Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Werewolf in the Wild: My ProcJam game for 2016

I made a ProcJam game entry!

You can download Werewolf in the Wild here:

It was super fun, and I did several things for the first time, including...

  • Using Raycasts to do some simple AI steering, so that the birds follow the contours of the land, and fly over obstacles.  I want to expand on this so they fly around things, and feel more organic.
  • Procedural terrain generation, allowing the player to generate a new terrain at any time by pressing "T" at any time while playing!  This adjusts the height field of the terrain, sometimes making spiky tall terrains, sometimes making smooth low terrains, etc.
  • I went crazy on Image Effects to get a unique look that reminds me of David Lynch's Lost Highway or some surreal dreamscape.  This look inspired the werewolf theme, and it all took shape very organically.
  • I built all the props myself in Maya, which was great, as I now feel I can comfortably use that pipeline in future projects.  The look of the game allowed me to model things simply, and still have them characterful.
  • Added some sweet werewolf sounds to really bring the unique player character to life!
  • Added some kooky arthouse experimental ambient sounds to set the mood.

I want to continue with this game, doing things like...
  • Giving the wolf arms, so they can slash and claw at things.
  • Adding some more AIs into the game, such as foxes, deer, and townsfolk.
  • A goal of some sort, whether it is just to survive being hunted by townsfolk, needing to feed, needing to find your cave before daybreak, or some more narrative driven goal.
  • Townsfolk could track you down using sight and sound, and you can hide in wait, leaping from the shadows, or just go on a massacre and see how long you can survive.
  • Model more varied items for the environment.
  • Have different items that appear at different heights in the world, and things that can be placed on slopes, such as small rocks, or shrubs growing on an angle.
  • Implement more variety into the terrain system.
  • Perhaps a mechanic revolving around the moon.
  • Possible a day/night cycle, which affects whether you're a werewolf or a human, and adding a whole mechanic around that.
  • Perhaps a climbing, bounding, leaping system that lets you climb up towers, mantle up through small trees into larger trees, etc.  
  • An asymmetrical multiplayer mode could be very cool, with hunters on one team, and the lone wolf on the other team.
  • Howl at the moon!

I feel a bit inspired by Dusk, and thought it'd be fun to add some ghoulish fast paced crazy 90's FPS style gameplay, like slashing things to death, leaping about etc.

But I also feel inclined to maintain the arthouse surreal feel in some way, having a bit of a Tangiers vibe.  Like Tangiers, I'm very interested in stealth mechanics, loving the original Thief games.

I have had a few narrative ideas, around the werewolf being ferocious and driven by a sort of madness, but also still aware of their human form, with their thoughts in their head, regrets, pain, feelings that cause anguish and tension between the killing and violence they need to perform to survive, and their pain at being misunderstood and not being in control of their own behaviour or how others perceive them.  

I feel that such a story could help facilitate action gameplay, while maintaining some other interesting themes and ideas.

Stay tuned, and hopefully I'll have some updates to it soon, in between finishing off my other games!  :D  

Thanks for checking out Werewolf in the Wild!

Your pal Murray.

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