Featured 'Escape Condition' - A Time travelling philosophy game

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Steve Br, May 21, 2020.

  1. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    My first indie game is in the works - it's a time travelling philosophy game as the title suggests, where the player attempts to wipe out a virus of sin destroying humanity. To do so, they'll use time traveling devices to enter both the past and future, finding roots and outbreaks of the virus as it ruins humanity and the environment.

    Evidence of viral contamination: Acidic Flooding


    Here's an example of the time traveling code at work, the same map in two variations of the future:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Added more environmental feedback for when the world's Divinity level changes.

     
  3. mathieu

    mathieu New Member

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    Looks so good.
    Can you tell us more about the storytelling?
     
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  4. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Sure, since sin is a virus that you're tracking down, you need to go to the future to kill its eventual outbreaks, or the past to kill its roots. The problem is that divinity is the only way to travel to the past, and science is the only way to travel to the future. Depending on which you chose each "day" (a science mission or a divine mission), your rewards will differ - including gear pieces, amulets and XP boosts that help you in more difficult missions.

    The core of the game is a philosophical discussion of what balance between divinity and science people will need to tackle an uncertain future.

     
    #4 Steve Br, May 24, 2020
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
  5. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    WIP Post (I'll update all images here and put together in a time lapse at the end)
    -Painting DePig - the primary vendor whose shop will magically appear throughout the game

    Since the menus will feature art and not 3d animation, I have to leave a lot of negative space for buttons. To avoid wasting time, I first mocked up the menu need based on data (how many items per column etc.) then started painting in the area that was left in Clip Studio.

    One advantage to solo development is you don't need to get anything to a pre-determined state of being finished b/c the information doesn't need to be translated for another person on the team. So for now this will be done enough, picked up whenever I feel like taking a break from programming:

    [​IMG]
     
    #5 Steve Br, May 26, 2020
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  6. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Working on adding NPCs the last week, allowing me to get into some fun combat programming.

    The main goal in my gameplay setup for NPCs is to differentiate between combat in the past, present and future since the player can travel to all 3 freely.

    In the evil future (cyberpunk) shown here, robots and drones patrol the streets while gangs dominate the alleyways. So a sort of stealth mini-game is created as players try to avoid both (or load up when your mission starts and bring heavy weaponry with you, which presents a different kind of difficulty).

    For this and many other gameplay elements I want to use big bold shapes as I feel too many high fidelity games make it difficult to see what the objectives are.

    [​IMG]
     
    #6 Steve Br, May 29, 2020
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  7. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Working on melee NPCs that will be scattered throughout the streets. In this clip they're being shot with SMART ammo which is one of the 3 ammo classes in the game alongside DIVINE and CORRUPTED.
     
  8. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Finalizing the environmental changes for divinity, and testing its visual changes across the past, present and future.

    To travel to the past, rather than activating a quantum device, players will destroy it and any other technology in the map. Once this is done they can use an ancient piece of art or literature to transport themselves to the past (stored in libraries or religious buildings)



    Current task: putting together a list of interesting quotes and music the player must interact with to enter the past so that I can build those props. A big part of doing solo or small team dev is you can't afford the downtime of building a lot of unused assets so I draw everything out first and see if the concept makes sense.

    For DIVINITY missions, the props will need a balance of religious and secular(humanist) themes. If you're building your game mostly from store-bought assets as I am, I've shared a artstation collection I'm building with some good ancient artifact reference:

    REFERENCE PLAYLIST
    https://www.artstation.com/stevebroome/collections/902762
     
  9. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Lots of updates:

    • Inventory system is now integrated, including working armor which reduces damage from incoming NPC fire.
    • First fully operational player weapon is nearly complete (working on a recoil bug)
    • the three damage types available to a player are: Smart ammo, Universal Ammo, and Divine Ammo. Each ammo then has a light, medium, and heavy variant depending on the weapon it's used with.
    • Each NPC has a different resistance level to these 3 damage types, so I'm working on clear feedback to the player as to what the weaknesses are - using things like impact FX and sounds, and UI hints.
    • ex: For any NPC who's vulnerable to the divine ammo, a cloud of corruption will surround them. If you shoot them with enough Divine ammo there's a dice roll chance to convert them into a follower who will then look to attack nearby enemies/help you capture control points. The counter to this is that Divine ammo does a lot less damage than universal Ammo, so a rock, paper, scissors class consideration takes place at every level of combat:
      [​IMG]
    • Another new NPC is future cops, who are called in to kill you if you are marked as an undesirable by patrol drones. Their weaknesses - like all characters with cyber enhancements - are to SMART ammo especially in their helmet which is the CRIT location for all NPCs
     
  10. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    An update that's important for distinguishing bosses and mini-bosses from regular NPCs (cannon fodder) is the new addition of destructible armor. Both ammo and armor use the same [Divinity | SMART | Universal] classes.



    The gameplay for armor is designed to:
    1. emphasize class distinctions by making players aware of which ammo they are using against certain armor types.
    2. Allow for changes in action when the player destroys armor. NPCs with armor will have their head and chest protected, but when either is destroyed the entire suit of armor is destroyed, making each subsequent bullet do more damage and exposing the head and chest as CRIT locations
    3. Clearly distinguish time periods by the prevalence of NPC armor types:
      Past = Armor against divinity
      Present = Armor against universal bullets
      Future = Armor against SMART weapons

    Up next: more live feedback for these fights to tell the player if they're doing things optimally (CRIT dmg sounds etc.).
     
  11. mathieu

    mathieu New Member

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    How many people works on it?
    Because it looks like a professionnal AAA games.
     
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  12. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    I'm doing it by myself mathieu, my goal though, is to hire contractors to complete some key tasks as I get closer to shipping.
     
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  13. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    HELMETS

    This week I'm making the helmets functional with prototyped damage reductions and other buffs/nerfs. Helmets have three categories to match damage types.

    SMART helmets - a lot of the onscreen UI will only be available if you're wearing a SMART helmet, and that helmet will need a charge provided by a SMART backpack's battery.
    [​IMG]

    DIVINE helmets - think of ancient relics, they grant special mana building buffs and have higher resistance to attacks by infected NPCs. Players will have to go to special locations to find these (museums, storage rooms etc.).

    [​IMG]

    UNIVERSAL helmets - these are real world helmets based on modern technology
    [​IMG]

    Currently I'm testing code for all these stat changes including making sure that overlays work correctly on each helmet type. Actual artwork to make a player feel like they're wearing gas masks etc. will come later.
     
  14. mathieu

    mathieu New Member

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    If that's not to personnal, how many hours did you work to get this result?
     
  15. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Honestly, too many hours to count, I've been working on the code and design for ~2 years while also doing other work ( I do contract work on other people's games in UI and blueprinting). I do most of my heavy lifting on weekends but I work on the game every day.
     
  16. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Got the basics working for SMART masks


    SMART Masks are the class of headgear that changes the view of the world via augmented reality and extra data. Most UI outside of mission info is only available via these helmets or by going into your inventory screen.

    Each gear piece in Escape Condition has a strict class based advantage/disadvantage. In the case of SMART masks they offer very low damage mitigation (ARMOR) and also require battery power, so players will need to find a rechargeable backpack to keep the helmet and/or SMART gloves operational.

    Currently working on Codex entries to explain these differences.
     
  17. mathieu

    mathieu New Member

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    Are you close to the end?

    I whish you the best :)
     
  18. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Thx!

    Can't say how close I am to finish but I can see the finish line at the very least. Going to get lots of player feedback from testing before setting a release date but the first missions are well underway and I'll be contacting Steam about a product page shortly.
     
  19. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Gloves are done and tested (except for art which is placeholder).

    Full video with commentary coming will go over gloves gameplay and looting but the basics are that gloves affect weapon handling and will offer special buffs when paired with a weapon of the same class. As an example SMART gloves will provide a big recoil buff if paired with a SMART weapon.

     
  20. Steve Br

    Steve Br New Member

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    Gear/Weapon pairing:
    Here's a demo of pairing your equipment and weapon according to the class they belong to. Pairing same-class items may unlock special abilities and performance improvements. By equipping SMART gloves to use with the SMART weapon, the player can reload faster and reduce recoil, but they miss out on melee damage which is severely lowered with these gloves.

     

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