Monday, 13 November 2017

Edging closer to release

Hurr, get it because porn game.

Hey, how's it going, just checkin' in on you.
I've been quiet the last couple of weeks, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working, just I haven't had anything fun or clever to say.
I still don't, but it's been two weeks so here we fucken go.

Writing:

I've been writing the bulk of the narrative these last two weeks, replacing my placeholder branching story skeleton that's served so well these last couple of months, and it's been really quite fun! Considering narrative stuff was my least favorite part in the past, this is quite a win for me.

It's not that I don't like writing, it's just that it's not as instantly gratifying as animation, sound, music or scripting is, but once you have it all done and you can navigate through conversations with different characters and pick out little habits or ways of looking at things the individuals have, it's pretty cool.

I've given some of the side characters much more personality than they had. Previously just filling an archetype or job role, I hope I've made them much more fun to interact with.

I've now completed two of the big four narrative blocks in the level, the remaining two being (hopefully) much less complicated.

Bug fixing, general script-strengthening:

Because I started writing this level a few months ago and I've improved a lot in that time, it became necessary to fix, streamline and replace a few story mechanics. For example, I have a character who walks around in the background. She changes between computers, gets up from her desk, walks around looking at an assortment of machines and taking readings from some of them with a clipboard, then goes back to her desk and continues working. This was previously accomplished with 3 or 4 flags to create a crude-as-fuck state machine, and was prone to a bunch of problems. (If you happened to leave the room while she was making her rounds or taking notes, she'd get into a logic problem on your return and wouldn't spawn.

Now all that behavior is controlled with a single variable to denote states. It seems so obvious to me now, but this working out so well made me then change all incidental NPC movement and scheduling over to this system (including one innocuous-seeming section that actually has 6 different outcomes afecting lots of movement scripting, a real fucking headache).
This allowed me to put in lasting, rock-solid scheduling for all my NPCs. It just works™️ and I'm super happy about it.

TODO For the next week:
Pretty much more of the same from these last couple of weeks. More writing, more fixing, more consolidation.

I want to add in another minor side-character when I have time, and I've gotten together at least half of the assets for that.  I think from now on I want the player to be able to get into a sex scene within the first few minutes of any level if they are looking for that. It's cool when people want to get invested in the characters and context, but I also know I'm not Charles Dickens, and that nobody came here to read a novel. So when I get time, or need to step back from narrative work, I'll be animating a scene or two this week.

9 comments:

  1. keep it up, man. i'll be waiting

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  2. I would love a story within my western erotic games, I wouldn't shy away from taking a shot at writing some novel worthy in game levels. I guess right now would be the perfect time to focus on the sex considering that's what sells (and the bar is clearly low, refer to the popular 3D games on /weg/ and f95zone) but once you feel comfortable with how much you're making you could try to ingrain a compelling story (again, the bar is really low) within your game.
    Granted I don't know anything about the upcoming demo, I look forward to the narrative because admittedly, that's what makes a game for me. On a side note, really great idea to reduce the amount of erotic stuff you show on patreon and your blog. Best of luck!

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  3. ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ OKO TAKE MY ENERGY ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

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  4. This is me just spitballing here but what if you got volunteers to help write scenes out the script for certain scenes or would that be a bad idea? As Nero said sex sells but after that it'd be good to have a story to fall back on so the game doesn't get boring. I know I'd be more than willing to write up a a scene if you wanted. I'm no novelist myself but I've written a few stories that people enjoyed reading. If you don't like it you could scrap it. As I said, just spitballing. Keep up the good work Oko!

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  5. Thanks guys! Collab's definitely not a bad idea, it's probably a good eventual goal to open myself to that later on, once things get properly rolling.
    For now I'm enjoying being as much on my own timetable as possible, and that's the sort of thing that has to change once you get others involved. Will revisit down the line, thanks very much for your thoughts on this!

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  6. I subscribed on pateron just cause this is an amazing game. I love the style and music, more in it for the gameplay and sex is just a bonus. Love the Sci-fi 80's feels! Keep up the amazing work!

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  7. Happy to see the progress man.
    As to the whole story vs. actual porn balance, it's a bit of tough one to settle.

    I guess at the very least try to have the player care about the characters to some degree, but it should all be in service to the erotica.

    Who knows, maybe if you prove to be a good enough writer, you can nudge the game to either the story or the porn depending on reception.

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  8. Great news man! I'll be playing it for sure

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  9. closer to release
    Hope you can make it before Christmas.

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