Hybrid Games

  • #1, by shane-dSaturday, 15. October 2016, 20:00 4 years ago
    Hello there,
    This is my first post here, I've read through quite a few other threads and have some questions before settling on an engine. I really like what I have seen so far with VS and wondering if it would be a good fit for my concept.

    So background, I've been fleshing out and planning the story for my game for proably eight or more years now and beleive I have a pretty unique concept. Overall I think the game fits more into the Point and Click Adventure Genre but I want to integate segments of other genres into the game. You could call these mini-games but I think they will end up being a larger part of the game than just quick mini games. 

    I want to go for a 2.5D style main game with a control scheme like Grim Fandango Remastered. I want the game to have robust controls via gamepad but the ability to quickly transition to point and click mouse if the player prefers that method of input. I am really please with the way the new Kings Quest game plays but feel the game falls slightly short but restricting a player to the gamepad (or arrow keys on the keyboard) and love how the Remastered version of Grim Fandango easily lets the player choose the input method.

    On to the hybrid part of the game. My idea consists of multiple characters with different skill sets. One might be more of a thinker and stragesist, another more of a brute force take action kind of person, another more of an explorer. When playing has each of these characters the gameplay would change. If you are in the thinker's portion of the game, I want to do more of a real time strategy senario, the action character would take one a more First Person Shooter type situation, and the explorer would be pure adventure. You would need to switch between these characters to get the games full story and finish the game.

    Here is the question, could to integarate multiple engines into one executable? Transition smoothly from one character to the other ie transition from one gameplay style to another without jarring transitions and load times?

    I've looked at yoyo's GameMaker and don't feel like I can do what I want with the adventure portion of the game in that engine, at least not easily. I also know that VS was not at all designed for a FPS or a strategy game. Can I dump all the code and assets I've created in VS into Lua and then dump the code and assets from another engine into Lua and compile one game? What do some of the more seasoned users here think is the best course of action?

    Thanks for any input positve or negative, as far as I know this is a concept that hasn't really been tried before.

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  • #2, by ke4Saturday, 15. October 2016, 21:00 4 years ago
    If you want some mini-games you can do it in Vis. I've done a few of them but i guess it depends on huw much complicated / different from point&click genre are they supposed to be. Visionaire is still engine designated to create a point&click games. With enough of effort you can achieve a lot of things though.

    2.5D style should not be issue since Visionaire support 3D characters, even though it's buggy at the moment.
    I don't really understand what are you trying to achieve so i can't really tell if Vis is the right engine for that. Anyway making a one game in a few different engines, i'm not sure if that's possible or a good idea.

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  • #3, by caligarimarteSaturday, 15. October 2016, 21:53 4 years ago
    Keep in Mind that if you change the Engine and the Perspective, then you would pretty much have to design all Scenes three Times -- 2D with Adventure Perspective, 2D with isometric Perspective (typical for Strategy), and 3D for the First-Person-Shooter.
    That would sound highly inefficient for the Developer, thrice the Work and rather unnecessarily so, because think about it: You could just as well use the isometric Perspective for all three Characters, and still have their different Skills, like in the Commandos Games (Strategy), Isometric Shooter's and Hack-'n'-Slays (Diablo), and isometric Adventures (Sanitarium).
    I have to admit though, the Idea to see one Scene from Eye-Height, from above, and from First-Person-Perspective, sounds quite charming. But in that Case, you would be better off using a 3D-Engine (Unity, Unreal Engine, ... I personally love Blender Game Engine, but you'll hardly finish your Game with that one), so that you have to build your Scenery, Characters and Objects only once -- which would be much more efficient.

    However, I have to admit that there is something annoying about it when, in Games like Commandos, different Characters have different Skills. Yes, it makes Sense that only one Guy in the Group really knows how to handle all Sorts of Explosives... but in the first Game only one Guy in the Group could drive? That was a little ridiculous.
    Now imagine only one in your Game's Group was able to hide behind Walls, sneak around, hide, and the Explorer and Gunner cannot sneak and hide at all. And both the Strategist and the Gunner cannot do "Adventure"-Stuff, i.e. examine Objects, use Objects, and talk to People. Pretty strange, except if you have a good Reason for it, like the other two cannot speak the Game-World's Language and therefore only one can have Dialogues, or Guns are prohibited and nobody knows how to use Guns, except the Gunner who comes from a different Culture where they have Guns. And maybe the Gunner and the Explorer cannot sneak and hide because their heavy Armor / Explorer-Backpack are too sturdy and too loud. But why the Strategy and the Gunner wouldn't be able to examine and use Objects, I can hardly imagine. (Though "examine" could in this Case mean "analyzing with special Knowledge which the others don't have".)

    Anyway I am just rambling. You worked on the Idea for 8 Years, so I am sure you have a good Idea of what you want and how it works. smile

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  • #4, by shane-dSaturday, 15. October 2016, 22:24 4 years ago
    The idea isn't to be able to switch between characters on the fly, except for a few portions of the game. For the most part these characters aren't going to be traveling around together in the sense of a team based game. While this isn't going to be episodic or chapter based story, for the ease of explaining the concept I'll use chapters or parts as an example. Part 1 would take place from the Adventurers perspective, he'd interact with the envirnment and other characters in the same way any character in an Advenuture Game would he would encounter these other characters. For the story to progress, you, the player, would then take on the roll of the fighter and play through the game from a FPS prospective. Then as the next character with the strategy portion of the game. There would indeed need to be a handful of areas of the game that would need to be re-made in all three gaming styles but for the most part each style would be take place in a different envirnment or location. All three of the characters would pretty much exist (mostly as NPCs) within the Adventure Game, but would kind of be on their own during their FPS/RTS portions. I imagine the Adventure Game as the shell/glue that holds the hole game together. There will be a sections of the game where these characters get seperated and you'll need to switch between them on the fly (very much the way you can switch characters and locations in Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island) and when you switch between them you will be changing game play methods, but this is only during two portions of the game.

    I was thinking that I could create the game in Visionare and use something like a "Call" command in Visual Basic to launch self contained executable levels in the FPS and RTS engines to play those sections of the game and just have VS unload while the FPS and RTS is running and then load back up VS when those levels are finished. I don't forsee the FPS and RTS engines having menu's or anything, the Adventure would handle all of that.

    I don't have progaming experience in Lua or any major language like C++ and the like, though through my job I regularly code in Visual Basic for Appications because I deal with large amounts of data on a daily basis. I'm familar with syntax and have written many batch scripts to automate tasks within Windows and Microsoft Office, but nothing on the level of a video game. If I start with VS I think I will take some classes in Lua, but I have a feeling I am going to have to hire our the programing for the more complicated portions.

    Anyway, I hope this information helps give some persepective on the concept so I can head in the right direction.

    Thanks

    Newbie

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  • #5, by afrlmeSaturday, 15. October 2016, 23:31 4 years ago
    Sorry, information overload. It's late & the super bright whiteness of new VS website is hurting my eyes while trying to read large blocks of text. Anyway...

    I've read the first post & skimmed over the rest. To me it sounds like you are wanting to create 3 completely separate games, which sounds like a major pain in the arse to pull off - I mean it is basically 3 separate games, from 3 different perspective points, from 3 different game genres.

    It sounds like you want to recreate COD, Tomb Raider, Command & Conquer and Indiana Jones & the Fate of Atlantis all rolled into one game.

    1. you would either be better off using an engine that fully supports 3D such as Unity, UDK (unreal 4) or CRYENGINE if you want to mess about with different camera perspectives, first & third person views. You're going to need to learn C# or hire someone to program for you. The latter will probably be quite expensive. Hell I charge a minimum of €20 per hour for freelance game dev for Visionaire Studio, which is really cheap for freelance. Over in the US they seem to charge at least double or triple + what I charge per hour from what I've googled.

    2. Consider toning down your expectations & pick a single genre. Mini-games are fine but what you are talking about will probably take you twice - or even thrice - what it took you to come up with your idea (damn 8 years is a long bloody time mate)!

    3. Now if it was purely a point & click adventure game then you could easily go crazy creating multiple playable characters who have various skills (skills within reason mind - macgyver). There's plenty of point & click games that use multiple playable characters with different skills such as: day of the tentacle, resonance, memoria, a new beginning, the blackwell games, etc.

    Sorry to rant on a bit, but it just seems like you are kind of an undecisive person, hence it taking you 8 years to come up with something that should technically be 3 different games. Yes, I can be a bit blunt at times, but that's just how I am - I'm British, if that's any sort of excuse!  wink

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  • #6, by sebastianSunday, 16. October 2016, 00:29 4 years ago
    difficult question... 
    while every mentioned genre could be possible made in some kind with VS its not so flexible than you thought.. 
    For example in strategic games its typical to build structures, recruit entities and navigate them to enemies base. Problem here is that all these is done with an object based language. You can easily create entities out of nothing. In VS all these object have to be known by the engine before doing something. They cannot dynamically created and this makes such genre difficult to achieve with VS (still possible but you cant do dynamic object creation) 

    ego perspective is also possible of course, but dont get me wrong here: FPS are not the kind of game which should be done in VS.. The closest you can get here are MYST like games or Crazy Chicken/Moorhuhnjagd 

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  • #7, by shane-dSunday, 16. October 2016, 04:29 4 years ago
    Thanks for the insight folks. I assume VS can't call up another executable that contained the other "game." To address AFRLme's concern, it is one conhesive story that is being told through mutilple mediums. This would be a very story driven game.

    Newbie

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  • #8, by afrlmeSunday, 16. October 2016, 04:52 4 years ago
    Thanks for the insight folks. I assume VS can't call up another executable that contained the other "game." To address AFRLme's concern, it is one conhesive story that is being told through mutilple mediums. This would be a very story driven game.

    It's possible to load external files with Lua script using os.execute() function
    os.execute("example.exe")
    1


    Quick note #1: Using multiple .exe files is messy. It's ok if your game is played in episodes (like TTG's The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Tales From the Borderlands, etc), but loading executables during current game will probably force current game to minimize then more likely than not you'll get a glimpse or 2 of your desktop or something before the new .exe file launches. Either way it's not very pretty.

    Quick note #2: You are much better off using an engine in which it's possible to create everything you want as Visionaire Studio is geared specifically towards the development of point & click adventure games, though it might be a little more flexible in the future, but I highly doubt it will ever support 3D platforming elements or allow anyone to create a first person shooter with it. That would first require that VS becomes a fully 3D engine.

    Quick note #3: while RTS stuff could probably be created with Visionaire Studio, it would require a lot of work because we don't have object creation or destruction - probably because it's not really something that's needed for point & click games all that often. Game Maker Studio however does have object creation, destruction & runtime manipulation support.

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  • #9, by NigecSunday, 16. October 2016, 08:25 4 years ago
    I'd be looking at Unity or similar as it uses C# actually there a free option called Wave that can be used along with Mono

    In the past I've messed about forcing game engines to do stuff they aren't designed for and its always a hack job and iffy for the end user

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  • #10, by ke4Sunday, 16. October 2016, 08:46 4 years ago
    I believe using more executables isn't gonna look good and smooth. I think the best way to achieve what you want would be to use some 3D engine such as Unreal Engine 4 ( C++ ) or Unity ( C# ).
    You could then use one graphics with different camera angels to create point&click, fps and rts.
    Would be less work then creating everything 3 times and it would keep the consistency.

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  • #11, by caligarimarteSunday, 16. October 2016, 12:37 4 years ago
    So by now the Consensus here is that you should choose a 3D-Engine. I also suggested that. But there is another Thing to keep in Mind, and Game-Designers don't like this, but it is to some Degree a true Fact: People don't like Genre-Mixes.

    Of Course, that depends on how far apart the Genres to be mixed are, but if by Strategy you actually meant building and deytroying Bases and Armies, RTS, then that truly is too different from FPS and Adventure, and this is where it gets messy. You sure have it in your Head as a nice Vision and think it would be great to play, but the Truth is that your Game will ONLY appeal to those Players who actually like to play all three Genres. It is risky enough to mix two Genres, but once you mix three very different ones, the Player might most probably play the one Genre, love it, then get to the other Genre, be like "eh, I can like those Games if they are done well, so whatever", and then get to the third Genre and be like "what? I hate that Genre, and now I am forced to play that to get to the next Part of the Genre I actually like??", and very likely, most likely even, the Player might/will quit at that Point -- ragequit maybe. I think Giants -- Citizen Kabuto is a good Example for this Problem.

    Your Game could be very good, but appeal to only a few, a very few People. But... let us be very honest: If you have never made a Game in one of these Genres, which I assume, and now you want to make three Games at once, it will probably end up becoming a Mess.
    So yes, if you want to stick with that Idea of three separate Genres, you really should switch to a 3D-Engine. But independent of whether you do that or not, I much rather suggest you bring these three Genres closer together, or People probably won't like it at all. I personally think it doesn't matter and it is not about pleasing People but about making one's own Vision come true... but it would be a Shame if you would spend the next Decade creating a Game which nobody wants to play.

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