Now it's called 'Industrial Warzone'

As title declares, the gamemode does have a new name. It looks nice in the server browser, and gets across the whole killing thing aptly, so it'll do.

Gamemode content? There's a fair bit of snazzy stuff since last real content post. There's a weapon select menu you can see in one of the images (you can scroll through weapons or press the appropriate number, it'll appear when you are selecting then fade away; you can only hold two weapons and they are each assigned either slot 2 or 3). When looking at a weapon, it tells you what it is (later down the line it might tell you what upgrades it has too). A few more major upgrades have been added for late-game, namely 'SMG Back-recoil Boosters' (a secondary fire is unlocked on all SMGs that pushes you back from wherever you are facing: jump then look down, and you can boost yourself high in the air, ammunition allowing), a 'Rifle Grenade Launcher' (all rifles get grenade launchers that can hold two impact grenades; they do some damage, or can be used to blast yourself into the air without being damaged, and don't affect normal firing so you can do it mid-combat without stopping bullet fire), and 'Rifle Energycell Tech' (rifles fire pulse-rounds instead of bullets; no recoil, and rapid interruptable recharge rather than magazine-based reloads).

Woah, block of text. tl;dr?: upgrades that allow you to fly or jump around using weapons, and lasers.

You can also see the WIP directional indicator on all the screenshots. I think it looks pretty sweet, even i it is just an adaption of an arrow featured in a previous gamemode. Right now it points you to the nearest undestroyed enemy shield generator, or their power generator if both shields are down (you can C4 shields and the power gen, but there's no actual win connected to reaching and exploding the power gen. Next on my list.)


Gamemode stuff

I'm probably renaming the gamemode to 'Industrial Warfare'. There's nothing productive about the gameplay, so why all it Manufacture?

In other news, progress IS being made - slower than before - there's lots of neat stuff now there wasn't before, and the gamemode is half-playable. I think public testing might commence by the end of this week, even, though I've still got the whole of the utilities tree to do (which is more of an idea/plan block than anything). And the minimap. And the help. And pretty much everything.

No harm in optimism.


BACK to reality, whoops there goes gravity...

Got my GCSE results today. And, well, they were pretty awesome. So yeah, I win. Woot. Now I've just got to do every other examination under the sun.


Manufacture screenshots!

Screenshots! nothing else.

Kind of annoying because there's not so much to show, but there's been leaps and bounds coding-wise. Oh well. It'll be done when it's done, and fopefully it'll be interesting then too...


Gamemode objectives: a dilemma

So, I made the utility framework, and the cloaking device, and they work. But there's not much to do with this stuff, because there is no gameplay to speak of! One thing I hadn't carefully considered when I thought of the gamemode was exactly what objectives players would have.

My initial thought when proposing the gamemode to myself was a money-based victory condition, like that of Science and Industry. However, in the end this didn't make much sense because there weren't good, efficient ways of boosting your income and decreasing that of the opponent. What was needed was a clearer objective that involved explosions.

After much tinkering with crazy ideas whilst discussing with others I decided the ideal (or, most implementable ideal) objective for players was to destroy the enemy equipment producing enemy weapons (later refined to be a power generator). To make things interesting, though, players must take down shield generators to gain access to the power generator. All the generators are going to be destroyable using C4 charges all players will have. I'm sure there will be various tactics to planting charges - cloaking in and stealthily placing, taking everyone out then placing, having other players distract the enemy then placing - which is great. Also, players will have a big waypointed thing to run towards, even if they don't understand anything else, which is fantastic on a playability point.

Still no pictures! I promise some soon, honest.


T-T-T-Tricka Utility...

So, I've finally done enough house-cleaning of the gamemode and got started on utilities. This is probably going to be one of the most complex parts of the gamemode, if I do complete it, because unlike with weapons and suchlike there's no existing framework to work on - half my job will be making sure players are properly synced, which is fine for a single-shot device like a scanner, but less fine for a cloaking device that constantly drains charge based on movement speed and carrying weight. Ah well, I'm sure it'll work out fine, and let's be honest, any amount of coding is worth it if you get jetpacks, right?

I probably forgot to mention when I added player upgrades. Although my original plans didn't really include having player upgrades (why would a gun manufacturer upgrade their staff?) testing made it quite clear that later in the game players will need more health, and perhaps armour, for fights to last more than a second (I'm looking at you, fully-upgraded M4A1 that fires at 1200RPM). But why leave it at extra health? Players can also research move speed and jump power upgrades for their team. Combine this with holding only a light pistol and you can run and jump hilarious distances - which is awesome.

Not much more to say. Once I get round to doing research icons, I'll post screenshots of the somewhat visually improved techtree. Other than that... I guess gamemodes take time. <:/


Manufacture sees the light of... private online testing...

So, we had a test of the gamemode as of yesterday evening. It was... interesting. It flagged up some coding issues (odd stuff happening with weapon dropping resulting in players seeing themselves holding rifles when they have crowbars; health regen occurring instantly) and some gameplay issues (rifle research beats SMG research hands down; pistols are too inaccurate to be useful). Which is great. Solving problems is satisfying work when it's so quick to do (Lua being easily wielded).

Weapon dropping is something I've obviously just fixed outright, but the gameplay balancing is a completely unique barrel of sharks, to subvert a metaphor. It requires careful consideration, because it's hard to weight what impact one change will have.

Something I'm implementing that I hope will help is weapon weights. Pistols are light, SMGs also quite light and rifles (usually) heavy. More weight, slower movement speed. The interesting factors will be upgrades to your sped, upgrades to your ability to run with heavy weapons, and upgrades reduing the weight of weaponry. Though the base weight values for weapons are somewhat plausible, I have no intention of making the upgrades realistic - expect 1kg SMGs and suchlike.

Something else I think would help is utilities. Take, for example, the situation of someone sitting on top of their base with a rifle, picking off players with superior accuracy upgrades. Right now, the only solution is to nick an enemy rifle (tough when you can't get close), research rifles (not fun or interesting from a variety standpoint) or get really lucky with an accurized SMG (rare). A fun solution would be a cloaking device, similar to the C&C Renegade stealth troopers ability - you are completely invisible beyond a range of 40-60m, but once you get closer you become more visible. This would allow players with short range weapons to get within their effective range before the enemy can start accurately shooting them. This sucks for the rifle users, though, so why not allow them to research a tool allowing them to scan for cloaked opponents? Of ourse, this would make cloaking useless, unless it required holsterig your weapon, and reduced your field of view so you are vulnerable to ambush...

This gamemode could be very, very interesting, I think. :D


The new GMod gamemode: Manufacture

This post is just about Garry's Mod. As if half of my posts aren't.

I could tell you about previous failed gamemode attempts. I could tell you about Crazy Delivery, which was a success in some ways (a technical achievement) and a failure in others (players couldn't work out what to do)
. I could tell you about Incursion, and how it rose and fell in the few months between now and my last real post. But I'm not actually going to develop on any of those points, because surely a blog is about talking about what you have done recently, and what you are doing.

So, Manufacture. RabidToaster is handling the mapping side and some of the coding, I'm drilling away at the core code and the interface. Seems a little weird doing this because I thik I have slightly more mapping experience than RT (maybe not? will he ever read this? only if I link him), and he does core cde a hell of a lot better than me, but we'll just see how this goes. We've been working for 5 days now, I think.

Two teams - rival firearms manufacturers - Nexus Inc. and Resistance Ltd. (Combine vs. Rebels!). The objective of a team is to end the game with more money than their opponent - manufactured firearms that players don't use are sold for profit, respawns, equipment damage and firearms theft account for lost revenue. Th
e fun part (hopefully) is that players can select what weapons and upgrades they want to research for their team in a menu, and these researches when completed manifest themselves immediately on the production line(s) of the team that did the research.

The production lines are the coolest things that are 100% working right now. Weapons pop out of some equipment one side, and are sold at the other. Anywhere in between you can pick them up and use them straight away.

What I was working on yesterday was weapon upgrades. I made a framework for researchable upgrades that can choose what weapons they want to be applicable to, and then do various things to them. For example, if I research Large SMG Magazines, new MP5s and UMP45s from the production line automatically get upgraded to use magazines of 45 bullets. Curently I've only done boring upgrades - damage, accuracy, ammunition capacity - but eventually it would be cool to have some silly, radical upgrades, like one that makes all your weapons use lasers and rechargeable energy cells instead of bullets. The one issue wih such big changes is how to appease players on a team who don't like lasers - well, we'll see if there are any!

The next big thing apart from making some weapon upgrades for rifles is giving the gamemode some actual gameplay and objectives. Stuff like players scoring points for kills, respawns reducing team money, some sort of destroyable equipment and bonus incentives for stealing enemy weapons (taking them back to a machine in your base to boost research?). But this stuff is mostly simple... the gamemode is going well so far, and I can't see any problems popping up in the immediate future (as long as we have good enough help that players work out how to play).

Gallery of images: (Parts of the HUD are temporary. The tech tree and its graphics are incomplete.)

Woo, I actually got images working the way Blogspot wants me to make them work.

Comment on my use of bold, by the way. I wanted this to be easily skimmable.


There's me, forgetting to update

I've decided it's probably about time I updated this.

...I'll do an actual post later. For now, I'll just say I've been up to quite a few things! <:D