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What’s happening?

At the moment im just working on polishing everything and updating all existing areas with my final choice of tree species. I have gone back through and layed down a final layer of vegetation detail, with saplings, bushes and more tropical species scattered throughout the existing forest / jungle areas.

The density of the vegetation has really stepped up and its looking really good. It looked nice before, but now it has that real look of a truly overgrown landscape, that was once cleared for the construction and for the roads that pass through it. The jungle has since returned and in some places it has taken over the left-over structures and materials.

I would love to take it a step further and make some custom road materials with two faint tracks and a row of vegetation up the middle, but early tests were not as visually appealing as having an actual road. Even though after all these years, the grass may have grown back and hidden the roads, it just didn’t look as nice. The same goes for certain objects that you will find, such as crates and other items. It may be unrealistic for them to be not covered with vines and liana’s etc, but for gameplay purposes, sometimes you need to focus on making it fun rather than making it real. The textures will do a good enough job of making things looks weathered though, with water stains and moss covering most things.

As you can see from the shots i’v posted, the roads are pretty clear of objects, which is a deliberate design choice, because later in the game, you will have the opportunity to travel across the island in a vehicle, and having lots of fallen trees and other objects covering the roads would make it very difficult. I do like the idea of having to remove a fallen tree from the road though, so I will look into having a few trees blocking the road in certain places that can be cut up and removed, but at the moment the species of trees that can be cut and broken are just the palms and the thinner jungle varieties, so this will be done later in development.

I’m going to be placing a number of hidden items throughout the island that players can search for if the like. They will most likely be a variety of pieces of Amber with different objects trapped inside them. Insects, spiders, leaves, seeds, etc. There will be a lot of these Amber pieces and they will be placed in every little hidden area imaginable. This should give players something to look forward to when they are exploring everywhere, trying to get to out of reach areas and searching every nook and cranny. The Amber collection will be documented in a diary that Anne has, so you can not only inspect the pieces you have found and read notes that Anne has written, describing their shape and content, but also see how may pieces are still left to be found.

Anne’s diary will come in handy throughout the game, she will use it to document certain aspects of the game and it will also allow players to take notes and mark locations on the island map. I wont go into too much detail about it, as much of it is still just conceptual and will be developed further as the game comes together.

I added a skybox to the island the other day, as i was sick of seeing a plain blue sky with no clouds. Its made a huge improvement, so i’ll post some shots of it soon.

I have a few emails that im in the process of replying to, these were captured by the spam / junk filter and i didn’t see them. So to all the people that sent me emails and never got a reply, don’t worry, im in the process of replying to them!

I’ve also had a few comments and emails regarding donating to the project. This is something I’ve had a good think about and i will post more about it later in the week.

Thanks for all the comments and views, ill be back again soon with some more news and shots!

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~ by newoldmate on 11/09/2012.

14 Responses to “What’s happening?”

  1. Will you re-use Hammond’s audio comments ?

    • Yeah, but you will need to own Trespasser to hear them. Included with the project will be a tool that will extract the sounds for you. Then you need to just place them in the appropriate directory (if the tool doesn’t already do it for you) and your set. I do have a lot of ideas for new voice overs for both Anne and Hammond, but how they can be made is unknown. I guess i could advertise for someone who could closely mimic their voices, and then using audio software i can adjust the pitch and what not to make it as close as possible. Time will tell.

  2. About Hammond’s vaoice -Hmm it could be hard, I suggest caution with that – possible sue from original game creators or licence owners.
    About the future of this project… I like the idea where you heading – with exploration thing. I don’t know if you are familliar with very successful (also $) indie game called Dear Esther or their new project (made with CryEngine3) Everybodyโ€™s Gone to the Rapture. Gameplay in these titles is focused on exploration and atmosphere. I think that exploration should be maximized – after you recreate original Trespasser levels you should use your imagination and make other part of the island. Location like airfield from JP3 movie or some locations from JPII book. Collectables are great idea. Ambers fragments are fine. Some notes or data pieces that create full story are other possibilities. I think that you could incorporate JPII motive- there was this evil company (don’t remember the name now) which send expedition to capture InGen dino secrets and research. You could put it in the game – like for example hostile mercenaries and researchers looking for data and exploring labs etc. It would give some fighting action to the game / or some exploring motives (they are all dead know and you have the possibility to learn what they were doing on the island and what when wrong). And if creating the dinos with CryEngine will be too hard, there is always options that all dinos died of Prions disease (JPII book) and now there are only those members trying to regain technology and research info…
    I have many ideas for story telling and few possible features for game design aspect. Could you tell me what is the deal with this donation thing (e-mail)? I would like to hear more about supporting this project.
    Keep it coming ๐Ÿ™‚ …

    • As far as new areas go, there are a lot, hundreds even. I didn’t just take the original levels and stitch them all together, i spent 7-8 months (off and on) working on the island heightmap alone, adding new areas and adding additional detail to the existing levels. There are only two areas that have not been radically updated and they are on either side of the “secret beach” in Jungle road, where the sound file of Cathy from TLW played. I have ideas for those locations, but im leaving it till the end, so if i can squeeze a bit more out of the engine (taking into account memory limitations), ill add them. They are not a priority right now.

      On top of the additional detail and areas ive already added to the existing levels, here is a run down on some of the all new areas, some of them as big, if not bigger than any of the original levels. The Plains (which has the jp3 air field in it), Plantation House, Minute Valley, Western Plains, East Docks, The Aviary, The Sawmill, Embryonics Administration, the Viaduct and the additional mountain roads, all the additional roads ive added everywhere that link the island, the redesigned town with new buildings and entrances. Then there is the redwood forests that take up the North East of the island between the Plains and the Ascent levels.

      I’ll make an image one day that shows the original game and what areas you could access, then ill show my island. I think you’ll be surprised.

      The evil company was called Biosyn and in the original game you could find a crashed Biosyn helicopter in the third level. When you come across it, Anne says “What brought that down?”. There is not much else to it, because its not for Anne to know. She doesn’t know the history between InGen and BioSyn, to her its just a crashed helicopter.

      As fans of the franchise, we know more about Jurassic Park, Site B and ByoSyn than any of the characters in the franchise do. As observers its easy for us to caught up in it and and want to know more about certain aspects, but more often its best that we are fed only small amounts of information, as it makes us even more interested and allows us to imagine for ourselves what might have happened.

      I think that’s where a lot of Trespasser’s charm lies, in that as a fan of the franchise, you want to explore and learn more about the island and explore those areas you never get to see in the films. My version will allow you to do that, but not straight away, you will have to earn it.

      I don’t think you need to add anything else to the game to improve it, there is already so much there that can be improved upon. So by providing more of the island to explore and adding a few movie specific locations is more than enough.

      I have heard of the that Dear Esther game but never played it. I don’t have a lot of free time to devote to playing games these days, and the last couple of times i have, i’ve been left feeling like i was majorly ripped off. id Software’s Rage was one of them.

      The last game i was really enjoying was Alan Wake. (on PC, im not buying an xbox to play it, ill wait a year you liars) It was building up nicely and i thought it was one of the most polished and satisfying games i had played for years. I found it easy going and then i got to one point where i had zero ammunition and was faced with about 6 bad guys to get passed. It was a really huge spike in difficulty and due to the auto saves, i was stuck between two difficult areas with no ammunition and no matter how hard i’ve tried, i cant run through and find some ammo. Anyway, i got shitty with it and haven’t returned to it. I will one day, but at the moment, most of my free time is spent working on this.

      I’ll post about the donation thing soon.

    • @lguana

      Not sure about having mecernaries and scientists around. One of the best thing about Trespasser what the feeling of being absolutely alone on a dino-infested island. I think meeting only one NPC, even if he dies shortly after, would ruin that feeling. Except in the end when you eventually leave the island, of course.

  3. Really love the idea of “make/mark your map” thing that was done for old games ( and some recent games). Adds a nice feature and it tells you we wont hold your hand but will still be fair. Here’s a map. See/found something of interest? Mark and note it yourself.

    Now for cutting down vegetation and clearing a path could lead to the problem of a player valuing an item (i.e. machete) more than any other item or weapon and maybe just using it throughout the game.
    It’d be kinda dull to have a tool take up space when you are just limited to two things. But something like a machete would be a nice weapon…and would overwhelm most melee weapons ( or possibly crafted makeshift weapons). And nerfing the damage would ruin any realism.
    Although for typical vegetation a knife would do the job ( and be easily stored) and for trees and large branches you could drag away or maybe tow them away with a vehicle.

    Hey that’s a nice thought for vehicles . Loved the jeeps in the movies. Maybe hold items too.

    Will the amount of things you can hold on person change? If I recall correctly even a key card took up room….I can easily imagine a place to put that key card where you couldn’t put a desert eagle in ( hint: look down).

    • You’re not limited to just two things, there will be an inventory system.

      Important permanent items such as keys and key cards are just placed into a part of your inventory that doesn’t actually take up any space. Its as if they are in your pocket and accessible at any time.

      I’m not going to get into specifics about the inventory system now, as it will only cause confusion as people try to piece it all together. I have a page that covers all aspects of the controls and inventory system, but im holding off posting it because i’m not ready to answer all the questions and suggestion that will most likely be asked /made. I think it will ultimately be easier to wait until i have a system working in-game, and then i can post some videos of it and people can see how it works.

  4. Saludos desde Mexico. Felicidades por tu proyecto porque es una gran idea, mucho trabajo de tu parte, deseo exitos porque se nota que es un trabajo de mucha calidad.

    Sigue adelante, Saludos desde mexico.

    • Greetings from Mexico. Congratulations on your project because it is a great idea, a lot of work on your part, wish you success because it shows that it is a class job. Go ahead, Greetings from mexico.

      Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Quick idea… Have you considered beta test on this stage of production? I don’t mean gameplay tests, it’s too early for that. But I think it is important to check how various nootebooks and pc’s handle with the island (fps etc.). Amount of objects is enormous and size of the island is huge; in addition you are planing to put many scripts in-game so it may create lags etc. I think some testing should be done in order to optimalize few things on this level of development. It maybe hard to do in the future.

    • It doesn’t need testing. There is nothing special about what i’ve done, and it currently has a lot less objects than any of the original Crysis levels did. The screenshots make it look very dense, sometimes denser than Crysis did, but that’s because every single vegetation tree and plant is placed by hand, and my level design style is very different to the original Crysis levels. Not including the automatically generated vegetation species on grass, I’ve only just placed more objects then one of the original Trespasser levels. I think it was Jungle Road that had over 16,000 objects, and i’ve only just recently gone passed that.

      You can beta test it right now though if you like? My PC specs are as follows: AMD 64×2 6000+, 3gb ddr2, Radeon 2gb 6950.

      If your PC specs are higher, it runs faster.

      If your PC specs are lower, it runs slower.

      Beta testing is now closed, thank you for your assistance ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Good news to hear. I was pretty scared with the density of the inland in the snapshoots. If you claim it’s “less than Crysis games” there is no need to test how it runs. I felt kind of relief. In addition, let me be the first to run some intensive tests … Conclusions – it runs faster (I have higher hardware specs) ๐Ÿ™‚
        Was affraid for a moment that you may go for an eye candy thing instead of good, smooth gameplay. Some many games do it these days ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Now, go back to work ๐Ÿ˜›

  6. Thanks for the frequent updates! It’s remarkably refreshing, and your insights are exactly what this project needs! So glad it’s in such capable hands!
    Just to satisfy my unquenchable thirst to put a frame of reference on things, around what percentage would you estimate the project is toward a first release?
    Thanks!

    • Not for a while.

      There will not be any release of the actual mod itself until it is done. There will be some test maps though, so people can check out the player movement and controls, but there will be no release of the island till the mod is finished.

      I’m considering a remake of the Trespasser demo, that way i can include all the sounds and other content without any copyright issues. This will be a good way to fine tune the movement and controls to satisfy most players.

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