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EDITED to remove detailed gameplay spoilers.

 

Thanks for the feedback everyone - I hadn't considered a narrated storyline.. in fact the scope of this project is still limited to a demo rather than a full game. I would like to have some cool 'announcements' when the 'billboards' pop up e.g. the 'wham, bam, dam' stuff and when he lumberjacks a tree etc. but a long-format narration would be pretty cool.. i'll think on that.

 

My current plan is that there will basically be three levels:

 

Level 1 is just 'discovery' where the player needs to run around, and figure out how to build the first dam which will unlock:

 

Level 2, where the player needs to get past the crows to get to the trees they need to build the next dam - When dam 2 is built, the player unlocks 'otter mode' and enters:

 

Level 3, the lake, where they will almost certainly wake the bear who will probably kill the player, teaching a valuable lesson - 'don't mess with the bear' the player will then need to figure out how to buy time for beaver to get to the trees it needs, and build the third dam.. which leads to ...

 

THE END! BEAVER WINS!

 

From there, I'm not sure.. i want to keep the scope limited because my resources are limited, and a short fun demo is better than a long unfinished game. plus I have a concept i'm kicking round in my head for a 'real' game that should be pretty cool.

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Yeah you can see the fish swimming under the surface - one of the things i want to tweak is the amount of reflections - more controls for the reflectivity would be nice as the reflections are a bit overpowering at the moment. I tried messing with some of the variables in the shader code, which has improved things already .. I'm not averse to a bit of glsl hacking (though its not really what i prefer to spend time on).

 

I think the single-plane water will work fine for the purposes of my demo (I had thought I would put in waterfalls and things, but I don't think that is a *must have* and water dynamics/foam etc. is out of scope) - so now the road to playable demo has two major things - getting my birds animated, with their 'hurl missiles at the player' implemented, and a thorough do-over of the terrain and prop placement to support my 'level is segmented into 3 areas, each inaccessible from the others except by completing the dams' gameplay concept. Theres a couple of minor things like placing invisible barriers that are placed/removed on dam completion, preventing the beaver from catching fish, and preventing the otter from lumberjacking trees, and putting in an underwater fog/wobble effect when the camera is below the water plane in the water zone but thats all pretty easy.

 

At that point, it will be more or less 'playable', and i'll put it up and see what people think. I may have to reassess how many polygons are actually workable in the scene (I work with a gtx770 and an i7 which is on the hefty end of the scale)

 

Assuming people tell me its fun to play, works good on a reasonable range of systems and looks ok, then I will proceed to give the whole thing a cosmetic improvement, - redoing the menu screens, the models, animations and billboarded message elements as well as the sounds to fit in with a look and feel for the characters and environment that has actually been purposefully designed - I'm more of a generalist so I can model/animate to match artwork, and pull everything together and make it work but I don't have the focus on the art side of things to make it look as good as I know it could without help - I think a more abstract and cartoony look would suit the the game better, and having animations that are much more playful and exaggerated would be cool too - everyone loves a dancing beaver. With the 'working' game and the set of 'template' models and animations I have done for all the assets I think it should be possible to make the whole thing pop a bit more without using too much artist time.

 

Of course I have to find an artist who is interested and has the style I think will work, but I have a couple of people in mind.

 

After that, I'm probably going to call it done, use it as a portfolio piece and move on to developing my next project.

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I'm not sure about doing this game for steam greenlight.. but anything is possible.. after I get it to 'playable'.

 

I took a look at those waterfalls, that does indeed look like an animated texture.. a multilayered version with leadwerks particles for 'splashback' would probably look ok.. i might have a play and see whats possible.

 

In order to get this water thing really happening, I have put in a basic underwater posteffect (really need a fog or something, but i tried the fog from shadmar's posteffects pack and it really needs a split so only fragments with a world coord under the water plane are heavily attenuated.. I will work on getting that done but it looks pretty usable as-is.

 

heres another video:

 

http://marchingcubes.com/beaver7.mp4

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the transition between between water and land just shows a plane diving the screen ( not your fault I know ), but perhaps you can hide it with splash decal or by applying the wobble shader a little before?

 

About it being green lit - stranger things have happened, hell add in some child friendly elements where you have to collect X (random) beams with clear visual and auditory showing how many to collect and how many is left. ala "You have placed 2 of the 3 beams. you need 1 more beam"

 

The more I think of it the more I'm sure my son would love to play it - let me know if you need help with danish translations/voice smile.png

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About underwater camera some prooven gameplay :

- Keep camera always above water while the player is just swimming on water surface

- Keep camera under water while the player have dived underwater and is no more swimming on surface

 

Swim and dive at 1:20

Get to surface 4:26

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  • 2 weeks later...

After a bit of a pause in development, I am back working on reworking the map into something that can be played as a series of levels.. I kind of started with a blank scene so most of the functionality (or sound) from my 'sandbox' level isn't in there yet, but hopefully it will all come together quite quickly from this point on.

 

http://marchingcubes.com/beaver11.mp4

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fish havent been put back in yet - i havent done much to 'componentize' anything in my sandbox level, so a lot of things have to be reconstructed.. not sure if there will be fish on the first level anyway .. will probably raise the bottom of the river to make it shallower in the first section.. once you get through the first dam, there will be small fish, and on the last part (the lake) probably lots of bigger fish

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Great as usual, have different sound effects when you are walking on grass and rocks. Its been mentioned in other topics lately, it definatly adds to the game.

 

I kind of started with a blank scene so most of the functionality (or sound) from my 'sandbox' level isn't in there yet

 

Sometimes its best to start from scratch.

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