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My name is Robson, I am half of MiniChimera Game Studio, and we are working on an interactive fiction game (or Choose Your Own Adventure) if you want to be more specific called Blackout: The Darkest Night.
The game is coming out soon and you can already pre-order it on itch with a discount. There's also a preview version that you can check out! =)
Good job making the graphics yourself, I've been trying to do it as well, it's pretty hard! I found it a bit hard to play due to the darkness, I know this was the idea of the game but I think many games did this and I never liked it as a mechanic.
It turned out to be darker than I expected (for one of the endings at least). I like the background image and how you played with it. Maybe the only thing I could critique is that the 14 year old does not sound like a kid when he speaks.
July was a bit of a short month for me in terms of gamedev. I took a 9 day vacation since my brother was visiting me, it was very hot and we went to some nice places around Greece. Also spending 9 days away from my computer did wonders for my tendinitis =)
So in the end I managed to dedicate only about 10 hours to Blackout (half the time I usually work on it in a month). I've been trying to increase this time but my life has been a bit chaotic, and also sometimes is very hard to find the strength to work extra hours when you already have a 8h/day programming job. And what did I do with these 10 hours? I almost finished the text revision! In fact, as of writing this, I already did, so I decided (right now as I write this) to change the focus of the post and talk about the revision instead of the CYOA framework I'm using, like I promised on the previous post. I want to do a detailed post about the framework, that's gonna take some time, and the text revision is fresh on my mind since I finished this weekend.
It took me almost 50 hours to go through the whole text (around 65k words), making changes in almost every single one of the 600+ passages and also writing a bunch of new ones. I also "translated" the text to twine, as I mentioned in the previous post, separating every chapter as a single twine story, in order to be easier to visualize it.
The so called "chapters" is another point I'd like to talk about. After handwriting the first draft of the story, years ago, I first put it into google docs, and as it still felt convoluted (with things like big numbers "Go to passage 534" or similar passages with weird numeration "Go to passage 41.2"), I decided to divide the story in Chapters. Well it seemed very easy and straightforward to do that, since the story spreads across several different locations I could simply make every location a different chapter: Alley, Taxi, Hospital...
But what about the names of the chapters? I had kept the location itself as the name at first, but as we approached the preview version release, I tried to come up with better names. It proved to be a very hard task, first because what the character does in each chapter can vary a lot. If you played the preview (The Alley), you probably know you can have an encounter with cops (which can go many different ways); you can find some weird stuff in the alley; you can also see none of that and just leave.
The second thing is I can't do numbered chapters either, because the order of the chapter changes depending on your choices, so it would be kind of weird if one person's chapter 2 was the hospital, and other's was the taxi.
So when we released the preview version, this is what the "chapter select" screen looked like.
Monthly report - June.
Between E32018 and the World Cup, June has been a month full of distractions, specially since I make my makes on my free time.
Despite that, I still managed to get a good amount done, and a very important part of Blackout, even though it might not be the most exciting: text revision. It has been a long time since I wrote it, and some of the later chapters have never undergone a true revision.
In order to make this task easier I decided to change the tool I was using to keep the text, which wasn't really a IF tool, it was just google docs, which is better than what I used when I originally wrote the story: two small notebooks.
So I decided to move the story from google docs to Twine, even though I'm not using twine for the game implementation itself (I'm using my own framework, which I'll go into more detail on next month's post) making it easier to have a good overview of the flow of each chapter, easier to find a passage and also easier to test.
This chapter has almost 8k words, if you're the type that is interested in numbers, this is the average for most chapters, some are bigger and some are smaller. If you played through the preview that is currently up, you saw that the writing style is very simple and direct, I want the player to move fast through the story, and do this several times over, so it can't be some Tolkienesque thing where I describe every small rock on the way.
The revision is taking a long time because I'm changing almost every single passage, fixing errors, adding and removing stuff here and there. Bus I should be done with it soon!
That's it for this month, next month I'll go into the framework I've built (and am still building) for Blackout.
Congrats on your first Godot project, you did an amazing polished game for such a small amount of time!
As someone who is obsessed with looking at the weather forecast and temperature, this game is basically made for me (L)
That's a great idea, if I get the right color palette it's gonna look real cool!
I actually used text because at first I thought about doing something with multiple languages, to make it somewhat like a learning tool, but when I tried leaving the text on screen I thought it was an interesting mechanic and changed direction.
Very hard to control the sun and the bowl at the same time haha
The whole art style is completely insane, a bunch of different styles thrown together, there's even a soccer ball. I love it!
Thank you! I did not have a lot of time so aimed for something very simple, which was nice because I managed to do it at a slow pace and had time for music and sfx, different from how it usually goes for me.