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:

Also, since I'm feeling extra tease-y tonight, I can also report that good progress has been made on the actual underlying story for the first case in the game (the one that all videos and screenshots have depicted to date).  I've had some people ask me what exactly the plot is, and to be honest until recently I was honestly not too sure - I had a vague sense that was good enough for the mock-up scenarios created to demo the game engine, but I had no real clear, coherent idea where it was going.  That's no longer the case - I've been in conversation with a couple of people about that particular case, and I now have a pretty darn good sense for how it's all going to go, so there should now be a coherent narrative in screenshots and videos from now on.

...Of course, if you want to know exactly what happens, you'll have to just wait! :P

(And yes, those are the sprites from Desktop Ponies in the first picture.  I needed small sprites with walking animations, so those seemed extremely convenient.  I hope no one involved in the creation of those sprites minds.  Like I keep reminding people... all visuals and audio are preliminary, and exist only to demo the game engine!)


  1. It's looking really good man, keep up the good work!

  2. As far as all the screenshots go, the CMC seem to be really terrible at keeping secrets, haha. Nice to see progress as always

  3. @John




  4. Haha! I see some things are going according to our plan Gabu. >:D. It's good to finally see some progress on the investigation phase of the game.

    Can't wait to wait see progress on....oops. Can't say much to the public now, can I? The good stuff is coming soon folks!

    Keep up the great work Gabu and I'm eager to see more of Case 1!

  5. This is definitely the pony game I'm looking forward to the most.

    It's always nice to see progress. :D

  6. Either I'm really warming up to the new font choice, or I'm just desperate for you to finish and release this. I can't tell.

    Also, it's been Scootaloo murdering ponies to cover up the meth lab she's been running in the clubhouse. Case solved! /clopclop

  7. @ZeusAssassin

    And let me thank you again for all your help! :)


    Thank you! People like you is exactly what keeps me going on this project. :)


    Well unfortunately completion is still quite a ways away, so I hope you're not *that* desperate. ;)

    Also, dang, you totally got it in one. Now I gotta rewrite the first case. :(


  8. I hope the CMC's ain't expecting to see a 'lying/covering up' cutie mark on their flanks anytime soon.

    This game is gonna be awesome.

  9. @OT

    Well they did expect "arguing" cutie marks to appear in episode 17! :D

  10. Excellent... as far as the various pony video game projects are going, this is probably the one I'm looking forward to the most.

    Just one question that occurred to me; do you intend on adding any mouthflap animations or the like? If nothing else, it's useful in the Ace Attorney series for telling who's talking at the moment, without having to check the name in the cornerbox.

    That said, there are other ways you could get that effect; I'd suggest either tinting text depending on who's talking (I think that was suggested before?), changing the color of the text box border, or fading some sort of picture or image beneath the text box (the cutie mark of the speaker would be the most obvious choice- though that poses the question of what to do for people without cutie marks).

    Well, whatever you decide on, good luck with it. Compared to other games, the Phoenix Wright style has a fairly simplistic engine, but I know from experience that even that can be a pain and a half to work with.

  11. @Hydra in a Top Hat

    Oh yes, certainly. I've got two videos posted that show the gameplay in action, and you can see mouth animations in them. Here's the most recent:


    Don't worry, I'm a huge fan of the Ace Attorney series - you can bet that I've been studying them carefully in order to understand what makes them tick and what makes them enjoyable. :)

  12. Maybe you've already answered this somewhere, but is there going to be a point-and-click examination option, or will all evidence be gathered through conversations? I assume it's the former, but since it's not finished yet we haven't seen it.

  13. @Lupus Albus

    Yes, I do plan for there to be examination as well as conversations; as you correctly presume that just has not been implemented yet.