26 November 2012

Altera Concepts

Been helping to the developer of Xenowar (go play it right now if you haven't yet!) on his new project for some time now. Its seriously early to give details about it but i just wanted to dump some stuff here until it gets a few proper releases (and i make a page about it in my game design section.) want more? google it out if you must :)

Wondering what Altera is? I dont have the foggiest meself but simply put by the developer "Altera is a gameplay mash up, with lots of game play choices yet to be experimented with." but if im to hint bit more i'd say it has a tablespoon of syndicate, a pinch of tron, giving a taste like populous, dungeon keeper and darwinia cooked in a full 3D world.
So off i go by sharing some random stuff;

Mixing Tron's neon glowing tights with the bulky coats of syndicate. In the world of Altera everyone wears a glowing, skin-tight jumpsuit, keeps them hot, keeps them warm, waterproof, high mobility, high fashion also helps people not to get hit by cars at night and all that stuff.

An agents coat (usually sleeveless) is worn on top of the tight for extra protection and badass cyberpunk looks. Some coats can come with high collar and masks. All coats have straps, symbolizing the fact that agents have no free will. Bit rough for now but hopefully things will get better as things start to settle.

And lets see how the dress codes can be implement to the game. As you can see most stuff is just scrapped (such as the straps on the coat) and will be used only in loading screens, story related art and so on...

concepts about death animations

Tossing some ideas about how the models can be if they look like lego's. I do like the current "temp" stick models but chunky legos can also give a nice feel. Chunky always seems to be futuristic to me. Some lego parts will need more round parts then the current ones.

Concepts about recruiting units

The players avatar needs fools to do its bidding but how? There can be two options

a) servants can be classified as fighter, builder, toilet cleaner and so on. each class can only perform specific duties (builders cant fight and such)

b) there can be single type of worker unit that deals with all sorts of support stuff, fighting when needed, researching when sent to a lab etc.

types of recruitment can be as follows:

avatar collects resources and builds its own servants using mix and match of resources (codes used to write programs), produced servants build, guard, work depending on their proficiency. each unit type needs different mixture of resource. the players would need a minimum of 3 intelligence resources (codes) to create a researcher but if the player wants to make it a researcher and a fighter at the same time they may mix 3 int and 2 str making the unit stronger then a regular researcher. there should be a limit to resources per unit so the players wont be able to create uber units. this system also allows dual class units (builder fighter, researcher builder etc)

avatar uses mana (energy, code snippets whatever you name it) to produce servants. mana replenishes over time depending on domain power. weak at start, stronger as game progresses. This system is simple and probably best used if mana is the only resource in the game. building training researching and probably maintaining an active domain would require mana.

avatar constructs a building (single structure that produces and researches everything, acting as the main control center) or multiple (like housing, barracks, repair shop)  that each produce different units and have different purposes. population limit may be used depending on domain size.

avatar recruits wondering civs (some good at building, some good at fighting, differing from civ to civ and the visitors that arrive from the portal (usually much better stats than cvis but more expensive. sending spies for bribing or persuading enemy units depending on their loyalty may add some strategy to the game.

avatar finds and trains primitive denizens (non human creatures, robots, apes or aliens which can be considered as snippets of code or tools in the cyber world) so the unclaimed idle units can also be considered as resource. a denizen can do a single job and has to be retrained to be able to do other jobs. would take time to train a denizen again and again to do different tasks, adding strategy to the game.

Ideas on a random face generator. My initial idea was to have black and white portraits with scanlines, a digital id screen kind of thing.

Testing the generator with few faces and basic colours. They all look like convicts and murderers but i guess nobody smiles with a gun in their hands.

An error with the colour channels of the shader made them look like holograms which somehow made them closer to my initial digital id photo concepts without the scanlines. Have to say the blue ones look more classy compared to the regular faces.

Weapon Concepts. Altera will have ranged and melee weapons.

The top one is your average human disc. easy to hold during melee due to finger holes and comfy grip.

The second is a D shaped disc. Can be considered more primitive or maybe reverse engineered from a human disc by breaking some parts and adding steel bits to it. Probably the heaviest of all discs. Requires a strong unit to operate properly.

The last one is a light but aggressive frame, something similar to an assassins weapon. Seems light enough to be thrown with high accuracy but can be problematic when it engages in melee against stronger weapons.

trying to find the iconic handgun look for Altera. some basic rules to take note;

- all weapons in game are handguns or at least one handed (even the long range...)
- weapons should be chunky or double barrel
- pistol blaster, assault blaster, shotgun, long range / sniper blaster

not much of an glowing laser/plasma weapon fan. I prefer the good old bullet stuff maybe due to the fact that ejecting brass seem so cool.

Energy weapons are battery powered stuff that use fancy lights as projectiles. these have somewhat round frames with softer lines compared to bullet weapons, maybe few clips can be placed at the same time to increase power (not ammo count) or maybe a single powerful burst after multiple clips can break the weapon (similar to a single rocket with splash damage that hurts the target and the user).

So thats about it for now...