DevLog #3 It’s Mostly Just Me Venting Off This Time
1. Moving Home
It’s been a hectic week, I’ve spent a few nights away from home. Like I said at the end of the last DevLog we’re in the process of a move, so there’s been some travelling around and more than the usual amount of paperwork to get done. Although that’s down to this particular estate company I guess.
So anyways, I’ve had some time away from my work, so I got the chance to let myself mentally drift away from it for a bit. However, by the end of the night I actually came up with three new peripherals that will be implemented into the overall project at a later date.
The first was a basic one, being hidden none related secondary stories within some of the short story games (SSGm) they have their own continuations. It’s a basic idea but it’ll be implemented in a way which keeps each SSGm that little bit more immersive and engaging. The second idea is directly linked to this that is an awards/collectable based system that will be implemented.
So even though, as the player you won’t need any kind of installs to play any SSGm you will be able to keep track of of the story and other collectables you find, as you play via an app on your phone. I’m keeping this vague enough that It’s not much unlike the awards systems that already exist, but my idea is more progressive and I just can’t share it fully just yet.
The third idea involves AR and is something that I haven’t actually worked with before, so it will be a new tree to climb. But from what I hear Godot has a new architecture that was introduced into its engine based around AR and VR. Godot is something I’m already quite familiar with, I’m well practiced with GDScript (Godot’s own scripting language), it’s very simple to use and very a quick one to learn too.
I’ll not be investing any practical time into this just yet though, I’ve got far too much on and I’m still setting up the foundation code for the SSGm. So Level_oneland should provide a majority of the base code to work with once finished.
3. Working them in
I’ll probably brush up on Godot’s new features by putting on some Youtube videos in the background whilst I work, and occasionally flick through the documentation on the site. At least then I’ll have some idea on how to approach it when I get round to it.
I’ve also got some research to do for the second idea I have, I’m going to talk to a guy I know who’s a specialist in this particular area for some advice. So that particular one can sit on the back burners for a little while as well.
The first idea also, will sit on the back-burners lol. Although I will make a start on that instantly, as soon as I start with the SSGm. I’ve actually already wrote quite a bit for it already, there’re quite a few ideas to come back to also. It’s a fun one to do, so this one is more of a useful use of procrastination.
I get to goof off or whatever, but I also still get to put it to use. So again, I’m not actually wasting time whilst wasting time. It’s also an excellent way of keeping any options open for the future, It’d just be terrible to get locked into the one thing, and then that’s the only thing you can do.
I say that because it just seems really unsafe, like what if you didn’t plan properly and spent a real significant amount of time on something, before you realised it’s just not going to work in any way? I just don’t get how you could grow out of or past something that just didn’t work if that was all there was.
Like, lets say an app for example; That absolutely nobody asked for, lets say it provides a service, but it only adds on extra steps to whatever it is that you want, but as it turns out; You could just do the same as what the app does yourself, without all the extra steps added on each time. Back in the day I’m sure we’d just rip the canvas down and start over I guess, but this is today.
And yes, I have absolutely wasted a lot of my time for a very long time in the past. Even when I didn’t know I was. One of the hardest things to learn I think, is learning how to see value past your own vanity, whilst also catering for it just enough so that it doesn’t cancel itself out. I mean that partially in the sense that you should never tell yourself you can achieve the impossible, because obviously it’s impossible.
Just do what you know and learn what you don’t. Because that is what you can do… Wow, this DevLog has actually diverged into a tangent of digressional gratification, bordering on cliché circumlocution if ever… And actually, so did that sentence now I think about it… Yeah, I had to snap myself out of that one, I’ve just realized how stressed i’ve been feeling recently.
5. How I don’t want to animate
I’ve not managed once this week to really just sit down and get any work done. That’s ok though, because I’ve managed to give a lot more thought to the planning. So once Level_oneland is finished I’ll be making an immediate start on the SSGm, I’ve also been thinking about the best ways to draw out all the content in the most efficient way possible, and which programs there are out there that allow for the level of technical ability I need.
Now up until now, I’ve only ever used photoshop to draw everything in, as well as animating in. Because of this, I know that animating in photoshop is not a realistic option for just myself alone. And hiring any other artists or animators at this point in time is also not an option.
So I personally know that to animate, Photoshop is not good for me, it might be for someone else but it’s not for me. Obviously it’ll always be my go to program for doing most artworks, but not for animation. I really like Adobe character Animator. But I hate everything that anyone has ever done with it, although I believe that’s just because people don’t do enough with the animation, and most I’ve seen cross the shortcut threshold a little too much, making them look lazy an automated.
Like rubbery robots. I also feel like you loose a lot of the quality you could have, specially when you want things like atmosphere or lighting to interact with the character. I know you could rig it in, I looked into to, but why bother. I’m not going to rig in every possible light effect onto a character, it just seems like a waste of time, plus the characters file would probably add actual weight to my hard drive. And that’s just one character.
I had a long think about it, mostly about what I don’t want. Like I don’t want to work on a single layer, import into another program, edit its movement, change its shape in another program, import that one in, edit the scene in another scene, import that in another program, draw over the edit. composite in another program, edit in another blahblah bluerghhh. No. I don’t want to do that.
It’s tedious enough already, but on the base level it’s actually fun. I want it to feel fast and fun to for me to do. Each scene should be unique, and the character position and angle should reflect this. Obviously certain things can be recycled. But it’s about keeping things fresh, not using the exact same assets and angles every time.
6. Choosing An Animation Software
I feel like Blender is going to be the program of choice in regards to animating, I know it’s most commonly known more as a 3d sculpting software. But it does have 2d features too, which allows you to layer 2d images within a 3d environment, so it’s not one or the other. It’s both at the same time. And I can use open shader language. The editing is quick and easy, and I can do it all. The only problem I have with it, is my experience on blender.
The last time I used it was when they experimented with it also being a game engine, a version that would definitely be considered ancient now. So these 2d features I’m talking about are quite new to me, I’ve actually never used them. But I know what’s possible, and I’ve watched a few people work with the new features (pretty sure the features are actually a few years old now, but) it seems like it’s a fit for me.
So yeah, I’d rather learn some new blender features and get quick with it again over time, than miserably and torturously and eventually achieving what I want with Adobe. It’s a feature thing, solely about this project, and I feel it’s the best decision. I’ll know soon enough though.
The SSGm scenes will be low energy, including subtle movements, high detail and low head count. There will be 2d Multi angle shots of scenery, unique angles of characters relevant to these shots, as well as exposition shots. In terms of scope all of this will amount to around 80% of the work I’ll be doing, the rest will be story and script writing, voice acting and work within the game engine, as I should already have a large amount of the required code I’ll need, from Level_oneland. Even though the end product of each will be completely different in the delivery of aesthetic and gameplay.
The last thing I’m to be doing this week, is setting up a domain for a small printing company I’m starting it to help with the incoming funding. It’ll coincide with the move so I’ll get to start in a new town which is pretty cool. I know it seems a little off subject but obviously I’m not earning any money through R3cords at the minute, I’m still building and this print business is actually a part of the plan. And even relates to one of the ideas I mentioned earlier. I absolutely need my own print company if I’m going to be selling any kind of peripherals.
Plus it’s an extra avenue that opens up a lot of opportunity in terms of incoming trade that isn’t relevant to R3cords, I even have an idea in print where there is surprisingly a massive gap in the market for. Although I wont be able to do that particular venture for quite a while yet, I’ll be starting very small with it. Just so you know, I was a fully professional print operator for six years (In two extremely high volume places), as well as other previous smaller print ventures and pretty much having it as a hobby since school. So I’m not just clutching at straws, it’s something I know how to do quite well.
8. Next Step
I’m just going to copy and paste last weeks “next step” section, seem as though I didn’t get any work done. Hahaha.
So this week, (hopefully) 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 🙂
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