Shuttle Interior, and art in a vacuum.

SHUTTLE INTERIOR.

I took a good look at the previous rendering of the crashed shuttle, and from the advice given on this blog, did a complete overhall of the shot. Now Im not going to show the new exterior (youre gonna have to wait for the final game to see it… ūüėÄ ), but here is the interior shot of the decompressed shuttle.

Something that is quite cool in this scene, is that the debris floating around actually moves outa the way when you touch it. Sound wise, the exterior scenes have a very cold feel to them, which is working really really well.

Gameplay wise, this screen is really minor in the grand scheme of things, but these small extra touches really do flesh out the world quite nicely.

ART IN A VACUUM.

On a little side note, I was talking through the story with my brother, when he made a suggestion that was just to cool to not do. Now¬†I’m¬†not going to say what was discussed, but it did get me to thinking about how many creative ideas are missed out on, because people (usually¬†artists) are so religiously¬†protective¬†about their work. The story for STASIS originally was about a ship trapped on the edge of a black hole-and the psychological effects that would have had on the crew. After discussing the story with friend, and¬†occasional¬†blog poster Mike, I went back to the drawing board to come up with the story in its current setting-which (i think) is a 100 times better.

I often bounce ideas off my brother, for both the inner workings of the game, and the main story spine-and having that 3rd party feedback¬†is only a good thing. Thats why I tarted this blog-to get feedback-show¬†people¬†what Im busy with, and get their ideas. I honestly cant imagine what this game would be like if it¬†wasn’t¬†for this blog, forum feedback, or the emails I have gotten from¬†people.

To sum up, one piece of advice I can¬†definitely¬†give to anybody who is creating a game, writing a story, script -get outside input. It¬†doesn’t¬†have to be in a public forum, but have someone you can talk to about the ideas in their entirety. You¬†don’t¬†have to take the persons advice, but you would be surprised how many new ideas will be spawned off from just a conversation or a¬†suggestion.

-Chris

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Reusable Systems

Short one before the weekend guys. ūüėČ Something that I have been very focused on in the early days of developing STASIS (yes, these are still early days!) is creating systems that will be easily implimented later on in the game. The thing that I enjoy most in the creation process is being able to loose myself in the levels, and in the story. There is something freeing about thinking of a puzzle, feature, or location, and being able to see it in all its 2D, working glory, without the fuss of tinkering with 400 different values, and background logic.

If something takes a long time to set up, one of two things happen.

1, I get frustrated, and try to find an ‘easier’ (and often less cool) way around the setup, or

2, I get completely bogged down in the details of trying to get something to work, loosing out on valuable time that is better spent actually MAKING the game.

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SO! I have set out to create systems that are very easy to implement. Right now there are 2 systems in place that are 100% fully functional, and require NO setup time. The Schematic Goggles, and Hawkings Remote Terminal Interface.

Now, if any puzzle I need requires you to work out the inner workings of a machine, or connect directly to a computer terminal, I can set that up in a few clicks. This greatly frees me up to work on making the game ‘flow’, allows me to focus on the story, the dialog, the atmosphere.

I have a few other systems in mind, the idea being that eventually it will be easy to set up rather complex puzzles, with the captain having a wide variety of tools at his disposal.

-Chris

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The Torn Airlock…

Sorry for the lack of updates guys! Our internet has been out of action at the office for a bit, and I have no internet connection at home (I know…so¬†stone age! ūüėÄ ).

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But this lack of communication hasnt gone hand in hand with a lack of work! I have completed the first chapter of the game. Yay! All puzzle implimentation, comments, voice, item descriptions, sounds, music triggers….and I can tell you, its pretty damned cool.

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Something I have added for the benifit of ‘flow’ is an extra screen depicting a torn airlock opening. The original idea was to have Maracheck float up to an airlock, and override it….but the ‘EVA WALK’ sequence is just to cool to not extend.

So what I added was a screen that shows an escape shuttle, that has ripped away from an airlock passage to soon. This tearing away more than likely decompressed the ship, but more importantly left a tear for¬†Maracheck¬†to get into the¬†derelict¬†ship…

There is an awesome sequence where you enter the decompressed shuttle, and have to….well, I dont want to give to much away!

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I have quite a few updates in the pipeline, and some cool articles I’ve written that are more focused on my misadventures in game design. ūüėÄ

-Chris

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Remote Terminal Interface

REMOTE TERMINAL INTERFACE

Very productive weekend when it comes to STASIS! While the functionality of the puzzles for the first part of the game has been in place for a while, the rest of the interactivity hasnt been put in.

These are the things that really ‘flesh out’ adventure games for me. Reading what happens when an object is looked at, or interacted with. Things that go beyond the critical path, as well as giving¬†the¬†player clues about what to do next.

I have also added another tool to the captains arsenal of salvaging equipment. In addition to his goggles, which give him different ways of viewing objects, he has access to a REMOTE TERMINAL INTERFACE. What this is, is a portable computer pad which allows Hawking (the captains trusty ship) to interface with any terminal that has an open port.

Scanning a computer terminal will let you know if a port is open, and that Hawking can access it. He will automatically break through any security firewalls in place, and allow you to access terminal commands directly from your RTI.

Using the RTI is the same as any other item. You drag it from your inventory over the computer terminal. This is in going with my need to keep the interface completely clean, and not add in any extra commands that I don’t need to add.

Interacting with the RTI is very simple, and works just like a dialog tree (in fact, its using a modified version of Visionaires dialog engine).

The greyed out background still animates and moves when the RTI is active, which I feel is important in keeping the game ‘flowing’.

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GIVING HAWKING A VOICE

Scanning objects will get you a voice feedback from Hawking, who is interfaced directly with most of the captains equipment. Think JARVIS from Iron Man, only with less sarcasm. Scanning an item will sometimes illicit a response directly from Hawking as to what the object is, or sometimes will cause the captain to ask Hawking a question about the object/area he is scanning.

Interestingly, after much playing around in Audacity, and FL Studio, I finally got to the perfect Hawking voice. Then I played CRYSIS 2 this weekend…and the CRYSIS Suit Voice is strikingly similar! Must be general good taste. ūüėČ The next video will have Hawkings voice, so you guys can judge for yourself. But yeah..its pretty awesome to hear him talk!

-Chris


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