Devlog 0: Once Upon a Torment

Starting The Journey to a Completed Game.
game design

September 3, 2023

Starting My Own Game

I have been meaning to release a video game for a quite a while. Video games were - as for many people - the driver to get me into computers and programming. While it never ended up being something I went to school for, it was always a periphery desire to sit down to plan and code up my own game. This was never due to lack of ideas but about shifting priorities over the course of my life. And, admittedly I did try a few attempts at getting a video game project of the ground within the last year or so. Those plans clearly did not plan out for a myriad of reason which I might discuss in the future.

As a now Solo Developer, I need a project which is small enough scale and simple enough to be implemented by myself. However, the project needs to be interesting enough to commit to designing and making it. After all, this is a hobby project which I plan to walk all the way to release on Steam.

The Niche Project

The game I have decided on is a Pixel Art take on Dead By Daylight. If you are unfamiliar with the game, it is an asymmetic player vs player game where a Killer - usually based on well known movies - is attempting to murder off a bunch of survivors. The mechanics are that the Killer needs to attack survivors to drop them to the ground to then put them on hooks so that they bleed out and die. The Survivor’s job is to repair five generators randomly placed around the map to allow the exit gate and leave. They can save other players from the hooks but only a limited number of times before they are dead. What backstory exists is that there is some Entity which brings these two groups together for no apparent reason.

After some thinking, mine will start from top with a totally different story. The Killer of my game will be called a Torment and they are a construct of negative concepts such as fear and greed and nightmares. These concepts will manifest themselves in their own little worlds by preying on the minds of teenagers connecting the real world to their world by some form of thread. I do not have a real name for these but aesthetically they are going to look somewhat like tunnels of light since that is a normal communicative language for this kind of idea. These are my version of Generators which will be randomly distributed around the world for the players to seek out. They will need to break these to disconnect themselves from this Torment’s World to win the game. Whether there will be an escape phase is something I have not decided but I am leaning towards no only because I want to ensure that the game is unique compared to Dead By Daylight; it may be worth investigating older updates of DBD to see if they added this later or if it was always part of the design.

My version of the Survivors will be called Sources and they will also have abilities derived from their personalities. This is not really different than their version but mostly because there is not much other way to do this. Mine will continue to follow the theme though where their powers should be linked to their negative character traits which will have a kind of influence in the world created by the Torment.

With the game being a Pixel Art game, I decided to go with an Isometric view like you would be playing Legends of Zelda or Pacman. There are a few reasons for this but the primary reason is the Online Course I took to refresh my knowledge of C++ used Raylib and I now have some experience at least with using Sprite sheets and drawing the world from that view. Another reason is that I have been wanting to create a game inspired by a custom game mode in Starcraft called Cat and Mouse I used to play online with friends. So, expect some Fog of War elements along with maybe some form of economy in the game for buying power ups for both sides. Much of this will show up later after I have at least a basic level along with a basic networking framework which works.