Cereal Killer Part 3 – The Darkside

Good Evening,

To start, sorry for the gap between this blog and the last one. Life has a habit of getting in the way of things?
Now to the grizzly business of the dark side of the killer game. This is definitely the bit that piqued my interest when I first thought about this as a game idea. Due to trying to balance the power fantasy and reinforcing to the player that this is a bad thing to be doing – killing people as a serial killer shouldn’t be all cupcakes and sweetmeats. I’m not even sure this needs to be a “fun” game.
I think that the player should most definitely feel uncomfortable during this part of the game again this should reinforce that this is a bad thing. So no ratings no scoring, just the kill and the compulsion meter drops. I think there we have our overall goal for the game which is to remain hidden for as long as possible. You will get caught but you can do things to stop this in both the light and the dark; we can explore that later though.
So how does this whole thing work?

So I had the idea of using business cards (again like the show) to pick targets. You acquire business cards through the light side of the game, when you take them into dark side you can perform actions on the cards.

  1. Research
  2. Recon
  3. Hunt

One action takes a portion of the day. The Research provides locations that the target visits regularly, Recon provides details about the location:

  • Other people at the location
  • Guns at the location
  • Hazards.
  • police response time.
  • The average time the target spends at the location.
  • Regularity the target will go to this area
  • Route taken to the location

The recon stage sees your character in a 3D environment exploring it to uncover information about the targets movements around the location. This needs a time limit so that you can get here with gaps in your knowledge.

You can also use the recon stage to rig traps and remove things that the target could use against you – but these will time out after a certain number of in-game days.

Being spotted or caught doing something suspicious will make attempting a hunt at this location more difficult – cops or more guards or dogs something that means you have to be even more careful…. or potentially more people to murder?

You might even turn up when the target is at the location and you can choose to pounce there and then but shockingly unprepared.

Now the hunt is very similar to the recon event, however, the end goal is to kill your target using your killers distinct MO.  You have to complete the ritual in order to reduce the compulsion meter. Take your trophies and get the hell out of dodge before anyone discovers you.

I think the point here is that you need to PREPARE in order to not mess up completely.

So as for controls and look I’m heavily into this:

Shadow Tactics Blades of the Shogun

Fixed camera and view so you limit what and who they can see at any one time. You would know the lay of the land and where people normally are and their routines, meaning people could pop out at you and you need to act fast.

It would be fun to include some forensic countermeasures into the plate spinning, the condom suit Hannibal wears should be unlockable. There’s a lot of interesting stuff about the evolution of a serial killer that could be represented in a simple XP system.

I’ve written this over the course of a few weeks using snatched moments so I have no idea how coherent it is or even if you get a sense of what I’m talking about. I also know that lots of things need fleshing out buuuuuut that would require more words. It turned in to a bit of a quick dump at the end there sorry about the smell. Could you feel me rushing? Ye that’s how you should feel as a serial killer, you aren’t Hannibal.

Peace,

Ste

Cereal Killer part 2 – The Light side

Greetings and salutations,
So the game in my head is one of two sides. The light and the dark of the character, the light being the day to day life of a standup member of the community and the dark being all the killin’s. I’m a big fan of strategy games and I think this genre will work for this game and it does detach the player from the action a bit… I might change my mind at some point.

So you have a top-down view of the world with your killer slap bang in the centre (they are the centre of the universe after all) during the light phase you go about your daily business, keep social appointments, work, eat, sleep and entertainment. Clicking to guide your killer around the world and a list of needs, maybe a resource system and/or crafting – Hannible’s condom suit springs to mind.  Resources could be:

  • Money – always a good one.
  • Time? but Time IS money.
  • Building resources – I’ve got a use for this further down.

Three is the magic design number 2 isn’t enough and 4 is symmetrical so looks “designed”. I digress.

I could go one about economy and stuff here but that could be quite long and you might already be thinking:

“Let’s wrap this up”

So the darkness should seep into the light so this is also where you would be manipulating people. You need to convince people that you are “normal” so how do you interact with them.

Hannible interacts with people using his skills and his biggest asset is his taste. He has fine things and leather books, cooks like a 5 star Michelin chef, has many talents, plus he is very intelligent and he provides counsel and insight to the lives of the people he wants to manipulate.

So potentially the main mechanic to interact with people would be via a conversation system and the things that you say to them need to have an outcome associated with them. So

“Hello I like your tie” -> plus 2 to this person’s friendship stat.

Urgh as soon as I said conversation system I grimaced – people will need to react differently to you and say different stuff and this gets complicated quickly. So perhaps again like Hanible, we have a small cast of characters with distinct personality so writing might be broken down. I’m not sure I like this system by itself but we’ll keep it here for now.

The second way of interaction is giving gifts. Cooking food for guests that fit their taste or even their phycological needs (food they think is above their class or something their dead relative made for them). Same is true of material gifts also but these can cost you more money than the foods and feeding them bits of people you’ve murdered could satisfy a need and provide an interesting crafting mechanic.

The third could be your house as a way to impress. We all want Hannible’s interior decorator! That place is amazing, plus secret dungeon, lovely stuff. So this would be a chance for the player to build a house… or at the very least decorate it and use it to make people feel at home or close to him.

I think that will do for now. Next time we will cover the Darkside of the game.

Peace,

Ste

Cereal Killers Part 1 – Setup and Dilema

Greetings and salutations,

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing this post for a couple of days and I’ve had a whiskey (maybe plus one whiskey) so thought I’d see how it goes.

I was watching Hanible and the thought “How could I make this a game?” occurred to me. So as I watched I tried to think of how it would play out and the feelings I’d want to convey as I played it (I can only speak from my own point of view on this) I’ll also be breaking this down as I go.

The things that stand out for me with Hanible as a character are:

  • His power complex, comparison with God.
  • The manipulation of other characters.
  • Extensive planning and ability to execute said plans.
  • His house is his castle

The main thing I would like to feel from these points is the superiority part. As this character, I’m better than the “cattle” of the game’s world as they would be to a Hanible type character. Not strictly a power trip but a definite I’m cleverer than you feeling.

The only actual mechanic I wrote down while watching was “Compulsion Meter”, under a doodle of a rock (IMAGINATION). The compulsion meter would play a part in driving the planning aspect of the game. Your Compulsion to kill grows and grows till you burst killing the nearest person to you at its peak. If you don’t plan to release the pressure at the right time you could be caught. This could also be a problem in that if you leave it too long your next kill is sloppy after going so long without the release (a bit sexy this murdering isn’t it) and mess up the kill or some other detrimental effects. Or you kill so often that you just get caught through lack of planning or being covered in blood all the time.

So if you made it through that last paragraph two things

  1. Bloody well done I doubt I’ll ever read that again.
  2. This brings me to the dilemma

All this talk of serial killers is all well and good but at the heart of this game there’s a serial murderer essentially and I want to put you in the middle of it. I believe in games as art and I think there might be something to this but I can’t help but think it might be very difficult to convey the feeling of being a serial killer, like Hanible, whilst simultaneously reinforcing that this is a bad thing.

Hanible is a psychopath and good at it. You would be killing people in an intimate way (all be it detached, ) and deceiving everyone around you. Although like with Will Graham the player could recruit people as an option.

Anyway, my point is should this be an idea I pursue? The player needs to feel powerful and clever but as a normal person should maybe feel uncomfortable at the same time. I’ll add some mechanics in the next blog post and throw it open to those that might be listening.

Thanks and goodnight

Ste

 

An unsurprising change of direction – progress update

Good day,

So the direction has changed slightly for Rocksmasher. Instead of the code procedural mesh generation we are going to sack that off for now and focus on the gameplay so that we actually have a game sooner rather then later!

So I dumped the procedural stuff and just have a sphere that gets smaller when the player taps it. I’ve also hooked up events for rocks being spawned and destroyed. There’s a spawner now and Bez heads to the first rock in his list. 

Next is getting the Rocks to damage Bez and have him react to it. Then that’s all the base mechanics done and then time to start the tweaking process to make it even more fun then it already is 👍

The image below is the build working on an android phone.

Peace,

Ste

Thinking procedurally (hot shots) part duex

Werd,

So at the moment I have managed to get a procedurally generated cube and then apply noise to it based on a seeded value. The results are pretty rock like but I think I’ll be able to sell it even more using a proper material on the mesh.

Now full disclosure I’ve achieved this via free code posted on the internet and tutorials. I’m fairly decent at gameplay coding etc. but this is very maths based which I’ll probably never be good at and certainly don’t have the time to get good at!

Next is getting the mesh to deform when the player touches it. For this I’ve found a free asset on the unity asset store. All I need to do here is hook input to affect trigger the impact. 

I’ll hopefully be posting a video of this soon! Especially if it goes horribly wrong.

One other step is to add randomness to the size of the procedural cube and the seed number, for the noise, both things I know how to do \o/ 

Kisses,

Ste

Thinking procedurally

Evening,

So I’ve been toying with the idea for my first project to try and build and release. The idea initially came from a thing that happened during work at The Company.

The idea is that you smash rocks for a wee guy driving around. 

I’ve had a prototype of the rock smashing for a while but it’s gone through a few changes over the months (I’ll post videos when I find them) it was 3D in its first form. Then it was 2D and now I’m back at 3D and for good this time… Only so many time I can rewrite this before going insane.

The reason for the change back to 3D is because of a realisation that I would need more assets then was reasonable get a friend to do without proper payment (I will try and not rip off my friends!) 

So we come to the title of the post “Thinking procedurally” I can create the 3D rock assets procedurally and also use procedural deformation to destroy them. The only problem is that I’ve never written any procedural mesh generators 😬 it’s just triangles isn’t it? 

I’ll try and post more about my progress but the next post might literally be the finished rock and smashing it to bits!

Peace, Ste

Hello World

Greetings and salutations,

I’d like to introduce Wizard and Castle Studio as a new Indy games studio proud to be joining the ranks of billions of other indy games studios 🙂

I’m Ste (Steee) the head wizard at wizard and castle studio… currently the only wizard but in the magic world that makes me the boss.

I recently left my 10 to 6 job at Rockstar games after 9 years of service. I’ve handed in my badge and keyboard.

There are some projects bubbling away and contract work is always on the go but stay tuned. Or at least vaguely interested and I’ll be back soon.

Love and Kisses,

Ste