Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1366026 Posts in 63998 Topics- by 55886 Members - Latest Member: codingtoolz

September 15, 2019, 12:52:08 PM

Need hosting? Check out Digital Ocean
(more details in this thread)
TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsBallad of the Space Bard: if Scott Pilgrim was a low-budget Telltale series
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 6
Print
Author Topic: Ballad of the Space Bard: if Scott Pilgrim was a low-budget Telltale series  (Read 10293 times)
JobLeonard
Level 10
*****



View Profile
« Reply #20 on: September 12, 2017, 11:17:25 AM »

Just found this, I love how these updates read as an honest stream of thoughts Smiley

In an early post you mention the bard as a genderfluid alien, but that the concept changed a lot. How much Ziggy Stardust influences can we expect?
Logged
nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #21 on: September 12, 2017, 03:26:28 PM »

Yikes, I guess this is where my musiccultural incompetence will become obvious. I had to google it to make sure Ziggy Stardust was a David Bowie thing (although I was pretty sure). I'm old enough to have heard the song "Ziggy Stardust" because it was in Guitar Hero, but too young to have seen the movie (although it came to the local art house theater last summer, I just missed it). So. I guess I have a lot of research to do to pay the best respects to rock history?  Shrug

I sadly have to run, but I promise an in-depth post about the player customization system through which I'm planning to address gender fluidity. Maybe tomorrow.
Logged

JobLeonard
Level 10
*****



View Profile
« Reply #22 on: September 12, 2017, 03:47:49 PM »

You don't owe anyone anything, but you should still do the research because you're in for a treat if you do Tongue
Logged
nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #23 on: September 13, 2017, 09:05:43 AM »

(I wrote this post while thoroughly enjoying a breakfast of fried eggs on toast with Sriracha sauce, and several bowls of Blueberry Rice Chex. I've been pushing myself really hard since school started again, but I'm gonna try and give myself more lovely mornings like this. Smiley)

To answer questions about the shapeshifting mechanic...

"I guess I would say I'm... bodyfluid?1"

I want to do justice to exactly how exhausting and confusing it is trying to find/create your "true" identity once you've abandoned the traditional limitations of your society. Expressing that struggle through game mechanics that are also fun and not painfully overwhelming to the player? It's been seriously pushing my limits as a designer, writer, and human being.



The basic idea as it stands: At any given moment, the player has a form that's displayed as a static sprite on the left of the foreground. The player can only sustain this form for a finite amount of time, which is reduced faster whenever the Bard incurs negative Vibe points. When the "shape energy" runs out, the Bard's sprite melts or shatters or fades away, and thumbnail sprites of several more forms appear in a cloud of bubbles that emerge. The player clicks one, and that becomes the next form. The forms that appear in bubbles will be selected from a large pool of available forms, possibly chosen according to the emotions that those forms represent (for example, you could get forms with more drab clothing when you're depressed).



Here are some related notes I wrote this morning after going on a trail run. (I have so many new ideas when I go running. Highly recommend.)

Another important thing is that the player picks a single skin color at the beginning of the game. Aside from alien/robot/other crazy sci-fi forms, the player will only be able to use forms with their original human skin color. I arrived at this decision after seeking advice from people of color on how to respectfully treat race in a game about queer identity. I don't want to exclude POC players from playing the game and feeling reflected in the player character, but I also don't want to imply that you can be whatever race you want, whenever you want.

I also started co-working again!

Yesterday I made it out to a local friend's house and we did some gamedev stuff. We streamed on Twitch, which was really fun, and attracted some other locals to come chat. I spent most of the time catching up on Patreon thank-you letters, but it was still great. Maybe we'll make it a weekly thing on Tuesdays.

Next up: a gigantic post of inspirations?

Or maybe I'll split those up a little, so I can talk more in-depth on each one and why they're inspiring. Or maybe I'll keep procrastinating and not share anything for a month. #ThugLife


1I like the term "Bodyfluid" (which I made up) for the Bard's identity because it does sound slightly gross and awkward (in a hilarious way???) which is how I often feel about a lot of the labels I try applying to myself.
Logged

Robson
Level 0
***



View Profile WWW
« Reply #24 on: September 13, 2017, 12:20:51 PM »

Looking forward to this!

Great to see the photos of notes/drawings and I'm glad to see another C# game in development. Good luck with your project.
Logged

Current devlog: Infinite Puzzles.
Competition entries: Wall of the Words, Dysaster.
nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2017, 08:45:07 AM »

I gave a talk

at a local gamedev meetup back in June. I finally put the video on YouTube but forgot to share it here. Give it a watch if you've been enjoying the bonkers life/art philosophy side of this dev log:



Logged

Ayramen_Studio
Level 0
**


View Profile WWW
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2017, 01:59:38 PM »

"inspired by BoJack Horseman, Rick and Morty, and life" interesting! With these referents you can create a really original and cool game. Keep up the good work!
Logged

JobLeonard
Level 10
*****



View Profile
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2017, 02:11:20 PM »

You're from Utah?

I can't think of Utah without thinking of Raising Arizona, oddly enough Tongue
Logged
nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2017, 08:57:24 AM »

It means a lot that people are connecting with this project especially because it's way more personal to me than the last one I shared on TIG. So thanks everyone for your support!

@JobLeonard Born, raised, and stuck here for at least 3 more years! (Jk I actually honestly love it)

Quote from: JobLeonard
I can't think of Utah without thinking of Raising Arizona, oddly enough Tongue

We're happy to be getting any media recognition at all, even if it's just as a punchline.  Well, hello there!



Logged

nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2017, 01:27:42 PM »

Me and my puppy are doing a gamedev stream

At first I'll be doing localization work on my previous game, The Whisperer in Darkness, but I hope to make time for some Space Bard work an hour or two into it.
Logged

nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2017, 07:20:37 PM »

Join me on a cute adventure through time and space

Actually, just space. Time travel is too complicated. And gritty, not cute. Both gritty AND cute? Is U.T.A.H. dystopic or a queer-friendly paradise? It's a musical game? The songs are all from old local albums? So... more like a mix tape? A progressive queer game about music mostly by straight white dudes? Is it about Mormonism? Are the Mormons good or bad? Do you side with queer Mormons? Is the Bard ex-Mormon?

It's existential. So is it dark? Is it hopeless? Is it responsible to make hopeless art while the world starves for positive action? Is it responsible to make hopeful art when things really are bad? Are things bad? Does a happy ending for BoJack season 4 make the rest of it go away? What is time?

If you're writing about the movie It, do you write "It's $236.3 million" or do you write "Its $236.3 million"?? Where does all that money go?? Do they spend it to fight bullying in real life? Why the flying f**k not? Why is Space Bard a polished commercial product when it could be raw, janky, 100% collage-style and free? Are you really going to give all your money to make the world a better place? Why do you have holes in your shoes and why are you writing your way along this terrible spiral when you have the money to buy shoes (for now)? Is this the first time you're actually going to throw up from anxiety?? Stop!

You haven't even settled on a game engine for this?

Space Bard is getting a zine; or, the Creeping Scope by Nat Quayle Nelson



Here's me and my friend Taylor from the local Black Cat Comics! I've been thinking about the best way to sell Space Bard to the core audience locally at concerts, and also potentially at local cafes and book shops. Taylor came up with the excellent idea of making a companion zine, because many of those places might be reticent to just sell cards with Steam/Itch codes on them. A zine on the other hand, is par for the course. Lots of places sell local self-published comics and zines! This also gives me all the room in the world to indulge the more janky and bizarre ideas I love, but wouldn't fit in the game without tremendously compromising its focus. Stuff like printing locally written essays on queerness, similar to the essays Magdalene Visaggio has been printing in the back matter of Kim and Kim.

So my inspirations went dark again

The new seasons of BoJack Horseman and Rick and Morty, re-watching Community season 3 (the darkest season?), The Babadook, The Dark Knight, Pan's Labyrinth, Black Mirror, The Bicycle Thief, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover? (Been meaning to post about that one specifically.)

(Edit: Of course I also played through Tacoma, although I'm always a little high-strung with low energy these days, so I wasn't as thorough as I could have been and ended up missing a lot. Thank god for Errant Signal's videos which made sure I became aware of a lot of that missed depth.

I think I went overboard on the whole "life is good, I can be healthy whenever I want to if I put in the work," ethos, and then tanked on it all at once. (Exactly like BoJack episode 201.) I'm really, really bad with balance!

Anyway I'm still feeling mentally healthy, just tilted back to the more somber emotions which are a natural part of life. Except for the gagging with anxiety part. That's just bad.  Hand Any Key

I've already used the "tune in next time" joke, so--here's a song?



« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 07:27:12 PM by nathy grrrl » Logged

nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2017, 12:41:23 PM »

New Patreon post: Back to the Big Questions

I decided it was time to once again step back from the hectic life I've been living and let myself breathe and ponder how I can make things better without a bazillion stressors all the time. I'm taking an indefinitely long break from my job at the book store, and this is my first whole free afternoon as a result. It's already been extremely fruitful. It's been waaaay too long since I gave myself a chance to stand above all my concerns and take everything in from a safe remove. I'll keep cross-posting Patreon posts here while I work on that stuff. After all, I've been describing Space Bard lately as "an autobiographical sci-fi adventure about life's big questions, plus some answers."

Local events I should have written up already

Back in August was the first annual LOVELOUD Festival. Here's me euphorically singing along to one of my favorite earworm songs: video

Getting to see Tyler Glen, one of the only local queer musicians with mainstream success that I know of, perform live, was fabulous. I spent a lot of my early life trying to put on a cynical, not-amused-and-not-excited ethos, and now I'm evolving past that to experience the real joys of unironic fangirling.

LOVELOUD will definitely be one of the local events to pop up in the game, whether simply through using posters as background decoration, or actually making it the setting of a future episode. (My absolute dream would be to score Neon Trees as the featured local artist of the finale episode.)

Then, there's Salt Lake Comic Con last weekend! I met a bunch of local artists, sharing my vision for Space Bard and collecting business cards to reach out about featuring their work in the game. I still have a pile of business cards to go through and actually send those emails. To gather info on local artists and musicians who might want to collaborate, I made a Google Form and wrote 2 different Gmail templates that make reaching out really quick as long as I can get an email address they check frequently. I'll probably post more on my whole outreach strategy in the future, because community involvement has become one of my biggest focuses in the process.

Space Bard Style Club

To bring authentic diversity and representation to the cast of characters in Space Bard, I came up with a strategy that I'm really proud of: the Space Bard Style Club. I reach out to other trans/nonbinary folks who are transitioning and need support. I send them money to help buy the new clothes they need, and they send back selfies to be used as character references for the game! Here's some concept sketches of the first Space Bard Style Club member:



If you or anyone you know might be interested in getting some assistance with self-expression while also contributing to a scrappy underdog indie game, all you/they need to do is/are fill out this Google Form.

Artist Ex Machina

The above concept sketch is by my friend Tehya Clark who will likely be doing all the art for the project now! I'm extremely lucky to have her on the team now. We're both on the same scholarship and she's genuinely enthusiastic about making this game together, so she assures me I don't have to feel terrible that I can barely afford to pay her. We had a long conversation about my vision for the story, and here are more of the notebook scribbles to come out of that:








'Tis the season  Evil

Halloween is my favorite holiday and I'm getting really into it this year. I'm doing a Twitter thread of my festive accolades throughout the month of October.
Logged

nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #32 on: October 05, 2017, 10:31:58 AM »

Fall Break

Having had the most hectic work week of my life, gone to comic con and gotten sick, quitting my job, and just barely managing to stay not-quite-on-top of my schoolwork, I've just gotten home after my last class before Fall Break and the last 2 weeks of constant stress are over. This is me:





I was going to go do gamedev co-working after class but it really is time to settle down and take care of myself. I have 10 whole days to get some dev work done, plus 12 more hours of free time every week to work with.

So I'm sitting down to watch Plan 10 From Outer Space (another Utah cult film) and play Hyper Light Drifter and stuff.  Tears of Joy
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 11:00:33 AM by nathy grrrl » Logged

nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2017, 02:54:37 PM »

Unity is killing me and all I needed was a convincing alternative

With Unity I was able to make a solid enough rhythm game prototype in a matter of hours. You saw a GIF of that in the first post:



I couldn't exactly have done that in a custom engine. For a minute there, it seemed like Unity would be an amazing fit for this project.

Then my friends pointed out I never wanted to make a rhythm game in the first place: I wanted to make another story game, and then things with Unity started spiraling towards a bad place.

I've tried multiple times to sit down and prototype the UI, dialogue, and point-and-click systems I have designed on paper. Doing it in Unity has been so mind-bogglingly frustrating I finally started to consider using a different engine. (I don't remember if I mentioned it in this log, but I put serious thought into the feasibility of a pure-Twine implementation.) Today I once again sat down and opened Unity, and it happened again. So much gets in the way of my narrative-building process, it's unacceptable. Angry

Rewind several years to me as a li'l kiddo learning I could actually, literally make video games in an engine called XNA. This was unimaginably awesome. (Tangentially, R.I.P. XBLIG... if anyone wants to ironically buy my first game, Space Hordes--whoops, looks like they took it down ages ago, never mind the shameless plug.) Java/LibGDX, JavaScript/Phaser, and C++/SDL just never captured the same feeling of pure love and joy for a gamedev workflow, and I've tried booting up MonoGame a couple of times to get the same feeling. There was always some random problem or another.

Around this time last year, I was at Steam Dev Days getting ready to launch my Steam debut, The Whisperer in Darkness. I met a ton of awesome people (including actual childhood hero Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software), one of whom was Ethan Lee, the main developer of a project called FNA. In the thick of a project in C++/SDL, I didn't look much further. Since I'm fed up with Unity, I'm finally gonna give FNA a shot.

This post by Ethan was also pretty convincing that Unity is a more dangerous way to go in the long term.
Logged

JobLeonard
Level 10
*****



View Profile
« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2017, 11:27:31 PM »

"Last commit was nine hours ago"

Good sign Smiley
Logged
nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #35 on: October 16, 2017, 10:08:21 AM »

Or...

Fractive, an open-source hypertext system my friend Josh Sutphin is developing. (Check out his game, too.)

I think I've finally pinpointed the real reasons I've had no tangible progress since coming back to school (hint, it's not because I'm a worthless piece of shit, it's because I've had unrealistic expectations). What I've learned:

  • A full-time school schedule does not allow me to make full-scale commercial games that will compete in the wider indie market by myself
  • Concerns about marketing, pricing, and distribution were consuming far disproportionate amounts of time for such a supposedly personal project
  • At this stage I need much faster iterations on mechanics and narrative than any compiled game engine can give me.

So, why Fractive and not Twine?



Probably shouldn't use it yet? Psh.

Josh raised some great points about Twine which I hadn't quite put my finger on while making Stream of Pretentiousness, but now that I've heard them, they're so damn true. Its scripting is bizarre and because it tries to be accessible to non-coders (a good thing!) it ends up putting awkward limitations on someone coming from a coding background (bad thing for me personally). It didn't take me very long experimenting with Fractive to see that it was far more elegant and well-suited to the kind of things I'll be doing in Space Bard.

And making it in an open-source hypertext generator handily solves a lot of the other major issues I've been having: the game is free now! I don't have to keep freaking out about marketability or publishing. I just put it on my website and maybe itch.io  Wink

The zine is still a strong possibility for a way to monetize without compromising the game itself.

To handle the more complex UI and graphical things I want to do, I might also use Phaser, an open-source HTML5 game library I used for my past project Brickety Split. For now though, I'm just doing dinky hypertext stuff so I can get to implementing the narrative as quickly as I can. I'm really happy to be making big changes this early in the game that will let me centralize my time on the parts of the project where my heart really lies.  Kiss

It took less than an hour to make a barebones prototype of the Vibe with a janky visualization using emojis:

Logged

PsycheMac
Level 1
*



View Profile WWW
« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2017, 04:14:33 PM »

Hey I watched the game dev talk video you posted. I really liked how free and open it was. A lot of talks can be rigid and technical but yours helped shake the mind up which is definitely in the spirit of game development. Or at least it should be. It's cool to see how involved you are in the game dev scene and how much you help people out. The idea of giving people money to help them out in exchange for a donation of their image to art is awesome as well.
Logged



Twitter: @PsycheMac
nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2017, 07:30:20 PM »

@PsycheMac I'm really glad to hear that! My biggest regret about that talk is that in my hurry, I named my sticky note game "Sticky Invaders" when it should obviously have been "Screen Space Invaders."

I was very inspired by the various GDC Microtalk sessions I've watched over the years (online, not physically at GDC--yet). I can't seem to find any of the complete session videos, but here's one of the Microtalks by one of my favorite designers, Emily Short:





If I remember right, this is the video where she talks about making games that allow for characters who can be tortured. The more I work with the Vibe and think about different possible mechanics to work around it, I think it's an excellent system for making sure the Bard can be tortured, indeed.  Evil

Edit: As a bonus (and because I forgot to really explain the concept) here's another awesome Microtalk from the same year:





It's brilliant because they run, like, 10 of these 5-minute talks in a single session the length of a regular talk. It forces the speakers to really distill their genius. Smiley
Logged

nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2017, 09:28:22 PM »

I promise this is what actual progress looks like



What you see is the unholy first-iteration lovechild of combining Fractive with the Phaser HTML5 game library. The big black square is the Phaser game window (created by a skeleton example I copy/pasted into my JS files), the green \ box is supposed to be a sample sprite but I haven't added the file itself, and the two scrolling frames are a debug "history" view, and current view of the Fractive story. Next step is to put them in separate divs at the very least.  Cheesy I think for now I'll leave things (visually at least) in a "ne'er the twain shall meet" layout where the Fractive text just appears in a box below the game window. I plan to have the Phaser game drive most of the Fractive logic. It's getting late but next I was gonna implement an inventory with clickable sprites that would trigger Fractive passages describing the items.

To get things as they are, I had to make my first real modifications to Fractive in order to create a smooth build process that integrates the phaser.js dependency with Fractive's output HTML file. Here's to adding Typescript to my language repertoire (is it really as easy as it seems??)  Coffee
Logged

nathy after dark
Level 6
*


Open Sourceress


View Profile WWW
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2017, 12:36:49 PM »

Inspirations of the last week

With this project's purported focus on local culture, whenever I see free copies of the local City Weekly or SLUG magazine, especially ones with awesome punk-esque front page art as they so frequently catch my eye with, I always pick them up and feel pressured to read them and keep up with local punk in much greater detail than I do. It's exhausting and I almost never end up reading them... until now:



I've decided local Satanists seem really cool after reading that article, so I miiiiight actually try to go to a meetup.  Who, Me?

Then there's Wild Seed by Octavia Butler:



It's an excellent story, well-written, and deals with shapeshifting in extremely interesting ways (also partly having to do with sex/gender fluidity)! I'm glad this was the last thing I bought from the bookstore before quitting.

Lastly, my first dive into learning more about Space:



I think I'm starting to appreciate and experiment with the balance between research for a project that is highly topical, but feels obligatory, and also making sure to keep it fun. I have a ton of other Space books I picked up to research from, but most of them are dense as heck!  Angry I'm starting simple.

Lastly, I'm replaying Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door because another cool dev log on TIG made me nostalgic.



The story's great (and actually gets decently spooky at points). It's hilarious, surprisingly existential, and so out of all the above recommendations, this one (which started out as the indulgent, just-have-fun component of inspiration) will undoubtedly have a direct influence on Space Bard, too.

EDIT: I forgot one more thing. Even though I'm a little disappointed with Rick and Morty season 3 (for almost the opposite reasons of all the assholes coming out of the woodwork to complain) I found a bunch of remixes on SoundCloud that have really brought the emotional best parts of the season to the surface. Playlist: Angst &/ Comfort
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 12:46:05 PM by nathy grrrl » Logged

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 6
Print
Jump to:  

Theme orange-lt created by panic