Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]

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Offline egomassive

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Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« on: September 25, 2015, 14:58:50 »
Quote
Dear Juni,

I have heard tales of your adventures and your resolve. I understand you have helped countless people in countless places. I find myself in desperate need of saving. I'm not sure how to explain the situation. If you could please come quickly to Muskrat Manor, you will understand. I don't know how long I will last.

Please come.
Jasorn Loal

Years ago I started making this level with a 3D perspective. I found it far too difficult to draw the scenes that matched my vision. Since then every year as Halloween approaches I desire to work on it. I had considered making it with a typical 2D look, but the complications of making a find-item, use-item style adventure game in KS was still daunting. Then Raicuparta released "Some Room" and that sparked an idea as to how an adventure game can be made simply on the KS engine. The tools of KS+ will make it even better. So, I've finally cracked. I'm making it with the ambitious due date of before-Halloween, 2015.

The screen below is incomplete. I'm using an approach where I make the majority of a screen and then move on. Each screen also gets it's own gradient and tileset. I'm hoping this method will prove faster than building screens from carefully crafted tilesets. Everything lies on the gradients and the tilesets hold only layer 3 for collision and layer 2 for overlayment. Note: I borrowed that car from Quincent Cartographer as a place holder.

I only have 2 screens (and a multitude of duplicates) so far, but it's going well. I made the majority of "Shipwrecked" in 10 days mind you. I will certainly welcome musician collaborators. Also, would anyone be interested in being a graphics assistant? The screen below needs more trees on the left, underbrush, grass, ivy, etc. All you'd have to do is draw on the gradients I start and I could extract layer 2 objects for the game.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 15:00:55 by egomassive »

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Offline Talps

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2015, 18:05:27 »
Exciting!

One issue: I'm currently on my work PC, not my laptop, and that screenshot appears really dark; the only distinct objects are Juni and the car. This obviously won't be an issue for me since I'll be playing this on aforementioned laptop, but it may be a problem for others; I had to brighten up some areas of IDotS after LPChip tested for me.

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Offline LPChip

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2015, 20:27:36 »
I concur with Talps, that screenshot is really dark, but it may work... Doesn't hurt to add a little bit of brightness given that juni is standing out and I doubt your aim is to make it look like she's illuminating? XD
on the left, above my avatar.

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Offline Vegetal Gibber

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2015, 21:23:14 »
It probably appears to be way darker than it really is due to the screenshot being embedded in a web page with bright solid borders (especially if you use the default "Knytt" visual theme). Happens a lot with HTML5 games that use dim colors, until you switch to fullscreen mode.

The concept looks really cool. I wouldn't mind giving the background editing a shot, if you want my help.
Some KS levels by me:

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Offline Ultigonio

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2015, 01:32:22 »
Exciting!  I recently played the original Silent Hill trilogy, and that actually got me extremely interested in horror game design (as well as seeing it approached in KS).  So I'd love to see this get done.

I will certainly welcome musician collaborators.
I'd be very happy to help.  I'm not outright familiar with creation of horror ambiance and music, but experimenting with it could be a ton of fun.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2015, 03:52:08 by Ultigonio »
Indefinitely Held Off:
Pouring
Complete:
This Level Plays Itself!

My SoundCloud

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Offline LPChip

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2015, 06:35:46 »
It probably appears to be way darker than it really is due to the screenshot being embedded in a web page with bright solid borders (especially if you use the default "Knytt" visual theme). Happens a lot with HTML5 games that use dim colors, until you switch to fullscreen mode.

The concept looks really cool. I wouldn't mind giving the background editing a shot, if you want my help.

Look at the scenery and then the car and juni. Look at the brightness differences. The difference is too much.
on the left, above my avatar.

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Offline egomassive

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2015, 09:40:00 »
This darkness issue concerns me. I was planning to making a more appropriately illuminated car, but I fear the problem goes further than contrast with a couple bright spots. For this reason and for potential collaborators I've provided a link to what I've made so far in my signature (thereby skirting the rule about no-level links in preview threads. ;) ) In this zip you'll find a knytt.bin and a few Gimp files.

For people experiencing darkness issues, please give the alpha level a test drive. And if you feel so inclined, tweak the images to suit you and post them here. This is the only way I'll be able to know how bright to make things.

For Vegetal Gibber and other potential graphical assistants: Feel free to try your hand at embellishing the existing screens. I suggest treating each element as an asset like I've done in the Gimp files. This way we can use/alter these assets for use in future screens.

For Ultigonio: I had considered asking you directly if you were interested, but I wasn't sure if this was something you'd be interested in. I'm thinking the game will rely on ambient sounds in many locations. But the interior locations will need some music since interiors tend to be quiet.

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Offline plural

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2015, 10:44:14 »
It doesn't seem dark at all to me, not even compared to the other things that I've seen posted here that people say are too dark. But even aside from my own perception there are a few mitigating factors to anything being "too dark" in KS+. Most people will be playing things at the very least at 2x zoom, which would alleviate most every concern of things being difficult to interpret, I think. Also, hiding the desktop again makes any darkness easier to deal with. But this is just how I feel, where darkness as a concern is only really relevant if the player can't proceed through the level because of the darkness or see things they are intended to see.

Not to say that this even comes to the level of having any difficulty in interpreting its graphics at all, from my perspective. At no zoom, on this forum, contrasting the brighter default skin, I can see fairly plainly that its Juni and a car at the edge of a forest. I think to ask yourself if it should be changed is if it is absolutely necessary for the player to see for progression or at least would it make the experience of the player better being able to interpret the forest in this screen by being able to distinguish each tree that is in the background. To me, it seems to work better as the background hills are close in color to the background trees and bushes, from easily distinguishable to less so at the end, giving the impression of something shrouded and brambled that you're walking into. If the issue is distinguishing each element I would change the background hill color to be overlayed/colored similarly to the dark blue sky, so that the background hills would be blueish to contrast against the brown of the background trees and bush. I think the issue people are having is distinguishing similar colors and not necessarily darkness, though, again, it still looks fine to me as is.

And to LPChip, the car being a placeholder can be ignored, Juni should be darker, I agree. I think a darkened version of Juni would be better to start the level with and then brightened upon entry into the house which I assume would be brighter, or not, as Juni's white (or grey for a darkened Juni) contrasts perfectly fine and distinguishable against everything in the outdoors that I saw in the alpha and probably most everything that would be in the level given the color palette I've seen so far. I think using the custom character feature in KS+ as a means to employ lighting differences for Juni is an excellent way to give a better impression of a darker atmosphere that can be changed fairly seamlessly as Juni approaches a light a shift changing her to a brighter version of the spritesheet can be used and a shift to a darker version of Juni as she walks away from the light, I've used this for several things and it works pretty well to give an impression of lighting on the character.

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Offline egomassive

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2015, 13:17:08 »
I intend to use custom characters for the purposes Plural laid out. I think I should clarify that only five of the trees in the preview picture are meant to be clearly visible, but you should be able to make out the others if you peer into the darkness.

Edit: My sister has a professional printing monitor calibration kit. I have determined that my monitor is set correctly for the web, which is midway between a typical PC and a typical Mac . However, if I calibrate for print then these images are too dark. Personally I like the way things look with the gamma set about halfway between those 2 points. There these images are too dark. So, I will be brightening these pictures.

Here's the first room of the manor. The image is still incomplete at this point. It hasn't been brightened either, but that's not needed as badly here. Still, I want to show it off. The stairwell works surprisingly well, 2 jumps take you up the first flight with 2-way platforms.


Edit: A few hours later, here's what the main entrance looks like now. The curtains are rubbish, but it's time to move on. I'm producing less than 1 partially made screen per day and I have a total of about 50 planned. Vegetal Gibbers done some great touch up work so far. With a lot of determination this level could be done on time.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 15:52:52 by egomassive »

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Offline Purple Ink

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2015, 11:21:47 »
This looks great. I'm not sure what the problem with the first screenshot is. I don't think it's too dark.

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Offline egomassive

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2015, 01:55:06 »
Looks like I'm not going to complete this this year. I was way too ambitious. My attempt at being fast has given way to my desire to make really awesome stuff. Now my aim is to release a demo of the first section of the game by Halloween.

Here is a detail that gnaws at me. Indicating the presence of a door in a wall you can't see is tricky to do well. You can see how doors appear in side walls and back walls in my previous examples. This image shows 2 concepts I have for door ways in front walls. The first is a silhouette of the door frame that matches the transitions seen at the edges of screens. The second is a fully opaque door that shows a translucent Juni when she is behind it. I'm also considering a door that would let some of the rear wall show through. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2015, 08:02:58 »
I prefer the the one with no door. Somehow the one where the door is visible looks like it is on the back wall with a huge shadow behind it.

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Offline Talps

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2015, 08:13:37 »
Yeah, I think the first is better. I think it's clear there's a door in front of the character there, whereas the second makes it unclear where the door is until Juni walks behind it. Either would quickly become familiar in context I think, but I prefer the first.

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Offline Purple Ink

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2015, 11:36:34 »
I fully agree with what has been said. The first one is the way to go for sure.

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Offline egomassive

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Re: Survival Horror [medium/easy/puzzle/KS+]
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2015, 13:01:44 »
Sorry everyone, but this level will not be finished this year. Especially sorry to those who collaborated. I made some unusually good progress early on, and thought I could keep up the pace for 2 whole months. As for a demo of the current state, I feel it would drastically take away from the experience when the game is in a complete state, so no demo. Instead I'll leave you with a screen shot. The top part is my base work. The spectacular bottom is Vegetal Gibber's refinements.

I fully expect I'll work on this again next year. For now it's back to KS+ maintenance and The Tree of Knowledge.