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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2011, 14:57 
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Alright, wasn't sure whether to put this in the Hall of Fine Art or the Arcade or whatever,so I'll leave that to you guys to decide, but here's what's currently taking up my time. This is a project that's been going on and off in my head and sketchpads since early highschool, and is still in need of a new name xD;

It will be a game, hopefully an MMO based around an organisation called CTS (Cipher Tactical Solutions), a high-end security company with a shady R&D section, and the people that work for them...kinda

Players will have an initial campaign mode, a plot-driven story following a single character from each of three divisions with CTS, Project Phantom, GENE Corp (affectionately dubbed 'the Splicers'), and Advanced Psionics and Energies (ironically, APEs).

These characters will be Daniel Harvey (Phantom), Jayge Ashera (Splicer), and Raine Altis (APE) respectively.

During the story-mode campaign, the player will guide their chosen character from the start of their career within CTS and beyond, depending on how the story goes, in a series of interconnected, surprising and sometimes even heartwarming (hopefully) encounters with the other two characters. Only by playing through all three campaigns can the player fully understand exactly what is happening throughout the story.

At the same time, the player will have access to an online MMO-style multiplayer mode, where they can create their own characters from within the CTS divisions and take them into a world filled with a hopefully diverse cast of characters developed from the same (though slightly altered) systems that would shape the named characters in offline play.

The trick to this is that while each of the named characters are immersed in the same world as the custom characters developed by players, the named characters are special cases, with notably limitless potential, while player-made characters will have certain limits imposed. The story-mode then becomes a way of learning how to play and develop solid characters in a relaxed environment, while online play becomes a way to play with friends, and show off their best developed characters.


Now for how this ties into my uni-stoof xD;
As some of you might know, I am currently applying to University this year, four of them in fact, and some have asked for a portfolio based interview, to which I intend to take my workings for this game. I intend to study Games Design, and so over the course of that study, I am aiming to use this game as my project, or at least my end goal. Things probably won't work out like that, but we'll just have to see ^^;

Anywho, I'm sure that I've talked a little too much about the inconsequential stuff, time for some relevance, as in why I'm posting this here.

Basically, I'm looking for opinions and ideas. Any way in which I could improve the work I've got, and anything that you guys (who I honestly regard as a group of the most intelligent people I know in every sense) can see that needs work or might be incorporated into the game and its design. Following this post will be a scanned collection of the work I've got so far, and I will continue to add to this as I finish things, including notes on how things work and possibly even a 'Let's Play' style run-through of the plot, inspired by Mage's brilliant FireRed thing (and yes, this is part of the reason that I haven't drawn anything more for that yet ^^; my apologies).

Right then, ramble over. As soon as I've finished scanning stuff I'll post them. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think :p



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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2011, 15:22 
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Just so Opera doesn't screw me other and delete this entire post before I can post it...again -.-...Pictures up now, Notes up in small parts, as I go...

Right then, Project Phantom first.

The mainstay of CTS's operations are made up of their Phantom Division, super-soldiers born of regular humans and exposure to a certain applied Phlebotinum that will become apparent over the course of the story, not that it'll matter so much to the Players imo xD;

Phantoms are 'recruited' (read: Kidnapping) at a young age during 'security inspections' (read: Utter Bull) made by CTS staff, scanning for 'radiation exposure caused by a recent terrorist attack' (read: you probably get the picture by now...). In actuality, CTS is constantly searching for youths that show a particular reaction to said Phlebotinum, as these will produce superior results. These youths are then taken away to be trained and nurtured into an...interesting, if not downright eccentric, military division.

A Phantom will begin at Class 5, a Blank, called such because of the lack of defining elements in their abilities, equipment, and the lack of MASK (MASKs are important, and will be elaborated upon later). Upon obtaining a MASK, Phantoms are promoted to Class 4, dubbed Newbies by more mature Phantoms and from there they will progress according to skill and ability (Class 1 Phantoms are rare, and are widely regarded as godlike by the general populace.)

-------------------------------------------------

Here we have Daniel Harvey, the lead character from the Phantom plotline. 'Recruited' at the age of seventeen, he is regarded as quite old by his fellow Blanks, however he learns fast and shows an unprecedented reaction with applied Phlebotinum.

Image

Image

[Text from the pages that you may not be able to read because of my terrible handwriting]:

*Bio*

Daniel Harvey, Phantom Class 5- "BLANK"

Harvey is a new inductee into the Academy's Phantom Project, and so only carries the most basic equipment.
Very little indication of what he will choose to specialise in as of yet, however he shows great promise with the short sword.
No recorded Magical/Psionic talent thus far.
Will soon begin training to develop a MASK.

*Equipment Details*

Equipment should -look- mass-produced!
Small customisations will appear later.


*Head Details*

Mess hair, does not yet care for outward appearances.

Often boasts a 'strong' expression, trying to look strong for those around him.

-------------------------------------------------

And now we have the absolute mess that is the weapon tree :D

Every Blank begins with a basic short-sword and shield combo, light, easy to use, mass-produced but high quality stuff. As they use this equipment in battle they will eventually learn to master it, and through doing so will develop a taste for certain attacks and tactics.

In game terms, Phantoms begin with three attacks, Cut, Thrust and Bash, these inflict the corresponding damage types Slash, Pierce and Blunt. Each damage type works differently; Slash is good against organic targets but is stopped by armour, Pierce ignores armour to some degree, but will deal less overall damage to organic targets, and Blunt deals no real damage, but can stun a foe, leaving them open to more damage from the other types. Dealing consistent damage of one type in battle will build up a combo in that type, so Cutting a foe three times will yield SLASH!x3. When that combo is ended, either by killing the foe, or by switching to another type, the Phantom gains Weapon-experience according to the foe's difficulty multiplied by the combo. Some set combo-attacks will ignore this, however, and will merely change the damage type while maintaining the same combo level, such as creating an opening with a blunt attack, then punishing the for with a strong pierce attack, or something like that...I need to work on this a little more xD;;

Anywho! With enough weapon-experience in a certain type, the Phantom will be able to master his chosen weapon and unlock new ones to master. For instance, if you were to use your starting sword and simply mash Cutting attacks, then you would unlock Axes pretty quickly, while Lances are unlocked via abusing the Thrust attacks. Sword itself benefits from both types, so using them evenly is key to becoming proficient in that.

This silly system of mine will probably make more sense once I've finished the more graphical representation of the Weapon Path Tree, however, for now, you've got my current working versions down below xD;

Image

Image

There are also several paths for Shields that will adapt to the way you use that basic piece of metal that Phantoms begin with, as well as a Magic tree that will allow Phantoms to become effective Mages, or simply Magic-swordsman type fighters.

And last but not least (hopefully) you have the actual Skill tree, which is developed with points you get from quests, and the Conditioning Tree, which opens skills defined by your play style. Basically, people who get in the thick of it and get hit a lot gain the 'Brute' path, turning them into walking walls of muscle and armour, while those that like to dodge about a lot gain the 'Nimble' path (i had a better name for it earlier...that'll bug me), allowing them to keep avoiding hits like the plague, and gain bonuses for doing so.
I'm looking into adding firearms, but that might just wind up being silly...

Next up, Splicers, who operate on an almost entirely different level :D (might take a day or so, I'm still working on them...and I'll be adding to this post as I go, that is, better/more pictures, and more workable things to do with this monster of a development-system >,<; )



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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2011, 16:14 
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Alright another post just for now, to keep track of things.

Sidequest Ideas!

Quest1: Find the Kitten hidden in each area during story mode (Thank you Zeth)
The kittens will be of varying colours, will be hidden in the most annoying areas possible, and will give you a nifty 'Kitten Codex' as you collect them. Each will be a reference to something interesting, such as a famous time-lady, and will have a little bio consisting of in-jokes and a few interesting facts or so.

Cats so far:

Black cat = Romana
Yellow cat = Rose
White cat = Ace
Ginger cat tries to claw you = Donna
Immortal cat = Jack
White cat = Martha
Scottish Fold cat = Amy

Quest distributor: Rory (roman-looking fellow), looking for Amy in particular, but will have to find the other cats first :p

Ideas are welcomed and encouraged xD



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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2011, 16:16 
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I like the concept. It's like a true Fire Emblem/Final Fantasy mashup--not of the stories but of the systems, which makes it interesting to me. I particularly enjoy a weapons mastery system and the availability of specialising in more or less anything you choose; the way yours appears to operate strikes a nice balance without getting overly complicated.
I also particularly like the gauntlet being in the Bash Category--I can't think of many games that incorporate gauntlets as weapons, though in reality they easily are. Actually, I can't think of any game that classifies gauntlets as weapons, even if a special class.

One thing I mentioned to you via IM was perhaps using "Hit" instead of "Blunt", but whatever works best...works best, really.

Something interesting I can see happening is actually turning the types of weapons (axe, heavy lance, advanced sword, etc.) in each category (Cut, Thrust, Bash) into classes themselves, and the player can purchase different types of heavy lances, advanced swords, standard axes in the MMO community.

Kittens = ACE.

Black cat = Romana
Yellow cat = Rose
White cat = Ace
Ginger cat tries to claw you = Donna



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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2011, 01:18 
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Martha is a black cat. Romana is a calico.

I'm assuming you meant "immortal cat" instead of "immortal car" for Jack, although the latter would also be interesting.


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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2011, 08:11 
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I was also thinking a black cat would be appropriate for Martha, but Romana's already a black cat in Hunter's Realm. It'd be a shame to change her.

I was thinking Amy could be a Scottish Fold, but unless the graphics are pretty high-resolution, it'd probably be hard to make that recognisable. It's a pity she and Donna have pretty much the same hair colour.



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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2011, 11:46 
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Amended and fix'd xD I'd like to keep Romana as a black cat, for the Realm reference. Could get away with Marth being a grey cat instead? I couldn't say xD I neither know much about cats, nor the companions and how they relate in feline terms.

As for the immortal car...that was entirely intentional...i swear >.>;; i mean, imagine the carnage! a vehicle that can simply mow through everything else because it can't be killed, MWUAHAHAHA!

...will now probably have an indestructo-tank element in there somewhere...



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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2011, 12:21 
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Ah, I didn't recognize the Realm reference. My mistake.

Here you go: make Donna a ginger Manx cat (short tail), and then make Amy a ginger cat with white paws. Easy enough to distinguish the two. Martha could be a tuxedo cat (black with white chest and paws).

For extra points, make a mention of how Jack-cat has definitely not been neutered.


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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2011, 12:22 
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Give Martha's cat a white body, in reference to her being a doctor, perhaps? And I do like the in joke to the Realm.



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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2011, 16:44 
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Amended the Kitty Codex, and got some new stoof to bug you all with :D

Phantom's Weapon Tree Design:

Image

The 'full' weapon tree in rough for Sword, Axe, Lance and Shield (ish...need more for Shield methinks)

Image

And the Sword Tree in all its entirety:

Image

So, to explain, the Weapon Tree will be accessible in-game at all times to all Phantoms, mainly for the sake of planning their build and checking progress/requirements. It will appear using the layout in that design page up there over the current screen/pause menu, with everything behind it put vastly out of focus. To begin with, the player will only be able to see the Nodes they have unlocked, and those connecting directly to them. Nodes are unlocked by fulfilling their requirements, at which point the player will be able to start gaining the necessary experience type to master them. Once mastered, the Node turns blue and gives the player a corresponding bonus of some kind.

Weapon-related skills/abilities/attacks will require a certain level of mastery to learn/acquire.

The full tree up there is ridiculously rough, so don't worry if my illegible writing is just that, I'll be elaborating on properly later, as seen with the Sword Tree below it.

Now for the Sword tree itself...The descriptions still need work, but should fall into place as more of the game is figured out xD;;

Tier One

1- Short Sword: Short range, light and fast. Deals very little damage, but is reliable. All new players start with this Node unlocked. Mastery will unlock Longsword and Heavy Sword.

Tier Two

2- Longsword: Medium range, light and fast. Almost identical to Short Sword, but with longer range and higher attack power. Again quite reliable and versatile. Mastering unlocks Rapier and Dual Blades.

3- Heavy Sword: Short range, medium weight and speed. Slower than previous weapons, but is able to attack more than one foe at once with wide swings. Restricts the user to regular-sized shields or smaller. Mastering unlocks Zweihander and Defender.

Tier Three

4- Rapier: Medium range, with some long-ranged skills. Fast attack speed, medium-high attack power, and adds a bonus to the chance of getting critical hits. Gains a huge bonus if used to exploit openings created with blunt attacks. Very weak slash attacks. No shield restrictions. Poor at dealing with more than one foe at once.

5- Dual Blades: Short range, fastest attack speed. Medium attack power, but very high damage output due to speed. Limits shield to average size or smaller.

6- Zweihander: Medium-Long range attacks and skills with a very wide hitbox. Slow-ish attack speed, but high attack damage. Able to hit many targets at once and induce limited knockback with blunt attacks. Limits shield to small or none.

7- Defender: Medium range, wide hitbox. Slowest attack speed of all swords, but can use the blade to guard very effectively. Mid-large knockback on blunt attacks and most skills, but cannot pierce. Limits shields to average or smaller.

-------------

I should probably mention that simply carrying a shield will reduce movement/attack speed according to the item's weight. Same goes for weapons, really...the heavier it is, the more it slows you down. Different combinations of things will yield varying results, for instance Dual-Blade Phantoms may wish to discard the shield entirely to make use of the highest possible attack speed, while Rapier Phantoms could use a Gauntlet (will elaborate on shields later) to improve their chances of creating an opening to exploit via Blunt attacks. On the other hand, and fast weapon means fast movement, and so a Rapier Phantom could drop the shield and focus on dodging, waiting for an opening created via their opponent missing an attack, or an allied Zweihander knocking them over.

-------------

And as a bonus for now, Jayge's first Concept page:

Image

I'll add more on 'Splicing' once I've figured it out myself xD; going to do another page of Jayge first though, so that'll be up soon...hopefully ^^;



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PostPosted: 25 Feb 2011, 20:31 
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World Building Nit-Pick:

From the names and the appearances you've given, not to mention the tech-base required to make the elaborate weapons you've designed, I'm assuming your game will be set in an industrial or post-industrial society. Now, my question is, what's stopping your protagonists from getting riddled with bullets by the first group of cut-rate renta-cops they encounter? Mind you, your explanation doesn't have to make sense in OUR world, after all, our world doesn't have psychic powers in the first place, but I would highly suggest making both a story-logic justification for why your characters are melee weapon-only (or at least, melee focused, since we've only seen two of the player characters) and a way to make them bullet-proof that is consistent with what you have so far.



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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2011, 12:51 
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xD a very good point, and this would be why I started this topic, 'cus I hadn't actually thought of that >,<;;

So here's a long winded explanation based on stuff I thought up on the way down and back from the local supermarket for foodstuffs~

Effectively, there are three answers to this, considering that there are three distinct 'Classes' and each has its own way of dealing with things.

With Phantoms, they have a way to channel the applied Phlebotinum into some form of kinetic barrier which makes them far harder to kill than regular people. This barrier is constantly active, so long as they are wearing their MASK (..i still need a suitable bacronym for that..), recharges while not being put under strain, and increases in effectiveness when utilised by a Phantom specialising in what qualifies for magic/psionics/whatever in this world. Initially, I'd say that a Phantom's barrier could reduce the damage taken from small arms to something as little as a bruise, rather than a bullet-wound, however it's more a case of reducing the penetration factor of guns than reducing the damage they deal...needs more thought xD;

Splicers have a different advantage; they regenerate quickly and may have very potent natural armour. If you've ever seen the first of the two recent-ish Fantastic Four movies, I've always envisioned a Splicer's internal structure (at least, the non-vital parts) to be constantly shifting about the same way their costumes are explained to adapt (i forget the line, but something about unstable molecular threads? o.o). This would cause bullet wounds to simply 'bleed out' as part of a natural defence mechanism, the wound would heal quickly from the inside, pushing any shrapnel out through the very wounds they caused, in a matter of seconds. In addition, most close-combat oriented Splicers would have long-since developed thick natural plating around their vital organs, keeping those well protected from most things. Again, needs more thought xD;;

Finally, I've got no idea about APEs. Haven't given them any large quantity of thought just yet, though I would imagine something similar to the Phantom's method...

In all cases, heavy, concentrated fire will be a serious problem for all three Classes, and so Players will have to make clever use of available cover, teammates, and moving very quickly to survive encounters with ranged combatants.

Cheers for bringing that up Cata xD; I'd have hated to have been brought up short about it during a uni
interview or something ^^;

Concerning guns and the world and such, ranged weapons will be a feature. I had planned to give Phantoms the option of carrying a side-arm into battle, and then applying the whole 'use it more to get better' system to that, so a Phantom who likes to shoot things will gain access to more dakka as they develop in place of close-combat weapons.

This also gives me a chance to elaborate on the World as a place, and on this Phlebotinum stoof that seemingly makes the world go around..well, it really does, but hey~

(Almost all names are subject to debate at present, I'm making half of them up as I go along based on what sounds the coolest xD;; )

The game will be set on a single human world, Terra, at around 3000ad or so. Tech is advanced, but then so is the poverty gap, huge over-cities occupy much of the landmass, where what started as skyscrapers grew out as well as up and eventually evolved into a second level of living for the higher class. The upper class, quite literally, live above this in what have now become strato-scrapers, reaching out into the atmosphere where elevation equals stature. These arrogant businessmen turn a profit from the toil of the lower class below, an effective third-world of martial law, neo-yakuza, and doom-cults eternally preaching the end for all that will listen, and most of those that won't. Outside of these monstrous cityscapes are only small villages and farmlands, most are self-reliant and secular societies, but all are slowly withering due to the encroachment of the corporations, gangs and refugees from the far more populous cities.

The world is ruled by organisations and business, what little passes for actual government is corrupt to the point that politicians will openly auction their votes to the highest bidder. The rich stay rich, and the poor get poorer for it. All of this is possible only due to the revelation of Ether, the miracle Omni-fuel with limitless uses. Ether is used to power everything, and there is a seemingly limitless supply of it, although nobody actually knows where it comes from, only that it is produced and controlled by the biggest name of all, the Pangea Corporation.

Pangea is entirely silent about the secret to producing Ether, and has made it clear that any serious attempts to uncover this secret will not only be met with deadly force, but will give them incentive to cease production. It didn't take long for everyone who was even remotely interested in the secret to stop either caring, or living.
There are a hundred rumours still circulating, however, some of which claim that Ether is people, or that it is brought about from Dark Arts and dealing with the devil, though nobody really cares in the end. The unthinking population are able to live a relatively carefree life between the businessmen above and the human refuse below. Those living outside of the cities still rely on simple electric power.

Cipher Tactical Solutions, the security company that will be the main focus of the early stages of the game, is perhaps the second biggest name in business, and is in direct partnership with Pangea, even going so far as to refer to themselves as the corporate giant's 'firm right hand'. In exchange for their peerless security service, CTS is given near-unlimited supplies of Ether and an astronomical net income.

CTS' R&D division is devoted to finding new and increasingly useful ways to apply Ether, first in surgically inserting crystallised Ether into a human's body to create the super-soldiers known as Phantoms, and then by even creating people from the substance, infusing raw human DNA with Ether to create 'Splicers', unstable aberrations of man and science to better understand the miracle substance.

Terrorist groups, the under-city mobs, gangs and lowlifes, strange and dangerous creatures commonly called 'Daemons', and even all-out war against other security firms, mercenary groups, and private military forces are plentiful in this dystopian environment, and so Players will have a lot to keep them busy.

..I'll shuttup now and get back to doodling crimes against nature >,<



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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2011, 23:31 
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Also, advice about the design process:
Don't go completely art-first. It's what I call "the JRPG approach", and I don't use that term as a compliment. The problem with that approach is that you're going to have a great story, awesome looking characters and a fantastic style, but you'll also just be pushing back all the nuts and bolts of design to the end, where you have to shuffle through hundreds, if not thousands of art assets to get at them. I tried this with Master of Fortresses and it nearly killed me. All of the ingame art was done by December 2009, but the interface was a mess, gameplay mechanics were a disaster and the whole thing was nigh unnavigable. It took us three months to put together something to string all the art assets together and another four to turn it into something a sane person could theoretically work with. Even then it was cluttered, buggy and labyrinthine.

I would honestly suggest putting a lot of work into designing how your menus will fit together, how your interface will interact with gameplay and what options and features you want on the tech end first. It helps to have a design document to tie everything together as well. When you have a master plan on how to proceed, lay the technical framework first so you don't have to scramble to add new features and create a bottleneck when you realize you need something on the code side that you didn't have. Most importantly, never underestimate the design importance of GUIs and control schemes. Many ambitious and often very good games have been brought down because of clunky controls, crappy layouts and opaque GUIs. Lay the behind-the-scenes foundations of your game first and do menus next. Only when you actually have those set up should you begin work on serious actual ingame art, sound etc.



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PostPosted: 05 Mar 2011, 13:27 
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The problem with that is that I don't intend to be working physically on the tech-end until halfway through next year, if not later. I'm getting into games design as a graphics/character designer, and that's what I'm going to be producing as portfolio work when it comes down to my interview in now just over a week (although I will damned well be continuing this after that).

I do understand what you mean, and thanks for bringing this up, it is a real issue that I've been considering more and more from the beginning, even more so now that you've said it ^^;

For what it's worth, I am working on the mechanics just as much as I am the graphics, or at least to some close-ish degree, it just occupies a space in my notebook and head, rather than on the computer. The initial problem is that I want to produce this as a project, or use bits of it as coursework, for the coming year in uni, and I don't know what platform/s I will be working with during that time. It's safe to say that it will be PC based, but that could mean in Flash, Java, or even Gary's Mod for all I know xD;; It's difficult to come up with even a control method when I don't know how players will play the game...

Though since Gloucestershire's (came up with an amusing typo thar, might use it in future...) open day, I've kind of decided on PC with joypad, seeing as the majority of games designed and produced in that course are eventually played on a box, using an Xbox360 controller. With that in mind, I do have a rudimentary control method drawn out, but it needs work before I'll put it up here.

With the interface, I've got a few in mind, and those will be played with once I've got a firm idea of how the game will be played. Thus far I'm thinking of the standard MMO layout, or something like the interface from Drakengard, 'cus that game was pretty damned nifty. That is, minimap displayed in the top corner, health and other stuff on the opposite bottom corner, and skills and stoof across either the dead bottom, or the right side of the screen. Everything small, out of the way and transparent where possible, but large enough to boast a stylish graphic style and be visible...perhaps with an option to increase size/opacity...This game is still very much at its bare bones, but it is moving, if slowly xD;

At the moment, I'm figuring out what I want the game to do (concepts), next I'll look at how to do it (codes), when I've got the resources readily available to me, and then I'll make a move on menus, interfaces and layouts, and once all of that is fine and dandy I'll make a proper attempt at artwork. Sounds are likely to remain out of reach for yet longer xD; unless I find out how to make some epic battle-music in fruityloops

Sorry if I'm missing a point somewhere, or if I'm ranting needlessly, I'm just trying to get my ideas out here for input, and thanking you all for responding xD;; I'll owe everyone here a lot if I ever get this done, I swear >,<



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PostPosted: 05 Mar 2011, 19:32 
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You're doing a lot better and this GUI planning thing than I was during Master of Fortresses' development. Although, I would suggest that you at least put in mouse and keyboard support. Being a PC elitist at heart, I will concede that the controller has its strengths, in my opinion, the mouse is the superior platform for precision and ease-of-use and that keyboards give you the advantage of hotkeys and the ability to properly map layouts, which are a massive advantage for something with as complex a control scheme as an RPG. I find the reason why JRPGs have such clunky menu systems is because they have to map everything to a few buttons. Compare a recent Final Fantasy game to something like, say, Guild Wars where everything is two keystrokes away, and you'll see what I mean.



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PostPosted: 06 Mar 2011, 00:43 
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It should be playable through mouse and keyboard, I'd imagine...the keys will need to be mapped somehow anywho, and WASD+mouse and custom hotkeys would work wonders for this, I just personally prefer a controller for this type of game, where it plays more like Monster Hunter than your typical MMO. I'll clean up and post my current stab at the control scheme tomorrow/later today xD; so you can see what I mean, hopefully...there is still a fair bit of stuff that I haven't pondered through yet but want to add, like the sidearm/additional weapons, usable items, MASK boost and jump/dodge roll, though some of these will be self explanatory ^^;

I'll also clean this post up of any typos later...it's four AM and I should be sleeping xD;



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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2011, 23:28 
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A good plan would be to test out your control schemes before you permanently map them. For more complex controls, you'll want to end up mapping the most used options (I'd imagine item quickslots, sidearms and running for example) to the most accessible buttons/keys, and the best way to do that is through some rapid prototyping. Alternatively, you could map your keys first, and build your abilities and funtions around your control scheme, although that would require far more design work, and really only does the trick if you're already in too deep for control scheme prototyping.



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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2011, 14:26 
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xD again, the problem arises that I won't have the chance to test or prototype much for a while, so any control method I come up with will be purely theoretical until I actually start physically creating this game...

Still, here's what I've got so far for my Control Method, and the in-game screen layout, if you'll excuse the shoddy quality:

Image

Controls first:

Ignoring the fact that I can't draw an Xbox controlpad for the love of cookies, some of these have been revised since I drew them up yesterday, so bear with me ^^;

Left Trigger: MASK Boost (allows dashing over long distances, move powerful attacks and stronger shields for a short period of time. Also changes a few of the other commands...)

Left Bumper: Draw/Sheath weapon (if weapon is sheathed, player can make use of barehanded combat styles [to be continued later..])

Right Trigger: Guard / Fire gun / Raise barrier

Right Bumper: Switch between certain modes. If a sidearm is equipped, this will switch between Melee and Shooter modes. If a 'proper' firearm is equipped in place of a melee weapon, this will reload it. If the character is magic-based, this will 'focus' and over-charge the next spell.

Y- Pierce attack [melee] / Punch [unarmed]

X- Sash attack [melee] / Kick [unarmed]

B- Blunt attack [melee] / Grab [unarmed]

A- Evade (method depends on the Phantom in question, some will dodge-roll, others will 'teleport', etc..) / Jump with MASK Boost active (for some types, again, other will have differing methods of the same thing)

[Additionally, Mage-Phantoms and Gun-Phantoms need better designations.. will have different actions when their weapons are drawn, XYB will cast differing spells for Mages (possibly Fire/Thunder/Ice), and Gunners may have various survival items at hand/contextual actions to play with...perhaps commanding gun drones or playing with bayonets and grenades...]

Control Pad- 'Skill Wheel', up to four 'Skills' can be assigned to this wheel at a time (maybe six, if, say, left on the control pad changes to a second set, then back again...) for quick use in battle and such. Skills will be better explained in another post, but the ones that will be used here are primarily buffs/stances that affect limited things, rather than 'Tiger Claw!' type-things that are used repetitively in combat. Might change this in favour of a 'bar', rather than a 'wheel', to allow users to assign more abilities and make it friendlier to PC players, or simply allow the player to choose between the two.

Left Stick- Move, click to toggle crouch/sneak

Right Stick- Adjust camera, click to centre / Aim firearms, click to level.

Start- Open game menu (options and systems settings)

Back- Bring up a map screen. Bumpers will navigate to Character status screens, Quest/Lore record screens, and the Weapon Tree. If a character has leveled up, this will initially take them to the Character screen to fiddle.

(I'll try to map a keyboard-friendly version soon-ish, though I'm sure you could imagine one yourselves without much trouble, they keys -will- be re-mappable by the player, as that is a personal pet-peeve of mine.)

Closeup of the GUI:

Link, to save screen-stretch >,<;


This one's a little bit unclear, imo.

Top right is the mini-map, which is pretty self-explanatory. Areas themselves will need exploring before they show up properly on the character's map, however 'map packs' will be available for purchase from in-game vendors in the major city/camp nearby said areas. Some dungeons will not have map packs available, for added challenge :p

The minimap will display symbols for nearby NPCs, as well as the direction of a quest-target NPC and/or location set by the player on the main map screen. It can be adjusted to zoom in or out, and the markers can be shown/hid according to the player's preference. Players will also be able to toggle the showing of mobs/other players from the settings menu, as well as move the map to a more preferable location on the screen...probably just flipping it to other corners and trading places with the other interfaces...

Bottom right is the Skill Wheel, explained above. Below that will be a simple 'menu bar', which will allow keyboard-users to access different menus quickly.

Bottom left is the Character Interface, simply showing the character's portrait above a level indicator (the 11 in the circle there, for those that can make it out in that scruffy mess >,<; ), there will be a second ring around the character portrait showing experience in the same way that weapon exp is recorded. Below this, incidentally, is a weapon indicator, complete with its own exp ring. to the right are HP and MP bars, and above these is an Ammo counter, which will only appear if the player's main weapon is a firearm (the difference between sidearms and firearms will be explained in another post. For now; sidearms use tiny amounts of MP to fire, firearms use bullets).

Top left is the Party Bar, probably will be renamed 'Group Monitor' or something cool like that, and will only appear if the player is in a party. It will track the 'total level' of the player's party, which will be calculated from an average of each member's character level and current weapon level. This will be used for accepted group quests and such. The group's leader's portrait and stats will be shown in the actual bar, with the Group level shown to the left (where the P is in Party Bar!), below this each of the party member's stats will be shown in a similar way, with their 'class' (Phantom/Splicer/APE) shown to the left, their name and weapon type at the top, and their HP & MP below. If a player other than a Phantom is involved in the party, this will show different icons/stats that will be decided upon later, such as Biomass for Splicers and Energy for APEs.

Between the Party Bar and the Character interface is a space reserved for Buffs/Debuffs to be shown clearly against each other, these work counter-actively, so a debuff that slows a character can be countered by a buff that quickens them, and vice-versa.

Targets are selected by either walking up to them and hitting them with your sword/whatever, aiming the targeting recticle (for gunners), or clicking them (for keyboard players), and this will bring up a small interface at the top-middle portion of the screen, showing name, HP, and possibly a few other things.

Quest counters (you need x/xx of 'this' item) can be toggled from the quest screen, and will show up in a little transparent box which can be moved about the screen once activated.

I may, at some point, screenshot a scene from Perfect World without it's interface and use that as a base to draw my GUI up on top of, just so I can play with resolution and hopefully make things clearer if necessary. At the moment I just want to 'block' things in, as the pretty graphics will differ according to 'class', and I'd rather not run off and spend three days working on each only to find I've done something horribly wrong at this point, so please lemme know what you think so far, I'll try to explain my reasoning if it exists beyond 'i thought this would be cool', and we'll see what happens :P

--------------------

And now for another little info-dump about the World, a page devoted to Ether:

Image

Just to note, I'm still working on the World itself, so far I've decided to change Pangea Corp. into Eden Corp., so I can use Pangea elsewhere, and Eden suits this better. I've got better ideas for how things work in this world than those up previously, so I'll try to come up with a 'final' rendition asap >,<;

I hope you can read my shoddy attempts at writing here, 'cus I'm not typing all of that out XD; sorry



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PostPosted: 22 Mar 2011, 06:59 
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Right, I think that I've got almost enough background crud taped together to make a start on the plot, at least for the Phantom Character.

So this leads me to ask for a quick show of hands. If I post up a hopefully-not-so rushed character creation sheet sort of thing, and as much of the relevant information for such that I can pull together, would anyone here be interested in RPing at least the intro to the Phantom story?



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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2012, 00:45 
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BASE!


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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2012, 00:57 
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GENE Corp base, that is.

Although I agree with Cata to an extent, I thought this looked like a great romping sort of game. It'd be awesome if Jayge were able to keep it going somehow. The designs were really cool.



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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2012, 06:54 
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It's the designs, especially the character designs, that struck me most about this game when I read the thread back on the Comm. I don't know anything about designing game mechanics, but I think Jayge has a real talent for creating interesting characters (and they're so beautifully drawn too).



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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2012, 12:01 
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It makes me sad that real life keeps Jayge so pinned for time all the...time. He is legit one of my favourite people.



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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2012, 17:57 
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One of mine as well — I have not seen him in an Age and a Half, now that I think on it.



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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2012, 21:54 
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Wow so I just now saw this and I can honestly say that this is far more creative than anything I could come up with.



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