DevLog #2 Welcome to R3cords
1. A little bit about myself
I realized after the last DevLog that I really need to make a full introduction on the idea of what R3cords actually is, so I’m going to have to go back in time quite a bit, because in short I’ve been building this idea since the summer of 2018. And by January 2019 I’d actually officially started it. Although the biggest problem at that exact point in time was being that I knew exactly what I wanted, and there was this huge picture in my head of exactly what I want R3cords to be. But I had no idea on how the hell I was supposed to actually do it. But I do know what I am, what I can do, and what I could absolutely achieve. Don’t get me wrong though, i’m extremely harsh on myself when it comes to being realistic, especially when it comes to a healthy self debate with the ego. I know how much work I have, but it’s my work.
At the core of it, I’m an artist. I’ve explored every medium available to myself at some point, to experiment or to play with, and also to simply just see how I connect. I’m not going to list everything I’ve ever done or do, because I think R3cords is enough. It’s an amalgamation of every artform I love, and its a story I need to tell. I’m one of those people who just wants to do everything, not in a “just let me do it” sense, but in more of a “always doing a project and learning” kind of way. If I’m between projects I tend to start researching into anything that captures my attention for however long, before going back to my passions.
Leading up to starting R3cords (my work), I was taking time away from my own stuff and I ended up researching into self-perpetual energy and carbon nanotubes. I had an idea but there was no option for putting it into practice, so I drifted to something else even more fantastical. I think it was something like a neoprene and carbon fibre body suit with these spring stilts, an extendable pole and it also involved exploring Antartica. To be honest, I don’t know where I was going with that one. Traverse methods in hazardous environment research maybe.
2. R3cords 2019
Anyway, going back to my passions. So it was January 2019 when I finally started R3cords, I made it an official thing. A record label, strangely enough also not, a record label. Still officially R3cords is an independant label, the current nature of the business is “suppliying goods and services to the music industry”. But that’s not quite what my ultimate vision is. I want it to be an entertainment brand.
I want it to be a record label, that’s also a game, within its own universe, within ours. It’s not exactly a very authodox business model, at least where the music industry’s concerned. But to be honest I don’t care about that, because ultimately I want to marry multiple industries into what I do anyway. Like I said, I’m an artist and I can only do what I already know or what I’m prepared to learn about. It’s my work.
So, between starting and all the way up to now, it’s not been an easy road. 2019 was actually one of the hardest years of my life and as a result R3cords did end up taking a backseat. I lost my job, I went homeless for a few weeks, I was under so much stress I developed a stomach ulcer that I still comes back today in times of stress. I have to take a damn pill everyday for it, and that’s just a reminder of that year. But! Even taking everything into account, R3cords was still this little beacon for me.
It was something I could focus towards, because I’ve always known what I want it to be. So when I could, I’d work on some music, i’d write and draw. Even though I couldn’t really share most of it at that point, at least I was still doing it, and that’s what mattered. The best metaphor for what R3cords was to me at that point would have to be, a very very tall ladder in a very very deep hole.
3. R3cords 2020
2020, I managed to get a few jobs. Lost them, for no fault of my own. I managed to make a start on the website, although I was still trying to figure out how to tell the story, I’ll get back to that in a second. So I just kind of left it to one side as more of a placeholder page, and spent most of my time prototyping how I would like to actually tell my stories visually. I did the normal writing music and stories throughout the year in my spare time, whilst also trying to figure out where I should direct the exact angle of attention from a narration/ narrative stand point when I do.
For a few months I actually chased the idea of putting everything into a game that I would update on a regular basis. So my label would be a building you could explore in the city I’d began building. I still actually like the idea. It was a first person game. The biggest problem I had with it though was the accessibility problem, the story telling issues, the regular updates, and pretty much the general scope of everything.
It seemed like the more I did the more of a mountain of problems I was left looking at in terms of making it all possible. A simple first person game doom style RPG in Godot?, yeah I could do that! But it just didn’t fit my vision. Specially when it came to how much I want to do. It makes a lot more sense to me having every story as it’s own separate entity and focused. Still, I can come up with plenty of arguments why I could be wrong, I’ve got more reasons I’m right and there’s the fact I’m just simply not going to get to do it way.
4. R3cords 2021
But I can proudly say that this year 2021, I feel like I’ve made so much progress with everything. When it finally clicked on how I could actually present it in a way that to me leaves no limits. In terms of how I will be able to express my storytelling. It’s just very exciting, and I can’t wait to get it all out there. It feels almost like the snowball effect, mixed with launching a car in high gear. Bear in mind, this is in terms of the amount of work I’m getting done. It’s a slow, small start. But As I’ve done more, I’ve then picked up more speed. Something that seemed like a difficult mountain to climb, now feels like pleasant hill, And I’m finally getting to enjoy the sights. That’s enough metaphors, for now I think. Haha.
This year at the time of writing this 2021, I’ve pretty much spent all my spare time working on all the characters backgrounds, and tightening the art style that I’m going to be using for R3cords. I also started to populate the site towards the end of the summer, so I can start to visually see things coming together, although there’s still a vital component missing.
It’s still kind of there, as there’s still the real world aspect to the brand, at this point it’s mostly just the music which is out there to stream. But now you can at least read some of the stories. So I don’t know if I will have changed it in the future (I probably will), but right now the site has three main sections, ‘R3cords News’, ‘Music’ and ‘Dev Logs’.
5. R3cords News
R3cords News at this point in time is the main place to experience the R3cords storyline, the idea is you can start wherever you like in any particular storyline that grabs your interest, and proceed from there. On the R3cords news page, you can interact with the R3cords News twitter, there’s also a video that will play the most recent post on the R3cords News youtube channel.
These videos will pretty much be a round up of all the latest articles that would have been released. Kind of like the introduction to a news show, giving an outline of all the recent stories without delving to much into the juicy bits. It’s a way of guiding you to the articles by immersing you within the universe as soon as you hit the page.
The music section is pretty much self explanatory to be honest, it simply showcases all the releases to date. The release pages have direct links to the releases on the most common streaming services out there. I plan on adding sections to the release pages containing all the relevant artists stories. Still, I really don’t want there to be any kind of gate sitting there. Blocking people who just want to find the music on it’s own.
Like you shouldn’t have to learn the story behind a particular track to listen to it, you also shouldn’t need to know what R3cords is all about just to be able listen to anything. But still when it comes down to it, music is one of my big passions, it might even be the biggest in all honesty, and at this moment in time it’s the only form of monetization which will help me push R3cords further.
The third section is for the DevLogs which again, I’m not sure if I’ll ever change it but right now, I’m feeling like the most likeliest people to visit my site, are either people I already know in person. Or perhaps other developers that might have stumbled across me trying to fit in to some community somewhere out there, maybe in a game developers forum or something like that. Which actually brings me back to the whole game thing, because that’s what this is actually supposed to be right, somehow. Don’t worry, it makes sense in my head, a record label that’s a game, yeah! Makes complete sense to me, no joke. I know what I’m doing, I just don’t like explaining it to much right now, because there’s no reason why other people like me wont just do this in time. It’s simple really.
So this week, like I said previously I’m intending to post a new DevLog each week, it’ll most likely be an ongoing series and most probably at this point in time, my main method of populating the site. Right now i’m concentrating more on developing Level_oneland whilst also developing the main mechanics for R3cords, over everything else. This week however, when there was time spare, over a three day period I did a lot admin on the site. Designing the R3cords News page and redesigned other aspects of the site. The intention is to prepare the pages for when the game aspect comes into the works. Just thinking about that, is bringing a smile to my face.
8. Level_oneland Update
Now onto Level_oneland. I wouldn’t say I’ve had the most productive week, even though I definitely got a lot done in all honesty. It just wasn’t anything massively fun to do, because a lot of my time was spent on writing macros and tidying up the script. Anyone out there who codes already probably knows that it’s quite important to this, it’s a quality of life thing.
As in the quality of your life will be better, specially when you’ve got hundreds to thousands of lines of code to trawl through to find something like a simple spelling mistake or forgotten symbol. Which only hurts even more when you can’t read the error messages because it’s in Japanese. Obviously I’ve got nothing against the language itself, its my own fault, maybe I should learn it. But I don’t… So maybe I’m just lazy.
Level_oneland now has its world map, which will be used as the main method of getting to any of its locations. The map is currently on its first iteration, the building positions are final, the coloring however is not. This means that all the script for the clickable areas do not need to be changed in the future. There are thirty two of these locations, and all with each of there own explorable areas. The idea being that when I add the new areas in they’ll just kind of snap on to what already exists.
The next part I did was a little unnecessary at this stage, but as I’m putting a demo together, I thought that making a start with the sound design for this first section will help me in the long run as I didn’t have the opportunity to do as much of the artwork as I’d hoped for this week. With that, I improved the games progression method in reference to the storyline. Which is also in reference to the script tidying I did earlier. Along with that I improved all the dialogue at the opening section of the game, so you can get a much better feel for the main characters personality.
9. Fight Mechanics Logic
Now you might remember if you read through last weeks DevLog how I said I had the fight mechanics for the game on the “back burners”. Well I did, and although I haven’t really coded the mechanics of it just yet. I did come up with the logic for how it’ll work. It’s nothing groundbreaking I’m sure, it’s just the logic for how my version of a turn based battle system is going to work.
On the enemy turn there will be always be a fractional chance on whether it will attack defend or heal, in which the chances change depending on how much health it has at any given time. For example it has more chance of healing itself if its health is low. I also put a lot of thought into how and when particular moves and counter moves would be processed to intuitively react to the players decisions. I’ll post my notes. below;
10. The Next step
I’d say this week has actually been quite productive, more than what it felt like in all honesty. I managed to work on some music for the game yesterday, nearly forgot about that. Well I didn’t, because I listened through it while I was typing this up! I nearly forgot to mention it, which is something I don’t normally do. Log things.
I’ll get better at this… Anyways I think I actually managed to tick a few things of the list, so it’s looking pretty good for the next step after this to come soon. So this week, I’ll focus my energy on;
- Drawing NPC’s
- Drawing Locations
- Animating NPC’s
- Animating Locations
- Parallel project extra artworks
Hopefully I’ll get the time to tick all of this off as I’m in the process of moving home so it’s a little hectic in life atm. But still, right now I’m very much in the habit of doing at least one thing a day no matter how small the task is.
Thank you so much for reading 🙂
More Dev Logs
Subscribe now, and keep up to date!
Follow R3cords on a variety of your preferred social media platforms. Also, if you're a real fan! You should also consider subscribing to the mailing list, for biweekly updates on the latest news, announcements, music releases, videos or whatever's been happening!