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1103270 Posts in 45855 Topics- by 37560 Members - Latest Member: Kritta

March 26, 2015, 05:55:10 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsOnce: 2D Exploration Portfolio Project about Dreams
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Author Topic: Once: 2D Exploration Portfolio Project about Dreams  (Read 2092 times)
mcshinigami
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« on: August 26, 2014, 07:10:00 PM »

Hey there,

This might be a little odd compared to everything else I see on here, but I'm working on a game called Once for my portfolio. It's a 2D(ish) sidescroller that focuses on narrative and sound design. My main reason to do this project is to work with Wwise and have "smart" sound design that greatly enhances gameplay as part of my portfolio. I'm a freelance sound designer by trade but with the wealth of tutorials on getting something up and running in Unity I'm trying my hand on an entire game. I've been *slowly* working on it for the past 3-4 months and am working on everything single handily including the art (which I'm doing my tablet), so excuse the pixel art that isn't blowing your mind.

Before I get into the thick of where I am now, I'd like to state I'm putting this on here to get feedback on my ideas and my process thus far. Like I said, sound is my thing and I would assume I could get much better ideas from others on all the other aspects of my project, so feel free to offer your criticism.  

So first off, I followed a really great tutorial on making a 2D sidescroller game in Unity on Youtube thinking I was going to create a simple platformer style game. As I worked on the tutorial and learned a few things, I had more and more ideas for things I could do with minor changes to what I was doing already. This lead me to a creating a demo level and adding in my own art assets for what the game is becoming now.

Before:
After:

I changed out the stock tutorial character and added in a sprite I made and "animated". That's a lot trickier then I was expecting, even at a simple level, so that's heavily WIP. I also found that if you change the camera projection to perspective it added in some 3D elements which I really like for this game. The downside is that I can't seem to get my game objects to line up with the floor properly with this new change in the camera. The objects are either too high and "float" above the floor now, or they are too low and get cut off on the bottom. Either way they don't look good.

I have no fancy gifs like a lot of the other guys here, but I have a short video on you YouTube at: http://youtu.be/anUcDYoHPzo No playable demo yet.

For a narrative driven game I haven't said a lot about the story. This is more of an art project for me so I'm not too interested in saying much about what's going on, but the beginning of the game focuses mostly on a freelance detective looking for lost children. The game starts in a cabin in the woods which you will be able to explore in order to find pieces as to what might be going on. The puzzles are mostly focused on hunt and find objects, but I'm going to try and do this in a way where it's blended in with the hunting and finding you're already doing.

As far as sound design goes, I'm working on a very simplistic soundtrack that is created to try and aid the player into going towards the special story objects. There will also be lots of atmospheric sound effects used for as a storytelling mechanism and sounds that seem out of context to create a more dreamlike atmosphere. My goal is to really create a surreal feeling by playing this game and also create some very disjointed moments.

Anyway, I don't plan on selling this so I'm not catering towards one thing or another. I'm just trying to create something I can showcase my sound design and creative thinking with and hopefully in the end have something that's interesting to play.

I'd also like to note that I am getting some help with coding thanks to some creative bargaining. If you're at the beginning of your career like I am, it's really effective to trade your skills for another's skill in lieu of payment on smaller projects. That way if the game doesn't get made you can recuperate something for your time and hopefully have something better for your portfolio.

Thanks for reading. More updates soon.


« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 12:38:58 PM by mcshinigami » Logged

mcshinigami
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2014, 12:00:46 AM »

Having put together a document I've figured out a basic flow for whats going to happen in the game now. I've created the main hub level where the game starts out. Its a snowy Mountain the character begins by slowly climbing. This level will be recurring between every major dreams change and will provide a voice over narration of the main characters feelings.  Once he reaches a specific point he will be transported to the dreams level.

Im currently designing the levels (learning about lighting, effects, and sorting layers) and working on smoothing out animations. Im about 90 percent complete with the flavor text and dialog for the first major dream.

The sound is going to be a major under taking.  My plan is to have an effect play for every object looked at that will enforce objects in the players mind, have dialog for all major journal entries, and to create story enforcement sounds that play during the journal entry readings. Along with the usual environmental sounds, soundtrack and player sounds.

Once I figure out how to make good gifs ill post some.

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« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 09:55:33 PM »

I added in a bathroom level, and created doors that take you from one room to another. So currently you can start on the mountain, teleport down to the cabin bedroom, go back and forth to the living room, back and forth between the bathroom, and you can go outside. I set up everything for me and my programmer to work together using GoogleDrive also. He's going to create main menu and some better fades from one area to another. My next step is to work on the basement which is the final area of the cabin and then to flesh out the outside level (currently the biggest scene). I'm going to try and post some images next.
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2014, 11:39:00 AM »

Currently I'm gearing up for a short demo of the system we have in place. Most of the assets are created and scenes for the first area are complete. The story is written and fleshed out. My programmer has done a lot of great work creating a main menu, a complete journal system, and a basic GUI and inventory system. Its allowed me to have more of a game in place where you now collect pages for a journal as opposed to just reading entries found in the world. After this I plan on creating some basic inventory based puzzles to escape the cabin.
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2014, 01:53:04 PM »

Ok I'm gonna pic bomb this with my assets.

Finished a basic mockup of my Title Screen:


Some of the snow level trees:


Broken bed:


TV Stand:


Speakers:


Painting:


Kitchen Items:


Some Hanging Lights:


Here's a Mockup of the journal:


So the journal is probably the biggest and more important mechanic in the game. This will be used to collect the notes the player finds. It will have text displayed from the pages you have found and will playback an audio clip relating to the entry. My idea is to have myself do the voice acting initially and I'll place sound effects behind it to enforce the story being told. After I'm completed with the game I'm going to actually seek out some voice talent to use as I feel it will make a big difference. Currently I don't want anyone but me for it because of how long this is taking I don't want a voice actor backing out half way through the project.

I'll try and take some interesting screenshots of the levels in game later. The majority of the first level is complete currently and needing some polish and tweaking. When the first level is finished I'm going to post it for testing.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 02:04:12 PM by mcshinigami » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 09:38:22 PM »

Alright had some decent progress on stuff today. I had to clean some stuff up and add more assets in. Starting building out the basement and the kitchen. I added in the house outside and I linked all together. I know no one really cares about anything that's not visual, so I'm trying to make things as visual as possible today.

First off, I have a YouTube "tour" of the house thus far here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjKVUdPLGwc

But I know everyone hates clicking YouTube links, so I have a few pictures for you here.

Basement:


Bathroom:


Bedroom:


Outside Cabin:


Living Room:
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2014, 11:22:22 AM »

Here's some more screenshots of what's going on. Forgive my programmers spelling errors he's not from the US.

Title:


Kitchen:


Mountain:


Journal:


Menu:



More soon!
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2014, 08:30:26 PM »

My programmer finished the journal/menu system. You can pick up pages by examining items in the world and read them. Basic inventory is in place and I've designed puzzles soon to be implemented. Also ive recorded some placeholder dialog.https://soundcloud.com/dre-poirier-sounds/once-level-1-soundtrack There's a sample of the starting level track. I'm going to work with single tones that change as you move in the environment.
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2014, 11:39:55 AM »



I'm going to remove all the "Press E" boxes on the screen and only show messages like this once to players. I feel like it'll encourage players to explore more and reduce clutter.

Currently adding in puzzle and fixing all my terrible texture/sorting layer issues. Debating on going back to using sprite sheets since I'm hating Unity sprite editor and fighting with layers.
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2014, 11:01:03 AM »

Alright, I finally got on the usual Gif program. Here's some gifs for your enjoyment. I finally fixed that awful sorting issue I was having. My programmer got the script finished for not displaying the press E boxes but it hasn't been implemented yet. He's made it so that the boxes don't appear, but if you press R it'll show objects that can be interacted with. Next up...I work on the sound! I'm so so exited it's the reason I made this project. I'm also really excited to show off what's going to happen in level 2, but I'm saving that surprise for later. It's a big one.

Mountain Level 1:


Bedroom:


Living Room:


Current Inventory/Journal:


More soon! Thanks for browsing.
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2014, 10:33:51 AM »

Been working on the audio and implementation lately. Programmer has finished some GUI elements and continuing on to more mechanics.

I'm excited to see the sounds I have for the mountain level. Until I have them in I'll show a demo I have for my synth preset I created in Camel Audio Alchemy. I'll be using it for all the "music" in the game.

https://soundcloud.com/dre-poirier-sounds/mountainpass
https://soundcloud.com/dre-poirier-sounds/firstsong2

I feel the quality and tones of the synthesizer pair well with the environment of dreams I want.

I'm currently cutting up a demo song to use as interactive audio in the mountain level. I'm excited to see the results.
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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2014, 08:25:07 PM »

I'm still here, still working on this project along with others.

My next bit of progress I'm VERY excited about. I've got the Unity/Wwise implementation to work and I've learned a lot regarding audio assets in game. I've finally upload a little video of the first level with a few of the sound effects added. I know links are pretty unpopular here, but here's a link of the first level.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xlfeXXLbb8&feature=youtu.be

I've got a few tricks up my sleeve for future work, but the initial hurdle was getting all of this to work and understanding how it works. I'm glad I'm at this point and can't wait to build more sound assets into the game. It's a big improvement to building the desired feeling I'm aiming for with this project.

I'm sure a lot of people are thinking I've bit off more then I can chew and that this is yet another project that will not get completed, but I disagree. I just feel this is going to take much longer then it should. Lucky for me it's a portfolio project that I love working on in my spare time and nothing I'm trying to make money off of to survive.

Thanks for following/reading I appreciate the views even if no one comments!
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2014, 02:00:58 PM »

Finally decided to do something I knew the game needed, but was hesitant to do at this point. I'm still experimenting with this, so forgive the overdoneness of some of it, but I added some image effects into the game today. Also, not featured here, but I made the scene transitions fade in, which looks WAY nicer.




As you can see, the point and click features are added now. There's no more "Press E to Interact" stuff. And the bottom bar shows some of the new inventory system which is almost done. You can now pick up items and combine them.

The game is coming along pretty well. Audio systems are still causing me some grief (mainly footsteps) but once we finish off the last of this mechanical stuff the game will progress really fast.
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2015, 12:09:24 PM »

This project is still underway. Yesterday I'm sad to report my programmer left the project, so this is now a one man project. On the upside though I'm gearing up to have a playable demo ready by March. The base mechanics are complete and I'm currently adding in puzzles and implementing more voice over and environmental SFX. The audio system has come a long way and after some tedious hours learning Wwise I've now got a system running with lots of voice over, SFX, and music implemented in game the way I envisioned it. I'll post a new YouTube in the next few days.
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« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2015, 11:49:46 AM »

Youtube video as promised:
http://youtu.be/-NZD4KTx43U

I'm currently digging through the scripts I have and matching up the locked door mechanism stuff and applying them to various rooms as well as hiding keys around. Along with that I'll be recording, editing, and implementing a lot more voice overs into the game and removing the text boxes.
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« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2015, 04:23:40 PM »

HUGE news regarding the game! Once will soon be featuring a new and AWESOME art by http://vobster.deviantart.com/! Check out some concept art!

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« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2015, 11:23:30 AM »

The new artist went AWOL on me, which is a shame because he was pretty great. Life moves on though and I created some new art for the game myself. I feel like it's better, but I'll let others decide.

I've done more work on the audio system too obviously and a lot of the mechanics are working. I need to create and add in a lot of sound effects as I have a system in place where basically when you click objects they play sounds. I also started some work on a prototype 3D level which has so far been really neat and a great playground for audio effects.

Here's some pictures since that's all anyone really cares about!


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« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2015, 12:14:16 AM »

Attempting to go back to animation via sprite sheet with the new "HD" art. New gameplay coming soon too. I'm adding in an NPC after much deliberation. Really been thinking hard on gameplay elements to elevate the game.


It's... sorta... coming along. I'm gonna add more frames and adjust placement on the sheet. I'm basically prototyping this stuff in a test level then I'll implement it into the new HD levels. The art replacement is awesomely about 75% complete.
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