Ashworth

Discussion in '2014 Indie Game Maker Contest' started by Jesse - PVGames, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. Jesse - PVGames

    Jesse - PVGames Game and Graphics Developer Veteran

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    Synopsis
    Ashworth is a psychological mystery RPG that gives a nod to the likes of HP Lovecraft with some inspiration from real-life events. You play as Robert, a young man who finds out that his mother has committed suicide. Attending her funeral in the fictional New-England town of Dalwick, Robert quickly discovers that his mother is not the first nor last in a string of strange suicides in the down. In fact, since stepping foot in town, Robert has been feeling a bit... off. Seeing things out of the corner of his eye, paranoid thoughts, and stranger things lurking within his mind free themselves of their mental chains and come forth. Whilst combating his own decaying mental state, Robert must discover the cause of his mother's suicide and uncover a much darker family secret.

    Gameplay
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    You will explore the small town of Dalwick, circa 1931, and the Ashworth manor searching for clues and information that will lead you to discovering the truth behind the strange suicides, including your mother's. However, time is not on your side. With each passing in-game day, you will find yourself starting to see things... At first it might be something out of the corner of your eye. Then, it will be standing in front of you, but you can't quite make it out. Eventually that thing that existed in the corner of your mind will be more real than anything else. The game will change over a period of time totaling about an hour or so of real-life time, for the sake of the competition. Playing through the game you will reach an end to the game - whether it is good, bad, real, or in your mind, that is up to you.

    I will update with more information as it becomes pertinent to do so. In the meantime, I took screenshots to show some of the interior maps thus far.

    Screenshots (6/18/14)
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    Screenshots (6/15/14 - 6/17/14)
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    Screenshots (6/13/14)
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    Screenshots (6/12/14)
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    Screenshots (The Town of Dalwick)
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    Screenshots (Interior Maps)
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2014
    #1
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  2. Xoltox

    Xoltox Ehmm... what? Veteran

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    Im a huge fan of your graphics, can wait to play this! :D
     
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  3. MoshingSnail

    MoshingSnail Villager Member

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    wow this looks beautiful 
     
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  4. ??????

    ?????? Diabolical Codemaster Veteran

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    Looks great dude.

    Your logo has intrigued me somewhat... Kind of get the feeling that  the guy has a split personality or something :D
     
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  5. Dark Gaia

    Dark Gaia Disgruntled Writer Veteran

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    Fantastic! I love your graphics (I'm using them myself for my own contest entry, but your mastery of them puts my game to shame!) and the write up is very interesting. I'll be sure to check this out.

    Will there be other characters to recruit aside from Robert, or is this purely a one character RPG?
     
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  6. PheonixDeath1

    PheonixDeath1 Veteran Veteran

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    So none of the tiles and stuff for your game are from rpg maker? What part of it is your own design?
     
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  7. Jesse - PVGames

    Jesse - PVGames Game and Graphics Developer Veteran

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    Update: Almost finished mapping the town of Dalwick. It is predominantly one giant parallax map with a large overlay mixed with some auto-tiles from the editor. You can check out screenshots here:

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    @PheonixDeath1: I am not sure what you mean - I think maybe 2 or 3 tiles are from RPG Maker (the teddy bears and doll in one of the bedrooms in the screenshot, and the rest I made (I made all of the resource packs that these tiles come from). These maps were done with a mixture of the Mythos Horror resource pack, High Fantasy 1 and 2 resource packs, Wild Steam resource pack, and some custom pieces. 

    @Dark Gaia: I did see that! I was super psyched to see you using the Mythos stuff because I am such a big fan of One Night and thought that the only thing that detracted from it (and even then it was only slightly) was the relatively cartoony RTP graphics. But even with those, you did a masterful job, and I have been a fan of yours ever since :)   And Ashworth will only have one character. At least, for the time being, since the game can only be about an hour long :)
     
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  8. Dark Gaia

    Dark Gaia Disgruntled Writer Veteran

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    Ah, excellent! I think a solo character game is perfect for the time limit, and it works well with the mystery theme of the game. After all, it's scarier and more mysterious if you're on your own! My game is kind of something like a cross between One Night and a traditional dungeon crawler RPG, so I've inserted a couple of NPCs, but it could be problem making sure the player actually gets enough time to utilise them.
     
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  9. Jesse - PVGames

    Jesse - PVGames Game and Graphics Developer Veteran

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    Update 6/12/14:

    I whipped up the beginning cutscene plus created a custom cutscene image (below), and implemented the first few moments of actual gameplay and story. I put finishing touches on a number of the game maps, and created additional art for items, such as the letter seen below. I began laying the foundation for the Sanity Effects system which aims to have randomized effects as your sanity slips as the days go past instead of static effects. I also implemented the basic stats for that will affect combat against both physical and psychological foes. Further, I scavenged some code and implemented it which quickly and dynamically adds information to the screen which should make for a more fluid playing experience (as opposed to getting all information through dialogue boxes). 

    Screenshots (6/12/14)
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  10. Dark Gaia

    Dark Gaia Disgruntled Writer Veteran

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    Those screenshots look amazing! I really need to step up the polish in my own game. I can't wait to play this. So far it looks like it's hitting all of the Lovecraftian Horror notes spot on.
     
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  11. valkill101

    valkill101 Alien Mastermind Veteran

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    Can't believe this slipped passed me! Wow, another Mythos Horror game and from the creator of the set no less. Yet another that I can't wait to check out once it's completed.
     
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  12. Clord

    Clord Nya~ Veteran

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    This game looks impressive.


    Definitely one of those games that has chance to win.
     
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  13. Jesse - PVGames

    Jesse - PVGames Game and Graphics Developer Veteran

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    Update 6/13/14

    I now have approximately 2/5 of the story implemented, evented, coded, and supported by necessary art. Today I created another cutscene image (below), started adding some flavor text that automatically pops up when you enter certain areas (shown below as well), and changed how and where certain information appears on the screen as you play so that it does not interfere with things like message windows. Dekita was kind enough to let me use some of his scripts so I implemented some animated backgrounds to the various menu scenes (the picture below doesn't do it justice since it's animated) - I don't care what anyone else says about you Dekita, you are alright in my book :)

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    Screenshots (6/13/14)
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    @Dark Gaia - I think the one advantage I might have is my access to art resources which helps with this quite a bit. But a major advantage you have is experience - you have a few solid hits under your belt and you have proven that you are masterful when it comes to creating tension. I really am looking forward to seeing how your project comes out! 

    @Clord - Thank you for the kind words! I looked at your project and although there isn't much info yet, I am very jealous of the artwork you have for your character. If the rest of the project looks as good as that, then you might be setting the bar awfully high for the rest of us :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2014
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  14. Dark Gaia

    Dark Gaia Disgruntled Writer Veteran

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    I'm really loving how beautifully the cutscenes are rendered! I wish I could do something like that with my game, but as the player creates their own character and chooses what they look like, it's kind of hard to make the story center as heavily on the protagonist as yours seems to. It really seems like we're going for two different types of horror: you're going for subtle psychological horror, and I'm going for visceral horror like in the One Night series. I love a good psychological horror story though. I'm excited to see how the Sanity effects work (something like Eternal Darkness on the Gamecube, perhaps?)

    Also, I couldn't help but notice that we're even using the same menu script :p
     
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  15. ??????

    ?????? Diabolical Codemaster Veteran

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    Dude, your graphics are just taking things to another level. I really like that ambulance at the asylum - looks very well made imo.
     
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  16. Jesse - PVGames

    Jesse - PVGames Game and Graphics Developer Veteran

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    @Dark Gaia - Yeah I can see how it would be difficult to pull off in your game, having such cutscenes when the player has many options as to what their character will be. If there was more time, then perhaps, but probably not feasible with the deadline 14 days out :)   And you are correct in your assessment I think, the psychological vs visceral horror. I was aiming more for mystery mixed with psychological elements ala Shutter Island, but with the sanity system it will certainly add elements of Lovecraftian terror. We'll see how much I can actually add in before the deadline though. Certainly would be something I would expand upon afterwards. The sanity effects system, I am not sure how Eternal Darkness was, I never played it, though I am vaguely familiar with what it did - like giving fake game crash errors and such. This is trademarked by Nintendo so I am not going to go there :)  But, since I want to limit the gameplay to roughly an hour, the sanity effects system sort of forces the game along as sanity slips in real-time, so dallying for too long works against you (or at least makes things more interesting when you start seeing creepy things emerge). And we very well could be using the same menu system; I am using 3 or 4 menu systems together actually (and surprisingly no conflicts! Yay!) and had to edit them to get rid of certain things like experience points.

    @Dekita - Thank you for the kind words. Your scripts definitely help! The particle effect system is great and is something I definitely needed as the atmosphere in the town is vital for the storyline (can't say much more without spoilers).
     
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  17. Dark Gaia

    Dark Gaia Disgruntled Writer Veteran

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    Re: Eternal Darkness, I can't remember the specifics of it, but the lower your sanity went, the weirder things would get and the more often "jump-scares" would occur. As you said, Nintendo trademarked their specific technique, but you could still do something similar -- have environments subtly change (for example, have a painting appear normal with high Sanity, or have a bloody message across it with low Sanity) or affect the triggers for scares or certain encounters etc.

    I do like it when you say you're going for Shutter Island, though. I love that style. The novel I'm writing at the moment is in the same style. In some ways it's more fun to play around with than the type of horror I normally do.
     
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  18. Jesse - PVGames

    Jesse - PVGames Game and Graphics Developer Veteran

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    Update 6/15/14

    Approximately 3/5 to 4/5 of the story is now implemented, along with all the dialogue, eventing, items, etc that go with it. Created another cutscene art asset, polished some dialogue and scenes, worked on a better choice menu system that allows for more (and dynamic) choices based on switches and variables. I created animated battlers for each weapon that the protagonist can use - 6 in total at present. The weapon types thus far are: .38 Special (a revolver), a Winchester lever-action rifle, a 1921M model Thompson SMG with drum magazine (AKA the Tommy Gun), a wood axe, a shillelagh, and a scepter. Weapons are divided into two categories based on the nature of the enemy you are facing: physical and mental. Physical weapons will not harm enemies that are hallucinations, but a weapon of a more mystical nature will. However, if assaulted by a crazed individual or animal, a few rounds from the Tommy gun will do the trick.

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    Screenshots (6/15/14)
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  19. Dark Gaia

    Dark Gaia Disgruntled Writer Veteran

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    Looking good as usual! I like the different weapons. You seem to have covered basically everything from the survival horror movies of that era. I like the idea of splitting them up into physical and mental weapons, as well. It adds an extra layer to the combat. Will there be skills as well as weapons? I'd love for the player to be able to learn psychic abilities of their own (ie. using their own willpower to banish hallucinations).
     
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  20. Jesse - PVGames

    Jesse - PVGames Game and Graphics Developer Veteran

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    Update - Not as much accomplished today as I would have liked, but still managed to progress the main story almost to the end and created a new cutscene image:

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    @DarkGaia - Thanks! :) There will be some skills as well - but no MP or Stamina type systems. Skills will be cool-down related for the most part, and there are not going to be a whole lot of them due to the time constriction. I am planning on having skills that utilize things like Faith to help against hallucinatory enemies, and some skills will be tied to weapons, like a full-auto blast from the Tommy gun. 
     
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