Monday, August 24, 2009

Work on recession and college stuff

College has started again, which might slow down work on recession a little! But my schedule leaves me a lot of free time. I spent a lot of time this weekend on College newspaper-related work, like the cover image that I finished today:

It was fun enough to work on. I recorded the job with camstudio, I'll probably put it together as a video on youtube later this week. For now I got more stuff to finish for the paper. Working on this big picture up there made me realize how awkward I still am with a tablet. I couldn't keep a steady hand and it took a ridiculous amount of time to get clean lines and curves. The result is really messy, but you probably can't notice much with that shrunk down version (the real one is 5 times that size at full resolution)
Also my computer's overheating problems really showed when I was working on this. The combination of recording with CamStudio and drawing with the tablet (with pressure sensitivity etc) made my core temperature skyrocket. It reached 86 degrees at one point, and my core's maximum temperature is supposed to be 70. I took frequent breaks to let it cool off. I probably won't record tablet drawings again for some time, it's too much hassle to stop every 5 minutes.

Aside from that, I did some more work on Recession, the details of which I still cant really talk about in great detail, its all final battle and endgame stuff. I must have spent about 6 days so far on that. Especially for the visual side, its a very long job, and its still far from over. A lot of animation to deal with and very large sprites to produce. It is sort of frustrating to know most players might never get to see all of that work if the game ends up being too hard. It is also frustrating to know that I can't really showcase that kind of spoiler art, even though its the most impressive looking work of the whole project, by a wide margin! There is some of it I can show though, like this minor enemy that appears during the boss fight. Its shown here at 4X:

After that's done, I'll work on getting a fully playable but visually unpolished version as soon as possible so technical problems can be found early. The to-do list for the "fully playable" milestone:
-Finish the obscure endgame stuff (what im on right now)
-Place the new boss battles in the maze (for a big part of summer I scripted fun boss fights, tested them, but I never put them in their context)
-Build the saving system (didn't even start to work on this, not even sure how saving will work exactly yet)
-Rebuild an area of the maze that doesn't work (the factory. Not that youd know what I'm talking about, but its the factory.)
-Rebuild or populate some rooms that are boring
-Make up some system to deal with dialogues, and then place the main ones in the game. (the other secondary dialogues will be for later)
-Put up some temporary interfaces for the pause menu, game options, etc.
-Build the shop interface, just a functional one for now
-Finish the basic map display
-Probably forgot something on that list.

At this point the game should be fully playable from beginning to end, so ill put it out for testing to friends and on The Poppenkast and to others who'd like to help out.
Then I'll do a very long job of polishing the hell out of the visuals, mostly by adding unique scenery elements to certain rooms. Then I'll draw and implement the basic story of the game which is just told through a few storyboards at the beginning and end. Then I'll finally replace the temporary interfaces (like the pause menu) with the final prettier ones, and that should be it.

Absolutely no clue as to when that will all be done, though. Hopefully soon?

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