7DFPS template

What is this? It's my plan to create a new FPS template for the engine, as described in this blog. This page will act as a public design document for the template, and probably also expand to fill the role of communications hub when the jam starts.

Art style

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I am no artist, though I will be doing what I can to make sure the project has enough art to get by. This does mean making sacrifices. I imagine the whole thing will end up textureless, possibly with solid colours to distinguish important features (like terrain from vehicles, enemies from friendlies), and with toon edges to provide detail and make the whole thing not degrade into a mess. As shown on the right, except without the visible navmesh.

The character, weapon and vehicle designs will aim for Halo or Mass Effect-style sci-fi. Appleseed is also a good reference point. Nothing too outlandish, just stock military-future designs. They're meant to be generic-ish so that people can start reusing them to prototype their own projects and not be corralled into a less mainstream artistic vision. Concept art ahoy!

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However, the landscape will break this rule. Where Halo had boxy Forerunner buildings in its landscape, I want to break the mold and add some otherworldly Giger-esque structures like the one on the left. They'll be mostly decoration, though if time allows some of them will have interiors. It may be tricky to get the detail to work in the textureless art style I want to go for. We'll see how we go.

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Finally, I want to include as much juice as possible. Particles everywhere, weapon effects, sounds, animations, etc. See image left for a good example. See also F.E.A.R. (right) and Halo.

Assets

What stuff do I need, and who's volunteered to help work on it?

Weapons

  • Machine gun with grenade launcher (Lurker). Let's give an example of how to do a combined-weapon state machine (i.e. machine gun/grande launcher). Also a very rapid-firing weapon.
  • Pistol (Ryder). Standard, pretty boring.
  • Burst fire machine gun. Having an example of a burst weapon sounds good.
  • Machine pistol, because they're awesome.
  • Shotgun, because they're awesome. Might be good to have an example of reloading the weapon with only one (or two?) shells expended. Though I think reload animations probably won't happen.
  • Rocket launcher, because yeah.
  • Spin-up minigun. I think spin animations are built into the engine (thanks, Tribes!). Might be nice to have an example that reuses this animation for another purpose (like… pistons?? chainsword?).
  • Energy machine gun which overheats. Not sure if we can pull this off with stock images unfortunately. And what'd be really cool is have the heat displayed as a colour on the mesh somewhere.
  • Air strike laser targeter??

Environments

  • A terrain for the story/co-op mission (Duion)
  • Four buildings with interiors
  • A destroyed bridge half
  • A force field wall

Enemies!

  • Regular and heavy types (could just be regular with additional pieces attached)
  • AI turret
  • Some basic AI (Jeff?)
  • Small enemy type
  • Advanced AI…?

Gameplay

  • Context actions on items
    • Vehicle mounting with passengers
    • Switches (animated or material change?)
    • Doors
  • Use ShapeBase energy for shields?
  • Items
    • Teleporters?
    • Physical zones

Level

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The level will centre on a large lake, which is implied to be in the centre of an island, though you can't travel around the whole island. Gameplay will take place inside a bunch of canyon/valley regions (think of Halo's outdoor environments). The lake is in the centre, surrounded by several 'lobe' valleys which each have objectives in them. This is roughly shown in the pic on the right.

Main features:

  • Central shallow lake
  • Beach, where you start, before heading in to the centre of the island
  • Three 'lobes', valleys radiating outwards from the central lake (two lobes are connected by a small pass)
  • A large, deep gash running next to one end of the lake (with a dam that stops the lake from overflowing)
  • A quarry on the other side of the gash

Concepts:

  • great lush environment with sci-fi elements
  • and another, this time with more sinister looking tech stuff
  • Valley from Halo - though due to the way the terrain works in Torque, the edges probably won't be as steep

'Plot'

The co-op level will have some sort of 'plot' in the sense that there are events that happen in a linear sequence. Decision: are objectives visible on a map, or with in-game HUD markers? Events segregate the mission into 'chapters' whose names are displayed on-screen. These are, roughly:

  • Chapter 1. The armoury
    • Player spawns in some sort of waiting zone where there's a button that allows them to progress to the next stage of the mission
    • The purpose of this zone is to allow co-op partners to join. I like the idea of making this an armoury where players can choose starting equipment
    • On pressing the button you get teleported to the main map
  • Chapter 2. Untitled
    • An enemy patrol rounds a corner for the first encounter
    • The party must make their way to building and retrieve an item (key/pass card)
  • Chapter 3. Keys and codes
    • Do something in building 2 using the key
    • Do something in bulding 3 using the key
    • These two things result in building 4 becoming accessible
  • Chapter 4. Untitled
    • Players enter building 4 to find jet bike vehicles
  • Chapter 5. Untitled
    • The jetbikes let you jump across a canyon using the destroyed bridge as a ramp to reach the quarry
  • Chapter 6. Endgame
    • Some sort of boss or something residing at the bottom of the quarry

AI

Write about AI design. Basically all ripped off from Halo, I expect.

  • Grenades cause enemies to dive away
  • Enemies take cover when sensible
  • When attacking, they strafe/dodge around a bit
  • Melee attack if you get too close
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