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  1. Sleep is hard. Body does not want to sleep. Brain wants to sleep. Brain tends to lose.

     

    Hi! I'm [still] Jaina, [still] queer as hell, [still] messed up in the head [but slightly better than before], [still] obsessed with LEGO stuff. Especially that which was around during my early childhood.

     

    Hey, it's been a while since I was around here. I dropped out of RIT. Game Design, while still a huge passion of mine, is no longer something I can pursue. I simply cannot retain ANY useful information about coding (beyond the basics) if I stop coding for even a short period of time, and I have trouble learning anything new in it. I'm also in a bad place in my life, mental health wise, so I'm focusing on doing a whole lot of therapy and getting my s*** back together.

     

    I brought back RSIs (repetitive strain injuries) brought about by trying to breed a shiny version of every single goddamn Pokemon (for which that is possible) by playing an extremely excessive amount of Dofus, followed by Stardew Valley, and then Sunless Sea. I'm itching to go back to Sunless Sea. I have no self control, though, so whenever they are feeling marginally better I do something to screw them up. It's REALLY boring watching Netflix and trying not to fidget all day long.

     

    I recently remembered how awesome LEGO stuff can be and I want nothing more than to build, build, build. Unfortunately, my home is in Rochester, and my bricks are with my parents, in Saint Paul - plus, my hands hurt all the frickin' time so I'm not gonna open that barrel of snake worms until they are doing better.

     

    In more positive news, I have a partner and also a sort of partner who will probably eventually be a girlfriend and it's pretty great. It's weird that some people actually find me attractive.

     

    Edit:

    Hopefully I'll be around here more often. I have very little to do lately. Recovery is dull.

  2. Last Friday i made a special avatar for myself inspired by the jackbox party pack game Monster Seeking Monster.

     

    And over the next few days i have been making allot of avatars for other people,  so i decided to showcase all of the ones i made so far.

    vz8K7Pj.pngpRQGQMq.png

    tw0tz2e.pngJekiURl.png

    jn7wwtW.pngUfNtgKE.png

     

    Hope you enjoyed these and if you want one for yourself, go ahead and PM me.

     

  3. A Slug's Blog

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    Slimy Slug
    Latest Entry

    I haven't made much progress since my last entry, to be honest.  Most of what I've done is make a few minor cfg adjustments basically.

    Adding DynamiteWakeRadius in has certainly made things very interesting, though.  Glad I found this in Jessietail's config documentation.

     

    Only thing major I did was a partial overhaul of the map Gephyrophobia.  Yes, I'm using this map in my mod.  

     

    But my main reason for an update was to ask the community for some advice regarding maps.  Take a look at my poll for details.

     

    Welp, that's all for my first update of the new year!

     

    *SlugIN.wav*
     

  4. Surprise! It's an Irish folk song. Except it's got guns! This is probably my new favorite track of mine, even with all the repetitions (which by the way are very intentional). This track is like 80% stuff I've never used or tried before, so it's got a very fresh sound. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

     

     

     

  5. I've never really followed the whole "New Years Resolution" thing before, but in getting older and running out the body clock, I've realised it might be good to start making some changes.

    One thing I really want to achieve next year is one of my biggest failings from this year. I'm a software developer by day, and a gamer by night. Being drained through the day with professional-level coding has made me bitter and cynical towards my own projects, to the point I've stopped doing them. While I still write game design documents as a hobby, I've completely put off physically working on any of the projects I would have once committed to.

    My New Year's Resolution is to produce one large-scale mod. It's something I used to do, or at least make serious attempts at, and I totally have the capability to do so now.

    While just making a new project from scratch gives me a lot of freedom, doing it as a mod means I get to excite an existing audience and utilise any existing content/implementations (i.e. I don't have to make my own guns or gun code, which is important as I have no visual ability whatsoever, and core stuff like weapon physics are a real pain in the knackers to do). A big problem of making a game from scratch is that any serious investment will cost me (purchasing asset packs or artists to make the game not look s***, paying for my own time and materials, paying for promotional stuff etc) and I'll want to seek return, which means a lot of legal and certification woes to deal with. I just want to build something big but relatively light that people can enjoy.

    My trouble is selecting a game for the specific mod I want to create. In an ideal world, my ultimate mod project would be a kind of Destiny-styled Raid, set in a breaking-down theme park. That is to say, a networked game-mode where a group of players are teleported between several small scenarios, in which they must complete a puzzle with barely any hints, while a horde of enemies attempts to gun them down. The story and aesthetics will be based on the likes of Westworld and Jurassic Park, which I've become very obsessed with recently. Ideally, players can collect audio logs, and collecting enough will change the final boss fight (or add a second one).

     

    Of course, that kind of project would be intense to produce, especially with many mod kits, so the idea is modular and flexible. Maybe it will only be solo. Maybe combat will be reduced. Maybe there will be less variety of individual puzzle mechanics and instead more reuse in creative ways of the same puzzle mechanics. The core, player surviving a collapsing attraction park, will remain the same.

    I'm looking for suggestions of games that have the capability to do anything along these lines. I've thought about using Blockland, but I've heard some negative things regarding the capability of the bots and having many different behaviours going at once (ideally, many people can connect to the server, group up in "fireteams" and run different parts of the course at the same time, like how a theme park ride has people in different rooms). If people can prove Blockland is capable of this kind of stuff, sure, but otherwise I'd like to know anything else I could use as a base. Another variant I've thought about (and one more relevant to RRU) is to make an overhaul for LEGO Rock Raiders that switches it up to become a time trial to find certain missing people and objects in the various tunnels underneath the park that staff used to get between attractions to perform maintenance.

     

    Any suggestions will help. A part of this is I want to make something people will actually play, as opposed to just producing crap for myself.

  6. Just imagine...

     

    ... Imagine a computer game. More specifically, a real-time-strategy game.
    But not with medieval knights. Not with spacemen. No, something far better - with both.

     

    Both sides made out of Lego bricks.

     

    Imagine starting with the classic AOE three minifigures...
    Imagine harvesting Yellow bricks to build more minifigures....
    Imagine harvesting Grey bricks to build weapons for those minifigures...
    ...  and harvesting all sorts of bricks to start building small vehicles....
    Imagine using those vehicles to harvest more bricks to build more vehicles....
    ... to build war machines of destruction...

     

    ... And then imagine the other player doing exactly the same thing.

     

     

    Picture the carnage. Robin Hood's arrows bringing down giant alien spaceships, which are in turn bombing Aquanauts submarines trying to mine silver crystals to add a giant death beam to the Neptune Discovery Lab. Mars Mission tanks grabbing with Police Cars, and aliens walking away handcuffed. Pirate ships boarding submarines. Chrome Crushers drilling the front off those inferior Power Miners vehicles. Spamming Galaxy Squad speeders to fight off an unexpected invasion of tribesmen lead by Achu. Training "super units", like the MX-81 Hypersonic Operations Aircraft, only to find that your enemy has build the Mobile Devastator before you and has just wiped out half of your Aquanaut allies...

     

    ... and of course, destroying anything yields precious bricks back, so imagine sending a fleet of Small Transport Trucks to pick up the wreckage of the defeated Agent Bikes so you can upgrade your Chrome Crushers to have a second laser on them to defeat the second wave of inevitable Agent Bikes...

     

    ... and using those bricks to repair your frontline Exo-Force mechs with Mechanics while they pelt away at the Fire Station...

     

     

    ... then imagine starting LDD or variants thereof, and creating your own units...  your own faction to bash the Ice Planet / Insectiods alliance with crossbows mounted on cars... expanding on tech trees of short-lived themes.... bringing new units to complement a strategic weakness...

     

     

     


    ... of course, the keyword here is "imagine," as I can't code for peanuts. large.OldTonguePNG_transparent.png.299864b6559440630e29f111b85cffe2.png

     

    But still. It's a nice idea to think about.

  7. Today, I got some new bonkles!

     

    The BIONICLE figurines I got are Phantoka and Kirop.

     

    Here are some photos.

     

    Phantoka and Kirop together.

    large.5a23461942d28_kiropnphantoka.jpg.9

     

    Phantoka alone.

    large.5a23461e3274d_oopsallphantoka.jpg.

     

    Kirop alone.

    large.kirOP.jpg.4bfcc56b183385cfec1e33c4

  8. LEGO Racers with Greycatmon

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    I haven't been streaming for a little while now since I have been playing Pokemon Ultra Moon the entire time. And a little League of Legends on the side. I'll attempt to stream in the next hour after this is posted. I will also get some new social media within the next hour and will post them on the following day. Do not be surprised if I look down constantly on stream as I will probably be distracted by Pokemon Ultra Moon :)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...>

  14. 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. 

  15. 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. 

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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. 

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