anothergoblin

RPG Maker VXACE "COATS" - A game of desperate research [+Demo]

Opinions!   15 votes

  1. 1. What are you looking forward to the most in future updates?

    • Cutscenes, Animations and Illustrations!
      6
    • More NPCs & personal stories!
      7
    • Different environments!
      1
    • More music!
      0
    • Goofy things that are in the game "just-because"!
      1
  2. 2. Who's your favorite 'Coats' lady?

    • Sergeant Kendel
      4
    • Lab Assistant Lissa
      3
    • Secretary Tanya
      2
    • Karen. Just Karen.
      3
    • (I think "NPC X" should be an option)
      3

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163 posts in this topic

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Want to get a better look at the game? Check out this video.

 

We were featured in the Official RPG Maker Blog!

 

We're also on Facebook!

 

"Coats" (as in Labcoats) is the game about a group of researchers doing their best to find

a solution to a worldwide epidemic turning people into monsters.

Skinless, hungry, vicious monsters called Skins.

 

You play as Randal, Chief of Staff at one of the last remaining research facilities in the country.

Seeing living people is rare, yet you are one of the fortunate few who not only meet people

every day - but you have to manage them, as well.

 

Together, you go on a journey through the greatest disaster in human history,

to find a way to deal with the Skins - once and for all.

 

You can check out the Intro Video here.

 

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Release: The first complete release of Coats is scheduled for September 28th.

Genre: Modern RPG Management Game.

Average Demo Time: About 6-10 Hours.

Game Progression: Working on the last parts of the game

Recruitment: None at the moment.

 

 

Features:

- Guide Randal on his journey to rid the world of the Skins, one way or another. How will you deal with them?

- Research, in all it's glory! Autopsies, field observation, live specimens, theories!

- Engineering! Can you keep your facility running in the face of adversity?

- Road trips! Will you make it on the road?

- Meaningful choices! You can't save everyone, but you can make a difference.

- Opinions! Sometimes it does matter what you think.

- Get to know your crew! Everyone has a story.

- Several different endings depending on your many choices.

 

250+ Maps.

500+ Switches.

180+ Variables.

30+ Common Events.

1000+ Conversations.

 

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Story / Setting / Purpose:

You play as Randal, who just got his promotion to chief of staff at his very own research facility. He's kind of an introvert, but both decisive, witty and professional. He's a scientist, and he knows his responsibilities. During his first week at the research facility, the Skins attack. The Skins is the latest disease-scare to come to town, but it seems, this time, it could be a real pandemic. It is a disease that makes people lose their skin and go insane, turning them into nightmarish monsters of muscle and bone. Randal has personally feared the day the Skins broke through the military blockades that had previously held them out. Now they're infecting the entire city, and Randal is given one order from the higher ups - isolate the facility.

 

As the chief of staff on one of the last functioning research outposts in the city, Randal and his people have been locked inside a quarantine. Randal wants to help people outside, but he also has a responsibility to those inside the facility to keep them safe. Now Randal can do two things: Either wait for the quarantine to solve itself (either through the military presence dies off completely or they actually beat the Skins back) or he can do his job and research. Obviously, Randal keeps his professionalism close to his heart - he decides to go ahead and research the Skins, to maybe find something that can allow him to fight back.

 

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Character Bios

You play as Randal, but you get to interact with a lot of people along the way. Here's a little summary of the most important characters:

 

Randal - Chief of Staff, scientist, introvert. Main character. Everyone's boss. Polite, witty, welcoming and friendly. Still, he manages to scare people. Who can perform an autopsy on a Skin, and still not have their heart beat just a little faster...?!

Porter - One of Randal's old work friends, reassigned to stay at his facility. A kind young man with more wisdom than his age allows. Compassionate and thorough.

Sgt.Kendel - Responsible for the military presence at the facility, Kendel takes care of the soldiers. She makes sure the perimeters are in check and that breaches are sealed. She's tough and hardened, but still cooperative.

Lissa - Randal's main lab assistant. Empathic, dedicated and eager. Kind of a science geek.

Tanya - Randal's secretary, tossed into the facility by the last minute by her aunt (Randal's boss). She's having some trouble adapting to the facility.

Miguel - A man from outside the compound who sought refuge. Randal decided to save him. Miguel can move in and out of the facility with ease, and is the only one perceptive enough to scavenge supplies from the outside. He's a great asset, even though he's severely paranoid and "twitchy".

 

Inspiration and Influences 

Most inspiration come from I Am Legend(2007)Day of the Dead (1985) and 28 Days Later.

Some inspiration was taken from the research facility shown in the first season of The Walking Dead TV-series as well.

 

Credits:

Using RTP basics, Futuristic and Modern Tileset (official) and my own artwork.

Using a few image placeholders for the Sleep Screen, Research Screen, etc. These backdrops will be OC equivalents in the third iteration of the game.

I have conciously made sure to use as much of my own work as possible. There are no outside scripts, I want this to be a future reference of what I can do on my own.

 

Original Artwork:

The game will contain completely original illustrations in the completely finished version of the game.

With the help of our own MewSkitty ( butterlux.deviantart.com ) we've begun a process of turning every illustration used in-game into an original piece.

This will be an ongoing process.

 

Screenshots:

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Edited by anothergoblin
McP, Jarl Van Damme, Jarrad and 8 others like this

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It sounds good, please see it through! 

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Sounds great , do you plan to release a demo soon? 

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Sounds interestingly enough.

 

Say, calling skinless monsters for "Skins", is that like some sort of labcoat humour?

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It sounds good, please see it through! 

 

I've seen it through thus far! All the basics for the system is done, and it IS playable from beginning to end, it just gets a little repetitive since I'm only about 20-30% done with Day-triggered events and actual story advances.

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Sounds great , do you plan to release a demo soon? 

 

I suppose I could, but I'm not very familiar with how to do that. Is it just an early export of what I've made so far? I could probably let people play through the first 30% research, but it's far from done.

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Sounds interestingly enough.

 

Say, calling skinless monsters for "Skins", is that like some sort of labcoat humour?

 

Actually, it's a bit of dark soldier humor. Randal is a no-nonsense cold-as-ice kind of researcher, but he's got this whole team of soldiers backing him up - and they don't really share his attitude.

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Demo is up. I don't know how well it works, I've never just made a demo before, but it should be fine. Otherwise, let me know.

Note: The game does include some art, but it is merely placeholders and will not be part of the final product.

Edited by anothergoblin

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Screenshots look decent, giving it a download.

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Allright, found a bug. There's a transitional error when you want to go from the Observational Facility back to Home Base.

Note: It's been fixed, just not in the Demo version. Got to work on the actual game, can't keep updating the Demo simultaneously >.>

Edited by anothergoblin

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Added another NPC to the game - Cassie, a fellow researcher who brings surveillance tapes to the compound. Surveillance tapes of Skins in their early moments of infection (for science!). Kinda fun.

If you guys have any ideas what you would like to see in this kind of game, don't be scared to bring it up - I might've forgotten something!

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Added another gameplay element - Camouflaging yourself and venturing into the monster's native habitat to observe them in a more relaxed state. For science!

That totals 4 ways of researching the Skins so far. Observing them in captivity. Reviewing surveillance tapes of early infection cases. Photographing them in their docile, relaxed state. Autopsies of recently diseased subjects. 

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Updated Demo released. All links are now linking to it. 70% Research progress or 50 Days of gameplay, whatever comes first.

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Well this is neat. I tried the demo, and even without an introduction of any sort I was drawn in by just wandering about in about a minute. You really got a good atmosphere going with this game, I can't wait to see the full product come out!

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Well this is neat. I tried the demo, and even without an introduction of any sort I was drawn in by just wandering about in about a minute. You really got a good atmosphere going with this game, I can't wait to see the full product come out!

 

Thank you, I'm very glad to get some feedback on the atmosphere. I've tried to set a rather moody tune, but still having a few humorous moments amongst the characters.

It'll take some time before the entire game is finished. I'm about 50% finished with the first stage of the game. I've planned on making the game in three "Phases". Phase 1 is Research, the one you get to play in the demo. Phase 2 is Implementation, where you get to work with engineers on implementing a practical solution. Phase 3 is Exposion, Result or Iteration (haven't finalized the concept yet) where you get to use whatever you've created, witness the result and fine-tune the effects.

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This is pretty cool, the game seems interesting from what I'm seeing so far. I have a question about the resource management bit. Will it play any role in developing relationships with the main characters? Like for example, if you tend to favor giving out decent rations then the public will like you more, but the Coats will not like your decision to waste supplies and not work as hard on the research? Or if you tend to scavenge more for ammo, then the guards, and especially Kendall, may be more loyal to you, but the other survivors might resent that you aren't treating them as first priority? Just examples, but was wondering if you had this in mind.

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This is pretty cool, the game seems interesting from what I'm seeing so far. I have a question about the resource management bit. Will it play any role in developing relationships with the main characters? Like for example, if you tend to favor giving out decent rations then the public will like you more, but the Coats will not like your decision to waste supplies and not work as hard on the research? Or if you tend to scavenge more for ammo, then the guards, and especially Kendall, may be more loyal to you, but the other survivors might resent that you aren't treating them as first priority? Just examples, but was wondering if you had this in mind.

 

I've thought about there being some kind of event trigger upon favoring one group over another X number of times, but I'm not sure. See, rations are for everyone - even the Coats enjoy good rations. There are events when you are running low on them, however - no one likes the idea of running out.

The thing is, everyone will always do what you ask, unless there is a food or ammo shortage. Unless something great interferes with your work, people will work with you - no matter what they think of you. They are professionals. I have thought about some random relationship events though, such as characters being unable to perform their task until you've helped them with something personal, and this in turn making the treshold for how long they are willing to work (when low on food/ammo) greater. And of course, romance options in the future.

 

As long as you keep everyone fed by having a high amount of Food, no one really cares about your priorities. As long as you get the job done.

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That sounds pretty sensible. As long as stuff gets done and nobody gets hurt, their professionalism makes them want to work hard. The sidequest idea is interesting though, a kind of variation of what I was talking about, but something a bit more trackable.

Btw, I haven't downloaded the demo yet, but I will once get to a computer. I've been using a phone to post, though I should be able to download by tomorrow at least. I'll play it then, then give my thoughts about it once I'm through.

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That sounds pretty sensible. As long as stuff gets done and nobody gets hurt, their professionalism makes them want to work hard. The sidequest idea is interesting though, a kind of variation of what I was talking about, but something a bit more trackable. Btw, I haven't downloaded the demo yet, but I will once get to a computer. I've been using a phone to post, though I should be able to download by tomorrow at least. I'll play it then, then give my thoughts about it once I'm through.

 

I'm always looking forward to feedback!

Just implemented an event chain for each character where there's a chance of them getting sick and not being able to carry out their duties. This chance gets smaller if you manage to get a hold of a physician. Haven't worked on teh sidequest thingy yet, got so much else to do first. I'll probably look into it during the second iteration.

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Been playing for about an hour now. Got a few things to say so far (brace yourself, long post ahead):

 

-A tutorial isn't needed, at least as far as what the demo has shown. It's pretty easy to pick up on what to do.

-Gameplay is pretty bare at the beginning, seeing as supplies are great and the only real thing to do is get as much research done as possible before supplies get low. While there are some events to happen, such as Presley appearing on Day Five, the only important one seems to come at Day 15 when deciding between rescuing the Merchant or the Mercenary. I chose the Merchant, but didn't see much of a change in my supplies.

-Balancing between resources, supplies, technology, and plot progression happens about half an hour into the game, which bothered me at first since things seemed slow, but it did help ease me into how the game worked first, which is nice.

-NPC interactions are few, but the change in dialogue with everyone depending on what the situation was was a nice touch.

 

I did find some issues though. The game is really exploitable with how results work. Since you can save anywhere at any time, all you have to do was save right before resting, and if you got some bad results such as the scavenger finding nothing or if the perimeter was breached, then all you have to do is reload and try again. I ended up saving every minute to try to see how much this was exploitable, and found out anything that involved a random outcome could have this happen. Limited saves could fix this, such as using journal entries to save the game. Maybe make ink or what is used to save be something that could be found by the scavenger as well to make it more valuable.

 

There are also a couple bugs:

-The benches in the main hallway have invisible walls next to them, on the right side of the left bench and on the left side of the right bench. It's only a minor thing, but it makes it impossible to talk to the scavenger from his left side.

-The Merchant doesn't seem to actually do anything. I didn't get any extra supplies, and scavenging doesn't seem to bring in any extra results either. Not entirely sure if this is a glitch though, or if she is used for an event later on.

-During the Observatory event, the screen fades to black if you decide to go with Presley on Day 22. It'll show the results for the night, but it won't load up Day 23. The only thing I can do is bring up the pause menu, so it isn't freezing up. Reloading the game won't fix this, and creating a second save file during the black screen and loading from there doesn't do anything either.

 

Overall, the demo was pretty interesting to play so far, and it has a lot of potential. I can't wait to see what your other ideas will look like once they're implemented, they sound like they're really gonna to get the game going once the player gets to the later stages.

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I love long posts! I will try to comment everything.

- There will be a tutorial, or at least an introduction to all characters. I'm already past half-way finished with it. It will also be an introduction to the main character and the storyline.

- I'm thinking about cutting down on initial resources, from 90% to 75%. Still, I want the beginning of the game to be easy - to let the player focus on research, getting familiar with the characters and see how the system functions. I don't intend to throw a curveball at them in the first 5 days. There will be more events, however. I aim to have some kind of event every 5 days.

- I don't mind slow progression, I want players to feel the reward of their planning pan out as they play. I like the idea of easing the player into the game and then steadily increasing difficultry. As an example, there is actually a system working in the background that makes ammo, food and security drop faster the longer you play, making it harder as you progress.

- NPC interactions are a bare bones minimum at the moment, as the first iteration is mainly gameplay mechanics. I'm thinking about adding random dialogue and randomly triggered mini-social events in the second iteration, perhaps even a romance option or two.

 

I've checked the bugs you listed.

- The benches have been fixed. I mainly wanted to force the player to confront those sitting on them from a specific direction, but for the life of me, I can't remember why I wanted that. So that's been fixed.

- The merchant adds 3 Ammo and Food every day, but it is a pretty invisible function. I'll make it more visible.

- That was just sloppy switchwork on my part. Fixed.

 

I'll be uploading an updated demo as soon as I'm finished with the introduction! And thank you so much for your feedback!  :rock-left:  BD  :rock-right:

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NEW DEMO RELEASED!

Intro and Tutorial! - Now you get to know more about the characters in this intro sequence! Yay!

+ Gameplay up to 100% Research or Day 65! - A lot more research available, almost finished.

+ New NPCs! - A physican, an engineer, another researcher and plenty more.

+ New events! - A few more every day events and happenings.

+ Stress! - Characters can now succumb to stress. It happens pretty randomly, but the chance is less if you have a doctor.

+ Bugfixes! - Plenty of them!

 

Next Demo will include the entire Phase 1 of the game and perhaps the beginning second iteration of that part (improved dialogue, events and fine-tuning).

Direct link -> http://www.2shared.com/file/_qW8dcrG/Coats_Demo.html

You need the RTP to play!

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Thanks to Archeia for moving the thread from Early Project Feedback to Project Development!

The first iteration of Phase 1 is complete as of tonight! This is my first major development milestone. Yay!

Outro sequence and a few cool .ogv transitions were made, as long as some modifications to the intro.

I will start working on the second iteration immediately. I plan on implementing even more events, a few more NPCs and - you guessed it - romance options.

If you have any suggestions or feedback, you're still welcome to share!

 

Onward, to further development!

 

EDIT:

Edited by anothergoblin

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Currently developing:

"Casual chat" system for the second iteration of Phase one.

It means that you can switch to your civilian clothes and talk to people as person to person rather than boss to employee.

It gives you an opportunity to get to know people better, while also providing bonuses and improving their work.

As an example - if you spend time with Miguel off work, he will be inspired to improve his scavenging, increasing the chance of him finding good samples for you to examine.

 

The casual chat system will also be the base on which NPC romance options will be based.

So far three NPC's have extended "casual" dialogue.

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