Work In Progress / Screos

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Kitakazi
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Posted: 7th Apr 2019 05:50 Edited at: 10th Aug 2023 18:02
This thread is replacing my original Classic thread as this game was being made for Classic originally. There are some old screenshots and videos in some posts below, those are from Classic and should be ignored. The post from 2023 below is from Max.



"One day it just appeared."

Developer: David Brandt / Balance Games

Description: Enter the atmosphere of Screos. A reality bending, Horror-Scifi FPS. When a moon named Screos appears above Earth, sanity is pushed to limit, as the cosmic nightmare seeks to consume reality itself.

Story: - | Operative - AAG9143 - Wolfric Harper | Mission Brief. Top Secret. | - (1) [Play] > >
Get inside the main base at Zarnik and find out what the hell is going on. What have they been using the Steonorite for? We want answers.

| END TRANSMISSION |

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osiem80
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Posted: 7th Apr 2019 11:28
Not bad, nothing special, but promising.BTW i dont think thats possibile to detect one more planet in our solar system, all planets are allready discovered(just some constructive critique )
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Medmatheus
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Posted: 7th Apr 2019 13:30
Seems good, do you have a gameplay video for it?
Wolf
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Posted: 7th Apr 2019 13:46
It seems to be a good start. Keep it up and you'll have a decent hand made game in a year or 2.
Belidos
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Posted: 7th Apr 2019 16:02
Quote: "Not bad, nothing special, but promising.BTW i dont think thats possibile to detect one more planet in our solar system, all planets are allready discovered(just some constructive critique )"


It's entirely possible. If the planet is smaller than another planet and directly behind in the same orbital path then we would never see it.

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Slaur3n
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Posted: 7th Apr 2019 16:14
Awesome monster in the first screenshot! Good luck with this
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Kitakazi
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Posted: 7th Apr 2019 16:36
Quote: "BTW i dont think thats possibile to detect one more planet in our solar system, all planets are allready discovered"

Exactly I dont want to give to much away but the planet is very evil.

In next few days I will work on getting a gameplay video.
osiem80
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Posted: 7th Apr 2019 18:10
Quote: "In next few days I will work on getting a gameplay video."

Great.U plane do put self made models into the game?It would be a big plus.
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Kitakazi
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Posted: 8th Apr 2019 03:05 Edited at: 8th Apr 2019 03:08
Quote: "Great.U plane do put self made models into the game?It would be a big plus."

Yea I have a bunch of self made models I will use. I've re-textured a lot of models from the packs and what not. I also have a bunch of stuff off the store as well as custom made models from Lafette.

As Wolf pointed out earlier this project probably won't be completed for a while. I don't really have anything detailed or polished enough that I feel comfortable sharing.
But I will share this small gameplay video.
This is a small section from early on in the game and the design is very linear compared to other levels. There are a lot of place-holder models and there isn't much audio yet on the enemies.
https://youtu.be/QI2ETcuQBAg


There will be big open/outdoor levels too. I'll share more when I feel it's decent.
Wolf
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Posted: 8th Apr 2019 10:24
This is surprisingly good. I did not expect that level of custom gameplay from the screenshots you showed earlier.

That part with the twitching creatures stuck in this organic mass was pretty well made!



-Wolf
Kitakazi
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Posted: 8th Apr 2019 23:36
Quote: "That part with the twitching creatures stuck in this organic mass was pretty well made!"


Thank you, I'm glad you liked it!
maiacoimbra69
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Posted: 11th Apr 2019 01:19
nice creatures
Kitakazi
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Posted: 29th Apr 2019 03:48
I have been working slowly but surely. I have nearly finished the first 2 levels which are the titled Prologue and Apartments. At the moment I'm trying to get the flow feeling good, which is rather difficult. I really don't want the atmosphere on the early levels to be ruined by mindless action. I'm trying to get that balance to where you feel stronger as you get better weapons on later levels. But the last thing I want is for the early levels to feel boring.

Here are some screenshots from the 2nd level "Apartments."
Having just made up your mind to head into the city and investigate your fathers letter the phone rings. It's Traci from down the hall. She pleads for you to come help her with her sick mom, then the line goes dead.








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Medmatheus
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Posted: 29th Apr 2019 14:52
@Insane6 can you record a gameplay of those 1st two levels? looking the SS it's looking good, but with the gameplay you can receive better feedback
PCS
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Posted: 29th Apr 2019 19:36
This is very good.
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Kitakazi
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Posted: 30th Apr 2019 04:20
@PCS
Thank you.

@Medmatheus

Maybe when they are finished I still have some main details to add before they are playable.
Defy
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Posted: 16th May 2019 07:25
Nice palette and usage of assets. Entering the compound (base) in the video was done well.
Look forward to seeing more.
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Kitakazi
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Posted: 16th Jun 2019 08:46 Edited at: 16th Jun 2019 08:47
@Defy Thanks!

Here is some gameplay from the 1st level. Well technically it is the second level as I have a prologue that will come before it.
This is still very much a work in progress. There are a lot of place holder entities, such as computer screens, the "phone" in the start, and the red skinless looking enemies i'm not sure about. I made them myself and ehh I dunno I think they need a lot more work.

https://youtu.be/Bc9OWvlRGME

I can't get the video to embed in the post
Pirate Myke
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Posted: 16th Jun 2019 10:20
Very nice. Great progress so far.
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Wolf
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Posted: 16th Jun 2019 16:55
Really looks like this project is on the right track!
JackalHead
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Posted: 19th Jun 2019 06:22
I agree ....Man likes to think were advanced, but were really not. Were still driving around in combustible vehicles and its 2019. Theres so much we dont know or have found. -electric cars... Theres a very good chance theres a hidden planet. Good work, keep it up.
"So let it be written; so let it be done." Account got messed up with introduction to steam. I am Jackal
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Kitakazi
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Posted: 13th Aug 2019 07:55 Edited at: 13th Aug 2019 07:57
I'm almost done with the first 2 levels.

Here are some screenshots of some progress (not just the first 2).





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wut
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Posted: 14th Aug 2019 00:32
I am genuinely hyped
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Kitakazi
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Posted: 21st Feb 2021 09:09
I have restarted this project from the ground up. I actually had completed about 98% of the game, with 18 total playable levels, cutscenes and all. But there were too many issues with standalone builds. Many of these issues didn't appear until having 10+ detailed levels. 5 minute+ loading times, entities failing to load, scripts not loading, Save/Load would cause massive issues, and random crashes that would result in lost progress. And of course the other typical GameGuru problems, and lack of features, that I don't have the time or knowledge to fix. The frustration caused me to simply delete everything and uninstall GameGuru. I had planned to move on to Unity forever... but then Max was announced. And I thought, "what the hell why not." So I restarted the whole game, with a slightly better story, with aims to transfer it over to Max when Max is in a stable condition.

Besides the Original Post all other posts above this one about Screos are for historical purposes only. That game no longer exists.

For your viewing pleasure please check out this gameplay video. Played by none other than Wolf. The level is very unpolished and does not represent the final game.

bluemeenie195
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Posted: 21st Feb 2021 13:23
Great Job !

It has that Aliens / Doom vibe going on with it.
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beanz
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Posted: 21st Feb 2021 18:28
wow this looks very cool! love that goo!!
LIFE ON EARTH IS EXPENSIVE BUT IT INCLUDES A FREE TRIP AROUND THE SUN
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LeeBamber
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Posted: 22nd Feb 2021 12:22
@Kitakazi : Great to hear SCREOS may be coming to MAX! Sorry I was not able to help you with the last 2% to get your game released for Classic. I would very much like to change this for MAX, and ensure you get the support you need to release a solid game when MAX is released. We are actively working on some demos for the release and so if you are interested in maybe having a level or two of your game included in the final product, perhaps with a view to gaining users of your full game, that would be great. It would also mean you have the internal team's ear when it comes to that final polish to make sure your game is battle-hardened for general release.

If you ever discover a backup of your 98% completed game project, I would be interested to put it through the latest version of Classic and see if we can locate that last 2% We intend to keep Classic running alongside MAX and although the easy bugs have been fixed, those hard to reach 10+ level instabilities are much harder to reproduce.

Thanks for sharing your game project, I am sure it is an inspiration to many readers in the community!
GameGuru Classic will continue to be supported with bug fixes and functionality additions.

Kitakazi
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Posted: 22nd Feb 2021 16:43
@LeeBamber
Hi Lee, I would be interested in having a demo level included with Max. I will email you for further details.

As for my old game, it is gone forever. The good ideas I had, I will remake in the new Screos. I don't really mind because I think Max will be able to capture the vision better than Classic could. I am taking my time and not rushing anything, but hopefully I should have some levels completed or near completion by the time Max is released.

And thank you for your reply, it gives me confidence to continue my adventures in game development.
Kitakazi
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Posted: 10th Aug 2023 03:24 Edited at: 10th Aug 2023 03:37
I guess I'm going to start updating this thread. Not sure if anyone actually cares but figured it will be good for me to document. I have moved this project to Max and restarted it. And looking back at some of these screenshots from 2019... yikes. Kinda glad I deleted those levels. Still have a long way to go until I'm finished but its coming along.

I'm like 98% finished with the first level. I've also got pretty far maybe around 70-80% completed for about 6 other levels.

However I sometimes find myself day dreaming of starting a side project, something a little bit smaller while I wait for Max to catchup. As if I were to once again build basically a whole game and then have it run at 20 fps I'd probably shove my face into a blender.

This is NOT a thread for me to complain about Max however there are some things that really hurt my confidence in my ability to finish this project as of now.
Biggest hurdles that must be overcome for my project as of August 9th 2023 are these 3 points below. I believe as a solo game dev I have done everything in my power to overcome these challenges. Alas I cannot do anything else to remedy the below issues and rely on Max or someone else in the community.

1. Performance of the engine.
Lets be real if you are coming to Max from GameGuru classic then you most-likely already are you used to optimizing everything. Texture sizes, polygon counts, drawcalls, etc. Because if you didn't do those things, then your game would not run at all in Classic. I don't believe there is much I can do as a dev in this aspect. Maybe I could cut down a few textures but I doubt that would help much.

I get sub 60 FPS on levels that I believe should easily run at 120+ for the amount of content that is inside them. The worst part is it isnt even a consistent FPS. It's alot of stuttering and micro-freezing that is just really hard to play through a level without noticing really bad. I dont think the occlusion culling is working properly myself.
Additionally LUA scripts absolutely dunk performance. If you're already at 45 FPS and you spawn in 3-4 enemies your going to be looking at sub 20 FPS. Once again not much I can do myself here. I have made my own AI scripts, and have versions that are simplified to the extreme.

I think in the current year of 2023, the #1 thing that will get your game destroyed in reviews is the Performance. It seems modern gamers will not even touch a game if it doesn't stay above 60 FPS. Hypothetically if all levels in my game were magically finished tomorrow, I would not release it to anyone because it would run at 15fps. And these levels are really pretty small. Sometimes I wonder why Max was so focused on these huge outdoor environments, yea it looks pretty in a screenshot but no one will be able to ever utilize 2% of that what the map is set to by default. I don't think it even runs at 60fps on the default level with grass and trees enabled which is pretty bad considering the grass and trees look straight 2007.

Some say Dx12 update will help this. I don't really know but I worry that anything else that is added to the engine is just going to make these issues worse.


2. Need new weapons.
Tried to import weapons from CGTrader. Having a bad time. I can get the weapons into Max and they work great but there are strange graphical bugs on the arms that you can see straight through. I cannot fix this issue. Opened the weapons in every other 3D software imaginable and they look fine and do not have any errors. Some people suggested it was some flipped polygons, but I looked and attempted to fix any polygons that looked flipped but that ended up not even being the issue. Not saying this is Max's fault but whatever is needed to fix them is beyond me. And this is one of those examples where, GameGuru is easier in some aspect of game making but in others it presents a massive challenge, I mean as a user I did everything correctly. I purchased a weapons pack that not only had animated weapons, but it has animated arms and weapons all as 1 model. Like it was made for GGMax as that is the same system Max uses, weapons and arms all one model. I import the weapons/arms into GameGuru, I set up the HUD.dbo, I set up the GUNSPEC, I get everything perfect and then BAM there is small sections on the arm of the model in-game that appears to be missing polygons. What can I do? Message the creator of the pack and say "Hey man your pack works great in every-other game-engine and modeling software but will you please fix it for GameGuru-Max cause it doesn't look right when I import your weapons into it." Yea ok.

3D modeling is my biggest weakness when it comes to game dev. Doesn't seem like there are many choices for weapons for GGMax, if any artist reading this wants to make some real $$$ I will happily pay for 5-6 custom weapons.

3. Need way more Audio Slots.
It would be nice if we could have 50 sound slots per character. I'm not sure my game could be completed without some crazy smoke and mirrors if I can only have 5 sound slots for each character. Audio is just not in a good place right now. A lot of 3D sounds just do not sound right to me. There are also numerous, small audio bugs that happen with a lot of the default scripts. And I mean 4 sounds for characters with 30 different states just isnt going to work. I can't believe this was left as is for V1 as Audio is one of, and some would argue the biggest, thing that brings immersion to games.




Of course all the above issues don't matter if I don't build the rest of the game but it is coming slowly but surely. Smaller issues that I would like to be sorted before I complete my game.

Need more anti-aliasing options. I notice very bad aliasing every single time I test a level. It really is an issue.
Need sharpening options, to compliment anti-aliasing. Just need more post-processing effects in general.

Particles are nice but I should be able to attach them, like with the "group" function to a dynamic entity and the particle moves with that entity. So I can make new bloodsplats and replace w/e the current bloodsplat is which legit looks like 1998.
This would also allow me to make different kind of bloodsplats for different kinds of enemies. I would really like it if the non-humans didn't bleed red human blood.

Speaking of particles, hopefully enemies and players will be able to fire projectiles? Not sure when this is planned to be added I really thought it was gonna be done with the RPG update or w/e. But really should have been a default thing with the original "shooter" game stuff. I mean shooting particles out of a gun was probably a thing before shooting a spell particle out of a staff was. At the moment the AI in my game are all melee, but I really need to enemies that shoot particles for gameplay. But if they are ranged I can't really design the levels yet because I don't know exactly how it will play out when fighting them. So if I cant test basic gameplay loops, I cant build my levels around them.

Enemy physics are wack at the moment. Same with the players capsule. Enemies with 300 weight walk into a box half their size, that is set at 25 weight and it just launches the enemies into the air. I'd like to have a grenade launcher type weapon at some point and enemies need to ragdoll as mixamo rig and actually get the force applied to them when they are all ragdolled.

So thats all I can think about that subject for now. Long rant but I felt it was important to state these things before I start posting updates to my game as there are some things, I cannot update and rely on Max.

I will end this on a positive note, I realy like the reflection slider in the materials setting in Max, I know it sounds like a small things but really it works really good and experimenting with different values with the surface sliders + reflection slider can get you some really cool and great looking results.


Anyway here's a screenshot of a new enemy. I used the Visual Behavior Editor to make his AI and it works great.



The Screites, those who worship Screos, have been converting prisoners now for some time. The true believers at the prison, those who seek to redeem themselves and absolve their sins can do manual labor at the Zarnik Research Base for a reduced sentence. This was once a few different prisoners, now they are truly one with their new god... and with each other.




Also looking for a skilled 3D artist to create some character models for me. Based off this concept art that I had commissioned.



Going to finish level 3 soon. Will post new update when its done.
bond1
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Posted: 12th Aug 2023 05:42 Edited at: 12th Aug 2023 05:49
Quote: "Tried to import weapons from CGTrader. Having a bad time. I can get the weapons into Max and they work great but there are strange graphical bugs on the arms that you can see straight through. I cannot fix this issue. Opened the weapons in every other 3D software imaginable and they look fine and do not have any errors. Some people suggested it was some flipped polygons, but I looked and attempted to fix any polygons that looked flipped but that ended up not even being the issue. "


Hi Kitakazi, I'm not sure if you wrote this before or after your Github report. But like I mentioned on Github, the issue with your weapons is polygon draw order. It's a problem that only surfaces in rare cases when you have a complex render pipeline with multiple layers of transparency that need drawn in a specific order, like weapons in GGM. This is why Errant's AK47 looked fine in Classic, but had that weird rendering issue in GGM like you are seeing on the arms. I just had to do a bit of a digging into the model and change the draw order which solved the problem.

If you're interested in commissioning me to fix these weapons and make them compatible with GGM, including adding FIRESPOT, SMOKE, and BRASS bones, you can contact me at mjblosser@gmail.com.
Kitakazi
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Posted: 18th Aug 2023 03:50
Thanks to bond1 I have got my weapons into Max. Which is great news for me as I can start actually thinking about weapon balance and enemy balance now.

I think a lot of times people forget just how intertwined things like enemy and weapon balance can be. It seems simple but once you start worrying about other aspects of game design the little things can be forgotten. Depending on what weapons the player will have access too I can decide which enemies go where as well as their placement. So yea totally stoked. I still need to fine tune them and such but they are lookin great. Here is the assualt rifle and smg.




mikeven
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Posted: 18th Aug 2023 09:53
Hi Kitakazi,

You wrote this : "...Not sure if anyone actually cares but figured it will be good for me to document...".

Personally I am always glad to read new threads and comments in this forum and especially those posted in the category 'work in progress' and I am convinced that it is also the case for many visitors on this forum.

I noticed on the website of SteamDB that there are currently more than 2K followers of GameGuru MAX.

It is good to see that your custom weapons are now nicely shown with that superb smoke effect when shooting.

In my opinion (as a user who played a lot with video games) the quality and the originality of the artworks are very important to stimulate the desire to play with a game and according to the screen shots of that hideous creature shown in your previous comment I guess that your game will be attractive.

I read your disappointment about the low 'frame per second' performance of your game.
I also noticed that your game is played in a very high resolution (I am referring to your screen captures).
Could this explain that ? Do you have much better performances with some other recent video games ?
It would be interesting to examine the 'Performance Data' when your game is running to discover which elements are consuming a lot of time in your CPU and GPU ( in milliseconds).
And about that I noticed that the deactivation of the 'Vsync' in the 'Environment Effects > Post Processing' works correctly in the Steam GG Max V1 and it can have an important positive impact on the frame rate.
It was not the case with the GG MAX alpha version TGC where any level was locked to a fixed 'Frame Per Second' value (depending of the settings of my graphic card software).







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bond1
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Posted: 18th Aug 2023 14:18
@Kitakazi, it sounds like you have a plan and are executing, which is exciting to see. Yes the weapons turned out great and definitely add a uniqueness. Good luck with this!
Kitakazi
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Posted: 19th Aug 2023 10:37 Edited at: 19th Aug 2023 10:47
@bond1 Thanks!

@mikeven
I will post some videos below with the profiler on. There really isn't any one particular reason for this lag to be happening. I think it's a deeper issue with the Max overall, I have no idea what though. I don't really have any performance issues with new games I play. And If I can't play a game at 60fps on High settings the performance issues I experience are not the same I experience in Max. The issues are far worse in Max. If I'm playing a game that was just released, lets say just for example, the new Dead Space Remake, and I set the graphics higher than what my PC can run for 60 fps my computer will run the game at a steady 30 or so frames. Or it will run it at a steady 40-45 frames or w/e. Rarely does it jump drastically in frame-rates. In Max however this is not the case, the frame-rates vary dramatically. For seemingly no good reason. It can go from 19fps to 50 and back to 30 within a span of a second. Just turning the camera feels like it is devastating. When I'm making my levels it really does seem like everything is fine, Test Games run at 60+ fps. And then it's like a switch, where now I'm making some new area and suddenly without warning the level runs like trash and 60 fps becomes impossible. I think it is a mix of reasons not just graphics.
Additionally, the profiler doesn't really show anything to crazy in terms of consuming time. Except when I turn the camera and it freezes for a second.

https://youtu.be/I7IU6EbggV0
https://youtu.be/NXecU4uI0AM

And here is a video I posted over a year ago on github because the performance was so bad. I haven't touched this level since then because walking around the small section was almost impossible. And if I open it now it's even worse than that video.
https://youtu.be/4E1W7WmVKRA

1) I really think something is wrong with the occlusion culling in video #2 you can see I lag for no reason looking at the grey brick wall near the start of the video. If I go and look through the bars where the pipes are the FPS actually increases. There are objects far off in the distance far beyond that grey wall, is the camera rendering those objects? It has to be I think as the draw calls skyrocket. That does not seem to be right.

Also in video 2 the lag when the enemies approachme the FPS just tanks. I have no idea why this happens in the particular spot. In fact this section of the level used to run better than anywhere else. After an update a month or so ago it is just pure lag. To test the reason I deleted every entity from the level except for this room. It should run easily at 100+ fps. Yet it lags in the exact same manner. It isn't quite as bad but its sub 60 fps and the stuttering issue is just as bad. The "biomass" entities have no collision or anything either.

These levels are not massive by any means. The AI I've made is relatively simple. If I make a little test level I can drop 20 of this same character/AI and the level runs at 60fps so I don't think its the 1-2 enemies. I really have no idea. Something to do with the AI pathing through the door is all I can think but when looking at the Show Navigation Debug Visuals tool it just looks normal. Setting the camera plane to 0 and it still doesn't go to 60 fps which is insane to me.

So as you can see these levels are borderline unplayable. I honestly do not believe they should run this bad. In fact it seems to run almost the exact same as GameGuru Classic. So yea if you have ideas on how I can improve performance please share.
mikeven
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Posted: 19th Aug 2023 15:05 Edited at: 19th Aug 2023 15:06
Hi Kitakazi,

I carefully watched your three videos showing some nice content of your project.

I see something strange in your video "LAG #1" (your first link) : a suddenly very high 'shadow rendering' time in some frames like this one :



I tried to find a demo available in GG MAX having some similarities with your project : "Zombie Cellar Demo level 1".
Here are two screen shots showing the settings and the performances :





I also noticed that the 'LUA logic' is consuming a lot of cpu time in this sequence from your video "LAG #2" (your second link) :




(GameGuru MAX version Steam is running on my desktop with a simple full HD screen old generation. Intel Core i7-8700K CPU 3.7 GHz 6 cores -16 GB RAM ; graphic card : AMD Radeon RX 580 with 8 GB of GDDR 2000 MHz).
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Kitakazi
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Posted: 11th May 2024 05:48
The lag issue from level 1 has been fixed. Performance is ok, not amazing but its playable now. I have been working on making enemy and ally AI. I have some friendly guards that the player can come across and they will sometimes lead the player to areas or assist the player when fighting enemies. You can choose to let them help you or you can kill them and take their ammo. The only issue with these guys is it seems only SoundSlot 1 lets you play lipsynced audio right now.

I think my enemy AI is coming along nicely and fighting them seems pretty fun. Ill post some videos soon.

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