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Pinkmatch: Android Dating Sim

A topic by Wudgeous created 82 days ago Views: 573 Replies: 24
Viewing posts 1 to 16
Submitted (9 edits) (+12)


(edit) Completed and playable here: https://wudgeous.itch.io/pinkmatch



-----------------------------------------------



Finding love is easy. Understanding it is a b̧̛̾̉ͣ̎͌̋̏ͣͭ̏͏̦̰̙̯̣͍̖͈̻̯̫̞̭̳̪̥͖iͯ̈́ͬ̅̏̀̇͘͞͏̭̪͇̟̗̜̰͍̬͍̩̭̦̝̟̜͘t̷̸͓͉͙͓̘̗̪̭̮̞̹̟̟̳̳̦ͧͫͦ̿͢͡ͅc̣̖͈̗̞̤̪̗̹͉̱͕̀ͧͭ̏̅͑͆ͯ̇͗́ͧ͘ͅĥ̷̛͎͈̦͖͕͕͙̣̐̒ͯ̂͂̀ͫ̃̂̈́.  

(ᵈᵒ ʸᵃˡˡ ᵐⁱⁿᵈ ⁱᶠ ⁱ ᶜᵘʳˢᵉ)


Hiho, Wudgeous here! This is gonna be my dev log for In The Pink (title subject to change).


What is it?

A visual novel dating sim that will be made in ren'py for the Summer 2019 game jam in this chillis tonight. It features an AI  who goes on tinder Pinkmatch™ dates to learn empathy and human connection. 

You can choose your pronouns.


What are you?

The player character is an AI suited in an android body.


Is it a horror game?

N--No. It's a dating sim! 

I'm still figuring out the tone of the game though... Perhaps during development it could lean a little towards horror, but the primary intent is to be a lighthearted exercise in accepting vulnerability, setting emotional boundaries, and animal magnetism. (It runs on dialogue choices).

----

As of the start date, we are a four-person team! Joining me are the wonderful users Jaeger, Heyo, and Natis.

I'll strive to make a dev update once a day, everyday, at midnight my time. In addition, I'm gonna be editing this OP for as long as itch  allows it, so please don't be surprised if you see some changes.  (〃・ิ‿・ิ)ゞ


With prudent yet neurotic love, 

Wudgey.

Submitted (29 edits)

7/21/2019 (4:31 PM GMT+7)

I submitted the game! 

Submitted (1 edit)

CMON AND SLAM, AND WELCOME TO THE JAM

7/5/2019


I admit I started a wee bit early -- 

I wrote 860 words and coded 2 pages of the script. Made a couple of key plot decisions and  wrote some content for the first love interest.

Here is some concept art and a first draft WIP of  the AI's creator, who will probably be the most used sprite:


Considerations:To-Do:
>It's my personal artstyle. I wonder if the game would benefit from a softer, more cartoony style.   
>Experiment with line color. It doesn't have to be solid black.   
>Move his arm+hand to  interact with his clipboard/tablet. As much as I enjoy him putting his hand in his pocket with that sort of laissez faire relaxation, it's not terribly apparent.
>Finish line-art and color. I'm fairly set on the lineart thickness; need to decide on coloring style. Don't forget highlights.  
>Add different expressions, such as "regarding the player fondly," "unimpressed surprise," and "self-congratulatory smirk."   
>Animate some blinking on the man. A "talking" animation would be cute, but probably a stretch.

Character inspiration: Dorian Pavus and Mitch Grassi.


On another art-related note,  I spoke with our lovely GUI artist Jaeger for close to an hour, discussing possible themes for the game. I absolutely appreciate her time and friendship. To ensure we were on the same page, however, I put together several files in my google drive of other ren'py games and their individual assets. I named and numbered them with care. This is to illustrate the importance of each asset, with the GAMEPLAY screen's GUI taking the highest priority.


I sent a message to our very talented composer Natis to discuss how we'd like to proceed with the musical score. I have worked with many artists in the past, but this is my first time working with a composer!


Self-evaluation: I really wanted to take a more organized approach to this project....  I feel like I'm on top of things in regards to communication (boy I was not expecting a team l o l), but in personal tasks I'm still all over the place.  We'll see how well I do overall. <:)

I will say: Writing about my tasks here helps me "put them down" and re-focus on other things that can use my attention. In order words, it helps me overcome my often paralyzing executive disorder.

The creator's sprite looks like it's coming along nicely. Love the Dorian stache <3 I haven't seen that music video before but that's a vibe.

Submitted

For a moment I thought "the creator" was referring to me and was quite mystified.

Thank you, my friend!! I appreciate the comment, it relieves a good deal of my over-critical perfectionist feelings. ❤

Host (1 edit) (+1)

Oh wow this is a really interesting concept--I'm really into a lot of the themes you've outlined so far, and the problem of figuring out tone I think will be really interesting to see unfold. I like that you're already looking at tasks and figuring out what is a stretch goal. I would even go further and say something like animations like blinking could probably be stretch goals! This is really cool so far--I'm so excited to see more of this project :OOO

Submitted(+1)

Thank you, you're right about stretch goals. Gotta bake the cake, icing can come later. :) 

I realized recently too that my modus operandi is the flashlight outline method. I'd rather work on and end up with a few incomplete drawings, rather than just one  that's polished to completion -- so saving blinking animations for last would be ideal.

I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

Best wishes and all my soggy love,

Wudgey.

Submitted (1 edit) (+2)

Whew!

7/6/2019


Day two...

Started sketching out the first love interest, Sanga. Her proportions bugged me a couple times so spent some time refining her and blocking out her colors. Might try to go back to the scientist before bed.

Did more research into the GUI of other games. Wrote 8 pages of game script (including some branching paths).

       


Goal: By the first week (Sat 13th), export a playable demo for the team so they can see what we've got so far and make suggestions.

Need to decide on a second love interest -- I have a couple of ideas, I just need to stick to one and develop it properly.


I'm feeling fairly short-winded and doubtful today. Got a bit of a nasty mind gremlin that's telling me "I'm not doing enough," but I know it's full of beans. By the end of this jam, I'll be looking back at this thread and marveling at myself, I'm sure. But for now: aaaaaaaaaaaa

Submitted

I know that feeling: like you aren't doing quite enough in quite enough time. Keep it up, get that script done at least and you'll have plenty to show off, even if the characters aren't perfect!

Submitted(+1)

Hello friend, I super appreciate this! :) And you're absolutely right of course. 

Sometimes writer's block gets a mind of its own but I'm doing my best to fight it!!

Submitted

Really interesting concept! Looking forward to playing it. Really like seeing the process of the artwork from pencil to digital! Keep up the good work :D

Submitted(+1)

I appreciate your enthusiasm, and same to you guys! :)

Submitted (2 edits)

Today was a distracted day!

7/7/2019

Hoooo wee!!!!

I started my morning working  with our lead GUI artist Jaeger, and she made some prototype gameplay screens.

They're gorgeous. She's amazingly talented. ❤    (Don't mind my stand-in fighting dummy sprite, he's from another game).


Then I worked on the concept for the second love interest, Angelo. I did a fair amount of research to build his character. I'm not comfortable showing the concept sketch just yet (bc that's about as far as I got, art-wise). 

And I've written... about 2.5 pages of the script.


And then uh.
I kinda found this lil dude in my garden?


I do already have two cats. I've been wanting a third. Just wasn't expecting RNG to grant me a game jam kitten.  ¯\_( ಠ_ಠ)_/¯  

So rn he's living in my bathroom.  He's very well-behaved for a fleabag.  I'll endeavor not to devolve this Game Design Thread into cat stuff though -- Will continue committing to daily devlog updates, and maybe a lil dude update next week.

Submitted (1 edit)

No pictures today!

7/8/2019

I did a loose sketch for the third sprite, worked on Berry the creator's sprite a little more, and wrote another couple pages.

Natis made some great progress on the game's theme song, and I'll be spending the rest of the night coding in some scenes. :)


Hope you guys are making great progress!!


Edit: Eyyo, I lied.


Submitted

Two in one update!

7/9-10

7/9/2019: Wrote two additional pages of content. Largely did a second draft with assistance from most wonderful team member Heyo. 

Overall gaining more confidence in developing the three main characters: aspiring singer Sanga Thamwimon, robotics engineer Albert "Berry" Fox, and rockabilly enthusiast Angelo Lombardo.  (I didn't even wanna namedrop them earlier in the thread, because I was nervous about it for some reason).



7/10/2019:  Did some concept art for the player avatar.


They're kinda creepy all together like this, aren't they....? Children of the pink corn........................

You should only see them as buttons when doing very early character selection/customization though (and there won't be that many options). I never fancied the ren'py trend of having player character avatar haunt the lower left side of the screen.


Considering re-titling the game to "Pinkmatch," which is the name of the in-universe dating service.


And a reminder to self, I have 3 days to fulfill my personal goal of making a mini demo for my team members.

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

Early Update

7/11/2019

Because if I accomplish a lot more than this today, I'll be very surprised. 

I decided it's time for the moving pictures. Messed with the strangely intuitive ScreentoGif to capture two scenes at 15 and 25 fps respectively. Next time, try resizing to 400 px height.


Also rolled up my sleeves and had at the game's core code today. It was.... surprisingly much more complicated than I thought it'd be -- giving the player the freedom to select who they want to date, and in what order...  

I love y'all though, and this is the only way of doing it that made sense to me. :\

I clocked in at about 400 lines of code. Though I'm sure there's ways of tidying it up -- it works perfectly with no loopholes that I can find.

So I can safely say I've built a functioning game in less than a day!!! I made the cake! :) Just gotta try and make the icing now, which includes actual writing and artwork.


Some music that kept me motivated:  

Submitted

I would normally never condone else if spam, but seeing we only have about a week left to finish our games, all the power to you lol. I would love to see what you can come up with in the future that doesn't require hard coding.

Submitted

Woo! I'd love to see what I can come up with in the future too.

This is actually the extent of my coding knowledge, so if you have any specific alternative I can look into (after the jam of course) in regards to else if hard coding, I would love to learn. :)

Submitted

7/12/2019

Managed to add 5 pages of writing, had a productive editing session. Spent some time developing narration with Heyo and GUI  progress with Jaeger. :)


Submitted

I really like how a simple hair bun has completely changed how this character's personality "looks" to me. Keep the screenshots coming, I love seeing 'em.

Submitted(+2)

(Yesterday) 

7/13/2019

Spent some time applying ATL to Jaeger's GUI elements. This is the "Options" gear; hovering over it makes it move, clicking on it takes you to the Options menu.  As you can see, the gear looks a bit wonky here because I wanted to spin it in two different directions, and I made some ugly, imperfect cuts in the image to do so.

I jotted down some ideas but didn't really do any writing. I did, however, speak to some friends about the love interests' characterization (which REALLY helps).

(Today) 

7/14/2019


My biggest accomplishment today was treating myself to a nap. 

Between taking care of a feisty new kitten and corresponding with a million people, I wore myself pretty thin! Good news, I spent some of my nap with the kitten and it calmed him down a lot. He no longer bites me for attention. 


In regards to game design; in order to have an easier life, I simplified my code to have it spinning exclusively.... counterclockwise...? 

>:(

Note to self, switch to clockwise.

We also added a fully functional "progress meter" to the upper right, and a "quicksave" function.


Added a character limit to renpy.input to ensure the player doesn't name themselves "ssfkjdsufnasiodsoinnfkjdsnfkjfnlkadnsoefnsongoku" and break my character name box.

 

ᴬˡᵗʰᵒᵘᵍʰ ᵗʰᵉʳᵉ'ˢ ⁿᵒᵗ ᵉⁿᵒᵘᵍʰ ˢᵖᵃᶜᵉ ᶠᵒʳ ᵀᴱᴿᴿᴼᴿ ᴼᶠ ᵀᴴᴱ ᴰᴱᴱᴾ, ᵗʰⁱˢ ˢᵘⁱᵗˢ ᵐᵉ ʲᵘˢᵗ ᵃˢ ʷᵉˡˡ


Wrote about 5 pages of content today (and counting). I'm beginning to think my aspiration to do character expressions was a show of utter hubris.  I'll need all the time I can get just to finish writing the story.  OTL

Submitted

7/15/2019

Wrote four more pages, plus a looooooooootttttttttt of self-editing. Finally feel like the intro's quality is satisfactory. Downloaded some sound effects as well to give the game some life. 

I worked a lot on organizing the credits today, though I still have to ask my team if they want their real names or pseudonyms, and what titles they would like. :) If nothing else, I really, really want this game to be a good portfolio piece for everyone...

Submitted (2 edits)

7/16/2019

Transferred 3/14-ish scenes into code and did some proofreading/troubleshooting. Took a couple hours initially (I started with 1.5 scenes), but I kept at it the rest of the day. Made sure the first dates were functional, as there's some jumping around to ensure a natural conversation flow. Researched more music to better illustrate atmosphere. Made enough progress to create a demo for my team members. :)

Got eyestrain again. :( But I took a rest and I'm feeling better. :)


I should be able to get this done, even if it's not perfect. I have SOMETHING written for every section of the story,  so now it's a matter of editing which I am much faster at.

Screenshots tomorrow, maybe? If my team gets back with me about some part they especially like, I'll snap a picture of that.


Edit:

Managed to squeeze in some improved Angelo concept art before bed. :) Though now Sanga's the only one with the large head lol. Part of it can't be helped due to her square face shape, but I'll see what I can do to get everybody proportional.


Submitted (2 edits)

7/19/2019

Hoo! It's been a while.

Although I broke my vow to update everyday, I've nonetheless been... working on the game every single day.... just keeping my head down. Suffering from stress migraines. Making good progress. Scoping. Re-scoping. Feeling defeated. Crippling loneliness. Mom's spaghetti. 

Etc.

I've put the game through 4 big playtesting sessions now and everything seems functional. 


So, the big news is I've had to downscale from the inadvertently planned 15 scenes (the full "short game" length) into the just first 7 scenes of the game, so it's gonna be...... a demo.......... 

I can't say I'm not disappointed!!! But!!! I'm comforting myself by listing out all the things we managed to accomplish these past two weeks:


 

 


I wrote about 39 pages of story content (10,447 words). Translated this into 600+ dialogue blocks, (now) containing 7,000+ words. 

Designed 3 diverse and well-rounded characters from scratch, both in art and narration. 

Sourced a beautiful in-game GUI screen designed by Jaeger. 

Sourced two completely customized game tracks by the wonderful Natis.

Researched and utilized additional images/music from Unsplash and Kevin Macleod, respectively.

And most importantly, we made a game where there was no game before. Where there was none, there is now... a game! Even if it's even shorter than the short game I came to have in mind.





I've also started designing the itch page to get ready for the upload. I'm waiting on a few last minute assets and still have to add shading to Angelo, but otherwise, I'll be submitting the game in less than 24 hours with the following link: https://itch.io/jam/my-first-game-jam-summer-2019


Creature comfort of the day: Game Grumps playthrough of Phoenix Wright.

Submitted (1 edit)

7/21/2019



Postmortem

I'm certain this is an amazing archive for the way I redirected my creative energies inward as time went on lmfao.  Expressing myself and reporting my progress took an abrupt backseat to actually working on the game. The later in the jam it got to be, the more shortwinded, hyperfocused, (and a lil cranky) I became. I was frazzled, lonely, and more than a little stressed, like, all the time. I was possessed by such an obsessive need to work on development that, although I drank lots of water and I got plenty of sleep (except this one night where I stayed up until 4 am planning to do an all-nighter to ensure I finished what I wanted to finish),  I could not take a break even when I tried. I kept drifting back to my laptop to work on things "a little bit." Just a little more code. Just a little more art. Just a little more writing. 

I felt like a real honest to goodness game developer. Is this what game developers are like?

So uh, it's been a ride, as they say. And I offer the warmest of appreciation to the jam hosts for organizing an event in which I could have a ride.  Thank you. This jam arrived at the perfect time in my life,  offering the perfect atmosphere and excuse to put my skills and determination to work. I don't know that I'd have ever made a game without it.

I worked super hard. Super super super hard. And it never felt like enough. Until now! Now it feels like enough. :) Now I'm craving a little validation and acknowledgement of my hard work from others, but I'm doing my best not to rely on it either. I know the best tactic for self-love is to love your creations on their own merits, not based on how much other people like them. (This is a philosophy that the character Berry embraces on the surface, though perhaps he struggles with it at times..)

Anyways. 

I'm happy to report that I feel much better about everything now that it's over, pleased with my accomplishments and proud of myself for making something from scratch.  I'm chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool and FINALLY allowing myself to play video games again. Thank God. I missed video games.

(Context: I have long, periodic self-bans from playing video games to increase personal productivity. It's worked out great, but again, I have missed video games.)




Kitty?

Oh shit son I forgot, yeah, he's doing great dw. Hyper lil bastard but very smart. His name is Nicodemus (which is perhaps the most roundabout allusion to Robin Williams in the world) and I mostly call him Nico and Nico-Nico-Nii. He already loves me and yells at me periodically.




Future Plans?

Uhm..... I'm taking a fucking break.. 

I love you, Pinkmatch my child, but goodbye. I'm gonna actually play some other games (there's many games to choose from here, and I just bought "Nameless" and "To the Moon"), and try to have fun...... Then I'm probably gonna go back to my no-deadline personal project...

Pinkmatch was created exclusively for this game jam, to give me an excuse to participate. No other reason. I may see fit to attempt a full release during a future game jam (with similar time constraints), but for now, I'm tucking Pinkmatch into bed and kissing it good night.

If you (yes you) like my game though, please don't hesitate to leave a comment and a rating. I am easily swayed and I'd love to hear from you.



Soggily signing off for now, with love,

Wudgey.


PS, if you for some reason missed my OP edit, you can play my game here.