Dare to be Digital: Indie Fest

It’s the first day of Dare today and 2 hours into the event we finally have a working game, come play!

So after prototyping various different games with Dziek we changed our idea again a few days ago, and spent the last night creating this game.

A four player build-your-own-monster-and-fight-them game focused on adding special limbs to your god to give them power.

Dead by Daylight

We’ve been playing a lot of Dead by Daylight recently, which inspired me to try my own version in Garry’s Mod.  Here you can see (maybe you can’t, it’s dark and scary) the generator repair system and skill checking.

dbg1

Planetary Annihilation Modding 8 – Networked Play

Currently working on networking the standalone application element of the mod

pamod11

(Art belongs to UberEnt & Planetary Annihilation)

Using the Lidgren C# UDP networking library, which has been really easy to work with so far.

Currently players can connect to games and take turns performing actions, which are validated by the server & then sent to all connected clients.

pamod12

(The turn notification UI is just placeholder at the moment)

Planetary Annihilation Modding 6 – Galaxy Generation

With my Honours project done, I am happy to finally get back to this.  Working on some procedural galaxy generation.

pamod7

(Art belongs to UberEnt & Planetary Annihilation)

This should allow for some more interesting layouts, as before I was just hard-coding the systems and the routes between them.

 

The generation works by;

• Randomly positioning a number of systems within a bounding box, while collision testing to ensure there is no overlay between themselves

• Connecting all systems within a short range of each other

• Grouping together all the systems which are linked

• Finding the shortest paths to link these isolated groups of systems together

 

It seems to work well enough for my purposes at the moment, but I could make it more interesting by adding some more random paths later on.

The systems also have a procedural name which just combines two strings from arrays of names and suffixes.

Planetary Annihilation Modding 2 – Progress!

Progress with the actual modification part, now when players build something they will construct their unique version instead of the default.  This may not seem like much but it forms the foundation of the concept, as it allows each player to have separate statistics and units.

Planetary Annihilation Mod 2

(notice that the tower’s name has been appended with a 0, as I was the first player)

Also thanks to wondible for the Instant Sandbox test environment mod

Planetary Annihilation Modding

I recently started playing Planetary Annihilation: Titans (PA) multiplayer with some mates & have been really enjoying it.

Planetary Annihilation Mod

 

As with any enjoyable PC game I quickly started looking into the modding scene, to improve our experience with preexisting mods and look into creating mods for the game personally.  I discovered that PA actually has a notable mod community (though fairly small in number), which was strongly encouraged by Uber Entertainment (being listed initially in their Kickstarter as “Advanced Modding features”).

 

I’ve decided to try and make my own multiplayer version of the game’s Galactic War campaign mode.  In this singleplayer mode the player moves through a galaxy map playing AI skirmishes and unlocking new technologies (e.g. new units or buffs) for each victory.  My current concept is an external galaxy map featuring the functionality of the campaign and allowing for new technologies to be unlocked, which I have created a small prototype of in the C# game framework Otter (as pictured above).  This external application will edit the base .JSON files describing each unit and export them into the game.

 

The major problem I foresee at the moment is that most of the unit .JSON files are not unique per player (excluding the unique commander units), which would cause any technology unlocked to be shared among all players.  My current low-tech solution to this is to make a copy of each unit per player and then alter their build menu UI to reflect this.

 

You can follow the project here:
johnjoemcbob/PA_MultiplayerGalacticWar

Unity Physics Multiplayer

Started testing out the new Unity multiplayer system today.

Ritual Sim

 

I made a little physics sandbox with player interaction inspired by Citizen Burger Disorder, namely that the player has two hands which can independently raycast forward and pickup physics objects.

 

The new UNet networking system is much improved from the old implementation which I tried out a couple of years ago, as it is now integrated more closely with the scene object and component system rather than purely code based.

 

Source Code:
johnjoemcbob/RitualSim

Game Jam – Leap Motion 3D Jam – Day 9

Menu changes

Leap Jam 9

I got a comment from Aitem who rightly pointed out that there was no way to exit the game.  There is now!

I also took this opportunity to add the actual credits menu, which contains the details for the music and fonts used.

 

On another note; There are 4 days left of the jam!

Leap Deadline

I feel like I should be more worried about that than I am, normally at this point I am just starting or certainly have a long way to go.  This year I started at a normal time and kept working on it, and I’m really happy with what I have as a result.

 

Game Jam – Leap Motion 3D Jam – Day 6

Recorded instructions, new minigame; Buzz Wire

 

I’ve been working on using the built in record/playback functionality of the Leap HandController, which has allowed me to record gestures to be played at the start of each unique minigame.  This will make the game much more playable, no longer requiring me to be present to explain each section.  This was something I kept encountering while play testing with other members of Abertay Game Development Society, if I left them without instruction some of the minigames would confuse players.

I also found after play testing feedback that the game was still much to hard (after all it started off as an effort to beat Dziek at his own game), which makes the experience a lot less fun.  The minigames now start off very easy, to introduce the mechanics.  These are later built upon to create more challenging sections.

 

I also added a new ‘Buzz Wire’ minigame, based on the common guide-a-loop-along-a-wire-without-touching-it games (pictured above, real-world example below).

 

Finally I started polishing up the menu; now it has a theme better fitting the rest of the game.

 

Game Jam – Leap Motion 3D Jam – Day 5

Win conditions, particle effects, other minor changes

 

After showing the game off at the Abertay Game Development Society again a few nights ago, I got some more valuable feedback about how I could improve the game.  The main comments were;

  • Hotseat multiplayer needed a longer switch over time, it was too chaotic for everyone to try to get into position, and the game would often start without them.  To solve this I made the game wait for the previous hands to disappear and new hands to be found in the scene.
  • People were still having trouble with some of the minigame instructions, as a result I removed the Scream and Bomb Defusal games (which lacked polish anyway).  I also changed the phrasing of the target practice to mention shooting, so that the gestures would be more obvious.
  • On watching people try the Target Practice minigame I noticed almost everyone first tried to fire by imitating a gun’s hammer using their thumb, so I added this as the main gesture.  This feels a lot better and is a lot easier to aim than the previous recoil gesture.

Most of the game foundation is functional now, leaving me to;

  • Improve the main menu
  • Generally polish the game
  • Add more minigames

Game Jam – Leap Motion 3D Jam – Day 4

Implemented the first iteration on hot-seat multiplayer today.

The main menu now allows the users to select how many players there are (up to four), who are each represented differently when they play. There are currently four characters; Weird Business, Bling Bling, Ruby Slippers, Unknown.

I also experimented a little with using a gesture to return to the main menu, which would be easy to carry out but not accidentally be performed during gameplay. I went for a ‘timeout’ style one-hand-perpendicular-to-the-other gesture, which should be unambiguous.

Game Jam – Leap Motion 3D Jam – Day 2

Today I worked on adding a couple more minigames and polishing up the game aesthetic.

Leap Jam 2

One of the new minigames is the Target Practice mode shown above.  Players shape their hands as guns and imitate the recoil on a gun in order to fire.

I decided to go with an art style similar to the one I used last year with Breakfast Simulator, a flat coloured cel-shaded aesthetic.  I also replaced the default Arial font with something with a carnival style to better fit the theme.

 

After showing the game off to a few friends at the Abertay Game Development Society and watching their fumblings, I realised that many of the gestures for the minigames needed to be clearer.  Initially I had the gun recoil as a gesture straight backwards away from the scene, whereas many people expected to fire either by imitating the hammer with their thumb press or by recoiling at an angle.  Overall the feedback was very positive & I hope to have made the experience more accessible before presenting it to them again next week.

 

I also set up the Github repository today;
 
johnjoemcbob/LeapJam