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 Post subject: june 2011: course correction
PostPosted: June 12th, 2011, 11:41 pm 
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I have been talking to friends about this privately, and I know this is just going to get lost in the crazy media blitz that is the development of my game, but thought you might like to know: I have been thinking seriously about where the game is headed, though it's still not very far along (the best time to make sweeping changes of course).

I was watching the Metro: Last Light trailerand admiring its smart usage of Portishead's "Machine Gun" (readers will remember I chose this song for Laputan Machine) and thought about how useful trailers are.
Often much earlier in the development cycle than they are generally made--in attempting to crystallize salient points about mood, style, plot, characters, in the lie of the edit and the quick cut you might just end up making a trailer that sells a different, and better game than you actually have made.
So I sat back and closed my eyes and imagined the trailer for AM, as it was projecting from my current line of thinking. One thing was clear: it certainly wasn't ever going to get finished in the next century, but more importantly, it looked like an interesting game, but not a gripping one, not the one I set out to make originally. There's been drift.

And then I remembered something else, something I had saved to my desktop for inspiration. Creative principles for Pixar, by John Lasseter. Namely the second point:

Quote:
Remember the first laugh. “A big problem in the creative process is related to the enhancement of your ideas,” cautions Mr Lasseter. “Revising, retouching, refining is very important, but it carries a danger. “If you have a story, a joke, a thought, which you write down, it loses its effect over time. It wears itself out. When you hear a joke for the second time you still laugh heartily, on the third or fourth occasion already less so, and when you hear it the hundredth time, you hate it. I say to my authors: ‘Take notice of the first laugh, write it down if necessary. This may at times be bothersome, but it is important. Many times, good things got lost because people could not remember anymore how it felt when they heard the idea for the first time.”

And I marveled at the wisdom of this. In this example it's not the first laugh, naturally, but the first real spark of inspiration,the thought that makes you say "I want to play this game so much that I will build it myself." And I had forgotten about that spark, or rather buried it in interesting but unrealistically scoped filigrees. I lost faith in the potency of that original concept.
Mr. Robert Yang was quite astute in gently commenting in one of the threads about my grand plans for AM that it was a lot of content, no way. I simply will not promise to overreach wildly with my course correction here as it seems to be my nature, but it should be a much more realizable trajectory.

So I know that leaves you wondering about what this course correction looks like, but I think the best way to describe it is the most hardcore science fiction shooter/explorer I can manage. The essence being you being a dude who is trying to make it out of a labyrinthine s.f. environment. In other words more Demon's Souls than Hitman, as previously alluded to, because those concepts, even the stuff I quite liked (two-stage gameplay etc) are still very much out of my reach to build right now. And realistically I have to keep this game to play to my strengths, and I know I can do a lot of great art and a lot of compelling world building/level design. The rest is going to be more stock first/third person shooter, albeit a virulently hardcore strain the likes of which are not often seen these days.

More soon, honest, but I like to keep you guys updated with where I am in the development, even if it still doesn't quite have any pretty pictures to go with it yet.

As ever, always interested to hear your comments. I know it's not a lot to go on but that's also a virtue in itself--what do you picture, imagine the game to be like when I just say it's like a s.f. Demon's Souls in a labyrinth? Always love hearing ideas from you lot.


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 Post subject: Re: june 2011: course correction
PostPosted: June 13th, 2011, 12:42 am 
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This sounds like a better idea than your Hitman with REAL ASS GUNS FOR REAL idea for a couple of reasons. 1)You almost never get to use guns in a Hitman game so you would be spending a lot of time and interest for what would have been a secondary mechanic. 2) Creating and debugging the social/planning phase of the mission would have required a tremendous amount of man hours for something that would have felt, naturally, pretty scripted and restrictive.


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 Post subject: Re: june 2011: course correction
PostPosted: June 13th, 2011, 3:00 am 
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gauss wrote:
what do you picture, imagine the game to be like when I just say it's like a s.f. Demon's Souls in a labyrinth?

I think a great deal of what I like about Demon's Souls wouldn't really translate to gunplay; namely the extremely kinetic feel of the melee combat. The timing of the blocks and strikes, with stamina as a scarce and precious resource. Still, I can only see anything else taken from that game as a positive. The overall philosophy of unforgiving, but not not unfair scenarios. Maybe unfair is the wrong word, because the game certainly throws you in to some horseshit at times, but it's never unwinnable and it always plays by its own harsh rules.

If I were to forget everything you've previously said about AM and go on just that line, I would probably just assume indoor S.T.A.L.K.E.R for some reason, or Demon's Souls with a lightsaber? I'm apparently not very creative. Some combination of those things, and also a heavy emphasis on the setting and disarming of traps. Since I do browse this forum, though, I'm also fully expecting to see some variant of the adaptive cover system you mentioned in another thread(was that you?), complete with blurry panic mode for near misses.


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 Post subject: Re: june 2011: course correction
PostPosted: June 15th, 2011, 4:46 pm 
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I can't wait to see more stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: june 2011: course correction
PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 7:09 am 
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Follow your heart! I think your rationale is a good one. Make something beautiful and achievable.

I give you one year: Animal Memory - June 2012.


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 Post subject: Re: june 2011: course correction
PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 2:34 pm 
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So Blood Money but with John Cassavetes as the lead - but in the future?


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 Post subject: Re: june 2011: course correction
PostPosted: June 16th, 2011, 9:14 pm 
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dudeglove wrote:
So Blood Money but with John Cassavetes as the lead - but in the future?

Surprise twist: it was the past all along!


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 Post subject: Re: june 2011: course correction
PostPosted: June 20th, 2011, 7:14 am 
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I think this is a good impulse, especially considering how everyone here would rather have somthing small but finished rather than grandiose but forever banished to development hell.

Something as simple as a shooter that is actually lethal is more than enough to go on, especially when couched in your rigorous and unique design aesthetic.


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