Epsylon is a game project based on the good old detective stories but taking it a step forward mixing it with an unconventional cast and a new game engine technology. Detective stories are in general static narratives with limited set of interaction and little replay value once the story is done. The player has next to no influence on the way the story unfolds. Here the Epsylon project hooks in and expands the game mechanics to allow the player to conduct investigation his own way. How the player conducts the investigation influences the world and people around him. An AI in the background reacts to the moves of the player potentially altering the course of actions. Besides the basic detective moves the player has access to some "characters" providing some special abilities that can be of help.
You are Georgo Valentino, a private eye. On your way looking to solve one of your longest standing unresolved cases you end up with a hunch leading to the parallel world Alpha-10. In this universe multiple worlds exist next to each other. Very little people know about this though. One of your friends, a scientist, does know. and he most certainly knows more than that. He has a special "friend" himself that he met while researching what is called the "Xendron", the multidimensional space. Arriving at Alpha-10 Georgo is quite surprised finding his "friend" having dropped off his little girl at his side as he has "own business" to take care off. You should learn soon that this little girl (Sean) has some special abilities that can be of help to you. And if that is not enough the organisation you end up with has two special "agents" (Odjin and Bahatos) at their disposal that have their own set of abilities to bring to the table. The interesting part? The little girl and these two special agents are dragons of different kinds. As it looks like they play an important role in the case to unfold.
Will you be able to solve the biggest case you ever had?
All your actions have large influence on the events in the world. It is better to conduct your investigation without force if possible. As you are a stranger in this world people tend to not tell you all they know so you have to find your own ways to gather the informations you need to crack the case. There are multiple ways to solve the case depending on how you approach the investigation and with whom. Be careful though with whome you talk and what you do. The underworld is watching you and will react to your snooping around. Counter measures can range from making "vanish" information you seek all the way to trying to silence you or people you got in contact with. Various features can help you on your way:
One of the key points is that the story is part of the game mechanics. It is not told to the player by hitting NPCs. The story is the main case in the investigation. So to learn the story solve the investigation. Depending on how you solve it you can learn more or less about the story. It is therefore useful to look sometimes deeper than requested. And who knows what influence your choices have on the outcome... or members in your team.
I promised to talk about Generated Content in the next news post. Various work wend on in parallel so it took a bit longer. So here goes nothing.
One aim of this project is to make a game where the player really does investigate the story not just follow a red thread disallowed to side step one bit. To achieve this the story in this game modifies as the player progresses, and especially how he progresses. New NPCs and locations will be added to the story as the situation requires. To achieve this the game has to be able to generate location content to provide the scenes required. The video below outlines the result and how it is done from a mapper perspective. In contrary to other videos it is voiced.
In a nutshell the game supports defining generated content in separate world files. Inside the game world are placed PlaceholderBuildingPart. If desired to generate content one world file chosen at random is generated. This includes hallways and flats (rooms). Trying to enter flats generates more content. Classes like RandomGenerateStub (load from random world file) and RandomElement (pick random class) eventually produce the final props populating the new areas. All this properly persist with save states hence the game world grows with each new content and the new content persists.
Besides this more stuff has been done.
Support for new platforms has been added. Drag[en]gine basically works now also on MacOS platform (no IGDE yet). Still working on the details and removing some problems but it works.
But that's not stopping. Android platform is basically working too using DELGA files. What is DELGA? I'll tell you later :D .
Last but not least for those in the knows Haiku-OS basic supports works too.
That has been quite a lot of work recently, especially code wise. What's coming up next I'll leave up to you to discover. After all this is a detective game, isn't it? ;)
Games are locked to one computer... O'Rly? Not with the Drag[en]gine Game Engine. Get Portable!
Time to tackle some technical issues and changing the way the inventory works.
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