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Reverend Speed

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A member registered Apr 27, 2015 · View creator page →

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Are you up to shoot the shit and get spooked?

I'm an Irish cis dude, looking to hang out with someone and play through Fatal Frame (or other fixed multicam games) via emulator, using Parsec or Steam Remote Play or something, semi-regularly. Say, one or two hours at 10pm GMT/UTC, couple of times a week.

Ideally looking to play with an adult (18+) who hasn't played Fatal Frame before, but has an interest in survival horror or fixed multicam games, likes discussing game design/criticism, doesn't drink too much marketing kool-aid and has a fairly broad knowledge of games. 

Uh, fair warning, I swear quite a bit. =)

Sadly, I can't seem to post my full response here (might be too big?). Here's a link to my impressions of the demo...

I run the Fixed Camera Appreciation Society on Steam - please let me know if we can help promote your game in any way (eg. we'd be happy to put out an announcement to our members about your demo here on Itch).

Again, thanks for that folks. The second I touched that generator I knew I was in for a blast. =D

Hey folks, just a note that the Discord link above appears to be expired!

Many, many days later - thanks @jherland, that's helpful! I went back to the game and got to grips with those commands. Cheers!

Great setting, textures, modelling, spooky enemies and fantastic atmosphere compensate for somewhat awkward controls. Bonus points for not using the pivot camera too much! I'd love to see more than this demo...!

Added to our indie games list on Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

Apolysis (Demo) community · Created a new topic Intriguing!

Grungy, psychadelic, quite linear... but pretty intriguing! I'm curious to see what the full version would be like.

Added to our indie games list on Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

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Well, Jesse, I'm somewhat biased on whether you should continue the project - with the whole Fixed Camera Appreciation Society , etc! But I was really impressed with your setting and the somewhat bizarre plot - I'm curious to see where that goes! The whole scale/perspective thing is basically a useful learning experience, I'm sure you'll have no problems with that in future (although it might just be easier to do the backgrounds in realtime, ala Dino Crisis, Code Veronica and Resi Outbreak!).

Either way - a great achievement in so little time! Loved the FMVs also! =D

* APOLYSIS - Grungy, psychadelic, quite linear... but pretty intriguing! I'm curious to see what the full version would be like.
* WALK - Controls are ALL OVER THE PLACE, but it's a really interesting use of real photographs as backgrounds for Fixed Cam stealth gameplay. May... also be a stealth advertisement for a Finnish health spa game. S'weird. But interesting!
* PROTAGORAS BLEEDS - Good grief, this looks FANTASTIC. PS1-ish shaders/models/textures, but the developer has a VERY strong grasp of cinematic presentation. Worth a look! https://twitter.com/BryceBucher
(Special mention to That Which Gave Chase - if you liked Gravity Bone / Thirty Flights of Loving / Virginia, games that combine scripted cinematic editing with some NOVEL controls and an interesting setting... it's well worth checking out!)

Added to our indie games list on Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

Hmm. The theme and setting are interesting and the common enemy is underused in survival horror - there's some great, creepy discoveries to be made! Puzzle UI is servicible and the puzzles themselves are mostly sensible (except for finding a battery in the washing machine)... but at one point it's possible to trigger a combat encounter which is insufficiently telegraphed, which is frustrating. The fixed camera angles are fine, but it often uses a swoopy lerp between them which is very distracting and fourth-wall-breaking (I've seen that used effectively to inform players about world state-changes in other games, but it's used too much here). I'd prefer a simple cut between angles. 2D art is FANTASTIC, but the 3D art is uneven - the title screen's great, but the environments and characters need a lot more work to hit the aesthetic they're trying for. That said, the enterprise as a whole is very exciting and intriguing - I'd love to see a further polished iteration!

Added to our indie games list on Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

Possibly the most Silent Hill-ist game I've played since the original Silent Hill. Leans overmuch on pivot cameras and lacks... any lighting, but the open environment, the pixelated textures, the gradient fog... absolutely hits the spot for SH1. The character models are interesting also - nicely modeled and moodily captured by the camera work (though it's no Takayoshi Sato!). Ambient soundtrack is spot-on, though it repeats too much. There's a light puzzle(?), but the emphasis is on exploration. Basically, if you like the thought of being attacked by ambulatory meat-platters, this game is for you.

Added to our indie games list on Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

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Workable exploration-focused Silent-Hill-alike drowning in 'flavour text', without providing motivation for the player or, really, the character to continue. Nice shaders, slightly creepy staging, character is well-modelled and gets around sufficiently well. A couple of very slight 'puzzles'. This delivers the affect of something like Silent Hill but currently lacks a compelling incentive to continue.

Added to our indie games list on Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

Tons of work and heart, and one of the most interesting settings for a fixed cam game that I've encountered! That said, the pre-rendered backgrounds are often cartoonishly out of scale with the characters... and the 'stylised' character modelling and proportions clash horribly with the semi-realistic backgrounds. Controls are servicible and there's a working key puzzle. There's obviously a ton of passion and thought gone into this, and I'd love to see later revisions...!

Added to our indie games list on Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

Has a Metal Gear Solid / The Thing / Resident Evil vibe, which I can dig. Looks very attractive, except there's no smoothing on the main character's face which in combination with the (seeming?) motion capture, make her look like she's wearing a papier mache helmet...! Lots of FMVs, great texturing and lighting work, a decent logic puzzle and, uh, a very brief dusting of combat.

Added to our indie games list on Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

If Silent Hill had been made at the very start of the PS1 generation and enjoyed a light Lovecraft theming, it would be Shadow Over Normoth. 3D models are rudimentary but effective, combat is a bit clunky but serviceable. Loads of enemies - including three bosses! Light puzzling with levers and gates - overall a promising demonstration of the developer's skills!

Added to our indie games list on the Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

Good grief, I enjoyed this game - right up to the moment where I needed to engage in combat. The shooting controls are abysmal... but the atmosphere, the tone, the initial story and story delivery... Mmm-mmm, splendid. Fixed cams used to brilliant effect, evoking Italian horror films and slowly soaking the player in dread... Why is this not on Steam? (With changes to the shooting controls, natch)

Added to our indie games list on the Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

A VERY faithful looking / sounding recreation of the Resident Evil 2 (PS1) experience - pre-rendered, somewhat-compressed backgrounds, lots of zombie texture variety, some VERY light puzzling and a boss! Takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, but delivers a strong hit of nostalgia!

Added to our indie games list on the Fixed Camera Appreciation Society!

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Hey folks! I'm something of a fan of fixed cam games (like Alone in the Dark,  Resident Evil, White Night etc - see this thread) , and as I couldn't find somewhere to discuss my interests, I set up a Steam group and curator for folks who enjoy games made with this approach - might be worth checking out, even if you just want to see a list of more fixed cam games...!

I'm also maintaining a thread there for indie games that use Fixed Cameras - so if you're interested or think I've missed an important game, sign up and lemme know! =D

(I used the 'Design' tag as I'm hoping people will talk about that approach in this group, but I guess it could also go under 'Marketing' if you're making a game like AitD, etc)

I think I'm okay with Cherry-pick, but I do not understand the instructions for 'git rebase -i'

FanTASTIC program, by the way!

 --Rev

Ehh, I can't really complain much about folks who strive for photorealism in games - it's a measurable, objective goal, both as a technician and an artist, and there are honestly scant few of those kinds of achievements in life. I salute those who seek to attain that peak, even as I acknowledge as John Carmack said back in the day, "We're past the knee of the curve in terms of major noticeable graphical improvements."

I'm more of a 'right tool for the right job' kinda guy. TF2 looks great, Monkey Island looks great, Apex Legends looks great, Papers Please looks great, Return of the Obra Dinn looks great. Some aesthetics require GPU grunt.

Isss all coool. =D

Ach, I'd hardly say I'm any expert in the area, but it just seems like something that hasn't been fully explored yet (though we know many of the weaknesses).

I don't think dutching should have any major 'gameplay' influence, as long as the players can orientate themselves in relation to their previous position and angle. Are you suggesting dutching the camera 'live'? There's a great example of that in the intro to Silent Hill... 

Relatively easy to program but unsettling as all hell. =D

Another thing to  think about is the controls - many people hate 'tank' controls, but at least they stay consistent and player-relative across different camera angles. Camera-relative controls are more 'intuitive', or immediately familiar, but as the angle changes, so does the meaning of 'forward' for the character. There's some ways to get around that - 

1) you don't change the axis everything relates to until the player

a. rests the stick or 

b. pushes the stick X degrees away from the heading they were on when the camera changed

2) You interpolate the reference axis towards the new camera reference over a few frames - can feel a little loopy, but players can perceive the change progressing and correct, it's not instantaneous.

3) Take a trick from Heavy Rain and assign one button to 'walk forward', while the stick only directs the attention of the character. Ideally, that way you don't feel the change in cam angles if you're just pushing 'walk forward'. It's like a combination of tank and cam-relative controls. It's still not perfect, by any means, but it's pretty interesting.

...

Maaaan, I really want to find a place to talk about all this stuff! =/

Yeah, sorry, I could have been clearer here.

I'd suggest that each fixed camera has to do three things (in order of importance, with 1 being most important):

1) Provide readable environments with clear paths of traversal and affordance opportunities for players. This, I think, can be proven by using rudimentary geometry as seen in the Parasite Eve screenshots posted above. Like greyboxing, your level should be fun to navigate and play at this stage.

2) Convey information to the player through established cinematic language (eg. elevated angles emphasise the weakness of the Player Character, refusing to move the camera with the player shows their lack of power etc). Camera angles need to change with the >30degrees rule, though they will often ignore the 180degree rule.

3) Aethetics - framing, prop design, lighting, camera lens, post processing, particles, colour palette, etc. Some elements here (palette, for example) might be worth figuring out before building the environment (1), but for the most part polishing stuff like this could be left towards the end of the fixed camera design.

... I'll be honest, I'm still thinking this stuff out. I might swap some bits around! But each fixed camera should be humming with intentionality, and so I tend to think of 1 and 2 first. ...Just thinking about process, one might design the camera positioning with 2 in mind at first, refining with 1 then polishing with 3. =/

I figure this'll get mixed up a bit during production!

The swivel camera - it can be nice to maybe imply that somebody's watching the player, but... A key reason to go with fixed cameras in the first place is that you believe an intentional, authored choice of camera angle can impart information about mood, power dynamics, relative knowledge, emotion, irony, goal progression, attitude, stability and more to the player without going right out and just stating it. You tap into the Kuleshov effect by changing the camera when the player moves into a different zone - they *will* infer meaning as they encounter this.

But as soon as you put the camera on a swivel and have it auto-track the PC without vignetting, all that goes out the window. The camera is just a boring slave of the player - the only meaning it can impart is that which the player gives it by moving closer or further from the pivot. It says the developer wants to achieve the tone and atmosphere of an Alone in the Dark 1 or Resi 2 and has technology beyond the dreams of the makers of those games... but has absolutely no understanding of the craft or conventions they're failing to ape.

...

Blah blah blah rant. =D As I say, I've yet to test a lot of my theories. But it's interesting, no? Thanks for taking the time to think and read, Ohmygiggles!

Hi @Ohmygiggles! Just saw your response...!

Eyy, good to hear from somebody else who likes this approach. It's definitely tricky to get right - and there's a surprising amount that's down to sound design and character animation, also. But I don't think 'good' interactive camera angles are impossible to analyze and, hopefully, deploy - they're a solvable problem. I've been doing some practical and academic research on this...

Fatal Frame 2 and a lot of the RE games make me feel uncomfortable in just the way that the cameras are set up, even if there is no danger. 

Absolutely. There's a ton of useful information that can be conveyed to the player just through framing, and the history of cinema offers a rich language to subtly pass gameplay state, etc.

Visual quality - the frame as a work of art - is... useful, no question, but in a way, you might be better trying to prove this out using rudimentary geometry, in order to validate the root approach.

And then there's areas of personal taste - locked position fixed cameras that just swivel to track the player character really bother me! There's some points where they're useful, but usually they're just godawful and lazy...! =D Much prefer some kind of limited truck based on player position...

Ach, there's a ton to talk about! But trying to find a natural place to have the discussion has been a serious pain in the ass...!

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Well... like, there's loads of reasons to be for or against the fixed cam 3d approach. It's one of the reasons why I'm looking for somewhere to talk about it! =D

Like, against it, in a medium where so much emphasis is put on smooth controls and player orientation, the fixed cam approach is usually anything but! On the other hand - isn't that an interesting design problem? And you could try solving it from a cinematographical or pure input perspective, or both...

Not to say I have anything in particular against pushing the limits of technology and artistry through more common visual approaches - say what you like about photorealism, at least there's a semi-objective standard you can measure your work against. 

I guess a major block to doing stuff with Fixed Cam 3D is the amount of work and iteration involved in creating an attractive environment you'll be looking at all the time, then doing the same with characters etc - unlike in first person, you need to build a main character model and animate it to a standard that you think will be acceptable for a wide audience. And THEN: you need to set up tons of camera angles and triggers, etc, iterate on 'em...

But when it pays off - it does look great! And there's some market out there - the Resident Evil Remake sold 1m copies in three months, which made it Capcom's "fastest selling digital title in history across Europe and North America". Heavy Rain and Detroit sold gangbusters and Telltale's The Walking Dead completely revitalised the company (and set it on the path to its ultimate destruction, unfortunately)...

...There's a ton to blather about! Lots to experiment with. But aside from yourself, No Time To Play, I can't seem to find anybody interested in talking about this stuff. I've looked! It's kinda frustrating.

Hey folks. Does anybody know if there's a Discord or a website or a forum where folks discuss Fixed Cam 3D games in detail? I'm really not into Facebook, so ideally I'm not looking for a FB page, etc.

Resident Evil's obviously a key reference, but I'm also looking to talk about stuff like Alone in the Dark, Obscure, Life is Strange, Telltale's Walking Dead, White Night, Tormented Souls, Heavy Rain, Fear the Dark Unknown, City of Lost Children, Summerford, Simulacrum, some of the Puppetcombo games etc...?

I'm just really curious to know if there's somewhere people discuss or debate those games - they're not exactly common and they're often made in the survival horror genre, but I think they offer some interesting challenges in both cinematography and interaction design, while also offering a particular visual language for creators.

Ehh - just think they're cool. =) Any thoughts?

Sorry to ask, I'm looking at my inbox and I'm not immediately seeing the pattern - and I might have a gamejam to promote on that newsletter soon...! 

Much obliged!

 --Rev

Thank you, Max! That's very helpful! Sorry 5 isn't working for you (just in case there's confusion, it always pulls to the left unless you HOLD DOWN the button, which causes it to pull to the right (no tapping!)). Very early days and it's hardly the most original idea, but I appreciate your kind words!

Best regards,

 --Rev

Hey folks.  I'm working on a little one-button multiplayer game called Spin Top Racers. I'm hoping to build and release this on a very fast schedule and I desperately need some feedback on the different control methods I've developed... 

I've put the prototype up as a webplayer on Itch, which can be found here.

At the moment there's no AI, no lap or point detection. Instead, grab a friend (or three) and try to get around the track! If it's just yourself, no problems - I just really need to know how you find the controls!

Control your racer with the keys Q, U, Up Arrow and Keyboard 8. Apologies if you have a form of colour blindness, I'll account for that in later releases.

Reset the game by clicking on the 'Reset' button at the centre of the track.

Right now there are three control methods, 1, 1a, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Identifying the most comfortable/fun control method is crucial step and one I need to lock down at the moment. 

If you get a chance to try the game and have time to respond, please let me know which control methods you prefer in order of preference, eg.

4, 3, 1a, 5, 2, 1.

I'm trying to make the game as accessible as possible to the widest range of experience, age and physical ability - a real family game!

Thanks so much for taking a look at this. It's at a very early stage, and the interactions are very simple, but I have to get this bit right first...!

Hope you're all in good form and working on something interesting!

 --Rev

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Hey, that's amazing. Thanks so much. =)

 --Rev

Excellent answer, I'm an idiot, switching to Manually Set Size and adding 44 pixels to the height (so 600 => 644) gets me exactly what I want. Thank you, Leafo.

12.5 pixels, according to Unity. =/

First off, Itch is wonderful. The following is more of a curiosity than a serious issue, but it niggles me. I hope someone can explain this to me...

I made an example project to demonstrate my problem - a Unity Webplayer of resolution 960 x 600, using a default WebGL template and hosted on Itch as an embed with the resolution auto-detected. The demonstration only has a single screen with a number of blank, coloured UGUI 'panel' objects inset on top of each other to illustrate usable space at the edge of the screen.

With these settings, the Itch frame shows my project with the default WebGL template (and accompanying full-screen button), but in so doing pushes the top of my webplayer above the viewable space of the frame. You can see the missing space (marked by a blue box on the top of the screen) by clicking on the full-screen button. Additionally, the Unity WebGL label is partially obscured by the bottom of the frame.

When the project is not full-screen, the blue box cannot be seen. When it is full-screen, all the game content is visible.

I can avoid this by switching the web template to 'minimal' in Unity, and I can add a 'full-screen' button on top of the playable area in my Itch hosting settings, but this does not resize the play area to scale to full-screen, ultimately only obscuring the web page and overlaying the game area at an offset.

Is there any way to tidy up the Itch page and clearly show the whole of the play area in addition to the Unity label and fullscreen button?

If my issue is beyond fixing, no harm, no foul, I can adapt to 12 pixels off the top (...but it looks untidy...!). I can't seem to find references to this problem,  so I'm making this thread - but if I've missed a bunch of discussions on this topic and it's a well-known problem with well-known solutions, then I'll apologise and slink back to my cave to implement that solution. =)

I've marked this as a question as I'm not sure if the problem is part of Itch or just my implementation.

Thanks for reading,

 --Rev

Thanks for including non-Leap Motion controls for us peons! Really missed sound effects or music, but dat screenshake--! Great models, lovely cloud effect...! I managed to survive until the turret was out of sight... had to wait for it to come around again to finish me off. =)

--Rev

Hilarious. My only problems were that a) it took me a few minutes to work out that I had to press 'Up' before I could enter the phone number and that b) I couldn't use my numeric keypad, sad face, frowny face. A really amusing script, perfectly executed and processed- like my family and puny human body.

--Rev

Er - can't find the game file for this yet!

--Rev

Sound effects and hud are nice, while I always appreciate healthbars hovering above characters. =) Technically speaking, a really complete game - score manager, hud, health etc all present and correct! Cool!

--Rev

Couldn't get this to work? It's missing some files.

--Rev

Nice game - lots of content, which is GREAT. Difficulty progression was solid. Music is simple, but works with the theme; some nice sound effects as accompaniment! Art is lovely - the diamonds are especially tempting. Not sure what's happening with the lamps and at the end of the game I got looped back to the start... not sure if that's what I'm supposed to find?

--Rev

Weird! Uh - lots of lovely models, kinda haphazardly assembled, great use of the growing ground plane, however...! Kickass intro and I loved the sound and music - first a Tardis, then a chiptune version of What Is Love...? =)

--Rev