Grey Dog Software

Grey Dog Software (
-   Mafia Capo: Payback General Discussions (
-   -   Dev Diary #1-3: Main Menu and More (

Derek DiBenedetto 11-28-2018 09:21 AM

Dev Diary #1-3: Main Menu and More
Hey all!

This will be a running diary of my development of the game. It'll contain thoughts, roadblocks, and all the grind (and fun!) of designing a text-based sim game.

The first entry is simple: The main menu.

I chose the 1366x768 resolution for a very clear cut reason: it's what many on GD are accustomed to with previous games, and its what basic laptops can do by default from the last 4-5 years.

I really want a slick and polished interface for the game with a little 'edge' to it, so this screen communicates that very well, I think. Buttons lite up as you mouse over them with a blood red glow color, and I have some original composed urban sounding music playing. Not anything too loud or obnoxious.

More buttons may be added here as things go along.

Prototype Screen:

Derek DiBenedetto 11-29-2018 10:39 AM

Dev Diary #2: Game Setup

Today I went ahead and finished a prototype of the Game Setup screen, where you set your game goals, difficulty and options/rules changes.

I really want to make this a flexible game where you can truly play your way, more so than most of my releases in the past. In this screen, as you can see, there are tons of options and changes you can make to suit your preferences.


You can of course name your organization. Just type it into the box provided.

Next up, the goal setting. You can set your game to play until you reach a certain amount of cash, or a certain amount of Respect. Should there be an 'Unlimited' setting? I mean, it would make a game sort of aimless, but if players want it, then I can add it.

Next is the difficulty settings. These are defined by mousing over the text for each one. Easy starts you off with 2 free henchmen that will work for you forever for free (normally you need to pay each one a salary), and $75,000 in cash. Also, random negative events will be less frequent and the 'secret enemy' AI will be less aggressive. The Default is starting with 1 free forever henchman and $50,000 in cash. Hard is tough: You start with no crew at all and $25,000 in cash.

Next up is tweaking the game features. You can play with deaths turned on or off, injuries turned on or off, arrests on or off, etc. Every extra 'realism' feature can be turned off if you like. Checking the box will turn off that particular thing in-game. You can play exactly how you wish!

Comments welcomed!

moafnsteel 11-30-2018 08:06 AM

This game sounds really fun and I am excited to continue to watch this. I am by no means an expert, but it may be a fun option to have unlimited "turns" or at least an option that once you "win" (with your initial option) to keep on playing.

Derek DiBenedetto 11-30-2018 03:36 PM

Dev Diary #3 (Semi-Nerdy): Life in the Big City
Now comes the 'fun' part: Setting stuff up internally. I have my variables ready to go (I think) and now to run it by you guys and let you know my thoughts as of now as to how this will be set up.

Here they are. We'll start with the city setup.

First of all, the 'city' in the game will consist of 12 streets, each one randomized every game with random names, market/economic ratings and police presence ratings. The economy ratings lets you know how healthy that street is in terms of the wealth of the residents and overall market health. Certain crimes yield more money on these streets, but it can also cause police presence to spike more quickly if you hit these all the time.

The police presence lets you know how active the cops are in a specific area which can influence the chance of a crew member being arrested. BUT...Bear in mind if you pull off some crimes in active police areas, you may earn a cash or resource bonus. This obviously keeps a player from just picking less patrolled streets clean.

These can fluctuate during the game over time, so you have to keep an eye on it.

More tomorrow about those other numbers!

Antonin 11-30-2018 04:44 PM

I agree that an option for unlimited turns would be fun, if the base game with goals is solid and if there continues to be challenge and fun in continuing after one's goals are met. Every game should come out different; you shouldn't just find some exploit to "beat" the game and then have it become boring.

Also, to me, the skull-with-hat icon has a kind of Old American West look to it. If you want to use a skull-with-hat, maybe a better hat would be the style of hat Michael Corleone wore.

Derek DiBenedetto 11-30-2018 09:20 PM

Any ideas or thoughts you guys may have are welcome, of course. Do you guys like the direction so far?

Peria 12-01-2018 01:53 AM

So far I'm very much interested.

I assume this game is very "local" though. You aren't growing a criminal empire across the globe, instead you're vying to dominate a neighborhood. Am I right to assume this? Nothing wrong with this, just want to fully understand the scope of the game.

Derek DiBenedetto 12-01-2018 07:54 AM

This is correct, yes. The main focus (at least for now) is street/local based. That could change later or be added to in the future, of course.

Antonin 12-02-2018 04:53 PM

Can the player choose the ethnicity of his or her gang boss? I don't mind playing as a Gambino, but sometimes it might be nice to roleplay as a Jamaican or Nigerian or Chinese boss.

Also, I hope the dollar amounts used in the game will be real dollar amounts and not $1, $5, etc, where "1" is understood to be equal to "1 million." I helped playtest a board game about the 2012 US presidential election called "Swing States." Campaign spending was expressed in increments of $1, where $1 was understood to be something like $1 mil.

I tried to convince the designers and the other playtesters that it would be more immersive to use realistic dollar amounts. It seemed silly to say your campaign was going to raise $2 for the campaign war chest.

The designers and the other playtesters didn't understand, and it drove me crazy.

Realistic money amounts please!

Colby 12-04-2018 09:16 AM

If "Unlimited" is a permitted feature, perhaps a leader board on the main screen separated by difficulty and sorted by turns-taken, etc. would enhance play-through past a certain point.

Colby 12-04-2018 09:24 AM

I'm very much so interested and looking forward to hearing more about this new title! I've never tried your past games, but the scope of this one is up my alley. Big fan of Sopranos, Godfather and almost any mafia related program.

Keep up the hard work. Enjoying the structure of your dev. diary!

If the game area/"map" is meant to be specifically "downtown" or in the 'city' where the 12 streets are, then that name is probably alright. However, if you were to make it a true full "city" rather then a town, possibly 12 "areas" or something different in name would better describe the game map.

I'm fine with trying to take over only one city, however generally with mafia it is outside families from neighboring regions/cities that are the rivals. Unlike gangs. Though they can still have conflict anywhere and over the same jobs, territory, etc.

Derek DiBenedetto 12-15-2018 07:28 AM

Dev Diary #5: Bits of Progress
Just updating everyone with progress; I've got the internals set up for the lawyers and judges, and the main HQ screen is mostly finalized now. It's looking pretty nice!

I've had some family in town the last few days, thus the slower progress, sorry about that. In the next few days it should pick up speed again.

I'll be tackling the lawyer recruitment screen next, where you can pay a set fee per year, with 3 different lawyer choices. Each will rated in legal 'reputation' from 1-20, meaning how much influence they wield in town. Fees can sometimes change over time.

But really, having any lawyer when your guys get in trouble is probably better than having none, though its up to you whether you want to bother or not. The penalty will be carefully balanced so you won't be excessively penalized should you choose not to hire a lawyer.

See ya soon!

shawn michaels 12-24-2018 06:15 PM

Just wanna add that unlimited turns should definitely be an option. I feel that if it is not included, the game will lose replay value. As long as there are challenges to deal with, mafia games are the type of games most people like to play without a limit of turns. Or at least have that option.

Derek DiBenedetto 12-24-2018 06:52 PM

The Unlimited option has been added now. I agree, it does add an extra mode that is useful for learning the game and trying different strategies.

Dogking 12-28-2018 12:33 PM

Will there be a permadeath system for you, your henchmen, and npc's?

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:58 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.