Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Issuing Assignments

Who knew writing NPCs for four individual story paths could be so difficult and taxing? Joking, I expected that it would be this way, which is why I have tasked my team with thinking up character concepts that they would like included in the game as NPCs. My goal is to average about 40 NPCs with each character having about 5 unique NPCs for their story path. The rest will be recycled across the different story paths. That way you get new content in the form of new NPCs for each playthrough. Each of the unique NPCs will have a deeper story than the rest of the recycled NPCs. This project is ambitious in its writing and I am taking the brunt of the work onto my myself, but I want to keep the team involved in the story. I am not an infallible writer so having everyone pitch in will help a great deal.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

You probably wouldn't be interested, but hey, this stuff excites me

So I was talking with several people on Lemmasoft Forums about player interaction in games. A fellow game programmer mentioned that they do most of their story paths (for those of you who don't know this kind of lingo, story paths are forks in a plot that take the story in a different direction depending upon your choices in the game) by using variables to mark the decisions that the player makes.

Let me explain:
Let's say Judy is playing a game and she picks a snarky dialogue choice. She thinks nothing of it at first, but as she continues onward in the game and she continues to pick snarky dialogue choices she finds that her character's choices become more and more snarky.

That is the context that the player experiences. What goes on behind the scenes in the code is different. Basically your character in said game is set up with several about "Kind", "Snarky", and "Cruel". At the beginning of the game each of these values is set to zero. Whenever the player makes a choice inside the game that follows one of the listed attributes, the game programming adds 1 point to the corresponding attribute. So basically as you continue to pick a certain style of choices, the ending you get will follow the highest attribute rating. It is utterly brilliant!

The reason I bring this up is that I think I am going to implement this kind of coding into what I call the "Interaction" quests in Mutagen. It will make things sooooo much simpler in the long run and it will prevent things from getting cut out to save complexity headaches, which means more content for you all! ^.^

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Monster Sneak Peak Sketches

I managed to scrounge up some old sketches that WolfenAmpithere drew for me a while back of a couple concept ideas we had for monsters. I have two of em for ya all to see:

This here is called a Creeper, I took inspiration from geckos and various other reptiles that can climb on nearly any surface and this is what came out of WA's brain when I described it. Creeper's are superfast and you will never hear them coming until it's too late!

You may not be surprised to know that we took inspiration from Pokemon when coming up with this monster. This monstrosity is called a Rasper. Rasper's are covered in nasty boils and recesses that emit a poisonous gas that poisons foes and obscures vision. But it can always be heard before it is seen, thank goodness for small miracles eh?

So there you go, two sketches a la carte. More will come folks so stay tuned!

Hint Hint #1

As a writer I really want to tell a unique story for every character, especially the main characters in Mutagen. For one of the main characters I have been doing some heavy research into Japanese culture and decided to post a couple of hints about his family's background.

Note: This is his family's background, not his own...or maybe it is, you will just have to see ;)

Basically I wanted to explore with this main character the dynamics of shame and the effects of a crisis of faith as well as radical groups and their member's children.

Here is a link to the wikipedia page that describes the uyoku dantai, the Japanese term for Japan's radical imperial nationalist groups.

I am doing a lot of research so I can correctly capture the Japanese culture and the mindset of these groups and what their effect would be on this character. I try to be as accurate as possible in the portrayal of any culture or background when I write.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Guess what?

Guess what ladies and gents? We are back and with a vengeance. I took a long hiatus because of a mixture of school/job/family drama, but now I am back and let me tell you, I be swinging.

So a lot of our projects got abandoned because I want to focus on only one. This is going to be the big one, a HUGE undertaking that will be a big commercial release.

Our main project took a lot too develop, namely the framework program for the battle system and other assorted game mechanics. I think now that we have all that sorted out, we can really get started with a singular focus on creating an awesome game.