Saturday, September 17, 2011

Writers Needed

Hey everyone.
I don't suppose an apology would really cut it.
But rest assured, I'm committed to seeing this thing made. One thing keeps burning me out though: writing the dialogue.
And that's where you come in.
How the conversation system works is, each character has a default ask response, a default tell response, etc.; these are what they say when the player asks or tells or gives them something that they don't have a hard coded response for. In addition, they have specific responses to specific keywords; asking the Captain about the Belisarius provokes a specific line of dialogue.
Complicating this is a binary helpful/unhelpful system, where a character's response can vary depending on their mood, and certain questions or stimuli can change them to helpful or unhelpful. There is also a method by which a person's response can be varied from game to game, further increasing the dynamic nature of Pressure.
What I need is anybody who has any talent with writing whatsoever to write some dialogue. It could be a line or two, it could be an entire character. I just need some help. Meanwhile, I'll finish writing in the ocean and the method by which the horrifiying creatures of the deep can break in.
Hopefully, together, we can make this game see the light of day.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Well, it is summer.

Next week I will be leaving on vacation, and will be gone for about a week or so. During this time there will be no updates. But! I will still be hard at work on the game, and will try to have a demo ready by the time I get back. There will certainly be another demo ready by July 10th.

Thanks for the support everybody, it really does mean a lot.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Class Announcements

Few new events, mostly focusing around class-specific goals:
-An injured NPC will make their way to the clinic. The doctor will be called there as well. While an NPC doctor is currently unable to heal, this will be added later.
-The diver is asked to fix the outer floodlights
-The engineer is asked to fix the air filtration system (already in the game)
-The captain is asked to tune the radio to a specific frequency to receive a message

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Combat Update

Few new changes:

-Removed the ability to "Concentrate" in combat. Concentration would increase chance to hit and damage, but would be lost if the character concentrating was hit. This slowed down combat however, and it didn't make sense for fish to be concentrating.
-Added Diving Suit. Wearing the Diving Suit will give the player an additional ten minutes of air, as well as a boost to defense. However, while in the Suit, the only weapon available to the player are its arms, which may be significantly worse than the player's other weapons. Items can still be interacted with as normal.
-Flooding system change. There was a workaround present that allowed a player to survive with no air indefinitely, by constantly moving between rooms. This has been removed.
-A few random announcements have been added.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

P60 Special Update

So I assume you all remember the wonderful P60 error that was popping up every turn.
And then I fixed the code and everything appeared to be great, the error went away, we moved on.

Now the AI won't move. Turns out the code I messed with was sort of important in AI movement.

So, uh, one more goal before the next demo. Sorry about that.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Roadmap to the Next Demo

Once these are completed, I'll release the next demo:
  • Map out ocean immediately surrounding Belisarius
    • Diving Suit √
    • Airlock
  • New Disasters
    • More visible
    • Requests of assistance
    • Larger Monsters
      • Kraken √
      • Hammerhead Whale √
Will update this when objectives are complete or if there are more sub-objectives I've forgotten.
EDIT: Just put together the scene seen in the traditional Pressure picture. Hammerhead whale smashes through the window. If you're in the room? Dead. Also, the Kraken has eight tentacles, each with an independent action. You may need a team if you want to fight it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I'm A Jerk

I know.
Uh, so, Pressure! Wooo! Everyone loves it, right!

Honestly though I sort of slacked off there.

But I have two things to post.
First, the water system is refined. There is a universal rule in place for the spread of water throughout rooms. In addition, flooding will not pass through doorways; if a door is adjacent to a flooding room, it will lock. If you force it open, the other room will begin to flood.
In addition, there is the thing that prompted me to post right now.
This is probably the greatest feature of Pressure yet.
I figured, hey, what if there was something you were scared of? And to counteract that, what if there was something that was like a security blanket?
So now two random objects are selected at the beginning of the game. One will cause you to freak out, and the other will reassure you (Mechanically, it's a +1, -1 to your sanity, so it's not a huge impact).
However, these can be any two things in the game universe.
For example, I just ran a game where I was terrified of frozen fish, but as soon as I saw the Captain walk into the room, my troubles were over.

I will try to update more often than once every two months.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

P60 Error Update

So, as promised, I hunted down the line of code that was causing the P60 error. After I found it, acting on my immense coding experience and technological wizardry, I deleted it. What could go wrong?
Well, the AI pathfinding could break. That could go wrong.
So, I've been spending most of my time tweaking code and rewriting stuff. Not a lot of overt progress on the game, but I think maybe that there won't be annoying errors in the next iteration.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Done Goofed


 Okay. So. It is apparent that there are a few problems with the previous demo.
Well, probably more than a few.
But, that's (sort of) why we have tests-so this shit doesn't happen on release.
So, my main priority right now is figuring out what the fuck is going on with that error. I know it has something to do with the pathfinding code, so I don't have to go digging around all 13,316 words.
Oh, did I mention there are 13,316 words? There are, which means I have had to move up to the .gblorb file format, meaning that you'll need a new interpreter. I linked to an appropriate one in the previous post, so go ahead and click on that.
Anyways, gotta fix the P60 bug, as well as a few grammar rules. After those horrendous mishaps are taken care of, I'll add some more game-breaking stuff, like the ocean, and escape pods. I'll also try to flesh out the pathfinding routines.

Sorry about the bug, and I hope you enjoy what's coming up.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Demo Number 2 NOW!

First! The link!
And you'll need an interpreter, depending on your operating system.

What's new!
CONVERSATIONS. Initiate a conversation with "Hello [NPC]". During conversations, you can "ask" "tell" "give" or "show" a subject. End conversations with "Goodbye". NPCs can be either helpful or unhelpful. The information they give may change depending on that. Additionally, subjects are based on knowledge, so you can't ask about a thing you haven't heard of or seen.
DISASTERS. There are three new disasters. Also, both the monkey wrench and steel wrench will work to fix the air filtration unit (Though they can no longer be weapons). Rising water will be accompanied by a short text blurb.
SPAWNING SYSTEM. You will now begin the game as a random class. Accompanying this  change is a new AI system. Disasters will increment the Alert Level. NPCs will change their course depending on this.

Also, I made maps of the beginning area:

As always, post opinions, comments, and improvements here.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

T-Minus 3 Days

Three days until the release of the next demo.
Still writing dialogue.
List of what will be new:
Conversations. You will be able to talk with NPCs. The dialogue will be somewhat limited, but the functionality will be there.
Spawning System. You will now spawn as a random class at the beginning of the game.
More disasters. A few in-your-face disasters will be added. Primarily of the gigantic monster appearing sort.
Alert levels. This is slightly more behind the scenes, and won't make itself as obvious, but a lot of disasters will trigger an alarm and a reaction from the NPCs. There aren't any escape pods though.

Thanks for the support and kind comments everyone. You're awesome.

Oh, and I currently have a guy working on the graphics. I'll post samples when I get the chance, but I just wanted to let you guys know that, when it comes time to add graphics, all I have to do is add the functionality, not spend time actually making them.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Alert Levels

First, the bad news. Definitely won't be getting anything out by tomorrow. Look for something next Friday.
Next, the progress update.

For esoteric reasons that I cannot recall, it became imperative to me to figure out the spawning system. Now, I left it out of the previous demo because I didn't have time to properly figure it out; the AI movement overruled the player's decisions (since the system was basically you possessing one of the NPCs) and made player movement next to impossible. So I obviously needed to fix that. My first thought was to make a schedule chart (at 7:30, if the player is not the doctor, send the doctor towards the med bay, stuff like that). However, this is a terrible solution. Why? Because, in the middle of a disaster, if the time is 7:30, the doctor will, no matter what is happening around him, look at his watch and dash off to work.
So, I threw in an extra layer of checks. There's now an "alert system". Disasters will raise the alert level (by differing amounts based on the severity of the disaster). Depending on the danger level, NPCs might be pointed towards repairing areas of the ship, pulling in from the ocean, or straight-up evacuating. At some point I'll also want to get it so that there are different sorts of alerts; food poisoning won't freak the mechanic out, but the doctor will be rerouted to the clinic.

Speaking of the mechanic, I wrote his dialogue today. I won't tell you exactly what his default response is, but I will tell you he is very invested in constantly tweaking the machinery.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Next Release

Still working on the dialogue.
I'll try to have everything in by this Friday, but I don't think I'll make it; I still want to add more events as well as the ocean.
Also, I have finals in a week, so look for a demo in the next two weeks.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Word About Conversations

Working through conversations, and I thought I'd describe how it works.
Conversations can only be between two people. Starting a conversation with a second person will end it with the first.
Conversations are started with the command "(say) hello (to [character])." Only the "hello" is necessary; the engine will attempt to disambiguate what you mean in most cases (Hello will default to a random person; other examples, such as "take log" when you can see a burnt log and a smelly log, will ask you which one you meant) but specifying the exact character is generally a good idea.
I previously stated that talking would be built off of a node system. For the purposes of simplicity, I've decided to scrap that. Pressure is not a heavily social game, and the benefits of a node system would largely go unused. Instead, I am using a traditional ask/response style. Conversational commands include ask, tell, show, and give. Typing "Show Cook the frozen fish" will check if there is a default response for the cook for showing the frozen fish, then check for a default showing response, and finally a default response. The consequence of this is that there will be a lot of "default" responses as I build up the conversation library.
Added on to this is a knowledge and subjects system. Inform likes to treat everything as a physical object. This works fine, until you want to discuss love with the mechanic. So, subjects allow for out-of-world ideas that can be discussed. The knowledge system compounds this. You can only discuss things that you know about. So, if you (the character) have no inkling that there's a conspiracy going on, or that a plant is murdering crew members in their sleep, you (the character) can't immediately start the game and ask about them.

I've only really completed one character's entire conversation library, so it'll probably take a while to finish all of the existing characters'. I'll keep you posted though.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What's Next

Now that a demo's been released, what's next? Well, I had originally planned to finish adding the NPCs, and add some more disasters, and work on the spawning system. But it seems like people are wondering why they can't talk to the NPCs*. So, I'll be working on a conversation system. This will work on a node-like framework, combined with a check to see if the NPC is helpful or unhelpful. So they'll have a default response depending on if you're asking them something while they're helpful, asking them something while they're unhelpful, telling them something while they're helpful, or telling them something while they're unhelpful.
Then, of course, they'll have specific responses to particular subject. So, for example, if you're asking the Janitor about the strange plant thing, and he hasn't warmed up to you, he might just grunt. But, if you're friend to all undersea janitors, he might tell you where he last saw it.
Obviously, this will take a moderate amount of work to add in unique responses for stuff. Plus, I'm going to try to hit 12 different disasters by the next demo. So I'm thinking it'll be about two weeks before another one hits, but if that changes, I'll post it here.

EDIT: Turns out adding conversations was a lot easier than I had expected. Well, adding the framework was. I still need to write all the responses and stuff, but that just involves writefagging, not programming. There are now 2 (two!) backstories that can be uncovered by reading the right notes and showing them to the appropriate people.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Demo's Hot! Get it now!

Hey everyone! I hope your butts are prepared for the very latest in text adventure technology, THE PRESSURE TEXT ADVENTURE (Demo). Featuring monsters! Crew members! Notes! Weapons! Floods! Freezers!
And it can be yours right now.
How? Well, first you'll need an interpreter in order to play the file type. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of such applications, that will work on whatever device you may be using to view this page.
Once you've done that, download the file here.

Now, open up that file. You should now be playing Pressure.

Now, understandably, you may get lost. You may even get killed! That's okay. Pressure is meant to be played multiple times, and this hold true to that idea. Some of the random elements include the disasters (When they happen and what they are), the crew members' names, the combat numbers and the locations of (and possibly existence of) certain notes and memos.
However, I don't want to throw you right into the deep end, so here's some help.
First, a map. The in-game descriptions should tell you what rooms are adjacent, but this gives you an overview.
Next, some commands:
numbers on/numbers off
Turns visible combat mechanics on or off. By default, they're off. You can switch them on if you want to see them though.
ready [weapon]
This will ready the specified weapon. You can't fight very effectively without one, so grab something and start whacking!
force/weld [door]
You need to be holding the crowbar or the welding torch for both of these actions. Forcing will open a locked door, and welding will close and weld the door. Neither have a guaranteed chance of success, so don't rely on them to escape a monster.
fix [machine]
You need to be holding the steel wrench to do this. This will repair a broken machine. (There's only one, the Air Filtration Unit)
The two reaction commands. Parry is based off of your ready weapon's parry stat, whereas dodging is based on your personal dodging stat.

Post any other questions you have, and I'll answer them.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Demo Soon

Hey everyone.
I'm having the map vectorized. After that's been all gussied up, I'll be releasing another demo.
Right now, there are only 6 NPCs and about 5 or 6 disasters. But, you'll be able to wander around the station and orient yourself before shit hits the fan.

This is very far in the future, but after the game is finished (read: playable) I'll look into adding in graphics. The screenshot above shows the general idea of what you can expect. Obviously it'll be different art, but the interface should be largely the same. Additionally, the graphical version would be separate from the regular one. The regular one should be playable on most computer-like devices, or anything with an interpreter (iphones, calculators, etc.) but the graphical version would largely be reserved for actual computers.

Obviously, graphics are still a long ways off. Sorry to get your hopes up, but isn't that what Pressure is about?