September 2013

Trugbild finished (PGD 2013 challenge edition)

The 2013 pascal game development challenge deadline is today, and Trugbild (at least the version for this challenge is finished and available to the public now).

I haven’t had that much time to work on it in the final week of the contest, but I managed to add in new content (chapters, decisions), fixed some minor issues and made some small tweaks to the game to add some polish. And though it’s not perfect and not 100% what I initially had in mind for it I’m pretty happy with what I was able to create in roughly a month. Creating a game from scratch besides an 8 hour dayjob isn’t the easiest task, so getting it finished in time and in a shape that’s pretty close to what I imagined is something I’m pretty happy with.

Here’s a short video of the game in action, though note that video compression kills a lot of image fidelity, and that the game is supposed to be played fullscreen in a dark room :

You can download it from here (Windows only, ~5 MByte).

I’ll have a page up on this page with some more detailled information, and maybe a post mortem up in the coming days, and I’m currently planning to expand the game (both in terms of content and gameplay) even further.

Trugbild : Almost done

The final date is quickly approaching, with only one week left to finish work on Trugbild. Last week was extremly busy (including a business trip), so I didn’t make much progress on it. To compensate for this I sat down the whole weekend to push progress on the project, and I can happily announce that all coding work on the game is done.

I finalized the ending screen, which now has two (slightly) different visuals, depending on the player’s bias. In my last posting I wrote that each answer changes your bias towards the negative or positive, and depending on this final bias the game will display a different “ending”. Though don’t expect endings like you used to be from games like Silent Hill, just simply different screens with different texts depending on your choices.

The game now also has a final scene that you can reach when answering all questions in time, kinda like a “happy ending” which will also influence the ending. And to make things more interesting, the game speeds up with the number of decisions taken. The further you go, the quicker you’ll have to react (or you’ll die like shown in the last posting).

And last but not least I slipped in an additional visual styles. I had a mockup for this made with Photoshop some time ago, and decided to put this one in during this afternoon. So in addition to holes, corridors and doors, you’ll now also see ladders that your character can climb. This should add to the diversity of the game, and if time permits I may add one of the other additional visual styles I’ve pinned down in my design document.

(click to enlarge)

I even found time to package and release a prototype for people to test (over at the PGD forums), mostly to check hardware compatibility. As this prototype seems to run fine on different hardware (even on integrated Intel GPUs) and all the gameplay elements are in, I’m pretty much finished with coding. The project is currently standing at roughly 4,500 LOC (not counting all the existing stuff from my basecode), and the project’s directory grew to ~ 250 MBytes. The final release will be at roughly 30 MBytes, and will be available for windows first. I plan on having a linux version out at a later point, and I’d love to see it on android (maybe with XE5), though I haven’t decided on that yet.

And to close this posting off, here are two debugging screenshots, displaying the (up to) 6 different frame buffer objects the game uses to compose it’s visuals :

(click to enlarge)

So the final week of the contest will be used to create content for the game, which means writing dialogue and adding much more decisions.

Half-time on “Trugbild”

The first two weeks of the contest’s one month deadline have passed and I’m pretty happy with the progress so far. Though I won’t be able to put much work into the game this week due to job assignments I’m confident to have it done in time. At least the “PGD Challenge 2013 edition”, and depending on feedback I may add more stuff to the game after it’s release. After all a month is not that much, especially when you’ve got a full-time job, so there are lots of things I’d like to implement that won’t make it in time. So an enhanced version of the game with more content, gameplay and visuals is something on my todo-list.

Current screenshots (still work-in-progress, click to enlarge) :

The “game” itself is now fully playable from end to finish. There is also a main menu with an about screen, and on top of that I also added logging to the game for troubleshooting. I also added two visual types for the player’s decisions, so in addition to the long and dark corridors there are now also holes (that symbolized some kind of descend) and “hovering” doors in space (I guess you can see what mystery series influenced me on that from a mile away 😉 ). This adds a bit of variety, and I have additional visual types planned, though as noted above these may not make it into the final game.

You can now also actually “die” by failing to select an answer for a decision within a given timeframe. The longer you stare at the answers, the blurrier they get (once again using a shader with a FBO for that) and at some point reality starts to fade in again, with you lying on your death bed while people around you have come for your funeral. You still have time to select an answer during this phase, though I you won’t answer the screen will fade as you finally die.

In terms of game logic answers now have a bias that add to the player’s bias towards the questions asked, and that bias (along with your answers) will be shown in the ending screen. So pretty much all of the game logic is done, though the ending screen still needs some more functionality and a few bugs need to be ironed out.

There’s now also dark and eerie (and perfectly fitting I must admit) music in the game, thanks to Kistol from over at I haven’t started implementing sounds yet, but since the game will be very minimalistic in that area, I’ll either only add very few sounds or just leave it up to the music.