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Vapourware [feedback] Gaslight Horror - XCOM meets Arkham Horror

Temesis

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Hummm... not totally sure how shilling own game projects is taken in here, but if not well, delete this plz. I marked this as a vapourware, as the project is totally hobby-based-passion-thing but it would be nice to hear what you think.

Anyways, me and a few others have been doing Gaslight Horror for some months now. Curiously, it's a TURN-BASED FPS (including interrupts, action points, inventorys and so on...) taking place in 19th century Lovecraft Country. Basic battles are actually quite close to original 1994 XCOM, with randomized levels, darkness, smoke, fire, totally destroyable everything and so on. The strategy level is a mix of Arkham Horror and XCOM: Apocalypse with independent cults, police and other stuff.

The player leads a Secret Society fighting against cults, but it would be also cool to make it possible to turn to evil and summon your old giant horror polyps or smthng.

We have also been prototyping a system that build giant cosmic horrors from parts:

Cthulhu_mrk2.png


Here's a gameplay trailer:



All feedback welcome.
 

udm

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Looks cool. I like the idea of turn-based games in FPP or behind-the-shoulder view. There aren't many, but the concept reminds me of an abandoned Doom 3 mod. Anyway do you have any published/written documents with regard to the movement and shooting mechanics? Also, it would be nice to have movement speed up. ATM moving from square to square seems to take longer than it should.

One more question: what's the motive of having it in FPP? I like the idea, but what's the benefit of having it here as opposed to, say, isometric/overhead view, where you have a better grasp of the battlefield?
 

udm

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Definitely. It's been on my Wishlist for some time. Just need to clear my backlog first, including Valkyria Chronicles ;)
 

Mustawd

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Not a big fan of the FPP to be honest.

Otherwise, I like the concept. Make it isometric and I'll throw money at you.
 
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Shilling own game concepts? About as well as, say, trolling and declaring your taste in music. As in, you'd better man the fuck up and impress the shit out of us, or else the place will rip you a new asshole.

So far, you've done pretty well.
 

Temesis

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Ok, I'll soldier on and keep trying to impress you until the eventual, bitter end!

Anyways, what we wanted to do with the FPP was to take the 1994 XCOM-style gameplay and make it more of a survival horror thing: not being able to see anything else than your character sees and having to actually aim the weapon through a crosshair. Being more there in the midst of things. Of course, using FPP will reduce your situational awareness, which is an interesting problem.

I wrote something about the controls elsewhere a few days ago:

In the middle of the HUD is the reticule showing the area your bullets would land. You aim just like in any FPS game, by using the mouse. The small numner on the right top of the reticule is the current shooting AP cost. Mouse wheel can be used to add more APs. (Naturally, the reticule will shrink!)

You move by using WASD, but in grids. Looking at ground and pressing right mouse button will draw you the shortest route, seen as the green and red shoe symbols on the screenshot above. The red shoes indicate the area you may not move this turn, as your APs will not take you that far.
 

Zombra

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Looks interesting, will follow thread.

Please say X-COM when referring to the old games. XCOM is the new ones. That drives me crazy.
 

Mustawd

Guest
Ok, I'll soldier on and keep trying to impress you until the eventual, bitter end!

Anyways, what we wanted to do with the FPP was to take the 1994 XCOM-style gameplay and make it more of a survival horror thing: not being able to see anything else than your character sees and having to actually aim the weapon through a crosshair. Being more there in the midst of things. Of course, using FPP will reduce your situational awareness, which is an interesting problem.

I wrote something about the controls elsewhere a few days ago:

In the middle of the HUD is the reticule showing the area your bullets would land. You aim just like in any FPS game, by using the mouse. The small numner on the right top of the reticule is the current shooting AP cost. Mouse wheel can be used to add more APs. (Naturally, the reticule will shrink!)

You move by using WASD, but in grids. Looking at ground and pressing right mouse button will draw you the shortest route, seen as the green and red shoe symbols on the screenshot above. The red shoes indicate the area you may not move this turn, as your APs will not take you that far.


I might have been a bit premature. It actually does have a cool concept. I'll support almost anything turn-based, so I'll follow along as well.
 

Latro

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Any plans for a tech tree type development? Perhaps have the secret society being able to tech into arcane arts (at the cost of slipping into cult activity?). If the way the player decides to develop the society becomes the big thing, you could have the tech tree decisions have a larger effect beyond just what weapons are available. Other paths, maybe have specific cult factions react neutrally, etc etc.
 

Temesis

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Any plans for a tech tree type development? Perhaps have the secret society being able to tech into arcane arts (at the cost of slipping into cult activity?). If the way the player decides to develop the society becomes the big thing, you could have the tech tree decisions have a larger effect beyond just what weapons are available. Other paths, maybe have specific cult factions react neutrally, etc etc.

That is actually pretty much we have planned: you don't develop new weapons but unlock all kinds of weird but true to history 19th century firearms. You develop spells inspired By CoC roleplaying game and new ammo types for the firearms, such as incendiary.

Converting an other faction to behave neutrally towards player is a good idea.
 

udm

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Is locational damage in the game? Also is the environment completely destructible?

Edit: one more question. How is chance to hit determined? Is it a pure probabilistic "hit or miss" thing (nuXCOM), or is there an actual projectile trajectory coming into play (X-COM)?
 
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Temesis

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Currently head shots are worth x2 damage.

You cannot destroy ground (that would f**k up our custom lighting system) but everything else if fully destroyable.

In the video you see the reticule on the middle of the screen: that's the probabilistic direction the bullet will be heading, somewhat like in Valkyria Chronicles if I remember correctly. The bullet itself is a physical object, although I think it does not have gravity on the moment.
 

laclongquan

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Very interesting~ :notetoself:

In the destructible environment, please note the system of Silent Storm engine-using games (SS, SS Sentinels, and Hammer Sickle). It allow a nearly perfect application for this kind of gameplay. Destroy environments where you can, and not where you shouldnt. the games using WW2-era weapons so it's near where you want to build your game. Also, it's neat to see methods to prevent powergaming cheats. A russian approach.

In the RTwP but XCOM like, you can check UFO Afterlight game. It's better than UFO Aftershock. A western approach. Pity it's not environment destructive, but it's done very well with optimizing tactics to fit battles.

Valkyria Chronicles is a good example of what the Japanese would do with TB 1st person.

A personal note: female models for player please. And on that thought, female PC/NPC would make it easier to marketing the game.
 

Latro

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Since this is already an arkham horror mashup, be sure to take advantage of the plentiful bestiary, I don't think there's many lovecraftian games that's managed to put in the whole mythos monsters yet.

What sort of SP structure are you going for? I know you have randomized maps and probably securing city sectors and stuff, but will there be the occasional narrative mission? Or different endings that take into account what direction the secret society went? (cult, church, secret fed tech, that sort of thing)

Something I'd like to see from Arkham Horror is the "horror" or "panic" thingy, where things get progressively worse, you could probably wrap that into a "night terror" like mission where the player needs to respond quickly before the ancient beasty wakes up (assuming you're doing that).
 

Temesis

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Since this is already an arkham horror mashup, be sure to take advantage of the plentiful bestiary, I don't think there's many lovecraftian games that's managed to put in the whole mythos monsters yet.

We are actually thinking of going with Lovecraft-inspired stuff instead of mythos monsters. This is because if we do modular Great Old Ones, we think that random combinations would be more fun and more replayable. About the night terror missions: that was our original thinking: you would be closing "dimension gates" before the big monster comes out, but it kind of ruins the best part of the mission: why would you want to close the gate and not fight the boss? Anticlimatic. So, we think that the best way to approach this is to have Great Old Ones that slowly manifest themselves to the battlefield, part by part. You have to get to them as fast as possible, before they become as big as a house!

Occasional narrative missions would be okay, if they don't take up a huge amount of development resources. Maybe the narrative missions could be triggered when you have a possibility to recruit new member to the secret society. They could have elements explaining the character backgrounds. Maybe.
 

Mustawd

Guest
So whose viewpoint is shown whenever the enemy moves? For example, if I have 5 units, and Unit 4 is being shot at, is the camera automatically showing from Unit 4's view? I could see that add to the tension as you'd have an enemy getting closer and closer to you before it attacks.
 

Temesis

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Currently the viewpoint of nearest player character, but we have a feeling this might not be optimal, as jumping between character might make it more disorienting. Whan thing we have been thinking about is a command system where you don't actually move all the characters but give other character commands through the leader. That might be a good optional system at least.
 

7h30n

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Aug 14, 2012
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Valkyria Chronicles had the same thing. But I think they solved the disorientation by displaying the map on the enemy's turn. You would only see the terrain and your guys. When the enemy moved in vision of your guys, then the camera would present itself from the viewpoint of your character. This way you would know which character is that relative to your other guys and the viewpoint transitions were not jarring as it would always transition from the map to a character.
 

Temesis

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That's true. I didn't like it though: it kinda removed you from the thick of it. I guess we should do more user testing to see what people think about our solution.
 

thesheeep

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That would be a silly reason, given how easily that is changed, but I won't say it's not his reason ;)

Personally, when I see a game that has "made in Unity" in it, the first thing coming to mind is:
"Okay, some people without any proper development education or experience used the easiest-to-use tool available to create something."
Which does not exactly inspire confidence in the developer.

It is more a "first impression" kind of thing about the developer, not the game.
 

Temesis

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"Okay, some people without any proper development education or experience used the easiest-to-use tool available to create something."

Ok! That's actually very interesting.

As a dayjob, I work as a designer in a games company that does contracted game projects for PC and mobile. We seldom use anything else than Unity. Also, it is at the moment the most used development environment with professionals other than AAA-teams. I kinda picture it almost like Photoshop: an essential tool for hobbyist and professionals alike. So in my opinion, you cannot reliably infer the quality of a project from the choice of Unity.

But we are talking about people's perceptions here and I might be a little biased.

And of course, ease of use with Unity lends itself to a huge amount of amateurish shovelware.

LATER ADDITION: Come to think of it, probably many pro teams don't mention using Unity. If you have pro version, the most obvious signs of Unity can be hidden.
 
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