Gauntlets of Recursion (+3)

Times, trials, and turbulence.

Working Title: “Gloom”

Despite it’s downcast name, “Gloom” is actually pretty motivational stuff. πŸ˜‰

I had promised to talk about me and Dean’s latest project, “Gloom”. The title is totally temporary, but it’ll do the job for the time being. “Project X” just doesn’t have the same ring to it anymore.

Project “Gloom”

“Gloom” follows the cyberpunk genre, fitting in as an overhead action/RPG game inspired by titles such as the famous Deus Ex, Ravuya’s sinister Glow, and the sort of grim world that Skirmish Online might have taken place in. Occurring in a dark futuristic world, corporations, gangs and other consolidated organizations rule atop the governments. The storyline is very much still in development, but the image I hope to impart is one of the world overgrowing its former democratic shrub into a full-blown jungle of danger, cybernetic implants, and high-tech gadgetry.The key aims of “Gloom” are along the lines of the items outlined in my previous entry. Strong RPG and storyline elements are to be present, but alongside violence and finger-twitching mayhem. Much like Deus Ex, to those familiar, there will be multiple ways to tackle the problems that the game presents to the player; most with unique outcomes and consequences based on their choice. Although there will often be overlap, the three means to solve a given problem are generally:

  1. Manipulation
    • Harnessing ‘manipulation’ is the means of trickery, deception, and outright bribery. This includes pretending to be who you are not, tricking people into helping you achieve your own goals (or hinder your enemies’), and using credits as a persuasive tool. Even smooth talking the secretary to get past the security clearance zones.
  2. Brute Force
    • Sometimes violence is the easiest answer. Smashing down doors to get where you need to, bashing in heads, detonating explosives, and generally being a big mean fellow.
  3. Stealth
    • Why face an obstacle when you can avoid it? Sneaking past guards, hacking into security systems, slitting throats, and setting silent traps. Your foes only know you as a shadow.

I’m unsure whether these would be best implemented as player stats, or simply recording one’s methods for data display purposes. It’s too early in the design to say for sure, but these three styles of play will be at the forefront.

Screenshots & Progress

You’re really here for screenshots, so I won’t dally any longer. Clicking on images will blow them up (not literally), and the captions should do most of the talking:

“Polyspawn”, the map editor. “Gloom” will be using polygonal maps, which I’ll speak of at a later time. The editor aims to be BUILD-like, for those of you familiar with Duke3D map editing.

A simple map being constructed with “Polyspawn”. A repeating ground ‘material’ can be chosen to cover the empty parts of the map; even a wall-type.

Information pop-ups appear when the player (or in this case, the mouse) is near an object. Later, health and condition will also be shown on the pop-up.

The polygonal map format lends itself to irregular shapes that helps give a more natural feel that a tile-based approach would be unable to escape.

Sorry about the hideous placeholder textures. They’ll change, I promise. πŸ™‚

On the ToDo List next, I’m working on the physics model for the game’s objects, which will function similarly to the Object Model that I described for Skirmish Online several entries ago. I’ve opted for a simplified version that will be much quicker to implement, so that I can move on to the bread and butter of the game and get things rolling as fast as possible.

Hopefully this gives you all a decent idea of where “Gloom” is headed. Comments, questions, and ideas for improvement are all welcome, as usual. πŸ™‚

9 responses to “Working Title: “Gloom”

  1. Sir Sapo August 2, 2007 at 8:41 pm


    It looks like another new fad is integrating RPG-like elements into an action game. (along with the polygon collision detection of course…)

  2. Selkrank August 3, 2007 at 1:09 am

    Looks and sounds good! Well, except for the placeholder textures. πŸ˜‰

  3. Stephen August 3, 2007 at 6:09 am

    @Sapo: The race is on! I’m going to weeen!

    @Selkrank: Fun fact: the textures seen here were used for a game me and Dean created about ~5 years ago. Personally, I don’t mind the tiled floor or black wall textures, but the dirt *really* stinks. But I’m more than a little biased. πŸ˜›

  4. ravuya August 3, 2007 at 7:34 am

    Remember: Keep it simple πŸ™‚

    You can always go back and double up on everything, as well as add a full tech-tree of selectable implants giving you superhuman abilities and a new hand-held super-weapon.

    Of course, that should not be construed as any sort of basic design outline for Afterglow. Not at all.

  5. Stephen August 3, 2007 at 7:43 am

    Yes, simplicity is at the forefront. Sort of. The game overall is pretty ambitious, but I’m cutting a lot of corners in areas that I would normally opt for much more complicated systems.

    “Afterglow”, eh? I’m looking forward to it. πŸ™‚

  6. EasilyConfused August 3, 2007 at 9:51 am

    Confusing, all these journals :).

    Your advice on the texture co-ordinates on GameDev was dead on and has vastly increased the scope of what I’m going to do with my polygon top-down.

    It’s not an RPG or a shooter though.

    BTW, that was a harsh review of MM by that guy from last entry. All this about basing a game around a couple of algorithms – that’s what freeware developers do, for God’s sake – study, study, realise “Ooh – I could do [x]” – Make game based around [x].

    At least yours was based around [x] and [y].

  7. Stephen August 3, 2007 at 10:55 am

    @EC: I exchanged a few emails with Derek, and it turns out he’s actually a lot softer than his hard-toothed review let on. He evaluated MM from the same standpoint as he would review a commercial game by, whereas the other judges looked at it from a more hobbyist-made point of view. The justifications he made for his comments were certainly not baseless, but I just wish he was a little more delicate in his delivery. πŸ˜‰

  8. EasilyConfused August 3, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Yeah, I figured when rav vouched that he must be basically pretty cool.

    Hey – bad reviews mean you’ve made it. Well done, dude πŸ™‚

  9. zyklon August 3, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    sounds like thee single player version of skirmish almost. looks really nice though.

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