Tuesday, March 4, 2014

High Entropy (WIP 20140304)

One of the key elements of the game's design, I wrote a little about my current plans in my previous post, is the operative system the player will use to interact with the computers. The game's computers will have important information in some of their files, emails... and will also be connected with other computers and devices (doors, turrets...) through local networks. The player will interact with the computer using GUIs, the easiest but more restricted way, or the more powerful command line interpreter, depending on the computer and situation. I want the command line interpreter to be easy to use (there will be books and other tips through the levels to help, but it should be quite intuitive, hopefully), something like a very basic version of DOS or bash, but interesting enough to have a feeling of really being 'hacking' the machine (exploring all the folders and files to find a useful program or someone's password, or connecting to other net devices to open doors, disable turrets... things like that).

I've been working on that for some time and, although not all the operative system's details are finished, the main functionality is working (file system, users, GUIs, CLI and networks), and I'm quite happy with it, so I've made a short video and some screenshots of one of my test maps to show you how it currently looks, and also the new weapons, LED signs and turrets I've been working on lately:

watch in HD

Monday, January 6, 2014

High Entropy: changes and plans for 2014

It's been some time since I posted about my progress, so I'm going to try to explain my current plans for High Entropy in case you are interested. At some point last year I started exploring the possibility of making a more ambitious game, with open, exterior areas, more exploration and action... which is a type of game I always wanted to make, instead of my original plan for the game of an action and 'puzzles' adventure taking place in a building, advancing from floor to floor. I got quite excited at first because it seemed more feasible than I originally thought using the free version of Unity, but the problem with that new approach was that things were getting more complicated and, after experimenting a little more, I realized that it's something I can make but will take more time and I'll have to learn how to overcome some extra technical challenges (the pro version of Unity would help with some of them but I can't afford to get it for now).
Because of that, and because I also really liked my original design, I've being thinking about splitting the project in two connected games (I have the story mostly worked out and fits quite nicely with this approach): one will be the short term one that I will focus on right now, the original game I had planned, and then the long(er) term one, that will take place later in the storyline in a more open environment. This way I can focus in getting something done that I think can be fun and interesting but relatively easier to finish, and then go for the more ambitious sequel (there are many things in common in both of the designs so making the first one will mean implementing many things I need for the other).

Anyway, that's where I'm right now, working on the first adventure, which, best case scenario, will be good/interesting enough to sell on digital stores and make some money (which will allow me, among other things, to buy a pro version of Unity), but we'll see how it goes.
Lately I've been working on a more final version of the 'retro' operative system for the computers in the game, a key element in my gameplay design, and I'm really happy with how it's taking shape and looks: it lets the player explore the contents of a computer using the command line interface (dir, cd...), finding documents with useful information and programs (mail reader...) and connect to other computers on the same network or devices like doors or sentry turrets... to solve puzzles. I also need to redo some things for the physics based puzzles and the shooting mechanics but those things were already in good shape, 'just' need to refine them.

That's it for now, I'll make a video and/or take some screenshots showing the new computers and turrets after I've worked a little more on them.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

High Entropy (WIP 20130729)

I recently bought some assets that fit quite well with the design I have in mind for a small outside area in the game. Here's a first quick test of how this area could look (the sounds, and many other things, need some tweaking, this is just a first work in progress test of this area). In the future, the idea is that you'll be able to get inside some of the buildings and the interiors will be similar to what you can see in the previous gameplay video I uploaded.

link to the HD version

Thursday, June 20, 2013

High Entropy (WIP Gameplay 20130620)

I have been working on this level, which will end up being the second one in the game, for the last few weeks. I chose this level as the first 'real' one to make because it serves as an introduction to many of the adventure mechanics of the game (and some shooting, although just a first taste) which meant that, in order to have it working properly, I was going to have to add many of the key features I wanted in the game but hadn't made so far or needed more work (interact with computers and communicate with other devices using them, pick up things, check your inventory, use things from the inventory with the environment to solve puzzles, read documents, search bodies/containers/desks...).

link to the HD version

I'm quite happy with how it's taking shape, so today I thought it was time to make this work in progress gameplay video showing the current state of the level, which is not finished but at last close to what I planned. I don't want to reveal much of the story, so I'll just explain that the main character is wearing a pair of augmented reality glasses that show him a HUD with extra information about the things he sees, and his ammo and health levels, that also include an artificial intelligence that gives him tips and descriptions of things when asked (that's the robotic voice you hear in the video).

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

City Project: Proof of Concept Demo Video (HD)

I finished this 'Proof of Concept' demo of my 'City Project' a little more than a year ago but, with the software I was using at the time and my modest PC, I could only record a quite low resolution gameplay video of it. I now use a better program that, usually, lets me record videos at 720p and decent framerates, so today I thought maybe I should make another video of the demo using it.

link to the HD version

The demo is still the same, it's far from a finished game but, if you want to try it, you can download it from: http://www.indiedb.com/games/city-project/downloads/city-project-proof-of-concept-demo I programmed it using C++, DirectX 9.0c, OpenAL and Bullet Physics. I haven't worked on this project since then, although maybe some day I'll resume it. The goal back then was just making this 'Proof of Concept' demo and start working on a different game, High Entropy www.highentropy.net