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Ludipe
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« Reply #160 on: March 01, 2017, 11:29:09 AM »

Update #35 : Road to the EGX Rezzed 2017

We started the previous update saying that "A Place for the Unwilling" will be playable in a major event pretty soon, well, it's to reveal it, we're going to EGX Rezzed (London)! And not just that! We're going there as part of the Leftfield Collection, meaning that our project was chosen and will be displayed right next to other games from studios we know and admire, we couldn't be more excited! :-D


Right now we are using the feedback we got at Casual Connect to improve user experience (all that while doing our already planned tasks).

Except for a few bugs from the new features introduced before the show it worked pretty well, so we're focusing on polishing and fixing what was confusing. There's only one thing we're radically changing, the beginning of the demo. In previous updates we talked about how hard is to make a good beginning for a game (specially when the rest isn't ready yet). Basically we want to tell you about the city, why you came here and give you a few goals to chase; all that while trying to keep it short and adding interaction so it's not a cinematic (it's a true challenge).

We got a new beginning for the story already in production that we believe will be a better fit (and way more engaging). We'll see once we're at EGX :-)


Something we've been struggling with since Casual Connect has been visual effects. We needed more feedback to let players know when certain actions (like examining items or looking around) are available. At the same time we're doing our best to keep the interface as clean, subtle and organic as possible. So we're trying to create effects that are easy to see, but they can't be too flashy or they'll break the experience; that's a hard thing to balance.

This is the one we have at the moment to display the closest item you can examine. There were a few versions before this one. We're getting there.


Every inconvenience that players noticed in Berlin is on our to-fix list, so we expect to have much more polished build ready at EGX. We're close to having all the systems up and running, once we reach that the development of the game will focus almost exclusively on doing more content and polishing the whole experience.

If you're around London during EGX Rezzed visit our booth, say hi, try the game and (maybe) get some goodies ;-)

That's all for today but there'll be a new update in two weeks (and we're always working on cool small surprises to share with you).
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 11:34:34 AM by Ludipe » Logged

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« Reply #161 on: March 01, 2017, 02:24:06 PM »

Congrats for being chosen and good luck at Rezzed!

I feel that the visual feedback for the closest object is fine. The only alternative I can think of right now would be some sort of incremental subtle bright that moves from left to right or in a diagonal (you know, instead of the bright affecting the whole object at once).

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« Reply #162 on: March 02, 2017, 06:19:24 AM »

Congrats for being chosen and good luck at Rezzed!

I feel that the visual feedback for the closest object is fine. The only alternative I can think of right now would be some sort of incremental subtle bright that moves from left to right or in a diagonal (you know, instead of the bright affecting the whole object at once).

We tried several effects (from simple outlines to modifying color saturation), including a glow like the one you describe. The issue with incremental effects is that there are many objects to interact with around, so displaying an incremental effect looks kinda strange when you're switching from one to the next as you walk. That's why we went with something less complex.
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« Reply #163 on: March 15, 2017, 08:03:13 AM »

Update #36 : More technical mumbo jumbo

Hey everybody! We're still working hard on that early demo that will be playable at EGX Rezzed in... two weeks?! Wow, so little time before "A Place for the Unwilling" can be played in a public event for the first time.

On our latest update we explained the plans and improvements we would be working on during March. It'd be interesting to tell you about the new intro we're making and how we're crafting it, but that's pretty much impossible to do while avoiding some minor spoilers, but hey, do come and visit us at EGX to check it out.


A few months ago we published an update explaining a tiny bit of the technical mumbo jumbo behind our project, and it's about time we went back to that again, because coders do deserve to be on the spotlight. So today we're forgetting about narrative, design, production and all those fancy things. Martin, AlPixel Games' programmer, spent a few days working on a text about how we handle isometric gameplay, let's get to it!

---

Unity is an amazing tool for developing games, and since the inclusion of its 2D tools, it has become an even better one. The problem with building 2.5D games, isometric or otherwise, is that we want depth to move objects along 3 axis (x, y, z) while sprites only have 2 (x, y).

When I started looking around forums and blog posts for detailed ways to build an isometric game with 2D sprites in Unity, I couldn’t find a clear, solid method that served my purposes. That’s why I decided to put together this handy little guide to get your Isometric/2.5D project up and running in no time, without the hassle of having to gather all this information yourself.

Let's start by taking a look at the end result:


The first part we are going to focus on is on how to dynamically make sprites move around other sprites (behind and in front of them), giving a sense of real depth. The SpriteRenderer component has 2 properties that allow us to change the rendering order of sprites in the scene.

- Sorting Layer
- Order in Layer

To be able to change the rendering order of multiple sprites in real time, we need to modify some values so that when objects move around the scene, they always render correctly. We could modify the “Order in Layer”, but it only accepts integers, and we have a better option. We are going to use the Z axis.

The priority order when rendering a sprite in Unity goes like this, from highest to lowest:


If two sprites share the same “Sorting Layer” and “Order in Layer”, the one closest to the camera (in 3D World coordinates) gets rendered first.

Knowing this, we just have to write a small script that modifies the Z position a fixed amount relative to the Y position, right? You’re close, but first let’s explain a small concept crucial in understanding how to set a sprite’s ground floor. This “floor” is where the sprite would be touching the ground if it were a 3D object.


---

We'll probably keep doing one of these technical updates every once in a while, sharing tips for other gamedevelopers and trying to explain what's like to make a game like this. So just ask and we'll answer. Is there any part of the game you're curious about?

We'll be back in a couple of weeks, but feel free to drop us a comment, we love them! :-)
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« Reply #164 on: April 05, 2017, 07:01:51 AM »

Update #37 : Back from EGX!


Hey everybody! EGX is over, it was amazing but also quite stressful. We even had to delay last week's update because we had way too many things to get ready for the show.

Not only did we had to finish a new build and get all the details ready for our trip to UK, but we also ended up applying for Stugan. In case you haven't heard of that it's an amazing incubator for indie games. During two months you work in a cool environment surrounded by people who will provide helpful feedback and improve your results.


We had to go through an extremely embarrassing afternoon as we tried to get our video presentation ready for submission, but we managed to get something decent in the end. Now we just need to wait until they choose the projects that will be at Stugan this year. Each year more and more games apply for Stugan and competition is really tough, wish us luck!

Getting back to EGX! The Leftfield Collection was the perfect spot for "A Place for the Unwilling", our computer was rarely free but the room wasn't as crowded as the indie area, way better for a slow game in which you're supposed to get in the story. Also we're super excited about having shared the room with all the other projects in there, most of the coolest games at EGX Rezzed were at the Leftfield Collection. Kudos to David Hayward and the rest of the people setting it up, the atmosphere was top-notch.

Having tested our latest version at Casual Connect meant that the one we had at EGX was really stable. There were some minor bugs but none of them was game-breaking. Our questions and feedback were more focused on how players felt while playing the game. All those who stopped to play the game were kind enough to spend a couple of minutes telling us about their experience. That will come in handy to keep improving the game. Some people even played the demo for 30-40 minutes, which was great given how many awesome games were at Rezzed and how everybody rushed from one booth to the next.


Sure, we need to polish the rough edges and figure out the best way to explain one or two concepts that many players found confusing, small steps, but we can feel we're on the right track. Almost forgot to mention this! A couple of Kickstarter backers came to say hi! We're always excited about meeting those who supported us through our crowdfunding campaign.

We have a huge pile of messages to reply after the show, give us a couple of days to go through that! Part of the team will be at "Now Play This" in London during the weekend. "A Place for the Unwilling" won't be showcased there buuuuut you might get a sneak peek if you're around.


Recovering from a show always takes a while. Trips are quite tiring, there's many people you need to message once you're back and we have to process all the feedback and set new tasks based on that. We're still discussing doing a streaming playing the game and answering questions but there are dozens of things we should be taking care of first.

And that's all for now! We need some rest and time to reply emails, but we'll be back here in two weeks. Stay tuned, we'll go back to that streaming idea soon :-)
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« Reply #165 on: April 19, 2017, 08:49:46 AM »

Update #38 : Getting started with interiors


Recovering from our trip to UK was tough, we had an amazing time at EGX but it was truly exhausting. We sat down, put in order all the notes we took while watching players try the game, discussed our roadmap and starting assigning new tasks.

One of the big improvements that the project will be getting in the next milestone is the inclusion of more interior maps.

Buildings, houses, shops. Our streets are filled with these and they're no mere decoration. You will be able to set your foot in many of these spaces, though don't expect to move around freely entering any place you want, some doors will only open after earning the trust of a certain character, others will remain shut forever.

But there will also be public spaces, gathering points such as the theater, the hospital, the police station or the church (though the list doesn't end there). So far we've only showed a couple of them in here (the house you own in the rich quarter and Harriet's shop) as we've been focusing on making streets, but we've already started coming up with more interior maps to explore.


Most of them are still drafts, concepts and sketches. We've been working hard to create interesting and diverse environments. The messy book shop owned by good old Lucas Weston (filled with books up to the roof). The gentleman's club where those from the upper class meet and discuss business. The theater where "The King in Yellow" will be played (something you might choose to attend). The council, plagued with bureaucrats leaded by no other than Wallace Zimmer, the mayor. The hospital, that dreaful place everybody would like to avoid. These are a small teaser of those environments we're creating and, as it happens with the rest of the city, they hide dark secrets and tangled lies within them.

We have established a new milestone due in two months and, as on earlier ones, we're trying to make the city feel more alive with each new addition. In two months we should have routines and quests/events already working (in a more structured way than the one we currently have), that along these new interiors we talked about in today's update will keep getting us a little bit closer to the city we had in our heads when we started working on this project.


And that's it for now! We're back to work, we have many new tasks we need to start with soon and we're really excited to see how more and more pieces are getting added to this great collage. We'll be back in two weeks, telling you about our progress, but you know we're always around, answering comments and emails. Let us know if you have any suggestions for future updates (in case you're interested in specific parts of the development).

See you in two weeks! :-)

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« Reply #166 on: May 04, 2017, 02:20:58 AM »

Update #39 : The difficulties of testing and iterating a narrative game

Today's update is a quick reflection about how important testing is and why we needed to re-learn this skill while working in "A Place for the Unwilling".

Judging your own games is always hard. Game developers spend so many hours working on their projects and testing every little detail that they are no longer objective.

With skill-based games, we are still able to determine whether or not some piece of content will be somehow interesting or not, even if we can no longer experience it as an average player. But this situation gets trickier with narrative games. It's hard to feel any kind of engagement while going through a dialog you know by heart. You know how it's going to be before starting, after all you're choosing static options on a screen.


When you're creating new content from scratch you still have a sense of what could be exciting or not, you get a hunch of things that "would be cool to have". But it gets tougher the deeper into the game you get (specially when you're iterating). You're checking content that is no longer fresh to you and even the most extraordinary event feels kind of mundame.

User testing doesn't get much easier, if you came by our booth during EGX Rezzed chances are we "interrogated" you after playing. That is because you learn a lot from watching players go through your demo (finding out what's confusing or doesn't work) but it's really hard to tell how engaged they are or what's going through their minds, most of the time you're just seeing them silently pick dialog options while talking to NPCs.

In skill-based games your players are facing challenges, struggling and finding solutions. So you're receiving a lot more information just by looking at the screen.

Even though we watch them play, we tend to focus on asking players questions once they're done and chatting with them.

When doing surveys is usually common to ask really specific questions such us "Was this piece of the puzzle easy to spot?" or "Was this challenge too difficult?". While this method tends to work great when trying to spot interaction issues or balance tweaks, in "A Place for the Unwilling" we focused on more open questions. We asked players things like "What was motivating you to explore the city?", "What characters did you meet?", "What would you say about them?", etc. That is because we're really insterested in understanding how they see the city and the citizens, using more specific questions can end up giving away too much information and conditioning their answer (or even lead to misleading answers).


We are used to attending shows, watching gameplays and getting feedback from players. But doing that very same thing with a narrative game requires some adaptation, it's different from most games.

At this stage of development user testing has been limited, but as we progress we'll need to keep improving the way we handle getting feedback.

And that ends this short rambling about something you might have not considered before about making narrative games. Hope you found it interesting. Stay tuned for the next update as we'll announce the date of the streaming in which you'll be able to check out the game and ask us whatever you want!
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« Reply #167 on: May 17, 2017, 08:31:03 AM »

Update #40 : Streaming gameplay!

Today, instead of the usual update, we have two exciting news to announce!

First of all, we're doing a streaming in less than two weeks! Tuesday 30th May, starting at 19:00 (CEST) and lasting around two hours. We're going to be playing the demo we had at EGX, showing exclusive material, discussing every detail and answering all the questions you might have. It's going to be fun and the first chance for most of you to see the game running, don't miss it! Mark it on your calendar right now!


We're still setting the whole thing up, so if you have any suggestions for the streaming we'll be glad to hear them!

Moving on to our second announcement today...


Brazil's Independent Games Festival just announced this year's nominees and guess what, "A Place for the Unwilling" is among them! We have been nominated for the "best narrative" award along with some amazing games. We're really proud that, even at this stage of development, the game has already been chosen for the EGX Leftfield Collection, Casual Connect showcase and now BIG Festival.

Unfortunately, we won't be able to attend the show in São Paulo, but the game will be featured there and attendees will be able to get their hands on it.

And those are the two things we were so excited to announce. We'll be waiting for you all on Tuesday 30th May, remember to follow us on twitter so you don't forget the date!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 09:06:21 AM by Ludipe » Logged

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« Reply #168 on: May 17, 2017, 08:38:44 AM »

I'm attending BIG and definitely gonna try it there. Good luck! Smiley
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« Reply #169 on: May 18, 2017, 06:23:10 AM »

I'm attending BIG and definitely gonna try it there. Good luck! Smiley

Thanks! :-)

Wish we could be there as well, perhaps some other time. Hope you enjoy the show though! Send us a picture of our booth if you can :-)
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« Reply #170 on: May 31, 2017, 07:20:48 AM »

Update #41 : Stream report

Hey everybody!

Yesterday we were on twitch playing an early demo, chatting and answering questions from viewers. Pretty much the whole video is now up on youtube for you to watch.




We won't be doing streams every week or every month, but since many people came by and enjoyed watching us talk about the game we might end up setting up another one in the future.

In two weeks, we'll be back with a juicy update about the way we're designing and implementing quests in an open world game. For now we'll let you watch yesterday's stream, enjoy and let us know what you think! :-)
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« Reply #171 on: June 14, 2017, 08:25:50 AM »

Update #42 : June report

Hey, everybody! Hope you're doing great. Though it's not officially summer yet, in Madrid it's already 39ºC and we're busy trying to keep our brains away from melting down. Today we bring you a small report of things that have been happening lately. Also, remember to check out our streaming if you missed it!

We showed "A Place for the Unwilling" in GameBoss (Zaragoza, Spain) and the atmosphere over there was lovely. Pretty much the whole Spanish indie development community attended the event. We were able to reconnect with old friends and gather new feedback to keep improving the game. Huge thanks to hosts of the show for having us. It was truly fantastic.


Right now we don't have any new events scheduled in our calendar, but we'll let you know once we're ready to go back out there again with a brand new build of the game.

Which leads us to the next point! We're making progress in our quest to nail down every single event and quest in the game. It's a really complex process, one that starts with our writer coming up with totally crazy ideas that would require an entire army in order to be produced. Then those ideas are transformed so they're both cool and reasonable. After that, we define the actions players will be doing during those events. Check if more assets need to be produced for that event, etc. It's basically going back and forth until the whole thing makes sense.

And to help us through all these hard times there's now two more people working in the team (though not for long). I'm talking about Victor and Pablo, who are doing an internship under our watch for the next two months. Can you imagine that? Interns bring up so money questions, what do we do with them? what do they usually eat? We're kinda lost and suggestions are welcome.


To wrap up this update we have a small surprise that we already announced yesterday on twitter. "A Place for the Unwilling" is featured in the latest issue of "Game Informer". We knew this was coming and we can finally see our game on the magazine. Game Informer has about 8M subscribers and we are soooooo proud of being there, specially featured next to great games like "Dead Cells" or "Ghost of a Tale".

And that's all we have for today, next update will be one of those long juicy texts explaining how we've tackled some specific parts of development. So stay tune, let us know what you think and send us suggestions of what to do with the interns.

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« Reply #172 on: June 28, 2017, 08:21:24 AM »

Update #43 : Something's happening in the city

"A Place for the Unwilling" is a story that lasts three weeks and, needless to say, the city must change during each of those days. How does a small team like ours manage something like that? Well, let's talk a bit about our process and learn about the way we structure our content.

First of all, you need to understand that it's impossible to change the whole city in each of those 21 days, and it doesn't make sense story-wise either. So every day you wake up in the same city, but it'll have some changes. We asked Ángel, our narrative director, to give us a list of events that it'd be cool to have in the game. After taking a closer look we tried to come up with a basic structure that allowed us to build as many of those quests as possible. We then set a blueprint for them (a template if you will). Basically, a "quest" is a list of changes that the game does to our world while the quest is active. We decided there would only be three types of changes: assigning a different dialogue to (one that isn't the default) a certain character, assigning a new routine/schedule to a certain character and creating/deleting a certain item.


So imagine having this deck of cards that, when pulled out, apply some changes to our city (changes that can only be like the ones explained before). Now you just need to make sure they don't overlap and try to modify the same element but, since in our game we have a wide cast of characters and 21 days to spread these events, that's not an issue. It's a simple solution but it still works. We don't have enemies going around or a level progression that needs to make sense. Most of the action takes place during dialogues, so just by switching the location of a character or an item (and their associated dialogue file) we can change pretty much everything.

Sure, we do have some restrictions as our quests aren't completely unrelated, most are part of a bigger whole and must appear in a certain order that makes sense. So it's nothing like "Animal Crossing" or "Harvest Moon", where you can just have any event appear on any given day, but we still have a lot of freedom. When you think about it, having a world that changes over time isn't that different from having a regular open-world, it's just that not all the content is available all the time. Sure, that's rarely seen in mainstream games, not letting the player access a certain content whenever they want, but you know, indie games, we get to do some things a little bit different.

And how do you schedule the amount of content available? Well, you set an "opening" and a "closing" hour to each one of these lists of changes (or quests). That's basically and in-game time frame in which those changes are applied (or not) to the game. We track the player progress in each quest, what they did, the output they got and if they completely missed it (or part of it).


Everything needs to be in this "deck of events", from the big stuff that can last a whole week to the subtle details that will disappear in a couple of hours, if it's making any changes to our world it's important to make sure nothing overlaps.

As said before, in our project we have some restrictions regarding how and when events pop up, but it'd be interesting if another game (one that doesn't have a central story like we do) used the "deck of quests" concept and took it a step further, adding some controlled randomization. Then again, it's nothing we haven't seen before, but there aren't that many projects out there exploring it.

And with that we end today's text. We'll be back in two weeks with one of those big updates we publish every few months, so don't go too far!
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« Reply #173 on: July 12, 2017, 11:38:35 AM »

Update #44 : Trading

As we have always said, in "A Place for the Unwilling" you'll be playing the role of a trader. Think of it as your daily routine, that one thing that connects you to the rest of the world. You'll be reading newspapers early in the morning out the latest information and then it'll be time to hit the streets, going from one shop to the next and trying to make profit buying and selling items. You'll soon find out that, just like in real life, everything's easier when you have money, so while being a good trader isn't necessary it'll help you meet your goals.


Now, ours isn't a trading game, it's a narrative game where you're a trader, that's a significant difference. While we're making sure trading has enough depth, it's still being kept as simple and accessible as possible. Transactions will be limited as well, moving stock around will take a couple of hours, that's our subtle way of telling you to maybe spend some time walking around and talking to others but don't worry, you'll still be able to be a workaholic.

Item value won't be the same in two games, as the market is always changing based on both random events and your own actions. It'll be somewhat predictable because we want you to come up with good strategies, but there won't be such a good thing as perfect routes to memorize and follow. Buying specific items could lower their availability or increase its price, which could mess your perfect strategy.

And time! We couldn't forget about that. It's a strong part of our core and it's affecting trading as well. Prices will change at the beginning of each new day, but that's not the only way it'll influence your story. When checking shops and deciding what to buy you should prioritize, there will be some anonymous traders among the citizens, buying and selling stock and changing the item value, just like you. Perhaps it might be a good idea to first visit those shops where you know you can make a profit instead of just losing time going to all of them.


Regarding the development of this feature, it's been just like the rest of the game. We make something, decide it's not good enough, come up with something new and repeat. It's coming up at about the same pace the rest of the features. When we first began working on it, we used an overcomplicated system that had players juggling around with 30-40 items and many shops to visit, it's was almost impossible to analyze all that data, even more, while trying to pay attention to the plot.

Our approach to trading in "A Place for the Unwilling" must have been rebuilt about 3 or 4 times by now, but with every new iteration, we learn something new. Our current version has been simplified but still, has plenty of depth, it fits the game and our minimal interface.

It's far from being ready, but rest assured, once we're there we'll share the whole process, the internal tools we used and the concepts that led us through it.

Our next update, in two weeks from now, is gonna feature a guest that has been doing a small collab with us. Stay tuned! :-)

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« Reply #174 on: August 09, 2017, 11:15:16 AM »

Update #45 : A Lick Of Urbanistic Paint

This update is written by Konstantinos Dimopoulos (@gnomeslair), who recently collaborated with us on "A Place for the Unwilling"

Hello there! I am Konstantinos Dimopoulos, and I am very decisively hijacking the Alpixel Games dev blog to briefly talk to you about cities. Cities, you see, are great. They are incredibly exciting too, and very very nice! Obviously, I'm not saying this solely as a game urbanist. I am saying it as a human being, a city dweller, a geographer, and an aging gamer who loves exploring digital urban environments. Also, if you don't know what a game urbanist is please do check out my Game Cities site.

So, as you probably only now discovered, we game urbanists not only care about games, world building, and design, but also tend to apply some real life urban planning, city geography, and design experience to virtual cities. We want to help games feel more believable; more immersive in a spatial kind of way. Find ways to make the utterly exotic feel real.

So what was there for me to quickly fix in the City that will be the star of A Place For The Unwilling?

Admittedly, judging from the couple of maps I originally saw, not much. The City, zoomed out, and in its early, still sketchy stages seemed to make quite a bit of sense, and feel more or less right. Exciting, even.

Then I got to play a short early slice of an early version, and it was instantly obvious that A Place For The Unwilling did do a lot of things right. Its City, even in the partial and unfinished state I spent an hour with, was beautiful, atmospheric, clever, and very unique. Also, despite not having anything particularly wrong about it, there were certain elements that could be tweaked, improved upon, and above all discussed with the creative team building it.

A Skype session was hence quickly set-up, and over another hour or so quite a few subjects were touched upon.

My first suggestion was an obvious one, yet one that is too often needed. Instead of having in-game characters referring to "The Theater" or "The Bookstore" --which they did-- they should instead have to refer to "the theater where that new play has premiered", or "the oldest and weirdest bookstore in town". A Place for the Unwilling is after all meant to be taking place in a major city, a big metropolis apparently, and having only one place to buy books or see plays in such a vast formation simply wouldn't make sense. By just altering a few lines of dialogue, this problem could not only be fixed, but a much bigger and way more interesting place could be conjured in the players' minds. 


Then, I couldn't help but feel that the streets were a tad too wide. They had to be made narrower overall, and also diversified according to the district they were in or their role in the place's wider transportation network. They would thus have to get ranked, and it seemed to me that the simpler option would be to go for three types of roads: local, collector, and main. These would all have different functions, and quite obviously (very visibly too) vary in width.

The streets could also be adapted to the styles and idiosyncrasies of the various districts of the city, and implement local, unique characteristics to both help players orient themselves within the urban fabric, and emphasize the uniqueness of each sub-area.

Different types of public lighting could for example be used to emphasize such sorts of variations between the parts of the city. Posh areas might have to be equipped with fancy electrical lights, other places could still be using ageing gas technology, riotous corners might come with broken light-bulbs, or maybe nobody ever cared to install a lighting system in the poorest quarters. Maybe the destitute places of the gleaming City are only illuminated by the meager candles and ancient oil lamps burning inside houses. 

Public utilities aside, and on a purely aesthetic level, the game's too angular street corners had to be rounded, and even more urban furniture would have to be added. Also, I simply had to point out to the team that roads do not always have to be perpendicular to each other, and that many of the game's blocks were far too wide. The continuity of buildings should have been broken up more often with alleys, small parks, and other sorts of urban open space. 


To make things more vibrant, and actually more realistic, street ads, more signs bearing brands, names of shops, and a greater varied of land uses would have to be added. Not only will such elements enhance the sense of civic vibrancy, but they'll also help create the illusion of a working economy, and visually spice things up. Increasing the frequency of little touches such as shadows passing by and doing things behind windows, or house lights going on or off, could would also be a solid step in that direction.

Things in the Unwilling city should generally feel slightly livelier overall too. I know it might be too early to implement everything, but forcing purpose upon the shadows roaming  the streets, and adding a few more of them shouldn't be too taxing. Even little vignettes involving shadows --say 12 of them waiting in a line outside a shop, or two running into each other-- could be employed, provided each one is shown sparingly.  The addition of a few more even stationary, but preferably both stationery and moving, vehicles could further and swiftly improve the city's overall sense of life and activity too.

Finally, I believe I also mentioned, and we briefly discussed ways of making the city feel alive, and dynamic itself. Feel like a place that changes as time passes, and a place with history that keeps evolving. My ideas involved everything from buildings under construction to the odd shop having to close down.

And then, we wrapped things up.

Consider this hijacking over.
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« Reply #175 on: September 06, 2017, 06:53:38 AM »

Update #46 : Leave your mark in the city

Hi everybody! Summer is kinda officially over by now and today we decided to bring you a couple of news that we believe are really exciting. First of all, we're introducing a discord server to talk about "A Place for the Unwilling". In case you have not heard of discord before, it's like a chat that you can use it directly from your browser. We have different rooms that go from news to fan-content, there's also space for developers to share projects or discuss gamedev topics.


Many games in development are embracing this Discord trend and we think it's a great way to engage with the community, so we decided to jump right in. To celebrate this new initiative we're also doing a small contest that will allow anybody to leave their mark in the city of "A Place for the Unwilling".

Prize: Create a character whose name (and maybe their story as well) will appear in the game, either in conversations or mentioned on a document.
Contest Rules: Make either a drawing (to which you may add one or two lines of text) or a short tale (no longer than 650 words). Your creation must be about a character (made up by you) who has arrived at the city recently, just like the protagonist. You must post the result in our discord server.
Deadline: You can upload your creations until September 20th. Winners will be announced one week after that.

In order to get your creative minds working we've prepared a small text that can serve as an introduction:


A city of shadows

That blurry shadow on the horizon can't belong to no place other than your destination. The City. The one thing that seems to be in everybody's mouth lately, but how did this even happen? Cities don't just grow this big in only 20 years, that's not how things work but still, here you are.

Rumors aside, money has a fondness for this place, traders from all over the world meet here and haggle with both common and exotic goods every day. Those who have visited it describe its streets as pure chaos, ordinary architecture, eclectic buildings and modern elements meet knitting a mesmerizing web that not many choose to leave.

It may be because of how many cultures are tangled in here that even its community differs a lot from the rest of the country, upon arriving at this city one might even think that they had crossed a portal to a far distant land. Foreigners visiting it are amused by almost every single detail, like the fact that most mayors that have served the city since its creation had been women, something like that would have been a great scandal in any other corner of the continent, but for the citizens of this place that was just another regular event in their lives.

Needless to say, not everything has changed, some things are still the same. It doesn't matter whether there are plenty of blooming factories and business around, society will always be divided between those who have more than they can spend and those who hardly earn enough to survive.

As the city's silhouette gets bigger and sharper you wonder how your next days will be like.

----

And that's all for today, we'll be waiting for you on the Discord server, make sure you don't miss the chance to get immortalized in our streets. See you in the next update!

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« Reply #176 on: September 27, 2017, 07:40:52 AM »

Update #47 : Improving our update system

Hey everybody! Today we're announcing a few changes regarding our devlog and the way we do updates. You know that, from the very beginning, we've wanted to be as open as possible with the community. For almost two years we have published updates every two weeks, as we felt that was a great way of staying in touch with you, but we should always try to improve things, so we're making some changes that we believe will be quite exciting.

We will no longer publish long wordy updates every two weeks. Updates will become way shorter, possibly containing just a gif or a couple of pictures and they'll now be weekly. These updates will appear fist on our Discord server. Longer updates will only be posted occasionally (maybe every 1-2 months) and just when we feel we have enough content for them.

Why are we doing this? Being in the middle of production means you're no longer making big flashy decisions but just doing regular work. We're also avoiding showing any kind of spoilers that might ruin your final experience. Long updates take a lot of time to prepare and, at this point, we feel a different planning will make more sense.

In addition to updates being shorter and weekly, we encourage you to join our Discord server (which is basically a chat you can use from your browser). You'll get access to sneak peeks and we're always around, which means you can ask whatever you want about the game (or just talk about whatever comes to your mind). After running this server for three weeks we are sure it's a really powerful tool to stay in touch with anybody who is interested in the game.

Hold on! We still have a couple of extra announcements. In our previous update we launched a "Leave your mark" contest. Fans could either draw a new character or write a short tale about them. It was great to see what you all came up with and choosing a winner isn't always easy. We decided to choose two creations, a drawing and a story. So congratulations to Mario Manzanares and Thriefty! You did an amazing job!



Know that this is only the beginning, we're gonna host frequent challenges on our Discord server (another great reason to join), but this time you won't be competing for your own sake, but for the sake of your Discord group because, starting right now, you can join two of the factions that live in our city.

The Top Hats


Well-loved citizens,

I am addressing you today, with the blessing of our dear dignitaries, to beg for your help in a crucial matter. As you already know, our city is in a state of peril. The humble classes have lost their humility and we must remind them their place. We count with each and everyone of you. Because difference matters.

Signed: Thomas Everett


Merry Boys


Comrades!

To arms! In every street, square or tavern! By day or by night! Those pigs don't rest and neither do we. All of you can contribute. If you are weak, keep your eyes wide open. If you're tough, kick them in their wealthy nuts. Victory will be ours! Let's kick those pig's asses!

Signed: Myles Stout


And that's all for today. We aren't going anywhere, we'll keep posting updates around and you can reach us here, but consider joining our Discord community :-)
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« Reply #177 on: April 17, 2019, 08:35:08 AM »

Hi there! It's being a while since the last time we posted anything here.

You know how rocky gamedev can be. Lots of thing happened in between (we got covered in lots of amazing places and even got funded).

I'm dropping by to say we just started a private testing. We have all the info (as well as the latest updates) on our Discord server. If anybody wants to follow the project that's the best way to do so. We'll start sharing new exciting material soon. Hope everything is going great.

Best!

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