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Thread: Exodus!

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Exodus!



    Overview

    Kenneth (ReqPro) Pedersen and I are mashing our heads together on a few game ideas. This is the first one to come together.
    Download - 47M

    Vote for us on Greenlight!

    In Exodus! you play the manager of all manager for the last of humanity. Your people have come down to the last of your resources and need to find another place to live. The good news is, you have found 20 planets in the near viscinity to move to, the bad news, your targeting capabilities are screwed up and the population of your home world is impatient. your goal is to adjust the populations of these planets to ensure they are able to live as long as possible, while consuming all of the resources at hand.

    1. The game starts with you looking down on your home world, and soon after the game starts a ship is launched into orbit. You have about 2 minutes, about the time it takes for your ship to orbit 3 times, to hit the launch button and send the crew on their merry way. If you do not launch within that 120s the crew is lost to friction with the atmosphere and will burn up with lots of screaming =( Woe is me!
    2. The ship will exhaust its fuel reserves and then coast until it either a) finds a planet, at which point the crew attempt to colonize it, or b) finds deep space at which time they die. =( Oh noes!
    3. Each populated planet will certainly have a group of nae-sayer grumps who just like traveling space and will want to leave after a period of time. This leads to each populated planet gaining the ability to launch ships. All occupied planets have the ability to launch ships, all ships contain people and these people need to get to another planet or their worries about global illumination, and drive to create MMORPGs will overwhelm them and they will die. =( Boo
    4. When a planet has its resources consumed the population will begin consuming itself, just like the Donner Party of old. This will cause more people to hop into ships to try to evade the swarms of rabid idiots and JavaScript developers who don't know what a closure is. During this phase of "growth" the population will burn at an accelerated rate, illustrating a global war breaking out, and ships will launch 10x more frequently. You may only ever be able to launch the ship that was least recently launched into orbit (FIFO), so during this phase you may have to catapult your ships off into the depths of space. See point 2 for death in space. =( This sucks!
    5. When a planet has exhausted its resources, and population, it will become a barren wasteland and any ships that attempt to land there will have to stay in orbit. This ship has one half of an orbit to find a new home. =( Man, its tough out there in space.


    Settings Menu


    Credits Screen


    Game Initialization Menu


    Alerts System



    Drop Down Population List


    The Team
    Bob Chatman - Bob@gneu.org - Programming & Lead Designer
    Kenneth Pedersen - ozone@requiem-productions.com - Programming & UI Designer
    Last edited by Bob_Gneu; 08-02-2014 at 01:51 AM. Reason: Now with 100% more download links.

  2. #2
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    Question Changelog

    Change Log

    v 1.0.3

    • UI Updates + Graphical improvments.


    • Basic Localization implementation to be expanded upon for


    v 1.0.0

    • Now with 100% more sounds and graphical elements
    • Official Public 1.0 release


    Alpha 8

    • Planet Size tied to resources on the planet
    • Level seed passed and parsed out of command line argument
    • Ships now thrust for a given time
    • Planets are now gravity sources!
    • Ships now collide with planets instead of overlapping
    • Ships have initial velocity
    • Difficulty is now a configuration object - More on this later!
    • UI Overhaul!


    Alpha 7

    • Level Seed is now exposed via the config file.
    • Addressed infinite loop when creating the universe layout.
    • Orbits now begin and end with variation on length and initial offset.
    • Started work on Alert notifications
    • The end of the game is now properly captured and will return you to the main menu to play again if you choose.
    • MOST OF ALL - We are now using physics for the motion of the ships when moving around in the universe.


    MS 1 - First Public Release

    • Cleaned up the code.
    • Fixed timer issue
    • Properly worked out issue with resources and population.


    Alpha 6

    • Highlighting of current planet
    • In Game UI overhaul
    • Main menu + Settings menu
    • Replace Epic assets with placeholders
    • Projection of ship trajectory into space
    • Resource consumption & population growth
    • Config files now house important details for tweaking



    Alpha 3

    • Smooth tween'd camera
    • Resource consumption & population growth
    • Selected Planet Overlay
    • Launch ship with Space and Launch button interaction.


    Alpha 2

    • Camera Movement!
    • Launches!
    • Scrollable real-time planet list!
    • More programmer art!


    Alpha 1

    • First Pass of UI using Slate
    • World Generation of planets
    • First Pass of Game Rules
    • Faux Circular orbits
    • Planet Rotation
    • First Pass of Game State Replication
    • Programmer Art!
    Last edited by Bob_Gneu; 08-02-2014 at 01:52 AM. Reason: Updating changelog

  3. #3
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    Wink Alpha 2

    Time for another update!

    Alpha 2
    • Camera Movement!
    • Launches!
    • Scrollable real-time planet list!
    • More programmer art!


    The poor colonists can now leave orbit in search of better worlds - too bad they forgot to grow landing gear so they can't actually land to colonize anything but the vacuum of space
    Slate has been tamed to such a degree that we now have expandable/collapsable planet status with scrolling and real-time population/resource levels. Soo purdyful (especially the programmer art!)
    The camera can actually move now o.O and zoom! Let's not forget the zoom!

    A few piccies for (y)our entertainment
    Name:  Exodus_01.jpg
Views: 1491
Size:  9.0 KB Name:  Exodus_02.jpg
Views: 1446
Size:  6.5 KB

  4. #4
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    Nice, Awesome, Brilliant.
    Thanks Epic!

  5. #5
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    Alpha Update #3!


    This week ReqPro and I spent our time trying to iron out the gameplay and smoothing out the experience. We are getting very close to a release-worthy title, so get your world managing gloves on and get ready to play Exodus.

    Colonists recently figured out what it means to consume resources, and have to deal with what happens when they consume everything. Suffice to say, its not good - lots of death results. - OH NOES!?!

    Really, this game is a starting off point for ReqPro and I to get used to the engine and expand our experience. We now have Slate, the organization of code and some interesting collaboration issues addressed. Lets hope that as things go forward move games will be released to show off our abilities and prove to you all that although we made a world managing game we aren't exactly gods - we just play them on T.V.


    Alpha 3


    Smooth tween'd camera
    Resource consumption & population growth
    Selected Planet Overlay
    Launch ship with Space and Launch button interaction.

  6. #6
    0

    Lightbulb

    A week later and 3 more alpha builds in, We are now entering a polish stage. Its time to clean up and optimize our algorithms and to replace the assets with our own. Key highlights with this build - Main Menu is coming together & resource and population growth are now ticking around with the rest of our elements.

    Exodus is nearly upon us all.

    Alpha 6


    • Highlighting of current planet
    • In Game UI overhaul
    • Main menu + Settings menu
    • Replace Epic assets with placeholders
    • Projection of ship trajectory into space
    • Resource consumption & population growth
    • Config files now house important details for tweaking



    If you are interested in testing, join us on #gneu on irc.gamesurge.net

  7. #7
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    the pictures are too dark plus make it a little higher res
    Game Artist

  8. #8
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by AzamKhan View Post
    the pictures are too dark plus make it a little higher res
    Thank you for the input. We strive to be better at our jobs, so please review the ones above.

    Also - the best screenshots are the ones from the live game. Go ahead and grab the download (Yes, a UE4 title for an investment of 38.8M).

    =) Enjoy!
    Last edited by Bob_Gneu; 04-15-2014 at 10:19 PM.

  9. #9
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    The Rainbow Warrior



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    Dear Bob,

    I am really enjoying your writing style in the original post!

    It is so uniquely.... You !

    Keep on writing just as you want to do, it's great!

    I look forward to seeing how this project comes along!

    Rama
    100+ UE4 C++ Tutorials on the UE4 Code Wiki, including UE4 Multi-Threading!

    UE4 Marketplace: Melee Weapon Plugin & Compressed Binary Save System Plugin | Rama's C++ AI Jumping Videos | Vertex Snap Editor Plugin

    Visit www.ue4code.com to see lots of videos about my C++ Creations! ♥ Rama

  10. #10
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    This has been another great dev session. Ken has tamed the beast that is Slate, and unearthed some really amazing bugs. I have been hard at work sanding the edges down and improving the experience. All and all im pretty happy with the latest build.

    Alpha 7

    • Level Seed is now exposed via the config file.
    • Addressed infinite loop when creating the universe layout.
    • Orbits now begin and end with variation on length and initial offset.
    • Started work on Alert notifications
    • The end of the game is now properly captured and will return you to the main menu to play again if you choose.
    • MOST OF ALL - We are now using physics for the motion of the ships when moving around in the universe.


    I'll try to record a couple samples to show off the new motion that will make Newton happy.

  11. #11
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    This last week has been stressful to the max, but it has paid off in spades. Slate is nearly tamed, so we took to overhauling the UI to be more professional, while adding in more programmer art! The other grand event that has occurred is that gravity is now being calculated for each planet in the universe - which has made the game into a very different beast. Although we are looking at tweaking it further, there are no more major issues ahead.

    Except maybe Leader boards.

    Alpha 8


    • Planet Size tied to resources on the planet
    • Level seed passed and parsed out of command line argument
    • Ships now thrust for a given time
    • Planets are now gravity sources!
    • Ships now collide with planets instead of overlapping
    • Ships have initial velocity
    • Difficulty is now a configuration object - More on this later!
    • UI Overhaul!

  12. #12
    0
    Alright folks, we are coming down to the end. Exodus is having its final touches tacked on and the some last minute tweaking of the values.

    Thanks to those of you who have played it thus far.

    The next release will be an official release.

    Does anyone want to write a haiku to celebrate saving the human race?

    Updates are coming

    P.S.
    By final touches, we mean tons more programmer Art + Sound Effects.

  13. #13
    0
    Alrighty. We have shelved a number of tweaks so we can get to work on the next project, and will likely have a patch fix in the next few weeks.
    Please grab the game and go to town! We need and welcome all forms of feedback so don't be shy.

  14. #14
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    Hey bob!
    I was looking at this thread again and realized you had a greenlight page also.
    So lemme give you what i do best, bashing

    Just from watching the video on your steampage it is not immediately clear what the goal of the game is, or the challenge, or the gameplay. To be honest i cant really figure it out when reading the text, which is, admittedly, still very amusing to read.

    From what i can tell you can select a planet which is colonized and send off its exodees by launching them tangentially off the planet, straight into other ones. It doesn't seem all that difficult, especially with the help line which shows the actual trajectory.
    I think it would need to extend it's mechanics to make it interesting enough to warrant buying it.

    Lemme fire off some quick ideas:
    -You need to send drones first to check whether a planet is actually habitable
    --if it is not habitable, you need to send terraforming drones or something, which takes time to transform the planet, all the while your other planets die.
    -The universe could be covered in some kind of fog of war, where you have to sent drone scoutes to actually find planets in the first place.
    -Colonyships need to enter the orbit directly instead of crashlanding right into the planet
    --planets would be orbiting around a star aswell, making it more challenging to find and land probes, satellites and colony ships.
    -environmental effects on the planets (seeing them whither away by pollution etc.) this is ue4 after all, make use of its mighty materials. Also great for feedback how urgent people need to recolonize.
    -Non fixed playfield: instead of randomly placed planets, have randomly created systems. i.e. start on our actual solar system, on earth, and try to find a new planet, swinging from one to another, trying to exit our solar system to find new habitable ones in another system.
    -tech-trees and technology updates
    --when colonizing a planet you can start to develop certain infrastructures. Science centers, sattelites which help navigate in space (remove fog of war or something). increasing the dotted line trajector by leveling up SPACE SCIENCE
    --More tech increases the polution aswell though


    On the art side of things, if there is one, there's a lot of work to be done, i'm sure you realized.
    Ui design is barely there. Theres no feeling of space, only blackness (yeah it might be accurate but it looks dull). Add some nebulae, starfield, milkyways etc to the background.

    Planets look hideous, and all the same, which makes for a very bland look and the colony ships look like airplanes.


    Apologies for being so harsh, but i rather tell what i honestly feel about it
    I believe it could feel very much like a small scale RTS where you fight against yourself, destroying everything you inhabit while searching for new planets to colonize and ultimately destroy, all for the search of the one planet, eden (or whatever :P).
    It could very well include some roguelite elements, some of which it already does, and create a truly unique and fun casual experience.
    Throw some interesting texts in there for flavor, you're a good writer after all, and i believe it could be a good success

    If you'd like to discuss more, you know where to find me

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wzl View Post
    Hey bob!
    I was looking at this thread again and realized you had a greenlight page also.
    So lemme give you what i do best, bashing

    Just from watching the video on your steampage it is not immediately clear what the goal of the game is, or the challenge, or the gameplay. To be honest i cant really figure it out when reading the text, which is, admittedly, still very amusing to read.

    From what i can tell you can select a planet which is colonized and send off its exodees by launching them tangentially off the planet, straight into other ones. It doesn't seem all that difficult, especially with the help line which shows the actual trajectory.
    I think it would need to extend it's mechanics to make it interesting enough to warrant buying it.

    Lemme fire off some quick ideas:
    -You need to send drones first to check whether a planet is actually habitable
    --if it is not habitable, you need to send terraforming drones or something, which takes time to transform the planet, all the while your other planets die.
    -The universe could be covered in some kind of fog of war, where you have to sent drone scoutes to actually find planets in the first place.
    -Colonyships need to enter the orbit directly instead of crashlanding right into the planet
    --planets would be orbiting around a star aswell, making it more challenging to find and land probes, satellites and colony ships.
    -environmental effects on the planets (seeing them whither away by pollution etc.) this is ue4 after all, make use of its mighty materials. Also great for feedback how urgent people need to recolonize.
    -Non fixed playfield: instead of randomly placed planets, have randomly created systems. i.e. start on our actual solar system, on earth, and try to find a new planet, swinging from one to another, trying to exit our solar system to find new habitable ones in another system.
    -tech-trees and technology updates
    --when colonizing a planet you can start to develop certain infrastructures. Science centers, sattelites which help navigate in space (remove fog of war or something). increasing the dotted line trajector by leveling up SPACE SCIENCE
    --More tech increases the polution aswell though


    On the art side of things, if there is one, there's a lot of work to be done, i'm sure you realized.
    Ui design is barely there. Theres no feeling of space, only blackness (yeah it might be accurate but it looks dull). Add some nebulae, starfield, milkyways etc to the background.

    Planets look hideous, and all the same, which makes for a very bland look and the colony ships look like airplanes.


    Apologies for being so harsh, but i rather tell what i honestly feel about it
    I believe it could feel very much like a small scale RTS where you fight against yourself, destroying everything you inhabit while searching for new planets to colonize and ultimately destroy, all for the search of the one planet, eden (or whatever :P).
    It could very well include some roguelite elements, some of which it already does, and create a truly unique and fun casual experience.
    Throw some interesting texts in there for flavor, you're a good writer after all, and i believe it could be a good success

    If you'd like to discuss more, you know where to find me
    Hey there and thanks for the constructive criticism! It's always great to hear what we can improve and getting ideas on what to put into the game.

    The game as such is at a very early prototype stage and is populated entirely by programmer art meant as placeholders, so that's the explanation for the admittedly horrible visual quality

    As you correctly assumed, the game is incredibly simple, nothing to break your brain in there - EXCEPT: the difficulty; Since a launched ship of exodees can only orbit a certain period of time before the ship burns up in the atmosphere due to fuel loss or what have you, it quickly turns very chaotic once you have several planets colonized - it becomes a juggling match to keep ships moving between planets without accidentally firing them off into deep space and before their orbit time runs out.
    On top of that, you mention the trajectory guide as making aiming the ships easy - as a ship floats through space it is affected by the gravity fields of the parent planet as it leaves orbit, as well as any planets it comes close enough to, heavily altering the heading of the ship - believe me, aiming is not as easy as it looks, and particularly not when you're on a timer

    Now, your suggestions are pretty great and definitely not something I'll reject off the bat, and to be quite honest, some of it we have already discussed putting in. The reason this game is so bare-bones at this point is because we wanted to throw out a prototype to gauge interest before we invest a whole lot more time into it. We had also discussed a star field shader in the background, being completely procedural and all some such wonderful stuff, making use of some of Unreal Engine's incredible features - again, if interest is high enough for this game, Bob and I will definitely be expanding it and polishing it to its full potential.
    Your suggestion about changing materials as the planets are slowly consumed was on the drawing board as well, but again, we decided not to put too much time into the game if the interest turned up to be nigh zero, I hope that makes sense.

    Finally, please don't apologize for being harsh - your criticism was very constructive and extremely helpful, not to mention very politely written - we're grateful for the input as it will definitely help us make a better game.

    Thanks again!

    Best regards,
    ReqPro
    Last edited by ReqPro; 05-28-2014 at 08:39 AM.

  16. #16
    0
    Over the last month, I’ve been trodding paths left untrodden.


    First, from the screenshots of the main menu, and throughout the game, the UI has been wiped once, and our UI/UX guy has many more updates in the pipeline. Behind the scenes, there has been a considerable code overhaul, addressing a couple playability issues, but all and all its been quite a nice few weeks.


    Difficulties are now in place, we had to rework some of the titles, but suffice to say that they are all working now. The values for them are likely to be changing in the next release, and possibly all following releases if our testing doesn’t go smoothly. Many of the components driving the simulation, like orbital distance, speed and the impulse you get out of the ship upon launch are driven by the difficulties system.


    All over the game you will find a number of graphical improvements. Our Main menu has been spruced up, gaining the backdrop, as well as showing off texture for consumed planets - up close and personal. Once you are in game you will also see that the planets and backdrop are present there, showing off the transitions to consumed. Hopefully this will help convey the state of the planets in game.


    We are also taking steps to get the game on Desura, which may not have the prolific gamer population as steam but definitely has some merit for Indie developers, such as our team.


    Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=264273221
    Desura: http://www.desura.com/games/exodus-ue4


    As always you can follow development and downloads via our forum posts on the UE forums
    Forums: https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?818-Game-Alpha-Exodus!

  17. #17
    0
    When we first started working on this, neither Ken nor I knew that things would get this popular. We are incredibly happy to have so much positive interest in the game, let alone the criticism and support that has been shared. With the praise aside, we bring you Exodus 1.0.3 - Enjoy.

    This release includes a number of general tweaks.

    Difficulties are now working, appropriately. The values for each are not exactly well tweaked, but its a great leap forward and I hope that further input will give us the input we need to help hone the game into something useful. Be careful on the smaller planets. Your orbit is about 100x more important when you get in closer - hint! hint!

    The UI and Visual tweaks that so many of you were happy to see are included in this release. I am still working with our UI/UX engineer to get his mockups into place, so expect a rather significant update in a future release.

    Localization support has been implemented. I will be compiling a list of the phrases that we use throughout the game, and given that google is an acceptable tool for some of you - I will be calling on you to help our team localize the game. As it stands the game defaults to english and the mechanics for localization are yet to be integrated - but in due time every language from Aari to Zuni.

    Grab the latest release, take a dive into the chaos that is Exodus and let us know what your thoughts are!

    1.0.3 Download | http://projects.gneu.org/exodus/Exodus.103.zip

    Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=264273221
    Desura: http://www.desura.com/games/exodus-ue4

    As always you can follow development and downloads via our forum posts on the UE forums
    Forums: https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?818-Game-Alpha-Exodus!


  18. #18
    0
    The game has been greenlit!

    Though it has definitely been a long (long, long, long) road to get to this point, Exodus is far from dead, and so ... I need your help.

    I am looking for 4-8 seasoned game players that would be interested being my core team of testers for Exodus. I am looking to release it in the next month or so and will need weekly meetings of about an hour and emails after each playtest for the extent of the project.

    This is unpaid, but you will get a free copy of my game and get credits with the release of the game - if that is worth it to you please don't respond here.

    One such tester will be the lead and need to forfeit a bit more of their time helping me organize and ensure that the tests run smoothly. She may also need to organize the testing sessions without my input.

    Email me: bob@gneu.org
    Please ensure the subject is Exodus Testing

  19. #19
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    The game is out!

    It has been through a number of re-envision-ings and revivals... now it can be a means for the many of you who have supported me morally to support me financially =)

    Thank you all so very much! I hope to repay you all with my own cold hard cash, if not further writing and tutorial pwnage. =)

    Follow discussions here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/377220

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