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Contradiction - Live-action video based adventure game

Total Posts: 9

Joined 2013-12-15

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Hi,

I’ve only just discovered this forum after I was sent a link, can’t believe I didn’t know about it!

I’m developing a cross-platform adventure game that uses hundreds of tiny video clips that are cut together automatically as you play the game, to try to create the sense that you’re watching a movie that you’re controlling.  I’m trying to do something a bit different to an FMV game, in that I’m hoping it’ll feel like a TV drama as much as a game.  However the design means you also get complete freedom over how you move around and what you do, there’s no branching system, no dead-ends and no having to restart etc.  There’s more about it on Kickstarter here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/139513174/contradiction-an-interactive-murder-mystery-movie

My background is in both games and film, I started out writing music for games (a long time ago) and worked in the industry for years until I branched out into film making, which is where I now work as a lighting director.  So this idea has come out of those two interests.

Thanks - I’m now going to investigate these forums further!!

Tim Follin

     
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Total Posts: 6984

Joined 2011-10-21

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Hey Tim, welcome!

Just checked your Kickstarter page and the teaser video. Camera work and editing look top notch (especially the intercut flashback/flashforward bits).

Is this going to basically be a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ film, or not? What do you mean exactly by ‘no branching system’?


Makes me think of ‘The Sydney Mystery’ but done more professionally. You’ve piqued my interest! Thumbs Up

     

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Total Posts: 9

Joined 2013-12-15

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Hello!

Glad you like the idea and the teaser!  You’re the first person to comment on those flashbacks, I’d started wondering if they worked or not!  The reason I’m trying to get funding is to help out with actors and crew, I’m currently working as a DP for TV commercials so lighting / shooting is my bread and butter at the moment, but it only really works when you can afford the proper camera and lighting kit - HMI arc-lights cost money!

The way the game works is that you have a basic set of ‘tools’ that you use to make everything happen, you don’t get special options about what to say to characters or where you can move.  The idea is that you never feel like you’re being pushed along - you’ve got complete control over it.

You get a live-action point of view with options as to where to move, as well as the option to investigate areas and the ability to use anything you’ve collected.  You can go wherever you want to as fast as you want to and the map of locations stays basically the same throughout, although it does expand as the game progresses.  All standard adventure stuff.

You ‘control’ a policeman called Inspector Jenks, who you mostly don’t see but do when you’re talking to characters - he does the talking for you.  The idea is that these sequences will look more like you’re watching a TV drama, but walking around will be like Jenks’ POV - but you’ll see his hand opening doors etc and you’ll see Jenks himself when the scene demands it.

However because this is all live-action video, many locations will have specific sequences that you only see once (per chapter) but will be noted down and added to your notes list.  The idea is that there will be tons of these mini-scenes at various locations, such as witnessing elicit meetings, bumping into people, seeing weird things - there’s even a scene where Jenks nearly gets into a fight!

But the main point (and name) of the game is talking to characters.  All these events you witness and things you find and things people tell you are noted down, and you can ask all of the characters about all of the notes.  This means you’ll see Jenks ask the character what they know about that note, phrasing it for that person.  They then give you a reply, which will usually contain a number of points, listed beneath.  From then on, whenever you ask about one of those reply points, the character just confirms that’s what they said.  The game is then spotting contradictions between reply points.  So for instance to a question about a suspicious plant you find in someone’s greenhouse, that character might say they know nothing about plants.  But if to another question, possibly to a note about which college they went to, they admit they were doing a degree in plant science, you’d know one of those replies is a lie!  When you pair them together Jenks quizzes the character and they’ll confess, but it’s usually only a partial confession - often they just lie again, giving you a reply that’s contradicted by something else.

So this is the core of the game.  It always looks a lot more complicated written down like this than it is when you’re playing it!  It’s a bit like those board game instructions that make you glaze over, but then when you watch someone playing it it’s obvious!

The point behind it is that there’s an atmospheric ‘world’ you can get into and wander around.  It’s divided into chapters, so when you’ve sussed out a certain number of lies time clicks on an hour - new events appear in different locations, new characters appear and new places open up.  Pubs open for business, later people get drunk and start fights, meetings are held, people disappear, etc.  It’s all designed to make it feel like you’re in the middle of a movie.

The other thing is that it’s all designed to be edited together on the fly by you as you play - it’s basic film making stuff, but it means you can cut between locations and scenes seamlessly.  It’s also worked out so you never stare at a static image or when talking to characters you never end up staring at a still of them staring back at you - it cuts away in a way designed to keep it looking fluid, to keep the illusion that you’re watching a movie.

Anyway, hope that makes more sense!!!  Crossed fingers…

     
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Total Posts: 3605

Joined 2012-03-24

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Hi Tim F, your game sounds interesting & I’ve just watched the teaser which mentions the IPad. I’m not in a great financial position to help fund a Kickstarter ATM but I can contribute a little something if it’s going to be available for PC also?

     
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Total Posts: 1994

Joined 2013-03-14

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First things first, fantastic acting on that teaser clip and overall the project looks promising. But at the same time, what are your target platforms? I don’t have iPad myself, so if that’s your only platform, like I got from the page, that’s already a deal breaker there.

     
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Total Posts: 4726

Joined 2013-08-26

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Looks interesting, Tim F. I love both detective games and FMV!

I often check the crowdfunding thread at the forums of the well-known German site adventure-treff.de, which is kept up-to-date, but you’re not on it. Why not post there and let them know about your KS project. German gamers are an important group. Smile And they speak English.

http://www.adventure-treff.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19145

     

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Total Posts: 9

Joined 2013-12-15

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Karlok - 15 December 2013 08:13 AM

Looks interesting, Tim F. I love both detective games and FMV!

I often check the crowdfunding thread at the forums of the well-known German site adventure-treff.de, which is kept up-to-date, but you’re not on it. Why not post there and let them know about your KS project. German gamers are an important group. Smile And they speak English.

http://www.adventure-treff.de/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19145

Wow great link, thank you!  I’ll definitely post something - I think I’ve been missing quite a few forums, daft as I am…

About the PC version - there will definitely be a PC version yes, because it was written for a desktop browser in Javascript first and I still think it works better in that format.  The iPad thing was really about tapping that market for tablet games, although ideally I think it’s something that’d play on a TV best.  I’m currently looking into options for that,  such as smart TV plug-in boxes, etc.

Thanks for all the positive feedback so far from everyone - please don’t feel obliged to pledge, I’m really more interested in hearing your thoughts than anything else.

Thanks!

Tim

     
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Total Posts: 872

Joined 2009-05-08

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Visually, it looks bland. I wonder if FMV is worth the effort when you have better control of art direction with 3D assets and lighting.

This writing will need to be pretty solid.

     

Total Posts: 9

Joined 2013-12-15

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This is a chicken and egg situation - art direction needs cash, for lights, props, set dressing etc, which I obviously didn’t have for the demo.  Going down the 3D route is completely missing the point of what I’m trying to do though.

     
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Total Posts: 999

Joined 2009-04-28

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Looks nice, i’m definitely interested.

One thing though, I see the delivery date for the rewards (including the game) is for Jan 2014. Given that the kickstarter doesn’t end until 5 Jan, that’s a little hopeful isn’t it unless you’ve basically finished production already…?

     

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Total Posts: 9

Joined 2013-12-15

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Thanks for that - you’re right that delivery date is wrong, it was meant for the beginning of the rewards rather than the end, i.e., meaning the production blog etc., but unfortunately I can’t change it now as people have pledged.  I think realistically the completion and distribution date for the game is more like April, although I’m hoping to get a working version I can share to backers before then.

     

Total Posts: 9

Joined 2013-12-15

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Hi,

I have a game concept called ‘Contradiction’ that’s just gone live on Kickstarter.  If you fancy contributing the basic amount of (UKP) £10 you’ll get the game in whatever format you need it once it’s completed. All contributions will be very welcome!

Thanks,

Tim.

     
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Total Posts: 1289

Joined 2012-07-15

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It could probably be a good idea to add the kickstarter link, otherwise this thread may just serve as a dead-end for many users Wink

I think your concept sounds very interesting. Good luck with the fundraiser! Smile

EDIT: Sorry, my link was to the previous one Frown I’ll just remove it, as you’ve allready posted the right one below Smile

     

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Total Posts: 9

Joined 2013-12-15

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Ha!! Sorry, that’s *really* stupid of me!!  Thanks for your comments though and the link!

It’s actually now at 94% funding so hopefully not far away…

Thanks again!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/139513174/contradiction

     
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Total Posts: 6984

Joined 2011-10-21

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Good thing you didn’t give up after failing the first campaign, this one appears to go more confidently. Thumbs Up

Are you certain you’ll get the game done the way you want with the lowered budget?
What changes have you made to the project?

     

No laptop and no games make Timmy a dull boy…
No laptop and no games make Timmy a dull boy…
No latpop and no games make Timmy a dull boy…
No laptop an dno gamse make Timmy a dull boy…
Nol aptop and no games maek Timmy a dulll boy…
No laptopa nd no gmeas make Timmmy au dll boy…

Total Posts: 9

Joined 2013-12-15

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Hi!  Yeah I did initially think I probably wouldn’t be able to make it on a lower budget than what I had in mind, but the money was almost exclusively for actors, so the main change I’ve made is that I’m now trying to find actors who are willing to do it for (very) modest rates plus a cut-in of any profit made, so in a way I’m losing out but I’m actually doing this more for the enjoyment of it than making money, so for me the only real compromise is that I’m having to work harder to find actors, but I’ll still be going through a casting process and hopefully will find good actors willing to do it under that arrangement.

I’ve already pinned down a few locations now and got permissions etc, but for instance even a very cheap location fee is currently around £400, so it’s easy to see how the money is going to disappear pretty fast during the shooting of this!  I may have to introduce myself to Mr Visa…

     
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