Friday, 8 July 2011

ConQuest Development Blog - Day 7-8

Day 7:
Again, today was very laid back and not too much progress was made. But I hope that if I can make little adjustments each day and every day, I’ll reach my goal in the end.
I’ve shown yesterday’s video to a few more friends now, and the feedback has been pretty damn positive overall. That’s really encouraging stuff.  Yesterday morning I was really worried that this was too niche a project; that this was an idea that only I would think was cool. So using a test audience in this way has been rather helpful.

I don’t have any screenshots today so my update’s going to be a bit boring. I started off by fixing up some of the game’s script as well as a couple of bugs. No new additions, though.
I then got to work on some of the game’s lore and backstory. Plus character design. I don’t think I have created any original characters like this in a looooong time, but I’ll save the sketches and stuff from you for now. Trust me - majority of them so far have been pretty shitty!

Goals for tomorrow:
  • Finish writing up a basic story
  • Finish my second enemy sprite
  • Work on the maps a bit more
Day 8:

Today was pretty productive, but I didn’t actually put too much new stuff into the game.
My problem at the moment is with the player character and how I’ve made some pretty contradictory design choices.

I’ve allowed the player to name the character and I continually refer to the character as “YOU” at the start of the game. But at the same time, I’ve given the character a personality and interests and even made them talk. It just shouldn’t work that way!

But I digress. I’ll figure that bit out soon. Mostly through ~dialogue choices~, which I haven’t used too much of just yet.

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Today. Progress. I didn’t do any spriting… again. But I worked on the dialogue for characters that were in my last WIP video. Each time I wrote a few lines, I would start playing the game just to check how things were - then edit the lines. Sometimes I’d edit because they were too boring and needed more punch, other times I would simply break up the words, space them out a bit and work on the formatting so that each line was easy to read. RPG Maker doesn’t make this very easy in some cases, though.

The other thing I tried today was working on what’s commonly known as a sawtooth in level design. The saw tooth is that point in a level where something happens to prevent you from going back the way you came. It’s important in many cases that players are shown what their boundaries are. An example of a game I was playing recently which could have used more sawteeth in its level design - Half Life 2. In the beach area, you’re required to keep your buggy with you for a lot of the level since it allows you to make long jumps across large crevasses. At one point I didn’t realise I needed to shoot a wall to allow my buggy to get through, so I ended up traversing most of the level on foot. Then - half an hour later down the beach or so - I realised I needed my buggy again, and thus started a long trek back for the thing.



image

This level here might not make much sense at the moment - it’s just a collection of stumps and mossy rocks. But think this way - each group of rocks or stumps represents a car in the game, within a carpark. Down the bottom is a “car” which will park into a vacant space when the player reaches a certain point on screen. This will block off their passage back to the start of the game. This would be a lot simpler with a diagram, so I apologise now for any confusion!

Goals for tomorrow:
  • edit the script and add dialogue choices. Player character should have little background story
  • add the next few map screens
  • do some goddamn sprite work like I promised for the last couple of days

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