Sunday, 27 August 2017

>It's an apology episode + new narrative system

Thought it best to check in as I've been pretty quiet.
I take a "no zero days" approach to this, so even if I'm late home from a 14 hour shift at my IRL job (AAA studio, in crunch to release military console shooter #4534) I still try to get at least an hour in-project. I am working on this every day, it will come out.

I'd like to apologise for the delay in getting this next episode out.
The only excuse I can offer is that the demo was very much jury-rigged together; it was my first real project and I took a lot of shortcuts, not thinking about long-term usability.

Logical, re-usable systems

Transitioning from having no logical system in place to a well-structured main game framework required a LOT of refactoring, and things like standardising the narrative system.

I've come up with a new technique of controlling the narrative with Acts and Chapters, which means a lot less playtesting is necessary on the narrative flow.
I'll still be testing it, but everything is very neat now and I can easily now tell at a glance if something is going to work in game or not.

Old method:
[Play Scene A where player arrives]
[If Scene A is active and Player is sitting: Play scene B]
[If Scene B is active and Player is in roomX but doesn't yet have a screwdriver and is wearing a blue dress: Play scene C]

A pretty convoluted mess at times, with a lot of room for error and conditions I didn't plan for.
Time to script, test and bugfix: ¬30 to 45 minutes
Ease of reading in editor: Fucking impossible

New method:
[Act1, Subchapter 1: Play scene where player arrives, terminating in SC2]
[Act1, Subchapter 2: Wait for player to be within 3 squares of these coords, then move to SC3]
[Act1, Subchapter 3: Play scene B, terminating in SC4]
[Act1, Subchapter 4: Wait for player to have both the blue dress and screwdriver, then move to SC5]
[Act1, Subchapter 5: Play scene C, terminating in SC6]

More steps, seemingly, but very regimented alternating between scripted scenes and free-play areas.
Time to script, test and bugfix: ¬15 minutes
Ease of reading in editor: Fucking A+ would wife


Level 2 release date - Oko realises that a game is more than maps and UI:

I really want to get the new version out. People have been really good and understanding but it's been 4 months, and I'm just as impatient as those waiting since April.

I spent a lot of time on UI, music and expanding the city, adding in little systems or improvements to mechanics, but realised a few weeks ago that what I really need to do is actually finish the next level, since without that, nobody is actually going to see the improvements.

So in that regard, I've been remiss, and I apologise. I am working to make up for 'lost time'.

The narrative has been written and finalized, scripting of the level itself (how it plays out) is about 75% done.

By end of work today I'm hoping I'll be much nearer to technical completion, and then I can focus on the art and sound as dessert, since those are easily my real passion.

So in the next few weeks I'll be:

- Finishing all level scripting
- Finish Artwork, animations and H-scenes
- Playtest, fix bugs and add juice where things don't feel right

Once complete:
- Create promo materials, trailer
- Release to Patrons

1 week later:
- Release to Public

As always, working hard, eager to get this out to you guys.
Have a good weekend.