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Shadows of Doubt is a first-person detective stealth game set in a fully-simulated sci-fi city. There's been a murder and it's up to you to solve it by any means necessary, with the condition that you keep a low profile. A unique mix of procedural generation and hand-crafted design enables every room of every building to be explored. Citizens go about their lives independent of the player as you watch from the Shadows, in search of crucial information.

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It's been a while since the last blog and I've been busy! Firstly some quick announcements: I'm in the process of expanding ways you can find out about, keep track of and follow progress on the game. First off is the official Discord server, and second are new places to follow this dev blog at Game Jolt and soon Itch.io. You can also subscribe to the mailing list that I set up a couple of blog posts ago, but for some reason, haven't mentioned until now. A steam page is on its way- more on that at the end. Last but not least, I've been dabbling in making some concept/branding art for the project. Truthfully this has been repurposed from a much older piece I did years ago, but I'm pretty pleased with it- and shall likely be using it for a lot of the early promotional stuff that you'll see soon.


The previous dev blog covered my first foray into interiors and my first attempts to procedurally decorate them. I'm pleased to say the game is progressing at a decent rate now; whereas before the new interiors were limited to my floor editor, they are now actually in-game. It took a while as there's a lot to integrate; one of SoD's main selling points is complete freedom to explore- and that means being able to go into any room in any building. When you're talking about even just a couple of city blocks worth of skyscrapers, that's a hell of a lot of rooms! I've had to do a lot of work under the hood in terms of culling to get this working, but you can, at last, do this without any extra loading times. I've got a lot to refine, but it's working well. Using low-fidelity assets really helps as it keeps texture sizes small.

The first batch of furnishings are appearing in apartments, giving them some much-needed character.

The second hurdle was to re-write the AI to take advantage of the new interiors system, as they've completely changed to how they were prior. I opted for an overhaul of the previous very basic AI in favor of a new goal-based system. A lot of things have stayed the same, such as the way the AI sight each other, but they now employ a new sims-like stat system that dictates their minor actions throughout the day (needing to eat, drink, sleep etc). Whereas before their routine was almost completely pre-computed- meaning a lot of extra, spontaneous actions such as checking out a suspicious noise or sighting had to be written separately. This could potentially break their pre-computed routine, meaning the game would have to calculate it again. This new system allows for a lot more flexibility.


All the citizen AI paths being dynamically calculated are visible here in magenta.


As the goal is still to have a lot of citizens simulated with this AI, I've done a few things to limit the performance cost of it: Most notably, the AI's update rate will only be high when nearest the player and when not doing actions that require them to be more aware. By dynamically changing this with proximity to what's actually on-screen, I can make the performance cost of 95% of the citizens at any one time relatively insignificant. It's had some teething problems, but I'm almost there- and hope to complete the new AI around the beginning of May.

Most significantly for the game though, this means I'll finally have furnished, individual rooms that you can sneak into, complete with simulated citizens that are capable of interacting fairly realistically. This is a pretty big milestone that I'm super excited about. I'm hoping to launch the Steam page around then as I feel for the first time I'll be able to effectively communicate (show, not tell) what the gameplay is like. Up until now, my descriptions have been somewhat vague, as I've tested a lot of ideas throughout this development. But what I'll have soon is a stealth game with some pretty clear mechanics, that although lacking a lot, will be the first thing that's actually somewhat playable. The sand in the sandbox if you will. Only took me 2 years!

Shadows of Doubt DevBlog #14: Interior Colours

Shadows of Doubt DevBlog #14: Interior Colours

News

In this development blog, I talk about creating procedurally-decorated rooms.

Shadows of Doubt DevBlog #13: Creating Procedural Interiors

Shadows of Doubt DevBlog #13: Creating Procedural Interiors

News

In this development blog I talk about creating interior environments using a mix of design and procedural generation.

Shadows of Doubt DevBlog #12: HDRP Makes Things Prettier

Shadows of Doubt DevBlog #12: HDRP Makes Things Prettier

News

In this dev blog I talk about upgrading the project to use Unity's new HD render pipeline. Spoiler alert: It makes things look better!

Shadows of Doubt DevBlog #11: Roadmap 2019

Shadows of Doubt DevBlog #11: Roadmap 2019

News 1 comment

In this development blog I outline the plan for 2019.

Comments  (0 - 10 of 14)
Xairo_180
Xairo_180

Loving the atmosphere in these new screenshots, havent checked in in a while but still looking great!

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Guest
Guest

WOW this looks amazing it has a great visual style and we're always in need of more detective games. also can you guess who brought me here... Yes! Tom Francis re-tweeting your stuff. I hope this turns out as great as it looks.

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Xairo_180
Xairo_180

Just checking back in... and wow! its great to see your inspirations, gives me personally allot of confidence that you've got a great vision!

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ColePowered Creator
ColePowered

Thanks Xairo! Very eager to get this translated into the game :D

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Guest
Guest

This game looks super interesting, love the style! Yogscast brought me here too :D
I don't use this website or anything atm, what can I do to keep up to date on the development?

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ColePowered Creator
ColePowered

Hi there! Thanks for the interest, there's a couple of places you can keep up with the development:
1) Here
2) My site at colepowered.com
3) This TIGSource thread: Forums.tigsource.com
4) On twitter @colejefferies or @detectivesim

Hopefully I should have a Steam page set up by the end of the year.

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Xairo_180
Xairo_180

Latest update looks great!... Regarding the crime scenes will stuff like blood splatter direction come into play and be an important aspect when regarding stuff like balistic investigation? By this I mean you can determine where the suspect was when someone was murdered or if they where even in the same room. For example there may be a glass window smashed from the out side (glass landing within the apartment) in one of the higher up apartment buildings and the dedudction from that would be the suspect shot from an adjacent building.

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ColePowered Creator
ColePowered

Yes, this is exactly the kind of detail I want to simulate. It's not working to that extent yet, but definitely in regards to blood spatter etc that's the goal!

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Armadyllo
Armadyllo

This looks absolutely incredible! I'm super glad the Yogscast brought me here, exactly the type of game that's up my alley.

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Xairo_180
Xairo_180

Hey I'm from the yogs too haha

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Shadows of Doubt
Platforms
Windows, Mac, Linux
Creator
ColePowered
Engine
Unity
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Stealth
Theme
Noire
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Latest tweets from @colejefferies

RT @KidsWriteJokes: how do you make sparkling water for free put glitter in normal water

20hours ago

One of my favourite recent screenshots from #ShadowsOfDoubt #screenshotsaturday #indiedev #gamedev T.co

May 25 2019

RT @detectivesim: Don't get caught #ShadowsOfDoubt T.co

May 23 2019

The new neon signs display the procedurally generated shop names- now it's fun just to walk around and see what the… T.co

May 18 2019

RT @robertflorence: Somebody tell the internet that the woman out of Misery who kidnapped the author of her favourite book and tortured… T.co

May 16 2019

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