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Nostra Alpha (3D Horror)

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#1 creativebunch

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 05:44 AM

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Screen shots at the bottom.

 

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Can you tell this gave me an excuse to experiment with GIMP? ^

 

Nostra Alpha 1.0.0

 

Nostra is a 3D first person horror game I have been working on and off for about a week, when I'm not working on my other projects, as a way to learn more about how 3D and shaders in GameMaker: Studio works (as well as a bunch of other technical things like file handling). The game play part so far is very lacking and this build serves mostly as an engine test.

 

I didn't want to upload this with the player having nothing to do while testing so I threw together an enemy AI and some things to find/collect (there are 5 in game secrets to find). The AI will move around until they spot you and begin to give chase. You have no way of defending yourself so running and hiding are your only two options. Their sight is based on a visibility meter (not shown in-game) making it harder to see you based on your stance, movement, position inside bushes, and angle in relation to the AI (sound detection is not yet implemented).

 

The forest is procedurally generated around you as you walk, this is one of my first proper attempts at infinite world generation using my own method that probably isn't great. There is a seed you can change in the settings.dat file to generate a specific forest or you can have it generate a random seed each time. I have noticed stutters on some machines with the real-time generation and none on others.

 

In order to thoroughly test the engine a “settings.dat” file is created the first time you run the game (or if the file is not found) with a list of options for you to change, like resolution and key bindings. It can be opened like any normal text document, and after editing the file to your liking save the file and start the game up. I have tried to comment on the options as clearly as possible but if something stops working you can delete the file and run the game again to set it back to default values.

Please be careful when editing the file, follow the instructions and report any errors you get while loading.

 

Controls:

 

Mouse - Look around.

WASD - Player movement.

Shift - Hold to sprint while moving.

C - Hold to crouch, and slide if enabled (also hard-bound to Ctrl).

R - Look behind while sprinting.

F - Interact (unused).

More keys in the readme.txt file.

 

Gamepads are also supported if plugged in as player one:

Thumbsticks – Movement/Look around.

Right Trigger – Sprinting

Left Trigger – Hold to crouch (and sliding if enabled).

Right Bumper – Look behind while sprinting.

Tested with a 360 controller only.

 

Downloads:

 

Nostra-Alpha-v1.0.0.0 (All files 19.71MB) (Direct download)

 

Please report any errors or issues you have with this game. Posting a copy of any error messages will make it a lot easier for me to debug. I'm uploading this specifically to get feedback on even the smallest of details ^-^

I would also love it if you could post your FPS stats (displayed in the top left corner) and what kind of machine you're running.

Enjoy!

 

Screenshots:

On all screens I have tested, these pictures are easily viewable. However I have been told that they appear black on some screens. Please let me know if you can't see them

 

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Gallery of screenshots

 

Almost every asset has been gathered from different places in order to put this engine test together (credits in the readme.txt file). I do not have the skill to create the assets needed but I hope to have some custom assets made very soon.

 


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#2 BattleRifle BR55

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 06:30 AM

<3333

The settings file won't create itself (or it's ending up in some random place). I unzipped the game on my desktop and put the files into a new folder.

I played for about 5 seconds before I gave up. Like the other recent GM horror games, it's too creepy for me to check out. I tried playing it again with no sound, all the lights on (it's currently 2am), and sitting as far back from the monitor as possible, but I couldn't handle it for more than 30 seconds. The movement felt nice, and I wasn't expecting collisions.

My average FPS was around 600, with it topping at around 650 and bottoming out at around 500. The stutters lasted no longer than a tiny fraction of a second, enough to be noticeable every time but not enough to really take away from the gameplay. My machine is Windows XP, Intel Q6600 @ 2.4GHz, 2GB DDR2, 8800GT ADE 512MB GDDR3.
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#3 creativebunch

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 07:26 AM

<3333

 

<33
 
The save data location is set to %localappdata%\<GameName>. On the Windows XP machines I tested, this was "C:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\Local Settings\Application Data\Nostra". If no message shows up the very first time you run the game telling you that a file was created then this is a bug and I will look into it.
 
The only part I don't like testing is the screechy enemy (audio which I plan to change very soon), everything else is mostly just erie. The movement was something very important to me, since most of the game is just walking and running around it needed to feel nice, so that's probably what I worked most on. You can thank TheSnidr for the collisions I'm using in this build.
 
The stutters of the forest generation is one of the top things I plan to fix in the next update. Strangely unnoticeable on some machines (including an older one).
 
Thank you very much for putting yourself through it and playing it, and for the helpful feedback!

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#4 BattleRifle BR55

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 07:32 AM

The save data location is set to %localappdata%\<GameName>. On the Windows XP machines I tested, this was "C:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\Local Settings\Application Data\Nostra". If no message shows up the very first time you run the game telling you that a file was created then this is a bug and I will look into it.

Oh right, duh. It's like I forgot this was using Studio. :P Next time I try it, I'll be sure to force myself to actually play through it, and I'll set it to run at 1920x1080 for the full effect, but...
The only part I don't like testing is the screechy enemy
this makes me glad that it won't be for quite some time!
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#5 Alvare

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 05:04 PM

I'm uploading this specifically to get feedback on even the smallest of details

Alright then. I'm going to be as honest as I can on what I think about the game so far.

I find it needs a lot of work. Here are the details:

 

Negatives

-While the actual grass model looks nice.. their amount is not only doing overkill on my GPU, it also doesn't look really nice if you repeat the grass all over the ground. I'd make it so there are much more empty spots here and there.

-My fps dropped too much for a "modern mid-end pc's" GPU. 48 min up to 59 max. (I didn't look at real speed) Comparing that with what's on the screen, graphically, that's not acceptable. Gt 555m + Inter core i7.

-The tree model is supposed to be smaller. I can tell by the looks of the bark texture on the trunk and the texture of the leaves itself. The size just doesn't look right.

-Models of the fern looks too flat or needs to be scaled down to the ground a bit more.

-The game itself doesn't tell you what to do and the encounters happen so few that it becomes boring really quick, walking around seeing nothing.

-Lighting looks flat. I suggest setting up a one directional light with a slightly lighter/brighter color than the ambient.

-No actual sounds in the environment. No wind, no birds, no leaves rustling, no breaking branches. Only the player is making sounds in the world.

 

Positives

-Sound quality and choice of footstep sounds are great. Please continue to pick these quality sounds.

-Triggering system of different sound effects when walking through the environment. Walking through a bush seems to sound different. Also when crouching.

-Controls are responsive and logic. Looking back is cool.

-The draw distance is limited for the fov and atmosphere. And it helps the fps a bit.

-Randomly generated world space.

 

I hope you agree on these things and find it useful. Good luck!


Edited by Alvare, 28 October 2014 - 05:05 PM.

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#6 creativebunch

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 06:24 PM

I hope you agree on these things and find it useful. Good luck!

 

I agree 100%

 

Every model in the game is temporary and used only as a placeholder to test the game (the tree and fern models are my two least favourite placeholders also). I have little to no knowledge of model creation so I can't create optimized models for the game, however I do have someone willing to work on assets for the game so hopefully it will look and run a lot better very soon. I also plan to allow for different level of detail in models.

 

The lack of anything happening at the moment is why I was hesitant to upload in the first place, but I felt like I really wanted some feedback before continuing. I'm already adding in different encounters, items, and bits of story to find.

 

I had tried to use lighting early in development but it always looked wrong because of the placeholder models. I will play around with directional lighting some more. There are other sounds in the game besides the ones the player makes (unless the encounters were so few that you didn't encounter them at all), and funnily enough there is a wind sound within the game which worked with the foliage animation based on wind speed, but the animation shader conflicted with the built in fog so I took it out. Nice environment sounds will be coming in the next update.

 

 

Sound is probably the most important thing to me in a horror game, and since it's a game about walking around in a forest, the sounds the player makes have to be nice to listen to and not become repetitive. They are all played based on movement speed and different stances, as well as a sound never playing twice in a row. The movement is important for the same reason, since you'll be seeing it a lot. And lastly, the randomly generated world might actually be a big part of the lag and will probably be changed completely in the next update.

 

A complete list of good and bad like this is exactly what I want. Thank you!


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