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TimeGentleman

Amnesia Adventure Concept Brainstorming

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Oh, I meant including inventory items within that, definitely.

As for the hub, I picture it as a rather depressing little retirement home room. I hadn't thought about how we represent getting to memories, but I think as you'll be jumping between them, a map screen would be best...

The current prevailing idea for solving rooms is that you get a clue from each, which you need to use in a database to solve the identity of a mystery figure. But it's all still up for debate. Yours could work if we say that the tech allows you to pull items out of your memories, but I feel like the clues thing ties in stronger with the 'amnesiac recovers their memories' story...

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The hub idea is great! If you go with fake memories, they could be entered from the VHS of a TV show or a signed poster.

Here's an idea for a memory: lost in space!! The adventurer has to recover the "master screw" that has floated off to space. Players control him/her with RCS (little suit-rockets), which makes for a challenging screw chase!

Once back in the capsule, the screw serves to something fun or cute. Like holding the portrait of a beloved into the walls (aww), or putting it back on the space toilet! :D

spaceadventure.thumb.jpeg.9c956312cb739a22c4d7588347b8f48e.jpeg

Edited by kednar
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Oh I would love to help with rigging and animation. Cut-out characters would fit great for this, I think! à la Broken Age.

 

Edited by kednar

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Cool idea! This opens up a couple of issues:

can we have multi-room memories? I don't see why not in theory as long as we are able to gather assets in enough time, but there may be stuff I'm not thinking of in practical coding-time terms.

once we're settled on the mechanics of opening new memories and goal structure, we should take these into consideration when coming up with scenarios. So, say if we went with the "open up new memories by being reminded of them in currently available ones" and the "the goal per memory is to find a clue to the mystery character's identity" mechanics, that's at least two things we need per memory, alongside any internal puzzles. So when suggesting more minimal settings we would have to keep that in mind (shouldn't be too difficult, though: here, a constellation or nebula could remind the protagonist of anything we like, and the clue could be, say, sampling their vapour trail from when they stalked us from afar in their flying saucer).

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1 hour ago, TimeGentleman said:

Cool idea! This opens up a couple of issues:can we have multi-room memories?

Multi-room memories shouldn't be a problem coding wise, since game states are handled with global flags, but we should agree on a naming convention (and keep a reference document), to make it easier on ourselves when things start getting complex. Eg. "[memory]_[room]_[flag]" for something that is specific to one room, and maybe "[memory]_[flag]" for something that is relevant to multiple rooms. 

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It's interesting to see the different things that "hub" area inspires in people. In my mind, it was a dark sci-fi crime lab with a mind scanner in one corner and big displays on the walls :D

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I have a memory idea:

You're an assassin and it's set in a fantasy world like Lord of the Rings.

Your target could be a prince next in line for the throne. The prince is always going out hunting and the best way to assassinate him would be to break into the stables and rig his saddle with a poisonous needle.

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I was going through this thread to populate the Amnesia Adventure Update Log, and I like what's been thrown out so far, and in populating it, it seems like everyone's ideas can actually fall into place pretty neatly:

An aged adventurer has a form of dementia, and the memory loss makes it difficult to remember things.  The hub area can be a bunch of different objects, which when selected, trigger a memory, whether it's real or not (I like the idea of giving clues that it's not a real memory as opposed to actually spelling it out - with objects, which was suggested, like a VHS tape or a television screen.  Within each memory, you have to piece together clues (I don't know if any of you ever played the free adventure game Rosemary, but it might be helpful to reveal things like they did.  When you trigger a memory within a memory, a new object appears in the scene.

I also like the idea of gender and race (and maybe even species) being fluid in memories.  It would be best to keep the reason for this shrouded in mystery at first - and then we can work out whether the character is just a human with dementia, or an intergalactic being that can change form (if we do go that route, maybe we can use a shapeshifter like Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine).

I like the idea of piecing together the clues at the end too, but it might be best to have that be a long term goal, and just go for getting through the memories via the hub for now to keep the scope realistic for a two week development cycle.

I'll pop up some issues to the issue tracker where we can nail things down. Of course, if you're more comfortable using a forum, feel free to continue to do that as well - as I'll populate the issue tracker with everyone's ideas if they hadn't done so themselves.

I think, coding wise, the best thing right now would be to determine the structure of the hub, as the memories can be clicked from there (a new scene would be added in Godot, which is pretty straightforward actually).  If someone has an idea for concept art for a hub (if they already did, I apologize in advance, as I haven't yet scoured the concept art thread), I'm comfortable with setting up a temporary hub area in the skeleton engine to work with - anyone who volunteered to code, feel free to expand upon it - or throw your hand up if you'd like to do it - as it's likely my attempt would be barebones, as I'd like to focus on The Lost Dev Team as much as possible, since the amount of people working on that is much lower than this (which is perfectly fine, because to be honest - I love adventure games, and I completely understand that people would be excited to work on them). :D

Sorry that I hadn't yet populated the issue tracker or finished up the wiki - I was quite tired after uploading the skeleton engine yesterday, and it's Easter today, so I'm a bit preoccupied ATM.  I'll get it all sorted now, while I have time before I have to head over to my sister's house for Easter dinner.

Edit: The Issue tracker is populated with basic necessities.  Feel free to add an issue if what you're interested in working on isn't up there. :)

Edit 2: I forgot to mention the identifying scar.  I really like this idea, so that you can be aware that you are controlling the same character (or at least the imagination of said character).  An X marked scar on the cheek would be good, as it would be easy to spot, and that way it can be incorporated even in black and white or abstract scenes.

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Let's push programming and project status update type stuff out into separate threads and leave this one for narrowing down on the game's core concept.

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37 minutes ago, Cheeseness said:

Let's push programming and project status update type stuff out into separate threads and leave this one for narrowing down on the game's core concept.

I agree, it's best not to make this topic harder to follow.  I split out the discussion of programming and asset creation to a new thread, which can be found here.

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13 hours ago, Jenni said:

If someone has an idea for concept art for a hub (if they already did, I apologize in advance, as I haven't yet scoured the concept art thread), I'm comfortable with setting up a temporary hub area in the skeleton engine to work with

Are there any tech requirements for this at the moment? Size etc? Can't see any in GitHub at the mo. Also, are we happy to go with whatever concept for this as it's only temporary?

So, are you thinking that (for initial scoping) the goal within each memory should be to access a clue to the present mystery - a shoe-print etc? So once you've collected all of them the protagonist will solve the mystery?

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No, there are no such limitations, but graphics should preferably be in png format, and we need to decide on a size for backgrounds. Adding/replacing most assets is relatively straightforward, so I'm happy to go with whatever is ready first, and then replace as needed. 

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Alrighty, I'm knocking something up at the same size as the other concept art from the original pitch. It's extremely rough!

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4 minutes ago, flesk said:

No, there are no such limitations, but graphics should preferably be in png format, and we need to decide on a size for backgrounds. Adding/replacing most assets is relatively straightforward, so I'm happy to go with whatever is ready first, and then replace as needed. 

Do we need to decide on a size? Can we potentially just scale everything up to window height and allow horizontal scrolling for anything that ends up too wide? I guess the danger there is ugly anti-aliasing for unusually sized stuff, but I suppose we'd get that when running anything at non-native size.

My suggestion would be to make 1920x1080 the project's native size, and invite contributors to upscale anything lower res before committing.

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Is that quite a big size to ask of people, though, taking into account character animations and such as well?

Here's the rough hub for you: http://i.imgur.com/nmgBjAW.png

nmgBjAW.png

I tried to include a few surfaces for items to appear on, in case you're experimenting with that. Feel free to hack it around/not use it - I just made it in about ten minutes!

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5 minutes ago, TimeGentleman said:

Is that quite a big size to ask of people, though, taking into account character animations and such as well?

Contributors would similarly upscale character sprites, object sprites, etc., so it'd be up to contributors how large/small to make the apparent resolution. For example, if I want my scene to look like it's 320x180, I make it at 320x180, but scale it up by 600% before contributing it (using no interpolation to achieve nice hard pixel edges), and any characters or elements made for that scene would also be made small, then upscaled before being put in the game. That way everything that goes into the game is the same size, but people are still free to do their work at whatever res suits them.

Rough hub looks neat :)

 

 

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Good points regarding size, and I'm happy to work with anything the artists contribute. That's a great hub design to start with, TimeGentleman. :)

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Thanks both :)

I've populated the Initial Design Notes and Longer Term Ideas pages on the Git Hub wiki and linked to the former in this thread's OP. I think it would be really helpful for people to take a look at what's been nailed down and what has been suggested so far. Even if people don't have any ideas to suggest, it would be great to hear what people think should or shouldn't go in, and why.

Filling those pages has clarified something for me: I don't like the mechanic of always travelling to memories by interacting with objects. This is because:

  • it will create more tracking back-and-forth and clicking for the player
  • if we gain access to a new memory from within a current one, or from anything other than looking at an object (e.g. talking to an NPC or performing a one-off action) the solutions to this aren't great: a new item appears in the hub (makes no sense) or you have to recreate the interaction (potentially impossible or lots of effort). We'd be tying our hands creatively if we have to work around this
  • it ruins the joke/potential puzzle value of fake memories if we go into them via a VHS or whatever. The gradual realisation that they're fake would be a great comedy moment for the player.

I'd suggest a portable map device that can be accessed from any screen by pressing tab or whatever. The player can then click on whichever memory and go straight there. These could also have number or function key shortcuts on the laptop (we could even make the unlocked number shortcuts available from any screen, so if the player can remember which is which they don't even need to open the map).

Here's a mock-up (please don't focus on this though, this is very rough and off the top of my head - it could be done in a variety of ways):

T7raeJx.png

Also, just wanted to check this with @Jenni, make sure I've understood correctly:

6 hours ago, TimeGentleman said:

So, are you thinking that (for initial scoping) the goal within each memory should be to access a clue to the present mystery - a shoe-print etc? So once you've collected all of them the protagonist will solve the mystery?

 

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The engine is currently set at 1024x768, but I can up that if people would prefer working with art at a higher resolution.  And, yeah, one clue per scene would be best for the initial scope (and I didn't think about auto-solving, but that's perfect for the short-run, if we continue this project after AF, we can work on the clue puzzle in the long term).

We can still do clues to open up new clues in the scenes themselves, but the scene should go back to the hub once the final clue is found (for the initial scope).

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In terms of items appearing in the hub, I think it'd be cool if the adventurer's home has something similar to a trophy case or some sort of memorial wall /.collection of keepsakes. The items are kept in the dark and can only be lit up / unlocked with a password, which comes from the memory itself. This screen would work as where the player access different memories. Fake memories can be like a box full of junk (film tape, comics, etc.) on the shelves on the same wall instead of a trophy.

hub_concept_00.thumb.JPG.1ee8755e0d05924988c2873c959dc536.JPG

A note on an identifying feature for the protagonist across all memories: It would be easier to make this a part of the clothes they're wearing (like a red bandanna or weird glasses) instead of something like a scar. Unless it's on the character's forehead, the scar should ideally only show up on one side of the character, meaning flipping the sprite won't make sense.

I'm also happy to work on hub art to start us off with as soon as we settle on how we want the player to access memories etc.

 

Edited by WavingPeople

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Just wrapped up a job I've been on so I should have more time to pitch in now. Here's a late night sketch of what I'd imagine to be the menu screen. After the player presses play, the menu falls away to reveal the wall if adventures (and if the player had solved any memories, the appropriate place on the wall will light up! See bottom left for rough ref of the wall of adventures). Ignore the top left thumbnail. I forgot to cross that one out :P

image.thumb.jpeg.a112f80be26fad41a6863b37ecc62b7d.jpeg

Didn't post this in concept art because I'm also wondering what you folks think about the wall of adventures being the portal / access point to memories. False memories still have a place on the wall, they're just not as decorated / fancy when finished (would look funny to have a VHS tape next to a dragon's head or whatever!).

Edited by WavingPeople

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Today, I'd like to lock down the specifics of the story and the way the game works, so that we can move forward with making the game (feel free to continue submitting ideas for longer term goals though :)).

An aged adventurer has dementia and can no longer remember things without being prompted.  The adventurer is in a retirement home, and has a room full of memorabilia from previous adventures (the wall of adventure can certainly be included, but we should have items that aren't necessarily from adventures as well - and feel free to include something that may seem real, but is later revealed as a false memory - so don't feel like false memories have to be accessed by VHS tapes or something similar).

Each item leads to a memory of an adventure (so we should keep the room empty of items except for those for the adventure (such as a grandfather clock for a real adventure or a stuffed troll for a false memory).  The items for the memories that haven't been completed yet are darkened, and when the main clue is found (in the short term, the rooms will have a single clue, multiple clues and a final puzzle to sort them will be a long term goal) the game goes back to the retirement home, and the object is now lightened (for the short term goal, we'll have this room be locked at this point, to keep the scope small, but in the long term once we have more clues, we can allow the rooms to be re-entered).

The resolution for the background art is 1024x768, with black bars on the top and bottom to accommodate the inventory (1024x180 for the bottom and 1024x87 for the top - the latter simply to make it align properly in the engine).

There are no size limitation on the character, as each scene will use a different player character due to the dementia of the adventurer (so gender, race, and even species can change between scenes),

We'll lock down the mystery and the answer closer to the end of AF, so that we can work out how to fit in all of the clues into the mystery (don't worry too much about story in the memories - just go crazy, since this project is meant to be open :)).

If you have anything else that you feel should be added, or want to discuss changing anything, let me know.  Tomorrow, the basics will be set in stone and we can start working on the game in earnest. :D

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Hey there, just caught up with everything and finished the work I've been doing, so I should be reasonably free for the now. 

That all sounds great @Jenni, good to keep to a strict scope, better to finish "early" and expand later. :)

@WavingPeople That looks awesome, would you, or anyone mind if I started working on some button and title designs? If you're not already working on it, that is.

I'm much more used to interface and graphic design, when it comes to the traditional art side of things I tend to either take ages or just fall over. xD

Edited by Mythalore

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2 hours ago, Jenni said:

The resolution for the background art is 1024x768, with black bars on the top and bottom to accommodate the inventory (1024x180 for the bottom and 1024x87 for the top - the latter simply to make it align properly in the engine).

I'm still going to push for/suggest 1920x1080 as the native resolution (Godot is capable of running smaller when smaller resolutions are desired) and having contributors who want to work lower res scale their stuff up.
 

2 hours ago, Jenni said:

each scene will use a different player character

Each scene shouldn't have to use a different player character. I think it's pretty important to leave open the option for contributors to share character sprites (or even backgrounds and inventory items) across memories if they'd like to - these kinds of collaborations can yield cool results!

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7 hours ago, WavingPeople said:

Didn't post this in concept art because I'm also wondering what you folks think about the wall of adventures being the portal / access point to memories. False memories still have a place on the wall, they're just not as decorated / fancy when finished (would look funny to have a VHS tape next to a dragon's head or whatever!).

I dig this memento oriented interface, but I think that @TimeGentleman's PDA type concept feels a bit more scalable - as in, if we end up few contributed memories vs lots, the layout of a trophy wall could be awkward to work with? Maybe we could make it a scrolling screen that expanded to include any additional stuff that people added over time?

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@Mythalore go ahead! I haven't delved too deep into anything just yet :D

@Cheeseness realistically I don't think this project will need much scalability. The custom memento wall would work for the small number of contributors we have now and make it look good. The wall can also be expanded in the future and contain photos or pictures instead of objects. The wall has the added benefit of giving the player a sense of progress and achievement. The more they've done the more things will populate their once lonely retirement home!

@Jenni I'd agree with Cheese and go for 1920x1089. Bigger art can be compressed down but smaller art doesn't look good stretched.

Edited by WavingPeople

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5 hours ago, Cheeseness said:

I'm still going to push for/suggest 1920x1080 as the native resolution (Godot is capable of running smaller when smaller resolutions are desired) and having contributors who want to work lower res scale their stuff up.
 

Each scene shouldn't have to use a different player character. I think it's pretty important to leave open the option for contributors to share character sprites (or even backgrounds and inventory items) across memories if they'd like to - these kinds of collaborations can yield cool results!

Aye.  I should have made that clearer.  Each room can have a different player character, but you can certainly use the player character in different rooms.

I upped the resolution to 1920x1080, with a 1920x50 black border at the bottom to be used for inventory.  I also added TimeGentleman's room concept art for the hub (with the grandfather clock leading via click to taekon's concept art and a Doug the Ogre doll standing in for a room based on my Doug's Moai Adventure game.

 

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10 minutes ago, WavingPeople said:

@Cheeseness realistically I don't think this project will need much scalability. The custom memento wall would work for the small number of contributors we have now and make it look good. The wall can also be expanded in the future and contain photos or pictures instead of objects. The wall has the added benefit of giving the player a sense of progress and achievement. The more they've done the more things will populate their once lonely retirement home!

I know it's easy to feel like scalability issues shouldn't be a concern, but the entire project is geared around being modular and extensible in a way that allows it to be as big or as small as contributed memories make it without that impacting on the framing or presentation of the game as a whole. It's my hope that Amnesia Adventure will live on beyond AF, potentially growing to include dozens of little vignette stories. If we make decisions with that in mind now (which I don't think necessarily conflicts with conveying player progress in a resonant way), then it'll be more likely to have a life of its own and grow beyond our work here :)

If "fake" memories are depicted as a box of junk, that means that players will know ahead of time whether or not a memories is real or not. Is that the path we want to go down?

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@Cheeseness Fake memories would still be up on the wall, but instead of being a glorious memento they'd be like a DVD case taped to the wall / some trivial object attached to the wall instead of being mounted and the like. The wall can be easily adaptable to be something scale-able, but since I'm not calling the shots I'll leave it up to you folks. I might have a comic deadline I need to push for anyway so I might not have that much to contribute after all. Will keep y'all posted <3

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