AuthorTopic: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)  (Read 10126 times)

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

on: September 11, 2007, 04:02:08 am
[First off, my apologies, as I am copy-pasting this from another forum, but this seemed like a tablet-rich deposit of Wacom users and game players and friends, so, here we go!]

A couple years ago I had an idea for what I thought might be a fun like Popcap-type game, sort of Pictionary meets Space Invaders or something?  But I never really got around to building the prototype like I wanted, and then the Nintendo DS came out...and suddenly I thought maybe this game might have a home now.  So, much much later, I started coding the prototype, and I think I've gotten it to the point where its somewhat testable!


So, yeah!  Basically you draw copies of the "viruses" that come down those lines, and you hit the upload button to shoot them up and take them out.  You can also reprogram viruses to do your bidding, depending on the missions etc.

The Nintendo DS window dressing is there because I am planning on pitching this game in Q1 08 in the hopes of getting publisher backing to become a real DS developer.  If anyone here has insight about this process, I am VERY interested to hear it!

A few notes for anyone who tests this out:

1 - Thank you!  This is a weird game, and I'm having a heck of a time getting the difficulty curve where I want it.  So, thanks :)

2 - As this is being designed for stylus-oriented play, trying to interact with it using a mouse or a touchpad or a keyboard nubby is very, very hard.  Basically imagine playing Trauma Center with a touchpad.  I do not recommend it!

3 - This is a functional but WIP prototype with NO fancy animation, NO real artwork, and NO special effects.  Basically I want to make sure the game is fun and addictive BEFORE there are explosions, screenshakes, sound effects, and nice bright colors.  I figure if I can get it to that state then I've got a winner on my hands (or I hope so anyways)

5 - The first screen of the game has 6 missions on it.  The 2 missions marked "BUGGY" are just that; buggy.  Or more appropriately, simply incomplete.  I have a few more features to bang out over the next week or so while I continue tweaking the difficulty etc.

6 - Right now I am mainly interested in the level of difficulty for the first 4 missions.  Do you feel like they are boring/too easy?  Unfair and too hard?  I really want to get that part of it right!  However, any other thoughts or questions you have I'd be happy to hear/answer/etc.

7 - No, this is not the "complete" game.  The final demo will feature a simple overworld-type area where you can walk around and talk to folks and get missions, buy upgrades for your terminal, etc.  There may be more missions in the demo but there will be at least these 6.

8 - If anyone is actually interested, the game's story is a kind of shonen-jumpy type hacker story.  You play as a female high school student who is a preternatural hacking phenom.  Scouted by a counter-espionage government agency called the ESD, you begin your career as a professional hacker for the good guys.  But all is not as it seems...

Ok, that is all I can think of right now.  Oh!  Except for the link to the game :)

http://games.lastchancemedia.com/firewall/

Anyways, thanks again!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 09:12:49 pm by AdamAtomic »

Offline ndchristie

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 2426
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #1 on: September 11, 2007, 04:46:35 am
i found this game to be very interesting but at the same time rather difficult in one way, at least for me.  Not the simple shapes mind, but the ones that included diagonals it was very easy to fudge the line by including an extra pixel or neglecting one, subsequently missing the window and wasting tons of time.  I could just be bad at the game, but if i were to make a suggestion it would be to not include shapes with long diagonals :P
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #2 on: September 11, 2007, 05:04:39 am
Mmmm I don't think you're alone in that, duly noted :)

Offline Akira

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 334
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Heheheh
    • View Profile

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #3 on: September 11, 2007, 07:09:55 am
This is pretty fricken sweet. and i'm using a mouse to play. My only complaint is the lack of a mute button, which is a must for any game i play :p
oh and one of the characters shares my name so i might be a bit biased.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2007, 07:11:28 am by Akira »
thanks Dogmeat!

Offline ndchristie

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 2426
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #4 on: September 11, 2007, 12:23:00 pm
I forgot to mention that aside from that little difficulty I found this extremely entertaining and would love to see it come to fruition :P
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

Offline big brother

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 341
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • herculeanpixel.com
    • View Profile
    • Portfolio Site

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #5 on: September 11, 2007, 03:48:19 pm
Good thing this isn't actually on my DS; it'd probably take an assisted flight across the room.

I got to the three lines at once before giving up. The download part isn't explained very well. It seems like it's telling me to use "download" then "secure" (which is counter-intuitive since it contradicts the flow it taught me before). I use the download, then it congratulates me before almost immediately calling me a noob. The fuck? I tried saving "secure" and using that right after, but it doesn't work and calls me a noob again anyways. However, it lets me use just "secure" (no download), like in the earlier tutorial.

The jargon detracts a lot from the game. I know you're trying to set the stage, but the game itself is abstract enough. The player is left to sort through the instructions, interpreting the relevant gameplay commands from the fluff (the game trying to justify itself). Even improved the flow, it doesn't seem like there's enough to keep it interesting. You can make the portraits flashy, but in the end the game is frenetic black and white pixel pushing.

I do like the DS interface you h ave, especially the transparent stylus (putting it ona non-white background might be nice, so it mimics the hand-held nature of a DS).

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #6 on: September 11, 2007, 06:26:05 pm
Thanks for feedback guys, all noted and will be addressed as much as I'm able to in the next update!!

Offline big brother

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 341
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • herculeanpixel.com
    • View Profile
    • Portfolio Site

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #7 on: September 11, 2007, 07:07:29 pm
Sorry if I came off as an asshole, I was genuinely frustrated. I'm sure it took a lot of time and effort to make this playable mockup, and the basic idea isn't bad at all (most DS games under-use the stylus).

Offline Zolthorg

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 474
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #8 on: September 11, 2007, 07:43:32 pm
Sorry if I came off as an asshole, I was genuinely frustrated. I'm sure it took a lot of time and effort to make this playable mockup, and the basic idea isn't bad at all (most DS games under-use the stylus).

That's because they robbed the people and the developers of a new generation game-boy

I really like the concept, and i can see that it's unfinished but already plays well
definately not a mouse game

A grid could help on the top screen, it took me a few tries to get even 1 virus in because i kept drawing them in little 4x4 sections on the drawing board untill i saw the white square wit hthe 1 pixel thick black border

to work on easier intructions, you could use the old trick of highlighting important words with color/bold styling

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #9 on: September 11, 2007, 07:50:46 pm
NP big brother, honest feedback is the most important thing I can get at this stage!!

Zolthorg, thanks for the ideas, I think flash has an HTML text option that I can use to that effect.  I'm going to try a bunch of different things to try and get the pixel placement on the viruses more obvious as well.

Thanks again guys, definitely helpful!

Offline Helm

  • Moderator
  • 0110
  • *
  • Posts: 5159
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • Asides-Bsides

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #10 on: September 11, 2007, 08:43:49 pm
Big Brother, Adam can take it. When I first tried this I basically told him to abandon this project outright (mean and evil Helm!!) and he took that quite well, meaning that I still have operational use of both my legs.

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #11 on: September 24, 2007, 07:48:20 am
I think I have mapped out the path to the next update.  Going to be a lot of little changes, hopefully they add up to a big difference!

> Adding sound & animation to the programming pad
> 1 upload button PER LINE, instead of one overall
> Allow launching of bad viruses (will up difficulty of virus it hits)
> Decrease overall difficulty dramatically
> Reduce amount of text
> Add more simple missions to front end of mission selection
> Add grid edge to approaching viruses to increase visibility
> introduce the inverted antiviruses as a way to pause a line FIRST
> reorganize the HUD

[Helm you may recognize a thing or two in that list!]  Thanks again for all the feedback...I will make this game fun yet!!  If you have any last minute requests/ideas toss em out...

Offline Froli

  • 0010
  • *
  • Posts: 293
  • Karma: +1/-0
  • Dragon Highlord
    • View Profile

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #12 on: September 24, 2007, 07:58:53 am
How about giving some incentives for each misson/clearing viruses?, something players  would look forward to as a bonus. I mean there are strip pokers <don't put teh nude though>, or in tetris DS, you see mario trying to finish a stage on the background as you clear lines. It gives you a reason why you are killing this viruses.

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #13 on: September 24, 2007, 08:09:02 am
Yeah - well it has some background story to each level, but it will need a more medium-term incentive, you're right.  that will probably go in at the polish/animating stage of things I think, with point-based rewards and cool gfx and stuff.

Offline reydragk

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 67
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #14 on: September 26, 2007, 05:57:14 pm
I love this idea.  I definitely had a hard time drawing the secure.exe program though...

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #15 on: September 30, 2007, 01:56:06 am
ok, new version is up!  I didn't get to everything in that list yet, but here's the main new features:

> Added sound & animation to the programming pad
> 1 upload button PER LINE, instead of one overall
> Decrease overall difficulty dramatically
> Reduced amount of text per mission
> Added more simple missions to front end of mission selection
> Added grid edge to approaching viruses to increase visibility
> introduced the inverted antiviruses as a way to pause a line FIRST
> reorganized the HUD
> added new mission information area to HUD

Please try it out and let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Offline ndchristie

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 2426
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #16 on: September 30, 2007, 02:51:37 am
hmm.....maybe no need to make it THAT easy, but it's definitely better.

i do have one lingering question.......why would someone want to play this game?  it is very fun, yes, but it has a very long way to go.......

BTW that question isn't meant as an insult, it's a real question you should ask yourself and find an answer to for this game and for any game, even a demo.
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #17 on: September 30, 2007, 03:28:21 am
Definitely not taken as an insult!  I agree, it has a very long way to go.  Among the stuff planned just for the demo:

7 - No, this is not the "complete" game.  The final demo will feature a simple overworld-type area where you can walk around and talk to folks and get missions, buy upgrades for your terminal, etc.  There may be more missions in the demo but there will be at least these 6.

8 - If anyone is actually interested, the game's story is a kind of shonen-jumpy type hacker story.  You play as a female high school student who is a preternatural hacking phenom.  Scouted by a counter-espionage government agency called the ESD, you begin your career as a professional hacker for the good guys.  But all is not as it seems...

Do you mean that it also needs a bunch of stuff beyond that, or?

Offline ndchristie

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 2426
  • Karma: +2/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #18 on: October 01, 2007, 11:29:15 am
that all is good; personally though i wouldn't mind some color and effects as well though that might be considered polish.  i missed that originally so it looks now like you've got a very good idea of where you are taking this :P
A mistake is a mistake.
The same mistake twice is a bad habit.
The same mistake three or more times is a motif.

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #19 on: October 01, 2007, 03:16:55 pm
3 - This is a functional but WIP prototype with NO fancy animation, NO real artwork, and NO special effects.  Basically I want to make sure the game is fun and addictive BEFORE there are explosions, screenshakes, sound effects, and nice bright colors.  I figure if I can get it to that state then I've got a winner on my hands (or I hope so anyways)

 :P

Offline Rargh!

  • 0001
  • *
  • Posts: 49
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #20 on: October 18, 2007, 02:43:05 pm
 :'(

The link didn't work when I tried it. Is the page still up?

Offline Conzeit

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1448
  • Karma: +3/-0
  • Camus
    • conzeit
    • View Profile
    • CONZEIT

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #21 on: October 18, 2007, 09:05:22 pm
:'(

The link didn't work when I tried it. Is the page still up?
Ditto, 404 error....=( I want to see your work!

Offline AdamAtomic

  • 0100
  • ***
  • Posts: 1188
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • natural born medic
    • View Profile
    • Adam Atomic

Re: Firewall Demo (A tablet/stylus-oriented game)

Reply #22 on: October 18, 2007, 09:13:21 pm
Sorry, fixed now!  I moved it for IGF Mobile's submission form...got to try and have an actual DS executable working by february!!