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1402163 Posts in 68045 Topics- by 61639 Members - Latest Member: pevogames

August 18, 2022, 05:39:22 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsMOONBRIAR - AAA Visual Novel | New Characters & Approaching Milestone
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oldblood
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« Reply #120 on: July 27, 2022, 12:36:15 PM »

DEVLOG XXI | Dialogue & Decisions + Maps

I know, I know. I'm as surprised as you to be doing a devlog less than 2 weeks since the last update. But, I am back with another chunky Devlog. Today, I wanted to talk through a few new updates and share a gameplay video with you all. Unfortunately, you'll need to listen to me talking you through this scene, but hopefully, it will showcase how dialogue works and give demonstrations on Decisions (and how they impact other characters, the story, etc). You'll also get some snippets of things like Traits and the updated Inventory UI. Please bear in mind:

  • This video is just Alpha gameplay. Content, writing, etc. is all subject to change.
  • This video is missing things like Voiceovers, Music, SFX, etc.
 
Alpha Gameplay: Meet some characters and see how decisions work...



Your decisions can give you Diplomacy, Combat, or Willpower. Which empowers you to make game-changing decisions.

The New Profile & Inventory UI

EXITS & MAPS

In other news, I've been busy trying to implement a travel system to get around the world of Moonbriar. In the Profile screen, you can see that you'll have access to maps of either the Overworld or the Underworld, and you can essentially 'Fast Travel' to any location via these maps. In addition to this, I'm also looking for a way for the Player to be able to move from one area to another nearby area within each scene. This will be accomplished with 'Exits'. I think its important to add this as it gives the Player more of a feeling of spatial awareness and 'being there' when you can travel directly from one place to another.

At its heart, Moonbriar is a Visual Novel here to tell a story, so the gameplay is never going to be too in-depth. i.e. You're never going to 'WASD' around the world and engage in combat, etc. So I think things like Exits, Inventories, Traits, etc. are ways to add more traditional gameplay elements and feelings to a Visual Novel.

In the first iteration of Exits, when you first come to a scene, any Exits in that scene will flash for a few moments to show you where they are, then they will fade away (but still remain a little visible). When you hover over them, they will reveal the location you can travel to and fade back in. I'm trying to find a solution that will not cover or hide the beautiful artwork, but also give the Player a visual cue on where to click to leave one area for another. For Players who don't like to click from one area to the next, they will always be able to jump all the way across Moonbriar with the Maps.

Example of how Exits could function:

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have on the gameplay video or the exits/map system. Ideally, these first iterations of some of these features will eventually get improved after we do some closed demo testing and get more feedback from players on what they like or don't like. As always, thanks for reading!
« Last Edit: July 27, 2022, 12:59:44 PM by oldblood » Logged

Alain
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« Reply #121 on: July 28, 2022, 12:21:47 AM »

It was really cool to see a dialogue in action. Now I understand how you will have resources like diplomacy points, which you can use later-on.

I don't remember if it was asked before, but you are mentioning voice acting in your post. Do you plan to have every line voice acted or only key moments?
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Ramos
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« Reply #122 on: July 30, 2022, 09:05:33 AM »

I have just seen your youtube video and I had a flashback from when you only had some text and one character, good progress my friend the environments, menus, and tranzitions stand up to the character's quality, good job!!!!

 Gentleman
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oldblood
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« Reply #123 on: July 30, 2022, 03:43:04 PM »

I have just seen your youtube video and I had a flashback from when you only had some text and one character, good progress my friend the environments, menus, and tranzitions stand up to the character's quality, good job!!!!

 Gentleman

Thanks Ramos! Glad you like how it's shaping up. It's definitely starting to take a little bit more shape, which is pretty exciting. Good to see you still lurking around. Hope you're finding a good balance in work/life post-release!

It was really cool to see a dialogue in action. Now I understand how you will have resources like diplomacy points, which you can use later-on.

I don't remember if it was asked before, but you are mentioning voice acting in your post. Do you plan to have every line voice acted or only key moments?

Glad you found that helpful to show how it can work. Honestly, as a narrative-heavy "choices matter" type game, its really tricky to show gameplay as it you'll have no real context for characters, setting, where you're at in the narrative etc. so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to really show but hopefully the bits I do share will be helpful.

As far as the voice acting goes... Yes, that is still the plan to have all 20+ characters voiced for the entire game. That's going to be a huge undertaking whenever the time comes. Unfortunately, that likely wont be till late in development as we'll need the story not only fully written and implemented, but also polished and cleaned up before handing it off. Honestly, I've been a bit torn on keeping it included. I feel like it will do a lot to add more of the 'AAA' vibe I've been aiming for, and could also be helpful for people who don't like to read but are interested in playing. However, the cons are I do find myself sometimes trying to limit the number of narrative choices, varying dialogue etc. because I know that the more decisions I add the more voice acting work I'll eventually have to pay for. And obviously, in a narrative game you want as much choice and varying dialogue as possible. So, it's a difficult balance to strike...
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Alain
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« Reply #124 on: August 02, 2022, 11:49:41 PM »

As far as the voice acting goes... Yes, that is still the plan to have all 20+ characters voiced for the entire game. That's going to be a huge undertaking whenever the time comes. Unfortunately, that likely wont be till late in development as we'll need the story not only fully written and implemented, but also polished and cleaned up before handing it off. Honestly, I've been a bit torn on keeping it included. I feel like it will do a lot to add more of the 'AAA' vibe I've been aiming for, and could also be helpful for people who don't like to read but are interested in playing. However, the cons are I do find myself sometimes trying to limit the number of narrative choices, varying dialogue etc. because I know that the more decisions I add the more voice acting work I'll eventually have to pay for. And obviously, in a narrative game you want as much choice and varying dialogue as possible. So, it's a difficult balance to strike...

That makes total sense. I can see how it might be a good idea to put this decision off for later but as you say, it influences your writing... that's a tough spot. I can imagine the voice acting would cost you a considerable amount altogether (voice actors, editing, implementation). And I guess it won't help to have entry level voice actors, it must be spot on or it could otherwise even hurt your game's quality, because your are setting a high bar through the visuals. But as you say, it does not need to be decided today and I am sure you will make a good decision.
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oldblood
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« Reply #125 on: August 13, 2022, 09:15:05 AM »

DEVLOG XXII | New Characters & Approaching Milestone

I probably sound like a broken record, but it's pretty crazy to see that August is already halfway done. We're a matter of weeks away from the final quarter of 2022 and that blows my mind. Unfortunately, this will not be as "chunky" an update as the last few updates I've made. Partially because I was traveling for about a week and got no work done, and partially because a lot of the work that's being done right now is behind-the-scenes work that is leading us to our first really major milestone: ACT 1

We've written about 90% of the first act (of four) and are really just in the polishing phase for the last parts that have already been outlined and I've implemented about 80% of it all into the game so my hope is that we're just a few weeks away from having the entire first act both written AND implemented into the game. I'm so ready. It feels like its taken forever to get the first act done, but hopefully this will get faster from here.

Once Act 1 is complete and implemented, we'll be doing a lot of internal testing to ensure that it's fully playable and that all the scenes are tied together properly, working as expected, and just generally getting a sense for how the game feels. A big part of that testing will also be to determine if the game needs "more". i.e. other gameplay features that need to be implemented etc. I don't want to immediately jump into the 2nd Act until we feel like we've got the first act really cleaned up and have enough core features for it to be entertaining for players. Yes, it is primarily a story--but we want enough other elements to help spice some of that up.

***

Separately, we've also hit a big milestone of completing 50% of all the core assets needed in the game (environments, characters, animations, etc). Obviously, as we get deeper into the game we will uncover other assets we need but in terms of the core things that we know we'll need, it's awesome to see we've already made about half of them. So while we're only a quarter of the way through implementing the story, we're getting a lot of assets churned out. Some of those assets include these awesome new characters:

Meet Aster: The Librarian & Warren Historian

Meet Hogweed: The Local Bully

As always I'd love to hear any thoughts or feedback you have on the characters. Hopefully you're all continuing to find success with your own projects. Thanks for reading and following this project. It's always so encouraging when I hear from you all.
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« Reply #126 on: August 13, 2022, 12:29:54 PM »

I just looked through this thread, and this is game looks really lovely so far! I really appreciate the care you've put into the art direction across the backgrounds, characters, and UI. One thing I really like about the character designs I've seen so far is the variety of fur patterns, body shapes, and clothing choices I'm seeing. I love detailed and carefully considered costume design- that's one of the main things I appreciate about the characters in Moonbriar so far.
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oldblood
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« Reply #127 on: August 14, 2022, 07:55:45 AM »

I just looked through this thread, and this is game looks really lovely so far! I really appreciate the care you've put into the art direction across the backgrounds, characters, and UI. One thing I really like about the character designs I've seen so far is the variety of fur patterns, body shapes, and clothing choices I'm seeing. I love detailed and carefully considered costume design- that's one of the main things I appreciate about the characters in Moonbriar so far.

Thanks so much jackalhearts! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and leave feedback. Character diversity is definitely a big part of what we're aiming for. There are 20+ characters in the game, which can be hard for some players to keep up with so we wanted to ensure that every single one was very distinctive in their look, personality, style etc. Which is pretty challenging. Luckily, the world of rabbits is filled with a ton of breeds so there was a lot of inspiration to draw from.

***

Small Update: Our Discord is live. I know TigSource is primarily just developers, but if you'd like to chat with me about game development, see behind-the-scenes art and videos for Moonbriar or Masochisia then feel free to jump on! I'll also eventually coordinate alpha and beta testing/feedback there.

CLICK TO JOIN THE DISCORD - https://discord.gg/kdhP7HTzyF

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Alain
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« Reply #128 on: August 14, 2022, 11:46:37 PM »

That's cool, see you on the Discord Smiley
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