[Comp I] Sourcery

This is Sourceri.
Download the playable game...

[SPOILER] - Entry Play through Video
Early Game mechanic testing.
Early creature behavior.

@Pierre - Art, Animation, Programming.
@Mexicanopiumdog - Music and Sound Effects.

Design 4 Theme
The core feature of this game will be the discovery of magical properties through experimentation. The objects will not always have an obvious correlation to their ability. The "mystery" lies in finding your way out of the nightmare.

Items - Staff, Bell, Feather
- The bell represents "command".
- The staff represents "motion".
- The Feather represents "preparation".

Known Issues
- The leaf manager is broken. Leaves do not disperse when the vortex is gone.
- The monster is being lifted by tumbling blocks beneath its feat.
- Animations require IK for noticeable improvement.
- Monster noises are placeholders for now.
- Levels need to be designed that are more elaborate and interesting.
- Death sequence needs a complete overhaul.
- Uhlka's Turn behavior is severely flawed. The issue has been identified but the entry build will stay as is.
512 x 485 - 144K
799 x 605 - 673K
1309 x 873 - 339K
941 x 490 - 205K


  • This is looking really great so far! Flying through the air looks really satisfying and the cloth effects and the leaves really sell the wind. The animations look really solid as well.

    Curious about how the mask and feather are going to affect the current dynamic. I imagine the challenge with creating each new ability from here is that the new abilities need to be useful without feeling contrived and without making any of the previous abilities obsolete.

    Looking forward to seeing where you take this!!
  • Thanks @EvanGreenwood

    As it is, the staff actually already feels a little bit contrived. (enter the generic stick of magic) - I'm thinking of swapping it out for something else that is a bit more obscure but it'll do for now.

    Indeed. Adding items is a careful process. I don't want to add clutter either and so even the leaves will serve a purpose eventually.
    I'm being very careful about adding the other two.

    I think building these tools will be great but I'm nervous about (and avoiding) the level designs. It's one of my shortcomings and I'm worried this will just end up being a sandbox level with toys :/
    Hopefully not, but we'll see how it goes.
  • edited
    @Pierre I think a fun sandbox with toys is better than a well balanced but ultimately dull series of levels.

    I think I think this because crafting levels that allow for demoing the mechanics of the game is just a matter of experimentation, whereas making new combinations of mechanics that feel good to play with is tricky. I think a healthy way for a game to start is with a bunch of small sandbox environments, and then as you find out what is fun you find a way to stitch them together in an order that makes sense.

    That said, I'm not sure what you have planned as obstacles to overcome? (because that's really what is going to determine your level designs)
  • @EvanGreenwood Hmm.. you might have a point. I wanted to make the process of discovering a new toy, to be part of the "mystery" with the player having to overcome obstacles to reach a detailed point of interest. Like finding the mask stuck to the face of a strange mummified priest... or pulling the last feather out of a decayed bird like creature.

    In that sense I would like to design specific levels/avenues and scenery but that is a tremendous time sponge and I haven't even finished the core elements yet.
    So yeah. For now I'll probably just dump the box of toys onto the player and let them try it out.
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • Progress has been ongoing.
    I've added a new toy (the feather)
    I've also started working on an antagonist character.
    And @Mexicanopiumdog has become a contributor.
    Screenshot and Contributor list will be updated in the OP.
  • New video. Shows a very crude monster behavior pattern. I'm still missing some Sound FX, and I'm still trying to figure out some good lighting, so I apologize for the darkness in this video.

  • edited
    That creature design is super rad! I love that it's so large, it really reinforces the diminutive proportions of the protagonist.

    In terms of AI, it's especially cool to see how it loses track of you and looks around...

    When it does catch you in the video, it sort of seems confused by this, like a child who just killed a small animal and now feels guilty and a little bored. It's quite unnerving.

    Have you been following the progress of the game SCORN ? Some of the texture work and architecture in Sourcery has a bit of a Beksinski feeling (Beksinski, along with Giger, being the primary influences in SCORN).

    (Examples of Beksinski paintings from late 70s to early 80s)

  • Thanks for watching and for the feedback.
    SCORN looks like it's going to have strong aesthetic, but I honestly have no idea what the gameplay will be like.
    I was a huge Giger fan and his work influences me a lot.

    Flaws are natural
    The creature behavior is actually very crude and buggy. The "realistic" interactions are usually accidental/coincidental... but in a weird way, these flaws are presenting themselves as "life like".

    strange behavior
    I was focusing on making a set of behaviors that was not always predictable. That means that the creature would sometimes not attack at all... (instead of trying to surprise attack you out of nowhere)
    I wanted the player to feel like they're dealing with a strange new animal in the wild.
    It's a noble goal but that level of depth in behavior is far beyond the scope of time I have available.
    Still... I think some of that managed to seep through to the current build.

    An reluctant antagonist
    I think this (sometimes) hesitant behavior might make the game a bit easy at times, and unfair at others... but perhaps this will add to the flavor of mystery.

    Time is short and elaborate animations are not.
    I wish I had more time but this weekend is upon us. I would like to make some of the animations (including the death sequence) a bit more drawn out and elaborate, but that's something I will look into on the other side of this weekend.
    I'm glad however, that the current death presents as with unnerving behavior.

    As always. Thanks for all the comment! :)

    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • That creature model is seriously badass
  • Giger is rad obviously. If you have the time you should watch the documentary Jodorowsky's Dune, there's some fascinating footage of Giger there.

    But despite Giger's fame, Beksinski was a far more varied and arguably more evocative artist. Though Beksinski didn't really get noticed by popular culture until the last decade or so.

    (Sorry to be such a Beksinski advocate, I just want more Beksinski influence in games. I don't mean to dismiss Giger's work, especially the work he did on Dune and Alien)
  • Just now, this game actually creeped me out as the designer...
    I was working on the music and unknowingly broke some code...
    So when I approached the monster it was standing rock solid, not moving an inch, but the head just kept staring, following my movements. it just kept looking at me with those beady eyes.... augh!
  • Perhaps you can recapture that experience in some of the gameplay? If not in the movement/AI of this monster, then perhaps in some other monster/context?

    (Finding something surprising is the best, if you can figure out why it worked it can then be a tool you can use whenever you want to deliver something that surprises players).
  • edited
    I didn't get as much done as I'd have liked... but I'll take what I have and spend the rest of today on spit and polish before uploading the playable.

    DONE - Design Player Character with animations
    DONE - Design sandbox props (Walls, floors, pillars etc.)
    DONE - Design Leaves and leaf manager
    DONE - Design Special FX for Vortex and Wind
    DONE - Design Glyph and flames
    DONE - Design magical props.
    DONE - Character controls.
    DONE - Staff mechanic
    DONE - Bell mechanic
    DONE - Feather mechanic
    DONE - Creature model/design
    DONE - Add ambient music
    DONE - Core Creature behavior
    DONE - Core Sound FX

    DONE - THU : - Fix rotation bugs.
    DONE - THU : - Player Death Animation
    DONE - THU : - Creature Kill Animation.
    DONE - THU : - Creature:Player behavior - Kill:Death Animations
    DONE - THU : - record sample video.
    DONE - FRI : - Game Over Message (fade in... Delay... Button to restart, Button to quit )
    DONE - FRI : - Code to reload level.
    DONE - FRI : - Game over trigger
    DONE - FRI : - add restart button to pause menu.
    DONE - SAT : - Sandbox level design (Open space/Cave space)
    DONE - SAT : - Design "door" for cave entrance.
    DONE - SAT : - Transition music from ambient to scary. (needs a better approach)
    DONE - SAT : - Close doors when you enter the cave. (Replaced with auto timer)
    DONE - SUN : - Message - You survived (fade in... Delay... Button to restart, Button to quit )
    DONE - SUN : - Add trigger for reaching the exit.

    DONE - SUN : - Add Windows Controller Code (0%)
    DONE - SUN : - Add latest SFX by @Mexicanopiumdog (additional sounds)
    DONE - SUN : - Mute+Mono player jump sounds.
    DONE - SUN : - Add Code to slide off walls/inclines (0%)
    DONE - SUN : - Add Button Help to Pause Menu

    DONE - Fix character Eye balls.
    DONE - Consider alternative color schemes for the monster/player character.
    DONE - Improve Creature Behavior
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • Added a playthrough video of the Entry.
    SPOILER WARNING ! - This will ruin all the surprises! O.o
  • Goshdarnit!

    After sleeping on it for a day... I realized a HUGE mistake in Uhlka's behavior.

    I wrote some code to encourage her not to turn back and forth too much... in other words... if she turns left, she should not turn right again unless she's done something else first...

    My mistake was that I'm doing the opposite...

    If she turns left, then she is encouraged to turn right, and then she's encouraged to turn left and then right and so it goes on and on and on and on...

    My face... it palms... it palms so hard.
    Thanked by 1Mexicanopiumdog
  • She sure is a woman because woman are always RIGHT...hue hue hue
    Thanked by 1Pierre
  • I'll be taking a jab at the RAIN ai package in unity. Ive already pawed at the functionality a bit and i am quite impressed so far. It has a very robust behavior tree editor. I'm hoping to build much better behaviour for Uhlka this way. Part of me (ego) would love to spend weeks building my own behaviour editor but it would be a poor choice to reinvent wheels.

    If I upload a new playable, I'll be sure to mark it as a non-comp build.
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