Author Topic: Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015] FINISHED!  (Read 14210 times)

Esc_Marc

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015] FINISHED!
« on: March 10, 2015, 10:02:02 PM »
Hi Everyone, So our silly webserver is down so if it's ok with everyone, I'm going to use this thread for updates on our game until our blog is online.

In the Beginning

Thanks for stopping by to check out Outlaw Space, Escalation Studios’ entrance into the 7DRL. Please check back daily for updates on our development efforts and please spred the word if you like the direction we’re going with the game.

So Who is team Escalation?
We’re an independent game developer located in Dallas, TX. We do a lot of work-for-hire type projects for big publishers and occasionally release our own original titles. Outlaw Space is being developed by a small group of people from the company and it marks the company’s first entrance in an official game jam.

So What is Outlaw Space?
Over the last couple of years we’ve often discussed a game concept that combined elements from roguelikes, classic adventure games (Sierra, Lucasarts), and turn based RPGs. The “WIBCI” (Wouldn’t it Be Cool If)  was:

Wouldn’t it be cool if there were classic console RPG like Final Fantasy 7 that incorporated random dungeons?


The grand vision for what the game could be probably moves into the territory of “roguelike-like”, but there are a number of elements we envision being pretty true to the genre such as random dungeons, turn based and random combat, inventory etc.

The 7DRL has provided us with the excuse/opportunity/kick in the pants to stop talking about the idea and start doing some work.

The Goal for 7DRL
The goal for Outlaw Space in the 7DRL is to create a distilled version of the original WIBCI. Over the course of the week we will create a repeatable game that challenges the player to explore a randomly generated map. While exploring, the player will face random battles that play out in a similar fashion that feels like Final Fantasy 7. (that is, turn-based with decision making on ability and target of attack) As the player progresses through the game they will find new party members who will also be used in battles. A basic inventory system will be implemented so players can equip their party members with gear and weapons.

Wow, as I type that, it sure sounds like a lot of work!

Current Status 3/10/15

Answering Some Questions
Day one of the challenge saw lots of discussion about what exactly we were going to do.

Art Direction
We had always known that if we ever actually worked on Outlaw Space that it was going to be visually unique. Our art director envisioned combining  hand painted backgrounds with pixel art characters to create a style that felt handmade, crafted and nostalgic. To prove this out, he had one of our concept artists do a digital painting that was built with layers so that it could potentially parallax in game.



The characters in the game will be pixel art. The art team has started doing some character concepts. See any you like?



Setting/Story

The name Outlaw Space is intended to insinuate lawlessness in outer space. Think wild west in space. (or obviously Firefly/Serenity). The story? Umm... It’ll be epic! Something about a band of outcasts battling against an evil force with robots as they attempt to save the universe. (or something like that)

Design
A lot of work on the first day went into trying to create a design that both demonstrated some of the mechanics we wanted to include in Outlaw Space and were ultimately achievable in a week.

Doing some Work

Enough talk, time to start making a game!

Setup
Source control, communication tools and documentation. Not the fun stuff, but necessary when you’ve got a team of artist, programmers and designers all working towards one goal in a short amount of time. If you’re curious, we use SVN for source control, Google Docs for documentation and Trello and Hipchat for communication.

Divide and Conquer

The team outlined a number of core systems that could be worked on simultaneously by multiple people. The following are currently being worked on and updates will be provided as they come online.

Map Generation
Battle Screen
Navigation/movement
Inventory

That’s it for Now

Thanks for taking the time to check out our game and status. Please check back frequently and we’d love some feedback on what you see. We’re having a ton of fun doing this.



« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 03:15:44 PM by Esc_Marc »

Esc_Marc

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015]
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2015, 09:22:31 PM »
Update as of 3/11/15


Inventory System

The game’s inventory system and screen has been engineered. The player will have a single inventory with limited slots. The player can select items and equip them with a party member. While not at a store, there will also be an option to drop items. For now at least, dropped items will be gone forever.

(Oh, and for what it’s worth, the UI system in Unity 5 gets a big thumbs up from the engineering team.)



Battle Screen

For simplicity sake, we’ve narrowed the game down to two “modes”. The player will either be moving his character on what we call the “Adventure Screens” or be doing combat in what we are calling a “Battle Screen.”

Work on the Battle Screen is progressing well. The Battle Screens will  play out like a classic Final Fantasy style, turn-based combat sequence.  The first pass at this portion of the game is complete and we’re currently playtesting it. We’ve got a good pass on the Battle Screen UI, target selection and attack selection.



Art

On the art side, the team has created some robot baddies that you’ll battle. We’ve begun experimenting with character animations as well as continued work on various background and Battle Screens. We even added treasure chests and vending machines! Go Loot!





Check back tomorrow for further update!

vultures

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 33
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • The Causeway
    • Email
Re: Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015]
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2015, 10:05:55 PM »
Please give us the name of designer /concept/ of title screen, because it's heavenly.

Really, the deed is done. That's one hell of an approach to color and vision, and I know what I'm talking about when I'm saying that.

Esc_Marc

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015]
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2015, 10:50:54 PM »
Current Status 3/12/15

Coming Together

Things are really coming together with the game. Code, art and design have been putting in some long hours to get things done and it shows.

Updated Inventory

The inventory system has gone through a revision and now is more user friendly. The updated inventory has functionality for highlighting the rarity of an item. Cool!


Map Generation

Random map generation has made good progress. The idea behind the map generation is that there are 17 different screen layouts. For our purposes, a screen layout would be something like a T-junction, a dead end, a + intersection etc. The player will start at a common start screen and the procedural system will piece together a number of screens to create a map.

At the moment, the system is functional, although there are still some edge cases and pathing/navigatio issues that need to be addressed.

We haven’t nailed down just how big a map will be, but the system can generate a map upwards of 40,000 screens if we want. (not recommended) :-) We’ll hopefully start playtesting tomorrow so we should be able to get a good feel for how big a map should be here shortly. The below images show the map system spitting out a small map and a massive one.

A lot of talk about whether we’ll have a world map, and if so, how it works.


Random Weapon System

The game will utilize a random weapon system so that there will be tons of unique weapon drops in the game, with each weapon having different stats. The design for how to generate the stats.. and names for the weapons is complete and the code has been implemented. We are yet unsure if we’ll have time to do visual changes, though we hope to.

Battle Screen Update

A number of improvements to the Battle Scree including front/back targeting, keyboard inputs, animated damage indicators, AOE damage, healing and even some basic AI.

Art
Some cool stuff coming out from the art team including the player start screen, good progress on the map screens, some item effects and the start of some player animations.




As always, come back tomorrow for another update.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2015, 10:59:45 PM by Esc_Marc »

Esc_Marc

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015]
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 10:58:54 PM »
Please give us the name of designer /concept/ of title screen, because it's heavenly.

Really, the deed is done. That's one hell of an approach to color and vision, and I know what I'm talking about when I'm saying that.

Thanks for the kind words vultures!

There are a number of artists working on this title. You can thank our art director, LD Smith along with Erlson Neba and Joon Choi for the art direction. All three are artists here at Escalation Studios. They're crazy good.

Esc_Marc

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015]
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2015, 06:17:53 AM »
Current Status 3/14/15


The Homestretch

The entire team has been burning the midnight oil to get as much into the game as possible. Things are really starting to come together.

Map Generation

We had made a decision to make the random maps loop around on the edges so that the player wouldn’t always have to backtrack clear across the map if he wanted to explore another area. This added an extra layer of complexity for the algorithm. It took a little effort, but we’re happy to say that we now have solid level  creation that won’t allow closed loops within the level. Below are images that show the level debugging tool we created in action. Each color represents a closed loop. Essentially, any more than a single color is bad since it means the player can’t get to those areas. We’re finally all red!


Design & Gameplay

Random loot items, armor, weapons, character, enemies are all either complete or in the home stretch. All of the gameplay in the game is data driven and is controlled by a master spreadsheet that is over one thousand rows large and growing. Go go Google Docs! I swear this crazy looking image is a massive spreadsheet that drives the whole game.


Game Loop

The core game loop came online not long ago. Up until then, we had multiple programmers working on various key portions of the game independently. There are still a few aspects of the loop that we’re working on, but it’s really coming together.  Below is an ingame shot of where the player starts. The location of the crash site can be different every time you play and of course the rest of the map layout will be different. The goal of the game will be to explore the map and find your lost crew members to complete your party, then return to the crash site to escape.


Art
All the characters and enemies are complete and at this point, there’s just a lot of focus on animations and polish. Our art director figured out a cool way of doing character shadows. It really adds a lot to the visuals.


Each member of your party will have two types of attacks, weapons and combat actions. Combat actions are essentially special abilities the player gets via purchasing implants. Our artists are getting a little goofy with the combat action animations.




We’re looking at a little less than a day to complete and we’re coming in hot and heavy, but the team is in good spirits and confident we’ll finish in time.

We’ll probably update a couple times tomorrow as the deadline approaches so stay tuned!

Esc_Marc

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015]
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2015, 03:18:05 PM »

In the aftermath of a successful 7DRL for the Escalation team, I decided to post a quick update on how the last couple days of the challenge worked out for us.

A Lot of Stuff Went Right

The game we completed was a good representation of the game we set out to make a week ago. (for the most part)
The programming team has years of experience working together and it showed. They did a great job dividing up tasks so that each member was working in an area of strength. Additionally, a high level of familiarity with Unity allowed the team to quickly jump into Unity 5.

The game design ended up being very close to what we set out to make and we think it shows a lot of promise. We’ll be evaluating the game and the feedback we receive to determine if we should continue developing the larger game.
The art team did a fantastic job with the direction and execution of the game. It’s incredibly difficult to create unique looking art direction these days and the team was able to pull something off in an incredibly short period of time. We really like the contrast of the hand painted backgrounds with the pixel art characters.


Some Stuff Went Wrong

As is often the case in game development, we probably bit off more than we could chew. Some features we wanted to get in, got axed. Some polish items should have probably been punted in favor of time. Some questionable pizza should probably not have been eaten.

Perhaps our biggest shortcoming was not allowing ourselves enough time for bug fixes. This is our biggest regret. The game we submitted is full of bugs. For a team that prides itself on creating solid products, this is a gut punch. We apologize to anyone who plays the game and comes across a frustrating bug. In the future we will definitely budget a full day of testing and bug fixing rather than pushing core dev to the deadline.

If you’re reading this, and you decide the play the game, the best advice I can give you is familiarize yourself with your keyboards ESC key. We have a bug that will cause the game to lose input. (like if you try using your mouse) :-/ The fix is to simply hit ESCAPE and the input will return. PLEASE DON”T USE YOUR MOUSE. USE KEYBOARD KEYS!


Making an Update

The Good news is that the team wasn’t satisfied with what we submitted so they’ve continued to work on the game to fix the known issues. We will be uploading a V1.1 build to our website while leaving the original submission there for anyone who is reviewing.

Thanks!
Overall, this was a wonderful experience and the company is really excited about the game we made and more specifically, where we could take it in the future. We're equally excited to check out all the other games to see what everyone else came up with! If you’ve read this far, thanks for caring enough to follow our development.

Avagart

  • 7DRL Reviewer
  • Rogueliker
  • *
  • Posts: 567
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015]
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2015, 04:58:17 PM »
Nice game, with good graphic and interesting atmosphere. I cannot consider this game as a roguelike - sorry, this is, hm, action adventure role playing (???) game, I don't see much roguelike influences. But I'm very glad that this game is released, because... It's good entry, well-balanced (maybe a bit too easy) and - most important - gives a lot of fun/pleasure. Congrats for all members of team :)

Esc_vtran

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015] FINISHED!
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2015, 07:46:37 PM »
Here is a link to the finished submission build and the 1.1 bugfix build:

Here is another link to a collection of images that show the progress of the game.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 04:38:38 PM by Esc_vtran »

Vinnie

  • Newcomer
  • Posts: 1
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Outlaw Space [7DRL 2015] FINISHED!
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2016, 06:22:18 AM »
Here is a link to the finished submission build and the 1.1 bugfix build:

Here is another link to a collection of images that show the progress of the game.

Awesome, love the design of this game.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2021, 02:44:37 PM by Vinnie »
This is a great review of Prosolution Plus people should check out.