Trepang 2 is an indie FPS inspired by SUPERHOT and FEAR from the main developer of the popular HL2 mod Triage.

I've just released a playable demo as an entry to the #MAKEITSUPERHOT contest! Download NOW!

Don't forget to share and tell your friends :)

Features:

  • Brutal, fast paced close quarters gunfights
  • Activate slow motion to give yourself a superhuman edge - dodge incoming bullets, pull off impossible no scope headshots
  • Go invisible to flank and sneak up on enemies
  • Deadly, powerful weapons with extremely satisfying effects on enemies
  • Aggressive, determined, tactical enemy AI who attack, retreat, use cover fire and do everything in their power to kill you
  • Chaotic shootouts involving multiple factions
  • Epic and very tough boss fight
  • Music


Slomo Shootout - Mod DB

I'll be adding and testing more features, improving graphics etc. For now I'm focusing on getting the basics right - I want the core of the game (shooting bad guys) to be as fun as possible before any other features. This means everything is subject to change, so be sure to check back sometime. If you find any bugs, or have a cool idea or request, please let me know! I'll be taking a lot of input from the community. Let's work together to make an awesome game :)

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Post Superhot Update

News

Hi everyone, this is WilsonC and I'd like to say thank you for following Trepang2 and playing the demo. If you haven't yet, please download it and play it here! Not sure if the twitter part of the contest is over yet, so maybe you can still enter to win a radeon 480 by tweeting #spreadthesystem.

I took a couple weeks to rest (I think I earned it after a couple intense all-nighters fixing nasty bugs) after the #MakeItSuperHot contest. After gathering feedback from testers and doing some planning, I'm back to making this game! It's not a lot of progress, mostly fixing up issues and learning how to make the most of Unreal 4 and other modern tech.

Environment Art

As I've mentioned a few times, basically everything you saw in the demo and the screenshots were quick placeholders for testing gameplay. To be honest, the demo level was actually the first "level" I made for this game. There were only a few meshes used over and over again for walls, ceilings etc and I think only 5 or 6 materials quickly hacked together from the Unreal starter content. And before that, there were only arenas made out of untextured boxes to test AI, movement and simple combat scenarios.

Warehouse Warehouse


I'm experimenting with more open environments to give the AI more options. I made this one with some kind of warehouse in mind.

Campus Campus Campus Campus Campus


This one is a bit claustrophobic. It's named "Campus" for now. It has a lobby area and a small courtyard.

I still haven't settled for an art style yet, but I believe I've gotten the combat, movement and superpowers to a reasonably fun level and I think they won't go through any more major revisions at this stage, so I had the confidence to experiment a little in environment art by adding simple meshes and materials. It's still very blocky at this stage because of course, gameplay and readability come first, but the visuals are getting there.

PBR

No, not that PBR.

PBR (Physically Based Rendering) is used by default on Unreal 4's materials and is now standard for most modern game engines. To be honest, I didn't really know much about it (I was more familiar with the old diffuse, specular format used in older engines like Source) and improper use of it resulted in the plasticy look of everything in the demo. Since I'm doing environments now, I took some time to learn about PBR and its workflow.

From Unreal 4's documentation: "Example measured Materials. Top: Charcoal, fresh concrete, worn asphalt. Bottom: Copper, iron, gold, aluminum, silver, nickel, titanium". Notice how distinct each material looks, without needing any details "painted on". It would be very hard to achieve this with traditional shading.

Basically what it means is that lighting, shading and reflectivity are simulated in a closer fashion to real life, as opposed to the traditional way where a lot of the shading was painted onto the diffuse texture, and shineyness was conveyed with arbitrary specular values. This also means we don't need as much texture information to convey different surfaces, because the lighting and shading is more accurate - so we can make cleaner surfaces that still look realistic (remember how most fps games pre 2012 were super dark, grungy and plasticy).



Not so fair comparison: HL2 vs some quick PBR materials I made in Trepang2. Notice how the darker edges of the floor tiles are correctly lit in Trepang2, whereas in HL2, the indents on the wooden boards are totally black even under a bright flashlight. It's also very easy to discern what materials are in the Trepang2 scene from their glossiness/roughness. This is just one of the benefits of using PBR.

It's also much faster to work with and more consistent looking because texturing is now about trying to make an accurate material, instead of "painting" shadows and highlights which look good only under one lighting condition. It's also a lot faster to tweak so overall it results in better graphics produced in less time.

Fixed Lighting

You might have noticed that in the demo, the lighting was a bit odd and shadows didn't blend properly. That's because I didn't have time to do a lighting pass. I put a directional light (a giant light for the sun), made the ceilings cast no shadows, added in a few spotlights in dark areas and that was it. This was a huge waste because Unreal 4's lighting actually looks really good! In future maps I plan on doing a proper lighting pass, so lights should work correctly.

Picture 1: Good lighting done properly. Picture 2 + 3: Crappy incorrect lighting in the demo level

AI Development

The AI was probably the most time consuming part of development so far (and still so far from complete!) but it was definitely an enjoyable process.

I started by looking over papers on AI by the developers of FEAR and Halo. The goal was to make AI that could react to the player autonomously, but also blend it's basic combat behavior with scripts.

This was done by writing very general combat behavior. There's basically only two behaviors: attack, or take cover. Attacking basically means finding a good attack position (line of sight to enemy, prefer higher ground), move there and shoot at enemies on your way there. Taking cover has two modes: regular and urgent. In regular mode (this is triggered by needing to reload soon or taking light fire), the AI walks to cover while "suppressing" its target(s) with spaced out shots. Urgent mode(triggered by heavy fire or damage) makes the AI sprint to the nearest cover. That's basically it! There's some special behavior for say, if I'm reloading and I get flanked, pull out your pistol, or if I'm in cover and get repeatedly flanked, run away.

An "arena" box map for testing AI. Zero scripts used, the AI are just spawned and fight each other. Notice how each individual takes cover when under fire, and attacks when not. It's easier to see in HD. Sorry about the weird attenuation, I was testing sounds.

A lot of games use a lot of very specific special case behavior: like if i'm this close to the enemy, run away, if I'm low on health take cover, or just random behavior like x% chance of randomly throwing grenades in combat. I try to avoid this as much as I can because it's hard to debug, easy to exploit and it's easy for players to start recognizing patterns - for example, if I charge an enemy, he will always run away.

You might have noticed very little scripting in the demo. If you replay it and try all kinds of crazy tactics, the AI will still find ways to surround you/flank you.

However I still wanted some control over their movement and tactics without having to micromanage them with scripts. In some encounters, I wanted the AI to act like they had a plan, or to charge a position or hide even if it didn't totally agree with their tactics.


Scripts, like specific case behavior are easily exploited - for example if you script a bad guy to crouch behind a crate, but the player is already on the other side of the crate, it's going to look pretty dumb.

For a solution to this, I actually looked at some real life infantry after action reports and papers on battle drills. I'm not aiming for realism, but in real life some ideas still apply to video games. For example in both real life and video games you want to "dominate" important positions and avoid getting stuck in killzones. Basically maximize your opportunities to attack the enemy while making it difficult for them to attack you.

AI Goal System

I eventually settled on simple goal system for AI, mainly based on Halo's goal system and a little bit of HL2's assault system.

It's very, very simple and not noticeable at all, which is great because it just looks like the AI is doing its thing. With or without goals, the AI will always prioritize killing enemies and keeping themselves alive. When they're not doing that, they'll work towards goals.

I created 4 goals: assault, defend, patrol and wait. A squad can be assigned a "goal", or multiple goals. They have priorities, so higher priority goals are worked on first, but once completed they move onto the next goal. Goals have one or multiple "Goal Positions" which have a timer value assigned. When all "Goal Positions" are timed out, the goal is "completed".

This battle in the "server room" in the demo heavily utilizes the goal system. The AI can effectively take cover and flank their enemies, but those are just small scale tactics. To make them spread out and attack/defend important positions in the huge room it needed to use the goal system. The end result: it really feels like these two factions are trying to fight for control of this room!

When it's safe (not under fire or have line of sight to an enemy), the squad entity assigns each squad member to move to goal positions. Upon arrival at the goal position, the goal position counts down. Assaults count down when no enemies are seen at the location - therefore it times out when the location is "clear". Defend positions count down when an enemy is seen - when we've been engaged in combat at that position long enough, we need to get out of there (fall back). Patrol and wait never time out. After a position "times out", everyone there moves to the next one.

Highlighted are the blue reinforcing squad's (they are the blue squad that comes out of the left area during this battle in the demo) assault goal positions. Notice how the positions are placed in elevated areas (and the small "hut" on the right). When the squad spawns, they "assault" these positions, gaining control of the room and closing in the red team into the killzone in the centre. It's also very easy to interrupt and foil this manouvre by shooting and suppressing the blue squad.

"Assault" type goals select squad members to random goal positions - this is interesting because it looks like the AI is trying to cover as many positions as possible, and with clever goal position placement it usually results in flanking/surrounding maneouvres. "Defend" type goals move squad members to the nearest valid goal. This makes it look like when a position times out, the AI "falls back" to a nearby, uncleared position.

In the "warehouse" area of the demo, the player starts fighting his way in from the right to the left. The AI slowly falls back from one position to the next, and finally makes a "last stand" at the area on the left. This was done by giving the squad a "defend" goal, and lots of defend positions. Most of the defend positions have a short timer, so when they see the player, they shoot at him a bit and then fall back to the next one. The final position on the left has an infinite timer, so eventually all the AI will fall back to that position to make a "last stand". I noticed this was really satisfying for testers to slowly watch the AI lose control of the room.

The AI is still far from complete however. I've got a pretty big to do list on the AI.

I want to add squad tactics so they can attack and move as a team (currently the squads only share information about enemies and cover). And of course I want to try different enemy archetypes. It's actually quite easy because I made a lot of adjustable parameters in the AI (accuracy, burst length, suppression threshold etc). Before that, I want to add correct sensing (sight and sound) in combat. Currently they just have omniscient knowledge of enemy positions. And after that, searching behavior for when an enemy/the player runs away. Perhaps some of this will be in the next update, look out for that soon!

What's Next?

Expect grenades in the next build!

I plan on spending this month and most of April just studying about the engine and content creation workflows (I'm using a lot of software that I'm new to: Maya, Quixel, Xnormal. Learning pays off because these programs save me a lot of time. If time permits I also want to learn how to use Substance and Unreal's new cinematic tool, Sequencer). I unfortunately didn't have much time before the demo to learn all these things :( Once I'm ready around late April, I'll be picking up the pace.

I also want to create an AI dialogue system - currently the AI can only "bark" when a certain action has been triggered (you probably heard "Cover Me!" 100x in the demo) - this was pretty quickly hacked together. I've spent some time going over papers and videos about dynamic NPC dialogue from Naughty Dog and Valve, and of course in my time modding HL2 I worked with Source's dialogue system. I think I have a pretty good idea of an interesting dialogue system for the NPCs to "talk" to each other while they coordinate tactics against you - more on this soon! I'm also working with a very talented and motivated voice actor and writer on this :)

In late April/early May I'll start work on concept art to narrow down a visual style for this game, as well as testing character models with different silhouettes and colours. And maybe some simple environmental interaction, like vaulting or climbing. And possibly a design document, as much as I hate those... Anyways, I feel like the game is starting to be fun, and it's only going to get better from here! :D

Until next time,
WilsonC

Play the TREPANG2 Demo now!

Play the TREPANG2 Demo now!

News

Get ready to slow mo shotgun some bad guys in the face! You're up against an army, but use your super powers and you will prevail. Play the demo now...

Introducing Trepang2

Introducing Trepang2

Feature 3 comments

Introducing Trepang2: an Indie FPS inspired by SUPERHOT. Use your slow motion and invisibility powers to take down an army of relentless bad guys.

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TREPANG2 64bit Demo

TREPANG2 64bit Demo

Demo

Slow down time and be a badass action hero. Go invisible and be a stealthy ninja. A fun, addicting but very challenging indie FPS. It's you alone against...

Trepang 2 Demo 32bit

Trepang 2 Demo 32bit

Demo

WARNING: THIS VERSION IS NOT FULLY SUPPORTED! Download at your own risk.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 17)
wilsonC Creator
wilsonC

Been working on NPC/AI stuff and environments. Look out for an update soon!

Reply Good karma+1 vote
FunMasterNew
FunMasterNew

Cool game

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Syrbe
Syrbe

I found a bug Imgur.com
I died and that that popped up
I also needed to restart because it would also crash if i would press "Last checkpoint it also crashes.
I have restarted the game and it works again

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wilsonC Creator
wilsonC

Hi thanks for playing and I'm sorry about the bug. Do you know around which area it happened in? Was it the room with the brown wooden boxes by any chance? I thought I fixed it but I guess it's still popping up. I'll look into it soon.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Syrbe
Syrbe

It happend in
Imgur.com
But its close to the boxes room

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wilsonC Creator
wilsonC

I'm sorry but I can't see that picture, can you upload it to somewhere else? Was it in the room before the room with the wooden boxes? Thanks.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Syrbe
Syrbe

Yes, it happend in that room

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wilsonC Creator
wilsonC

Okay thanks, I'll look into it.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Merser433
Merser433

Looks awesome, but lacks movement, and the player is a bulletsponge. (I know that it's hard already, but that's because you can't dodge anything, really, all you can do is fire and hope that enemies' huge bullet spread will spare you)
You should just experiment a lot more, don't just copy AAA shooters and add your stuff after that, their devs don't care about game design at all. For example, stopping the player from firing while he's running is just pointless, there's no benefit to anything in the game that this awful "feature" can give, it just makes the game slower, and slow is not how you want the game to look in realtime (superhot failed completely at that, replays look as slow as the gameplay (i don't have anything against the slow gameplay in it thou, because the pacing can always be "medium" if the player wants), shame).
Are you planning to continue this even if you fail (i'm sure you won't) at the competition?

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wilsonC Creator
wilsonC

Hi there, thanks for playing and offering constructive criticism.

Yes I agree about the player being too bullet spongey. The enemies accuracy is a bit too random and their bullets need to be a bit slower in slow mo, it's too hard to dodge in the tighter encounters. It was challenging balancing both those variables (I actually made them into console commands cause I couldn't stop tweaking them) for both close range and long range fights. I plan on looking into this more and perhaps scaling accuracy, burst length and bullet speed over distance so the bad guys can have the same effectiveness at any range.

As for sprinting, I actually added this ( and ironsights) after a lot of hesitation and testing other alternative means of adding risk vs reward to the game, which IMO was a big fun factor in SUPERHOT. Originally you were always running fast and there were no ironsights(people were so polarised about ironsights in my last project so I was totally against doing it again), but this gave you only one way to play - run and gun as fast as you can - there's no reason to try anything else. Sprinting gives you a risk vs reward choice of moving fast but being defenseless, vs being a slow and easy target but being able to shoot back (and ironsights adds a third option, of being accurate but very slow).

I'm going to spend about a week catching up on sleep, food, exercise and vitamin d, then I'll play the other entries and go back to work on this project. Thanks again for playing and feedback. I look forward to trying your game as well :)

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Merser433
Merser433

"Sprinting gives you a risk vs reward choice of moving fast but being defenseless, vs being a slow and easy target but being able to shoot back"
Didn't think about that, but that doesn't change my opinion, because you're removing run and gun instead of trying to tweak it's importance with different elements, or expanding covers system(you won't believe how hard it is to be tolerant here for me, i'm so hateful of that stuff c; ). And i don't understand what's your problem with run and gun, it's literally twice more gameplay than this "toggling between tasks" sprint system gives, and could be thrice if you expanded verticality aspect. BASICALLY, THE MORE SH~T THE PLAYER HAS TO PRESS IN ONE SECOND, THE BETTER. GAME DEZEEEEEEEEEGN!

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wilsonC Creator
wilsonC

Haha no worries, I'm always up for a friendly discussion.

I think run and gun is fine and works well for a lot of shooters. Especially in Titanfall 2 where IMO they did a perfect blend of tactical shooting with old school FPS movement.

But just like the gameplay in SUPERHOT, I wanted the player to always have multiple options and part of the fun is making quick decisions (and sometimes making mistakes and laughing at yourself).

For example:I see a bad guy, do I go invisible and hide, or go slow mo and shoot him, or sprint to a better position and snipe him, or stay put and wait etc. It needs a slower pace and each action needs pros and cons to facilitate that, especially in a 15 minute demo where there's no time to "practise".

Originally before sprinting and ironsights it was faster paced and the AI were very accurate. Personally I found it fun, but I could tell from watching others play that they found it shallow and repetitive (I might actually post some videos of these in an article). Players died because they weren't fast enough or their aim wasn't good enough. After slowing down the game and adding ironsights, sprinting and superpowers I noticed players were more engaged in the game because they were always thinking about what to do next. They'd die, but rather than say "ok cool game, that's enough", they'd quickly hit the restart button and try it again with a different approach.

But yes I agree with you 100% about the lack of verticality, it's basically Wolfenstein. I definitely want to experiment more in this area and I do want to try teleporters, gravity lifts etc instead of boring ladders and stairs.

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