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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsDetective Grimoire - Adventure Game
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Author Topic: Detective Grimoire - Adventure Game  (Read 15296 times)
SFBTom
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« on: March 08, 2011, 01:28:57 PM »



Hey all.

I thought it'd be pretty neat to have a devlog here, so let's do it!

Detective Grimoire is the sort-of sequel to a Flash game my brother Adam and I made back in 2007, of the same name. It's currently being developed for iPhone/iPad only, but as soon as it's out, I'm jumping straight onto porting it to Win/Mac/Lin and Android.

There's a dev blog here, but it's just for art at the moment. Here's where I get to show my stuff too!

We're over half way through making the game so far, although I'm well aware of the old last 10% rule...


The Game

Last night, the owner of a small tourist attraction was murdered outside of his own office, by what appears to be the legendary (not to mention supposedly mythical) creature the attraction is centered around.

You play as Detective Grimoire, called in to solve the case and put the culprit behind bars. Investigate the crime scene and surrounding area, interviewing suspects, looking for clues and solving puzzles!

We're very much inspired by the likes of Phoenix Wright, Hotel Dusk and Ghost Trick, as well as all the classic adventure games from our youth. Hopefully we can live up to them, at least a little...


The Team

Adam Vian - Art, animation and writing
Catherine Unger - Background art

Tom Vian - Programming and writing

Raphael Benjamin Meyer - Original score

Edwyn Tiong - Voices (Grimoire)
Arin 'Egoraptor' Hanson - Voices
Joshua 'TomaMoto' Tomar - Voices
Faye 'Princess Aura' Mata - Voices
Amber Lee 'Shudo' Connors - Voices


The Swamp






The Story




The Characters (Some of them anyway)











« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 08:01:13 AM by SFBTom » Logged

SFBTom
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 02:02:57 PM »

Oh, and here are some videos!







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HöllenKobold
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 02:12:14 PM »

Loving the artstyle! The designs and animation are really vibrant.
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SundownKid
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 02:21:28 PM »

Anything inspired by any one of those games you mentioned is awesome in my book and this looks like it will be no exception. I don't have one of them new-fangled eye-phones so I will have to wait. Apoplectic
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SFBTom
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 03:30:15 PM »

Loving the artstyle! The designs and animation are really vibrant.

Thanks! Or rather, the artists thank you... My coding style is vibrant too though, honest!

Anything inspired by any one of those games you mentioned is awesome in my book and this looks like it will be no exception. I don't have one of them new-fangled eye-phones so I will have to wait. Apoplectic

Yeah, they're pretty much my favourites, Adam's too. And neither do I, I'm on Android myself (iPods to test on though), so I'm making sure the code stays portable as I write it!
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Triplefox
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 08:29:06 PM »

I liked the original of this, it was quite good for a 2007 Flash game. Looks like the art is gonna be even cooler this time around. Smiley Hand Thumbs Up Right
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 08:46:57 PM »

This looks really awesome. I love the style of the characters, and the background art is pretty slick too.
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Inanimate
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2011, 10:06:49 PM »

I remember playing the original! Wow, this brings back memories.

I still love the title.
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SFBTom
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 10:09:06 AM »

Thanks guys!

So for the last few days, I've been working on and off on a tool for Adam and I to be able to visually animate characters during conversations. Having data-driven animations means we can do a lot more with minimal filesize, as opposed to having them pre-animated and exported as sprite sheets. Each character has a set of animated bodies, and a set of eyes and mouths to match each one, which are laid over the top in the correct positions. With 5 poses, 7 mouths and 12 eyes, that gives us a total of 420 different combinations. I'd rather not have 420 sprites per character!

The tool is written in AIR, to take advantage of it's better file I/O, and works as close to the timeline in Flash Pro as I could get - familiar tools = faster development! The audio plays as you scrub through the timeline, just like in Flash, and whole conversations can be played through. The keyframe data is then exported as XML ready to be compiled in with the game.

Anyway, here's a screenshot:


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:^)
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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2011, 10:29:04 AM »

This looks extremely awesome. Amazing character design and enviroments, kudos to your artists.  Kiss

One thing, um:

I know this is kind of stupid, but um... Shouldn't your characters have at least one neutral pose? With every pose dipicting an action they seem extremely jerky. So much so that they aren't vivid and alive so much as weird and fake and robotic and... Jerky.  Shrug I'd recommend using the action poses more sparingly and focus on expression/animation with the characters faces. The eyes/mouth can tell a lot.

But Ga!
Imsorryirealizethisprobablynotworthpointingoutbecauseyoureprobably-
setwiththeseanimationsijusthadtosaybutdontlistentome!  Embarrassed
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battlerager
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I resent that statement.


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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2011, 11:04:16 AM »

Music sounds great, animation is silk-smooth, character designs are charming, backgrounds look so pretty and voice acting is so spot on.


CONSIDER ME STOKED FOR THIS  Wizard Wizard Wizard
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Richard Kain
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2011, 01:38:52 PM »

Wow, yeah! This is looking really solid so far. The voice acting is quite respectable, I'm loving the art style, the animations look great in motion, it all seems to be coming together. The lip-syncing could stand to be more accurate, but it might not be worth the effort. As it stands it gets the point across quite well.

Make sure you let us all know when you publish this. I'd be happy to lay down some money on the app store for a game with these production values.
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SFBTom
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 04:49:19 AM »

One thing, um:

I know this is kind of stupid, but um... Shouldn't your characters have at least one neutral pose? With every pose dipicting an action they seem extremely jerky. So much so that they aren't vivid and alive so much as weird and fake and robotic and... Jerky.  Shrug I'd recommend using the action poses more sparingly and focus on expression/animation with the characters faces. The eyes/mouth can tell a lot.

But Ga!
Imsorryirealizethisprobablynotworthpointingoutbecauseyoureprobably-
setwiththeseanimationsijusthadtosaybutdontlistentome!  Embarrassed

Don't worry, I totally agree! The animations in the video are more to show them off than anything. We'll be doing a lot more with eyes/mouth - as you say, they're very telling. If we have time, we're going to add a third 'layer' in, possibly hands that can pose and move about independently of the main pose, but only if we have time.


Music sounds great, animation is silk-smooth, character designs are charming, backgrounds look so pretty and voice acting is so spot on.


CONSIDER ME STOKED FOR THIS  Wizard Wizard Wizard

SWEET, I'LL ADD YOU TO THE STOKED LIST! That makes a total of... 1.


Wow, yeah! This is looking really solid so far. The voice acting is quite respectable, I'm loving the art style, the animations look great in motion, it all seems to be coming together. The lip-syncing could stand to be more accurate, but it might not be worth the effort. As it stands it gets the point across quite well.

Make sure you let us all know when you publish this. I'd be happy to lay down some money on the app store for a game with these production values.

The mouth animations shown in the videos have actually been revised since then. Adam tried to do a generic 'talking' animation (shown in the vids) that just plays and stops as the characters talk, but it was actually too much like a real mouth moving, and looks distractingly wrong! Instead, we're going with a more anime style flappy mouth, that just animates open and shut. Now I know why they do it! Much less distracting.

Cool, I definitely will! We're not sure what direction to go with on the price yet. I guess we'll wait until it's nearly finished, then get some opinions.
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SFBTom
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2011, 09:30:26 AM »

Today I finished of my Flash-to-spritesheet animation exporter and exported 3 new characters to test it. Adam is animating all the characters in Flash, since it's what we know best.

The character animations are built as nested movieclips (eyes + mouth inside the main body animations) so that the positions are animated properly. The exporter then takes that movieclip and runs through the frames exporting pngs of each, with the eyes and mouth left invisible. The eyes/mouth clips are then also exported, and finally an xml file is saved out with all the relevant data needed for the game to reconstruct the animation from the pngs.

The Flash movieclips can also be immediately used in the conversation tool, along with any flash-based port/demo in the future.

From Flash to iPhone now takes just 10 minutes per character, as opposed to exporting the frames manually, definitely a huge time saver!
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Zest
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2011, 09:36:38 AM »

Ahhhh, how did I not see this before? The art for this looks positively loverly. Can't wait to see how the finished product looks. C:
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« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2011, 09:40:36 AM »

Looking great, Tom!

I really love the character design. It's giving me a very Layton-esque feeling (and I love Layton).
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« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2011, 10:15:12 AM »

I hope you get Windows version out, too.

This looks very interesting, I am always up to new adventure! :D
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lapsus
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« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2011, 10:17:11 AM »

name dropping games by Shu Takumi (i actually finished ghost trick yesterday :) ), awesome looking graphics, great voice-acting and my favourite genre!

only downside is that this isnt the type of game i typically play on my iphone - i usually go for small simple games on the subway with disabled sound- but ports are coming so all good!

gl!
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SFBTom
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« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2011, 11:04:53 AM »

Ahhhh, how did I not see this before? The art for this looks positively loverly. Can't wait to see how the finished product looks. C:

Cheers! No doubt I'll be shouting about it here when it comes out, so you'll be able to take a look.

Looking great, Tom!

I really love the character design. It's giving me a very Layton-esque feeling (and I love Layton).

Thanks Kyle! Praise indeed, Layton is what we aspire to.

I hope you get Windows version out, too.

This looks very interesting, I am always up to new adventure! :D

Me too, cross-platform ports are my biggest priority after actually getting the game done.

name dropping games by Shu Takumi (i actually finished ghost trick yesterday Smiley ), awesome looking graphics, great voice-acting and my favourite genre!

only downside is that this isnt the type of game i typically play on my iphone - i usually go for small simple games on the subway with disabled sound- but ports are coming so all good!

gl!

Thanks! We're trying to take into account the game's portable nature, with specific options for users who don't want sound playing. Obviously in the iPad/desktop versions, this'll matter less.
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SFBTom
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« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2011, 11:30:18 AM »

Raphael, our amazing musical chap has sent us the final version of the full OST for this game. The guy works fast! The music doesn't suffer at all though. Here're two short samples:

Sample 1
Sample 2


Adam has also been working on a lot of stuff this week:












And finally here's a bunch of background snippets from Catherine's work so far:


« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 11:38:48 AM by SFBTom » Logged

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