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[devlog] The Nestle

A topic by Potatofuzz created 1 year ago Views: 704 Replies: 30
Viewing posts 1 to 18
(Edited 4 times) (+5)

Hello Hello!

The Nestle is going to be my first game ever, but I have had this idea for a long time, not necessarily for this medium. In high school I was thinking about what my ideal afterlife would be, and I came up with a place called "The Nestle" that is a cozy, redwood and moss-filled forest with little screens you can find everywhere that tell you the stats of your life. (I.E. How many times you said "catnip", who had a crush on you in third grade, which food you ate the most) It supposed to be a comforting, soft place with nice light.

So, I decided to make a game from there, and it developed. I will be doing it in RPG Maker VX Ace.

Synopsis

You play a recently deceased person, Seph Stuttle (working name), who has just arrived to The Nestle. Through the game, you not only find screens that tell you little tidbits about your life, but also reminder notes to get certain items (popcorn, balloons, punch). You wander and take in The Nestle as you put together the items you find, only to run find someone else and find out that you accidentally set up your own welcome party. It turns out that your past lives, specifically the person who had your soul before you, Leo, had left those notes around as reminders for themselves! Then it's adorable ghost party time. You can talk to some of your past lives and find out more about your afterlife and reincarnation. Finally, you get access the screening room (a big overgrown screen with some movie seats among the ferns) and see that you can watch the lives of everything you become reincarnated into.

Gameplay

The game is really about the feel of this afterlife and showing a nice, pleasant way to spend death. I want to focus on atmosphere and a high amount of interactivity with the fact screens you find. The screens will have clickable things to see and root around in. For example: the first screen you run into tells you your name and all of your nicknames you ever had in life. If you click on the nicknames, you get to see who gave you the name, at what age, and why. I need to figure out how to do these displays (that may end up with many branches).

You also do simple item collecting and combining, so I will need to figure out an inventory function.

The end involves dialogue with your past lives at your party.

Assets/Visuals

I plan to do all of the art for this, as I know exactly how I want it to look. I am trying to figure out how to work with sprite size in RPG Maker, because I want a sprite that is a bit taller than the single square, and what I have researched is unclear.

I think I want to do parallax backgrounds because I need the areas to look very specific ways. I've been reading up on that. (First it will be roughed out color areas.)

My brother is actually writing the music for it. There will probably be one main song and then also an opening song, title screen ambiance, and then a song for one specific room. I have a song inspiration document here, along with a generous amount of forest pictures (ha).

Questions That Have Come Up (for reference)

  • How do I get a picture to appear from a found note and then disappear with the second action button click?
  • Should I do parallax backgrounds with transparent tiles?
  • For much later: animated sunlight through the trees? How much can I do with animation?
  • Can I have the characters talk with word bubbles above them instead of the rectangles?

Other Notes

I have been taking a lot of brainstorming notes and sketches, and also did that song mood document, linked above. I will post my notes tommorrow because it is late and my scanner is loud.

Today I started messing with RPG Maker and laying out the first area simply with generic tiles so I can work on adding events. Ruby is cute code, I like the @, it feels like a ridiculous addition compared to the code I've worked with before.

Good luck everyone!

(+1)

I love this so much? It's just like a kinder gentler afterlife, where you just get to reflect and prepare for your next iteration. I thought about this kind of stuff all the time as a kid, so it's really exciting to see a game being made out of it!!! I'm also really interested in seeing what kind of facts you decide to put in. Like they're the small ones (how many leaves you've stepped on) but then also the big ones (lifes you've saved). They're both important in different ways, though.

I really look forward to seeing the concept art for these games!!!! Are you past reincarnations just people, or do they include other forms of life too (i.e. animals, plants. etc.).

Yes exactly! How many leaves you've stepped on! People on the street who noticed you, how many left socks lost, things like that. This makes me excited to put in the specific facts. I was considering making it randomized, but I think I'd rather have really specific things to keep it pretty and close to the character.

The past reincarnations can be any living thing! The Nestle is actually a large place that has every. single. past. life, but it's simplified in game. There will be ambient bird sounds from all the birds you've been. One of the people is probably going to comment "this soul seems to like to be birds and ferns."

Thank you for the questions it really helps the brainstorming <3

Aaaa I was actually thinking about that to? About the pros and cons of this game being randomized, but I didn't mention it because I didn't know your specific vision! And yeah, it's a tough choice. Having it preset allows you to make a lot more of a specific mood for the character. Randomization can help with replayability, but it can be really hard to do without having it be blatantly noticeable. The best in-between I could think of in this case would be having multiple characters you could play as, but then that gets time intensive!!!

Also thats so cute, birds and ferns. I'm just imagining like a little fern just gently lifting up something to you for the surprise party. Like, 'here you go friend', and you can just be pleased at how nice this plant is.

And it's no trouble! This is a cool concept!

(+1)

Yeah I'd rather have control over the mood than possibly nonsensical randomization because this game is more about the specific area and how it feels.

I did think about doing multiple characters or a interaction at the beginning that changes the information, but I think that would be for a later, more complex version of the game!

That is very cute...ferns are kind.

(+1)

I think even if you left it uncomplex it sounds like it would still be a very fulfilling game and a fun read

i agree! it would let me focus on adding the small things. thank you for the input

Jam Host(+1)

whoa! this is a super cool/cute concept! i can't wait to see your progress screencaps!!

(Edited 4 times) (+1)

Progress Notes and Screenshots

This section is specifically for images, art, concept art, and screenshots.

Pre-Game Jam Brainstorming

Beginning notes, scratching out an opening sequence

The player, Seph, and Leo. Also the viewing room where you watch your future lives. Even though I drew Leo here, you will not see any "people looking" people in the game to keep simplicity and of course help the player project onto Seph and Leo better.

My plan for the areas and how they connect. Also trying to figure out sprite heights.

1/2/2016 Jam Day 1

More concepts. Again, you will never see how they actually look as people, but I wanted to design Seph.

Having fun with RPG maker, but actually these are things I need to know. Might as well have weird fun with the rough test, you know? I am already really enjoying Ruby, and RPG Maker is obviously super friendly to non-coding. I feel lucky to already have done a lot with conditionals and loops because I'm realizing a ton of ways I can get the game to do what I want.

1/3/2016 Jam Day 2

I put together a little doc with various scripts and forum posts I find, here's a link if you're curious/are also using VX ACE.

I will be at a friends house for some of the next three days so I will not be as active. Happy jamming, everyone.

1/5/2016 Jam Day 4

I have returned from making comics for a full day (actually...geez...) and now I'm on the RPG Maker forums, which have gotten back online. Thank goodness.

I'm going to set up my tablet on my home computer tonight and then get to my sprite and environments tomorrow.

Host

this is such a cute concept!! i love your emphasis on the world O: i feel like rpgmaker games are really good for that kind of thing.... the character is also rly cute aaaa. also haha if you have any graph paper--i used to map my rpgmaker games using that. it's very quick and easy to box out stuff!

i can't wait to see more of this!!

thank you! I'm excited to get to the art soon because my mechanics are turning out to be pretty simple. the thing I got stuck on is displaying an image and then closing it, because the self-switch i tried seems to be...wrong. I'm waiting for the forums to get back online. do you know how i could display a note and then close out of it? the show image event just...stuck there on screen.

oh that makes sense. i do have graph paper...it can help me with the different sizes of the areas.

Host

i haven't used self-switches since i've only ever used rm2k3 but i think this could be done very simply with:

>show picture 1

>wait: wait for key input

>erase picture 1

vx ace seems to have done away with wait for key input, the things i look up suggest using the conditional "if (key) is pressed", but a lot of the solutions seem really convoluted. i'm going to see what the forums say when they get back online because the title of one of them is exactly what i'm trying to do. thank you for the suggestion!

.

The Nestle sounds like a cool place. You've got a real knack for world-building!

Thank you!! I hope to create a good atmosphere.

(Edited 2 times) (+2)

1/6/2016 Jam Day 5

I woke up super late today (still healing from my 24 hour comic haha) and was mostly just messing with my tablet set up because of driver issues. But now I'm hashing out some color schemes and am going to make my walksprite soon.

And now I've made some sprites! I have the ones I'm using and some of the rejected ones on the side there. Any kind of swaying animation looked a bit extreme and goofy so I went with simply bopping footsteps.

Testing more parallax mapping with concept stuff. Going to draw the actual maps out on a grid first. (I found a graph paper notebook that I've been using to take artist alley inventory and not do anything related to graphs or grids???)


(Edited 5 times) (+1)

1/7/2016 Jam Day 6

I made a title screen by revising the banner up there! I made the banner for fun but fell in love with it.

I've also been reading a lot more tutorials and finding scripts. It seems like a huge script maker that a lot of people used to link to has everything taken down? Bummer.

AND MUSIC! My brother (who is doing the music cuz he's the best and he loves me) posted some initial tests of the track! Here is the most recent one and here is an earlier one with a chill beat. They're very relaxing! Later versions will probably have more variation in the guitar.

Update: SO I have a little note that I wanted to show and then close and I have been trying to figure it out ALL FREAKING DAY and it turns out all I have to freaking do is display picture AND do a transparent show text with erase picture afterwards. I stg I'm going to scream.

I also adjusted my opening sequence and changed my font. Little adjustments.

Now I've mapped some of my sketches to see if they fit and they TOTALLY do!! Now I can do the actual backgrounds.

Current playlist I'm listening to while drawing.

Host

OHHH im really excited seeing all this art!!! also dang that's a bummer at the script maker ):

ahh im glad

yeah there are a lot of links to "victor scripts" and it's like "sorry it's down" but there are plenty of others

(Edited 1 time) (+1)

1/8/2016 Jam Day 7

Finished my first area's graphics, fixed note display, messed with overlay scripts to no avail. Ideally I will do a version of this game later with more intensive environments, likely over the summer. I'd like it to be animated.

After I sleep I want to do more backgrounds, change the select and walking sound effects, and start working on the interactive screens.

SO HEY. While I was working on interactive screens today, I added a script to add more choices to them and also added some items to my parallax tileset. Then when I launched the game, I couldn't move at all. After deleting the choice script, deleting the events I added, redoing my tileset, making multiple parallax tilesets to see what was wrong, and checking my previously installed scripts, I still don't know what's wrong. I sent a post to the RPG Maker forums. I haven't found anyone having that problem yet, and im just ready to yell.

I did change the sound effects, though.

(Edited 2 times) (+1)

1/9/2016 Jam Day 8

I FIXED MY PROBLEM

It was my newness to the program that was my downfall, yet again. I did not know that the B tileset had to have a star as the first passability setting or else its breaks your entire tileset. But now it is all good and I can focus on my actual interactions again!

Here are some screenshots.

I love messing with the sound effects pitch and volume because you can end up with a perfect unrecognizable thing to use.

Probably doing family things today but on the right track so I feel good!

I've been making a lot of progress today. All of my maps are planned and put in the game (at least my placeholder sketches, like above.) I have all of my items you have to collect set out and set up so that you can't get multiples. Right now I am actually working on the cutscene that happens after you return to the original room that held the note, but with all the items. (Leo, your past self, finds you.) Switches are so useful,,,,

Host

ohhh wow im glad you got it fxed!! these full backgrounds are so lovely they feel very point and click/adventure-ish. super cool ;;___;; !!

yeah I was so wildly relieved after that ohh my gosh

thank you!! a lot!! They are all going to take a while because I want them to all be different/no tilesets, but it is worth it for a short game.

Host

yeah!! honestly i love non-tiled bgs esp in adventure games!! even if it's a time consuming process it pays off and looks lovely :3c

(Edited 1 time)

1/10/2016 Jam Day 9

Not much today because I've been packing up for my return to college + doing errands + taking a break. I have a long bus ride tomorrow so I will probably be writing out my scripts for the interactions at the end of the game and all the information about the player character that you discover as you go through the world. I won't get to do any direct work on the game but that's ok! Happy jamming.

1/11/2016 Jam Day 10

Mostly traveled and got settled in school today!

I made sure all my files transferred and work on my school computer. I brainstormed some characters for the end of the game with my friend today, and started drawing out one of the larger maps. Gonna try to get everything done around classes starting! Wish me luck.

1/12/2016 Jam Day 11

Worked on more sprites and a lot of background art. Determined lots of names and backstories of NPCs/a summary of what conversations with them will be like.

1/13/2016 Jam Day 12

Did a little bit more background work, very busy with school and our club expo and assignments (ALREADY!). Seeing a lot of people. Tired, but I still think I can get this game done. I'm about to integrate the graphics I made and check them.

Here's another little preview! I don't want to post too much at this point because it is a small game.

What a load of corn.

the nestle is the cutest!!!! the maps look wonderful!! i love the cornfield!!!

thank you much! I want it to be a cute, comfy place

It's a bountiful cornfield...

yeah definitely that comes across!!!! its soft!

1/14/2016 Jam Day 13

Busy day for me, only a bit of art done! Set goals for what I want for the beta release, because I know want a lot more. It will probably be two more weeks and it will be done, though.

1/15/2016 Jam Day 14

Finished up all the art I needed for beta, made credits, fixed some events. Going to add a bit more text to some interactions tomorrow and then get this all up here! Exciting.

1/16/2016 Final Jam Day

Submitted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the link to the page!

Please tell me if anything doesn't work/downloading is weird. I'm definitely still learning!

Thank you to everyone, I can't wait to play all (I mean it) of the games.

-Jaime Deare