New Project Thread

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New Project Thread

Post  rut on Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:44 am

Hey there! I've decided to put StarDodgeBall on hold for a while to pursue a new game idea. I'm super excited and I would love your help/feedback!

-The Concept-
Small city, everyone controls a Marine and there are neutral Marines scattered around minding their own business. Every Marine is identical--there is no way to tell one from the other except by observing their behavior. Try to blend in and assassinate the other players! FFA as well as Teams will be supported, and I'd like to have a variety of game modes, from elimination to Capture the Flag.

-What You Can Help With-
1) Name the Game. I'm trying to avoid the word "Assassin" so that people don't think it's an Assassin's Creed remake.
2) Creative Input. Share your ideas and concerns! Abilities, Classes, and anything else are open to new ideas.

-What's Been Accomplished-
1) Standard Attack
2) Melee Attack
3) 5 Special Weapons
4) 7 Abilities
5) "Critical Hit" system when hit in the back
6) Visual effects when hit by a bullet
7) Cover/walls stopping Bullets
8 ) "Scatter" Behavior of Neutral Marines when a gun is fired
9) 5 Different Classes
10) Cars
11) Dramatic effects when shot and killed
12) Advanced Damage system for stronger units
13) Minimap pings when weapons are fired
14) Recharging Abilities
15) First block of terrain (aiming for about 8 total)
16) Cars AI/Spawning
17) Marine AI/Spawning

-Work In Progress-
1) Actual Gameplay "Engine" (the bulk of triggers required to run the game--respawning, game timer, etc)
2) Terrain
3) "Specialist" and "Recon" Classes

-What Needs to be Done-
1) Advanced AI for Neutral Marines
2) In-game UI
3) Start of Game UI
4) Leaderboard
5) Banks
6 ) Ranks/Progression
7) Decoration of Terrain
8 ) Music

That's a quick list I came up with off the top of my head. I wanted to write it down not only to help me organize and prioritize what to work on, but also so that anyone interested in the project can keep tabs on its progress.

More updates to come!
rut


Last edited by rut on Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:40 am; edited 10 times in total
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Re: New Project Thread

Post  rut on Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:02 am

This last week I've worked on changing the game from a single-player test to a multiplayer-capable map (mostly changes in triggering and functions and whatnot). I also added criticals when a unit it hit from behind and restructured the firing/damage triggers to be more compact and modifiable within the game. Also created rules for removing bullets when they hit a wall or travel over unpathable terrain. Getting shot also creates a dramatic red screen shake and getting killed fades the camera to black.

Here are the seven classes:
1) Soldier: Half the cooldown for firing weapons (from 4 to 2 seconds)
2) Tank: Has 2 Health, meaning it can survive one shot from the front only (criticals, melee, and more powerful weapons can still 1-shot)
3) Sniper: +2 Range to all attacks (Standard Range is 10)
4) Scout: Greatly increased running speed
5) Gunner: Earns *2 more ammunition when a Special Weapon is picked up
6) Recon: Has complete vision of the map (WIP)
7) Specialist: Does not require a Recharging Station to recharge Special Abilities (WIP)

The class system is simple: you just pick one when the game starts (and you'll be able to change when waiting to respawn). They are invisible changes meant to be small modifications to help you play to your preferred playstyle.

Defensive Abilities:
1) Blink: Instant Teleport
2) Cloak: 100% Invisibility for a short time, firing a weapon or using melee removes the cloak
3) Scanner Sweep: Reveals a target region, highlighting an enemy Marine by coloring it red
4) Hologram: Creates a fake Marine that is controllable, though it cannot attack
5) Hijack: Allows the Marine to steal a neutral car, which can run people over (experimental)
6) Remote Mine: Creates a mine that can be detonated whenever the user wishes
7) Scatter: Creates a diversion that scatters neutral Marines and registers a gunshot on the minimap

You choose a defensive ability at the same time you choose your class. They can be used once before they must be recharged by getting close to a recharging station. Recharging stations have a cooldown, however, so there will be a minimum wait regardless.

Special Weapons:
1) Machine Gun: Fires 4 bullets quickly, no Cooldown
2) Shotgun: Fires 6 bullets in a spread
3) Sniper: +2 Range, no bullet trail, no muzzle flash, does not scatter neutral Marines or show up on the radar
4) Railgun: +2 Range, huge area of effect in a straight line, double damage
5) Bazooka: No straight-line effect, huge explosion radius, double damage

When you pick up a Special Weapon, it replaces your Standard Attack and gives you ammunition dependent on the weapon you picked up. For example, the Machinegun gives you 10 shots while the Bazooka only gives you 2. Once your ammunition has expired, you go back to using the Standard Attack.

Yesterday I had the most random desire to add cars into the game. So I made cars. We'll have to see how that works out, but for now I'm thinking you can choose "Hijack" as a defensive ability and it would allow you to hijack a neutral car (which also act as mobile obstacles). They travel slowly in "cruise" mode, but can be ordered to accelerate into "ram" mode, where they can mow down masses of units!

Cars would be an option that people vote on at the beginning of the game, but I think, so long as they're not too strong, they can be a super fun option to play around with.

rut


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Re: New Project Thread

Post  rut on Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:55 am

Quick update:

I've spent more time than expected (which is always the case) making cars. They function in a way that is different from the rest of the game--they can't be criticaled, and they have to be able to survive way more shots than a standard Marine. I had to redo some of the Damage system in order to accommodate this. Originally, the Standard Attack, Machinegun, and Shotgun all had the same Damage function--a single bullet did 1 damage, and the Machinegun fired 4 of these quickly and the Shotgun fired 9 simultaneously. If a Car should take 4 shots from a Standard Attack to kill, that means it would be 1-shotted by both the Machinegun and Shotgun, which makes it too fragile. So now all the weapons do 1 Damage but their individual bullets have different bonuses vs Mechancial units. The Shotgun and Machinegun do 1 Damage to all per bullet and 0 Bonus to Mechanical, whereas the Standard Attack does 1 Damage per bullet to all and +2 to Mechanical.

The upside to restructuring the Damage system this way is that I can more easily implement tougher enemies if I ever decide to add a "story mode" or a police system. Things like Tanks could be implemented and the way they take and deal Damage will fit into the game much better.

I was thinking, long-term, of a single-player (or co-op) "story mode," or at least a "challenge mode" where you have to take on increasingly difficult enemies who do not blend in. They could have Marines, Tanks, Goliaths, and all sorts of units and you'd have to scavenge for weapons and stealthily pick them off one by one. And with the new Damage system your Marine could have 10 Health instead of 1 for this mode and the game would work.

Those are just long-term thoughts for this game, right now of course I'm still working on the game engine and building the Terrain. I hope to have the Terrain layout finished soon--the actual decoration will come much, much later.

Aside from the Damage system I've been working on the mechanics of using cars. As of now, you hijack a neutral car with the "Hijack" ability. When you own a car, you can drive it around but it moves very slowly. However, when you use the "Ram" ability, the car gains speed quickly, and when it reaches its maximum speed, hitting another Marine will kill it instantly. Only thing is you cannot change direction while using "Ram." Instead, you must disable "Ram" by using the "Cruise" ability, which puts you back at the slower speed.

Cars currently have 10 Health. Here's the Damage table for it:
Standard Attack = 3 Damage (4 Shots to kill)
Sniper Attack = 3 Damage (4 Shots to kill)
Melee Attack = 4 Damage (3 Shots to kill)
Machinegun = 4 Damage (3 Shots to kill)
Shotgun = 6 Damage (2 Shots to kill)*
Railgun = 7 Damage (2 Shots to kill)
Bazooka = 10 Damage (1 Shot to kill)

*The Shotgun fires 6 bullets in a spread--the car would have to be extremely close to deal the max 6 Damage

Shooting a car will stop the bullet. You can hide behind a neutral car for protection. If a car takes damage while it is neutral, it keeps its remaining Health when it gets Hijacked.

You can leave the car at any time by using the "Exit Vehicle" ability, but you can't get back in it until you recharge your Hijack ability.

Cars are now finished up, and I think they'll be a great addition to the game!

rut


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Re: New Project Thread

Post  rut on Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:13 am

Have made some minor changes lately, mostly regarding the game's "engine." Made it so that when you die, you respawn with the same weapon you had when you died and with the same number of bullets remaining, laid the framework for recharging abilities, and restructured the function that searches for targets to make it compatible with minor terrain elevation changes (bridges by default raise and lower the terrain slightly and were originally blocking attacks).

I've also been experimenting with the terrain. My vision is to have 1 large map with many "parts" to it, and choosing the size of the arena will be as simple as allowing/disallowing parts. For example, the main part will be a sort of common square, with a wide open, circular plaza with a recharging station right in the middle and some alleyways around the perimeter. Choosing the smallest map size will unlock just this area. Choose a size larger and the bridges leading to the island directly Southeast are opened up and some roads going around the perimeter of it will be opened up as well. Choose a larger size, and even more areas will open, always converging on the main central plaza.

I've slowed down a bit lately, but I've always found it positive to take a break and get rejuvenated before moving onward. When you try to force yourself to meet a deadline, things end up rushed, full of bugs, and generally sloppy. I want this game to have a refined "feel" so I want to be excited and to have a fresh mind whenever I work on it. Even if it takes longer to complete this way, it will be worth it. When I was making StarDodgeBall I took a very long break just after I made the "engine," and when I came back to it a couple months later I was extremely productive.

Once the Terrain looks passable and some more of the features/UI have been implemented, I'll make a Youtube video as a "Proof of Concept."

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Re: New Project Thread

Post  rut on Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:16 am

Just finished adding two more abilities, Scatter and Remote Mine.

Remote Mine drops a mine that arms after a few seconds and can be detonated whenever. Though I hesitate to make abilities capable of killing enemy players, I wanted to create a hard-counter for the Hijack Ability (explosions will destroy vehicles in one shot) and I think people will really enjoy using it.

Scatter is an interesting ability. It creates a small diversionary explosion that does no damage but scatters the neutral Marines around it as if a gun were used. It also sounds like a gunshot and creates an alert on the minimap as if a weapon were fired. It has infinite range and will have a quick cooldown once the recharging system is put into place. It can be used to trick a player into thinking an area is more threatening than it actually is, it can trick players into thinking there's action in a place where there is not, and it can also be used to flush enemy players out, as it makes neutral Marines behave in a predictable way that cannot be matched perfectly by a human player. Whether or not it will be good enough to justify using it, though, will remain to be seen.

Though I should be working towards the Terrain, UI, and general in-game triggering, I keep getting ideas for more abilities and classes and end up putting them in the game. Hopefully I can convince myself to be a little more disciplined and work towards what's necessary to making it a playable and testable game!

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Re: New Project Thread

Post  rut on Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:09 am

I take lots of breaks when I'm not really "into" a project. There are times when I get an overwhelming, obsessive desire to work on my projects and I tend to get the majority of the work done when that happens. However, for the past few months I've been less motivated so it's more of a chore to work on this stuff than a reward. That being said, any hobby requires a certain amount of discipline, and although I work in the editor primarily as a means of entertainment, when there's a goal in mind it is rewarding to commit to the project and sacrifice some time and effort to get things done.

Such was the case these last two days with the mechanics of recharging abilities. It was something that, for some intangible reason, I had absolutely no desire to work on for the last several weeks. It wasn't even particularly difficult to do. But now that it's been accomplished, I'm very close to ready to make a showcase video. I'm going to work on sprucing up the map aesthetics a bit and then I'll be ready to do it.

Anyway, recharging abilities is very simple. Touching a Xel Naga tower will replenish the charges for an ability (most abilities have just 1 charge, meaning they can only be used once before having to be recharged at a tower). Once your ability is charged and you use it, it is disabled until the cooldown has passed. Once it has passed, you can recharge the ability again by touching another tower.

The idea behind having abilities charge this way is to create points of interest on the map and to create situations where the players have incentive to reveal their cover. If there's no reason to come out of hiding, the game can likely become stale and uninteresting.

I should also note that I'm going to create a "Specialist" class that bypasses Xel Naga Towers entirely. As soon as an ability's cooldown is up, the Specialist will instantly have its ability charged and ready to go. I worry about the balancing of it, but if need be it can be nerfed (maybe Xel Naga Towers aren't needed to recharge, but cooldowns are increased by 50% - something like that).

I've still got to work on the UI showing the cooldowns for abilities and whatnot, but since the mechanics of the charging are finished I've decided to check it off my list, which is a surprisingly big relief. I'm hoping to work on the game daily for the next several weeks in order to get a showcase Youtube video ready as soon as the game's ready.

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Re: New Project Thread

Post  rut on Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:59 am

Pictures! The first picture is taken in daytime light while the other two are nighttime.





I've said many times before that I'm horrible with the Terrain editor, and indeed that was true up until about last week. I decided I ought to have some decent looking terrain for the Proof of Concept video so I started doing some research and figuring out how to make a city landscape. Next thing I knew I was actually having fun assembling this little city block! In fact I enjoyed the process so much that I'm no longer looking for a terrainer to help with the project.

One unintended side-effect of working with the terrain, however, was having to remake the entire structure of firing your weapon (again!). I was getting major aesthetic problems when bullets would travel up cliffs so I thought I'd just make the terrain without high/low ground at all. Turns out that's extremely limiting for several reasons (the most direct being I couldn't use high ground underneath the lines of buildings as line-of-sight blockers and would instead need to use hundreds to thousands of little LOS-blocking doodads instead). So, I spent way more time than I should have remaking the entire structure by which the weapons fire.

Now, instead of firing a bullet that travels 10 units forward but is destroyed if the triggers notice that it's traveled over unpathable terrain, when the weapon is used a trigger calculates out the route the bullet will take and determines how far it will travel before hitting something that would stop it. It then fires a bullet to that exact point and the impact functions are calculated only along that smaller line segment. The result is a much more complicated firing mechanism but a much smoother-looking traveling of the bullet itself.

Anyway, I'm currently working on making a public, playable version online with my one little block of terrain. It will be FFA only and is really just a testing version that I can use to make a gameplay video, but I'll make it public so that anyone who's curious in the project can fiddle around with it.

Have a great day!
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Re: New Project Thread

Post  rut on Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:08 pm

Alrighty, got a public testing version published on Bnet! It's currently titled "StarWorkInProgress" and is published publicly on the NA server. Unfortunately it's a strictly multiplayer game so you'll need at least two people to actually play the game, but if you're curious to see how it looks and feels, check it out!

Right now it has a 1 out of 5 star rating, which is understandable since there is no explanation whatsoever how to play the game. There's also no end--it just goes on forever. I published it privately to test it out and decided I might as well make it public in case anyone was interest in seeing it. The name will be changed and the ratings will be reset once the actual game is "finished."

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EU

Post  Sp0ki3 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:44 am

Hey

Been enjoying dodgeball for a very long time with a few friends and this looks pretty cool, any chance you could put it on eu?

EDIT: also the zergling has some param value crap over it in dodgeball and i cant select it.

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Re: New Project Thread

Post  rut on Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:39 pm

I'll certainly upload the WIP map to EU! Haven't worked on it in a while but it is playable.

As for the StarDodgeBall param errors, sounds like I forgot to re-localize the map for EU when I published the Zergling update. I'll get to work on that tonight.

Thanks!
rut

-Update-
Alrighty, got them both uploaded to EU. Took longer than expected as for some reason I wasn't able to log into Bnet yesterday, but hopefully they're both up and running (and properly localized) right now.

Any more feedback or bug reports, please let me know!
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Re: New Project Thread

Post  Sp0ki3 on Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:04 am

Thanks the zergling works now.
What name did you upload the other map under? I searched StarWorkInProgress but found no results.

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Re: New Project Thread

Post  rut on Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:20 am

Oops, turns out I uploaded it as a private game instead of a public one. Should be fixed now.

Thanks!
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