Tag Archives: PGD Challenge

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 opengameart.org. 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.

Setting and progress on “Trugbild”

Although my spare time is pretty limited these times, and motivating myself to code after work (where I code almost all day code) isn’t very easy progress on “Trugbild” is coming along very nice. I guess one of the best ideas was to limit the technical aspects of the game to some very basic OpenGL and gameplay stuff.

This allows me to concentrate on the game itself, without having to think alot about complex programming problems.  As I mentioned in my initial post, my coding style is very modular, so most of the stuff I need for this project (textures, shaders, sound, etc.) was already there in my different manager classes (that are used for e.g. Projekt “W”) that I just had to include. This allowed for a very fast prototyping, and with roughly 2,000 lines of code I already have a playable prototype up and running.

And recently I got the perfect idea for the game’s setting. As usual, that idea struck me while doing something completly unrelated to coding and not being near a computer. And since most of my ideas materalize when away from the computer, I’d advise anyone with creativite troubles to stay away from any electronic device and do something completly boring (like the dishes) 😉

I already mentioned that the game will play in the mind of a character that you have to guide through a series of questions pertaining to life itself. These series (divided into stages) will be embbeded into the mind of a dying person. The “game” will start off with the player resting in a sickbed, having problems to keep it’s eyes open while doctors and relatives around are talking about you. Soon you’ll drift away and the game itself will start.  During your journey you’ll then wake up from time to time, seeing different people talking by your bedside.

Implementing the scene roughly took three days, starting off with a drawing I made to get an idea on how the scene could look, over to a mockup in Photoshop to the final implementation into the game. The scene itself is made up of different 2D objects and is not just static. People that talk are highlighted and shifted towards your viewpoint and I’ve also applied some kind of (old-school) parallax scrolling effect, so you can look around with your cursor and the 2D objects move by different deltas.

And since that looks much better in motion I’ll try to get up a video of the current prototype as soon as possible.

First screenshots from “Trugbild”

After getting the first prototype for my PGD Challenge entry up and running I quickly found a name, it’s called “Trugbild” (German for “delusion”). Once I got the visuals of the prototype the way I imagined the game to look in the first place, the name somehow directly came to my mind and I found it pretty fitting for such a “game”.

First work-in-progress screenshots (click on the thumbnails) :

Note that the game loks much more nightmarish in motion (I may get a video up sometime this week), with the camera swaying, the moving noise effect, a breathing character and a moving fov that gives a “nice” anxiety effect. So though this is a very early version it already perfectly fits the look I was aiming at from the very beginning, and once I get some disturbing (dark ambient) music and background noises (like heavy breathing) in, it should feel pretty dark and depression, which I was totally aiming at.

The prototype is already “playable” and you can move through several corridors. For the final game I plan on having different visual styles for different types of questions. In addition to the oppresive corridors I plan on adding holes (for very negative decisions), upward stairs (for positive things), windows (for questions realted to matters out of your own control), light cones in the lone distance (for questions related to isolation) and a few other types (that may or may not make it into the final product).

As for the technical part : The game makes heavy use of shaders (for film grain, glow, etc.) and frame buffer objects (currently four). Especially the shaders make it easy to go for such a dark, gritty and hazy look. I plan on adding lots of disturbing effects that are directly affected by the player’s mental and physical health using different shaders.

Taking part in the 3rd PGD game challenge

Once again, Will from Pascal Game Development has organized another game dev challenge. Though it’s more of a  game jam due to the lack of any prize and registration requirements the theme of it is pretty interesting. It’s called “at your command” and requires indirect control of some main protagonist (or multiple ones).

While reading through the theme of that competiton, creativity struck and I decided to participate with a rather abstract “game”. I can’t tell if I’ll get it finished for the deadline (September 15th), but I already got most of the game design written down (currently roughly 1,500 words), made the first concepts in Photoshop and already have a simple prototype up and running. And as the ideas keep pouring in I’m really keen on getting something playable done in the given timeframe, and even if I won’t get the whole game done for the compo I plan to continue working on it afterwards.

During the last years I’ve been mostly working on Projekt “W” (Phase 2), and while I’m proud of how far the game has come (which is also reflected by the feedback from all around the web) I think this competition is the perfect time to take a short break on it, giving me the chance to work on something new and fresh.

As for the entry, it has no name yet, but it’ll be a pretty abstract (and mostly dark) “game” about life and death. You’ll guide a newborn human through the different stages of life, from birth to death (and maybe even beyond). The interactive part comes from the “game’s” way of guiding your character by selecting answers to questions that influence your character’s life. Each of these answers will have the character move through a different portal (or corridor), influence different attributes of that character. Depending on how you choose your character may even die or commit suicide. The current game design will probably result in a very dark and negative game, maybe even with a horror influence, but that’s exactly the type of game I always wanted to do.

As for the technical aspect it’ll mostly be basic OpenGL with render-to-texture stuff (using FBOs) and some effect shaders (film grain, glow, distortions, etc.) and will be made with Delphi (or Lazarus, if Delphi is getting on my nerves again). So nothing spectacular here as it’ll mostly be about the “game’s” message and not fancy effects.

I also plan to blog on my progress on a more regular basis (at least once a week), so stay tuned 😉