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Old 05-05-2010, 03:51 AM   #11
Isaak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob
I'm so disappointed in you.
That means you love me, right?

Cunning Critters

Cunning Critters is a 3D cartoony co-op multiplayer game in which players take on the role of forest animals.
Open season has started so an army of hunters have invaded the woods, now the players have to work together to chase them out.

In the game the players set up traps which can be coupled to produce various results.
For instance one player uses a trap to ensnare a hunter, while the other triggers a log which knocks him out.

Brief Game Walkthrough

At the start of the game the players choose the animal they wish to play with. All different animal types have to be represented for all traps to be available.

Players get an amount of time before the hunters go into the forest in which they can set the traps up. Successfully combining various traps will ensure the most efficient hunter repellent.
Players can leave marks as well to lure hunters right into the traps.

When the timer runs out the Hunters venture out into the forest, looking for the players. The players are now advised to stay in the shadows and watch the hunters.

Should the hunters not go in the right direction, players can make a sound (growl, hiss, squeek, birdcall) to trick them into going the right way. Or wrong depending on how you look at it.
Alternatively the player can jump out and let the hunters chase them to the traps.

Successfully catching/knocking out a hunter will reduce the hunters' morale, knocking out enough hunters will make them call off the hunt.

The players lose if the entire team is caught by the hunters.

Players can't attack hunters, they are too big a foe and will catch them immediately.

The Playing Field

The game takes place in an area of the forest which varies in size depending on the number of players in game.
Different locations offer different possibilities for traps, but also limits players.

For instance a large body of water means they are no trees around, meaning birds can be easily shot down.

Luring the Hunters

Players can lure the hunters by scent, sound and movement.

- Scent: players can pee and leave droppings to lead the hunters in.
- Sound: animal calls, this is always a call of low volume.
- Movement: players can jump out and let the hunter(s) chase them.

The Animals

Animals fall in four different categories, each capable of laying traps and luring hunters.
The animals are fast and agile.

- Birds (Owls, Robins, Sparrows) is the fastest type of animal which flies in the higher areas of the forest. They are quick and agile, so hard to hit for the hunters. They can lay traps in the trees but not on the floor.
Birds can land on tree branches and are also able to walk around on the ground, but are severely limited then.

- Rodents (squirrels, mice et al) are small and can climb anywhere, they can place traps on both trees and the ground but are the slowest type of animal.
Their size however makes it easy for them to hide.

- Canidae (fox, no wolves) are the strongest and 2nd fastest type of animal. They are great for luring in Hunters. They can only place traps on the ground and can't climb in trees.

The Hunters

When compared to the animals, the Hunters are large, slow, lumbering humans. They are capable of sensing the animals well, which is taken advantage of with the way they can be lured.

There are different types of Hunters requiring different strategies. Two of them include:

The Whistleblower is a paranoid individual which will alert the other Hunters when caught in a trap. Players have to knock him out before he can cry out for help. This can
He needs only one blow to knock him out.

Big Bud is all muscles. Dimwitted, slow but incredibly strong. He can escape from traps holding him in place fairly easily and needs multiple blows to be knocked out.

Traps

The players can install different types of traps with different uses.

The types include:

- Knockout: a large, slow moving, heavy trap designed to knock out a Hunter.
It's slow speed means the more agile Hunter can move out of the way.

- Hold: a Hold trap is meant to hold Hunters in place, either slowing them down or setting them up for a Knockout.

- Bait: lures large predators (bears, wolves) to the woods, who will go after the Hunter and beat him up.

After the hunter is chased away, the predator will remain in the woods to go after more hunters.

- Insect: an Insect trap (beehive, anthill) is triggered to overwhelm the Hunter and chase him out.
A beehive trap will for instance send out a cloud of bees which will chase multiple Hunters away. An anthill trap will send out a stream of ants which will cover the Hunter and start gnawing.

Insect traps are one shot weapons.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Designer Commentary

Note to self: writing stuff down directly into the reply window is bad. If the browser crashes I will cuss loudly and start hitting things.

This took too long. This is the sunday entry and it's wednesday. Balls!

Sunday started out good enough, with a large amount of neurons firing in my brain, throwing around several ideas. One would involve insects, based on a series of awesome CGI shorts, another one would have players perform tricks as Dolphins on the waves of boats and ships.

By monday however, I still didn't have anything concrete. By now I had settled on 'animals' but beyond that I just couldn't put together the right ingredients. I had half a puzzle but the pieces that I did have weren't enough to paint a mental picture of what the puzzle was supposed to look like.

Then I made the neural connection of 'younger audience' to 'animals' and BAM! There it was. I love animated film, from the classic Looney Tunes to contemporary animated film and I even took one of those series as inspiration.
But I didn't look any further, while it was staring me in the face.

At first I took inspiration from Bugs Bunny, who always makes sure anyone who chased him would meet a large, heavy object headfirst. It would be a singeplayer experience where players would play a squirrel, tasked with bringing down the impending Hunter armada, for the forest.

Similarly to CloudHoppers though, I thought it was lacking, so I injected a good dose of People Fun, along with some classic, proven concepts such as different classes, 'weapons' and a level which size varies depending on player count.

I think it's a good base on which I could slap additional features easily, such as night time or perhaps a mode where the tables are turned and the animals attack the Hunters.

Too little constraint causes my brain to go off on too many tangents, so I need a few keywords which I can base my design around.

Off to day 3 now.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:56 AM   #12
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Day 3.

Beach Battle!

Beach Battle! is a turn-based, multiplayer strategy game which makes heavy use of Augmented Reality tech.

BB! takes place on a real life beach where a team of players build their own sandcastle. Players then place several sensors on the castle, which determine the position of the castle's walls, trebuchets, farm, barracks, mines, blacksmith and archers.
A camera hanging over the castle picks up these sensors and a computer attached to it renders the buildings on top of them.

Careful placement of these sensors gives the team a tactical edge, as the sensors are picked up in 3D space, so height is taken into account.

After building the castle and placing the sensors, the whole installation is then switched on and the team connects to another team anywhere on the world, which has built a castle as well.

The battle then begins!

The Installation

The installation is made up of a large screen and a camera, along with a computer and sensors to render the buildings.
On the screen the player team's castle is shown, with the buildings superimposed, along with the castle of the enemy after the connection is made.

Player commands are relayed through the computer and sent out over the internet.

The large screen makes it perfect for crowd viewing.

The Castle

The castle by default has several buildings players have to include.
These can be upgraded to become stronger or output more resources.
Players can choose to rebuild a building should it be destroyed.

The castle is constrained in size, as it has to fit in the camera's FOV.

Trebuchet --
The castle's weapon which is used to attack the other castle. This can be upgraded to be more accurate and powerful using metals from the mines.
Trebuchets are made of wood from the match's start.

Additionally players can place more catapults, with a maximum of three.

Trebuchets are manned by three soldiers, which can be killed by archers.

Mines --
One of the castle's main sources of resource income. From the mines come metals used to build the Trebuchets and supply the blacksmith with metals.
Upgraded mines will result in an increased income of metals.

Blacksmith --
The blacksmith supplies the archers with arrows and allows for upgrades to be made such as flaming arrows.

Farm --
Supplies the archers and other soldiers with food. Destroying this will cut off the food supply and cause the soldiers to die. Upgrading the farm will result in an increased food supply.

Barracks --
Supplies the castle with archers and Trebuchet soldiers. Archers are used to kill Trebuchet soldiers, soldiers are used to fire Trebuchets. Upgraded barracks will supply more accurate archers and soldiers.

Walls --
The castle's primary means of defense, walls are large, thick, strong and made of the toughest stone. Walls require multiple hits to be successfully taken down. Upgrades will make them even stronger.

Playing the Game

After setting up the castle and connecting to another team, the players can perform a number of actions until their turn is over.

Players can choose to attack a specific part of the other castle with the Trebuchet(s) and the archers they have at their disposal, upgrade any of their buildings using their resources or build/train additional Trebuchets/archers/soldiers or rebuild/repair any buildings.

These actions are invisible to the enemy team until the turn ends. Any attacks are performed after the turn ends.

The player wins if the other team's castle is destroyed.

For added realism, players can opt to physically destroy parts of their own castle after a hit.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Designer Commentary

This started out as a 'game you could play while at the beach with your family'.
At first two teams of players would build two castles and attack each other, without any electronic gizmos or whatchamacallits.
But I had trouble figuring out how to handle communication in the game. Like how does a team know they've hit a target? In hindsight I probably could've solved that issue with something as simple as dice, but to be honest this is a lot more freaking awesome.

At first I was thinking making use of smartphones, but later found the screen just wouldn't be sufficient enough to show what was going on to the rest of the team.
I thought about hooking the video output up to a larger monitor, but that would turn out to be an impracticality to the nth degree.

A larger execution was in order. I took inspiration from beach parties and ended up with this.

It's not the first time I've turned to AResque tech, my entry for the Romance themed Design challenge was that, but this makes more use of its visual implementation and I'm actually pretty damn proud of it.
You and your family vs a family from the Ukraine, Canada, Turkey, New Sealand or America, that's very cool.

On to day 4.
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:23 AM   #13
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I really like the idea of Cunning Critters

Sounds like a Left 4 Dead style game where you play as forest creatures (The Infected), I Love the idea dude seriously, the thought of setting up a trap as an animal is so unique!!!

What have u been smoking aha

good work !!
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Old 05-09-2010, 07:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bradlyspicer View Post
I really like the idea of Cunning Critters

Sounds like a Left 4 Dead style game where you play as forest creatures (The Infected), I Love the idea dude seriously, the thought of setting up a trap as an animal is so unique!!!

What have u been smoking aha

good work !!
Thanks, it's all brainpower though heh

#4:

Spacechase

(aka I really suck at names)

Overview

Spacechase is a 3D third-person, co-operative multiplayer experience in which players play as astronauts, chased by a nigh indestructible alien ship. Initially sent out to investigate a huge, seemingly derelict vessel in a large asteroid field, the ship comes to life and immediately attacks the astronauts, destroying most of the research vessels that brought them there. Some ships escape the onslaught, leaving the spacemen behind.

This is where the game starts: the players are to escape the alien ship by navigating the asteroid field, dodging enemy fire and finally hooking up with the rest of their fleet to try and stop the alien ship.

Spacechase can be played with up to 20 players, with bots filling out the count shouldn't there be enough players available.
The game makes use of full Newtonian physics.

Brief walkthrough

After the attack players are separated from each other and the ship is slowly chasing the ships that got away, its gargantuan hull smashing any asteroids in its path and its hyperadvanced weaponry destroying anything it perceives as a threat.

To increase the chances of survival, players first have to find an outpost and gather the players while trying to outrun the hostile ship and dodging its weapons.
Players can form bigger groups as they come across each other, this process is repeated until all players converge.

Together players can destroy the smaller turrets gunning for them and open ammo caches and outposts through which the player can restore ammo and health and also swap and upgrade their suits.
Scattered throughout the asteroid field are small outposts which provide the players with health/power restoration and the chance to regroup. These outposts are vital to player survival.

When reaching the rest of the fleet, a large battle ensues where the humans fight the alien ship. The performance of players during the asteroid chase determines the difficulty of the battle.
If the players have destroyed several turrets it'll be easier to aid the other ships in destroying the alien vessel.

The alien ship

The alien ship uses smaller turrets to pick off the players, keeping its larger cannons for ships.
Turrets are at first the only vulnerable part of the ship and players have to destroy these to increase the chances of survival.

Turrets can be destroyed in two ways:

- Shooting them. This requires a great amount of players in 'Heavy suits' and takes a relatively long time.
- Hacking them. Hacking turrets requires a combination of different types of suits, namely 'Tech' and 'Heavy'. Heavies first destroy the turrets protective armour after which Techies fly in and hack the turrets.

The ship carries multiple types of turrets, ranging from 'standard' lasers to heat seeking projectiles and beamweapons.

Standard lasers are of the Star Wars variety. Fast moving, charged particles designed to pepper the players. Getting caught in the crossfire equals instant death

Heatseekers are turrets which fire slow moving, heatseeking missiles. A hit means instant player death, any other players caught in the blast will be damaged.
Missiles can be destroyed when fired upon, or can be countered by using flares.

Beamweapons are powerful weapons designed to sweep across the players. These weapons aren't made to destroy the player instantly, but rather weaken him. A continuous hit however will drain the player's suit and result in player death.

Taking out turrets makes the escape easier, as well as the final battle. In the final battle human battleships blow holes in the alien ship, but are unable to destroy it completely.
Players are to fly into the enemy ship, using the newly created entry points and destroy the ship from the inside by blowing up its drive core.

The Players

Players are astronauts, wearing a spacesuit with high-powered maneuvering thrusters, making them extremely agile when compared to the enemy. They can use different kinds of weapons and swap suits if they choose to, to allow for different strategies to emerge.
Even though a stronger suit provides the player with better protection, attacking the alien ship's turrets by himself is suicide as he'll be ripped apart almost instantly.

Players have to work together to ensure survival.
Asteroids can be hazardous as well if the player isn't careful. Flying into larger spacerocks will damage the player's suit. If the player really tries he can even destroy himself.

Spacesuits

Players can change their spacesuit in an outpost, with a choice of three. All suits have weapons available.

Heavy: originally designed for mining purposes, the Heavy suit protects the player from multiple impacts. It carries a powerful mining beam players can use to protect others and destroy the ship's turrets. Heavies can also quickly destroy enemy missiles.

Tech: a suit built for scientific endeavours. Players wearing this suit can hack turrets to disable them as well as hacking other players' suits to provide them with weapon and thruster boosts.

Tech suits can also deploy EMP weapons to temporarily disable the enemy ship turrets.
Constructor: Specifically made for ship repair duties, Constructor suits can fix other players' suits in the field, as well as deploying countermeasures for enemy projectiles.

The Asteroid Field

The asteroids provide cover for the player from enemy fire. Bigger asteroids are indestructible, smaller asteroids can be destroyed by both players and the enemy ship.

The field is also home to several outposts where players can change their suits and restore health and power.

Player Death

Should a player be killed, he is transported to a spawn location -an escape pod- where players can save him from.

Player Victory

The players win the game if the alien ship is destroyed. Players are awarded points based on their performance. These points are multiplied by the amount of surviving players.
This gives an additional incentive to co-operate and make sure as many players as possible survive.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Designer Commentary

And that's number 4.

This initially started out as a humorous and fairly simple game in which the player would play as an astronaut chasing his own ship through an asteroid field, after it was stolen by competing Soviet cosmonauts or an alien entity. I however began to question the fun of that game, given how annoying chase missions in other games can be and here I was creating an entire game around that.

So I started whiteboarding, juggled some ideas around and after some thinking turned it around; players would be chased by their own ship, instead of the other way around.
Now I could make the ship of the game properly hostile, which opened up a lot more possibilities.

The player was to escape this ship by getting to friendlies, which would help destroy it.
Again though, multiplayer popped up in my mind (perhaps caused by Bradleyspicer's comment) and I started going off in that direction, adding a large player count and the possibility for multiple players taking on one common enemy, again allowing for a lot of co-operation.

It was about that point that 'Cunning Critters' said Hi and I realised just how similar this is to that in the end result.

What I ended up with is a mixture of Lost Planet 2, Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress, in a distinctive space setting.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:36 AM   #15
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First, space games are awesome.

Now, I think it could be very cool, but I think there are some confused parts that you either haven't worked out for yourself, or didn't articulate well enough.

First, the aspect of being "chased" isn't really present at all if the astronauts are actively trying to fly up to the ship and destroy it. It's one thing to be flying away from a massive alien warship, dodging lasers and whatnot, and it's another thing entirely to be turned around and battling with that spaceship. So are we running away from it, or fighting it? The game will have an entirely different feeling depending on which it is. To clarify this, I'd recommend running through your head exactly what each player is doing and what their objectives are for a whole match. Are they fleeing, or fighting most of the time?

Also, once the human ships have blown holes in it, is there anything inside the ship preventing the players from getting to the core?

And is this a 3d graphical powerhouse, or 2d, or what?

Lastly, it always feels good when the game you're playing feels plausible, like maybe what you're doing could really happen in a distant galaxy in a million years. The fact that this massive alien warship's ship to ship missiles can barely take out a squad of humans in space suits seems a little hard to believe and will probably lessen people's immersion. I'd consider somehow changing things around to make it so that the warship's weapons were really to scale. That would make it terrifying and more authentic feeling for the players.

I think there could be a really interesting game in here if you flesh things out. I also applaud you for coming up with a pretty original kind of asymmetrical game play. Nice job.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:50 AM   #16
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Wow, what a great response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob View Post
First, space games are awesome.

Now, I think it could be very cool, but I think there are some confused parts that you either haven't worked out for yourself, or didn't articulate well enough.
Probably a combination of both.

Quote:
First, the aspect of being "chased" isn't really present at all if the astronauts are actively trying to fly up to the ship and destroy it. It's one thing to be flying away from a massive alien warship, dodging lasers and whatnot, and it's another thing entirely to be turned around and battling with that spaceship. So are we running away from it, or fighting it? The game will have an entirely different feeling depending on which it is. To clarify this, I'd recommend running through your head exactly what each player is doing and what their objectives are for a whole match. Are they fleeing, or fighting most of the time?
It's comparable to guerilla style warfare. The alien ship is slowly moving forward, like this tank slowly moving through city streets, so infantry has to retreat and think of other ways to take it down. It's a frontline slowly moving through the asteroid field. Basically astronauts can outrun it. Just trying however is another thing entirely as going out into the open will get them killed by the numerous turrets. So they have to find new ways to kill it, while at the same time trying not to get caught in the open.
The alien ship doesn't really care for them, as astronauts can do little to destroy it, except for the turrets.

Dammit and now your 'worked out for yourself' comment instantly applies as I figured out how that could play out.

Now that I've made the mental connection with 'guerilla'...

Instead of finding the ship, the ship finds the humans first. It stops outside the perimeter and seemingly does nothing. Amazed but at the same time very cautious, humans set up defensive weapons prior to checking out the ship, which can double as outposts.

So they go out, the ship awakens, everyone dies... but some survive, the players flee, fending off the alien vessel. The defensive weapons however are offline (perhaps the alien ship sent out a weapon scramble pulse).

Now the astronauts have to flee to the outposts and get the guns online, while escaping impending doom.

The guns will weaken the ship before the final battle.

Quote:
Also, once the human ships have blown holes in it, is there anything inside the ship preventing the players from getting to the core?
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Millenium Falcon travelling to the core of the Death Star to blow it up, but with the Death Star having guns inside.

Basically.

Quote:
And is this a 3d graphical powerhouse, or 2d, or what?
3D, it says in the beginning.

Quote:
Lastly, it always feels good when the game you're playing feels plausible, like maybe what you're doing could really happen in a distant galaxy in a million years. The fact that this massive alien warship's ship to ship missiles can barely take out a squad of humans in space suits seems a little hard to believe and will probably lessen people's immersion. I'd consider somehow changing things around to make it so that the warship's weapons were really to scale. That would make it terrifying and more authentic feeling for the players.
Well, the turrets I mentioned aren't ship to ship kind of weapons built to take out battleships, but more to take out fighters and smaller craft.
Flyswatters, but the exploding kind.

The big capital cannons would be reserved for the human ships waiting.
The turrets would be scaled to human size, but the missile would probably be cut and replaced with something else immediately, were this to be developed.

Still, perhaps the aliens could employ more gruesome weaponry to deal with pesky humans, to really give it that alien feel.
Clouds of nanomachines, a microwave ray, or perhaps even the aliens themselves. Something fitting for meatbags.

The turrets could just as well be capital ship killers, only not gunning for the astronauts. Instead a mobile enemy could be used to go after them.
That would be a major change, but that's something to consider.

Quote:
I think there could be a really interesting game in here if you flesh things out. I also applaud you for coming up with a pretty original kind of asymmetrical game play. Nice job.
Thanks.

I've repicked up Actionscript, though this time AS3, so I'll be building small games in a while.
Hm, I should make that a Challenge.

Oh, right. I'll do a post-mortem esque thing about this.
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Old 05-10-2010, 03:27 AM   #17
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Nice work, can't wait for #5!
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