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Archive for November, 2012


The game

So it’s occurred to me that there still isn’t much information about what this game actually is. Some of that has to do with the fact that I haven’t nailed everything down – there are a lot of things that might not make the final cut and there are a few things that might be done one of many ways.

I’ve also noticed quite a few games at various states of completeness, tackling a similar idea – procedurally generated stealth. This is very interesting and really cool that there are so many games like this on the scene. It’s especially exciting as none of us have even remotely the same kind of game in production. We all saw a gap and took a completely different view on it.
About my game though, because that’s why you’ve found yourself here right? It’s called Redacted because the world as you see it has been redacted. You don’t have the security privileges to see what you’re seeing so you’re only presented with the information you need to pilot the environment and get the job done. It’s also for your safety, the less you know what you’re doing, the better. People, conversations, data are all abstracted and obfuscated from you. You know they exist but you have no knowledge on what you’re actually doing.

This raises the issue of trust. How can you be sure what you are doing it right? Do you know who you’re really working for? And should you care? This is one of two themes I’m exploring. The second theme is privacy. I want to really explore how our privacy is being invaded by technology and how we let this happen. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? With so many drones, did we walk into Nineteen Eighty-Four? More on this some other time…

In this game you pilot a nano sized drone insect through a busy city. You accept contracts to spy on people, steal information, sabotage technology, many different missions based on espionage and subterfuge. The game by nature is stealth based and remaining undetected by hiding in cover or in plain sight is key. Rather than using shadow, you hide in electromagnetic radiation. Lights, computers, mobile phones all provide cover for your drone and you will need to manipulate your environment to achieve your goals. The setting is the very near future not too dissimilar to ours.


Procedurally Generating the Building Interior: Furniture and Fixtures

So I’m finally starting to make progress. I’ve emerged from the first massive refactoring of my code and game architecture in one piece and only a few tears. I’m getting closer to the point where I’m happy with it all. I’m not 100% happy with it, there are some murky parts. But the key thing is I’m close to solidifying a single method when generating everything from the city layout to where filing cabinets go.

I have the some basic offices layouts down now. It’s not the only type of building in Redacted, but it’s the key type and I’m concentrating on that to begin with. It’s certinaly buggy at the moment and there needs to be a lot more work done in many areas; there are no kitchens and bathrooms – yet. We do have basic offices, meeting rooms and from there I can start to build my game on.

Real world office planning revolves around unit boxes that building designers and furniture manufacturers all adhere to. The American standard is a 5 foot box that can fit a desk and a person on a seat. At the moment my boxes are slightly larger on the account of the desks I’m using. This might change with different buildings and desk types.

To place everything I take each room and cut it into (invisible) boxes. I find out where the entrances are and mark them down. Then I mark paths from each entrance to another until all entrances are connected. I check for unreachable boxes that do not have a path next to them and attempt to draw another path from the deepest inaccessible box until it reaches a path or door.

Then I place desks on all the non-path boxes and rotate their entrance based on where there is a path or entrace. If there are many free boxes, I alternate which to use based on the x and y box coordinates to increase the chance of alternating desk layouts like we see in real life. In the above example it is obvious there is a little more work to be done to improve this. All the rooms now have desks, chairs, cabinets, lights and light switches. There are a few more key ingredients to put in but we’re getting close!


Man waits with mouth open a long time before roast duck flies in.

Chinese Proverb