Exilian

Exilian Projects => Pangolin Games => Computer Game Development - The Indie Alley => LIFE => Topic started by: Jubal on October 12, 2015, 05:14:10 PM

Title: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on October 12, 2015, 05:14:10 PM
So this is to chat about the development of LIFE, a text-based adventure I'm writing (sort of partly under the auspices of the Cambridge Uni Doctor Who Society).

I've just done a big revamp of it and started making some armadilloty pixelly style graphics, so I'll be able to release a demo version sometime soon I hope :)

The premise of LIFE is set after Capaldi's second full episode, Into The Dalek. The "good Dalek", nicknamed Rusty by the Doctor, is now the figurehead of a growing resistance movement. You have recently arrived on a small resistance base, and have to go exploring and help out around nearby planets to eventually have a chance of counterattacking against the Dalek menace.

More updates to come!
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on October 17, 2015, 12:51:24 PM
Screenshots!

It's an asteroid space station base thingy:
(http://whosoc.soc.srcf.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/loc_2812.gif)

And the planet Phrynoris minor:
(http://whosoc.soc.srcf.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/loc_2832.gif)

Do they look great? No, they look pretty naff. But oh well, it's better than no images at all.  :P
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: comrade_general on October 17, 2015, 12:55:10 PM
Old-school and cool I think. :)
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on October 17, 2015, 01:04:38 PM
Thanks :)

I've been doing them by starting with photographs, montaging them, then crunching the image and indexing to 128 or so colours to give the 1980s feel.  :)
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on November 23, 2015, 02:44:32 PM
Trying to make a more advanced inventory/item usage system. Failing. :(
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on February 07, 2016, 05:51:31 PM
Actually got some development done for once :O

Have started work properly on Phrynoris Minor, the Ice world.
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on February 14, 2016, 10:14:45 PM
Up to date screenshot, here we have a Thauil in its natural habitat:

(http://i.imgur.com/JntBYwD.jpg)
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: comrade_general on February 14, 2016, 11:02:52 PM
THROW THERMAL POD
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on February 14, 2016, 11:34:13 PM
I'm getting there, give me time :P

Next thing to get implemented is load/savegames, then I can start implementing lots of things that kill the player :)
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: comrade_general on February 15, 2016, 01:34:27 AM
Don't get me wrong, it's a good work. :)
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on February 15, 2016, 11:20:27 PM
Load/Save is implemented :D
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: comrade_general on February 16, 2016, 01:44:30 AM
Well done!
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on February 17, 2016, 11:24:03 PM
Today's update:
- 2 new death sequences, one for dying of exposure in the ice fields, the other for breaking thin ice and drowning in an ice lake. Might make a third death there, I'd like to have a monster that eats you but not sure what sort of thing.
- You can now get into the outer hall of the Thauil Ice City
- The output text now goes red during the death sequence
- Text for load game options added to the menus
- Game now prevents you naming your character "BACK" or "SAVES" as either of those would cause problems.
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on April 14, 2016, 06:57:40 PM
Quick screenshot here from recent work - implemented a little card game called hlastak which the player can gamble on playing to gain money:

(http://i.imgur.com/sLFlN1U.png)
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Lizard on April 14, 2016, 10:58:57 PM
- Game now prevents you naming your character "BACK" or "SAVES" as either of those would cause problems.


I am probably late to the party on this one, but if you stored all of your keywords in an array (or whatever the more efficient data storage doodle in Python is) couldn't you just check whatever the player entered against that list? Just seems like it'd save you issues down the line.
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on April 14, 2016, 11:06:56 PM
Character naming is the only issue, as the rather rudimentary savegame system creates (entirely unencoded) .txt files with the character name as the filename - so the only place I need to check this anyway is in that specific savegame function, to avoid them making a character file that overwrites the storage file!
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on April 16, 2016, 11:58:20 PM
I'm still crap at graphics, but oh well - welcome to the famed and deadly Ice Caves of Phrynoris Minor :)

(http://i.imgur.com/mFKVke4.gif)
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: comrade_general on April 17, 2016, 01:41:12 AM
That looks like a good place to throw a thermal pod.
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on April 17, 2016, 08:57:00 AM
Yes, I was thinking that. Getting there!
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on October 30, 2016, 11:39:25 PM
Some new screenshots from the planet of Mytilenus Beta! Things are progressing quite well, still tons to do but the whole thing feels a lot more do-able than it once did...

(http://i.imgur.com/gWHGxTM.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/TUeiPZQ.jpg)
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Phoenixguard09 on October 31, 2016, 01:26:14 AM
This looks awesome. Definitely something I'd play.
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on October 31, 2016, 11:01:01 AM
Hopefully closed beta will be a thing sometime in the next month or two. I have a LOT of plans I could implement for this thing, but I think I only need about 20-25 more scenes (depending on the number/complexity of ridiculously bad mini-animations I make) produced before I have a beta that you can play through from character start to endgame. :)
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on February 14, 2017, 08:48:34 PM
Back to work! Have added five new puzzles and better explanations to the Time Lord computer, so that will provide a bit more variation between games :)
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on February 26, 2017, 11:12:15 PM
Much, much work has been done recently! Definitely outpacing the feature creeps :)

Still a little way to go, but several major bits like spaceship add-ons have now been tested and pretty much all the locations are now in (though there are some possible extras that may end up occurring). There are still some quite major tweaks to the mining system to do, and some bits to add onto Phrynoris, but the game feels a lot more completeable than it did a week ago.
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on March 06, 2017, 10:59:09 PM
Adding some extra alien beasties that you can cart around in your inventory. The animation process remains hell, and I'm still only on beast one of a planned at-least-three... eep.
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on November 11, 2017, 10:27:46 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/M7kPkJm.jpg)

Most recent addition, the civic centre of the main settlement on the Terraformed Moon of Pangloss III (which was a terrible thing to name a place, and then I compounded the problem by splitting the area into a Space Dock and a Planet Surface area, but oh well, I've done it now).
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on December 10, 2017, 11:17:46 PM
I created a two-room tutorial level today, which hopefully talks new players through the basics of using a text parser. It's got its own theme music and sound effects, two new short animations, and an extra achievement for completing it (entitled "Nice to meet you - run for your life!")

I'm half-considering overhauling literally all the dialogue in the game to move it to direct speech, but I'm not sure it's worth it given very low takeup for beta testing etc for the game. :( I'm definitely going to add one more feature, aka "invasion mode", and possibly German keyboard support, and then I think I'll do an open release of the whole thing. I don't feel like I can get it considerably improved without feedback and I don't have the energy to add much more content that people aren't going to use, so I may as well just get it released and then go try and work on something else I guess.
Title: Re: LIFE Development Blog
Post by: Jubal on January 03, 2018, 05:52:42 PM
Decided on a partial dialogue overhaul, adding elements of direct speech to give some extra flavour to interactions with key plot-relevant characters. I've started on this with the main base quest-givers, but not really sure how many & which other characters should get the treatment, and how much of it?