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February 19, 2019, 10:03:26 AM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsThistledown : a Tragedy of Blood
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Author Topic: Thistledown : a Tragedy of Blood  (Read 3151 times)
andhedrew
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« on: April 19, 2018, 10:19:44 AM »






(Amazing music by: https://twitter.com/pixelouix)




Why I'm making Thistledown:

I believe games' potential as a storytelling medium is huge. I wrote Thistledown as a story-driven game, with a focus on telling a story that's worth telling.


The script

When I had made the script as good as I could, I sent it out to a group of script advisors. Among them were scriptwriters, directors, and creative writing experts. I had them tear the script apart, sparing not my feelings, because I want it to be as good as it can be. I couldn't be more thrilled with the results - the Thistledown script is tight, emotional, and I'm incredibly proud of it. Through their help, it's become something more than I could produce on my own.

But why go to all of this trouble?
Most video games don't need much of a story – "Plumber on drugs saving a princess from turtles" is all you need for most games. I believe that the history of games as lacking in story has caused game-makers to under-invest in story. Many games are fantastic with little or no story, but the potential for games as story-telling devices is amazing. I Chose to put a whole year+ into this story and my world, because I believe that the effort will being forth a powerful narrative, in a deeply interesting world. I can't wait to share it with you!


Overview:

The earth  was running out of time. Humanity was looking to the stars for a new place to live, but lack of meaningful advances in space travel meant it was unlikely that humans would be able to find a habitable planet before the end of Earth's lifespan.

Then, a group of time-travel hobbyists discovered what could be the key to humanity's survival: they unlocked the door to a winding labyrinth of ancient, subspace paths, which seemed to be constructed by an alien race, and subsequently abandoned.

The paths appeared to lead to countless other planets, and indeed other universes.

The best minds and computers were put to work untangling the twisted navigational logic of the roads, and in a few years the first inhabitable planets were discovered and recorded. As a safety measure, we stocked the planets with different kinds of life - rabbits, monkeys, dogs, plants - and studied the effects of each planet's environment on living tissue. Some test subjects failed to thrive for unknown reasons, and humanity abandoned these troublesome planets and moved on.

This is the story of one such planet.

Gameplay:

A side-scrolling game which is primarily focused on story and place. Mechanically light (like To the Moon), but with some combat.
A focus on telling story, interesting characters and world. You'll explore the world and experience the story through conversations and cutscenes.






Wiki:
https://thistledown.wikia.com/wiki/Thistledown_Wiki


Get notified:
If you would like to be e-mailed when this game comes out, that's over here: http://www.andhegames.com/thistledown.

Who am I anyway?
I'm Andrew. I've spent the past few years writing and Kickstarting tabletop RPGs, including The Cloud Dungeon, and making tiny video games.


Updates:

April 16th, 2018: Drawing, drawing, drawing, and saving.
May 3, 2018: Perfect pixels and evil KAKO.
May 11, 2018: Populating the village.
May 17, 2018: Prologue, chapters.
May 24, 2018: Fades...
May 31, 2018: REALLY Big Thistles, chance encounters.
June 7, 2018: A miscellany of animation [GIFS]
June 14, 2018: Non-visual improvements...
June 21, 2018: Demo! (video only, playable version to come)
September 8, 2018: Script evaluation
September 24, 2018: Wiki added (see above)!
October 3, 2018: New teaser trailer
November 30, 2018: Script experts, a new perspective.
December 7, 2018: New screenshot
January 9, 2019: Portrait Painting

« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 01:19:18 PM by andhedrew » Logged
SamLouix
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2018, 04:50:23 PM »

I am already a huge fan. Going to drop you an E-Mail.
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andhedrew
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2018, 06:44:15 PM »

I am already a huge fan. Going to drop you an E-Mail.

Thanks!! And may I say, you've got yourself a new fan of Healing Process: Tokyo - it looks lovely and important.
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SamLouix
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2018, 03:00:17 AM »

What a nice guy! I spot a bromance  Gomez
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2018, 04:54:10 AM »

The graphics and colors look very nice! I especially like the level of detail in the first shot, with the yellow sky and all the city/ruins stuff.
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andhedrew
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2018, 12:52:59 PM »

The graphics and colors look very nice! I especially like the level of detail in the first shot, with the yellow sky and all the city/ruins stuff.

Thanks! I'm having fun learning pixel art.   Smiley
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andhedrew
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2018, 05:31:37 PM »

Drawing, drawing, drawing, and saving.

This week, I've added a save system, with obligatory menu:



And I've been drawing lots of Thistles, which our main character will be carrying around for most of the game (this should animate, if not I don't know how to properly post animated gifs on this forum. Shrug):



I've also been building out some of the cut scenes in the early game, and drawing profile pictures, like this friendly Kouneli villager:



...and I've been drawing concepts for the High Fovos, the all-powerful folk who are the source of all magic in this world. Very much inspired by the faeries from Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrel:


If you want to use magic in the world of Thistledown, you have to have a contract with a Fovos. They're the only ones who can work magic, and they constantly try to set you up to suffer because of your contract with them. They like it if you get the worse side of the deal, and even better if the contract brings you unexpected pain.


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andyfromiowa
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2018, 07:59:57 PM »

Great choice on the color palette. Sounds like an interesting premise, too. Definitely following!
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andhedrew
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« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2018, 08:59:36 AM »

Great choice on the color palette. Sounds like an interesting premise, too. Definitely following!

Thank you! I made the palette myself, taking color inspiration from the glorious comic strip Little Nemo in Slumberland. Smiley It's kind of a big, messy palette, but I like how it's turned out.
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MrHassanSan
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« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2018, 10:17:04 AM »

As a writer I'm really intrigued by the world you've set up! In the game, are we concerned at all with the humans who've abandoned the planet, or are they more part of the general worldbuilding?
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andhedrew
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 11:54:58 AM »

As a writer I'm really intrigued by the world you've set up! In the game, are we concerned at all with the humans who've abandoned the planet, or are they more part of the general worldbuilding?

The humans make a brief appearance, but we're not too concerned with them. The inhabitants of the world are not aware of the existence of humans at this time. They're at the point where tribes are diminishing and agricultural cities are forming - They're not technologically advanced enough to be concerned with what else is out in the universe.

Good to meet you!
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andhedrew
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 09:19:49 AM »

Perfect pixels, evil KAKO.

Greetings!!

I was noticing some squashy pixels, so this week I built a pixel-perfect scaling system. Now, whatever size your screen, you'll be seeing crisp, non-squashed pixels. I also added a subtle pattern if there's any border:



I've also been building out some new environments, and working on the storytelling scenes at the beginning of the game:



Another portrait (I've been drawing so many of them Smiley)



Backstory!
So, for those of you interested in the world of Thistledown, I'll be posting a little backstory each week, until I run out! There won't be any major plot spoilers, but if you really want to go into the game without any knowledge about the world at all, don't read ahead.

The accursed Rabbits (Kako)
The Accursed Rabbits are evil, tribal rabbits who slice their ears into ribbons, who wear their teeth to points, who wear the blood of their enemies, who partake of flesh. Their minds have been twisted and undone for generations, and now there are none left who have the capacity for thought beyond survival. They are generally jet black or pure white, with a high occurrence of albinos with livid pink eyes.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 09:25:09 AM by andhedrew » Logged
andhedrew
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2018, 10:46:15 AM »

Populating the village

This week, I've been making a myriad of fixes, and populating the village with Kouneli!





Portrait
The tribe's chieftain, and Oni's father.



Backstory
So, for those of you interested in the world of Thistledown, I'll be posting a little backstory each week, until I run out! There won't be any major plot spoilers, but if you really want to go into the game without any knowledge about the world at all, don't read ahead.

The Kouneli

* Tribal society
* Gatherers
* Have small magic that allows them to help plants grow, help them hide, etc.

The Kouneli are Oni's people. They live in tiny scattered tribes. Each tribe plants a guardian thistle in the spring of each year, in a ceremony called the Renewal Rite. The guardian thistles grow to great heights, and the Kouneli believe that the thistles watch over the tribe, keeping them from harm.

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andhedrew
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 10:37:23 AM »

Prologue, chapters
This week, in addition to myriad fixes+additions to content, I added a prologue! Here are a handful of screens:










Also, chapter screens:



Portrait: crazy monkey dude!


Backstory
So, for those of you interested in the world of Thistledown, I'll be posting a little backstory each week, until I run out! There won't be any major plot spoilers, but if you really want to go into the game without any knowledge about the world at all, don't read ahead.

The Klosi (monkeys)

Had strong magic, but were foolish and had their powers taken away from them by a High Fovos. The only power they have left is the ability to spin things. They use this ability to power clockwork, and are the most industrialized  culture.
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andhedrew
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« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2018, 05:12:11 PM »

Fades



*black fade* *white fade* *black fade* *white fade*

Details.  Wink

I built a white fade into the game, which I'll need in the future.

I also rebuilt my camera to have more flexibility, and added screenshake to my toolkit:



(wait for it...)

...and I've been drawing many things, including the beginnings of a world map:





Portrait time! Badger concept art:



The Asvos (badgers)

Notes:
* Keeper of magical contracts
* Impartial arbiters between the Fovos and the animals
* Experts in magical law


That's the highlights from this week! Thanks for keeping an eye on my progress. Wink
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and
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« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2018, 11:14:16 PM »

This looks very intriguing.

The prologue screens immediately got me interested.
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andhedrew
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« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2018, 04:51:19 AM »

This looks very intriguing.

The prologue screens immediately got me interested.

Thank you!!

(Mable and the Wood is gorgeous, by the way - *wishlisted*)
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andhedrew
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« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2018, 11:57:06 AM »

Really big thistles, expanding the world.

Hello! Here's a visual summary of what I've been working on this week:

Big Thistles



Stories



Chance encounters



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« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2018, 01:13:50 PM »

Some epic dialogue you've got going on there  Wink
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Rarykos
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« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2018, 12:03:36 AM »

Holy shit, you know I wasn't really expecting bunnies with that title "Thistledown: The Tragedy of Blood"

I'm really intrigued Shocked

Reminds me heavily of OneShot and this style of RPGmaker games, relying heavily on story, To The Moon, that kind of stuff. Makes me wanna play it!

I'd love to see more!
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