Tuesday, 28 July 2015

For Ambergris Update! #SuNoFes

I literally just this minute finished adding my script to Ren'Py - the VN game engine I'm using for my latest game, For Ambergris.

It took a while as I've been breaking a fundamental rule of good programming - DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself). I've added the exact same 3 lines of code after every block of text... Given the time restraints of a jam I thought this would be easier than working out the proper solution!

So now I'd say I'm at about:

- 100% Script
- 30% Editing
- 66% BGs
- 5% Sprites
- 5% Music/audio
- 66% Coding

Here's a little Q&A I did with myself about the game:

define i = Character('Interviewer with incredibly long surname that will surely go onto two lines in the Say box if the game width is set to 800 pixels or below", color="#e0d4b6", what_slow_cps=38, what_font="LondonTwo.ttf")define p = Character('Paradigm Shifty', color="#f6beff", what_slow_cps=38, what_font="LondonTwo.ttf")

i "So, what's this ambergris game all about?"
p "It's called 'For Ambergris'. It's a short, light-mystery fantasy kinetic novel. I'm making it for the SuNoFes jam!"

i "Oh, but what's it about?"
p "Well, you play Jamie who receives an unusual invitation from an unknown source. The story goes from there. There's a weird painting, some tea drinking, it's set in London (in 2010 I think). There are a few supporting characters who you don't learn too much about. I am thinking this story may be the first of many set in a shared universe."

i "OK cool, so this game's going to have actual character sprites and dialogue and stuff?"
p "Yeah, I'd say it's much more traditional than my first game…"

i "How short is it?"
p "I think about 20 mins."

i "What is the game's purpose?"
p "Whoah that's deep. Erm. I wanted to make this for many reasons; to get writing and editing experience and Android release experience (hopefully). This will be the second game I've made nearly solo (Urban Fox is contributing some amazing music again like with my first game, New Pisces.) And I've wanted to make this VN (or, KN whatever) since I outlined the story earlier this year - it lends itself to the possibility of me making an indirect sequel with some characters and stories from old D&D campaigns I wrote! I will sometimes call it a VN (which I think implies player choices really mattering) even though at the moment it's a stand-alone KN as I would love to use the choices you make in this impact a different game set after this one!

i "Right… Why should I bother playing it again?"
p "Huh. I thought you were interested when I was talking about tea-drinking and antique furniture! It's just an interesting way to spend 20mins, reading a story with some music and art, seeing what you think of it. Well I think it's fun to read these things :) If it's more interesting than playing tetris or pong for half an hour then I'll think of it as a success!"

i "You're comparing your game to 2 household-name games there!"
p "Uh. Can I take that back?"

i "No. But did you want to say anything about the art or anything?"
p "Oh yeah, I especially want to mention that the soundtrack by Urban Fox is a great listen, check out http://urbanfox.bandcamp.com/
The art is by me, there's a mix of stuff I've made and other bits which are edits of creative commons material."

i "Is that it?"
p "It can be if you like?"

i "I think it's for the best."

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Update for SuNoFes game jam - For Ambergris

Wow it's been nearly 3 months since my last post here. Although only 140 characters I do update my twitter a lot more, it is @sleepyagents

The reason for this post is really to announce my upcoming game I'm working on for SuNoFes - https://itch.io/jam/sunofes - which started today and runs for 5 weeks I believe.

The game will be called For Ambergris, unless I change the title of course.

Art for 'For Ambergris'
I really wanted to do this project to help improve my writing and editing skills in particular, as I feel they are lacking more so than other areas.

I won't say too much about the game at this point, but it is a fantasy story (it will be suitably short so that it definitely gets finished!) in which the protagonist receives an unusual invite. I'm not 100% settled on how much interactivity I'd like to have in this - I may even decide it works better as a kinetic novel.