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FPSC Classic Showcase / [X9] Dark City

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ncmako
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Joined: 19th Feb 2012
Location: Hendersonville,NC
Posted: 16th Jul 2018 01:49 Edited at: 17th Jul 2018 00:09
Dark City
Dev: Girty & Wells
A RUN AND GUN shooter about a good cop "Jack Logan" in a corrupt and crime riddled city trying to take down the most notorious criminal Dark City has to offer, "Eddie The Octopus Malone"
Fight your way through 5 levels of this action packed old-school shooter. Story line driven where each chapter has to be completed before moving to the next chapter.
WARNING: contains adult language, violence.

A big Thanks goes to Pain, for helping setup G-Drive. Mriganka & Arrojar entidad y que explote for input and help.
To Nomad Soul & S4Real for the Black Ice mod Not to forget, those who supported us throughout this endeavor. Thank you

A Very Big Thank you to Xplosys for the Chapter-Launcher

Retro style menu...

Chapter #1 - The Prison - Fist fighting at it's best


Chapter #2 - The Hotel - No free nightly stays here



Chapter #3 - The Warehouse - Hard fast shooting & aliens. What else needs said ?



Chapter #4 - The City Docks - No pics allowed for safety reasons

Chapter #5 - The Junk Yard - No Scaredy-Cats allowed in the dark. Time to man-up !


Even Thugs need to take a leak



LINK TO DOWNLOAD[/color] size is about 600megs, may add another download link in the near future ?
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Zl0hsoo7MpRum7K0WcOw7E_TPZC1ANlt/view?usp=sharing
Install game and run Launcher from desktop icon. Should run straight out of the box. Needs DX9. Tested on multiple machines win7 & win10.


:Will be adding more info in next couple days:
My games never have bugs. They just develop random features..
Lots and lots of random features...
seppgirty
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Posted: 16th Jul 2018 03:15 Edited at: 22nd Jul 2018 15:33
I can't believe we actually finished it. I would like to give Mike (ncmako) Wells a big thanks. He crushed every bug i put into this game. Could not have done it without you....... Now let the Boo birds lose.

@ EVERYONE
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO WRITE A REVIEW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO. JUST LET US KNOW IF YOU PLAYED IT.......
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Bored of the Rings
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Posted: 16th Jul 2018 16:29
There's nothing more rewarding than getting a game/program finished and seeing it in all it's glory. Well done guys...
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seppgirty
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Posted: 16th Jul 2018 23:20
Quote: "There's nothing more rewarding than getting a game/program finished and seeing it in all it's glory. Well done guys"

Thanks BOTR. It does feel good. Now hopefully someone plays it.
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Mriganka
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Posted: 17th Jul 2018 07:03
DAYUM! You guys did it! Congrats! Now we've got to spread the word. Will be posting a review soon.
Bored of the Rings
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Posted: 17th Jul 2018 14:44
@Seppgirty-downloading now for playing later....now when's the sequel coming out just kidding guys, well done again on this achievement.
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seppgirty
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Posted: 17th Jul 2018 22:32
Thanks for checking it out guys. hope you enjoy it. It's amazing how much work went into this simple game. I have a new respect for those indie's that make full blown games.
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Bugsy
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Posted: 18th Jul 2018 01:18
Okay. I have a gigantic review incoming. I am going to be totally brutal in this review, but I hope you will understand where I am coming from. There are also SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.

I will be quite critical and try not to sugar coat anything for the sake of brevity, so I apologize in advance. This game made a profound impression on me and in a lot of ways makes me excited for what is actually possible with FPSC, which I may not have fully explored myself.

The first thing that comes to my mind about this game is "A for Effort" and what I most appreciate is that a bunch of peoples work went together to make this. Unfortunately, it's so good in a lot of ways that the equally numerous ways that it's bad drag it down really strongly.

I will begin by saying that the storyline was awesome and kept me wanting to play, forgiving the games other flaws for it. There was clearly a great investment of time and effort and planning and forethought that went into this and I recognize that. The enduser install experience was smooth and "AAA-like" as were the menus, loading screens, presentation before the game started, etc. Don't think that that goes unnoticed, It made an excellent impression. The game's direction was right on point in those areas. This was drowned out by the following:

The performance was generally bad. The graphics and general aesthetic were worse than the performance, the level design was all over the place, and there seemed to be a complete lack of art direction or continuity of the art assets used. Half of the gameplay was a chore.

The first level was super cinematic, awesome actually, level design/lighting was kind of ugly, but the production values and care for the product was clearly there. i loved the custom enemy flinch animations. that was honestly the funnest level gameplay wise and it ran the best out of all of them, with consistently high frame rates even in fights. This set the bar really high for me.

Level 2 was okay, clearly a lot of time was also spent on it, but it was all in the wrong areas. the idea u can walk in on a chick in the shower and a porn scene and whatnot is cool, but it becomes heavyhanded and overdone when rooms are full of naked chicks, but the actual level of environment detail and lighting is nonexistant. It's better to spread the effort into all areas. I was totally over it once I had seen my 4th custom naked character, but it would have been something i wouldnt be able to stop raving about if it was done a little bit more elegantly, and the areas in which that action was happening were any good, but they looked as though time that should have been spent on them was spent on other stuff.

tl;dr It's better to have 2 really nice custom characters than 500 different ones that are all ugly
It's better to have 1 custom character in an equally realized/detailed room than 10 of them each in the same basic unlit box.

I was excited to see my cocaine models in your meth lab though

level 3 was not good. I didn't know where to go, and the easiest way to get into the warehouse was to glitch out of the map and jump there. You have to consider how your players will think vertically when level designing, and understand that crafty players will assume that there is an easier way to get to the win zone. the ET easter egg was SUPER well done, though the lighting was really bad and did not match the sky. (yeah I IMMEDIATELY turned off reshade) If reshade HAS TO BE ON for the game's aesthetic, dont tell us how to turn it off, because the first thing I thought when I saw what heavyhanded reshade "sin city" effect was used was "ew turn it off, what does the game REALLY look like"

Also, that black and white and red effect could have been FANTASTIC if you had put effort into it.

Level 4 at first looked like it was going to be the turning point where the game really got good, the forklift drivers going around, and cranes moving, etc. It was the first almost totally "realized" scene that instantly read as the place it was and seemed slightly professional, but then the gameplay was a complete mess and there were literally STICK FIGURE CHARACTERS??? If this is a glitch, I apologize but if it was done on purpose then you need to take a long hard look at what you were going for with this game, because at this point i honestly couldn't tell. What makes me think it was on purpose is that they are present in RENDERED CUTSCENES?? There was also a sharp increase in difficulty causing me to die by an enemy who shot me through a wall, and I started to question whether I actually wanted to finish the game or not as It had begun decent but then gone down hill quickly. I had been pretty much lost the whole time with no idea where to go. I took a break.

The final level: lighting, decoration, and gameplay-wise was about 2X better than the whole rest of the game, much of the beginning of it was still very easily skippable. I dont get why you added little "go here" markers in this level but not in the others. I skipped 90% of the enemies because of some amateur lighting making it VERY clear where I was supposed to be going but not how to get there. Forget about that part. useless filler. The shining example of how truly awesome of an experience you can do with FPSC was after the bust-cutscene where you gotta chase the guy on the crane in the rain, lightning strikes the crane, and you fight him out to the edge of the crane where you shoot him off and he falls, then u go back down on the rope. I was jumping up and down at how amazingly well this part was done and how great the climax of the game was. The credits should've rolled right there because the final cutscene where you and that random actress start clipping faces into each other was a little out of place though, as I dont remember ever knowing that character or having a reason to care why she was in danger. If any of it was meant to be comedy, it was more of a groaner.

The easter eggs all throughout the game were amazing, never has a FPSC game had so many done so well. Its crazy how many characters you brought into FPSC for this, and how much extra work you did on menus and AWESOME voice acting, downright EXCELLENT soundtrack and custom decals and setpiece moments. However, at the end of the day, it needed either more polish, or less filler, or optimally both. If level 3 hadn't been there, and level 4 and 2 had been greatly shortened to their best parts, more optimized, and more detailed, I would probably be screaming for a BOTB award for you.

I think with a better animator and level designer, (or at least better direction in that department) and a lot more attention paid to aesthetic, pacing, and more importantly optimization, this game would have really been a shining example of what is possible with FPSC. (and in some ways it is) As it is, it feels a far too underdeveloped in certain areas for how professionally done others were. It feels like too much time was spent on the wrong things and not enough was spent on stuff that obviously needed it. It all came together to create a game I'll call "unique" but nothing more. I likely wouldn't play this again, but would be more excited for the sequel than any other TGC-engine project.

6/10
Hire Me! I model, animate, cook, clean, and texture!
seppgirty
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Posted: 18th Jul 2018 23:52
Thanks for your feedback Bugsy. You make a lot of really good points.

First off.... I'm glad you played through the whole game. I'm satisfied that at least one person played it. I made levels 2 and 3
This was an experiment of sorts to see if a community project could be completed. ... And it was. I believe that i can speak for ncmako and myself when i say that this was a great learning experience. There was A LOT of bumps in the road But we kept each other motivated to the end. IF/when we make the sequel. I will use your review as reference.
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Wolf
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Posted: 19th Jul 2018 15:17
Howdy!

Bugsy told me to play this and I'm glad I did.

If you don't mind, I'd also like to give you my review:

First of all, congratulations to getting a full release out, the work in progress boards are proof that this has never been an easy task with FPSC. I see you used Xplosys starter app that allows you to bind several exes with one launcher. A decent way to avoid some of FPSC's grotesque limitations and it worked quite well with the chapters! This way I didn't have a single crash.

I have a lot of mixed feelings about this game and in a similar fashion to Bugsys review, I will try to be as honest as possible. I find that the menue and loadingscreens are already pretty indicative of what the game is like to play. The menue is interesting, animated and makes the player want to see more, the loading screen is so atrociously badly composed that it made me want to shut the game off right then and there. But then the game started.

We play as Jack Logan, a playfully generic tough cop character with a hilariously generic name. However, the game idea is not generic and I find there are too few games like it. I remember some attempts at making black and white FPSC games, the one that won the nvidia contest back in 2006 or 7, the one by peanutbutterfingers titled "contrast" and a few more. However, so far, this is the only one that I have seen actually released which is cool. Now, using the reshade "sin city" effect was not the worst choice...but using it over an otherwise normally coloured game was.

You see, this game is maybe the ugliest FPSC game I have ever played. This is because everything is underdetailed and the black and white postprocessing effect tends to randomly tint pixels in a screaming red colour that are not supposed to be tinted that way. I feel that if, in this screenshot, only the womans dress would be red (and her afro maybe not so ridicoulusly low poly ) it would be interesting to look at, but this way its very off.
I think your aesthetic would have worked very well if you hand coloured the textures. Added stark contrasts, occasional red highlights, seeing how you use very few detail props this would take you a bit over an hour and look far cooler. If I deactivate the postprocessing effect, the scenes look incredibly low resolution and its very apparent that the art assets are largely from very different artists and time periods (another interesting point I will mention again later).
My point is that the idea is really cool but the execution incredibly unappealing.

The cutscenes are not too badly coreographed, over the top and have a solid cast of appropriately cheesy voice actors. However, the voice work is not very audible compared to the usual sound of the game. Every sound editing tool has a function called "amplify" using that would have made it a lot better as I wouldnt have to turn up the volume every time someone speaks to even hear them. I'm not going to complain about how awkward and hokey the cutscenes where, I found that to be insanely charming and it went well with the rest.

So level 1:

Inspector Tequila is beating up a legion of prisoners. Hey, this was cool. FPSC does not have the best melee features (lord knows I tried.) and I would generally advise against this type of level but being an armed cop that mows down tons of unarmed prisoners would have been in bad taste. Going all Bruce Lee on them is cool though. Here I did however notice the incredible FPSC'ness and simplicity of the levels. There is barely any decor, hallways, and if there is decor it can be incredibly misplaced. There is a "hotel" sign in a prison cell for example. I would have removed the crowbar. Its immediately apparent that its in a completely different visual style than the fists and other weapons and the fists with the kick function where hella cool. Apart from the detail that I can see the end of the arms disappear into nothingness on screen when ever I attack. Perhaps this is a widescreen issue? Tweaking the "forward" value in the gunspec would fix that. I also found it odd that the game told me to pick up more weapons...so I went ahead and picked up my fists. ...okay.

Level 2 happens

John McLane ends up in a seedy motel.
Level 2 is what a teenager thinks an illegal brothel in a cheesy hotel looks like I liked the idea and a lot of the work you put into it. Gameplay wise its a corridor shooter and that was okay. A lot of animated scenes in the rooms that where very tongue in cheek kept it interested. I like how an armed cop enters a room after a fierce firefight and is invited to a threesome. The comic book tone of the whole thing paired with 60s detective novel cheese works well but I feel like you didn't go all out with it. My complaint about the hotel is this: You clearly put a lot of effort into the custom models and animations. However, the surrounding level is just a segment made set of rooms and corridors with barely any defining characteristics or detail. You have the whole mem cap as every chapter is its own exe, you could have worked with it and make this shine. This had such a strong dissonance with me... where I thought, hehe, its cool that they thought of making this and this is boring.

Level 3 happens

Detective Callahan is bored by the generic portion of the game...and a bit confused about the UFO and why the local workers seem to not care about all the shooting.
The obligatory warehouse level was quite ugly and uneventful. Luckily the shotgun allowed it to be fast paced. This is the lowest point of the game for me.

Level 4 happens

Jerry Cotton turns the docks upside down.
For some reason, every other cop/detective type story has to take place at the docks at some point. Here I actually noticed how frequent this is. And the level is quite cool. I never got the feeling of being at the ocean but I was really impressed by all the dynamic fork lift operators, that they honk if you are in the way and all the moving cranes. Dynamic level elements are always nice to see. I was however really underwhelmed by the forklift being in my way later on that just disappeared after I shot it.
Here the game was far more interesting again than in the warehouse. The end sequence where I jump out the window was cool!

Level 5

John Spartan saves the day at the junkyard.
I quite enjoyed this level as it was interesting to navigate and there was a lot going on. The fact that you made a final showdown on top of a crane was really ambitious.
I noticed the strong difference in quality in the car models, from barely being 3d to fully realized interiors. To me as an old FPSC dinosaur, seeing the darkmatter models used in this was quite endearing but I think they will really be offputting to other players. I think the junkyard is where the game really shines. So many jokes, so much effort, a lot of stuff that made me go "hey cool". I think the game could have used more references and absurd humour.
We kill the bad guy and the game ends. Except that it didn't for me, I lef the crane and nothing happened, so I walked around a bit more analyzing the level. Oh! And I actually laughed out loud at Moulder and Scully.

The games biggest strengths are:
The flair, the heart and how silly it is. You could really amp this up and maybe accentuate the cartoon aesthetic more. This has potential. Polishing (or at least increasing the volume) of the voice acting and having more funny moments rather than dull grey corridors would have made this something you could easily spread outside of the FPSC scene. I really hope you made another game with similar tone, now a lot more experienced from making this game.

The games biggest weakness is:

I mean honey, its hella ugly. But that doesnt matter: What matters is the horribly stiff and awkward gameplay. I mean wow! This thing reminded me in parts of FPSC gameplay from 2006. Burnyourhonda and Bugsy are 2 noteable examples of people that made shooting and firefights in FPSC really fluid and fun. In this game I was glad whenever I had the shotgun because I could quickly fire my way through the level to see something cool happen again, like an interesting animated sequence or so. Starting with how atrocious the guns are animated. The main weapon is the colt. Its also the worst weapon, it feels like a peeshooter, how close it is to the screen feels totally off, the moving animation is really ugly and it zooms in way too much when I aim. I felt it was a really bad choice to have this weapon accompany you through almost all of the last level. The SMG had the same problem with a hilariously jittery running animation when sprinting (the benny hill theme would fit here).
I mean, you have enemies that actually gib and fall apart so some attempt was made to add to the combat (I appreciated that by the way). The only weapon that felt tolerable was the shotgun.
So yeah, different sounds, weapons positioned differently on screen, taking advantage of the airmod features and better enemy placment (there where countless moments where I could see them spawning or where the did not react to me) would go a long long way.

This is a really nice little homemade game! Having fun shooter gameplay and maybe looking more appealing would make it something that a lot of players around the world would enjoy! And you can't beat the price

Other note: I saw a lot of really old props from FPSC's past being used. I liked to see some of these still being in use.

So this is my review. I hope you find it interesting and are not in some way discouraged by the criticism I uttered. AND I really wanna see more from you!

Keep it up.



-Wolf
seppgirty
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Posted: 20th Jul 2018 00:27
Thanks for playing and taking the time to write such a detailed review wolf.

just a couple of things to reply to.
The Sin City effect ended up being harder to work with than we thought. Almost no rhyme or reason to the colors it effected. Plus it doesn't seem to work on dynamic entities. WE WILL CONQUER THE SIN CITY EFFECT!This started as a community project but ended up just being ncmako and myself. We did want it to be a very cheezy and over the top pulp type game. This is a B-movie of sorts. This is a simple run and gun shooter. Glad you caught the X-files stuff. THat's where the U.F.O and the alien in the warehouse level came from.
The audio became low because of the extreme compression of the videos. Had to get the file size down.

What i learned by making this game is that ncmako makes a great partner. He kept this game alive over the year and a half it was being made. Had a lot of fun doing this and am very proud of what the two of us accomplished. We will be back.
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ncmako
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Posted: 20th Jul 2018 23:48
@ Bugsy & Wolf First, Thank you so much for taking the time to play the whole game Your reviews of the game are in depth, extensive and thorough. Terrific!
It definitely was a hard-road to get to here. As you both well know. I most certainly will take all of your recommendations and apply them to my next project ( and then some )

We set out to see if we could actually make a game ( using fpsc ) with multiple persons, each having their own input to a single story line. All done just over the net discussion boards & forums.
Soon we realized it's not easy But here we are, game finished. Not the best, but finished. Seppgirty's story was that of an over-the-top super cop, cheesy lines, Comic book style in a B-Movie setting.
His cut-scene's were just terrific !!!

@ Bugsy Yeah, those silly "Stick-figure" thugs, I know... I had to shake my head too. Sorry, but I couldn't resist.
Chapter #1 - Prison fight- was a quick last minute throw together level. Being the "first" level I wasn't sure if it would work or not. So happy it did for you.
And that you enjoyed the ending fight scene. Great, was hard to pull off with fpsc. Spent months on that.

@ Wolf Yes, if it wan't for Xplosys game launcher this would not have worked out for us, no doubt about it.
I wasn't to happy with the Reshader FX, We really wanted that Sin-City effect, but had little control over the saturation values. Your right, we'll have to
re-texture everything better next time. Lesson learned. And those annoying weapon problems with fpsc. I know, there was just so much to fix and change.....

" We kill the bad guy and the game ends. Except that it didn't for me, I lef the crane and nothing happened"
I do feel there was a problem with Chapter #5 final fight scene's. ( you know fpsc ) there should have been an explosion on top of the crane,
lots of shaking, where our hero has to slide down a cable to get down ??? As always with fpsc, it didn't work, even after extensive bug testing

" enemies that actually gib and fall apart so some attempt was made to add to the combat (I appreciated that by the way ) "
Thank you, that was ALL Seppgirty's doing. I dont know how he did it, but it worked. Glad you found it funny, me too

What a great review Wolf, thanks again. It's all worth it in the end.

@ Seppgirty Thank you for the very kind words, it was great fun working with you also cheers !
I learned a lot from this endeavor, happy to have been a part of it. Thanks Sepp

My games never have bugs. They just develop random features..
Lots and lots of random features...
seppgirty
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Posted: 25th Jul 2018 02:48
Hmmm... over 200 views. Anyone else try the game?
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TJ_Vinny
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Posted: 25th Jul 2018 20:59
I've only had time to play the first level so far.

I can clearly see all of the work and effort put into this game.
The first level was very cinematic for sure! I think I missed having fists and to beat all of those prisoners with a crowbar. That kinda felt off. I would of had no idea fists were available if I wasn't reading about it here.
The fights seemed to drag on a bit. The last encounter was pretty enduring. Again, I only had the crowbar, which was intended to open doors.

So far, it was an enjoyable experience and I'm looking forward to playing the rest!

Great job guys!
seppgirty
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Posted: 25th Jul 2018 22:58
Glad you're giving it a try TJ-Vinny. The first level is much more fun using the fists. Let us know how the other levels are.
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Bored of the Rings
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Posted: 26th Jul 2018 19:36
download, not played all levels yet, but certainly different. I had a few issues with selecting menu options with the mouse cursor, but get there eventually. At least you both can say you've finished a game. So well done on that....great achievement.
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seppgirty
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Posted: 27th Jul 2018 01:36
Quote: " not played all levels yet, but certainly different."

That's what we set out to do. Wanted it to be a fun campy game.

Quote: " I had a few issues with selecting menu options with the mouse cursor, "

That's my fault. I just had to have dang octopus cursor. Everyone told me not to.

Quote: " At least you both can say you've finished a game. So well done on that....great achievement."

Thanks. really learned a lot working on this. We DID put time and effort into this game. Hope you take the time to finish it. There's a big ending. (if the TGC bugs didn't get to it.)


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