This was an extremely tedious week. It was intentionally tedious so that I could get the worst bit out of the way, but it was still really difficult to get through.
The tasks were painfully repetitive. My eyes struggled to get through hundreds of lines of writing without drying out immediately. The comments I had written in the script looked like absolute gibberish. Then the next day would come, things would appear to be a lot clearer, and slowly I would fall back into an inability to understand what was happening.
This was literally
me. Like my eyes were burning. They've been burning for a while. If you see me
doing weird and long strange blinks it's because it's an exercise that helps to re-hydrate the eyes.
I have no doubt that my script is incredibly inefficient and bulky, but it works. I organised that bulkiness as best I can, and it's easy to read when you haven't been staring at it for hours.
I don't even know if the quests flow properly. This is where bug-testing, not play-testing, is really crucial. And honestly, I don't want to do it right now. I'd like to just give it to someone else, and be like, hello just tell me where the issues are and if you suddenly are unable to progress. Thank you! Eventually it is a task I'm going to have to undertake. I played through the first quest and onto the second quest, which showed that the way I've written the variables is functional. I'll probably just do it right now, actually. Tune in to the end of the post to see if I went through all the quests!*
On another practical note, when play-testing I would have portraits of NPCs in little post-it note form, and a giant sketch-book that had the map of the town on it. It was a bit absurd constantly bringing that to playtests in order for people to navigate. So I bit the bullet and drew a bunch of extremely quick placeholder sprites for all quest-based town people, objects, and buildings.
This is basically the bulk of the programming done, leaving open great opportunity for playtesting and iteration. Following this comes all those little details which are daunting but in a more manageable way, as the game is actually being made. I'm building from something now, as opposed to having absolutely nothing to build off.
- Finished Main Quest Scripts
- Finished Main Quest Dialogue
- Finished Main Quest Teleport Areas
- Added all the Main Quest Placeholder art
- The more detailed bits i.e.
- Adding a train and having so the player can only go on when the train has stopped
- Having a song for each building that triggers when the player enters and leaves
- Maybe plan out the soundscape in better detail
- Having a movie play for the theatre
- Tie balloon to grave when triggered
- Have player controls removed when experiencing dialogue
- Have two psychics
- And there's very likely a lot more details I'm missing but I'll just update my list as I go along
- Sudoku Puzzle - boy that looks mighty terrifying to tackle!
- Other Dialogue
- Final Confrontation
- Small interactable stuff
- Post-quest NPC dialogue
- Therapist advice for each phase of every quest
For the next week I'm going to focus on writing idle NPC dialogue and having more points of exploration around the town to make playtests a lot more interesting and engaging.
*End of the fourth phase is busted but I got through nearly all of it!