WWI, the Supernatural, and Lovecraft. What could be better?

For those of you who know, H.P. Lovecraft was a writer during the early 1900’s. His most influential works consisted of stories of the fantasy and horror persuasion - generally written in a dark and foreboding nature.

Seriously, look it up. If you haven’t read some of his stories, check out some of his best stuff. You won’t be disappointed.

So this is exactly what we’ve been envisioning as the inspiration for our new game Bedlam. Creating a strategy RPG around these concepts? Pure gold.

Mix in post World War I era units (think trenches, gas masks, and odd military concept like this), with dash of the occult and supernatural, and you have yourself a nice little Bedlam.

tingham:

Bedlam Update 20140311a

More landscape exploration. It’s amazing how quickly I can put to use all the preamble work I did over the summer with perlin generation. I played around with box noise (diamond maps) but honestly the results just weren’t that spectacularly different from what I’m getting now with layered noise.

To which end here, I’m layering perlin noise at a couple of different octave/frequency combinations. The compositing rules are pretty simple because I’m working entirely in grayscale (although Processing does have a habit of throwing in some weird-ass color artifacts from time to time which keeps things interesting.)

After each layer pass I apply a simple convolution matrix to the whole image. These are applied in descending iteration frequency so that the closer to the “top layer” things get, the sharper they are. Pretty simple stuff really but I love the “volcano” accidents. These maps are generated at 1024 so I’d eventually have to serialize these and regenerate higher frequency noise on top of them.

Before I do that though, I have to learn a few new tricks regarding decay and erosion models. There should be cracks, fault lines and rivers in these maps that are missing right now and those are going to be essential for gameplay.

Cheers!

Just killing it with more work on Bedlam.

The attention to detail, the addition of cracks, fault lines, and rivers as mentioned above is going to really pull this all together nicely. 

It’s going to be unbelievably cool to work with all these new maps being created! 

tingham:

Bedlam Update 2014030902

I’ve reduced the workflow in Enki to taking raw images as input for the various height-maps and other informative structures required for initializing a world build. This made a lot more sense than trying to constantly generate procedural content at the server. Noise support in NodeJS is kind of not great and frankly I didn’t feel like spending the time to get libnoise set up on the server, etc. It just adds a ton of additional pre-requirements to installing the local development build.

This way, we can use whatever tools we’re comfortable with, Processing is my personal favorite for quickly roughing up procedural content and eventually I could see a real need to use photoshop for building the base dataset for the world for Bedlam.

Above are a few samples from the work I did this morning on building a new dataset. The final world dimensions for Bedlam are (quite frankly) astronomically large. So large that I can’t even generate a single world in processing with my current memory setup. Instead I’ll be producing several different land-masses and then stitching them together for the final import set.

Not much of an update I realize, but at least this one includes pictures. :)

Introducing Bedlam…

image

Well, here we are, gearing up for a new project at Mutiny… and we’re really excited to start talking about this one.

Our resident strategy RPG enthusiasts, Geoff and Rob have been hoping to do a title like this for a while now.

We’re excited to announce that the title was officially green-lit for development not a month ago.

Code named Bedlam, this SRPG aims to be something totally new while still exhibiting elements of the familiar (think the likes of Fallen Enchantress, Ogre Battle, Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Suikoden and Makai Kingdom).

The past few weeks have been jam-packed with prep work; hammering out design documentation, locking down scope, and hours upon hours of highly-caffeinated Hangouts.

We’re handling development a little differently this time around. Our developers Tom and Rob have been spending a great deal of time developing the underlying framework that will be used by myself and our game designer Geoff - predominantly to create the content and balance gameplay. (Be sure to follow Tom’s blog for updates @ tomingham.org or tingham on tumblr)

We have so much work to do - and so much we’re unbelievably excited to tell you all about.

Follow us here for all the latest developments and news on Bedlam.

tingham:


In a surprising turn of events we decided to start streaming data from the Enki server into our chunk renderer. The result is above which, I realize looks an awful lot like the earlier mesh data, but I can assure you it’s not.
Pretty soon we’re going to be working on data persistence. Last week I stood up a new NodeJS service to warehouse all our data and keep all the members of the team working in the same space. I’m not entirely sure if this is how Unity saw their tools being used, but I have to say I’m loving it.
There’s been some discussion about whether or not to keep the entire world persistent, as a single player game, with remote save game storage. The more that we work with these network services; the more value I can see in doing things this way. Our world is “procedurally generated” but in a way that’s not really at all like the way Minecraft or Banished are.
We generate a single “bible” map out of a few different permutations and math that I barely understand. Once that’s done we can all work in the same space making changes that get merged together in the single datasource on the server and redistributed.
I keep thinking about the idea that this could be incredibly fun for users. What if we could do global events that change the entire plot of the game mid-stream. “Didn’t finish the main quest yesterday? Tough it’s gone forever. Here have a demon lord!” Crazy, crazy stuff.
There’s also the possibilities for multiplayer that I think are most obvious. We could very easily build match-making into Enki and have massive tactical battles in turn-based arenas without a whole lot of extra coding. I’m sure the discussion will keep going, we’re kind of evenly split on the whole idea of requiring at least periodic connections to the home server and we don’t have any way to manage the cost of the hosting itself.
In any case, the above is an example of the newest version of the editor (now running as a desktop application instead of a web player as previous versions were because of cross-domain scripting policies.) Ultimately I think we’d like to get back to the web player possibility because that would open the door for the Facebook market.
All in all a ridiculously productive week. If you haven’t checked out the mutiny blog or rob’s blog you definitely should.


Productive week indeed!

tingham:

In a surprising turn of events we decided to start streaming data from the Enki server into our chunk renderer. The result is above which, I realize looks an awful lot like the earlier mesh data, but I can assure you it’s not.

Pretty soon we’re going to be working on data persistence. Last week I stood up a new NodeJS service to warehouse all our data and keep all the members of the team working in the same space. I’m not entirely sure if this is how Unity saw their tools being used, but I have to say I’m loving it.

There’s been some discussion about whether or not to keep the entire world persistent, as a single player game, with remote save game storage. The more that we work with these network services; the more value I can see in doing things this way. Our world is “procedurally generated” but in a way that’s not really at all like the way Minecraft or Banished are.

We generate a single “bible” map out of a few different permutations and math that I barely understand. Once that’s done we can all work in the same space making changes that get merged together in the single datasource on the server and redistributed.

I keep thinking about the idea that this could be incredibly fun for users. What if we could do global events that change the entire plot of the game mid-stream. “Didn’t finish the main quest yesterday? Tough it’s gone forever. Here have a demon lord!” Crazy, crazy stuff.

There’s also the possibilities for multiplayer that I think are most obvious. We could very easily build match-making into Enki and have massive tactical battles in turn-based arenas without a whole lot of extra coding. I’m sure the discussion will keep going, we’re kind of evenly split on the whole idea of requiring at least periodic connections to the home server and we don’t have any way to manage the cost of the hosting itself.

In any case, the above is an example of the newest version of the editor (now running as a desktop application instead of a web player as previous versions were because of cross-domain scripting policies.) Ultimately I think we’d like to get back to the web player possibility because that would open the door for the Facebook market.

All in all a ridiculously productive week. If you haven’t checked out the mutiny blog or rob’s blog you definitely should.

Productive week indeed!

tingham:


Geoff made a really good point. Requiring the user to keep clicking to cycle through tile art is dumb.
I knew I could do better so I sat down this morning and crafted the new “Chooser” palette. Once you’ve assigned a tile set to a layer, whenever you have the paint tool active you get a list of tiles you can paint in to the map. This works out really well when you’re trying to plan and I know that we can go one step further (and even show you the tile that will be dropped before you paint it down.)
I had a bunch of work-work to take care of today or I’d have gotten farther with this; on the whole I’m happy to have taken a break from it for a bit and get some perspective. What progress I did make ain’t too shabby either.


Loving the progress!

tingham:

Geoff made a really good point. Requiring the user to keep clicking to cycle through tile art is dumb.

I knew I could do better so I sat down this morning and crafted the new “Chooser” palette. Once you’ve assigned a tile set to a layer, whenever you have the paint tool active you get a list of tiles you can paint in to the map. This works out really well when you’re trying to plan and I know that we can go one step further (and even show you the tile that will be dropped before you paint it down.)

I had a bunch of work-work to take care of today or I’d have gotten farther with this; on the whole I’m happy to have taken a break from it for a bit and get some perspective. What progress I did make ain’t too shabby either.

Loving the progress!

tingham:


Geoff made a really good point. Requiring the user to keep clicking to cycle through tile art is dumb.
I knew I could do better so I sat down this morning and crafted the new “Chooser” palette. Once you’ve assigned a tile set to a layer, whenever you have the paint tool active you get a list of tiles you can paint in to the map. This works out really well when you’re trying to plan and I know that we can go one step further (and even show you the tile that will be dropped before you paint it down.)
I had a bunch of work-work to take care of today or I’d have gotten farther with this; on the whole I’m happy to have taken a break from it for a bit and get some perspective. What progress I did make ain’t too shabby either.

tingham:

Geoff made a really good point. Requiring the user to keep clicking to cycle through tile art is dumb.

I knew I could do better so I sat down this morning and crafted the new “Chooser” palette. Once you’ve assigned a tile set to a layer, whenever you have the paint tool active you get a list of tiles you can paint in to the map. This works out really well when you’re trying to plan and I know that we can go one step further (and even show you the tile that will be dropped before you paint it down.)

I had a bunch of work-work to take care of today or I’d have gotten farther with this; on the whole I’m happy to have taken a break from it for a bit and get some perspective. What progress I did make ain’t too shabby either.

tingham:


As a kind of testament to the amount of code we just wrote; this most recent screenshot demonstrates our editors new ability to modify the tile maps we’re creating. Right now we’re brute forcing the placement of tiles but in the future we plan on having some moderate heuristics in place to speed the process up. The above also demonstrates layer isolation; which is one of those things you don’t really think about unless you do graphics for a living. :)
The way tile editing currently works is each “Texture” group contains a stylesheet that defines the available tile sets. The texture is then constructed from “Layers” and each layer can have a single prefix-type (tile set) that can be painted.
When you paint into the surface we place the midpoint tile (solid color.) You can then use the turn tool to swap out the specific tile inside of the prefix set to get things looking the way you want to create a shape.
Probably worth mentioning that the blobs I created to use as sample textures are super crummy; I’ll be making better stuff soon now that the proof of concept for the editing tool is pretty much done.

tingham:

As a kind of testament to the amount of code we just wrote; this most recent screenshot demonstrates our editors new ability to modify the tile maps we’re creating. Right now we’re brute forcing the placement of tiles but in the future we plan on having some moderate heuristics in place to speed the process up. The above also demonstrates layer isolation; which is one of those things you don’t really think about unless you do graphics for a living. :)

The way tile editing currently works is each “Texture” group contains a stylesheet that defines the available tile sets. The texture is then constructed from “Layers” and each layer can have a single prefix-type (tile set) that can be painted.

When you paint into the surface we place the midpoint tile (solid color.) You can then use the turn tool to swap out the specific tile inside of the prefix set to get things looking the way you want to create a shape.

Probably worth mentioning that the blobs I created to use as sample textures are super crummy; I’ll be making better stuff soon now that the proof of concept for the editing tool is pretty much done.

A Busy Fall For Mutiny

It has been busy here at Mutiny, over the last few weeks.

First there was the second annual Indie Speed Run. They added a new wrinkle:  Danger Dice. Don’t like your randomly generated them and element? Roll the Dice. We actually got a decent theme and element on first go-‘round, but how do you not click on something called Danger Dice? Our mulligan cost us Immortal and Yo-Yo and replaced them with Auction and Internet. How did we turn these seemingly boring replacements into a hilarious game? We’ll go more into that as the contest voting nears…

Then there was the Not On Steam Sale. This came as a bit of a surprise to us, but we were quick to jump on board; it was a great idea, full of opportunity. Tom went into social media overdrive pimping as many of the available titles as possible, not to mention our own baby, TUG. Profiles were raised and units, moved, so the endeavor, by all accounts, was a success.

Now we’re back to Ate Bit, putting the finishing touches on the first release version. I have some kinks I need to work out, on later levels, and I never seem to be caught up on content. With any luck I can shoe-horn a few more levels into the game before we go live. If not, you can expect them in an update, shortly thereafter. Maybe a Patriots win will inspire me…