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Author Topic: Project Yugopunk - Devlog  (Read 4967 times)

TorgeirFjereide

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Re: Project Yugopunk - Devlog
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2019, 09:13:32 am »

Hows the project going? ;-)

Funny you should ask ...Time for a new(late) update on this.

I've spent the better part of two months working as a teacher, and moving to Serbia, which has resulted in almost no time to work on any personal projects to speak of. It's pretty frustrating, but things are slowly settling down and seem to be going ok.
    Due to all of this my access to a computer that I can actually develop anything on has been quite limited, so most of my efforts have been directed towards tools, art assets etc. since that's possible to work with on this dinky old Surface pro 2  I have with me.



This is the kind of assets I've been making


On the tools front there's not a lot of exciting stuff to talk about, but one thing I haven't talked too much about is the dialogue system in the game.
    To be fair it wasn't too great for the longest time. It was quite clunky and buggy, but I've spent some time now polishing things up some more and making things easier to work with.

It works mostly like any other dialogue mechanic in western RPGs like Fallout or Baldur's Gate-- dialogue options, branches of conversation, effects on the game itself from your choices etc.


This the dialogue screen in its current incarnation

One of the first things I decided to put on the chopping block with this game is simply anything that looks like a quest, or a questline, or complicated dialogue interactions. I am but one man, and I'm not a writer by trade, so a grand storyline isn't really on the table for me. I simply don't have the expertise nor the manpower to cobble together a good story of a good size.

Instead of quests and stories the conversations should be about gathering necessary information, and trying to get the right people to like you.

This makes it a little bit easier to keep the conversations between people from becoming spaghetti, and takes a workload  off my shoulders.

That's it for now, I really wish I had more to say, but life sometimes gets in the way of things.  Hopefully I will have some more time over the next few weeks.


Spoiler:  UI examples (click to show/hide)
I'm a bit curious about the nationality and religion options there as well as the "Special Requests" thing. Are nationality and religion actually a factor or just flavor? What is the special requests thing for and how does it work ( or might work?)

Those are good questions.
Since Yugoslavia is a rather diverse part of Europe, where ethnicity and religion has quite a lot to do with your identity, I wanted it to be represented in the game somehow.  It's a touchy subject for a lot of people, but not having it in there feels quite cheap to me.
The idea was that  depending on your identity different groups would have different interactions with you, like being suspicious of you if they're an orthodox christian and you're catholic or whatever.

I don't want everyone to hate everyone different from themselves, but it's a nice thing to throw into the mix sometimes.
     Finally beating up that bigot who's been picking on you for no reason is also a pretty compelling narrative to most people.
It also allows me to create strange cults, political extremists and things of that nature.

The "special requests" is a secret for now...

This looks awesome. PTW.

Thanks!
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ßk

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Re: Project Yugopunk - Devlog
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2019, 09:22:15 am »

I recently watched "The Keep" which is about a devil-possessed stone keep in Romania during WWII. Maybe it can provide some inspiration.
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TorgeirFjereide

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Re: Project Yugopunk - Devlog
« Reply #17 on: March 31, 2020, 07:44:52 am »

An update, if you will..

It's been quite a while. Some expected and unexpected work kept coming up, but I guess we all have a lot of spare time now...

There are many minor and somewhat major things I have been working on related to the combat aspect of the game. Itís been a thorn in my side for a while, as
the game itself has felt interesting but not very fun or engaging to play. Thereís aspects here or there I like but itís not very coherent. So after a lot of deliberation
 Iíve sunk my teeth into the foundations for how this all works.


New aiming thingie. Gives some nice feedback, feels snappy and nice to use. Many more features for this part are coming when itís time for polish.

One of the problems the combat section had is that thereís very few layers of strategy. Try to avoid the enemiesí bullets by running away from them until theyíve
emptied their clip. Not great. Thereís also fairly little for the AI to actually do, and for the player to react to. They try to survive, by keeping a distance and dodging
incoming attacks but I want something more out of this.

One idea floating around for a while was to introduce the concept of cover, high and low, for the player and enemies. Itís a soft cover system that doesnít lock
anyone to the side of cover like say Uncharted does, but you can stay safe from bullets by crouching behind something, and pop up when you want to shoot something.

This is generally kind of annoying to deal with in a game that is literally 2D, but I think Iíve found a way that is simple but works. Cover is a major advantage, but
with some limitations to things like mobility and sight, and with the ability for people to sneak up on you.

The hardest part of this so far has been implementing the AI for it, but Iím in the stages of finalizing that now. They can choose between cover positions in range
depending on how well it will shield them from a threat. Half of it is precomputed and half is calculated on the fly, so itís quite efficient.

One feature coming up relatively soon is the ability to throw things: Grenades and other explosives and weapons sure, but also rocks and bottles and other things.
Maybe every item, Iím not sure. This is to counter cowards behind cover, and to be able to fight back if youíre pinned or hiding yourself.


Just squatting behind some boxes. Also, new boxes. Lots of boxes.

On another note; Aesthetics. A new addition that I had been wondering about how to do for a while has finally come to fruition. Water. Itís such a nice thing to add to
any scene in video games, and I canít quite put my finger on why. It might be nice to have a little movement and contrast to whatever else is around.

It was in the end not as tricky as I thought to implement, but thatís the beauty of hindsight. Itís just a screen-fitting texture with layers of domain-warped noise  in
different colors. Then itís just offset with the camera position. Obviously thereís many more tricks around it, like the waterbanks and  some interesting gradients and
details.  I might write something about it in the future.


A desert oasis


There are other additions to the game that I would like to write a bit about at some point soon as well. hopefully within a week or two.


I recently watched "The Keep" which is about a devil-possessed stone keep in Romania during WWII. Maybe it can provide some inspiration.
I haven't watched it yet, but it's definitely on my list now. Thanks for the suggestion

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TorgeirFjereide

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Re: Project Yugopunk - Devlog
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2020, 05:45:35 am »

Can I teach them to shoot?

Iíve been working on some AI improvements. Thereís a few more behaviors related to combat  on the table, and there are more ways to choose between them.
Also this test-environment I guess.



The  most interesting changes to the system has been giving every entity better defined awareness and senses. They now have quite robust ways to determine
who they can see at any one time. They have a way to keep track ofÖwho they lost track of a moment ago( a kind of short term memory), so that they can
pursue the remembered threat, as well as assumed threats that appear from things like sounds.



I like the idea of  them having these senses and ways to process them and derive information from them the way any real creature would. It also makes most
of my job a lot simpler.
One thing that isnít simple is conveying this information to the player in any way that isnít too spammy or weird. Currently the AI will flash an exclamation mark
whenever it discovers an enemy, or a perceived threat from something like a gunshot sound. Problem is that this happens a lot in firefights, so you can see it flash quite often to the point that it loses all meaning.
Likewise thereís a question mark that appears whenever they lose sight of an enemy, which is great in theory, but it also flashes when they themselves walk
behind cover to do something and thus loses sight of the enemy.
Iím going to have to find a way to make thisÖless annoying.
At least itís great for debugging at the moment.

Another few things Iím happy about at the moment are the ability to get to cover, and to seek out assumed threats; the behaviors themselves arenít that
complex, but the way that the AI chooses between them and other actions make it seem quite good. Theyíre a bit more erratic than what I would want,  but
they do their job well enough for now.
None of this is perfect, obviously, but  now the framework is there and itís a bit easier to see where to go from here.

Thereís a lot with AI that I havenít gotten to do yet, like flanking and hiding behind cover and teamwork, but for now it will have to do.

Other than that, what Iíve been working on are a new in-game debug toolset, and trying to find a workflow for working with animations in the Godot engine.
Godot is quite painless with most things compared to other engines in my experience, especially in 2D, but there really is only one snag thatís come up
over the  years and it is importing animations.  Itís been a consistently awful experience from one end to the other, and Iíve wasted a few full workdays
in trying to find out how to get this shit in order. Still no luck so far, but thereís a few options I can still try.
The result is that I can only work with un-altered animations from Mixamo, as opposed to changing them to fit more. Frustrating.





That's it for now. I'll check in with some other stuff I'm gonna work on in a week or two, hopefully.
Stay safe out there!
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Mephansteras

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Re: Project Yugopunk - Devlog
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2020, 10:31:16 am »

I like it!

Maybe just a set of animations to reflect going to On-Alert? Like looking around or something? And maybe a different stance for 'I'm walking this way ready to shoot' compared to 'I am just walking this way and somewhat prepared for danger'?

Might be able to get the point across pretty well that way without the icons and it'd be less distracting.
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