Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Behind the Scenes - Structure and Cutscenes

Huh boy.  Location implementation is taking much longer than I was expecting it to - every time I implement something I realize I need to implement something else too before I'll be satisfied enough to record another demo video.  Already I've got locations themselves implemented along with transitions between them, initiation of conversations with characters in locations, cutscenes, and environment examination, but I've still got more to do.  On the plus side, this is going to be a pretty huge update when it finally goes live.  Hopefully you folks can wait a little while longer.

While we wait, though, since the last blog entry was pretty well-received, I thought I'd write another one, this time dealing with game structure and cutscenes.  ...But first, more screenshots!  Just for fun.

Much more after the break!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Behind the Scenes - Storage/Loading

There are quite a few things in the underlying infrastructure of video games that are caught in a bit of an unfortunate predicament: the only time someone actually even notices them is when they were designed poorly. The field of content storage and loading in video games is definitely one of those areas. So, while you wait for me to finish implementing locations in the game (it's coming along, I promise), I thought I'd talk a little bit about it for your interest's sake.

Discussion after the break, for those who are interested.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Progress - Locations

One of the worst parts about designing a game engine is that a whoooole lot of the work you do goes into the underlying infrastructure, which tends to be rather boilerplate work that facilitates content when it's done, but does not actually produce much of anything you can actually show others when it's still in progress as proof that you're actually getting work done.  Such is the case right about now - I've been working on enabling location navigation within the game engine now, which is basically taking us up one more level: locations contain characters, with whom you can get into encounters, as was demonstrated in the last video.

Unfortunately, I've still got a ways to go as far as work goes on this part of the game engine, but since I'm a tease, here are some early screenshots to tide you over and reassure you that I am in fact working on this game:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Font poll - The results!

Thanks to everyone who responded.  The poll regarding the MLI dialog font had a much bigger turnout than I expected.  You guys are awesome!

To get the following results, I took every person's post and added 1 to the tally of each font they spoke positively towards, and then subtracted 1 from the tally of each font they spoke negatively towards.  I didn't explicitly say you could list more than one font, but most people did, so I figured this would be the most fair way to make sure that everyone's full opinions are fully accounted for.

That said, as far as the results go... oh dear.  I feel a bit like Twilight in The Ticket Master right about now. Full results after the break.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reader input wanted - Dialog font

I haven't been working on this that much lately - was taking a break for the second half of last week, and then over last weekend I was down in Northwest Bronyfest having a good time meeting some of you awesome folk!  However, now I'm back, and about ready to get back in business.  First off, however, I want to talk about, and get input from you on, a topic that keeps coming up in viewer feedback: namely, the font choice for the dialog in the game.

Currently, it looks like this:

(If it's not clear, I'm talking about the font for "Apple Bloom, your...")

Now, let me be clear: I still like this font.  I chose it rather than a font more closely approximating the Ace Attorney font because I felt that Friendship is Magic is much softer around the edges than Ace Attorney was - both in terms of dialog and in terms of content - and I felt that I should pick a font for the dialog that reflected that.  And this comic book-style font seemed to fit nicely.

However... if there's one single thing that the entire MLI fan base seems to be united against, at least as far as I can tell... it's this font.  Every time I check on people talking about MLI, the one thing that always seems to come up as the thing they don't like is that font.  I've already accepted from the outset that I can't please everyone... but something that pleases no one is, well, a little different.  So, I'm officially giving you the chance to have your voice heard on this topic, since I'm quite seriously pondering changing that font to a different one.  (Alternately, if you do like the font and would like to keep it the way it is, please tell me - I've literally had no one say so, so if you're in that boat, please let that be known!)

More info after the break!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Engine demo - Character encounters

Phew, this took a bit longer than I expected it to - I kept finding more and more things I wanted to implement for the test content seen in this video -  but the next gameplay video is finally ready for display.  This time, we're taking a look at character encounters.  A full explanation can be found in the video (now with narration!), so I'll just stop talking and post the video:

More details about just what is seen in this video appear after the break.