of the same story. The first few drafts are going to be exploratory. You don't know what the story is until you've written it. You don't know who the characters are yet. You don't know their motives. The first version of the story is just a congealing of the oatmeal, where you bring it all together and sort of figure out what the real story is. This is where you answer all of the questions I listed above. You might need to write several versions of the story. Think of each version as sort of like a parallel universe, where each version can explore different possibilities in plot development. Eventually, you'll find that you're drawn to certain plot highlights and themes more strongly than others, and those become your story. At this point, you have written your story about 3-5 times. You're familiar with it, but not intimately. Now, the story becomes more like sheet music to you (the author), and it's a bit of an unfamiliar song. You can kind of play the notes and create a semblance of what the song sounds like, but it's rough and spotty. You know what notes you need to hit and when, so the only way to properly hit those notes is to practice, practice, practice. This means you're going to be rewriting your story, over and over again, each time getting more and more familiar with the plot. There isn't a fixed number of times you need to rewrite the story, but you'll know when you've written the final version: It'll flow like beautiful music off the paper, wrapping the reader in a warm hug before fleeting away. The reader will be embraced in a feeling of warmth and happiness for a moment, and then left wanting more, more, more. You've now got a page turner. A novel people can't put down. A movie which demands your attention. A game people can't stop. What happens next?! ...Turn the page to find out! I was recently encouraged by a blog article I read on the writing process of William Shakespeare. Most people think that his writings was pure genius, written from divine inspiration, and it just flowed to him easily via unnatural talent. Historical records of his writings show that actually... he wrote many, many revisions of his plays over the years. Even Shakespeare wasn't some savant writer who wrote perfect first drafts, and he's considered to be the best writer in the history of the English language. But I realized that I can't just start writing successively better iterations of the same story. There's SO much more to the story world than what people read on the pages. You know how when you pick up some fantasy books, and on the first page they have a map of the world, with kingdoms, city names, mountain ranges, rivers, oceans, and all of that stuff laid out? There is a whole story universe which the story events are set within! Each kingdom may have different politics. Different cultural customs. Different building construction aesthetics. Different values. Those background differences will and should make an impact on the story as its being told! Is slavery legal in one kingdom but not another? How does the climate affect clothing and customs? How does a traveler from one kingdom deal with the differences in culture in another? Is it a source of character conflict? What are the motives of each kingdom and its political leadership? What is the history which shaped the current state of the world? How does the past factor into any current conflicts? There's a LOT more investigatory questions to ask, but you get the idea. I realized that this narrative background stuff is very important to establish! It is literally the foundation upon which your story rests. The presence of this background scaffolding may never actually manifest in your story directly, but it is the world which contains your narrative events. If you don't build the world, your story doesn't rest on anything solid and it will be very wishy washy. So, before I started earnestly writing my actual story, I spent a lot of time writing about the world and its history. When you read my story, you are only experiencing 10% of the universe/work. The other 90% was scaffolding which was put into place, and then stripped away when it was no longer needed. People will just see the finished product and think, "Oh wow, this looks easy. I bet they just started writing from pure inspiration!", but that illusion is so far from the truth of the underlying writing process. I spent nearly a week just writing scaffolding background material. What are all the races? What are they like? What are their values? What institutions exist in the world? What is the history of the institutions? What is the common sentiment in the kingdoms? What landmarks exist? Why are they important? What creatures exist? What's their lore and background? etc. etc. You know what? I'm glad I did this. It created a nice background framework for me to work within. I, the writer, know everything about the Academy of Magic, who's really running it, where it's located, and its deep history, but the reader gets to discover little tidbits about this institution and they can gradually put it together like a puzzle. At the end, the reader may not know everything there was to know about the Academy of Magic, but maybe there will be more content later which brings those interesting details to the surface? Just think about it: How much did you know about Hogwarts after the first Harry Potter book? How much did you really know about Luke Skywalker after only watching Episode IV: A new hope? And after you experienced all of the content and had a better understanding of the world, and then watched it again, how much more sense did the actions of the characters make when you understood the background context? Anyways, I'd like to share with you a few select pieces of narrative content I've worked on recently. Keep in mind, all of this is first draft material, so there's a high likelihood that the 20th version will be very different: ~~STORY BOOK OPENS~~ Page 1: [Narrator]: “The legend of Rupert the Red… goes something like this” [Narrator]: “Over three thousand years ago, there was a grand battle between magicians of ages past. They nearly ruined the world, but instead, they set civilization back by thousands of years.” *Picture of wizards at war, volcanoes exploding, land tearing up, red sky* Page 2: [Narrator]: “The kings of old, never forgot the calamity. They unanimously decreed that henceforth…” [Kings voice]: “all magic must be banned. Those caught practicing sorcery, shall be put to death!” *Picture of kings sitting around a round table, one king is standing and leaning forward with a raised fist, addressing the other kings* Page 3: [Narrator]: And kingdoms across the lands, knew peace... With the exception of magicians. [Angry crowd]: “Burn the witches! Burn them all!” [Narrator]: “But while magicians and sorcerers can be hunted and killed, magic itself can never be extinguished. What the kings of old didn’t quite understand, is that magic itself is a gift bestowed upon mortals by the gods themselves. Oh, how they tried to kill magic though.” *Picture of an angry mob with torches and pitchforks, surrounding posts with silhouettes of people tied to them, as a massive fire burns them* Page 4: [Narrator]: The gift of magic was a sliver of the gods themselves, given to mortals to fight against darkness. When darkness came again, the kingdoms were defenseless and fell like wheat to the scythe. [People] : *anguished screams of terror* [Monsters] : *roaring, gnashing and slashing* *Picture of men, women and children being chased and killed by demon spawn. Sky is red, filled with smoke. The face of a grinning devil can be faintly seen in the clouds* Page 5: [Narrator]: A few sorcerers who had evaded the murderous clutches of men, stood united against darkness and sealed it away at heavy cost. [Magician Group]: Chanting in unison *Picture: 5 men and women, holding hands in a circle, with red, blue, white, black and green magical flame pillars, and connected lines of magical color in a star pentagram shape. In the center, stands an old man (Sassafras). Page 6: [Narrator]: The kingdoms were safe again, but the kings… they blamed the magicians for their destruction. *Picture of a group of soldiers nailing wanted posters to lamp posts* (Hammering sounds) Page 7: [Narrator]: A young boy, with the reddest hair you’d ever see, was born to a pair of humble farmers living on the edge of the Black Forest. [Baby] : Crying sounds *Picture of a crying baby being held in the arms of a mother, with a red shock of hair on its head* Page 8: [Narrator]: His father named him “Rupert”. The boy grew up, as all young boys do, and trouble followed naturally, as it does with all young boys. *Squealing pig noises and boyish laughing sounds* *Picture of a young freckle faced farm boy with a pot on his head, chasing a terrified pig with a stick* Page 9: [Narrator] : But, as fate would have it, the natural troubles of boyhood soon turned into supernatural troubles which only followed Rupert. *burning house & inferno sounds, screams* [Narrator] : Rupert was a magician. The villagers were afraid and angry. [Villagers]: “Rupert is cursed! He’s a witch! Burn him!” Page 10: [Narrator]: Rupert ran, and he ran, and he ran, deep into the black forest. The village hunters eventually gave up. (picture of rupert hiding under a stump while a dog search party with torches looks for him in the distance) *barking sounds in the distance* Page 11: [Narrator]: Rupert wandered through the forest for days, getting hungrier and hungrier. He stumbled on an old, broken tower of mossy stone, and made it his home. He lived on bark and berries. *picture of a young boy trying to eat bark in a forest, with teeth almost breaking against it* Page 12: [Narrator]: He lived for years, completely alone, terrified of the supernatural troubles which seemed to follow him everywhere. [Narrator]: Last night, Rupert discovered a book as old as time: The lost book of Sassafras. He was about to change the course of history -- FOREVER. *Picture of Rupert sleeping soundly on his back, with drool coming out of his mouth. A black crow with red eyes watches.* Snoring noises, followed by “Caw, caw! Caw!” from the crow. ~~FADE TO BLACK FROM STORYBOOK MODE, FADE INTO GAME VIEW~~ Note: Cawlin has somewhat of a German accent. [First morning, wake up] Rupert is sleeping in his bed after his late night journey into the undead infested crypts. He has been sleeping restfully for 11 hours and it is now nearly noon. An impatient crow stands at the foot of his bed. RR: "ZZZzzzz...ZZZzzz...huuuurffffgll, guuurffflllghh..." (deep snoring) Cawlin: "Cawww... Cawww... Cawkadoodlydoo! Wake up, you!" RR: "ZZZz---huh? Who said that?! Who's there?!" Rupert awakens slowly, the VR camera opens eyelids slowly, blinking awake. The player is looking down the foot of the bed at the crow. Cawlin: "Caww.." RR: "Oh… it’s just a stupid bird." Bird cocks it head to the side in curiosity. Cawlin: "Caww?" RR: "Oh, just listen to me. I'm already going mad -- first it starts with talking to the birds, then its rocks and then its trees." Cawlin: "Caw!" RR: "Say now, how did you manage to get in here? I didn't leave a window or door open last night, did I?" Cawlin: "Caw… Caw..." We wait for the player to get out of bed. They can either click the bed or walk out of the bed zone. Once they move out, we quickly fade to black and fade back in, to the wizard standing at the bedside. RR: "If I'm going to be a raving madman talking to bird brains, you must ... have a name... I shall call you..." Cawlin: "Caw... Cawlin." RR: "...Cawlin." Cawlin: "Caw! It's about time you got up, it’s well past noon! And just who might yewwwww be??" RR: "What?! A talking bird?! Now, I've certainly gone mad!" Cawlin: "Yes, yes, you’re a certified loon and I’m a crow.” (rolls eyes) Cawlin: “Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, who are you?" RR: "Well...I'm Rupert!” Cawlin: "RRRrrrrupert… what is it that you’re doing in these woods?" RR: "This is my home! I live here." Cawlin: "Ho… how unusual... a huuuuman living in the black forest..." RR: "Unusual? ...Why?" Cawlin: “Humans haven’t ventured into the black forest for centuries. Those that do… never come out alive. There’s something… peck-uliar about you Rupert… What ees it?” *Rupert feels afraid for a moment because his secret about being magical might be given up* RR: “I… I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Cawlin: “No, there’s definitely something about you…. I can… smell eet… ah, there eet ees again! You’re… magical!” RR: “...Magical? I don’t believe in magic...” Cawlin: “You fool! Here you are, speaking with a talking bird, and you don’t believe in magic? I watched you last night as you rrrRRrroasted the walking dead with fi-yar.” RR: “Wait, you were there? You saw that?! It was real?!” Cawlin: “Of course I was... I had been waiting for you... all night! Quite the pyrrrrrotechic display, if I might say.” RR: “I still can’t quite believe what I saw. I almost thought it was just a bad dream -- I just -- haven’t been sleeping well lately.” Cawlin: “Yes, yes, it was all real. No matter! … Eet has come to my attention… that you have acquired a certain… book.” (pronounced almost like “buch”) RR: “Yeah, it was a really weird book… I heard it speak! A strange voice called out to me.” (Cawlin jumps up and down in excitement, flapping his wings) Cawlin: “Ah… do you know what you’ve found? Theees ees sooo exciting! You’ve finally found eet!” RR: “Ehh… what?” Cawlin: “The buch! The long lost book of Sassafraaaaaas! …. Eets verrry special to me. I must see it!” RR: “What’s so special about this book?” Cawlin: “Oh, eet ees only the most powerful buch of magic in the heestory of the world! It has been lost for thousands of years, but lost eet ees no more! You have eet! Eet is very special.” Cawlin: "Thees book, you know, it doesn't just get found by anyone. It... choooooses... Yes, that's the right word.. The book chooses ... who it uses. Many wizards think they use books, but never does it occur to them that the book uses them! Sassafras was it's last chosen wizard, and that was thousands of years ago! And last night, it seems to have chosen… RRRrrrrrrupert. Now, ...Why did it choose rupert?!" RR: "I don't know! I barely know anything about magic.” Cawlin: “The book must have it’s own reasons… muahahahaha” RR: "So, what now?" Cawlin: “We must read the magic buch, of course! Let’s go find eet!” Cawlin jumps onto the left shoulder of Rupert. There is no further dialogue until the player goes downstairs. A large book sits prominently on a table next to the door. It is sparkling and glowing, softly illuminating the darkness with red light. Cawlin: “Oh… there eet ees! ...thees ees so wonderful. I can feel eet… so close… yet so far.” (said in a deeper ominous voice) Cawlin flies from the wizards shoulder to go over to look at the book on the table. This helps direct the players attention. RR: “oooh...kay…” (said in the tone of, “who is this bird?”) Cawlin: “Open eet! Let’s see what secrets eet contains!” We wait for the wizard to use the book. When he uses it for the first time, the book opens and a bunch of green energy swirls from the book to the wizard. Upon the pages of the book is nothing but symbols and gibberish. RR: “What was that?!” Cawlin: “I don’t know. Magic maybe? Who cares, read the book!” Cawlin: “Well? What does eet say? What do you see?” RR: “It’s just a bunch of symbols and gibberish. I can’t read any of this!” Cawlin: “What?! Oh no...I hadn’t counted on thees. Why did eet have to be him? ... Why?” RR: “What? What do you mean?” Cawlin: “You… you don’t actually know magic. Not yet, at least.” RR: “I don’t? How is that possible? I was just throwing fireballs last night.” Cawlin: “Ahem… yes… you’re welcome for thee assistance.” RR: “Uh… what?” Cawlin: “That fire essence you used last night… I put eet there for you. Eet was just a temporary conduit for your latent magics… You don’t *actually* know how to use magic yet...” RR: "Okay, so what? How do I read this book?" Cawlin: "I don’t know. I’m just a bird, I can’t read!" RR: “So… then this book is useless to both of us.” Cawlin: “Maybe you can find a clue which could help us?” Cawlin flies back onto the left shoulder of the wizard. When the player walks away from the spellbook, it disintegrates in a puff of green particles. RR: “What happened to the book?! Where did it go?” Cawlin: “Oh… amazing! …Eet’s bound to your magical spirit. Eet ees always with you!” RR: “I don’t understand.” Cawlin: “The buch! You can call eet back at any time, and you will never lose eet! Try it now… Just focus on a hand, imagine the book in it, press your fingers inward…” We wait for the player to press the book button on the motion controller. When they do, we spawn the book in that hand in a shower of green magical glitter. Cawlin: “...and poof! There eet is! What an extraordinary book!” The book is turned to the first page, and as we look at it, some of the symbols transform into letters and words. RR: “Well -- I suppose, but again, what use is a book I can’t lose if I can’t read it?” Cawlin: “Well, It’s a magic book, and magic itself is composed of symbols or something like that -- don’t ask me, I’m just a stupid bird -- but I’m sure there’s some way you can figure out how to read those symbols? Yes? Let’s open eet and see what clues we can find!” The wizard opens the book, and on the very first page is a small set of instructions on its use, written in a poetic style: It’s an empty book It stores the spells a wizard learns It has a few left over runes from Sassafras Cawlin: “Oh, dear! The years just haven’t been kind to the pages of parchment. Even magic itself can’t protect its pages from the sands of time forever… Oh, no… oh, woe… it seems, knowledge… it has all been lost. Whatever will I do now?” RR: “Uh… you make less and less sense by the minute. You seem to know more than you’re letting on, so tell me bird, what do you know about magic and this book?” Cawlin: “Ehe. Well. ahem… Magic is just a tool used by mortals -- I mean, men… and eet can be used for evil or good. It just depends on the contents of the heart of the magician. Good magicians, naturally choose good magics, while evil magicians will choose… so called “evil” magics.” (Cawlin says “good” with disgust, and “evil” with affection) RR: “So what? How does that help us?” Cawlin: “One thing you must understand about magic, is that eet is composed of magical words and symbols. Without the proper words of a spell, there simply is no magic! So, men with the talent for magic, would often work very hard to find the proper symbols for magical spells. Sometimes, these… experiments, would go… very wrong! And they’d explode. Or turn into toads. Or become green for a day or two. Either way, playing with unknown magic is… dangerous.” Cawlin: “Once a good sequence of magical words have been found, the magicians would write them down in their spell books. Then, they could say the magic words at any time, and… POOF! The spell would just happen!” RR: “Just like that? It doesn’t sound so bad!” Cawlin: “Well, it’s not quite so easy… There are lots of symbols to choose from, and just as important as the symbol itself, is the color of the symbol! Without the right rrrrecipe, you might be using the right words but never actually working the magic.” RR: “So… magic words, magic orders, magic colors… why does it have to be so complicated?!” Cawlin: *chuckles* “heee heee hee, you’re barely even a novice. Of course it seems difficult for you now, but in the hands of a master magician, magic can be wielded to shape worlds...and… make fooooood. Like… delicious corn! Let us start there -- you haven’t had breakfast yet, have you?” RR: “I was just going to step out of the house to nibble on some delicious tree bark for breakfast…” Cawlin: “You -- with your talent for magic -- have been eating bark this whole time?! Unbelievable! It’s time to change that. Fortunately for you, and my oh, so generous mood this morning, I happen to have found a few symbols of magic.” RR: “What? You’ve been holding out on me. Why didn’t you say so sooner!” Cawlin: “Well, they won’t do you much good unless you know how to scribe them into a proper spell.” RR: “Where do I begin?” Cawlin: “First, we must go forage the forest for ingredients with magical properties. The first thing we’d like to collect, is a red pepper. Let’s go find some.” Rupert and Cawlin go wandering through the forest until they find a red pepper growing on a bush. Cawlin: “There! Right over there! A red pepper!” Rupert picks the red pepper. RR: “Okay, I’ve got the red pepper. Now what?” Cawlin: “The red pepper has the essense of red magic! That’s why it burns your mouth when you eat it. We must extract this magical essence and use it to write your first spell. Let’s go back home.” Rupert and Cawlin return to the mossy tower. Cawlin: “Everything has a bit of magic in eet. It is the job of the alchemist to extract this magic and brew bottles of magical extract. Many mortals don’t rrrrealize what they’re actually doing, but they treat these magical extracts as ‘medicines’, but it’s actually magic at work. A brewed potion has potency, depending on the skill of the alchemist and the ingredients used.” RR: “I’ve never brewed a potion. Where do I begin?” Cawlin: “Well, you don’t really have a prrrrroper alchemist work bench, so we’ll just have to use the most rrrrrrudimentary tools available to extract the magical essence from the red pepper. You must crush the red pepper between some rocks, and you’ll get a little bit of red magic essense. Try it now.” Rupert places the red pepper on a slab of rock and smashes it with a rock. A few seconds later, small vial of red liquid emerges. Cawlin: “You did it! A vial of red magic!” RR: “How do I use this?” Cawlin: “If you drank it, it would burn your mouth and upset your stomach, but we’re going to use it as ink to write magic symbols. Let’s go to your test chamber… Oh... you don’t have one. Well, that table will have to do then...” When Rupert approaches the table: Cawlin: “Fortunately, I happen to know two magical symbols -- ‘Li’ and ‘Tu’. We can write them down on a magical parchment, in any order and with any ink, and if the symbols match a spell, you’ll be able to save it in your magic book and cast it any time.” Cawlin: “To begin, grab a parchment and a quill!” Rupert performs a “use” action on parchment paper. The spell crafting UI pops up on parchment. Cawlin: “You’re barely even a novice, so you can only discover spells with two magical symbols. Later, you can cast much more complicated spells. Let’s begin with novice level magic.” Cawlin: “You don’t have a lot of parchment to work with, so you’ll need to find a spell quickly. To begin, select a symbol slot with your quill…” Rupert places his quill on a slot icon and a dialogue window pops up. Cawlin: “You only have a red magic essence, so choose that as your ink. Then, pick a symbol to write in this slot.” Rupert chooses a symbol (either “Tu” or “Li”) and writes it into the slot. After the symbol has been picked, it is written into the slot. Cawlin: “See? Even a novice can do this! Next symbol!” Rupert repeats the same process for the second symbol. RR: “Now, I’ve got two red symbols written down. Now what?” Cawlin: “Now, you try to cast these words! It’s already in your hand, so just give it a throw and see what happens…. I will just fly over here… and stay well out of the way...” Rupert throws the current magic spell. It either creates a magic spell (if correct), fizzles out, or creates a magical disaster. (Let’s assume it fizzles out) RR: “What? Nothing happened!” Cawlin: “You’re spell fizzled. Consider yourself lucky! That combination of symbols and ink was not a spell, let’s try again.” Rupert uses the parchment again. Cawlin: “This parchment is magical! As you can see, you got the right symbols and right color, but in the wrong order. Now, we can try a different sequence.” Rupert keeps trying out different symbols, until he writes out “Tu-Li” in red ink. When he gets this sequence: Cawlin: “You did it! You created your first spell! This is so exciting… I remember now! Tu-Li is fire, but your TuLi is very weak because you used a red ink with low magical potency. However, this spell is now saved in your spell book!” RR: “So, I can fling these little fire darts at any time now?” Cawlin: “Yes… you’ve begun the journey of a magician! You can find more symbols to discover other spells, and brew more potent potions to create stronger spells.” RR: “Wait a minute… my essence of red magic is gone! Did you steal it from me?!” Cawlin: “Relax yourself, Rupert! Whether you fail or discover a spell, the used ink is consumed. Magicians are always scavenging for ingredients to brew -- you magicians are scavengers, just like me!” RR: “Now what?” Cawlin: “Well, I must go. I smell a dead racoon down by the lake, and I’m absolutely starving. As for you? I saw an abandoned ruin this morning, but it was too dark and scary for me. Maybe your fire could shed some light on the situation? Or perhaps, you can find other ingredients?” RR: “You’re leaving me?!” Cawlin: “I’m getting rather...peckish. I’ll be back... Muahahaha!” Cawlin flies away and the wizard is left alone. There’s not much to do, other than hunt for ingredients or check out the abandoned ruin. At this point, we spawn clovers, blueberries, red peppers, orchids, and black lotus flowers. These are collectible ingredients which can be ground up and turned into vials. We also unlock the ancient ruins and make it accessible. Within the ruins is a new magic symbol which can be learned and a mortar and pestle. The player can summon a small flame to light their way through the darkness. There is a section of the ruin which is sealed off with a heavy door and some other strange symbols of magic. When the player emerges from the ancient ruin, the day has turned to evening. RR: “Wow, it’s evening already?” RR: “It’s getting late, I’d better get home before the forest monsters come out!” When it’s dark, we start playing large monster noises in the distant forest, mixed with snorting noises (like a sniffing pig), and something large crashing through undergrowth. RR: “There’s something out there… it’s hunting me!” Rupert returns to his wizard house. He’s tired and ready for bed. RR: “Whew, safely home at last. I need to get some sleep.” We wait for Rupert to go to sleep OR until it is 2AM in game time. Either way, we fade to black and we begin to hear snoring noises.
  11. Screenshot_5

  12. The Whaler - Dev Update #9

    Hey Captains! (PS: All links work, even though they are displayed wierd) Sorry for the jump in dev updates here on gamedev.net You can read the other ones at indieDB but will continue to update her. Time for another update, this month I had a plan of showing some sneak peaks of the ship. But sadly the artist that was hired to do the ship came back to me 3 days ago, saying he could not do it because of time, in fact he had nothing to deliver, at all, that is almost 3 months of waiting for nothing. This set us back quite a bit and was a huge blow for me personally (Tommy) as I defiantly needed this for many reasons, but we at least got a valid explanation so as much as I want to scream loud about it, there is no hard feelings and I hope the artist takes a breather from being overworked and thinks about his health for a bit, so if you ever had the idea why it has not been shown yet, or think it went a bit slow, this is the reason. BUT another backup artist we had been in contact with, who was going to do a lot of work for us next year came to the rescue, you might have seen some of his ships in the game Naval Action. We also had a plan of showing you how the crafting system worked, but as the ship was not ready, that does not make any sense as that`s where it takes part, this however means we will have a lot more to show of in the coming months and when its done, I will do a quick QA on a stream showing some teaser of it, and you can also ask any questions, come with feedback and so on. (Twitch.tv) So we are back on track and shifted the focus to start on one of the mini games while we wait, as everything we need art wise is done for that. Some minor tech updates: "Crafting & Inventory (continued) - Added partial split feature (WIP) - Added DEBUG_SYSTEM to move between screens - Screens now close with UI - Added 3D Models - Remove screen camera" - ItemData are now IEquatable - Completed stacking - Added validation for recipes - Added UI for Butchering, Skinning and Crafting screens - Added output for recipe (can`t take the output in the UI) - Flushing slots to inventory on close - Updating 3D models - Added ability to cancel crafting recipe - Cleaned code Ready to hook with game code " - Systemtization of configs and ready for import to game scene Player Controller V2 - Simulacrum architecture* - Created dummy ship (for controls) - Synchronized movement of 'real character controller' on dummy ship with simulacrum player controller on actual ship - Basic WASD movement - Basic mouse rotation movement (Y axis rotation-only for now) - Adjusted cam / arms & collision to match 'humanoid' perspective" You might have seen some of the picture of the dutch whaling boat in the gallery, but I will include some of the screenshot renders here as well. Would love it and appreciate it if The Whaler got a vote for up and coming indie! You can also win game keys from IndieDB just by voting! http://www.indiedb.com/games/the-whaler-working-title Vote link is on the page! If you did not get a chance to check out the main theme song in the previous post, you can do so here. Song by Dirk Kluesing Soundcloud.com Also, remember you can sign up for the open beta here and join our forums as well! Thewhalergame.com Forums.thewhalergame.com Other Social media: Facebook.com Twitter.com instagram.com/thewhalergame/ *The game ready model of the dutch whaling boat, which you as the player will use in the mini game (European style). Depending on what zone you play in, this will have a different look.* *Some of the art for kickstarter tiers, wonder what they are? Well, you can control these for the free roam camera, and fly around your ship, enjoying the view.*
  13. This is for a dissertation im working on regarding procedural generation directed towards indie Developers so if you're an indie dev please feel free to share your thoughts Does run-time procedural generation limit the designer's freedom and flexibility? if( Have you ever implemented procedural generation ==true){ talk about some of the useful algorithms used} else {explain why you haven't} Do you think indie Devs are taking advantage of the benefits provided by procedural generation? What are some of the games that inspired you to take up procedural content generation? If there is anyway i can see your work regarding proc gen please mention the link ( cz i need actual indie developers to make a valid point in my dissertation) Thank You So Much
  14. Critique of RTS gui design

    I need people to critique my gui design for a RTS. The game separates the unit building part from the RTS combat part. Right now, I only ask you to critique my combat GUI. The combat part doesn't have any construction mechanics so the GUI is quite simple. I feel like it could be better organized. If you could point me what could be improved, that would be helpful. The first picture shows what it should look like in the game. The second picture shows detailed information on what each component of the GUI represents. Credit: the art comes from https://opengameart.org/content/real-time-strategy-gui-hud-elements-unknown-horizons
  15. The Poor Man's 3D Camera

    Each of us have our own giants to face. This is a story about one of my giants. Something I never imagined could make a grown man cry, until it did. A 3D camera. No one can face your giants for you. This is a story, not a walkthrough. Expect no useful information. For that I recommend 50 Game Camera Mistakes by thatgamecompany's John Nesky. His job title is literally "camera designer". The story starts in 2014 with a seemingly harmless seven-day game jam. 7DFPS 2014 Exhausted from crunching on my first game, I decide it would be good to take a break and make a first-person shooter for 7DFPS. This is a terrible decision. The idea is simple: an FPS where you are the bullet. Click to jump from wall to wall. If someone's head happens to be between you and the next wall, sucks for them. The main problem is that, when you shoot to a new surface, the game necessarily buries your face directly into that surface, filling the whole screen with a solid blue color. You can see my first solution above. After landing, the game "reflects" your direction off the surface you landed on, and tweens the camera to face the new direction. So when you shoot into a wall head-on, the camera does a complete 180. Of course, I can't place the camera directly on the surface, or there would be clipping artifacts. So I space the camera a bit out from the wall, which leads to another problem: Here the extra space between the camera and the surface allows you to aim at any location on the surface and launch there. In theory, your "character" is actually flush with the surface, which should make this physically impossible. I throw a band-aid on this problem by clamping the camera so that it can't aim at or behind the surface it's attached to. I end up working 96 hours in a week to finish this masterpiece that will surely take the world by storm. Two YouTubers play it for a grand total of 10,000 views. Like every good vacation, the experience leaves me exhausted and depressed on Monday morning. Over the next 8 months, I finish my other game, take an actual vacation, then, instead of throwing away the Unity prototype like any sane person would, I start rebuilding it in a brand new custom C++ engine. The new game is an expansion of the prototype, which means more features, more gameplay, more pain and suffering! One of the first new features is the ability to crawl along walls, floors, and ceilings: A couple months later, camera problems start to manifest. As players crawl around different surfaces, I have to forcefully nudge the camera to keep it from staring straight into a wall. I use spherical linear interpolation (slerp) to smooth out the transition between angled surfaces, but it's still not great. In the gif below, the player on the right does not manually move their camera at all; the wall forces them to look up automatically. At this point, everything is completely unreadable and confusing. The first-person view prevents players from seeing their character, and they often take several minutes to realize they're playing as a creepy crawly spider bot. Once they finally get it, they can't figure out why the camera keeps getting forced around, and why they can't aim at the surface they're attached to. I slap on another band-aid in the form of a shader that blacks out everything "behind" you, everything that's physically impossible to reach. I also have it darken out of range areas. Now the game is not only unreadable and confusing, but also ugly! By sheer chance, I happen to turn on a debug flag that moves the camera back from the player two units. Literally the poor man's third-person camera. And behold, it was not the worst thing in the world. I finally realize I'm making a third-person game, and so set about implementing it for real. The Culling Saga One of the deadliest scourges of humanity, right after Facebook and taxes, is a third-person camera that constantly zooms and bumps around to avoid in-game geometry. Rather than move the camera, I decide to just cull anything that blocks the camera's view. Half of the job is done right out the gate because my game engine, like most engines, automatically culls triangles that face away from the camera (also known as "back-faces"). I write a shader to handle the rest. It culls everything within a certain distance of the camera. What's that you say? My screenshots look weird with spider bots floating in empty space because the wall got culled? It'll be fine. It's fine. Don't worry about it. What, what now? You can catch glimpses of stuff you're not supposed to see, including the skybox? Look, I'm sure it's just a minor thing. Okay. That's pretty bad. What if instead of carving spheres around the player and camera, I use a cylinder instead? And what if I actually render a solid black cylinder whenever the camera is inside a wall? So close, yet so far. The cylinder blocks out most of the ugly geometry it needs to, but sometimes you can still see through things. I could extend the cylinder to block more, but I would have to clip it so it stays inside the level geometry. Even now, the cylinder sometimes blocks too much, because I only clip it against the player's current wall. Here I only want the cylinder to block the ugly insides of the ledge. Instead it blocks everything behind the player. I would have to query all the geometry surrounding the player and clip the cylinder against all those planes. And that's assuming I can figure out what's "inside" and "outside" the level geometry, which is not air-tight. There are overlapping faces, shapes that clip into each other, and plenty of other lazy hacks— I mean, clever tricks. What if I just turn off back-face culling? Use the same culling shader, and instead of the cylinder, rely on the back-faces to block anything you're not supposed to see. This works perfectly in some cases: Other times it does a great job of showing off my lazy hacks, like this ramp that simply extends into the floor rather than meeting it cleanly: It doesn't help that the back-faces still receive accurate lighting. Feels like the level is a hollow shell. Fine. I'll spend a couple weeks welding level geometry together, and I'll render the back-faces in solid black. How about now? Getting less terrible all the time. With a little depth buffer bias, a special tag in the G-buffer for back-faces, and a few extra texture taps in the composite shader, I can filter out those pesky lines too: The gifs above also show off the new culling shape. Instead of a cylinder, which indiscriminately carves out an uncouth shape much larger than necessary: I switch to a cone, to ensure I only cull things what need culling. But the cone has problems too. It's possible for the player to back up so close to a wall that the cone intersects the wall in an incredibly narrow circle, leaving a tiny hole for the player to peer through. From somewhere deep inside my repressed memories of Calc II springs an exotic mathematical creature known as a paraboloid: A quick trip to the grimoire to remind myself of the formula, a few incantations in a darkened room with a mirror, and the creature is summoned into GLSL form. The culled circle still tapers a little, but it's enough to see fairly well. Good enough for government work. Ship it! UX UX is, like, super important. Take it from me, a full-stack growth-hacking happiness engineer co-founder. Let me tell you about Our Incredible Journey. At first, the game had a terrible retention rate. I did some A/B testing, streamlined the user onboarding, pivoted to clickbait, bought some fraudulent traffic, and now I'm at $10k MRR. I'm also taking cold showers every morning and learning Farsi on Duolingo. If you can keep your eyes from rolling back completely and irreparably inside your head, "User Experience" is a decent descriptor for the interactive aspects of game development, the other contender being "Game Feel". It's the thing you can only get by interacting with the software yourself. It's the thing that makes you smile with surprise when you pick up the controller for the first time, even though you've spent the last hour watching someone else play. It's also basically impossible for me to get right on the first ten tries. Here's an example of my terrible camera UX. When you hit an enemy player without killing them, you bounce off. The camera instantly snaps around to follow your new trajectory. Of course I slerp the rotation a little, but still, you can barely see it happen. I have no reason to lock the camera like this, it's just a carry-over from when the game was first-person, when it made sense to always point the camera where the player was headed next. It takes someone at a convention telling me what an idiot I am to make me finally unlock the camera. A one-line change that takes a whole year. Later, someone on Twitch yells out a self-evidently brilliant suggestion: let the camera lag behind the player a little when they launch. This also takes only a handful of lines to test out, although the numbers don't feel good until a week or two of tweaking. So many of my design decisions are simply carried over from old and outdated assumptions, even though they stopped making sense several versions ago. Here's an example. Remember how I clamp the camera rotation to keep the player from aiming at the surface they're currently attached to? Turns out this gets old after a while, especially in third-person. People want freedom, they don't want you shoving their camera around. I grudgingly loosen the shackles a bit by clamping the rotation against a cone instead of a plane. I use spherical interpolation again to smoothly swing the cone around and nudge the camera away from the wall. Unfortunately, slerp doesn't always rotate the way you want it to. Sometimes the cone pushes the camera in a completely different direction as it rotates to match the surface. Instead of rotating the cone, I decide to instantly snap it to the surface, but scale it up slowly. So it starts as a thin sliver and slowly expands into a fat cone, pushing the camera out as it grows. Everything's going just swimmingly until Momin Khan asks me... is it even necessary to clamp the camera any more? It made sense when the game was first-person, but that was two years ago. I immediately get defensive. How else can I keep the camera from staring straight at the wall for 90% of the game? But I slowly realize he's right. I compromise in the end. I nudge the camera for a split second after landing, then shrink the cone back down to zero to allow glorious unfettered camera freedom. Full range of motion, baybee Now that the player can aim at their currently attached surface, what happens when they try to launch there? I eventually solve this problem by allowing spider bots to "dash" along the surface. I have no physical explanation for how they do it. It's a video game. There's another problem, however. Normally, the game does a raycast starting at the third-person camera and continuing straight through the reticle. When the spider bot launches, it compensates and launches where the player wants it to go, like this: However, sometimes the camera can see and aim at a point the spider bot can't reach. I solve this by ruling everything behind the player's current surface "out of bounds". I even have a shader to darken the forbidden areas. Look, Simba. Everything the light touches is our kingdom. This is really frustrating and confusing to people. Finally Nathan Fouts from Mommy's Best Games tells me to just cheat and let the player go there even if it doesn't make physical sense. I don't like the idea of breaking my game physics so I compromise by having the spider bot dash to the edge and then fly the rest of the way. It all happens so fast, you don't even notice it. Here it is in slow motion: Conclusion Some tasks cannot be sped up. If I had put "make 3D camera" on a Gantt chart, I would have stopped 10% of the way through this article and called it good. The point is, most of these ideas are simple and obvious in hindsight, but I had to make a lot of mistakes to find them. It's nearly impossible to coalesce good design decisions straight from the ether. The only reliable method is iteration and trial and error. Thanks for reading. What embarrassingly obvious design improvements have you been slapped in the face with? Deceiver is set to launch on Kickstarter in early February 2018. Join the mail list to be notified of its release, or check out the source code on GitHub.
  16. Why I hate fun

    http://www.tinker-entertainment.com/sitavriend/psychology-and-games/why-i-hate-fun/ Ever since I decided to specialize in game design I struggled with the word “fun”. It might sound silly to struggle with a term that is so central to the art of making games but it makes sense once you start to research ‘fun’. First of all very limited research has been done and secondly the term ‘fun’ is ambiguous. Fun means something different for everyone. Many other industries envy the games industry for making fun products. They mistakenly think that games are this magical medium that are automatically fun and engaging. As a result, they applied typical game elements such as XP and competition to apps as an attempt to make ‘boring’ tasks more fun. But game designers also struggle to make their games engaging and fun. Not every player enjoys playing every game or genre. I typically don’t enjoy most first person shooters because I suck at them. On the other hand it is not just games that can be fun. Many people think knitting is fun, others think watching a football match is fun or playing a musical instrument. What is considered fun often depends on someone’s expectations and their current context. A player has to be in the right state of mind before considering to play a game, they need to ‘want’ to play the game or do any other activity. This can be fun too. A researcher who attempts to understand fun more thoroughly is Lazzaro (2009). She formed the Four Fun Key model to distinguish between four different types of fun: Hard fun, easy fun, serious fun and people fun. Hard fun is very typical for many hardcore games and is fun that arises from overcoming challenges and obstacles. A key emotion in hard fun is frustration followed by victory. Easy fun can be achieved by engagement through novelty and can be found in many exploration and puzzle games. Emotions that are key to easy fun are curiosity, wonder and surprise. Serious fun is fun people have when they feel better about themselves or being better at something that matters. People fun is concerned with the enjoyment that arises from the interaction between people. You can think about competitive or cooperative games people play because they enjoy playing together rather than the game itself. The Cambridge dictionary defines fun as pleasure, enjoyment, entertainment, or as an activity or behaviour that isn’t serious (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/fun). While we can measure pleasure and enjoyment objectively by measuring physiological changes in the body, we cannot always say we are having fun when we are enjoying ourselves. Besides that, within casual games mainly, pleasure and enjoyment are supposed to be “easy”. This means that you should be careful with challenging the player. If a player wins (often) they will have fun which is the complete opposite of many hardcore games. Within game design we often use flow theory interchangeably with fun. According to Csikszentmihalyi (1996), flow is a mental state in which a person in fully immersed in an activity. The state of flow can be achieved by matching the most optimal skill with the most optimal difficulty for a person. In the case of games, a player becomes so immersed that they forget about their surroundings and lose track of time. A learning curve is used in most games, both casual and hardcore, to account for player’s changing skill and difficulty level. However flow theory isn’t a definition for fun but can result in a player having fun. This mainly works for hard fun as easy fun doesn’t require the player to be fully immersed. References Lazzaro, N. (2009). Why we play: affect and the fun of games. Human-computer interaction: Designing for diverse users and domains, 155. Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper Collins.
  17. I have an inventory system that I am trying to make as part of my first programming venture. Creating the inventory doesn't seem to pose the challenge, but rather the control flow and code organisation that is needed. I have done some research, but I can't find the answers that I need. Instead, I have become confused, which you will see if you read my sheets I've been scribbling on trying to figure out how to work it. Most of the information that I think anyone would need to take part in this discussion can be found in that link. I am using flawed logic, but I don't know how it is flawed, since I am coming from the perspective of someone who is new to code and does not have a lot of experience with the optimal interactivity between functions and the logic that should be used in these situations. Essentially, I hope to gain some seeds of wisdom from someone else that may have been in my position or a nudge in the right direction from someone else who, in fact, can see where my logic is flawed and where it needs to be shifted.
  18. i'm beginner at game development and i started to design some levels and environments but should i download my assets or learn how to create them like 3D modeling ,texturing etc if i want to have a job in the industry as a level designer ?
  19. Game Character

    I created this model in Maya and have been practicing on the side while studying for school. This may not be the best picture to show faces or line flow and the resolution does not help things either. Still, I would love some opinions on where I can improve on my 3D modeling. Also, this is just a skin model and I spent no time texturing the model or accounting for clothing. Thank you in advance for any feedback.
  20. Hi I am a game designer currently working with 3 programmers on a Binding of Isaac like game. https://vimeo.com/237454382 Our aim for the game is mostly to be able to produce a solid playable demo. If we expand on the game, or make a different game will be decided later. As of now, we have most of the game's base mechanics implemented, but our art production is slacking behind. We are currently using placeholder art and we'd like for real art to come into action. I'm looking for an artist or 2 to help get the art production up to speed. As artist for the project, you will get to decide a lot about how the game's art will look and feel. We want you to be able to put some of yourself in the game and have at the very least a piece you feel comfortable adding to your portfolio. We have not fully decided if we'll be using sprites or pixel art but the choice will largely be left up to the artists. The game will require simple animations for certain enemies so the artist will need to know how to animate. if you are interested, you can reply to this post or message me on this site.
  21. Persuasive Games

    Hello I am currently doing a study into Persuasive Games and how the design of them could be improved to make them more efficient. While looking for places to post my survey I found this forum and hoped you guys could give me some thoughts and opinions If you are interested in participating in the survey you can find the link here: https://goo.gl/forms/6LszmtYnPd3TjgpF2 Also please let me know what you think of the genre and how you think the design could be improved ? Thank you =)
  22. Light vs Dark-Header.png

    From the album Light vs Dark

    © ZiZuLot

  23. Screenshot_1

    From the album 3rd Person shooter

    This is some fotages of enemies for my first game project. I used 3ds Max to model them, substance painter for PBR texturing, Marmoset for rendering. Probably this is he first version of them but not the last.
  24. Screenshot_1

    From the album 3rd Person shooter

    This is some fotages of enemies for my first game project. I used 3ds Max to model them, substance painter for PBR texturing, Marmoset for rendering. Probably this is he first version of them but not the last.
  25. Screenshot_1

    From the album 3rd Person shooter

    This is some fotages of enemies for my first game project. I used 3ds Max to model them, substance painter for PBR texturing, Marmoset for rendering. Probably this is he first version of them but not the last.