As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I have been revamping the designs of the antagonists of my game. I needed to give them some kind of common denominator, something that let the player know that they were part of the same organism.
Well, I think I might have found that thing: creepy Japanese inspired masks.
I got the idea from watching the movie “spirited away” in which there is a character called “No face”. No Face is this odd character who is neither wholly good nor totally bad, he does some terrible things but finds redemption in the end.
The reason that I chose this character as my main inspiration for the antagonist of my game, is that he wars this eery mask throughout the movie that is ultimately expressionless.
I loved the fact that this mask is terrible and I wanted to pay homage to just how creeped out I was by that character, so I created these masks.
In my experience game development is a game of place holders. As you develop you game, in the rush of creativity, you simply cannot be bothered with making something look nice. So you create a placeholder object. Something that isn’t necessarily good, but definitely good enough.
This, however, is a double edged sword. On one hand, you have something that works, but on the other hand you have a mess of work that you have to do in the future to make the project look somewhat decent.
I currently find myself in this placeholder hell with the enemies that make up the bulk of the challenge in “The chain broke”.
They are definitely good enough, but there is nothing distinctive about them, they are just “good enough”.
moving forward, I will have to find a way to make these monsters something to be feared. They need to be made scary.
I have reached an interesting part in the development of “The chain broke” where I am going from answering how something is happening to why it’s happening. This might sound very arty farty (pun intended), but it really isn’t.
Up until this point I have been focussed on how the characters of my game survive given the circumstances under which they live and now I am going into explaining how those circumstances came about. I am, of cause, being purposefully vague here, because I want you to play the game and find out all of the gory details for your selves, but suffice it to say some stuff went down and now I am exploring just what happened.
Surprisingly, I am finding it a bit harder to define the why of everything, than I did the how. Creating the world after everything had gone down was, for whatever reason, quite a bit easier for me than I thought it would be, which is probably why I am struggling now.
However, I will not let that get me down, I have a game to make and damnit if I am not going to finish it.
I want to state, at the start of this blog post, that I have no delusions of grandeur when it comes to "the chain broke". I know that in all likelihood, this game will fall by the waysaide, as there are allot of indie titles that are released every day and allot of those are better than the game that I am working on.
In fact, I am pretty well prepared for this game to fizzle. I am prepared for the game to come out and be ignored by everyone but my friends and my family. I have made piece with the fact that simply finishing the game means that I have a succesfull title.
This, however, means that I have no idea how to handle myself if this turns out to be even moderately succesfull. In fact, I won't be able to know what to do, if people actually start paying attention to me and my work. I am, as the title states, completely unprepared for success.
The only thing that sates me currently is that fact that I probably won't be succesfull. As it stands, I will sell a couple fo copies and then the game will wort of disappear into the either.
I think most indie developers (assuming that they are full time) can attest to the money problem that come with devoting your life to something you love as much as video games.
it is fair to say that I love video games to an almost unhealthy degree. Even though I am completely broke, I spend most of my money on games and I make sure that the job that I hold allows me time to devote to development.
In fact, I let the whimsey of videogame development control most of my life, despite that fact that I have never made any money off of my own games.
That said, I can’t imagine allot of indie dev make games for the cash of the thing, since I know more broke developers than I know ones with work. I think, we as a species, have devoted ourselves to this interactive business and the love of the things carries us through, even when we have to eat ramen for every meal.
The chain broke is, despite appearances, a narrative game. I have a very set story that I would like to tell using this game, but I am having a hard time figuring out how i might go about telling that story.
This is why I am plying around with this idea of creating posters that I might hang around the gameworld to tell the story better. The drawing seen above, for instance, is one of the first looks the player gets at our antagonist, Tau.
The idea of creating posters that might tell the story is a good one, the problem comes up, when I realise that I have created a gameworld without walls. No walls, no places to hang these posters, which means I am out of luck.
This kind of problem is merely one in a range of similar issues that I encounter every day with this project and is both the reason that I love development and why I absolutely hate it.
I have been working on this game for a couple of months by now and I can officially say that I am in the middle of development. That is to say that I have just as far to go, as I have already gone.
To quote the The Rime of the Ancient Mariner:
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
at this point in development, I absolutely cannot tell whether what I have made has any merit what so ever. Some days I think this might be the best game that has ever been made, other days I think that this game will be so bad that I might never recover from the outfall of releasing this piece of shit.
The sad truth is that there is simply no way of knowing what the quality of this thing is until I have finished the game completely and that will be a couple of months still.
So until then all I can do is live in the pit of uncertainty, trying my hardest to make something I can be proud of and feeling as though I am failing all of the time.
I am still toiling away at “The chain broke” which is coming along at a steady, if slow, pace. The problem with game development, is that you simply don’t know if what you are creating is any good while you are in it.
This means that I could be working on a god awful piece of crap and I would not know it, not until I am done with it that is. Right now my motivation is somewhere between stubbornness and blind faith that this game is worthwhile.
I am currently working on one of the main workshops that are in the game. This is where the food id being produced for the prisoners and is a very important part of the game.
This means that there is added pressure to do it right, luckily, I am in no rush, so I believe that I can get this to work.
I am still working my ass off to get "The chain broke" done enough that I can share the game. I have finished my alpha build of the game and am currently in the process of creationg the Beta for the game. This includes allot of production value stuff, to make the game a bit more interesting, but that does take allot of time.
Rest assured that the game is on its way, it is just going to take a second.
I have been working for the last couple of weeks on a completely new IP called "The chain broke". This is a puzzle/stealth game that takes place in a totalitarian society ruled by an evil AI (who is yet to be named).
This game was started after a group project sort of fell to the ground and I needed something to do, so I crafted a project for myself, which allowed me to work on my AI skills.
This game mostly works with an AI as its main component, but there are some rather dasdardly puzzles along the way, which might confuse and annoy the player (that is my hope at least).
I am hoping to have the game up by the end of february, but I make ni promises