Work In Progress / Greetings Island

Marathon Pictures
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Joined: 19th May 2015
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 9th Jan 2017 11:30 Edited at: 10th Jan 2017 00:31

Developer: Marathon Pictures - Chris Buckingham

Story: Greetings Island is an Anti-FPS island adventure game where the goal is to 'chill', not to kill'. We asked ourselves, what would be the complete opposite of a stock-standard ultra-violent, parent worrying, noob clobbering FPS game? The answer, a ridiculous 'tropical holiday simulator' that just happens to have optional exploits that could turn nasty in the wrong hands. You know, it's all quiet and peaceful until someone unlocks the gun cabinet.

You start as a stressed visitor to the island, if you stress out too much - Game over. So you have to spend your time engaging in peaceful activities and making pleasant conversation. You're not shooting heads, you're shooting smiles. You're not laying the smack down, you're throwing up a high five. The more relaxed you are the more 'chill skills' you can master (like persuasion)... until... you get stressed, and the more stressed you get the more hostile skills you can unlock - but that means forfeiting 'chill skills'. So your abilities are based on a sliding scale of moral and immoral actions.

So what you're really playing is a sandbox game where you can be pleasant and powerful as long as you remain calm but the closer you get to freaking out - and losing - the more chaotic the game becomes.

Description: Initially this game was designed for a sequence in my web series - Agoro the Phobic Monster. I built and staged a level which was filmed for the show but of course the aim is to flesh out the concept into a fully fledged game. Below is the link to the episode and a link to my most recent update on the game's progress... which unfortunately will be on hold for a little while. The reason is covered in the second video.

Development: I've been with Gameguru for a while and figured it was about time I put something forward for the community. While the 'skills' aren't yet functional (they will ultimately act like spells) I was pretty exited when I worked out how to get the 'stress level' graphics to change based on player health. The game at present features check points, a boat, portals, followers, quests and a whole bunch of other stuff.

I won't have a playable demo available for a little while but I've created custom characters based on the web series that the game originally came from.... if anyone is interested in them let me know and I'll work out how to upload them for use. Same goes for any scripts I used - keeping in mind that I will want to get permissions from community members who's free scripts on the forum I used to make my own.... which all might take a little time.

So this is Greetings Island, let the relaxation begin!!!
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Joined: 8th Nov 2007
Location: Luxemburg
Posted: 11th Jan 2017 00:43
I'd love to design superior, non violent games myself but struggle with the concept.
Games become infinitely more difficult to make once you can't rely on the "center screen on baddy and shoot" mechanic to fill up your gameplay.
Shooters are at its core incredibly primitive....the bells and whistles around them makes them fun.

However, what you have so far looks fun as well!! I like the crazy premise and the colourful look you got going.
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Joined: 24th Nov 2008
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Posted: 11th Jan 2017 02:35
I would like to congratulate you on the most original game idea i've ever heard of. I strongly dislike the "aesthetic" of this and think that more time could be spent making the island look more "inviting", but regardless I will be giving it a play simply because of the sheer brilliance of the idea. This must have been an absolute behemoth to script.
Hire Me! I model, animate, cook, clean, and texture!
Marathon Pictures
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Joined: 19th May 2015
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posted: 11th Jan 2017 10:38
Thanks Wolf - On the whole the concept is a satirical take on FPS's core mechanics, the idea being initially thought up for the web series. If anything the game would be more akin to an RPG... I've spent hundreds of hours in games like Skyrim and Fallout exploring the land, uncovering secrets and lore, gaining allies, etc - and killing bad guys of course. And I'm surprised at games like GTA 5 in which you can go on a fun run, play golf or play tennis, or in Zelda you can go fishing, etc... and with more of these mechanics creeping into games and the world becoming politically correct I guess Greetings Island is my Orwellian vision of the future for video games.

Over all, the intention with this is to play on the storytelling aspect of the game - 'a pleasant place that hides dark secrets', which is definitely harder to refine than spawning a bunch of guys to kill.

You might see some people, particularly in Fallolut 4, try to play their games morally or even as a pacifist. It's a niche group, but it's out there. And with this as the default premise of the game I want it to push the players buttons so hard that they feel no choice to embrace their inner FPS maniac. For example, a companion who's useful and fun at first but over time becomes a nuisance that refuses to leave your side - or have abrasive NPC's that stop short of insulting you for just trying to relax.

Thanks Bugsy - I definitely agree on the aesthetics, it's a little loud and the island itself is sparse. But as an extension of the web series it worked for the show. But now, looking ahead, I've been thinking about scaling back the island to a chain of islands so that individual levels/destination can have more density of assets... because right now the game chews up a tonne of RAM.

So part of the reason I am posting the Work in Progress is I guess I'm looking for a sounding board for how to best proceed.... keep optimizing what I have or start fresh with a series of smaller interconnected islands/levels.

In terms of scripting, I've been following the forums for a while now and the community has really opened the doors to the opportunities of Lua. I had never done anything like this before. Most scripts have been singular 'event tests' that haven't been applied to the game as a whole - scripts like 'followers', 'dialogue that leads to a NPC attacking you or following you depending on your choices', 'triggering hostile opponents if you are hostile/kill an NPC', 'dialogue that leads to you being teleported/banished' to an isolated location', 'character bio popups when you are in range of an NPC', 'custom health bar', 'custom location icons on the radar', and much more...

All of the above are variations on scripts found in the forums. If any of these sound interesting make a request and I'll work out some way to get the info or script out there (after seeking any permissions of course).

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