Game Master

When I decided to devote some time and love to the Narration System I was quite naive due to inexperience (I levelled up!). I did not realise that the Story System, to achieve what I envision for it, is encapsulating quite a bunch of Sub Systems.

  • A Cut Scenes System (what I originally limited the task to)
  • A Mission System (To set goals, Objectives & validate or not the outcome)
  • A Npc Script System (To make bots perform some precise tasks that would be an over killing effort to implement on a generic AI)
  • A Spawn System (To be able to spawn characters and set them up depending of the state of the story)
  • And of course the Story System that encapsulate and make use of them all.

That explains why I could not publish a build for you to test since one month now. As I need a week to at least draft each system IF I subdivide well the work, which I obviously did not in this case, resulting to be overwhelmed by diverse and too different tasks.

But everything is coming together. The StoryTeller Actor I told you about in some previous DevLog as fatten up. It is now not only checking StoryStates and triggering a Sequence, but it can also Spawn actors, Start Scripts on them, Start Mission and check it states. It literally does the job of a Game Master in tabletop role playing game in fact. It is working well and will grow even fatter in the future.

Here a demonstration. Playing as Amanda. She’s part of a team whom decided to break in 7Sides Corp. They planned to pass through a sewer. Amanda’s role is to dispatch silently any guards but she’s not skilled in hacking electronic devices. That’s Romeo’s role.

Still a lot of work making all this more sexy. But the StoryTeller is doing its job, and all its little soldiers be them Mission, Spawner, Cut Scenes components also. They all implement their useful functions and variable and communicate to each other as needed. They are quite easy to set up, reusable at envy and of course eagerly awaiting expansion.

Hopefully next week all this will be ready for you to test! I’m quite impatient to publish a build because some parallel improvements has been done.

Until next week, take care in these strange times!


Play the current version : ShootOut

Get the news letter!

Processingโ€ฆ
Success! You're on the list.

Narration Round 4

WIP sillikone.com

Hey everyone ! This week won’t bring new build for you, sorry for that ! But the wait will worth it!

The first chapter is almost done, roughly, there will have a lot of polishing to be done. You will soon discover how the story will be handled!

Play the current version : ShootOut

The plot is quite basic. Amanda and Romeo are hired to break into 7SidesCorp building. Sophie is an employee of 7Sides, she will have to protect a precious and mysterious alien artifact. Jack, as a police officer works inderectly for the Corp, he hears about a coup in 7Sides and investigate.

This is the chart I use, a simple Inkscape document (I love Inkscape)!  I manage the StoryState with 4 main variables :

  • A character Name
  • A chapter integer
  • An alignment integer
  • a step integer

Names, chapters and steps are quite obvious, with them I can know who’s playing and where he/she stands in the story. In the chart above you can see that, for this first chapter, there are some branching and two possible conclusion. Some boxes are outlined with green, this will be used if you already played the chapter with another character. If so, the game will use the outcome you had.

For example if you succeeded to investigate with Jack, the alarm will be active when you try to break into 7Sides with Romeo… and so on.

Later I’ll add one another possible outcome : each character will have the opportunity at key time to switch side, hence the alignment variable. But this is for an another chapter.

A first version should be ready for you to test next week! ’til then don’t hesitate to play the current build and leave feedback!

Play the current version : ShootOut

Narration Round 3

This week no build will be pushed for you to test. I’m working on the narration process and there is no point delivering small chunk of it.

Play the current version : ShootOut

Narration is a lot more time consuming than I want it to be. Not only I have to set up the camera, the protagonists pose, the dialogs, the player’s choice and a lot more, but I want it to be the more fluid, easy and fast to implement too. I want to be able to create sequences as fast as possible, so the story can be written, tested and tweaked easily.

To achieve this goal I use the Sequencer which is a really powerful tool delivered with UE4. This tool allow you to create cinematics in few minutes. You can add any actor in it and trigger its functions, all of what an actor can do, the sequencer can triggers it (I mean all, be it the camera(s) transform, aperture size, focal length, a character, or you can even switch a light). So the natural way to achieve my goal was to create an actor that implements all the function I’ll need often and implement an interface between it and the Sequencer, eh? I called it StoryTeller.

The storyTeller can start at BeginPlay (seen in the first sequence when you create a character) or on Player Overlaping its Box. It implements all the usual functions needed (Start, Pause, Jump to Frame, End, Update Journal, ect.) so the sequencer just have to call them. And it performs some optional checks like StoryState, PlayerState, ect.

So I’m not only writing (improvising mainly, to build up the system) the story, but also setting up a system to do it fast. The goal being able to pull 10 complex sequences a week. I want the writing process to flow as smoothly and fast as possible, so if any idea comes to mind it’s a matter of minutes to implement and test.

Hopefully yall see it in action next week! Till then, shoot some villains in the current build. Share feedback and ideas and stay tuned!

Play the current version : ShootOut

Smoke

Hello!

This week update isn’t gorgeous, I had some business which took a good part of the week. I mainly played the game previous build as part of the DoubleTrouble Contest which is, I can say, a total failure, as there is not a single participant ๐Ÿ˜€  Whatever, I used the event to experience the game as a player, to get an overall feeling of the experience. I would have loved to see a couple of streams from you guys’n gals, playtesting is really a big part in the process of creating the game.

Play the current version : ShootOut

You know there is still the whole day to score one single point, make a 1min stream and be the proud winner? –> DoubleTrouble Contest!

I added the Smoke Grenade to the game, once thrown it will create a quite huge smoke area that occludes visibility. The perfect tool to retreat from an unwanted fight, or avoid it altogether. The few tests I did with it whispers that it needs some tuning, or some counter like the scanner drone. I’ll also do some test occluding the player vision to be fair. In any cases, I feel that the system is more balanced between aggressive and sneaky tactics now.

In the future some more weapons are planned, I mean big stuff like

  •  rockets, miniguns, missiles, exo skeletons

 Sneaky tools and technics are also planned : 

  • stealth kills, traps, lures… 

And of course a lot of work is needed on the AI, party members must adapt better to the player’s actions and tactic, enemies need more complex tactic moves like retreat, regroup, flank…

But other parts of the game need some love now :

  •  Story / Choices / Narration / Consequences  / Meanings / Emotions / Reward / Exploration / Character Development

just to name a few.

Play the current build, share some feedback, ideas, opinions, it is never useless!

Play the current version : ShootOut

And stay tuned!

DoubleTrouble

play the game for a chance to win 20$ worth on itch.io as gift!

Hello!

This week a new tool arrived: an infrared sensor for the drone. It provides a pulse every 5s up to 30m, allowing the owner to detect life thru walls!

I worked on making it possible to embrace a more subtle way of dealing with villains. While crouching the player will be almost invisible up to 15m. Almost only, the bots will see something and move toward it to be sure. While in squad, each member will add 4m to this undetectable distance. That means a squad of three guys will only be stealthy at 27m! You’re warned, live hidden, live lonely.

A great news, you should no longer experience crash! yeehaaa! …I know I say that each week… but this time I promise!

Another great news !

DoubleTrouble Contest!

Play the game and win 20$ worth of any product on itch.io! Click that link for all info!

That’s all folks! Take care in these strange times!

New Gadget!

Drone.

Play the current version : ShootOut

With some knowledge one can program it to perform useful tasks.  For now only one (lot more to come): it will generate a kinetic shield every 60 seconds for the whole squad. With such a tool, your longevity on the battlefield is considerably longer!

But, beware, your foes could well possibly own one!

It is very fragile, few hits will destroy it, though… And upon destruction, not only you loose its benefits but it also explode… better run, then!

Here we can see Jack and his squad using it :

As usual, a lot of bugs fixes, tweaks, improvement… and new issues. I’m particulary happy to have tracked down and killed an old crash… Thanks the drone, with it I could test some shootout against dozens of baddies, that made easier to reproduce the faulty method!

No really sexy screenshot to show this week! 

Thanks everyone who read this, and everyone who play! Don’t hesitate to share impressions, feedback, ideas, bugs, hugs and anything you wish! It really helps!

Until next week!

Play the current version : ShootOut

The New Toy in Town!

The Syringe Gun

It’s a kind of gun spiting chemical toxin darts. Usefull to apply effects, positive or negative.
Here we can see Violette aplying a heal to her squad mate Maron. Jack, the player, covering the open door backward.

Play the current version : ShootOut

Hey !

Today a new toy has arrived, both for player and Bots. Be it friendly or not. It adds a good amount of survivability!

The Syringe Gun can totally turn the tide, silently applying various chemical effects (for now poison and heal)!

How to use it:

I’s like a gun, with 40m range, it launches a dart with chemical in perfect silence. To switch betwin the diferent toxins Reload while already loaded(this will cycle the toxins). To perform a heal to self pull the trigger whithout aiming.

Also I removed the ability for bots to perform headshots, was not really fun to be one shot! Even if it was quite rare. The counterpart is I augmented the chance for ennemy spawn in dungeons by 10%.

As I had to dive into the AI logic for it to use the new toy, I did a lot of tweaksand cleaning there. There is still some work to perfect it though!

Please, enjoy the current version, send me some feedback, opinion, ideas, reviews, hug or kisses!

Until next week!

Play the current version : ShootOut

Playgrounds!

Play the current version : ShootOut

The Pink Kitty Club is opening its doors! Of course there is still plenty of work to do, well at least there are dancers!

No music or drinks yet, it will come.

I also worked on integrating a procedural level system, thanks DungeonArchitect from Code Respawn!

It’s still rough, but the main layout is working, there is an entrance and an exit, and of course some fiends to dispatch!

Find out in the Shuttleport.

Beware, they can be deadly. More to come next week ๐Ÿ™‚

Last but not least, a multitude of bug fixing, tweaking, tuning…

Well that’all folks! Not many talk this week, I’m quite tired : I screwed the AI code, lost one day to screw it more and finally had to reset to the last working commit which hopefully was 12 hours before ๐Ÿ™‚

Still, screwing like that the day of the build is not quite the fun!

Thanks for reading, and playtesting! Please leave bug report, feedback and opinion! It is always usefull and appreciated!

If you got questions or wanna talk, don’t hesitate to join me on any channel I feed!  Special mention for the itch.io page!

Shuss!

Play the current version : ShootOut

Kaboom!

Play the current version : ShootOut

Hello !

This week was quite complicated. I found out that the previous build introduced a whole lot of bugs. In fact almost nothing worked as intended. I found out that from now on i’d need a whole day, at least, to test the game and check everything is working as expected. That will be my new schedule, the week is 4 days long to add features, 1 day to test, publish and comunicate… and the week-end to clean the code.

Oh well, anyway! 

  • Grenades! I could implement the grenade. My goal was to implement more version : Smoke grenade, Poison, flash etc. But due the fact I had to debug so much I had no time. Nevermind, the main grenade system is running, it shouldnt be hard to add diversity ๐Ÿ™‚

To access them (when you looted some of course) : Keyboard G Gamepad D-Pad Left!

Another one for the fun:

Play the current version : ShootOut

You gotta work what you got

Play the current version : ShootOut

Hello everyone !

Squad/Team Management

Squad is defined as your partners in the field, Team is defined as the pool of buddies you lead be it in your squad or at your HQ.

Today I solidified the Squad System. Improving AI response and added a dedicated window for Squad Mamnagement in the GameMenu (Esc/Gamepad Special Left). There you can:

  • Release : send the bot back to your starting spawning point. In the future there will be requirement to access this: you will need a HeadQuarter, a certain Rank in Leadership and a bot Rank 2+.
  • revoke: fire the bot forever
  • Select a weapon for the bot to use. This will also be restricted in the future.

Skill & advancement

Introducing the base of the skill system. There are a total of 6 skills, 2 for each categories which are : Physical, Mental and Spiritual.

  1. FireArms will improve your personal ability to use these weapons and unlocks them.
  2. CloseCombat, same as above
  3. Science for the use of biological and chemical tools such as poisons, heal, crowd control…
  4. Technic for the use of high technology tools such as drones, terminal hacking, Hitech weapons…
  5. Speech will help you seduce, bribe, threaten and bargain.
  6. Leadership will be needed to grow a large and healthy crowd to help you.

Journal

I began to work on a journal to display your advancement in the story, it is dispayed here and also on the MainMenu.

+

A good part of this week was working on the UI. I cleaned it a lot, and made it as flexible as I could to be able to beautify it later. 

You’ll notice the new Icons in place of texts in the Hud.

Please leave feedback, impressions, bug reports, streamed session, kind words! It is really appreciated, usefull and encouraging!

It is mandatory to delete any previous SaveGame, sorry for the trouble.

I made change in the Save System adding new variables, deleting others ect. This will be usual in this early phase, sorry again.

Thx for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

Play the current version : ShootOut