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Jodediah
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« on: February 08, 2014, 01:36:49 AM »



You take control of the dream world of a small child, becoming well acquainted with his imaginary friend and nightmare. The more you're here, though, the more you notice cracks begin to appear. Friend and Nightmare are each giving you different information, and you can't help but be led further astray by the hazy images of the kid's reality. Learn more about the relationship between these two fragile worlds in order to decide which world to save...

...and which world to sacrifice.


Hello there everyone, I'm Jodediah, and I'm teaming up with some great friends in our rare moments of free time in college to develop PAPER. I just recently decided that it was a good idea to start the process of getting the word out there and marketing, so in addition to the trailer I'm working on, I've also birthed this devlog. We have some super basic Construct 2 prototypes over at our 200% under construction website Jode&Friends, but we've stopped posting things there for the time being because we're switching over to Unity, which we want to use to make the final thing.

Here are our credits so far:
Jodediah Holems - Art, Writing, and Design
Victor - Programming
Lucas - Audio (excluding the headset audio I made you'll hear in some of the prototypes)
Fox - Prototyped Puzzle 2
Nathan - Concept design and research
Cory - Concept design and writing
Katie - Concept art
Zak - The timer asset we're currently using in our prototypes

Project History:
Quote from: 4/1/2013
It all begins with this image:

Namely this quote: "I love this. It needs to be in a video game."
Quote from: Project Timeline
8/28/2013 This is the day I created our secret facebook group for Project PAPER. I made a bunch of posters and hung them all around campus, initially bringing in a whole bunch of people and being totally ready to AAA in a month. I have learned so much about project management already, haha.
9/1/2013 We have our first Skype meeting.
9/2/2013 Victor uploads our first prototype, a test of the control system, up to a temporary website. This is the same prototype labelled "TAPPING PROTOTYPE" on Jode&Friends.
9/29/2013 Lucas has finished the audio for the Main Menu and Puzzle 1.
10/13/2013 The descent into dreams! http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/1381/3bg.gif
10/23/2013 The .gif I made for our inital Main Menu cube rotation. I used my perspective skills and made this with a station point and vanishing points and everything. Bitter irony is how fast Victor got the same thing except better in Unity with 3D. http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/6986/p72.gif This day is also around the same time we finished our Puzzle 1 prototype and showed it to our college's Game Dev Club!
2/1/2014 After slowing down a bunch over winter break, I decided to fire the project back up with this whole devlog/trailer push. I'm working hard to make sure everyone has something to do at all times so we can have maximum getting stuff done efficiency.
2/12/2014 Today I finished the animatic for the game's trailer. Now I start working on producing it fully.
4/4/2014 After a long period of being too busy/overwhelmed with school to work on PAPER, GDC and a book by Anna Anthropy and the happiness I got from doing a bunch of songwriting inspired me to work on PAPER again. I'm busy with a lot of other things, like being my college's new 2014-15 game dev club president and starting a campaign to get funding for 2015 GDC tickets for students, but I want to work on PAPER a little bit every day and post up my doings here.

P.S. I've never done a devlog before, and since I've already got some stuff done in the project if there are any questions, suggestions, things you'd like to see (concept art, screenshots, sprite sheets), etc. just let me know!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 02:24:30 AM by Jodediah » Logged

YogX
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2014, 03:16:38 AM »

Looks great.
I just LOVE games that are hand drawn.
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Jodediah
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2014, 08:02:17 PM »

Thanks, I'm glad you like the look so far! Smiley
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Sved
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2014, 08:44:12 PM »

I love the style of that drawing and will be following this! More concept arts, much much more!

You may consider a change of name though, that's an inconvenient time to name something paper: http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/fiftythree-files-trademark-for-paper-to-take-on-facebook-479693
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... but that is mostly psychological. Check my devlog!
Jodediah
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 03:54:15 PM »

I love the style of that drawing and will be following this! More concept arts, much much more!

Good idea! Here's everything I have so far that I posted to the development group, but I really should scan more stuff and post that up as well.

^ First two colored sketch shots of the game's first cutscene. I developed these thinking I should use them as the game's trailer, but I decided against it. Now I'm developing a new set of shots for the trailer so I don't spoil anything.

^ Mockup of Puzzle 1. Everything looks about the same Wink

^ One of the arrows and counters sheets that Zak made for the project. We're still using the small counter from this sheet.

^ Some concept art for Friend. I thought it would be interesting to use a docking flying eyeball design, but I decided against it in the end. There are also a lot of metaphor and design notes on this page! Read them at risk of self-spoiling a juicy plot line.

^ Nightmare concept.

^ Quick and dirty early central station concept. I ended up changing it from kid's play room to more of a cathedrally dungeony feel. A lot less padding and blocks and a lot more stone and torches. I might want to find a middleground for the design, haha.

^ The other fully rendered pencil piece that accompanies the hot air balloon one in the OP. We may be adding this area to the game, maybe not. I dunno.

You may consider a change of name though, that's an inconvenient time to name something paper: http://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/fiftythree-files-trademark-for-paper-to-take-on-facebook-479693
Yeah, I had found a similar article about a week ago and totally panicked. I talked to the team about it, and people seemed pretty evenly split over "I wouldn't worry about it," and "I thought PAPER was a working title, you should totally change it." One of the counter arguments was that because I'm a game and not really competing against either app, I probably shouldn't worry about it too much. I'm personally on the fence, but I don't think it will hurt to roll with PAPER in the meantime.

Thanks for posting and following the project! It's good to hear from you, and if you have any other suggestions about what you'd like to see more from in this project, speak up! I'm going to be checking back here every day.
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Jodediah
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 12:07:21 PM »

Check out the animatic for the trailer!



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Jodediah
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 11:30:42 PM »

Some pages from my design notebook:

^ Character poster

^ Nightmare and some environment designs

^ Sandman/Handman designs
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surt
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 01:03:47 AM »

Handman reminded me of the Nullianac from Imajica. Which was nice.
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Real life would be so much better with permadeath.
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2014, 01:09:29 AM »

Nice, nice!
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2014, 04:52:03 AM »

Great concept and designs, I love anything that deals with a child's perspective of reality, where everything is magic and anything is possible, where imagination and dreams are as real as objective "reality".

Is the final game going to use a sketched, hand-drawn art style? (crossing fingers that it will...)

Good luck!
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Jodediah
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2014, 12:36:05 PM »

Handman reminded me of the Nullianac from Imajica. Which was nice.
Never heard of that before, but looking it up they do seem to both be pretty handy!  Big Laff
Thanks for sharing, Imajica looks like an epic tale.

Nice, nice!
Like

(hoping that's a good video lol, I have no audio right now)

Great concept and designs, I love anything that deals with a child's perspective of reality, where everything is magic and anything is possible, where imagination and dreams are as real as objective "reality".

Is the final game going to use a sketched, hand-drawn art style? (crossing fingers that it will...)

Good luck!
Yup yup! I plan on redrawing everything, but it will all be hand drawn in the end. Just a lot nicer looking. Durr...?
This one is going to be more of a loss of innocence narrative, however. Initially everything is magic and anything is possible, but as days pass and you begin to get the feeling that there's something terribly wrong in the kid's reality, you notice cracks begin to appear as the dream world crumbles. That's your major choice: you gather information the whole game to help you decide to either save the dreams and let reality fall apart, or save reality and sacrifice the ability to dream [adulthooood]. Hand Thumbs Up Left Corny LaughHand Joystick
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 12:51:54 PM »

There's a surrealist vibe on your concepts. Really cool. When are we going to see some screen capture or mockup?  Coffee
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Jodediah
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2014, 03:04:39 PM »

There's a surrealist vibe on your concepts. Really cool. When are we going to see some screen capture or mockup?  Coffee
I'm glad you're diggin' the vibe! :D
I'll have to talk to Victor about getting anything recent as far as screen capture.

While I was hoping to be able to remake the trailer in time for GDC, it isn't looking like that's going to be possible (homework + GDC prep). Screen captures/mockups are going to have to wait at least until after GDC week, unfortunately. :\

If you haven't already, you can check out some of our older prototypes up at http://jodeandfriends.com ! I'd recommend the Puzzle 1 & Dialogue prototypes if you're looking for some gameplay stuff.

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Jodediah
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2014, 02:10:35 AM »

 Blink

My experiences at GDC and the book A Game Design Vocabulary inspired me to get back to PAPER. I've been going over a lot of behind the curtain gamestuff in my head, and I also wrote a song for the game and designed some dream machines.

Here are 2 different designs for a dream machine of the same purpose:

(larger version)
Which machine would you rather interact with and why?

Some design things--
A Game Design Vocabulary chapters 1 & 2 had me thinking about the important verbs in my game: walking, talking, and operating. I decided to add some hidden depth to the walking verb. Currently the way walking works is that you hold down a direction to make the character bend down in preparation for a hop, their main way of moving around. Once the character is all wound up, if you're still holding the button down they'll hop. If you're still holding down the button when they land, the character will automatically hop in that direction again. If you let go of the button midair, you'll have to wind up again.
The hidden depth I added is that if you're moving forward but land holding the opposite directional key, the character will rapidly hop backward while still facing in the initial direction. If you're still holding the backward key at the end of this backward jump then the character will fall on their butt, if you're holding nothing they will come to a stop, and if you're holding the initial direction again then you'll do another rapid hop in that direction. This will be used for easter eggs and advanced puzzles and for reflex-undoing an unwanted action and arbitrary movement zigzag combos.

Another new design thing!
There used to be four states you could be in that were represented by a series of icons: Being in direct control of your character was marked by a "!" icon that appeared and faded directly after gaining control; entering a puzzle would remove all player control and leave you in control of a set of puzzle dream machines, signified by a "?" icon; choosing to operate machinery would alter or give your movement controls to a dream machine, signified by a pair of gears icon; and a speech bubble icon shows that you're talking to someone.
For whatever reason I just now realized that taking player control away involuntarily to force them into a puzzle is a bad thing. The "?" icon and functionality is going to get removed in favor of having all puzzles requiring you to choose to interact with them.

P.S. I just realized there's a lot of information that isn't here that I didn't share for whatever reason. Look forward to some info on the controls and why I chose them & the game and its metaphors.
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