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Reentry
Posted: 04 February 2014 03:36 PM
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Discuss Reentry by Drew Skillman!

[ Edited: 10 February 2014 02:31 PM by DF Isa Anne ]
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Posted: 06 February 2014 01:19 PM
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REEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNTRRRRRRRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!
(A pitch by @dskillsaw)

Let’s recreate the experience of being on a spacewalk gone wrong - one where you’re floating in space and all you have to help you survive is your mastery of realistic, zero-g physics.  The game is hardcore and unforgiving - you will float off into space, forever, if you make the wrong move. 

Navigate by slingshotting yourself around big chunks of wreckage.  Propel yourself by launching smaller chunks behind you.  Use conservation of momentum to your advantage.  Transfer momentum from angular (spinning around an object) to linear (launching in a straight line through the darkness of space).  Every decision you make has an equal, and opposite reaction.  But best of all, use any other techniques you can come up with to move through space.  I don’t have all the answers to what it takes to survive a spacewalk under these conditions, so we’ll have figure it out together!

Did I mention this whole time you’re in contact with Nasa?  Getting valuable information that may help you survive?  You’re also rapidly orbiting the planet.  You’ll see several sunrises and sunsets before you descend into the upper atmosphere, your visor fogs up, and you begin to see the orange glow of reentry.  When you’re on the dark side of the earth the blackness will be darker than anything you’ve seen before.  The earth will disappear into a black hole in the stars.  Shadows disappear into perfect darkness, leaving you with only your headlamp to continue scavenging the wreckage for a chance to survive.

The game, the visuals, and the atmosphere is heavily inspired by this AMAZING RADIO LAB EPISODE.


Listen to it! And vote! Or listen to it and don’t vote!  Space is awesome!  AF2014!!!

REEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNTRRRRRRRRRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYY!

[ Edited: 06 February 2014 03:29 PM by DF Drew ]
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Posted: 06 February 2014 01:31 PM
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Just in case you got here without seeing the pitch video!

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Posted: 06 February 2014 04:26 PM
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This game looks really great. But so many other games look really great too. Arrr.

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Posted: 06 February 2014 04:43 PM
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I’ll post more images of OUTER SPACE to help you decide!

benson-001.jpg

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Posted: 06 February 2014 04:46 PM
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Now just imagine yourself orbiting that scene at 17,000 miles per hour.  The sun is rising, you’re surrounded by wreckage, your can barely hear NASA trying to get your attention on your radio, and it’s starting to get hot.

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Posted: 06 February 2014 04:51 PM
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Your pitch just made me think how great a space shuttle simulator would be.  Especially if you could re-create Apollo 13!

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Posted: 06 February 2014 04:56 PM
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We need to combine super high fidelity Oculus VR technology with the Vomet Comet.  That would be the ultimate shuttle simulator!

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Posted: 06 February 2014 05:58 PM
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I hate this. There are so many great ideas!
But of course this one is one of the best. Hehe. Go Reentry!

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Posted: 06 February 2014 06:17 PM
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Amazing pitch, Drew!

Are you always communicating with NASA?  Is it possible to get cut off?  Or do you die immediately as soon as anything goes wrong because it’s space and that’s just how space is.

What perspective does the player have of everything?

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Posted: 06 February 2014 08:06 PM
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DF Anna - 06 February 2014 06:17 PM

What perspective does the player have of everything?

This.

Also, what will make the experience not feel repetitive or grindy after a short number of successful reentries?

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Posted: 06 February 2014 08:28 PM
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Yeah, go Reentry!

I hope it’s a really hard game and with procedural hazards that require different maneuvers every time you play.

Is it going to be just a matter of avoiding space debris or will it have other Gravity-insipred actions? Like attaching to astronaut corpse to use their propulsion units, using fire extinguishers to move, accessing wreckings. Maybe the grappling hook is an item you can find?

Anyway, great! Really excited.

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Posted: 07 February 2014 01:11 AM
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Yeah, so is this going to be FP / Oculus Rift compatible? Because that’d be crazytown.

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Posted: 07 February 2014 06:14 AM
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So, if i understood things correctly, you’ll do some of your daily work inside and outside of your space station, about 400km away from earth and orbiting with 28000 km/h through space. Either some things can go wrong, dunno, whilst doing an outside job your nitrogen jets don’t work as expected or you screwed it up on your own, maybe forgot how to use your mooring ropes properly and then you need to find a solution (if there is any) how to get back somewhere safe. Will you be alone?

Will it be more up to you to screw normal situations up (and die due to being unexperienced) or will you more go through some dangerous deadly setup missions or will normal situations escalate due to some randomly triggeted events? How much can you enjoy the simulation aspect? Will you be able to drift away into space as long as there is some oxygen left, burn in the atmosphere, maybe you get burned by the rockets your funny collegeaus ignite whilst you were flying by below them? Personally i would prefer a mix of all of them,

[ Edited: 07 February 2014 06:33 AM by taumel ]
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Posted: 07 February 2014 11:16 AM
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Hey guys! Thanks for all the awesome questions and feedback :D Just waking up over here so I’ll respond one by one now!

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Posted: 07 February 2014 11:26 AM
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>> Are you always communicating with NASA?  Is it possible to get cut off? 
You communicate with NASA during the day, but when you go into the dark side of the earth (night time orbit), you’ll lose contact.  This is of course not scientifically accurate, but I think it will add an awesome pace to the game.  NASA will also get more and more frantic during your descent.  You’ll hear real fear in their voices even though they’re trying to remain calm and strong for you.  At extreme points of desperation, when all seems lost, they may even invite your family into the control room to encourage you, play your favorite song, or even say their goodbyes. 

>> Or do you die immediately as soon as anything goes wrong because it’s space and that’s just how space is.
You will never die immediately in the game! If you make the wrong move, you will float in blackness until you run out of oxygen, or burn up.  Let’s try and capture the actual feel and emotion of drifting in space. Even when all is lost, you can still appreciate the stars and embrace the space around you.

>> What perspective does the player have of everything?
Ideally first person (with potential Oculus support).  However if the game is selected the first thing I’ll do (before AF starts) is prototype the zero g physics in full 3D, and then in constrained 3D (3D physics constrained to a sphere around the planet, with a pulled back, 3rd person camera).  This is because I simply don’t know which approach will be best for gameplay and overall mood and feel.  It’s going to be a balancing act for sure, and one of the pieces of the project I’m really excited to tackle!

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Posted: 07 February 2014 11:30 AM
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imonfire - 06 February 2014 08:06 PM

Also, what will make the experience not feel repetitive or grindy after a short number of successful reentries?

I’m really excited about this part - it’s a skill based game, and the better you get at it the more you’ll be able to challenge yourself with a larger, more spread out, and more chaotic debris field.  In fact the “difficulty” selection screen I envision being an initial phase where you pick the speed and size of the asteroid that’s going to crash into the Space Station.  Your “score” will be based on the initial difficulty setting, so it can have leaderboards and be competitive with friends.

There’s also fun additional mechanics I’d like to explore: Rescuing other crew, collecting additional oxygen containers, searching for coolant during the day to keep from cooking in your suit from the sun.  Lots of ways each playthrough can be randomized for unexpected surprised.

BUT - all that said, the purpose of this prototype is to be a small, tight experience focusing on the mood and feel of being in space.  There are ways the game could be made much bigger, but right now I want to stay focused on an extremely tight initial experience.

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Posted: 07 February 2014 11:34 AM
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Mello42 - 06 February 2014 08:28 PM

Yeah, go Reentry!
I hope it’s a really hard game and with procedural hazards that require different maneuvers every time you play.

Is it going to be just a matter of avoiding space debris or will it have other Gravity-insipred actions? Like attaching to astronaut corpse to use their propulsion units, using fire extinguishers to move, accessing wreckings. Maybe the grappling hook is an item you can find?

Anyway, great! Really excited.

Awesome ideas!  And yes - definitely!  One of the really great ways of moving in space would be by venting oxygen. But of course you also need the oxygen to breath which makes for a brilliant tension.  In this way you could start maneuvering with that, and then find the grappling hook in the wreckage for sure. 

And for sure the other “Gravity-inspired actions” are all fair game.  With the one caveat that I want it to be physics based to the core - so there won’t be any gameplay events that arbitrarily change the games state. 

Back to your very first point - my hope is that there will absolutely be different types of hazards and situations you’ll find yourself in each playthrough.  Same caveat though - the hazards will all be physics based.  Things that could procedurally occur from the initial physics based space station explosion!

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Posted: 07 February 2014 11:35 AM
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randomfoo - 07 February 2014 01:11 AM

Yeah, so is this going to be FP / Oculus Rift compatible? Because that’d be crazytown.

I agree!  Can’t promise Oculus support, but there are several sitting next to me and we’ve been making lots of Oculus prototypes.  It would be something I’d really like to pull off!

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Posted: 07 February 2014 11:39 AM
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taumel - 07 February 2014 06:14 AM

So, if i understood things correctly, you’ll do some of your daily work inside and outside of your space station, about 400km away from earth and orbiting with 28000 km/h through space. Either some things can go wrong, dunno, whilst doing an outside job your nitrogen jets don’t work as expected or you screwed it up on your own, maybe forgot how to use your mooring ropes properly and then you need to find a solution (if there is any) how to get back somewhere safe. Will you be alone?

Will it be more up to you to screw normal situations up (and die due to being unexperienced) or will you more go through some dangerous deadly setup missions or will normal situations escalate due to some randomly triggeted events? How much can you enjoy the simulation aspect? Will you be able to drift away into space as long as there is some oxygen left, burn in the atmosphere, maybe you get burned by the rockets your funny collegeaus ignite whilst you were flying by below them? Personally i would prefer a mix of all of them,

It would be awesome to have more of the game take place during “normal” space walk/space station like operations.  However the purpose of this prototype is to focus on the action directly before, during, and after the “catastrophic event”.  I think that will be necessary given how much time we have for the prototype.  So rather than you as the player screwing up normal situations, you as the player will have to survive the worst case scenario using every tool at your disposal. 

You will absolutely be able to enjoy the simulation as much as you want. There is no requirement that you try and survive, and you can drift in space as long as you like (well until your out of oxygen or you burn up). 

Love all your ideas by the way! I think if we nail the post-catastrophe simulation, then a larger version of the game could absolutely add in the more routine space walk activities.  Thanks for posting!

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Posted: 07 February 2014 02:50 PM
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Yep, makes sense, one of the best aspects about Gravity was being with Sandra Bullock in her helmet. It certainly would be cool if you could capture this mood, the silence outside, hearing yourself breathing, the displays, the awareness of the physical layer between you and space, ... thinking about this can create this strange desire floating through space, looking at the earth, the sun, the stars and then taking off your helmet and breathing out, ... uhm ... i wonder which kind of space suit model you’re shooting for. They all have their pros and cons and some funny stories to tell. The Deutsche Museum in München has a floor for space crafts and space suits (and a lovely V2). It’s very interesting doing research on these kind of things, once you have the time for doing so, maybe after the pitch. Anyway good luck to you too, interesting project, thanks.

[ Edited: 07 February 2014 03:09 PM by taumel ]
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Posted: 08 February 2014 12:03 AM
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When I die, I hope it is in space. I would probably lock my keys in the Soyuz by accident or something. This will be good practice. And Drew is a wizard. This game will look sick! Voted!

Also, I can’t wait for the double entendre reveal at the end!

[ Edited: 08 February 2014 12:07 AM by DF Gabe Miller ]
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Posted: 08 February 2014 08:28 PM
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taumel - 07 February 2014 02:50 PM

...The Deutsche Museum in München has a floor for space crafts and space suits (and a lovely V2). It’s very interesting doing research on these kind of things, once you have the time for doing so, maybe after the pitch. Anyway good luck to you too, interesting project, thanks.

Thanks so much for the encouragement!  I really hope we have a chance to capture that feeling of being weightless, falling through space.  I actually had an opportunity to meet an astronaut recently and told him about the project - his eyes went to a far off place when he started describing his experience with spacewalks.  Did you have a chance to check out that radiolab episode? So good!  I’d love to check out the museum sometime. It sounds spectacular.

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Posted: 08 February 2014 08:30 PM
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DF Gabe Miller - 08 February 2014 12:03 AM

When I die, I hope it is in space. I would probably lock my keys in the Soyuz by accident or something. This will be good practice. And Drew is a wizard. This game will look sick! Voted!

Dude thanks so much Gabe!!!  Hahah - I couldn’t agree more that dying in space has to be the best way to go.  Practice should be mandatory for everyone.

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Posted: 09 February 2014 01:09 AM
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Space + physics + flaming Lego = my vote.

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Posted: 09 February 2014 04:56 AM
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@DF Drew
Regarding the museum, it’s a great one, it’s very large and you have no chance to see all the interesting stuff in one day only but without a doubt it’s worth a visit if you’re there. I guess you have similar museums in the USA. Btw. it would be really cool if you could see and act with your arms (those space suit arms) in the game. I haven’t found time for the radio show yet but i’ll try to give it a spin today. Btw, this reminds me of an album from Ammer und Console (i might have mentioned them on the forum already) who made some music with comments from the german astronaut Reinhard Furrer. His excitement about several stages of the trip are infectious, well, as long as you understand german.

http://www.amazon.de/Spaceman-85-Ammer-Console/dp/B0009S4VV2/ref=sr_1_4?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1391946060&sr=1-4

@DF Gabe Miller
One thing i regret in my life is that i never seriously tried getting an astronaut but maybe commercial space travell (for a lower budget) will offer the possibility to go there within the next decades. I know about the issues but somehow i’ve always enjoyed the idea of a more permanent installation between earth and a space, some futuristic Paternoster to a space station from where on you can make small trips with tiny space crafts on your own (like borrowing a rowboat on a lake) or to continue your longer trip to the moon (as long as he’s still in reach) and jumping around there, getting the sunburn of your life.

As for keys, i have two undesirable talents, forgetting my keys (or placing them at places i don’t remember when i need to) and getting stuck with wires somewhere. Living as a student in a flat on your own this caused a couple of issue, either you needed to pick the lock on your own (worked for old and simple locks) or you had to call a locksmith. When they were good you lost about $100, when they were bad you had to replace the lock and keys completely. I always was too lazy and something inside me was rebelling against the idea to duplicate the keys and place them somewhere safe upfront. When my climbing skills improved it wasn’t an issue anymore because i could enter through the roof window i only leaned slightly open instead of closing it completely.

Things improve when you’re living not alone anymore because someone might always have a key and you learn to think and act for others a lot more. Although in the beginning there might be situations like standing before the door, looking at each other: “No, i said i won’t take them with me.” or you placed them somewhere you wanted them to be but until you need them the children moved them to places they’ve never been before and you have the pleasure imagining those.

I don’t like keys, f.e. it’s so much better driving with your bike to a store, leaning it against the wall, do your shopping, leaving the shop, grabbing your bike and riding home without this cumbersome locking and unlocking procedure. I rather drive cheap bikes which get stolen from time to time instead of having to deal with those locks, curse all you people who steal bikes! Biometry might offer some solution but then again, no risk, no fun.

So, coming back on topic, chances exist that it’s not the best idea giving me the responsibility for the key(s) of a space station either, although i might find another way to get back in there again. :O)

[ Edited: 09 February 2014 10:12 AM by taumel ]
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