DevLog #3 It’s Mostly Just Me Venting Off This Time

DevLog #3 It’s Mostly Just Me Venting Off This Time

DevLog #3 It’s Mostly Just Me Venting Off This Time

SECTIONS

1. Moving Home 2. Ideas 3. Working Them In 4. Venting 5. How I don't Want To Animate 6. Choosing An Animation Software 7. Print 8. Next Step

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.

2. Ideas

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.

4. Venting

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.

7. Print

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 🙂

D.Stuart

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DevLog #2 Welcome to R3cords

DevLog #2 Welcome to R3cords

DevLog #2 Welcome to R3cords

SECTIONS

1. A little Bit About Myself 2. R3cords 2019 3. R3cords 2020 4. R3cords 2021 5. R3cords News 6. Music 7. DevLogs 8. Level_oneland 9. Fight Mechanics Logic 10. The Next Step

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.

6. Music

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.

7. DevLogs

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 🙂

D.Stuart

 

More Dev Logs

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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!

DevLog #1, Level_oneland

DevLog #1, Level_oneland

DevLog #1, Level_oneland

SECTIONS

1. Introduction 2. The Concept 3. A Parallel Project 4. Choosing An Engine 5. The Kill Mechanic 6. Other Mechanics 7. The Next Steps

Introduction

I woke up one morning, back in early January 2020 with this idea I wanted to use in a game. I’d been juggling with a few ideas for a few days at this point, and in all honesty, all of these ideas were pretty much the same thing. And at this point, I was mostly focused on the story element and the visual aspects of it, which I know isn’t the best way to start with a game idea. But I already knew that I wanted it to be a point and click adventure game. So, I felt like I didn’t need to think that hard in terms of gameplay at this point, and just concept some kind of story that I really liked the idea of.

Now, I also really love retro pixel aesthetics, I love drawing it but I do it in a more progressive way. I’m not much of a purist, to be honest, and I’m the same when it comes to chiptune music. I love using, or at the least recreating the synth sounds from back in the day; Much like the ones you’d find on the commodore 64 and the Gameboy. But with that, I also like using modern effects along with them. Which in, “my ears”; allows you to make the sound feel so much more fuller, which was definitely something that wasn’t achievable back then.

The Concept

So anyways; I had the idea in my head, what I wanted the game to be. A horror, point and click adventure game. It’s nothing too ambitious for my skill-set, and I know everything that I would want to do for the game is absolutely achievable on my own, in terms of development. The thing was at that point in time, I was still working on other projects, so I wouldn’t actually start working on this game until a year and 10 months after posting my original concept on Instagram. The reason for that being that I basically story boarded the entire story on my iPad within an hour, and then set up a release schedule to let them trickle out over the next few days as posts. So I could just store them on Instagram as a proof of work and an easy place to find them when I got back round to it. 

So the concept story that I posted on Instagram was spread out across 33 posts. And here’s the thing, I posted them in reverse order which actually lost me quite a few followers. But the point was so when you go through the profile they’ll be in the correct order. You see, I only really use Instagram at the minute for storing concepts and proof dating anyway, but still… If you were one of those people who unfollowed… I’m sorry if I confused you to the point where you just had to unfollow me, lol. Anyway, I wanted to add sound to it all as well using it as a way to help tell the story in context with the visuals.

I recently did a post in October 2021 which has a video made from the Instagram posts, it was a little more stylized with some chromatic aberration and scan lines, I added some glitch effects in the transitions. It was all to just drive up the creepy aspect in concept more than anything. I won’t be using this particular visual effect style in the actual game though, it’s overused. The aesthetics in the art style will absolutely be mirrored from the Instagram concept posts, and I’m planning on upping the detailing by quite a few levels.

A Parallel Project

Just for a minute I’m going to quickly talk about the overall project, that being R3cords; So, there’s a much bigger story behind the game overall in which it connects to many other projects I’m doing parallel. For example; within the R3cords universe this game is actually being created by a character within its own narrative. So this game alone will be  be its own thing, where you don’t need to know or have any knowledge of the surrounding story to play or understand it. So in short, this game is also a part of a story in which it is being created by one of the characters within the fictional R3cords universe. My next dev log will be focused more on talking about R3cords, as I intend on laying more foundations to accelerate its development in its entirety.

Choosing An Engine

So past the point of posting the concept, over the course of the year I’d occasionally find the time to ponder about how I might approach this project. I’d quite often be drawn to approaching more towards sound design as a prominent gameplay element. And over the year, up until recently. When I had some spare time, I prototyped a few snippets solely based around responsive sound design to just figure out what is actually possible in the engine that I chose to develop with. And as you do, there was the inevitable running into a few dead ends, a few no-goes and some possible workarounds. I also miraculously experienced that rare and beautiful feeling of simply making something overly complicated, actually work exactly the way you wanted it to, on the first try.

Now the choice of engine was a bit of a debate for myself because I know exactly what I want to do and I have goals for what I want my output to be. So an engine focused on rapid development within a very specific genre is a must. At first, I went to Godot, because I’d already made a few prototypes on it before, so I thought if I lay the baseline I could set it up nice and easy. But the problem is that it absolutely isn’t focused enough, all the extra possibilities in what you can do are just too distracting for this project. I’d be here forever, getting nowhere. So I fired up Adventure Game Studio, which I used to play about with many years ago, and it’s pretty much exactly what I want. But I’m not fluent enough with C, and I didn’t want to spend the next few weeks bouncing around GitHub and others, finding snippets that I could just write myself in JS. There is also a lack of targeted platform options when exporting.

So I found Tyranobuilder, and it’s actually a visual novel game engine. And for what I want to achieve it’s actually perfect. Because the thing about how visual novels work is that they’re pretty much the same as point and click adventures. From a functioning standpoint that is. But of course, in form, they are actually very very different. Which is something you’ll definitely already know if you’ve ever played one. Anyways; So again this engine’s perfect because all the relevant mechanics are already catered for, and it uses JavaScript (easy stuff) along with its own Tyranoscript, which is mostly just for macros and settings. The cherry being that it also caters with a drag and drop feature, which actually makes prototyping scenarios incredibly quick and easy. Especially while you’ve got one hand wrapped around a big mug of coffee.

The Kill Mechanic

So what I’ve done so far is put together the main kill mechanic, which I thought was going to be the hardest thing to put together. But I actually managed to get it working within a few hours without initially even knowing where to start. So I was kind of left scratching my head on what to do next because I thought it was going to take me a few days. But it didn’t and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t have an exact next step!.. So I made a short list, listing all the next things I need to do make things playable… Not to look nice, just… “You do things and things happen and things just work in the right way”, kind of playable… You know, just little baby steps.

I’ll get into the details of the kill mechanic another time, in fact I don’t really need to tell you exactly how it works but I can tell you what it’s like, I guess. Because in truth it’s not exactly anything that hasn’t been done before… So imagine playing Friday the 13th on the Commodore 64, and for those of you that haven’t, there’s mechanic where Jason goes around killing the NPC’s. It’s like that. Only the main difference is that it actually works properly and you can’t kill the NPC’s. To be honest when I was a kid, I thought that you actually played as Jason because all I did was kill everyone. I also thought the notifications of the “actual” Jason killing people were either glitches or delayed reactions. But yeah anyway like I said, the kill mechanic is kind of like that.

 

Other Mechanics

I’m currently putting thought into the fight mechanics, a quick note; Something about my style of work is that I do a lot more thinking about what I need to do, rather than just “throwing things at the wall until something sticks”. I get a lot less of that hopeless/ useless feeling this way, haha. Now, while I’m working on the fight mechanics in the back of my mind. I’ve been working on the visual assets to make the first section of the game playable, so I can put a playable demo together. Getting the visuals on there is also a nice way to see the world you’re building, obviously.. But in all honesty it’s more about being able to actually see the visuals I’ve built in my head, and get a taste of what it’s going to be.

I forgot to mention there’s more than just the kill mechanic, there’s also a procedurally created puzzle which has a different solution every time you start a new game. Which also involves all the NPC’s, which in turn also involves the kill mechanic. In-which if an NPC who is a part of the puzzle gets killed, there is now certain steps you have to take which involves a secondary puzzle to solve in order to get to the solution from the killed NPC. Now when I say puzzle in this sense, I don’t mean a sudoku or a jigsaw or anything like that… I mean something more along the lines of one of the greatest traditional point and click adventure game tropes… Investigating and learning information to pass it along in order to gain new information. Yes, one of the greatest and most legendary game mechanics ever known!!

The Next Step

So the next step is:

  • Drawing up the locations, along with the relevant NPC’s
  • Tightening up all the script on the way.
  • There’s also a bit of animating.
  • Writing the relevant extra dialogue.
  • Work on the parallel projects – More storyline to write.
  • Web maintenance – Visual updates, and TLC.
  • Getting ready for the next album launch – Artworks.

I’m aiming to have it all done by the end of the week, so I can get onto the step after that. But you know, life happens and all that! So it might be two weeks instead. I will however do at least one dev log a week from this point on.

Thanks for reading 🙂

D.Stuart

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