Posts Tagged lamoot

All I ever want …

… is just to overthrow the government. Heya and welcome to yet another weekly PARPG news update! This weeks update is heavily packed with the results of IRC developer meetings that took last Friday.

Programming department

The original plan was to report the results of the programming department IRC meeting that was meant to take place today. Unfortunately not all programmers did make it in time, so the meeting is postponed for now. We can hopefully find a new date for it soon as there are a lot of code design-related questions to be discussed. As soon as we’ve agreed upon a replacement date, I’ll post a short notice at the blog!

Graphics department

But now our visual magicians! At first we would like to welcome a new concept artist on the team: Seothen. He recently found us via our advert at the gamedev.net forums and decided to create a first character portrait for us. Enjoy Dr. Felix Weir:
Dr. Felix Weir

Seothen is currently looking for suggestions what kind of outfit Dr. Felix Weir should wear for a full body shot. In case you would like to provide suggestions, head over to our forums and let us know!

3d artist Continuum decided to donate a bunch of his models that he had originally created for Fallout mods to PARPG. Some of them feature textures from cgtextures.com so we’ll need to retexture them to avoid license trouble. The cgtextures.com assets are released under a license that is incompatible with our chosen favourite CC 3.0 BY-SA. Anyway, here’s a shot of one of his models, more can be found at a thread at the forums:
Tank

Concept artist Gaspard created three new character drawings over the course of the last week. Here’s an Ex-Soviet soldier, now working as a hunter; more at the forums as well:
Ex soldier, now hunter

Blender modeler Lamoot got inspired by Zeli’s improvised weapons and started to work on an ice axe melee weapon. Still untextured, but there you go (and of course, there is a thread about it at the forums):
Untextured ice axe

And here’s yet another visual teaser for you: 3d artist Sirren created a Nagant revolver for you and he’s open to all kinds of feedback:
Nagant revolver

The vast majority of the new 3d models can be already found in our Subversion repository. However not all assets are properly documented with LICENSE files at this point. You can get an idea which models are problematic due usage of cgtextures.com assets by taking a look at the trac changelog though.

As we had so many new 3d models and pieces of concept art that were created by our graphics department over the course of the last week, we couldn’t show you everything in this news update. If you don’t want to miss anything, check out the updated gallery at the wiki.

Game mechanics department

The IRC meeting that took place last Friday was originally meant to be a pure writing department one. However as writing and game mechanics can be closely linked together, we discussed a couple of game mechanics-related questions as well.

We’ve argued about the potential appearance of children in the game and if the player character and NPCs should be able to kill them. As the most of us are fans of RPGs that feature choices and consequences, we agreed upon an approach similar to Fallout: there are children, you can kill them but there will be (sometimes rather severe) social consequences of such kind of behaviour. Furthermore also usage of drugs as game mechanic was discussed. PARPG will not feature any superpower drugs; drugs will rather give you a small egde in a specific situation at cost of rather drastic disadvantages. We think we can balance things pretty well and avoid overpowered drugs e.g. by giving them a high addiction rate. There will be rather few chemical prewar drugs; home-distilled pre- and postwar alcohol (moonshine) will be a lot more common.

For the ones of you who played a pen and paper session of Call of Cthulhu: we’re currently exploring how well stress as gameplay mechanic would work. At the moment this is still in the brainstorming stages so don’t get too excited but in case we decide to actually implement it in the game, it could work similar to the sanity points system of CoC. You could combine this with choice and consequence in dialog as well: a totally stressed character might lose temper and freak out, dramatically changing his options in dialog with other characters.

Besides the brainstorming at the meeting, Zenbitz started to work on a proposal of the state of the game world as well as what kind of characters stats should be featured in PARPG. Fell free to join the discussion at the forums.

Taking a shot at contributing to a new field of work, artist Gaspard started a thread how barter economy should work in PARPG.

Writing department

As already mentioned above: the first game mechanics and writing department meeting took place recently. As we’ve discussed quite a lot of aspects and I can’t cover all of them to full extend, please check out the results as well as the full meeting log if you’re interested in any details.

Most important newsworthy piece of information concerning the writing department: we currently have two promising storyline proposals in the works. One of the main differences between them is the nature of climate change and how the postwar societies (fail to) cope with it. One storyline proposes that the climate is getting colder and colder, while the other one focuses on thawing and how it affects the game world.

As we have to decide for one or another storyline in the end, the plan is to have a public discussion at the forums about both proposals. Each side should have the chance to present their proposal with pros and cons and furthermore elaborate on the gameplay that they would like to implement following this proposal. Furthermore I’ll try to get in contact with a climatologist to get some feedback which storyline might be more realistic; it might turn out we can’t find a climatologist or that neither scenario is scientifically realistic, but it’s worth a try. In the end the opinion of the to be found climatologist will be one argument amongst several others; while we care about realism to a certain extend, the storyline should be interesting and challenging for the player so realistic gameplay is not meant to be a principle for its own sake.

The proposed roadmap concerning the storyline is: give each side two weeks to flesh out their their proposals and present them to the community at the forums. After that we’ll give everyone one week to explore pros and cons of each one and to make up there mind and will try to agree upon one storyline after that. The next step will be trying to incorporate compatible aspects of the storyline that was not chosen if possible.

Last but not least: mvBarracuda (read: I) found out that you can actually do something worthwhile with a degree in modern history. As we’re currently exploring how World War III broke out, he volunteered to use his super history skills to come up with a historically somewhat realistic storyline for the branching of history in PARPG and how WWIII emerged. Stay tuned 🙂

That’s all for today. See you next Monday (or maybe Tuesday, in case the programming department meeting is rescheduled for next Monday) 🙂

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I am the rain

Yes! It’s Monday again, that means it’s time for yet another news update 🙂 As always: lots of progress over the course of the last week so I’ll keep things short and you simply click through the various links if you find a topic of interest.

We want you for PARPG

First and foremost PARPG seems on a good way lately. We got now developers involved in the writing, game mechanics, programming, graphics and project management departments. As the needed infrastructure is in place as well, we would like to expand now by finding additional contributors for the project. We’re currently especially searching for:

  • Musicians: composers & sound effects engineers.
  • Graphics artists: 3d modelers (Blender user prefered) & concept artists.

If you would like to get involved in the project, check out the contribution guide at the wiki and get in contact with us at the forums or the IRC channel. In case you don’t have an IRC client installed on your system at the moment, you can join the channel via your browser by clicking on this link: http://irc.parpg.net.

First Blender rendering setup in SVN

Our graphics expert Lamoot created a first rendering setup in Blender for testing purposes. Feel free to check it out in the SVN repository. Furthermore an article about possible inspirational graphical references has been compiled and the graphics field research article has been extended.

PAR – the PARPG asset repository

We’ve been searching for a software solution for artists to contribute to the project without forcing them to get used to the Subversion repository. The number of free digital asset management solutions out there is rather limited but we found the interesting ResourceSpace application and it looks like just what we’ve been searching for. Fortunately one of our new programmers (more of him later on) volunteered to set things up for us so that you can now access the PARPG asset repository at http://assets.parpg.net. If you’re interested in the details and the rationale of using a digital asset management solution as addition to the existing SVN repository, check out the art discussion thread at the forums.

Programming department guidance

Besides some ultra secret plans for story engine (read: check the wiki if you’re interested in the details), icelus invested quite some time over the course of the last week to flesh out documentation how to get started for interested programmers. If you’re considering to get involved in the programming field or are just curious, check out the code structure and the code design workflow proposals as well as his additions the contribution article.

Tie joins the gang

Reinforcements for the programming department have arrived! Tie is a Python programmer from Sofia who hasn’t only sponsored the server for the PARPG asset repository but he’s also already getting his hands dirty with coding. He recently refactored and extended the Rio de hola code for our needs.

Furthermore he’s currently working on a playground for the story engine. It’ll be based on PyGame to give the writers a chance to play around with the story format. As we already got two developers involved who are running Mac systems, using FIFE for the playground wouldn’t have been a good solution at this point. FIFE builds on Mac systems in theory but the build process itself seems to be awfully complicated. By using PyGame for the playground, we can give the writers something to get their hands dirty with while we can try to find a Mac maintainer in the long run who can try to come up with easier to follow build instructions for the platform. If you’re interested in helping out testing FIFE on your Mac system and you actually also got a Linux development background (otherwhise frustration is bound to happen), please get in contact with us.

Retain an overview

With all the new developers contributing to the project lately, it’s important to retain an overview to avoid chaos. We recently started to restructure our ToDo list and added a section for milestone planning now there as well. The idea is that the developers of each department add the important tasks to the corresponding milestones so contributors from other fields of work have a good idea what’s currently being worked on and which tasks still lie ahead of us before we can tackle the next step.

GUI sum-up

Another new contributor is Gaspard, who currently compiles a list of all suggestions for the graphics user interface of PARPG. There was quite some lively discussion at the forums about the topic lately so he decided to make the next step and is currently summarizing the concepts at the wiki. Feel free to check the article out or even contribute to it.

Game mechanics update

You’re right: a PARPG news update is not complete if it lacks the weekly dose of game mechanics fun. Zenbitz has been on a design spree again and wrote down his concept for use and study-based learning and also compiled a catalog of possible item types that might appear in PARPG.

Next news update coming soon

The next news update will already come to you at Friday. It might be a pretty short one as I’ll be quite short of time this week due preparing a travel to The Hague. I’ll be attending an United Nations simulation event entitled WorldMUN. The event will start next Sunday and end at Saturday, 28th of March. That’s the reason for the early news update at Friday as well. Next news update after that is scheduled for Monday, 30th of March though it just seems like a great opportunity to post something at Wednesday, 1st of April as well. We’ll see 🙂

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