Legend of Fordham Forest (Version 0.2 Demo Release)

gurigraphics

  • Posts: 688
Curriculum for Indie Game Devs:

1- Art;
2- Programming;
3- Audio and Video;
4- Directors;
5- Marketing, Advertising and Sales.

Art director
Game Designer
Level Designer
GUI Designer
Concept Artist
Designer
Colorist
2D and 3D Animator
Modeler 2D and 3D
Screenwriter
Editor and Reviewer

Software engineer
Web designer
Frontend developer
Backend developer
AI Programmer
Tester

Sound engineer
Location Manager
Soundtracks Composer
Sound Effects Composer
Audio Programmer
Video Producer

Executive Director - CEO
Executive producer
Administrative Manager
Administrative agents
Accounting Manager
Accounting officers
Human resources manager
Agents Human Resources

Manager Marketing and Advertising
Marketing agents
Web manager - SEO
Copywriter
Social Media Manager
Agents of Social Media
Sales manager
Sales Agents

merrak

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  • Posts: 2474
Curriculum for Indie Game Devs:

That's a pretty impressive list  :o . I can't find any I would disagree with. Although it's hard to imagine a role for "human resources", with nobody around to keep you on task, you really have to be self-disciplined.

Speaking of tasks, I had a pretty long list of things to take care of. It's slowly getting under control. Bugs are getting squished, missing UI features implemented. One basic element, saving, is now working... although I think I'll redo saving for the full version to allow for multiple saved games.

I've also started introducing cut-scenes. I'm trying to keep them as short as possible, while still letting the story develop. While I have an outline for the backstory, I don't have much in the way of actual writing (dialogue, etc.). So the demo's story will be more of a rough draft than final copy. The large font required for display on such a small screen doesn't allow for many words, but that's a likely advantage. If people wanted read a book, they'd be reading instead of playing this game.



I cut down the intro to about half its current size, and took out redundant or unnecessary dialogue. I like stories-within-a-story, so I set up a frame story (Mara, the girl by the tree, with Merci, the mantis who is the second player character). I thought about giving the player control over Mara--the questions she asked would change Merci's story, and therefore the levels the player will see. This might be too complicated, but would be a neat way to add replay value to the game.


Bombini

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  • Posts: 1297
I love storytelling!
One thing i learned in the last years: Take out unnecessary dialogue ;)
As you wrote. This is mendatory. Keep it short.
It will be better.

Keep it up!

gurigraphics

  • Posts: 688
About a list spoke this:

Quote
Tools programmer is missing. Game design is definitely *not* part of the "art" roles group. And there's many more roles in the QA process than just "tester".

Quote
One thing i learned in the last years: Take out unnecessary dialogue ;)
As you wrote. This is mendatory. Keep it short.
It is true. If you delete a paragraph or word and the story still makes sense, it is a sign that this paragraph or word is not necessary.

Level design, Movie Editing and Story is very similar. The basic structure is the same: beginning, middle and end. The difference that instead of words, paragraphs and chapters, level design use symbols, sounds, animations, scenes and choices.
And the plot is not linear and fix as in books and movies, because the player is the director.

Maybe that's why Minecraft was so successful, because the player is more than director.


« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 10:57:09 am by gurigraphics »

merrak

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  • Posts: 2474
One thing i learned in the last years: Take out unnecessary dialogue ;)
As you wrote. This is mendatory. Keep it short.

File size limitations can be useful here ;)

I definitely underestimated how long it would take to draw up all the cutscenes. I chose something like a graphic novel format, so the player can go through them at their own pace. It's also easier on me, since I don't have the means to produce little movies.

I have about 37 pages out of roughly 80 done, so about halfway to go. Fortunately, I have a pretty large collection of unused scenery drawings. I drew a series of 70 landscapes for another project several years ago. Ultimately, nothing came of it. But the landscapes are perfect for this game, so I now have a use for them.


tigerteeth

  • Posts: 734
Curriculum for Indie Game Devs:

1- Art; FINE
2- Programming; FINE
3- Audio and Video; FINE
4- Directors; FINE
5- Marketing, Advertising and Sales. ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE

merrak

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  • Posts: 2474
I'm nearing completion of the first demo, which I suppose will be Version 0.2. Just about everything is a rough draft, but it is a complete draft  :P

I've spent the past few days putting together the cutscenes. Some are below, and I like the collage.



There are about 80 pages total. They're spread out among 36 levels, so it's not a lot. I'm not completely satisfied with it. Character development, in particular, is very difficult in such a tight space. I've done Nanowrimo a couple of times, though--enough to have learned that first drafts are just that, and there's always editing and revision. The plot is down, and that's a good first step.

It's probably not too early to start thinking about a marketing plan. At the very least, I'll need another demo that is closer to the intended mobile version of the game.

All that's left to do for Milestone 1 is fix a few programming issues and replace some of the placeholder character animations.



merrak

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  • Posts: 2474
Demo version 0.2 is done 8)  I updated the first page of this thread with the full information. The game has a new link:

http://www.stencyl.com/game/play/33699

Version 0.2 is a complete game, with all known bugs squished (except for the protagonists). However, it's not the final draft. I'm hoping to get some good feedback on things that need to be fixed or improved--namely level design. While it's sitting here, I'll have the opportunity to do some other things, which will be nice. I thought this game would take maybe a month... and now it's March!

This demo will eventually become Episode 1, although I've settled on an overworld map design, with some alternate paths, for the full version.

Can you cross the burning river, pass the fields of sulfur, and make it to the Gate of Iron and Sulfur? Only one way to find out... get exploring! >:(

mdotedot

  • Posts: 1560
Hello Merrak,

Great progress. Looks really interesting but I got stuck. I really, really wanted to get that path indicator to work (at least that is what I expect) but when the cricket fell down it didn't work. I even restarted to not fell into the pit. But the jump on the cricket doesn't seem to work ...

Here is my evaluation. Please regard this as constructive even though it might not look like it!!!
legend of fordam forest

Version: 0.2

Good
+ Skip intro button
+ New Data + Clear information warning!


Negative
- Continue button only visible if previously active
- Guide the player in the first scene. There is a text box, but it is nicer to use the arrow to click and another arrow where to click next.
- Icons on the hopper hard to make out
- Cricket got stuck after switching between the flyer and cricket



Hanging out in the Chat:  http://www.stencyl.com/chat/

Proud member of the League of Idiotic Stencylers! Doing things in Stencyl that probably shouldn't be done.

merrak

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  • Posts: 2474
Thanks for your feedback! Did the mantis (or cricket) get stuck in a hole in one of the levels--or did the walking/jumping motion itself run into a problem?

I went through recently and took out some of the pits where it was possible to get stuck. But I'd played the levels so many times that I memorized where to put all the characters in the levels--so I may have missed a few.

mdotedot

  • Posts: 1560
It is the first level , first pit. The flying thing moved and then there was an indicator that the cricket needed to move. So I clicked on it and used the -> and it fell in the pit. But the jump icon never did anything for me.
Hanging out in the Chat:  http://www.stencyl.com/chat/

Proud member of the League of Idiotic Stencylers! Doing things in Stencyl that probably shouldn't be done.

merrak

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  • Posts: 2474
It is the first level , first pit. The flying thing moved and then there was an indicator that the cricket needed to move. So I clicked on it and used the -> and it fell in the pit. But the jump icon never did anything for me.

I'm starting to think I need a better tutorial--and maybe a good way to work that in would be to make the initial introduction interactive, and introduce a few basic maneuvers. After all, the story opens with the two characters playing around. Seems like a missed opportunity to let the player actually play around with the controls :P

As far as integration with the story goes... maybe a cold open would be appropriate. As soon as "continue" is pressed, the game starts immediately on a "practice level". At the first sign of trouble, the focus can shift to the story, which will explain what is going on. I just have to make sure if the very first thing the player does is "skip intro", that they're directed to a tutorial somehow.

Plus, that would address your "Guide the player in the first scene" comment, which I think is a good point.

But since that's a pretty significant change that I can't implement right now, here's how the control works:

Click -> to walk
Then click anywhere on the screen. The mantis will walk to that column (you don't have to click on the correct row). There's an issue with the collision box clipping on corners, which will make her start to rotate.

The other button, that is an arc that blinks, will jump. Jumping works like firing a missile--click the character, then drag to select jump power and angle.

One thing that's lacking (funny how I think of these things only now...) is an indication of which action has been selected. On any action where you have to click the character and drag, you can click outside the character to cancel the action.