Herbie & Jamal

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SimonLarsen
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Herbie & Jamal

Post by SimonLarsen » Thu Jan 19, 2012 4:57 pm

Herbie & Jamal is a co-op stealth-ish game I'm currently working on with a friend of mine, lukaserritsoe.
I'm in charge of programming and doing some of the artwork while Lukas is doing level design and artwork.

We're close to a month into development so much of the core functionality is already implemented. I'll use the next couple of posts to summarize what we have so far and will be using this thread as a devlog from now on.

The source code is available at https://github.com/SimonLarsen/rob and criticism is very welcome, but bear in mind that we've been designing the game along the way which is reflected in the code, and thus needs some serious refactoring.

Gameplay
The basic premise of the game is that you control Herbie and Jamal, two master thieves, trying to break into office buildings and steal whatever valuable stuff they are hiding (e.g. money, gold, rare video games).
The office buildings are guarded with robots, cameras perhabs laser sensors and other stuff.
You have no means of defence and must at all cost try to remain unseen.

The protagonists
To force the players to actually cooperate the characters will have a set of different attributes/abilities.
As an example Jamal will be able to crawl vents to reach places Herbie can't (due to his huge head). Herbie on the other hand will be able to hide behind crates and stuff and are thus more suited to get places without being seen. We're still figuring out what other attributes/abilities might be.

Graphics/setting
The game features (surprise!) low res pixel art with a somewhat limited color palette. The game is set sometime around the 50's, but with robots and stuff.
Below is screenshot of the protagonists' apartment which will serve as a menu, where you will be able to select levels, change skin and music.
Image
Here is also the current look of the skin selection screen, which is opened when a player presses the action button at a closet.
Image
Attachments
rob-2012-02-25-2105.love
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Last edited by SimonLarsen on Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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SimonLarsen
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Re: Herbie & Jamal

Post by SimonLarsen » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:16 pm

Music
We're imagining the most suited kind of music for this game is bluesy/jazzy chiptunes. Neither of us are chiptunes artists or jazz/blues musicians but I've been working on some tracks to see whether it's possible. Here are the two firsts drafts: They are both made using SunVox which is awesome.

Enemies
We're planning on having a number of different enemies in the game. Below is the two currently implemented as well as a security camera
Image
They both simply patrol a predefined path, but while the left one can only look forward, the right one rotates its head to look in all four directions.

We're also planning on having some boss levels with some special enemies that are a lot smarter than the regular ones. As an example the detective one might follow the players in their footsteps and the square one will appear in the paintings placed around the level.
Below are some mockups Lukas did:
Image
Last edited by SimonLarsen on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

coffee
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Re: Herbie & Jamal

Post by coffee » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:32 pm

Hello, the project, chars and animation seem very good looking and promising. The menu flat lobby idea is nice. Can't talk much for the gameplay but at least there is a very annoying thing for now. Crossing doors it's a very hard task because we need to totally aligned with doors. If vertical crossing it's done more or less using eye alignment crossing horizontal doors that we can't really see it's a pain.

Good luck to both!

Edited1: The WC is so huge, but their bedroom is so "compact"? That's intended right? :D
Edited2: The circle mask is cute, but I'd love it see that more restrictive (smaller)
Edited3: OMG! I LOVE the heavy metal suit!
Last edited by coffee on Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:49 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Robin
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Re: Herbie & Jamal

Post by Robin » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:35 pm

That looks pretty neat! I don't know how large your game is, but if it is smaller than 10MB or so, could you please upload a .love to this forum?
Help us help you: attach a .love.

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MarekkPie
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Re: Herbie & Jamal

Post by MarekkPie » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:36 pm

Looks awesome. I'll give it more of a look over later for some well-meaning criticism.

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SimonLarsen
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Re: Herbie & Jamal

Post by SimonLarsen » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:51 pm

coffee wrote:Hello, the project, chars and animation seem very good looking and promising. The menu flat lobby idea is nice. Can't talk much for the gameplay now but at least there is a very annoying thing for now. Crossing doors it's a very hard task because we need to totally aligned with doors. If vertical crossing it's done more or less using eye alignment crossing horizontal doors that we can't really see it's a pain.
We've been struggling a lot with that. We really like the current perspective but it has two major disadvantages:
  • As you say crossing doors are such a pain
  • We can't place objects near the south wall of rooms as they get hidden
We should probably experiment with either making crossing doors wider or some kind of visual clue, like we have with crossing vents:
Image

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SimonLarsen
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Re: Herbie & Jamal

Post by SimonLarsen » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:54 pm

Robin wrote:That looks pretty neat! I don't know how large your game is, but if it is smaller than 10MB or so, could you please upload a .love to this forum?
Without the music the game is currently very small.
I've put a .love in OP.
MarekkPie wrote:Looks awesome. I'll give it more of a look over later for some well-meaning criticism.
Please do. We love (and need) criticism.

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Re: Herbie & Jamal

Post by coffee » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:00 pm

We've been struggling a lot with that. We really like the current perspective but it has two major disadvantages:
  • As you say crossing doors are such a pain
  • We can't place objects near the south wall of rooms as they get hidden
We should probably experiment with either making crossing doors wider or some kind of visual clue, like we have with crossing vents:
Actually I found a "trick" to easily go doors. Bump straight in the wall and move left/right or up/down till found the correct position "forcing" the crossing. However if this is a stealth game and we are been chased (and we need quickly across doors) the "bumping" technique could be our death...

I think that larger doors or better a collision detection that wouldn't take account the heads size could do the trick. Your auto-crossing could also do but you already visually clue open/close door.

And again... I LOVE your metal suits! :D

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Re: Herbie & Jamal

Post by scirath » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:06 pm

SimonLarsen wrote:
  • We can't place objects near the south wall of rooms as they get hidden
I haven't looked at your drawing routines, so apologies if it's impossible, but one idea would be to set alpha to something semitransparent when the player approaches the wall boundary (like Diablo does, for instance).

Edit: Then again, I'm not sure if that'd ruin the feel of your artwork. It may change the look enough that you wouldn't want it.
(USER MIGHT BE BANNED FOR THIS POST.)

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Kadoba
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Re: Herbie & Jamal

Post by Kadoba » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:43 pm

You could have a recess in the wall to indicate something is there. I've ran into the same problem and this is what I did:

Image

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