OBEY in the Press!

Since OBEY Kickstarter has been launched, press and YouTubers have taken an interest and have mentioned and previewed OBEY. Here are the links:

* IGM: Interviews Daniel Dez on OBEY
* IGM: OBEY Preview – Power Structures in Bunny and Turret Society
* Kickstart this: Coerce fellow bunnies to work for you in OBEY
* Indie Games: Trailer Roundup
* Cliqist: OBEY is a Robot vs. Bunny Apocalypse
* Cliqist: OBEY – Multiplayer with Cute Bunnies and a Giant Robot
* Hardcore Gamer: Fund OBEY for an Incredible Innovative Multiplayer Experience
* Fragmix: Kevin Reviews OBEY
* KSalue: OBEY Pre-Alpha Preview
* 3rd Strike: To OBEY or Not to OBEY – Steam Greenlight Campaign Launched
* The Koalition: Kickstarter Weekly: OBEY, Empyrion, and Weather Zen

Here are some videos experienced by 2 youtubers on the same playtest session:


Attention all Bostonians!

Are you a Boston-dweller?

From 11am – 12 ¬†on Thursday October 23rd, I will be showing off OBEY at a LAN party at the EF school in Brighton if you want to try it out before anyone else! ūüėÄ

Then, from 7 Р10 , all the Boston indie devs running kickstarters  and a bunch of our friends are going to be hanging out at Aeronaut Brewery in Somerville! (this is a 21 and over event)
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Come say hi!

Flamez!!!

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I’ve been quiet, ¬†but I have been working very hard preparing OBEY¬†to go into kickstarter mode! ūüôā

As you can see I have implemented a flamethrower.

It’s main purpose was to have a way to counter players that like to camp the door before subverting. ¬†The strategy is to¬†wait by the door until the robo player has¬†bought a dropship, bought some goodies, or killed off the other nearby players before¬†subverting! It’s a great strategy, ¬†but it should have a counter in the game. ¬†That is the flamethrower. The flamethrower can be aimed down¬†to the door and will easily incinerate anyone camping there. ¬† The drawback to the flamethrower is that it leaves charred corpses when it kills bunnies. ¬†Charred corpses are dangerous to robo because other bunnies can¬†smuggle them¬†to robo’s loading area and drop them¬†in, ¬†causing the¬†robo player to¬†incur a large¬†$ penalty. ¬† The robo player¬†can destroy the corpses though by shooting¬†them.

I think the current build is a good build to use as showcase to the press. ¬†So it is time to ramp up for kickstarter mode! ūüėÄ

Public reactions…

On last Saturday I showed OBEY off at Boston Festival of Indie Games. I brought 5 computers and set up a LAN so people can play the game.
The response was overwhelming. And it gave me hope that I can pull off a kickstarter to finish this project.
A bunch of people told me it was their favorite game in the whole show, including some press guys.  All 5 computers were filled practically the entire time with people playing and trying out the game. About 50 people signed up for our kickstarter emailing list and a bunch of people left and came back later to play again after seeing the rest of the show. Some were absolutely glued to the game.
For the most part, people played the game using the ‘king of the hill’ strategy (basically shooting everything that moves)… except for 1 or 2 groups of players that kept playing for over 1¬†hour: after a while they started coercing each other. This is pretty much what I expected to happen, so it also gives me hope that the design is taking shape, too.

no that is not a phone number on my hand.  It is the true mark of a computer nerd: an IP address. (and worse, no I wasn't waving it on purpose.)

no that is not a phone number on my hand. It is the true mark of a computer nerd: an IP address. (and worse, no I wasn’t waving it on purpose.)

Fast forward to Monday where I showed OBEY at Boston Indies Demo Night at MIT to other local Boston devs and indies (after some minor bug fixes that were exposed during BostonFIG).
Again, I was glad to see people drawn to the game, and I had a lot of players considering there were maybe only 40 people in attendance, and some of them seemed to be having fun for long periods of time. But my best takeaway was some great and very specific feedback from people who know games and know design.

A very special thank you to Clever Endeavour Games for taking the above picture and for featuring me in their article!

Approaching OBEY’s first public demo

So last night I held another serious private playtest. This time with 4 players.
Several new items were introduced:
Collectibles

The results left me with several fixes to do of course, but most importantly: none of them scary. The desired gameplay emerged for large time periods (maybe up to 40 mins) but was not yet dominant. At several points I was being coerced to basically give points (uranium) to an opponent, until I could find a time to toss my collar and get away. Hopefully this means I can slow down adding features and begin to shift my energies towards balancing.

I am most happy with the changes caused by the addition of the ‘collar’ item.
All collars in the map can be easily seen by robo.

the orange triangles point to collars

the orange triangles point to collars

Having the collars really changed the dynamic of the game and pushed it into coercion territory. Players in robo consistently used them as designed, ordering “put them on or die” to make subjects trackable and hence submissive.¬†Yet, allowing bunnies to drop the collar like any other item left just enough ‘out’ to allow bunny players to find narrow opportunities to escape (and I was able to do this myself multiple times).

The pointer unfortunately was not used much. I think I have to make it more practical and beneficial to use. It could be because of the map though: the test map had an outcrop between robo and the drop area so it was hard to point out players that were near robo from where most of the pointers were.

the 'pointer' item can be used to draw attention to a position on the map

the ‘pointer’ item can be used to draw attention to a position on the map

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Sentries were also introduced:

"A sentry sent 1TW of power to your bunny"

“A sentry sent 1TW of power to your bunny”

The sentries flip on as soon as robo changes hands to fry any players that might have been¬†tailing the new robo player or camping robo’s¬†door. The sentries were supposed to cause players to think twice before going straight for robo’s door¬†if they saw another bunny vying¬†to get¬†¬†in at the same time (ie if they weren’t sure they could make it first, they would have to make a decision whether to wait it out or risk almost certain death). In the playtest however, it almost always¬†just caused a game of chicken where both players just rushed for robo¬†anyway, with the second player getting fried. It worked well though, and I don’t think I will change it since it gives new robo players 30 seconds (while the sentries are active) to consolidate their situation before competition for robo begins again.

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the inventory object testing area

Overall I felt the addition of the new items was a success. ¬†I am feeling encouraged that the gameplay can be balanced to fully be what I am trying to make it. ¬†However, my goal for right now is to get OBEY¬†to a point where the coercion mechanic¬†can simply be exhibited at BostonFIG, where the FIRST¬†public play test of OBEY will be held in one week ¬†ūüôā

Want to be part of it?  Drop by the booth with your friends!

Posters

I’m getting ready to show the game at Boston Festival of Indie Games on Sept 13. I made these posters last night to decorate our booth! If you are going, def come to the booth, I will have a small LAN set up so you can play the game. ūüôā

OBEY game poster

OBEY game banner