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June 20, 2021, 02:58:41 PM

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SolS
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« Reply #520 on: May 09, 2021, 06:44:52 PM »

46

Storyboarding

Back to writing, seems time away was still productive; got quite a bit done on my first day back to it.

Still hard to share so I did some even more rushed and crude outlines of whole scenes with questionable scale and perspective just to work things out but I'm sharing those too since they at least offer some insights into the writing. Cheesy

The least crude one is of the park to the left behind the square, some music being played and some dancing going on:



The next one, from the garden in front of the town hall, got some really weird perspective so hopefully the 3D view helps but basically they have a view of the square as people are gathering:



Finally with no 3D counterpart to offer since none of it's really modelled yet is the inside of the café, and as you can see I basically gave up by the second floor because I had what I needed anyway. Who, Me?



There's gonna be a big chandelier or something hanging from the ceiling too but it would be in the way here. Goes without saying the structures will look fancier in the end, some I even sort of know how, but I was only concerned with composition and overall shapes and positions here.

These people are harvesting seaweed and getting upset with the big steam ship coming in and creating some big waves; haven't really worked on the in-game geometry even as a blockout yet:




Then there's one I did completely in the editor because I remembered I had a whale model hidden in there. Tongue



Since this is the area I've worked the most on it actually looks kind of nice already so it makes up for the rest. Cheesy

I'll end on an overview of the areas:



It's greyish due to the fog really setting in here but you can see stuff well enough. The left side of the town no longer has the canal running through it since ships will dock on the outside instead, and this area is kind of going to be a secondary square or downtown area since most of the main square is just open space with little room for buildings. The big building is the hospital.


Looking really good!
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Alain
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« Reply #521 on: May 09, 2021, 10:44:50 PM »

Your devlogs are so much fun to read and look at and I can't stress enough that I enjoy you posting your pencilled concepts.

When I return to your devlog and get a glimpse of your working process, I somehow always get a feeling of "this is what indie game dev should be like".
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« Reply #522 on: May 10, 2021, 09:48:44 AM »

Looking great! Exciting seeing all those gray boxes turn into detailed structures over time Smiley
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« Reply #523 on: May 10, 2021, 10:03:12 AM »

I'm joining. This pencil -> 3D models process is amazing. Kiss
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #524 on: May 11, 2021, 01:13:46 AM »

Thank you all so much!

I'll see if I can share some more stuff that's not too spoilery but also not just "people are in places"… Tongue

When I return to your devlog and get a glimpse of your working process, I somehow always get a feeling of "this is what indie game dev should be like".

Haha, the lack of deadlines? Blink Hope you're enjoying your own process too, you seem to have fun in your logs/videos. c:
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« Reply #525 on: May 11, 2021, 07:48:11 AM »

Haha, the lack of deadlines? Blink

:D That made me laugh! But seriously, I think there is just a very creative vibe around jour project because it so clearly references "traditional" art and you utilize it in your process.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #526 on: May 11, 2021, 03:54:19 PM »

Missed a bunch of updates, it seems!

It's too bad writing is one of those things that are hard to share the process. I can tell you rely a lot on your drawings, which is really cool.
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« Reply #527 on: May 12, 2021, 03:52:04 AM »

Hope I can do more of them! c: I have some ideas…
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« Reply #528 on: May 13, 2021, 11:46:17 AM »

47

Writing

Thought another way to share updates on the writing without spoiling the story itself might be to talk a bit about how it happens.

No idea if my approach or my results are any good; this is not a guide, just a look in. Cheesy

Outline

I guess sometimes you start with a specific story idea or theme formed already. For Ao it's grown over time. But it's hard to write with no jumping off points at all, and I did have ideas, so I basically started out with all these random elements that I thought "would be interesting to have" but no real plan on how to fit them together at first.

Bits of setting, events, characters, props…

I know it's common to start with the ending and I had an idea for that early on too, just changed slightly over time.

Problem-solving

So the big thing I've found out works for me (and I imagine must be a common way to write) is to identify issues, like why or how a particular thing happened, or a way to get the player to a particular place, and spitball from there. This way almost everything I write ends up leading somewhere and being relevant to the story (or gameplay) as a whole and not just fluff.

I keep thinking about how I'm always hearing how the screenplay for Back to the Future is so "tight" with "not a single line of dialogue wasted" and sort of strive to achieve the same thing. Cheesy

And as a bonus once I actually get the ball rolling the script just seems to write itself sometimes now that the groundwork is there.

Back and forth

And that's where I come back to those initial random decisions. I keep getting surprised by how something I initially wrote just to have something ends up actually solving a problem later or suddenly makes sense in the context of the story in a way that I never planned or had in mind to begin with. Shocked

So now despite my problem-solving approach I still allow myself to add things like that since they help so much and, I suppose, make up the actual world-building and characters (which I care a lot about of course). I'm thinking that if I still have some disconnected leftovers by the end of it I'll cut them, but I'm keeping them in for now.

Progress

There's a lot more to be done, to be honest. I'm still shooting for a first draft of the script "soon". But it's really been coming together lately. I finally have a rough idea of the length of the whole time loop now, but it's difficult to translate into actual time. Some characters basically have their whole schedule planned out, and the main story is fairly complete. The big thing now is to get enough characters and paths through town in there for the player to find, and to come up with all the different ways you have to figure out where they are, and to write the events that led them there. The story that unfolds in tandem in the present timeline needs more work too.

tl;dr: it's going pretty well and I'm having fun but I won't be done for some time still Gomez

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diegzumillo
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« Reply #529 on: May 13, 2021, 12:40:06 PM »

So many good tips here Kiss  It almost sounds like you are describing animation, establishing key frames, doing inbetweens.
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« Reply #530 on: May 13, 2021, 10:59:01 PM »

Writing has so far been a tiny part of my dev process in comparison to all the rest. I'm looking forward to the time where I can sink my teeth into it and flesh out the outlines. Thanks for sharing your approach to that, it was interesting to read!
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« Reply #531 on: May 14, 2021, 01:21:47 AM »

Quote
I'm thinking that if I still have some disconnected leftovers by the end of it I'll cut them, but I'm keeping them in for now.
Or you can embrace their "Tom Bombadil" aspect and keep them in Wink
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« Reply #532 on: May 14, 2021, 07:02:41 AM »

Glad you liked it!

It almost sounds like you are describing animation

This analogy is really nifty, hadn't thought of that Who, Me?

Or you can embrace their "Tom Bombadil" aspect and keep them in Wink

Maybe if they're good enough! Just thinking it might be annoying if the game trains you to scrutinise details and then some of them just don't matter after all. Then again, if everything matters, maybe that makes the game too easy? Would love opinions on this to be honest.

Writing has so far been a tiny part of my dev process in comparison to all the rest. I'm looking forward to the time where I can sink my teeth into it and flesh out the outlines.

Ohh, planning on doing something involved for your game? I guess in my case it's almost like writing a film at this point, since everything just plays out and you get to watch it back, like some kind of 360 version of Her Story Cheesy Must be quite different to write something more directly interactive/responsive.
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« Reply #533 on: May 14, 2021, 09:47:40 AM »

Ohh, planning on doing something involved for your game? I guess in my case it's almost like writing a film at this point, since everything just plays out and you get to watch it back, like some kind of 360 version of Her Story Cheesy Must be quite different to write something more directly interactive/responsive.

Oh no, my writing is not nearly as evolved as what you are doing. My storytelling is straight forward and linear, but still I'm looking forward to flesh out places and characters Smiley
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #534 on: May 14, 2021, 10:00:32 AM »

You all are light years ahead of me on writing. I got to the point where I opened up google store and typed "plot maker thingie" "story writer automatic 2000".

For a self declared one-man-team I have a gigantic deficiency in this department haha
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« Reply #535 on: May 17, 2021, 07:49:25 AM »

This is helpful insight! Writing has been a huge obstacle for me with my own projects, so it's great to hear how you've been working your way through it.

Out of curiosity, has the writing informed or changed the mechanics in any way?

Maybe if they're good enough! Just thinking it might be annoying if the game trains you to scrutinise details and then some of them just don't matter after all. Then again, if everything matters, maybe that makes the game too easy? Would love opinions on this to be honest.

My initial reaction is I don't think the game would be too easy if everything matters since it seems that threads sometimes get tangled with each other, and untangling is challenge enough; but, sitting on it more, I think having some seemingly-irrelevant stuff could actually be a useful tool. They could lead to things that provide useful (or even just flavorful) insight into the characters and world. While these paths may be dead-ends in terms of physically progressing the story or unlocking new info for the "main quest", they could serve as a sort of hint system that doubles as a character/world-building tool.
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« Reply #536 on: May 19, 2021, 03:29:42 AM »

What engine is it?
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #537 on: May 19, 2021, 05:56:51 AM »

Getting super interested in hearing what sort of writing you've all been up to!! Blink ^ Blink

Out of curiosity, has the writing informed or changed the mechanics in any way?

Yeah, a bit! And the town layout too, to make sure you can see something from another spot and so on. I'm getting increasingly into the idea of having present timeline comments from the narrators in the form of HUD text bubbles at specific points in their stories, and maybe adding "bookmarks" there, or your own, kind of like the way comments work on SoundCloud Tongue Will have to see where that goes!

My initial reaction is I don't think the game would be too easy if everything matters since it seems that threads sometimes get tangled with each other, and untangling is challenge enough; but, sitting on it more, I think having some seemingly-irrelevant stuff could actually be a useful tool. They could lead to things that provide useful (or even just flavorful) insight into the characters and world. While these paths may be dead-ends in terms of physically progressing the story or unlocking new info for the "main quest", they could serve as a sort of hint system that doubles as a character/world-building tool.

I think I agree! Extra stuff that you can catalogue the same way as the hints you do end up using for progression, but that you don't necessarily do anything with. Might also work out in terms of having multiple solutions to a problem for replayability, still working that aspect out…

What engine is it?

Mine! c: There's a recent-ish picture earlier in the thread.
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« Reply #538 on: May 19, 2021, 06:28:29 AM »

It's coming along so well! I need to catch up reading the posts but it looks great  Smiley
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« Reply #539 on: May 19, 2021, 06:36:03 AM »

Thanks! C:
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