Escape from the cubicle.


Escape from the cubicle is another one of the games that I half made and maybe sorta kinda intend to get back to some day. It was intended to be stealth game about a cubicle dwellers attempt to leave work early. At the moment though all you can do is walk around the office. Everything is physics based (once again using Box2D) so you can push chairs and boxes and coworkers and everything like that works great. Your coworkers also have a simple kind of AI (which was also going to be the basis for a zombie game I was/am working on) though there lack of path finding combined with the lack of openness/linearity of the environment makes them seem more moronic then they are and leads to them getting stuck trying to walk through cubicle dividers.

When coworkers see you they follow you and also inform nearby workers (who will then go investigate). If they lose sight of you they will continue to head towards the last known position but will stop looking if they fail to find you. You can tell what there level of awareness of you is based on thought bubbles above there heads. An exclamation mark means they see you and a question mark means they have suspicions about your location. When they are completely unaware of you there thoughts drift to random things which admittedly tend to be somewhat inconsistent. They are intended to seem absurdly sheeple like but well they praise the bible and its age based legitimacy they also prefer both The Beetles and the Flying Spaghetti Monster over Jesus and well they also obsess over TPS reports they also seem to be fully aware of there pointlessness. Anyways well I would probable rewrite most of them if I continued work on the game I still really like the idea of the thought bubbles. I was also going to make some of them go to sleep but I never got around to that and since there is no path finding yet I didn’t see much point in trying to have some of them wander around.

Another half finished feature is your interactions with walls. The plan was (and hypothetically speaking still is) to make it possible for you to lean up against cubicle walls (making you less visible) and also climb over them (which would make you visible to anyone facing the right way well doing so regardless of whether something would be obstructing there view well you where on the ground. Crawling and running where also on the list of additions to make.

Well the gameplay may be less then complete I’m still totally in love with the graphics. Though my love of it is somewhat lessened by the fact that its a total rip off of a preexisting design. To clarify I never intended to copy anything else. It just kinda happened. I wanted to make it cartoonish and stylized because making anything photo realistic when your working alone on a free game is truly a pointless effort and squares are more or less the official shape of conformity so I figured I would make them square. There heads where always cubes and there bodies consisted of a grouping of rectangular shapes. The protagonist on the other hand had a spherical head and before getting the blue shirt he has now (which was at one point also a Homer Simpson inspired pink) he wore a pro piracy t-shirt. But his head just looked lame and no matter what I did with it his hair always came out looking weird so he eventually ended up with the same character model as the other workers. And I wasnt really as crazy about the arms and legs as I thought I would be so I merged them Lego character style (The upper arms and forearms for example where previously separate shapes that just happened to touch each other) and made the mesh curve a bit at the joints so they could bend more naturally if needed. Well I was still to retain that rectangularness I had originally wanted I figured since I was rounding out the elbows and knees it wouldn’t hurt to do the same to there bellies and make them look a little more detailed. Then well wandering around google images looking for pictures of cubicles (I had began work on the level design at that point) I cam across a set of toys called The Cubes. They look stupidly identical to the characters I made. Not similar. Identical. Just a reminder that originality is a myth. With an estimated 6.777 billion people alive on this planet you can be assured that nothing you have ever done or thought of is new.

So if your interested here it is to download. Its for Windows only and requires DirectX 9.0c or higher. Need a reason to download? It has lolcats!