Posts Tagged ‘stealth’
It’s been a full year since my last LD… ::sigh:: But it’s great to do it once again!
This time I made Runaway Money, a party game about being invisible and stealing money. Sounds kinda fun, right? Does it also sound kinda strange that a multiplayer game would use invisible players? Yeah, me too. I had to think a while to make sure it was possible.
As it turns out, it is and it’s pretty fun. Give it a try with your friends!
So, part way through the second day and I’m feeling pretty solid. The gameplay works, I have three solid levels (I may add more if I can think of any good ideas for another level), and the sound doesn’t click annoyingly any more. Just a bit of polish and I think I’ll be ready to submit.
For those of you interested, I’m making a rhythm-stealth game about queue barging. Here’s a screenshot of the third level (yes, there are some v-sync issues):
Of all the parts of the game, I found the sound the hardest. The game relies on it (telling if the matrons at the front of the queue at looking at you is difficult to parse just through visuals), and in the end I use three piano notes (the first three from God Save the Queen, as it happens) to indicate where everyone is, recorded from an old keyboard by my phone. I also decided I wanted ambient rain on the main menu. The problem, of course, was that despite being in the middle of the English winter, it hadn’t rained all weekend. I had apparently given away my rain stick at some point, so I made an impromptu one out of Turtle Beans and an old poster tube
The effect is muffled and quite quiet in-game, so if you don’t know how it was made it’s actually pretty convincing. Jayne Cobb would be proud.
The only other sound in the game is the sound of the people behind you tutting when you cut into the queue, which was easily gained by simply recording my own highly refined tutting and looping it. It may not be the best sound design in the world, but at least the game’s going to sound different.
Drew a bit of a blank on the theme, so decided to write a fairly traditional stealth-’em-up. This time I have mostly resisted the urge to make it pretty, and have got the core mechanics working instead!
You can turn the torches on and off, collect loot, and I have a sinister capsule patrolling a series of waypoints, coming after you if he spots you, and returning to patrol if he loses you again. Title and pause screen are working.
Day 2 is all about making gameplay from those core mechanics, and tarting it up – although one important thing I haven’t yet done is factor shadows into the visiblity code. But I know how that will work, just haven’t done it yet. Just done a last-minute stress test to see how many dynamic lights I can get away with, and the answer is “not many”. I may burn a lot of tomorrow optimising…
For some reason, I had convinced myself that the theme was going to be “End of the World”. Surely, given the year, people wouldn’t pick any other, right? I had it all planned out: a space epic about the struggles of the last remaining human against a cold and uncaring universe. It was going to be awesome. Then I woke up the morning of, and to my surprise the theme was instead “You are the Villain”.
This, being the only theme that I hadn’t thought of any good ideas about yet, came as something of a shock. However it soon struck me that there was one brand of villain that gaming had yet to cover. How, I thought, could we possibly be taken seriously as an artform if we did not tackle this issue head-on?
These are villains worse that murderers, worse than terrorists, worse even that Republican voters. Yes, that’s right, queue bargers! Sure, they have been a common staple in many games as the antagonist – who can’t remember the infamous ‘No Russian’ level of Modern Warfare 2, in which you must intimidate civilians in an airport into waiting their turn checking their baggage – but no game has ever tried to go to the heart of what makes these vile beasts tick, put you in their head, made you think like a queue barger.
So today, with a hot cup of tea and neglecting to clean my teeth just to get into the British mood, I set out creating the EQS, or Extendible Queueing Simulator. This highly powerful piece of software is capable of simulating not one, not two, but up to three distinct queues at once. People may join the queues, leave the queues, and most importantly each individual member of the queue can both tut and steal your place in the queue. I also added our villain, who for reasons unknown must reach the end of the queue in a very limited amount of time.
In order to achieve his sinister, might I say even dastardly goal, this barger must seamlessly blend in and out of queues without being seen by the queue matron, who ensures that only those who wait can get inside wherever it is you actually are. But there’s more! British politeness can only be stretched so far, and should you push the people behind you from not just tutting, but to perhaps writing a strongly worded letter, that too shall mean the end of your malevolent game!
Tomorrow I will work on getting the sounds appropriately malefic, the graphics a proper shade of blood red, and the gameplay as fun as stealing tea from a baby.
I started out with really quite over-the-top expectations for this mini LD. I’d planned out a game with 10 levels, with cutscenes in between telling a story. But in the end I only really got started on Thursday/Friday, and only had a working level by this afternoon. So this is the stripped down, gameplay only version of the game I’d planned to make.
There’s something about the old EGA palette that just takes me back to playing Alleycat/Commander Keen (I can’t even look at that blue/purple combination without drifting off), and I made it a little hard/tricky to try and get that feeling of nostalgia to shine through in the gameplay as well as the graphics.
Matt (@brainfed) provided music, and although he initially struggled with getting the ‘french’ sound, I think he came up with a great ‘sneaking’ theme, and two other tracks that I’ll work into the game when I finish the rest as I originally intended it. Josh (@joshuatreee) helped out too, providing in-between frames for the walk cycles, and the Eiffel tower painting. Both were great collaborators to bounce ideas off, and we might go into LD24 as a team.
This is my third Ludum Dare game, and in each one I’ve hit a massive memory management stumbling block on the last afternoon. This time, entire levels failed to unload properly, which resulted in the game running faster for some reason. Eventually I fixed it, but on the way created one of the funnier bugs I’ve caused making games – A second player would spawn in, standing on the head of the first one. You could then knock this unresponsive doppelganger flying into the oncoming guards. Matt and I both enjoyed playing around with it, so I make work that mechanic into something else down the line.
Play the game here. We’d all love some feedback, and I’m really keen to hear if any colourblind people are able to play the game and if they have any problems with the colour mechanic.
Missing 3 minutes to the end of the Compo Submission, I managed to submit my entry! Play it here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-23/?action=preview&uid=2465.
Ant, Bee, Cow, Pig and Spider BOSS!
A mix of jumping, shooting and a little stealth.
Again, you can play it here.
While building a level to my ”Shmup Boss” idea I ended up having lots of fun with the insects and decided to abandon the Shmup idea; that would have no direction. Instead, now I’m focusing on a single mechanic, which will be way better to produce – and acceptable to my limited time frame.
For now it is an Insect/Bug’s Life mix of Stealth and Collaboration game (w/ unlockable characters and mechanics according to your progress).
Metal Gear Ant! *
I’ve uploaded a simple playable build with stealth detection: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11453596/LD/23/sb/sb.html
* Temporary name.