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[Devlog] A Sci-Fi Walking Sim with a Name to be Revealed Later....

A topic by Drone Garden Studios created Nov 26, 2021 Views: 235 Replies: 30
Viewing posts 1 to 19
Submitted

...because dev wants to make sure the general idea is okay'd on plan submission day before any actual programming starts.  xD

Hello, my name is Sci, I'm a visual novelist who has been wanting to branch out into other engines and game types (you can see my portfolio here).  I've dabbled in 3D development before, and liked pretty much everything except coding combat.  Don't ask why programming combat annoys me so much, because I've no idea.  And after playing a game called The Eternal Cylinder, I've wanted to try out Unreal engine (it was made on there and was absolutely inspiring).  So this jam gives me an excuse to try out both.

Also, as a substitute teacher who's working towards becoming a full-time elementary teacher, I want to learn how to work with more engines so that I could teach them later (have a little game design teaching program going when school is out of session, that kind of thing).  Right now, the only engine I could teach reliably is RenPy, which isn't really in high demand where I live.  Maybe I could learn enough about Unreal to become a certified instructor, I don't know.  I just wanted to mention that in case anyone has some tips to guide my learning...;-)

I'm making a sci-fi walking sim.   I have ideas in mind and am going to write out the script today, but I dont want to share too much just yet.  Tomorrow, I'll record the script.  I plan on doing all the voice acting myself.  I have some voice acting experience via puppetry, and I've been wanting to sneak some voice acting into one of my projects, so we will see how this works out.

I'm excited and nervous to be learning Unreal, and hopefully this all works out well!

Jam Judge(+1)

That sounds great!
Do you have a team already?
If not, join our server and we will help look for one.

Submitted

I prefer working solo, but thanks!

Jam Judge(+1)

No problem!
We 'll look forward to your finished product.

(+1)

Sounds great, can't wait to test the game!

Submitted

Day two of development, I went ahead and did the voice acting for my two characters.  Considered voice acting the logs as well, but all my remaining voices were too darn goofy for the project (that's what happens when I try to switch from child-friendly puppet shows to serious sci-fi games, lol).  Recording my own voice like that was awkward, but I quickly warmed up to it.

Tomorrow is my day off, but Monday I'll be submitting my plan.  Depending on what people say, I'll either be going full steam ahead or scrapping this and trying again.  Hopefully the former.

Jam Judge(+1)

Yiu are going gang busters!
Have a nice day off, we look forward to your plan.

Submitted (2 edits)

I did submit my plan today, so I guess I'll share the planned title and genre now...it's called Sionan, and its a sci-fi walking sim with technological horror elements.  Nothing too big and no deaths, just something very simple with no major coding concerns beyond basic movement and triggers so that I can start out simple and not get overwhelmed hopefully.  xD

Besides that, I started a new project and added some of the visual assets from the Marketplace that I wanted to use to it.  Not wanting to get too far, in case my plan is rejected, but also not wanting to lag too far behind in case its accepted.  Its a peculiar balance.

*EDIT* Of course, I've already hit a snag in that the model i wanted to use for a robot character is incompatible with the version of Unreal I have.  Did some snooping around the Marketplace, found a bunch of models from a cancelled game called Paragon, and it had the prettiest robot lady among them.  I feel kind of weird using a model from a game that existed, but Epic Games gave permission to use them in any Unreal Engine 4 project and SHE IS JUST TOO DRAN PRETTY NOT TO USE JUST LOOK  And heck, this is just a practice run anyway, I'm not making money off it so it's fine.  I used to watch a lot of channels that lambasted asset flips back in the day for literally every reason, apparently that left scars on me.

Tomorrow, I plan on doing...very little, actually, because i teach all day AND most of the evening and I will have, like, three hours of free time.  So we'll see what happens.  ^^;

Jam Judge(+1)

Good luck to you and Murial!

Submitted

Had enough time to get the first-person player character going.  Good speed on movement and looking around.  Had some crashes which is worrying, hopefully that won't hold me back too much.

Tomorrow I try to get the robot set up and maybe start designing the map.  Depends on how I feel after work,

Sorry this log is so short today, I have to go teach Roblox  classes bye

Jam Judge(+1)

If you ever want to post a WIP, we have a dedicated channel on the server.

Submitted

I'll keep that in mind.   Right now I don't have anything to show, but once I get something decent I will post it.  ^^

Submitted

I am so exhausted after work today, but I DID manage to get Purple Muriel following me at a slow, steady, smooth pace while avoiding obstacles.  Tomorrow, I'm going to add in some animations (and JEEZ, there's a lot to choose from, I'm honestly impressed with how generous EG was with this game's assets, all these options for free is nuts) and I should probably try and design the actual map or something.  I have the day off tomorrow (barring getting called in), I have no excuse.

My biggest issues though are the crashing.  While fiddling with blueprints, Unreal will just randomly crash so hard that it destroys my laptop visuals if not freezes my machine altogether.  But screw it, I really like working with Blueprints, so I'm willing to put up with crashes.  I'm used to Scratch-level visual scripting so Blueprints are just blowing my mind.

Submitted

Robot lady has animations now.  All her movement anims were her floating so that is what she shall do.  I like the outstretched arm, that'll be nice and sp00ky.

With the map though, maybe it'll be a better idea to get everything else in order code-wise?  I still need to get robot lady's voice acting in (she's going to randomly cycle through ten different lines), as well as both the logs and the console that the player must take the logs to (they'll be basic shapes with simple textures, nothing too fancy).  That, and a simple UI that shows how many logs have been collected (and maybe a notification to press Esc to quit, idk...I'm not ready for a pause menu yet...).  So I think I will wait until I've got all that set up before messing around with the map.  So probably Saturday, the main layout will be complete and I will just need to work on sound and touch-ups.  Wooo!

Look, I'm still exhausted from work yesterday.  I need nap?

Jam Judge(+1)

Yes!
You deserve a nap!

Submitted (2 edits)

Protip: I am so mad.

I'm going to have to scrap my original idea for item collection because, despite the best efforts and assistance from the good folks over on the Discord, I'm too much of a 3D development newb to understand how to do it my planned way.  So I'm going to try having it so that you just walk over the logs to collect them and automatically play a voice clip.  Not as cool, but at this point I just have to do what I can.

So that was about an hour and a half of struggling.  Decided to switch gears to UI stuff, and Unreal would crash even more than normal.  I'd type in something, crash.  I'd be seconds away from pressing the save button, crash.  Constant.  Crashing.  For no good reason.  

I was so frustrated and feeling so stupid by the end of it all that I wanted to cry.  And yet, I was also not wanting to give up.  I wanted to keep going  and get something made.  I knew I'd probably get this frustrated since I'm not good at 3D dev yet, so I did know how to manage it (actually putting my knowledge into practice was a little tougher, but I pulled it off).  The best projects are made with tears staining the keyboard.

*EDIT* I've been working on it some more, the UI countdown refuses to work, at least the logs disappear when I walk over them, surely it will not be difficult to trigger a voice line to play upon doing so right?  Holy crap, I'm just so frustrated.   Didn't help that my family started kind of poking fun at me.  "Wow, you're doing this for fun, but you're frustrated?"  At least I'm actually doing something.  I give the hell up for tonight.  Maybe tomorrow I will magically become smarter.

*EDIT AGAIN*  Please don't take this as gratefulness or bitchiness (okay, maybe the latter a little bit).  Again, I'm so grateful for all the attempts to help me.  And I really am having fun with this jam and with making this game, and I want to keep working with Unreal engine.  But if I have learned anything about me and developing games that aren't visual novels, its that I get very passionate about it.  It's normal for me.  Probably not healthy, but normal.  What I'm trying to say is don't worry about me.

Jam Judge(+1)

Hey, I'm sorry you had such a lousy day.
Better tomorrow, much, much, better, I hope.

Submitted

Oh same.

Jam Judge(+1)

I'll bet!~ 

Submitted

Before I go to bed, I wanna apologize for my freakout.  That made me look really bad.  ^^;  I promise, I'm not that uptight normally.

I'll try to stay more positive from here on out, no matter how frustrated I get.

Jam Judge(+1)

It did not.
Almost everyone hits that phase, eventually.
There will be some trigger and the exhaustion and frustration comes out; it happens.
I know you've spent time on the server so you may have seen that yesterday was a breaking point for others.
You have the right attitude, pick up, move on as best you can!

Submitted

Thank you for the encouragement!  I get upset with myself when I break down, so its nice to know that I'm not alone.  This has been a fantastic jam, everyone is so encouraging and helpful and I'm so glad I joined!

Jam Judge(+1)

You're welcome, and you made some great progress!
We're so glad to hear this has been a positive experience for you; that is important to us.
As you've seen, we have a talented group of Indies on the server that are always willing to help each other out.
After the jam you can stay connected in the other dev-chat channel.

Submitted

FINALLY got the map made!  It uses the Polar Facility modular map building thingamajig on the marketplace.  I just kind of threw things together, then scattered the logs and placed Purple Muriel at the opposite end of the map.  I think my favorite room is this robot room, it tells a story all on its own.  I also played around a bit with terrain editor to make a mountain range outside.  None of this is the best, sure, but for a beginner I think its cool and acceptable.

Today went a LOT better than yesterday.  Very few crashes or glitches, my brain was fresh, I took a break in between (went to a Christmas party, where I drank hot cocoa and held a chicken.  Not at the same time, though) which I should do more often because it really did help.

Tomorrow is my day off, and Monday I learn how to rig up sound cues.  Muriel, I plan to have her cycle through ten random lines (she says a random line, waits a few seconds, then says another line, repeat).  The unnamed guiding voice,  she will say a line right at the beginning of the game, one after each log collected, and two at two specific points at the end of the game (how I will keep her from interrupting herself or overlapping herself, I don't know).  That should be fun.  I also need to figure out why my game no longer automatically starts with the player anymore.

And I really should rebuild the lighting.

Submitted

Finally rebuilt the lighting.  Added a toggleable flashlight and some more UI bits explaining the controls/goals for good measure (this happened AFTER I took the screenshot, of course  :-/).  Don't know if I'm happy with it, but I am content with it.  I also started editing voice lines for the characters.  Got all the robot's done, still need to do the guiding voice's.  So it's not much today, but I needed to focus on getting ready for finals tomorrow.

After said finals are done and over with, I'll finish editing the voice lines and finally figure out how to add them to the game.  I'll probably be asking for help on that one.  ^^;

Jam Judge(+1)

That is looking fabulous!

Submitted

Thanks to all the help over in the Discord, I got the voice acting set up AND the logs in place.  Just the ending sequence and some other tidbits like a main menu and I'm done.  Gotta go teach Roblox class now, bye

Submitted

No pictures but after a lot of guidance my game should be feature complete (unless adding a credits page to a main menu counts, but that's so small that'll be nothing but i'm not doing that until tomorrow because i tired of unreal for today lol), tomorrow is mostly testing and i will probably release on friday if it looks good otherwise it will be saturday

yes this is the exact same message i put in the discord, i worked on this thing for hours and my brain does not want to look at anything unreal for the rest of the day lol

Submitted (2 edits)

Touched up my game and its as complete as I want it to be!  Packaging it as we speak.  I went ahead and collected images to use on the game's page, and I want to collect footage for a trailer but Unreal was crashing on me when I tried to do so in-editor so hopefully once the game is packaged it won't crash when I record.

I'm reeeeeally tempted to release it today, but I don't wanna be first.  ^^;  I'll try my best to be patient and release it tomorrow.  I'm a bit packed this weekend, so that may be the best day to release.

In spite of all the tears, frustration, and confusion...I have really enjoyed working with Unreal.  And I like walking sims, they're quite interesting to program.

EDIT: here's the trailer!  I'll be good and release the game tomorrow around noon (Central time)

Submitted

I'M SORRY I JUST COULDNT WAIT ANYMORE, HERE IT IS:

I also submitted it to the jam, so I guess my role here is done.  xD  Thank you all so much for the wonderful time!

Jam Judge(+1)

Congratulations on completing it, well done!
See you on the server!