Contagion

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marcusp
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Contagion

Post by marcusp » Wed Nov 26, 2008 7:25 pm

I'm new here and found this place after searching for 2D game engines.

I'm currently playing with an idea called Contagion where you play an inteligent virus where the name of the game is to infect all the population within your local area. I have a design doc written up and I've been toying with concept art and I've decided to try and drum up some coding help.

Background story
You are a newly developed virus , brewed from the bowls of a secret government laboratory you manage escape the confines and find yourself in a bright new world, clean and ready to infect. Infect the water supply, food and spread from person to person as you turn the State of Hayfields into ground zero. Mix with other illnesses hidden around the environment to mutate into a more complicated killer bug and use Virus Perks to swing the tides of war to your favour.

Concepts
Image
(Ignore the HUD - its a wip.)

Image

Image

Image
(More concepts are being developed...)

My Experience
Well I'm not a coder...I have dabbled in the past with scripting for a few commercial games and shader work, but otherwise I'm FAR from a coder. My experience is in Art, both 2D and 3D. My website is: http://www.blacktreeuk.net. I've worked for a game studio in the UK working on games for consoles and I've also worked on smaller projects on the side (both 2D and 3D), the last 2D game I worked on was Baserunner which is a rough little gem on my site for download. I'd love to see this idea come to frutation and love working with other people, its pretty tough to make games on your own :p

Love2D seems like a good enough option than eny and looks like it has a nice community of people, if your interested I can send you the design doc and maybe we can begin in finding a good starting place for this project.

Cheers.

surtic
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Re: Contagion

Post by surtic » Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:35 pm

Hi,

I'm not sure I fit the perfect profile. I have a lot of programming experience (have been professionally programming for about 12 years, but started when I was about 10...) I've also programmed professionally in Lua.

However, I've never programmed a "real game" (I don't call tetris a real game). My main problem is content (i.e. art, maps, ideas etc.)

I'd love to work with real content (as long as I don't have to create any), so if this sounds reasonable to you then let me know.

marcusp
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Re: Contagion

Post by marcusp » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:00 pm

Hello Surtic I'll send you a PM with my email and I'll send you the design doc I've worked on.

This is all really new to me too, I don't know a great deal about the Love2D engine or what it supports but it's all a learning process. More coders the better really and if anyone else feels like they could help then please let me know.

I guess the game's style is very much like the 'EBOY' artwork which is what I used as inspiration for this, and games wise...I guess it would have a classic Theme park, Theme Hospital feel to it. Contagion is very much orientated around time: spreading to a new area takes time, infecting someone takes time, contaminating food and water supplies takes time, assimilating new viruses and illnesses takes time. So its all about self managment and infecting as many people as possible without making yourself noticed as a threat.

I still don't know if there is a fun game there...or even if theres a game there! but I know the idea is different and unique and I know there could be something great in the idea. ;)

Cheers

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qubodup
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Re: Contagion

Post by qubodup » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:39 pm

Hello marcusp,

I certainly like the freshness of your idea. At first it reminded me of Endgame: Singularity (Uplink-inspired game). Then I thought it would be an anti-The Sims simulation game.

I will not be able to help you but would be glad if you made your design document public. In case you're having second thoughts: Lost Garden: Why you should share your game designs ;)

I assume your plan is to make it a for-profit project, if possible?
lg.newImage("cat.png") -- made possible by lg = love.graphics
-- Don't force fullscreen (it frustrates those who want to try your game real quick) -- Develop for 1280x720 (so people can make HD videos)

marcusp
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Re: Contagion

Post by marcusp » Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:53 pm

Yes, selling the final product would be nice but it depends on a whole lot of things (quality and substance being just 2). Right now it would be great to start working on it and making the game concept into a reality. I've been doing this for a long time and I know the difficulties and hardships that come with game devevlopment.

Yes I know Uplink but not the other game, I was a big Uplink fan for a while when it first came out. I guess it would be like the sims only a little bit more dirtier and grimmer haha. I won't be releasing the design doc to the public domain - although I don't mind sending it to people that are interested in working on the idea with me.

Thanks for your support, if there is progress I will certainly post them here.

Cheers.

1stAnd10
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Re: Contagion

Post by 1stAnd10 » Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:35 pm

On a side note, I love pixel art. My football game is going to be all pixel art for an old school feel.

I'm more of a programmer than an artist, I can do it but it just takes me forever. If you ever want to contribute to another game from an artists perspective send me an email or an IM on here. I could use an "artists" art for my game.

I really like you're idea for Contagion. I seems fresh and original to me. You guys should really run with it even if you have to make it open sourced.

marcusp
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Re: Contagion

Post by marcusp » Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:38 pm

Thanks man, yeah to be honest it will more than likely be an open source game in the end. I'm also working on a 3D game at the moment too so its tough fitting the game dev stuff around my work. If I find some time I'll pm you man :)

Cheers

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Borsty
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Re: Contagion

Post by Borsty » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:25 pm

Humm, I was a little bored so I did some work on an isometric game library for löve :)

I used tiles based on the pictures you posted.
Currently it only supports scrolling and zooming ( yes... zooming :P, but without proper filtering it draws ugly borders :( )
isolove.love
(18.62 KiB) Downloaded 213 times
Controls are:
left mouse button: scroll
center mouse button: set zoom to 1
mouse wheel: zoom in and out

Will work on it tomorrow :P

marcusp
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Re: Contagion

Post by marcusp » Sat Nov 29, 2008 12:50 am

haha

Thats fantastic Borsty, I'm just waiting for one of my mates to set up an SVN repository for the Contagion project, once thats done then we are cooking really. I have started breaking the artwork I have into tile sheets ready for use. I need to make alot more world graphics obviously and also the huge amount of character animations required - I just need to find the time to fit this all in :P

I'm also working with Surtic by email, and I'm sure he is eager to hit the ground in 5th gear once SVN is up.

I'll post a few questions and answers that Surtic asked in an email, that will shed a little more information on gameplay.

Questions and Answers
Level sizes: I'm not sure what the tile count will be to be honest, I'll have to figure that out in the concept stage. Ideally I want to mock up the first level and then I'll have a better idea if that size is achievable.

Population count: The population of the initial area will always be small, once you become more known to the world and a large threat then outside authorities will be brought into the area to support the civilians. Initial population of a town could be 10 to 15 (maybe even 20 if the environment is large enough) with a buffer amount of 8 for outside authorities.

Population Death: No, people arn't born, the objective of the levels will be to incapacitate or kill a percentage of the population (this percentage will lower and raise depending on the level the player is on) This percentage is only for the initial starting civilians and does not include any outside authorities that may have entered the area.

Getting Better: No, people don't get better if you have infected them, all the authorities can do is slow down the effects of the sickness. For example, if you have infected a civilian, that civilian can be treated with steroids and other medication to slow down the drop in health until a cure is cracked. The sick get better when your genetic code is broken and they can make a vaccine (that is when it's game over for you).

Infecting your environment: At the start you are simply an airborne virus that must be inhaled to take effect. By mutating with other virus you can gain the ability to infect through different means, such as Human Contact and Contamination. When you have the Contamination ability, once you spread over a water tile you can infect that body of water. The player will have to wait until the timer ticks down (imagine a cool-down rate like in MMOs). Once the timer has elapsed the water supply and all the residential water supply will be infected giving you a small bonus when making someone ill. Food is done in the same way; if you spread into a kitchen you may contaminate exposed food sources.

What if you can’t infect: This will never happen. Yes, there are areas that will be difficult to spread into but with patients and planning there isn't anywhere you won't be able to spread to. The player's starting position (his deployment) will always be in a well designed place for game play. If for any instance there aren’t any AI in your vicinity then there is nothing stopping the player in choosing a direction to spread to slowly (Players also can speed time to make movement faster).

Designing your disease: I'll be honest with this, it’s the one aspect of the design I've overlooked, but the initial Virus Setup screen aims to be simple. The player will simply select 2 symptoms from a list and 1 Perk from a small list of Level1 perks. Once this is done the player will be assigned his code and he can then give his Virus Strain a name (I always liked: Andromeda Strain) and then start the game.


Mixing with other illnesses: Just like the question above, I've not thought about this much but there are a few ways we can do this.

Other viruses can be found in 2 ways. As you spread through the level you will find other small clouds of different coloured viruses (much like yourself) and by spreading into the square that they occupy they will be mutated into you NOTE: it will take longer to spread into a square thats occupied with a virus, to take into account the assimilation time). The other way of finding other viruses is if you make an AI character ill. Some AI may already be ill with something and by making this person ill, you will mutate with their other illness.

We can either go down the timer route, where a timer ticks down untill you have digested the new virus or we can have a 'Mutate Virus' button which will start a mini-game of some kind...it all depends on time constraints and gameplay.
---------------------

Small areas of the design still require more thought and nothing is ever set in stone and subject to change...isn't that always the case with these things - one of the many pleasures of working with different people. :D

surtic
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Re: Contagion

Post by surtic » Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:14 am

Eager... yes, you can say that again :shock:

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