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Subject: Sneaking Mission
zixiao
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12 years ago Posted on: 19 / Mar / 2008
For the longest time, I've been working on this game with no firm title to fix it to. I've always been a fan of the Metal Gear series and thought that, aside from the deliberate quirkiness of the series, the term 'sneaking mission' (among other translation anomolies) was unintentionally cheesy.... in a good way. Coupled with the fact that my game is also based on stealth, thats what I'm calling this game for now.

I try to update this blog about twice a month. Check back regularly for updates!
http://zixiaogames.blogspot.com/

Also refer to The Independent Gaming Source for old(er) screenshots.
http://tigsource.com/articles/2008/02/11/splinter-source-redux
 

citizen
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12 years ago Posted on: 19 / Mar / 2008
That game looks awesome!
 
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danjo
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12 years ago Posted on: 19 / Mar / 2008
names like these have been done to death, but some title suggestions:
operation zulu
delta point
infiltrator
shadow operation
mission stealth

any of these visa-vera will work too.

 
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zixiao
This is zixiao

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11 years ago Posted on: 10 / Apr / 2008
updated my blog
http://zixiaogames.blogspot.com
 

zixiao
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11 years ago Posted on: 08 / Jul / 2008
Hey guys running into a creative concept problem with sneaking mission. I'm pretty stumpped as to how to make the combat fun.

The shooting mechanics are really simple; left-right 2-direction shooting controled with one button. As far as I know, theres basically two types of side-view shooting combat systems; jump to dodge and duck to dodge.

Jumping to dodge seems a little silly to me. It also works best in platform oriented games where the player can jump 10 times his own height. The player in sneaking mission can only jump 1 times his own height.

Ducking to dodge never made much sense to me. The notion of being invincible when your crouched is just as silly as jumping to avoid bullets if not more so. The 32x32 SD style characters in sneaking mission also don't duck very well.... its like trying to squash something thats already been squashed.

So what are your thoughts? Am I pretty much stuck choosing between these two systems or are there better alternatives that I'm naive to?
 

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11 years ago Posted on: 08 / Jul / 2008
You could have points/areas where you can 'take cover', for instance you walk by a cupboard and if you press the 'take cover' button, you hide behind it, kinda like you would do in Time Crisis and Gears of War - games like that. Of course, not all places would have cover to hide behind so you have to plan your route so that if it does lead to a firefight you can make sure you're less likely to become a human colander (salad spinner ).

This could be implemented by showing the player go slightly shaded like if you enter a shadow or something or by pressing the character up against the wall. Of course, you could also do this in the dark, wait for enemies to walk past, and then collar them/knock 'em out. Maybe you hold 'UP' to stay in cover (you'd have to make sure in the level design there wouldn't be any cover near ledges or ladders) and when you let go you pop out again. If an enemy IS aware of you and chases you behind the cover (say if you hide too long), they could just take a punch at you and knock you out of it, or if you stay behind too long and don't come out at all, they chuck a grenade (which you would have to leave the cover for).

How does that sound? It's slightly different for a 2D sidescroller but I reckon it'd work...
 
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zixiao
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11 years ago Posted on: 08 / Jul / 2008
Thanks for the input Jimbob. Its an interesting enhancement to the duck to dodge formula. There are still a few issues with it though:

How to indicate a place you can duck behind. In your suggestion, you said make the player go darker. Unfortunately, turning darker is already used as an indicator for when your invisible to the enemy.

Of course another kind of indicator like an icon or something may work as well but the biggest drawback to this general system is that its not immediately apparent which objects are those you can take cover behind and which ones arn't until you actually touch them. For example, a player sees a garbage can and a couch, if this was a 3d game, the degree to which each object would make effective cover is directly related to the relative positions of the player, the enemy, and the objects; so long as the player and enemy are on opposite sides of the can/couch, the player is safe.

In a 2d view, the designer of the game specifies which objects can be used as cover and which can't so while a garbage can and a couch may both seem like things you could take cover behind, it may turn out that you can only take cover behind one. To solve this problem alot of games opt to make a standard 'you can take cover behind this' object like a cement barrier or something but I think that dramatically kills the artistic aspect of the maps. I mean having cement blocks or sand bags placed everywhere is pretty ghey.
 

Jimbob
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11 years ago Posted on: 09 / Jul / 2008
Instead of making the player go darker, you make them press themselves against the wall and prevent the player from firing, this means you have a distinction between 'taking cover' and 'in the dark'. Of course, it may happen that you can 'take cover in the dark' as well.

As for what you can take cover behind, I was thinking maybe instead of objects, there were doorways and indentations in the corridors, something that indicates 'depth' of the corridor into the screen instead of just obstacles to hide behind. In some cases they could also act as hideyholes ('taking cover in the dark' ) depending on what they were. i.e. you would only be 'in the dark' if you pressed the 'take cover' button.

I'll have a think on the 'object as cover' idea, because I still think it could be implemented somehow...

EDIT: maybe if the objects were tall like bookcases, server computer stacks and filing cabinets, it would make more sense that you could press against the wall and use them as cover. Still gotta think about the direction of the attacks though ... hmm. I think about it some more.
 
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danjo
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11 years ago Posted on: 09 / Jul / 2008
Quote
As for what you can take cover behind, I was thinking maybe instead of objects, there were doorways and indentations in the corridors, something that indicates 'depth' of the corridor into the screen instead of just obstacles to hide behind.

bonanza bros -
 
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zixiao
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11 years ago Posted on: 09 / Jul / 2008
DUDE! Bonanza Bros is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only problem with that system is they show depth of the platforms by tilting them a little... I COULD do that but it would totally mess up my engine and everything else I've worked on so far.... so its back to ground zero. Anyways, I'm trying to figure out an effective way of showing depth in 2d without tilting the whole screen.... I'll give the darker areas jimbob suggested a try, but I don't know how effective thats going to be with shadows all over the place.
 

danjo
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11 years ago Posted on: 10 / Jul / 2008
different darknesses within your shadows will give you 2d depth. the darker the shadow - the deeper or more hidden you will be. - like abes odyssey.
 
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zixiao
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11 years ago Posted on: 12 / Jul / 2008
After toying with the idea for a bit, i've decided the bonanza bros system wont really work... the two layer dept thing is just too hard to do with everything i have in place already. I may just go for the 'take cover in doorsway' idea or just make the player jump over bullets and hope for the best.
 

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11 years ago Posted on: 12 / Jul / 2008
i like the take cover in doorways idea more
 
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11 years ago Posted on: 13 / Jul / 2008
ok then - elevator action - i just love throwing these game ideas at you
 
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zixiao
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11 years ago Posted on: 13 / Jul / 2008
I've actually played elevator action a few times before. But elevator action is essentially duck and jump. Another thing about elevator action is that the bad guys usually just shoot one bullet at a time..... how would you jump over a shotgun blast or a stream of automatic fire?

I was thinking of making the player absolutely invulnerable when he jumps but that just seems strange. I'd also need some kind of stamina bar to dictate how many times the player can jump in succession... otherwise the player can just hop around and be invincible.
 

danjo
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11 years ago Posted on: 14 / Jul / 2008
what i mean by elevator action and also bonanza bros, was for the hiding aspect. you dont need to go 2.5D or same as EA's jumping ducking. i meant either duck against the wall (side on obviously) and you are "invisible" to those down the hallway - (ala bonanza bros) - or enter door way, and door closes ala elevator action. im not saying make it like those games - just the hiding aspect to it could be similar.
 
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zixiao
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11 years ago Posted on: 17 / Jul / 2008
Alright the fruits of your helpful suggestions. You can take over in the big blue box to the right side of the top level. Right/left to switch sides and peek out. Down to get out of cover.
http://www.zixiao.info/sneaking_mission.mfa
 

danjo
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11 years ago Posted on: 17 / Jul / 2008
thats really good. i like it.
 
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