Dev Log: 2-Week Plans and Demo Play Arc

I’ve fallen a little behind on my initially projected deadlines, but am mostly on track. My goal with this current stage of planning is to refocus on knocking out the highest priority items in the next two weeks that will enable the rest of development to continue smoothly from there.

In general I use “demo” to refer to the primary goal of the current project over these coming months. It includes implementation¬†and a majority of final tuning of all major mechanics, but a very brief section of the intended total content. The “complete game” is intended to be several times longer, but only use existing systems, and only expand slightly on existing mechanics. As time allows I will work towards this complete game over the course of this project, but the priority is to have a tight finished product by the end of August. The “demo arc” is meant to be a sample of the intended full experience that stands strong on its own, and succeeds at introducing players to the tone, narrative, and mechanics of the complete game.

Week W: May 29 – June 4

Focus: wrapping up high level design objectives, and carefully planning core systems to be implemented W+1

Priorities:

  • plan (and learn and test as needed) possible implementations for visual horizon system
    • depth map + post processing to shift ‘layers’
    • multiple camera views overlaid at specific depths and angles
    • purely 2D, with pseudo-3D accomplished algorithmically as translation of internal, flat model
  • experiment with concept art for environment and character (steps below done separately for each)
    • locate specific inspirations for reference
    • list specific target style attributes desired for this game
    • create rough concept pieces
    • *final draft concept piece to use for following steps in W+1 (*given importance and scope, will allow to spill over into W+1 as time dictates)
  • plan and mock up code architecture, including considerations to include systems in the near future to streamline implementing content
    • world model
    • dialogue system
    • other (special camera movement, UI, and other minor systems)
  • write up outline of play+story arc for demo (see below)

 

Week W+1: June 5 – June 12

Focus: implement the basic structure of the core game to facilitate near-future testing, tuning, and implementation of content

Priorities:

  • implement core systems
    • world model
    • dialogue system
    • other
  • implement rendering system for intended horizon effect
  • finished style guide to inform asset production
    • (possible carryover in-progress) final draft of environment and character concepts
    • experiment with recoloring drafts
    • select and create palette guide
    • identify key shapes and style elements
    • collect and codify into style guide

 

Demo Arc Outline

Priorities to Introduce to Player

  • – 1D limitations
  • – facing
  • – distractions
  • – dialogue system
  • – dialogue distractions
  • – distraction puzzles
  • – distraction obstruction

 

Events:

START – store

  • – ??? daydream sequence
    • – moving left and right only
  • – at store in aisle
  • – boss calls to player
  • – (UI – tutorial) movement controls, forward
  • – move to counter
  • – (UI – tutorial) facing controls + interaction control
  • – speak to boss
  • – boss tells to get thing from next aisle
  • – (UI – tutorial) movement controls, back
  • – move to cross aisle
  • – (UI – tutorial) movement controls, A, D… do nothing
  • – boss is aware of disability
    • – sigh “It’s alright. I know you gotta take the long way sometimes”
  • – (UI – tutorial) prompt to leave store
    – leave store

 

  • – walk down middle of street
  • – see distractions popping up
  • – moving distraction from cars
  • – distraction from car horn blocks player temporarily
  • – pass through intersection with stop signs
  • – car screeches to stop next to player (traveling same direction)
  • – screech and then engine are a blocking distraction
  • – driver is annoyed at player for walking in the middle of the street when interacted with
  • – car on opposite side stopped at stop sign also blocks with distraction, but moves after talking to first driver
  • – get past situation by facing away from car
  • – “Hey, look at me when I’m talking to you!…. Freak.” – drives off
  • – distraction navigation puzzle

 

  • – enter player’s house at opposite end of street
    • – narrow house, appliances to either side, pass over bed and through bathroom at back
    • – stairs with drop down floor to reach computer at southern window
      • – if try to interact with computer, blocked by distraction of objective
    • – book to interact with, explosion of positive distractions, ends with hear
  • – exit opposite side

 

  • – now on sidewalk of another street
  • – distraction navigation puzzle
  • – distraction navigation puzzle
  • – sidewalk narrows
  • – encounter elderly person with walker going opposite direction
  • – on interaction, politely asks for you to move
  • – dialogue response “I can’t” but blocked by distraction
  • – (UI – tutorial) prompt change facing with dialogue up
  • – select “I can’t”
  • – elderly person walks awkwardly around into street
  • – car slows to go around and honks (distractions)

 

  • – leave town
  • – distraction navigation puzzles
  • – at least 1 more distraction dialogue puzzle
    • – simple, just asking someone to move something in the way, etc.

 

  • [GAP]
    • – this sequence will be longer in completed game
    • – may be some thematic exploration, but is mostly to drive home and practice mechanics
    • – for demo arc the area will be artificially shortened so that the next area arrives much sooner
    • – may cut some of above puzzles and move them to below section depending on how abrupt the flow feels

 

  • – arrive at new city, more densely urban centre
  • – puzzles?
  • – walking down sidewalk approaching a distinct door (looks like obvious progression)
  • – companion appears
    • – emerges from off screen/door to confront, shoving you at some point sideways
    • – runs from off screen, running into you and knocking you sideways
  • – you are now aligned with an alleyway instead of the door
  • – she sees gang members coming, and benevolently encourages you to hide, having realized you’re not a threat
  • – distraction at end of dead end alleyway
  • – use it to obstruct and hide yourself
  • – after talking to gang members companion comes to you, confused how they didn’t see you standing in the middle of the alley
  • – converse, tell her that you can’t go back the way you came, need to [objective distraction]
  • – she’s confused, but pulls a pull-down ladder so you can continue north

END DEMO

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