This post is a status update, which is how I track progress specific to my game. Check out my timeline to see what I've recently accomplished.
I’ve spent every day of the past two weeks working on story. The good news is that it was worth the effort. There is a noticeable jump in quality, and it makes me feel a bit of pride for the product. I’m now optimistic that one or two more rounds of polish along with some sound and music will make it a worthy purchase for gamers. The bad news is that I still have one or two more rounds of polish to go, which turns into 2-4 weeks of work. Music starts on May 4th, so at least I have a concrete deadline driving me. Otherwise, I fear that I could tinker on this forever.
Specifically, I went through each scene and added a few items:
- Blinking faces
- Parallax movement
- Basic animation
- Adjusted timing of text and camera movements
- Made chat bubbles come in and leave mid conversation
The best way to illustrate this is to look at a scene before and after that changes. Here is the first version with no rounds of polish:
And now, here is that same scene with movement:
As you can see, it already feels more alive. Imagine another round or two of incremental improvement and you’re left with a decent end product.
One huge aspect of story is getting help from others. So far, I have Mike Waterston helping me with script, and Scott Pellico helping with implementation. Another pair of eyes provides so much worth, so if you’re in a similar situation you should definitely ask for help and feedback. Here are some examples of the implementation feedback I’m getting.
- Wider establishing shot on scene X
- Conversation too lengthy; need shot from different angle at 2:05
- Closure needed after scene X … add dialogue?
- Hide speaker bubbles when they’re not involved with the scene
- SceneX is too still. Pan very slowly, or add dust / light movement.
If you’re open to feedback and criticism, show your work early and often as it helps a ton.
While the telling of the story is going well, there are a few technical concerns I have to overcome in the next few weeks.
- Work on all devices.
- Fix memory leaks with preloading.
- Figure out how to make lighting and effects look realistic.
I have a rough idea of how I can approach each of those, but I’ll hold off discussing them in depth until I have more information.