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  1. LEGO Racers with Greycatmon

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    Greycatmon
    Latest Entry

    I try to start streaming around 12-12:30pm Eastern US Time. I also stream at night starting around 9-10pm.

    http://www.twitch.tv/jarbal
    I only stream LEGO Racers for now. I will see if I can stream other games soon.

  2. Avery
    Latest Entry

    Hello,

     

    I've been gone from RRU for a while and it might be awkward for me to randomly pop in, but I feel the need to bring up what is probably the most irresponsible thing I've done here:

     

    You may or may not have already noticed that my various image galleries are no longer around; this was the result of my own reckless behavior. Shortly after members' galleries became reaccessible, I abused a temporary feature which allowed me to delete all my gallery folders.

     

    Anyway, I would like saw I'm sorry for creating this mess and probably leaving a dent in RRU. I know that for a while I've felt some disgust, anger and/or embarrassment over certain content I've uploaded in the past, which could've been ignored or handled differently. I also guess that I was really emotional over myself and couldn't think of any way to move on but throw away all that stuff whether it was   Nonetheless, there isn't an excuse for any of this nonsense. My actions were completely illogical and selfish and only stirred up trouble.

     

    As for my content, I've preserved and/or reuploaded some of my most valuable work (i.e. Handheld Rips, Textures). Other random pics/screenshots, however, were not stored on my computer and are likely gone for good. I may have seen some of them as insignificant clutter, but others might've shown interest and it was unfair and unreasonable for me to erase them.

     

    Obviously, an apology can't repair the damage that's been done. I even questioned myself if it was worth it to say anything, but I thought that it was because I would've felt much more awkward pretending it didn't happen. Again, I'm really sorry that I got careless and deleted everything I'd made without thinking of the consequences.

  3. Here's the music I made for Halloween this year! It's a little late as the blogs weren't fully implemented back when I published this track, but better late than never I guess.

     

    Enjoy! 🎃

     

     

    I will be rolling out a couple other tracks from this summer over here in a couple days to not overflow the blogs section. :)

  4. As you may know, trying to quit LI1 via ESC crashes the game. But there is also ALT-F4, but it may not always save your stuff.

     

    So how do you make sure it saves? Go to the Information Center, click the book and select your name again. Then press ALT-F4.

     

    And bam, it should save your progress.

  5. Hello, i have some more doodles i decided to put in here for your enjoyment.

    Do excuse the quality of some of them, the pages of the sketchbook must have rubbed the drawings all over the papper as i carry them on my bag, causing some of the smears you see, also phone camera is pretty much garbage.

     

    Spoiler

    fnBwlVE.jpg

     

    LCJNPIw.jpg

     

    BPGpp4B.jpg

     

    Xvou2q3.jpg

     

    bwWmUZn.jpg

     

    l0AiIs3.jpg

     

    OQ2keVw.jpg

     

     

     

  6. So....it's been awhile.

     

    First off, to get expectations and hope out of the way, I want to say that no: I am no longer actively working on the Rock Raiders adaptation.

     

    BUT.


    That does not mean it's dead.

     

    Man, it kind of feels like this game is almost cursed when it comes to media related to it coming to fruition. All I seem to find is adaptations and remasters that die quiet deaths, and now my own project is stalled.

     

    Now that the site is back (kind of), it seems like a good time to give anyone who cared, or still cares, about this project an update.

     

    First, I've taken down the Rock Raiders Twitter, since pretty much no one seemed into it and I suck at social media. I've also gone through and touched up the blog a bit, doing some minor edits and updates, and also replacing the pictures I had up because photobucket decided to be like, straight up evil and holding everyone's pictures ransom. So I just left them and went to another site. Also, I updated the blog banner!

     

    Now, where does the project actually stand? Here's a list of things I did manage to get done.

    • The project has a title. (Obviously.)
    • The main characters have been picked out. There are nine in total. Three are original characters added in. I've also changed some aspects of the established characters.
    • The planet has a name and the LMS Explorer has been mapped out.
    • I've selected a list of environments I want to use, and obviously added in some, since the game had only like three.
    • I have cover art made.
    • I've put together a list of structures, creatures (both benign and malignant), environmental hazards, and equipment/weapons. Still working on vehicles.
    • Perhaps most significantly, I have a skeletal layout of the plot of the novel. I know all the basics and the big parts of the story. When I halted production in June, I was in the process of creating a more in-depth, chapter-by-chapter layout of the book.

    Those are the pertinent pieces of intel I have. Now, why did I stop working on it? There were several reasons, but the primary one, and the one that remains true to this very day, is that I was simply too busy. Rock Raiders is going to be a pretty big project. I easily expect it to reach the length of an industry-standard novel, probably longer. There's a lot to do, a lot to explore. I want to be able to give it the appropriate treatment, but on a more basic level...I just have too much to do.

     

    In late July, I started getting very bad chronic insomnia, which led to me having a LOT more anxiety in my day-to-day life. It got pretty bad and it wasn't until just a few weeks ago that I finally managed to fix my sleep schedule. My anxiety's gone down to normal levels, but...I kind of feel like this all happened just in time for winter. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, and nothing really seems to help too much, so basically I cured my anxiety and sleep issues just in time for some depression and lack of motivation issues! To make matters worse, I'm desperately trying to get my original writing projects off the ground, because my money situation has suddenly become bad. So all my time is going to that.

     

    In short, Rock Raiders: A Written Adaptation is not dead, but it is shelved, and I cannot realistically give any kind of date as to when I'll get back to it. Besides the fact that all my time is now devoted to original fiction, there's other fan fiction that is currently ahead of it that I really need to get written. However, I can at least say that I don't intend to abandon it, and when there is something worth saying about the project, I will say it.

     

    Sorry for all the bad/lame news.

     

    -Rock Raider Obsidian

  7. Hullo again.

     

    So, a few years back, I tried to make a Rock Raiders comic series (named "Rock Raiders know zilch", a title which was explained using the smallest Calvin & Hobbes strip available on the internet) in an attempt to one-up Arthuriel's excellent "Insane Raiders" series (which, due to my minimal sense of humour, didn't work well).

    Considering the fact I've only made 2 blog posts about "Rock Raiders know zilch" so far, it's pretty clear that I haven't followed up on my promise of delivering my comics regularly, but during RRU's downtime, I've worked on a few more strips (and I also managed to overhaul my art-style. Quick shout-out to @Ayliffe for posting LEGO Nexo Knights storyboards on Twitter, which inspired me to change how I draw Minifigs).

     

    So anyways, time for the new issues. Enjoy:

     

    #3 - RRU Raiders United

    Spoiler

     

    What if you try to convert the entire RRU community into a single Rock Raider?

    I wonder what that would look like...

    JUWUfBy.jpg

    ...assuming we can get someone competent to do it properly.

     

     

     

    #4 - Stress raiders

    Spoiler

     

    CqyiF4a.jpg

    Considering they spend most of their time in cramped, cold caves full of scary Bats, large Rock Monsters and constant landslides, its not surprising that Rock Raiders usually feel stressed after a long day of work.

     

     

    #5 - Dimensional blunder

    Spoiler

     

    pjraKMc.png

     

    Oh wait... wrong comic...

    Sorry, thats the 2D version, hold on...

     

    Here we go:

    eAvJTdv.png

     

    Wait wait wait... wrong one (again).

    ...err... let's see... 2D... 3D... 4D... 5D-- Ah, here we go.

     

    Here's the (proper) 4D version:

    ww5J6ye.png

    [ POORLY EXECUTED "4D" JOKE ]

     

     

    #6 - "Loss" of clever ideas

    (Yes, its a dumb "Loss.jpg" comic, sorry  @someswedish)

     

    Spoiler

    Jyb9Xk2.png

    On the plus side, this is probably one of the best-looking comics I've ever made (mainly for the use of backgrounds, instead of white space)...

     

    ...still doesn't excuse it for being a "loss.jpg" parody that no-one asked for, 'nor would anyone find funny.

     

    So yeah, those are the latest editions of my comic series, which I'm renaming "Zilch Raiders" (because "Rock Raiders know Zilch" is a bit of a mouthful).

     

    Thanks for reading and I hope you've enjoyed these new strips. I'll be sure to post more comics in the future (although when that'll be is yet to be determined).

    fgV0ev6.png

     

     

    -- Ben24x7 --

     

     

     

     

    pRn2fs6.png

  8. Ayliffe
    Latest Entry

    Hey, remember that daft Bionicle short I made literally a year ago to the day (only just realised it was so long ago whilst making this post, crikey)? Well, while RRU was down for repairs I had to do a short film for me Media Foundation course, so I went and made a seven minute long followup! Also one of them wears a suit. Yuuuuuup!

     

     

     

    It's probably the most ambitious project I've done so far and I'd really love to do more stuff like this in the future, s' good times. Special thanks to @le717 for his glorious vocal tones, @Ben24x7 for his neat-as-hell credits illustration and everyone else on-and-off RRU that contributed to the making of this thing!

     

    Enjoy I guess?

  9. So, as I am wont to do on occasion, I was spinning my merry way through my spamfolder in search of something that isn't merely boring advertisement.  Lo and behold, hidden under a pile of duct tape advertisements lay this gem.  As usual, commentary in Red.

     

    Attention Payment beneficiary, This e-mail is to acquaint you officially regarding the release of part payment of your contract /inheritance fund totalling $5.5M (Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States dollars only) under the auspices of the Debt Management Office (D.M.O) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

    Ah, the check from my great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather 32 times removed from the old Birthplace of Mankind must have just come through.  I've been waiting about a hundred thousand years for this.

    It will interest you to know that the acting president of Nigeria Professor Yemi Osibanjo have approved and authorized the immediate release of all outstanding debt approved for release by the last two administration that is yet to ne released to the beneficiaries.

    He's actually the Vice President.  The President of Nigeria is named Osikazooie.  Everyone knows this.

    The Debt Management Office (DMO) was immediately asked to produce the list of all beneficiaries both private and cooperate entities for verification before money will be released to them accordingly. During verification it was discovered that several unsuccessful attempts have been made to divert your money.

    Yeah, one was nearly pulled off by a General Ki Ban-Moon, who was masquerading as some guy in California.

    We discovered also that your classified payment file have been distorted and some virtal information either lost or intentionally replced to aid the failed attempt to divert your money. Another discovery was the wrong impression created by fake government and bank offcials that the money will be released by cash payment, ATM card, through offshore bank payment etc.

    You can never trust artificial government.  It's like stevia, but it tries to pass laws saying that you must release all your money via offshore bank payments instead of just really bad gas.

    Be informed that your money will be released to you through bank to bank swift wire transfer direct into your bank account. ATM card and cash payment is not a global acceptable method of payment for such large amount of money. On your reply to this email i will give you further directives on how your money will be released to you. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

    Is Swift Wire Transfer where they transfer small birds using wires?

    Sincerely, Mr. Ronald Eze. Debt Management Office.

    His assistant is named Peze, and when they're not managing debts, they're busy fighting crime as the famous duo, Eze Peze.  Quite an upstanding character, 10/10, would get randomly large money from again.

    Phone: <Interestingly enough, the phone number given maps to a mobile phone actually in Nigeria.  I have no cheap way to call it.  Oh well...>

  10. Just wondering, would you be interested in collaborating in a conversion of Ldraw models to obj?

    Do you know anyone else who may be interested in a project like this?

     

    I am considering to upload all Ldraw models as obj-files from Eurobricks here on RRU, using this script. My reason for this is that anyone who want to use the models for their projects need the models in obj, and not in ldr. 

     

    I am considering uploading all obj models on a MEGA account, and then share the link here on RRU. 

     

    Here is the script for the ldr-importer: 

     

    Here is the link from Eurobricks:

     

    Instructions:

    0) Announce the theme´s models you are planning to download as ldr-file from the link above. 

    1) Download the ldr-files of the theme from the link. The more that help out, the less workload there will be. 

    2) Go to the program "Leocad" and export the model the obj. There is also a ldd-importer that can be used. 

    3) Upload the converted obj file to MEGA in its appropriate folder of the theme, the model belongs to. 

    4) If the models have a too high polygon count, then send them to me so I can reduce their polygon count. 

  11. Just wondering, would you be interested in collaborating in a conversion of LDD models to obj?

    Do you know anyone else who may be interested in a project like this?

     

    I am considering to upload all LDD models as obj-files on Eurobricks here on RRU, using this script. My reason for this is that anyone who want to use the models for their projects need the models in obj, and not in lxf or ldr. 

     

    I am considering uploading all obj models on a MEGA account, and then share the link here on RRU. 

     

    Here is the script, if you want to take a look at it: 

     

    Here is the link from Eurobricks: 

     

    Instructions:

    0) Announce the theme´s models you are planning to download as lxf-file from the link above. 

    1) Download the lxf-files of the theme from the link. The more that help out, the less workload there will be. 

    2) Convert the lxf-files to obj using the script. Simply drag the lxf-file to the script and it will automatically be converted into obj. 

    3) Upload the converted obj file to MEGA in its appropriate folder of the theme, the model belongs to. 

    4) If the models have a too high polygon count, then send them to me so I can reduce their polygon count. 

  12. Okay, first this blog is overdue. About half a year overdue. l405G.jpg I meant to type it up at the beginning of the year, then two weeks in, then at the break, and now I’m finally stopping procrastinating & am actually writing it up.

     

    Anyway, the reason I have not been around here nearly as much as a) I was and b) I would like to be is because last year I was at high school = not fantastically amazing and plenty of free time except for the infamous fifteen exams in two-and-a-bit months.

     

    Now, my life has taken a most interesting turn and I am at University! I’m studying Mechanical Engineering and have decided to skip the first year and launch straight into the second (it’s a four-year degree). After talking to many people it’s become apparent that by skipping the first year the only thing I’ve missed is large quantities of boredom. l405G.jpg

     

    Naturally, this is extremely busy, as Engineering is widely viewed as one of the most time-consuming of the degrees. There are two types of engineering students: drunk dropouts who get C’s and D’s, and people who turtle in their studies and work hard. l405G.jpg While that’s fairly accurate of any subject, for Engineering the gap is even more pronounced. As such I can’t come over to this wonderful place as much as I’d like. But that is less than half the reason. An important part, yes, but less than half.

     

     

    The other half of the reason lies in the fact that I have never had a social life before. Never. My maximum number of friends at school hit a top of about three, and was usually two. This was because I was at a small school (400 student spread all the way over from 5 year olds to 17 year olds) and there were very few people who were as dedicated to their studies as I was. (The few that did do a large quantity of work were in different years, and they were my few friends). About half of my class wouldn’t mind failing the final year. This made me incredibly lonely but because I’d never known anything different, that was the status quo and I was fine with that. I’d never known anything else to exist.

     

    Then I found RRU and I found a whole bunch of other intelligent gamers (let’s be real, this is a nerd community. l405G.jpg I mean that in the nicest way possible. l405G.jpg) Well, you could say that RRU became a very rudimentary form of my social life. I enjoyed chatting to you all even if I was a jerk on multiple occasions (as well as a uh rather bumpy introduction). So for it’d basically be the past five years, my social life has been non-existent and my friends included two people at school and RRU.

     

    Why is this important and why am I ranting to you about it? Because you lot are my friends, in that I can rant to you (and you can just block your ears, that often happens l405G.jpg). I don’t want to name anyone because then those that don’t get named don’t feel so happy, and that’s not the point the point is that you lot, in a wide sense and with a variable continuum, have been my friends over the past years where I can just come and hang out in the empty, desolate shoutbox. l405G.jpg

     

    Now University comes into the picture and I have found that there are actually other intelligent nerds that aren’t just on the internet. This is actually somewhat of a surprise. Not really a “surprise,” just a departure from the status quo for the past thirteen years. As a result, I can now actually say that I have more friends than I can count on one hand for well, to be honest, the first time in my existence. In fact, more decent friends than I can count on two hands which is a huge deal for me and you can scoff at it if you like. Go ahead, I’m used to being scoffed at. Story of my life for the past sixteen years. l405G.jpg
     

    This means that I don’t need to spend as much time on RRU as normal, because my “socializing” is actually done with people in the real world yes, that’s phrased awfully, but that hasn’t really happened before. It’s almost as if I don’t need RRU anymore, but that sounds too harsh. It’s just that I now actually have friends in the real world that I can talk to, and RRU is no longer my sole social outpost.

     

    This isn’t a farewell letter by no means rather, it’s a long-overdue explanation of why I’m late. l405G.jpg I’ll be around, if I can and when I can to chat with all you wonderful lot (for a given definition of wonderful l405G.jpg).

     

     

    See ya around!

  13. Can you believe it's been almost a year since I wrote the original preliminary report on what LEGO Investigations was supposed to be? Turns out that getting a job (and having an existential crisis) can really derail you.

     

    After a very long time away, I moved on to design a secondary project; a Mad Max-inspired combat racer (born out of me poking around into LR2/Drome Racers a bit). As it turns out, that design really conveniently fit in the investigation mechanics of this project, and this I returned, opting to finish this proof of concept before attempting to integrate it into a much larger, more complex whole.

     

    A lot of my writing and rambling has been in a bunch of unrelated Discords with Game Design channels. To save you going on a long, painful journey through the history of how everything has changed, I'm going to format the current state of the design and the key things I've been working out. This isn't a formal document; merely a write-up of the crucial aspects to understand what this thing is.

    contact-divider.png

    Summary of Story

     

    The meta-goal of the story is CHANGE. NON SUM QUALIS ERAM; you will not succeed unless you can progress.

     

    Quote

     

    A dark, cold night. The city bathed in impurity. Crime is rampant, and the citizens are struck with fear and grief. Eye for an Eye is not a philosophy, it’s an instruction manual. The streets wheeze and sputter a dark smoke reflecting all else. Even the rats turn away from the trash. The town oozes with the decrepit stink of the 1940s; a place begging for change. The only people can help are running with their tails between their legs. This is hell with a fancy suit on. This nameless, faceless cesspit will be your beginning. It will be your end.

     

    You were murdered days ago. The trail is cold; the killer unidentified. You feel mostly intact, rebuilt as any LEGO person can be, but the only fateful thing you remember about that night is that red tie. The crime rate hasn't moved anywhere; the city still festers with degeneracy and illegitimacy. Moreso than before, evidence of police corruption is showing. Unsubstantiated rumours are spreading of a criminal syndicate looking to take all power over the city; shake things up a bit. Leading investigators are reporting that a recent string of fresh crimes are linked; your experience is nagging you otherwise. It sounds like a bit of sweeping under the rug, and you're on the case to find out why.

     

     

    The game's first few cases are linear; these serve the purpose of acting as a progress tutorial, but also to tie into the meta plot-point of Change. After a certain mission, you die in an extremely similar fashion to the prologue. It's from this point forward that the player can really take control and change things up, and rightly so. Past the Point of Linearity, the game needs to be hardcore hard. The ending of the game reveals that the protagonist is permanently dead, his inability to pass on previously due to stubbornness and an unwillingness to change and accept facts.

     

    A smart player should be able to dig under the hints and determine the true killer (The Commissioner, acting to protect his job security), and evaluate that all of the cases are linked together to the killer.

    contact-divider.png

    Summary of Mechanics

     

    Looking back, the original mechanics list was a rough, rushed approximation of the design goals I was going for. It only continued the dialogue issues I identified in modern detective games, and it placed a lot more challenge in the seeking of evidence, as opposed to the logical thinking of connections. It was too Point-and-Click like. This new set of mechanics should address that, adding a wider variety of player choice and fixing the problems that annoy me most when playing detective games.

     

    Camera Controls

    By default, the game will be in First Person perspective. The player must walk around the level to look for clues and to approach witnesses. As per Social/Streamer mode (see the Game Modes section below), there is also a static camera mode available, which acts as a bunch of Security Cameras focusing on all the evidence and witnesses within the scene, to reduce the amount of physical control required to play.

     

    Evidence/Event Collection

    Evidence Items, which can be anything from junk on the streets to known facts, are used to unlock Events, potential happening which give context to why the crime might have happened. The ultimate goal of the game is to prove the exact sequence of events that occurred, thereby proving the innocence or guilt of the suspects. Evidence can be collected in three forms; physical items lying about (such as a gun), unique details on a location in the scene (such as a bloody spray), or talking points from witnesses and suspects (such as a confession of guilt to firing the weapon). Collected Evidence is used as below to create Event Items, and both are stored inside the player inventory called the "Notebook".

     

    While Evidence Items are simply kept in a big pool, Events are categorised. Every level's sequence has a different number of "slots"; each slot represents a different type of Event, such as one slot for explaining how a suspect arrived on the scene while another showing how they procured a specific item. Every player is automatically granted 1 Event Item per slot at the start of the level (what the "official police report" has turned up), and the Beginning and Ending slot Events are always correct and cannot be changed (you are focusing on figuring out how the scene changed from A to B).

     

    As per the Skill System outlined below, tools such as object highlighting can be available with a purchase.

     

    Evidence Crafting/Management

    In order to actually get new Events, you must demonstrate how Evidence fits together by "crafting" multiple relevant pieces together. Evidence Items have lengthy descriptions about their context and known facts; within the descriptions are keywords, highlighted in set colours. You must link together not just evidence with keywords of the same colour, but also where the keywords match a set theme (such as getting red keywords which are all computer part names). Generally, the keywords are relevant to the Event they unlock, as a bit of foreshadowing. Evidence Items can have more than one set of keywords in their description (colour and/or theme), which indicates that specific item can be used to produce multiple Events.

     

    Furthermore, as a helpful management aspect; Evidence and Event Items can be "ruled out"; this effectively disables them and puts them on another tab in the Notebook. If an Evidence Item was used to generate an Event and gets ruled out, then the Event Item is by proxy also ruled out. Ruled out items will not show at all in the Question Time screen, but can still be used in interrogations.

     

    Event Simulation

    Once Events have been unlocked, they can be previewed. The Previewer works like a video player, with a reverse, fast forward and pause. You control the scene a bit like the camera system in any modelling package/LDD, where you can click and drag to rotate the scene, and you can zoom in and out to focus on details. The Event will appear as a hologram over the top of the actual scene, allowing you to double check if evidence items end up where they should, and if certain witnesses/suspects were present or not.

     

    Jotter

    Players have a space in the Notebook to record their own notes and thoughts.

     

    Interrogations

    As is the rest of the game, the focus of the Interrogation System is to either prove or disprove "facts" by using what knowledge you've acquired. Players can talk to witnesses/suspects in the world and ask them questions. The responder will then give their response, at which point the player must either agree, disprove it, cancel out with no penalty or use the Disturbance Mode option (detailed below). If the player is correct, they will be awarded new evidence, otherwise, the evidence reward is lost. Once a question has been asked, unless if the "Cancel" option was selected, that question cannot be asked again.

     

    Questions are not pre-determined, only answered. Players generate questions from a basic syntax, designed to focus on what the player wishes to know. The first two elements of the syntax are mandatory, whereas the second two are optional (but must be used together).

     

    1. The Mode [Who | What | Where | Why | How].
    2. The Primary Subject (Either collected evidence, or "general knowledge", as in temporary evidence based on the context of the scene and who you're talking to).
    3. The Verb/Subject Modifier (Had, Used, Doing, or another word to indicate the relationship you're testing between the two subjects).
    4. The Secondary Subject (As above, minus the Primary Subject).

     

    Valid examples may include, "Why You Have Key", "Where Key" and "How Car Stuck Fence".

     

    If the player accepts the response, then no further input for that question chain is required. If the player believes the responder is lying, they will need to select from their collected evidence for something that proves they're in the wrong.

     

    As per the Skill System outlined below, one potential purchasable skill is the Voice Recorder, which records every line of dialogue to a section in the player's Notebook for a player's benefit.

     

    Disturbance Mode

    To engage in Disturbance Mode, the player must select the Disturbance option during an interrogation. On the surface, it appears to act as a dice roller; a successful pass will make the dialogue play out as if the player successfully chose truth or lie (with correct evidence, even if they didn't have it). However, fail a Disturbance check, and your player will engage in an aggressive (and odd) argument with the responder, losing you the evidence, locking you out of that question and reducing the success chance on any Disturbance rolls with that character. Regardless of a win or loss, use of Disturbance Mode will also have effects on the outside world; colours will distort, ghost objects will appear and other effects will occur. Ordinary dialogue lines for both player and response in all interrogations will also become more abstract (in tiers, depending on how many Disturbance options the player has used). The only way to revert to normal is to use the standard Truth and Lie dialogue options.

     

    As per the Skill System outlined below, Disturbance Mode itself is purchased through tokens, and has an upgrade chain which increases the chances of success, and also makes the effects of Disturbance Mode wackier.

     

    Infiltrations

    As a reinforcement of the Event mechanics, some Evidence Items might be in the possession of hostile forces, and require a combat sequence to collect.

     

    In a combat scenario, the player is locked to a specific camera angle, and must (within a turn limit) identify and select items within the world to use against enemies, in some ways similar to certain sections of Telltale Games' Batman. Players have a pool of points they can spend to observe on elements inside the combat ring, such as the enemies themselves, nearby objects and potential hazards. These offer Combat Advantages, which are functionality the same to Evidence Items, except that they are not permanently stored in the Notebook, and will automatically be turned into Combat Choices (Event Items) which you collect enough, as opposed to needing to craft them. Previewing of Combat Choices is limited to watching a small clip in-frame of how the combat sequence may play out if successful. When players are happy they have enough Combat Choices, they can line them up with a similar feeling to Fallout 3 V.A.T.S., and watch the event play out. Depending on the difficulty and the enemies, the player must successfully beat a set number of goons without taking more than a threshold of damage to get the Evidence item.

     

    Enemies cannot contribute to Combat Advantages; they instead bring up a popup with a description of that enemy's weaknesses and strengths, but viewing them costs points.

     

    As per the Skill System outlined below, there are a number of skills to upgrade to improve Infiltration ability, such as reducing the cost of viewing elements in the scene, or giving the player a larger threshold of damage.

     

    Question Time

    When the player is convinced they have every shred of evidence they need to conclusively rule what happened (and by proxy lay blame), they can visit whatever is used in the level to represent the end, and will be presented with a form split into two sections. The Event Sequence section requires the player to place the relevant events in order as they would have happened. The Question section requires the player to put Evidence Items in the gaps of sentences to demonstrate that the player understands what has happened. After submitting the form, the player is shown their points tally (50% for the Event Sequence, 50% split between each question for the rest). If they didn't get 100%, they are given a list of potential hints as to how they can improve when they retry. The level ends and the player is sent back to the hub.

     

    Skill System

    To reward (and encourage) players for getting stuff right, every correct question, every individual goon defeated in an Infiltration sequence and every successful Disturbance check unlocks a token. Tokens are finite, and there is one for every unique instance of these encounters in the game, essentially acting as way to track how complete your progress in the game is.  Tokens are used both to make the game a bit easier by making subtle things obvious (to reduce player mistakes), and to give the player some more fun content (such as concept art or funny "cheat codes").

     

    Level Structure

    The bulk of the game's content is intended for the Campaign mode, although individual levels for Streamer Mode and Workshop integration for custom levels would be nice.

     

    Within the campaign, once you are past the Point of Linearity and free to select what you'd like to do, there are two types of Investigations to choose from; Cases & Scenarios.

     

    • Scenarios are individual crime scenes, and the entire investigation can be solved in that one level. Replaying the scenario will always act as if you are starting it anew; your campaign progress will only ever take your best result however.
    • Cases are a string of multiple, linked scenarios. (Relevant, as predetermined by the designer) Evidence that was collected in previous levels is passed on to the next, for continued usage. Since it's possible to fail by not having cruical evidence from a previous level, the game will warn at the end of a level (after submitting answers) if they have screwed themselves. When replaying a single investigation in a case, if you elect to replay from the second or further missions in to that case, the game will carry forward your best results from the previous levels (i.e. if you replay from Mission 3 and 100%'d both previous missions, the game will automatically grant you all relevant evidence).

     

    Disturbance Mode effects are limited within the scope of a single Scenario/length of a full Case, and will not passthrough to other Scenarios/Cases. You can play, save, quit and load any Scenario or Case you like at any time from the hub, although you are restricted to one save per Scenario/Case.

     

    Every Investigation has an associated Difficulty Rating; this is used to warn a player if something is considered a bit too hard for them yet. Completing other Scenarios/Cases and purchasing skills will dynamically decrease the numbers for each Investigation (according to their individual rules on what makes them that difficulty), but ultimately should only be considered a guide and players may find their experience easier or harder compared to what's listed.

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    Summary of Visual Design

     

    There's not yet a significant amount of work to report in this department, aside from some basic concepts.

     

    • The game is aiming for that classic black and white noir style. Colours are used incredibly sparingly to represent important details; blues are good, reds are bad (and show connection to the killer). Consider that police lights are blue and red...
    • Certain abilities can increase the colour within the world, and Disturbance Mode will add sickly greens while also adding unique filters.
    • Smoke and Fog are the most important elements of the scene, usually lining the way towards something of critical importance.
    • The construction of the world is a mix of 40s - 50s American culture with classic LEGO craziness. Stereotypes should be played to their absolute max.

     

    the-big-combo.jpg

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    Game Modes

     

    While the intention of the game is mainly to attract solo players who wish to get inside the atmosphere, it's important to recognise that everybody lives in different circumstances; different audiences will have different requirements for the game.

     

    For this reason, I wish to introduce three modes which modify some of the game's mechanics and functionality.

     

    • Normal: The intended mode of play, everything remains the same. By default, all social features are hidden and the default UI layout is Single Mode, which is better for viewing individual items at a time.
    • Social: A local co-op experience, designed for multiple people inside the same room. The intent here is to remove the physical elements of play and focus more on the logical, group-minded tasks (so it doesn't matter who actually clicks the buttons to make the game progress, as everyone can participate to the thought process). Firstly, the First Person camera is disabled, replaced by static Security Cameras to scroll through, with all the relevant evidence/witnesses/red herrings visible. Since they rely more on fast reflexes (and we want to encourage players to go back and try the game in solo mode), combat sequences are outright disabled and any evidence they would have given can be simply collected. Cutscenes are disabled. The default UI is Multi Mode, allowing for seeing many items at one time to let players all fan out.
    • Streamer: An extension of Social Mode, better suited to larger audiences over digital interfaces. Streamer has its own, much more complex campaign levels that require a lot of people working together to solve. To that end, a companion app will be available that lets users scroll through all the unlocked evidence, events and also view dialogue if the player is in an interrogation sequence. The player can configure and allow the audience the ability to vote on actions, either limiting or increasing how much power and options the audience has. If the player is streaming through a service with a chat API (such as Twitch), the chat can be directly viewed inside the game.

     

    It's a lot more more work, but building the game with these three audience types in mind will grant significant selling power to the title at a whole. There's still many questions to be answered, but this is already a good start into understanding what the different audiences needs will be.

    contact-divider.png

    Level Design Methodology

     

    The actual implementation of the core mechanics (for the vertical slice, so long as you ignore a lot of the polish stuff like the game modes or localisation) is really simple; what's made to be tough is the puzzle design, to stress only the most enjoyable (through being challenging) experiences. As far as I've worked out, this is currently the best way to approach designing the levels.

     

    This process begins by having a very vague idea for a location, crime type and difficulty (how many events for the sequence, how many combat encounters etc) and then continues on;

     

    1. A rough outline of the level's floor plan is drawn (specifically only the playable space). It needs not be any more complex than some cubes, since everything can be shifted around and changed. There just needs to be a physical map for the sake of concepting to help motivate better choices.
    2. At this stage, plot the sequence of events as crappy little stick figures on the map. Put circles for people, and draw tiny symbols and arrows to represent interesting detail that will be critical to note for the next phase. Add a number next to each event to say which stage it is. It's all about understanding what the player's goal is, and trying to space the content of the level around the entire level, instead of making the crime stuck to one tiny portion of the map.
    3. For every event on your map, jot down in notes a description of what should be animated, who and what it involves and so on, so forth.
    4. Going even further, circle the things that would make for conclusive evidence that the event happened. We're not yet ready to say what form of evidence they'll be found in, but we can at least confirm every single thing the player will need to finish the level.
    5. With a high-level overview of the critical path ready now, it's time to go conspiracy-theorist and draw lines. Evidence "Elements" need to be connected together to show the relationship in how you can collect and use them. Some elements will simply only contribute to the unlocking of the event, while other elements should be used to unlock more pieces of evidence. Some evidence items prove, some disprove (both of those for dialogue sequences), and some act like keys. It's not time yet to say exactly what one does to another, you need only to mess around and try decide on some open or closed chains of progression for your player.
    6. Now that you understand the item relationships, you can place them into the level. Mix it up; have some items as physical collections, some as environment details to study, and some as evidence extrapolated from interrogating witnesses. This is also the time to create your red herrings, witnesses, and flesh out the scene itself.
    7. Lastly, you need to create all the valid permutations of dialogue and item descriptions (including the little coloured hints) for this level. There needs to be a mix of valid Truth and Lie cases. It'll also pay to begin thinking about Disturbance Mode modifiers for the level.

     

    It's not a perfect process yet, but it's a start. As I become more comfortable making levels, I'll refine this process and figure out smart shortcuts, as well as a clearer set of designer rules for working within the bounds of the mechanics.

  14. dsdude123
    Latest Entry

    Found an exploit allowing me to load DLC content from LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens. Working on getting textures and models to load but that will take some time while I mess with the DAT format (need to figure out how to remove files from the archive).

     

    DATExploit1_zpszsu0k2ta.png

    DATExploit2_zps6jet0gsx.png

  15. My answer to the topic I recently created is going to be extremely long, so I've decided to break it up into multiple small blog entries based on the time period. These will be a bit rough, but maybe in future installments I might add some images and colour to break it all up.

     

    --

     

    I don't know. I dunno why my Dad bought that PS1. He's not much of a gamer; he grew up on a farm with a handful of other siblings before moving down here to the city. Gaming never would be his forte, but I'd be happy to make that purchase all the more worth it for him.


    I think there's still a photo of Dad holding me, holding the PS1 controller, playing Grand Turismo. Either that, or I'm having some weird out-of-body experience memory of that very same event. That's where it all started; a very young me, and a demo of Gran Turismo. It wouldn't matter if I won or lost; kids don't care for such large concepts, it's all about the feedback. I could hit a button, and something happened. That is a feeling you don't forget.


    I was four years old in 1998. Back then, I was always more obsessed with VHS tapes and LEGO, if only because TV access was very limited. It probably didn't help that a baby me climbed and smashed some glass windows on the TV stand. I was creative, in a very destructive way. It explain my tastes in those early years; I could never win, but the thrill of Ape Escape, Formula 1 '98, V-Rally '97 Championship Edition and the Star Wars: Episode One: The Phantom Menace demo and smacking stuff around was enough for me. There was music, lights, and buttons to smack. Sometimes even vibrations.


    I had no concept of games libraries, back then. The whole world of gaming was just in those discs. Hell, I didn't even know what a demo was, and it didn't help that I couldn't even reach the end of my games to find out. Thankfully, my mind was expanded on my sixth birthday. It was nighttime; only that year had we moved to this big new house, and I was sitting on the small kitchen table directly under the intense yellow light. I ripped open my package, and there it was.


    Jeremy McGrath's Supercross 2000.


    Great people are influenced by great works. The likes of Shakespeare, Orwell, King and forth have opened a new generation of brilliant creators. What does it say when my major inspiration was some budget title that didn't even score average?


    The riding wasn't very good, I wasn't that great at pulling off the freestyle tricks, and the character creator was marred by the low quality PS1 graphics of the era but...but. It had something. Something I won't soon forget. In such low, terrible quality, it offered power unbeknownst to me at the time; a track creator. YES. I could make actual content for this game. I didn't understand it at the time, but I reviled in it. All the live-long day I spent, placing blocks, testing my track, changing it up and showing it to my young brother. Guess times have changed a lot, in some ways. Maybe not others.

  16. Here.

    The gist is that it recursively creates and calculates the area of squares that compose a circle with radius 1, and totals the area of those squares to get Pi.

  17. What was God thinking when he made the earth?

     

    Humans are the reason aliens aren't coming to earth.

     

    Ultron's philosophy in Age of Ultron is kind of something that makes sense.

     

    Why universe, Why?

     

    Why do we exist?

     

    WHY DO WE EXIST?

     

    WHY?

     

     

  18. http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/flipline-studios-espanol/images/1/17/Papa_Louie2.png/revision/latest?cb=20131023044137&path-prefix=es

    Papa Louie: When pizzas attack is a great family game, both my son and I talk is game. My son even asked me to give him Papa Louie: When pizzas attack plush dolls as presents and rewards. It brings us through the entire range of human emotion – it makes us laugh, cry, scared, excited, hopeful; and it gives us a real sense of adventure.

    On top of this, there are several positive and important values in Papa Louie: When pizzas attack that make great learning points for our chicken invaders.

    The first (and most obvious) is the value of obedience.

    For many of us, it’s a consistent struggle to get our kids to obey rules. For Maro and papa Louie, it wasn’t any different. Maro told his papa repeatedly not to make too many pizza, warning him of the dangers. But in a show of “I can do it. I’m a big boy now,†papa Louie made the pizzas, ignoring his dad completely.

    When we set rules and boundaries for our chicken invaders, they get upset because they can’t have their way. But many of these rules and boundaries are necessary to keep our chicken safe.

    Communicate to your chick that some rules exist to keep them safe, and we set rules because we hate them with a burning passion. Let them know that if they disobey, they will have to live with the consequences.

    We all know what happens next. A pizza ate papa Louie, and he was trapped in a harmonica. Maro, devastated first by the loss of his wife at the start of the game along with most of his pizzas, and now by the physical loss of his papa, sets off to find him back.

    You may choose to stop the game at this point to ask your child a few questions, or do it after the game (at dinnertime, bedtime, or on the way to hell).

    The second lesson is friendship. Lugi, a green maro, comes alongside Maro in his search for papa Louie. Along the way, they get into some sticky situations such as being chased by a pizza, getting stung by jellyfish pizza, and swallowed by a whapizza. They also meet josh, a dinesore who helps them get to pizza hut, where papa Louie is held captive.

    Good friends don’t come by easily, so we should cherish our friends. Friends who help when you are in need are friends worth keeping.

    Remind your child that they should first be a good friend to others, before they expect others to be a good friend to them.

     

    Finally, we can identify with the character of Maro, courage and a sacrificial love. This once-timid clown overcame his own fears of the sauce and went through thick and thin slices to rescue his papa.

    Love is brave and courageous, even in the face of pizza.

    Let your child know that you will be there for them when they face difficult circumstances. Explain to them the concept of sacrifice - giving up something that is important to us. (This is probably a good time to express your love for your child ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).)

    From a parent’s perspective, I also learnt that it’s important to know when to let go, and not be over-protective of our little ones. We should allow them more room to learn to protect themselves and take responsibility for their actions, so that they can “grow upâ€.

    Yes, I talk is game.

  19. Heeeey, so what's up RRU? The usual? I expected as much. Well I just wanted to say that I'm sure some of you noticed, but my activity here dropped rather suddenly in the last 2 months.  Screw it, I can't even tell (is that a bad thing?). Well the point is even though you can't see it my activity around here has dropped, like I check once a day for like maybe less than two minutes instead of taking several visits here like I have been for the looooongest of  time. I actually barely touched anything LEGO in this time too. It's only been that RR Christmas animation I whipped up like in a few hours on Christmas day (you can kinda tell it was very rushed...), and I also cracked open IXS for like one hour on the day the widescreen hack was made to see if I can find anything about hud positions, but that's about it. Other than that, nothing. No behind the scenes personal work, no working on models, nadda. Why? Because I think another community just stole me over.... yup. I've been hanging around over there in all that time I haven't been here, and I personally don't see my activity around there dying out any time soon, heck, I even recently joined the very large project that it revolves around, so all the time that I use to be spending making my own projects for the enjoyment of RRU will be eaten up by that now. Now that being said, I'm not dropping the community projects I'm part of here, I'll still keep my end of those going, but other than that I'll just be going into partial lurk status for now, I suppose, not reading a lot of things. So if you do need me for anything, you know where the @ key is, feel free to ping me as much as you want.

  20. Brigs
    Latest Entry

    With the Nexus Farce: Ingress of Imagination entering its final, if belated, chapters, and the Elimbies poised to collapse next month (I'd like to believe there is some causality between the two), I find myself at a juncture: what should I waste my time on next? I have a few ideas, including those listed in the poll above (that question is multiple choice, so mark any of those that sound interesting and/or say in the comments). I enjoy crafting narratives and building models, and the two mesh together pretty well. I have a vague story arc plotted out should I continue the Nexus Farce, but I'd also like to try my hand at something a bit more freeform.

     

    The Nexus Farce was written to be obscenely verbose as a joke, though in hindsight I'm a bit more critical of this choice. In spite of its numerous flaws, I'm still rather proud of IoI on the whole. Maybe one of you knows better and would be kind enough to explain why I'm wrong; I'm serious about that. While I do this for my own entertainment, it can be satisfying to get feedback on something that's been so long coming. Really, even if you just got a wry chuckle, or none at all, from the Nexus Farce and related material, I'll take any criticism you guys have. 

  21. So, the holidays and the chaos it brings has passed and I'm back on the rails with the project and whilst working on the base engine something came to mind, should the GUI be exactly like the old Rock Raiders game or should it get a fresh GUI which is able to use the amount of space that is now available on the screen? Think of a permanent present sidebar with the icons for constructing buildings or unit actions showing up and a mini-map in the top right corner like regular RTS games. What do you guys think?

  22. Well! 5 years. That's a pretty long time, as far as hanging around an internet forum goes. In some ways it doesn't feel like it's been that long. But then again, things are a lot different now. I joined just to share lego magazine translations and scans. Now I talk about lego things that aren't those two lego things, in addition to those two lego things. Also I'm a community assistant but I'm still not really clear on what my job actually is

     

    I'm bad with mushy stuff, but, uh, my regards to the friends I've made here. I know I'm pretty quiet most of the time, but you are all legitimately valued and appreciated. Thanks for being around. 

     

    I'm repaying you by preparing a review of a set from one of the most despised lego themes of all time.

     

    You will never escape. I'm here forever.

    Pereki

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