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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsOCTAVIA [Exploration Game]
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Thirteen
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« on: May 05, 2016, 09:28:40 PM »


Not actual gameplay, just a moodboard

OCTAVIA
Uhm, hi guys! Octavia will be a story-focused game, with some composition puzzles, exploration, and - I hope - some really cool characters. You'll be a new student, a peasant, who received a scholarship to study composition in the renowned music university, Octavia. You'll need to follow rules of composition to make a good song and have a satisfatory grade to stay on Octavia. The point of this game is make the player ponder about creativity and mediocrity, which I guess is a pretty common feeling on content creators. There'll be randomized characters, side quests, a somewhat random generated map, gossip system and more.

The team is composed of me, Thirteen, the artist, and Pepperoach, my pet programmer; we developped prototypes before, but we hope this will be our first finished game. The game is in an very early development, and I'm really sorry for starting this post without that much content, but I hoped doing this devlog would help us keep our determination. Oh, and we're using gamemaker on this one. This post will be edited along the way for more significant gifs and description. Follow me on twitter (@i_am_thirteen) for more constant updates!

And now, some animations I made for the protagonist:

Idle and Idle Rare


Walking Cycle


Jumping Up


Falling Down
« Last Edit: May 05, 2016, 09:43:29 PM by Thirteen » Logged

Thirteen
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2016, 06:57:22 AM »

Okay, so, to start, we're focusing on the mobility part of the game. The player will have to wander about on a medieval castle/cathedral, which is Octavia Campus, and we're working on walking, running, jumping, and the verticalization of the map. There'll be two type of stairs, the diagonal ones, which will be the most common, you can run past it and to get up and down, you need to press up or down while walking, which I think will slow you down quite a bit. You can also jump off from those! And we'll be working on the vertical stairs next, which will be only in the library and on top of towers or as access to attics.

Here's a gif of Pepper playing with the stairs she's implementing right now:

Pepper really loves stairs. And jumping.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2016, 09:50:03 AM by Thirteen » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2016, 01:58:55 PM »

looks interesting. Good luck to your small team  Hand Thumbs Up Right


The idle animation is lovely.
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Thirteen
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2016, 03:20:46 PM »

@b∀kkusa Thanks for the compliment and attention ♥

Well, while Pepper's having fun finishing the stairs, since there were some bugs - like descending from a staircase onto another, or not being able to go down on them at all - I'll be posting another matter I am tackling right now: students creation. The idea of Octavia is to have a wide range of endings and stories, and having a random student creator would help with the feeling of every time someone play this game, it will be a different experience. Besides, the gossip system, which will be added in the near future (I hope) will depend on it, since if someone plays the game twice, they would know exactly which student would have the information they need to get.

So, to tackle that, I decided the uniform would need variation (yes, the "dress" is a uniform), and at first I thought of making diferent outfits for each graduation Octavia would offer: Composition, Singing, Piano, Trumpet, Flute, etc... But it proved to be too extent and too many outfits would be required, or some would be left out. Besides that, I tried using different hues to make the uniforms: red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, purple and pink, but that would completely break the color harmony, unless I made dedicated buildings for each graduation, which would be a pain in the ass. So I decided to approach this different, I would maintain the color pallete present on the protagonist, but shift them around.

What they would mean? Well, making the uniforms the same color made me imagine the university buying a lot of fabric and deciding how to cut it more efficiently to make the most uniforms... So, the poorest students would end up, basicly, with uniforms made of scraps. And then the idea was born, the less colors the uniform had, the more expensive it would be. Adding to that, the colors would have an order of price too, being the most expensive the Purple one, the next one the Champagne and the cheapest the Orange.

I created some haircuts which I thought would be appropriate to the context of the world and also made sure to add black-skinned students. I'll talk more about the world of the game later, since this post is getting so big.
 

Some haircuts are more traditional, some are more juvenile and innocent, and some are kuudere.
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Thirteen
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2016, 03:57:23 PM »

Hooray, rejoice, for Pepper has finished cleaning up the stairs and now we can actually go down on them! Hand Clap


Everyone knows gray staircases are better.

While that was happening, I was playing Jack the Ripper with my sprites. I've decided that the random generation would be composed of 4 parts: the body, the hair, the fringe and accessories/details, so I went up and divided them, and the possibilities of different students are pretty high, though I haven't finished the accessories part. I even made a gif for you guys to visualize it better how I'm doing it. I'm being careful so every part can match the other, though there will be some combinations which should not happen - I call that "Pepper's problem". Anyway, I'll be posting a more detailed gif of the system when I'm done, which will contain the accessories too, since they might hint what gossip that student might have on them.


Red is body, blue is hair and yellow is fringe.
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FK in the Coffee
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2016, 10:05:50 AM »

Looking great so far! The image in the OP is beautiful, and I'm a big fan of the character so far. Was Miyazaki an influence at all here?
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2016, 11:28:17 AM »

I like the look and style of the art, it feels pretty distinct. Animation could use some work in a few spots. The jump sprites look a bit awkward and I hardly notice that there are two different sprites. The problem is it goes directly into a crouchy/mid-air pose. I feel the actual jump or "push" is more important to represent. That means when you're moving up, the body should be stretched out and straight or slightly curved back since you've just pushed off the ground. Your current fall sprite is like a cross between mid-air and falling, which is fine and I think it'll work. But yeah, switching the "jump up" sprite to something less crouchy would look better and less stiff.
 


I played around a bit Tongue. Doesn't look great but I hope it gets the point across.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 11:36:26 AM by Silkworm_sweatshop » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2016, 06:27:35 PM »

Looking great so far! The image in the OP is beautiful, and I'm a big fan of the character so far. Was Miyazaki an influence at all here?

Thanks for the compliment, Coffe! Well, I do like his work a lot and watched a bunch of his movies, so he is definitely on my visual library, but he wasn't one of my direct influences on this work for designing anything. But I did get influenced by a bunch of pixel artists on the internet to get to this point, so maybe some of them had a more direct link to him? Haha.

I like the look and style of the art, it feels pretty distinct. Animation could use some work in a few spots. The jump sprites look a bit awkward and I hardly notice that there are two different sprites. The problem is it goes directly into a crouchy/mid-air pose. I feel the actual jump or "push" is more important to represent. That means when you're moving up, the body should be stretched out and straight or slightly curved back since you've just pushed off the ground. Your current fall sprite is like a cross between mid-air and falling, which is fine and I think it'll work. But yeah, switching the "jump up" sprite to something less crouchy would look better and less stiff.

Hello, Silkworm, and thanks a lot for the compliment and for the reference! I'm really not any good at animating, and what I do, I do watching tutorials, references and spritesheets. But for this one I do have a good explanation, haha! As you can see, Octavia is going on by bits, slowly, 'cause me and Pepper are on college and very busy atm. So as she started programming the jumps - which was not completely decided to have in the final game, which caught me by surprise - I did this too sprites based on some I saw, including from Irkalla on it's devlog!

But those are not supposed to be the whole jump sprite, just the on air, the phase 4 of the reference you posted. Why? Firstly, 'cause it pass on the feeling quite well, even if it's snappy, and it's easy to animate, and secondly, 'cause we haven't fully decided on how jumping will work on Octavia. Why? Well, as I said, Pepper really wanted to implement jumping, but I haven't thought of the feeling I wanna pass when jumping and the playability. If I want a more responsive jump, more dynamic, there's no way to add a wind up frame, 'cause it will immobilize the player for a frame and that sucks for responsive gameplay. If I decide on going on a more realistic and immersive jump, I can add as many frames as I want, but the jumping on the game will have to be limited, otherwise it will be torture to the player as he will get used to and tired of the winding up and loosing control. Anyway, I'll be definitely be adding poses 3 and 5, but I'm postponing it 'till I have the whole jump thing figured out, since I still have to decide whether or not I include 2 and 6., and animating a whole set is easier for me than doing it on parts, but thanks a LOT for your opinion and help ♥
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2016, 05:35:43 AM »

If I want a more responsive jump, more dynamic, there's no way to add a wind up frame, 'cause it will immobilize the player for a frame and that sucks for responsive gameplay.

Yes, I agree, you definitively don't need all the poses and I wouldn't recommend it either because as you said responsiveness is more important. Looking back at the image I played around with, it's not really how I would do it in a game (way too slow) so sorry, that might have been a bit confusing Tongue. The straightening of the body was what I wanted to show. My point was really that some poses are more important to represent when you're working with a limited amount. You can do a lot with a little so no need to add a bunch of poses just because they're on a chart I showed.

Anyway, I hope that helped! Animation is really fun so keep at it!
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2016, 10:08:56 AM »

Love the look and sound of it so far - you said that the game will center around music/composition, but you didn't mention sound/music at all so far? (Unless I missed it). Though I understand content creation comes first - do you have plans for the OST, and how you are going to incorporate music into gameplay elements?
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2016, 12:00:56 PM »

This looks further along than 0%. I like the idle animations.
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2016, 04:43:54 PM »

This looks so cool! Great work so far. Looking forward to seeing your project progress!
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2016, 02:33:24 AM »

Looks cute! I would recommend you to lower gravity just a little bit.
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2016, 05:28:34 AM »

Yes, I agree, you definitively don't need all the poses and I wouldn't recommend it either because as you said responsiveness is more important. Looking back at the image I played around with, it's not really how I would do it in a game (way too slow) so sorry, that might have been a bit confusing Tongue. The straightening of the body was what I wanted to show. My point was really that some poses are more important to represent when you're working with a limited amount. You can do a lot with a little so no need to add a bunch of poses just because they're on a chart I showed.

Anyway, I hope that helped! Animation is really fun so keep at it!

Haha, you did help! And no worries, I was already figuring out how I would make the jump look natural, you only gave me food for thoughts :D

Love the look and sound of it so far - you said that the game will center around music/composition, but you didn't mention sound/music at all so far? (Unless I missed it). Though I understand content creation comes first - do you have plans for the OST, and how you are going to incorporate music into gameplay elements?

Hi, Pixel! Thank you so much. And yes, I haven't mentioned it yet because, well, we are working on the "moving the player around" part. Unfortunately, me and Pepper are on college and very busy, so the game will advance bit by bit, but don't worry, the next part we planned to develop is the music one. I already planned most of it for the composition puzzles. And I intend to make the music non static, that means that the music will change as you play the game, so, if you play the game two times, two different ways, the music will be different. But we'll need to look more into that. I also plan music to be a big part of the game, after all, you are in the greatest music university, I want everything to feel alive, visually and musically.

This looks further along than 0%. I like the idle animations.

Hello, Ready! Haha, thanks, it seems quite a lot of people liked that animation, that's good. And well, I do agree it's further along than 0%, but I'm completely sure we're under 10% too, so, I'd rather change to 10% only when we're past that mark. We pretty much only got a WALKING AND STAIRS SIMULATOR™ with cute animations till now, which is not the core mechanic. But at least we appear cool Cool

This looks so cool! Great work so far. Looking forward to seeing your project progress!

Thank you, Tracey! I'm really glad you liked it ♥

Looks cute! I would recommend you to lower gravity just a little bit.

Hi, Nae (I'm gonna call you that from now on)! I'll make sure to tell Pepper about your suggestion, and thanks for the cute.



So, guys, I've been meaning to tell you this before, but I was making sure it was 100% confirmed. On the first day I posted this devlog, I got a private message from ezolhof, a very talented, dedicated and professional musician and sound designer. He approached me offering help in Octavia, cause he really enjoyed the idea and visuals, and on the last days I've been putting him up to date on what foot we're on, what we have planned already, the characters, the story, and I'm giving him lots of freedom to open up his wings and make Octavia his game as much as it's mine and Pepper's. Anyway, here's his soundcloud. And with him, we've got a full Brazilian Team! HUEHUE BRBR I guess? He'll be posting here sooner or later.

Anyway, this week is proving to be really busy and stressful on college, lots and lots of project, but I'm closing on finishing the separate pieces of the students sprites. Pepper's already starting to work on ladders, and I'm also preparing a document with insights, references and general briefing about the music, so Ezolhoff can start his part too. Anyway, here's a gif for you guys showing variating a hair can be, so you won't think we did nothing meantime.


Some combinations look weird, but I'll have Pepper cross them out on the programming.
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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2016, 06:50:27 AM »

Hey, just wanted to say that I like exploration-based games with cool characters, pixel art, and slightly odd/somber settings and color schemes, so I'm looking forward to see where you take Octavia! I also like school sims. Maybe this is too soon to ask, but will there be dating/friendship sim elements with other characters?
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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2016, 07:07:02 PM »

Hey, just wanted to say that I like exploration-based games with cool characters, pixel art, and slightly odd/somber settings and color schemes, so I'm looking forward to see where you take Octavia! I also like school sims. Maybe this is too soon to ask, but will there be dating/friendship sim elements with other characters?

Thank you, waru! There WILL be friendship sim elements with other characters, yes, you can also be enemies with some, but I don't think you'll be able to date them. Maybe if we get a kickstarter going and people want as a stretch goal? But initially, no doki doki.



In other news, Pepper's been optimizing the staircases codes, which she swears to me are beautiful and small, and she's been working on ladders too! I've been lagging behind, though, because of college projects - which I've already presented, at least most of them - and because I've been preparing material for ezolhof to start composing of, but that's almost done too, so the art will have updates soon too. And here's a gif for you guys ♥


This is how Pepper tells me to hurry up with the animations.
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2016, 10:07:01 AM »



This is how Pepper tells me to hurry up with the animations.
Oh! That's the new Super Upper Teleporter that I heard about! Looks like it's working great! Grin Hand Thumbs Up Right
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2016, 07:32:09 PM »

Diggin' the different character looks!
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« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2016, 06:33:52 PM »

@io3 creations
Shhh, that's a secret!

@fuzzgoddess
Thanks, goddess, that's so sweet coming from you, I love your designs ♥



Sorry about the hyatus, guys, the college semester is getting closer and closer, and our finals are just around the riverbend - Pepper's final exams and my final projects - we are just really overwhelmed and busy, haha, but we didn't stop the development. Pepper is dealing with doors and rooms right now and I did some more animations and now I'm taking a break from animating, haha, and doing some more assets, so the game at least looks playable. There'll be some more fine tuning, but here's what I've been coming up with:


Harry, are you there?
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« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2016, 08:32:19 PM »

Got here from your sketch of trees on a mockup thread. Is that sketch part of the scenography of this game?
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