Walk into the Light

In Proof, you control an ethereal, disembodied spirit who becomes more tangible in light. You begin deep underground and must work your way to the surface. The game will be an atmospheric, puzzle-platformer based on a mechanic of collecting and combining items to create tools you use to manipulate your surroundings.

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Blog RSS Feed Post news Report abuse Latest News: Design to Desktop - In-Game Computer Systems

1 comment by zigzag114 on Jun 22nd, 2015

*CLICKING ON ANY IMAGE IN THIS ARTICLE WILL OPEN A LARGER VERSION*

A week ago, we shared this image:

Quote:

This is the core of a computer system mechanic, where information will be accessible to the player.

This week, we thought we'd talk a little more in-depth about the computer system in game, how we made it and how it's turned out. Initially, like any good feature, we had a long chat about what we really needed, making sure we'd answered all of each others questions and anything else that might halt us half-way. If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this! It is much, much easier to implement something start to finish than to stop half-way, realise all the problems you have and try to make a 90 degree design turn or go back and start again. So we asked ourselves a number of questions, like:

  1. What do we need from the computer system?
  2. How should the computers be displayed or interacted with?
  3. How do the computers fit into their surroundings? How complex should they be?

These aren't all the questions, but give you an idea. We also generated some mockups, and example files so we were sure the current design would meet our requirements. A detailed design basis gave us the ability to quickly move from idea to implementation, and brought the whole thing together in a way that was smooth and functional. These mockups were generated after we thought we'd answered all our questions (and generated a few more!):

Mockups:

Quote:

1. What do we need from the computer system?

It was a long step from deciding to have accessible computers in game to realising what exactly we wanted from these. While Proof is a heavily story-based and experiential game, we didn't want anyone to feel forced into the story - it is something we want people to search out, from their own interest. To this end, we needed to make the computers have variable levels of depth:- firstly, the essential details needed to advance the game; secondly, details about and around the characters and events of the game, which the player would search through to find the essential details; and finally, extra information to generate a universe around the game - we spoke some what about world-building a week ago. The former two points will make a game enjoyable to play, the latter enjoyable to experience. To this end, we decided on three sections to the computers (instead of the two listed in the mockups) - correspondence, journal entries, and data collection.

Quote:

2. How should the computers be displayed or interacted with?

Originally, we decided rather quickly on a classic green-on-black computer terminal, with a computer setup like that in Jurassic Park:

"Newman!"


It is this era of highly complicated and fascinating achievement built of relatively primitive technology that we wanted to evoke. After some work, we ended up with the following:



The system can be navigated with the arrow keys, but also with numerical input. Each screen also loads with a screen refresh, like that of an old PC. At some point, we are probably going to implement some visual changes (flickers etc) provided these don't interfere with the gameplay.

Quote:

3. How do the computers fit into their surroundings? How complex should they be?

Lastly, the simple grey border was bothering us, and the green-on-black was looking a little too clichéd. We looked at a lot of old computers (Apple II-era devices) for reference, once again something we cannot reccommend enough . Given the setting at this point of the game - an empty government/research facility - we settled on the yellowed appearance of aged computers you might have seen at a university or large research facility in days gone by:


We altered the border for the interface and were very pleased with the results:




The green-on-black was a little bold, so we changed it to a more yellowed tint - but will probably settle somewhere in between:






The final image above is of a data-collection screen, still WIP.

So that is the current state of the computer system! Hope you've like the article, be sure to keep checking out the game here or on TIGSource. Thanks!

Post comment Comments
TheManWhoFlewAway Aug 29 2014, 6:15pm says:

Loving the ambience - great work!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Sep 21 2013, 1:24pm says:

Looks cool... reminds me about dreamroom game (upcoming game from iOS).
Will this game comes to mobile (iOS) too?

+3 votes     reply to comment
zigzag114 Creator
zigzag114 Sep 25 2013, 7:38pm replied:

We are not planning to release on iOS, but on Mac, Windows and Linux.

+2 votes   reply to comment
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Proof
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux, Flash
Developer & Publisher
Voltic Games
Engine
Custom Built
Contact
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Official Page
Voltic.com.au
Release Date
TBD
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Style
Genre
Cinematic
Theme
Fantasy
Players
Single Player
Project
Indie
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RT @Blucky87: thanks for the motivation @vivavolt! designed my own in #unity3d. #screenshotsaturday #WorkInProgress #indiedev #SNES http://

9hours 9mins ago by vivavolt

@Blucky87 I've actually got one planned, hopefully within a week

Jun 27 2015, 5:16am by vivavolt

It's amazing to have people support the work you do on your game. Even if it's just a few of you guys. Thankyou, everyone.

Jun 24 2015, 6:30am by vivavolt

@AwesomeIntGames Haxe is great, I've been messing with Unity on the side too, might roll with that in the future for similar reasons.

Jun 24 2015, 2:41am by vivavolt

Here's the full effect after some tweaks. We're not done yet, but that's enough menu work for today! #gamedev T.co

Jun 24 2015, 2:18am by vivavolt

@AwesomeIntGames Whoops, I meant the dev ecosystem (package managers etc) Loads of wonderful projects and libraries, I agree.

Jun 24 2015, 1:43am by vivavolt

@1BlueEyeStudios Thanks! It's something I've been meaning to put in for a while, pretty happy with the outcome.

Jun 24 2015, 12:17am by vivavolt

That's better. Sorry for the choppy gif, LICECap is being odd. #gamedev T.co

Jun 23 2015, 11:35pm by vivavolt

Well… Not quite #gamedev T.co

Jun 23 2015, 10:52pm by vivavolt

The language is fine, but the ecosystem and dev tools are so poor for AS3.

Jun 23 2015, 10:11pm by vivavolt

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