Prototype: Cardboard Invasion


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edited in Projects
Hi guys,

We've been working on this prototype/game built in Unreal Engine 4 for a few months now and decided it's time to start sharing a bit of the work.
The game is real time strategy (RTS) with a bit of a twist. When explaining the game we like to say it's 60% MOBA, 20% RTS and 20% TD.
It's played from the perspective of a commander but units aren't directly controlled, you rather control the environment and set 'actions' on buildings
which your units will then follow. Did I mention it's set in a cardboard world?

image

Right now we are 1 developer(me) and 1 amazing artist (@iceblademush).
YES I know the one of the 1st comments are going to be: "We need to see gameplay" :)
We will be posting gameplay soon. A playable demo won't be that easy compared to Unity but we will look at the possibilities.

Please also have a look at our Steam Concept page here:
http://cardboardinvasion.com

image

Comments


  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    Going through the Unreal EULA you can release a free prototype without complication. My suggestion is put the download on Box.net

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    Awesome thanks will check that out. But yes, the main issue is download size. Demo will be around 300MB now.
    We will also be willing to show gameplay at the next JHB meetup.

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    Looks pretty :)

    From an art direction perspective, I'd just like to say that changing the colour of textures to "cardboard colour" doesn't make something cardboard - for example, the rocks and the trees seem like rather impossible structures. The pillars on that monument-like building are also pretty impossible looking - perhaps one can get purpose-made cardboard straws, but... It feels a bit unlikely.

    So my point is that if you want to "complete the illusion", make things REALLY look hand made and cardboardy. Tactile. Right now it's halfway there on that, with the textures, and the "impossible cardboard things" look a bit like stock-art. Making it look hand-made will really push a unique look for your cardboard setting.

    Do things set on fire easily? Are there giant scissor-people? Why is it cardboard? Yes gameplay :)

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    @Tuism Thanks for the feedback.

    I totally agree. It is very hard to go that far though, but it might be worth it.
    In most cases we've done that and are planning to build things that it looks like hand built.
    The art so far are prototype and will have a major overhaul once we are happy with the overall prototype.

    Here are some of the other art, to give an idea of how realistic we want to go:

    image

    image

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    edited
    Love the icecream sticks and straws, man!
    Wow,would be interesting to see how your moba will work, if it is set via the buildings?
    Sounds fun, or dangerous mix of mechanics.

    Showing us the characters etc, will give us a better idea of the whole aesthetic.

    Adding some texture and maybe a burnt in logo to the icecream sticks can make it looks more realistic, if you want that look.
    Would also be nice to add those fireworks we played with as kids, if you will have bombs in this game...

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    @boysano Right now we've got a bunch of mechanics we are trying out, so not 100% sure what will stick.
    But will try to get some video up soon to show off some of the mechanics.

    But to give you an idea regarding the MOBA mechanic. Enemy units are spawned MOBA style, in waves at intervals.
    Friendly units(your units) aren't spawned like that, you SORT OF give them direction as they spawn. So "Capture a factory" or "attack enemy base".


  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    Well I quite like the look of your cardboard stuffs. I dont think the trees or the rocks look not cardboard and for longer tubes you could just make them cardboard rolls surely. Love the look of the cardboard racer!

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    The Mech unit, rendered in Keyshot. Its a fine balance between detail vs what would be possible in the real world. So been tending to go on the side of less detail, with more mistakes, but even now it might be a bit too clean.
  • MCAMCA

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    Hmm, black smoke coming out the cardboard house chimneys… what's burning? Maybe styrofoam/polystyrene balls for smoke instead?

    Looks cool.

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    @iceblademush I agree with Tuism's comment, and even though, as you point out that Mech unit is mega detailed, but even when I open it as full screen I don't really read it as cardboard and tactile even though it is, and when in 3d with that much detail you're going to lose even more believability. I would personally maybe opt for something like a flat piece of cardboard cut out in a tree shape, maybe even something like this in terms of structure (not design)

    http://www.culture24.org.uk/asset_arena/5/57/66/466755/v0_master.jpg

    A nice addition could also be to have hand-drawn details with a art-line on the cardboard (for example). Even the fence posts, I'd create like 3 or 4 and duplicate and rotate those (if you're using Cinema 4d then luckily can use mograph) and you'll get a much more tactile feeling.

    Another thing I'd point out is I think the green floor seems odd, and should feel like cardboard too, maybe colouring pencils have partly made it green or something? Or even if it's scrap paper, but I personally feel it's gonna be a really awesome build when you get that feeling down and that sense of perspective.


  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    @MattMac Thanks for the feedback. I will leave commenting on the art style to @iceblademush. :P
    But I can say this. We are playing with the idea that the game is played on a table with a green felt, hence the green floor.
    image

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    as kids we use to have those printed street maps, maybe something like that for the floor, but it may be too busy?

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    @MattMac Thanks, yes these are all discussions we have had, and experimented with. One thing we might do is play with different "worlds" or regions so some could have those kind of trees you pointed out while others could have more ball type trees.

    The mech also is something i need to play with, its been pointed out its too "neat" but it might work well and appear high tech next to the rougher units, like cars, but its definitely something we will change if it doesnt match.

    The ink idea we have also played with, we made little computer consoles like this, but for the prototype we are pushing more with the overall shape, we will UV unwrap and refine later.

    But all good suggestions, thank :)

    Its also interesting because the art style seems to be the driving force behind the game, and ideas are stemming from those.

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    For the floor we started off with paper, then cardboard with ink painted lines, the just cardboard and now have moved onto felt, which feels more neutral.
    @Boysano i guess we could try, but what works nicely is the overall brown, then the red and blue faction colours are nicely contrasted with each other. Then there is also the dark green of the felt. But thanks for the suggestion, will try it..

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    Looking good! You might also work some childlike crayon scribbles in there at some point ;)

    I'm interested in your control mechanism - setting actions on buildings instead of controlling units directly. Have you built that part yet, and can you share any insight around it? For instance, do some commands require specific types of units, how do you identify units that can handle the command, how do you deal with multiple commands (weighting? first-come-first-serve?).

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    @wogan Thanks for the comments.
    We are still playing around with the mechanics around that so still have a lot of place to change.
    But to give you a quick overview.

    Selecting a factory you have numerous options depending if it's yours, friendly, neutral or enemy owned. Doing a "Repair" action spawns an engineer from the base who then walks all the way to that factory and does the job. "Take Over" command on a neutral factory will also send an engineer out and then take it over (in time).

    When spawning 'attacking units' you give them an objective. "Attack Enemy Base", "attack resources", "defend here" etc. This is still something we are testing but that is the idea. So basically ALL units that spawn have a specific objective. If you have units marching to the enemy base you cannot change their objective, that is why your strategy 1 minute ago must have been sound.

    But this is all things we are playing with, this is still just a prototype even though we have really pretty art :)

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    @iceblademush Cool I totally hear you. Looking good though regardless of the finer decisions you guys make.
    I love the suggestion of polystyrene balls as smoke too and thought this reference could inspire you guys a lot! Also super cool gaming video... :D One thing to ask is, how would you make rounded trees? Not sure they would crumple like paper, though I had thought the way the old lego trees are structured could work, like layered flat circles to build a sphere...

    Anyway, good luck and check all this guys stuff out, he's brilliant!

    http://www.eatpes.com/game_over.html

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    New poster here - just thought I'd add 2c
    Try suggesting origami models to your 3D designer! There are some incredibly complex structures which people make..
    You can add nice eye-candy with crisp modular origami structures - even if you ignore the theme possibilities and just use their shapes.
    Looking forward to trying it out

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    @eunoia Thanks for the comments, I think that is something we might consider for background effect, will do some research. Thanks

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    Any news on getting our hands on a prototype?

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    @Fengol If all goes well in about 2 weeks time as we overhauled a lot of the mechanics.
    The game actually changed a lot and is now you play from a FPS perspective.
    image

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    A cardboard FPS - hell yeaaaah

  • Notice: Undefined variable: GuestHourOffset in /home/nitrogen/public_html_mgsatest/forums/themes/mgsa/class.mgsathemehooks.php on line 281
    Man this looks amazing! I'd love to get my hands on a demo to do a preview write up.
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