Jaunty Journey survives the prototype phase

February 8, 2016Jaunty Journey

After some more iteration in the game design document, we’re comfortable locking a few things down and making Jaunty Journey our Q1 2016 project. That doesn’t leave much time to complete it, and we’ll almost certainly miss any sort of deadline, but goals need to be set.

This means changing a few things in the design, and by extension, the codebase. So I had to scrap a few things.

For example, the hour/minute system didn’t really make much sense. That level of granularity was too high, and we can get away with a day based on the intra-day events rather than an absolute time of day. I looked up old videos of Oregon Trail, and there really wasn’t a stretch of dead time longer than ~5 seconds where you just sat there, watching your wagon travel. Sooner or later, you would be interrupted by wagon-caulking, buffalo-hunting, member-mourning, or spoke-fixing.

Sleep tight, Sheep!
Sleep tight, Sheep!

Moral of the story? The Traveling phase of our game ought to be equally engaging, if not moreso. That means the stage of simply trucking along will be frequently broken up by the three daily minigames (Finding Food, Surviving Predators, Making Shelter), investigating notable objects along your path (containing lore, helping to create ambiance, or offering gameplay tips), and interacting with NPCs (see previous).

A small corollary of the simplification of the time of day system is that the save/load implementation will be a bit different as well. Instead of dropping you in at the last hour that you clocked in, and having to keep track of what specific “Phase” of the game you were in (“traveling just after Food minigame”, “in a menu”, etc.) the game will figure it out based on the last item(s) in your Log Book. (more…)

Stage Fright’s opening night

January 3, 2016Stage Fright

Stage Fright - Banner

Have you always wanted to become an actor, but ended up too scared to try it? Well, here’s your chance!

Stage Fright is the story of a poor, young fellow trying to make it in show business. The idea came up after hearing about Asylum Jam a few months ago. It’s about making a creepy/scary game, and our desire to create an art game wasn’t quite satisfied when we put the Ock project on hold a while back.

Check out the game page and prepare for this 20-minute interactive short story!

Stage Fright initial build release

January 2, 2016Stage Fright

I mean, we’re going off California’s time zone, right? (It’s about 2:30am Eastern on the 2nd.)

Here’s the initial Mac build, as promised. Might have one or two minor tweaks to make until the “full” release, and then metadata stuff like adding an icon graphic, proper credits in the readme, a blurb, etc.

Playthrough should clock in at around 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

A day late and all sound effects short

January 1, 2016Stage Fright

Happy new year! For better or for worse, we’ve officially missed the 2015 goal for Stage Fright, considering it turns January 1, 2016 on the west coast in about 15 minutes.

Worry not, it’s not completely a lost cause: here’s what the remaining list looks like:

  • Draw and animate the magic show performance day, which serves as the final act of the game
  • Draw and animate the title screen
  • Make two small art tweaks for legibility reasons
  • Prepare sound effects for the game
  • Prepare music tracks for the game (time permitting)

A title screen and sound/music. I think that’s doable for January 1, but hey, I was just wrong moments ago…

Starting the finale

December 27, 2015Stage Fright

Stage Fright’s end-of-year deadline is feeling a little closer than it should…

Final Task List:

  • Draw and animate the magic show performance day, which serves as the final act of the game
  • Draw and animate the title screen
  • Make two small art tweaks for legibility reasons
  • Prepare sound effects for the game
  • Prepare music tracks for the game (time permitting)

In the meantime, here’s a sneak preview of the ATM you’ll be using each night to deposit your daily earnings as you save up for that bus ticket home.

Stage Fright - ATM
What a slogan.