Friday, 9 April 2010

Make a game anyway?

Make a game anyway? we have the mad skillz and time, would look good on CV too!

NNNNNNNNOOOOOOO

sniff... :(

Sunday, 28 March 2010

some academic writing on how narrative in videogames are like films from the 1930's where story is an afterthought over action and slapstic. definaly something we will need to think about for the future when games surpass their current form, not so much relavance for the near future though...

The Gaming Industry’s Need For A Literary Revolution
http://www.specialtopicsintaxidermy.com/?p=149

Monday, 22 March 2010

Some Concepts

Gave up on the 'cartoony' style I tried to adapt for previous concepts and have gone back to my usual pencil heavy sketches. I found the character quite hard work to draw (human proportions.. ARG) so now I'm moving on to some creature concepts, much better ^^ Also experimenting with styles on photoshop.

If people want to see the original uncoloured sketches I'll post them up too =)







































Sunday, 21 March 2010

Level Demo
A first glance at how one of our levels could work!

video

Imagine what this could be like if you were trying to fight off bad guys at the same time and a few guys up top shooting you as well!

... just need to figure out how that will work now :S

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Possible Creatures/Location

I found a bunch of creatures used in Celtic Mythology. I dont think they are used in the Mabinogion but that shouldnt stop us from using some if we think they'll work well in our game =)

Adar Llwch Gwin
Afanc
Ceffyl Dwr
Coblynau
Cwn Annwn
Mallt-y-Nos
Cyhyraeth
Gwyllion
Water Leaper

I also think a good location to base the majority of the game at could be Otherworld. We could make it a very bizzare, whimsical place filled with sureal land formations and Celtic stones.
Do want feedback =P

Friday, 19 March 2010

I did my version

I did a version of the dare application. It lacks the project plan that I will tackle tomorrow.

Please do make changes and state things that might be off the idea you guys think the game should be.

Kings Head Hair

Shall we state that the Kings Head Hair may be simulated with the GPU. As an option obviously, not every one can "afford" it.

Just cause I wrote it...

(Battle sounds in the background)
Valiant: What did you say? King Brans has been beheaded?!
Lazyrus: So we can't switch perspectives anymore? How do we solve our problems now?
Jorgeous: But our giant king is immortal! We must find his head before this battle goes hugly...
Sir Mart: According to the information we should head that way...

(minutes later)
Valiant: My king! Wake up!
King Brans: Oh look, if it isn't my puny human knights, I will have your head for letting this happen!
Sir Mart: It appears that we will have your head first... Sir...
King Brans: Hun?? What... WHERE THE HELL IS MY BODY!
Lazyrus: Bah... one would think that he would shout less without lungs... oh well...
Jorgeous: Your gorgeous body is nowhere to be found sir.

(switch to top-down view, lots of enemys can be seen)
King Brans: Indeed it seams so... Anyway, there is a battle to win!
Sir Mart: But sir, we are heavelly outnumbered!
King Brans: Useless scum, I will just squish these... oh right...
Valiant: Sir, if I may suggest: if you may line them up i shall take them one by one!
King Brans: Oh... working together hun... That is a new perspective on the scene...

(switch to side-scroll)

In the event of an Interview

In the event of an Interview or if we need to talk about our game ive attached some questions and answers that we should expect and definately know the answer to if asked.
Edit please!

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AaRDnLtrr2N7ZGN0NzRkMzlfMWMyZnRia2ht&hl=en

Also the Design Document the despirately needs formalising
http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AaRDnLtrr2N7ZGN0NzRkMzlfMGRjdGttMmc3&hl=en

Monday, 15 March 2010

The design doc

http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AZ8DVF-j4JaeZHYzbWc4cl85NWc1cWJwcnNq&hl=en

Engine Brawl

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ap8DVF-j4JaedDZndnluXzBGaWxxX3FldXJwcjIyNGc&hl=en

Do visit and edit at will

Should be fixed

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Concept

Trying to grasp what little time I have to do some concepts. This is a quick doodle of the soldier character, it came out A LOT more stylised than I anticipated but I havnt done any 2D art in a long time so I'm midly pleased with it. I'll try and wiz through a bunch of designs early in the coming week. Been doing the 3d side of things for so long drawing almost feels weird =P
Lots more to come in due time!

Nintendo DS

Just a though do you guys think this ideia would work well on the DS? Dual Screen, touch pad? Just wondering, 2d view on one screen 3d view on another, cool? not?

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Technological Enhancement

So since 3d monitors capability is quite standard in games today I though that maybe we could go technologically deeper on the games physics.

I'm thinking head\ball physics can become another strong technologic point. By making it roll and bounce and interact with the environment. The fact that the head can get stuck would be solved by a "teleporting ring" that teleports the head back.
It even can have a number of times that it can be used, and this can be one of the level achievements. i.e.: Score in less teleports used; or achievement level B with less than X teleports;

However, it is far from Innovative. In fact it becomes more like Trine in the sense of a physically based puzzle platformer. And since we are speaking of Trine -> http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/892-2-5D-Hoedown =)

3D Monitor not such of a big deal

We have been saying that using a 3d monitor to play our game is Innovative. I found otherwise:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/3D_Vision_3D_Games.html This is the list of games that are playable in a 3D Monitor... (basically all of them)
This is because to have something rendered to a 3d monitor, very few changes need to be made to the normal rendering code (if any).


It is still a good idea to have a 3d monitor! But maybe it is not such an Innovative idea...

Big Head =P

I found this image from the 'Otherworld' website - It was an animated group of stories from the Mabinogion. I completely forgot the King was a Giant in the original tale, thats a big head! =P
Obviously the head shown below is too big for one character to run around, I'll play about with the size of the head in some designs but its good to see some visual reference. Also gives us ideas about clothing.etc

Combat?

video

Another example

video

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Demo

video
video

Small problem

So I have been going into this stereoscopic rendering thing I just now remembered that they all say this: "It is an illusion that the brain tries to correct instinctively (...) it works best in near reality environments".

Meaning, cartoony looking worlds in 3D might not be the best idea after all :(

Why is this a problem? you ask. Because of the DtBD evaluation topics -> Use of Technology and Innovation

Dare application Draft

To keep in mind the subjects that really matter I have made a dare application draft. Anyone can contribute (even at the same time I believe) and it keeps versions (I also believe) so anyone can write anything. Then on sunday we just need to copy past =)

https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AZ8DVF-j4JaeZHYzbWc4cl85NDQ1NnpiaG1i&hl=en

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Recap

Problems:
1. physics puzzle based game (trine) VS jumping and killing action based game (mario\sonic)
2. game goal is love VS game goal is help king (loyalty) VS game goal is save the world VS ALL OF THESE 3! [I vote for the last]


I think we all agree:
1. The main guy caries a funny sidekick
2. The sidekick can fly and magically provides de 2d/3d mechanic


Damn can't remember more stuff... help me out guys, fill the lists

Did I say I loved Sonic the Hedgehog

Well I do love it! And it is dead simple Bad Guy trying to enslave the world -> go find is machines and destroy is plans -> destroy the boss. I k.i.s.s. it =)

So... Our game can be not about saving princess but to destroy the "several" (yup not accurate) cauldrons at the end of the lvl turning our friends into the living dead (did I mention violence against zombies is very popular these days... maybe should change this bit).

Anyway main idea: not about Mario -> about sonic; ups not that at all I mean: not about princess -> about cauldron at end of lvl.

Some more ideas...

Some more ideas...

Game objective idea -
the equivlant of coins in mario, call them mana gems or something, fuels a magic item that is keeping the kings head alive. that gives the player something to collect and the motive of keeping the head alive.

Story
Rhiannon - while i think having her as a significant character or 'pricess' character would definately be cliche, she should have an importants as a love interest for our main charhachter and definately avoiding becoming 'the princess'.

The main relationship should be with another character, possible the kings head 'sidekick' or the 'dispatcher' charachter (whoever initially sends our player on their journey) which after what i just said could be Rhiannon.

Basically we dont want to make Rhiannon the princess.

Presentation on Stereoscopic Rendering

On GDC09 website (or google) search for:

The In and Out: Making Games Play Right with 3D Stereoscospic ...
Gateau, Samuel
NVIDIA


It provides the basic concepts necessary to understand the tech, it is not rocket science at all...

Mechanic demo

A rough visual to help show how a puzle could work.

video

Game idea

We have a decision to make following a tutorial the first idea of chasing/finding the princess has been said to be Zelda like and from reading the second branch i like this probably the best though is my opnion.. We can interporate our own and other ideas in the game.

- We can start of as the head looking for the seven soldiers and when we find the first we then play as the soldier.

- The head is vunerable rolling away if put down to solve a puzzle and also acts as the eyes for perhaps the top perspective etc, also acts as a guide to the path and puzzle..

- Can be multiplayer and say for example u come across a ditch with spike and the only way to get across is to jump but you can jump whilst holding the head so one player jumps over, the next throws the head to the player just jumped over and then that player jumps over the ditch (HAPPY DAYS lol)

- Can collect potions or something etc with a fuel bar for super-weapons/summons or whatever that the kings head can produce.

The return of Bendigeidfrân head idea

Branwen, Daughter of Llŷr

In the second branch, Branwen, sister of Bendigeidfrân (meaning Bran the Blessed), king of Britain, is given in marriage to Matholwch, king of Ireland. Branwen's half-brother Efnisien, angry that he was not consulted, insults Matholwch by mutilating his horses but Bendigeidfrân gives him compensation in the form of new horses and treasure, including a magical cauldron which can restore the dead to life. After returning to Ireland Matholwch and Branwen have a son, Gwern, but Efnisien's insult continues to rankle among the Irish and Branwen is banished to the kitchen and beaten every day. Branwen trains a starling to take a message to Bendigeidfrân, who goes to war against Matholwch. His army crosses the Irish Sea in ships, but Bendigeidfrân is so huge he wades across. The Irish offer to make peace and build a house big enough to entertain Bendigeidfrân but hang a hundred bags inside, supposedly containing flour but actually containing armed warriors. Efnisien, suspecting a trick, reconnoitres the hall and kills the warriors by crushing their heads inside the bags. Later, at the feast, Efnisien, again feeling insulted, throws Gwern on the fire and fighting breaks out. Seeing that the Irish are using the cauldron to revive their dead, Efnisien hides among the corpses and destroys the cauldron, although the effort costs him his life. Only seven men, all Welsh, survive the battle, including Pryderi, Manawydan and Bendigeidfrân, who is mortally wounded by a poisoned spear.

Bendigeidfrân asks his companions to cut off his head and take it back to Britain where it continues to live for sometime as they partake of an enchanted feast. Branwen dies of grief on returning home. Five pregnant women survive to repopulate Ireland.

Insight on the competition

http://www.edge-online.com/features/to-dare-to-dream?page=0,1

Stuff to discuss with tomorrows skype meeting

We've been racking our brains trying to think of a story that's simple enough to suit the competition. We've come up with a few ideas and after a lot of discussion have grown fond of two in particular.

  1. Pwyll and Rhiannon - I linked my ideas on this story below but the feedback we've got back has suggested people feel its very 'Zelda'ish. This is a problem as we don't want people thinking it seems unoriginal.


  2. The other idea - Taking loose ideas from the second branch of the Mabinogion we've come up with this rough idea:
  • The player carries the living head of his king and must carry it to his kingdom/plalace/something. The head could proove to be a humorous sidekick. Maybe you have to take the Kings head back to the princess who your character wants to impress?... bah ideas..
  • Idealy we'd want to keep the 3d/2d mechanic.
  • Puzzles might involve getting the head from place to place - character may have to put the head down to get to an area.etc
Lots of stuff to discuss but intial feedback from people seemed to favour the second idea. Theres no reason why we cant bring both ideas together but we'll want to keep things simple =P

...its been a long day..

Pwyll and Rhiannon - Summary and idea

I read the story of Pwyll and Rhiannon and its not as simple as I originally thought. This is a summary of the story -


  • Originally Pwyll sees Rhiannon at "the Gorsedd or Arberth where a man cannot sit without either receiving wounds of blows or seeing a wonder."
  • It is at this place where he finds Rhiannon riding upon a white horse.
  • She is described as 'wearing a garment of shining gold' and in some adaptations it is said that she is followed by three magical birds. (I'll look these up)
  • Pwyll tries to follow Rhiannon but she runs away from him and no matter how fast he gives chase is unable to catch up.
  • This happens on several occasions and eventually Pwyll shouts out to her.
  • Rhiannon tells him that she is the daughter of 'Hefydd Hen' and is in fact in love with Pwyll but is being forced to marry 'Gwawl.'
  • Pwyll agrees to marry her and is to travel to her kingdom to marry in a years time.
  • Pwyll and Rhiannon have a feast but a stranger arrives and asks Pwyll for a favour.
  • Pwyll tells the stranger (in front of everyone) that he can have whatever he wants.
  • It turns out that the stranger is Gwawl and basically wanted Pwylls permission to sleep with her.. Silly Pwyll.
  • Rhiannon is not happy! but has a cunning plan to stop Gwawl. She tells Pwyll to come back in a years time and gives him a magical bag that doesn't fill up.
  • In a years time Pwyll manages to trick Gwawl and poor Gwawl ends up in the magical bag.
  • Pwyll and Rhiannon marry! woo


Ok so this story is a bit complicated and wasn't really the 'magical trials' I had in mind... Later in the story it also gets a little Adult orientated with Gwawl wanting to sleep with Rhiannon.

Fortunately I think we can adapt/simplify the story to suit our game =D


  1. In my opinion I think It would be good to base the game around Pwyll chasing Rhiannon. (as far as the story above is concerned, forget about anything else!) She could be an illusive figure who is always one step ahead of the player. It would obviously be a friendly/curious chase, you wouldn't want the player to feel like Pwyll is chasing her aggressively.

  2. The player could chase Rhiannon in to a magical forest where they have to solve puzzles/defeat creatures in order to catch up with Rhiannon.

  3. One of Rhiannons three magical birds could stay with Pwyll to help him with the puzzles. Using the bird as an ability could swap between the 2D/3D perspectives.

The Mabinogion has quite a diverse amount of creatures mentioned in it so creating enemy creatures and wildlife wont be a problem =) As soon as we settle on a story, we can start concepting environments, characters.etc..

Monday, 8 March 2010

Story into gameplay

The story sounds great!

I'm thinking that the hero Pwyll has a bird friend. And he can see through the eyes of the bird though magic (the 2D views). He can also talk to the bird making it a great sidekick.

Yes? No?

Story - four branches of the Mabinogion simplified

I've gone through the main stories told in the four branches of the Mabinogion and simplified the tales for a quick plot summary! I've listed some things I think we might want to keep in mind.

  1. Ideally I'd say we are looking for something we can loosely base our game around. Story is good but we don't want it to bog down the game-play.

  2. We want a story that's 'short and sweet' with strong characters (especially main character) and environments, places people will remember.

  3. We want the story to compliment the 2d/3d game mechanic so it ties in and doesn't seem to be applied for the sake of it.


The First Branch

  • The first branch of the Mabinogion is set in Dyfed, the southwestern part of Wales.Dyfed was said to have had the strongest connection with the magical underworld known as Annwn (pronounced Annooven).

  • Rhiannon 'The Great Queen' has a strong connection with this magical underworld. Rhiannon is a goddess connected with horses, birds and the Island of Otherworld.

  • The hero of this first branch of stories is 'Pwyll' who undergoes a series of magical trials before emerging as the 'Head of Annwfn.'

  • He becomes the consort of the consort of the Great Queen, before the latter gives birth to the hero Pryderi. Pryderi has significant links between this Branch and the rest of the Mabinogion.


The Second Branch

  • The second branch of the Mabinogion follows the 'great king Bran', or Bendigeidfran ('Blessed Raven'), who leads an ill-fated expedition over to Ireland to avenge his sister, Branwen.
  • Seven Survivors of the battle, carrying the living head of their leader undertake a mysterious odyssey, before relinquishing power from the enemy, who had seized control in their absence.
  • (I'm pretty sure this is the story that involves the Black Cauldron. When someone falls in battle, their corpse can be resurrected to carry on fighting when placed inside the Cauldron.)


The Third Branch

  • The third branch recounts the fallout of these previous events. It involves four characters, Manawydan son of Llyr, Pryderi son of Pwyll, his mother Rhiannon and his wife Cigfa.
  • These four characters are involved in the land magically emptied of human habitation.
  • Underlying this Branch is a mingling of the traditional wasteland myth with a medieval popular tale known as 'The Eustace Legend.' In this myth the hero faces a number of degradations which are met with humility and forbearance.
  • Manawydan through a mixture of wisdom and cunning, manages to outmanoeuvre the magical powers involved with his downfall, and banish their influence from Dyfed for all time.


The Fourth Branch

  • This fourth branch focuses on the family of the goddess Don.
  • The story follows the birth and early life of the Celtic hero-god Lleu. He can be seen as a British rendition of the Nordic trickster-god Loki.
  • He is conceived in murky circumstances (which coincide with the death of Prydri),
  • Lleu is forced to overcome the curse of his mother. This curse tells that he should receive neither a name, a weapon, or a wife.
  • He succeeds in overcoming this curse with the help of his magic-using uncle, Gwydion son of Don. In order to overcome the last element of this triple curse, Gwydion and Math (the wizard-king of Gwynedd) magically create a woman for Lleu, conjuring her out of wild flowers.
  • This tragic woman ultimately betrays the man she was created to love, coming close to bringing about the death of Lleu at the hands of her lover, Gronw Pebyr.
  • After a powerful shamanistic transformation, Lleu is eventually restored to life, and the last branch of the Mabinogion is concluded soon after.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Castle Crashers




CASTLE CRASHERS, YEEYYYY!! :D Looking at the nice visuals, and in the background it suggests theres more going on in the gameplay.

Trine Game Environment



Found this video on the 'Shapes and Lines' website - nice gameplay, nice environment music and characters basically nice everything! :D (fast paced as well)

Environment Idea




The Mabinogion
Davies, SIoned

Summary

Celtic mythology, Arthurian romance, and an intriguing interpretation of British history - these are just some of the themes embraced by the anonymous authors of the eleven tales that make up the Welsh medieval masterpiece known as the Mabinogion. They tell of Gwydion the shape-shifter, who can create a woman out of flowers; of Math the magician whose feet must lie in the lap of a virgin; of hanging a pregnant mouse and hunting a magical boar. Dragons, witches, and giants live alongside kings and heroes, and quests of honour, revenge, and love are set against the backdrop of a country struggling to retain its independence. This new translation, the first for thirty years, recreates the storytelling world of medieval Wales and re-invests the tales with the power of performance.

Gameplay 2

Some may ask... why not post a bigger picture. Well only god knows the answer to that.

Comments are wellcome.

Gameplay Bits



OBSERVE!! TRUE ART!!!... ok maybe not... but it is the gameplay ideias we had apart from the story telling menu.

I think it is pretty self explanatory, but do post comments.

These are tools for maybe a lvl design? =)

Sunday, 21 February 2010