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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsAlex Hill: Whispers at White Oak Inn - A mystery, point-and-click adventure
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Author Topic: Alex Hill: Whispers at White Oak Inn - A mystery, point-and-click adventure  (Read 5528 times)
hannahontrek
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« on: May 22, 2023, 03:54:13 PM »



Concept:

Alex Hill is a first-person point and click mystery game in the vein of the Nancy Drew computer game series, Dust: A Tale of the Wired West and Myst.

It will be story driven mixed with some puzzles and investigating/snooping.

I’m creating it in Unreal Engine using a plugin called Narrative, a fantastic asset that will make my life a lot easier.

Story:

A young woman died in an accident at a sleepy inn. Now her ghost is appearing, accidents are happening and an employee is receiving threatening letters. You’ve been asked to investigate.

My Goal:

To finish.  Smiley
I’ve worked on other people’s games but I’ve never solo deved like I’m doing with this one.

Challenges:

Blueprints in Unreal Engine. I have some experience, but I have a lot to learn. It’s been a fun challenge learning new things.

Crowd-funding. I’ll be doing an indiegogo campaign once I have a working demo of the first area done. One of the biggest things that I’ll need help funding is voice overs. I’d like the game to be fully voiced.

That’s it for the moment. Thanks for reading!

Check out my website at alexhillmystery.com

 Kiss  Wishlist it on Steam! Kiss







« Last Edit: May 21, 2024, 12:03:26 PM by hannahontrek » Logged
hannahontrek
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2023, 10:52:43 AM »

Things are going good so far. I'm really enjoying this whole process.

I'm learning and re-learning blueprints. I'm an artist more than a programmer so it's definitely stretching my brain. I was able to program the first puzzle in the game. Woohoo! I tried to program an inventory system, followed three different tutorials. None of them worked (probably because of me  Smiley ) so I ended up purchasing an inventory system by Dynomega in the UE marketplace. Highly recommend it. The plugin is well done, and the guy who programmed it is super helpful.

I didn't think the game development would be easy, but I have grown in respect for programmers already.

I've had a lot going on in my life the last couple of months, but in two weeks I will be focusing my time on this game. Very excited to start doing that.
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2023, 06:30:12 AM »

Someone said that Game development is 90% figuring out the bugs.

So true.

I solve one bug and immediately find another to solve.

Right now I've been working on a phone system. There will be a couple people you can call to help you on your case. I worked out the kinks on the system and it's working now!

My point and click camera system--which I thought was working fine--has one small glitch. Currently working the kinks out on that.


I've also been testing out Narrative 3, the dialogue system I'll be using for my game. It's working out pretty well so far. I've only tested out the basics, but it's supposed to be a pretty powerful plugin when it comes to dialogue heavy games.

All-in-all things are going pretty well so far.  Noir

Preview of the phone system:

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hannahontrek
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2023, 01:37:49 PM »

I've fixed the glitch in my camera system. Not entirely sure why it was glitching, but glad it's fixed.   Hand Clap

I'm having some trouble setting up animation for the Narrative plugin. Hoping to figure that out.

I have an outline for a story and I'm working on the script for the demo.

 Noir
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nathy after dark
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2023, 02:37:43 PM »

Noice!
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2023, 05:25:23 AM »

Thanks!
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2023, 05:08:05 AM »

I figured out the problem I was having with the animations. I was using the wrong skeleton. After figuring that out, everything was much more smoooth.

I also worked on the music for the title screen.

Today I'm working on my lighting skills.
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2023, 05:37:35 AM »

I got the basic setup of the main menu going with imagery and music. I'm also working on the navigation system, and I'm hoping to have a short working demo in the next couple of months!

Preview of the Main Menu

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hannahontrek
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2023, 05:33:32 AM »

I've been working on the navigation system. The way I'm setting it up is probably unconventional using a combination of blend cameras and pictures.



I initially had some trouble when I tried to use image plates for everything, so I switched over to using sprites. Not sure if I'll have issues with that along the way. Guess I'll find out! But here are the in-game results:

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hannahontrek
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2023, 04:39:08 AM »

In my game there are certain levels that need to be entered from different points. I was beating my head against a wall on Friday trying to understand how to make it work. I watched tutorials that mentioned option strings and how to access them from your game mode.

It took me awhile, but I finally got it working! It's cool too because my mind is starting to wrap around coding and blueprints. I remember the first few tutorials I watched about blueprints and feeling like a deer in the headlights trying to grasp all the nodes they were using. I'm feeling less and less like that.

Anyways, the levels I'm using for the demo are mostly setup. I'll finish the navigation for one of them today and then I'm going to setup a pause menu.
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nathy after dark
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2023, 05:24:46 PM »

Good work figuring that out! The way the camera moves and rotates reminds me of Phantasmagoria.
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2023, 10:41:42 AM »

Thank you!

Yeah, it definitely has that old-school point and click feel like Phantasmagoria.
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2023, 10:44:14 AM »

Current update:

I'm trying to wrap my head around save systems. I was able to get one part of my world to save, but I'm struggling to get my inventory to save because I'm using a plug-in. I also have to get my location to work because I'm using an unconventional method with setting different cameras as my view target.

I'll keep plugging away and trying and failing until something works!
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2023, 01:06:36 PM »

I was able to get the save system to work with the cameras!! Woohoo!

Basically I saved the location for the view camera and then, when I load the game up, I tell the Unreal to look for the closest actor with a tag and then set that as the view target.

Still having issues with saving the inventory.
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2023, 12:15:20 PM »

Everything is saving as it should! I feel like an Unreal Engine ninja today  Ninja

Many props to all game developers who have setup a save system in their game! It's no easy task.

Now I get to go back to work on some of the things that I find more fun like the characters, story and environments!
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2023, 08:38:47 AM »

I’m doing some debugging on the animation side of things. I was planning on using MetaHumans for my characters, but the two skeletons on the models are making it tricky to use with one of the plugins I’m using for the games.

If I can’t get the two skeletons working together I think I’m going to re-rig the models so that they only have one skeleton. That seems like it will be the best solution in the long run.

My current plan is to have a basic demo by the end of October. With this animation trouble I might not be able to meet that deadline, but I’m still going to try.  Smiley
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2023, 09:18:45 AM »

Thanks to the help of this lovely chap and his Narrative plugin knowledge, I was able to get the animations working! Woohoo!
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hannahontrek
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« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2023, 07:38:08 AM »

I've got another level setup! And I'm adding classic point and click comments to different items. It's going pretty smoothly at the moment, and I'll have a short demo next month!

My Indiegogo campaign pre-launch page is up and running! I'll be launching it towards the end of October   Grin Hand Joystick

I'm very excited about all of this.



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hannahontrek
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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2023, 08:54:08 AM »

Today I've got some exciting news! I've been working away and finally have something to show for it. A short demo for Alex Hill is now available!

Check it out: hannahontrek.itch.io/alexhill
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nathy after dark
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2023, 06:32:12 PM »

I'm playing the demo, and I've gotta say wow, there's a lot of pretty well-done 3d graphics in this if you're making them yourself along with doing the coding and graphics. The graphics are pretty serviceable, though I don't see them necessarily coming together to form a personality/vibe just yet. The most personality I see in the demo is your use of retro posters in the detective agency office, and "Good Coffee" in the hotel lobby. I haven't finished the demo yet but wanted to make sure to send some constructive feedback in case I run out of time. Controls-wise, sometimes it's hard to know where on the screen to click to accomplish a desired movement or rotation. Especially, turning 180 degrees to go the opposite way. Could it be a button you can always see instead of an invisible screen region that makes your mouse cursor change?

The 2 places so far where I was most frustrated trying to navigate were: entering the detective agency room where my desk is, and not being able to find my desk and click on the case file because it involved moving through multiple rows of desks and having to turn weird, AND trying to go upstairs in the hotel (where I assume my room will be) but I can't click on the stairs to go up them unless I'm facing them directly, even though multiple other angles show the stairs so it seems like I should be able to just go up.

Congrats on doing the demo! Hope this helps.
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