Dev Blog #009 – A Tough Slog

Last week began with the team deciding that we needed to start having much shorter sprints if we were going to be able to hit our goals. While we were on track to achieving our final goal, it was hard to know what actually needed to be done at any given point. We also knew that we were about to get into some of the most complicated elements of our game which could suck up all of our attention.

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We started by looking at what everyone had on their plate at the current moment and estimated how long each task would take. We noticed that we hadn’t broken down our asset list into individual pieces nor did we have the story in an implementable state, so those become our top priority. Next up was finishing several elements that were under progress, most importantly getting our first cop ready to be animated and getting interactable objects, like doors, into the game. As we started breaking things down for the next month, we quickly realized that we couldn’t see what the final few weeks would look like. We hope it is just polishing, but there are so many contingencies we felt we should leave it open for a bit longer.

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Most of the rest of the week was spent getting stuff into the game itself. Our character art style had been settled and we had to see how everything else would fit. We started going back and cleaning up some old assets and started planning out all the rules for how the art should be built and submitted. One reason for this is that we were able to bring on another artist to help out in their spare time and needed to quickly get them up to speed.

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Erick and Jason spent most of the week trying to build the story in a logical, spreadsheet ready format. This was the scary, all-consuming endeavour we had been expecting and it delivered on that experience plus some. We decided to try and lay some of the story elements out in Twine and had some success in constructing some parts, but it was still incomplete. We tried to put all the data into a spreadsheet and got a little bit further, but hit another wall. We are trying to build a system that is nonlinear, that has emotional variance, can be initiated by a variety of characters in the game, and more. For every step we took forward, we usually had to take several steps to the side and occasionally backwards. It’s been a tough slog, but we feel like we are very close to a breakthrough.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

~Edgar Allan Poe

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