Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Mapping and Story


A day late this week, sorry.
My sleeping pattern is crazy, man. Can't seem to lie in a dark room for longer than 3 hours at a time, so for the last week I've just been having two naps instead of a full night.
It's actually not so bad, it helps me have two mini days, one for job applications and interviews, one for gamedev.

This week I've been mainly occupied with Mapping, new map art and story revisions.
It occurred to me that the narrative was pretty convoluted despite being fairly short and that situations more complicated than they need to be aren't automatically more interesting, so I've simplified a lot of the flow.
Nothing I've worked on already needs to be changed, it's all to do with how it comes to a head and wraps up, which has been drafted but not scripted in yet. I'm feeling a lot more confident charging ahead now. Sometimes I get caught up on pretty trivial details, and what should matter first and foremost is that you can play through it, fight some dudes, laugh a little and get lewd with space princesses.

So far I think I've been approaching writing wrong, it's easily my weakest area, and I've been tempted by offers from others for help there, but if I outsource it I'll never get better, and this whole thing is supposed to be a multi-faceted solitary hobby. That's what a man needs.
So I figure it might be better to have a tight, basic little story and then weave subplot and choices into it, rather than start with a bunch of multiple-choice situations I want to happen and try to string them together.
Because sometimes they don't string together well and I get stuck in a bit of a loop wondering which one should move to close the gap, which one should be changed, should I add in another story beat to bridge between them?
I thought I was really onto something with these little nodes, but it's a really unnatural way to work and a weird way to tell a story.
This is a pretty convoluted way to explain a simplification in approach.
tl;dr Story was complex in the wrong places, revised the middle and end sections, so now I can push ahead and get it done.

I've been working with a vague mental map of how all the areas will look, but it wasn't until the last few days that I sat down, made new art for the areas and actually got it mapped out, matched up all the doors and joined sections together. I'm really close to being done with mapping for this level, with 24 areas drawn out and connected up and maybe another 3 rooms still to go.

This week:
Story scripting, for sure. I haven't written a line of js in days, I just want to get moving now that I have these nice areas, want to populate them with fun monsters to see and kill.
Monster design, I need two more enemy types, I know how I want their AI to work, but it's gonna take a little experimentation to get it working. I'll probably tackle that right after posting and if that goes good I'm just gonna nose down and call it a night.

Job/life stuff:
20 applications sent out this week, though I'm pretty sure 2 of them are for the same position, one of them being a vague recruiter ad that obfuscate the exact nature of the company.
I'm noticing a weird trend where the ads are written like they're looking for a general team member, but in the first call they're all like:
>"haha, yeah, so listen, we've never had somebody do this job for us before, so we'd need you to set up the whole department and be a manager for team member wages, cool?".
I mean, I can do it, it definitely sounds like a great opportunity to define my own workflows early on with my own choice of tools would be pretty cool. I'm in no position to be turning anything down, it's just kinda misleading. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be allowed to misrepresent myself to quite the same extent.
One place from over a month ago I'd already written off actually got back in touch to say I'm still in the running, but I need to put it out of my mind because there are no more stages so it's all up to them at this point. I need to just keep on applying and talking with other companies.
I just wanted to make game.



  1. Good luck with both endeavors dude - just remember the KISS engineering principle when writing and you should be fine, and yes it does get better with practice :)
    As a side note, have you considered publishing Lateshifters on Steam? There are adult games there (like actual xxx and not just the sakura ones). You might get some extra revenue and publicity for free

  2. Best of luck, Oko. If you do get another job, promise me you won't overwork yourself and ignore the situation at work like you did with Lateshifter -- I don't want my latest dose of space tiddies to come at the expense of your livelihood.

  3. Good luck with the job hunt. Just out of curiosity what country do you live in? I recall you stating you had to move to another country shortly after Lateshifter was completed and you went on hiatus. If I had to guess I would think you've lived in Japan and the US... but you could be in Sweden for all I know.

  4. Thanks anons.
    @ 14:39 Anon
    Have thought about putting it on Steam, yeah, but there's one big, fairly rare bug I'd need to fix and the """codebase""" has changed so much since I last opened it, that I'm scared to look inside.
    That and I don't currently have the 100 bucks to spare, but ideally would love to put it up there for free in future, great idea.

    @ 22:11 Anon
    Very kind of you, thanks so much. I do get too absorbed. I tell myself it's fine because I'm learning stuff and having fun but I absolutely have taken a lot of things around me for granted and I've definitely missed out on real life due to my dev addiction, so I'm having to make myself step away from it more often.
    Even going a walk helps chew over problems that I'd struggle to solve sat in front of a screen.

    @ 8:20 Anon
    Thanks! I don't wanna get too specific but I'm originally from Western Europe. Loved Japan but wasn't viable long-term, always wanted to go to Sweden but I'm allergic to grenades. Never been to the US, but would love to.

    Thanks again bros, looking forward to getting this next update out.