Showcase / [X11] Extraction Point - Level 1

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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 8th Oct 2018 22:26 Edited at: 9th Oct 2018 22:32


Developer: Avenging Eagle / AKA Tanner Productions

Premise: You play an unnamed British soldier, deployed to a war-torn nation in the middle East. After your Chinook helicopter is shot down deep in rebel territory, your priority is getting home, but your journey will show you a side of the war that might change you along the way.

Extraction Point is my first proper game with Game Guru. Sadly, due to the perpetual development of the engine, certain levels and features present later in the game no longer work, or at least not to a standard I deem acceptable. Therefore, in the interim, I am releasing the opening level of the game here for free, for testing and archival purposes. Should Extraction Point never be finished, at least this executable will stand as proof of the hundreds of hours I spent working on the project. I'm calling it a 'beta', but only because I hope to release a 'full' version of the game one day.

Features:
- A large, story-driven map.
- A mixture of combat and platforming gameplay.
- Multiple custom scripts including an all-new HUD and prompts system.
- Showcases some assets with the latest PBR shader technology.
- Showcases the new and improved AI circa September 2018.
- Both pre-rendered and in-game cutscenes.
- Custom menus, music, fonts, icons, and prompts.

Screenshots:











Videos:
Here's a full play-through for users who are struggling to get it working.



Known issues:
- Some users are experiencing difficulty in launching the game. This appears to be a Game Guru bug to do with where you install the game and its files. My advise is do not to install it in C:\Programs Files.

Download link:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fVUU6PiCH0HI0Y8dtBQpXONnltH6K6DM

My thanks go out to all the members of the Game Guru community that helped me develop this game. From helping me to write LUA script, to providing high quality assets for us all to use, to giving your feedback on the updates in the development thread, you have all played an important role in helping me get this far. I only hope that, one day, I will be able to complete the game I initially set out to make in April 2017.

This project has taught me so much about Game Guru and its little idiosyncrasies that I kinda feel like passing it on somehow, writing a big post or something. No idea where that would fit, board-wise. I guess here, in this thread? What do people think?

Anyways, hope you enjoy Extraction Point! Please can I have a badge now?

AE
Wolf
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Posted: 9th Oct 2018 15:54 Edited at: 9th Oct 2018 15:55
I get this run time error.

I was rooting around a little to find a solution and I noticed that your scripts all link to your computer directories. Your C:
I don't have those files of course so I assume this runs for you but not for anyone else? Waiting for another user to confirm this.

Quote: "No idea where that would fit, board-wise."


Product chat is good.

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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 9th Oct 2018 16:07
Do you have a log file or something I can use to track this down?
501 isn't scripts, it's sprites and images I thought
Interested point you raise about the scripts though, Game Guru did that on build, those scripts don't live in C drive normally.

AE
vincenthendriks
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Posted: 9th Oct 2018 18:12
Works for me, and it's awesome at that!! Amazing work, I really like it, also a ton of cool features! I just playtested the first level
vincenthendriks
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Posted: 9th Oct 2018 18:15
I just tried again, got a runtime error now, 7006.

Ps: If I may ask, how do you have access to the new AI? Is it already released somewhere or do you have some sort of beta access?
Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 9th Oct 2018 18:24
So it works sometimes, for some people, but not all the time? This software, man...

Vincent, thank you for your positive comments! I am currently running the public preview with the 'Monster Update' (2018.09.23), which has had some improvements to the AI...just not the latest ones currently being tested in the Product Chat board.

AE
25-WATTS
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Posted: 9th Oct 2018 18:54
Works for me, completed it this morning.
Had the Game on C: Drive just moved it to a USB G: Drive, and it still works ok.

Avenging Eagle, this is great work, thanks for letting us play it, Love it.
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SHAHIN3D
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Posted: 9th Oct 2018 21:34
see Issues #347
amir
Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 9th Oct 2018 22:37 Edited at: 9th Oct 2018 22:37
Glad you liked it 25-WATTS!!

Very weird how some users can get it working, others can't. The first post has now been updated with a full play-through for users who want to play the game but can't get it working.

Can all users, regardless of whether you can get it working on not, please PM me your operating system version (e.g. Windows 10 Pro), and the filepath to where you installed the game?

AE
granada
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Posted: 9th Oct 2018 22:44 Edited at: 9th Oct 2018 22:47
worked fine for me,very playable
(i just ran it from the unziped folder on my desk top)

Dave
Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
AMD FX (tm)-9590 Eight-core Processor
31.96 GB RAM
1920x1080,60 Hz
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lorddweeb
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Posted: 10th Oct 2018 05:01 Edited at: 10th Oct 2018 05:11
Congrats Eagle, this demo is quite an accomplishment even if its just a bit of what you ultimately want to make. Its a very professional product, from the menus to the way tutorial elements are worked in seamlessly to the game, to the UI pop in graphics, to the way the AI is balanced to prevent against GameGuru's usual insta-death issues, etc. Even the way you properly and professionally credit the music and so on in the about section is great. So without going into everything that I think is working great, here are a few (hopefully) constructive criticisms and/or bugs I have:

* The first wounded soldier you come across is wearing a very thick mask so it sounds quite unnatural how clear he is - at first I thought it was "me" talking. I would definitely consider filtering his voice to give him a bit of a muffled sound.

* The AI mostly behaved well, miles better than the old AI. But I did see one go floating along the terrain without animating. ( He was one of the soldiers that spawn as you head to the river town after clearing reinforcements) Also, the rocket soldier on the roof seems to have trouble navigating up there - after I got a hit at him he ran into a corner and seemed to get stuck there, where I couldn't hit him.

* In the second half of the level I was occasionally not entirely clear where I was supposed to go, and so I ran into a few more invisible walls than is probably ideal. I think either a direction indicator or some other way of indicating you are approaching an invisible wall before you get to one might help. This particularly applies along the final river.

* The explosion that is supposed to knock you out at the end of the level actually missed me somehow! And so I wandered around for a bit, unsure what I was supposed to do, until I returned to that spot and the ending cinematic triggered correctly.

Edit: I'm now watching your play through and realized that I got to the final river in a different way than it seems was intended - if you wander out into the water you can get into the courtyard of that final house. Is that intentional or not?

Finally I'm running windows 10 and the game was installed in a "Extraction Point" folder in the base of my "R" drive
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synchromesh
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Posted: 10th Oct 2018 19:54 Edited at: 10th Oct 2018 20:04
Well done Very pro and ye I would buy it
The new AI really brings it to life
The only person ever to get all his work done by "Friday" was Robinson Crusoe..
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Wolf
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Posted: 11th Oct 2018 00:06
How peculiar.

My second attempt gave me an unspecified runtimer error 502.

My third attempt ran the game. Its quite decent work but I am ambivalent about a couple of your design choices.

The AI Certainly made this more interesting. It moves about, its dynamic however it never seems to be able to hit me. I stood still behind a stack of sandbags and watched one of them continously fire at me but never actually maiming me. I've seen this mentioned as an improvment though. That sniper enemy did however deal some damage which was quite a welcome change.

The game has a very good sense of flow. However, its late and I will give a more detailed review (of sorts) soon. Just letting you know that it decided to run. This unpredictable behaviour of the engine, wether it runs or spouts out a runtime error is eeriely reminiscent of FPSC.



-Wolf
synchromesh
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Posted: 11th Oct 2018 10:02 Edited at: 11th Oct 2018 10:04
Quote: "SHAHIN3D : see Issues #347"

Going to be honest mate I tried every drive I have on my system ( which right now is 7 )
No problems running from any path ?
I think its your system if your getting this issue and not GG
The only person ever to get all his work done by "Friday" was Robinson Crusoe..
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Bod
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Posted: 11th Oct 2018 12:31 Edited at: 11th Oct 2018 12:38
I had to exclude the .exe from F-secure to get it to run, I've never had to do that before for any GG made game.

The level plays very well but I think you need to look at the collision of the models a bit, it's obvious quite a few are set to box instead of polygon, I've pointed out a few I noticed in the pics below, you should be able to walk over the target laid on the floor but it has the physical presence of the box I drew, when the sniper is firing at you there is clearly a gap between the sand bags and concrete barrier but you can't get through it, there is a shadow there as though something is invisible and the gaps in the pillared walls are solid, not much of a soldier if he can't jump over that tiny wall, also instead of just using invisible walls to stop the player going in a direction either put obstacles in or a message saying you can't go in that direction, it's so annoying when you can see great swathes of scenery then hit an invisible force field.
The biggest problem though is the enemy characters, you have done a lot of things to disguise the fact it is a GameGuru game but the characters scream GameGuru, I've played a lot of GameGuru made demos and they all play the same because of the characters, same behaviour, same weapons, same stance, different location, some couldn't hit a cow's butt with a banjo, some move for cover faster than Usain Bolt and after sending the radio signal some of them just run around in fast tight circles until you shoot at them or get close to them.

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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 12th Oct 2018 08:35 Edited at: 12th Oct 2018 08:38
Thanks everyone, great comments so far! Allow me to address some of your feedback individually.

@lorddweeb
Quote: "The first wounded soldier you come across is wearing a very thick mask so it sounds quite unnatural how clear he is - at first I thought it was "me" talking. I would definitely consider filtering his voice to give him a bit of a muffled sound."

Noted. Weirdly I was worried that this voice was too muffled already. I recorded it by speaking into a cup

Quote: "Also, the rocket soldier on the roof seems to have trouble navigating up there - after I got a hit at him he ran into a corner and seemed to get stuck there, where I couldn't hit him. "

Funny, that never happened to me in all the playtests I did until one AFTER the final export seen here. In theory, the floor zone shouldn't allow him to do that but I'll definitely look into it.

Quote: "In the second half of the level I was occasionally not entirely clear where I was supposed to go, and so I ran into a few more invisible walls than is probably ideal."

I want a clean, minimalistic UI so I won't be adding direction indicators, but yes I perhaps need to figure out a better way to tell the player they are going the wrong way.

Quote: "The explosion that is supposed to knock you out at the end of the level actually missed me somehow! And so I wandered around for a bit, unsure what I was supposed to do, until I returned to that spot and the ending cinematic triggered correctly."

Don't know how you did that! There's invisible walls literally channelling you into the trigger zone that sets everything off. I shall investigate...

@synchromesh
Quote: " Well done Very pro and ye I would buy it The new AI really brings it to life"

Wow, thank you! The original plan was to sell the full game when done but I'm way past caring about that now (and all too aware GG games shouldn't be sold).

@Wolf
Quote: "My third attempt ran the game. Its quite decent work but I am ambivalent about a couple of your design choices. "

Sucks that it took 3 goes to get it running. I'm curious what design choices left you cold, can't wait for the 'full' review (of sorts).

Quote: "I stood still behind a stack of sandbags and watched one of them continously fire at me but never actually maiming me. I've seen this mentioned as an improvment though."

I wonder if that's to do with the collision boxes of the sandbags? In any case, the new(ish) AI was added very late and is still being developed, as we know. I'm sure it will only get better from here.

@Bod
Quote: "you need to look at the collision of the models a bit, it's obvious quite a few are set to box instead of polygon"

In some cases, that's a conscious choice made for optimisation purposes. And in other instances, I just didn't change the collision on some assets.

Quote: "you should be able to walk over the target laid on the floor"

Good point. I wish we could edit collision shapes on a per-entity basis, rather than having to create copies of existing entities just to change their collision models.

Quote: "when the sniper is firing at you there is clearly a gap between the sand bags and concrete barrier but you can't get through it, there is a shadow there as though something is invisible"

I'm aware of this one already. It's never happened before apart from after the final lightmap I did before export. No idea why Game Guru omitted it. That 'gap' should be more sandbags.

Quote: "instead of just using invisible walls to stop the player going in a direction either put obstacles in or a message saying you can't go in that direction, it's so annoying when you can see great swathes of scenery then hit an invisible force field. "

See comments above. I'd certainly need to put in invisible walls at some point because the level only works if the player follows a very specific path. Maybe I could move them a lot further back and have zones with prompts pop up at the edge of the playable areas.

Quote: "The biggest problem though is the enemy characters, you have done a lot of things to disguise the fact it is a GameGuru game but the characters scream GameGuru, I've played a lot of GameGuru made demos and they all play the same because of the characters"

While the enemies all use the Uber Solider base model, they are all re-textures (albeit not massively inventive ones, but they are different to the standard GG enemies) and all carry the SR1M pistol from BSPs Modern Weapons pack rather than the default Colt 1911.

Quote: "some couldn't hit a cow's butt with a banjo, some move for cover faster than Usain Bolt and after sending the radio signal some of them just run around in fast tight circles until you shoot at them or get close to them."

Again, there's no point blaming me when that's a Game Guru fault! Besides, the AI is significantly better in EP than previous GG games purely by virtue of the fact it was built in 2018.09.23 and has the new AI. Totally agree it still has a long way to go, but it's getting better.

@Wolf, again
Quote: "This unpredictable behaviour of the engine, wether it runs or spouts out a runtime error is eeriely reminiscent of FPSC."

Yes...that's what I'm afraid of...

AE
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Posted: 12th Oct 2018 12:55
Quote: "Good point. I wish we could edit collision shapes on a per-entity basis, rather than having to create copies of existing entities just to change their collision models."


Try collisionmode=1 in the fpe
Wolf
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Posted: 12th Oct 2018 14:03 Edited at: 12th Oct 2018 14:04
My (admitedly poorly structured review of sorts:

Edit2: Sorry about the length.

Excuse the wording in some of these paragraphs, I just seem to be unable to english properly today.

Quote: " the AI is significantly better in EP than previous GG games purely by virtue of the fact it was built in 2018.09.23 and has the new AI. "


I disagree. While we previously had "great" moments like AI being stuck in the floor it functioned most of the time. It was sub par but the new AI tended to simply kinda roam around. When it worked, it was pretty neat.

I gave it a second playthrough and here are my thoughts:

What is immediately striking about extraction point is the presentation. I've seen the word professional being thrown around here and I believe what they mean is that it mimicks the look of a studio release. This is very true. However, it has this B-movie effect where it resembles a bigger release just enough for the shortcomings to be even more glaring.

This is absolutely apparent in the intro sequence. As a game guru user and another hobbyist game maker, this was absolutely exciting. As a gamer I was not so sure if the approach "less is more" isn't better for this type of game. Allow me to explain: I've seen low budget and indie releases use simple introductory footage like a sequence of a forest or the car-ride in outlast. You however use a fully voice acted sequence of soldiers in a chinook. Its well made, the camera zooms into it, we have characters standing around having a conversation, we get glimpses of the shars army, the shar himself shooting down the helicopter which looks phenomenal when it goes down! However, you also notice these things like characters mouths not moving or them being perfectly still staring straight ahead when they are supposed to be speaking. I understand that this sequence must have been painstaking to make and it stands as the best GG cutscene to date.
The only sequence I dislike is when the Shars army is introduced (was it the "hand of god?") and you see 2 blokes angled towards each other aiming down an AK. I think this looks slightly awkward.

Now the game starts and I really appreciate that I had to hold B to slowly get up rather than just start at the crash site. It kind of communicates the idea that I was in a severe crash and have probably been unconcious for a while. I hear a voice and have to climb into the crashed helicopter (It has full interiors) to communicate with a Major. (was it Major Thompson?)

Now I can say this because my Game Guru games have some cheesy voice acting as well but compared to the voices of the introduction, which where clearly also hobbyist performances but fitting, he just doesn't click for me. I guess that this is your voice but you sound remarkably detached, like a student reading a text in college. Now I in no way would want you to try some "battlehardened grunt" cringe fest as that rarely works but you just sound so... polite dinner conversation with the undertone of being amused by the situation.
Something which you can probably not modulate so much (perhaps slight pitch adjustment?) is that you also sound like you are in your mid or early 20s. Which a Major wouldn't be.

Now lets roll! As soon as I looked over the valley and saw the level I had to traverse before me I had to chuckle at your cinematic skills. The instant I see a little outpost with a satellite dish/antenna thingie I get the objective to find some way to boost my transmission. Really well done. I see it, I know what I have to do. Another thing that is quite well made is the terrain. I appreciate that you used to feature well and that this first overlook really screams middleeastern desert region. We are probably all tired of people creating GG terrain that looks like a mid 90s indie game.

The sequence with the wounded soldier was very well done and I understood you fine. However here I have the first glance of an issue I have throughout the game. Its a video game, A game that I see. I see the Beretta in the holster of my fallen comrade but can not pick it up.
Its there...I see it (If you think this is a valid point, you can remedy this by importing him into fragmotion, remove the vertices of the gun, and then hit "delete". Reexport, done.) You can also have a throw away line appear when you press E on his corpse like "They stripped him of his gear and left him to die. Animals!"

No matter as I found a pistol near a corpse of one the enemy units.

Now, on my first playthrough I had the issue that I approached the game like a military shooter. I would attach the enemies with center of mass shots from afar and never expose myself which the AI didn not know how to react to, however, this also consumed too much ammo which made it a bit frustrating. On the second playthrough I adapted to the more laid back approach, would get closer to enemies and kind of play with how they react. Its interesting to say the least so let me open a whole can of worms on the topic.

The enemies and the AI

Now its been brought up that the characters all look the same and kind of "game guruy". Now I don't mind that personally because I can see a militia having some kind of standardized equipment nor do I see much point in "consealing" what software the game has been made in. Despite you relying heavily on stock content, I have never felt like playing a game guru game during my time with extraction point which is quite an achievment.
However the AI is... I think this is the easiest shooter I have ever played and that is an issue due to its minimalistic military theme. While I was first impressed by the AI moving around, crouching dynamically (this might be coincidence but I think 2 actually took cover behind sandbags) and doing flips I was later disappointed by their extremely low rate of fire. I only needed to leasurly strall in the distance or stand motionless behind waste high cover and they'd rarely hit me. In fact, I ran up to most enemies and took them down with the melee attack. This was surprisingly statisfying due to BSP's nifty punch animation. The sniper enemy was quite accurate and it was great hearing the bullet crack whenever he missed. I was also pleasantly surprised that I was able to take the rifle.
I understand that the ridicoulusly high rate of fire of past GG AI iterations was a problem for many but this is taking it into the other extreme. I noticed in your video that you expose yourself to the enemies all the time and they seem to react somewhat better to that but I just don't see that being the type of gameplay you want with this.
Ontop of the first outposts building I was sending the transmission (cool objective by the way) and was a bit disappointet to see the enemies spawn out of thin air. Again, one of them hit me once before I was able to take them all down.
I don't know if you know what "rabbit hunt" is at a fair but its a game where you shoot little metal rabbits with a bolt action BB gun. My lass and I always play this and its actually harder than it looks. I was reminded of this when I saw the enemies frequently run in small circles. Usually in pairs of 3. The first I encountered did this at the well area close to the first compound. I was first grabbing the pistols from the other enemies and as I returned to investigate this further I noticed that they where now not just still spinning in a circle but stopped the walking animation aswell. I took them out of their misery which brings me to my next point.
Gunfights are monotone and silent (unless you sprint up to one and punch him in the face which doesnt get old ) The enemies never grunt or speak, there is no alert being sounded, just the "pew.. pew.. pew" of the low pistol-firerates.

I understand that almost all of this is outside of your control and have to praise what you did do. The rocket launcher mini boss was surprising and evading the missiles was refreshingly oldschool. The sniper sequence was interesting as well and I could tell that the enemy placment should have been good if they reacted accordingly.

Weapons

Weapons are of course the other massively important aspect of a shooter game. In this title I got a handgun and a Dragunov rifle. Which is okay for a first level. However, every enemy using the same weapon made firefights sound very dull and seeing how engagments in a desert would be long range, so many militia members only having a handgun seems kind of silly to me. But I know, its a game, and you need to balance player progression. Now the guns are well modeled and the animations are quite fine. There are a few balancing issues to me.

First and foremost, you decided to have "disablemousehold" in the setup.ini set to inactive so I have to hold the mouse button to aim down the sights, I found that awkward and changed it. Now I click and my character aims.
Aiming down the sight for the pistol can be accelerated. Its very slow and plays this awkward "rustling" sound. I think it should be quick for the handgun and more methodical for the sniper rifle. If I see it correctly it takes the same amount of time for both. This alone would already improve the feel of the gunfights.

You probably remember me pointing out how I saw the handgun on my comrade in the intro but couldn't pick it up. These trucks you use with the shiny PBRness applied... I think most FPS game players immediately accept that one can't drive these....but there is a mounted machine gun on them. I can see the MG, I can see the ammunition even being present but I can not use it. That compared with the somewhat scarce ammunition can be seen as a jarring design choice. I just rolled with it, also being a GG user but an unbiased player would probably not look favourably to that.
Those trucks look cool by the way!

Less important and perhaps more nitpicky things are this: The guns are angled oddly. This has been brought up a few times about some of BSP's weapons that they don't aim center screen where the crosshair would be. They aim slightly upward. I think this can be remedied in the FPE. It also seemed off to me that I find ammo cashes everywhere that somehow don't hold any ammunitions the militia seems to be equipped with.

Other things

Despite the constant croaking of birds being slightly unfitting to me considering the mostly empty landscape I found the sound design and attention to detail here quite good. The crickets in the more lushy area, the fact that I could hear the AC and the wind... I just wish the actual firefights would pack more punch.

The music in the menue screen was already excellent and when the song kicks in when I enter the village I had to smile! That was quite well done.

This is the first game I played outside of WoI's desert demo that made the stock content look good and flow well together. I appreciate the thought and effort put into the level design. Even if it is very minimalistic it conveys its theme well.

I see why the invisible walls where necessary but maybe you could place them a bit further into the terrain in many places.
I tried to get up the hill at the first sniper compound to get a better shot at him but couldn't do so because I could not venture further than the greenline of these trees. The terrain looks good and I don't necessarily see why I couldn't venture in a bit further. But then again this is probably so the AI faces me head on at any given time...I mean we all know it has it hard as it is. The whole concept just disagrees a lot with the wide open spaces I see. Especially towards the end where I am supposed to wander into the terrain even though the game always communicated to me not to try that.

I understand that we all come from different backgrounds and skillsets and yours being film shows here. The ending cutscene was also really well done, especially how you concealed the lack of lipsynching. The voice acting did not sound like a cringey fake accent but accurate.
Him sounding both cultured but also firm came across even though what he said was very much what you would expect his archetype to say. This is in no way a bad thing, its just that so far everything was competent but also (and I mean this word in the best way possible) generic. The objectives, the setting, the progression. Now I don't know what you are building up to but as you mentioned this being story driven so often it seems odd to me that the story is really just in the backdrop.
I understand that you are still learning 3d modeling and texturing but the little world you created with very few custom content is really impressive to me. Most users I saw that tried doing this really didn't pull it off.
Now I like games like project IGI, the clear and minimalistic military shooters are far more fun to me than either an action shlockfest like CoD or micromanaging a whole battallion in Armed Assault but with the story being mentioned first whenever you described this game, so far it hasn't left an impression on me personally.

The new explosion decals are great! It immediately stunned me with how awkward the default ones are.

I don't know why you chose to lightmap an exterior area but due to this some models where not loaded in, just their shadows. Its likely that these would show if you built it in real time but I can of course not guarantee it.

Conclusion

I am aware that I seemed extremely critical of the game but I really liked extraction point. I think its a good solid project and I like minimalistic milshooters. I was even quite fond of operation flashpoint - red river. You should check this out. Your design approaches are similar and he uses the same weapons.
Despite it being game gurued in the kneecaps in many aspects you made an entertaining and gripping first demo of something where I hope to be a lot more where it came from (what a clunky sentence!). I am impressed that you made it feel like its very own thing despite using content I know by heart. It has the amount of polish and dedication I love to see from this type of small project. To really win me over you'd have to overhaul the combat and perhaps add some detail to the at times rather minimalistic level design. I think that would add a lot to the atmosphere if there where some rocks here and there and a bit more content in the buildings rather than the bare minimum. I appreciated the little torture area and the garge but if I enter a room and all there is is a static table and some chairs its kind of "heh". Especially in a linear game.
One of the most promising game guru work in progresses so far simply because you seem to be able to actually release this!
Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 13th Oct 2018 16:22 Edited at: 13th Oct 2018 16:27
Quote: "Try collisionmode=1 in the fpe"

But that would change the collision mode for all the targets, and it's really just the one on the floor that's the issue. I kept it as box because I know polygonal collision in Game Guru is a total resource hog.

Sadly, that filters down into other aspects of the game too, particularly its minimalism. I would have loved to have detailed the levels with more rocks and interior decoration but I was worried about the detrimental effect on the framerate, because almost nothing made for Game Guru has proper LOD shapes. I guess I could have made the map smaller, the level shorter. Later levels I have in development are indeed a lot shorter, but I don't like that I've had to go that route; it's definitely more immersive to spend 10 minutes in a level as opposed to 5, then a loading screen, then another 5.

Wolf, I know I replied to you privately, but again I just want to thank you for writing such a detailed deconstruction of my game. All of your points are valid and I will certainly take them onboard. I would just like to come back to a few points to elaborate my thought-process.

Quote: "As a gamer I was not so sure if the approach "less is more" isn't better for this type of game."

You may be right. Originally, the plan was to open the game in a Chinook level, where the player could look around but not move. They'd actually 'live' the moment of the missile impact. However, despite the technical challenges of making it a fully voiced cutscene, it was way easier to do it that way than creating this as an in-game experience, sadly. And, on the plus side, it allowed me to quickly introduce stuff outside the chinook like the Shar and his army ('The Hand of Freedom') efficiently.

Quote: "However, you also notice these things like characters mouths not moving "

Do you think you would have noticed this less if all the character's had their mouths covered? That's the approach I took with other characters, including the Shar.

Quote: "I think this is the easiest shooter I have ever played and that is an issue due to its minimalistic military theme."

So, originally I was going to go retro with the health system in Extraction Point and make it so it didn't regen but you had to eat food and drink and find health packs throughout the level. This was so I could promote an exploration element to the game and get the player managing an additional resource. The enemies in this level were easy because the pistol only does 7 damage per shot, and most of the enemies only have between 12-15 health. There is a version of the level with food you can eat to regain health. The trouble is, the hitscan weapons of Game Guru don't allow the player to dodge attacks, and the new AI (when it worked) has enemies honing in on the player so even if they find cover, they won't be safe for long. This trade off is brilliantly examined in this episode of Game Maker's Toolkit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AEKbBF3URE

In the end, I left the grunts pretty easy to kill because as well as having seasoned gamers like yourself play the level, I also gave it to my Dad and my girlfriend, neither of whom have ever played a first person shooter before. Their input was useful for honing the tutorialised stuff early on in the level, but they are both hopeless at shooting things!

Quote: "I was reminded of this when I saw the enemies frequently run in small circles."

I've not noticed this per say, but I have noticed that regardless of where I ask Game Guru to spawn enemies (and they all have waypoints to immediately track towards the player), they will always spawn no more than 2,000 units away - the limit of their AI script, regardless of whether I change their range or set them to Always Active. I think that's a fundamental flaw with Game Guru because it robs us of the longer range encounters you'd get in the desert.

Regarding weapons, I held off on giving the player a semi-automatic AK47 (the defacto weapon of choice in all these middle eastern shooters) because it was a little too powerful and I felt three weapons in one level was too much, too soon. The AK enemies appear in level 2 and have higher HP so are harder to kill them the pistol-wielding ones, but the AK47 can spray a room with lead.

Quote: "Despite it being game gurued in the kneecaps in many aspects..."

That made me chuckle

Quote: "I don't know why you chose to lightmap an exterior area but due to this some models where not loaded in, just their shadows. Its likely that these would show if you built it in real time but I can of course not guarantee it."

I think originally this was to save resources. Out of interest, how do I tell Game Guru to build a standalone with realtime lighting instead of the pre-baked lightmaps?

AE
Bod
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Quote: "But that would change the collision mode for all the targets, and it's really just the one on the floor that's the issue. I kept it as box because I know polygonal collision in Game Guru is a total resource hog. "


Only if you have loads of them, a few targets is going to make very little difference but if you are happy with it.
Wolf
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Posted: 18th Oct 2018 16:53 Edited at: 18th Oct 2018 16:53
Quote: "However, despite the technical challenges of making it a fully voiced cutscene, it was way easier to do it that way than creating this as an in-game experience, sadly. And, on the plus side, it allowed me to quickly introduce stuff outside the chinook like the Shar and his army ('The Hand of Freedom') efficiently.
"

I can see that and as stated its absolutely well made. I just point out that because of that, the majority of players will notice the little shortcomings more simpy because it starts out looking like something from a studio release long before its apparent that its a spare-time effort by hobbyists. (I lately try to avoid the term indie because it means a whole lot of very different things now when it comes to games.)

Quote: "Do you think you would have noticed this less if all the character's had their mouths covered? That's the approach I took with other characters, including the Shar. "

Honestly, I remember a fully budgeted title that came out somewhat recently that did the same thing. If I where to improve something about that sequence thats in the realsm of possibilities I'd have tried to add small gestures and head movment. Like the shar has in his sequence. But again, best cutscene we had here so far.

Quote: "So, originally I was going to go retro with the health system in Extraction Point and make it so it didn't regen but you had to eat food and drink and find health packs throughout the level. This was so I could promote an exploration element to the game and get the player managing an additional resource."


If I where you I'd do both. Have very slow regeneration but allow the player to speed up the process with health packs. What I'd also add is water, just to hammer home the desert theme

Quote: "
In the end, I left the grunts pretty easy to kill because as well as having seasoned gamers like yourself play the level, I also gave it to my Dad and my girlfriend, neither of whom have ever played a first person shooter before. "


Thats really cool to me. I can show my work to my girlfriend as images but she gets motion sickness from the running builds and I can not picture me explaining to my father that I make a "first person shooter video game" in my spare time. When I still lived at home I told them that I am making "3d artworks" which isn't a lie per se. But enough sappy offtopic from me:

I've noticed that with my releases. You can tell that the players in the videos mostly vanquish the enemies like they are nothing while others posted that they get insta killed by the first few. That will require a lot of balancing later in development and your approach at least makes the game enjoyable to everyone.

Quote: "I think that's a fundamental flaw with Game Guru because it robs us of the longer range encounters you'd get in the desert."


Not always but I did notice them behave this way when I would let cluster of them alone and run away from them. Perhaps this is linked. Including that issue I had where I came back and they ommitted the running animation. I am however not proficient enough in scripting and GG's AI system to pinpoint any of this.

The weapon choice is just fine and no major issue to me. It just feels slightly off given the subject matter but this IS a video game.

Quote: "Out of interest, how do I tell Game Guru to build a standalone with realtime lighting instead of the pre-baked lightmaps?"


It should do this if you open the level, test it, switch to real time, close testgame and save it, then build it.
If it does not do that, you can open the level zip and delete the lightmaps manually (make a backup before doing it.)



-Wolf
Teabone
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Posted: 26th Oct 2018 06:28
wow this looks great

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AmenMoses
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Posted: 27th Oct 2018 21:06
Well, this is the best 'Game' I've seen made with GG, and by that I don't mean the best looking or the best game mechanics or the best sound or the best story, I mean that it's the best combination of all those things that I've seen made with GG.

Even though I don't like FPS games as a rule the storytelling aspects got me hooked and I just had to find out the ending, that's the mark of good game design.

The only criticism I have is that you should have used the pickuppables script!

Been there, done that, got all the T-Shirts!
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Green7
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Posted: 30th Oct 2018 12:19
I usually only read, i never write. But this looks good so far! You could put some more green plants around water sources, to live up the desert somewhat.
Wolf
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Posted: 30th Oct 2018 14:00
I agree with Green7 and Amen Moses.

Especially with Amen Moses. Your game, and an older game called "Steve" are so far the best when it comes to being "the whole package".
I understand that GG can be frustrating but I'd really like to see you complete this in it.



-Wolf
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Posted: 31st Oct 2018 19:32 Edited at: 31st Oct 2018 19:33
Wolf wrote: "If I where you I'd do both. Have very slow regeneration but allow the player to speed up the process with health packs. What I'd also add is water, just to hammer home the desert theme "

Maybe what I need is a Far Cry 2 style health system where health can only regenerate the current bar but health packs are needed to increase the number of bars of health to max. Difficult for me to visualise right now with the ultra minimalist UI I'm going for, but not impossible. I like your idea of slower regen though. Another issue I've been told about is that if you run out of ammo and then die, you respawn at the last checkpoint with no ammo. Might need to amend the death script to sort that out.

Wolf wrote: "It should do this if you open the level, test it, switch to real time, close testgame and save it, then build it."

Great, thanks!

Teabone wrote: "wow this looks great"

Thanks Teabone!

AmenMoses wrote: "Well, this is the best 'Game' I've seen made with GG, and by that I don't mean the best looking or the best game mechanics or the best sound or the best story, I mean that it's the best combination of all those things that I've seen made with GG."

Wow, what a review! Thanks so much Amen! Extraction Point is not a game that's trying to reinvent the wheel, it's just trying to do everything to a consistently 'good' standard. I guess enough 'goods' eventually add up to a "great"

Green7 wrote: "You could put some more green plants around water sources, to live up the desert somewhat."

Yes, I did look into adding more foliage but I ended up using it sparingly because of concerns over framerate. Rest assured though, level 2 has more greenery in it!

Wolf wrote: "I understand that GG can be frustrating but I'd really like to see you complete this in it."

I had already made a start on two or three of the other levels before the PBR update. Once we get the ability to properly control lighting & the sun (separately to said lighting), I may be able to continue. I also need to save up a bit because just this level cost me over $250 to make by the time you account for store assets, music licensing, and voice actors (that one was a big issue really). Right now I'm taking a little break from Extraction Point to edit a personal project, and work on my London Underground assets.

Thanks for your feedback everyone!

AE
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Posted: 12th Dec 2018 16:56
I finally got around to playing this game last night, review incoming:

If you added a little more content and sold this game for 5$ on steam, you'd be doing gameguru a huge favor. everything about this project screamed "commercial game" from the cutscenes to the level design. the game worked SURPRISINGLY well for being a GG game of it's length, and despite being unable to beat it due to what i'm guessing to be gameguru problems, it was in every way something i would have been proud to see representing this engine, for sale.

The AI was great, the sound design and mission design was phenomenal, the attention to detail was excellent.

the problems were:
it was easily breakable. you can skip triggers by walking over the wrong mountain and have to head back or get killed by an invisible sniper who doesnt exist yet.

you dont have enough lives or ammo. the first attempt the sniper dropped a gun and i couldnt pick it up, so i ended up running out of ammo on my pistol and eventually dying as i limped through the level trying to pick up ammo 3 rounds at a time off melee'd enemies. I ran out of lives because of this mistake.

was there a 2nd level? i walked to where i thought the end of level 1 was, and then the screen went black and i was laying in a field but nothing happened for 3 minutes and i couldnt get up so i decided to quit.

you've proven that you're entirely capable of producing a commercial quality FPS game project. with an engine like source or unity, i shudder to imagine what you could accomplish. using gameguru severely limits the scope of the game's possibilities, but if gameguru is what you like, then more power to you for proving that it, too, can be used to create at least the beginnings of something truly quality.

if i could, i would award this a VBOTB, since this is without a doubt the very best gameguru game i've played yet. 9/10
Wolf
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Quote: "was there a 2nd level? i walked to where i thought the end of level 1 was, and then the screen went black and i was laying in a field but nothing happened for 3 minutes and i couldnt get up so i decided to quit."


Nice review, and yeah. The Shar character was supposed to walk towards you, play animations and monologue with you.



-Wolf
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Posted: 5th Jan 2019 17:53
I totally missed this but (belatedly) thank you so much, Bugsy! To have a developer of your calibre give my little level such a glowing review really means a lot. You've helpfully pointed out some flaws I'd overlooked, some design-related, some engine-related. I will look to address these if I continue the game in the future. There is no second level in the current version posted here, although it and a couple of others do exist in a semi-finished state on my hard drive which I might finish and release one day! (A lot of that depends on the development of Game Guru).

In my original post, there's a video showing a walkthrough of the full game so you can see if you missed anything.

AE

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Posted: 25th Feb 2019 05:35
Downloaded, extracted to Desktop folder. Ran no problem.

Fabulous! Very high quality cut scene.
I have very little complaints over all.
The inanimate mouths don't bother me much at all.
Great work on the task hints. Excellent.
Altogether anyone can see you spent a few trillion (dedicated!) hours on
just this part of the game!

Some critique would be;
Startup screen is stock. Might want a custom one there.
(If possible darker/ thicker smoke at Chinook wreck.)
Put some stuff to grab, in back of that truck?! Well, no you have a story to abide to!
Shoot the mounted gun?! Oops, no still have a story line to follow I understand.
Others above (and I) agree that just a little more greenery along the creek
would add some good contrast interest to the scene.

This old man (me) doesn't play FPS games, and my stock computer
isn't for gaming- I ran out of ammo, Game Over for me inside the radar shack.

It was pretty cool though. You should definitely continue with it.
Early access Steam! Recoup some time, $, and effort!
Voted up!
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maiacoimbra69
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Posted: 30th Mar 2019 21:34
for me tihis is the best game in GG world

only this one below have the visuals on level top

but again resist-revolution and extration point are the top
they are AAA no douth about

pardon my french


https://www.game-guru.com/showcase/game/resist-revolution
osiem80
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Posted: 31st Mar 2019 19:01
Quote: "but again resist-revolution and extration point are the top
they are AAA no douth about "

IMO resist revolution isnt at the "top" of course its better than 90% of the released stuff but it have some little imperfections like the catholic church in one of the levels, the game pretend to be lokated in eastern europe and they are orthodox there.I prefer wolfs game over RR.
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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 1st Apr 2019 19:14 Edited at: 1st Apr 2019 19:16
Haven't checked in on my showcase thread for a while, so it's nice to see Extraction Point is still getting traffic.

@GubbyBlips
Thanks for your comments, I'm glad you liked it. I actually did create a custom startup screen for 1920 x 1080 but I guess I must have forgotten to include all other resolutions, hence why you may have seen a stock one. Noted for next time

maiacoimbra69 wrote: "resist-revolution and extration point are the top
they are AAA no douth about "

I love the functionality of Resist: Revolution so that's a great compliment - thank you! Lots of clever scripts running in that game, just below the surface. Looks-wise, it was one of the better GG X9 games I saw in 2018 too. But if we're talking about realistic natural environments, I personally have to give the gold star to Duckenkuke; his outdoor environments are insane.

UPDATE
Extraction Point is now available on the Game Guru showcase page, here:
https://www.game-guru.com/showcase/game/extraction-point

AE
devlin
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Posted: 3rd Apr 2019 06:12
Your talent is wasted on game guru.
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Medmatheus
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Posted: 3rd Apr 2019 21:59
Hope devs have an eye at this game as a motivation to get the engine better and better
maiacoimbra69
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Posted: 11th Apr 2019 00:03
it is games like this that give me the joy and effort of trying to do my one ones matching this ones
Again Congratulations to the Game creators , this one and the other that i mentioned also
Tomik18
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Posted: 20th Apr 2019 16:14
How you make cut scene ? Like press E to stand up? from the begining game. Can you post script for this or make tutorial video ?
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Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 24th Apr 2019 19:07
It's complicated. Props to smallg for working out the hard bit with the sprites. I've annotated it as best I could.



AE
Tomik18
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Posted: 24th Apr 2019 21:51 Edited at: 24th Apr 2019 21:52
@Avenging Eagle thanks, I'll try it
My PC specs: AMD FX 4300 3,80 Ghz
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Wolf
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Posted: 23rd May 2019 19:17
Oh! thank you for sharing!
Meth0d
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Posted: 2nd Jul 2019 14:14
Great game, I hope you keep this alive.
I'm newbie on GameGuru, I was looking for some stuff to inspire me and this is one!
Good job, wish you the best.
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Posted: 6th Aug 2019 20:02
A nice game but also a bit sterile and soulless in My opinion. The landscape was textured with one texture onto very big areas that gave lack of realism, also no problem winning this game sence the Bots almost never shot back! (Not Your fault perhaps?)
The intro is very nice even though GGs lack of lipsync.
Guess what Aiko and I did this weekend...
Avenging Eagle
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Posted: 16th Sep 2019 19:54
Quote: "The landscape was textured with one texture onto very big areas that gave lack of realism"


I definitely used more than one texture, although I appreciate the selection of textures I used were quite similar so it would have been difficult to tell the difference. Everyone's entitled to their opinion though so I'm sorry you found it "soulless".

For those of you wondering what happened to this game, I recently posted a video on YouTube about why I haven't released anything new to do with Extraction Point.



Thanks for all your comments, people!

AE
Mr Love
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Posted: 17th Sep 2019 19:22
Well, that video wasnt souless. Fun to see Your techniques. I love that London Subway station, nice models, was the clock on the subways "info-board" a decal? The wall on the platform looked good but the opposite wall perhaps need another texture? (Not all My games is placed in London sadly). Pretty cool cave as well but it didnt gave Me the Half Life 2 vibes, more like Lara Croft vibes really. Trust Me, as a non programmer Unity will give You the gray hairs..
Stop being mediocre, be Yourself...
Wolf
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Posted: 19th Sep 2019 19:40
It was absolutely interesting to hear a bit of your approach to things and I can relate to a lot of it.

I also concur with most of your points, as for extraction point, I do kinda feel that a lot of time has passed and that it sort of "served its purpose" as that really decent GG demo with the nice production value that still relies mostly on stock content. If I where you I'd also not be head over heels for finishing it, especially after such a long stretch of time in between.

Ignite was an interesting idea but I gotta say that it would be tough to stretch the idea to a full length game (whatever that means in GG anyway? 30 to 60 minutes?) Even though there is more than fetching keys or platforming you could do with the idea, I fail to see for any of it to seem more than rudimentary if implemented into GG. Even the core feature, as marvellous as you managed to implement it, feels rather flawed. I hope I made it clear that this is not a criticism of your work as I feel you already pulled out more of GG than I thought possible with the lighting feature, but all your work here is undermined simply by how "game guru" it looks. The lack of proper shadows being primarily the culprit. You'd be better off attempting it in Unity if you still feel like doing it IF you can find someone to help with a script here and there.

I'm also in the camp where I have not written off GG as a whole and am too just waiting for it to evolve. However, I'm glad you are still part of this community as you are among other things a very productive member and whatever project you will end up doing with it, will probably be worth it! Just, if you feel like honoring a random personal request: Whatever it is you do then, start fresh rather than revisit an ancient w.i.p. or if you do, redo it.

Cheers!



-Wolf
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Posted: 22nd Sep 2019 00:28
Quote: "I love that London Subway station, nice models, was the clock on the subways "info-board" a decal?"

Thanks! Yes, it was. Actually it's several decals all placed very precisely. The hours, minutes, and seconds are all separate objects with unique shaders that change the frame at different rates. The text on the board is another decal in its own right. More information can be found here:
https://forum.game-guru.com/thread/219576?page=1#msg2612392

Quote: "Ignite was an interesting idea but I gotta say that it would be tough to stretch the idea to a full length game (whatever that means in GG anyway? 30 to 60 minutes?)"

That's sort of how I felt. I reckon there's enough content in there for 30 minutes of gameplay, assuming the challenge escalates steadily throughout. But I'd need to look at other mechanics beyond the core 'keep the flame alive' one if I wanted anything longer than that. And at a certain point, I'd probably start hitting Game Guru's memory cap.

Quote: "all your work here is undermined simply by how "game guru" it looks. The lack of proper shadows being primarily the culprit."

You said it, brother!

Quote: "if you feel like honoring a random personal request: Whatever it is you do then, start fresh rather than revisit an ancient w.i.p. or if you do, redo it. "

I'm totally open to that, especially if Game Guru gets its lighting capabilities sorted! Hell, I got a lot of interesting feedback just from the level of Extraction Point posted here that I'd keen to address (either in a remake, or in a brand new project). But I need a bit more polish from the engine first to make it worth it.

AE

osiem80
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Posted: 22nd Sep 2019 00:46
iam still wating 4 this train
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